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6 things the Pixel 3a needs to become Google's hero phone

PC World - Tue, 2019-04-16 10:06

After two years of focusing on Assistant, Android, and AI, Google is teasing a return to hardware announcements at its I/O developers conference. In a promo page tie-in with Avengers: Endgame posted on its storefront late Monday, Google declared that “something big is coming to the Pixel universe” on May 7, which just so happens to be the same day as the I/O 2019 keynote. So unless Google is pulling a massive head fake here, it will be launching a new Pixel line at its conference this year.

There have already been rumors about a so-called Pixel 3a and 3a XL—including an accidental reference on the Google Store menu—and all indications are that these will be budget versions of Google’s flagship phones, with less-premium materials (plastic vs glass), an older processor (Snapdragon 600 series vs 800 series), and a lower-resolution screen (1080p vs 1440p). But if Google’s new phones are going to succeed where the flagship Pixels didn’t, they need to nail a few things right out of the gate. Here are six things the Pixel 3a needs to make Google’s new phone the one to buy.

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The supremely comfortable Corsair K70 MK.2 keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches is $60 off

PC World - Tue, 2019-04-16 09:48

Today’s a good day to upgrade your keyboard from that painfully cheap clacker that came bundled with your computer. Amazon is selling Corsair’s superb K70 RGB Mk.2 mechanical keyboard for $100 today. That’s the all-time low for this device, and about $21 off the more recent price of $120—although this keyboard often sells for as much as $160. It’s not clear when Amazon’s sale price ends, but I wouldn’t count on it lasting much longer than a few days.

This version of the Corsair K70 features a detachable wrist rest and Cherry MX Brown switches. These switches are known for having the same responsiveness as MX Blue switches, but without the loud clickety-clack typewriter-like sound.

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Intel announces 8th-gen vPro processors for business notebooks with advanced security

PC World - Tue, 2019-04-16 09:00

As Intel announces the 8th generation of its vPro processors for business, you can almost see the company looking over its shoulder at last week’s announcement of AMD’s new Ryzen Pro processors for business. The Ryzen pitch is all about  performance, with the base clock speed pushing higher. The Intel chips’ selling points aren’t just performance, but platform-level technologies.

Intel announced just a pair of 4-core, 8-thread chips on Tuesday morning: the 1.6GHz Core i5-8365U, and the 1.9GHz Core i7-8665U. They run more slowly than AMD’s Ryzen Pro. Neither company has announced prices, because in virtually all cases the chips themselves will be sold directly to notebook PC makers themselves.

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Razer's Core X Chroma eGPU cabinet features RGB and Intel's latest Thunderbolt 3 controller

PC World - Tue, 2019-04-16 09:00

Razer's new Core X Chroma eGPU cabinet adds a bigger power supply, Intel's newest Thunderbolt 3 controller, and probably most importantly: Chroma RGB support.

The original Core X featured a 550-watt PSU to power GPUs. With the Core X Chroma, Razer moves up to 700 watts. That probably sounds excessive, as even fairly beefy GPUs can run with well under 550 watts of power but Razer said folks should remember the cabinet has to have enough power to allocate up to 100 watts for charging a laptop as well.

Besides the PSU bump, Razer has added four USB Type-A ports and Gigabit Ethernet to the Core X Chroma eGPU. The original Core X functioned purely as an external GPU cabinet with no downstream connectivity.

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By the book: Why Apple makes the headline

Mac World - Tue, 2019-04-16 08:00

Remember Apple? Man, it seems so long ago, right? You were so much younger then! You had that wavy hair and that Members Only jacket! Ah, we’ll never get those days back. Those days when Apple was still a thing.

Ah, jokes.

Anyway, writing for Tiger Beat in the Valley, Christina Wallace and David Kidder tell us of the fall of Apple. And apparently they’re not talking about cider presses, pumpkin carving and horror movie releases.

“From Macintosh to Granny Smith: The rise and fall of Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Jason.)

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What we might expect from Apple’s A13 chip

Mac World - Tue, 2019-04-16 07:00

We’re still a long way away from hearing anything official about Apple’s next system-on-a-chip. The A13 is likely to be unveiled in September, along with the new iPhones it will power. But the design, manufacture, and testing of these chips takes years, far too long for Apple to suddenly make radical changes. The A13 design is likely, for all intents and purposes, set in stone by now.

By looking at past A-series chips and extrapolating from what we know of the manufacturing process Apple will use this year, we can get a reasonable picture about what to expect from the A13 chip. It will almost certainly be the fastest SoC Apple has ever developed for iPhones, but exactly how fast can we expect?

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How to find and clean what’s eating up your Mac’s disk storage

Mac World - Tue, 2019-04-16 06:00

MacOS can act in mysterious ways, and it can be difficult from either the Finder or through  > About This Mac > Storage view to figure out exactly what is eating up your disk storage. Especially on external drives, which the Storage display doesn’t break out into categories, or when System or Other seems to be occupying a truly enormous portion of your drive, and you can’t find a folder with that much data in it to examine.

IDG

macOS’s Storage view is quite limited and often shows large amounts of consumed storage that doesn’t match up with what a user thinks they’ve used.

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Logitech Harmony Express universal remote control review: Practical, but not perfect

Mac World - Tue, 2019-04-16 03:01
It's not the be-all, end-all of universal remote controls, but it's plenty powerful for most people's needs.

Logitech Harmony Express universal remote control review: Practical, but not perfect

PC World - Tue, 2019-04-16 03:01
It's not the be-all, end-all of universal remote controls, but it's plenty powerful for most people's needs.

Which Mac should you buy?

Mac World - Mon, 2019-04-15 22:00

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

MacBook Air

Models for sale were originally released October 2018.

What is it? The MacBook Air is Apple’s affordable line of laptops. Apple currently offers three 13-inch models.

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Hackers reportedly abused Microsoft's customer support to read Hotmail, Outlook.com email

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 14:55

Hackers reportedly compromised a Microsoft customer support account, exposing its credentials, and by extension customer email on Microsoft web-based email services like Hotmail, Outlook.com, and MSN.

TechCrunch reported over the weekend that Microsoft is sending emails to affected users, warning them of the issue. Presumably, those users who have not been contacted are unaffected.  (Microsoft hasn't said how many accounts were affected, nor did the company identify the specific services affected.)

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Sophos, Avast warn of Windows machines failing to boot after latest Microsoft patch

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 14:41

Antivirus makers Sophos and Avast are warning users that installing a recent Windows update may cause their PCs to lock up or fail to boot.

In notices filed Monday, Avast reported that older machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are becoming locked or frozen on startup after certain Microsoft Windows updates are applied: KB4493472, KB4493448, KB4493467, and KB4493446. Sophos also identified the same patches were at the root of some computers failing to boot when running Sophos' own software. Sophos identified patches specific to Windows Server as well.

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Microsoft could challenge Apple's AirPods with wireless Surface earbuds

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 13:38

A new challenger could be approaching Apple’s iconic AirPods (pictured above). Microsoft is developing a pair of Surface-branded wireless earbuds, according to Brad Sams’ oft-reliable sources at Thurrott.com.

Microsoft surprised the world by releasing the surprisingly good Surface Headphones last October. The sleek, premium-priced $350 headset features an intuitive control scheme and some wickedly good noise cancellation chops, courtesy of four active mics that keep tabs on the sounds around you. “Spin the noise cancellation dial on Microsoft’s new cans, and the world fades away,” we wrote at the time. Of course, you could also use the Surface Headphones to converse with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant via its mobile app.

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iOS 13 rumored to be a massive overhaul with dark mode, new gestures, and multi-window apps for the iPad

Mac World - Mon, 2019-04-15 12:55

With just two months to go until Apple’s expected unveiling of iOS 13 at WWDC19 on June 3, 9to5Mac published a report from “people familiar with the development of the operating system,” and if accurate, the iPhone and iPad are in for some major changes this fall, including several of the features we’ve been clamoring to see.

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The first looks at Samsung's Galaxy Fold reveal an open and shut case for not spending $2,000

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 11:42

In less than two weeks time, you'll be able to walk into an AT&T store and buy a Galaxy Fold for the eye-popping price of $1,980, or $66 a month for the next 30 months. And now we know a little more about what you're going to get for your money—and it's all about that crease.

Samsung allowed a small cadre of journalists exclusive access to the Galaxy Fold for an hour last week, and the impressions were fairly unanimous: The Galaxy Fold is certainly cool but not without its flaws. For instance, Geoffrey A. Fowler of The Washington Post said that while he was able to eventually "made peace with the crease" he compared it to the very visible pleat on a pair of polyester pants.

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Snag a four-pack of our favorite Philips Hue white smart bulbs for their cheapest price yet

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 11:18

Smart bulbs help you automate and fine-tune your lighting situation, and today you can get a four-pack of our favorite white LED bulb, the Philips Hue White Ambiance A19, for $40 on Amazon. That’s down from a list price of $50 and the lowest we’ve ever seen it.

These LED bulbs provide detailed control options, allowing you to personalize the dim, set schedules, turn lights off and on from anywhere, and more using the Philips Hue app. You can also control the bulbs using your voice when you connect them with an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit. And you won’t have to replace them often—each bulb lasts over 25,000 hours, or 20 years.

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Snag a four-pack of our favorite Philips Hue white smart bulbs for their cheapest price yet

Mac World - Mon, 2019-04-15 11:18

Smart bulbs help you automate and fine-tune your lighting situation, and today you can get a four-pack of our favorite white LED bulb, the Philips Hue White Ambiance A19, for $40 on Amazon. That’s down from a list price of $50 and the lowest we’ve ever seen it.

These LED bulbs provide detailed control options, allowing you to personalize the dim, set schedules, turn lights off and on from anywhere, and more using the Philips Hue app. You can also control the bulbs using your voice when you connect them with an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit. And you won’t have to replace them often—each bulb lasts over 25,000 hours, or 20 years.

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Anno 1800 review: An Industrial Revolution but not a design revolution

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 10:12

Bread and circuses. All we need are bread and circuses, to keep the populace complacent. And yet, try as I might, I cannot seem to produce enough bread to meet the demands of the citizens of Ditchwater. Am I not growing enough wheat? Are the millers not working fast enough? Do we need more bakeries? Before I can fix the problem it’s hit the pages of the local newspaper, further stoking resentment. A riot breaks out, protesters clashing in the streets with my tiny police force.

Simultaneously, a thousand miles away and across the ocean, arsonists are attempting to burn down my fledgling colony on La Isla. Chances are they’re related to the same shadowy group that murdered my father and stole my inheritance—but I can’t stop them, because I don’t even have enough bricks to build a police station here.

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Amazon's storage sale brings deep discounts on external drives, SSDs, and microSD cards

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 09:44

If you're running out of space on your PC, phone, or console, we've got you covered today. Amazon is running one of its famous one-day sales, and this one's filled with SanDisk and WD storage productsRemove non-product link including USB drives, external and internal storage, and memory cards, all at all-time-low prices.

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Killer's AX 1650 network card taps Wi-Fi 6 for wireless gaming that doesn't suck

PC World - Mon, 2019-04-15 08:00

Gamers may prefer wired connections to wireless ones, but Rivet Network’s new Killer AX 1650 network card just might convince some folks that it’s finally time to cut the cord.

The Killer AX 1650 is built on an Intel chipset but ladles on many of the gaming-focused features Killer is known for. Wi-Fi 6, which used to be called 802.11ax, operates in the same frequency of 802.11ac (now called Wi-Fi 5). It increases throughput up to 2.4Gbps and provides greatly decreased latency, all while improving battery life. You can read PCWorld’s deeper dive into 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6 for more details, but just know that it’s designed to deal with the network congestion of modern computing. 

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