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Updated: 32 min 41 sec ago

Lock down your logins with 75 percent off a LastPass Premium subscription through Humble Bundle

Tue, 2018-07-24 10:32

We've all heard the age-old advice: change your passwords often, never use the same password twice, create complicated passwords. But how many of us really follow that advice? That's where LastPass comes in, and right now its premium version is $6 for 12 months on Humble Bundle, down 75 percent from its list price of $24Remove non-product link—a deal that works for both new and existing users.

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Elgato's Stream Deck Mini is smaller, cheaper, and just as full-featured as the bigger broadcaster tool

Tue, 2018-07-24 10:28

Elgato’s button-strewn Stream Deck struck an immediate chord with game broadcasters when it launched last year, delivering pro-grade on-the-fly studio controls at an affordable $150 price tag. But today, those capabilities became even less costly with the release of the Elgato Stream Deck Mini ($99.95 on Amazon).

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The ultra-fast 1TB Samsung 960 EVO SSD drops by $100 on Amazon

Tue, 2018-07-24 09:32

If you’re hoping to speed up your PC with a zippy SSD, today’s your lucky day—as long as your motherboard accepts “gumstick” M.2 SSDs. Amazon is selling the 1TB Samsung 960 EVO for $300. Just a few days ago, this drive was $400, so you’re saving $100 off the most recent price. It’s not clear when this price drop will end.

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What to do when your laptop's touchpad stops working

Tue, 2018-07-24 08:39

When your laptop’s touchpad stops responding to your fingers, you’ve got a problem. Have you ever tried to use a Windows PC without a mouse, touchpad, or other pointing device? It’s all but impossible. 

If the problem just started, reboot your computer and see if that fixes it. Yes, I know that’s painfully obvious, but it’s standard operating procedure and in the heat of the moment it’s easy to overlook the obvious.

If that doesn’t work, try these solutions.

First, make sure you haven’t accidentally disabled the touchpad. In all likelihood, there’s a key combination that will toggle the touchpad on and off. It usually involves holding down the Fn key—typically near one of the lower corners of the keyboard—while pressing another key.

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TP-Link adds an outdoor security camera to its Kasa Cam smart home lineup

Tue, 2018-07-24 08:00
The company also has a new Wi-Fi smart plug.

Yamaha YAS-108 review: One of the best entry-level soundbars you can buy

Tue, 2018-07-24 06:00
Strong sound, clear dialogue, DTS Virtual:X, and the ability to connect two Bluetooth devices at once make this small speaker a winner.

Avira Phantom VPN Pro review: A homegrown service that's pretty good

Tue, 2018-07-24 06:00

P2P allowed: Yes

Business location: Germany

Number of servers: 82

Number of country locations: 25

Cost: $78 per year

VPN protocol:  OpenVPN

Data encryption:  AES256-CBC / AES256-GCM

Data authentication: SHA-512

Handshake encryption: DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384

Nearly every antivirus company offers a VPN as part of its deluxe security suites. Typically these VPNs are based on white-label services from a third-party such as AnchorFree of Hotspot Shield fame. Avira took a different approach by building its own service called Phantom VPN Pro.

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Hands-on with the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

Tue, 2018-07-24 05:33

The world of Harry Potter meets the world of computer coding in a new children’s coding kit by Kano (for ages 6 and up) that will hit store shelves on October 1. With the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit ($100, available for preorder) kids are tasked with building a wand, which in turn teaches them about computer programming through the wand’s “magic.” By pairing the wand with a tablet or computer via Bluetooth, children can learn the coding behind cause and effect—as they see how the actions of the wand are reflected on the screen. 

“Today, there is a form of magic in the world and it’s the technological projection—virtual reality, prediction, augmented reality—that so few of us understand,” says Alex Klein, co-founder and CEO of Kano. “That’s what makes it magic in a way, is that nobody understands it really except this small fraction of society.”

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Netgear is planning an Arlo doorbell

Mon, 2018-07-23 16:02
Netgear is expanding its Arlo home security range with a doorbell—a move that positions Arlo more aggressively against competitors such as Nest and Ring.

Costco's Surface Go bundle offers a better low-end option than Microsoft does

Mon, 2018-07-23 16:00

When Microsoft’s 10-inch Surface Go tablet ships August 2, there will be another configuration to consider along with Microsoft's two: Costco’s bundle, which looks like the better entry-level deal for this device. 

It’s mostly a question of math. The Costco bundle offers 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and the Type Cover for $550.

Microsoft will ship two configurations of the Surface Go: 

  • $399 4GB RAM/64GB eMMC SSD storage
  • $549 8GB RAM/128GB SSD 

Add $99 for the black Type Cover (or $129 for another color), and the prices for both increase to $498 and $648, respectively. The Costco bundle offers better bang for buck.  

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Samsung Wireless Charger Duo isn't even official yet, but it'll probably ship before AirPower

Mon, 2018-07-23 12:54
Samsung's new Wireless Duo Charger has leaked and it reminds us: Where the heck is AirPower?

AMD's six-core Ryzen 5 2600 processor is cheaper than ever

Mon, 2018-07-23 10:37

AMD's Ryzen 5 2600 processor released to rave reviews this spring thanks to the second-gen Ryzen chip’s abundant core count, auto-overclocking features, and bundled cooler. But if its price has been keeping you on the fence, the processor is just $160 on both Amazon and NeweggRemove non-product link today. That’s down from a $200 list price, and it’s Amazon's lowest price ever.

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The Galaxy Note 9 might be the last Note phablet Samsung ever makes

Mon, 2018-07-23 10:24

While it might seem like the Galaxy S9 only just hit shelves, the next big thing from Samsung is nearly upon us: the Galaxy Note 9. Rumors have been flowing for weeks about the new phablet phone—and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best phones of 2018. Here’s what we know so far:

Galaxy Note 9: The latest

As the release of the Galaxy Note 9 draws ever nearer, a nearly complete picture of the device has emerged. From leaked pictures, renders, and most recently, a full unboxing, the new phone will be visually identical to last year's model, and while it will have an updated processor (Snapdragon 845 vs the Snapdragon 835), the biggest improvement of all will likely be the S Pen. Well-known Twitter leakster Ice Universe has teased the phone's upgraded stylus as "the biggest update in the history of the S Pen," and Samsung itself has been prominently showing the S Pen in its Note 9 launch tease images. 

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Get a five-port wall charger with a USB-C connection for $20 with this code

Mon, 2018-07-23 09:45

When you’ve got to charge a whole stack of devices at once, all those cords can get messy—and that’s if you have enough wall adapters to do it. Today, Amazon's got a great deal on a handy charger that makes powering multiple devices a breeze. You can get a 60 watt RavPower charger with five ports, including one USB-C, for $20 with the code RAVPKK59. That’s $10 off the charger’s list price of $30.

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How to pick the best CPU for your next laptop

Mon, 2018-07-23 06:30

The CPU matters in a laptop even more than it matters in a desktop, because you can't change it. Ever.

That's why we're here to help you find the best CPU for your laptop—the one you won't regret in a year or two. Whether it's Core i7 or Celeron, 7th-gen or 8th-gen, H or U, or a simple matter of bang for buck, we'll help you learn what really matters so you can choose wisely.

(Note: For now, this discussion is centered on Intel-based CPUs, as AMD's newest Ryzen chips are still working their way into laptops.)

Laptop quick picks

If you’re looking for specific gaming laptop recommendations, here are a few suggestions:

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Lighthouse review: a smarter security camera

Mon, 2018-07-23 06:00
This AI-driven home security camera can tell you who is in your home—just ask it.

Convert text to image, and image to text

Mon, 2018-07-23 04:40

Arcticsid asked about turning text into a .jpg. I’ll also explain converting an image back into text.

Double-click any word in this paragraph. Your browser will select the word, and then you’ll be able to copy and paste it into your word processor or email program. But try double-clicking a word in the picture above (or in any of the other pictures in this article). It doesn’t work. In the digital world, there’s a big difference between real text and an image that looks like text—even if it’s not always obvious to the user. Fortunately, there are ways to turn either one into the other.

Let’s start with turning text into a bitmapped image like a .jpg or .png.

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The NES Classic Edition is available on Amazon, so get it before it's gone

Fri, 2018-07-20 16:18

Okay, sure, it’s not a PC (technically), but Nintendo’s SNES Classic is once again on sale at Amazon for its retail price of $60Remove non-product link as a part of a lightning deal, and there’s a good chance it won’t be there for long.

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This week in games: Star Citizen is sued by a backer, The Culling 2 is yanked from Steam and more

Fri, 2018-07-20 16:01

The rapid ramp-up toward review season continues this week, as evidenced by an absolute mountain of trailers for you to climb, Sisyphus-style. No Man’s Sky, Theme Hospital, We Happy Few, new expansions for Hollow Knight and Total War: Rome II—they’re all due within the next few weeks. Phew.

That, plus the story of a man who tried to sue Star Citizen to get his $4,500 back, Todd Howard says “never say never” to the idea of another New Vegas (but he kind of means never), and The Culling 2 ’s brutal failure and subsequent removal from Steam acts as a warning to anyone developing a battle royale game at the moment.

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Microsoft's pledge to win back the consumer needs to be more than just words

Fri, 2018-07-20 15:31

Consumers, rejoice: Microsoft cares about you again. Maybe. It depends on whether the head of Microsoft's new Modern Life & Devices group has substantive plans behind his statements. 

For the past few years, Microsoft’s attention has been fixated upon the enterprise. While the company has built products like Azure and related services into thriving businesses, consumer-focused products like the Groove Music service, Microsoft Band, and Windows Phone have fallen by the wayside. 

Microsoft essentially acknowledged its neglect of the consumer market at the company's Inspire partner conference this week. Yusuf Mehdi, now the corporate vice president in charge of the Modern Life & Devices group within Microsoft, led a closed session on "Modern Life Services," according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. A tweet that Mehdi posted from the event includes the words, "we begin the journey to win back consumers with our vision," presumably this year.

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