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Published: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:23:52 -0700

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:23:52 -0700

 



It's time to upgrade to TLS 1.3 already, says CDN engineer

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 04:03:01 -0700

Businesses dragging their heels over rolling out TLS 1.2 on their website might have an excuse to delay a little longer: Version 1.3 of the TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption protocol will be finalized later this year, and early deployments of it are already under way.

TLS, the successor to SSL, is used to negotiate secure connections to web or mail servers, encrypting data on the move.

Six years in the making, TLS 1.2 added new, stronger encryption options -- but retained all the older, weaker encryption schemes that had gone before in the name of backward compatibility. Unfortunately, this meant that someone able to perform a man-in-the-middle attack could often downgrade connections to a weaker encryption system without the user being aware.

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Tivoli Audio Model One Digital review: Big sound from a small footprint

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Many won’t miss the extra features this tabletop radio is missing.


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Steam Summer Sale gems: 15 great games under $5

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:14:00 -0700

A cornucopia of riches
(image)

Steam Summer Sales are a great time to pick up top-notch PC games for rock-bottom prices. Case in point: There are nearly 20,000 games on discount during Valve's 2017 sale, and nearly half of those are under $5.

But a lot of those games are junk. So we spent hours sifting through the Summer Sale’s stock to find 15 great games that cost less than a fiver. These may not cost much, but each kicks a lot of ass.

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Steam's Summer Sale kicks off with a $15 Steam Link, game discounts galore, and digital stickers

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:31:00 -0700

School’s out, and you know what that means: Time to draw the blinds and catch up on the games you’ve missed this year. Or, if you’re a working adult...well, business as usual I guess. But hey! The Steam Summer Sale is back for yet another year of discounts, running from today until July 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Steam Summer Sales aren’t nearly as special as they used to be, given the number of sales year-round and the excision of the old Daily Deals, Flash Sales, and everything else that used to make rampant consumerism feel like an “event.” Still, it’s a good chance to fill up your library, try some games you might otherwise not bother with, and generally celebrate video games as a creative medium.

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Virgin Mobile has a $120 discount on an instantly unlockable 32GB and 128GB iPhone SE

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:14:00 -0700

Virgin Mobile is becoming America’s first iPhone-only carrier, and to celebrate its collaboration with Apple, it’s launched heavy deals on a year’s worth of cell service and the purchase price of a new iPhone SE.

For existing customers and new customers who port-in a number, Virgin Mobile will give them a year’s worth of unlimited talk, text, and data service for $1 when they purchase a new iPhone and sign up for Auto Pay. To help sweeten that deal even further, the virtual network carrier is offering $120 off an unlockable 32GB and 128GB iPhone SE.

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Best DVR for cord cutters

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:36:00 -0700

Here’s the hard truth for cord-cutters right now: The ideal over-the-air DVR doesn’t exist. And if you're on the fence about even needing one, you should read the June 22 installment of this column.

While some products are better than others, all of them—from Tablo and TiVo to Channel Master DVR+ and HDHomeRun with Plex—have at least one critical weakness. If you want to record broadcast TV channels from an antenna, you must decide which of those weaknesses you’ll tolerate.

The good news is that the lowly antenna is experiencing a rebirth, and we’re likely to see more over-the-air DVR products later in 2017 and beyond. But if you want to start recording broadcast channels now, here’s a rundown of where the current products stand:

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Surviving Mars captures the excitement and dread of launching a colony mission

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:22:00 -0700

Last month when Paradox and Haemimont announced Surviving Mars, I didn’t know what to compare it to. Here was a semi-realistic, science-based “colony builder” from the same studio that makes the satirical and somewhat grim Tropico series. It was a departure, for sure.

But after getting a bit of hands-on time with Surviving Mars at E3, it’s feeling a lot more familiar. I don’t just mean “It’s a city builder,” because yeah, it’s definitely one of those. It reminds me a lot of one particular city builder, though: The Anno series. And that’s not a bad thing.

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The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update's best new features

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:29:00 -0700


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Amazon Prime Gets You 50% off Razer Wildcat Controller for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC - Deal Alert

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:20:00 -0700

The Razer Wildcat controller is compatible with both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. An elite level controller developed for tournament play with feedback from the best eSports athletes, it features four additional fully-programmable buttons for a personalized layout, a well thought out ergonomic shape and weight, reduced trigger travel distance for rapid fire, and much more. If you're an Amazon Prime member, the typical list price has been reduced generously to just $74.99. If you're not a Prime member but still want this deal, Amazon's 30 day Prime free trial (signup page here) is quick to activate and gets you all of the same benefits with no financial commitment required (unless you decide to keep it). See this deal now on Amazon.

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How to transform your laptop into a gaming powerhouse with an external graphics card

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:20:00 -0700

My desire to power up a laptop with an external graphics card began in 2015, when I set out on a quest to get back into PC gaming—a beloved pastime I’d neglected since childhood.

But the only PC I had at the time was a 2011 Lenovo ThinkPad X220 laptop with Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics. That just won’t cut it for proper PC gaming. Sure, the laptop would work well enough for older titles like Diablo III, especially on the laptop’s tiny 1366x728-resolution display—but forget about more graphics-intensive modern games on an external 1080p monitor. That’s why I decided to examine external graphics card (eGPU) setups.

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Dell XPS 15 (2017) review: Kaby Lake and a 4K display make a difference

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:38:00 -0700

Dell’s XPS 15 is proof that iterations—no matter how small—still matter. Externally, even owners of the previous XPS 15 would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between new and old.

The ports are the same, the keyboard and the trackpad are the same and, well, just about external thing with the XPS 15 looks identical. Yet the internal changes make this year’s XPS 15 a markedly better laptop than last year’s.

(image) IDG/Gordon Mah Ung

The keyboard on the XPS 15 appears unchanged, which isn’t a good thing because it’s still slightly too small.

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How to use Gmail's Google Tasks as your daily to-do list

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 03:32:00 -0700


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Over-the-air DVR: Do you really need it?

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Who needs an over-the-air DVR? Here's our guide to deciding.


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Lenovo's new workstation is indeed 'Tiny' but packs a punch

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:45:00 -0700

Windows users who work in tight spaces and need a small form factor workstation with multiple display ports and solid processing power have a new contender to check out: the new ThinkStation P320 Tiny.

The workstation lives up to its name: At 1.4 x 7.1 by 7.2 inches, it's the smallest workstation on the market that is ISV (independent software vendor) certified, according to Rob Herman, the general manager of Lenovo's workstation business unit.

The ISV certification is important. "We don't consider a machine to be a workstation unless it has ISV certification," according to Lloyd Cohen, an analyst with IDC.

The U.S. government uses the same definition for workstations and for non-government users, software certifications mean that you can run CAD and CAM programs, for example, without worrying about crashing, Cohen noted. That's important if you're working on a complex design.

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Certify your IT skills with this Cisco CCNA training, now 90% off - Deal Alert

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:42:00 -0700

Certifications are essential for moving up the career ladder in the IT world, and, as far as networking certifications are concerned, Cisco's are in high demand. With the Cisco CCNA Training Suite, you can train along the certification track for working with Cisco systems for 90 percent off.

This collection includes three courses that will prepare you to ace Cisco's CCENT certification, IPv4 protocol, and Cisco 200-125 certification, giving you a serious boost while climbing the career ladder. Jump in, and you'll master the essentials behind networking, using routers and switches, and their various configurations and connections, and much more.

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Amazon has a tiny 64GB SanDisk Ultra thumb drive on sale for $19

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:28:00 -0700

Today's the day for a good price on a 64GB low-profile thumb drive: Amazon is selling the SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive for $19. That's about half the price of other online retailers. Just make sure you keep an eye on this thing, as it is tiny. It measures 0.75-by-0.63-by-0.34 inches and snuggles right up to the side of your USB port.

The thumb drive offers 150MB/s read speed, which isn't blazing fast but adequate enough. However, we don't expect it to bear out SanDisk's claim of transferring a full-length movie (about 1.2GB in size) in under 30 second over USB 3.0. Since this drive is so small, its limited ability to dissipate heat will slow its transfer rates. If you don't work with large files, though, it should perform fine.

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 updates Ring's original smart, wireless doorbell

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:12:00 -0700

For $199, Ring Video Doorbell 2 upgrades video quality to 1080P, improves night vision, and includes a removable battery and faceplate options.


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Best Bluetooth speakers

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:23:00 -0700

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. Effective June 21, 2017 we've added a Best Outdoor Bluetooth speaker category, with the Soundcast VG7 taking that honor initially.

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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Hands-on: Middle Earth: Shadow of War gets more creative with Tolkien's universe

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:00:00 -0700

A lot of time and effort will be spent discussing Middle Earth: Shadow of War’s improved Nemesis System between now and probably about a month after release. And for good reason—the Nemesis System was the only thing that elevated predecessor Shadow of Mordor from another me-too Assassin’s Creed clone into a technical wunderkind.

Leaning into that aspect for the sequel is probably a good call, especially since we’ve failed to see similar tech make its way through the industry. The dynamic characters that made Shadow of Mordor such a joy are still, three years on, a novelty.

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Photoshop fonts: Using Text Type and Text Editing to transform fonts

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:46:00 -0700

One of Adobe Photoshop’s many talents at your disposal is the ability to create and decorate fonts. This tutorial is for beginners, and the instructions are applicable for Photoshop Creative Suite 1 through 6.

Character attributes

1. Open Photoshop and select File > New > Name. For this example, we’ll call it FabFonts1 and make these further choices: 

  • Preset: Custom
  • Width: 8 (inches)
  • Height: 10 (inches)
  • Resolution: 300 (pixels/inch)
  • Color Mode: RGB 
  • (Background) Contents: White
  • Then click OK.

Three important tips:

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The Full Nerd episode 25: Core i9 review, build an Xbox One X PC, and Creative's 32-bit sound card

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:25:00 -0700

In this week’s The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray discuss Intel’s new Core i9-7900X ($1,000 on Newegg). This 10-core beast is the most powerful processor ever released, but is it a must buy? We dig in.

The gang also digs into Creative’s Sound BlasterX AE5 ($150 on Newegg), the first 32-bit sound card for consumers, and whether or not sound cards are worthwhile for PC gamers in the first place. (Spoiler: It depends.) Then we try to build an Xbox One X-beating PC for the same $500 price tag as Microsoft’s cutting-edge console. It gets bleak fast—but not as bleak as the current state of emergency around graphics cards.

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60% off iClever Travel Power Strip with Surge Protector and 4 USB Ports - Deal Alert

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:15:00 -0700

iClever's BoostStrip IC-BS01 travel power strip turns one solitary outlet in the airport, hotel, train or plane into 2 surge protected AC outlets and 4 USB ports. Equipped with iClever’s SmartID technology, this power strip offers a max 24W/4.8A USB output while it recognizes your device and safely optimizes max output. The typical list price of the BoostStrip is $49.99, but right now it's currently discounted 60% to just $19.99 on Amazon, where it's averaging 4.5 stars from over 100 reviewers. See this deal on Amazon

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23% off Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Comfort Fit Earbuds - Deal Alert

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:31:00 -0700

If you believe the reviewers on Amazon, you may not find a better sounding pair of earbuds at this price point, which at the current 23% discount is just $7.68. The ErgoFit earbuds from Panasonic are designed to fit comfortably and securely in your ear, isolating outside noise while delivering great sound with a wider frequency range than most comparable buds. The earbuds come in various colors and features a generous 3.6 ft. cord that easily fits through or around your clothes, coats and bags. The ErgoFit earbuds average 4.5 stars from over 48,000 people on Amazon (read reviews) which lends some credibility to Panasonic's claim that the earbuds deliver dynamic, crystal clear sound while successfully blocking ambient noise. Its typical list price has been reduced 23% to just $7.68.

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Focal Spark Wireless in-ear headphone review: Audiophile sound at a budget price

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0700

The French manufacturer's in-ear-headphones will bathe you in intoxicating audiophile sound and a smart set of accessories without breaking your budget. And they won't fall off while you run.


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Focal Spark in-ear-headphones review: Refined audio and French style on a budget

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0700

These modestly priced headphones sound leaps and bounds beyond their price tag.


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How to share your DRM-free ebooks with Calibre

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0700

Calibre is a popular tool for managing any DRM-free ebooks you’ve got kicking around your hard drive. It makes it easy to access them and even downloads the necessary metadata to make your collection look nice. Calibre version 3.0 recently rolled out, and to mark the occasion we’re going to look at Calibre’s built-in feature that lets you turn the software into an ebook server.

With the server feature enabled, and the software running, any device with a web browser on your home network can access your ebooks. If you’re reading books on your phone and want to change to a different device, your files are a few taps away.

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns, leaving company in search of a new strategy

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:54:00 -0700

Uber is now a driverless vehicle, after CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday.

Kalanick had already decided to take an indefinite leave of absence from the company, but now he's leaving for good. The move came at the request of the board of directors, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The company has already lost Kalanick's right-hand man, Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, following a number of gaffes including his suggestion that the company target a journalist who had been investigating the company.

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Hackintosh: Build a DIY Mac for gaming

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:15:00 -0700

Rob Griffiths decides to replace his nine-year-old Hackintosh (dubbed Frankenmac) with a new DIY Mac.


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