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The Curse of the Pharaohs DLC for Assassin's Creed: Origins is Assassin's Creed at its best

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 11:25

Curse of the Pharaohs took me by surprise. I didn’t really think twice about putting it off—usually Assassin’s Creed DLC is filler, an indulgence I save for the quieter parts of the year. It’s an excuse to jump back in for 5 or 10 hours, and in the case of Assassin’s Creed: Origins I planned to spend some extra time mopping up side content I’d skipped.

I played through it recently though and quickly found out Curse of the Pharaohs is legitimately fantastic. Maybe the best Assassin’s Creed in years. The most creative, at the very least.

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40-inch smart TV with built-in Roku costs just $230 on Amazon now

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 10:24

Whether you’re a cord cutter, a cord shaver, or even a cable subscriber, a smart TV can elevate your viewing experience. And if you use cord-cutting services like Hulu and HBO Now, Roku’s lineup of video streamers are among the best on the market. But you don’t have to buy these two things separately. In fact, you can get a 40-inch TCL smart TV with built-in Roku for $229.99 right now, which is about 10 percent off its average price on Amazon.

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40-inch smart TV with built-in Roku costs just $230 on Amazon now

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 10:24

Whether you’re a cord cutter, a cord shaver, or even a cable subscriber, a smart TV can elevate your viewing experience. And if you use cord-cutting services like Hulu and HBO Now, Roku’s lineup of video streamers are among the best on the market. But you don’t have to buy these two things separately. In fact, you can get a 40-inch TCL smart TV with built-in Roku for $229.99 right now, which is about 10 percent off its average price on Amazon.

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Immerse yourself in this massive 32-inch, curved Samsung monitor for just $190 today

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 10:12

A gigantic, curved display can make your PC experience feel wonderfully immersive, regardless of whether you’re gaming or slinging spreadsheets around. Impressive monitors like that don’t come cheap, though—at least usually. Amazon’s featured deal today is a refurbished curved monitor from retailer Woot. A refurbished 32-inch Samsung C32F397FWN is only $190. This monitor normally sells for $270 brand new. The deal ends just before midnight on Wednesday, Pacific time.

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AMD's Radeon RX 500X graphics cards are just RX 500-series GPUs with a new name

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 09:50

The $799 entry-level model of HP’s new Pavilion gaming laptops includes Radeon RX 560X graphics, a GPU unheard of before this morning. But that’s no typo. On Wednesday, AMD announced the Radeon RX 500X series of graphics cards, which basically slap a new name on the existing Radeon RX 500-series GPUs (which themselves were pretty much a slightly faster, rebranded version of the RX 400-series).

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Numbers 4 for iOS review: Better tools for importing, sorting, and viewing organized data

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 09:00
IDG

Numbers handles imports of large amounts of data and ably works with large spreadsheets.

Apple views Numbers for iOS as a tool for visualizing and presenting data, rather than as a workhorse spreadsheet app. But the latest update offers improvements on both sides of that equation. While not piling on features, Apple has brought the iOS version more in line with the Mac version, as well as harmonizing features with Pages (Mac and iOS) and Keynote (Mac and iOS) for consistency. This kind of parity and consistency means less frustration when moving among apps and between platforms.

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Numbers 5 for Mac review: Inching closer to being a more full-featured spreadsheet app

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 08:00

Numbers for Mac has always occupied an awkward position. It’s not powerful enough to replace Excel or Google Sheets for many business purposes, and it’s designed partly to be an interaction, quantitative-information presentation tool. Numbers for iOS had even more of a bias towards presentation until the latest update brought it a little more power.

However, Apple keeps pushing forward, and Numbers 5 for Mac has only a single significant change that Apple mostly underplayed, as most of the changes improve feature parity and seamless interchange between Numbers for Mac and iOS, while also making the apps more consistent with Pages (Mac and iOS) and Keynote (Mac and iOS).

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HP debuts Pavilion Gaming Laptops with many choices for mainstream gamers

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 08:00

HP’s Pavilion Gaming Laptops are jumping straight into a massive, multiplayer battle royale, as PC vendors vie for mainstream gamers’ money. The Pavilion Gaming line, announced Wednesday, is due to ship in late May or early June (and also includes desktops). It closely follows the Dell G series competition announced April 3 and shipping later this month. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s Legion gaming line and Acer’s Nitro affordable gaming PCs are already on the field. 

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The best note-taking apps for the iPad and Apple Pencil

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 07:00

With the new 9.7-inch iPad, the Apple Pencil at last comes to the masses. Apple’s recent push to get its scrappy tablet back in schools means you no longer how to shell out mountains of cash if you want to use the iPad like a digital legal pad, and that’s good news for all of us regardless of whether we’re in boardrooms or third-grade history class.

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DarbeeVision DVP-5000S video processor review: A clever, but pricey fidelity upgrade for 1080p video

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 06:00
The DVP-5000S sits between your HDMI source and display and uses a stereoscopic processing trick to create greater apparent detail in 1080p and lower-resolution video.

iOS apps that need to be on the Mac

Mac World - Wed, 2018-04-11 06:00

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a great track record of reporting Apple scoops, wrote a few months ago that Apple was working on a new approach to app development that would let developers “design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware.”

Accepting that Apple could change direction at any time and that this project—code-named Marzipan—might not even be announced this year, it’s an intriguing possibility. Obviously iOS has a much more thriving app store than the one on the Mac, so if Apple could make it easier for iOS developers to deploy their apps on the Mac, it might help the platform thrive. Merging the approach to developing apps on Apple’s two platforms also may make sense in light of the report that Apple may be replacing Intel processors with Apple-designed ARM processors in future Macs.

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DarbeeVision DVP-5000S video processor review: A clever, but pricey fidelity upgrade for 1080p video

PC World - Wed, 2018-04-11 06:00
The DVP-5000S sits between your HDMI source and display and uses a stereoscopic processing trick to create greater apparent detail in 1080p and lower-resolution video.

AMD rolls out CPU firmware and Windows 10 patches to protect against Spectre exploits

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-10 16:33

Intel recently finished its barrage of CPU microcode updates designed to combat the nasty Spectre variant 2 exploit, and today, AMD revealed its plans to protect PCs against the flaw. (AMD processors aren’t vulnerable to Meltdown.)

AMD’s announcement, penned by chief technical officer Mark Papermaster, released alongside Microsoft’s monthly “Patch Tuesday” update and showcases how complex plugging Meltdown and Spectre’s security holes can be. Today’s Windows 10 updates include code containing Spectre variant 2 mitigations at an operating system level, similarly to how a Windows update in early January protected against Specter variant 1.

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Hands-on: Radical Heights is a free battle royale game oozing '80s neon and early access bugs

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-10 15:39

Last week Boss Key said it was moving on from Lawbreakers to a “passion project.” Now just a handful of days later that passion project is out on Steam. I didn’t expect such a fast turnaround, but the game is called Radical Heights, and it’s a free-to-play, ‘80s game show-themed battle royale shooter. Basically, it’s The Running Man.

And you know what? I like it.

Smash and grab

Okay, "like" is maybe too strong a word for what's here. I think it has potential though. Radical Heights cribs a lot of its best ideas from the arcade classic Smash TV, but I’m hardly going to complain about that. There’s an over-the-top announcer yell-talking bad jokes at you, there are “prizes” to pick up. It’s very much that sort of game show aesthetic, and it fits well with the low-stakes setup of battle royale matches.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, April 11 at 11 a.m. Pacific

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-10 14:00

The Mac Pro is coming in 2019. Rumors of a three-lens camera system and other iPhone news. What’s it like for an adult to use Swift Playground to learn how to code? We also feature your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 600.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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Buy iTunes gift cards for 15% off, then buy discounted movies on iTunes

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-10 13:21

PayPal has gotten rather fond of discounting iTunes gift cards over the last couple of months, to the point that it barely even counts as news anymore. But if you’re out of the loop, you should know that PayPal is offering$100 iTunes gift cards for 15 percent off through eBay today, which brings your overall price down to a more palatable $85. Act quickly, though, because these things tend to sell out fast.

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Apple's original TV shows and series: Isaac Asimov's Foundation adaptation gets a straight-to-series deal

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-10 13:01

Updated 4/10/18: Deadline reports that Apple has landed a straight-to-series deal for a TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation science fiction books.

Apple is said to be spending as much as $1 billion over the course of 2018 on original TV programming. That's a lot of TV! It's not the $8 billion Netflix is going to spend, but it's still a huge commitment.

What can you get for a billion dollars? Well, some simple math gives us 200 episodes at $5 million a piece (a reasonable per-episode price for high-end TV). But we're not likely to actually see 10-20 shows with 10-20 episodes each, all costing around that much. For starters, that billion dollars has to cover a lot more than per-episode production costs.

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The Anker charger that brings Amazon's Alexa into your car has never been cheaper

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-10 10:40

Car chargers are essential for keeping your phone powered up during busy days. They’re a boring, necessary accessory that get the job done, but usually don’t spice up the drive. Not Anker’s Roav Viva. This car charger is compatible with the Alexa smart assistant found in the heart of Amazon Echo, and you can get it right now for $40 on Amazon, almost 20 percent off its average price. It’s never been cheaper on the retail site.

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The Anker charger that brings Amazon's Alexa into your car has never been cheaper

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-10 10:40

Car chargers are essential for keeping your phone powered up during busy days. They’re a boring, necessary accessory that get the job done, but usually don’t spice up the drive. Not Anker’s Roav Viva. This car charger is compatible with the Alexa smart assistant found in the heart of Amazon Echo, and you can get it right now for $40 on Amazon, almost 20 percent off its average price. It’s never been cheaper on the retail site.

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A Dell laptop with a speedy Intel 8th-gen CPU is $150 off at the Microsoft Store

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-10 10:03

Intel supercharged the performance of its 8th-gen mobile processors by cramming them full of more cores and threads than ever before, and we’ve spotted a rare deal on a laptop packing one of the new chips. You can get a 13-inch Dell Inspiron 13 i7370 for $599 at the Microsoft Store. Dell itself is currently selling this laptop for $749.

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