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Published: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:03:33 -0700

Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:03:33 -0700

 






EVE Valkyrie's Warzone update brings CCP's VR dogfighter to normal monitors

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:23:00 -0700

We’ve seen quite a few virtual reality projects that are just ported from normal screens to fancy goggles—Half-Life 2 was a notable early adopter, with Superhot, ARK, Tabletop Simulator, Elite Dangerous, and more taking the same route. But a game starting in VR and then heading to normal screens? That’s a weird one.

That’s what CCP is doing with EVE Valkyrie though. Nearly a year and a half after Valkyrie’s dogfighting debuted on the Rift and Vive, a forthcoming update is set to bring it to your non-VR displays.

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Rebranded as EVE Valkyrie - Warzone, the update is due to arrive on September 26 (alongside a price drop to $30), at which point you’ll be able to fight both in and out of VR—though I can’t tell from the announcement whether there will be cross-play between headset and monitor users. It seems like it would be unfair, given how much easier it is to look around the cockpit in VR.

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How to use Miracast to mirror your device's screen wirelessly on your TV—even 4K

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:10:00 -0700

After the Wi-Fi Alliance announced the finalization of the Miracast wireless display standard at CES 2013, a plethora of Miracast-enabled devices and receivers followed, and include newer devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro (2017) and Amazon’s Fire TV stick. But while Miracast continues to be developed—as of July 2017, Miracast hardware will support HD and 4K streaming, for example—it’s also lost some support to competing technologies. Keep reading to figure out how Miracast could work for you.

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PCWorld's August Digital Magazine: Intel's Core-i9 Tested

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:37:00 -0700

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Edition. Available as single copies or as a yearlong subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Edition for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the August issue

We test the fastest consumer CPU ever: the Intel Core i9. Find out all about 5 killer new Google Assistant features you should be using right now. Plus, the catalog of Edge extensions isn’t huge yet, but we have the 10 best so far. 

Other highlights:

  • News: The best PC Games of 2017 (so far)
  • Surface Laptop review: Microsoft's MacBook Air killer nails what students need
  • Gigabyte Aero 15 review: A near-perfect power user's laptop
  • Here's How: How to transfer everything from your old Android phone to your new one

Video highlights

Watch: Virtual reality could get less awkward with Intel’s WiGig technology, which lets you shed the wires that tether you to a PC (or tangle up around your legs). We checked out a prototype at E3 2017, and you could start seeing it in retail products within a year. 

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Google Home hands-free calling is here, but doesn't yet have caller ID

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:00 -0700

OK Google, phone Home. First announced at I/O in May, Google is ready to launch hands-free calling via its voice-activated Home speaker, letting you get in touch with anyone in the U.S. or Canada without lifting a finger—and for free. 

Starting Wednesday, you’ll be able to use your Home speaker to place a call to virtually any person in your contacts or business across the U.S. or Canada, but there’s a catch: The recipient won’t know who’s calling. Since Google Home uses its own number to place the call, the recipient will see “Unknown” or “No Caller ID” on their end. Google says it hopes to allow users to link their mobile numbers by the end of the year.

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Aukey's dual-port car charger with Quick Charge 3.0 is $9 right now

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:38:00 -0700

Aukey loves to offer deals on its products. Right now on Amazon, you can get the Quick Charge 3.0 Car Charger for $9 if you redeem the "Buy 1, get 55% off" promotion right underneath the price. (Mobile users may need to scroll further down the page to see the promotion.)

This charger can charge two "compatible devices" up to four times faster than normal chargers, according to Aukey, as it supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology. (Hence the product's name.) The charger is also loaded with safeguards to prevent excessive current from overloading your devices. That should just be a standard part of any charging device, mind you--especially car chargers.

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Best indoor digital TV antennas: Our top picks for cord cutters

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:46:00 -0700

Updated August 16, 2017 to add our review of the Terk Trinity Xtend indoor TV antenna, which also includes an 802.11n Wi-Fi range extender. We weren't impressed.

Ditching your cable- or satellite-TV subscription and going to a setup combining a streaming device along with an antenna to pick up over-the-air digital broadcasts is a smart move that will save you some serious cash every month.

There’s plenty of free TV to be had—well, you’ll passively pay by being exposed to commercials—but you’ll need an antenna to pull those signals in. An outdoor model mounted to a tall mast (elevating the antenna at least 30 feet off the ground) will yield the best results, but that’s not the most attractive accessory for your home, and it’s a total no-go if you’re a renter or live in an apartment.

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31% off WD 4TB My Passport Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive - Deal Alert

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:26:00 -0700

Safely store massive amounts of photos, videos and music with this 4TB external drive from WD. It comes equipped with WD Backup software so you can automatically back up photos, videos, music and documents on your preferred schedule. And built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security software helps keep your content private and safe. The 4TB My Passport model is currently priced just $10 higher than its 3TB counterpart with this 31% off deal. See it now on Amazon.

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47% off Solartab S1111 Solar Mobile Device Charger - Deal Alert

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:14:00 -0700

Whether in the park, at the beach, at a music festival or out trekking, Solartab lets you enjoy free and endless solar power. Simply open up the Solartab to start solar charging either the internal battery or or USB devices like your phone or tablet. Thanks to Solartab’s huge internal battery, you can even charge your devices after the sun sets. The typical list price on the charger has been reduced 47% to $69. See this deal on Amazon.

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Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) review: This low-cost laptop provides incredible value

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0700

Anyone who’s researched sub-$500 laptops in recent months will know the Acer Aspire E 15. For a while now, the E5-575-33BM model has maintained its status as a best-selling laptop on Amazon. In fact, it’s often been the top seller.

Looking at specs, it’s easy to see why this cheaper version of the Aspire E 15 is so popular. For just $350, you get a Core i3 processor, a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080, a 1TB storage drive, and Windows 10. Typically 15-inch laptops in the $300 range only offer 1366x768 screens.

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Emerson Sensi Touch review: A big step up from the first-generation, but it’s not as deluxe as the competition

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

This is a smart and stylish thermostat, but it’s not in the same league as Nest or Ecobee.


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Gmail for Android: 6 awesome features you probably aren't using

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

The Gmail app has been on Android literally since the beginning, but it’s gotten much more powerful over the years. Today, the app does so many things, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Now, you don’t have to know everything Gmail can do in order to improve your efficiency, so here are the six most useful Gmail features you probably aren’t using.

Gmail Smart Replies

(image) Ryan Whitwam/IDG

When Google’s Inbox app came out a few years ago, it offered a different approach to email with various “smart” features like bundles, reminders, and Smart Replies. Now Smart Replies is available directly in Gmail, and you might not understand how useful this feature can be if you haven’t also used Inbox.

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Amazon's got a sale on Logitech products today, including an HTPC keyboard for $18

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:25:00 -0700

Amazon has a sale on Logitech products today. These are not incredibly deep discounts—despite the savings claims on Amazon's sales page. Nevertheless, there are a few good buys here that are worth pointing out. Amazon's Logitech sale lasts until just before midnight on Tuesday evening.

(image) Logitech

The MX Master Mouse is available for $50 today, which is a savings of about $14 off the previous price. This Bluetooth mouse has a thumb wheel for horizontal navigation. Logitech says the laser sensor can track on multiple surfaces (including glass), and you can expect up to 40 days of use on a single charge. It's also got an Easy-Switch feature that lets you pair the mouse with up to 3 computers and move between them seamlessly.

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Intel discloses 'Ice Lake,' another 10nm chip beyond Cannon Lake

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:22:00 -0700

On Monday, August 21, Intel plans to unveil its 8th-generation Core processors. But it may have also unveiled one member of its 9th-generation Core family: Ice Lake.

A terse note on the company’s website describes the new technology: “The Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the 8th-generation Intel Core processor family. These processors utilize Intel’s industry-leading 10nm+ process technology.”

For years, Intel moved on what it called a “tick-tock” cadence, launching a chip on a new process technology, then redesigning it for faster performance around a new architecture. Intel’s Broadwell chips introduced the 14nm generation in 2014 and 2015, followed by the Skylake generation in 2015 and 2016. But then Intel unexpectedly added a third 14nm chip, Kaby Lake, and made plans to launch a fourth 14nm chip, believed to be called “Coffee Lake,on August 21.

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Google Allo finally gains a web interface but it may be too late

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:27:00 -0700

Google’s scattershot messaging strategy has one less problem. Starting today, Android users can log in to Allo on the web to see and send messages, but it probably won’t make the chat platform more popular.

For one, there are a lot restrictions. You’ll need an Android phone. It only works through the Chrome browser. You’ll have to get the latest version of Allo (16.0.024) before you can link your account. And the biggest one of all: Your phone will need to be online and running the Allo app for the web interface to connect. In other words, it’ll be quicker in most cases to just use your phone.

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Samsung T5 review: USB 3.1 Gen 2 makes the best SSD even better

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:00:00 -0700

We’ve been fans of Samsung’s super-svelte T series USB SSDs since their introduction in the form of the T1. They’re small, light, silent, nearly indestructible, attractively styled—and the T1’s 300MBps performance over USB was a kick in the pants when we first experienced it.

The follow-on T3 added a Type-C connector and Gen 1 USB 3.1, but overall performance was only a marginally better. With the T5, the company has gone state-of-the-art with 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2, and the performance increase is now noticeable. Very noticeable. We like it.

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Save on School Supplies With Amazon's Back To School Deals - Deal Alert

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:39:00 -0700

If you already know this page exists, let it serve as a reminder. Amazon's back to school deals page centralizes their best discounts on everything from laptops to calculators to pencils and batteries. If you still have supplies left to buy, there's plenty of time. Grab your list, fill your cart, and start putting check marks on your list while also saving some cash. Visit Amazon's back to school Electronics deals page here, or their main back to school deals page right here.

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50% off Prey for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 - Deal Alert

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:13:00 -0700

In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted. As you dig into the dark secrets of Talos I and your own past, you must survive using the tools found on the station, your wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities. Right now you can get 50% off the listed price. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Windows 10 S review: Microsoft's OS for students is hard to love

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:00:00 -0700

Microsoft’s Windows 10 S is what happens when a once-easygoing operating system has kids and turns into a helicopter parent. Windows 10 S, a locked-down version of Windows 10 found on the Surface Laptop and a small group of low-cost, third-party notebooks, keeps students safe and secure by restricting them to the Windows Store. But as our review shows, the lack of freedom chafes.

Locking your PC away from the big, bad, outside world makes sense when your children are going off to high school or college, Microsoft thinks. But even the most dutiful parent will wonder why their child can’t use Chrome to beam YouTube videos to a Chromecast, print on some local printers, or protect their PC with anything other than Windows Defender. There’s always an escape hatch: a simple upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. But otherwise, Windows 10 S can be an exercise in frustration.

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BloomSky weather station/webcam review: Your eye on the sky

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0700

More webcam than weather station (unless you purchase an add-on kit), BloomSky still holds some appeal as an adjunct tool for weather enthusiasts.


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Blizzard's keeping the Battle.net name after all

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0700

It’s been nearly a year since Blizzard announced it was retiring the beloved Battle.net name—a fact you may or may not have noticed, as you’ve almost certainly kept calling it Battle.net this entire time anyway. Not only was the new “Blizzard App” nomenclature awkward and sterile sounding, but...well, people love Battle.net.

So now it’s back.

And for good reason. Oh it’s cheesy, for sure. Battle.net is beautifully dated, immediately reminiscent of the 1990s and its newfound Internet obsession. But it’s also what everyone’s been using since Diablo in 1996—through multiple Diablo sequels, StarCraft, Warcraft, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and most recently Overwatch. It was the home of some of gaming’s biggest franchises for 20-odd years, and for a long time synonymous with PC multiplayer done well.

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Best smart thermostat

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:35:00 -0700

There are so many smart thermostats to choose from today. We'll help you pick the right one.


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SteelSeries Rival 500 mouse review: Innovative design we hope to see more of

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0700

What’s all this under my thumb? That’s the first thought I had when using the SteelSeries Rival 500 mouse (available for $80 on Amazon), and most likely the first thought anyone would have with this device—there’s a lot to take in. But is a unique and intuitive layout under the thumb enough to make up for the Rival 500’s shortcomings? Or is it just one standout feature that’ll hopefully carry forward into other, better mice in the future?

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How to configure your Chromebook for ultimate security

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:38:00 -0700

A Chromebook is already an ultra-secure computer straight out of the box. Because it doesn’t run a traditional operating system and takes advantage of various Google-powered security measures, Chrome OS is well-guarded against the evils lurking out there on the web.

But you can always do more, particularly if you want to minimize traces of your Internet wanderings, or prevent your every online action from contributing to an advertising profile.

You may share a Chromebook with others or desire a setup that’s impervious to the latest security threats. Perhaps it’s time for a little de-Googling in your life, as the Mountain View giant can collect a lot of information about you.

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Five Google Tango apps your AR phone needs right now

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0700

Google’s Tango augmented reality platform has just hit its second Android phone, the Zenfone AR (see our review)—and if you’ve got one, you’re no doubt looking for the best apps to test its reality-bending capabilities. There aren’t a ton available in the Play Store, but there are definitely some great ones. If you want to see how this cool tech creatively integrate data and images with a real-world scene captured by your phone's camera, check out five of our favorite Tango apps:

BMW Visualizer

(image) IDG

Put a $150,000 i* in your driveway with the BMW Visualizer Tango app.

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Zenfone AR review: A better phone for Tango AR but far from perfect

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0700

The Asus Zenfone AR is a study in contrasts. On one hand, it has last year’s Snapdragon 821 processor... but it also packs up to 8GB of RAM. It has three rear cameras... but only one is used for taking photos. And while the Zenfone AR is on the bleeding edge of Google’s Tango AR and Daydream VR ambitions, it doesn’t have common premium features such as wireless charging and water resistance.

(image) Chris Hebert/IDG

Don’t be fooled by the design—there’s an array of tech inside.

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Corsair K95 RGB Platinum review: The luxury car of keyboards

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:19:00 -0700

It’s been a while since we’ve taken an in-depth look at one of Corsair’s keyboards, but the K95 RGB Platinum is a great reason to return. It is the luxury sedan of keyboards, dominating any desk it graces, both in sheer size and an impressive light-show that (for the moment) outshines all its competitors. Is it a bit gaudy? Sure. Everything about it is flashy, oversized, and slightly ridiculous.

But that’s luxury, right?

Sportier design

The craziest bit is that the K95 RGB Platinum is actually slimmed down from the K90/95 of old. Where once the K90 line sported 18 (yes, eighteen) macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, the new K95 RGB Platinum now has six.

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Staples has discounted the iPad mini 4 by $100

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:48:00 -0700

Tablets may not be as popular these days, but they're still great devices. If you're in the market for one, Staples has a nice deal on the iPad mini 4 this week. For $299, you can pick-up this diminutive iPad in all three available colors: gold, silver, and space gray. That's $100 off Apple's standard price.

The iPad mini 4 features a 7.9-inch display with 2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch. Under the hood, it has an A8 processor with the M8 motion coprocessor, an 8MP rear camera, and FaceTime front camera.

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Consumer Reports' Surface Laptop flap is based on data from past Surface models

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:50:00 -0700

When Consumer Reports stopped recommending the Microsoft Surface Laptop and latest Microsoft Surface Book, it did so based not on those specific products’ reliability. Rather, the company used reliability surveys of earlier Surface devices (including Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, and the early Surface Book), according to a report the publication released Thursday.

Microsoft apparently privately confirmed this as well, via an internal memo obtained by Thurrott.com this week, which shows that while return rates of products like the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Book were initially atrocious, they improved substantially over time. Later Surfaces, like the Surface Hub, also never really suffered from the same issues. 

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