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Microsoft's privacy policy admits contractors listen to Cortana, Skype recordings

Thu, 2019-08-15 13:43

Microsoft’s updated privacy policy acknowledges that the company is allowing humans to listen to recordings made by Cortana and other speech services, and the company has not yet allowed customers to opt out.

Microsoft’s privacy issues follow similar problems with Google’s Assistant as well as Apple, where contractors revealed that humans are allowed access to snippets of recorded conversations to improve the performance of the respective devices. Vice’s Motherboard also revealed similar practices going on at Microsoft, specifically with regards to Skype and Cortana. 

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Pre-binned Ryzen 3000 CPU listings reveal the limits of AMD overclocking potential

Thu, 2019-08-15 11:38

AMD designed its Ryzen 3000 processors to milk out every possible ounce of performance, leaving very little room for enthusiasts to push the pedal even closer to the metal. That’s the key takeaway from Case King and Silicon Lottery listings for pre-binned chips with guaranteed all-core overclocking headroom.

Both sites validate their chips in-house and then sell them at a premium for their guaranteed minimum overclocking potential, so the faster the chip, the more you pay. The Case King offerings are tested by renowned overclocker Roman “der8auer” Hartung, as Anandtech points out. Most of the available chips have already been gobbled up, but the listings themselves provide deeper insight into AMD’s strategy.

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Google Assistant can now remind other people to do things you don’t want to do

Thu, 2019-08-15 10:12

Setting a reminder is one of the most useful things you can do with Google Assistant on your phone or smart speaker, especially if you’re the forgetful type. But a new feature rolling out to Assistant will make reminders even more useful, so much so that you won’t have to do the remembering.

Instead of asking Google Assistant to set a reminder for you, you’ll now be able to set one for someone else in your family or household. So, instead of saying, “Hey Google, remind me to take out the trash on Sunday,” you’ll be able to say, “Hey Google, remind Susan to take out the track on Sunday.” Then, the notification will appear on their phone or smart speaker at the specified time.

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Amid privacy concerns, Google nixes the ability turn off the status light on active Nest cameras

Thu, 2019-08-15 10:00
Nest Cam, Dropcam, and Hello owners will no longer be allowed to completely turn off the status lights on their cameras, although they will be able to dim them.

Install Windows 10's August 2019 updates now to protect your PC from a nasty worm

Thu, 2019-08-15 09:39

Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday updates rolled out earlier this week, and you should update Windows pronto. The updates include patches for four severe “wormable” security exploits that can let attackers spread malware without any user action, similar to WannaCry and the BlueKeep vulnerability that coerced Microsoft into releasing a rare post-death patch for Windows XP.

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The best bias lighting for TVs and computer monitors: An easy way to boost contrast and ease eyestrain

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
Read on for reviews of some of the best bias lighting kits we’ve tested, along with what to look for in bias lighting for a TV.

10 wishes for the new Nvidia Shield TV

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
Nvidia Shield TV: What I'd like to see next in the new version

Philips Hue Play review: This versatile bias lighting kit syncs with your PC

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
If you’ve already got a Philips Hue Bridge in your home, the Hue Play makes for a great way to add bias lighting to your home theater setup, or as a responsive bias light for your computer monitor.

Ask a PC expert: Is air cooling or liquid cooling better for your CPU?

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00

Keeping your PC’s high-end processor cool used to require heavy metal: A CPU cooler with a massive heatsink smooshed between big fans. But closed-loop all-in-one cooling has come up fast in recent years, swapping out those huge metal towers for tubes full of liquid (and big metal reservoirs at the edge of your case). Which is the better CPU cooling method: air or liquid?

There’s no right or wrong answer, and viewpoints vary even among our tiny Full Nerd gang. PCWorld CPU guru voices his opinion in the video below, breaking down the advantages (and disadvantages) of each cooling method. We also dig into whether you should fear a liquid cooler potentially spraying your pricey PC parts, and if the generalization that you can achieve higher overclocks on liquid coolers is true or not. Knowing is half the battle, after all.

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Govee DreamColor for TV with Alexa review: This bias light uses a camera to sync with your TV screen

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
If you want more from your TV bias lights than a subtle glow that boosts contrast and eases eye strain, this responsive LED light strip from Govee is worth a try.

Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting review: A nice range of bias lighting colors for your TV, but no “true” white mode

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
If you’re looking for a moderately priced, multi-colored bias lighting strip for the back of your TV, the Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting strip makes for a solid choice.

The MediaLight bias TV lighting review: Subtle bias lighting designed for videophiles

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
The MediaLight bias lighting strips are designed for discriminating viewers who want to enhance their TV’s visuals while preserving the integrity of the original image.

Vansky Bias Lighting for HDTV review: This bargain bias lighting strip is a little too cool

Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
This popular LED light strip is easy to install and boasts a variety of colors and light modes, but its color temperature leaves something to be desired.

Dash cam reviews 2019: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving

Thu, 2019-08-15 04:21

Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching cars flying into buildings, or the occasional meteor, as happened in Thailand and in Russia, all thanks to dash cams in the right place at the right time.

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Roav DashCam Duo review: Excellent video plus GPS, but no life after 12-volt

Thu, 2019-08-15 04:09

The $130 Roav Dash Can Duo is a very capable front/interior dash cam that takes some of the best video I’ve seen. Exceptionally easy to use, it also has a GPS receiver to record your location, and it enhances interior night captures with infrared. The only downside is that the unit won’t capture after 12-volt power is removed, as occasionally happens in an accident. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

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PCWorld's August Digital Magazine: Ryzen 3000

Wed, 2019-08-14 13:50

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—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

The August cover of PCWorld is all about the Ryzen 3000 review. With its ground-breaking 7nm process, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X leaves little room for Intel’s best CPUs. Plus, about a month past 2019’s midway point, we take a look at all of the best new games so far this year; don’t miss our roundup.

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Momentum Meri smart thermostat review: The opposite of bang for the buck

Wed, 2019-08-14 07:00
Sluggish, convoluted, and unreliable, this low-cost smart thermostat just can't justify its $99 price tag.

Windows 10: What to expect in the next two releases

Wed, 2019-08-14 06:46

The next two Windows 10 updates, code-named “19H2” and “20H1,” reflect Microsoft’s recent decision to split the major Windows 10 feature releases into two: a full-fledged update, with new features, and a secondary patch update. We’ve already had the major “19H1” update, known officially as the May 2019 Update, so we’re now looking forward to the minor 19H2 patch and then the major 20H1 feature release. Here’s what we know so far about both of them.

As of July 2019, the upcoming 19H2 feature will focus on “quality enhancements,” while the “20H1” feature will return to more substantive improvements. If the latter hews to Microsoft’s usual schedule, it’ll drop in March or April of 2020. Interim beta builds will provide further hints about what’s coming, and we’ll continue to cover them. Meanwhile, here’s where we stand on each release as of early August:

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Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar review: This easy-to-install soundbar delivers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00
Yes, it’s pricey, but the Samsung HW-Q70R lets you add rich, detailed, and immersive sound, complete with Dolby Atmos and DTS;X support, to your TV in a matter of minutes.

Kingston A2000 NVMe SSD: Fast and cheap, at 10 cents per gigabyte

Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00

As out headline trumpets, the big news here is a new low in NVMe SSD prices, at 10 cents per gigabyte. The drop comes courtesy of Kingston’s new A2000, which also offers surprisingly good performance the vast majority of the time. 

Design and features

The A2000 is a 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) M.2, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe SSD, that’s available in 250GB (currently , 500GB (currently $60 on AmazonRemove non-product link) and 1TB (currently $100 on Amazon) capacities. I must admit I did a double-take when I saw those prices, as they’re considerably lower than those of the Addlink S70, which itself set a price record only a month or so ago. Commodity items at last! Mostly: 1TB seems to be the sweet spot in price per gigabyte these days. At the time of this writing, larger capacity 2TB/4TB SSDs, SATA or NVMe, were still in the 20-cent-per-gigabyte range.

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