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50% off Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor

Thu, 2017-02-23 15:29

This 34-inch 21:9 curved monitor with a panoramic view, cinematic WQHD resolution and rich sound has just sunk 50% to its best price yet on Amazon, making this a solid deal on the U3415W. Learn more and explore buying options for the U3415W on Amazon.

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Google updates Gboard for iOS with new emoji and voice-typing

Thu, 2017-02-23 15:20

Apple upgraded Messages in iOS 10 to include a ton of new features, but that doesn’t mean that Google is giving up on Gboard, its third-party iOS keyboard. 

On Thursday, Google updated Gboard to support new emoji, voice-typing, 15 additional languages, and Google Doodles. Google originally released Gboard in May 2016 to give iOS users features like Glide Typing and built-in GIF search.

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33% off NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Router with High Power 5dBi External Antennas - Deal Alert

Thu, 2017-02-23 12:50

Currently discounted 33% and selling for just $19.99, the NETGEAR N300 WiFi Router with external antennas (WNR2020) offers high-performance wireless speeds of up to 300 Mbps, and for the current price is a good consideration for the internet needs in your second home, apartment, dormitory, or as a drop-in replacement of your legacy router. It also features external 5dBi antennas for improved WiFi coverage and Push 'N' Connect for easy WiFi connections. The scheduled WiFi on/off button allows for convenient power savings by scheduling times for WiFi to be turned off. It's currently rated 4 out of 5 stars from over 7,600 customers (read recent reviews here) on Amazon, where its been recently discounted 33% to a very reasonable $19.99. See the discounted N300 Wi-Fi router from Netgear on Amazon.

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Apple opposes Trump’s transgender rights rollback

Thu, 2017-02-23 11:46

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced plans to roll back Obama protections for transgender kids in schools. Apple quickly responded with a forceful statement against the move.

“Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination,” the company said in a statement it provided to Politico. “We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”

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Past isn’t prologue: Apple isn’t today’s Microsoft

Thu, 2017-02-23 10:00

Remember how iOS versus Android was just like the Mac versus Windows? Well, if you loved that old hit… you’re probably reading the wrong column. But pundits have a new spin on it that still makes no sense: Apple is Microsoft!

See, they were Apple and got trounced by Microsoft and they were going to be Apple again but this time get trounced by Google but instead they’re Microsoft. It all makes sense when you read this pamphlet and relinquish all your worldly possessions.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and incurable myopia clinic, Adam Hartung describes “Tim Cook's 'Ballmer-ization' Of Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

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SoundSource 3 review: Easy-to-access macOS audio controls

Thu, 2017-02-23 09:00
IDG

The SoundSource menu provides access to nearly all sound settings in one place and at a glance.

Shaving off annoyances in macOS is always worth a few bucks, and if you manipulate audio sources and volumes frequently, it should be worth $10. Rogue Amoeba’s SoundSource 3 provides splayed-out, easy access to the settings divvied up in the Sound system preference pane, and only partly available through the system audio menu item.

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The Gamevice turns your iPhone 7 into a handheld game console

Thu, 2017-02-23 07:00

There are a few pretty good MFi-approved game controllers for iOS, but most of them seem more ideally designed for iPad than iPhone. It makes sense to prop up your iPad and use a gamepad from a few feet away, but would you do the same with an iPhone and squint at the smaller screen? Some controllers offer iPhone-holding clips, which is a fair solution, although it can be awkward depending on the size of the phone and/or controller. 

Thankfully, the Gamevice is a better solution for bringing physical controls to your iPhone. The newly-released second-gen version supports the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (as well as 6/6s and 6/6s Plus), and as the name suggests, it clamps around the top and bottom of your phone to surround the screen with buttons and analog sticks. The end result can’t help but look like a PlayStation Vita or PSP—or the new Nintendo Switch coming out in early March. 

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For a bigger iPad to work, iOS needs some interface improvements

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:56

The future of iOS is bright. While I love my Mac and expect to be using the Mac for a long time yet, iOS is the Apple operating system for the next 30 years. As I described last week, there are many different directions iOS can go in, taking the platform beyond the size and shape of today’s iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

I believe that iOS’s future is big–and I mean that literally. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro I’m using to write this article is currently the largest iOS device in existence, but it seems inevitable that Apple will want to size up iOS even more, whether it’s in a 15- or 17-inch mega-tablet, or an even larger desktop iOS device similar to the style of Microsoft’s Surface Studio.

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Best surge protector

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

You only know for sure that you needed a surge protector after your equipment fries. Then it’s too late. For a very reasonable amount of money, you could put an almost literal firewall between your expensive (and cheap) electronics and the juice coming in from a wall socket. A surge protector throws itself into the line of fire, sacrificing its components again and again so that your devices stay functional.

These reviews are of surge protectors designed for a home office or cubicle, or a home-entertainment system. Such power mediators have a single function: keeping voltage from exceeding a certain rated level, beyond which equipment can blow a fuse, burn out its power supply, or completely fry its circuitry beyond repair. The surge protector takes a hit instead of your hardware or A/V system, and it could potentially save you hundreds to many thousands of dollars, depending on what you have connected.

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AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip review: Very little protection

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

We included this AmazonBasics model in our testing, because we wanted to see how a baseline, mostly old-style power strip with surge protection would work. The answer is: not well and we don’t recommend it for electronics of any kind. Its clamping voltage is too high, protection too low, and durability too short.

It’s almost a side note that the location and spacing of the outlets isn’t ideal for electronics. There’s one extra long gap at the strip’s end opposite the power switch, but I was only able to position four typical plugs among its six outlets.

To be fair, Amazon markets it at the top of its product page as for “small appliances, phones, and lamps,” but in the full description, Amazon says it “creates an important layer of defense, protecting electronic devices like hard drives against system crashes, data loss, and damage.”

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Accell Poweramid surge protector review: Packs a lot in a small footprint

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

When you’re on the road, in a hotel room, at a coffeeshop, in an airport, or in a conference or banquet room, the power outlets available often fall far short of what you need. The Accell 6-outlet Powramid has a cutesy name, but packs a wallop. With six outlets spaced at intervals around a circle, plus two high-speed USB charging ports, you can practically power an office. You’ll make a lot of friends when you plug this in.

The Powramid isn’t precisely portable. It’s just under 1.5 pounds and with the bulbous main unit plus the six-foot cord, so you won’t want to drop it into a laptop bag or a regular carry-on. But it is the kind of gadget you might throw into a car or in checked luggage if you’re routinely short of power or traveling with colleagues.

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APC SurgeArrest review: Very near the top of the pack

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

APC is a long-time maker of electronics-protecting products, including uninterruptible power supplies. Its 11-outlet SurgeArrest has excellent build quality, a good outlet layout, and nice extras that put it nearly at the top of the pack. (APC sent us the slightly older, now-discontinued PF11VNT3 for review, which has an almost identical feature set and layout. A cable organizer is no longer part of the design.)

The surge protector runs five outlets for standard 2- and 3-prong plugs down the middle, and then on either side has three outlets perpendicular to the center plugs and widely spaced. I was able to attach six power adapters of varying sizes and five plugs down in the middle with only a little cramping.

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Tripp Lite TLP1208TELTV review: Its outlets are packed tight, but it does everything else right

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

Tripp Lite’s 12-outlet surge protector might lack a product name—model number TLP1208TELTV doesn’t exactly roll off one’s tongue—but it has nearly everything else. It’s your best bet for a surge protector that cuts power when its internal protection is exhausted, and it offers a relatively good outlet layout.

You want a surge protector that stops letting power flow when the internal protection can’t absorb a surge if you’re in an area or on an electrical system with regular surges or electrical strikes that cause voltage spikes, and you have a high degree of concern that you might experience damage before noticing the Protected light on your surge protector has gone out. If that’s the case and you have hard disk drives (HDDs) on attached computers rather than SSDs, or other hardware that could be damaged or corrupt data if the power is cut off, consider adding an uninterruptible power supply. A UPS comes with a back-up battery that can provide power long enough for you to shut the computer down in an organized fashion.

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RAVPower surge protector review: Too many unknowns for us to recommend

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

We picked RAVPower's 8-outlet, 3 USB port surge protector because we liked the features it offered and we've had good experiences with some of the company's other products. Despite its high build quality, good outlet layout, and three fast-charging USB ports, a lack of detailed specifications prevents us from recommending it or giving it a good rating.

RAVPower didn’t respond to several requests for information, so we’re unable to determine several technical elements. The product appears to lack a UL Listing, a baseline testing characteristic that should be present in every electrical and electronic device. It doesn’t have a UL Listing in its molding or as an add-on label, and we were unable to find it in the UL database.

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Belkin 12-outlet PivotPlug review: Clever design helps avoid blocked outlets

Thu, 2017-02-23 06:00

This best-in-breed affordable surge protector continues to let power flow even after protection is exhausted. If you have equipment that could lose data or be damaged if powered down abruptly, including a desktop computer with a hard disk drive (HDD) rather than an SSD, Belkin’s 12-outlet PivotPlug (model number BP112230-08) is the right choice.

Its $33 price tag makes it one of the more expensive surge suppressors we’ve evaluated lately, but it’s also the most flexible and it has the highest joules rating (4320) and the lowest clamping voltage (330 volts on all legs).

More clamping requires adding MOVs (metal-oxide varistors) to increase joules, because it’s more likely surges will eat away at the protection when the voltage threshold is lower, and this model lists durability in joules at 40 to 50 percent higher than its two closest competitors that we've reviewed to date.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Is Just $79.99 For a Limited Time If You Buy Refurbished - Deal Alert

Wed, 2017-02-22 18:30

Amazon has discounted its refurbished Paperwhite models for a limited time, so with the current deal you can get one for just $79.99. That saves you $30 on the typical price of a refurbished model, and saves even more over buying it brand new ($119.99 new). A Refurbished Paperwhite E-reader is refurbished, tested, and certified by Amazon to look and work like new. The popular Kindle Paperwhite has a higher res 300ppi screen, WiFi, a built-in adjustable light, a long lasting battery, and best of all it's glare-free even in bright sunlight so you can use it literally anywhere, night or day. See the discounted refurbished Paperwhite model on Amazon to learn more and explore buying options.

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58% off Alinshi Foldable Soft Silicone USB Waterproof Keyboard - Deal Alert

Wed, 2017-02-22 17:05

This keyboard from Alinshi is flexible, soft, silent, waterproof, dustproof, lightweight, roll-up-able, portable and easy to store. If you're looking for a travel keyboard you can take with you and won't have to worry too much about, this one might fit the bill, especially when you consider it's been discounted 58% to just $13. See the discounted keyboard on Amazon.

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Podcast 547: WWDC heads south to San Jose

Wed, 2017-02-22 14:34

Do you know the way to San Jose? It’s super easy, you just head south on the 101 or the 280 (or the 680 or 880 if you’re in the East Bay), and just between us, the airport there is way better than SFO anyway. Oh, and it’s where Apple is having WWDC 2017 starting June 5. That’s confirmed, but before we get that far, rumor has it we might get an Apple event in March, to announce new iPads, an iPhone SE with more storage, and maybe even a cherry red iPhone 7. Which would be nice.

Show notes

New macOS ransomware spotted in the wild

Wed, 2017-02-22 13:58

A new file-encrypting ransomware program for macOS is being distributed through BitTorrent websites, and users who fall victim to it won’t be able to recover their files, even if they pay.

Crypto ransomware programs for macOS are rare. This is the second such threat found in the wild so far, and it’s a poorly designed one. The program was named OSX/Filecoder.E by the malware researchers from antivirus vendor ESET who found it.

OSX/Filecoder.E masquerades as a cracking tool for commercial software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Microsoft Office for Mac and is being distributed as a BitTorrent download. It is written in Apple’s Swift programming language by what appears to be an inexperienced developer, judging from the many mistakes made in its implementation.

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Instagram's new galleries will let you share multiple photos per post

Wed, 2017-02-22 12:10

Instagram has become something of an art form. To avoid cluttering your friends’ feeds, you have to pick the best photo from a day or an event, the one that perfectly encapsulates the experience. Then you artfully edit the image by choosing the perfect filter and tweaking it in advanced options. A sardonic or heartfelt caption rounds out the post, which you then share and wait for the likes to come rolling in. But today, Instagram is changing the game.

You don’t have to share just one photo per post anymore. In an update rolling out for iOS and Android users Wednesday, Instagram is lifting its limitations with multiple images and videos per post—up to 10, to be exact. This is a feature that Instagram actually launched two years ago, but was previously only available to brands.

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