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Updated: 32 min 43 sec ago

Save Hundreds On The The Complete 2018 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle ($59)

Tue, 2018-02-13 09:25

The IT sector is booming, but while demand is high for skilled IT professionals, you'll have a hard time getting your foot in the door if you're lacking the appropriate certifications. Whether you're interested in cloud computing, network administration, or security, having a certification to your name greatly improves your hiring potential. The Complete 2018 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle can help you get there by preparing you to ace several certification exams, and it's on sale for over 90% off.

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance review in progress: This realistic Skyrim rival is a true role-playing game

Tue, 2018-02-13 09:01

It was a triumphant moment when I finally bought a sword in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Here I was, Henry the blacksmith’s son, one of the few survivors of the attack that burned my home village of Skalitz to the ground, a man with little money and even fewer prospects, assistant to a C-tier lord in the Holy Roman Empire—and I could finally afford my first sword. Not even a proper longsword, mind you, but something called a “hunting sword.” Still, I strapped it to my side with all the pride befitting a peasant who ever-so-slightly increased his social status in class-centric Medieval Europe.

I bring it up because it’s indicative how different Kingdom Come: Deliverance feels from other RPGs. There, you’re usually the chosen one, destined to save the world. Here, I’m over 20 hours in and I’m basically a glorified intern-in-armor. I spent a whole day carrying some spoiled noble’s equipment out to the woods so we could hunt rabbits. Since then, my biggest responsibility is solving the murder of some no-name peasants and their horses in a backwater village with only four or five homes.

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The best budgeting apps for tracking and planning your financial life

Tue, 2018-02-13 08:12

Budgeting apps can take the drudgery and dread out of managing your household’s money, a chore only one in three Americans even bothers to do. Quicken was long the gold standard for personal finance software, but an array of compelling —and often free—alternatives have risen to challenge it, whether you want a no-hassle way to keep tabs on your in- and outflows, a tool to help maximize your means, or a guide to build wealth through investments.

We’ve tried all the major applications to see how well they can help you build and follow through on a monthly budget. Read on for our top picks, and you can find links to all of our reviews at the bottom of the page. 

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How to find your motherboard's Spectre CPU fix

Tue, 2018-02-13 06:37

Operating system patches alone can protect against the nasty Meltdown flaw affecting Intel processors, but fixing Spectre—Meltdown’s nasty sibling, which affects all CPUs—requires firmware updates for your hardware. Those firmware fixes are finally starting to appear after Intel’s first round of Spectre patches were yanked for causing system instability and potential data loss. Stable patches for 6th-gen Intel Skylake CPUs are now available, and both Intel and AMD are working on CPU microcode updates for other chips.

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UA Sport Flex wireless headphone review: Made for active music lovers

Tue, 2018-02-13 06:00
With an LED safety light, adjustable neckband, and enough sonic energy to pump up any workout, these JBL-designed, Under Armour-branded Bluetooth headphones are a smart exercise companion.

YNAB review: This budgeting app also instills better money habits

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:09

As you can tell by its name, You Need a Budget (YNAB) makes no bones about the fact you need to manage your money rather than the other way around. The popular program, which started life more than a decade ago as manual-input desktop software, is now a subscription based web app that can sync with your financial accounts. Despite some cosmetic changes over the years, YNAB is still adheres to its four founding principles:

1) Give every dollar a job—Each dollar that comes into your life should be allocated to a specific purpose: to pay your rent or mortgage, to fund your retirement, even to buy that latte that helps get you through your morning commute. By telling your money where to go and what to do, you discipline your spending.

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Quicken Deluxe review: The dominant budgeting software still has plenty to offer

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:08

For years, Quicken was the leading personal finance program by far. And though its supremacy has been challenged by a growing list of competitors, it remains one of the most full-featured. It currently comes in four versions for Windows that allow you to do everything from build a household budget to manage and maximize investments, depending on which one you get. For basic budgeting, we tried Quicken Deluxe, which is currently being offered for $29.99 a year—50 percent off the retail price.

Quicken is desktop software, so whichever version you purchase, you’ll have to download and install it. Once you log in, Deluxe opens to the Home tab—essentially a real-time dashboard—where it walks you through a three-step set up.

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Personal Capital review: It's more about managing money than teaching financial skills

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:07

The brainchild of former PayPal and Intuit CEO Bill Harris, Personal Capital will help you budget and track monthly expenses, savings, and debt, but its real focus is investments. Still, there’s plenty here for household budgeters who just want to better manage their spending and sock away some money for college, retirement, or that dream vacation.

Personal Capital is really two tools: a free personal finance manager and a paid investment management service. The personal finance manager, which we reviewed, allows you to keep tabs on your income, spending, assets, and investments from a single portal.

Once you log in and link all your financial accounts, Personal Capital aggregates all the data on your dashboard. In a clean layout of graphs and charts, it gives you an at-a-glance overview of your net worth, investable cash, cash flow, top spending categories, portfolio allocation and balances, and a stock market snapshot. Clicking any one of these categories takes you to a more detailed analysis.

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Mvelopes review: A solid system for basic budgeting

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:06

Mvelopes mines the same tried-and-true envelopes budgeting system as You Need a Budget and Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar, explicitly telegraphing the fact in its malapropic name. The app doesn’t look as polished as some of its competitors’ offerings, but its system is sound and easy to grasp even if you’ve never created a budget before.

Mvelopes walks you through a four-step setup process of syncing your bank accounts, defining your income, creating a budget, and funding your envelopes.

Adding your various banks is easy. Mvelopes displays clickable tiles for fast access to the most popular financial institutions. On the off-chance your bank isn’t among them you can search the database for it. If your bank isn’t supported, Mvelopes provides a New Institution Request form and promises to respond within two to four days.

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Mint review: Popular app focuses on the big financial picture

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:05

When it comes to personal budgeting, we often get too wrapped up in the in- and outflows of our spending account and forget about all the other parts of our financial lives. Mint shifts the focus back to the big picture.

The popular free personal finance service tracks your bank and credit card accounts, loans and mortgages, investments, and property (home and cars) to give you a better idea of your net worth. You don’t have to link to all your accounts, particularly if you just want to get a handle on your day-to-day spending, but the more information you provide, you more accurate a financial profile you’ll have to work with.

When you connect your various accounts, Mint pulls several months of data so you get an immediate brief on your income trends and spending habits. Mint automatically assigns each transaction to a category—accurately for the most part, but you can manually correct any errors. Armed with this data, you can start creating a budget.

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Sick of NBC's vapid Olympics coverage? Use a VPN and you can watch the BBC's coverage instead

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:00
Now that Opera has changed the way it offers its free, unlimited VPN, you'll need to seek out other options to watch the Olympics online via a foreign broadcaster.

Android P rumor suggests Google's Pixel 3 could have an iPhone X-style notch

Mon, 2018-02-12 14:05

Now that Google makes its own phones, Android updates often contain clues about what to expect in the next model. We may have just gotten a huge one about what to expect in the Pixel 3: a camera notch.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that one of the areas of focus in Android P will be visual changes and enhancements to the OS design, including support for a camera notch at the top of the screen. Apple's iPhone X made such a notch famous, propelling Apple to record profits in the holiday quarter, though the first major smartphone to sport a camera notch is Andy Rubin's Essential Phone.

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AMD Ryzen motherboards explained: The crucial differences in every AM4 chipset

Mon, 2018-02-12 09:56

For AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors, selecting the correct motherboard is both easier and more crucial than ever.

First, the good news: AMD’s doing away with the frightful hodgepodge of motherboard platforms to unite around the AM4 socket with Ryzen CPUs, Radeon-bolstered APUs, and all other chips released in the foreseeable future. Huzzah! But there are a wide variety of chipsets available for AM4 motherboards, and each unlocks different capabilities in your PC, from USB support to overclocking to how many graphics cards you can install.

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Watch us build a tiny Ryzen APU gaming PC

Mon, 2018-02-12 09:30

AMD’s Ryzen APU with Radeon Vega graphics could be just what budget-minded gamers need to get through the great GPU crisis of 2018. We've never seen this level of graphical performance on an integrated chip, so we decided to build one of our own. Can it run Crysis? Tune in to PCWorld's YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook on Tuesday, February 13th, at 10:00 a.m. PST, to build along with us.

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Ryzen APU Review: Ryzen plus Vega saves budget gamers during a GPU drought

Mon, 2018-02-12 09:00

Let's just lay our cards down at once: AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs are everything budget gamers have been praying for: surprisingly decent gaming performance at a shockingly low price.

In years past, such a statement would be met by skepticism and dismissive "whatever" animated GIFs. But AMD actually over-delivered on its Ryzen CPUs last year, so talks of combining those same Zen cores with the latest and greatest Radeon Vega graphics cores has cash-strapped gamers in a tizzy of excitement.

Gordon Mah Ung

For real: The $99 quad-core Ryzen 3 2200G offers graphics performance competitive with $99 graphics cards.

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The best smart home devices that work with Alexa

Mon, 2018-02-12 06:00
Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are most powerful when paired with third-party smart home hardware. These products earned our highest raitings.

Cities: Skylines's robust modding scene and DLC keeps making the best city builder even better

Sat, 2018-02-10 08:00

I’ve never really thought about parking lots, and that’s a problem. I mean, who does? I’m sure it’s someone’s job to design parking lots—to optimize the space to fit as many cars as possible, to pick out those tiny saplings that one day will shade the lucky few who get to park underneath, to decide whether the spaces will run parallel or diagonal. It’s not my job though, and now I’m at a loss. I’ve spent the last half-hour in Cities: Skylines trying to plan out a parking lot for a combination PetSmart-Trader Joes-Office Max-Wells Fargo, and it’s not going great.

I’m fascinated though. By suburbs.

That’s the latest evolution in my love affair with Cities: Skylines. Suburbs are so boring, so sterile, but that in itself is a challenge. Trying to recreate those generic strips of American big-box retail, the dumpsters and shopping carts and the inevitable fast food restaurant out front, requires an entirely different set of skills from the flashy bright-lights-big-city layouts I’m used to attempting.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro turns 5 amid rising competition and faltering sales

Fri, 2018-02-09 17:34

Microsoft's iconic Surface Pro tablet turned five on Friday. The original product led the way for other productivity Windows tablets and detachable computers, but on its fifth anniversary, Microsoft may be losing momentum.

On Twitter, the Microsoft Surface team celebrated its “revolution,” which began when it discarded the limited Windows RT and brought full Windows 8 to the tablet market. “Five years ago today, a revolution was born when Surface turned Pro,” the Surface account tweeted. “And it was just the start.”

Surface sales falter

That strong start has slowed, though. According to research firm IDC, unit sales of portable Surface devices are down nearly 19 percent from a year ago. (Full disclosure: PCWorld and IDC are owned by the same parent company, China Oceanwide.) IDC's report, which analyzes the state of the convertible and slate market, shows an industry dominated by the high volumes of Android and iOS tablets sold by Apple, Samsung, and other vendors.

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This week in games: Relic sunsets Dawn of War III, Kerbal Space Program gets an expansion

Fri, 2018-02-09 15:00

Far Cry 5’s latest trailer gives its dog companion captions so you’ll understand his story. The sad part? I don’t think that’s in the real game. Imagine traveling through rural Montana with your talking canine, A Boy and His Dog style. Amazing, right?

That trailer, plus Relic abandoning Dawn of War III, a slew of release dates and sequel announcements, a new Soren Johnson project, and more below. This is gaming news for February 5 to 9.

Operators vs Aliens

This week on Rainbow Six Siege: People screaming “Contact!” and “Jesus Christ!” while monsters run around in the fog, and then some calm diplomacy between the USA and Russia. If last week’s trailer for the upcoming Outbreak event didn’t pique your interest, this one probably won’t either. But me? I am 100 percent ready for Rainbow Six Siege Plus Aliens Or Zombies Or Whatever.

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How to play DVDs in Windows 10 for free

Fri, 2018-02-09 09:34

You can play a DVD in Windows 10 for free, with a little help that’s probably not from Microsoft. I’ll tell you how Microsoft’s solution sort-of works for some people. Then I’ll tell you about the much better alternative called VLC that anyone can use, and is still being updated regularly. Best of all, it’s free!

Updated February 9, 2018, to mention improvements included in VLC 3.0.

RIP Windows Media Center

When Windows 10 came along, it left behind Windows Media Center, a utility for home theater PCs that let you play DVDs on your computer. Windows 8 didn’t come with it either, but users running Windows 8 Pro could still install Windows Media Center.

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