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Updated: 44 min 28 sec ago

The 10 best Android apps for Chromebooks

Fri, 2017-06-23 19:12

Running Android apps on Chromebooks is still a dream—a dream in extended beta, that is. After promising the feature earlier this year, Google has pushed out the release date.

While a select number of Chromebooks can access Google Play right out of the box, more adventurous Chromebook users will need to run the developer beta of Chrome OS to experience Android apps. After spending time with a number of Android apps that have become Chrome-friendly, I actually prefer some Android versions on Chrome over the web-based versions, as mobile apps can be refreshingly simple and uncluttered.

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This week in games: Homeworld's lost expansion returns, 15 minutes of Beyond Good & Evil 2

Fri, 2017-06-23 15:00

E3 is over. Time to settle in for the slow summer months, crank the air conditioning, peruse the Steam Summer Sale, and dream of all the games we’ll be playing in a few months. Mostly Wolfenstein II, I think.

And if you need proof the summer’s slow? Look no further than our news wrap-up this week. We've got a few additional trailers for games we saw last week (XCOM 2, Total Warhammer II, Beyond Good & Evil), plus a look at the Vive's finger-tracking controllers and—oh yeah, Homeworld: Cataclysm is finally back on-sale thanks to GOG.com.

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The Steam Link is currently on sale for $15

Fri, 2017-06-23 13:56

Valve’s Steam isn’t the only place to get a Steam Link on the cheap right now—Amazon also has the Steam Link on sale for $15. This is the lowest price we’ve seen for the game streaming device. Typically, the Link sells for $50 with sale prices usually going no lower than $20.

The Steam Link is a set-top box that lets you stream games on your home network from your gaming PC to a television set. To play games with the Link, you’ll need a controller such as Steam’s own device or an Xbox controller.

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Steam Summer Sale hidden gems: 15 fantastic games under $10

Fri, 2017-06-23 12:00
Great games done cheap

Image by IDG

One of the most thrilling parts of the Steam Summer Sale—aside from, you know, all the cheap games—is the opportunity to check out lesser-known gems you may have missed. There’s no better time to try something new than when prices are low.

True to that spirit, this hand-picked list skips the annual discounts on the Skyrims and Civilizations of the world to instead highlight damned good games that weren’t blockbusters. Even better, they’re all under $10 during the Steam Summer Sale—a fraction of the cost of a single new AAA game.

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iPad Pro vs. iPad mini 4 vs. iPad: Which one should you buy?

Fri, 2017-06-23 10:39

So you’re in the market for a new iPad. Excellent choice—I couldn’t live without mine. It’s my companion when I’m catching up on news and email in the morning over tea, reading a comic book in the evening to unwind, or watching a movie while traveling on a plane. Update 6-22-2017: This article has been updated to include information about the new 2017 iPad, as well as the upgrades to the iPad Pro line.

But these days, picking an iPad can be tricky. Apple currently sells four different models of iPad, with prices ranging from $329 to $1229. There are size, storage, color, and connectivity options to consider. All in all, there are 60 different variations of iPad from which to choose. So which iPad is right for you? Read on.

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It's time to upgrade to TLS 1.3 already, says CDN engineer

Fri, 2017-06-23 07:03

Businesses dragging their heels over rolling out TLS 1.2 on their website might have an excuse to delay a little longer: Version 1.3 of the TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption protocol will be finalized later this year, and early deployments of it are already under way.

TLS, the successor to SSL, is used to negotiate secure connections to web or mail servers, encrypting data on the move.

Six years in the making, TLS 1.2 added new, stronger encryption options -- but retained all the older, weaker encryption schemes that had gone before in the name of backward compatibility. Unfortunately, this meant that someone able to perform a man-in-the-middle attack could often downgrade connections to a weaker encryption system without the user being aware.

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Five to Try: Sega Forever revives classic games, and Firefox refocuses the mobile browser

Fri, 2017-06-23 07:00
Here are this week's hottest Play Store picks.

Tivoli Audio Model One Digital review: Big sound from a small footprint

Fri, 2017-06-23 06:00
Many won’t miss the extra features this tabletop radio is missing.

Steam Summer Sale gems: 15 great games under $5

Thu, 2017-06-22 17:14
A cornucopia of riches

Steam Summer Sales are a great time to pick up top-notch PC games for rock-bottom prices. Case in point: There are nearly 20,000 games on discount during Valve's 2017 sale, and nearly half of those are under $5.

But a lot of those games are junk. So we spent hours sifting through the Summer Sale’s stock to find 15 great games that cost less than a fiver. These may not cost much, but each kicks a lot of ass.

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Steam's Summer Sale kicks off with a $15 Steam Link, game discounts galore, and digital stickers

Thu, 2017-06-22 13:31

School’s out, and you know what that means: Time to draw the blinds and catch up on the games you’ve missed this year. Or, if you’re a working adult...well, business as usual I guess. But hey! The Steam Summer Sale is back for yet another year of discounts, running from today until July 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Steam Summer Sales aren’t nearly as special as they used to be, given the number of sales year-round and the excision of the old Daily Deals, Flash Sales, and everything else that used to make rampant consumerism feel like an “event.” Still, it’s a good chance to fill up your library, try some games you might otherwise not bother with, and generally celebrate video games as a creative medium.

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Virgin Mobile has a $120 discount on an instantly unlockable 32GB and 128GB iPhone SE

Thu, 2017-06-22 13:14

Virgin Mobile is becoming America’s first iPhone-only carrier, and to celebrate its collaboration with Apple, it’s launched heavy deals on a year’s worth of cell service and the purchase price of a new iPhone SE.

For existing customers and new customers who port-in a number, Virgin Mobile will give them a year’s worth of unlimited talk, text, and data service for $1 when they purchase a new iPhone and sign up for Auto Pay. To help sweeten that deal even further, the virtual network carrier is offering $120 off an unlockable 32GB and 128GB iPhone SE.

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Surviving Mars captures the excitement and dread of launching a colony mission

Thu, 2017-06-22 11:22

Last month when Paradox and Haemimont announced Surviving Mars, I didn’t know what to compare it to. Here was a semi-realistic, science-based “colony builder” from the same studio that makes the satirical and somewhat grim Tropico series. It was a departure, for sure.

But after getting a bit of hands-on time with Surviving Mars at E3, it’s feeling a lot more familiar. I don’t just mean “It’s a city builder,” because yeah, it’s definitely one of those. It reminds me a lot of one particular city builder, though: The Anno series. And that’s not a bad thing.

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Amazon Prime Gets You 50% off Razer Wildcat Controller for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC - Deal Alert

Thu, 2017-06-22 09:20

The Razer Wildcat controller is compatible with both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. An elite level controller developed for tournament play with feedback from the best eSports athletes, it features four additional fully-programmable buttons for a personalized layout, a well thought out ergonomic shape and weight, reduced trigger travel distance for rapid fire, and much more. If you're an Amazon Prime member, the typical list price has been reduced generously to just $74.99. If you're not a Prime member but still want this deal, Amazon's 30 day Prime free trial (signup page here) is quick to activate and gets you all of the same benefits with no financial commitment required (unless you decide to keep it). See this deal now on Amazon.

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How to transform your laptop into a gaming powerhouse with an external graphics card

Thu, 2017-06-22 08:20

My desire to power up a laptop with an external graphics card began in 2015, when I set out on a quest to get back into PC gaming—a beloved pastime I’d neglected since childhood.

But the only PC I had at the time was a 2011 Lenovo ThinkPad X220 laptop with Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics. That just won’t cut it for proper PC gaming. Sure, the laptop would work well enough for older titles like Diablo III, especially on the laptop’s tiny 1366x728-resolution display—but forget about more graphics-intensive modern games on an external 1080p monitor. That’s why I decided to examine external graphics card (eGPU) setups.

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Dell XPS 15 (2017) review: Kaby Lake and a 4K display make a difference

Thu, 2017-06-22 07:38

Dell’s XPS 15 is proof that iterations—no matter how small—still matter. Externally, even owners of the previous XPS 15 would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between new and old.

The ports are the same, the keyboard and the trackpad are the same and, well, just about external thing with the XPS 15 looks identical. Yet the internal changes make this year’s XPS 15 a markedly better laptop than last year’s.

IDG/Gordon Mah Ung

The keyboard on the XPS 15 appears unchanged, which isn’t a good thing because it’s still slightly too small.

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How to use Gmail's Google Tasks as your daily to-do list

Thu, 2017-06-22 06:32

Dedicated to-do apps abound, but one of the best may be right in your inbox. Google Tasks, integrated into Gmail, provides a simple way to create ordered task lists, complete with due dates, and even turn emails into action items. Here’s how to get started.

Create a task PCWorld

With Google Tasks you can create a to-do list right in your inbox.

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Over-the-air DVR: Do you really need it?

Thu, 2017-06-22 06:00
Who needs an over-the-air DVR? Here's our guide to deciding.

Lenovo's new workstation is indeed 'Tiny' but packs a punch

Wed, 2017-06-21 17:45

Windows users who work in tight spaces and looking for a small form factor workstation with multiple display ports and solid processing power have a new contender to check out: the new ThinkStation P320 Tiny.

The workstation lives up to its name: At 1.4 x 7.1 by 7.2 inches, it's the smallest workstation on the market that is ISV (independent software vendor) certified, according to Rob Herman, the general manager of Lenovo's workstation business unit.

The ISV certification is important. "We don't consider a machine to be a workstation unless it has ISV certification," according to Lloyd Cohen, an analyst with IDC.

The U.S. government uses the same definition for workstations and for non-government users, software certifications mean that you can run CAD and CAM programs, for example, without worrying about crashing, Cohen noted. That's important if you're working on a complex design.

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Certify your IT skills with this Cisco CCNA training, now 90% off - Deal Alert

Wed, 2017-06-21 16:42

Certifications are essential for moving up the career ladder in the IT world, and, as far as networking certifications are concerned, Cisco's are in high demand. With the Cisco CCNA Training Suite, you can train along the certification track for working with Cisco systems for 90 percent off.

This collection includes three courses that will prepare you to ace Cisco's CCENT certification, IPv4 protocol, and Cisco 200-125 certification, giving you a serious boost while climbing the career ladder. Jump in, and you'll master the essentials behind networking, using routers and switches, and their various configurations and connections, and much more.

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Amazon has a tiny 64GB SanDisk Ultra thumb drive on sale for $19

Wed, 2017-06-21 14:28

Today's the day for a good price on a 64GB low-profile thumb drive: Amazon is selling the SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive for $19. That's about half the price of other online retailers. Just make sure you keep an eye on this thing, as it is tiny. It measures 0.75-by-0.63-by-0.34 inches and snuggles right up to the side of your USB port.

The thumb drive offers 150MB/s read speed, which isn't blazing fast but adequate enough. However, we don't expect it to bear out SanDisk's claim of transferring a full-length movie (about 1.2GB in size) in under 30 second over USB 3.0. Since this drive is so small, its limited ability to dissipate heat will slow its transfer rates. If you don't work with large files, though, it should perform fine.

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