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Updated: 28 min 32 sec ago

5 signs you’re not ready to cut the cable TV cord

Thu, 2018-03-08 06:00
Thinking of cutting the cord? Here are 5 signs you're not ready to drop cable.

Microsoft expects the 'majority of customers' to use Windows 10's S mode

Wed, 2018-03-07 21:29

Microsoft expects that the “majority of customers” will enjoy Windows 10 in its new S mode, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows wrote in a blog post Wednesday night.

The stunning endorsement of Windows 10’s S mode—which was formally confirmed as a mode of Windows 10 just about a day ago—was made by Joe Belfiore, who told me via Twitter that he expected the transition to take place in 2019. Belfiore’s blog post set an even more aggressive timetable, claiming that customers would be able to buy a PC with Windows 10 S mode at or near the time when the next feature update to Windows 10 drops. That update, known as Redstone 4, is expected to appear on PCs in early April.

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Cyan teases a project of some sort tied to Myst's 25th anniversary

Wed, 2018-03-07 19:25

Hot on the heels of last week’s Firmament announcement, today Cyan teased another project in the works. 2018 is, of course, the 25th anniversary of Myst, and it looks like Cyan’s preparing...something. Hard to say what, exactly, but something.

On Wednesday afternoon Cyan’s Twitter account sent out a series of messages in the familiar handwriting of Myst mainstay Atrus. The message, in its entirety: “Perhaps the ending has not yet been written...” This was then followed up by a shot of the Myst Island linking book, a pen, and a sticky note with “25” on it, underlined. Here, take a look:

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Windows 10's Sets will reappear in the fall Insider builds, with support for legacy apps

Wed, 2018-03-07 15:19

If you’re a fan of Windows 10’s tabbed Sets interface, you may want to sign up for the Windows Insider program this fall—because Sets is back.

Microsoft announced Windows 10 Insider Build 17618 on Wednesday, a closed beta for the “Skip Ahead” portion of the Windows Insider program. Most Insiders follow the developer team working on the current build; that team is wrapping up the spring update (Redstone 4) that's due in a few weeks. The "Skip Ahead" Insiders follow another team of developers working on the next update, due in the fall. 

It’s in the fall update, known as Redstone 5, where Sets will reappear. We tested Sets late last year, which replaces the traditional “one app, one window” user interface with something that looks more like a web browser. Last fall, the beta Sets interface allowed you to tack on an app as another tab, using UWP apps like Calendar, Edge, and Mail. 

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Oculus Rifts worldwide temporarily break due to an expired certificate

Wed, 2018-03-07 15:17

If you want a hint of how fragile our tech-reliant world is, look no further than the Oculus Rift. This morning, Rift owners the world over discovered that their $400 virtual reality headset had become a paperweight overnight—at least temporarily.

Seems as though Oculus uh...forgot(?) to issue an updated Windows certificate, the security feature that confirms that, yes, Oculus’s software is actually Oculus’s software. As Microsoft’s decade-old primer puts it, "Digital certificates function similarly to identification cards such as passports and drivers' licenses." That’s a pretty good analogy.

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Samsung wants your TV to disappear

Wed, 2018-03-07 14:15
A new 8K UHD, microLED, ambient mode, and smart features for your phone were all touted at today's Samsung 2018 TV press presentation

Windows ML will tap your PC hardware to smarten up Windows 10 apps with AI

Wed, 2018-03-07 14:08

Ever since the debut of Cortana within Windows 10, Microsoft has tried to inject Windows with artificial intelligence. Now it’s getting even more serious with a new API, called Windows ML, that will tap your CPU or GPU to make Windows and its apps even smarter.

Windows ML will debut within the “next major update to Windows 10,” presumably the “Redstone 4” update set to be released to hardware partners this month. Since it’s an API, every developer who writes apps for Windows will be able to take advantage of the new AI capabilities.

In the future, Microsoft said, Windows ML might even take advantage of an entirely new chip: a machine vision or visual processing chip designed by a subsidiary of Intel, called Movidius. Microsoft said that it is working closely with Movidius to support its 2485 VPU Accelerator, which could work in conjunction with or simply replace today’s webcams.

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Reading the Android 'P' leaves: 5 things the beta could tell us about the Pixel 3

Wed, 2018-03-07 14:00

With two months still to go until I/O, Google has given us our first sneak peak at Android P, and there’s a lot to digest. While it’s light on major front-facing features, there are a lot of changes that will impact flagship phones in 2018 and beyond, starting with the Google Pixel 3. Here are five things we learned from the first developer preview:

It will probably have a notch

It was previously rumored that Android P would include support for notched displays, but now we have some confirmation. And it’s more than a simple resolution shift. Google is baking support for “display cutouts” deep in Android P, with new platform and API layouts that help developers build immersive apps that work around the notch and use it their advantage. That means the next crop of notched Android phones will get a much better experience on Android P, and the Pixel 3 could very well be the phone that kicks off the new class.

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The Full Nerd episode 42: The future of Windows, and is cloud gaming any good?

Wed, 2018-03-07 13:22

In this episode of the Full Nerd, PCWorld’s resident expert on all things Microsoft, Mark Hachman, joins Gordon Mah UngBrad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray to talk about the future of Windows.  

What fresh features are coming in the next big Windows update? When can we expect that update? And hey, what’s up with all those “Polaris” and “Core OS” rumors? Could Microsoft restrict access to traditional desktop software in future versions of Windows? We dig deep into what’s coming to the operating system running on most people’s PCs. 

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Android P will have notch support and improve indoor mapping

Wed, 2018-03-07 13:00

The first developer preview of Android P has arrived, and with it Google is ready to show off the next phase of its mobile vision. And notches are all the rage.

As previously rumored, Android P will introduce display cutout support for Android apps, letting developers “take full advantage of the latest device screens with fullscreen content.” And it’s not just the status bar and home screen that will get the support. Google is expanding support for notched displays into all areas of Android P, including APIs so developers can get creative with their apps.

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Edit Your Writing On The Fly With Ginger Page Premium, Now 80% Off

Wed, 2018-03-07 11:25

Just as few things say incompetent and sloppy like a document ridden with misspellings, poor word choices, and grammar errors, nothing says proficient and skilled like well-written, grammatically correct, easy-to-read prose. Improve your chances of getting your message across and being taken seriously with a one-year subscription to Ginger Page Premium, a full-featured document editing app that runs on virtually any platform or device, for just $29.99.

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SanDisk's monster 400GB microSD card is $65 off

Wed, 2018-03-07 09:59

If you're thinking of grabbing a Galaxy S9 when it comes out next week, need a super-sized Nintendo Switch storage solution for your collection of games, or simply want to expand beyond your laptop's stingy-sized SSD, Amazon and B&H Photo Video have a great deal today. Both retailers are selling a 400GB SanDisk Ultra class 10 microSD card for $185.

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Grab Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition for 20% off at Green Man Gaming

Wed, 2018-03-07 09:24

Good news! The long-awaited Final Fantasy XV PC port runs like a champ, and it looks drop-dead gorgeous. Better news! Even though the game only released on Tuesday, Green Man Gaming is already selling Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition for 20 percent off.

That brings the total down to $40, whereas all other storefronts—Steam, Origin, Amazon, and the Microsoft Store—are selling Final Fantasy XV for its full $50 price tag. And if you’re one of those “Steam or nothing” types, fear not. Green Man Gaming is selling the game as a Steam key, complete with the nifty “Bonus Half-Life pack” that gives you a crowbar, Half-Life-styled outfits, and Gordon Freeman’s distinctive scientist glasses.

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Speedify review: A mobile-focused VPN with zippy upload speeds

Wed, 2018-03-07 09:18

Speedify in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Business location: Philadelphia, PA

Number of servers: 1,000+

Number of country locations: 32

Cost: $50

VPN protocol: Speedify protocol (proprietary)

Data encryption: ChaCha20 (mostly for older devices); AES-256 (for devices with AES hardware acceleration)

Data authentication: DTLS 1.3

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Final Fantasy XV looks and runs great on PC once you've downloaded it all

Wed, 2018-03-07 07:48

It took quite a while for Final Fantasy XV to finally make its way to PC—almost a year and a half after the console launch, to be exact. But in the end it made it over, and as of yesterday you can find the game on an oddball selection of storefronts, including Steam (sure), the Windows 10 Store (okay fine), and Origin (...what?). A non-EA game on Origin? Pretty sure that makes Final Fantasy XV the Dr. Pepper of video games.

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The best smart home devices that work with Google Home

Wed, 2018-03-07 06:00
It's the third-party smart devices that put the "home" in Google Home. Here are our favorites.

LG Gram 15Z980 review: It's rich and thin, and its battery doesn't stop

Wed, 2018-03-07 06:00

Packing a quad-core 8th-generation Intel processor and a robust battery into an impressively thin and light shell, the peppy but pricey LG Gram cranks all day without weighing you down. While we love the Gram's lithe design and exceptional battery life, laptop shoppers looking for sheer speed may be disappointed by the system's relatively casual pace. We also had some quibbles with the Gram's cramped keyboard.

Price and specifications

We tested the top-of-the-line model of the LG Gram, which costs a cool $2,000 and boasts a 15.6-inch touch display, a quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a pair of 512GB solid-state drives. If you'd rather not spend two grand on a laptop, there are three cheaper versions of the Gram to consider, including (at the bottom end) a much more affordable $1,250 model with a Core i5 processor, a single 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM.

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Confirmed: Windows 10 S will evolve into a 'mode' of Windows 10 in 2019

Tue, 2018-03-06 23:22

Reports that Windows 10 S will become a "mode" of Windows 10 were confirmed Tuesday night by Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, who stated that the transition will occur next year.

Belfiore, a corporate vice president in the Operating System Group within Windows, tweeted his statement in response to a PCWorld reporter’s own comment that Microsoft had neglected to mention Windows 10 S in a recent blog post touting the success of Windows devices in schools. Microsoft launched Windows 10 S last year as a standalone version of Windows, partly to provide a secure, manageable version of Windows to those schools.

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AMD's Project ReSX makes ultra-popular games smoother and faster on Radeon graphics

Tue, 2018-03-06 11:26

AMD released Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.3.1 late on Monday with support for Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition and Warhammer: Vermintide 2. Providing day-one drivers for such hotly anticipated games proves yet again that Radeon has left its dark days of buggy, late software far in the rearview mirror, but newfound optimizations for e-sports games are even more intriguing.

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Learn Microsoft Power BI, Excel, VBA, and Access For $29

Tue, 2018-03-06 10:43

Whether a company is considering a rebrand or evaluating the feasibility of a new product, it's likely to consult the analytics and insights derived from its data before moving forward with any initiative. That's why understanding data analysis tools, like Microsoft Excel and Access, can dramatically increase your value to employers on the market.

Of course, these programs have a reputation for being dense and tough for newcomers to grasp, but the Microsoft Data Analysis Bundle can help you navigate past the learning curve and leverage these tools as a valuable data analysis expert, and it's on sale today for $29.

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