Brian Fagioli

Google Earth and Maps get sharper satellite imagery


When Google Earth was first released, it was life-changing. While people take it for granted now, seeing aerial views of the entire planet -- including something as mundane as your neighbor's roof -- was something many folks never thought possible. This satellite imagery is now used in other mapping solutions, such as the ubiquitous Google Maps, giving us the ability to see the world from the comfort of our homes.

Google's satellite imagery looks great, but as those in the tech world know, there is no such thing as "good enough". Better is always just around the corner, and today, the search giant announces that its imagery has been improved.

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HP Chromebook 11 G5 is an affordable touchscreen laptop with Android app focus


Chromebooks are wonderful computers for many reasons. Besides often being affordable, they are based on the Linux kernel, which creates a rock-solid foundation. They feature a largely malware free experience thanks to its focus on the web rather than local storage. With that said, Google's delivery of the Play Store and locally-installed Android apps to the web-based platform is going to change everything -- maybe for the better. From a security perspective, it could be for the worse.

Today, HP announces the Chromebook 11 G5. This all-new Chrome OS laptop is extremely affordable, starting at less than $200. The real news, however, is that this low-cost machine can be equipped with an optional touchscreen, which HP is offering as a way to future-proof for eventual Android app usage.

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Do you own an HP or Compaq PC? It could be a fire hazard -- find out if it is recalled here


HP makes great computers -- I wouldn't hesitate for a moment in recommending the brand to friends or family looking for a new PC. With that said, no manufacturer is infallible; defects and recalls can happen to them all.

Today, a new recall for both HP and Compaq computers is announced by the US Government. Unfortunately, it is a pretty nasty one, as these laptops are deemed both fire and burn hazards. Real property has actually been damaged by the flawed machines. Luckily, by replacing the battery, the risk can be removed. If you own an HP or Compaq laptop, keep reading to see if you are affected.

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Google releases virtual reality LGBTQ 360 YouTube experience called #prideforeveryone


Regardless of your feeling towards the LGBTQ community, it is undeniable that all people deserve to be treated with respect. Carrying hate in your heart can have devastating consequences, potentially leading to people getting hurt, or worse. Sadly, prejudice can be passed from parents to children, as young ones are like sponges to their parents' actions. In other words, it is up to us to break the cycle of hatred and bigotry.

Today, Google announces that it is contributing to combating hate, with #prideforeveryone. This initiative is a virtual reality LGBTQ pride video experience, highlighting love, understanding, and inclusion.

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Samsung unveils 'Notebook 7 spin' convertible Windows 10 laptop


Samsung is probably best known for its Android smartphones and tablets nowadays, but the company is so much more. It makes amazing televisions, plus appliances like refrigerators and washing machines. Samsung even makes Windows laptops and tablets, such as the 2-in-1 TabPro S.

Today, Samsung unveils the all-new 'Notebook 7 spin' laptop. This convertible Windows 10 computer can double as a tablet -- the touch screen can rotate and sit flush on the rear. It even has a backlit keyboard by default -- nice. Best of all, the pricing is rather competitive.

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Mozilla MOSS 'Mission Partners' makes it rain $385,000 on open source project developers


Open source is very important nowadays, especially from a privacy and security standpoint. Look, closed source ideology is not inherently bad -- it is a good way to protect a company's code. The problem, however, is that users are increasingly suspicious of software since Edward Snowden's leaks. There is no telling what kind of back doors or other malicious things are hiding in the code.

Mozilla is a longtime open source champion, not only with words, but resources too. Besides producing the wonderful Firefox web browser, the company is increasingly donating money to the cause. Today, the company announces that it is making it rain $385,000 on open source project developers through the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) 'Mission Partners' program.

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Official Kodi Edition Raspberry Pi Case now available with advanced overclock cooling


The Raspberry Pi family of computers are insanely popular. It is not hard to see why; the mini machines are very inexpensive while also being very capable. They can be a great choice for tinkering, plus teaching children to code and make.

For many folks, however, the Raspberry Pi makes a great media center device. By loading something like Kodi (formally XBMC), you can have a rewarding diminutive home theater experience. Today, Kodi partners with FLIRC for an official Raspberry Pi case.

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Unicode Standard 9.0 is official with 72 new emoji like shrug, avocado, gorilla, and more!


Emoji are the future of communication -- according to some folks, at least. Quite frankly, I find that they aren't so Earth-shattering. The written word is merely the use of letters as visual representations of things, right? Well, emoji are visual representations of things too. The word "APPLE" and "🍎" are arguably the same. Emoji that represent facial expressions 😯 can even enhance things, better expressing emotion.

Today, Unicode Version 9.0 becomes official, with a ton of new characters. What many folks will be excited about, however, is new emoji! There are 72 new emoji to be exact, and there are some great ones. Like what, you ask? How about shrug, avocado, gorilla, eagle, and more!

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ADATA announces Premier SP550 M.2 2280 SATA SSD


While 2.5 inch SSDs were once viewed as cutting edge technology, they are now seen as being old and bulky. Instead, M.2 variants are all the rage. The slim design makes them ideal for Ultrabooks, as it can contribute to an overall lighter and thinner machine. Heck, M.2 is great on desktops too, as more and more motherboards come with the needed slot.

Not all M.2 drives are created equally, however. You see, there are models that use SATA and others that use PCIe NVMe. While the latter is faster, it is also more expensive. Not to mention, not every machine has NVMe compatibility. Today, ADATA announces an SATA M.2 SSD, called the Premier SP550 2280.

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Ultimate Ears adds Siri and Google Now support to UE BOOM 2 and UE MEGABOOM


It is officially summertime, meaning fun in the sun. I have been enjoying lazy days on my deck, listening to my favorite tunes. While I could use my iPhone's integrated speaker, it is too weak for optimal outdoor enjoyment. Instead, I utilize a Bluetooth speaker for improved volume and clarity.

Ultimate Ears makes damn good speakers, and today, the company is transforming both its UE BOOM 2 and UE MEGABOOM with an intriguing new feature. Android and iOS users can now leverage the power of Siri or Google Now from these two speakers directly by simply pressing the Bluetooth button once. It is sort of like the Amazon Tap, but with Apple or Google's assistant rather than Alexa.

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Fedora 24 is here with GNOME 3.20 -- download the open source Linux distro now


Many people consider Fedora to be an operating system for advanced Linux users, and yeah, I suppose there is some to truth to that. Distros such as Ubuntu and Mint can be easier for beginners, but Fedora is not necessarily a bad choice for these newbies. As more folks live in the browser and enjoy their media there, there can be less of a need for non-free packages. If someone is new to Linux and just needs a web browser and LibreOffice, for instance, why not the rock-solid Fedora?

Today, Fedora finally achieves version 24. True, the team is a bit "late" with the release, but that is fairly commonplace with Fedora, actually. With that said, shipping when ready is better than being beholden to a date, right?

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Huawei MateBook 2-in-1 Windows 10 hybrid coming to USA on July 11, pre-order now!


Huawei is a very popular brand in China, but hardly a household name in the USA. Quite frankly, outside of in-the-know Android fans, you'd be hard pressed to find many Americans that know the name.

The company is looking to change this, however, in a very big way. Its MateBook 2-in-1 is finally coming to the USA. This elegant Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrid has a very affordable starting price, and you can pre-order it starting today.

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Google Chrome is a Windows 10 battery vampire, and Microsoft Edge is the garlic


Windows 10 is a great operating system, offering a solid user interface and advanced security. The default browser, however, is not so great. Don't get me wrong, Microsoft Edge has a lot of potential, but Chrome is arguably the superior browser for now.

Google's browser is not perfect on Windows 10, apparently, as according to Microsoft, it is a battery vampire. In other words, Chrome -- as well as Firefox and Opera -- will drain your battery faster than the default browser. Using Microsoft Edge is like garlic to these vampires, as it can help you reclaim precious battery life.

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nonda ZUS Kevlar reinforced USB-A to Lightning Cable for Apple devices [Review]


When you are constantly on the go -- and who isn't, nowadays? -- your smartphone becomes an indispensable tool. With all of this phone usage, you will probably need to charge the device a lot. This means having a charger and cable ready in your car, bag, or pocket.

The problem? These cables tend to take a lot of abuse and can become damaged over time. Quality cables -- especially MFI certified Apple Lightning variants -- are expensive, and buying replacements can become costly. A new cable -- the ZUS Kevlar Charging Cable by nonda -- is both affordable and built to last. It is available in Type-A to Type-C, micro USB, or Apple Lightning. I have been using the Lightning variant for a couple weeks now, an I am ready to share my impressions.

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Twitter celebrates Father's Day by sharing dad-related Tweet data


This Sunday is Father's Day in some countries, such as the USA. This is not just a day to celebrate biological fathers, but anybody that filled that role. As the family dynamic changes, there are households with two fathers. Heck, in some single-parent families, a woman serves as both a mom and dad, meaning she too should be celebrated. In other words, there is no wrong way to celebrate -- if you feel that a person deserves your praise and recognition, then they do!

Today, in anticipation of the holiday, Twitter shares some interesting tweet information regarding dads. One of the biggest values of the social network is text mining, and the company is giving us a glimpse into its dad data -- dada?

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