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Shotcut review: This open-source video editor is impressive

PC World - Mon, 2017-12-11 04:06

Shotcut is an open-source, free video editing program that has been around for more than a decade. It’s not the most intuitive or professionally presented, but beneath its rough presentation lies a remarkably powerful program.

When you first start Shotcut, you might be surprised at what you don't see—very little of its interface is exposed in the beginning. But click on the buttons in the top bar, and you’ll find numerous views and UI elements that prove to be much more robust than you’d guess at first glance. They’re resizable and undockable, making this one of the most heavily customizable free video editing programs out there.

Most tasks are simple and effective if you know where to find them. Trimming videos is very easy. Exporting is also efficient; this program isn’t beautiful, but there is little fault in its functionality. We do wish there were more and better transitions and effects, though.

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Play with—and program—Star Wars droids with Sphero's new R2-D2 and BB-9E

PC World - Mon, 2017-12-11 03:01

If you thought Sphero’s original BB-8 app-enabled robot was a blast back in 2015, just wait ‘til you see their take on Star Wars’ most beloved droid: R2-D2.

The Sphero R2-D2 ($179.95 MSRP; same price on Amazon and the Apple store) is here in advance of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which continues the sci-fi saga’s main storyline, and it’s just as immediately impressive as BB-8. It’ll cruise around your home with ease using the iPhone/iPad companion app, the head rotates and reacts just like the real droid in the movie, and it even has movie-perfect sound effects and little animation routines.

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Microsoft is selling the excellent Dell XPS 13 and Dell Inspiron 15 for hundreds off

PC World - Sat, 2017-12-09 16:40

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals continues with a number of discounts across various Dell laptops and desktops. Two caught our eye: the highly-reviewed Dell XPS 13 9360 ultrabook on sale for $999, and the best budget gaming laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15, on sale for $599.

(Officially, the deal was only good through 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 9. We checked on Monday, and the sale prices for the XPS 13 appeared still to be valid. Get it while it's hot!)

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Microsoft is selling the excellent Dell XPS 13 and Dell Inspiron 15 for hundreds off, today

PC World - Sat, 2017-12-09 16:40

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals continues on today with a number of discounts across various Dell laptops and desktops. Two caught our eye: the highly-reviewed Dell XPS 13 9360 ultrabook on sale for $999, and the best budget gaming laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15, on sale for $599.

Dell XPS 9360: why it’s a good deal

Here’s why we like the $999 Dell XPS 13 9360 deal. For one thing, Dell’s XPS 13 ultrabooks consistently perform at or near the top of our tests: we rated the 2017 Dell XPS 13 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the 2016 Dell XPS 13 equally highly. The latest update has a Intel 8th-generation Core chip inside, helping boost performance and battery life.

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Reverse indicator: The future of the Mac

Mac World - Sat, 2017-12-09 07:00

Good news, Mac fans! Apple is committed to the Mac for the foreseeable future and you can look forward to a strong product pipeline. How does the Macalope know this? Because John C. Dvorak just wrote that Apple was going to do the opposite.

“Apple Is Ready to Ditch the Mac.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @_HairForceOne, @ElPocho and Stephen.)

Does anyone remember the last time Dvorak was right about Apple? Was it during the Eisenhower administration?

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Sony WF-1000x true wireless headphones review: Amazing sound, lackluster noise-cancelling tech

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 17:30

If the notion of a $198 set of true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation sounds a little too good to be true, it’s because it is. While Sony’s WF-1000x Noise Cancelling True Wireless Headphones sound great, their ANC functionality and battery life leave a lot to be desired.

Hardware 

Available in black or gold, the WF-1000x are a little larger than some of the other true wireless earbuds that we’ve looked at, like the Jaybird Runs or the B&O Beoplay E8s. Sony hasn’t referenced their exact dimensions online, but I can tell you that they’re smaller than the Bose SoundSport Free—a fact that will be welcomed by a lot of people. Most of each earbud’s 0.24-ounce weight sits outside of your ears while you’re wearing them. To ensure that they stay in place, Sony designed them to nestle far into the ear canal and provided them with rubber stabilization fins for good measure. The WF-1000x ship with four different sizes of ear caps, so most people shouldn’t have a problem making a secure fit, provided the shape of the earbuds allows you to get them into your ears.

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Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue–Google Home Bundle for $199 today

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 15:07

Now is a good time to get started on smart home plans for yourself or someone on your gift list: Today, Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue smart bulb-Google Home bundle for $199.

Usually that price would cover the Philips Hue bulb package alone. The bundle includes four Philips Hue white and color ambiance bulbs, a Philips Hue Bridge, and a Google Home smart speaker.

Philips Hue is a popular choice for smart light bulbs, and when we last looked at them in late 2016—Philips has released a new generation since then—we found them to be the "best-looking bulbs on the market."

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Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue–Google Home Bundle for $199 today

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 15:07
You get what amounts to a free Google Home if you pick up this bundle.

This week in games: New Portal (sort of), new Tomb Raider (sort of), Mega Man 11 (for real)

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 15:00

Most of this week’s news came from The Game Awards, and so we’ve spun all those trailers off into their own article. Head over there if you want footage of Metro: Exodus, Death Stranding, and the director of A Way Out mocking his own publisher EA.

It’s been a surprisingly news-heavy week though. Aside from The Gaming Awards, we also got word of a new Tomb Raider, a new Portal (sort-of), a new Mega Man, a set of Devil May Cry remasters, and more. Oh, also somebody streamed a UFC pay-per-view match on Twitch while pretending to play UFC 3.

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Apple’s TV app goes live in U.K., France, and Germany

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 14:16

Previously available only in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway, and Sweden, the TV app hasn’t felt like a very important part of the iOS/tvOS ecosystem. Today, its reach extends considerably.

Though Apple has yet to make an official announcement, the TV app has started to pop up on devices in France, Germany, and the U.K. You’ll see it on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV (4th generation and Apple TV 4K). The list of apps supported by the TV app varies by country; U.K. viewers should see content from BBC iPlayer, ITV, and My5 in addition to services like Amazon Prime Video and Hopster. App updates may be required in some cases. 

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Titan V and Nvidia's bleeding-edge Volta GPU: 5 things PC gamers need to know

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 12:35

Seven long months after the next-generation “Volta” graphics architecture debuted in the Tesla V100 for data centers, the Nvidia Titan V finally brings the bleeding-edge tech to PCs in traditional graphics card form. But make no mistake: This golden-clad monster targets data scientists, with a tensor core-laden hardware configuration designed to optimize deep learning tasks. You won’t want to buy this $3,000 GPU to play Destiny 2.

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The Game Awards 2017: Every new game trailer

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 10:12

Ah, The Game Awards—like an E3 press conference that pulls double duty as an awards show. Now on its fourth year, Geoff Keighley and Co. descended on Los Angeles last night for another round of World Premiers, Exclusive Reveals, and even a couple of awards to hand out. Oh, also Josef Fares, director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons flipped off the camera, yelled about the Oscars, then talked smack about his publisher EA. And, fair warning, swore a lot.

So that was great. Probably the only video you really need to watch.

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35 great PC games for Linux

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 09:42
Linux gaming rising

Image by Alex Campbell/Rob Schultz

These days, Linux gamers have it better than ever. Gaming on the open-source operating system has long meant dabbling in Wine and arcane workarounds, but ever since Valve launched Steam for Linux a few years back the number of native Linux games has positively exploded.

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Titan V revealed: Nvidia's monstrous Volta GPU finally comes to PCs

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 09:41

Nvidia’s cutting-edge Volta GPU architecture has finally come to desktops. Late Thursday night, Nvidia launched the monstrous, golden Titan V, a $3,000 graphics card with 12GB of HBM2 memory and over a thousand more CUDA cores than the game-slaying Titan Xp. But this beast isn’t made for gaming—though it’d no doubt be very good at it.

Instead, Nvidia says this card “transforms the PC into an AI supercomputer.” While the still-available Titan Xp was theoretically a compute card but better suited as a best-in-class gaming card, the Titan V doubles down on data crunching. Nvidia is giving Titan V owners free access to AI, deep-learning, and high-performance computing software via the Nvidia GPU cloud, and to boost the hardware’s machine learning capabilities, the card is equipped with the same “tensor cores” found in the Volta-packing Tesla V100 that launched in May.

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WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras 10 times its price.

WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras 10 times its price.

WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras ten times its price.

WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras ten times its price.

Alienware 15 review: It's built like a tank you can actually carry

PC World - Fri, 2017-12-08 06:30

How much does two inches matter? You wouldn’t think it’d be a huge factor, but when I reviewed the Alienware 17 I called it “staggeringly huge” and said it was “time to hit the gym” if you wanted to carry one around. Since then, I’ve spent a few weeks using the Alienware 15—a laptop with the potential to be just as powerful, but in a slightly lighter package.

And it turns out that’s good enough.

This one is just right

Don’t get me wrong: The Alienware 15 is still a massive laptop, especially if you put it up against competing 15-inchers. This isn’t a Razer Blade-style device, and portability suffers. Alienware could really use a lightweight line as an alternative—and maybe we’ll start seeing those soon, as the line between Alienware and Dell begins to blur.

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The once and future OS for Apple

Mac World - Fri, 2017-12-08 06:00

For Apple watchers, the company is always a bit like the proverbial duck: floating seemingly calm and placid above the water while paddling furiously just below it. Which is why it’s often hard to gauge exactly what the company is up to, especially when the current is changing.

In the last few weeks, both my colleague Jason Snell and I have looked ahead to what Apple might be envisioning for the future of its devices. I’ve opined on ARM-powered Macs; Jason’s wondered about the possibility of a laptop running iOS. In a recent conversation—on our secret podcast, which you should check out—we started to put some pieces together and conjectured that maybe these aren’t two different stories but rather one larger tale of what Apple’s future might hold.

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