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Updated: 24 min 17 sec ago

Google’s Nest accounts will require two-factor security starting this spring

Tue, 2020-02-11 11:37
Two-factor authentication is easiest way to keep hackers from taking control of your Nest cameras, and Google's about to make it mandatory.

Ring’s new ‘Neighborly Moments’ feature lets you give a shout-out to a neighbor’s act of kindness

Tue, 2020-02-11 10:11
The new category for Ring’s controversial Neighbors app lets you post about good things that happened in your neighborhood, for a change.

Why Microsoft's new Edge could eventually win the browser wars

Tue, 2020-02-11 06:30

Recently, I realized I had broken a habit that had been in place for about a decade: When setting up a new PC, I didn’t use Microsoft’s Edge browser to download Google Chrome. I downloaded the new Edge instead.

I don't expect many other people will download the new Edge manually. But over time, as the browser becomes a preinstalled feature on new and existing Windows 10 PCs (a process that began in January), if they give the new Edge a try, it's possible they'll never go back to Chrome.

I know that’s a bold statement, especially given Edge's measly 5 percent market share. Still, after using it intensively, and as my earlier review of the new Edge suggested, there are two reasons why someone might purposely choose to use the new Edge instead: convenience, and compatibility. 

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Dive into retro gaming with one of these emulation options

Tue, 2020-02-11 06:00

Over 2019, we played on a lot of retro gaming devices. With so many options available (including, of course, playing on a PC!), we decided to sit down and chat about the best of the bunch and who should buy them.

As we outline in the video above, emulation dominates the landscape, because using original hardware with a modern TV can require both significant cash outlay and a willingness to hunt down converters to get a clean picture. The types we’ve tried fall into one of three categories: first-party software emulation, third-party hardware emulation, and third-party software emulation.

First-party software emulation is the simplest way to replay the classics. These are all-in-one consoles sold by their original makers that come with a selection of pre-installed games and work out of the box with modern high-definition TVs. Examples include the Nintendo Classic, Sega Genesis Mini, and PlayStation Classic. Though such consoles have their drawbacks, this option works best for someone who craves a go at the biggest games from a specific console’s library but doesn’t want to spend much time or thought on how to do so.

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IP ratings explained: What those codes tell you about how well a device is protected from water and dust

Tue, 2020-02-11 06:00
What separates a product with an IP67 rating from one rated IP66, IP68, or IPX6? Our simple guide tells you everything you need to know.

The best CPUs for gaming

Mon, 2020-02-10 11:32

Buying a processor for a gaming rig isn’t as hard as it used to be. Now that AMD’s Ryzen and Intel’s 9th-gen Core CPUs come with more performance and cores than ever before, it’s hard to buy a stinker these days—especially because most games favor graphics firepower over CPU oomph. All that said, there are specific chips that stand out from the horde as the best gaming CPUs due to their price, performance, or nifty extras.

Best CPU for gaming cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

  • Best gaming CPU for most people: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Best budget gaming CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
  • Best high-end gaming CPU: Intel Core i9-9900KSRemove non-product link

Whether you’re on a budget or willing to pay for sheer face-melting speed, these are the best CPUs for gaming PCs that you can buy.

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Acer Swift 5 review: A small miracle

Mon, 2020-02-10 06:30

There are tiny laptops and then there are tiny laptops. Even now, when thin-and-lightweight everything is the norm, I’m still sometimes surprised by just how thin-and-lightweight we’re talking. Such is the case with the new Acer Swift 5, which is officially billed as “the lightest 14-inch clamshell notebook that offers the option for dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics.”

A bit convoluted, but I think what Acer’s trying to say is it’s really damn light. The Swift 5 is a full-size(ish) laptop that weighs less than some tablet hybrids. That’s impressive—though unless weight is the only feature you care about, the Swift 5 can feel limiting in other regards. Let’s dig in.

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Threadripper 3990X review roundup: AMD's 64-core CPU can play Crysis, but it's not for everyone

Mon, 2020-02-10 06:00

AMD’s 64-core CPU officially went on sale Friday, and early reviews of AMD’s flagship high-end desktop processor give the chip very high marks—assuming you can make use of it.

And provided you can afford it! Newegg is selling the new Threadripper 3990X for $3,989.99, which is a penny below its MSRP of $3,990. Anything below MSRP on a new CPU launch is rare for Newegg. If you’d rather get that brick-and-mortar experience, Microcenter has it in stores and online at the chip’s $3,990 list price.

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Flume Smart Water Monitor review: Smarter than your average leak detector

Mon, 2020-02-10 06:00
Flume is a smart leak detector that will save you money—even if it never detects a leak.

Amazon Echo Studio vs. Google Home Max: Battle of the high-end smart speakers

Mon, 2020-02-10 06:00
One is more musical, but the other makes a better smart home controller. Which attribute is most important to you?

Best water leak detectors for smart homes

Mon, 2020-02-10 06:00
Fires can be devastating, but water damage is a far more common risk. These smart devices will alert you if your home springs a leak, so you can take action quickly.

Samsung outs its new folding Galaxy flip phone in a surprising Oscar ad

Sun, 2020-02-09 20:54

The first Unpacked event of 2020 doesn't kick off for another 36 hours, but Samsung is too excited to keep quiet. In a surprise TV ad rolling moments after Brad Pitt won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Samsung took the wraps off its next folding phone.

The whimsical 15-second ad was set to French swing song Comic Strip by Serge Gainsbourg and features numerous shots of the new phone opening and closing. We didn't learn much that we didn't already know, though we did get to see the tint front display in action., so we know for sure you'll be able to answer or dismiss incoming calls. We also got a clear look at the dual camera, as well as the phone's purple or black.

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Why 2020's a rare perfect time to dig into your video game backlog

Sat, 2020-02-08 08:00

It happened all at once, or at least that’s how it felt. On January 1 when we published our preview of 2020’s video game releases, a bounty of riches seemed just over the horizon. A month later, that horizon’s receded into the distance. Cyberpunk 2077? September. That Avengers game Crystal Dynamics is working on? Also September. Dying Light 2? No idea.

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The Full Nerd ep. 124: Why Nvidia's GeForce Now rocks, Z490 and B550 motherboard rumors

Fri, 2020-02-07 11:04

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, Adam Patrick Murray, and special guest Leif Johnson geek out over gaming from the cloud.

Yes, Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming service is finally launching out of beta three long years after its reveal, and Brad says it obliterates Google’s Stadia. Leif took GeForce Now for a whirl for Macworld, and he says it’s as good as Mac gaming’s ever going to get. Adam’s been playing with it too. We explain what you need to know about Nvidia’s kick-ass, dirt-cheap new service, while Gordon wonders where cloud gaming fits in around slaying noobs on local hardware.

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Oculus Link review: This $80 cable is worth every penny to turn Quest into a Rift rival

Fri, 2020-02-07 06:30

When we wrote about the Oculus Link beta in November, I called it a “hardware hack.” Exciting, yes, but definitely not elegant. Link allowed you to turn your standalone Oculus Quest headset into a PC-ready Oculus Rift equivalent, as promised. But the only cables ready for the initial software rollout were off-the-shelf Anker cables. They were short, stiff, and worst of all stuck straight out of the side of the Quest like an arrow.

It was a tragedy waiting to happen. One good yank, and you might destroy your Quest forever. Or at least that’s how it felt.

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Plantronics RIG 700HD review: It improves on its predecessor, but perhaps not enough

Fri, 2020-02-07 06:30

“Plantronics” is no more—at least in theory. Having acquired Polycom in 2018, Plantronics took the opportunity a few months back to ditch its old name and rebrand as “Poly.” Why’d they change it? I can’t say. I guess someone liked it better that way.

But, uh...apparently the folks who designed this headset’s packaging didn’t get the memo: The box touts this as the Plantronics RIG 700HD, a follow-up (sort of) to the RIG 800LX we reviewed a few years ago. Slightly more durable, slightly cheaper, and I’d say, slightly better.

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Toucan Wireless Outdoor Security Camera review: Battery-powered and budget priced

Fri, 2020-02-07 06:00
All the security essentials and an easy installation make this weather-resistant camera a great value.

How to make Alexa lower her voice to a whisper

Fri, 2020-02-07 06:00
Want to chat with Alexa at night without waking everyone up? Give Alexa’s Whisper Mode a try.

Google celebrates Maps' 15th 'birthday' with new features and design

Thu, 2020-02-06 10:30

It’s been a decade and a half since Google Maps first started telling us where to go, and Google is giving it a proper celebration. So, to mark 15 years of service, Google has refreshed the Google Maps app on Android with a new design, a new icon, and new features.

Google isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but users will notice several changes. The new Google Maps design is rolling out on iOS and Android beginning today.


New Google Maps tabs provide easier access to contributions and saved places.

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Excel percentage formulas: Percentage of total, percent increase or decrease, sales tax and more

Thu, 2020-02-06 06:30

Excel percentage formulas can get you through problems large and small every day—from determining sales tax (and tips) to calculating increases and decreases. We’ll walk through several examples below: turning fractions to percentages; backing sales tax out of totals; percentage of total; percentage increase or decrease; percentage of completion; and percent ranking (percentile).

Turning fractions to percentages

Percentages are a portion (or fraction) of 100. The math to determine a percentage is to divide the numerator (the number on top of the fraction) by the denominator (the number on the bottom of the fraction), then multiply the answer by 100. For example, the fraction 6/12 turns into a decimal like this: 6 divided by 12 (which equals 0.5) times 100 equals 50 percent.

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