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Macworld Podcast Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. Pacific: We want your hot takes

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 16:00

For this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we respond to hot takes by Macworld readers. We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Adam Patrick Murray, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 632.

Give us your hot take

Got a hot take on Apple or other tech topic? Let us know on Twitter and we may discuss it on the show.

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We want your hot takes for the Macworld Podcast

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 15:00
For Wednesday's Macworld Podcast, we respond to hot takes by Macworld readers. Post your hot take on Twitter about Apple or any tech topic and we may discuss it on the show.(twitter.com)

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Epic Games is creating a Steam rival and Valve should be scared

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 14:56

Valve must be sleeping poorly these days. Steam is still king of PC gaming at the moment, but it’s an increasingly belabored kingdom beset on all sides by would-be rulers. Today presents perhaps the strongest challenge yet: Epic, flush with Fortnite cash, will open its own storefront in the near future. It’s cross-platform, cuts developers a much better deal, focuses on discoverability and communication from the get-go, and of course ties in with Epic’s work on the Unreal graphics engine.

We’ve seen plenty of Steam competitors over the years, but this is the first one I’d call a true threat to Valve’s dominance. I’m going to take a bit to recap the story as it stands, but if you want to know how this affects you feel free to skip ahead to “Part 2” where we lay out what this means for the future.

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Watch The Full Nerd talk Creative Super X-Fi and old PC memories right now!

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 14:07

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. In today's special show we are joined by Ryan Schlieper from Creative to talk about PC audio and the new Super X-Fi as well as old PC building memories. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat.

If YouTube is not your thing uou can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Looking for a great gift? Amazon is selling the new iPad for as little as $289

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 13:59

If you’re looking for a great holiday gift, consider the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. Amazon is currently selling multiple models of the popular tablet with discounts ranging from $30 to $40 off, which means you can walk away with the starter 32GB model with Wi-Fi for as little as $289 (down from $329).

If you need more storage, you can pick up the 128GB model with Wi-Fi for a mere $389 (down from $429), although you can only get it in space gray. You can also take $30 off the silver model with Wi-Fi.

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The Anker Soundcore 2, one of our favorite portable Bluetooth speakers, is 25% off

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 11:31

With a month full of parties and winter adventures ahead, picking the perfect playlist is key to setting the mood, and a portable Bluetooth speaker can help you wirelessly connect to your tunes wherever you go. And right now, you can snag “the best and most affordable backpack speaker we’ve reviewed” for cheap. Anker’s popular Soundcore 2 portable Bluetooth speaker is $30 on Amazon, a 25% discount off its $40 list price.

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The Anker Soundcore 2, one of our favorite portable Bluetooth speakers, is 25% off

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 11:31

With a month full of parties and winter adventures ahead, picking the perfect playlist is key to setting the mood, and a portable Bluetooth speaker can help you wirelessly connect to your tunes wherever you go. And right now, you can snag “the best and most affordable backpack speaker we’ve reviewed” for cheap. Anker’s popular Soundcore 2 portable Bluetooth speaker is $30 on Amazon, a 25% discount off its $40 list price.

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Razer's Blade Stealth gets a long-awaited upgrade to GeForce graphics and a Whiskey Lake CPU

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 11:00

For a company that prides itself on its gaming creds, Razer’s 13-inch Razer Blade Stealth has always had one weakness: no discrete graphics.

That just changed Tuesday morning. Razer announced that it has updated the Stealth with Intel’s newest 8th-gen (Whiskey Lake) quad-core Core i7-8565U, along with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU option. These components are stuffed into a laptop that’s only a smidge larger than its predecessor. 

Why this matters: Razer’s thin-and-light laptop has a lot of competition. Bringing in a new CPU and especially the discrete GPU option, along with some other design and feature tweaks, helps the Razer Blade Stealth stand out in a very tough game. We’ll see which laptops follow—and at what price points. 

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Brydge G-Type wireless keyboard review: The best typing companion for the Google Pixel Slate

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 10:30

If you’re buying a Pixel Slate, you pretty much need a keyboard. And at the moment there are basically two options: Google’s Pixel Slate Keyboard, which connects via the Quick Snap Connector and the Bluetooth Brydge G-Type. While they both have their pros and cons, the Brydge G-Type is a no-brainer.

It’s not just that it’s $40 cheaper, although that certainly helps. It’s that it does two important things that the Pixel Slate Keyboard doesn’t. It allows the Slate to be used comfortably on your lap, and it lets you switch between interfaces at the push of a button. The latter might not be an intended feature of the Brydge G-Type—the website encourages removing the Slate and flipping it around to use it in tablet mode—but it’s one I used often during my testing.

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Back up all the things with this massive 10TB WB external drive for $200, a $100 discount

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 09:48

If you missed the awesome storage deals during Black Friday, today’s deal comes close to those crazy low prices. Amazon is selling the WD 10TB Elements external desktop hard drive for $200. Yes, you read that right—10 terabytes. This deal doesn't quite match the drive's $180 low around Cyber Monday, but it’s still far below this drive’s usual $280 to $300 sticker price.

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Quora data breach FAQ: What 100 million hacked users need to know

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 09:29
Hackers have stolen information about 100 million Quora users. Here's what they took and what you need to do next.

Quora data breach FAQ: What 100 million hacked users need to know

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 09:29

Another week, another massive hack. Last week it was Marriott Starwood hotels; this week, it’s question-and-answer website Quora’s turn. Late Monday night, Quora revealed that “a malicious third party” gained access to its systems and swiped the account data of approximately 100 million users. That includes personally identifiable information, like your name and email address, as well as details about the actions you’ve taken on Quora itself, and data from other sites you’ve linked to your Quora account.

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Android Confidential: The Pixel Slate doesn't cut it as a high-end Android tablet

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 09:23

While I already reviewed the Pixel Slate at considerable length as a Chromebook, I also wanted to take a look at it as an Android device. Since Chrome OS can run Android apps now, the Pixel Slate should be a contender for Android tablet of the year.

OK, maybe that’s not saying much, but with a 2,000x3,000 screen, Core Intel processor, and up to 8GB of RAM, the Pixel Slate is a fantastic piece of hardware that any Android fan would love. But how does it perform as a tablet? The answer: just OK. Apps are buggy, performance is lackluster, and the tablet-PC hybrid interface just doesn’t work.

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Your Mac won’t type U, I, O, J, K, L, and M? Here’s why

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 08:00

Ever have a problem on your Mac, where you can’t type the letters and numbers 7, 8, 9, U, I, O, J, K, L, and M—and maybe some others?

It’s probably Mouse Keys at play, an accessibility feature in macOS that mimics an old IBM-style keypad feature.

Num Lock and its computer history

Keyboards still have vestiges of their origins on typewriters and mechanical calculators. We mostly ignore those in our day-to-day work. The Shift key, originally meant to literally raise a set of typebars in a typewriter, merely shifts among upper and lower case. And you know better than to press Caps Lock when entering passwords—Apple even alerts you when you have it accidentally enabled.

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Indignation nation: An unrepairable relationship with Apple

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 07:00

By the ol’ Watch on the wrist, The Macalope sees that it is once again angry-at-Apple o’clock. Which is to say that it is any one of the 24 hours of the day.

Writing for both the sound and the fury over at Business Insider, Christopher Curley says “I’ve used Apple computers my entire life. Here's why I'm never buying one again.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor, Nick and Jason.)

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DNA testing for ancestry is more detailed for white people. Here’s why, and how it's changing

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 06:04
23andMe and AncestryDNA are the most popular DNA tests in the world. But right now, their results appear biased towards people of European descent. Here's what's being done about it.

DNA testing for ancestry is more detailed for white people. Here’s why, and how it's changing

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 06:04

As DNA tests for ancestry explode in popularity, a fundamental problem remains: The tests deliver more detailed results for people of European descent, as evidenced by the ethnicities and data that major DNA testing companies represent. While this bias should, theoretically, abate as more people take the test and add their DNA data to the mix, the companies have some work to do before their kits can work reasonably well on a worldwide population. 

In 2017, more people took DNA tests than in all the previous years combined, according to the MIT Technology Review, and that number keeps climbing. According to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), more than 18 million people have tested their DNA to learn about their ethnic identity or to find relatives. DNA testing companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe have become household names as a result, while new tests claiming more specialized results crop up every few years.

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Sony A9F Master Series 4K UHD OLED TV review: A top-notch TV with the best sound in the business

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 06:00
Sony's XBR65A9 65-inch 4K UHD OLED TV offers great color, excellent blacks, and wonderful HDR. It also offers the best sound in a flat-panel TV, bar none. The only problem is that there's a significantly cheaper, but highly worthy competitor in the LG's E8 series.

Loft Portable Battery Base review: Take your Google Home anywhere with this easy-to-use accessory

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 06:00
Transform your Google Home into a mobile Bluetooth speaker with this clever battery accessory.

The 10 iPhone and iPad games you need to play from October and November 2018

Mac World - Tue, 2018-12-04 06:00
The best iOS games from October and November

Image by Chucklefish

Thanksgiving may be over, but we’re still thankful for the amazing games that dropped for iOS throughout October and November. These range from graphically and strategically complex games like Civilization VI to charming puzzlers like Eloh. We can also now tend to our farms in the beloved Stardew Valley on our phones, and find out how Jon Snow fares on the Iron Throne in the delightful Reigns: Game of Thrones. Regardless of whether you want action or ambiance, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy in the latest crop of games. 

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