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Published: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:24:10 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:24:10 -0800

 



Microsoft's path to a smarter Bing and Cortana includes tapping Reddit users' opinions

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:30:00 -0800

Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Cortana digital assistant might not change that much from day to day, but behind the scenes they’re getting smarter—integrating factual insights from more sources, including the opinions of Reddit users.

At an AI-focused event in San Francisco, Microsoft showed off a number of improvements, all geared towards increasing the “intelligence” of Bing, Cortana, and Microsoft Office. 

Why this matters: Calling out some of these behind-the-scenes upgrades helps Microsoft demonstrate its unique attributes, and thus relevance, among the competing AI-based platforms of Amazon, Apple, and Google.

(image) Microsoft

Bing already lets you comparison shop for similar items across the web. Now you can isolate an object in a photo and shop for it.

To read this article in full, please click here


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BuyDig has a 27-inch 4K monitor with FreeSync for $350

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:24:00 -0800

This holiday season you can give the gift of 4K FreeSync gaming, thanks to a deal at BuyDig today. The online retailer is selling the HP Envy 27-inch 4K monitor for $350 when you use coupon code c11710154586 (via SlickDeals).

This IPS display has a 4K UHD resolution of 3840x2160, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a native response time of 14 milliseconds. On the back, it has one DisplayPort 1.2, one HDMI 2.0, one HDMI 1.4, and one USB-C port. It also has a "micro-edge bezel" to minimize distractions for gamers who go for multi-monitor setups.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Try VR for cheap: Windows Mixed Reality headsets are on sale for nearly half off today

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:27:00 -0800

If you’re interested in trying out Windows Mixed Reality headsets, the time is now. They’re basically half off on the eighth day of Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals, with savings up to $200 on three separate headsets.

The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset (normally $399, now $199), the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset (normally $449, now $249), and the Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset (normally $399, now $199) are at heavy discounts. The higher-resolution Samsung HMD Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality Headset still commands a premium. It’s on sale too, but only $50 off at $449. All of the deals include a pair of bundled controllers.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Pay what you want for 65+ hours of in-depth ethical hacking training

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:03:00 -0800

Cybercriminals are getting smarter, and companies and individuals alike stand to lose in the event of a cyberattack. That's why demand for ethical, or white hat, hackers is skyrocketing. Skilled in the ways of breaching networks and stealing information, these experts use their knowledge for good—safeguarding networks from attack and keeping everyday users safe. And with the Pay What You Want: The Ultimate White Hat Hacker 2018 Bundle, you can become one for a price you get to choose. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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New Amazon Echo Discounted $20 Right Now - Deal Alert

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:59:00 -0800

Amazon has a discount of $20 active right now on their all new Echo smart speaker, which features a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more --
instantly. Echo averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 2,200 reviewers, and with the current discount you can grab it for yourself (or someone else) now for just $79.99. See the discounted Echo deal now on Amazon.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Logitech MX Sound 2.0 Bluetooth Speakers review: premium PC speakers burdened by average audio

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

Logitech’s MX Sound 2.0 Bluetooth speakers join products including the MX Master mouse, Craft keyboard, and Brio webcam in the company’s premium computer accessory line. At $99, they’re a not-unreasonable upgrade over your PC’s speakers that can double as audio output for your mobile devices, but ultimately their sound performance left us a bit underwhelmed.

Though they’re described as Bluetooth speakers, they are clearly designed for the desktop. Each of the 6.3 x 6.3 x 3.8-inch (HWD) cabinets has a rear-facing bass port that does double-duty as a stand. These give the speakers a 10-degree backward tilt that purportedly puts the listener in an audio sweet spot when they’re sitting at a computer.

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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop review: The discrete GPU is the star of the show

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop has a little secret that’s good news for budget-minded gamers. It’s hard to tell from the product information online, but one GPU option for this laptop is Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q. Max-Q GPUs manage performance closely to balance heat and noise, allowing powerful chips to go into lighter, slimmer, quieter laptops. The Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop offers Max-Q in a SKU that supports 1080p gaming and comes in just under $1,000. It’s a great value.

(image) Adam Patrick Murray

Dell’s New Inspiron 15 7000 gets you to GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q levels for a scant $1,000.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to Fix Your Wi-Fi Network

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:19:00 -0800

Wi-Fi is everywhere and built into everything. It’s like oxygen for internet access, media streaming, gaming, and all types of networking. And it should just work all the time—right? If you’ve had an average experience with Wi-Fi on mobiles devices, laptops, game systems, and more, you know that while a solid Wi-Fi connection might be the norm, those times when it’s not can leave you tearing your hair out.

In this article, I look at a number of common scenarios that cause Wi-Fi problems and how to solve them, whether you’re running your own network or trying to connect to someone else’s using any platform.

To read this article in full, please click here


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This Speech Recognition Tool Helps You Get More Done Faster -- Now 60% Off

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:02:00 -0800

Typing is unquestionably a staple in our daily lives, but given enough time, even this activity will go the way of floppy disks and dial-up Internet. With Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, you can tap into the future of productivity thanks to its advanced speech recognition software that lets you get more done faster on your computer. Plus, it's on sale for 60% off its normal retail price for a limited time. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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Newegg has dropped the Ryzen 7 1700X to $300

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:35:00 -0800


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The highest-performing PC components you can buy today

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:09:00 -0800

The best gear money can buy
(image)

Image by Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

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.

To read this article in full, please click here


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You can buy an iMac Pro on Dec. 14, but you can't upgrade the RAM

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 07:44:00 -0800

Apple has announced that it will begin selling its new iMac Pro on Thursday, December 14, but users won't be able to add RAM after they buy one.


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Microsoft's selling gaming laptops, PCs, and peripherals for wildly cheap today

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:53:00 -0800

On the seventh day of the Microsoft Store’s annual 12 Days of Deals marathon, it’s finally time to have some fun. Microsoft’s offering deep discounts on over 100 gaming laptops and desktop PCs today.

Some truly staggering deals are already out of stock as I write this around 8:30 A.M. Eastern, and it’s easy to see why—they paired potent gaming PCs with Windows Mixed Reality headsets for $500 to $650 off. But plenty of systems can still be found with discounts ranging from $100 to $600 depending on the PC and its configuration. As PCWorld’s resident gaming and graphics guru, here are some particularly juicy deals that caught my eye:

To read this article in full, please click here


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Meet Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition: AMD Link mobile app, Radeon Overlay, and more

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0800

It hasn’t been true for years now, but people still say AMD’s drivers suck. Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition definitively proves them wrong.

The latest in a series of massive annual Radeon Software feature updates, Adrenalin builds on the success of Catalyst Omega, Crimson, ReLive, and ReLive 17.7.2 before it, polishing up existing tools like WattMan and Radeon Chill while adding in the most-requested features of Radeon users. But more notably, Adrenalin adds a new on-screen overlay and AMD Link mobile app to make it easier than ever to fine-tune your game settings or keep an eye on your PC’s performance.

To read this article in full, please click here


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HP Spectre 13 review: This stylish ultrabook conceals real power

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:00:00 -0800

HP’s Spectre 13 was designed for tablet lovers who don’t buy tablets, It’s a lightweight though sturdy ultrabook designed with a powerful Intel 8th-generation Core chip inside and an eye toward the future. HP’s stylish Spectre offers excellent performance for an ultrabook at a good price, making this a recommended choice.

At a light 2.4 pounds, though, the Spectre 13 is forced to make some compromises. It  falls short of the “all-day” battery life that some demand, delivering about six hours in our tests. HP probably dialed down the display resolution to preserve battery life, too, so the Spectre includes a 1080p touchscreen display. The Spectre 13 also commits wholeheartedly to USB-C/Thunderbolt. You’ll need a dongle if you own older peripherals.

To read this article in full, please click here


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TouchJet Wave review: This pricey gadget can make your dumb TV smart—and touchable

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Android and infrared come together to convert your big-screen TV into a massive tablet.


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Best holiday laptop deals

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:58:00 -0800

The holidays are a great time for laptop deals, but with only weeks left in the season time is running out. Not coincidentally, today is "Green Monday"—a term coined by eBay for the last Monday that's at least 10 days before Christmas. (Otherwise known as the day when you still have a good amount of time to receive shipped packages.)

On this greenest of Green Mondays, 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!

To read this article in full, please click here


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Avid Media Composer First review: Get all the pro features with just a few limitations

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:09:00 -0800

Avid Media Composer First is the free version of one of Hollywood’s most popular film and TV editing programs. It offers many of the same features you’ll find in the pro version, but exporting is limited to 1080p resolution, and it maxes out at four video tracks and eight audio tracks. If you have the patience to grapple with its complexity, it’s excellent software for learning professional video editing skills.

Getting started with Avid Media Composer First is hard. The download and installation process is very long, and you have to create and sign into an online account to launch the application. Once you’re in, the interface offers very little in the way of guidance. There are no step-by-step wizards here, though you can right-click on most things and click What’s this? to open an explainer in a browser. You’ll have to look online for tutorials, and while there are good ones, you’ll find that Avid is a very sophisticated program with a steep learning curve.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Uplay is giving Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag away for free this week

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:43:00 -0800

When publishers give away games, it often feels like the digital equivalent of a box marked “Free!” on the side of the road—inevitably you open it up to find a VHS copy of Captain Ron, a pair of ripped sweatpants, and some scratched-up Neil Diamond records. Case in point: Last week Deep Silver gave away copies of Homefront and like...why?

But occasionally a freebie comes along that’s actually worth nabbing. Cue Ubisoft, which this week is giving out free copies of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag—either the best of the Assassin’s Creeds or, if you’ve been in this a long time, maybe the second-best (after ACII). Okay, some people really love this year’s Assassin's Creed: Origins and might say third best.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Lowe's is selling a two-port Anker power bank for $17

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:09:00 -0800

Lowe's has a nice deal today on an Anker Power Bank charger. For $17, you can get a 10,400 mAH Anker portable charger from the big-box store. This is about $11 cheaper than the price you can find on Amazon, and $10 off Lowe's usual price.

This charger comes with two USB ports, and supports high-speed charging via Anker's PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies. Anker claims this Power Bank can charge the iPhone 6 up to four times, the Samsung Galaxy S6 up to three times, or the iPad Air once. Each port pumps out a maximum of 2.4 amps each. The Power Bank only comes in black, and it has indicator lights on the side to show how much power the device has left.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:35:00 -0800

A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.


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HP patches hundreds of laptops to remove hidden keylogger

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:44:00 -0800

If you bought an HP laptop anytime in the last five years, it could be tracking your every keystroke. Over the weekend HP revealed that nearly 500 of its notebooks dating as far back as 2012 shipped with a secret keylogger installed. Alongside the announcement, HP released driver updates to eradicate the software on affected laptops.

Security researcher Michael Myng discovered the keylogger when probing the Synaptics touchpad software on an HP laptop. HP’s security bulletin says the “potential security vulnerability” affects all laptops with “certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers”—not necessarily just HP models.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Cambridge Audio CXUHD 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player review: A classy chassis with Dolby Vision

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:45:00 -0800

This handsome device is a top-notch disc player that's great for digital audio systems, but it doesn't off any type of analog output.


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Eaton Halo RL56 review: Upgrade your existing canisters to smart and efficient LED lighting

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:45:00 -0800

If you have recessed lighting, this is a superior solution to replacing the bulbs.


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The best free video editing software: Great tools for YouTube stardom and more

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

The best free video editing software can be surprisingly good. The choices vary widely and include include scaled-down, trial versions of professional suites, open-source alternatives with a plethora of features, and simple applications aimed at home video creators. Our top picks will be functional for many users, across many use cases.

If you’re willing to spend a little money, check out our reviews of paid consumer video editing software. Typically, those are easier to use than the free ones here thanks to great support and tutorial libraries and more refined interfaces, but they don’t necessarily have more features.

To read this article in full, please click here


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MSI Trident 3 Arctic review: Looks like a console, runs like a high-end desktop

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Smaller form-factor PCs typically go one of two ways: First, you can prioritize the small part of the equation. This leaves you with something beautifully tiny, but at the cost of future upgrades—space-saving comes with the caveat of proprietary and non-replaceable parts. (See: Alienware Alpha.) Or you can prioritize future upgrades, which typically means a larger and less aesthetically pleasing machine.

The MSI Trident 3 is the rare machine that can do both—at least to some extent.

MSI Trident 3 vs. consoles

It really is tiny. Scale can be tough to judge in photographs, but at 13.6 by 9.2 by 2.8 inches, the Trident is so small it’s hard to believe there’s a full-size PC inside. It’s smaller than my launch-version Xbox One for instance, and quite nearly smaller than the new Xbox One X. (It's smaller depth, but the Trident is about an inch longer and maybe half an inch taller.) The Trident sits comfortably in “console-sized” territory, in any case.

To read this article in full, please click here


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VSDC review: This free video editor holds back too much

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:45:00 -0800

VSDC has a lot of features you won’t find in other free video editors, like picture-in-picture, video stabilization, and the ability to upload multiple YouTube videos at once. If you can deal with its quirks, it’s one of the most powerful options available. But its interface isn’t very user-friendly, it has some major limitations, and the free version essentially throttles the speed at which you can process your videos.

The interface is powerful, but it’s not for the uninitiated. A great deal of information is displayed at any given time--enough to overwhelm newbies. That said, VSDC does come with a drag-and-drop, step-by-step wizard mode that will get very basic videos made even if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. It’s just too bad that the software’s most powerful features are so user-unfriendly.

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Hitfilm Express 2017 review: Powerful features lie behind a quirky interface

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:00:00 -0800

Hitfilm Express takes aim at indie filmmakers with great tutorials and powerful features. Its unconventional interface could turn off true amateurs who just want to make a home movie, and it has an unappealing download procedure, but it’s still a great choice if you want to start making fun videos that mirror the sorts of effects and techniques you see in professional films and web series.

The user interface is stylish and pleasant to use, but it does diverge from the standard consumer video editing software workflow in a couple of areas. If you’re not already accustomed to other software, this won’t bother you a bit, but it could be an adjustment for some.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Lightworks for Windows review: The free version falls short in export options

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:27:00 -0800

Lightworks has an unusual history for free video editing software—it was born out of high-end, professional film editing software that was used to edit such Hollywood classics as Pulp Fiction. Today, it’s just as good with digital media, and it’s offered in both a paid and free version. The free version is strikingly powerful in terms of features, but its export options are very limited.

Lightworks guides you through the process of setting up your first project with simple tooltips, but they’re a far cry for the powerful tutorials and wizards available in some other software. While it supports all the import formats that the paid version does, it can be tricky getting everything to import easily for the uninitiated—you have to define project settings like resolution, framerate, and so on before you import your files. If you set anything different from your video, you’ll have to dive into settings and tweak them until you get it right.

To read this article in full, please click here


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