Brian Fagioli

AMD FX 8350 and FX 6350 processors now come with Wraith cooler

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Many gamers on a budget choose AMD FX processors for their builds. Not only are they affordable, but very capable too. With up to eight cores, and easy overclocking, you can squeeze a lot of performance out of them without breaking the bank.

When using an FX processor, it is not uncommon for builders to choose an aftermarket cooler for better cooling or reduced noise. Of course this will add to the overall cost. Today, however, consumers selecting the FX 8350 and FX 6350 may want to forgo the additional cooler purchase. Why? AMD is now bundling its already-legendary Wraith cooler with them. Yes, the formidable silent cooler is being included in the box!

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SanDisk unveils next-generation iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

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Storage for iPhone and iPad can be costly. Since you cannot realistically add more inside later, you must decide at purchase how much you will need. Then, each bump up will cost you about $100. This can make an iOS device purchase a very costly affair.

As an alternative, however, you can use flash drives on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, but there is a catch; you will need to buy a lightning to USB type A cable, or a flash drive with a lightning connector. While not usually an elegant solution, today, SanDisk unveils an intriguing such product -- the next-generation iXpand Flash Drive -- and it looks really cool.

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Even Microsoft's biggest fan doesn't want Windows 10 Mobile

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Windows Phone has been dead for some time now. I knew it. The world knew it. Dogs knew it. The only people that were seemingly unaware were those that pledged allegiance to Microsoft. You know who they are -- those men and women that some call "fanboys".

Even the journalism community has them. Folks like Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are unapologetic fans of Microsoft. While Thurrott has long since abandoned the horrific Windows Phone platform, Foley has been one of the few holdouts. Today, she announces that she -- Microsoft's biggest fan -- is choosing the Linux-based Android instead. If this doesn't signal the death of Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile, I don't know what does.

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Canonical releasing Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 'Xenial Xerus' tomorrow -- will you download it?

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Ubuntu is one of the best -- if not the best -- desktop Linux-based operating systems. Many people, including me, trust it for their computing needs every day. Best of all, Canonical releases special LTS versions every two years, offering a super-long five years of support.

Tomorrow, the latest such LTS version, 16.04, will see its official release. I've been running pre-release versions of this operating system for a while now, and it has been brilliantly stable. Tomorrow's release will be the best Ubuntu ever, featuring things like new snap packages, CephFS, and ZFS-on-Linux.

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HPE focuses on diversity with 2016 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security

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Diversity is a tricky conversation. While everyone should have a fair chance at a job despite skin color, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, you can't force a certain group to enter an industry. In other words, percentages in a diversity report don't really tell the whole story.

The best approach to diversity is simply fostering opportunities for those that want it. Scholarships are a great option as it simply opens a door -- the recipient must walk through it. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been supporting such a thing -- the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security -- and today, it announces the number of 2016 recipients.

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Win a free Xbox One and custom controller from Microsoft in the comfort of your PJs

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The Xbox One is a marvelous game console and media player. In my living room, it has replaced both my Roku and Blu-ray player, lessening the number of unsightly wires. Best of all, of course, are the high-quality games, providing many hours of entertainment.

Understandably, not everyone can afford such a costly piece of tech. If this game console is not in your budget, I have some good news; Microsoft is giving one away at Pax East 2016. As an added bonus, the company is including a custom controller. Don't worry, if you aren't going to Pax, you can participate from home in your pajamas -- aka PJs -- too.

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Telegram giving bot developers $1 million

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If you need a great cross-platform chat solution, Telegram is one of the best. Not only does it work on Windows, iOS, and Android, but Linux-based desktop operating systems too, such as Ubuntu. Not to mention it offers encryption, but not for all messages by default, sadly.

Besides being available on many platforms, the company is constantly adding features, always making it better. In fact, Telegram is now putting up a million dollars for developers, in an effort to bolster its bot offerings. After all, bots are all the rage nowadays.

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LaCie unveils '12big' Thunderbolt 3 12-bay desktop RAID unit with up to 96TB capacity

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Nowadays, many computers have paltry amounts of storage. Why? Solid state drives carry a higher cost per gigabyte, meaning these faster SSDs are usually lower-capacity for cost-savings. With the emergence of the cloud, this might be OK for many home and business users.

If you need more local storage, an external hard drive is a great way to get it. Not only are these drives convenient, but versatile too. But what if you need a lot of storage -- more than the typical single, double, triple, or even quadruple bay solution? LaCie has you covered. Its all-new '12big' raid unit has a mind-boggling 12 bays, and can accommodate up to 96 terabytes. It even utilizes the super-fast Thunderbolt 3 interface, making it perfect for professional use too.

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Pandora generates more than $2 billion in royalties

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Back in the 90's, buying CDs was a passion of mine. Not only would I be knowledgeable about all of the release dates for my favorite artists, but I would go to midnight store-openings to buy them. Then, alone in my bedroom, I would listen to all of the discs and drift away.

Nowadays? Not so much. While I still adore music -- especially hip-hop tunes -- physical media is not part of the equation. Streaming media services are my gateway to music, and it is largely very satisfying. Apparently, I am far from alone in my love for streaming. Today, Pandora -- a very popular streaming service -- announces it has generated more than $2 billion in royalties for artists and songwriters. Yes folks, streaming is legit.

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Minecraft fans, here's how to score MINECON 2016 tickets

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Minecraft isn't just a game, it's a phenomenon. When I go shopping at a store like Target, I see toys, clothes, and more featuring things from the game. When Microsoft bought it for $2.5 billion, I thought it was crazy, but between merchandising and other potential revenue generating aspects, it could end up being a bargain.

If you are a super-fan of Minecraft, you are no doubt planning to attend MINECON 2016 -- a conference for both players and developers to come together and celebrate the game. Today, Microsoft announces crucial details for scoring tickets, so you need to pay attention.

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Kyocera unveils $99 waterproof Hydro REACH Android phone for Boost Mobile and Virgin USA

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When buying a smartphone, there are many things to consider. Should you get Android or iOS? How much should you spend? Which carrier will you use? It can be very confusing.

If you are on a budget, however, Android is the best option -- Apple does not offer truly affordable off-contract phones. Choosing a value-focused, pre-paid carrier -- such as Boost Mobile or Virgin USA -- can be another way to save money. Today, Kyocera announces an affordable waterproof Android handset for those aforementioned carriers. Just how affordable is it? $99!

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Microsoft helps friends and families of Japanese earthquake victims with free Skype calls

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While many people worry about terrorism as a threat to human lives, and understandably so, mother nature can be quite destructive too. Between natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, nature can be downright scary.

Speaking of earthquakes, Japan has been dealing with many of them lately in Kyushu, causing death, injuries, and destruction. If you have friends or family in that country, and you are worried about them, Microsoft is here to help. It is currently offering free calls to Japan through its Skype communication service.

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SanDisk unveils 128GB Extreme PLUS microSDXC with gimmicky 'Works with GoPro' scheme

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Micro SD cards are constantly getting bigger, faster, and more affordable. I purchased a 200GB SanDisk card from Amazon recently for $59.99 -- mind boggling. This will work brilliantly in devices such as the HTC 10, which supports cards up to a theoretical 2TB.

Today, SanDisk announces its newest such card, the 128GB Extreme PLUS microSDXC. The card is fast, and should be reliable, as SanDisk says it is "shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and X-ray-proof". The company is quick to tout another aspect of the card, however, but it seems very gimmicky. SanDisk explains that the card is one of the first cards to carry the new 'Works with GoPro' designation.

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Microsoft Edge web browser gets plugin-free Skype, and that is great news for Linux users

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As a Linux user, I have stopped using Skype recently. What was once a great experience on Ubuntu, Fedora, and other such operating systems, has been seemingly abandoned by Microsoft. Skype on Linux is barely usable nowadays, as the client has not seen an update in quite a while. This is rather tragic, as it is otherwise a great service on other platforms, such as Android, iOS, and of course, Windows.

Users of Windows 10 that use the Edge web browser are getting a cool update this month, as Microsoft is rolling out plugin-free Skype support. While that is cool, the really intriguing aspect is the potential for Linux users, as it should lead to similar functionality on browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox.

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Mozilla to make internet more inclusive

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Years ago, personal computing and the internet was a hobby reserved for those with a lot of money. Unlike today where you can buy a Chromebook for under $200, a desktop could cost $3,000 or more -- preventing many from participating. In other words, even in many of the richest countries in the world, many people could not afford to surf the web.

Nowadays, however, the number of people owning internet-connected devices has exploded. Heck, many households have multiple such devices and Wi-Fi is ubiquitous. Sadly, not everyone in the world has internet access, and many folks are computer illiterate -- including oppressed women in some countries. Thankfully, Mozilla is looking to change this by making the internet more inclusive.

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