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Published: Thu, 25 May 2017 11:30:54 -0700

Last Build Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 11:30:54 -0700

 



Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch

Thu, 25 May 2017 11:10:00 -0700


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Nvidia's new generation of powerful GeForce GTX Battlebox PCs finally embraces AMD

Thu, 25 May 2017 10:15:00 -0700

Nvidia’s taking another stab at its “GeForce GTX Battlebox” PC concept, and for the first time, AMD’s finally inside—though obviously not Radeon.

Boutique system builders craft Battlebox PCs to minimum specifications laid out by Nvidia. The idea’s similar to any other certification-style program: If you buy a GeForce GTX Battlebox, you’re guaranteed a baseline level of performance. It’s what the legion of failed Steam Machines should’ve offered, and Nvidia’s program launched around the same time as Valve's failed endeavor.

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9 supremely useful PC productivity programs

Thu, 25 May 2017 08:29:00 -0700

For all the popularity of mobile apps and cloud services, the venerable PC continues to be a mainstay of computing today. Indeed, the versatile desktop interface means that the bulk of a day’s work continues to be done on PCs for most users.

We’ve found some pretty cool productivity apps that will substantially improve your Windows desktop experience.

1. TidyTabs

If you ever got frustrated tabbing through multiple application windows, then you need to install TidyTabs from Nurgo Software. The lightweight utility lets you organize the desktop by stacking multiple windows together in a tabbed arrangement, even for unrelated applications. This opens the door to grouping applications based on projects worked on, decluttering the desktop and generally keeping things tidy.

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Acer's Nitro 5 is an affordable laptop that lets casual gamers get reckless

Thu, 25 May 2017 07:05:00 -0700

Acer’s Nitro 5 laptop is designed for the casual gamer who feels lucky. This person may not game often, and may never have tinkered with a PC’s cooling system (as many seasoned gamers have) to get maximum power without singeing precious CPUs or GPUs. But the Nitro 5 will let these casual gamers adjust the fan speed themselves, giving them an unprecedented amount of control over delicate thermals.

Acer offered some tantalizing details on the Nitro 5, which is due to ship in July. With prices starting at $800, the laptop targets the growing number of casual gamers. These users won’t shell out for the huge, expensive Predator 21 X, but they still want good gaming performance in a PC they can tote around. Acer says the Nitro 5 is carefully balanced to give them exactly what they need: “all of the really important, necessary features without going too far overboard,” said Acer.

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Amazon's 2-For-1 Dash Button Deal Actually Nets You Two Free Dash Buttons - Deal Alert

Thu, 25 May 2017 06:45:00 -0700

Right now if you buy a Dash Button, Amazon will give you one for free in honor of National Pet Week, this week. But they're still giving you the $4.99 credit after the first time you use it. So that's two Dash buttons for free, really (typically Dash buttons cost $4.99). Amazon Dash is a simple Wi-Fi connected gadget that lets you order your favorite things with just the push of a button. Keep it by your washing machine, your pet food, or in the bathroom closet. When you notice you're running low, just press the button and Amazon ships it right out. Each button gets tied to a specific product from Amazon's library of over 300 brands, in categories such as (click each category to see samples) household suppliesbeverage & groceryhealth & personal carebeauty productspetskids & baby, and more. Access this deal on Amazon

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10 Google Assistant features that save you time

Thu, 25 May 2017 04:00:00 -0700

It's time to get over it and just start talking to your phone, because certain tasks are much faster with Google's digital aide.


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7 Excel tips for huge spreadsheets: Split Screen, Freeze Panes, Format Painter and more

Thu, 25 May 2017 03:30:00 -0700

The bigger and uglier your Excel spreadsheet gets, the more you need to use certain features or tricks to keep a handle on the data. The seven features covered here will help you navigate, organize, and readjust your spreadsheet with as little hassle as possible. 

1. Split Screen

One of the most helpful features for large spreadsheets is the Split Screen command. The Split Screen allows you to view two, three, or four windows of your spreadsheet. Use this feature to work on one section of your spreadsheet while you view another section; or use it to compare (side by side) two sections of the spreadsheet. Once you try it, you'll find lots of reasons to use it.

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Android TV to get a major overhaul at just the right time

Thu, 25 May 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Google was ahead of the curve when it launched Android TV in 2014. Instead of just presenting users with a list of streaming-app icons, Android TV's big idea involved a row of recommendations from across different apps. The hope was that users wouldn't have to leave the home screen to find something to watch.

But being first isn't the same as being best, and over the past few years, other platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku have all done a better job with cross-app recommendations. Meanwhile, Android TV's approach didn't get much buy-in from app makers, and the platform as a whole seemed to stagnate.

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How Thunderbolt 3 won the port wars

Thu, 25 May 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Intel's dream of making one cable to rule them all took a huge step forward this week. On Wednesday, Intel announced it will integrate Thunderbolt 3 into future CPUs. More importantly, the company said it would open up the long-secret protocol to the world, royalty-free.

The company's explanation for the change is practically utopian. "Intel's vision for Thunderbolt was not just to make a faster computer port, but a simpler and more versatile port available to everyone," wrote Chris Walker, Intel's vice president for Client Computing, in a blog post.

Walker predicted a groundswell of Thunderbolt products. "We envision a future where high-performance single-cable docks, stunning photos and 4K video, lifelike VR, and faster-than-ever storage are commonplace. A world where one USB-C connector does it all—today, and for many years to come."

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Samsung Galaxy Gear 360: Great for the Galaxy S8, not so much for the iPhone

Thu, 25 May 2017 03:00:00 -0700

When the Galaxy S8 was unveiled in late March, it wasn’t the only premium product in Samsung’s catalog that received a massive overhaul. The Gear 360 camera also got an impressive redesign, turning it from a somewhat clumsy sphere into a neatly pocketable stick.

But the 360’s case isn’t the only thing that changed. The device’s cameras have actually been downgraded—from dual 15MP fisheye lenses to dual 8.4MP fisheye lenses. Still, despite the lesser lenses, the Gear 360 is now able to record in 4K or broadcast live in 2K. Additionally, an updated Gear 360 app makes the new hardware compatible with a wider range of phones, including the iPhone. Beyond all of that, the new Gear 360 uses USB-C instead of microUSB, and there’s still a slot for an SD card.

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74% off Omaker M4 Portable Bluetooth Shower and Outdoor Speaker with 12 Hour Playtime - Deal Alert

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:05:00 -0700

The M4 speaker from Omaker is IP54 rated, so its rugged splash, shock and dustproof design makes it ideal for shower and outdoor use. The latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology helps it pair quickly with your device (tap-to-pair with NFC capable devices) and maintain a long 33-foot connection range. Crystal clear sound quality and robust bass is realized through a 3W audio driver and passive subwoofer. The M4 is capable of producing 12 hours of music at 80% volume, up to three times longer than similar-sized portable speakers. It  fully recharges in just 3 hours using an included Micro USB cable. The unit averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 5,000 people on Amazon (read reviews), many of which report sound quality that rivals more expensive speakers. Amazon indicates that its list price has been reduced significantly to just $22.99. See the discounted Omaker M4 speaker now on Amazon.

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Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front

Wed, 24 May 2017 13:36:00 -0700

I still love Verdun. While Battlefield 1 is surprisingly excellent, its take on World War I is still all explosions and Hollywood glitz, glamorous even in its ugliest moments. Verdun always felt like a more realistic representation--grim, not shy about showing the horrors of the Great War.

And so I’m excited by today’s news that developers Blackmill Games and M2H are working on a sequel/standalone expansion, Tannenberg. I was worried the big-budget competition from Battlefield 1 might’ve scared the devs out of the World War I space, but apparently not. Here’s the first teaser:

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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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