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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

Amazon's Fire HD 8 and 10 tablets have never been cheaper for Prime members

Wed, 2019-03-27 09:01

Amazon’s holding a fire sale of sorts on its family-friendly tablets today, selling the Fire HD 10 for $100 and the Fire HD 8 for $50. That’s a $50 discount for the former, and $30 off the latter. It’s not clear when the sale prices end.

The deals only apply for Amazon Prime subscribers though. If you’re not a Prime member or haven’t been one for a while, you may be able to sign-up for a 30-day trial, which should give you access to the sale price.

The Fire HD 8 features 16GB of storage, an 8-inch display with 1280-by-800 resolution, and up to 10 hours of battery life. If you want something a little beefier, the Fire HD 10 packs a 10-inch screen with 1920-by-1200 resolution, 32GB of storage, and the same battery life promise.

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TurboTax vs. H&R Block 2019: Which is the best tax software?

Wed, 2019-03-27 06:30

If you’ve been procrastinating on your taxes, we understand. Part of the challenge is deciding which tax preparer to trust with this annual chore. To help, we pitted two of the best web-based tax-filing applications against each other: TurboTax and H&R Block.

When we reviewed the 2019 versions of popular tax software, these two options finished at the top of the pile. Each offers excellent features and capabilities, clear user interfaces that are easy to understand, and collections of features that most tax filers need. But a few differences give each an edge depending on the situation.

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5G could be the foundation of next-gen 'cloud VR'

Wed, 2019-03-27 06:06

Virtual reality proponents see 5G as part of the answer to an vexing problem: What happens if you want high-resolution VR, but don’t have a powerful enough PC to run it?

Meet cloud VR, the next stage in VR’s evolution. Rendering the scene on a remote server and then streaming it to a headset eliminates the need for a powerful CPU. But fail to deliver a responsive experience, and users get disoriented and nauseous. A series of demos hosted by AT&T and Ericsson on Monday suggested a number of solutions, all using 5G as a high-speed, low-latency backhaul that proponents think could make cloud VR a future reality. 

Eventually, the AR/VR industry even hopes you’ll take the technology outside, perhaps fulfilling the promise that Google Glass once offered. But to do so, you’ll need a high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless infrastructure. Here again, the 5G industry is volunteering.

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Samsung SmartThings Hub (2018) review: Samsung’s smart hub finally goes wireless

Wed, 2019-03-27 06:00
The third-generation SmartThings Hub is equipped with the latest in ZigBee and Z-Wave technology, and it no longer requires an ethernet cable to join your home network.

The best smart home devices that work with Alexa

Tue, 2019-03-26 22:01
Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are most powerful when paired with third-party smart home hardware. These products earned our highest raitings.

The best Google Home-compatible smart home devices

Tue, 2019-03-26 19:29
It's the third-party smart devices that put the "home" in Google Home. Here are our favorites.

BioWare's Anthem adds DLSS support as Nvidia's RTX push continues

Tue, 2019-03-26 16:13

BioWare’s Anthem makes one hell of a first impression, and today, it got even stronger—at least if you’re a gaming geek who fetishizes ultra-fast frame rates. An update rolled out today that adds support for Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, which uses machine learning and the dedicated tensor cores inside GeForce RTX graphics cards to make your games play faster. Anthem’s level-up comes hot on the heels of RTX features debuting in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus.

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Huawei’s P30 Pro goes toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ on power, price, and photography

Tue, 2019-03-26 13:54

After a short run alone at the top of the Android heap, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 has some serious competition. Huawei unveiled its latest flagship P30 and P30 Pro today, and they’re packed with some of the best specs we’ve ever seen in an Android phone.

Just like the P20, Huawei is making a big deal out of the phones’ picture-taking skills. The Leica-branded triple-camera array that was introduced with the Mate 20 makes its way to the P30, while the P30 Pro gains a fourth time-of-flight (TOF) camera for better portraits and depth sensing:

  • 40MP wide angle, f/1.8
  • 16MP ultra wide angle, f/2.2
  • 8MP telephoto, 3x zoom, f/2.4
P30 Pro
  • 40MP wide angle, f/1.6
  • 20MP ultra wide angle, f/2.2
  • 8MP telephoto, 5x zoom, f/3.4
  • Huawei TOF camera

Aside from the lenses, however, Huawei has fine-tuned the processing behind the P30 cameras to provide even greater abilities, particularly with the P30 Pro. The new periscope telephoto camera offers 10x hybrid zoom and up to 50x digital zoom. A new RYYB color sensing rule allows more light for better nighttime shots. And the TOF camera allows for fine-tuning of portrait shots and professional long-exposure pictures at the touch of a button.

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Google Gmail adds 'dynamic email,' to avoid the pain of new tabs

Tue, 2019-03-26 13:42

Google said Tuesday it has begun rolling out what it calls “dynamic email,” an enhancement to its web-based Gmail page that in some cases eliminates the need to open a separate tab to accomplish a task.

Dynamic email feels somewhat like an extension of the dynamic replies that will pop up in response to an existing Gmail message, or the autocomplete functions available in Google Search: a simple tool to save time. Dynamic email works by sucking a small portion of the web directly into the Gmail pane, automating a particular task.

Here’s an example: In Google Docs, if a collaborator comments on a line in a sales contract, they can notify you via Gmail to take action. Instead of a link to the document that you’re forced to open, you can simply comment directly in the email, and the comment will be added to the document in question.

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Update: Asus issues fix for ShadowHammer attack, and a tool to detect if your PC was affected

Tue, 2019-03-26 12:07

Asus confirmed Tuesday that "a small number of devices" had been implemented with malicious code following an attack on its Live Update utility. That app has been patched, Asus said.

Asus said that it has reached out to affected users, and issued a patched version of its software, version 3.6.8. If you suspect that your PC might be affected, you can run an Asus tool that will check for affected systems, Asus said in a statement. The company also said that has introduced multiple security verification mechanisms, including an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. Asus also updated and strengthened its server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future, it said.

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Apple Card vs Citi, Chase, and Capital One: Is Apple's new credit card as good as it seems?

Tue, 2019-03-26 11:30
Apple announced a brand new credit card at its 'Show time' event with low interest rates, no fees, and daily rewards. But is it worth adding to your wallet?

Start streaming in luscious 4K HDR with the Roku Streaming Stick+ for one of its lowest prices yet

Tue, 2019-03-26 11:18

Whether you're new to the streaming game or just want to boost your existing setup, Roku offers some of the best streaming devices on the market. And today, you can grab the fully loaded Roku Streaming Stick+ for $49 on Amazon, down from a list price of $60.

This compact plug-and-play streamer comes with all the power of Roku built in, so you'll be able to access a huge lineup of streaming services all from one device. An intuitive included remote makes it easy to navigate through Roku's user-friendly interface, while 4K and HDR capabilities offer solid visuals for the services that support such lofty levels of eye candy. In addition, you can use your phone as a remote with the Roku app, and use it to cast content, control with your voice, and even plug in your headphones for private listening.

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Apple's services event laid the groundwork for a long and difficult transition away from the iPhone

Tue, 2019-03-26 10:10
Apple may be late to the video streaming party, but it's getting ahead of the shift away from it's No. 1 device: the iPhone.

Amazon's one-day PC gaming blowout offers juicy deals on Threadripper, huge hard drives, and more

Tue, 2019-03-26 09:36

It's a great day for great deals on PC gaming components and accessories. Amazon's throwing a huge one-day gaming hardware saleRemove non-product link that includes a wide variety of laptops, desktops, components, and accessories. We've sifted through the nearly 30 deals to find our top three picks from today's sale.

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Hands-on with Control: Weird, unsettling, and Remedy's best-playing game since Max Payne 2

Tue, 2019-03-26 09:02

“Do you think there’s a secret in here?” “Well now I do.”

I’ve walked in and out of the same room maybe four times now, pressed up against every wall, tinkered with every switch. The Oldest House, headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control, wraps around itself like a maze. There are no rules here, no laws of physics or Euclidean geometry to fall back on. Bodies float in the lobby. Hallways fold in on themselves. And I’ve found myself wandering in and out of Audio Testing Laboratory 2, the existence of which implies an Audio Control Laboratory 1—if only I could find it.

Finally I give up though, leave the laboratory and head back to the lobby. Good thing, too. The various Remedy developers in the room laugh, and one says “Yeah, no secret in there.” I take him at his word, though some small part of me still thinks there must be an Audio Testing Laboratory 1, if I just looked hard enough.

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Myst developer Cyan returns to Kickstarter for new game Firmament

Tue, 2019-03-26 09:00

It’s been almost precisely a year since Cyan unveiled the first trailer for Firmamentand a busy year for Cyan at that. 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of Myst, which resulted in a celebratory Kickstarter for limited-run merchandise, plus re-releases of Myst III and IV, which had been missing from storefronts for (pun intended) ages. It’s no wonder Firmament faded into the background for a while.

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You can use this powerful online meeting solution for free

Tue, 2019-03-26 08:05

The conundrum of business meetings: as much as they allow for dispersed teams to connect and hammer out issues and propose solutions in real-time, it can be equally difficult to find an easy-to-use solution that works for everyone. We’ve all been there: getting booted off a call, only to find it impossible to join later, or dealing with frustrating limits to the number of people who can join the conference — the list of issues goes on. Now is the time to get an easy-to-use online meeting solution that’s made to scale for businesses of all types: RingCentral Meetings™.

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Get a Lifetime Of Excel Training For Just $20

Tue, 2019-03-26 08:05

Businesses tend to be more successful when they collect data. But, once it’s gathered, how do they analyze it to make informed decisions? Microsoft has released a series of tools for this purpose, and you can learn how to use them with the Complete Microsoft Data Analysis Expert Bundle, on sale for only $20 today.

This package introduces students to a range of Microsoft tools that makes data analysis far less complex. It includes six courses that illustrate how popular titles like BI, Access, and Excel are used to sort, crunch, and analyze information as efficiently as possible. From there, you’ll be better equipped to identify trends and foresee conclusions so you can ensure a healthier bottom line.

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BlackBerry Key2 LE review: A cheaper way to get the keyboard in your pocket

Tue, 2019-03-26 06:29

Last year I was stunned by just how much I loved using the BlackBerry Key2 and its physical keyboard. This year I’m checking out its little sibling—the Key2 LE—to see if it’s a cheaper way to get your hands on a BlackBerry device in 2019. 

The base model of the LE clocks in at $399, while the entry level of the standard Key2 starts at $649. Luckily BlackBerry didn’t cut too many corners in order to get the price down, making the Key2 LE a very viable alternative if your thumbs are craving some tactile keyboard action. 

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The BlackBerry name and logo still conjure up good vibes.

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Dahlia Home Review: Finally, I can repurpose my old iPhone as a smart home hub (said no one ever)

Tue, 2019-03-26 06:00
Here’s a truly innovative solution in search of a problem.