13 Nov 2016
  • Dishonored 2's buggy PC port is plagued by performance problems
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 16:57:00 -0800

    Update, November 11: With Dishonored 2's Steam rating down to 54 percent, Bethesda's finally got around to acknowledging there maaaay be some issues, and a patch is on its way soon.

    From the official update:

    "We have been monitoring the PC forums and social channels and while we're excited to hear that many of you are enjoying the game, we are disheartened that some of you are experiencing PC performance issues on some systems. We are actively working to provide an update to address your concerns.The patch and its release notes will be available in the coming days."

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  • Zuckerberg says fake news on Facebook didn’t tilt the elections
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 07:18:00 -0800

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to recent criticism about his company’s role in the election results, calling it a “crazy idea” that fake news on its news feed had tilted the vote in the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

    “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way—I think is a pretty crazy idea. Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said in an interview at the Techonomy 2016 conference in Half Moon Bay, California.

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  • 75% off Phaiser BHS-730 Bluetooth Sweatproof Sport Earbuds, Magnetic - Deal Alert
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 06:54:00 -0800

    Phaiser's BHS-730 Bluetooth Sport earbuds are both highly rated and dramatically discounted on Amazon. Averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 4,600 people (read reviews), the list price of $160 has been reduced a significant 75% to just $39.99. The BHS-730 uses the highest quality hardware, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and A2DP stereo transfer protocols to produce bigger bass, lighter-than-air treble, and perfect phone call clarity every time. Bullet-shaped Comply T-400 M memory foam tips provide total isolation from external noise. It's designed to withstand the toughest environments, and the earbuds are made from Aviation Grade Aluminum-Magnesium-Alloy which doesn't add weight. And a LiquipelTM Nano-Coating means it can be dropped into water and will live to see another day. The BHS-730's are magnetized, so they stick to each other and stay securely around your neck when you need to take them out of your ears. Along with the earbuds you get a generous 7 sets of ear tips, a 60-day "no questions asked" return policy, and a lifetime sweatproof warranty as well. See the discounted Phaiser BHS-730 now on Amazon.

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  • How to save your Vine videos right now
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0800

    Short-form video creators everywhere were dumbstruck at the end of October when Twitter announced it was killing Vine. There’s still no word on when Vine might see its final day, and there are rumors that Twitter may sell Vine to a third-party, giving the service new life.

    But the fact is Vine’s fate is still uncertain, and anyone who can’t get enough of their seven second videos should back up their memories. It’s likely Twitter will provide a way for users to export and save their videos should the end truly come.

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  • How to create Motion Paths in PowerPoint
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 05:00:00 -0800

    The best thing about PowerPoint is the animation. Building motion into slideshows makes them come alive like no static images could ever hope to do. It’s going to get even more interesting when PowerPoint gets 3D capabilities with the Windows 10 Creators Update due in early 2017.

    In order to make things move in PowerPoint, your objects need a path (called a motion path) to travel from one location to another. Setting up the motion path used to be tedious, but now it’s a simple, straightforward procedure.

    1. Create an object

    First, you must either create an object or insert one from the online clip art collection or your hard drive.

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  • Five to Try: Android Auto opens up to all cars, and find charming adventure along The Trail
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 04:00:00 -0800
    Refresh your phone with these new and updated apps and games.
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote review: A peppier processor makes this streamer worthwhile
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0800

    Before Amazon’s second-generation Fire TV Stick showed up for review, I thought it could be the cheap streaming device to beat. Amazon has claimed a 30 percent performance boost over the original Fire TV Stick, whose biggest problem was sluggishness. Apps took a long time to load, and were prone to bouts of freezing and stuttering. The device didn’t seem built to last in an age of increasingly sophisticated streaming apps such as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

    The 2016 Fire TV Stick—still priced at $40—alleviates those issues, but it doesn’t completely solve them. And while Amazon’s apps and interface are forward-thinking, they lack some of the nice touches that make competing devices such as the latest Roku Streaming Stick and or Google’s Chromecast worth considering.

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  • Tested: Battlefield 1 shines on this all-AMD gaming PC despite DirectX 12 weirdness
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0800

    DICE didn’t let you down this time, folks.

    Battlefield 4 stumbled out of the gate with connection problems. The less said about Battlefield: Hardline the better. But Battlefield 1 roars in your face and punches you in the gut, blending a surprisingly poignant single-player campaign with the massive, chaotic multiplayer experience the series is famous for, all set in World War I’s frantic trenches. It’s a strong frontrunner for 2016’s game of the year.

    But Battlefield 1’s jaw-dropping gameplay isn’t the only reason it’s interesting. The Battlefield series has always been more PC-centric than its rival, Call of Duty, with gigantic 64-player battles, vehicular combat, private server rentals, and graphics settings galore.

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  • Hands on with the HTC Bolt, a 5.5-inch, Android 7.0 phone exclusive to Sprint
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:01:00 -0800

    Here’s a smartphone for people with very specific, even niche alliances: HTC has announced the Bolt, a 5.5-inch phone running Android 7.0 that will only be available via Sprint. Neither HTC nor Sprint are the most popular names in the mobile space, but the Bolt looks great, and HTC promises it will have screaming-fast speeds on Sprint’s network.

    The key to HTC’s speed claim is three-channel carrier aggregation, an LTE protocol that combines three bands of the wireless spectrum to widen the pipe, as it were, and deliver faster data for supported devices. HTC says it tuned the software that manages the Bolt’s LTE modem to get the most from its aggregation protocols. That may be especially helpful because the phone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, which is no longer state-of-the-art.

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  • Facebook vows again to fight fake news post election
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:01:00 -0800

    At the end of an ugly presidential campaign the likes of which the U.S. has never seen, Facebook hasacknowledged it has a lot more work to do in combating fake news on its platform.

    The social network is a daily stop for tens of millions of voters and played an important role in shaping and reinforcing people's opinions. But sometimes, the information being shared was based on biased or outright fake news reports.

    BuzzFeedunmasked a group of Macedonianswho made up fake news stories about the election and shared them on Facebook to collect ad revenue. Meanwhile, a Twitter userposted ads suggestingthat voters in favor of Hillary Clinton could avoid the line by texting their vote.

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  • That private network on the Wi-Fi band? Won't happen
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:42:00 -0800

    Satellite service provider Globalstar has dropped its controversial plan to launch a wireless network in the U.S. in part of an unlicensed band that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use.

    The plan had alarmed supporters of those technologies who feared the network would interfere with them and effectively privatize unlicensed spectrum. Globalstar’s TLPS (Terrestrial Low-Power Service) proposal was one of several ideas introduced in recent years to mix licensed and unlicensed uses of spectrum. While some have been ruled out, others, such as LTE-Unlicensed, are moving forward.

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  • 35% off Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener with Foil Cutter - Deal Alert
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:05:00 -0800
  • Facebook hits 20Gbps in testing for internet drone data transmission
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 13:53:23 -0800

    Facebook has succeeded in transmitting data at almost 20Gbps between two towers in Southern California in tests of a technology key to its plans to deliver internet service to rural areas using drones.

    The tests were conducted earlier this year and made use of frequencies in the so-called E-band, a group of millimeter wave frequencies between 60 and 90GHz.

    Such signals are capable of high-bandwidth data transmission but are susceptible to attenuation from distance, weather, and obstacles, so they are typically used for short-range, point-to-point transmissions.

    Facebook used a 60-centimeter dish to senddata over a 13-kilometer link between Malibu and Woodland Hills.

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  • When your Windows 10 login password fails, you need a recovery drive
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 13:26:00 -0800

    The Windows 10 login password went amiss for Albert Pye and about a dozen others who wrote to me saying they couldn't log into their PCs. In every instance they had not touched their computer nor changed anything, yet all of a sudden their password or PIN was incorrect.

    Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged it specifically in its update log, so that makes me think it’s a strange brew of circumstance and hardware/software malfunction, perhaps some problem with the installation of an update. These workarounds could help you. 

    First, try using the on-screen keyboard to enter your password or PIN, as I’ve read that could work when your regular input devices don't. Click the Ease of Access icon (it looks like a sort of clock with a dotted circle) in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. 

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  • Hacker shows how easy it is to take over a city’s public Wi-Fi network
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 13:18:00 -0800

    In a perfect example of how public wireless networks can be dangerous for privacy and security, an Israeli hacker showed that he could have taken over the free Wi-Fi network of an entire city.

    On his way home from work one day, Amihai Neiderman, the head of research at Israeli cybersecurity firm Equus Technologies, spotted a wireless hotspot that he hadn't seen before. What made it unusual was that it was in an area with no buildings.

    It turned out that the hotspot he saw, advertised as "FREE_TLV," was part of the citywide free Wi-Fi network set up by the local administration of Tel Aviv, Israel. This made Neiderman wonder: How secure is it?

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  • Suspected Russian hackers target U.S. think tanks after election
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:46:00 -0800

    Hours after Donald Trump won the presidential election, a suspected Russian cyberespionage team was blamed for targeting several U.S. think tanks with phishing emails designed to fool victims into installing malware.

    On Wednesday, the phishing emails landed in the inboxes of dozens of targets associated with U.S. think tanks and non-governmental organizations, said security firm Volexity.

    A hacking group called APT 29 or Cozy Bear was behind the attack, according to Veloxity. This is one of the same groups that security experts say was also responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee and is allegedly tied to the Russian government.

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  • Instagram brings Boomerangs, links, and mentions to its Stories
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:33:00 -0800

    Instagram’s addition of Snapchat-style Stories has proven to be a welcome new feature—according to Instagram’s data, more than 100 million people create Stories every day. So it’s no surprise that Instagram is building up Stories even more: On Thursday, the app rolled out an update that adds Boomerang compatibility, mentions, and links to Instagram Stories. 

    Boomerang is a standalone tool built by Instagram that lets you create a quick video that loops forward and backward—perfect for sharing in your main feed, but it’ll make for a fun story component as well. Select that option from your stories camera to capture a Boomerang clip. (You have to have the Boomerang app installed to use this feature.)

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  • The Google Assistant Developer Platform will be ready in December
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:19:00 -0800

    Google’s major push into home automation and artificial intelligence has been sort-of realized with the Google Assistant. It lives inside of the Pixel and Google Home, but that’s just the start. The company wants to enable your favorite apps and services to connect with it so you can issue voice commands that simplify numerous day-to-day tasks.

    The destination at the end of this journey is a little clearer with Google recently announcing that Actions on Google will be available for developers next month. This will enable them to create voice commands from the Google Assistant for their apps and services.

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  • 38% off Maxboost 4.8A/24W Dual USB Port Smart Car Charger - Deal Alert
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:04:00 -0800

    Don't roll the dice with those cheap chargers you find in the impulse section near the cash register. This one from Maxboost is an Amazon #1 best seller with 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 5,100 people (read reviews). Amazon indicates that its typical list price of $15.99 has been reduced 38% to $9.99.Keep this 24W / 4.8A USB car charger in the glove box, and know that you'll have juice for your tablet, phone, or other USB mobile device any time you need it while on the road. It features dual USB ports, a compact rugged design, and intelligent circuitry to prevent againstshort circuiting, over-heating, over-currents, and over-charging. See this highly rated and discounted dual port USB charger now on Amazon.

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  • Xbox Holiday Update rolls out, bringing Clubs, Group invites and more to Xbox One
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:43:00 -0800

    Microsoft’s Holiday Update for the Xbox One eliminates the need to organize a gaming session in your buddy’s den. Instead you can do it online, with a slew of social features designed to connect past and future friends. 

    Microsoft began rolling out its so-called Holiday Update on Thursday, adding features such as Clubs, Looking For Group and other features to its network of Xbox One consoles and the Xbox app for Windows 10. If you don’t have it already, your box should be getting it soon.

    Microsoft announced some of these features at its E3 presentation in June, introducing them into the Xbox Preview Program a bit later. That latter program has been renamed the Xbox Insider Program, similar to the Windows Insider Program, and is now available to all.

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  • Samsung is prepping a ginormous 6.2-inch curved screen for the Galaxy S8
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:53:00 -0800

    Samsung is a major believer in the adage “go big or go home.”

    According to several reports the company is building two phablet-sized phones with dual-edge screens for the upcoming Galaxy S8 line. Venturebeat says one model will come in at an eye-popping 6.2 inches, with the smaller variant at 5.7 inches.

    At least the bigger model, to be called the Galaxy S8 Plus, will also reportedly ditch Samsung’s long-standing home button and capacitive keys for on-screen navigation. 

    Another clue is in Samsung’s naming mechanism. 

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  • Samsung's foldable phone patent moves a big step beyond curved models
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:15:00 -0800
  • Tech groups push policy priorities for the Trump administration
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 08:41:33 -0800

    Technology trade groups are already pushing out their policy priorities for President-elect Donald Trump's administration, even though his campaign rarely touched on IT issues.

    With Silicon Valley largely opposed to Trump during the campaign and his tech policy agenda paper thin, policy recommendations from tech trade groups may be an exercise in wishful thinking. Still, several tech groups congratulated Trump on his unexpected victory and expressed optimism about this presidency.

    One point of optimism for the tech industry was the Trump campaign's last-minute addition of telecommunications networks to a long list of infrastructure projects he hopes to fund. Other infrastructure projects on Trump's list includeroads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports, pipelines, and theelectricity grid, and it's unclear how he plans to pay for the plan, given that Trump also has promised large tax cuts, and whether telecommunications networks would be a priority.

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  • Windows 10 Build 14965 shows a virtual touchpad that could replace the mouse
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:29:00 -0800

    Microsoft’s latest Windows Insider build 14965 is showing a "virtual touchpad" feature that could replace the mouse—or in any case, make life easier for Windows tablet users. It puts a touchpad on your tablet screen, so you can use that instead of a mouse whenever you connect your device to a larger display.

    Features that pop up in builds don't always make it to final versions, of course, but this feature is intriguing. From the sounds of it, first-time setup is fairly easy. When a tablet, such as the Surface Pro 4, is connected to an external display, open the Action Center and tap on the Project Quick Action tile. This will extend the Windows desktop to the external display. Next, long-press the taskbar on your tablet. When it appears select Show touchpad button.

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  • European Parliament clears drone regulations for takeoff
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:25:55 -0800

    Regulations to protect people from falling drones moved a little closer to takeoff at the European Parliament on Thursday.

    Ensuring drone safety took on a new urgency this week, with GoPro's recall of its Karma drone after unexplained mid-air power failures caused a number of them to drop out of the sky.

    Under the European Union's proposed regulations, drones will have to be registered so that their owners can be identified. While that won't in itself stop drones from falling, it could lead pilots to take their responsibilities more seriously, legislators hope.

    A 1-kilogram drone like the Karma falling from as little as 11 meters (around three stories) could kill even someone wearing a safety helmet, according to a calculator developed by the Dropped Object Prevention Scheme, which promotes safety in the oil and gas industry.

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  • 64% off Vansky Bias Lighting for HDTV USB LED Multi Color Strip Accent Lighting - Deal Alert
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:24:00 -0800

    This bias lighting strip, currently discounted by 64% on Amazon from $49.99 down to just $17.99, reduces eye-strain caused by differences in picture brightness from scene to scene in movies, shows and games, by adding a subtle backlight to your monitor or TV. The LED lights can be changed with up to 20 color selections customizing and setting the mood of your workspace. The strip is easy to install and can be cut to size and plugs directly in the USB port of the TV or monitor. Just Plug-and-play!

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  • The easy way to save Facebook videos
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:23:00 -0800

    Mike wants to save a video from Facebook. Luckily if you’re using a desktop or laptop PC it’s quite easy.

    I can almost hear you saying, “Hold on Josh—when I watch a Facebook video on my PC there aren’t any links to save it!” Correct, but all you have to do is trick your browser into thinking you’re browsing Facebook on your phone. Here are the steps:

    Right-click any non-Youtube video and select Show video URL

    Revealing the URL

    Right-click the video and select Show video URL.

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  • The Sevenhugs Smart Remote magically adapts to control whatever device it's pointed at
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:00:00 -0800

    Universal remotes have been around in one form or another for decades. Harmony introduced the first one that could be easily reprogrammed via the internet back in 2001. Sevenhugs CEO Simon Tchedikian says his company has come up with an even better idea: A universal remote that automatically configures itself to control whatever device you point it at, whether it’s a smart TV, a smart light bulb, or a connected speaker.

    “The Smart Remote is for anyone who lives in a smart home,” Tchedikian said during a recent demo. “You might be able to control all your devices with your smartphone, but your kids don’t have a smartphone. Your wife does, but she hasn’t kept up with all the apps needed to control everything. With the Smart Remote, you just point at the device you want to control, and the remote’s touchscreen will display the appropriate user interface to control it.” Haptic feedback will help you master the remote.

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  • Daydream View review: Sparse content is all that stands between Google and VR greatness
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0800
  • Surface Book i7 review: Still unique and still blazing fast
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0800

    It’s always been difficult trying to find the right category for Microsoft’s hybrid tablet/laptop Surface Book. And now with the new Surface Book i7 in hand, it’s even harder to figure out just what square hole to put this round peg into.

    Before we get too far into the review, let me say that the Surface Book i7 is incredibly fast for a laptop in its class, offering no less than twice the performance of the original Surface Book, which itself outstripped all others in its day. Even better, it has stupidly long battery life that bests all the laptops we’ve tested.

    Done. Fini. Move along, right? Well, not quite. The world isn’t the same as it was a year ago and the Surface Book i7’s competitors have been hard at work too, and there are aspects of Microsoft’s hybrid device that aren’t perfect.

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