Full range of Lenovo T570 options revealed

Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570, the much-awaited, supposed MacBook killer that was first announced at CES in January, is now available for pre-order via Lenovo Hong Kong – meaning users can finally see what specs are available and (roughly) how much it’s going to cost them.

Let’s get this out of the way: disappointingly, once again, Lenovo doesn’t seem to have made available configuration options that feature Intel’s fastest mobile chips; the most powerful option available is the Kaby Lake-powered i7-7600U. This is almost certainly a conscious and thought-out decision, as 7600U is the highest you can go without a massive jump in TDP – the higher-spec’d 7700HQ and above all weigh in at 45W TDP, compared to the 7600U’s thrifty 25W TDP. Dell’s Precision (and possibly XPS15?) and HP’s ZBook lineups will likely be the only way to get more raw processing power for your next purchase – at the cost of greatly-reduced battery life, no doubt.

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Beware of this new Chrome “font wasn’t found” hack!

Today while browsing a (compromised) WordPress site that shall remain unnamed, I came across a very interesting “hack” that was pulled off with a bit more finesse than most of the drive-by-infection attempts. This one relies on using JavaScript to change the text rendering, causing it to resemble mis-encoded text with symbols and rubbish in place of the content, then prompts the user to update “Chrome’s language pack” to fix the problem.

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SecureStore: a .NET secrets manager

SecureStore is our open-source (MIT-licensed) solution to secrets management for .NET developers. It’s intended to be dead simple and boldly embraces the KISS principle. We’ve been using it in production for a while now (years, actually!), but hadn’t gotten around to officially releasing it despite its public availability on our GitHub page.

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Introducing betterpad™ for Windows

logoEveryone, say hello to betterpad – an open, fast, & free replacement for notepad that doesn’t suck. Inspired by text edit on Mac, this recent convert back to the Windows ecosystem needed something for random notes, quickly opening plain text files, or jotting things down – and expecting them to still be there the next time you come back to your PC.

As a text editor, it tries to remain unopinionated and keep out of your way.. while supporting whatever you throw at it. It doesn’t choke and die when it encounters a unix line ending and it’s smart enough to reopen all your old documents – saved or otherwise – after a restart or if it (hopefully not!) crashes. It’s high-dpi aware, has full unicode support, and actually has multiple levels of undo so you don’t have to think twice before hitting ctrl-z and you don’t have to smash your head against the wall when you realize a few seconds later that you didn’t copy the old contents of the buffer.

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QuickSubmit for Chrome, Redux

Quick, if you had to pick one thing Internet Explorer has that Chrome doesn’t, what would it be?1 For us, it has been a dearth of common navigation shortcuts that can make life filling forms online much less painful. IE users have long been spoiled by the alt+shift+s keyboard combination to submit the currently active form – a luxury Chrome users have long had to live without.

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  1. I’m truly, genuinely sorry if you voted “better battery life” and I wish I had better news for you, but alas… 

145 years and 210,719 games of home vs away: does it make a difference?

bbstats

Much has been made of “home field advantage” in baseball – in particular, does playing at home vs away significantly affect a team’s outcome? Just how much impact does it have on a series’ outcome? What is home field advantage made of, anyway? Our favorite statisticians over at FiveThirtyEight once compiled a post about the disappearing effects of home field advantage for soccer in England, but what about the national pastime here in the USA? Buoyed by the Cubs’ recent success and egged-on by the MLB’s questionable interesting policy of awarding home-field advantage to the winner of the All-Star Game, we decided to see just what effect playing at home vs away has.

We went back 145 years and crunched the numbers from 210,719 baseball games to find out just what impact playing at home vs away has had over the past century-and-a-half of baseball… and then took it a step further with a look at some numbers on home field advantage by both team and park.

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Apple’s newest, best MacBook Pro still has only 16GB of RAM

macbook-pro-magic-toolbarApple is famous for making awesome hardware. Or at least, they were. Today, it seems that Apple is officially trying to become famous for making hardware you can’t change, in configurations you don’t want, with year(s)-old tech you don’t need. Case in point: the newest, latest, and “greatest” MacBook Pro, available now for pre-order online.

Unlike previous generations where users had some semblance of control over what parts their customized Macs shipped with, the new MBPs don’t really give the users much choice. The top-of-the-line 15″ MBP has only two CPU options available, the 2.7GHz Intel i7 6820HQ and the 2.9GHz i7 6920HQ. Despite being CPUs that were released almost a year-and-a-half ago, they are still much-needed upgrades from the previous, decrepit processors that were powering the MacBook Pros available for sale yesterday.

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PSA: PayPal.com rejecting connections from Internet Explorer 10 and below!

PayPalThis is just a small public service announcement for any web developers or eCommerce website owners using PayPal Express Checkout to accept payments on their websites: don’t redirect your users to paypal.com, make sure you use www.paypal.com instead!

The reason is quite simple (and stupid): PayPal uses different SSL security configurations for the vanilla paypal.com domain and the www.paypal.com subdomain – and the former is incompatible with a lot of older PCs and operating systems, meaning your users will get an error message instead of being presented with the checkout options!

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Windows Product Key Lookup Tool 1.1 Released

Product Key ToolAn update to our Windows 10 Product Key Utility has been issued that addresses a number of minor issues. Since its initial release in December 2014, the BIOS-Embedded Product Key lookup tool has been downloaded and used over two hundred thousand times, and has quickly become the go-to tool for retrieving product keys embedded in the BIOS or system firmware.

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An ode to FeedDemon.. and desktop software that never dies

feeddemon_logo1I first discovered FeedDemon in the summer of 2004, probably via a promo or plugin in author Nick Bradbury’s other application, HomeSite, while “learning” HTML after ditching FrontPage. Today, almost 12 years later to the day, I googled for “best RSS reader for Windows” while trying to write an RSS-based interface for an RRTP integration for Nest and FeedDemon was still the first result.

FeedDemon “died” in March 2013, after Google killed off its own web-based RSS reader. While RSS isn’t quite dead yet, it’s not exactly as cool as it used to be and the RSS client scene hasn’t seen much activity in that time. (Another standout from the same era is RSSOwl, also still available.)

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