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Omen Mindframe headset review: HP nails the cooling, but the basics need work

PC World - Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00

HP’s Omen Mindframe arrives as the war for your ears is heating up—or maybe cooling down. I never would’ve pegged “sweaty ears” as the next battleground for gaming headsets, but it’s the one more and more companies are choosing. Last month we looked at Razer’s Nari Ultimate, which (among other features) packed cooling gel into the earcups.

Now HP’s Omen Mindframe arrives with an even more high-tech solution: Active cooling, to keep your lobes frosty for hours at a time. No, seriously.

Ominous

First let’s talk design, though. This is HP’s first gaming headset, which is always interesting—especially when it comes from a brand, like HP, that isn’t traditionally associated with gaming.

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Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) review: Better in every way, and better than every other smart display

Mac World - Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00
It’s a major step up, but Amazon still doesn’t have the best smart speaker.

Why does Apple’s two-factor sign-in think you’re hundreds of miles away?

Mac World - Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00

Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) is a boon for anyone who wants to be sure that even if their Apple ID or iCloud password were stolen or found out, an intruder would still need a piece of equipment associated with the account to complete the login. These trusted phone numbers and trusted devices offer good deterrence.

When you log in to an iCloud account, the Apple ID site, or an Apple app that gives you account access or lets you make purchases, you’re prompted on a trusted device if you haven’t been challenged in a while at the software location at which you’re logging in. It’s in two parts: first, iOS and macOS show a tiny map and Don’t Allow and Allow buttons. If you tap or click Allow, you then get a six-digit code you can enter to complete the login.

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AirPods knockoffs tested: Sometimes you get what you pay for

Mac World - Mon, 2018-10-08 06:00

When Apple debuted the AirPods in September of 2016, everybody scoffed at the seemingly exorbitant $159 price. Since then, scores of other true wireless earbuds have been released, and it turns out that all the good ones cost that much or more. Apple was giving us a bargain, and we just didn’t realize it.

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After the October Update fiasco, Microsoft needs to warn users about the risks of Windows 10 upgrades

PC World - Sat, 2018-10-06 15:00

“The newest Windows feature update is ready to install. We need you to kick it off. With new features and apps, this one could take a little longer than other updates.”

That’s how Windows 10 tells users that it’s about to upgrade to one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly milestone updates, like the Creators Update. Does it sound like you’re about to perform major surgery on your operating system, the sort of upgrade that could result in file deletion and system corruption if things go sideways? Because that’s what you’re doing when you upgrade to a new milestone version of Windows 10, and Microsoft needs to be more clear about it—a fact made startlingly obvious now that the company pulled back the Windows 10 October 2018 Update because of user reports about mass file deletion.

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Microsoft pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update after reports of mass file deletion

PC World - Sat, 2018-10-06 09:04

Microsoft is slamming the brakes on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update’s rollout. The upgrade became available during the company’s Surface event on Tuesday, but in the days that followed, numerous users across the web reported that the transition deleted massive chunks of data. User profiles and entire folders full of files went missing in some cases and rolling back the upgrade didn’t restore them. Now Microsoft is temporarily halting the October 2018 Update’s distribution due to the issue.

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AMD's Dynamic Local Mode for Threadripper promises almost 50 percent more performance

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 20:26

If you're lucky enough to have one of AMD's high-end Ryzen Threadripper CPUs 2990WX (or the soon-to-come 2790WX) , AMD has just given you a cherry for the top of your sundae. A new piece of software called Dynamic Local Mode will boost performance on some tasks by rerouting loads in Windows. Robert Hallock of AMD introduced Dynamic Local Mode in a blog post on Friday.

Dynamic Local Mode was created to address a specific performance characteristic of Ryzen Threadripper. Instead of a single chip, AMD's massive 32-core and 24-core Threadripper CPUs are built by connecting four dies using a high-speed fabric interface. Two of the dies have their own memory controllers, and two are pure compute chips which must access memory through the adjacent die.

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AMD's 24-core and 12-core 2nd-gen Threadripper CPU are set to hit the streets soon

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 18:40

AMD’s 24-core and 12-core 2nd-generation Threadripper CPUs will officially hit the streets on October 29, the company said.

AMD announced a quartet of 2nd-gen Threadrippers, with only the 32-core and 16-core versions shipping so far. By the end of the month, the company said, the final two will arrive, putting all of AMD’s cards on the table for the year.

AMD

AMD’s last two Threadrippers will hit the streets on Oct. 29, the company said.

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey review in progress: This ancient adventure breathes new life into the series

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 14:06

I haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey ($60 on Humble), nor will I for a while. I’ve been playing it for days now, over 30 hours and counting. “Surely I must be closing in on the end,” I keep thinking. Then I check the map and find I’ve explored less than half of it. My quest log tallies at least 40 active missions at the moment. Everywhere I go, there’s more stuff.

It’s no wonder Odysseus was away from home for two decades.

The long journey home

This is Assassin’s Creed now, I guess. The “Return to Our Roots” direction of Unity and Syndicate is dead. Instead Ubisoft rebooted the reboot, with last year’s Origins hearkening back to the sprawling world of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It traded stormy Caribbean seas for the dusty deserts and hidden oases of Ptolemaic Egypt, but the core loop felt similar.

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This week in games: Total War: Warhammer II adds undead pirates, Amazon's MMO leaks on Pornhub

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 13:00

Amazon’s MMO has gone from being a rumor to being a screenshot repository to showing off (leaked) footage in mere weeks. If only all games could be so speedy.

That news, plus Surviving Mars and Total War: Warhammer II unveil expansions, Mike Morhaime departs Blizzard after 27 years, Gameumentary puts out an hour-long documentary on Divinity developer Larian, and...yeah, more Telltale layoffs.

This is gaming news for October 1 to 5.

Shining stars

This week I don’t have free games for you per se—although Shadow Warrior 2 is still available through Saturday morning. Humble’s also running its most appealing bundle in ages though, the “Humble Overwhelmingly Positive Bundle 2.” The $1 bundle is fine, with Wuppo, Simulacra, and Subsurface Circular. Beating the average is where it gets interesting though, adding Nuclear Throne, Momodora: Reverie Under Moonlight, Lisa, and Frictional’s fantastic Soma. And for $15? You’ll unlock Zachtronics’s excellent alchemy-themed puzzle game Opus Magnum as well. Pretty great deal.

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The $100 Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth speaker is on sale for nearly 75% off today

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 12:06

Picking the right Bluetooth speaker can be an exercise in futility, but today Amazon is making it easy. The popular Oontz Angle 3 Ultra is on sale for $27Remove non-product link, the best price we've ever seen and nearly 75 percent off its $100 MSRP.

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The $100 Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth speaker is on sale for nearly 75% off today

Mac World - Fri, 2018-10-05 12:06

Picking the right Bluetooth speaker can be an exercise in futility, but today Amazon is making it easy. The popular Oontz Angle 3 Ultra is on sale for $27Remove non-product link, the best price we've ever seen and nearly 75 percent off its $100 MSRP.

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The Full Nerd ep. 70: Microsoft Surface refresh analysis, inside the Windows 10 October Update

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 10:07

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAdam Patrick Murray, and PCWorld’s resident Microsoft expert Mark Hachman dive deep into the slew of Surface device updates and what to expect from the big (and boringly named) Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

We start by talking about Surface, as Microsoft refreshed most of its lineup earlier this week. Mark got hands-on time with the new Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, and Surface Headphones in New York, and he shares his impressions of all the new gear. And, well, we mock the updated-but-still-outdated CPU and GPU inside the new Studio 2 all-in-one. (That luscious display though!)

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Bait and fix: Apple is basically forcing you to get AppleCare for your new MacBook Pro

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 09:50
Apple has implemented a new policy that will render your MacBook Pro 'inoperative' if you try to fix it at home or through an unauthorized repair shop.

Bait and fix: Apple is basically forcing you to get AppleCare for your new MacBook Pro

Mac World - Fri, 2018-10-05 09:50

The new MacBook Pros aren’t cheap. The least expensive 13-inch model costs $1,800 and goes all the way up to $6,700 for the maxed-out 15-inch model with a 2.9GHz Intel Core i9 processor. And now there’s a hidden catch that might make them way more expensive.

Along with the high price tag and any dongles you may need to purchase to get your old USB-A devices up and running, you might be in for a rude awakening if you try to fix your new MacBook Pro. As reported by Motherboard, Apple has introduced new software locks with its new laptops that “will render the computer ‘inoperative’ unless a proprietary Apple ‘system configuration’ software is run after parts of the system are replaced.”

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Corsair's K70 MK.2 Special Edition keyboard is built for fast gaming and cheaper than ever at $50 off

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 09:19

One of the most beloved gaming keyboards is available at an all-time low price today. Amazon is selling a version of the Corsair K70 for $130, $50 off this particular model’s most recent price.

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The HomePod’s growing pains

Mac World - Fri, 2018-10-05 07:00

Nearly six months into having a HomePod, I made a decision to have it stop listening to me.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Well, that sounds like a fairly central feature of the device?” you’d be right. I now essentially have a very nice but rather expensive AirPlay 2 speaker. But this decision came after a steady and measured observation of how I used Apple’s smart speaker, what it does right, and what it does...less than right.

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LG V40 review: The V stands for Victory (and Very expensive)

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 06:34

LG's V40 comes at a time when LG desperately needs a break. After the V30, V35, and G7 all stumbled out the gate with unforgivable flaws and half-baked features, LG has gone back to the well with the V40. And wouldn't you know it, LG's finally got it right. With the changes to the screen, camera, and design, the V40 fixes early every problem I had with its predecessors.

Whether that translates into robust sales or any kind of sustained success remains to be seen, but the V40 is a phone that can stand up to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Pixel 3 XL, and even the iPhone XS Max. The penta-camera system you've heard about gives it a massive boost over the G7 without introducing too many gimmicks, and the OLED display is a giant leap over the V30's screen.

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Logitech K600 TV review: A keyboard for the couch

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00
Logitech's keyboard-trackpad combo gets a hand from thumb-friendly navigation options.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max review: It’s time for older iPhone owners to jump on the X bandwagon

PC World - Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00
A faster processor, new Max size and camera improvements make the iPhone XS a compelling upgrade.

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