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Updated: 14 min 25 sec ago

How to buy the perfect PC case

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:45

No matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case matters.

At a minimum, you want to pick a PC case that’s the right size for your needs and has room for all your hardware and USB devices. But some PC cases offer much, much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, muffled sound, extensive water-cooling support, and fancy-schmancy tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a guide to buying a PC case that’s perfect for you. This is just the first step in your DIY journey; be sure to check out PCWorld’s guide to building a PC, too.

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Mophie Powerstation Wireless XL Portable battery review: What can't it do?

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:30

Mophie’s Powerstation XXL is our current top pick for the best portable battery pack, and for good reason: It’s well designed, has plenty of ports, and high enough efficiency that it makes for a complete portable-battery package.

After using and testing Mophie’s latest Powerstation Wireless XL for a while now, I have to say, this pack gives its bigger colleague a run for its money. If not for the fact that there’s a dedicated Lightning port, limiting the Wireless XL’s broader appeal, this power bank would likely replace the XXL as our top pick. Let’s dive in.

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DALI Katch One soundbar review: Great sound—under the right circumstances

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:00
This soundbar must be placed up against a wall to sound its best, and it requires more space beneath a TV than most.

How to watch Major League Baseball online

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:00

If this were a normal year, Major League Baseball would be commemorating the season’s halfway mark with the All-Star Game. But 2020 has been anything but normal. After a delay of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, opening night will finally take place on Thursday, July 23 with a TV doubleheader of Yankees vs. Nationals and Giants vs. Dodgers on ESPN (click here for the full-season schedule).

But the game will look a lot different this truncated 60-game season. Both leagues will be using the designated hitter to protect pitchers. Spitting is forbidden, but pitchers will be allowed to carry a wet rag in their back pocket to use for moisture instead of licking their fingers. And some of the game’s marquee players—including Buster Posey, Ryan Zimmerman, Felix Hernandez, and David Price—won’t be on the field, having opted out due to concerns about health and safety.

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The best second-screen apps for watching Major League Baseball

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:00
Geek up the grand old game with data feeds, social media, and other interactive enhancements.

Photoshop Styles: What they are and how to use them

Fri, 2020-07-17 06:00

Photoshop styles are works of art that can be applied to text, objects, vector shapes, illustrations, or photos. Unlike Microsoft styles, which are basically just a collection of attributes (such as bold, italic, underline) and minor effects (such as shadows, reflections, glowing halos), Photoshop uses layers to contain text and images, and those layers can be “decorated” with a style.

Photoshop Styles are accessed through the Styles panel, which you can add to your Photoshop desktop through the Window tab: Select Window > Styles and the panel appears. I combine the Styles panel with the Layers panel and leave both open all the time. Notice that Photoshop provides 20 “free” styles in four categories (Basic, Natural, Fur, and Fabric) to get you started.

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Microsoft is discontinuing the Xbox One X

Thu, 2020-07-16 16:44
Microsoft is halting production of the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S Digital Edition in anticipation of the Xbox Series X launch this holiday.

EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

Thu, 2020-07-16 13:31
EU regulators want to know whether voice assistants are giving companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google an unfair advantage by limiting choice and collecting data on their users.

T-Mobile takes on scammers with free and paid tools to block, ID, and eradicate spam calls

Thu, 2020-07-16 13:05

T-Mobile and Sprint customers are about to be bothered a whole lot less. Beginning today and continuing over the rest of the month, T-Mobile is rolling out new anti-scam protections so robocalls, phishing schemes, and unknown numbers can get blocked and filtered before they ever ring your phone.

Part of the latest Uncarrier event, T-Mobile announced a new Scam Shield that brings free anti-scam protections including Scam ID, Scam Block, and Caller ID to all our customers. The new service is powered by AI and machine learning to constantly learn about the calls coming into your phone and adjust so new numbers get blocked and important calls get through. T-Mobile says the system will update every six minutes and includes several layers of defense that work with all phones and can be managed within the Scam Shield app:

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Microsoft will add free Project xCloud gaming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Thu, 2020-07-16 09:30

Microsoft’s Project xCloud remote-gaming service has faded somewhat as the world has retreated indoors. This September, however, Project xCloud will become part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service for no additional cost.

Microsoft began calling for people to help test its Project xCloud service last September, and we went hands-on with Project xCloud soon after. Project xCloud works in two ways: You can either stream games that reside on your local Xbox at home, or else use Microsoft’s own servers as a virtual game host. There don’t appear to be any limitations on the technology, either, including how much you can use it.

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Why the iOS Mail app shows a phantom unread message badge and what to do about it

Thu, 2020-07-16 07:00
If the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad is displaying phantom unread messages badge, you might have a sorting problem. Here’s how to fix it.

HP Envy 17t review: Buy it for the huge 4K screen, not the performance

Thu, 2020-07-16 06:30

The HP Envy 17t is another reminder that big laptops are back, and not just for gaming. Apple now sells a 16-inch MacBook Pro, forever replacing the 15-inch models in its lineup. Dell has come out with a new XPS 17 for the first time since 2011. Even LG’s Gram laptop line includes a shockingly light 17-inch version.

The Envy 17t isn’t a new product—HP’s been selling it for years—but the surge in similar models partly stems from advancements in display technology that allow for larger screens in smaller bodies. It’s also an acknowledgement of the workhorse role into which PCs have comfortably settled. Even in a world of big-screen phones, increasingly capable tablets, and ever-lighter ultraportable notebooks, jumbo laptops still fill a unique role for getting things done.

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August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: The best-known retrofit smart lock gets Wi-Fi—and shrinks its footprint

Thu, 2020-07-16 06:00
Despite a rocky wireless implementation, August cements its place as one of the top smart lock contenders.

Chrome and Edge's magic memory-reducing tech is dead for now

Thu, 2020-07-16 06:00

In June, Microsoft bragged that its new, Chromium-based Microsoft Edge could see a 27-percent drop in memory use in conjunction with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. Google said it would follow Edge’s lead. Now both browsers will see that advantage eliminated after a performance bug was found.

While the new Chromium-based Edge browser Microsoft launched earlier this year had some issues with synchronizing data, it was a lean, mean browser—and still is. But it was supposed to become even leaner with the May 2020 Update (2004)’s release, because of memory allocation improvements in the segment heap. Because Microsoft now contributes to Chromium—the open-sourced underpinnings of both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge—the segment heap improvements could be applied to Chrome as well, reducing the memory usage of that browser.

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Google's new, integrated Gmail looks a lot like Outlook

Wed, 2020-07-15 20:03

A...simpler Google? Yes, from the company that brought you chat app after chat app, Google said Wednesday that it planned to integrate Gmail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet into a unified interface—that looks a lot like Outlook.

That should come as no surprise. Javier Soltero, who led the Acompli email app that was later acquired by Microsoft, integrated a calendar, a file picker, and even a focused inbox years before Microsoft Outlook did. Those features eventually became part of Outlook. Now Soltero, the vice president and general manager of Google’s G Suite, has tidied up Gmail as well.

Last month, Google brought Google Chat into Gmail for the web. According to a blog post Google published today, Chat will “soon” be joining Gmail on Android and iOS as well. The interface should be extremely familiar to mobile Outlook app users, though while Outlook includes a calendar, search, and email icons at the bottom of its mobile app. Google has all four of its key collaboration apps at the bottom of the new Gmail interface. (Weirdly, Google Calendar still hasn’t made an appearance.) 

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Intel teases 'something big' is coming September 2

Wed, 2020-07-15 16:07

Intel has announced that it has “something big to share” on September 2, leading one to guess that it might be its upcoming “Tiger Lake” processor or the debut of its Xe GPU.

Unlike Apple or Microsoft, there appear to be few hints as to what it could be. The “Drop in” invitation could be used to imply that a new processor could “drop in” to an existing socket, or that a consumer-focused Xe GPU could be announced. Intel’s been teasing both since CES in January, when it formally announced the Tiger Lake CPU and the existence of its first Xe modules.

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A bad update breaks Outlook for many users, but there's a fix

Wed, 2020-07-15 15:28

Microsoft is investigating a problem with Outlook that is causing the app to crash repeatedly. In a tweet, the company said it’s traced the likely problem to a recent update.

In the meantime, Microsoft is recommending that users use Outlook’s mobile client or Outlook on the Web to access their email.

Microsoft tweeted earlier today about the problem. “We’re investigating an issue affecting user access to Outlook. Additional details can be found in the admin center under EX218604,” it said

The company later went on to say that it believed a flawed update was the source of the problem. It pointed administrators to the Outlook admin center, under the headings EX218604 and OL218603.

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The 'Zoom from Home' display doesn't get what Zooming from home means

Wed, 2020-07-15 15:19

With the coronavirus pandemic stubbornly hanging on within the United States, we’re starting to see the emergence of dedicated home videoconferencing appliances for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and more. The latest is Zoom for Home, which unfortunately takes the best part of an at-work solution and tries to bring it home—where it’s probably not wanted.

Zoom for Home is a branded device manufactured by DTEN ME, due to ship to U.S. customers in August for $599. It’s not a full-fledged PC, nor is it a mere display: it’s a “personal collaboration device” with a PC-like 27-inch, 1080p touchscreen, a whopping 8 separate microphones, and not one but three cameras that offer a horizontal field of view that can reach up to 160 degrees.

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Mozilla's paid, unlimited VPN service goes live

Wed, 2020-07-15 13:26

Mozilla has formally launched its VPN service, officially becoming the second browser vendor to put a VPN inside its browser—well, sort of.

Last year, Mozilla began testing the FIrefox Private Network, in its Test Pilot beta network. Today, Mozilla makes it official: the renamed Mozilla VPN is now available for Windows, for $4.99 per month. It rolls out in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand today, with plans to expand to other countries this fall.

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Chrome 84 starts squashing notifications from abusive sites

Wed, 2020-07-15 11:25

Google released Chrome 84 this week. Most of the changes occur underneath the hood for web developers, but the latest release of the world’s most popular web browser includes a very nice feature for users, too: It blocks notification prompts from websites that use them for nefarious means.

Google says that abusive notification prompts are “one of the top user complaints” for Chrome. The company classifies abusive notification prompts into two different categories:

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