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Published: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:25:50 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:25:50 -0800

 



Google takes Assistant worldwide with new languages and custom phone integrations

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:12:00 -0800

Google Assistant had its coming out party at Mobile World Congress 2017 with the announcement that it was expanding beyond Google’s own Pixel phones, and now it’s ready to take on the world. Literally. Google has announced it will be expanding Assistant to nearly two dozen more languages this year as it expands its influence to some “95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide.”

Google Assistant already speaks English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese (Brazil), but its linguist capabilities will be greatly expanded over the next 10 months as Google plans to add support for more than 30 languages. First up will be Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai, all of which should arrive by summer.

To read this article in full, please click here


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TrackNet Tabs review: Security and location tracking in one very capable system

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0800

A slick mobile app powers both a solid security offering and an impressive locator system.


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MWC 2018: Samsung's Galaxy S9 reveal and everything else you need to know

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:00:00 -0800

The new phones are coming! Mobile World Congress is nearly upon us, and soon we'll be feasting our eyes on the latest and greatest Android has to offer. So whether you're attending the big show or just checking out the keynote streams online, here's everything we expect (and hope) to see:

MWC 2018: Samsung

(image) Venture Beat

Renders of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have leaked in all their glory.

To read this article in full, please click here


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10 great PC games that recovered from disastrous launches

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:30:00 -0800

“Games as a Service” has become a buzzword in recent months, especially in the wake of November’s Star Wars Battlefront II lootbox controversy. The lootbox association has also tainted the term, tying it inextricably to what’s at best seen as a “necessary evil” in the industry.

But the basic idea behind Games as a Service is a net positive in theory: The games you like get expanded upon after release. Not just one big expansion or a handful of smaller DLCs, but near-constant support for years at a time. It’s what people liked about MMOs, but for all genres—the silver lining to this digital future, with its Day One patches and all the other stuff players like to grumble about.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Origin EON17-X review: This monster gaming laptop challenges high-end desktop PCs

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Spoiler alert: We’ve never tested a gaming laptop as all-around powerful as the Origin PC EON17-X.

This big, badass notebook pushes the pedal to the metal with the most potent hardware available, and then Origin PC cranks things to 11 by overclocking both the full-fat GeForce GTX 1080 and the Core i7-8700K processor. Yes, this laptop rocks a desktop processor, and not just any desktop processor—it’s the fastest one currently available. With 6 cores and 12 threads, the EON17-X demolishes CPU benchmarks. It blazes through triple-A games. Hell, it might be able to literally crush its slim, trim Nvidia Max-Q competition.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Logitech Craft review: This $200 keyboard can do two things its competitors can't

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 08:41:00 -0800

The Logitech Craft keyboard is what happens when a keyboard engineer glimpses Microsoft’s Surface Dial hockey-puck peripheral and decides: We can do that, too. But if you want to spend $200 for just a keyboard, don’t bother: The only way the Craft makes sense is if you see value in its Surface-Dial-like navigation knob that also integrates with Logitech’s PC-spanning Logitech Flow software. 

Aesthetically, there’s room for improvement. The Craft weighs a ponderous 2.08 pounds, anchored by a broad metal bar that runs across the top of the keyboard and houses the 1,500mAh battery, plus the electronics driving the crown. You can’t adjust the Craft’s slope. And personally, I found the Craft’s scalloped keys to have a shallower travel than I’d like. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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Meltdown and Spectre FAQ: How the critical CPU flaws affect PCs and Macs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 07:14:00 -0800

Massive security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs are forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems. Since the issues—dubbed Meltdown and Spectre—exist in the CPU hardware itself, Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, Chromebooks, and other operating systems all need to protect against the first exploits that have begun circulating. And worse, plugging the hole can negatively affect your PC’s performance.

Everyday home users shouldn’t panic too much, though some proof-of-concept exploits are being circulated in the field. Just apply all—well, most—available updates and keep your antivirus software vigilant, as ever. If you want to dive right into the action without all the background information, we’ve also created a focused guide on how to protect your PC against Meltdown and Spectre.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to find your motherboard's Spectre CPU fix

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:46:00 -0800

Operating system patches alone can protect against the nasty Meltdown flaw affecting Intel processors, but fixing Spectre—Meltdown’s nasty sibling, which affects all CPUs—requires firmware updates for your hardware. Those firmware fixes are finally starting to appear after Intel’s first round of Spectre patches were yanked for causing system instability and potential data loss. Stable patches for 6th-gen Intel Skylake CPUs and newer chips are now available, and both Intel and AMD are working on CPU microcode updates for other chips.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to protect your PC from the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:29:00 -0800

A pair of nasty CPU exploits have serious ramifications for home computer users. Meltdown and Spectre let attackers access protected information in your PC’s kernel memory, potentially revealing sensitive details like passwords, cryptographic keys, personal photos and email, or anything else you’ve used on your computer. These are serious flaws. Fortunately, CPU and operating system vendors pushed out patches fast, and you can protect your PC from Meltdown and Spectre to some degree.

It’s not a quick one-and-done deal, though. They’re two very different CPU flaws that touch every part of your operating system, from hardware to software to the operating system itself. Check out PCWorld’s Meltdown and Spectre FAQ for everything you need to know about the vulnerabilities themselves. We’ve cut through the technical jargon to explain what you need to know in clear, easy-to-read language. We’ve also created an overview of how the Spectre CPU bug affects phones and tablets.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Intel expects PCs with fast 5G wireless to ship in late 2019

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0800

With the first deployments of 5G high-speed wireless technology within the U.S. scheduled for later this year, Intel and its PC partners are already thinking about the next step: rolling out 5G-equipped PCs late in 2019.

Intel, along with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft said Thursday that the companies expect the first 5G Windows PCs to become available during the second half of 2019. That’s about the same time that Intel plans to begin shipping its XMM 8000 commercial modems, marking the company’s entrance into the 5G market.

Intel will show off a prototype of the new 5G connected PC at Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. In addition the company will demonstrate data streaming over the 5G network. At its stand, Intel said that it will also show off eSIM technology—the replacement for actual, physical SIM cards—and a thin PC running 802.11ax Wi-Fi, the next-gen Wi-Fi standard.

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Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service feels like playing on a high-end gaming PC

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:15:00 -0800

The promise of cloud gaming holds clear appeal. High-end gaming on any Internet-connected PC, even crappy old laptops that couldn’t dream of running games normally? Yes please!

But the reality has been much more disappointing. Forebears like OnLive and Gaikai are remembered more for their bugginess and lag than genuine gaming goodness. The small horde of cloud gaming services popping up over the last couple of years likewise struggle with reliability issues.

Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming could be the real deal.

The GeForce Now beta finally landed on PCs in late January, and it’s the first cloud gaming service I’ve used that doesn’t require major compromises on a regular basis. Hell, it actively takes a lot of the headaches out of maintaining a gaming rig. If your network can handle it—and even my humble 25Mbps Comcast home Internet connection could—and you can wrap your brain around some weird interface quirks, you’ll be pulling off headshots and executing other precision moves in-game in no time.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to test how much Spectre and Meltdown hurt your PC's performance

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:14:00 -0800


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GogoToro Outlet Evaders review: A fun, powerful, and portable power bank

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:00:00 -0800

GogoToro recently released a series of power banks inspired by classic video games: There’s the DexCharge, Cheeky-Charger, and Outlet Evaders. Each pack comes with a different color scheme, as well as a sheet of stickers for the user to customize the pack. For this review, I’m specifically evaluating the Outlet Evaders pack, available for $39 from GGTR’s site or Amazon.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Spectrum quietly tries a la carte TV streaming, but restrictions apply

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Hands-on with Spectrum's new a la carte TV streaming service


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BrandPost: How new PCs can result in a smarter, more agile small business

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:16:00 -0800

For small businesses (SMBs) the margins between success and failure are tiny. So, it’s vital to do everything possible to maximise employee performance and minimise costs, and this is where the company’s choice of business technology plays a pivotal role.

Yet research has continually shown that many SMBs are slow to move to modern PCs, even though such a PC Refresh – the act of regularly upgrading computers being used in the organisation -- enables them to cut bottom-line costs and improve productivity.

A 2014 study by Techaisle [1] found that 36% of SMBs had PCs that were four years or older, which resulted in application and system performance issues, malware attacks and connectivity issues for many of the respondents. This, in turn, had a direct impact on diminishing productivity and employee satisfaction.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best true wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:36:00 -0800

Truly wireless earbuds let you ditch all cables in our post–headphone jack world, but like with anything else, their quality varies. Our top picks offer great audio without sacrificing battery life or comfort.


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Walmart's selling a white Philips Hue lightbulb for $10 today

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:25:00 -0800

Today's a good day to stock up on light bulbs for your smart home. Walmart is selling a single Philips Hue White A19 bulb for $10—or for 33 percent off the usual price. This deal is particularly nice since you can buy the exact amount of bulbs you want. Previously, the best price we've seen is a two-pack for $30.

The Philips Hue White A19 is a plain white LED bulb (read our review here). It doesn't have colors and doesn't come with a Philips Bridge. The Bridge is the go-between for the ZigBee-based Hue bulbs and a home network.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best soundbars to improve your TV's audio

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:04:00 -0800

Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.


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Hands on: Blade's Shadow cloud gaming service can be a bumpy ride

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:00:00 -0800

In a normal year, Blade’s Shadow cloud-gaming service might seem superfluous: Do you really need to stream games to your PC as components quickly drop in price? But that was before today’s cryptocurrency miners began snapping up GPUs left and right. Now, the Shadow service is something of an option for leasing a pricey GPU, rather than buying one. In our hands-on time with the service, it works acceptably—though a bit of lag, bugs, and an obtuse setup process muddy the experience.

The Shadow service takes a page from its spiritual ancestor, OnLive, the cloud-gaming service that disappeared in 2012, was reborn in 2014, and then sold to Sony. Blade provides a powerful virtual PC, currently housed at or near the company’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters. You, the user, are asked to pay $49.95 per month ($34.95 per month if you sign up for a year) to use it—and for now, it’s limited to Californians. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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The Full Nerd episode 41: Nvidia rumors, Spectre updates, and will Ryzen APUs stay relevant?

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:28:00 -0800

In this episode of the Full Nerd, the crew mulls whether Ryzen APUs even matter, pick apart the Nvidia Volta / Ampere / Turing / Kardassian rumors, and update you on Meltdown and Spectre.

Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray kick things off by talking about AMD’s hot new Ryzen APUs and whether they’ll even be relevant if graphics card prices settle down. If you're a PC gamer without a graphics card, should you buy one of these or a cheap Xbox One? The debate gets heated!

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to create an insane multiple monitor setup with three, four, or more displays

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 05:27:00 -0800

By now, a dual-monitor setup has become commonplace. Multitasking on a single screen is just way too confining. But why stop at two displays?  I can speak from experience: Having multiple monitors (and I’m talking three, four, five, or even six) is just…awesome, and something you totally need in your life.

Right now, my main PC has a triple-monitor setup: my main 27-inch central monitor, with a 24-inch monitor on either side. I use my extra monitors for a number of things, such as comparing spreadsheets side-by-side, writing articles while also doing research, keeping tabs on my social media feeds, and, of course, watching Netflix.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Reolink RLC-422W home security camera review: Affordable, nearly vandal-proof outdoor security

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

With crystal clear video, 100-feet of night vision, and customizable motion alerts, this dome-style camera delivers peace of mind at a wallet-friendly price.


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Intel ships new Spectre patches: Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake now, Sandy Bridge next

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Intel said Tuesday afternoon that it’s shipped updated patches to mitigate the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake Core processors, plus additional Skylake chips. Intel’s patch roadmap also indicates that beta patches for Broadwell, Haswell, and Ivy Bridge-based PCs are in the works.

The microcode updates have been shipped to Intel’s hardware partners, some of which have already begun passing them along to customers. As always, the best protection against Spectre and Meltdown is to patch your PCs, especially as the new, updated code appears.

It’s been almost a month since Intel yanked some of its earliest patches for the Spectre vulnerabilities because of system instability and unexpected reboots. After working to fix those issues, Intel started releasing new patches almost two weeks ago, when new code for Skylake based PCs was released. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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The 500GB Samsung 960 Evo is at its cheapest price yet

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:22:00 -0800


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Samsung's 30TB SSD crams massive capacity into an ultra-fast 2.5-inch drive

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:11:00 -0800

The solid-state drive pictured above may look like any other, but don’t be fooled: Samsung’s PM1643 crams a staggering 30.72 terabytes of storage into the traditional 2.5-inch SSD form factor. That’s enough room for 5,700 full HD movies, Samsung says.

Samsung created its 30TB SSD by combining 32 sticks of 1TB NAND flash packages together, each built with 16 layers of stacked 512Gb V-NAND chips. This drive nearly doubles the capacity of Samsung’s previous champion, which topped out at 16TB.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Save Hundreds On The Lifetime MCSA Windows Server 2016 Bundle

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 06:17:00 -0800

As any IT professional will tell you, certifications are essential for climbing the career ladder. The MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification demonstrates an individual's ability to administer networks and reduce IT costs, which can open the door to a high-paid position as a network or computer systems administrator, or computer network specialist.

So, if you're looking to broaden your IT employment prospects, picking up this certification is a step in the right direction, and the Lifetime MCSA Windows Server 2016 Bundle can prepare you to ace its exams for $29.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Get a 299-Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit For $12 Today

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 05:59:00 -0800

This full-fledged, easy-to-tote first aid softpack is designed to save time and frustration in the midst of an emergency. It's compact and portable, but contains 299 physician-recommended supplies.  Among the items neatly organized inside the zippered kit is a first aid guide, vinyl gloves, bandages, cold compress, gauze pads, trauma pad, cotton-tipped applicators, first aid tape roll, antiseptics and all three common OTC pain medications. The kit is currently a #1 best seller on Amazon, averages 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 2,230 customers, and its typical list price of has been reduced to just a hair over $12. Click over to Amazon to see this deal.

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$27 For Two Etekcity Smart Plugs With Alexa Compatibility - Deal Alert

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 05:09:00 -0800

With this smart plug from Etekcity, you can turn your appliances on/off remotely from your mobile device, or with your voice via Alexa. Or automate the on/off cycle with a schedule. The plug also monitors and helps control energy usage, and the slow drain that occurs even when devices are powered down. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 2,200 people on Amazon, the 2-pack of smart plugs has been discounted to just $26.99, or $13.50 per plug. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Ivacy VPN review: A competent VPN that doesn't mind cryptocurrencies

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 04:00:00 -0800

Ivacy in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Business location: Singapore

Number of servers: 459+*

Number of country locations: 55

Cost: $40 (billed annually)

VPN protocol: IKEv2 (default)

Data encryption: AES-256-CBC

Data authentication: MS-Chap v2

Handshake Encryption: SHA-II

* Includes virtual server locations

When you look at VPN services for regular users, you don’t often see purpose-based server recommendations, such as “use this server for streaming and this one for downloading.” Ivacy VPN, a 10-year-old service officially based in Singapore, stands out by doing just that. (It’s not the only service to take this tack—CyberGhost has a similar purpose-based approach—but it’s still rare.)

To read this article in full, please click here


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