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Tobii's eye-tracking tech is niche on PCs, but makes virtual reality feel like magic

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

When I got one of Tobii’s eye-tracking devices a few years ago, I didn’t know what to do with it. Tobii bills itself as “the world leader in eye tracking,” and as far as I could tell the claim rang true. The device certainly worked, and I could see it being very useful for people who (for any number of reasons) can’t use a keyboard and mouse.

But Tobii clearly wanted to broaden its ambitions and turn eye-tracking into a more mass-market solution, not an alternate means of interfacing with PCs but a primary means. I tried it. Ubisoft builds Tobii support into all its games, and I played Assassin’s Creed: Rogue with Tobii’s eye-tracker swinging the camera wherever I looked. “Cool tech,” I thought, and then promptly went back to using a mouse and keyboard.

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It’s time for Apple to show iBooks some love

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

When it comes to books, Apple seems to have lost the plot a bit.

Ahead of this week’s education event, one rumor had the company unveiling a revamp in its iBooks Store and iBooks apps. But the event came and went with only passing mentions of ebooks. Recent betas of iOS 11.3 saw the iBooks app’s name change to “Books,” sparking further discussion that an overhaul was imminent, but the final release has kept the name as is.

There are still rumblings that Apple may be planning to make some changes to its ebook offering in the coming months. Late last year, the company reportedly hired an Audible executive (who had also formerly worked at Barnes & Noble) to head up the effort. But with Apple’s latest event over and its next one a couple months away, it’s bound to be a little while before we see any concrete changes.

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How to listen to live baseball games on an Amazon Echo

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 16:47
TuneIn Live and MLB At Bat can stream live baseball on the Amazon Echo and other Alexa devices—but not for free.

Microsoft executive shakeup signals big changes for Windows, Office and more

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:55

Microsoft handed the reins of its Windows and Devices team from Terry Myerson to Rajesh Jha on Thursday, part of a series of moves signalling that Microsoft wants to bring a “unifying product ethos” to Windows, Office, and third-party apps.

In an email to employees, chief executive Satya Nadella explained that the future of Microsoft lay in "the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge," Nadella’s new way of describing Microsoft’s mission. Familiar names will help Microsoft get there: Panos Panay, who helped bring the original Surface to market, is now Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, and Joe Belfiore will continue leading Microsoft’s Windows experiences.

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Apple adds thousands of music videos to Apple Music in advance of iOS 11.3 release

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:09

Back in January, Apple took the unusual step of posting a preview of iOS 11.3. The focus was on new Animoji, health records, and battery health, but it also included a quick shout-out to Apple Music.

“Apple Music will soon be the home for music videos,” it said.

Today, Apple makes good on that promise, as it gears up for the final release of iOS 11.3. Apple has added thousands of new music videos to Apple Music, from all across the musical landscape. This includes new exclusive videos debuting first on Apple Music: “The Space Program” from A Tribe Called Quest, “Colors” from Beck, “Stop Me From Falling” from Kylie Minogue, “Alien” from Sabrina Carpenter and Jonas Blue, and a live performance music video of “Evergreen” from Yebba.

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Hades Canyon NUC review: Intel taps AMD's Radeon Vega graphics for a powerful mini-PC

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:03

Intel’s Hades Canyon is more than a simple successor to its Skull Canyon predecessor, an extreme version of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC). When Skull Canyon launched in 2016, it bucked the mini-PC trend of modest specs designed for general computing, instead boasting the absolute latest in hardware for its size: a 45W quad-core processor, integrated graphics capable of 1080p gaming, and a port that supported external graphics. At the time, that ultra-compact mini-PC was unrivaled.

The Hades Canyon NUC brings its own first: a single, Intel-produced chip (code-named Kaby Lake-G) that marries an Intel mobile CPU with an AMD Radeon RX Vega M mobile GPU. It’s silicon that can handle heavy-duty tasks without breaking much of a sweat.

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This lens cleaner keeps your camera spotless for under $5

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 10:47

Nothing’s more irritating than snapping the perfect picture only to discover dust and dirt blemishing the image. Wiping your phone or camera with your shirt can work in a pinch, but also leaves tiny fibers scattered across the lens. A cleaning pen can wipe your camera spotless in seconds, and LensPen’s silver UltraPro lens cleaner is on sale on Amazon and Best Buy right now for $4.89, or about 43 percent lower than usual.

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This lens cleaner keeps your camera spotless for under $5

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 10:47

Nothing’s more irritating than snapping the perfect picture only to discover dust and dirt blemishing the image. Wiping your phone or camera with your shirt can work in a pinch, but also leaves tiny fibers scattered across the lens. A cleaning pen can wipe your camera spotless in seconds, and LensPen’s silver UltraPro lens cleaner is on sale on Amazon and Best Buy right now for $4.89, or about 43 percent lower than usual.

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The Full Nerd episode 44: AMD Zen+ rumors, Dell's speedy XPS 13, and the future of graphics

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 10:11

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAdam Patrick Murray, and Mona talk about the future!

AMD’s next-generation “Zen+” Ryzen processors are due in April, and what appears to be an early leaked review by French computer magazine Canard PC has hit the web. The gang chats about the numbers—and about the white-hot deals you can find on Ryzen CPUs right now, as AMD clears house before the Zen+ launch.

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Protect five PCs with Norton Security Deluxe for $20 today

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 09:54

Today you can secure a deal to secure your PC at Newegg. The retailer is selling a one-year, five device license for Norton Security Deluxe for $20 with coupon code EMCPSRW25. The code works with digital download and boxed versions. Norton typically sells this version of its security suite for $45 per year for five devices.

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Schooling: Learning about Apple’s chances in the education market

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 08:00

Apple held an education event in Chicago this week and, as you might have expected, they got everything wrong.

Writing for the very nice people and alien heptapods and large animal veterinarians at Business Insider, Troy Wolverton doth declare “Apple’s new iPad is a total misfire that shows how out of touch the company is with schools and kids.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Gerald.)

“Total Misfire” is the name of the Macalope’s synth metal band.

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The 10 Mac games you need to play from March 2018

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 07:00
March's Mac games

Image by Amanita Design

Spring is emerging again, but if you’re not yet keen on exploring the outdoors in your spare time, then you might be in need of more indoor indulgences. How about a new Mac game? March brought us a nice number of compelling releases, and we’ve highlighted 10 of the most enticing debuts in the slides ahead.

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Apple’s original TV elephant in the room

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00
Let's hope Apple's original TV shows aren't exclusive to Apple TV.

Apple's new iPads still can't best Chromebooks in the classroom

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00

Several years ago, Apple looked poised to take over schools with iPads, and in one of the most stunning moves, Los Angeles schools planned to spend $1.3 billion getting Apple’s tablets in students’ hands. It didn’t end so well.

And now, despite a commendable early push, iPads now lag far behind Chromebooks in American classrooms. Consulting firm Futuresource reported last year that Chromebooks accounted for 58 percent of the mobile devices shipped to American primary and secondary schools, while iOS devices fell from 25 percent to 19 percent. Earlier this month, Futuresource reported that the gap is only widening even with slower overall mobile sales.

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Apple’s original TV elephant in the room

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00
Let's hope Apple's original TV shows aren't exclusive to Apple TV.

Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite review: Great range, but only so-so speed

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00

Netgear has one of the best Wi-Fi mesh network systems on the market in the Orbi RBK50, and now it’s the only manufacturer to offer a weatherized mesh node that will extend your network deep into your yard.

The company says its Orbi Outdoor Satellite (Netgear model number RBS50Y) can add up to 2,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage, and I did see significant increases in throughput and range. I tested it with Netgear’s $370 RBK50 kit, which consists of an RBR50 router and one RBS50 indoor satellite. I updated all three devices to the latest firmware prior to benchmarking and recorded a substantial increase in indoor performance as well.

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