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Updated: 1 hour 8 min ago is broken: Why game makers who abandon Steam need to get the basics right

Fri, 2018-11-30 06:00

Fallout 76 is not releasing on Steam. It’s perhaps not the best game of 2018 but it’s arguably one of the biggest, and it’s not coming to Valve’s storefront. Of course this has kicked off another wave of “Is Steam in trouble?” thinkpieces, the likes of which we haven’t seen since EA split off to make Origin. And hey, it is a big deal. Maybe Valve should take a look at why publishers are increasingly keen to part ways these days.

This isn’t that article, though. No, I’m here to talk about the companies pulling away from Valve, Bethesda in particular. If you’re going to shoot at the king, you’d better not miss—and right now, Bethesda couldn’t come near the crown even with V.A.T.S. active.

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Lockly Secure Plus Review: Biometrics comes to the smart lock

Fri, 2018-11-30 06:00
You can open this smart lock with a PIN or your uniquely identifiable fingerprint.

Razer Mamba Wireless (2018) review: It nails the fundamentals

Fri, 2018-11-30 05:54

It's been either a few years or a few months since we looked at Razer's Mamba mouse. Back in 2015 I reviewed the Mamba Wireless and Mamba Tournament Edition, which I'd say was our last real look at this design—but in April we did examine Razer's futuristic Hyperflux mousepad, which used an adapted Mamba as its input.

Now there's a new model: a standalone wireless Mamba that doesn't necessitate selling a kidney to afford Hyperflux. Given that the Mamba is one of my favorite Razer designs, it seems worth a look.

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Ivacy VPN review: A competent VPN that doesn't mind cryptocurrencies

Thu, 2018-11-29 16:31
Ivacy in brief:
  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Singapore
  • Number of servers: 459+*
  • Number of country locations: 55
  • Cost: $40 (billed annually)
  • VPN protocol: OpenVPN-UDP
  • Data encryption: AES-256-GCM 
  • Data authentication: MS-Chap v2 and TLS
  • Handshake Encryption: SHA-II

* Includes virtual server locations

Editors Note: This review was updated on November 29, 2018 to reflect changes to the Ivacy app. The review score has not changed.

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Watch The Full Nerd talk Sapphire RX 590 Nitro+ review and Optane PC specs live right now!

Thu, 2018-11-29 16:17

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. Today's show covers Brad's Sapphire RX 590 Nitro+ review, Gordon's article about misleading Intel Optane PC specs, and we all share our Black Friday hauls. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat.

If YouTube is not your thing uou can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Intel publishes its first Modern Windows Driver for PCs, and there's no going back

Thu, 2018-11-29 13:53

Intel has published its first Modern Windows Driver for several of its modern integrated GPUs, representing a new way for graphics drivers to be pushed to your PC—and something to keep an eye on until the new driver infrastructure settles in.

Modern Windows Drivers, also known as Universal Windows Drivers, are a new feature of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that takes advantage of the UWP infrastructure within Windows 10. As Microsoft explains it, a Modern Windows Driver is a “single driver package that runs across multiple different device types, from embedded systems to tablets and desktop PCs.” The first Intel driver to take advantage of this is labeled UWD

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AmazonBasics wireless keyboard review: A quiet, affordable alternative to clacking keys

Thu, 2018-11-29 13:39

The AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard, which Amazon trumpets as “quiet and compact,” is built for this age of open work environments. When personal space is at a premium and even the clattering of a keyboard can feel intrusive, this discreet device helps everyone get along. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best wireless keyboards. Go there for information on our top picks and other competing products, and how to choose the best model for you.

A surprising number of features for the price

The budget-priced keyboard measures 5.6 x 17.7 x 0.9 inches and is constructed of lightweight plastic. Because it weighs a hair over one pound you may best tempted to throw it in a laptop bag and take it with you, but it’s not likely to withstand a lot of road wear (this is a $20 keyboard we’re talking about). If you do take it on the go, be sure to provide plenty of padding.

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Get a pair of 3rd-gen Nest thermostats for $338 at Home Depot, better than Black Friday's lows

Thu, 2018-11-29 11:50

Smart thermostats provide fine-tuned temperature control and can even help you save some money, but they can be a bit of an investment. Today, though, you can grab a two-pack of the awesome 3rd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat for $338 ($169/each) at Home DepotRemove non-product link, down from $498 ($249/each) and among the lowest prices we've seen.

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Ridiculous! This $165 8GB Radeon RX 580 is one of the best graphics card deals in a long time

Thu, 2018-11-29 09:30

Wow. Just when you thought the graphics card deals couldn’t get any better, Newegg is selling an 8GB MSI AMD Radeon RX 580 for $165Remove non-product link after the checkout code EMCEERY39 and a $20 mail in rebate.

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5 things the iPad Pro should steal from the Pixel Slate (and 3 things it shouldn’t)

Thu, 2018-11-29 09:00
As its closest competitor, there are a few things the iPad Pro could learn from the Pixel Slate, as well as a number of things it should ignore.

How to create Excel macros and automate your spreadsheets

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:35

Excel macros are like mini-programs that perform repetitive tasks, saving you a lot of time and typing. For example, it takes Excel less than one-tenth of a second to calculate an entire, massive spreadsheet. It’s the manual operations that slow you down. That’s why you need macros to combine all of these chores into a single one-second transaction.

Excel macros: Tips for getting started

We’re going to show you how to write your first macro. Once you see how easy it is to automate tasks using macros, you’ll never go back. 

First, some tips on how to prepare your data for macros:

  • Always begin your macro at the Home position (use the key combination Ctrl+ Home to get there quickly).
  • Use the directional keys to navigate: Up, Down, Right, Left, End, Home, etc., and shortcut keys to expedite movement.
  • Keep your macros small and focused on specific tasks. This is best for testing and editing (if needed). You can always combine these mini-macros into one BIG macro later once they’re perfected.
  • Macros require “relative” cell addresses, which means you “point” to the cells rather than hard-code the actual (or “absolute”) cell address (such as A1, B19, C20, etc.) in the macro. Spreadsheets are dynamic, which means they constantly change, which means the cell addresses change.
  • Fixed values and static information such as names, addresses, ID numbers, etc. are generally entered in advance and not really part of your macro. Because this data rarely changes (and if it does, it’s just to add or remove a new record), it’s almost impossible to include this function in a macro.
  • Manage your data first: Add, edit, or delete records, then enter the updated values. Then you can execute your macro.
Why starting with mini-macros is easier

For this example, we have a store owner who has expanded her territory from a single store to a dozen in 12 different major cities. Now the CEO, she’s been managing her own books for years, which wasn’t an easy task for a single store, and now she has 12. She has to collect data from each store and merge it to monitor the health of her entire company.

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Kangaroo Motion Sensor review: This home security system only goes halfway

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00
This home security system sure sounds inexpensive, but it's no bargain.

Amazon's eye for sports could shatter TV as we know it

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00
Amazon buying regional Fox Sports networks could fulfill our a la carte sports dreams, but at a cost.

What's behind the weird RAM amounts on some PCs: The confusing blend with Optane Memory

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00

When does a PC have “24GB of Memory?” When its Intel Optane Memory is being counted on top of the 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM we’re used to seeing on mainstream PCs.

Traditional RAM and Optane Memory do different things, however, so the fact that some PCs are showing this blended spec is bound to confuse shoppers looking for new PCs over the holidays. We’ve taken a closer look at what’s being advertised and how to understand what the PC you’re shopping for really has. 

Sam’s Club

Is it OK to market laptops with total “memory” by counting the Optane drive too?

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