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The Half Nerd ep. 57.5: Why Gordon is wrong, ultimate battlestations, and behind-the-scenes at The Full Nerd!

Tue, 2018-07-03 20:31

In this special "half" episode of the Full Nerd, Alaina Yee and Adam Patrick Murray sneak into the studio to chat about why Gordon is just plain wrong about certain things, ultimate battlestations, and how we make the show.

Also, don't forget: There's still one week left on our Threadripper 2 t-shirt giveaway! We'll announce the results next week, when we're back to a full crew.

Back to this episode: You can witness all the hijinks in the video embedded above. You can also watch The Full Nerd episode 57.5 on YouTube (toss us a follow while you’re there!) or listen to it on Soundcloud if you prefer the audio alone.

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Here's all 21 free games available through Twitch for Prime Day

Tue, 2018-07-03 19:00

Heads up, gamers: Amazon is doling out freebies as well as discounts this year for Amazon Prime Day. Twitch, which Amazon acquired for $970 million in 2014, has begun giving away 21 games to its Prime members in celebration of the big event.

The giveaway will roll out on a daily basis, with new titles available each day until July 18. Most games are claimable for a few days at a time, but several offerings can be snagged during a bigger window of time. Each title will appear on the Twitch Prime page when it's ready for download.

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Watch us unbox Dell's G3 15 and G7 15 gaming laptops

Tue, 2018-07-03 17:19

We just unboxed two of Dell's G series gaming laptops, and they show how much you can get even on a shoestring budget. With prices starting at $749, what these laptops lack in flash, they make up for by focusing on what matters: a solid CPU, a discrete GPU, and designs that are convenient and portable. 

The G3 15 laptop is an $849 configuration with an Intel Core i5-8300H CPU and 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 1050Ti GPU, and a 15.6-inch, 1920x1080 display with IPS technology. Storage includes a 128GB SSD and a 1TB 5,400rpm HDD. Its all-plastic, "Recon Blue" chassis is attractive, but it doesn't shout "gamer." 

The G7 15 stands out more, if only because of its Alpine White color scheme, but there's plenty to talk about under the hood. Our $1,200 configuration includes a Core i7-8750H CPU, a six-core Coffee Lake powerhouse. (And if that's not enough for you, it can be upgraded to the Core i9-8950HK overclockable processor. We just looked at that in the Alienware 17 R5 laptop, and it's face-meltingly fast.) The CPU is supported by 16GB of RAM, and storage includes a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, like its G3 15 cousin.

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Get A Lifetime Of 2TB Cloud Storage From Zoolz For Just $45

Tue, 2018-07-03 14:29

Cloud storage is a valuable thing, but most solutions today charge exorbitant rates for even the most barebones of storage plans. However, there's still hope for those looking to move files off their quickly filling hard drives. Utilizing tiered storage options, Zoolz Cloud Storage makes it possible to move your data to the Cloud without hamstringing your checking account. Right now, you can get a lifetime of 1TB Instant Vault and 1TB of Cold Storage with Zoolz for only $44.95.

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Guild Wars 2's Roller Beetle reminds us that MMO mounts don't have to be dull

Tue, 2018-07-03 14:01

Multiplayer games are on a roll lately. By now you probably already know about Hammond, the adorable hamster who rolls about in an iron wrecking ball of death in Overwatch (and whom we tried our in a recent PCWorld Twitch stream). But as for me? I find I can’t stop thinking about Guild Wars 2’s Roller Beetles, which rolled out in the patch for GW2’s "Love Live the Lich" patch last week.

Ride one, and you’ll probably feel the same way. They’re the sixth mount in the newish Path of Fire expansion following the existing Raptors, Griffons, and the like, but they’re also likely the best mount I’ve ever ridden in an MMORPG.

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Ring Alarm review: A great DIY home security system with the potential to become even better

Tue, 2018-07-03 12:00
It’s strictly for home security today, but every bit of the infrastructure needed to build this into a robust smart home system is already in place.

Grab these great Prime Day deals on AmazonBasics electronics before they're gone

Tue, 2018-07-03 10:52

Right now, Amazon is offering some pretty solid discounts off a lot of its AmazonBasics electronics, with a variety of products offered at 20 percent off. But if you're a Prime member, they're even cheaper. Here are a few of the best:

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Three ways to stop your Samsung Galaxy phone from randomly texting out your pics

Tue, 2018-07-03 10:33

If you have a new Galaxy S9, you’re probably using Samsung Messages for your texting needs. The default messaging client on all new Galaxy phones, the app lets you text your friends and family with modern features and strong search, and integrates with all of Samsung’s other apps. In short, if you're locked into the Samsung ecosystem, you have every reason to use it.

And now there's a reason not to use it. According to reports, the app has been sending out photos to random contacts without the user’s permission, a massive privacy issue and a potential embarrassment for victims of the bug. It’s unclear how widespread this issue is, but it’s major enough to warrant more than 200 comments on this Reddit thread.

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Three ways to stop your Samsung Galaxy phone from randomly sending out your pics

Tue, 2018-07-03 10:33

If you have a new Galaxy S9, you’re probably using Samsung Messages for your texting needs. The default messaging client on all new Galaxy phones, the app lets you text your friends and family with modern features and strong search, and integrates with all of Samsung’s other apps. In short, if you're locked into the Samsung ecosystem, you have every reason to use it.

And now there's a reason not to use it. According to reports, the app has been sending out photos to random contacts without the user’s permission, a massive privacy issue and a potential embarrassment for victims of the bug. It’s unclear how widespread this issue is, but it’s major enough to warrant more than 200 comments on this Reddit thread.

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Amazon Prime Day Deals start now: Save on Echo Show, movies, Twitch, and more

Tue, 2018-07-03 10:14

Amazon Prime Day is back for its fourth annual outing on July 16, and this time Amazon promises 36 hours of deal mania, up from the usual 30. While the official kickoff isn't for another couple of weeks, Amazon is building up to the big day with some preliminary deals.

Remember, these deals are available only for Prime subscribers who pay a $119 annual fee ($59 for students) to get free two-day shipping on orders and a slew of other perks. If you aren't already a member, you'll be able to get a 30-day free trial just in time for all the deals.

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Dell New XPS 13 vs. HP Spectre x360 13t: Which laptop is better

Tue, 2018-07-03 06:30

When you're trying to decide on a great laptop, Apple's MacBook can take a backseat. For the PC faithful, the only grudge match that matters is the one between Dell and HP. Specifically, the companies' flagships, the New XPS 13 ($1,199 from Dell) and the Spectre x360 13t (officially $1,250 from HP, on sale as configured for $990 as of this writing) are constantly competing to be top dog in the laptop universe.

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Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza

Tue, 2018-07-03 02:34

Prime Day, Amazon’s summer shopping event, is back for its fourth appearance. On Monday, July 16, Amazon will offer deals for thirty-six hours on over a million products on its sites around the world. Bargain hunters can track all the action starting at noon Pacific time via the company’s Prime Day landing page.

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Lock down your home with $200 off Netgear's Arlo Pro 2 smart home security system

Mon, 2018-07-02 10:14

A good home security system provides elevated safety and peace of mind to a home, and right now one of our favorites, Netgear's Arlo Pro 2, is on sale on Amazon for $483. That's a steep discount off the list price of $680 and the lowest we've seen it.

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Stock up on Philips Hue Color Ambiance bulbs and floodlights with 20% off at Amazon

Mon, 2018-07-02 09:23

Lighting might be the easiest way to start a smart home, but upgrading all of your bulbs can quickly add up, especially if you want to add color to your rooms. Today’s the day to stock up: Amazon is selling Philips’ most popular Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulbs, the A19 standard LED and BR30 flood light, for $40 each, a savings of 20 percent. It’s not quite the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s a great deal.

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Stock up on Philips Hue Color Ambiance bulbs and floodlights with 20 percent off at Amazon

Mon, 2018-07-02 09:23

Lighting might be the easiest way to start a smart home, but upgrading all of your bulbs can quickly add up, especially if you want to add color to your rooms. Today’s the day to stock up: Amazon is selling Philips’ most popular Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulbs, the A19 standard LED and BR30 flood light, for $40 each, a savings of 20 percent. It’s not quite the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s a great deal.

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Let Windows 10's Cortana Show Me be your family's tech support

Mon, 2018-07-02 06:27

Most how-to articles on a given subject walk you through a series of steps, perhaps with a video attached. Windows 10’s new free help feature, Cortana Show Me, is different: It actually performs basic Windows tasks for you on your PC while you follow along.

Even better, Cortana Show Me strikes a nice balance between showing you what to do, actually performing those steps, and providing an “escape hatch” if you need to slow down. All you need to do is wiggle your mouse, and Cortana Show Me will stop. Microsoft’s free app is part of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and includes walkthroughs for many basic tasks—we have a full list below.

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10 more great movies to celebrate the Fourth of July

Mon, 2018-07-02 06:00
Stream a few of these fantastic movies to capture the spirit of Independence Day.

How a robot vacuum navigates your home

Mon, 2018-07-02 06:00
Its movements might seem random, but there's a method to how these machines get around.

HTC U12+ review: One too many pressing problems

Mon, 2018-07-02 06:00

With the U12+, HTC somehow manages to mess up the one thing that all other phones get right: the volume and power buttons. I don’t generally pay much mind to the buttons on my phone—the Bixby key on the Galaxy S9 notwithstanding—but the U12+’s are so finicky, I actively tried to avoid them.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

The buttons on the U11 (bottom) were fine, HTC, so why’d you have to change them?

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Watch us give our RetroPie console a whole new look

Fri, 2018-06-29 18:00

Nintendo re-released the NES Classic today, but despite the immediate shortages (again), we’re sitting pretty. We might have built our Raspberry Pi-powered emulator in September to play Super Nintendo games, but it plays original Nintendo games equally well.

So to celebrate the current attention being lavished on classic gaming, we’ve swapped out our SNES-themed case for an NES-themed one. It’s not a purely cosmetic update, either—the new case offers a couple of features we didn’t have before. You can catch all the details in the video, and if you get the urge to build your own RetroPie system, check out our primer that walks you through the process from start to finish. We even have suggestions for the best retro-console cases to house your Raspberry Pi, too.

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