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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

Harmony is offering a full refund to anyone who ever bought its $250 Alexa remote

Thu, 2020-07-09 12:37
Harmony is discontinuing its Alexa-powered Express remote this year, but it's offering a full refund or upgrader to anyone who ever bought one.

Nvidia bundles Death Stranding for PC with GeForce RTX graphics cards

Thu, 2020-07-09 11:12

It’s not the best time to buy a high-end graphics card, but if you don't want to wait any longer—perhaps to prepare for this fall’s Cyberpunk 2077 release—then Nvidia’s sweetening the pot for a few weeks. Through July 29, buying any GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card from a participating retailer will get you a free copy of Death Stranding, Nvidia announced on Thursday. GeForce RTX-powered gaming laptops and desktops are also eligible.

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Roku backtracks on putting over-the-air channels into its live TV programming guide

Thu, 2020-07-09 11:10
Turns out some users didn’t like over-the-air TV listings mixed with dozens of streaming TV channels.

Cool it! We talk laptop thermals with an expert from Dell

Thu, 2020-07-09 06:25

That high-performance CPU or GPU you're eyeballing for your next laptop is nothing if it's not backed by an effective cooling system. Yet consumers tend to know very little about the cooling in a laptop.

We fortunately had time to catch up with Dell's Travis North, who works as a Thermal Engineering Technologist. North answers our burning questions on whether a heat pipe is better than a vapor chamber, whether you should re-paste a laptop, is 100 degrees too hot, and more.

In the first section, North talks about a Dell patent on laptop cooling. You can watch the interview below or on YouTube at this link.

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Nine great things that cord-cutting brought us

Thu, 2020-07-09 06:00
Still think cord-cutting is no better than cable? Here's a reality check.

Intel unveils the Thunderbolt 4 spec, which AMD believes it can use

Wed, 2020-07-08 20:42

Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 4 on Wednesday, tightening the existing I/O specification for docks, some displays, external storage and GPUs. Bandwidth remains unchanged from Thunderbolt 3, though executives said to expect new types of docks and longer cables. AMD, which has traditionally never associated Thunderbolt with its Ryzen platforms, pooh-poohed Thunderbolt demand but said it meets the spec’s security restrictions.

Thunderbolt 4 will debut later this year as part of Intel’s “Tiger Lake” CPU platform, as Intel originally announced during CES in January. We now know it will support 40Gbps throughput, but with tighter minimum specs. Thunderbolt 4 will guarantee that a pair of 4K displays will work with a Thunderbolt dock, and require Thunderbolt 4-equipped PCs to charge on at least one Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt PCs will be able to connect to either “compact” or “full” docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports. Longer Thunderbolt cables will be possible, too.

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Microsoft Teams adds 'Together mode' in massive update

Wed, 2020-07-08 17:00

Microsoft today said that it’s shaking up online Teams video meetings with a new “Together mode” that places participants in a virtual auditorium. It’s all part of a redesigned Teams experience that capitalizes on some of the promises Microsoft has been making for years. There’s even a pair of Teams smart displays.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said the company has spent much of the last few months rethinking the way in which video meetings were conducted. About 60 percent of those Microsoft surveyed said they felt less connected to their colleagues due to the coronavirus, so Microsoft’s new Teams update tries to make nonverbal communication a priority.

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The Full Nerd ep. 144: Ryzen 3000 XT reviews, Gordon buys Windows 10 cheap, and a food fight

Wed, 2020-07-08 11:18

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray wade into new chips and cheap Windows before digging into a plate full of food questions.

We kick things off with a look at AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 XT processors—the first Ryzen CPUs we can think of that landed with a collective “meh” from most reviewers. Gordon explains why, while Brad bemoans the lack of bundled coolers with the highest-end models. After that, Gordon explains why our Windows 10 Pro for $40 deal convinced him to join the “cheap Windows” squad, and how this offer’s different from what you’ll normally find on software resale sites.

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Amazon Fire TV adds Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV to its live programming guide

Wed, 2020-07-08 10:17
Sling TV and YouTube TV will appear in Amazon Fire TV’s Live TV tab starting today, while Hulu + Live TV is coming soon.

Powerful new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus headed for gaming phones

Wed, 2020-07-08 09:30

The rumors were true: Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform on Wednesday, offering faster CPU and GPU clock speeds, upgraded Wi-Fi, plus 5G modem support.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform (also referred to as the Snapdragon 865 Plus, when speaking about the chip itself) is essentially an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 865 chip the company unveiled last December for premium smartphones. The Snapdragon 865 introduced a host of new features, including camera upgrades, AI, security, and gaming. The Snapdragon 865 was designed around Qualcomm’s standalone X55 5G modem, and the Snapdragon 865 Plus is as well, though neither is integrated. Both the 865 and the 865 Plus are 7nm chips.

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Intel unveils the Thunderbolt 4 spec, debuting in PCs in the fall

Wed, 2020-07-08 09:00

Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 4 on Wednesday, the next iteration of the I/O specification that provides a high-speed peripheral bus to docks, displays, external storage and eGPUs for PCs. Rather than increase the available bandwidth, however, Thunderbolt 4 provides more clarity and helps create new categories of products.

Thunderbolt 4 will debut later this year as part of Intel’s “Tiger Lake” CPU platform, as Intel originally announced during CES in January. We now know it will support 40Gbps throughput, but with tighter minimum specs. Thunderbolt 4 will guarantee that a pair of 4K displays will work with a Thunderbolt dock, and require Thunderbolt 4-equipped PCs to charge on at least one Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt PCs will be able to connect to either “compact” or “full” docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports. Longer Thunderbolt cables will be possible, too.

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10 truly helpful Windows 10 tools you might not know about

Wed, 2020-07-08 06:45

So you’ve mastered Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts and Snap open windows like a boss. Now what?

Windows 10 offers many other power tools for enthusiasts—if you know where to find them. Some are older, yet still obscure. Others are relatively new, added during the twice-annual major upgrades Microsoft’s been pushing out since Windows 10 launched over five long years ago (though most recent feature upgrades, like the May 2020 Update, tend to be minor). But all 10 of these little-used tricks and tools can help hardened PC users save time or eliminate headaches.

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Uninterruptible power supply buyers guide

Wed, 2020-07-08 06:00
A surge protector will save your equipment; a UPS will do that and save your work, too—or let you save your game during a blackout.

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Tue, 2020-07-07 12:32

Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge. Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds

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Roku adds premium and over-the-air channels to its live TV programming guide

Tue, 2020-07-07 11:42
Live programming from HBO, Showtime, Starz and more now appear in Roku’s linear programming grid, along with local over-the-air channel listings.

AMD Ryzen 3000 XT CPU review roundup: Slightly faster, slightly pricier, and a shoulder shrug

Tue, 2020-07-07 11:18

Reviews of AMD’s newest “XT” line of Ryzen desktop chips are in and while the CPUs offer improved performance and the best silicon batch, it’s overall a meh, hardware testers say.

AMD

The lack of stock cooler and mostly competition with the “X” parts that will stick around has seemingly dented AMD’s latest “XT” chips in the eyes of reviewers.

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10 surprisingly practical Raspberry Pi projects anybody can do

Tue, 2020-07-07 09:04
Practical Pi projects

Image by Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer and all its variants have captured the imaginations of DIY enthusiasts and budding hobbyists alike. And now that the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 has been slashed to $35 and an 8GB model with as much RAM as a Mac Mini is here, interest in building with the board is sure to spike.

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VPNCity review: The basics at a good price

Tue, 2020-07-07 06:30
VPNCity in brief:
  • P2P allowed: Yes. 
  • Business location: Hong Kong
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Number of country locations: 34
  • Cost: $48 (billed annually)
  • VPN protocol: OpenVPN (default)
  • Data encryption: AES-256-CBC
  • Data authentication: SHA-512
  • Handshake encryption: TLSv1.2

Sometimes all you need from a VPN is a selection of countries and the ability to use a good selection of streaming services like Netflix. That’s the niche VPNCity fits into right now. This relatively new service based in Hong Kong doesn’t have the added features that other services do, but there are still some good reasons to recommend it.

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Eufy Security Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt review: Full-room coverage with AI detection

Tue, 2020-07-07 06:00
This pan-and-tilt camera reduces blind spots and uses smart detection to deliver only the activity you want to know about.

Revealed: How home router manufacturers dropped the ball on security

Mon, 2020-07-06 15:39

Security vulnerabilities in your home router have been the story for years, with the responsibility being placed at the feet of users to keep their router firmware updated. But a damning report by Fraunhofer says that router manufacturers themselves have taken years to issue patches, with potentially dozens of critical vulnerabilities lurking within older routers.

The June report by Fraunhofer-Institut fur Kommunikation (FKIE) extracted firmware images from routers made by Asus, AVM, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, and Zyxel—127 in all. The report (as noted by ZDNet) compared the firmware images to known vulnerabilities and exploit mitigation techniques, so that even if a vulnerability was exposed, the design of the router could mitigate it.

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