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Published: Wed, 24 May 2017 12:53:07 -0700

Last Build Date: Wed, 24 May 2017 12:53:07 -0700

 



Meridian Audio Explorer2 USB DAC review: An inexpensive path to high-resolution audio

Wed, 24 May 2017 11:40:00 -0700

Meridian’s Explorer2 portable digital-to-audio converter can play virtually any type of high-resolution audio file, but its most compelling feature is its ability to decode MQA files.

For me, MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) was the best thing to come out of CES 2015. Developed by Meridian Audio, a company with a long track record developing high-resolution audio technology, MQA makes it possible for consumers to hear music that’s not only better than CD quality, but the same quality that the artist heard when they recorded it in the studio. And the artist can attest to that because MQA files include a digital fingerprint that indicates the artist, recording engineer, or producer has verified that what you’re hearing was sourced from the studio master.

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BrandPost: IT Orchestration Takes The Field

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:32:00 -0700

In 2015, a professional football team asked us to help upgrade their stadium with a wireless network built to handle over 70,000 fans and increased usage during upcoming college and professional championship games. It was a tall order, and IT Orchestration by CDW™ delivered.

Connectivity Wins Out

Greater Capacity: The new network allows fans to drive more than 6.2 terabytes of data through over 30,000 individual devices. 

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BrandPost: Identity Management + Mobility Management = Mobile Productivity

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:08:00 -0700

Enabling mobile productivity is a common goal of organizations across a wide variety of industries.

According to the research firm Forrester, 56 percent of companies list increasing operational efficiency among their top three goals for mobility initiatives.

And yet, many organizations simply aren’t giving users the tools they need to be productive outside of the office. Forrester finds that fewer than 10 percent of organizations provide access to Windows tools, enterprise data or remote support services on users’ personal mobile devices, and fewer than one quarter support the same tools on enterprise devices.

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Logitech's excellent C920 webcam is just $50 today

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:04:00 -0700

A favorite camera among business people and Twitch streamers alike is on sale today at Amazon for a really great price.  The online retailer has the Logitech C920 webcam on sale for $50. That's the lowest price we've seen over the webcam's lifespan and currently about $12 cheaper than other retailers.

The sale is scheduled to last until just before midnight Thursday morning or when supplies run out.

Despite being around for years, the Logitech C920 is still a popular choice--even with the release of Logitech's C922 and 4K-friendly Brio 4K Pro. That staying power owes to the device's quality. It has 1080p video capture, and you can run at 1080p during Skype for Windows calls and through broadcast apps like OBS. (That's despite Logitech only stating official 1080p support within Skype for Windows.) 

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BrandPost: Why You Need A Comprehensive Security Assessment

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:54:00 -0700

It could be a link in an email, a compromised vendor account or a stolen smartphone. Even as organizations get smarter about guarding their information systems and data, attackers inevitably find new ways in.

Despite sophisticated security systems, many enterprises can still be vulnerable. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management learned that lesson when attackers got past its intrusion detection and prevention system and accessed the personal data of 21.5 million people. For each of the 169 million data records that were publicly breached in 2015, countless others have fallen victim to cyber criminals without detection.

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22% off Taotronics Universal Smartphone Bike Mount - Deal Alert

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:10:00 -0700


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BrandPost: Can New IT Strategies Improve Your Bottom Line?

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:55:00 -0700

IT departments are feeling the pressure. Organizations expect their IT teams to take advantage of powerful new technologies to improve productivity and deliver advanced capabilities. Meanwhile, spending on legacy equipment is steadily declining, challenging IT staff to maintain existing operations and services at acceptable levels, while also investigating promising new solutions. This environment demands a logical approach: Organizations must devise an IT strategy that allows them to do more with less.

"Organizations today face static-to-declining IT budgets — especially compared with the growing data set they must manage — and therefore must look at cutting costs in all areas," says Lee Caswell, vice president of VMware's products, storage and availability business unit.

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Audio-Technica ATH-AG1X review: A good gaming headset with one killer flaw

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:00 -0700

Do a search for the best gaming headset, and you'll see a common refrain pop up in forums: “Don’t buy a gaming headset. They’re overpriced garbage! Spend your money on a good pair of headphones and a standalone microphone from a reputable company instead.”

But reputable companies do make their own gaming headsets. I decided to investigate if these would be any better than the offerings from companies like Logitech, Corsair, and Razer. In this first round of examination, I looked at the Sennheiser's latest Game Zero and GSP 350 models, and Audio-Technica's ATH-AG1X.

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Sennheiser GSP 350 review: A gaming headset that sounds a lot better than it looks

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:00 -0700

Sennheiser's GSP 350 is one of three gaming headsets I've tested from mainstream audio favorites Sennheiser and Audio-Technica. Many gaming headsets are overpriced, given their feature sets and audio quality, and Internet forums often recommend buying a good pair of headphones and a separate microphone instead. That's why I thought I'd investigate a specific niche of headsets: ones made by the very same companies that produce excellent studio headphones.

I've also looked at Sennheiser's latest Game Zero model, as well as Audio-Technica's ATH-AG1X. Of the three, the Sennheiser GSP 350 is the affordable option at $140. Yes, really. It's also pretty dull-looking. Nevertheless, it delivers where it counts.

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Sennheiser Game Zero review: This headset's sound quality justifies its price

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:00 -0700

I'm reviewing Sennheiser's Game Zero headset to answer a question. Lately, it’s become increasingly common to hear the following advice on gaming headsets: Don’t buy one. Instead, you should spend your money on a good pair of headphones and a standalone mic from a reputable company.

But what about when a reputable company makes its own gaming headset?

I’ve been investigating that scenario for the last few months, looking at a selection of gaming headsets from mainstream audio favorites Sennheiser and Audio-Technica. Besides the Sennheiser Game Zero, I also evaluated Sennheiser’s GSP 350 and Audio-Technica’s ATH-AG1X.

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Acer's gorgeous new 35-inch G-Sync monitor is ultrawide, slightly curved, and pixel-packed

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:58:00 -0700


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Google gives families simple sharing tools for events, notes, and photos

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:37:00 -0700

Google introduced some fantastic sharing features for its Photos app during I/O, letting you automatically send photos based on who’s in them or set your library to sync with your loved ones. What Google didn’t tell us is that it’s the start of a larger push to stay connected to your family.

Along with Photos’ new sharing abilities, Google is also adding new features to YouTube, Calendar, and Keep to help you stay in the loop. A new Family Group option will let you easily send things like shopping lists, important appointments, and, of course, photos, with the people who need them most.

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FSP's wild new power supply is liquid-cooled and built for silence

Wed, 24 May 2017 06:47:00 -0700

Computex kicks off in Taipei next week, and it’s there that we’ll see the first liquid-cooled power supply for PCs in a long time: FSP’s wild Hydro PTM+.

This power supply sounds like an impressive little unit. Not only is the Hydro PTM+ compatible with custom liquid-cooling setups, but if you’re under 50 percent load, the fan will stay idle until the PC asks for more than 600 watts of power. That’s a recipe for quiet computing during everyday tasks. 

The Hydro PTM+ is 80 Plus Platinum certified and rated to pump out 1200W on its own. Drop in a liquid cooling system, however, and the power capacity jumps to 1400W—presumably thanks to how cool it stays. Yes, that’s more power than most users would need, but we’re way past practicality here, folks, and into the world of excessive, wildly exotic PC cooling setups. (Don’t expect the fans to stay idle when you’re gaming on four graphics cards, though.)

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Why installing a text-mode web browser is a good idea

Wed, 24 May 2017 05:00:00 -0700

There are plenty of nerdy things to love about using Linux, but one of the nerdiest things has to be the use of the text-mode web browser. And it’s awesome. 

I can feel you backing away slowly. Others might be thinking, “Alex, it’s 2017. Why on earth would I use a text-mode browser? What are you, stuck in 1985?”  Hear me out: The text-mode web browser is one of those super-useful tools that can really save your bacon.

I always make a point of installing a text-mode browser like Links just in case I need it. Since I’m one of those people who like to break my Linux installation experiment with things, I’ve had to turn to Links more than once.

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Gmail vs Inbox: Which Google email client is right for you?

Wed, 24 May 2017 04:00:00 -0700

Google loves to compete against itself, especially when it comes to messaging. When you want to send a text, you can hit up Allo, Android Messages, Hangouts, or Google Voice to do it, with each offering something none of the others have, and presenting wildly different visions for how we should communicate with each other.

The same is true with its email apps. While there aren’t quite as many options to choose from, the two clients it offers couldn’t be more different. On one side there’s the veteran Gmail app that comes pre-installed on most phones, and on the other is Inbox, a modern, innovative concept out to redefine the way we interact with our messages.

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4 Google Translate features you'll use every day

Wed, 24 May 2017 03:30:00 -0700

Google Translate's knowledge of more than 100 languages can help you in your daily workflow as much as it can help you on your next trip. The features below show how it can help you with entire documents or websites, or even your native tongue.  

Translate websites to a different language

Google Translate can parse individual words and phrases, of course, but you can also translate entire websites into a chosen language.

(image) PCWorld

You can translate foreign websites like this Italian news publication into another language with Google Translate.

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

Wed, 24 May 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Radeon roundup
(image)

Image by Brad Chacos

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 4K video support to a home theater PC to playing gorgeous video games at crushingly high frame rates and resolutions.

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Dish Network is quietly putting Android TV in hotel rooms

Wed, 24 May 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Evolve is an Android TV streaming box that Dish Network is testing with hotel owners.


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The AI fight is escalating: This is the IT giants' next move

Wed, 24 May 2017 02:07:00 -0700

Artificial intelligence is where the competition is in IT, with Microsoft and Google both parading powerful, always-available AI tools for the enterprise at their respective developer conferences, Build and I/O, in May. 

It's not just about work: AI software can now play chess, go, and some retro video games better than any human -- and even drive a car better than many of us. These superhuman performances, albeit in narrow fields, are all possible thanks to the application of decades of AI research -- research that is increasingly, as at Build and I/O, making it out of the lab and into the real world.

Meanwhile, the AI-powered voice technologies behind virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon.com's Alexa and Samsung Electronics' Bixby may offer less-than-superhuman performance, but they also require vastly less power than a supercomputer to run. Businesses can dabble on the edges of these, for example developing Alexa "skills" that allow Amazon Echo owners to interact with a company without having to dial its call center, or jump right in, using the various cloud-based speech recognition and text-to-speech "-as-a-service" offerings to develop full-fledged automated call centers of their own.

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38% off Inateck USB 3.0 to IDE/SATA Hard Drive Adapter - Deal Alert

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:17:00 -0700

This USB 3.0 adapter from Inateck can interface with up to three drives simultaneously. It is compatible with 2.5"/3.5" IDE/SATA hard drives and 5.25" IDE/SATA CD/DVD drives, and features a one-touch backup function. Use it to read an old internal drive from a crashed computer, or to use an internal drive similar to an external backup drive. You might find a lot of uses for this one. The typical list price of $47.99 has been reduced on Amazon 38% right now to $29.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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Anker's faster-charging 10,000mAh power bank is $27 right now

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:14:00 -0700

With spring’s rain (and snow...) finally clearing up, we can once again start spending time outdoors. There’s no reason to let your tiny cellphone battery hold you back from enjoying the sunshine, either—not when Amazon is offering Anker’s PowerCore Speed 10000 power bank for $27. That’s just two dollars more than its lowest price ever on the site, and overall a good deal for a 10,000mAh portable charger.

The PowerCore Speed 10000 is very similar to its plain PowerCore 10000 counterpart, but as its name implies, it supports faster charging. The Speed 10000 has a maximum output of 3 amps (versus the standard PowerCore 10000’s 2.4A), and it also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. However, the battery pack’s maximum input is capped at 2A, which means that you’ll have to wait awhile for it to fully recharge. (Total time varies between 5.5 and 6 hours.) You also get only one port for charging.

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58% off RAVPower Portable Multi-Functional Power Bank with 9000mAh Built-in Apple Lightning Connector and AC Plug - Deal Alert

Tue, 23 May 2017 11:01:00 -0700


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35% off Anker Phone Camera Lens Kit With Fisheye, 0.65x Wide Angle, 10x Macro - Deal Alert

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:42:00 -0700


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Best water leak detectors for smart homes

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:10:00 -0700

Last updated May 23, 2017 to add our review of the WallyHome Starter Kit.

Fire might be a homeowner’s greatest fear, but any insurance company will tell you that water is the far more common cause of property damage, even if you don’t live in an area subject to flooding. And it can come from many sources: A failing water heater, a burst pipe, a broken supply line under your sink, a clogged toilet, or even a split hose connected to your washing machine.

Just as it’s essential to have a smoke detector in each of your home’s bedrooms and common areas, you’d be wise to install leak detectors in places where water damage could start: The laundry room, water heater closet, the bathroom, under your kitchen sink, and so on. Leak alerts are arguably less important for renters, but it’s something landlords might want to consider—although that raises the issue of how the sensors would connect to the internet. More on that later.

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You'll soon be able to control IKEA's affordable smart lights with Assistant, Alexa, and Siri

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:35:00 -0700

We’ve been hearing a lot about how Google Home and Amazon Echo can control our smart appliances and devices, but for many of us, they’re still out of reach. Spending a couple hundred dollars on smart light bulbs or thousands on a new oven aren't exactly impulse buys, especially if we’re just buying them to try out voice control.

But now there’s a much cheaper alternative for smart home newbies. Thanks to IKEA, just about anyone can install smart lighting in their homes and manage them with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. The Swedish furniture company announced in a press release that you will soon be able to control its affordable line of smart lights with the smart speakers and assistants you already have.

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How to take screenshots in Windows 10

Tue, 23 May 2017 08:30:00 -0700

Snapping screenshots in Windows 10 can be helpful indeed. Screenshots are useful for quickly showing someone what's on your desktop, or grabbing a quick moment from a video that you need to share. Taking screenshots with Windows 10's built-in controls is easy, but the methods to do so aren't exactly obvious.

Here are three built-in Windows screenshot keyboard shortcuts, most of which will also work in earlier versions of Windows. We'll also suggest a few third-party applications for those who need a more powerful screenshot utility.

Print Screen

The old screenshot standard still exists in Windows 10. Press the PrtScn button and your entire screen (or screens, in a multi-monitor set-up) is copied to the clipboard. From there you can paste it into Paint, GIMP, IrfanView, Photoshop, or any other photo program that allows you to paste in an image.

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Apple's updated Android 'Switch' campaign explains why people move to iPhone

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:26:00 -0700

Apple and Android may forever be locked in a fight for mobile domination, but they take very different approaches to their quest for market share. On the one hand, there are more than 2 billion active Android devices in use around the world. On the other, Apple makes gobs of money from selling just a handful of handsets.

But like the PC wars of the 90s, Apple isn’t content with such a slim slice of the market. While it has had a Move to iOS app in the Play Store for a while now, Apple is now taking the fight directly to Android users with a new campaign devoted to switching.

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The Pi Desktop kit transforms your Raspberry Pi into a stylish, SSD-powered mini-PC

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:09:00 -0700

Raspberry Pi retailer Element 14 recently announced a flashy new mini desktop kit for the Raspberry Pi 3, dubbed the Pi Desktop. The core concept’s similar to Intel’s sleek NUC—just with lower-powered hardware and a lot more DIY. The kit harnesses the power of the Raspberry Pi and adds a few extra features, such as an mSATA interface for an SSD.

The Pi Desktop will sell for about $56 when it becomes available to North American customers on Monday, June 5.

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The 15 highest-performing PC components you can buy today

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:51:00 -0700

The best gear money can buy
(image)

One of the PC’s greatest strengths is its extreme flexibility. There’s a vast selection of hardware out there, of all different shapes and sizes and makes and models—so much so that even if your budget’s not a concern, buyer’s paralysis very well could be.

Fear not, fellow enthusiast. We’ve got your back. These are the 15 highest-performing PC components you can buy today. We’ve even done the homework to ensure they all work fine together if you’re looking to really splurge. (If, on the other hand, your means are a bit more modest, be sure to check out our guide to 10 killer PC upgrades that are shockingly cheap.)

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The Full Nerd episode 23: AMD Threadripper vs Intel Core i9, Radeon Vega is here(ish)

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:44:00 -0700

In this week’s The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray discuss what the long-awaited arrival of the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition means for PC gamers—even though it isn’t meant for PC gamers. The wait is finally over, yet it still continues.

After that things get reallyinteresting, as we jump into AMD’s monstrous new 16-core Threadripper CPUs (seriously, 16 cores) before gossiping about the Intel “Core i9” Skylake-X processors rumored to counter the latest Ryzen threat. Are we crazy enough to spit out some early pricing predictions? You know it.

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