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The Intergalactic Steam Sale kicks off with steep deals on PC games, a $2.50 Steam Link, and an alien-blasting side activity

Thu, 2018-06-21 16:24

It’s freezing here in San Francisco, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Steam Summer Sale again. Of course, maybe you already knew that: It’s the first day of summer after all, and oh yeah, the Steam Database Twitter account leaked the date.

Regardless, it’s here, and bringing with it the usual tide of discounts. Remember of course that this is a “New Era” Steam Sale, meaning no Daily Deals, Flash Sales, or any of the other fun stuff. Then again, you probably know that already, because the “New Era” is itself something like three years old at this point.

Still there are some decent deals hidden among the ever-increasing piles of chaff that fill Steam these days. Right on the front page you’ve got Tyranny for $15 and Thimbleweed Park for $12, both pretty great sale prices for games that are still relatively new.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unexpectedly steps down at a critical point in Intel's evolution

Thu, 2018-06-21 14:37

Five years ago, Intel faced an unexpected transition: Intel chief executive Paul Otellini was stepping down, two years before his expected retirement. Former COO Brian Krzanich took Otellini's place. Now it’s Krzanich’s turn to step down unexpectedly, after violating an Intel policy against fraternizing with employees.

The good news, if any: Krzanich and Intel weathered the same forces that any new chief executive will have to face—a declining PC market, and Intel’s ongoing efforts to breach a mobile market that has stubbornly resisted its entry. The question for consumers, though, is how much effort Intel’s new chief will dedicate to the PC market that has sustained Intel for decades.

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Toughen up your home security with this great deal on Kwikset's SmartCode lock

Thu, 2018-06-21 10:43

If you're always losing your keys, or if you just want a little more control and peace of mind over who enters your house and when, a smarter lock is a great way to secure your home. And today, the Kwikset SmartCode 915 lock in Venetian Bronze is $99 on Amazon, down from a list price of $160.

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Get 77 Hours Of Certified Ethical Hacker Training For $39

Thu, 2018-06-21 10:39

Unless you, the crime-fighting ethical hacker, stay on top of your training—your counterparts, the unethical criminal hackers— will continue to grow in sophistication, increasing their nefarious holds on networks and the critical, sensitive, and extremely valuable data they hold. The Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp Bundle provides access to 526 lessons and 77 hours of content available 24/7 for an entire year—all designed to make you a cybersecurity expert.

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Go grab the GTX 1080 Mini for $500 at Amazon before the price shoots back up

Thu, 2018-06-21 10:18

Thanks to cryptocurrency madness, great deals on graphics cards are hard to come by. But if you ask fast, you can get the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Mini for $500 on Amazon today. Did we say great deal? We meant MSRP. But still, we saw this price in late May, and for the past three weeks since the price has bounced between $530 and $545. So it's a deal in that you're not paying $30 to $45 more than the retail price.

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Amazon Fire TV Cube review: Neat hardware, but Alexa can't keep up

Thu, 2018-06-21 09:00
The Fire TV Cube wants to replace your remote with voice commands, but Alexa isn't up for the challenge.

CloudBerry Backup Free: Cloud storage syncing that's worth the learning curve

Thu, 2018-06-21 06:39

CloudBerry Backup Free is an app that's especially useful for users who wind up with data scattered across a several online services. Not too long ago, I was rowing that boat, with digital stuff strewn across Mozy, OneDrive, Google, etc. It got confusing. CloudBerry makes it easy to synchronize the files in multiple locations. It has some foibles, but it gets the job done. Check out our reviews and rankings of the best free backup solutions to see how competing products fare. 


CloudBerry Backup is designed to interface with online storage services and will be a breeze for IT types. The average user? Once you’re up to speed, it all makes sense, but that may take a bit longer than with most programs. There's a boatload of options and a similar-sized vessel of supported services: Amazon S3 and Glacier, Microsoft One Drive and Azure, Google Drive, and BackBlaze, just to name a few. The complete list is impressive, as you can see below.

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4 ways Android Messages for web is better than Apple Messages on the Mac (and 4 ways it's not)

Thu, 2018-06-21 06:06

Google this week released a feature that Android users have wanted since the days of the Nexus phones: Messages on the web. Finally, Android users can log into a browser to see and send messages, just like their Apple pals.


Linking Android Messages with you PC's browser is as simple as scanning a QR code.

While the feature is still rolling out to phones, it's already live on the web and it's a snap to get started:

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Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more

Wed, 2018-06-20 19:34

Antivirus software is nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. Even if you’re well aware of potential threats and practice extreme caution, some threats just can’t be prevented without the extra help of an AV program—or a full antivirus suite.

You could, for example, visit a website that unintentionally displays malicious ads. Or accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens!). Or get stung by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program gives hackers entry to your system.

We’re not suggesting that PC security software is fool-proof. Antivirus software often can’t do much to stop zero-day exploits, for example. But it can detect when the undisclosed vulnerability is used to install other nasty bits, like ransomware, on your machine. Anyone who actively uses email, clicks on links, and downloads programs will benefit from an antivirus suite.

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Follow along as we build a Twitch streaming PC!

Wed, 2018-06-20 12:07

You've seen us display the contents of our pockets, discuss our favorite adult beverages, and even use an installed CPU as a coaster during our live builds, but maybe that's still not personal enough for you. If that's the case, you'll want to tune into our new vlog series.

For our first project—a PC that can simultaneously play games and stream to Twitch—we're charting the entire process from start to finish. That includes everything from picking parts to configuring our choice of streaming software. Unlike our live builds, you'll get to follow us along this whole journey toward Internet stardom.

(Or, more likely, a resounding lack thereof. But it'll still be fun.)

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Best NAS box for media streaming and backup

Wed, 2018-06-20 12:01
If you rip and library your own media, there's no better tool for storing and streaming it than a NAS box. These versatile storage devices also serve as the perfect personal, secure cloud for backing up your PCs and other devices.

Upgrade your PC peripherals for cheap in Amazon's huge one-day Logitech sale

Wed, 2018-06-20 11:30

Peripherals are how you communicate with your PC—the hardware you actually touch and hear and feel every day. The in-box ones that come with PCs usually aren’t the best, but Amazon’s huge one-day Logitech sale has all kinds of deals for upgrading your setup on the cheap.

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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.