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Updated: 38 min 55 sec ago

Get Sony's WH-1000xM2 noise-cancelling headphones for $52 off

Mon, 2018-03-05 13:52

I’m a daily user of noise-cancelling headphones, and I’m here to tell you that they’re positively divine for getting work done. That’s why I’m also happy to tell you that Amazon has Sony’s impressive (if inelegantly named) wireless WH-1000xM2 over-ear noise-cancelling headphones on sale for 15 percent off, which drops the price down from $349.99 to a more agreeable $298.

Good noise-cancelling headphones rarely get down to that price, which makes this a nice opportunity to pick some up if you’ve always wanted some. In fact, this is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen for these particular headphones to date.

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Seagate IronWolf 12TB review: A hard drive made for NAS that's fast and affordable

Mon, 2018-03-05 12:28

There's something about 12TB hard drives reading and writing at 250MBps that we just can't get enough of. This go-round, we review Seagate's IronWolf--the slightly slower, slightly lower-rent cousin to the mighty 12GB Seagate BarraCuda Pro we recently took for a spin. Game of Thrones moniker aside, the IronWolf is still easily fast and enough, and should be reliable enough to make sense in the multi-drive setups for which it's intended.

While the 12TB IronWolf falls a hair off the performance pace set by the 12TB BarraCuda Pro, it adds vibration detection (in the higher capacities) which Seagate says will ward off tracking issues when you pack two or more drives together in close proximity. 

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Ion Maiden preview: An excellent '90s-style shooter with modern twists

Mon, 2018-03-05 11:43

We’re barely two months into 2018, but I’m already going to shortlist Ion Maiden for the biggest surprise of the year.

When I heard 3D Realms was back with a new game, I had lower-than-zero expectations—the publisher’s previous outing was 2016's Bombshell, which started life as an isometric Duke Nukem shooter-slash-Diablo hybrid, then (after some legal trouble) finished life as something much, much worse. Even if it’d run perfectly at release it would’ve amounted to a shrug at best, but it was so busted I literally couldn’t finish it.

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Three things Apple's cheaper MacBook Air will need to be a hit

Mon, 2018-03-05 11:28
A new rumor says that Apple is planning to release a cheaper MacBook Air sometime in the next few months. Here's what it needs to be a hit.

Watch your home for cheap with this deal on a simple, affordable security camera

Mon, 2018-03-05 10:17

If you’re looking to protect your home without breaking the bank, we’ve found a simple home security camera system selling at a sweet discount. Amazon’s selling the Blink XT Home Security camera system for $100. This particular sale is via a third-party seller but fulfilled by Amazon, meaning any problems will be subject to Amazon’s customer service policies.

The Blink XT system usually sells for $130 so this a nice discount, according to CamelCamelCamel data. It’s not the lowest price we’ve ever seen—that was $70 last June—but this kit hasn’t gone this low in a while.

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How to set up a VPN in Windows

Mon, 2018-03-05 08:31

VPN (virtual private network) technology lets a computer using a public internet connection join a private network by way of a secure “tunnel” between that machine and the network. This protects the data from being seen or tampered with by bad actors. The two most common use cases are consumer VPN services that allow individuals to surf privately from home or a public setting, and business-oriented solutions that allow employees to securely connect to a corporate network remotely.

For the most part, VPN connections are handled by custom software such as the many consumer VPN services we’ve reviewed, or by third-party generic software such as the OpenVPN client or Cisco AnyConnect.

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Abode home security starter kit (2018) review: This solid, if basic, security system gets a modest upgrade

Mon, 2018-03-05 08:00
Stepping cautiously, Abode expands from security into the broader smart-home ecosystem.

Azio Retro Classic BT review: This vintage mechanical keyboard will delight serious typists

Mon, 2018-03-05 06:00

The Azio Retro Classic isn’t the cheapest vintage-style mechanical keyboard we’ve seen, but it’s certainly one of the most striking. From its deep, clicky keystrokes and wood or leather paneling to its LED-backlit keys and rechargeable battery, the Bluetooth-enabled Retro Classic (available for $220 from Azio at the time of this writing) will delight serious typists with old souls and money to burn. 

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Into the Breach review: Chess meets Starship Troopers in brilliant, bite-sized battles

Sat, 2018-03-03 10:24

The Rusting Hulks—not exactly the most inspiring name for humanity’s saviors. And yet that sad group of orange-colored mechs finally got the deed done. It was around 4 a.m. We’d battled our way across two islands full of giant bugs, entered their volcanic lair, and were on the verge of killing off the Vek leader, a moth probably fifty feet long. Doing so would secure the bomb we’d warped in here, saving the Earth.

I knew what I had to do. With my jet already on fire, I fired a missile at the Vek, enfolding it in smoke. Blinded, the Vek halted its attack and slowly succumbed to the dark cloud. The threat was over. Humanity was saved.

“Smoking kills,” I said, as the bomb detonated and brought the volcano down on the Vek swarm.

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This week in games: Battlefield returns to WWII, 3D Realms' retro shooter channels Duke Nukem

Fri, 2018-03-02 15:00

3D Realms is making a new game in the Duke 3D engine the same week Washington D.C. starts complaining about video game violence? It's like 1997 all over again up in here.

That news, plus rumors Battlefield will head back to World War II this year, David Lynch teaches you typing, the ESRB takes less-than-zero action on loot boxes, and a bevy of trailers for Battletech, Heaven's Vault, Vermintide II, and more. This is gaming news for February 26 to March 2.

Wild at Heart

Growing up I remember taking typing classes in school, and then continuing that learning at home with Mario Teaches Typing. I don’t think either helped much, and it wasn’t until the onset of AIM (rest in peace) that I started hitting my current 100-plus words per minute. Still, I’ve got a soft spot for those old educational typing tools, which means David Lynch Teaches Typing is the perfect blend of weird and nostalgia. The “Trial Version” is available for free on I recommend checking it out.

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Newegg's selling a 15.6-inch Asus laptop with a potent Core i5 processor for under $500

Fri, 2018-03-02 10:11

Let’s finish off the week with a deal on an affordable laptop that packs some punch. Newegg is selling a Core i5-equipped Asus VivoBook for just $480 today. The sale ends just before midnight on Friday Pacific time, and it’s a good $100 cheaper than you’ll find at Amazon and other competitors online.

This Windows 10 laptop revolves around some impressive specs for a budget notebook, with 2.5GHz Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. The 1366-by-768 display resolution is a bit low, but dropping below 1080p probably helped Asus keep the price down while still including such solid internal hardware.

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Far Cry 5 hands-on preview: Cultists, crossbows, and a trained bear named Cheeseburger

Fri, 2018-03-02 10:00

Far Cry 5 is not what I expected. Far Cry 5 is also exactly what I expected.

That conflict is the core of my thoughts, after spending more than three hours of hands-on time with the game recently. Far Cry 5’s first trailer made it seem like a hard-hitting commentary on American society, on aspects of religion and gun control and politics and all sorts of other weighty topics. That game? Nowhere to be found in Far Cry 5 as it stands now. Thus, not what I expected.

And yet what’s left is very much Far Cry 5 ($60 preorder on Amazon), the sequel to Far Cry 4 and Far Cry 3 before that. The scenery’s changed to craggy Montana mountains, evergreen forests and elk, but otherwise this is another same-y iteration of a game I’ve played multiple iterations of. Exactly what I expected.

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These 20 deep, absorbing PC games will eat days of your life

Fri, 2018-03-02 08:39
Built to last

Image by Kingdom Come Deliverance

Far too many games these days are built to be played in small bursts: brief encounters, designed for a world with too few hours in the day and too many digital distractions. And that’s fine! Blasting through a few rounds of Call of Duty multiplayer, or playing a few run-throughs in Spelunky, is a wonderful way to spend a few minutes.

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The best—and worst—Netflix original movies

Fri, 2018-03-02 07:30
Netflix has produced a considerable number of films. Our guide will help you decide which ones are worth watching, and which are to be avoided.

Corsair MM1000 review: A wireless charging mousepad with strings attached

Fri, 2018-03-02 06:30

The day is finally here, and the challengers to Logitech’s revolutionary Powerplay wireless charging mousepad system have arrived. First up is Corsair’s MM1000 (currently $80 on Amazon), which actually was announced before Logitech showed off Powerplay last year. However, Logitech released its wireless charging mousepad suite last summer, while Corsair's MM1000 took until 2018.

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Microsoft will host Intel's Spectre and Meltdown patches on its own site

Thu, 2018-03-01 18:22

If you've been worried about receiving Spectre and Meltdown BIOS patches for the PC you built yourself, there may be a solution: Microsoft has begun supplying them itself via an archive on its site.

Typically, patching Spectre and Meltdown mitigations have followed a traditional pattern: Microsoft patches Windows via Windows Update, antivirus companies like AVG have patched their antivirus software, and so on. Intel, too, authors patches, as it recently did for Haswell and Broadwell CPUs. But unlike Microsoft, Intel doesn't directly ship those patches to end users—it uses its network of PC makers and motherboard vendors to distribute them, after the appropriate testing by each vendor.

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Hands on: How one mouse can control multiple PCs with Microsoft's Mouse Without Borders app

Thu, 2018-03-01 16:38

Microsoft’s Mouse without Borders app is an unsung productivity tool whose ability to let a mouse and keyboard hop from one Windows device to the next is worth checking out. It unlocks a versatility similar to that of Logitech’s Flow, but for far, far cheaper—because it’s free to use with any Windows device.

Mouse without Borders originally launched in 2011, long before Logitech debuted Flow. The app resurfaced Wednesday as part of Microsoft’s inaugural Microsoft Garage Wall of Fame, a celebration of smaller apps developed within Microsoft. You should try it out.

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Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest

Thu, 2018-03-01 13:42

Picking a gaming laptop today isn’t as easy as it was five years ago when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of back-breaking hardware to haul around.

Gaming laptop cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:·

With major advances in laptop video cards and CPUs, you can now get great gaming performance from laptops ranging from light to super heavy and from super expensive to budget.

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Cyan reveals Firmament, a steampunk adventure by the creators of Myst and Obduction

Thu, 2018-03-01 13:00

I don’t often do trailer posts here, but it’s also not often a trailer post doubles as a “Studio I love announces a new game” post. Which is to say: Nearly two years after the release of Obduction (and uh...25 years after Myst, if you can believe it), Cyan is ready to show off its new game.

It’s called Firmament, and both a bare-bones website and a “teaser” trailer appeared overnight. It’s a pretty generous teaser though, as these things go, coming in over two minutes long. Check it out below:

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Early tests show the Galaxy S9 beating iPhone X where it counts: The screen and camera

Thu, 2018-03-01 10:38
DisplayMate and DxOMark have crowned the Galaxy S9 and S9+ the king of phones in their screen and camera tests, but speed is another story.