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Published: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:55:08 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:55:08 -0800

 



This week in games: Theme Hospital's spiritual successor, rumors of Fable's return from death

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:30:00 -0800

Hope you're all enjoying your game backlogs as we continue on through January, the lazy river of months.

This week proves the slow period won't last forever, as we take a look at Q.U.B.E. 2 and Underworld Ascendant, a new Theme Hospital successor, plus the upcoming Civilization VI and Total Warhammer II expansions. Rumor also has it Microsoft's working on a new Fable and there's an Alien shooter coming from Fox (instead of the Alien: Isolation sequel people actually wanted). Lastly, Epic discusses winding down Paragon development to focus on Fortnite, of all things.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to watch the Super Bowl without cable

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:44:00 -0800

Options abound for checking out all the championship action on whatever screen you choose.


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If you bought a OnePlus 5T, your credit card info may have been stolen

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:40:00 -0800

After launching an investigation into reports of a credit card breach on its website, OnePlus has announced some grim findings: Up to 40,000 customers may have had their credit card data stolen. That includes card numbers, expirations dates, and CVV codes entered at oneplus.net.

The culprit for the breach, according to OnePlus, is a rogue script that was injected into the payment page code and able to capture unencrypted credit card info from customers’ browser windows. The company says the exploit has been running since the OnePlus 5T launched in November, though it affected all sales made through the website. It’s unclear whether the attack was triggered remotely or internally.

To read this article in full, please click here


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The best free PC games

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 05:24:00 -0800

Worth the price of admission
(image)

Image by Valve

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.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse review: A flagship mouse worthy of the Surface name

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:30:00 -0800

Microsoft’s Surface Precision Mouse is a practical PC accessory for Surface owners, especially right-handed ones. Over a week of use, I found the cordless, six-button mouse comfortable and precise. I wasn’t truly happy with it, however, until I downloaded Microsoft’s hard-to-find Mouse and Keyboard Center app, which includes a cool but gimmicky ability to straddle multiple PCs.

Priced at $100 (sometimes discounted on Amazon), the Surface Precision Mouse is Microsoft’s flagship PC peripheral. As such, it’s the direct competitor to the Logitech MX Master 2S mouse ($100 or discounted on Amazon), which offers similar features, including its own ability to leap from PC to PC.

To read this article in full, please click here


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ConnectSense Smart Outlet review: A solid smart plug for the HomeKit set

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet for HomeKit stands out from the pack in looks and features.


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Puls begins offering same-day TV antenna installation

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:30:00 -0800

This new service can install a TV antenna on your roof on the same day you decide to cut the cable cord.


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Microsoft patches its earlier Meltdown patch for AMD PCs, allowing them to boot

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:39:00 -0800


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Meltdown and Spectre FAQ: How the critical CPU flaws affect PCs and Macs

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:23:00 -0800

Massive security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs are forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems. Since the issues—dubbed Meltdown and Spectre—exist in the CPU hardware itself, Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, Chromebooks, and other operating systems all need to protect against it. And worse, plugging the hole can negatively affect your PC’s performance.

Everyday home users shouldn’t panic too much though. Just apply all available updates and keep your antivirus software vigilant, as ever. If you want to dive right into the action without all the background information, we’ve also created a focused guide on how to protect your PC against Meltdown and Spectre.

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: From functional to strategic: Enabling innovation

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:05:00 -0800

Only 33% of U.S. workers are engaged at their jobs, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce report. It goes on to state:

“Regardless of all the changes in the workplace, people remain the core component in an organization’s success or failure. Leaders have to think about their technology, policies, products and services … because these are factors that influence the engagement and success of their employees. The key to an organization’s growth has been and always will be its workforce.”

Naturally, organizations need smart tools and technology — solutions that enhance employees’ ability to be responsive to immediate needs while being informed of up-to-the-minute changes. This is especially important as a growing percentage of workers are embracing remote or flexible work arrangements. As the Gallup report suggests, it’s time for organizations “to adapt to the needs of the modern workforce. If they don't, they'll struggle to attract and keep great employees and, therefore, customers.”

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: Ready to tackle the next phase of the digital transformation?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:48:00 -0800

The convergence of mobility and cloud have led to a digital explosion. Now that users have anytime, anywhere, any device access, they are generating mountains of data. In fact, IDC predicts that by 2025, the world will create 160 trillion gigabytes of it.

But more important than the volume is what companies do with that data – how they leverage it for heightened customer experiences, for improved day-to-day decision making, and to innovate.

And that’s what’s behind the rush toward digital transformation. As enterprises come to realize that to compete in this digital economy, they also understand they must effectively leverage and manage data.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Spectre CPU patches can cause unwanted reboots, Intel warns

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:56:00 -0800

The firmware patches designed to protect Intel processors against nasty Spectre CPU exploits have a big downside: They’re forcing more frequent reboots on some systems, including PCs that released in 2017.

On January 11, Intel said that the firmware patches prompted more frequent reboots in Haswell (2013) and Broadwell (2014) systems. Late Wednesday, Intel executive vice president Navin Shenoy revealed that many other processor generations also succumb to the reboot bug: Sandy Bridge (2011), Ivy Bridge (2012), Skylake (2015), and Kaby Lake (2017). The only processors from the last five years that run without issue—yet, at least—appear to be the newest Intel 8th-gen CPUs, dubbed Coffee Lake.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Acer Swift 1 review: A cheap, lightweight ultra-portable that skimps on performance

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:19:00 -0800

While the Acer Swift 1 delivers what it promises—a slim and light chassis, plenty of battery life, a solid-state drive and even a fingerprint reader, all for less than $350—it makes painful speed and storage compromises to get there. If you're a bargain hunter who doesn't mind relying on cloud services and you can tolerate merely adequate performance, by all means, give the Swift 1 a look. But if you're looking for long-term value, consider either increasing your budget or tolerating a thicker, heavier laptop with more pep.

Price and specifications

Measuring 12.58 x 8.86 x 0.59 inches and weighing just 2.9 pounds, the Swift 1 makes for a is pleasingly light, thin, yet sturdy, for a Windows 10 notebook. The Swift 1's display barely wobbles while you're picking the laptop up or putting it down, and the sleek, tapered shell belies the laptop's budget price.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Android Wear vs. Samsung Gear: Which smartwatch should you buy?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:02:00 -0800

If your phone runs Android, and you’re interested in buying a smartwatch, your journey begins with answering a single fundamental question: Samsung Gear or Android Wear? Sure, there are other smartwatch platforms that work with Android phones, but Gear (perhaps best represented by the Gear S3) and Android Wear (represented by watches too numerous to mention) have the most mature ecosystems and refined hardware.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Fender Monterey Bluetooth speaker review: Rugged, loud, and fun, but also pricey and only marginally portable

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The absence of a battery leaves the thumpy Fender Monterey Bluetooth speaker reliant on AC power.


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It’s time for cord cutters to embrace the smart TV

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Smart TVs used to be consistently worse than dedicated streaming players. Not anymore.


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Two Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablets are available for an all-time low price

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:40:00 -0800

Amazon's got a deal on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablets today. All of the deals are through third-party marketplace sellers, and to be honest most of them are not worth your time. There are two worth looking at, however, with prices at $730 and $950. Both of those 2016 models are selling at the lowest prices ever on Amazon—though this isn't the first time they've been this low.

To read this article in full, please click here


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HDHomeRun plans a new DVR box, an interface overhaul, and maybe Roku support someday

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:42:00 -0800

The HDHomeRun Connect Duo+ could be an alternative to Tablo if your storage needs are minimal.


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BrandPost: Securing content with an integrated approach

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:55:00 -0800

No company can afford the backlash associated with a data breach. It’s not just the fines, it’s also the monumental impact to the company’s reputation and potential hit to customer loyalty that can ultimately prove difficult for even the largest organizations to overcome.

Unfortunately, data breaches and ransomware attacks are seemingly regular events with new occurrences continuously making headlines. In fact, in the first 10 months of 2017 alone there were a reported 1,120 breaches and more than 171 million records exposed — a significant jump from the 36.6 million exposed records in all of 2016.

To read this article in full, please click here


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BrandPost: 3 ways that file sharing improves collaboration

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:22:00 -0800

There’s no such thing as “business as usual” any more. Technology and devices have changed the way we work—from the factory floor to the high-rise office building.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the need for collaboration. In fact, in today’s always-on, always-moving markets, getting everyone on the same page with the latest information is critical. Having and sharing up-to-date data establish the basic foundation for companies to innovate, deliver faster, and edge out their competition.

How do you improve collaboration and make that information instantly accessible? The most straightforward, economical place to start is document management and file sharing. These solutions transform workflow, making it simpler and faster for people to exchange ideas and information. Documents, presentations, videos, and other files that may be stored in multiple locations can be centralized in a cloud, where they be accessed, reviewed, edited, and printed from just about any device.

To read this article in full, please click here


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We just learned Moto's plans for the X5, Z3 and G6, and that’s a big problem

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:48:00 -0800

Android leaks are normal this time of year. We’ve already learned all about the Galaxy S9, tempered our expectations for the LG G7, and have seen revived rumors of the folding Galaxy X from Samsung. But none of that could prepare us for the Moto dump detailing specifics for the X5, Z3 and G6.

In an unprecedented leak that could have huge ramifications for Lenovo’s future plans, Droid Life somehow got its hands on the entire 2018 Moto lineup, complete with pics, specs, and marketing slogans for no fewer than six handsets. The massive dump spans the company's entire lineup and includes new models, new features, and an overall new direction for the phone maker.

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to protect your PC from the major Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:32:00 -0800

A pair of nasty CPU flaws exposed this week have serious ramifications for home computer users. Meltdown and Spectre let attackers access protected information in your PC’s kernel memory, potentially revealing sensitive details like passwords, cryptographic keys, personal photos and email, or anything else you’ve used on your computer. These are serious flaws. Fortunately, CPU and operating system vendors pushed out patches fast, and you can protect your PC from Meltdown and Spectre to some degree.

It’s not a quick one-and-done deal, though. They’re two very different CPU flaws that touch every part of your operating system, from hardware to software to the operating system itself. Check out PCWorld’s Meltdown and Spectre FAQ for everything you need to know about the vulnerabilities themselves. We’ve cut through the technical jargon to explain what you need to know in clear, easy-to-read language. We’ve also created an overview of how the Spectre CPU bug affects phones and tablets.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Is your PC vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre CPU exploits? InSpectre tells you

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:03:00 -0800

The vital information you need to know about the serious Meltdown and Spectre CPU exploits isn’t whether your PC is inherently vulnerable to them—it is—but whether your system has been patched to protect against the flaws. Finding that information isn’t easy though. You need to sift through update logs, cross-referencing them with arcane vulnerability identifiers and Microsoft Knowledge Base codes—or at least you did. Gibson Research recently released InSpectre, a wonderfully named, dead simple tool that detects if your PC is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Photoshop Text Effects: Adding Styles to fonts

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:33:00 -0800

Photoshop Text Effects, also called Styles, let you add color schemes, textures, and other variations to fonts. Text Effects take a font much further than we've shown you in tutorials on creating swirls and flourishes with text, or Text Type and Text Editing.

Text Effects or Styles should not be confused with Special Effects, which include features such as Shadow, 3D Effects, Lighting, and Depth, and apply to both Text and Shapes. They are also not the same thing as Microsoft or HTML Stylesheets or Style Sets, which define how fonts and paragraphs are displayed in documents. Text Effects in Photoshop are also much more elaborate and decorative than Styles in other software programs. If you want your text to look tie-dyed or beveled or shaded, this is the place to go.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Graphics card prices are ludicrous. Here's how to keep gaming in the coin mining era

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:30:00 -0800

2017 might have been a standout year for PC enthusiasts, but these early weeks of 2018 are nothing short of a nightmare for PC gamers. Graphics card prices are downright ludicrous, as the cryptocurrency craze skyrockets in lock-step with Bitcoin’s rising price.

That’s nothing new. Miners have been inflating graphics card prices since the middle of the year. But the damage was limited to the middle of the market for most of 2017. Currently, virtually every gaming-class graphics card is affected. The theoretically $200 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 currently goes for $380 to $550—when you can find it in stock, that is. The Radeon RX 570, RX 580, and 6GB GTX 1060—graphics cards with suggested retail prices of $200 to $250—are selling for $500 to $800 on Newegg. And if you thought the GTX 1080 Ti’s $700 price tag was steep, prepare to clutch your chest: Nvidia’s gaming flagship can’t be found for less than $1,300 on Newegg today.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Nest Secure review: This security offering carries a premium price tag despite missing some key features

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Save your pennies if you want to adopt Nest’s sleek—yet limited—security offering.


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Amazon's Fire TV boss: We're beating Roku, and we're still doing smart TVs

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Amazon says it's winning the streaming device wars and plotting a return to smart TVs.


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Steam is selling Papers, Please for $2 today

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:31:00 -0800

Yearning to smuggle drugs or participate in other questionable antics on the border of an imaginary Eastern Bloc-esque country? Today's Steam Daily Deal is for you. Right now, the online gaming retailer is selling Lucas Pope's Papers, Please for $2. You've got quite a while to get this deal as Steam's "daily deal" ends just before 9AM on Wednesday Pacific time. The game is usually $10.

Papers, Please is a very engrossing game despite its low-buck graphics (the game only takes up 41MB on your hard drive). Regardless, we were so enthralled with it that we named it our Game of the Year for 2013.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Apple’s iOS 11.2.2 Spectre patch probably won’t slow down your iPhone, but here’s what to do if it does

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:46:00 -0800

There are reports that Apple's iOS 11.2.2 Spectre security update is slowing down some older iPhones. That shouldn't be the case for most people, but here's what to do if your phone is affected.


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Final Fantasy XV's PC port needs up to 155GB of storage space

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:08:00 -0800

Final Fantasy XV fans better clear some room on their drives, because they’re the latest victims of ballooning video game install sizes. And it’s really big this time.

The previous record holder was Forza Motorsport 7, which arrived last October with a 99GB footprint. Square Enix has blown that record out of the digital waters though, announcing today that Final Fantasy XV ’s PC port will require a whopping 155GB of storage space when it arrives on March 6.

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