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Q Acoustics' all-new 3000i speaker lineup promises to extend the company's bang-for-the-buck hi-fi tradition

Fri, 2018-04-20 12:55
Refinement, not revolution, takes center stage in this redesign.

Try out Alexa's new custom skills with this great deal on an Echo Dot

Fri, 2018-04-20 11:44

Amazon announced Alexa Blueprints this week, a new skill that lets you create custom responses and commands for your smart speaker. But you need an Echo to try them out. At $50, the Echo Dot is already the cheapest Alexa speaker you can buy, and right now it’s even cheaper: Newegg is selling the Echo Dot for $39.99 and they're even throwing in  promotional $10 gift card.

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Optimize Your Wi-Fi Connection With A Lifetime Of NetSpot Pro, Now 80% Off

Fri, 2018-04-20 10:50

Few things match the frustration that comes with a spotty Wi-Fi connection. And, despite your best efforts to troubleshoot them on your own, these networks can be fickle beasts that cut out for seemingly no reason at all. NetSpot Pro arms you with the tools to deep dive into your Wi-Fi network, diagnose its problems and optimize your connection, and lifetime licenses are currently on sale for 80 percent off the usual price.

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How to find your FileVault recovery key in macOS

Fri, 2018-04-20 08:00

The FileVault option in macOS is a fantastic way to enhance the security of your data at rest. It’s full-disk encryption (FDE), meaning that your entire startup volume is locked away when macOS is shut down (not just sleeping) using strong encryption. Without the password that unlocks an account on your Mac that’s authorized to log in with FileVault, there’s no effective way to bring that computer to life.

That’s a problem, however, if you forget the password to all the authorized account or, in some cases I’ve received a few emails about, something goes wrong and the Recovery Disk—used both for “cold start” logins to macOS and to diagnose problems on your startup volume—demands a login that doesn’t work.

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SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit Plus review: Built by techies, for techies

Fri, 2018-04-20 07:00
It’s short on handholding, but SkylinkNet’s SK-250 kit is a good-enough security offering (though not recommended for beginners).

Yes, eGPUs boost Mac game performance, but limitations abound

Fri, 2018-04-20 07:00

Folks with more coding knowledge than I have (and a greater willingness to potentially brick a $2,400 machine) have been hooking up external graphics cards to Macs for years, but the support now come bundled into macOS 10.13.4 High Sierra. In layman’s terms, Apple officially supports some graphics cards that you’d normally only find in a bulky PC tower—so long as you have a separate external chassis to stick them in and a Mac with Thunderbolt 3.

I hoped eGPU support would be revolutionary. Beyond that, I hoped it’d allow me to break with PCs entirely, as I really only use them for gaming these days. Anyone who watches Apple Arcade knows I’ve been a little frustrated with the current state of Mac gaming, and an external graphics card struck me as an easy way to circumvent the limitations of Apple’s built-in processors.

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Astell&Kern Kann review: This high-resolution digital audio player delivers sweet sound, but with a steep price tag

Fri, 2018-04-20 06:00
An intoxicating sonic experience from a hi-res audio player that's as heavy as it is expensive.

Apple’s new model: Please subscribe

Fri, 2018-04-20 06:00

Over the past year or so, Apple’s spent a lot of time talking up its Services division—which includes not only Apple Music, but also the likes of iCloud, the iTunes Store, and Apple Pay—and for good reason. Analysts have been paying a lot of attention to Apple’s Services, not least of all because it’s shown solid growth, even at times when other segments of Apple’s financial results have been more lackluster.

So you can bet that Apple’s not about to walk away from the services business anytime soon. In fact, if recent reports are any indication, the company is devoting even more effort to the segment, with at least two brand new services in development and the shifting of two of its biggest storefronts to a more subscription-focused angle.

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How to create private Alexa skills without code

Thu, 2018-04-19 14:26
Amazon's Alexa Skills Blueprints let anyone with an Alexa device make household skills.

Amazon's custom Alexa Blueprints skills show how far ahead of Siri and Google Assistant it is

Thu, 2018-04-19 13:56
Amazon has released a super-easy tool for anyone to make their own Alexa skill, and you won't find anything like for Siri or Google Assistant.

Today only, get a refurbished 12-inch gold MacBook for just $780 on Amazon

Thu, 2018-04-19 13:45

The gold early-2015 12-inch MacBook is the star of today’s Amazon’s Deal of the Day, and fortunately it’s not priced like a chunk of gold. In fact, Amazon vendor Woot is selling a certified refurbished version of the notebook for a whopping $420 off, which brings the price down from $1,200 to just $800.

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Turn a single USB-C port into three USB ports and Ethernet with this $20 adapter

Thu, 2018-04-19 10:38

Modern laptops never seem to have quite enough USB ports for all your plug-ins. Hook up a mouse, plug in a flash drive, and suddenly you’ve got no room for anything else. And as more laptops adopt USB-C ports, some items won’t plug in at all. A port hub can fix both problems, and right now you can get an AmazonBasics USB-C to three-port USB hub for $20, the lowest we’ve seen it and nearly 20 percent off its average price.

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The Sbode M400, one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers, is 20% off today

Thu, 2018-04-19 08:55

These days, it seems there are more Bluetooth speakers on the market than songs to play on them, and finding a good one for a good price can be tricky. The Sbode M400 Bluetooth speaker, one of our favorites, fits the bill: It's normally only $50, looks good, and is packed with high-end features. And today on Amazon, it's even cheaper. With this coupon, you can get 20 percent off the Sbode M400 Bluetooth speaker today while supplies last, bringing it down to just $40, the lowest price we've ever seen.

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How to recover an iCloud account when a factor for two-factor authentication goes missing

Thu, 2018-04-19 08:00

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is highly recommend with your Apple ID, especially for iCloud or iTunes and App Store purchases, there’s one drawback: you need access to a second factor, or you might wind up losing everything associated with your account.

Normally, this shouldn’t be a problem. The second factor for Apple’s system is always at least one Mac or one iOS device plus a phone number (one that receives either text messages or voice calls, so a landline is an option). It would seem an unlikely scenario in which you lost all of that at once.

You can also add other phone numbers as backups, which is what my wife and I have done with each other’s cell numbers. Even if we lost access to our devices and our own numbers, we could still log in. (Telephone numbers can be reassigned, and hackers sometimes socially engineer or otherwise shift them for identity theft or worse purposes.)

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McAfee Total Protection for Mac review: Thin on features and weak on security

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

McAfee Total Protection is priced for home users as part of a suite licensed for up to 10 Macs and PCs for just $45 for the first year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver enough at that price, much less its cost of $100 for subsequent years—especially compared to one of our top picks, which has a similar price with no later rate increases.

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Sophos Home Premium for Mac review: Up-to-date features at an unbeatable price

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

Sophos released its latest version of what it simply calls Sophos Home (free) and Sophos Home Premium (paid) just before we began testing, and as such it may have a leg up on competitors that have revisions in progress. As it stands, the set of features, cloud-based configuration, and price make it the outstanding entrant in the field.

On its anti-virus performance, it’s not perfect, but it’s close. AV-TEST found it detected 98.4 percent of macOS malware, over 95 percent of macOS PUA, and over 99 percent of Windows malware. Those scores could be marginally better, but these databases are constantly being updated. During our real-world tests, it knocked out macOS malware as soon as it was unzipped from an encrypted archive. It also prevented us from loading web pages with malicious software via the WICAR test site.

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Norton Security Deluxe for Mac review: One of the best all-in-one security suites for macOS

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

Norton Security Deluxe offers malware protection and a lot more. While it’s not our top pick for fighting malware, this Deluxe edition is a good bargain for comprehensive antivirus and networking security. Beyond antivirus protection, it includes a highly configurable inbound and outbound network firewall, native browser plug-ins for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, and a disk “cleaner” tool that removes duplicate and unneeded files. It also has a straightforward interface, making it easy to invoke actions, change the configuration, and see what’s happening at a glance.

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Intego Mac Internet Security X9 review: No fatal flaws, but it lacks necessary modern features

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

Sold as a bundle with network-defense tool NetBarrier X9, Intego VirusBarrier X9 really does one thing: Scan your drives continuously as new files are added, unless you’ve set it to perform scans only on a schedule or when you trigger them manually.

Intego made the choice that Internet Security X9 doesn’t delete malware by default. Nor can you set the program to automatically do so. Instead, malware is quarantined, with the option to attempt repairing files that contain data you still need.

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Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac review: Poor performance during real-world use

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

If you looked at the lab ratings for Bitdefender Antivirus, it would be easy to assume that this software package nails its focus on malware protection. It received the highest possible detection scores from AV-TEST and AV Comparatives: 100 percent percent from AV-TEST for macOS PUA detection, and above 99 percent for identifying Windows malware.

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ProtectWorks Antivirus for Mac review: Not enough protection to warrant recommendation

Thu, 2018-04-19 07:00

ProtectWorks Antivirus for Mac doesn’t meet our basic bar for antivirus software. Not only did it perform badly in our spot test of known malware, but it wasn’t as good as its competition at detecting macOS and Windows malware in security research lab tests.

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