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Entering year three, Rainbow Six Siege is still the only true "next-gen" shooter

Sat, 2018-02-17 16:30

It’s been over a year since I last played Rainbow Six Siege for any real length of time, and I regret it. Earlier this week I went to play the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege – Year Three content ($30 season pass on Amazon) at Ubisoft’s offices in San Francisco, and to be honest I’d be hard-pressed to talk about what’s new. A lot has been added since last time I checked in, though from what I gather the standout new Operator is Lion—an attacker whose special gadget is basically a legitimate wallhack. More on that later.

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Confirmed: AMD will loan chips to help with motherboard updates for Ryzen APUs

Fri, 2018-02-16 19:39

If you can't get your shiny new Ryzen APU on the motherboard you bought last year, don't panic: AMD officials have confirmed that they will indeed ship you an older, dual-core chip to help you make it work.

The problem relates to AMD's new Ryzen APU and how it interacts with older stocks of motherboards. It's a classic chicken-and-egg situation: Some older motherboards won't recognize the new Ryzen APU without a BIOS update. And the only way to update that BIOS is to boot the system with a chip that it recognizes.

While some advanced motherboards allow updating a BIOS without a CPU, many budget boards don't. For those few cases, AMD said it would offer a "boot kit" (once you've provided a qualifying APU serial number and other information). That "boot kit," as it turns out, is actually an AM4-based Bristol Ridge APU. In a post by "Hansmuffin" at tech site arstechnica.com, a user wrote that AMD was sending a previous-generation APU to help perform the update.

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Intel says it's been hit with 32 separate lawsuits over Spectre, Meltdown

Fri, 2018-02-16 16:50

Intel customers and shareholders are angry about Meltdown and Spectre—angry enough that a total of 32 suits have been filed against the company regarding the two vulnerabilities.

In its annual report, filed Friday, Intel disclosed that 30 customer class-action suits have been filed against the company, plus two additional class-action suits by shareholders. Those suits have been filed both within the United States and abroad. Given a host of uncertainties—how the cases are proceeding, whether damages have been claimed, and the uncertainty of whether the suits will succeed—Intel said it was not estimating potential losses as a result of the litigation.

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Cortana's smart-home powers grow with IFTTT, Honeywell, Ecobee support

Fri, 2018-02-16 15:03
Microsoft's Cortana has added support for the IFTTT conditional platform plus a number of smart services, both helping bring Cortana more in line with competing services from Amazon and Google Home.

This week in games: New THQ buys back old THQ, The Evil Within II adds a first-person mode

Fri, 2018-02-16 15:00

The biggest video game news this week is that Valve updated the format for Steam Wishlists—not because I care about Wishlists, but simply because Valve actually updated the Steam interface. Could this be the start of that large-scale overhaul we’ve heard has been coming for like, two years now? One can hope.

In any case, plenty of other news this week too. The Evil Within II now lets you get up-close-and-personal with your monsters, release dates for a slew of games including Where the Water Tastes Like Wine and Warhammer: Vermintide II, a bunch of free-to-try games for your long weekend, and the incredible tale of THQ Nordic slowly reforming the entire THQ library one piece at a time.

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Amazon has dropped $50 off the Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Fri, 2018-02-16 12:57
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is $199 today on Amazon.

VPN Unlimited review: Good speeds, but what's with that map?

Fri, 2018-02-16 07:00

VPN Unlimited in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Number of servers: 400+

Business location: United States and Ukraine

Number of country locations: 51

Cost: $49.99

KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited is interesting. It’s a typical VPN service, to be sure, but the company appears to see it as one service in a larger toolkit. In addition to VPN Unlimited, KeepSolid offers a roadmap planning app, an eSignature solution, a privacy-centric browser for mobile, and other services.

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Evodesk XE Pro sit/stand desk review: A smart addition to any home office

Fri, 2018-02-16 06:00
A motorized lift and a plethora of customization options are the highlights of this inexpensive workstation.

Who should buy a Ryzen APU, and who shouldn't

Fri, 2018-02-16 06:00

If you're asking yourself, "should I buy a Ryzen APU?" for a new budget gaming PC, the short answer is yes, probably.

That's because for building a ground-up, entry-level gaming machine, the Ryzen APU is the best game in town, and possibly the only game for DIY builders, in the face of wallet-busting GPU prices.

But for everyone? Well, no. There is no one-size fits all answer, so read on to learn who should buy the Ryzen APU—and who shouldn't.

Gordon Mah Ung

AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G is like getting a $110 GPU and a $100 CPU for $99—but it's not for everyone.

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How to register your own domain name

Thu, 2018-02-15 19:30

One of the many reasons the internet is so powerful is because it gives nearly anyone the ability to share their voice and knowledge with the rest of the world. A particularly popular way to make yourself known is to set up a website.

These days many services, such as WordPress or Blogger, offer websites on commercial domains, but in a lot of cases it makes more sense to have your website on your own domain—a personal place on the internet where you are in complete control of what’s published and how it looks. Here’s how to register your own domain name.

When setting up your personal domain name, you have a lot of options and many vendors to choose from. You can search around to see what works best for you and your needs—or look over our suggestions below—but the following steps outline the gist of what you need to do.

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Essential Phone PH-1 review: Sorry, even limited-edition colors won't make it less terrible

Thu, 2018-02-15 13:00

When Essential launched its inaugural handset, the PH-1, the hype was off the charts. Essential touted the edge-to-edge design, modular magnetic accessories, and near-stock home screen and apps. The only problem was the phone didn’t live up to any of it. It arrived more than a month late. The accessories were limited to a single high-priced camera. And the stunning sea-green color was nowhere to be seen.

Six months later, Essential is fixing the least important of those problems. Starting today, you can buy a PH-1 in the limited-edition Ocean Depths blue-green for $599 (as well as stellar gray on February 20 and copper black on February 22). That's $100 less than it would have cost you had it been available at launch, but $100 more than white or black. That's because Essential slashed the price of its phone last year in response to flagging sales.

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Don't panic about the new 'Prime' Meltdown and Spectre CPU exploits

Thu, 2018-02-15 10:36

The news sounds bad at first blush: Researchers from Nvidia and Princeton University have discovered fresh ways to exploit the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities present in every modern computer processor. But while the new MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime attacks prove that the initial exploits aren’t necessarily the only way to trigger the vulnerabilities lurking inside chips, everyday computer users shouldn’t freak out about them.

The new vulnerabilities pit the multiple CPU cores inside modern processors against each other and take advantage of the way memory cache access works in multi-core systems. The Register’s synopsis and the research paper have more in-depth technical details if you want them. Like Meltdown and Spectre, a successful attack can extract sensitive information, including passwords.

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Save Hundreds On Lifetime Access To 9,500 Hours Of Tech Training Courses

Thu, 2018-02-15 10:14

For many of us, learning new skills involves going back to school and sinking hundreds of hours—and thousands of dollars—into traditional courses. But, this isn't the only option out there. The Complete eduCBA Professional Training Bundle lets you bolster your understanding of in-demand fields, like app development and project management, on your own time and for a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can pick up a lifetime subscription today for over 90% off the usual price.

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Samsung Notebook 7 Spin review: A solid 8th-gen 2-in-1 with plenty of battery life

Thu, 2018-02-15 09:00

Samsung's Notebook 7 Spin is not the fastest quad-core convertible to harness Intel's game-changing 8th-generation CPU, but the midrange laptop proves that speed isn't everything. Boasting a gorgeous 13-inch touch display, solid quad-core performance and—best of all—impressive battery life, the Spin should please budget-conscious laptop shoppers who value stamina over sheer speed.

Price and specifications

The latest version of the Notebook 7 Spin is—at launch, anyway—a one-size-fits-all affair. For a list price of $900, you get a 13.3-inch, 2-in-1 convertible with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U processor, a 256GB solid-state drive, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. (Samsung says a version of the Spin with 16GB of memory might eventually be in the offing.) If you want to upgrade the Spin yourself, get your pry tools ready, because there are no screws or user-accessible panels in the shell.

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SnapPower USB Charger 2 review: Double the USB ports and (sort of) twice the power

Thu, 2018-02-15 08:00
This outlet cover lets you charge two devices at once, or one device twice as fast as the original.

How to roll your own VPN on Windows

Thu, 2018-02-15 06:30

A virtual private network (VPN) service is a good way to secure your web traffic and keep it private from snoops like a nosy internet service provider or passive government surveillance. One problem with VPN services, however, is that you have to implicitly trust that your VPN provider isn’t doing something shady such as monitoring the sites you visit.

[Further reading: The best VPN services of 2018]

That’s why for the extra privacy-conscious a third-party VPN won’t do. The alternative then is to create your own VPN on a private virtual server that you control using a project such as Algo from security firm Trail of Bits. 

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YouTube TV changes: Can TV streaming services learn to say no?

Thu, 2018-02-15 06:00
YouTube TV couldn't refuse Turner channels, hiking prices to bring them on board.

How to watch international coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Wed, 2018-02-14 18:15

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing, but watching online via NBC can be more pain than its worth. Fortunately, there are other ways of watching your favorite sports: You can use a VPN to view streams from Canada, Australia, and (for some), the United Kingdom, as long as you don't mind coverage not focused on American competitors.

Many VPNs will likely work with the Australian and Canadian streams, but if you don't already have a provider, here's a rundown of three VPNs that will work—including a free option. We've also got details on connecting with BBC's iPlayer, because that one's a little trickier.

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EA's Origin is giving Dead Space away for free

Wed, 2018-02-14 14:50

EA’s “On the House” program has given away some great free games over the past few years, but almost felt like it took a hiatus during 2017. It didn’t, but after starting strong with Mass Effect 2 last January the rest of the year featured giveaways of more niche games (Syberia II), downright awful games (Dead in Bermuda), a few repeats (Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault and Plants vs. Zombies for the hundredth time) and one lone standout, Steamworld Dig.

On the House is starting semi-strong for 2018 though, with 2008’s sci-fi horror classic Dead Space up for grabs. Okay, technically this one’s a repeat too—Dead Space was actually the first On the House game, back in 2014. That’s quite a while ago though, so if you missed it back then (and missed it in 2008) then this is the best way to pad out your library.

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BrandPost: How PC refresh is improving employee productivity in Japan

Wed, 2018-02-14 14:48

Long hours at work and the demographics of an aging population mean small businesses in Japan face extra pressures over and above the common pain points of cutting costs, increasing revenue and retaining high quality staff, even though the country is enjoying its longest period of economic growth since the 1990s.

That growth looks set to continue with exports, consumer spending and business confidence all rising - making this a good time to make sure your business is in the best position to handle challenges, and take advantage of new opportunities.

But the on-going Work-Style Reform means you must plan for changes in working hours as well as how and where employees do their jobs. Investing in new PCs for your workforce is a smart way to improve productivity and mobility, and doing so without breaking the bank.

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