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BrandPost: Creating Better Customers Through Digital Transformation

Tue, 2017-11-14 13:41

In business, we often ask how we can be more valuable to our customers. But, according to Michael Schrage, research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, there’s another question that we don’t ask often enough: How can we make our customers more valuable to us.

At CDW’s Improving Productivity with Digital Transformation Summit in Colorado Springs this spring, Schrage brought up one of the most dramatic examples of technological disruption in history: the automobile. When Schrage asked the audience what Henry Ford was best known for, members shouted out familiar answers. “The assembly line! The Model T!”

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Safeguard up to 10 PCs with GlassWire's Award-Winning Antivirus, Now 70% Off - Deal Alert

Tue, 2017-11-14 10:43

The web is a dangerous place, and the everyday user can't afford to surf online without some measure of antivirus protection. While a myriad of solutions exist online, few can match the comprehensive level of security GlassWire Pro delivers, and for a limited time, you can score a lifetime of GlassWire protection on up to 3 computers for 70 percent off the usual price.

An all-encompassing safety solution, GlassWire Pro monitors your network completely, tracking host changes, erecting a secure firewall, and displaying everything visually so you have ultimate control. This security solution utilizes threat monitoring to reveal hosts that are known threats, unexpected network system file changes, and much more.

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Standalone Vive Focus VR headset replaces HTC's Google Daydream plans

Tue, 2017-11-14 09:14

In the battle for the best VR headset, HTC won’t concede an inch to Oculus. On Tuesday, the company announced the Vive Focus, a standalone mobile VR headset that doesn’t need a phone or PC to run. Oculus revealed the similar $199 Oculus Go a mere month ago.

HTC isn’t providing too many details about the device. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip powers the Vive Focus, and like Windows Mixed Reality headsets, HTC’s will offer inside-out position tracking so you can wander VR worlds without the need for external base stations. That suggests the Vive Focus may be more expensive than the Oculus Go and phone-dependent headsets like Gear VR and Daydream View, which only track the way your head is facing, not the position of you or your controllers in relation to the outside world. The simple controller in HTC's Vive Focus images appears identical to the ones provided by the competition, though.

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Yale Real Living Assure SL Lock review: Yale’s next-gen lock makes significant strides

Tue, 2017-11-14 08:00
While the new Assure looks great on the outside, its smart home capabilities remain lacking.

Philo is a sports-free TV bundle for just $16 per month

Tue, 2017-11-14 07:21
Philo is the cheapest streaming TV bundle yet with AMC, Discovery, and Viacom channels.

What the Kaspersky antivirus hack really means

Tue, 2017-11-14 06:11

Kaspersky Lab’s 400 million users worldwide can’t be happy about recent news linking the company’s antivirus products to spying. The Russian government reportedly used the Moscow-based company’s software to steal sensitive information from American intelligence agents.

The incidents remind us that the security products we trust to protect our PCs have more or less full access. “Every cloud-based anti-virus has the potential and the ability to delete files, to modify files,” said Jake Williams, Founder and President of Rendition Infosec. “They have the ability to launch new processes as well as terminate existing processes.”

It’s bad if someone hacks your computer. If someone hacks your computer and uses your own antivirus software to take over, that’s a disaster. “Looking at all of this together,” Williams concluded, “It becomes clear that if whoever’s running your anti-virus doesn’t have your best interests at heart they can definitely do some damage.”

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Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on Amazon and Best Buy

Tue, 2017-11-14 04:36

Every computer enthusiast knows the conversation—the one you get from friends or family: “Hey, I need to buy a new laptop. What do you think of this Acer so-and-so? Or should I get this Dell that costs $50 less? They seem pretty similar.”

Yep, with great computer knowledge comes great responsibility. With the holidays looming, such questions are likely to ramp up as people consider laptops for gifts. 

So in the spirit of offering you the same expert advice I’d give to my nearest and dearest, I’ve combed through the best-selling budget-laptop lists from both Amazon and Best Buy, and weighed the pros and cons, taking into account the various configurations and specs. Both lists change quite rapidly, so I’m basing this on a snapshot in time—namely, the best-selling laptops on the morning of November 7, 2017.

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Best Buy is selling a 28-inch 4K FreeSync monitor for $260

Mon, 2017-11-13 16:07

Last week Best Buy started its Black Friday deals early, and today the retailer's following up with another good deal for gamers. The retailer has a 28-inch AOC 4K FreeSync monitor for $260. That's about $56 cheaper than the next lowest available price, and $40 under Amazon's price of $300 back in October.

While AOC is not a household brand name, its U2879VF monitor is very highly rated on both Amazon and Best Buy. The display features 3840x2160 resolution, a 1 millisecond response time, 60Hz refresh rate, picture-in-picture mode, and 170- and 160-degree vertical viewing angles. On the back is one DVI-D, one HDMI, one DisplayPort, and a good old VGA port for that retro vibe.

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The Full Nerd episode 35: Intel and AMD join forces, reader question extravaganza

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:48

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive deep into the big news shaking the computing world: An Intel CPU with an AMD Radeon GPU inside. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! We explain everything we know so far about the chip before wildly speculating why it even exists in the first place.

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Google's crackdown on accessibility services could impact your favorite Android apps

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:23

One of the best reasons to buy an Android phone is the sheer number of ways you can manipulate it to your liking. Even without rooting, there are hundreds of apps in the Play Store that add, enhance, and tweak functionality to make the Android experience that much better. But a change coming to Google’s Play Store terms could put an end to it.

As first reported by Android Police, Google is preparing to shut down universal access to its accessibility services APIs within the next 30 days. According to letters sent out to a wide range of developers, apps that use accessibility services that are not explicitly being used “to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps” may be booted from the Play Store unless the functionality is removed or changed. Google adds that “repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts.”

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Call of Duty: WWII vs. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Storming Normandy then and now

Mon, 2017-11-13 09:48

In our review I referred to Call of Duty: WWII as a “Greatest Hits Collection” of past World War II video games. And of course, the highlight is D-Day—the most notorious World War II video game level ever since 2002’s Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. So we decided to compare the two Normandy recreations. We grabbed a copy of Allied Assault from GOG.com and enlisted.

Or...well, actually we grabbed a copy from GOG.com, then spent 30-odd minutes trying to get a config file to output native 1080p resolution correctly. But hey, at least it ran on Windows 10.

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Fabriq Chorus review: This Alexa-powered smart speaker is an excellent value

Mon, 2017-11-13 07:30
It sounds great, can operate on battery power, and comes with a charging dock.

The best mobile payment apps: We test PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash and more

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:50

From PayPal and Venmo to Square Cash to Google Wallet, peer-to-peer mobile payment apps are perfect for friends and loved ones who want to exchange relatively small amounts of cash—say, $30 for dinner, or maybe $100 or more if you're splitting a wedding gift.

We've tested seven of the top mobile payment apps, using them to transfer money back and forth, split checks, and more. Some apps will let you send or request cash from anyone, while others require both parties to sign up for an account before any money changes hands. Some apps are better at splitting the bill than others, and each app has its own schedule of fees and spending limits.

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Venmo review: An app that makes it easy—and social—to split the check

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:22

The Venmo mobile payment app boasts a huge user base, a sleek interface, flexible payment options and agility at splitting bills. Owned by PayPal, it's the peer-to-peer payment app to beat, as long as you don't mind getting social about the tabs you're picking up. Our only gripes are that it won't let you send or receive payments as a guest, and we wish it would let you adjust individual amounts when splitting a check.

If you'd rather not shout your purchases to the sky, check out the other mobile payment apps we reviewed.

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Best smart smoke detector

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:00
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors don’t just sound the alarm, they also alert your smart phone and more.

Intel SSD 900P review: Optane finally starts to live up to the hype

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:00

Some people get their PC kicks from gaming, some from watching high-resolution multimedia, other from balancing the books (go figure). Us? Give us an SSD that measures performance in gigabytes per second. And if you want to make our Saturday night, give us a drive like Intel’s new blazingly fast SSD 900P that delivers over 500,000 IOPs (small input/output operations), rather than the normal 100,000 or so. To heck with dinner and a movie!

Design and specs

When a company markets pricey entities such as the SSD 900P ($389 for 480GB/$599 for 960GB) to the enthusiast market, looks can help close the deal. Not that Intel’s silver-hued 750 and P3608 were ugly ducklings, but the all-black, silver-detailed SSD 900P looks aggressive and virtual-combat ready. The heatsink/case isn’t as bling-y (yes, it’s a word... to us), as say the Plextor M8Pe or the Apacer Commando, but it looks meaner. As mean as its performance.

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Nest Protect review: No-nonsense “smart” smoke and carbon-monoxide detection

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:00
The best smart smoke detector on the market is also the most expensive.

Halo+ Smart Smoke & CO Alarm with Weather Alerts review: A pricey alternative to the Nest Protect

Mon, 2017-11-13 06:00
This smoke detector packs all the bells, whistles, and a weather radio, too.

Facebook Messenger for payments review: A no-frills way to send cash to Facebook friends

Mon, 2017-11-13 05:41

If you're a Facebook user and you enjoy chatting with friends using the Facebook Messenger app, you're just a few taps away from exchanging cash with your Facebook buddies. Sending money through Facebook Messenger is certainly an easy, seamless experience, but you won't find the robust bill-splitting features available in other apps, and you'll have to settle for limited payment sources.

But maybe Facebook already intrudes too much on your life? In that case, check out the other mobile payment apps we reviewed.

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Snapcash review: Send cash to Snapchatters in a snap, or with a swipe

Mon, 2017-11-13 05:38

Snapcash, like Facebook Messenger, makes it ridiculously easy to send money to your fellow Snapchatters. Snapcash's features may be extremely limited, but it's fast and simple. For more fully-fledged options, check out the other mobile payment apps we reviewed.

Setup

Powered by Square, Snapcash requires practically no setup at all if you're a Snapchat user. All you have to do is tap a dollar amount in a chat, then tap the green Add cash button that appears (presumably so you can tap dollar amounts into a chat without necessarily having to send money). Tap the Send button, and that's it.

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