Free Antivirus Selling Your Info, YouTube Poaching Twitch Streams, No Rocket League Linux

  • From Category5 Technology TV S13E16
  • February 5, 2020
The weekly tech news from Category5 TV is provided free of charge. If you enjoy what we do, please consider becoming a Patron so we can continue offering more great content.
Support This Free Content

Products Discussed

PineTime Developer Kit

For developers and makers only! This is the dev kit and is used for development. It is not the final watch. The PineTime is a free and open source smartwatch capable of running custom-built open operating systems. It features a heart rate monitor, a week-long battery as well as a capacitive touch IPS display that is legible in direct sunlight. It is a fully community driven side-project, which means that it will ultimately be up to the developers and end-users to determine when they deem the PineTime ready to ship.

Buy Now From:


Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday February 5, 2020

Some of the biggest Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone e-sport leagues will be streamed exclusively on YouTube.

Some of the biggest Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone e-sport leagues will be streamed exclusively on YouTube.

The deal's seen as a big win for the platform which has found it hard to compete with game streamer, Twitch.

It's part of a deal the site's signed with Activision Blizzard - the company which runs the leagues. Twitch exclusively streamed the first two seasons of the Overwatch League and is seen as the go-to destination for live gaming.

Sunil Rayan, Head of Gaming at Google Cloud says, "We've worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience. We're excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world."

Despite being the largest video site in the world YouTube has historically struggled to compete with sites like Twitch.

But in the last few months the platform's been making some high-profile moves poaching a number of high profile Twitch streamers.

As part of the deal the search giant's cloud platform will power all of Activision Blizzard's game hosting and other technical needs.

Google Cloud will also host Activision Blizzard's entire library of games.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

The good old FreeDB CD database service and it's services will be shut down on march 31, 2020.

The good old FreeDB CD database service and it's services will be shut down on march 31, 2020.

There are dozens of applications that make it easy to rip a music CD to your computer, saving digital versions of the tracks as MP3, WAV, FLAC, or other files. But one of the key services many of those applications rely on is set to shut down at the end of March.

Freedb is a free online database of track listings for millions of CDs. Without this type of database, you’d either end up with a bunch of nameless files, or you’d have to manually type the album names, artist info, song titles, and other data into your computer.

While FreeDB isn’t the only service of its type, it’s been one of the most prominent services providing track listing data for nearly two decades.

Freedb data was originally based on information from the CDDB service, which eventually became proprietary software and prohibited unlicensed applications from using that data. So freedb, which is a free service operated under a GPL license, now consists of user-generated data.

Software company Magix acquired freedb in 2006, but continued to support the free service until now. It’s unclear why Magix has decided to pull the plug after all these years

Fortunately there’s an alternative online music database called MusicBrainz that’s operated under a Creative Commons license that “effectively places the data into the Public Domain,” which means it should continue to work with 3rd-party software indefinitely.

But if you’re using any old CD ripping or music management software that only supports freedb, it may be time to look for alternatives.


Sent to us by: Johnny A. Solbu

Rocket League is ending support for Linux and Steam OS.

Just three and bit years after it debuted on the platform, Rocket League is ending support for Linux and Steam OS.

Psyonix, the development team behind the popular cars-meets-football game announced the end of macOS and Linux support in a short statement posted on their website.

They say, "As we continue to upgrade Rocket League with new technologies, it is no longer viable for us to maintain support for the macOS and Linux (SteamOS) platforms. s a result, the final patch for the macOS and Linux versions of the game will be in March. This update will disable online functionality (such as in-game purchases) for players on macOS and Linux, but offline features including Local Matches, and splitscreen play will still be accessible.”

Last year, Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games who announced plans to stop selling the hit game on Steam (though without impacting players who had already purchased it).

But it’s not all bad news.

If you already own the game you can continue to play it on Linux without any limitations until the March updates arrives.

After this you can also continue to play it, just without any of the online capabilities.

Don’t forget that if you bought Rocket League for Linux on Steam you can still access full functionality, including online play, by installing it on a computer running a supported version of Windows — not an ideal solution, but at least you don't totally lose your purchase.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

We're in an Antarctica frenzy as a Google Earth user has found a ‘2,000ft structure’ emerging from the snow.

We're in an Antarctica frenzy as a Google Earth user has found a ‘2,000ft structure’ emerging from the snow.

Google Earth users have claimed for years that there are mysteries lying beneath the Antarctica ice. And now, Google Earth user MrMBB333 thinks he may have discovered a gigantic building in Antarctica.

In footage shared a couple weeks back, he zooms in on the location to find what seems like a huge square emerging from the ice.

The narrator explains, "From top to bottom it’s nearly 2,000ft – unbelievable. I didn’t think it was that big. It’s six football fields long – that’s massive. It’s very large, very symmetrical and looks like a building. This could be a random piece of ice I suppose. It is kind of offshore – maybe it is some sort of building but that is huge.”

While many are speculating what the shape could be, others are less convinced, suggesting it was nothing more than an unusual-shaped block of ice.

Antarctica is often the centre of conspiracy theories, with so-called truth-seekers believing that beneath the layer of snow and ice lies remnants of everything from ancient civilisations to Nazi bases.

Back in August, another Google Earth user believed they had spotted a gigantic statue of a face.

And just two weeks ago, one person claimed to have spotted a huge two-mile-long ancient wall rising above the ice.

The so-called monolith was compared to a ziggurat – a massive structure built in ancient Mesopatamia and Iran.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

Sometimes free isn't actually free at all: It's been revealed that Avast's "free" antivirus is tracking users' online behavior and mining the data.

It turns out free security solutions may come at the cost of all your browsing data: Avast's free antivirus tracks users' online behavior and mines the data for companies like Microsoft, Pepsi, and Google.

Windows users should know by now that you're walking in a field of landmines if you run your computer without protection from malware. So most people use antivirus software to make sure they get some much needed privacy and security protections while using their computers online.

And many -- to the tune of about a half billion users -- turn to free antivirus products, thinking there's no reason to pay for protection since there are programs available for free.

However, free security suites can sometimes hoard your browsing data and other details and sell them to third parties.

This is the case with the popular free antivirus from Avast, which is putting the privacy of around 400 million people at risk.

At a time when high-profile tech executives are calling on governments to impose more stringent privacy rules, there's nothing like another reminder that everyone is fighting to get a hold of your habits, preferences, and pretty much any other data that can be used by advertisers to target you more easily.

According to a joint investigation by Vice and PCMag that involves leaked contracts and other company documents, Avast along with its AVG subsidiary have been keeping track of what users did online while using the free software they distribute.

The scheme involves Jumpshot, a company that "provides insights into consumers’ online journeys by measuring every search, click and buy across 1,600 categories from more than 150 sites, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart." Installing Avast's free antivirus automatically adds in a browser extension that collects information on your internet activity and sends it to Jumpshot packed and tagged with a unique identifier.

Avast's data collection includes searches on Google and Google Maps, YouTube videos, LinkedIn searches and profile visits, and even what users views on adult web sites. This gets sent to Jumpshot's customers like Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, Sephora, Home Depot, Yelp, Intuit, and many others.

Avast says it doesn't track any sensitive information like personal identification, phone numbers, or email. The company also insists that as of July 2019, they had begun implementing an explicit opt-in choice for all new downloads of their AV, and are now prompting existing free users to make an opt-in or opt-out choice, a process which they claim will be completed in February 2020.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

In an odd turn of events, Microsoft has had to push out an update to Windows 7 — despite the operating system reaching end of support — to fix a bug it introduced.

In an odd turn of events, Microsoft has had to push out an update to Windows 7 — despite the operating system reaching end of support — to fix a bug it introduced.

Earlier this month, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 and released final public security updates for computers still running the over-a-decade-old OS. However, that final update included the addition of a bug that affects desktop wallpapers, causing wallpapers set to ‘Stretch,’ to display as black.

Organizations who wish to continue using Windows 7 beyond the end of support date must pay for Extended Security Updates. In other words, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 by introducing a bug that companies would have to pay them to fix.

Initially, Microsoft said it was developing a fix that would roll out to those who purchased extended support. However, they've since changed their minds, and the patch will be available to everyone running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

At FOSDEM this week, PINE64 have announced what they're up to for the first half of 2020.

At FOSDEM this week, PINE64 have announced what they're up to for the first half of 2020.

During this time, the company hopes to review the status of the PinePhone and PineTime, release the PineTab early adopter edition and make good on their promises to deliver the upgrade-kit for the original Pinebook.

Also rolled over from last year's to-do list, PINE64 is releasing a new SOPine compute module that features a Neural Processing Unit. The SOEdge is a 3TOPS module that can be paired with the SOPine base board or USB 3.0 and PCIe adapters for development, and can even be mixed with previous-gen A64 modules on the Clusterboard, which allows clustering of up to 7 compute modules. It can connect to a SBC, such as the ROCKPro64 or a regular PC with a simple PCIe riser card.

Having encountered issues with the SONY camera implementation, and with big devices such as the Pinebook Pro and PinePhone in the works, the CUBE camera got put on the back burner. But PINE64 assures us they are once again working on it. They'll need to make some changes to the specs though, and we'll learn more about that in PINE64's February community update which will be posted on February 15.

So that's a lot of stuff that rolled over from last year, which is going to keep them busy, so at this point PINE64 is only announcing things they're confident they can deliver by early May.

It's been a while since PINE64 has announced a new SBC, and with all the other devices they've been making some users even questioned if they were getting out of the SBC industry. But that's not the case, and PINE64 has announced the new HardROCK64.

The HardROCK64 features the same RK3399 hexa-core SOC found in the Pinebook Pro and on the ROCKPro64, 2 USB 3 and 2 USB 2 ports, WiFi AC and Bluetooth 5.0, Gig Ethernet, and unlike the Raspberry Pi 4 which only offers MicroSD for storage, the HardROCK64 includes eMMC. Also by contrast, the HardROCK64 has a barrel jack for power and no USB-C.

Like the Raspberry Pi 4, it comes in three RAM sizes: 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB. The three implementations of the HardROCK64 will be available for around $35, $45 and $55 respectively.

The board will run all ROCKPro64 OS images and with a small tweak it will even run most Pinebook Pro distros. So if you don’t need all of the ROCKPro64’s functionality, such as PCIe or USB-C, then this may just be the perfect board for you.

PINE64 hopes to have the HardROCK64 available to customers this April.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson