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Hands-on: Jedi: Fallen Order plays like Uncharted with lightsabers, but we haven't seen enough of it

Sat, 2019-06-08 17:15

Remember when EA canceled Visceral’s reportedly Uncharted-esque Star Wars game? Seems pretty odd in retrospect, given we finally got eyes on Respawn’s Jedi: Fallen Order today and it looks...pretty damn Uncharted.

But I digress. Point is, we saw Jedi: Fallen Order today—first a public EA demonstration, then a slightly longer behind-closed-doors demo. You might as well watch the public demo, which features protagonist Cal Kestis fighting (and sneaking, and clambering) his way through an Imperial base on Kashyyk. It’s about 15 minutes. 

Our non-televised demo added a bit to the front of that sequence, wherein Kestis takes over an AT-AT and pilots it down a narrow canyon. I can see why it was cut from the public demo, because it had some significant frame rate issues. There’s plenty of time to polish and optimize—I merely mention it because this demo was also open to the public, and I’m sure someone out there will write a Reddit post about the stuttering.

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Microsoft's E3 sales include $800 off an MSI gaming laptop, $500 off the ROG Strix Hero II

Fri, 2019-06-07 16:09

Though Microsoft typically uses the week of E3 to trumpet its Xbox console deals, the company also is working with a number of gaming-PC makers to offer some substantial discounts, including $800 off for the MSI GE75 Raider Gaming LaptopRemove non-product link gaming laptop and $500 off for the affordable ROG Strix Hero II.

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The Oculus Go standalone VR headset has its biggest price cut of all time today

Fri, 2019-06-07 12:29

Smartphone virtual reality headsets are cool, but they're nothing compared to standalone models. Of course, they're way more expensive, but today, you can grab a 32GB Oculus Go standalone VR headset of your own on Amazon for $169Remove non-product link, its lowest price ever and a nice cut from its $199 list price.

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Max out your storage with an Intel 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD for an all-time low price of $100 at Amazon

Fri, 2019-06-07 09:34

If you’ve got an M.2 slot in your laptop or desktop motherboard that still isn’t filled, now is the time. Amazon is selling the 1TB Intel SSD 660p for $100Remove non-product link—that’s the all-time low for this M.2 80mm drive and a huge drop from its $210 list price.

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Jackery Honda 290 Portable Power Station review: Big, powerful, and oh so expensive

Fri, 2019-06-07 06:30

Portable battery packs have become a common accessory for smartphone owners to carry and use on a regular basis. Power stations, like the Honda 290 made by Jackery, however, are starting to get more attention.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.

The Honda 290 is big, measuring 9.0 x 7.8 x 5.2-inches and weighing 6.6 pounds, but it packs a ton of power. There’s a small display where you can view the current charge level, along with input and output amounts. There’s a 12V charging port, two USB ports, and a standard AC port. There’s also a single input port, used for charging the power station itself.

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Schlage Encode smart deadbolt review: This Wi-Fi entry lock is a good choice for Key by Amazon subscribers

Fri, 2019-06-07 06:00
But the Schlage Encode smart deadbolt also exposes some flaws in Amazon’s broader approach to the smart home.

What to expect at E3 2019: Live stream info, games galore, and maybe a new Xbox?

Fri, 2019-06-07 06:00

It’s the Friday before E3. For years, we’ve scheduled an article for that day detailing our predictions for the event, laying out every press conference and some of the games we expect to see.

This year, we’re too late. E3 already started.

Five days before the masses descend on the LA Convention Center for E3 proper, Google of all companies has kicked off festivities with details—and the first games—for its Stadia streaming platform. And with that, we’ve reached the point where E3 is a week-long event. A week of excitement, exhaustion, and everything in between.

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How to clear cookies from your browser

Thu, 2019-06-06 17:24

Cookies are usually delectable delights, but web cookies can sometimes be less than delightful. These little files hide in your computer so that your browser and websites can track your browsing sessions and save certain useful information, such as account names and passwords, for later retrieval. Although cookies may seem harmless overall, they can threaten your privacy if an attacker tries to use them maliciously.

Because of that threat, most modern browsers make cookie storage easy to understand and control. They also make it simple to remove individual website cookies, or even to delete cookies from your computer entirely. Here’s how you can perform the latter task in some of the most popular browsers.

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The Full Nerd ep. 95: Why PCIe 4.0 matters and the Mac Pro's monstrous return

Thu, 2019-06-06 15:58

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray tell you how significant the PCIe 4.0 support baked into AMD's Ryzen 3000 processors actually is, and actually praise aspects of Apple's new Mac Pro (just not the stand.)

With AMD's Ryzen 3000-series CPUs formally bringing PCIe 4.0 to desktop PCs, the Full Nerd crew breaks down where it matters and why you want it. And yes, believe it nor not, Gordon has some praise for aspects of Apple's new 28-core Mac Pro. He explains where and how it's probably going to be faster than most PC workstations.

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Access 1,000+ tech courses for just $79 with Virtual Training Company

Thu, 2019-06-06 15:14

Thinking of a career change? If so, you may have to retrain. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to invest thousands in a college education. Delivering a treasure trove of online courses in coding, design, and more, Virtual Training Company has you covered, and lifetime subscriptions are on sale for only $79 today.

A lifetime subscription to Virtual Training Company gives you access to over 1,000 courses that’ll teach you how to code, use popular software packages, and more. If it’s a technical skill, chances are good that there is a course in this package that’ll show you the way.

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Get over $1,150 worth of game development training for just $25

Thu, 2019-06-06 15:14

Game development is a unique blend of creative artistry and technical know-how that culminates in a fun product that everyone can enjoy. If you've wanted to break into this field but felt intimidated by the requisite tools and expertise, the Zero to Hero HTML5 Game Developer Bundle is right up your alley, and it's on sale for only $25 today.

This package is perfect for anyone who wants to try their hand at game development. It includes eight courses that’ll show you how to develop a game using coding languages like HTML5, JavaScript, and Python. Students will learn the theory behind the development process but will also get their hands dirty as they create several games on their own from scratch.

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Improve your writing with ProWritingAid Premium, now 50% off

Thu, 2019-06-06 15:13

Great writing rarely comes naturally. Deadlines force us to cut corners, so we produce work that — while good — falls short of perfection. And that’s what makes ProWritingAid Premium such an indispensable tool, especially considering you can get a two-year subscription at half price.

ProWritingAid Premium is a desktop app that analyzes your written work for deficiencies. It finds spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and even locates style issues and identifies bad habits so your work will always be at its finest. Plus it acts as a mentor so it’s a great way to improve your own writing naturally over the long term.

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Destiny 2 is coming to Steam in September

Thu, 2019-06-06 14:46

Bungie’s finally shown us what Destiny 2 will look like in a post-Activision world, this morning revealing its forthcoming second major expansion Shadowkeep, which will take players to the moon (and bring back the moon wizards) starting September 17. But one small detail in particular stands out, a side effect of the split: After two years, Destiny 2 is coming to Steam.

It’s hard to know what this will entail at the moment, as the details are slightly murky. How do current owners get their Steam copy? Can they even? Are you going to get a Steam key in the mail? Will a legacy version remain on None of that’s been detailed yet. Bungie announced cross-platform characters and save transferring today, so presumably all your progress will translate seamlessly to Steam, but the rest is less obvious, the finicky behind-closed-door business details that make this change possible.

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Google's play-anywhere Stadia game service gets a Founder's Edition bundle, pricing, and more

Thu, 2019-06-06 13:08

E3 starts earlier and earlier every year. After creeping to Sunday and then Saturday in recent years, we’ve now leaped to Thursday morning, nearly a week before the show proper—and it’s Google of all companies kicking festivities off.

This morning Google detailed its Stadia streaming service, or at least gave us more details after a relatively info-light reveal at March’s Game Developers Conference.

It’s a bit complicated though. Stadia Pro is the system everyone expected, a sort-of Netflix-for-games at $10 a month, with the top-tier technical package—4K, 60 frames per second streaming, and more—streamed seamlessly to any compatible device be it a laptop, desktop, Pixel 3 phone, or Chromecast.

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You can get three TP-Link smart plugs for just $10 each on B&H Photo today

Thu, 2019-06-06 12:39

Smart plugs are inexpensive ways to transform your regular old "dumb" devices into smart ones, and today's deal is the cheapest yet. B&H Photo Video is selling a three-pack of TP-Link's HS100 Wi-Fi smart plugs for $30Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $51 and the lowest price we've seen.

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Baldur's Gate III is finally happening, 19 years later

Thu, 2019-06-06 12:26

We waited for years, and then it all happened so quickly. Almost two decades after the release of Baldur's Gate II we're finally getting a sequel—and it's coming from Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian, probably the best scenario I could imagine aside from Obsidian, who's already made two "sequels" in the form of Pillars of Eternity.

But spiritual successors are no substitute for a real Baldur's Gate III. Despite denying rumors six months ago, Larian officially unveiled the project at Google's Stadia event, which kind-of-sort-of kicked off E3 2019 this morning.

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Pre-E3 steal: Save big on AMD Radeon's 1080p gaming powerhouses and get 2 free games

Thu, 2019-06-06 10:37

E3 is the epicenter of all things gaming, but before we see all the latest games when the show kicks off this weekend, it's a great time to save some cash on the hardware you need to run them. That goes doubly so this year with the anticipated reveal of AMD's next-gen Radeon RX 5000-series GPUs. After teasing the Radeon RX 5700 at Computex, firmer details for the new graphics cards are expected to come out on June 10 at a dedicated AMD event held the day before the show floor opens. But there’s another Radeon lead-up you won’t find at E3: killer sale prices on current-gen Radeon graphics cards.

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Surfshark review: A solid VPN service with a few extras

Thu, 2019-06-06 06:30
Surfshark in brief:
  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: British Virgin Islands
  • Number of servers: 800+
  • Number of country locations: 49*
  • Cost: $72 (billed annually)
  • VPN protocol: IKEv2/OpenVPN
  • Data encryption: AES-256-CBC/AES-256-GCM
  • Data authentication: HMAC-SHA256-128/SHA-512
  • Handshake: Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman 384

A lot of people want to secure their connection with a VPN these days, but that presents a convenience problem: no Netflix. There are a number of VPNs that work with Netflix, but Surfshark goes beyond compatibility with just the typical U.S. and U.K. to include another nine countries: Australia, Canada, German, France, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea.

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The star of WWDC wasn’t the Mac Pro or Dark Mode. It was privacy

Thu, 2019-06-06 06:00
Apple unveiled a lot of new features during WWDC, but none was bigger than its privacy push.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Review: This thin gaming laptop features 9th-gen Core and GTX 1660 Ti

Thu, 2019-06-06 05:52

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 9SD has a tradition to uphold. Its predecessor, MSI’s GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE, was the laptop that changed our perception of just how much real gaming performance you could pack into a thin-and-light gaming laptop. With the next generation, we find essentially the same winning laptop design, stuffed with the latest toys from Intel and Nvidia.

We’re not exaggerating about the original GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE’s wow factor, either. It was just a hair over 4 pounds, in the same weight class as a Macbook Pro 15 or ThinkPad X1 Extreme, yet it packed way more firepower. 

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