Panama Papers, Rift + Vive Shipping delays, Outlook Premium

Now, this isn’t exactly “tech” news, but the interwebs has been buzzing the past few days about the Panama Papers, and for good reason – it’s a data leak containing over 11.5 million files – about 2.6 terabytes worth, making it one of the largest leaks in recent history. The leaked files were apparently stolen in a server hack from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca quite some time ago, and were obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, as well as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Those groups have been poring over the millions of documents for the past year, and have now started publishing what they’ve found – financial records of more than 100 extremely wealthy businessmen, politicians, and government officials, some of whom engaged in bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud, and drug trafficking, with money hidden in offshore, front companies. A lot of the data is still being analyzed, and it’s not clear what the ramifications are going to be at this point. Just goes to show, if you’re going to try and launder a billion dollars through offshore companies… better make sure Windows Firewall is on. (rimshot)

The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive both shipped to consumers recently, or, as the case may be, did not ship, as both companies have experienced some hiccups in the shipping process. Oculus experienced an “unexpected component shortage” that pushed back a lot of customers’ deliveries – as a result, the company has promised to remove shipping costs from all pre-orders, with more info on updated timelines coming April 12th. HTC, on the other hand, is dealing with some customers banks rejecting the large payment for the Vive, which led to their orders being cancelled. Some customers had their orders reinstated, only to find they’d missed the first wave of units, and now have to wait for wave 2. Dang! And here we were thinking the glorious, bright future of VR had already arrived. Turns out we had forgotten to allow 8-10 business days. 

And Microsoft thinks you might pay for a fancy-pants email service. The company is currently running an invite-only pilot program for Outlook Premium. A $3.99 monthly fee will get you five personalized email addresses, an ad-free mail client, and … easier ways to share calendars, contacts,and documents? Is it just me, or… does it seem like this isn’t worth 3.99? Also, this is the photo on the Outlook Premium landing page. I think that says all we need to say about this.


That’s it for the big stories! Time for Quickbits.

Blue Origin has successfully landed its re-usable rocket, New Shepard, for the third time, this time complete with a drone video showing some badass deceleration, like oooh noooo what am I gonna – haaa jk I got this.

Intel accidentally leaked the existence of its upcoming Core i7-6950X processor in the changelog of its management engine software, showing that the chip has a clock speed of up to 3.5 gigahertz and 25 MB of L3 cache. The 6950x is expected to be the first consumer-oriented Intel CPU with 10 cores.

Amazon has released a demo video of its Lumberyard game engine in action, and it looks pretty sick.

HyperX has released the Cloud Revolver, the successor to the very popular Coud IIs, and it looks like they decided to make it more gamer-y. Sigh. Angles! Edges! Gamers love that!

On the plus side, HyperX’s parent company Kingston also released their water-, shock-, x-ray-, and heat-proof microSD cards meant for action cameras, so you don’t have to worry about dropping the- ah shoot.

And DJI has filed a lawsuit against fellow drone maker Yuneec, claiming the latter has infringed on two of its patents for target tracking and “an interchangeable mounting” platform. Well it’s about time. We hadn’t heard anything about Samsung suing Apple or vice versa recently, glad they took up the torch.