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Published: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 04:04:50 -0700

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 04:04:50 -0700

 



Intel says VROC RAID isn't dead, it's just trapped in a hardware bundle

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 04:00:00 -0700

After months of waiting and speculation, Intel on Monday finally clarified just how its highly controversial RAID system, VROC, will roll out. 

VROC, which debuted at Computex and stands for Virtual RAID on CPU, lets you connect multiple NVMe PCIe SSDs directly to your CPU in a bootable RAID partition. In other words, you can get massive amounts of storage and smoking transfer speeds.

But there are a few catches. VROC works only with Intel SSDs, and only with Skylake-X. Plus, if you want VROC you need to buy a special dongle to enable the feature on your motherboard. 

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Android Instant Apps: What they are and how to use them on your phone

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Now that Google’s Instant Apps have made it to the Play Store, you can expect to see a lot more of them. While the initial rollout is limited to just a handful of apps, dozens of apps and games will soon be available in instant form. But what exactly are Instant Apps? And how do you get them on your phone? We’re here to help you get started:

What are Instant Apps?

Instant Apps are the next step in app evolution, a universal Android solution that brings the speed and power of a native app with the ease and immediacy of a web app. They look and operate just like one of the apps that are installed on your phone, but you don’t need to download anything.

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How Windows 10 dictation works

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:40:00 -0700

Dictation within Windows has lived in the shadows for years. Finally, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update (see our review!), dictating text is almost as easy as talking to Siri, Cortana, or Google.

Within Windows 10, you can turn on dictation with just a keystroke. It’s easy. I wrote this whole article with just my voice. I edited it, though, with my mouse and keyboard. It’s all part of Windows 10’s new emphasis on modality: first touch, then writing with a pen, voice control, and finally dictation.

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Windows 10 digital ink: All the improvements within the Fall Creators Update

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:30:00 -0700

Inking and navigating with a digital pen or stylus within Windows 10 has become easier within the Fall Creators Update for those of you who use a tablet as, you know, a tablet.

The improvements include two major elements: navigation, including using the pen or stylus to select and scroll text; and better interpretation of inked words as text, via a more accurate and responsive handwriting panel. Combined, it’s a love letter of sorts to Surface and other tablet users who use the pen to input data. It's amazing how well Windows can interpret your chicken-scratch into text that can be edited in Word and elsewhere.

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How to type emoji on your PC using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:46:00 -0700

How can I type emoji on my PC keyboard? It’s a question that you’ve probably asked, given up on, shrugged, and then pulled out your smartphone. Now, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update, a new emoji keyboard will make adding emoji to Twitter, Facebook, and other apps a snap. 

While there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned smiley-face :) or GIF, an emoji is a simple way to add a bit of fun to your communications. That’s the whole point of emoji, after all! And while they’ve been part of smartphone culture for years, Microsoft has now added its easy emoji keyboard to Windows 10.

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How Microsoft Edge will beat Chrome as the best PDF reader with the Fall Creators Update

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:58:00 -0700

Microsoft Edge is gaining new PDF reader features within the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update—everything from sticky notes to inked signatures. It’s part of Microsoft’s bid to compete with Chrome and Firefox as the best Web browser, and along the way, carve out a niche as the best free PDF viewer available.

We tried Edge’s new capabilities within Build 16251 of the Windows Insider program, several iterations after Microsoft debuted the new functionality as part of Build 16188. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has since rolled out, and all of these features are now live.

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3 ways Windows 10 connects to your Android and iOS phones to make a better PC

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:34:00 -0700

Connecting your phone to your Windows 10 PC has never been easier—and with the hints Microsoft has dropped as part of the Fall Creators Update, it looks like the phone will be a big deal in future PCs.

Right now, if you own either an Android phone or an Apple iPhone, you can reply to texts right from your PC. In the future, you’ll be able to take webpages you were reading on your train ride and send them to your Windows PC at the office. Passwords? Who needs ‘em? And now, with a dedicated Phone section within the Settings menu, Microsoft appears to be setting up a framework for even stronger connections in the future.

For those of you frantically waving Windows phones—yes, you too can connect your phones to your PC, via the Continuum experience Microsoft debuted a little more than a year ago. Unfortunately, with limited hardware and tepid customer support, Microsoft’s Windows phone aspirations are basically dead. Instead, Microsoft has focused on bringing its ecosystem to the far more popular iPhone and Android platforms.  The best thing is all of these features are live within the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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Windows 10's My People: Microsoft makes it easy to just wave hello

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:17:00 -0700

Windows 10’s My People feature addresses a need some of us have, at least some of the time: a simple reminder that our friends are thinking about us.

My People is a new feature within the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. (Note: We’ve tested it as part of Windows 10’s Insider Program, so Microsoft may still be ironing out any small bugs we experienced.) It allows you to select your three best friends and symbolically place them near you, via icons in the taskbar. Just as you might stop by for a chat, My People allows you to quickly Skype or email them—and just them—all from a single button on your taskbar. And the best feature is how they can respond: “Shoulder taps” pop up emoji right from your taskbar, so that your friend can wave hello. 

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Windows 10's TruePlay gaming tech starts sniffing out cheaters

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:35:00 -0700


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FrontRow Camera Review: This high-end live-streaming wearable forgot the high-end camera

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:39:00 -0700

FrontRow is a bold new camera design from Ubiquiti Labs, designed to be a high-end wearable that streams directly to live platforms. As a content producer at PCWorld and Macworld my days are a mix of shooting video, taking photos, and live-streaming. I love experimenting with new ways to capture unique ideas. The promise of a wearable camera has always intrigued me, especially if it’s easy to use and has a camera just as good as my smartphone.

After wearing FrontRow for a month, I can see how it's trying to bring together a mix of features that isn’t offered anywhere else. But it’s doing so at a hefty price. 

(image) Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The design and build quality of the FrontRow is superb.

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BrandPost: Wanted from Small Business: Free, Fast, Secure WiFi

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:38:00 -0700

“Do you have free WiFi?”

 That’s becoming an increasingly common question for small business owners. And with good reason. Studies show businesses see a 72% success rate in increased sales after implementing free WiFi. Accenture reports that 64% of consumers make a restaurant decision based on WiFi availability.

 Reaching out to wireless influencers, we discovered three main areas or focus for business owners who offer, or want to offer free WiFi: security, speed and management. Here’s what they had to say:

 Meeting customers’ expectations of blazing fast free WiFi, and keeping your business safe don’t have to be mutually exclusive. According to a dozen experts we consulted, there are a host of best practices and practical considerations that will get small business customers online safely, while protecting data and identities belonging to both parties — customers and businesses.

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AMD's 16-core Threadripper 1950x is $100 off today at Amazon and Newegg

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:35:00 -0700

For your next PC build, what we once called the "pinnacle of consumer CPUs for high-end users" is $100 more attainable today. Amazon and Newegg are selling AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X for $100 cheaper than usual at $880. That's still a hefty price tag, but for that money you get a 16-core, 32-thread, 3.4GHz processor. The downside is that it comes without the fancy liquid cooler, though it does include a bracket that adapts it for use with most third-party liquid coolers based on Asetek designs.

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Essential Phone’s $200 price cut leaves original buyers with worthless credit

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:31:00 -0700

In a surprise announcement that’s not really all that surprising, Andy Rubin’s Essential startup has cut the price of its debut phone from $699 to $499, a permanent 30-percent discount clearly designed to drum up sales of the flagging handset. 

In a short blog post titled, “Free Yourself: An awesome device at an awesome price,” Rubin said Essential’s “small, but mighty, team” decided to offer a discount rather than “a massive TV campaign” to make Essential Phone more accessible to the general public. Last month, smartphone tracker BayStreet Research estimated that Essential had sold just 5,000 units since it launched in August, a pitiful number for a company valued at more than a billion dollars.

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Essential Phone: Everything you need to know about Andy Rubin's new Android phone

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:51:00 -0700

The Essential Phone (styled PH-1) is a debut handset created by the godfather of Android, Andy Rubin, and his brand-new company. It's entering a crowded field dominated by the same few phones: Samsung's Galaxy Note. The latest LG V phone. Google's Pixel (previously Nexus) phones. And of course, the iPhone.

Nevertheless, the new kid in town is getting a lot of attention. But will it succeed? Here’s everything you need to know about the Essential Phone and how it stacks up against the heavy-hitters.

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Today, $50 off Sennheiser's HD1 In-Ear Wireless Headphones - Deal Alert

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:19:00 -0700

The HD1 In-Ear Wireless headphones from industry veteran Sennheiser combines immaculate sound quality with take-anywhere mobility. Utilizing a sleek ergonomic design and crafted with high-quality materials, this premium headset exudes luxury. Exceptional wireless hi-fi sound is assured thanks to Bluetooth 4.1 with ACC and Qualcomm apt-X technologies. Featuring NFC for simple one touch pairing, an integrated microphone and ten-hour battery life, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless is a perfect companion to mobile devices. The typical list price of the HD1's is discounted 25% for today only, so you can get them for $149.95. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Best mouse pads for gaming

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 05:45:00 -0700

A great mouse pad is a must for gamers, reducing wear on wrists during hours of intensive play. Sometimes called mouse mats, they’ve evolved from the humble mouse pads of the 1990s to larger sizes that can accommodate more dramatic movements. Many modern ones use chemical coatings or specially engineered surfaces to improve sensor accuracy or reduce drag—a boon if you’re doing repetitive motion that requires high accuracy.

Plenty of mouse pad manufacturers exist, but few provide clarity or consistency in describing their products. For example, most don’t report how much friction you’ll encounter when using their mats with the most popular mice. To help you find the best mouse pad for your needs, we’ve tested several from a few different companies that represent a range of surface types (metal, plastic, or cloth) and usage cases (business or gaming).

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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Windows 10: The best tricks, tips, and tweaks

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 05:40:00 -0700

Digging deep into Windows 10
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Image by Dan Masaoka/IDG

Windows 10's constantly evolving nature means fresh features arrive twice per year, and with all the new goodies come a legion of new tweaks and tricks—some of which unlock powerful functionality hidden to everyday users. Others simply let you mold the Windows 10 experience into the shape you see fit. Here are some of the most useful tweaks, tricks, and tips we’ve found, including a spate of fresh finds from the mammoth Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (which has many more nifty features than we can include here).

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Sony WH-1000XM2 noise-cancelling headphone review: These high-tech cans put Bose on notice

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 04:30:00 -0700

Has Bose been dethroned? Sony's latest active noise-cancelling headphones are fantastic.


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Google's Instant Apps hit the Play Store as a big step toward a future of cloud-based apps

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:34:00 -0700

At its annual Playtime event today Google showcased how it plans to make Play Store apps safer, speedier, and easier to find. The bottom line: You’re about to see a whole lot more Instant Apps.

Android’s Instant Apps were officially launched at I/O in May, but we’re just now starting to see how monumental they can be. Designed to get apps up and running within seconds, the feature lets users try out fully functioning Android apps without actually installing them. Just last week, Google unveiled the Instant Apps SDK 1.1, which brought a leaner and faster experience, and now Instant Apps are ready for their spotlight.

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This week in games: Civilization III for free, Halloween modes shower treats and tricks

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0700


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Newegg's selling a 35-inch 2560x1080 curved monitor for $449 today

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:39:00 -0700


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iPhone X: Everything you need to know about Apple's iPhone of the future

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:52:00 -0700

We've got everything you need to know right here. The latest? Apple encourages iPhone Upgrade Program participants to get pre-approved before next Friday.


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Samsung Bixby Voice: How to set up and use the Galaxy S8 assistant

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:46:00 -0700

It’s been a long time coming, but Bixby has finally found its voice. Samsung has begun pushing out the final piece of its AI package, Bixby Voice, to all Galaxy S8 phones in more than 200 countries and territories. Before long, millions of people will be saying, “Hi Bixby” to summon the new assistant—though Bixby still only supports English and Korean despite the worldwide rollout.

While we might not need another AI assistant on our phones, Bixby is actually a pretty good companion to Google Assistant. It’s a little slow on the trigger at times, but I was impressed with how well it was able to understand me. And Bixby isn’t a clone of Google Assistant or Sir eitheri. Samsung’s AI is more servant than smartie pants, carrying out phone tasks that would normally require numerous steps. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

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Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker review: Cortana could be a strong smart home system—someday

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:00:00 -0700

The Invoke is a good speaker, and Microsoft’s digital assistant has potential, but it’s too immature for us to give it a strong recommendation today.


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Harman Kardon Invoke hands-on: Cortana enters the smart speaker market with a boom

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:00:00 -0700

Harman Kardon’s Invoke speaker, debuting Thursday for $199.95, may end up following in the footsteps of notable Microsoft-powered devices like Nokia’s Windows phones: lovely hardware that’s slightly tripped up by Microsoft’s software and services.

The soul of Harman’s elegant, cylindrical smart speaker is Cortana, the digital assistant that lives within Windows 10. Cortana deftly steps in during the business day to manage reminders, answer questions about your schedule, reply to general queries about the weather, nearby restaurants, and place calls via Skype. After hours, she’s your personal DJ, playing back audio with some serious boom. She also serves as the majordomo for your digital home.

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20 scary PC horror games to play with the lights off

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:21:00 -0700

The horror, the HORROR
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Horror games are a dime a dozen. Scary horror games, good horror games—well, those are much rarer. We've rounded up some of the best horror games ever made, running the gamut from big-budget extravaganzas released this very year to... text adventures. I'm serious.

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A hoot and a haunt for Halloween: Stream 21 of our favorite modern classics and cult favorites (if you dare)

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Looking for the best scary movies to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other services? These 21 chillers will make you want to leave the lights on (and you probably shouldn't watch them alone).


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iPhone 8 Plus vs. LG G6: Which has the best camera in a smartphone?

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Last year, Apple failed to take the top spot in our four-way smartphone camera shootout between the iPhone 7 Plus, LG V20, Google Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S7. But this year’s iPhone 8 Plus includes some major improvements over the iPhone 7 Plus, and looks perfectly positioned to take on the LG G6, our current pick for best smartphone camera.

So which phone offers better camera performance—the latest iPhone or the G6? We took a ton of photos to find out. Oh, and in case you’re wondering where the Pixel 2 stands in this battle, just give us a few more days. We’re currently doing extra camera tests with Google’s amazing new phone, and will have definitive results soon.

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