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Published: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:24:26 -0700

Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:24:26 -0700

 



Microsoft OneNote for beginners: Everything you need to know

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:43:00 -0700

OneNote is the best Microsoft program you’re probably not using. For me, it's become the online home for much of my work: article drafts, interview transcripts, even random thoughts about how to re-organize the home office.

I love that I can take it with me basically anywhere. OneNote is baked right into the company’s own Surface devices, and there are apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, and support for Apple Watch and Android Wear. It’s not easy to build an app that serves so many different purposes and works well across platforms, but OneNote mostly pulls it off.

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You won't find a steering wheel or a driver on this autonomous shuttle

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:19:00 -0700

Visitors at Cebit in Hanover last week had a chance to do what some people in Switzerland have been doing for almost a year now: take a ride on an autonomous shuttle.  

The vehicle moves around using a number of video cameras and sensors. Two such shuttles have been operating in Sion since the summer of 2016, despite the program being shorty halted in September due to a small accident.

Although the shuttles do not require a driver, a safety attendant is on board at all times to make sure they run smoothly and to stop the vehicles in an emergency. 

The shuttles are build by french company, Navya, and the fleet management software is developed by Swiss start-up Bestmile. Testing in Switzerland is expected to continue until October. The hope being that data gathered from the experience will help to better integrate autonomous vehicles into urban settings. 

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Amazon Prime Members Get Up To $75 off Kindle E-Reader Bundles Through 4/3 - Deal Alert

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:28:00 -0700

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Save Over 90% On This Comprehensive Ethical Hacking Training Bundle - Deal Alert

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:06:00 -0700

We can't go more than a day or two without hacks spread across news headlines, with anything from leaked company data to hacked cars. All the more reason to get a job in the booming field of ethical hacking. Whether you’re looking to make a career out of ethical hacking or just stay up to date with IT security, the Ethical Hacking A to Z Bundle is for you.

45 hours of content will take you from hacking basics to the ins and outs of testing environments. Once you complete the eight courses in the bundle, you’ll have gained the skills to stop hackers from finding holes in networks and creeping through various types of devices.

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MIT researchers set out to create self-assembling chips

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:34:40 -0700

One of the hottest topics in robotics is self-assembly, and any technique that requires no human intervention is of special interest.

The technology is also highly desirable for chips. Computing devices are shrinking thanks to smaller chips, which are reaching their physical limits.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago have come up with a unique technique for self-assembling that could be used to cram more features onto small chip geometries.

The technology is one way to continue Moore's Law, which for more than 50 years has helped shrink and make computing devices cheaper. 

The research revolves around the self-assembly of wires on chips. The wires would  handle the biggest challenge in chip making. Instead of etching fine features onto silicon using existing methods, materials called block copolymers would expand and self assemble into predefined designs and structures.

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Apple wins China patent battle over iPhone 6 design

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:43:00 -0700

Apple has fended off a claim that the iPhone 6’s design infringed a patent from a little-known local company in China.

Shenzhen Baili had claimed that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bore striking similarities to the products from its parent company, Digione. But on Friday, Beijing’s intellectual property court disagreed and ruled in favor of Apple.

The product designs of the two companies contain differences, the court said. For instance, Apple’s iPhone 6 contains a symmetrical exterior curve on the device, while the design patent from Baili uses an asymmetrical curve.

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Micron's Intel Optane competitor will ship later this year

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:28:00 -0700

Intel’s spanking new high-capacity Optane SSD is cool, but drives from other storage vendors based on the 3D Xpoint technology could be coming later this year.

Micron will start shipping its 3D Xpoint memory technology—branded QuantX —  later this year, which will go into SSDs offered by storage makers. The company made that announcement during an earnings call on Friday.

Intel and Micron co-developed 3D Xpoint. Intel says Optane is significantly faster and could replace conventional SSDs and DRAM in the coming years.

But unlike Intel, Micron is not interested in making its own Optane-like storage. The company is licensing its 3D Xpoint technology to other storage makers. Micron’s QuantX will also be available the form of DDR-style memory, the company has said.

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Asus' popular 144Hz gaming monitor has dropped to $205

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:32:00 -0700

Amazon is on a roll with monitor sales. Following up its recent sale of a Dell 4K monitor, the online retailer is selling one of the more popular gaming displays at a great price: The Asus VG248QE is available right now for $205. This monitor first showed up at CES 2013 and has been a popular choice ever since it rolled out.

The panel features a 144Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time, which Asus says gives games “ultra-smooth motion” even during busy scenes. It also has Asus GamePlus, a function that adds crosshair and timer overlays—the timer is helpful for real-time strategy games. It also features Nvidia’s 3D LightBoost that makes the LED backlight brighter for 3D games, and it’s Nvidia 3D Vision ready. Both of these features were a bigger deal in 2013, but if you still sneak on a pair of 3D glasses in the middle of the night to play Battlefield 3 or Witcher 2, you’ll be happy the features are there.

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Samsung announces plan to refurbish and resell some Note7s that didn't explode

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:18:00 -0700

Don’t be alarmed if you happen to see someone using a Galaxy Note7 over the summer. Ahead of this week’s Galaxy S8 unveiling, Samsung has announced a three-point program for recycling of its failed phablets, and some of them will eventually make their way back into consumers’ hands.

The press release doesn’t specify how many of the phones will be returned to the wild, but Samsung confirms it will be using some returned devices as “refurbished phones or rental phones.” Samsung offers a leasing program that lets you upgrade to a new device after a year of payments, but Samsung doesn’t say whether it would be selling refurbished Note7s to these customers.

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Skype for Business admins get tool to diagnose call problems

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:48:00 -0700

IT administrators managing fleets of Skype for Business users could have an easier time diagnosing and fixing problems. Microsoft unveiled the beta of a new Call Analytics Dashboard on Monday, which is supposed to provide admins with a diagnosis of issues that users are having on a call.

There are several different issues that could arise and cause a degradation in call quality, which is why these analytics are helpful. If a user complains about a call only working intermittently, it can be hard to diagnose whether that’s an issue with their network connection, headset, Microsoft’s infrastructure, or something else.

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Intel Optane Memory has a mission: Make hard drives faster than SSDs

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0700

Intel’s Optane Memory could be the most revolutionary letdown in storage history. Announced Monday morning, these first consumer Optane-based devices will be available April 24 in two M.2 trims: A 16GB model for $44 and a 32GB Optane Memory device for $77. Both are rated for crazy-fast read speeds of 1.2GBps and writes of 280MBps.

If you’re wondering how you can install Windows 10 on one of these, you can’t. The first two Optane Memory devices instead are meant to be used primarily as cache drives for a traditional hard drive, using a technique similar to the Smart Response Technology Intel introduced in 2011.

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10 powerful, obscure Windows keyboard shortcuts you should know

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:40:00 -0700

We’re big fans of keyboard shortcuts. Memorizing key combinations takes some work, but once you have, shortcuts make using an operating system so much more efficient.

Many people know the everyday keyboard shortcuts, such as how to copy, cut, and paste text with the keyboard, how to close a window, and how to lock a PC.

That’s a solid start—but there are even more powerful keyboard shortcuts lurking beyond the basics. Here are some of our favorite less commonly used shortcuts. We’ve grouped these by operating system to make it easier for users of Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 to see what’s available for their system.

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Every custom GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card revealed so far: Aorus, MSI, EVGA, Zotac, Asus and more

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:59:00 -0700


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Microsoft's Docs.com is sharing dangerously sensitive personal files and information

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:24:00 -0700

If you use Microsoft’s Docs.com to store personal documents, stop reading this and make sure you aren’t inadvertently leaking your private information to the world.

Microsoft sets any documents uploaded to the document sharing site as public by default—though it appears that many users aren’t aware of it. That means anyone can search Docs.com for sensitive personal information that wasn’t manually set private. PCWorld found social security numbers, health insurance ID numbers, bank records, job applications, personal contact details, legal correspondence, and drivers license numbers with just a few minutes of searching.

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21% off Roku Premiere+ Streaming Media Player - Deal Alert

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:09:00 -0700

Get powerful performance, stunning 4K and HDR picture quality, and an advanced remote for an amazing streaming experience. The new Roku Premiere+ is for HD & 4K Ultra HD TVs. It delivers ultra-smooth quad-core streaming, brilliant 4K resolution at 60fps, vibrant HDR color, access to 450,000+ movies and TV episodes across 4,500+ paid or free channels, and a handy point anywhere remote.  The Roku Premiere+ list price has been reduced a significant 21% to $79. See the deal now on Amazon.

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46% off HDMI Female to Female Coupler 2-Pack, Gold Plated High Speed Adapter - Deal Alert

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:06:00 -0700


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Best Bluetooth speakers

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:45:00 -0700

Last updated March 27, 2017 to include our review of the Vifa Oslo.

There was a time when Bluetooth speakers were like jelly beans: They were cheap, they all looked the same, and they were invariably of dubious quality. Times have changed. Every major audio manufacturer has at least one model on the market today, and most have several. If you haven’t listened to a Bluetooth speaker lately, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise.

But the industry’s progress doesn’t mean that every Bluetooth speaker justifies its price tag, no matter how inexpensive it might be. There’s still plenty of dreck floating around. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you steer clear of the junk and point you to the best speakers at the price range that fits your budget. To that end, we’ve picked the best Bluetooth speakers in four broad price ranges: budget, mid-range, high-end, and—yes, there are ultra-high-end Bluetooth speakers—price is no object.

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15% off Xbox One S 1TB Console, Halo Wars 2 Bundle - Deal Alert

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:33:00 -0700

Real-time strategy makes an explosive return to the Halo universe with Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition, included as a full game download for Xbox One and Windows 10. This bundle also comes with the Halo Wars 2: Season Pass, featuring six months of additional content, plus Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, an enhanced version of the real-time strategy classic-all as full game downloads for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Watch 4K Blu-ray movies and stream Netflix in 4K Ultra HD. Experience richer, more luminous colors in games and video with HDR. And play a growing library of Xbox 360 games with advanced features like Game DVR and in-home streaming to Windows 10. The bundle's price has been discounted, for now, to $299 on Amazon. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Fitbit Alta HR review: The best fitness tracker for most people

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:00:00 -0700

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best activity tracker is the one you’ll actually wear every day, otherwise there’s no point in buying one at all. Fitbit’s new $150 Alta HR is the one most people would wear not just every day, but all night—and that’s worth every penny.

At a glance, the Alta HR looks identical to its predecessor, last year’s original Alta. It’s a slim bracelet with an OLED screen that wakes to show the time when you raise your wrist and responds to firm taps when you want to see your daily activity stats—calories burned, how many steps you’ve taken, and how many miles you’ve walked, etc.

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HTC U Ultra review: A big beauty that's plagued with problems

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 04:00:00 -0700

I’m not gonna lie, I like big phones. Before I became a full-time Android phone reviewer, I divided my time equally between the Nexus 6P and the iPhone 7 Plus, and I was more than a little bummed that I never got a chance to try out the Galaxy Note7.

But the HTC U Ultra is just too big. It’s bigger than the Note7 and the Nexus 6P, yet the U Ultra has a 5.7-inch screen, just like those two competitors. It’s bigger than the 5.9-inch Huawei Mate 9. It’s even bigger than the rumored dimensions of the Galaxy S8+, which will reportedly sport a 6.2-inch display. And it absolutely dwarfs the LG G6.

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Meet PC Building Simulator, a DIY teaching tool that could be the novice's best friend

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:30:00 -0700

It needs work. That’s the first thing I’ll say about PC Building Simulator, now that we’ve spent some time with it. The game’s site calls it a pre-alpha build, but even that’s a pretty generous term. It’s more like a proof of concept.

But oh, what a wonderful proof of concept it is.

Like Lego

Building a PC is intimidating. Not difficult, per se. It’s essentially “match slot A with part A” a dozen times, wire it all together, and voila: Functioning PC.

That’s the theory, anyway. But for a lot of people, this is probably the most complicated (and most expensive) Lego set they’ll ever build. It can be daunting looking at a great big pile of boxes, poring over eight or nine manuals, and thinking “At some point this needs to plug into a wall and turn on.”

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Vifa Oslo portable Bluetooth speaker review: A Danish delight for the deep-pocketed

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Being a function-over-form kinda guy, I was skeptical when presented with Vifa Oslo’s high-fashion looks and $549 price tag. The absence of any protection from the elements only amplified that emotion: You’ll look like a swell strolling the Côte d’Azur with this portable speaker, but you’d better not take it to the beach. It took just a few listening sessions for me to reconsider my doubts.

Vifa is a new brand to me, and its marketing is clearly aimed at the hipster set (of which I am most definitely not a member). But it turns out the company was founded in Denmark way back in 1933, and it has spent most of its existence building loudspeaker units for other manufacturers. It only entered the retail market on its own in 2014. The Oslo is part of a family of wireless speakers named after Nordic capital cities: Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. The first two models are larger than the Oslo, while the Helsinki is slightly smaller.

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Switching from Mac to PC, Part 3: The software challenge

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0700

I’m switching from a Mac to a PC, and I’ve already found my laptop. Now I’m trying to find Windows 10 replacements for the MacOS software I’ve been using for years.

In many ways, the software switch is a lot harder than the hardware switch. Read on for the bad news, the good news, and the compromises involved in jumping one ship for another.

The bad news: You can’t take it all with you

First, the bad news: Apple has no reason to make it easy for you to leave its walled garden. When you kiss your Mac goodbye, some popular applications will stay behind as well.

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UK official wants police access to WhatsApp messages

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:02:00 -0700

A senior U.K. official is asking that law enforcement should be given access to encrypted messages on WhatsApp and similar services, a demand that is likely to fuel an ongoing debate over whether companies should create backdoors into their encryption technologies for investigators.

Khalid Masood, the terrorist who killed four people outside Parliament on Wednesday, had sent a message on WhatsApp a little before the attack, according to reports.

“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

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StarCraft Remastered brings 4K graphics, modern audio, and more to the legendary RTS

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 05:50:00 -0700

Nearly 20 years after its release and StarCraft is still one of the best real-time strategy games ever made. So good, in fact, that it’s retained a dedicated fan base even with a modern sequel—three modern sequels, really—released and ready to play. And so maybe it’s time for a remaster.

Blizzard thinks so. Late last night Blizzard unveiled StarCraft: Remastered, arriving sometime this summer. Here’s the brief, straight from Blizzard’s official site:

“We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanis, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.”

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Get 72% off NordVPN Virtual Private Network Service For a Limited Time - Deal Alert

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:37:00 -0700

NordVPN gives you a private and fast path through the public Internet. All of your data is protected every step of the way using revolutionary 2048-bit SSL encryption even a supercomputer can’t crack. Access Hulu, Netflix, BBC, ITV, Sky, RaiTV and much more from anywhere in the world. Unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices. You're sure to find dozens of good uses for a VPN. Take advantage of the current 72% off deal that makes all of this available to you for just $3.29/month (access deal here). This is a special deal available for a limited time.

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40% off TurboTax Deluxe 2016 Tax Software Federal & State - Deal Alert

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:31:00 -0700


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Inkle's space archaeologist adventure won't tell you if your lost language translations are wrong

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 04:00:00 -0700

“The game isn’t going to tell you if you got that right.” It’s an ominous way to start a game demo, but one I’m not too surprised by after playing 80 Days and Sorcery!

Heaven’s Vault is Inkle’s new game, and I met up with studio co-founders Jon Ingold and Joseph Humfrey recently to get some hands-on time. At first glance it’s a huge step away from Inkle’s previous games—where 80 Days and Sorcery mostly played out in text, Heaven’s Vault features fully navigable 3D environments.

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43% off Caller-ID Call Blocker For Robo-calls, Telemarketers and Other Nuisances - Deal Alert

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:38:00 -0700

Just hit the big red "block now" button and say goodbye to robocalls, telemarketer calls, solicitor calls, elections calls, junk faxes or anyone else you'd prefer not to hear from. This small and discreet gadget can also block international and private numbers, as well as full area codes. It has a 1,000 number/area code memory with 200 numbers pre-programmed. The popular gadget averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 3,450 people on Amazon (73% rate 5 stars -- read recent reviews here), where its original list price is reduced 43% to $79.99. See the discounted 1,200 number call-blocker on Amazon.

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This week in games: Mod fixes Nier: Automata PC woes, Up's house floats into Battlefield 1

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:22:00 -0700

So we’re about a month out from Christmas now and...wait, what? It’s only March? But we’ve already seen Nier, Mass Effect, Resident Evil, Stories Untold, Kona, with Thimbleweed Park and Yooka-Laylee right around the corner. Oh, and some Zelda game for our console cousins. Crazy.

Not as crazy as some of this news, though: Assassin’s Creed abandons the silver screen for the smaller screen, the Up house floats over war-torn France, and Fallout 4 VR is “the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life.” Their words, not mine.

This is gaming news for March 20 to 24.

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