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Updated: 41 min 57 sec ago

Hands-on: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is like XCOM with a quirky personality

Wed, 2018-06-20 11:00

A duck, a pig, and a zombie(?) walk into the burned out ruins of a bar, and all hell breaks loose. At least, I think it was a bar. To be honest, it was more ruins than anything else, and that was before one of the 15-odd enemies threw a Molotov through the window and lit everything on fire.

I went hands-on with Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden at E3 last week, and it was a real treat—like playing XCOM’s quirky cousin. So engaging, I didn’t even mind I got my ass kicked.

Super mutant scum

Four times I got my ass kicked and started over, I should mention. And I wasn’t alone. I just barely squeezed Mutant Year Zero into E3—it was actually the last appointment on the last day—and still we were told that only three people had managed to beat the demo the entire week. Some difficulty tuning is in order, maybe.

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The Full Nerd ep. 56: Intel and AMD's CPU Core Wars go nuclear, the best PC games of E3

Wed, 2018-06-20 10:59

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosHayden Dingman, and Adam Patrick Murray go deep on the escalating CPU Core Wars and what PC gamers need to know about from E3 2018. On tap:

If you missed it before, we sat down with AMD computing boss Jim Anderson to go deep on Threadripper 2’s genesis during Computex. Check it out if you haven’t had a chance yet!

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The Humble Cybersecurity Bundle offers everything you need to protect your PC for $15

Wed, 2018-06-20 09:20

Keeping your PC secure isn’t always cheap. To get a top antivirus suite, for example, you’ll easily pay $50 to $100 per year. On top of that, your password manager is another $25 to $35 per year, and if you want to pay for a VPN connection it’s at least another $50 to $60 annually.

You don’t have to break the bank with today’s deal, however. Through July 3, Humble is offering a Cybersecurity Software Bundle that cuts through all the high prices to get you one heck of a deal. 

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Trend Micro review: A great suite, but the privacy protection features need work

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:21

The best antivirus solution is one that’s as simple as possible. After all, if a user can’t navigate the app to take advantage of its features, then much of the program’s usefulness is lost. Trend Micro’s Maximum Security nails this principle with some of the easiest navigation we’ve seen yet.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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Bullguard Premium Protection review: A solid security suite that likes to bark

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:21

Bullguard Premium Protection is feature-packed with what the company calls “next gen anti-malware,” a new game optimization tool, and a “firewall on steroids.” As a premium security suite it certainly has all the necessary features and then some. Bullguard’s protection is also highly rated by independent AV testing organizations, but this combination of heavy security does come with its problems, especially for older machines.

Bullguard tries to be a very simple desktop application to navigate and understand. For the most part it succeeds, though you do have to get used to its logic. When you first fire it up, Bullguard Premium Protection presents a tiled interface for all of its major sections including: Antivirus, Firewall, Vulnerabilities, Backup, Game Booster, PC Tune Up, Parental Control, and Home Network Scanner. When each featured section of the security suite is running smoothly you’ll see a green checkmark on its respective tile.

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7 ways to master the new Google News and use it more like Google Reader

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:13

It’s been nearly five years since Google shut down its Reader service, and we still haven’t gotten over it. We’ve tried our share of replacements—Feedly, Inoreader, NewBlur, etc.—but between subscription fees, cross-platform compatibility, and interface oddities, we’ve yet to find anything that completely fills the void Reader left in our feeds.

But Google hasn’t given up on organized, personalized news feeds. Quite the contrary: After taking several swings with services such as Google+, Google Now, and News and Weather, Google unveiled at its I/O developer conference in May a brand-new Google News app, with a uniform experience across Android, iOS, and the web, a new philosophy, and a completely redesigned interface.

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QSAN XCube XT3002T NAS review: Classy, clean, and fast—but better suited to the enterprise

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:00
Network-attached storage has a place in the home, and this box covers all the basics in style, but it's missing a few features consumers will find essential.

Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, June 20, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 2018-06-19 19:00
iOS 12 emergency services, iPhone rumors, Apple Music vs. Tidal. We also talk about various other Apple news and feature your comments and questions.

Vivint Smart Home bundles two Google Minis with its starter kits, nudging users toward voice control

Tue, 2018-06-19 15:50
Amazon’s Echo had a long head start with Vivint, but this is the first time the service provider has included smart speakers in its packages by default.

Adobe, Microsoft join to put PDF document creation into the Office ribbon

Tue, 2018-06-19 15:34

PDF creation is about to become even more convenient within Office apps, thanks to a partnership between Adobe and Microsoft. Unfortunately the pricey subscriptions required make it inconvenient for all except business users. Adobe’s updated Scan app, meanwhile, could be the hidden gem among Adobe’s new announcements.

Adobe and Microsoft announced an extension of their ongoing collaboration, which began with the Adobe Sign e-signature solution and now adds PDF documents. The agreement calls for the ability to save Word files in the PDF format right from the ribbon within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and SharePoint. Within the latter two applications, Adobe said that you’ll also be able to convert PDF documents to editable Office documents.

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Google Podcasts offers the bare-minimum listening experience on your Android phone

Tue, 2018-06-19 13:17

Podcasts may have started on Apple devices, but millions of Android users listen to them on their phones every day. And now Google is finally getting in on the act with its own standalone podcast player, aptly called Google Podcasts.

While podcasts have always been available for listening inside the Google Play Music app or via searching inside the Google app, Google Podcasts represents the first real default presence for podcasts on the platform. But if Google wants Podcasts to become as synonymous with podcasts as YouTube is to video, it has a long way to go.

The impact on you at home: Google Podcasts would have been a better app in 2016 than 2018, but it’s not a terrible first start. Yes, it’s light on the features, but Google gets the two most important things right: search and playback. And now that Google has officially recognized that podcasts exist, hopefully it will start building out the app into a powerful player.

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Get A Lifetime Code Avengers Pro Subscription For Over 90% Off

Tue, 2018-06-19 11:13

In its review of Code Avengers, where PCMag dubbed this online programming course as "Excellent," the writer said, "Code Avengers is a great tool for learning programming, and its wide selection of courses make a subscription worthwhile." And that was when the course sold for $1,200 for a lifetime subscription (or $240 for one year and $720 for three years). The good news is that for a limited time you can get that same lifetime subscription to Code Avengers Pro Subscriptions for just $79.99, or 93% off the original price.

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Rock out this summer with $110 off the awesome Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth speaker

Tue, 2018-06-19 10:22

A Bluetooth speaker can set the mood for any summer party, but the good ones don't come cheap. But if you act fast today, you can get the awesome Ultimate Ears Megaboom for a low price of $140 on Amazon, down from a MSRP of $250.

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Amazon’s one-day sale on this 27-inch iMac gets you glorious 5K Retina for $850 off

Tue, 2018-06-19 09:22

If you’ve been hankering for a good deal on a 5K iMac, Woot (via Amazon) has you covered. For today only, the clearance retailer is selling 2015’s 27-inch, 2TB iMac for $1450.00. The offer expires just before midnight Pacific on Tuesday.

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How to use Windows 10's File History backup feature

Tue, 2018-06-19 08:20

Windows 10’s File History is an easy way to get started with backing up your personal files since it comes built-in to your system.

File History takes snapshots of your files as you go and stores them on an external hard drive either connected over USB or your home network. Over time, File History builds up a library of past versions of your documents that you can recover if need be. Say, for example, you really liked a paragraph from the first draft of an essay, but you deleted it long ago and are now battling regret. You can dip into File History, retrieve the right version of your document, and copy the paragraph.

Windows 10’s File History is an essential part of any PC backup strategy, but it’s only

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TP-Link Deco M9 Plus review: This mesh router doubles as a smart home hub

Tue, 2018-06-19 08:00

TP-Link joins Securifi and Samsung in building smart home hubs right inside their mesh routers. And why not? You’re going to connect the two devices anyway, so it’s smart to have just one box. The all-new TP-Link Deco M9 Plus is fast and offers good range, but like Securifi’s Almond 3 mesh router, the Deco supports only the ZigBee smart home technology. And unlike Securifi, TP-Link doesn’t offer a Z-Wave dongle for those who want it all.

Samsung’s Home Connect mesh router does support both ZigBee and Z-Wave, but as you can see from the benchmark charts, that router’s Wi-Fi performance is nothing to write home about. I quizzed a TP-Link product manager about the absence of support for Z-Wave, and he said the platform was more popular with service providers than the DIYers TP-Link is targeting. I don’t agree with that assessment, but he did say the company could create a Z-Wave dongle if the market asks for it. And the Deco M9 is outfitted with a USB 2.0 port, identified as “reserved.”

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The best GPS trackers for kids: Locate your little ones with ease

Tue, 2018-06-19 06:30

A wearable GPS tracker could strike the right balance between giving your children increasing independence while preserving your peace of mind. You can track where your kids are, discover if they're not where they're supposed to be, keep in touch, and even get an SOS if something really bad happens.

GPS trackers come in many shapes and sizes—some are pocket-sized modules that can be fastened to bags or clothing; others are watch, pendant or necklace designs. Most of them, however, come bundled with similar bells and whistles ranging from two-way calling and text messaging to step counters and even panic buttons.

Some trackers are even designed specifically for elderly relatives in mind, though most can be used by anyone of any age. Of course, a particular model may lack a desired feature or two, and you may need to make some tweaks so that they can be carried securely, due to differences in child and adult sizing.

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TruSense GPS Pendant review: This GPS tracking device for the elderly needs a mobile app

Tue, 2018-06-19 06:30

Small, lightweight, and relatively simple to set up, the TruSense GPS Pendant allows you to keep an eye on an elderly loved one who's infirm or otherwise in need of assistance. But while caregivers will appreciate the pendant's SOS button and fall detection, they'll be frustrated by the lack of a true mobile app to go with it.

Design

Measuring about 2.5 x 1.75 x 0.6 inches and weighing about 1.5 ounces, the TruSense GPS Pendant is about the size of a car key fob. It comes with both a lanyard and a padded Velcro wrist strap. Wearing the pendant around your neck takes a little getting used to, but it doesn't get it your way while walking around the house or taking a neighborhood stroll. You can even wear the waterproof pendant in the shower, although you should probably take it off before doing any laps in the pool.

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AngelSense GPS review: A durable, accurate tracking device tailored for special-needs kids

Tue, 2018-06-19 06:30

Designed for the guardians of special-needs children, the AngelSense GPS tracker offers constant tracking, frequent location alerts, and a way to call a child who can't or won't pick up a phone call on their own. The device has the potential to be a lifesaver, but it does come with a steep monthly bill—along with thorny privacy and legal issues raised by AngelSense's "Listen-in" feature.

Note: This review is part of our coverage on the best GPS trackers for kids. Follow the link for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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LG GizmoPal 2 review: A cheap, rugged and fun GPS tracker watch for younger kids

Tue, 2018-06-19 06:30

Among the GPS tracking watches available, the Verizon Wireless-exclusive LG GizmoPal 2 is one of the cheaper options. But being affordable doesn't make it notably worse than its competition: We liked its simple controls, lightweight yet rugged design, two-way calling, and a relatively cheap monthly charge. 

Note: This review is part of our coverage on the best GPS trackers for kids. Follow the link for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Pricing and monthly plans

As a Verizon exclusive, the $80 GizmoPal 2 requires service through Verizon to purchase one. Once you've paid for the watch itself, a $5 monthly fee (a.k.a. the "access fee" for using a device on your Verizon plan) allows you to use the voice minutes and data of an established monthly service plan.

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