Mihăiță Bamburic

99 percent of fake Apple chargers are unsafe

iPhone Lightning cable charging Apple

When the time comes to buy a charger for your Apple device, you better make sure that what you are getting is the real deal. Why? A new report from UK's Chartered Trading Standards Institute says that the vast majority of counterfeit chargers for Apple products are not safe to use.

CTSI purchased 400 fake chargers from suppliers across the globe and discovered that 397 of them -- or 99.25 percent -- fail to meet what it considers a "basic safety test". In other words, if you use one to top the battery on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, MacBook or other Apple product you risk damaging the device -- or worse.

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Parallels Toolbox 1.3 packs dozens of tools for macOS power users

Parallels Toolbox 1.3

Parallels today releases a new version of its Toolbox app for macOS, adding five new tools that give users more control over their privacy and make it easier to use their Mac devices, bringing the total number of available utilities to 25.

The main addition in Parallels 1.3 is the ability to block all apps at once from accessing the camera. Parallels introduced this feature for folks who like to put tape over their Mac's webcam to protect their privacy. It is a more convenient solution to a problem some people seem to have, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

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PC market shows signs of recovery

Recovery road

PC shipments will continue to decline in 2016, according to a new IDC forecast, but the drop will be slightly lower than previously expected. What's more, things will improve even more in 2017.

IDC expects PC vendors to ship a total of 258.2 million units this year, a figure which would be 6.4 percent lower than last year. The previous estimate was a 7.2 percent fall, which IDC announced in August. Growth will still be negative in 2017, but shipments are expected to decrease by just 2.6 percent compared to this year.

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Netflix now lets you watch your favorite movies and TV shows offline

NetFlix

Many people stream their favorite movies and TV shows today through Netflix. The service, which boasts around 86 million subscribers, is available on all the major platforms, making it easy for users to enjoy it pretty much everywhere and on every PC, smartphone and tablet. That is, as long as there is a working Internet connection.

That changes today, as Netflix announces that it is also making its content available offline. Users are now able to download movies and TV shows and watch them while, for instance, traveling on an airplane or in a remote area. Here is what you need to know.

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Apple will not approve updates and new apps during winter holidays

Tree winter holidays schedule calendar

The winter holidays are fast approaching and, just like other workers, many folks in the tech industry are looking forward to their vacation days. But, before employees can celebrate and unwind, companies have to adjust their schedule accordingly and prepare their customers for the limited (or lack of) office hours.

Apple announces its schedule today, advising developers to submit their updates and new apps for approval in time, to avoid any delays and inconveniences.

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OnePlus 3T first-impressions review

OnePlus 3T homescreen front

The OnePlus 3T is shaping up to be one of the best smartphones that you can buy today. Replacing the OnePlus 3, it is a slightly beefier version of the former "flagship killer" that, at first glance, also feels more refined. Visually, it looks nearly the same, but the updated internals and improved software could make a big difference in day to day use.

This is a first look at OnePlus' new flagship, which I feel is well needed as the OnePlus 3T today makes its European debut. Many of you will be considering it as your next smartphone, and for good reasons. Obviously, a full review is coming, but until then here are my first impressions.

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Vufine+ wearable display review

Vufine+

Having a small display strapped to a pair of glasses may seem like a bad idea in a post-Google Glass wearables market, but Vufine is not afraid to take chances. The company successfully launched the original Vufine on Kickstarter in 2015, and now it is at it again with an updated model. And this one is proving to be a hit as well.

It is called Vufine+ and what it does is give you a viewfinder or external display for an action camera, laptop or smartphone. There are no fancy smart features here. Instead, you can mirror what's on your device's screen or watch what you are recording with your camera. It sounds simple, and that is because it is. So, what's it like to use?

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Noontec ZORO II wireless headphones review

Noontec ZORO II wireless headphones

Wireless headphones are the future. Apple knows it, and pretty soon you will too. Let's face it, the good old 3.5mm jack is on its way out. Smartphone evolution will see to it. And when it will no longer be an option, many of us will come to realize that we have been living in the past for far too long After the first couple of minutes of using the Noontec ZORO II, this much was clear.

Noontec has designed the ZORO II for the discerning headphone buyer who is looking to get rid of wires but, at the same time, still enjoy a quality sound. This is the first pair of wireless cans that I have used and, I have to admit, I am really impressed by it. Needless to say, I am a convert now.

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NHTSA reveals voluntary guidelines for smartphone makers to minimize distracted driving

Driver driving smartphone distraction

Traffic fatalities are up for the first time in 25 years, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, and one of the leading causes is distraction. One in ten people die on US roads as a result, and smartphones play a key part in it, so regulators want to do something about it. But, what exactly?

The NHTSA will come up with a set of voluntary guidelines for smartphone manufacturers to limit the level of interaction their users can have while driving a vehicle. "As millions of Americans take to the roads for Thanksgiving gatherings, far too many are put at risk by drivers who are distracted by their cellphones", says US Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx. "These commonsense guidelines, grounded in the best research available, will help designers of mobile devices build products that cut down on distraction on the road".

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Tech Deal: Get a Newton subscription for 50 percent off

Thanksgiving special Newton 50 percent off

You will find plenty of deals on tech products this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As usual, the focus is on hardware, but there are some significant discounts to be had on software as well.

Case in point is Newton, my favorite cross-platform email app. Formerly known as CloudMagic, in September it received a rebranding which also introduced a subscription that unlocks a number of premium features. And, starting today until November 29, you will be able to purchase one for 50 percent off.

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OnePlus 3T now available in US and Canada

oneplus-3t

After just five months on the market, the excellent OnePlus 3 is no more. But, OnePlus is not without a "flagship killer", as, in its place, it has introduced an updated model that features some welcome improvements while still maintaining an attractive price tag. And, starting today, the OnePlus 3T is officially available for purchase.

The latest flagship killer is released in US and Canada first, and it will reach Europe on November 28. Today, it is available in both storage options but only in a single color, as the Soft Gold trim will be offered later down the road.

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SJCAM SJ5000x Elite action camera review

SJCAM SJ5000x Elite

When looking at the budget action camera market there are few brands that stand out from the crowd. SJCAM is one of them. The company has built up a reputation for delivering quality action cameras at attractive price points and, most importantly, that can hold their own when pitted against premium rivals. It is no wonder that so many folks recommend them.

SJCAM's SJ5000x Elite is among the most popular options in this segment, featuring impressive specs just above the $100 mark. On paper, it seems to have everything that you could want and more, but just how good is it really?

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New Nokia smartphones will debut in 2017

Nokia could boomerang back into the mobile market with Alcatel-Lucent purchase

We've known for quite some time that Nokia will make a comeback in the smartphone industry. But this time around the Finnish company will not be the one building the smartphones, as it has instead opted to license its brand to HMD. It is a clever move, as if things work out Nokia will reap the rewards, but if these efforts fail the damage will be unsubstantial.

The company's fans have surely wondered when exactly a new smartphone adorning the Nokia brand will see the light, and the answer is "pretty soon". An official presentation reveals that the "return to smartphones" will happen next year.

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OnePlus 3 reaches end of the road

Bye

The launch of the OnePlus 3T has created some uncertainty regarding the fate of the previous "flagship killer". Will OnePlus sell both devices going forward, or will the new smartphone replace the OnePlus 3 in its lineup?

Based on price alone, it would make sense for OnePlus to offer both devices. The OnePlus 3T is a bit more expensive, so it would slot above its predecessor in the range. However, as it turns out, OnePlus has other things in mind.

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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 835 -- here is what you need to know

Qualcomm

US chip maker Qualcomm today announces a new flagship mobile processor that will power next year's generation of high-end smartphones and tablets. Called Snapdragon 835, it is the company's first 10nm offering and promises increased energy efficiency and performance in a smaller package.

To build the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm has teamed up with Samsung to take advantage of its 10nm FinFET manufacturing technology. This is not the first time that the two players have worked together, as Samsung also makes the Snapdragon 820. Let us take a closer look at the new kid on the block.

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