Month: July 2017

HomePod Devs Stumble Upon Next iPhone Design Clues

Developers combing through the code for the Apple HomePod have found clues to what appear to be features in the next generation of iPhones, and they tweeted their discoveries on Sunday. The firmware for HomePod, Apple's $349 smart speaker expected in December, apparently contains much of the codebase for future iPhones. One of the goodies in the HomePod's code is a new biometric method for unlocking an iPhone. The use of facial recognition to unlock a phone has been around in the Android world for more than a year, and reactions have been mixed.

Sony A1E 4K TV review: This could be the best OLED TV money can buy

Update, July 31, 2017: Sony has enabled an Alexa skill for many of its 2017 Bravia smart-TV models that allows the sets to be controlled with voice commands. The XBR-65A1E model reviewed here is one of them. You'll find additional details on Sony's support site and on Amazon.

What do you get when you put an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display in the hands of the Sony with their decades of experience enhancing TV images? A better OLED TV. Having only seen another company’s OLED TVs in the consumer space, we’d gotten the idea that the technology was simply challenged when it came to rendering fine details. Not so with the A1E, whose facility with picture minutiae, while not LCD-like, is a substantial improvement.

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Best VPN services of 2017: Reviews and buying advice


HideIPVPN review: Great if you need a speedy connection via Germany

HideIPVPN in brief:

P2P allowed: Netherlands and Germany servers only

Business location: USA and Moldova

Number of servers: 28

Number of country locations: 8

Cost: $70 (billed annually)

Picking a VPN is a tricky business since you don’t really know what you’re going to get until you buy. That’s why some services offer free trials. HideIPVPN is one such company that offers a 24-hour free trial with full access to its entire service.

After digging into HideIPVPN, what I found was an average VPN service that lacked good speeds, with the exception of Germany. It does, however, offer an interface that may appeal to some users, but that’s not quite enough to recommend it.

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Newegg is selling a 2560×1440 monitor for $170 today

Newegg has a good price on a 2560x1440 monitor right now. Until Tuesday, you can pick up the 23.8-inch Acer G7 Series G247HYU for $170. That’s close to $40 cheaper than what you’ll find on Amazon’s marketplace, and $50 cheaper than a few other retailers.

The G247HYU has an IPS display with a 4ms response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. There’s nothing fancy built-in to this monitor such as AMD FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-Sync, but for casual and beginning PC gamers it’s still a nice little monitor.

On the back it has one DVI, one HDMI, and DisplayPort. There are also two built-in speakers, and it can tilt between -5 and 15 degrees, making it easier to suit a variety of set-ups.

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Why Facebook’s Willow Beats Apple’s Saucer

Facebook knocked it out of the park with its financials last week, and a lot of its success comes from Zuckerberg's unique focus. Unlike other firms that jump from project to project, ranging widely from what makes them money -- like Google -- Facebook stays close to what made it successful. There is no stronger evidence than when you compare the two office projects from Apple and Facebook. The huge Apple Flying Saucer is nearing completion. Facebook recently announced it too was building a new showcase site, called "Willow."

The best graphics cards for PC gaming


Origin PC’s EVO15-S is a customizable Nvidia Max-Q laptop

Origin PC’s new EVO15-S brings Nvidia’s notebook-slimming Max-Q technology to customizable laptops.

When the first laptops packing Max-Q launched last month, most of the initial options were limited to bigger gaming laptop brands with set hardware configurations. At Newegg, you can find two MSI laptops, a Gigabyte Aorous model, and the absolutely stunning Asus ROG Zephyrus. Which makes sense! Max-Q achieves its goal of cramming heavy-duty graphics into (relatively) thin and light laptops by carefully tuning both hardware and software. But Origin’s first crack at Max-Q lets you put a personal touch on your PC's innards, just like the Alienware 15.

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Origin PC’s EVO15-S is a slim, powerful, and customizable Nvidia Max-Q laptop

Origin PC’s new EVO15-S brings Nvidia’s notebook-slimming Max-Q technology to customizable laptops.

When the first laptops packing Max-Q launched last month, most of the initial options were limited to bigger gaming laptop brands with set hardware configurations. At Newegg, you can find two MSI laptops, a Gigabyte Aorous model, and the absolutely stunning Asus ROG Zephyrus. Which makes sense! Max-Q achieves its goal of cramming heavy-duty graphics into (relatively) thin and light laptops by carefully tuning both hardware and software. But Origin’s first crack at Max-Q lets you put a personal touch on your PC's innards, just like the Alienware 15.

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Wireless mesh networks: Everything you need to know

There are genuine benefits behind the hype for this Wi-Fi technology.