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Published: Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:40:42 -0700

Last Build Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:40:42 -0700

 



There's now a tool to test for NSA spyware

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:47:39 -0700

Has your computer been infected with a suspected NSA spying implant? A security researcher has come up with a free tool that can tell.

Luke Jennings of security firm Countercept wrote a script in response to last week’s high-profile leak of cyberweapons that some researchers believe are from the U.S. National Security Agency. It's designed to detect an implant called Doublepulsar, which is delivered by many of the Windows-based exploits found in the leak and can be used to load other malware.

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This week in games: Call of Duty returns to World War II, Syberia II is free and more

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:18:00 -0700

The blockbuster rush of March might be over, but apparently April is the new indie and semi-indiepile-up. This week we got Rick and Morty's VR game, Full Throttle Remastered, Voodoo Vince Remastered, Late Shift, and Everything. Next week: Dawn of War IIIOutlast 2, What Remains of Edith Finch, Wilson's Heart, and probably some I'm forgetting. Crazy.

But the news keeps piling on too. Call of Duty is returning to World War II next week, EA's giving away copies of Syberia II, N++ added 2,000 more levels, Patrice Desilet's ambitious human-documentary project got another teaser, and more.

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Logitech's G410 mechanical keyboard is $60 today

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:14:00 -0700

Sometimes there’s nothing like a little controversy in a daily deal. Today, Newegg is selling the Logitech G410 tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for $60. That’s a cheaper price than you’ll find at Amazon, and is more than half the price of the more modern Logitech G Pro tenkeyless keyboard

I say this deal is controversial because mechanical keyboards are all about personal taste. While the G410 is well reviewed, some may not like it because it features Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G switches

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Researchers build a microprocessor from flexible materials

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:10:00 -0700

Researchers have built a primitive microprocessor out of a two-dimensional material similar to graphene, the flexible conductive wonder material that some believe will revolutionize the design and manufacture of batteries, sensors and chips.

With only 115 transistors, their processor isn't going to top any benchmark rankings, but it's "a first step towards the development of microprocessors based on 2D semiconductors," the researchers at Vienna University of Technology said in a paper published in the journal Nature this month.

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Best Android phones: What should you buy?

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:30:00 -0700

Updated 04/21/17: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ take a couple of top spots, and we’ve added a “wait and see” warning about our best camera pick.

Choosing a new Android phone isn’t easy. The Android universe is teeming with options, from super-expensive flagship phones, to affordable models that make a few calculated compromises, to models expressly designed for, say, great photography. 

Chances are that whichever phone you buy, you’ll keep it for at least two years. So choosing the best Android phone for you isn’t a decision you should take lightly. 

But we can make things easier. Everyone has different priorities and needs, so we’ve made some picks for the best Android phone in several categories. 

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Leaked Microsoft document confirms Windows 10 Cloud and a Chromebook competitor

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:25:00 -0700

A Microsoft document detailing the minimum hardware specs for Microsoft Windows 10 Cloud-powered laptops seems to be the best evidence yet that Microsoft plans to launch a Chromebook competitor on May 2.

Windows Central obtained a “recommended minimum spec” document, presumably handed out to Microsoft’s partners. The document outlines what Microsoft hopes to achieve with what the document calls an “Edu Cloud device” (and industry watchers have dubbed "Cloudbooks"): all-day battery life, a quick boot and resume cycle, and at least a quad-core Intel Celeron processor powering it all. It’s also titled “Windows 10 Cloud Performance Targets,” confirming the name of the new OS.

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Phishing attacks using internationalized domains are hard to block

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:11:43 -0700

The latest version of Google Chrome, released earlier this week, restricts how domain names that use non-Latin characters are displayed in the browser. This change is in response to a recently disclosed technique that could allow attackers to create highly credible phishing websites.

The ability to register domain names made up of characters like those found in the Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew and other non-Latin alphabets dates back over a decade. Since 2009, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has also approved a large number of internationalized top-level domains (TLDs) -- domain extensions -- written with such characters.

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Users' orders: Make it easier to build hybrid clouds

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:43:02 -0700

A funny thing happened on the way to the hybrid cloud: Building the infrastructure was a pain in the neck.

That's what enterprise IT people in the Open Networking User Group have discovered Last year, public cloud providers persuaded C-level executives to move significant corporate workloads to the cloud, but the tools weren't there to make it work, said Nick Lippis, co-founder and co-chairman of ONUG.

"There is a ton of custom work that has to be done," Lippis said.

So the user group, which includes IT executives from hundreds of enterprises, chose building hybrid cloud infrastructure as its focus for this year. It will be the main topic at ONUG Spring 2017, taking place next week in San Francisco.

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75% off Lamicall S1 Cell Phone Dock - Deal Alert

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:32:00 -0700

Designed on a low center of gravity makes it stable. The extended hooks keep the phone in safety, and rubber cushions protect the phone from scratches and sliding. Suitable height, perfect angle of view when using Facetime and YouTube, makes it so easy to read message and emails. Compatible with iPhone and Android phones even when they have an added case.  The doc averages 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 4,500 reviewers on Amazon (86% rate a full 5 stars: see reviews), where its typical list price of $36.99 has been reduced 19% to $29.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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Samsung Android owners will get special Google Play Music features

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:20:00 -0700


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How to create a single-column Start menu in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:12:00 -0700

If there’s one thing Microsoft loves to do, it’s play around with the Start menu in Windows 10. The Creators Update is no different with Microsoft adding an interesting new setting for the minimalists out there.

A year ago, we looked at a way to get a Windows 7-ish Start menu without using third-party software by dumping all the live tiles. This didn’t truly give you a Windows 7 replica, but what it did was simplify the Start menu into a single column.

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Radeon RX 480 owners are transforming their graphics cards into the Radeon RX 580

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:42:00 -0700


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Use PowerPoint Photo Album to chronicle corporate or personal events

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:00:00 -0700

Those charming slideshows that people make for wedding couples to highlight their lives before the nuptials aren’t the only reason to use PowerPoint’s Photo Albums. Corporations create similar slideshows to celebrate or chronicle corporate events, then place them on the company’s Intranet for all the employees to enjoy. They also use Photo Album slideshows for kiosks, trade show booths, and other marketing events to showcase the company and its products.

PowerPoint makes this task super-easy with its intuitive menus and dialog screens that walk you through the process, prompting you for responses along the way. It all starts with the Photo Album button on the Ribbon menu under the Insert Tab. The following instructions explain this feature in detail.

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Steam Link Is 18% Off - Mirror Your Gaming Setup to TV at 1080p - Deal Alert

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:31:00 -0700

The Steam Link allows existing Steam gamers to expand the range of their current gaming set up via their home network. Just connect your Steam PC or Steam Machine to your home network, plug into a TV, and stream your games to the Link at 1080p. Video and audio data is sent from your computer to the Steam Link, while your controller input is sent back in real time. Virtually every game that your computer runs can be played on your TV. Steam Controller, Xbox One USB wired, Xbox 360 USB wired, Xbox 360 wireless, PS4, PS3 wired and Wii-U Pro controllers are compatible, as are many third-party Xbox controllers. Steam Link's typical price is $50, but right now you can get it on Amazon for just $41. See the significantly discounted Steam Link on Amazon.

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HP's new Zbook laptops crushes Apple's ancient Mac Pro on features

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:02:00 -0700

Apple’s Mac Pro has been ignored for so long that even Windows 10 mobile workstations are catching up on features and performance.

Take HP’s latest Zbook laptop workstations, which were announced on Friday. These heavy built laptops—which is why they are called mobile workstations—have comparable memory and storage capacity technology to the Mac Pro, but excel in other areas.

The laptops feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, DDR4 memory, Intel’s latest Kaby Lake-based Core and Xeon processors, and the latest GPUs from Nvidia and AMD.

By comparison the Mac Pro has Thunderbolt 2 ports, an old AMD GPU, DDR3 memory and Intel Xeon processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture, which were released in 2013.

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The 16 best free PC games

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:59:00 -0700

Worth the price of admission
(image)

There was a time when “free-to-play” was a dirty term in the games industry. There are still terrible, exploitative free-to-play games on the market—more every day, in fact.

But occasionally—occasionally—we get something...miraculous. We get a free-to-play game that doesn’t try to con players out of money or make the design intentionally boring in order to make those purchasable unlocks more exciting.

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EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 review: A ferocious graphics card with a radical cooler

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Ever since the monstrous $700 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti launched, the world’s been waiting to see what this beastly GPU was capable of in the hands of Nvidia’s hardware partners. The Founders Edition delivered damn near uncompromising 60-fps performance at 4K resolution with everything cranked to 11, and that was with a lowly reference cooler and stock clock speeds. How far can factory-overclocked versions with potent custom cooling solutions go?

Well, for the first time ever, a graphics card is so damn fast that it managed to largely push a game’s bottleneck off of the GPU and onto the CPU in PCWorld’s ferocious testing PC—while running 15 degrees or more cooler than the Founders Edition.

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Grillbot grill-cleaning robot review: The best thing to happen to barbecues since fire

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0700

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy good barbecue, but I’ve also never met anyone who enjoys cleaning the grill afterward. Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, scraping and scrubbing away the charred and greasy remnants of whatever food you just cooked, with the brush flicking the charred bits at your clothes on the backstroke, is about as enjoyable as cleaning the toilet. The only thing worse is not cleaning the grates until the next time you’re ready to grill. Just as robots have relieved us of the drudgery of vacuuming and scrubbing floors, the Grillbot frees us from cleaning the ‘cue.

The Grillbot is a battery-powered robot with three removable rotating wire brushes that automatically cleans your barbecue grill. You simply place it on the cool or warm grill, push a button, and put the lid on the barbecue. The surface temperature needs to be less than 250 degrees Fahrenheit, but a heat sensor will warn you if it’s too hot. If the grill is cool enough, the Grillbot’s brushes will spin, stop, and restart in a random fashion that makes the robot crawl across the surface of the grill. Things get a little noisy as the plastic chassis repeatedly bangs against the barbecue's lid, but enduring the clatter is vastly better than scrubbing and scraping by hand.

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Tropic Thunder joins 12 other great movies now streaming online

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0700

I wanted to review one of Netflix’s new, original movies this week, but after checking out The Discovery, Sandy Wexler, and Win It All, I was uninspired. (Perhaps they’ll all be candidates someday for Netflix’s very welcome reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000.) In any case, I dug into some other, much brighter gems to highlight.

How about an underrated Steven Spielberg movie? (Yes, one exists.) How about a couple of Oscar-winners for Best Screenplay? How about a couple of horror movies that wouldn’t be out of place at a 1970s grindhouse? How about a couple of sci-fi movies that are based on actual ideas rather than explosions? How about a couple of smart, funny comedies starring Jack Black? (Yes, there are at least two.)

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Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:41:49 -0700

On the shelves of a laboratory near San Francisco sit tanks and tanks of mysterious-looking liquids. Labels identify some as simulations of human heads, while others relate to muscles.

It sounds like the ghoulish headquarters of a mad scientist, but it isn't. It's the Silicon Valley offices of UL, a product testing organization previously known as Underwriters Laboratory, and these liquids play an important part in smartphone safety.

You might not know UL, but you can probably find its logo on a number of products around your home.

(image) Martyn Williams

Two UL logos are seen on a computer power supply. The company tests products to ensure they meet safety requirements.

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Apple will return heat generated by data center to warm up homes

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:50:00 -0700

Apple is building a new data center in Denmark, and it has some interesting ideas on how to power the data center with renewable energy, while also giving back to the community.

Excess heat generated by the data center will be captured and returned to the local district's heating system, which will warm up homes in the community.

The data center in the Jutland region will be partly powered by recycling waste products from farms. Apple is working with Aarhus University on a system that passes agricultural waste through a digester to generate methane, which is then used to power the data center.

The digester reaction turns some of the waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer, which Apple returns to local farmers to use on their fields. It's a "mutually beneficial relationship," Apple said in its environment report for 2016, released this week.

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Drupal fixes critical access bypass vulnerability

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:09:50 -0700

The Drupal project has released a patch to fix a critical access bypass vulnerability that could put websites at risk of hacking.

The vulnerability does not have the highest severity level based on Drupal's rating system, but is serious enough that the platform's developers decided to also release a patch for a version of the content management system that's no longer officially supported.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability can lead to a complete compromise of data confidentiality and website integrity, but only Drupal-based websites with certain configurations are affected.

To be vulnerable, a website needs to have the RESTful Web Services enabled and to allow PATCH requests. Furthermore, the attacker needs to be able to register a new account on the website or to gain access to an existing one, regardless of its privileges.

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18% off AUKEY SoundTank Bluetooth Water Resistant Speaker with 30-Hour Playtime - DealPost

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:05:00 -0700

Weighing in at just over a pound, the AUKEY Sountank is the ideal lightweight, water resistant companion speaker for your all your adventures. The dual 5 watt speaker drivers  are powered by a 2600mAh rechargeable battery delivering up to 30 continuous hours of wireless audio.  Utilizing the latest in Bluetooth audio with A2DP, improved connection stability, faster pairing, lower latency, and lower power consumption from connected devices when wirelessly streaming audio across distances up to 33ft.  This speaker has a durable silicone casing providing a rugged layer of protection from daily wear and tear.  This speaker recently received a 4 out of 5 star rating (read review).  The Aukey's list price of $54.99 has been reduced 18% to $44.99. (See it on Amazon)

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Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:45:00 -0700

Users that run unpatched software, beware. Hackers have been relying on an old software bug tied to the Stuxnet worm to carry out their attacks.

Microsoft may have initially patched the flaw in 2010, but it's nevertheless become the most widespread software exploit, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab.

On Thursday, Kaspersky posted research examining the use of exploits, or malicious programs designed to take advantage of certain software flaws. Once an exploit goes to work, it can typically pave the way for other malicious programs to install onto a computer.

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BrandPost: Solving Growing Pains As Smartphones Mingle the Business and the Personal

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:59:00 -0700

Gone are the days when BYOD was frowned upon by business executives and IT departments. Today, people are using their personal smartphones for myriad business applications at work, as well as to for shopping at home (OK, maybe on their lunch break).

Recent data shows that work and personal phone use have truly merged. About three-quarters of all smartphone owners now use their personal devices for business purposes, according to a recent IDG/Heymarket survey, which queried 1,000 personal and business smartphone users. Mobile customer contact is growing among business users, who find it fast and convenient.

Mobility is a sea change that goes well beyond the technology itself. People who use a personal device expect a fast, personalized experience at every touchpoint of interaction, whether it’s with a business, a colleague, or a customer.

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Microsoft commits to twice yearly updates to Windows 10, Office 365

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:51:47 -0700

Microsoft is offering IT pros some new guidance on when they can expect major feature updates for Windows 10, Office 365's client applications, and System Center Configuration Manager.

Office and Windows are slated to receive two major patches per year, one in March and the other in September. SCCM will be updated in time with those releases to facilitate deployments. That means the next major update to Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 3, is due out in September.

On top of that, Microsoft confirmed that each feature release of Windows 10 will be supported for 18 months after it is first made generally available.

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Microsoft will cut services to standalone Office users so they’ll subscribe to Office 365

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:37:00 -0700

When Microsoft launched Office 365 in 2010, Microsoft officials said then that customers were asking to move to the cloud. Beginning in 2020, some Office customers will need to buy Office 365 to do so.

In an update to Microsoft’s Office 365 system requirements released on Thursday, Microsoft said that consumers who have already purchased “perpetual”—i.e., standalone—versions of Office, such as Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016, would be cut off from accessing the business versions of OneDrive and Skype after mainstream support expires. Those who have purchases those Office suites will be allowed to connect until Oct. 13, 2020—the day mainstream support ends for Office 2016, and the day the new support policy kicks in. 

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EVGA's GTX 1080 FTW2 and SC2 graphics cards get updated with faster memory

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:17:00 -0700

When Nvidia announced that a new generation of GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 cards were on the horizon with faster memory, we assumed that graphics cards makers would offer the step-up models at step-up pricing. Not EVGA.

On Thursday, EVGA launched new revisions of its $590 GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 and $570 GTX 1080 SC2 graphics cards with 11GHz memory. That brings the duo’s memory bandwidth to 352GBps, up from 320GBps in the original iterations. And get this: These replace the originals at the same pricing, rather than being an upsell.

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Qualcomm: First Windows 10 ARM PC coming in the fourth quarter

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:00:00 -0700

If you want a Windows 10 PC that doesn’t have an x86 chip from Intel or AMD, your wish will be granted in the fourth quarter.

Qualcomm said the first cellular laptop with Windows 10 and its ARM-based Snapdragon 835 will come by the end of the year.

“Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into mobile PC designs running Windows 10,” and it’s scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter, said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, according to a transcript of a Wednesday earnings call posted on Seeking Alpha. 

Until now, Windows 10 has worked only on x86 chips. Qualcomm and Microsoft are collaborating to make the ARM-based Windows 10 PCs.

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