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Published: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:19:04 -0700

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:19:04 -0700

 



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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6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

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

Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I've grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever's onscreen at a given moment.

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Lenovo's ThinkSystem product barrage targets data centers

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:51:00 -0700

Lenovo is taking on Dell EMC and HPE with its biggest portfolio refresh since it acquired IBM's x86 server business three years ago, offering a lineup of servers, switches, SAN arrays and converged systems intended to show that it's a serious contender in the data center and software-defined infrastructure market.

The product launch, staged in New York Tuesday, was the first major event for Lenovo's Data Center Group, in business since April. Lenovo wants to be a global player not only for the enterprise data center but also in hyperscale computing.

Lenovo is tied for third in server market share with Cisco and IBM, well behind HPE and Dell EMC, according to IDC, and has a particularly steep uphill battle ahead in North America.

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How to remove malware from your Windows PC

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:30:00 -0700

Updated June 20, 2017: We’ve updated our links for suggested anti-virus programs, and have slightly adjusted our instructions to address program updates in Malwarebytes.

Is your computer running slower than usual? Are you getting lots of pop-ups? Have you seen other weird problems crop up? If so, your PC might be infected with a virus, spyware, or other malware—even if you have an antivirus program installed. Though other problems such as hardware issues can produce similarly annoying symptoms, it’s best to check for malware if your PC is acting up and we’ll show you how to do it yourself.

Step 1: Enter Safe Mode

Before you do anything, you need to disconnect your PC from the internet, and don’t use it until you’re ready to clean your PC. This can help prevent the malware from spreading and/or leaking your private data.

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EU wants to ease commercial drone use with future flight rules

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:06:01 -0700

The European Commission wants to make it easier for lightweight drones to fly autonomously in European airspace -- with logistics, inspection services and agricultural businesses set to benefit.

Last Friday, the Commission unveiled a plan to improve the safety of drones flying at low altitude.

It wants to introduce a consistent set of rules across the EU for flying drones in "U-space," its name for regulated airspace under 150 meters in altitude.

Simpler regulations will be welcomed by multinational businesses such as gas giant Engie, which is developing drones for tasks such as pipeline or building inspection or for cleaning the insulators on high-voltage overhead power lines.

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AMD launches its Epyc server chip to take on Intel in the data center

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:00:02 -0700

It's not just the folks at AMD who hope that that the company's Epyc server processor, officially launched Tuesday, will break Intel's stranglehold on the data-center chip market.

Enterprise users, web hosting companies and hyperscale cloud providers all want competition and choice in server chips to curb costs and fuel innovation.

"OEMs have been looking for an alternative to Intel for a long time, and with Intel having 98 percent market share I can say that there's absolutely a need, from the OEM point of view and the channel point of view," said Patrick Moorhead, principal at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Judging from specs, performance benchmarks and memory features as well as the supporting voices from software and hardware makers in the data center ecosystem, Epyc has the best shot of any chip to hit the market in years at putting a crack in Intel's dominance.

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Galaxy S8 and S8+ case roundup: Protect your investment in style

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:00:00 -0700


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The Crew 2 hands-on preview: Virtual tourism by land, sea, and air

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0700

I still feel nostalgic for The Crew. It’s not that it was an excellent racing game—it wasn’t. Not by any means. The early hours were a grind, trying to get your car to handle like a car instead of a super-powered tractor, and even once you’d leveled up enough to drive halfway decent it still never felt as solid as a Need for Speed or a Forza game.

But the map. That incredible, America-spanning map with its theme park representations of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York City, Miami, and everything in between. In my review back in 2014 I referred to The Crew as “stellar virtual tourism,” and “a tribute to American car culture.” It was both. It was a game about discovery, a history of America told through landmarks both natural and man-made. It was Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” crackling through a racing-striped Charger.

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OnePlus 5: Everything you need to know about the budget flagship

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:49:00 -0700

The original flagship killer is back with, well, another flagship killer. After weeks of leaks and rumors, OnePlus has released its sixth handset, the OnePlus 5, and it has the major Android players in its sights: the LG G6Galaxy S8, and HTC U11.

And it looks to be a formidable competitor. With a sleeker design, bigger battery, faster chip, and better camera, the OnePlus 5 is poised to be the breakout star of the Android flagship season, even with a slightly higher price tag.

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The best graphics cards for PC gaming

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:25:00 -0700

Last updated June 20, 2017 to discuss cryptocurrency mining demand causing extreme price and availability issues for both Nvidia and Radeon graphics cards, from the Radeon RX 570 all the way to the GeForce GTX 1070. It's a bad time to build a mainstream gaming PC.

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”

That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank the detail settings on Far Cry and get right to playing.

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Nvidia GeForce prices skyrocket as cryptocurrency miners snap up supply

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:19:00 -0700

It’s a bad time to be building a mainstream gaming PC or an Xbox One X-rivalling rig. Cryptocurrency’s current price bubble ravaged Radeon pricing and availability weeks ago, and now that it’s nigh impossible to find a Radeon RX 570 or RX 580 at reasonable costs, Nvidia’s graphics cards are drying up, too.

Searching Newegg for the GeForce GTX 1060 shows only two 3GB versions available, and they’re going for $20 to $30 over the card’s $200 MSRP. You can find many more 6GB GTX 1060 cards, but they’re all selling at wildly inflated prices as well. The 6GB cards dipped down to $240 or less around the time the Radeon RX 580 launched, but now every model except one sells for $270 to $310—and that lone exception still sells for $260. A similar situation exists on Amazon, with only a single backordered EVGA 3GB GTX 1060 going for anything near MSRP.

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The Ryzen 7 1700X is less than $300 at Walmart right now

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:10:00 -0700

Today you can get a high-end AMD Ryzen 7 CPU for less than $300 if you're willing to put in a little physical effort. The processor in question is the Ryzen 7 1700X, an eight-core, 3.4GHz processor.

This particular price can be found at Walmart. While you can also grab the 1700X on sale at Newegg ($350 until midnight PDT), Walmart has an extra discount available for people willing to head to a store. As Slickdeals points out, if you opt for in-store pickup, the retailer will drop another $59.38 off the sale price of $355. That's a final cost of about $296.

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