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Published: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:50:50 -0800

Last Build Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:50:50 -0800

 



Need Stocking Stuffers? See Amazon's Highest Rated Tech Deals Under $25 - Deal Alert

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:35:00 -0800

This month, you'll probably need to buy stocking stuffers and cheap little gadgety things for co-workers, extended family members, or to fill in gaps last-minute when you find yourself asking, "Did I buy enough?".  Amazon has deals running every day, so we've filtered their list of active deals down to just the tech categories, and only the deals $25 or less with 4 or 5 star ratings.  Discounted USB cords, chargers, phone accessories, BlueTooth speakers, splitters, and other gadgets. Here it is: An impulse shopper's dream/nightmare. (Note: When you get to Amazon's page, scroll down past their "featured" deals to where the filtered list begins).

To read this article in full, please click here


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30% off APC 1500VA Compact UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:33:00 -0800

An APC UPS provides backup power power and surge protection to power and protect your PC or Mac, network router, gaming consoles like Xbox and PS4, AV and other business electronics from the dangers of power surges, spikes, lightning and power outages. By powering your critical electronics with a backup battery during blackouts, you ensure personal and professional connectivity when it matters most. Improvements in efficiency, size and surge protection come at an affordable price, making the Back-UPS Pro mini-tower battery backup UPS models a perfect solution for your power protection needs. Right now the Back-UPS Pro from APC averages 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where its typical list price of $170 is discounted 30% to $119. See this deal now on Amazon.

To read this article in full, please click here


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10 killer PC upgrades that are shockingly cheap

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:11:00 -0800

No need to break the bank
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Sure, swanky new Surface Pros and $1,200 graphics cards may capture all the headlines, but on a practical level, the real story is that PCs aren’t cheap. As a working father with two kids and a mortgage to pay, I understand that all too well. But if your computer’s starting to feel pokey, there’s fortunately no reason to rush out a spend hundreds on a new one.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Ella brings smart searching to home security cameras

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 05:00:00 -0800

A new deep learning engine from surveillance equipment manufacturer IC Realtime lets you tag and search relevant video footage using natural language.


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Best health and fitness gifts of 2017

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

Chances are your friends and family are going to stuff themselves silly with unfathomable calories between now and 2018. So why not balance the equation by giving them a gadget that can nudge them in a more healthful direction? Not all of the gear below is geared toward weight loss and exercise, but everything is designed for general health and wellness, and I have direct experience with every single product.

TRX Home Gym Suspension Trainer

If you’ve spent time in a modern, forward-thinking gym, you may already be aware of TRX suspension training. The TRX system consists of two adjustable straps that hang from an anchor point on the ceiling. Simply grab the straps—usually with your hands, but sometimes with your feet—then use your bodyweight to perform an amazing array of exercises and stretch routines that hit every every muscle group.

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Best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cases: Top picks in every style

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

If you spend $950 on a phone like the Galaxy Note 8, you’re going to want some measure of protection. That means putting your Note 8 in a case.

There are a lot to choose from: Some show off the design of the phone, others keep you from dropping it, and others will help it survive a nasty fall. No matter what kind of case you’re looking for, we’ve got you—and your new phone—covered.

Best transparent Note 8 cases

To show off your Galaxy Note 8 as Samsung intended, you’ll want a clear case—and a polishing cloth. Because the back of the Galaxy Note 8 is made of glass, it picks up fingerprints very easily. You’ll need to clean it before you pop it into the case. Polishing the case itself doesn't hurt, either.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Remo+ Doorcam review: This wireless security camera hangs on your front door

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

This easy-to-install alternative to a doorbell cam alerts you to visitors and lets you talk with them even when you're not at home.


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PowerSpec 1710 and PowerSpec 1510 review: Formidable gaming laptops at great prices

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Savvy electronics shoppers know Micro Center as the go-to retailer for mouthwatering CPU deals if you’re lucky enough to live near one. The company’s first-ever homegrown gaming laptops continue that devotion to damned good prices. Despite packing a full-fat GeForce GTX 1070 and other high-end hardware, the aluminum-clad PowerSpec 1510 costs a mere $1,300, and the PowerSpec 1710 just $1,400. (With in-store pickup only, of course—this is Micro Center.) That’s surprisingly little cash for such potent portable PCs!

To read this article in full, please click here


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Shinola Canfield on-ear headphones review: These cans are made for hipsters, not audiophiles

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Detroit—car capital of America—has had difficulty recovering from a decade-long economic downturn. Many companies have left the Motor City, outsourcing their manufacturing, assembly, and materials production overseas. Shinola is bucking that trend, manufacturing headphones, luxury watches and watch straps, hand-built bicycles, and high-end leather goods here. (You can read the larger story behind Shinola’s drive to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. here). It’s a noble effort to be sure, but it's not enough to make Shinola’s Canfield on-ear headphones worthy of their substantial price tag.

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Microsoft takes $550 off the Alienware 15 gaming laptop as time runs out on PC deals

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 10:39:00 -0800

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals has produced some amazing PC sales, and Microsoft is spotlighting one more: the rugged, powerful Alienware 15 R3 gaming notebook, a bargain at $550 off—and with the opportunity to save $100 more.

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals sales have produced some epic bargains, notably the $550 off the Dell XPS 13 steal that has, sadly, expired. But smart shoppers know the power of last-minute deals, and there’s still a few to be scored as Microsoft’s deals days expire.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best smart bulbs

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:25:00 -0800

Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.


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How to automatically mute a website within Google Chrome, forever

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:44:00 -0800

If you’re the type of person who detests autoplaying video ads with sound, Google’s Chrome provides some help. The beta of Google Chrome 64 allows you to mute a site permanently, so even if a video pops up—and Chrome can block some of those, too!—it won’t blow you out of your seat. The feature is expected to roll out to the general public sometime in January. 

Google’s Chrome 64 beta ships with a stronger popup ad blocker, which automatically prevents some dodgy ads from either appearing or re-routing you to other sites on the web. But it also applies some site-by-site controls, so that when you visit a website, you have better control of what media to allow and disallow.

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SteelSeries Apex M750 review: For people who prioritize RGB lighting above all other features

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:06:00 -0800

Earlier this year I finally got around to covering SteelSeries’s Apex M800 and its proprietary QS1 switch, and now it’s gone. Yes, after just one keyboard, SteelSeries has ditched the QS1 switch, with its square housing and centered LED. 

Taking its place is the Apex M750 keyboard designed around the all-new QX2 switch—still proprietary, but quite a bit more familiar. The QX2 falls squarely into “Cherry MX knockoff” territory, as with so many switches these days.

So how does it fare?

Note: This review is part of our best gaming keyboards of 2017 roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

To read this article in full, please click here


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This week in games: Crytek sues Star Citizen, Destiny 2 'The Dawning' holiday event revealed

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0800


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Every AMD Radeon RX graphics card you can buy for PC gaming

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:39:00 -0800

Radeon roundup
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Image by Brad Chacos/IDG

Not all graphics cards are created equal. Both AMD and Nvidia offer a wide range of graphics cards designed for tasks as varied as adding basic video support to a home theater PC to playing gorgeous video games at crushingly high frame rates and resolutions.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best holiday laptop deals

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:41:00 -0800

The holidays are a great time for laptop deals, but with only weeks left in the season time is running out.

To help you out, we've pulled together the top laptop deals available. These options range from a fancy gaming laptop to an ultra-budget conscious clamshell and points in between. We'll be updating this article from time to time as deals change, so check back every so often to see what else we've found. Just be warned that if you wait too long, you may miss your opportunity to get anything in time for the holidays!

(If you're having trouble figuring out which laptop to get, our Holiday Laptop Buyer's Guide can help. It walks you through the different specs and what to expect from each pricing tier.)

To read this article in full, please click here


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Amazon's Echo Show has dropped in price by $80

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:17:00 -0800


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Fallout 4 VR review: An epic sense of scale bolsters this janky VR port

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:08:00 -0800

Fallout 4 VR makes a terrible first impression.

Boot it up and it’s immediately clear it wasn’t built for VR first and foremost. The main menu does that thing where it’s just the original 2D menu projected in empty space. The “War never changes...” intro does the same. Then when you get into the actual game, you see a rudimentary version of the character creation sequence where you’re standing in front of a mirror—and if you step backwards, you can just walk straight through the wall.

This “Oh, someone didn’t even think of this or at least didn’t come up with a way to solve it” rough-around-the-edges aspect does not bode well. It continued, too. As I dove further into the game, I kept finding other aspects that annoyed me, that demonstrated Fallout 4 was never built with VR in mind—awkward controls, a terrible teleport system, objects that don’t react the way you’d expect in VR.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best smart thermostat

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:05:00 -0800

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


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Farewell, AIM: AOL Instant Messenger has signed off permanently

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:37:00 -0800

It’s the end of an era that realistically ended a decade ago. On Friday, AOL shut down AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) permanently. Plans for its death were first announced in October.

When I heard the news, my mind flashed back to the boxes full of America Online CDs in every store, to the dubstep-like beeps and boops of a 28.8K modem connecting to the Internet, and AIM chat rooms providing a real-time connection with people around the world long before social networks accomplished the same task.

But the rise of social networks like Facebook and Whatsapp were the final nail in AIM’s coffin. The company acknowledges that the times aren’t just a-changing now that we’re in the smartphone era—they’ve already been altered forever. “AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” wrote Michael Albers, VP of communications at Oath (the Verizon brand that gobbled up AOL).

To read this article in full, please click here


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Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 64 Limited Edition review: Taming Vega's flaws with brute force

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0800

Four long months after AMD’s flawed Radeon Vega graphics cards launched, custom versions are finally starting to trickle out—and the wait was worth it. The monstrous, yet luxurious Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 64 Limited Edition relies on brute force to squash the most troubling problems that plague reference Vega cards. This beast sports the most wildly effective cooler to ever cross our test bench, and it manages to toss in a factory overclock while providing impressive tools for enthusiasts to push performance even further.

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How Microsoft is wading into 'fake news' with Bing opinion-based search results

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

On Wednesday, Microsoft told a roomful of journalists that, on Bing, “alternative facts” would be considered the equivalent of the Washington Post.

Sure, that’s just my opinion. But that’s also the new approach that Bing’s rolling out over the next week: striking out beyond facts into a brave new world in which opinions matter, too. Eventually, Bing will respond to certain questions with answers that represent both sides of an issue, not just a list of search results. One of those new voices will be Reddit, a popular online community with millions of contributors.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Star Wars gift guide: Top picks for fans who are tech geeks

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

You need this Star Wars gift guide. There’s no way any human could navigate the millions of Star Wars-themed items available, thanks to Disney’s merchandising-industrial complex. But you want this Star Wars gift guide, too, if you are (or you’re shopping for) a Star Wars fan who’s also a tech geek.

“Tech geek” describes 100 percent of the staff at PCWorld, and as for Star Wars...well, I saw Episode IV more than 24 times in the first year (yes, I lost count), Episode V 14 times in the first year, and Episode VI 8 times (blame the Ewoks). Just call me OG Star Wars. Meanwhile, my esteemed colleague Gordon Mah Ung has three replica lightsabers, including one he gave to his wife for their first wedding anniversary. Awwww!

To read this article in full, please click here


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Bosch Connected Control BCC100 Wi-Fi thermostat review: Pretty to look at, easy to program

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

It’s not as slick as some of its competitors, but it can control the humidifiers and dehumidifiers others don’t.


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The best video editing software: Reviews, buying advice, and more

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:50:00 -0800

Video editing software ranges from free versions that are pretty bare-bones to feature-packed prosumer versions. Indeed, they vary as much as the reasons why people take up video editing—whether to make home videos, to become YouTube stars, to create VR experiences, and more.

Most video editing software for consumers and mainstream users is best used for one or another of these specific functions, but there are a few generalists out there, too. We look at the full spectrum: Free video editing software; paid consumer video editing programs that cost $80 or less; and soon, "prosumer" versions that offer deeper feature sets for high purchase prices. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: Tomorrow’s workforce, today. Orchestrated by CDW.

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:30:00 -0800

How we work and where we work are changing. If handled properly, the opportunities are endless. If not, productivity is sure to plummet. At CDW, we can help you harness the latest in mobility and collaboration to allow both workforce flexibility and organizational agility.

Minnesota Wild Retools Tech for the Ultimate Fan Experience

The National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild updated the technology at their arena, the Xcel Energy Center, with one goal in mind: to create a better fan experience. The team is focused on engaging with fans and helping them interact with each other and brands during the games, and is using new technology platforms, especially for its core and Wi-Fi networks, to help enable that. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: Less-risky business. Orchestrated by CDW.

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:24:00 -0800

Evolving attacks. Scattered endpoints. Strained resources. Risks are changing, and you need to be prepared for anything. We can help you build a holistic solution that combines strategy and technology to keep your data accessible and secure.

Lessons learned from 4,000 security assessments conducted by CDW can prepare your IT troops to address common vulnerabilities. CDW has been in the IT security trenches for decades. Any organization can apply the lessons our experts have learned to fundamentally shift its approach to security. The infographic below shows how.

(image) CDW

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Windscribe Pro review: It's all about the extras

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:22:00 -0800

Windscribe in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes, on most servers

Number of servers: 321

Business location: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Number of country locations: 50

Cost: $49 billed annually

Metropolitan Toronto is something of a VPN hub these days. We’ve already looked at TunnelBear and recent Symantec acquisition SurfEasy, both based in Toronto. Now it’s time to look at Windscribe, a capable VPN based just outside of Canada’s largest city.

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: Stronger Connections, Orchestrated by CDW

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:41:00 -0800

From shoppers and patients to students and constituents, client satisfaction is key. And technology is key to client satisfaction. We can help you develop a client-centric approach to IT that increases engagement, retention and your competitive advantage.

One example:

Every great musical composition has at least two components to make it come to life: talented musicians and top-notch instruments. The same is true of a K–12 classroom, where lessons sometimes are only as solid as the methods and tools used to teach them.  

Imagine the classroom as an orchestra, with the teacher as the conductor. Each child has individual learning needs met by a personalized learning model, which means it doesn’t matter what types of instruments these little maestros are playing — the conductor is prepared to help them harmonize and play a beautiful melody together by teaching them as individuals first.

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FCC votes to kill net neutrality in an unsurprising move. What happens now?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:04:00 -0800

That noise you just heard was the sound of millions of modems across the U.S. crying. As expected, the FCC just voted 3-2 to kill its own net neutrality rules, and the Internet as we know it could be forever changed.

Under the current net neutrality rules (classifying ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act), which were only just enacted in 2015, Internet service providers are required to deliver all online content with the same speed and accessibility, meaning they can’t charge more for faster Netflix speeds or restrict YouTube access. There are particular exceptions for medical services, public safety communications, and other data that is deemed to be in the public good.

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