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35% off Etekcity Smart Plug 2 Pack, Energy Monitoring and Alexa Compatible - Deal Alert

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 09:46

With this smart plug from Etekcity, you can turn your appliances on/off remotely from your mobile device, or with your voice via Alexa. Or automate the on/off cycle with a schedule. The plug also monitors and helps control energy usage, and the slow drain that occurs even when devices are powered down. With this deal, a 2-pack of smart plugs is discounted 35% down to $38.74, or just under $20 per plug. See this deal now on Amazon.

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Crazy for 8s: The forgotten iPhone of 2017

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 08:00

The Macalope is fascinated by the collective madness that has seized technology coverage in 2017. It might be understandable that people mostly want to talk about the iPhone 8, since it’ll be the high-end model. What is really weird, however, is how many refuse to even mention the iPhone 7s.

Writing for Computerworld, John Brandon explains “Why the iPhone 8 probably won’t be worth the $999 price tag.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Alan Grassia.)

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Sony incorporates Google Assistant into its new wireless smart speaker

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 07:15
But the Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker looks less like Google Home and more like Apple’s HomePod.

Sony incorporates Google Assistant into its new wireless smart speaker

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 07:15
But the Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker looks less like Google Home and more like Apple’s HomePod.

LG's V30 dumps the removable battery, but adds features galore

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 07:00

LG has officially unveiled the V30, its 6-inch flagship phablet, and the phone is conspicuously missing two mainstays of the company’s V line: a removable battery and LG’s so-called “second screen.” The new direction could turn off LG diehards, but they can rest assured that the V30 has every other feature imaginable. 

From its new display to its camera to its processor, everything about the V30 has been upgraded over both 2016’s V20, as well as the G6, a 5.7-inch flagship from this year. On paper alone, the V30 is a very intriguing phablet, but it still faces a tall order: Convincing enough people to buy it over the Note 8 and upcoming Pixel 2.

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LG V30 hands-on: A 6-inch beast with more power and fewer gimmicks

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 07:00

The V30 isn’t the typical fall flagship from LG. While the V20 was a bountiful bag of tricks for hardcore Android nerds, the V30 is more subtle and refined—LG’s bid to make a premium Android phone that appeals to a wider audience.

The philosophy shift starts with ditching two novel features that were unique to the previous V phones: the removable battery and the second screen. While their usefulness was debatable, they definitely gave the earlier V phones some identity, and there will certainly be a faction of LG fans who rage-tweet about the loss.

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iPhone 8: All the rumors we're (almost) certain will come true

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 07:00

After months and months (and months) of speculation, the iPhone 8 is finally upon us. But don’t believe everything you read. In this week’s episode of The iPhone Show, I highlight only the rumors most likely to come true.

OLED display? Virtual Home button? Facial recognition? Watch the vide above to see which iPhone 8 rumors are the most plausible. And if you want to get the details on everything that’s been speculated about this special iPhone, check out Macworld’s ultimate rumor roundup.

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Android TV: The Oreo update isn't enough

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 06:00
Android 8.0 Oreo crash-lands on the Nexus Player. Now what?

Android TV: The Oreo update isn't enough

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 06:00
Android 8.0 Oreo crash-lands on the Nexus Player. Now what?

iOS and macOS automation: What does the future hold?

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 06:00

One of the great things about computers is that they’re machines we can use to perform repetitive tasks that would bore human beings to tears. Power users have access to utilities and scripting languages to become incredibly productive, cutting out hours of busy work.

But in the past year, two events have occurred that call into question the future of tools to boost our productivity on both macOS and iOS. Longtime Automation product manager Sal Soghoian had his position at Apple eliminated, and Apple bought the leading iOS automation app, Workflow.

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Philips sweetens its Hue smart bulb starter kits and announces two new light fixtures

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 05:00
Hue starter kits now come with four bulbs instead of three, and there are new downlight and suspension fixtures.

Philips sweetens its Hue smart bulb starter kits and announces two new light fixtures

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 05:00
Hue starter kits now come with four bulbs instead of three, and there are new downlight and suspension fixtures.

Logitech Craft hands-on: This keyboard's mini-Surface Dial is truly innovative

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 03:05

The Logitech Craft keyboard is what happens when a keyboard engineer glimpses Microsoft’s Surface Dial hockey-puck peripheral and decides: We can do that, too. Pairing a small, Dial-like keyboard knob with software templates pre-configured for popular apps makes the Craft a useful tool for almost any application. When it ships in October, however, it'll come with a hefty $200 price tag attached.

Nevertheless, as a productivity tool, the Craft (for both Macs and Windows PCs) is worth serious consideration. Logitech dubs its version of the Dial the Crown, and you can tap it, spin it, or push-and-turn it to perform various functions on an app-by-app basis. Logitech’s approach feels much more like something everyone could use, while the Surface Dial still feels like a specialized instrument for digital illustrators and artists.

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Libratone will convert its Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers into Alexa-powered smart speakers this fall

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 03:01
Own one of these upscale wireless speakers? It’s about to get a whole lot more capable.

Libratone will convert its Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers into Alexa-powered smart speakers this fall

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 03:01
Own one of these upscale wireless speakers? It’s about to get a whole lot more capable.

Nest unveils the simpler, cheaper Nest Thermostat E

PC World - Thu, 2017-08-31 00:01
The company is implementing a better, best strategy in pursuit of more buyers.

Nest unveils the simpler, cheaper Nest Thermostat E

Mac World - Thu, 2017-08-31 00:01
The company is implementing a better, best strategy in pursuit of more buyers.

The best laptops of 2017: Ultrabooks, budget PCs, 2-in-1s, and more

PC World - Wed, 2017-08-30 17:49

Choosing the best laptop among the many options available is about to get a lot harder. Fall is coming—and so are a slew of new laptops.

In fact, if you’re hunting for a new ultraportable, we recommend holding off on any purchases for the time being. Intel recently announced four 8th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 mobile processors that could result in a dramatic leap in performance in thin-and-light convertibles, 2-in-1s, hybrids, and traditional laptops. Announcements of notebooks with these chips have begun, with likely more to follow.

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iPhone event on Sept. 12? iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy Note 8, and 4K Apple TV: Macworld Podcast episode 571

Mac World - Wed, 2017-08-30 17:15

Apple may have an event on September 12 that showcases the new iPhone. What would it take for you to be more productive with your iPhone? And reports say that 4K video is in the works for the Apple TV.

Macworld’s Roman Loyola, Leah YamshonMichael Simon, and Dan Masaoka talk about these topics and more in the Macworld Podcast, episode 571.

Editor’s note: We had technical issues with this episode and we were not able to broadcast the live video feed on the Macworld Facebook page or on Twitter. We hope to have those issues resolved by next week’s podcast.

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The Microsoft-Amazon deal leaves Cortana speakers with one advantage: Skype

PC World - Wed, 2017-08-30 15:38

If Cortana will work on Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices, and Alexa will run on Windows, what's the point of buying Cortana-powered connected speakers like Harman Kardon’s Invoke? In a word: Skype.

The unexpected partnership struck Wednesday between Amazon and Microsoft—neither of which owns a digital assistant that’s natively built into a major smartphone OS—extends Amazon’s reach to the more than 400 million PCs running Windows 10, and ties Microsoft closer to another third-party hardware platform. 

Alexa will be available as a Cortana skill on Windows 10 PCs first, followed by the Cortana apps on Android and iOS in the future, a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email. Conversely, Cortana will be available as an Alexa skill on devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. Microsoft has yet to confirm whether Alexa will be included on the Invoke.

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