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Updated: 8 min 19 sec ago

Trump ban of Tencent Holdings could affect Fortnite, League of Legends and other games

Fri, 2020-08-07 10:46

Could President Trump stop you from playing Fortnite or League of Legends? That spectre arose when Trump unexpectedly added Tencent Holdings to the list of Chinese companies being targeted by recent executive orders.

Trump's probably not trying to ruin your fun, at least not explicitly. But by roping in Tencent he's potentially affecting a huge swath of holdings that the Chinese conglomerate owns or invests in.

The latest order actually targets WeChat, a popular messaging application owned by Tencent. The language and restrictions closely follow the wording of Trump’s first executive order extending his previous ban on TikTok, basically stating that the United States would ban the video-sharing service outright if an acquisition by Microsoft or another company were not completed in 45 days. 

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If you ever set up a Google+ account, you might be due some money

Fri, 2020-08-07 09:32

Google+ might be gone but it’s not forgotten. At least not by the courts. On June 10, Google agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over the “software bugs” that led to some 50 million accounts having their data leaked. The settlement is a relatively small one, just $7.5 million, but if you ever set up a Google account, you may be eligible for a piece of it: $12 to be exact.

Previous Google+ account holders have likely already received an ominous email claiming “You are not being sued,” but if you banished it to your spam folder, here are the details. All claims must by submitted by October 8 and as per usual, any claims forfeit all rights “to sue Google and/or any other released entities regarding the legal claims in this case.” If you’d like to retain these rights, you must opt-out of the settlement.

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The best free PC games

Fri, 2020-08-07 08:41
Worth the price of admission

Image by Respawn

There was a time when “free-to-play” was a dirty term in the games industry. There are still terrible, exploitative free-to-play games on the market—more every day, in fact.

But occasionally—occasionally—we get something...miraculous. We get a free-to-play game that doesn’t try to con players out of money or make the design intentionally boring in order to make those purchasable unlocks more exciting.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ delivers iPad Pro-level hardware—but Android (or DeX) is no iPadOS

Fri, 2020-08-07 06:30

The Galaxy Tab might be a distant second to the iPad when it comes to tablet market share, but Samsung is hardly ready to concede the crown. Its newest tablet, the S7+, isn’t just its best and biggest, but it’s easily the closest you’re going to get to an iPad Pro without shopping in an Apple Store.

Samsung's Galaxy S tablets have always showcased the latest tech and specs, and the S7+ is no different. It boasts the Snapdragon 865+ processor, up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, a giant 10,090mAh battery, and 5G support.

But what gives the S7 its “plus” designation isn’t the specs--rather it’s the 12.4-inch screen, the biggest in a Samsung-made Android tablet since the 18.4-inch Galaxy View. That’s about two inches bigger than the 10.5-inch Tab S6 and gives Samsung a true competitor for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

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Hisense H9G 4K UHD TV review: Excellent color and HDR performance for the price

Fri, 2020-08-07 06:00
Hisense's H9G 4K UHD TV offers an excellent picture for the price. It's available only in 55-inch and 65-inch flavors, but if that's what you're shopping for, it should be on your short-list.

Owl Car Cam review: 24-hour surveillance redefines the dash cam

Thu, 2020-08-06 18:04

Update 08/06/2020: After the startup Owl Cameras Inc. shut down abruptly, users were stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. But there's hope! Xirgo Technologies, the company that acquired Owl Cameras Inc.'s intellectual property, has partnered with CallPass to take over the consumer service. Read more about the rehatching of Owlcam, and stay tuned for a review of the new product promised for later this year. 

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Owl Cameras is reborn as Owlcam, rescuing bereft users and promising new products soon

Thu, 2020-08-06 18:02

Update 08/06/2020: After the startup Owl Cameras Inc. dissolved rather untidily earlier this year (see original news story below for more on that), users were stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. But there's hope! Xirgo Technologies, the company that acquired Owl Cameras Inc.'s intellectual property, has partnered with CallPass to take over the consumer service. Existing Owl customers should have received a notification via their app or email. Read more about the rehatching of Owlcam, and stay tuned for reviews of the new product promised for later this year.

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Owl Car Cam review: The easiest, classiest, most phone-centric dash cam on the market

Thu, 2020-08-06 17:56

Update 08/06/2020: After the startup Owl Cameras Inc. shut down abruptly, users were stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. But there's hope! Xirgo Technologies, the company that acquired Owl Cameras Inc.'s intellectual property, has partnered with CallPass to take over the consumer service. Read more about the rehatching of Owlcam, and stay tuned for a review of the new product promised for later this year. 

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Dash cam reviews: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving

Thu, 2020-08-06 17:54

The dash cam market is changing fast, as vendors hop onto the 4K-resolution bandwagon. We just reviewed four of the first models out the door and can’t deny the allure of supercrisp 4K images. But there are caveats, which we’ll discuss below and in the individual reviews. Until we review a few more 4K models, our top picks remain 1080p dash cams, which you can find in the chart below.

Say, did you buy an Owl Car Cam? After the startup Owl Cameras Inc. shut down abruptly, users were stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. But there's hope! Xirgo Technologies, the company that acquired Owl Cameras Inc.'s intellectual property, has partnered with CallPass to take over the consumer service. Read more about the rehatching of Owlcam, and stay tuned for reviews of the new Owlcam products promised later this year.

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Owlcam is the security-focused dash cam rehatched from failed startup Owl Cameras

Thu, 2020-08-06 14:52

Goodbye, Owl Cameras; hello, Owlcam. The well-regarded Owlcam dash cam, which nearly died when startup Owl Cameras, Inc. ran out of money earlier this year, officially rehatched Thursday as a consumer security service run by CallPass, under license from Xirgo Technologies.

Xirgo, the enterprise IoT company that acquired all the Owl Cameras intellectual property in February, 2020, will continue to develop the technology pioneered by the failed startup. The company immediately sought a partner to continue the consumer service, and in May licensed the brand to Clearwater, Florida-based CallPass.

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The Full Nerd ep. 147: 2nd annual PC Hardware Hall of Fame selections

Thu, 2020-08-06 10:47

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dress up nice to fight over a new batch of potential inductees in our very PC Hardware Hall of Fame!

Last year, the Intel 8086/8088 processors, Nvidia GeFore 8800 GT graphics card, and IBM Model M keyboard made the cut after a fierce debate. This year, each of us brought three more legendary picks to the table, prepared to plea and cajole as we narrow the original field of 12 nominees down. It starts out full of laughter and trips down memory lane, then the smiles gradually disappear as well-deserving components start getting the axe. In the end, only three products manage to become our 2020 inductees in The Full Nerd’s PC Hardware Hall of Fame.

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Samsung’s Android update guarantee might actually be better than Google’s

Thu, 2020-08-06 09:45

If steady updates are your priority when choosing which Android phone to buy, you basically have one option: the Google Pixel. Google famously promises three years of Android version and security updates with all Pixel purchases, which is at least a year more than any other Android phone maker. Now Samsung is stepping up to change that.

As part of its Unpacked announcements Wednesday that brought the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung announced that its new phones will receive OS updates for “up to three generations” including the “latest features” and “latest security.” That’s a huge commitment over the two generations it previously promises and excellent peace of mind for anyone buying a new Galaxy phone.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: This $1,000 spec showdown has a clear winner

Thu, 2020-08-06 08:00
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the iPhone 11 Pro cost the same but they're not created equally.

How to use Microsoft Rewards to get Xbox Game Pass for PC (and more!) for free

Thu, 2020-08-06 06:38

Microsoft Rewards is basically free money, and not enough of you know how to use it. We’re going to show you how to use Microsoft Rewards to help buy all the things you want—an Xbox Series X! Starbucks! Amazon gift cards!—beginning with the awesome Game Pass for PC subscription.

Like the name says, Microsoft Rewards is Microsoft’s incentive program for using its consumer services. Using Bing earns you points. Playing Xbox games can earn you points. Playing PC games can earn you points. You can “chase points” as much as you’d like, and earn more and more. Or you can chill, go about your daily activities as you normally would, and still earn points. All of these points can be traded in for stuff you'll actually want.

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Here comes cord-cutting's messy phase

Thu, 2020-08-06 06:00
The next phase of cord-cutting: Less bloat, lower prices, more confusion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is the right phone at the very wrong price

Thu, 2020-08-06 06:00

If you don’t want to spend $1,300 or $1,450 on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung has an affordable option for you: the Galaxy Note 20. Like last year’s Note 10, the Note 20 is a less-loaded handset, meant to bring the Note experience to a less-demanding crowd that still wants all the productivity benefits provided by the S pen.

It could have been one of the best phones of the year. Samsung has made all the right moves with the Note 20, prioritizing a big screen, top-of-the-line processor, 5G modem, and excellent camera. Looking at the spec sheet, I’d expect the Note 20 to cost about $799, maybe even $750 like the S10e. Either price would make the Note 20 one of the best premium Android values this side of the OnePlus 7T.

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Eufy Security EufyCam 2 Pro 2K review: A solid boost in video quality (but nothing else) in this Best Buy exclusive

Thu, 2020-08-06 06:00
The Pro upgrade takes Eufy’s indoor/outdoor cam kit to nearly 3 megapixels.

MacBook Air 2020 vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016): Which would I buy?

Thu, 2020-08-06 06:00

“Should I buy a MacBook Air 2020 or a13-inch MacBook Pro made in 2016?” That’s the simple question an old friend asked me this week.

Although I do not lean toward Apple hardware in any way, my time spent testing, prodding and riding PC hardware, as well as monitoring all things related to computers, gives me a pretty strong position to answer this question, even if it is on the other side of the aisle.

Answering a question like this is always a little tough because most of the people asking aren’t technical enough to know which CPU, how large of an SSD or how much RAM the laptops have. That means the answer has to be somewhat dithered to fit a variable amount of hardware that could be used.

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PCWorld's August Digital Magazine: Dell XPS 15 9500 reviewed

Wed, 2020-08-05 20:14

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the August issue

This month we review Dell's XPS 15 9500, the laptop Apple should have made. We pick the best PC Games of 2020 (so far). Plus, find out why Xbox Game Pass for PC is the best deal in PC gaming.

Other highlights include:

  • News: Arm Macs and AMD rising: How Intel's endless 10nm struggles cost it so much
  • Lenovo Yoga C640 review: The battery life blows us away
  • HP Chromebook x360 12b review: It's affordable and good
  • Samsung SSD 870 QVO review: Stupendous 8TB capacity in a SATA SSD
  • Best Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra cases: Top picks in every style
  • Android tips: 11 quick ways to clear space on an overstuffed Android phone, plus how to share large video files from your device
  • Here's How: How to fix audio problems on your Windows PC
Video highlights

Watch: The Acer Aspire 5 has been a bestseller on Amazon for months. Here's why: It has a nice, big 15.6-inch display, a slim chassis, and solid performance from its Ryzen 3 CPU on day-to-day computing.

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Microsoft, Samsung show how you'll pin Android apps to your Windows taskbar

Wed, 2020-08-05 14:18

Microsoft continues to forge closer ties between Windows and Samsung products. The company announced Wednesday that users who pair Windows’ Your Phone app with a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will be able to pin one or more Android apps to their Windows taskbar.

Your Phone users will be able to interact with multiple Android apps via the Your Phone app—up to three, Microsoft showed off at the Samsung Unpacked virtual event. Even better, via a persistent virtual connection between phone and PC, you’ll be able to pin those Android apps to your PC’s taskbar, beginning in November.

Samsung and Microsoft also showed off additional capabilities that bring the two companies closer together. For example, Samsung Notes will be able to integrate with the Windows’ OneNote app, allowing you to jot down a note on your phone and later combine it with text you entered from your PC. Microsoft has written a version of the Outlook mobile app to run on Galaxy smartwatches, including the new Galaxy Watch 3. Finally, Microsoft is writing a version of its Game Pass app for the Samsung Galaxy app store. New Samsung Galaxy buyers will have the option of buying a three-month Game Pass subscription, bundled with the Power A MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller that Microsoft announced on Tuesday.

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