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Published: Wed, 01 Mar 2017 07:00:25 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2017 07:00:25 -0800

 



BrandPost: 9 Key Payments-Gateway Considerations

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 06:33:00 -0800

Thinking of accepting payments online? Great idea. Online shopping is a booming industry across the globe, and U.S. businesses are predicted to earn $354 million in revenue from online shopping in 2017.

To get started, you’ll need to select a payments-gateway provider to integrate with your current payment system, build your online shopping cart and process your customers’ online payments similarly to how payments are processed in-store.

But with so many payments gateway providers to choose from, finding the one for your business can be overwhelming and confusing.

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Facebook turns to artificial intelligence to help prevent suicides

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 06:14:00 -0800

Facebook is using a combination of pattern recognition, live chat support from crisis support organizations and other tools to prevent suicide, with a focus on its Live service.

There is one death by suicide every 40 seconds and over 800,000 people kill themselves every year, according to the World Health Organization. “Facebook is in a unique position—through friendships on the site—to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them,” the company said Wednesday.

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The next HP Elite x3 preens behind a glass case at Mobile World Congress

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 05:00:00 -0800

The future of HP’s Elite x3 Windows phone made a quiet appearance at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The company publicly showed off new accessories for the current model, which is barely a year old and still busy setting itself up as an essential business tool.

Meanwhile, tucked into a glass case near the back of HP’s booth with no labels of any kind, a large phone, nested in the existing Dock accessory, spun slowly on a small platform.

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Kaby Lake is unleashed with Linux kernel 4.10

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 05:00:00 -0800

The guy behind the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds, has built version 4.10 of the mainline kernel—nicknamed “Fearless Coyote.” Like any new kernel, version 4.10 has a slew of improvements for compatibility with a wide range of hardware. As I was digging through the commit log to see what’s new (a lot, actually), an entry on Kaby Lake caught my eye.

Turns out, if you’ve been running a desktop Intel Kaby Lake CPU with Linux, there’s a chance you haven’t been getting your money’s worth. Kernel (4.10) patches a little bug that may yield extra performance in some desktop systems.

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Ford thinks beyond cars for future mobility

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:43:00 -0800

At first glance, you may mistake the small circular machine at Ford’s Mobile World Congress booth for a Rumba. But you would be wrong. It’s called the Carr-E, and is one of Ford’s prototypes for a future personal mobility vehicle.

The Carr-E is the brainchild of Kilan Vas, a Ford systems engineer based in Cologne, Germany. Vas built Carr-E as part of Ford’s “Last Mile Mobility Challenge.” The competition asked employees to come up with an electric prototype that would make commuting easier in places where a car is not permitted or impractical. Carr-E was one of the finalists.

About the same size as a tire, Carr-E is meant to fit in the trunk of a car. It can carry a load of up to 120 kilograms at a max speed of 11km/hr and has a range of 22 kilometers, which should be plenty of juice to get you through the last leg of your journey. It’s also possible to put Carr-E into “drone mode” and have it follow you around, something that might be useful when you have heavy luggage.

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Nvidia slashes GeForce GTX 1080 prices, reveals new overclocked memory options

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:00:00 -0800

The massive “GeForce GTX Gaming Celebration” at GDC 2017 certainly lived up to expectations as Nvidia announced the long-awaited GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, a monstrous 4K-capable graphics card that outpunches the $1,200 Titan X for just $699. But as flashy as Nvidia’s “Ultimate GeForce card” is, the GTX 1080 Ti wasn’t the only story of the night. In order to clear the path for the new flagship’s surprisingly low price—and yes, $699 is surprisingly low for that card—Nvidia needed to tweak the GeForce GTX 1080.

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Intel showed how 5G networking will power VR and self-driving cars

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:00:00 -0800

Think about how annoyed you get when you lose your cell signal, and you can see why Intel is pushing for advances in the next generation of networking, also known as 5G. Sure, the company stands to profit from making chips and networking equipment to support faster broadband. Consumers, too, stand to benefit from a future where more things in their lives are connected. To get there, though, we’re all going to need more bandwidth.

At Mobile World Congress, Intel demonstrated several initiatives for developing 5G capabilities. Watching virtual reality’s often stuttery video can make people queasy, but Intel demonstrated how 5G could let you stream 8K VR content. The company also showed how self-driving cars will need a speedy 5G network to communicate with other cars and infrastructure so they can move safely.

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AMD Ryzen motherboards explained: The crucial differences in every AM4 chipset

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 03:30:00 -0800

With the launch of Ryzen processors, selecting the correct motherboard is both easier and more crucial than ever.

First, the good news: AMD’s doing away with the frightful hodgepodge of motherboard platforms to unite around the AM4 socket with Ryzen CPUs, Bristol Ridge APUs, and all other chips released in the foreseeable future. Huzzah! But there are a wide variety of chipsets available for AM4 motherboards, and each unlocks different capabilities in your PC, from USB support to overclocking to how many graphics cards you can install.

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How to identify and resolve double-NAT problems

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0800

The digital world is all about IP (internet protocol) addresses. Every device needs an IP in order to communicate on the internet or within a private network. Given there’s not enough public IP addresses out there for every internet-connected device (at least with IPv4), this little thing called NAT becomes extremely important. It stands for network address translation (NAT) and is a function provided by routers to enable multiple devices to access the internet via a single public IP address.

Behind each public IP, there can be hundreds of devices with their own private IP addresses, thanks to NAT. And almost all equipment that provides the NAT function includes a firewall to protect the private IPs and devices from public IPs and devices on the internet. Other network services are also typically offered, like DHCP (dynamic host control protocol) to give out the private IP addresses to devices that connect to the local network.

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India's Reliance Jio is blazing a trail to all-IP mobile networks

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:03:12 -0800

Fast-growing Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio may offer a glimpse of where all mobile networks are going eventually, to packet-based Internet Protocol infrastructure.

At Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering of the mobile industry, Reliance Jio stands out by having none of the specialized 2G and 3G infrastructure that long distinguished cellular carriers.

Almost all mobile operators still have circuit-switched network gear in addition to IP systems. It came along with the 2G and 3G networks the carriers used before adopting LTE. Most are likely to keep older networks running for years, though some are moving faster than others to clear the decks.

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GeForce GTX 1080 Ti arrives: Nvidia's $699 'ultimate GeForce' card outperforms the Titan X

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 20:00:00 -0800

After months of anticipation, Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti—a monstrous new $699 graphics card that outperforms even the vaunted Titan X.

The "ultimate GeForce" GPU, as CEO Jen-Hsun Huang calls it, will offer up to 1.6GHz boost clocks and an “OC” clock of 2GHz, the company said during the launch event in San Francisco. 

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti offers 12 billion transistors and 3,584 CUDA cores. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because the specs mimic those in the mighty Titan X Pascal that the company announced in August.

(image) Gordon Mah Ung

The external shroud looks the same as before but Nvidia says it offers increased cooling capability and better power circuits.

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Smart teddy bear maker faces scrutiny over data breach response

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 19:06:26 -0800

Did a toymaker ignore warnings about a data breach? That’s a key question swirling around Spiral Toys, a company behind a line of smart stuffed animals that security researchers worry can be easily hacked.

On Tuesday, Spiral Toys said the breach, which affects 800,000 user accounts, only came to its attention last week on Feb. 22.

The statement is raising eyebrows. One researcher named Victor Gevers began contacting the toymaker about the problem in late December, when he noticed that a company MongoDB database storing customer information was publicly exposed.

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Mobile devices get a new spec to ensure quality 4K HDR video

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:20:00 -0800

The group that sets standards for 4K on high-definition TVs has established specifications for 4K and HDR (high-dynamic range) video on mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The devices will be eligible for a “Mobile HDR Premium” certification if they meet minimum specifications tied to screen resolution, bit depth and a handful of other elements that define picture quality.

The specification was announced on Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

For users, this certification will ensure that 4K and HDR hardware meet certain minimum requirements. The UHD Alliance members include Samsung, LG, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and others.

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New FCC chairman: Net neutrality rules were a 'mistake'

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:20:00 -0800

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, passed two years, ago were a “mistake” that caused uncertainty for the broadband industry, the agency’s new chairman said.

The net neutrality rules, along with the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband as a regulated common carrier, “deviated” from the U.S. government’s longstanding light-touch regulatory approach toward the internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Two years after the agency passed its net neutrality rules “it has become evident that the FCC made a mistake,” said Pai, a Republican. “Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market. And uncertainty is the enemy of growth.”

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'Meet' Google's new videoconferencing service for the enterprise

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:13:55 -0800

Google appears to have accidentally revealed its new group videoconferencing service for businesses on Tuesday, a week before a big user conference.

The service, called Meet, appears to be its offering for businesses that want to do group meetings over the Internet. According to a saved iOS App Store listing captured by AppAnnie, it will support high-definition video meetings with up to 30 participants. That’s an upgrade over the company’s existing Hangouts instant messaging and video calling service, which only allows meetings of up to 10 people.

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YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:53:00 -0800

If you’ve been on the fence over cutting the cord, YouTube might have just given you a reason to jump over. The Google-owned company has announced a new live and on-demand video service, but it's only available in limited markets for now.

Dubbed YouTube TV, the $35-per-month service offers access to around 40 TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN. It also includes unlimited cloud DVR storage. According to YouTube, the cloud DVR feature will let you simultaneously record as many shows as you want and store them for up to nine months. Every YouTube TV membership also comes with six accounts, each with its own personal DVR storage silo, and subscribers can watch up to three concurrent streams at once.

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Google promotes Keep note app to a G Suite core service, much to our relief

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:25:00 -0800

Keep has always been one of Google’s most unsung tools. A versatile and powerful cross-platform note-taker, it’s great for jotting down thoughts, saving photos, making to-do lists—just about anything we need to access quickly throughout our day.

And now Google is finally giving it the respect it deserves. No longer a standalone utility, Google is upgrading Keep to a G Suite core service, making it as important of an office production tool as Docs or Sheets. Now you’ll be able to see, search, and edit your Keep notes in Docs, saving precious minutes and helping to streamline your workflow with drag-and-drop integration of notes right into your documents.

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Laid-off IT workers worry US is losing tech jobs to outsourcing

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:24:15 -0800

Sixty-three-year-old Bob Zhang is worried about the future of tech jobs in the U.S. Will the high-paying positions be a thing of the past?  

Zhang thinks it’s already starting to happen. He’s one of 79 IT workers from the University of California, San Francisco, who’ve been laid off. Tuesday was their last day on the job. To replace them, the school is outsourcing some of their work to an Indian firm.

“Usually, they outsource the low-paying jobs,” he said at a gathering outside a school building. “But now they use H-1B (visa) and use foreign workers to replace the high-paying jobs. This trend is dangerous.”

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Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale smart locks gain Alexa skills

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:00:00 -0800

If you have the right lock and a smart home hub, you’ll soon be able to say, “Alexa, lock my door.”


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HTC Vive’s Netflix-esque VR subscription costs $6.99 per month

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:38:00 -0800

HTC is giving users of its Vive virtual reality headset access to a Netflix-like subscription service. Everyone who currently owns a Vive will get a free trial for a month, and the service will cost US $6.99 a month thereafter.

For that price, users will be able to pick out five virtual reality apps at the start of each month, including games and other interactive experiences. The service will be available in a “couple weeks,” Rickard Steiber, the company’s senior vice president for virtual reality said during an interview at the Game Developers Conference Monday.

One benefit to consumers is that the subscription will give users an affordable way to try out titles every month, without requiring them to commit to a full retail purchase. The company had 14,000 people say they were interested in such a subscription after HTC announced it at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Steiber said.

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Intel will change its approach to PC chip upgrades, deemphasize process sizes

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:29:00 -0800

Intel is changing its view on how it upgrades chips.

Rather than tying chip upgrades directly to the manufacturing process involved, Intel will look at delivering a sustained set of performance upgrades with each new chip architecture.

“We’re going to be focused more on the generation by the amount of performance increment it will give us,” said Venkata Renduchintala, president of Intel’s Client and Internet of Things businesses and its Systems Architecture Group. “I don’t think generations will be tagged to node transitions.”

The performance benefits will matter more, and the process technology that lives underneath is going to be less conspicuous, Renduchintala said.

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HP's Pavilion x360 with a Kaby Lake processor has dropped to $479

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:46:00 -0800


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AMD reveals Radeon Vega's final name, infuses Bethesda games with Vulkan

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:30:00 -0800

The expected showdown between Radeon Vega GPUs and the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at GDC on Tuesday won’t be a showdown after all. New technical details about AMD’s hotly anticipated enthusiast-class graphics cards were almost nowhere to be found during the company’s “Capsaicin & Cream” livestream—though Radeon head Raja Koduri did reveal that the brand name for Vega GPUs will indeed be “Radeon RX Vega,” rather than RX 490 or RX 580.

What a tease.

Koduri also showcased a brief Deus Ex: Mankind Divided demo that suggested that Vega’s high-bandwidth cache controller can increase average and minimum frame rates by 50 and 100 percent, respectively, in memory-limited games. Impressive! Another quick demo with AMD’s TressFX technology revealed that Vega’s rapid packed math feature could double compute rates, which let the demo render twice as many hair strands as a Vega system with RPM disabled.

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26% off Portal Mesh Wi-Fi System (2-pack) - Coverage for Homes up to 6,000 sq. ft., Gigabit Speed - Deal Alert

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:22:00 -0800

PORTAL is designed for homes with lots of devices and many neighbors. WiFi devices all share the same airwaves, and just like an old highway with not enough lanes, your internet slows to a crawl whenever there are too many people and devices crowding the same channels. Mesh 2.0 patented technology and 9 dedicated antennas act like a shield to keep your WiFi maxed out at the speed you pay for. The result is consistently fast reliable internet, lag-free gaming and smooth ultraHD video streaming everywhere in your home.  

Currently receiving 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon (read reviews) and is discount by 26%, down to $279.23,  Check out purchasing options on Amazon now.

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The Porsche Design Book One laptop is selling beauty and power

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:39:00 -0800

Beauty. Power. Money. The Porsche Design Book One laptop, unveiled Monday night at Mobile World Congress, expresses all of these things within its high-end design.

The Porsche Design Group (owned by the same parent company as automaker Porsche AG) already crafts watches, headphones, and more for wealthy clientele with refined tastes.  When the Book One ships in April for $2,495, it will present the first real challenge to Microsoft’s Surface Book in what we’ll call the Trophy Laptop category—wherein you buy the PC not because you need it, but because you can afford it. The Book One does, indeed, set new standards for laptop beauty. (The laptop is designed in Germany and manufactured by Quanta Computer in Taiwan.) However, it clearly sacrifices some power for the sake of looks—and the price point. 

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Samsung ups the rich messaging ante with RCS support on all Marshmallow and Nougat phones

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:34:00 -0800

The battle over RCS is starting to get serious. Last week, Google shifted the branding of its Messenger app to Android Messages as part of an effort to streamline messaging across all phones and eventually bring RCS to the larger Android community. Notably absent from that announcement, however, was Samsung, and now we know why.

Late last year, Samsung acquired Canada-based NewNet Communication Technologies’ Rich Communication Services division, and it’s already paying off. The Galaxy phone maker announced it will be building the tech into all of its phones running Marshmallow or Nougat, as it rolls out “a complete end-to-end solution that includes RCS-enabled devices, native/downloadable device clients, cloud-based RCS application servers, an interconnectivity hub among operators and a third-party monetization platform.”

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Best water leak detectors for smart homes

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:23:00 -0800

Last updated February 28, 2017 to add our review of the Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector.

Fire might be a homeowner’s greatest fear, but any insurance company will tell you that water is the far more common cause of property damage, even if you don’t live in an area subject to flooding. And it can come from many sources: A failing water heater, a burst pipe, a broken supply line under your sink, a clogged toilet, or even a split hose connected to your washing machine.

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See the Xperia XZ Premium's insane 960fps slo motion video mode in action

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:58:00 -0800

Sony’s going big with the Xperia XZ Premium. Launching globally in “late spring” at an unspecified price (hint: it’ll be expensive), it packs the high-end upcoming Snapdragon 835 processor, a crazy 4K display with HDR, hi-res audio, and water resistance.

But the most interesting feature? That has to be the new Sony Exmor RS imaging sensor for the camera. Sony’s most advanced phone sensor yet, it packs 19 megapixels into a 1/2.3-inch sensor. That’s become the standard size for phones with big image sensors. But what makes the Exmor RS special is that it incorporates stacked DRAM right into the sensor itself. This lets the chip buffer up data at an insanely high rate, making it by far the fastest camera on any smartphone.

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AI scheduling startup launches subscription for businesses

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:21:34 -0800

Setting up meetings can be a pain, since they often require folks to send emails back and forth figuring out a time before finally sending off a calendar invitation to block everyone’s schedule. A New York startup called x.ai wants to simplify that with a helpful bot, and they just launched a product aimed at serving businesses.

The service provides users with access to x.ai’s assistant, which can go by Andrew or Amy Ingram, to automatically set up meetings with people inside a company and help schedule time with folks who work elsewhere. It’s an extension of the company’s existing service, which is built for individuals.

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MediaTek will sit out the ARM race for Windows 10 PCs

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:18:00 -0800

Despite a turbulent past, Windows PCs with ARM are making a grand return later this year, but only with Qualcomm chips.

Another big ARM chipmaker, MediaTek, is sitting out the opportunity to put its ARM-based chips in Windows PCs because the company sees it as a limited opportunity.

MediaTek’s chips are already used in Chromebooks, but ARM has had a turbulent history with Windows. That’s another reason for the company to stay out.

ARM getting into PCs is like Intel trying to get into smartphones—it’s a risky proposition, said Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of sales at MediaTek.

PCs are dominated by x86 chips from companies like Intel and AMD. But Intel failed in its attempt to unseat a dominant ARM in smartphones, and ultimately quit making chips for handsets.

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