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AirTV review: Send live TV broadcasts all over your house—and to your mobile devices, too

Mon, 2018-06-18 10:00
This set-top box distributes over-the-air TV on your Wi-Fi network and to anywhere else you have broadband access.

LifeFlix 2.5 review: Your old Mini-DV camcorder’s new best friend

Mon, 2018-06-18 07:00

If you shot home videos between 1995 and 2010, there’s a good chance you did so with a tape-based Mini-DV camcorder. With its simple FireWire connectivity, the DV format had a great run prior to the advent of smartphones. For those who want to relive those taped digital memories, LifeFlix is a Mac application that makes it simple to do.

LifeFlix: Attach your camcorder and import the video

LifeFlix streamlines the process of capturing tapes in three easy steps. First, dust off your Mini-DV, HDV, Hi-8, or Digital 8 camcorder and attach it to the Mac with a FireWire cable. This will be the biggest stumbling block for many, since Apple abandoned FireWire in 2012. You can overcome this hurdle by investing in a Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter ($29 at Apple); most users will also need a FireWire 400 to 800 Adapter sold by Elago ($10 on Amazon) that I used to connect my aging JVC SR-VS30 Mini-DV/S-VHS combo deck, as well as a Canon HV20 HDV camcorder.

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How to consolidate all the images on your Mac

Mon, 2018-06-18 06:00

The “digital shoebox” was a 2007 coinage of Steve Jobs, who intended the Mac to become a digital media hub in which Apple’s programs would help you organize everything. That’s the notion that makes an analogy to having all your negatives, prints, and slides in shoeboxes in the days of film photography, and never being able to find anything.

The digital shoebox metaphor remains accurate in 2018 for the wrong reason, as it’s very easy to wind up with images, videos, audio, and other kinds of files all over your Mac. If you’re supremely organized and single-app oriented, perhaps you manage to import everything into iPhoto (then Photos) and iTunes. But for the rest of us, we have files all over the place.

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Not seeing red: Missing Apple’s color strategy

Sat, 2018-06-16 07:00

When you have a small point to make—that Apple has trended toward slightly muter tones in its products and offloaded the more extreme color optioning to cases and bands to allow customers more options for accessorizing—the best way to make it is to loudly declare Apple has killed “fun.” That’s just basic punditry, people.

“Apple killed fun.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King.)

Just to watch it die. May or may not have happened in Reno. Still waiting for the forensics. The body of fun was found in the desert, 40 miles east.

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Best laptop bags: Editor's choice for commuting, traveling, and charging your devices

Fri, 2018-06-15 15:30

Next to a laptop itself, a laptop bag is one of the most important purchases you can make. With so many laptop bags and backpacks to choose from, it would be an idle exercise to try to find the best laptop bag out there. Instead, we’d rather help you find the right laptop bag for any situation, like commuting every day to work, traveling abroad, or charging your devices on the go.

With only a couple of exceptions, each product had to have a designated laptop sleeve or compartment to be considered in this review of laptop bags. These bags can all fit up to a 16-inch laptop, except where noted. Keep checking back as we review more laptop bags and backpacks and continually update this guide.

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Why Apple's rumored 6.1-inch iPhone will be the model everyone wants, even with an LCD screen

Fri, 2018-06-15 11:19

We've heard enough rumors about Apple's upcoming slate of iPhones by now to pretty much know the score. Much like this current lineup, there will reportedly be three models in three sizes, ranging from 5.8 inches (the current size of the iPhone X) all the way up to 6.5 inches. But the most intriguing model is the one that fits in between: a 6.1-inch LCD model.

The scuttlebutt has always been that the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhone XI models will be OLED, while the 6.1-inch iPhone will be LCD, thus retaining a lower-priced option. According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple expects that single model to account for more than half of all iPhone sales during the next cycle, meaning it expects to move more than 100 million of them, based on current sales figures. That's a big number, but it's hardly a surprise. Based on what we've heard, Apple's new LCD phone is shaping up to be a monster hit, even if it's outnumbered 2:1 by Apple's OLED phones. Here are three reasons why everyone will want one:

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This 12-outlet, three-USB port Anker power strip is down to its lowest price ever

Fri, 2018-06-15 10:06

These days, it can seem like there are never enough outlets for everything we need to plug in. One easy way to solve this problem? A power strip. And right now, you can get Anker's loaded PowerPort power strip for $28, the lowest we've seen it and down from a previous low price of $35 and a list price of $60.

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How to keep some full resolution images on your iOS device, and store others in the cloud

Fri, 2018-06-15 08:00

With iCloud Photo Library you can take endless photos on an iPhone or iPad, or upload endless images on a Mac or via, as long as you’re paying for the right quantity of iCloud storage. And Apple simply manages it for you.

This trick comes through optimized storage, which is enabled by default in iOS when you turn on iCloud Photo Library. On the Mac, you have to turn it on: In the Photos app, go to Preferences > iCloud, check the iCloud Photo Library option, and then pick either to Download Originals to the Mac or Optimize Mac Storage. (I use full-resolution downloads on one of my Macs, a desktop machine, so I have a local copy that I can also backup elsewhere.)

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Hands-on: 8BitDo refines its modern take on Nintendo-style retro controllers

Fri, 2018-06-15 07:59
8BitDo continues to put modern touches on controller designs inspired by classics. We go hands-on with the SN30 Pro+, Zero 2, N30 Pro 2, and more at E3 2018.

Saddleback Thin Front Pocket Backpack review: The best rugged leather backpack for your MacBook

Fri, 2018-06-15 07:00

To hear it from some people, Apple is the king of daily-wear conversation pieces, but I don’t think those people have ever seen a Saddleback Leather bag. Let’s put it this way: If you don’t like talking to people, you probably shouldn’t get one.

As for me, I’ve made a bit of a game out of my past few days with the Saddleback Thin Front Pocket Backpack, counting down the moments to the next compliment, the next thumbs-up from a fellow Saddleback owner, or the earnest bus conversation from someone who’s eager to know how they can get one for themselves. (I’m currently sitting at nine hours.) It helps to know this admiration is justified. Much like an Apple product, a Saddleback bag delivers style and substance in equal measure. It gets the job done, and it looks fine while doing it. And in stark contrast to most laptop bags, there’s a good chance that it’ll outlive my MacBook Pro. In fact, it may outlive several of them.

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The best Netflix TV shows: There are many, but these are the most binge-worthy

Fri, 2018-06-15 06:00
Our top-10 list has 14 recommendations, from Stranger Things to Jessica Jones, because we couldn’t break two ties.

Channel Master Stream+ review: The ups and downs of an Android TV DVR

Fri, 2018-06-15 06:00
The Stream+ is a fairly inexpensive way to record free over-the-air channels, but Google's software has some major shortcomings.

Apple WWDC 2018: The best announcements you may have missed

Fri, 2018-06-15 06:00

It's easy to emerge from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference with your head spinning. There were so many announcements last week that it can be hard to sort through all of them—and even more of them are now coming to light as the beta versions of Apple's next updates are installed by developers and aficionados around the world.

But I thought I'd take a moment to note my favorite small enhancements in each of the company's four major upcoming platforms. Oftentimes, we focus on the big ticket items: macOS Mojave's Dark Mode, or iOS 12's Siri Shortcuts, for example. But it's in these small features where Apple's attention to detail is apparent, especially in how they help users save time and use their devices more efficiently.

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Best power banks of 2018: The top USB portable chargers for your phone

Thu, 2018-06-14 18:45
These USB battery packs from Anker, Mophie, Xiaomi, and others will keep your Android or Apple phone charged while you're on the go.

Save big on Pad & Quill's leather and wood iPhone X cases

Thu, 2018-06-14 17:59

Plenty of companies make leather or wood cases and accessories for the iPhone and other Apple products, but few if any approach that mission with the same zeal of Pad & Quill.

If you’ve been wanting to get your hands on one of their fantastic products but have shied away from the price, today’s your lucky day as the company is selling all of its iPhone X cases for 10 percent off. Even better, you can take an additional $10 off your order if you enter the code X10 at checkout. Alternatively, you can enter P16 at checkout for an extra 10 percent off, but X10 is more likely to get you a better deal.

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Anker's dirt-cheap Lightning and USB-C cable multipacks are the best Father's Day gift

Thu, 2018-06-14 10:39

Father's Day is just a few days away, but it's not too late to get dad something he'll love. Of course, the best gifts are both thoughtful and practical, and if your dad loses his charging cords as often as ours do, no gift will fit the bill better than some backup Lightning and USB-C cables. And right now, Amazon has a couple different options from Anker on sale to suit the smart phone-toting dad in your life.

First up, Anker's PowerLine+ three-foot Lightning cable two-pack is $16, down from an average of $21 and the lowest we've seen it. These cables are built to be durable, and their double-braided nylon exterior is resistant to wear and tear caused by twisting, pulling, and dropping and work with most iPhones and iPads. With a 4.5-star rating over more than 600 user reviews, that this cord pack means business.

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What to do when iPhoto and Photos take up too much storage space on a Mac

Thu, 2018-06-14 08:00

When Apple released Photos for macOS, the company chose a clever approach to reduce Photos' storage consumption, knowing that most users would be upgrading an iPhoto library. Because iPhoto retains the originally imported images without modification, an upgrade to Photos would require duplicating all of those images, plus importing any modified versions stored in the library.

I and others have explained this before at Macworld, so I won’t go into great depth, but Apple relied on hard links, a special kind of file alias that allows a file to be stored a single time on disk and have multiple pointers to that file. Those pointers act exactly as if they were the original file. You can delete all but the last hard link and the file remains on disk. (This is in contrast to aliases, which are stub files that point to another file or folder. If that destination is removed, the aliases break.)

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A thousand noes: Checking out the Android hotness

Thu, 2018-06-14 07:00

Apple famously said there are a thousand noes for every yes. Let’s look at one of those noes which is helpfully brought to us today by Vivo.

To be clear, they’re not a sponsor. We’re just going to look at one of their dumb phones.

Writing for the very nice people and the sound of an out-of-tune piano coming from the attic of an abandoned Victorian house over at Business Insider, Antonio Villas-Boas tells us about the new Android hotness.

“This smartphone has a hidden pop-out selfie camera.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

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How AT&T's Time Warner acquisition will impact cord-cutters

Thu, 2018-06-14 06:00
By acquiring Time Warner, AT&T will create short-term perks and long-term peril for cord-cutters.

APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2 review: Lots of outlets and great features, including USB charging ports

Thu, 2018-06-14 06:00
This model offers the best value for the most outlets, with USB charging as a bonus.