Tech News

HBO Now Set to Launch in April, Apple Delays iPad Pro Until September [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-03-2015

HBO Now is coming soon, Apple delays the iPad Pro, EA closes Maxis, Chromebook battery killers, The Smithsonian bans selfie sticks, and Chappie explores artificial intelligence.


HBO Now to Stream Game of Thrones

HBO is set to launch its own streaming service in April, with HBO Now arriving just in time for the new season of Game of Thrones (April 12). HBO Now, as the service is tentatively titled, is expected to cost $15-per-month, which is about the same as cable TV subscribers pay for HBO. It is, however, significantly higher than the asking price of Netflix Is Netflix Worth The Money? There are more people who don't subscribe to Netflix as those who do, and that swathe of the population wants to know if they're missing out on anything. Is Netflix worth the money? Read More and Amazon Prime Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide! Amazon Prime is a big deal. But is it worth the money you pay for it? We answer your questions and concerns. Read More .

This information all comes from an International Business Times report, which cites the usual “sources familiar with their plans.” The report also claims HBO Now will be available on a whole range of different devices, including the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Roku, with Apple the company most keen to secure HBO Go, suggesting it will launch first on Apple TV Apple TV Review and Giveaway Apple introduced its set-top digital media player in 2007, and it's currently on its third generation of hardware. Read More .

This all has to be treated as rumor for the time being, but launching its standalone streaming service Google Reveals Android Lollipop, HBO Battles Netflix, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Google Glass is addictive, Facebook Safety Check, webOS begone, Puls, and a Minecraft iPhone. Read More in time for the start of Season 5 of Game of Thrones Game Of Thrones Meets Tumblr: 12 Must-Follow Blogs The sheer amount of content on Tumblr makes it a joy to browse, though sometimes you really do have to filter through a lot of repetitive content to get to the good stuff. For that... Read More makes absolute sense for HBO. If this is indeed the plan then we would expect an official announcement within weeks.

Apple’s iPad Pro Delayed for Six Months

Apple is all set to launch its smartwatch on Monday (March 9), but the new, larger iPad Pro is unlikely to make its debut alongside the Apple Watch iTime For An iWatch: Funny Reactions To The New Apple Watch [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Apple Watch. It's a watch, a smartwatch, a watch that is smart. Sort of. And it's ripe for mocking. Read More . This is, according to Bloomberg, because Apple has had to delay production of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro until later in the year. The iPad Pro would be the third tablet in Apple’s product line, sitting alongside the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3.

The report suggests Apple was planning to launch the iPad Pro during this quarter, but “delays involving the supply of display panels” mean production has been pushed back until September. The iPad Pro is being designed with the enterprise market in mind, as Apple tries to boost flagging sales of its tablets. MacRumors suggests the iPad Pro will feature an ultra high-res display, stereo speakers top and bottom, and a stylus option.


EA Closes Legendary Developer Maxis

Electronics Arts (EA) is closing down Maxis, the legendary games developer responsible for games such as SimCity SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity was one of the first PC games I ever played when it was first released in 1989 - I was just 7 at the time. You'll understand then why this game holds a particularly... Read More and Spore. Maxis Emeryville, the developer’s main studio, will be no more, although the Maxis brand will carry on with other studios around the world.

The Sims, by far the most popular Maxis IP, will carry on as normal as development of The Sims 4 8 Big Differences Between The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 Here's a full rundown of the major differences between The Sims 3 and The Sims 4. Read More and its mass of expansion packs is handled by a separate division imaginatively titled The Sims Studio. EA revealed this news during the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.

What’s Killing Your Chromebook Battery?

While Chromebooks are much less likely to be rendered unusable by having multiple apps running or too many tabs open at once than other devices, such activity can run down your battery more quickly than you’d hope. Thankfully, Google has built a solution into the latest version of Chrome OS 5 Reasons To Give Chrome OS A Second Chance Google’s launch of Chrome OS was one of 2011’s most disappointing moments. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Chrome OS was its performance. Since then, Google has been gradually updating Chrome OS. The user experience has... Read More .

Those in the Dev channel can now see how much juice each app or website is devouring. And then know which to avoid using or (at the very least) keep open for longer than absolutely necessary. As revealed by François Beaufort, you simply select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Battery’ to see a breakdown of current battery usage.


The Smithsonian Bans Selfie Sticks

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. has banned the use of selfie sticks. Tripods and monopods were already banned from the museums and their grounds, but selfie sticks are now also included on the list of prohibited items.

In a press release announcing the decision, The Smithsonian stated, “This is a preventive measure to protect visitors and objects, especially during crowded conditions. We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences — and leave the selfie sticks in their bags.” So, less Smithsonian, and more Draconian.

Chappie Explores Artificial Intelligence

And finally, this is the trailer for Chappie, the new movie from director Neil Blomkamp, previously responsible for District 9 and Elysium. It deals with the idea of artificial intelligence Microsoft, Artificial Intelligence, and The Robot Apocalypse Microsoft is giving a line of autonomous robots a serious look. Is this the beginning of the end for humans, or just another step forward in the push for safe artificial intelligence? Read More , with the titular character being an android with the ability to think for itself.

This is a timely film, as AI has been in the news of late. Scientists such as Stephen Hawking have warned of the dangers Here's Why Scientists Think You Should be Worried about Artificial Intelligence Do you think artificial intelligence is dangerous? Does AI may pose a serious risk to the human race. These are some reasons why you may want to be concerned. Read More intelligent robots of the future pose to mankind. And we’re not helping ourselves by kicking the robot dogs Buy a OnePlus One Without an Invite, Your Samsung TV is Listening [Tech News Digest] It's OnePlus One Tuesday, Samsung is listening, Windows 10 due to be finished in June, Imgur Pro is now free, Spot the robot dog, and Uber Seize steals cars. Read More our current brainiacs are developing.


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Would you pay $15-per-month for HBO Now? Are you interested in buying a larger iPad? Is The Smithsonian right to ban selfie sticks?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: John Joh via Flickr

Related topics: Apple, Battery Life, Google Chrome, Television.

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  1. Robert B
    March 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Hi again,
    I did not proof read my comment very well, this is what I said "they allow you to upload 200 of your own songs in the .mp3 format to add to your cloud storage and if all of the music that they have on hand along with 200 of your own songs added to it for additional $29 annual fee you can upload if I remember the amount correctly 250,000 mp3's"

    What I meant to say was "they allow you to upload 200 of your own songs in the .mp3 format to add to your cloud storage and if all of the music that they have on hand along with 200 of your own songs is not enough then you can for an additional $29 annual fee you can upload if I remember the amount correctly 250,000 mp3's to your cloud storage"

  2. Robert B
    March 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Hi Aibek,
    I forgot to mention that with the Amazon Prime Music they allow you to upload 200 of your own songs in the .mp3 format to add to your cloud storage and if all of the music that they have on hand along with 200 of your own songs added to it for additional $29 annual fee you can upload if I remember the amount correctly 250,000 mp3's. There is also another Prime benefit that many may not be aware of is Amazons cloud storage, it is very similar to the Google drive in that they allow Prime members to have 5GB of free storage with very reasonable annual rates if 5GB is not enough. Amazon also has another service option for those who might be a developer or IT person, anyone running a small business regardless of your knowledge can be regarded as your companies IT specialists. I have not really looked into this so I have no idea how strict Amazon defines this when you create an account. This service is called Amazon Web Services "AWS" The account creation is free and along with having an AWS account you also get 5GB of free storage. However AWS is far more than just online storage, they also provide cloud based compute services. What I have read did not specify, however I would imagine that you rent compute time from a cluster where you can if you are a developer upload your code say for compiles. I personally do not do any development however I do dabble with 3D modeling and animation with Blender so I plan on contacting Amazon Web Services to see exactly what their cloud compute services is exactly and to find out if it is in fact a cluster and if so if it would be able to be set up to preform as a rendering farm. This is a paid service so I do not know exactly how expensive it would wind up being but it would probably be far cheaper than building your own super compute cluster.

  3. Robert B
    March 10, 2015 at 5:00 am

    My comment today has nothing to do with your article however it is directed at "makeuseof" as a website. I generally like your website and your content, however I increasingly find links to increadably OLD and OBSOLETE articles placed in the side bar as if they were new and relavant articles in March of 2015. The example on this page is a very prominate link to an article titled "Is Amazon Prime a good deal?" I clicked on it to see what the author had to say and as soon as I began reading it seemed to be ancient information that no longer applies today and then I noticed the date of the article July 19, 2013. Don't you think that a two year old article of this type has no buisness being prestented today"? I could understand if it were a tutorial on how to do something but it was rather a biased view evern for its day and obviously reflected the autors personal opinion and it was abvious that he was not in favor of Amazon. What a waist of your readers time, these sort of articles should be purged from your servers when the information is no longer relevant and accurate. I have been a long time subscriber to Amazon Prime and perhaps some of his views were relevant back in 2013 but not today. As time has gone by the Amazon Prime membership has dramaticly increased in value. The newest offering that they added about a year ago Amazon Music is now probably one of the best aspects of an Amazon Prime subscription. When I first noticed their music service back in July of last year it looked interesting but not enough to get me to switch from Pandora. What a difference that 4 month made, in November of 2014 my Pandora One subscription was up for renewal and they decided to switch from a one time anual payment to a monthly subscription with a substantial price hike. I emailed them to find out if I could use my accounts at PayPal to pay the monthly charges and I could but they made it very difficult to do. So I decided to give Amazon Music another look and what a big difference from when I first discovered it and is now far superior to Pandora. I did not renew my Pandora One and insted I have removed the Pandora app from all of my mobile devices as well as the desktop app for my pc. Even though Amazon raised their Prime membersip back in 2014 to $99 when for years it was $79 with all the media content that you have access to the $99 anual charge is a bargin. But because I no longer subscribe to Pandora which now costs about $50 anually I consider my Amazon Prime membership to only cost $50 annually. Today the content they have on offer with their video streaming service is equal to Netflix, and their music service probably has more on offer than Pandora. One of the great things about Prime Music is the fact that there are hundreds of alblums that you can add to your playlist along with many Amazon created playlists in every kind of music genres. They even have mobile apps for Android and I think iOS and the surprising thing is they allow you do download some or all of your selected content to your moblie device so you do not use up any of your mobile data plan streaming it. So in two years Amazon Prime has gone from perhaps not being worth the price to today March 10th, 2015 to being in my opinion a bargin.

    • Aibek
      March 11, 2015 at 7:50 am

      hey Robert,

      Thanks for the input here. We're currently rethingking the sidebar recommendation algorithm and aim to update it along with the site's theme around May 1'st.

      I am also passing your noted about Amazon Prime as well as Amazon Music to our editors. We might do ana rticle comparing these two services.


  4. likefunbutnot
    March 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I'm glad to see that Apple us finally embracing latter day technological invocations such as stereo speakers on its forthcoming products. Now if only it would acknowledge lowercase keys can exist on software keyboards, it will at last have a device almost as functional as a late 90s era PocketPC.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 5, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Ouch, it burns. Somewhere in Cupertino Tim Cook's ears are burning.

    • likefunbutnot
      March 5, 2015 at 9:33 pm


      I'm just looking forward to the breathless Macworld pronouncements from The Verge and Engadget that two speakers on a tablet device is the clear future of computing and we should all be grateful to Apple for inventing it.

  5. Tom W
    March 5, 2015 at 11:46 am

    So, CAHPPIE is basically a Short Circuit reboot?

    • Dave Parrack
      March 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Almost, but with a little Robocop thrown in for good measure!