Brian Fagioli

Monster Blaster 3.0 Bluetooth boombox would make Radio Raheem proud

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, when you wanted to play your music publicly, you had to lug around a huge boombox powered by C or D batteries. It was a costly and tiring ordeal, but it was well worth the effort; it allowed friends to simultaneously enjoy music on the street, at the beach, or in the park. The boombox became a big part of Hip-Hop culture too and was immortalized by fictional character Radio Raheem in the classic Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing.

These days though, kids don't really need a big boombox anymore. Smartphone speakers can get pretty loud, and if you need some extra volume, a small Bluetooth speaker can often get the job done. But what if you really want to blast your music? Like, maybe you want to play some Hip-Hop music at a basketball court or crank some rock and roll loudly at a party. Well, the all-new "Blaster 3.0" Bluetooth boombox from Monster should hit the mark.

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Logitech launches Litra Glow Premium Streaming Light for content creators

If you are a content creator (like a Twitch streamer or YouTube vlogger, for instance), you probably already have the necessary equipment, such as a high-quality camera and microphone. But no matter how great your gear is, there is something that can have a huge impact on your video quality -- lighting. Any photographer or videographer will tell you that having proper lighting is extremely important.

And now, Logitech has released a new device to help streamers and other creators improve their content. Called "Litra Glow Premium Streaming Light," this light source is powered by USB and can be controlled by Logitech's G HUB software on Windows and Mac. Linux users can enjoy it too, however, as there are hardware controls (brightness and warmth) on the rear of the light as well, making it operating system agnostic.

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Microsoft launches matte black Surface Go 3 with optional LTE

Is Microsoft's Surface Go line of tablets designed for hardcore computer users? Absolutely not. That is OK though. Not everybody is a gamer or enthusiast. Look, some of us just need to get basic work done. And so, an affordable computer with meager specifications, such as the Surface Go, can be a wise purchase. After all, you can turn it into a laptop by purchasing the optional keyboard cover or a desktop by connecting it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Surface Go 3 -- the latest model -- I have some great news. Beginning today, Microsoft is selling a beautiful new version. No, the specifications are not different, but the body is... sort of. You see, the little tablet is now being offered in a beautiful matte black color.

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Linux Mint sells out for Mozilla money -- Google becomes default search in Firefox

So, you decided to get rid of Windows and switch to Linux because you have strong beliefs about free and open source software, eh? Well done! That is quite the noble action, and you should be proud that you are following your morals. You could have chosen a Chromebook but you didn't, as you didn't want to support Google. Fair enough.

Maybe you instead went with Linux Mint because its developers are not beholden to anyone. Well, if that is the case, I have some bad news. You see, Linux Mint has officially sold out! Sadly, the developers of the Ubuntu-based operating system have agreed to accept an undisclosed amount of money from Mozilla in exchange for making significant changes to Linux Mint. This includes removal of modifications to Firefox and a big change for search...

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Satechi ST-UC165GM is an elegant 165W USB-C 4-Port PD GaN Charger

The days of charging just one device are long gone. Back in the day, people just charged their smartphone. Nowadays, they charge their phone, tablet, wireless headphones, smartwatch, and more. And so, things can get quite messy when needing to charge them all at once. You can use multiple individual charging adapters, of course, but outlets are usually installed in pairs. With that said, you can add a power strip to gain extra outlets, but that can be an eyesore. Instead, a multi-charger can help keep things tidy.

GaN chargers are all the rage these days, as they offer a lot of wattage in a tiny package. Today, Satechi launches a new multi-charger that uses GaN technology. It offers four USB-C ports for with a maximum output of 165 watts. It even comes with a removeable stand to hold it vertically. Not only can it charge mobile devices, but laptops too!

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Install Linux Mint 20.3 'Una' this weekend if you have absolutely nothing better to do

Well, folks, we finally made it; the weekend is officially here! Hopefully you have some exciting activities planned. Maybe you are going to a party or taking someone out for a romantic dinner date. Or maybe, just maybe, you have absolutely nothing planned. You know what? That's OK. A lot of people are lonely and/or have no prospects. And for them, Linux exists.

Thankfully, Linux Mint 20.3 (code-named "Una") has finally exited beta, giving countless computer nerds around the world something to do this weekend. And yes, this includes me -- I had nothing planned other than a trip to Costco on Saturday and watching my New York Jets lose on Sunday. But now I will be installing the stable version of Linux Mint 20.3 "Una" as well. Huzzah!

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Satechi announces 2-in-1 Headphone Stand with Wireless Charger for Apple AirPods Max

If you're like me, having a neat and tidy desk is a must. Look, I understand that things can get a bit messy sometimes when under a heavy workload, but for the most part, keeping a clean and organized workstation can be key to success.

And that is why many people buy headphone stands. Whether for wired or wireless headphones (or headsets), these stands can keep them out of the way, freeing up your desk for other things. Such a stand can also protect your expensive headphones when not in use, so they aren't accidentally knocked off the desk or ruined by a spilled beverage.

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Will Linux Mint 20.3 'Una' make 2022 the fabled 'Year of Linux on the Desktop?'

Will Linux Mint 20.3 make 2022 the fabled "Year of Linux on the Desktop?" Absolutely not. However, that won't stop some fans of the Ubuntu-based operating system from making that prediction. While it won't dethrone Windows anytime soon, the release of a stable Linux Mint 20.3 is imminent.

You see, today, the Linux Mint developers share that version 20.3 of the operating system will be released this week! Sadly, the devs missed the Christmas 2021 deadline they previously shared -- a major disappointment. Oh well, users simply had more time to play with the Beta release. At least the wait for Linux Mint 20.3 -- code-named "Una" -- will be over soon.

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Plugable UD-6950PDZ USB-C Triple 4K Docking Station has 3 HDMI and 3 DisplayPort video outputs

USB-C docking stations are a dime a dozen these days. There are so many on the market, it can be hard to get excited about new models. For one to stand out in the crowd, it has to be exceptional or offer functionality to make it special.

Well, folks, it seems Plugable has managed to announce a USB-C docking station that is legitimately exciting. Called "UD-6950PDZ," it supports up to three monitors running at 4K. While that is cool, it is not what makes it so special. Actually, the truly cool aspect is that it has six video outputs -- three HDMI and three DisplayPort. Only three of the six can be used at once, but by offering six ports, you can connect to three monitors using HDMI or DisplayPort without ever needing a dongle.

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Linksys launches Hydra Pro 6 (MR5500) Dual-Band AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) used to be the future of wireless connectivity, but nowadays, it is the present. Yes, with more and more devices having Wi-Fi 6, now is the time to buy such a router if you haven't already. Look, with many of us spending more time at home nowadays -- including for work -- we all deserve to have a high-quality router, right?

Today, Linksys unveils its latest wireless router, and it is quite cute and stylish. Called "Hydra Pro 6" it supports Wi-Fi 6 and has a USB-A port on the rear for connecting a USB storage device. In other words, the router (SKU: MR5500) can pull double-duty as a makeshift NAS. Best of all, it has mesh support baked in, so you can set up a mesh network using other compatible Linksys products.

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OWC Atlas FXR is the world's smallest Thunderbolt CFexpress card reader

Do photographers and videographers still use SD cards? Yes. In fact, I would guess that most do. However, the writing is on the wall, and the faster CFexpress Type B memory cards are obviously the future. Those with cutting-edge camera equipment are already enjoying the benefits of these superior cards.

The problem? Most computers, including the newest MacBook Pro laptops, do not come with integrated readers for these cards. And so, consumers must invest in external readers. Today, OWC unveils what it says is the "smallest Thunderbolt CFexpress card reader." Called "Atlas FXR," it connects using Thunderbolt 3/4 to provide insane speeds. It is also compatible with USB-C and comes with a USB-A adapter. In addition, the company is releasing its own line of CFexpress Type B memory cards called "Atlas Pro" and "Atlas Pro Ultra."

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Acer unveils three new 2022 Chromebooks

If you are a fan of Chromebooks, you are undoubtedly familiar with Acer. That company has long been a Chrome OS proponent, releasing many computers running Google's Linux-based desktop operating system. The cool thing about Acer Chromebooks is the company releases several models -- with differing specifications and prices -- so consumers can find one that best meets their needs.

Today, Acer announces three new 2022 Chromebooks, and they are all quite different. Two of them, the 314 (CB314-3H/T) and 315 (CB315-4H/T), are budget models, powered by low-end Intel processors (Celeron and Pentium). The former has a 14-inch screen while the latter has a 15.6-inch display. The more exciting model, however, is the 13.5-inch Spin 513 (CP513-2H) convertible, which is powered by an ARM-based octa-core MediaTek Kompanio 1380 chip.

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Celebrate New Year 2022 by switching from Windows 11 to Linux Lite 5.8 RC1

Windows 11 is a great operating system. In fact, I can confidently say it is the best desktop operating system Microsoft has ever created. Seriously, folks, it is wonderful. If your computer is compatible with it, and you like Windows 10, you should enjoy Windows 11 even more.

With all of that said, Windows 11 can be a bit polarizing. It features radical changes to the user interface (such as a centered task bar) which I adore, but some users may dislike. Not to mention, the system requirements will leave many still-capable computers unable to upgrade without using unofficial hacks. Even worse, computers deemed incompatible could eventually stop getting updates! These unfortunate computer owners will have to decide whether to continue using Windows 10 or buy a new Windows 11-compatible PC.

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EPIC FAIL: Google pauses the Pixel 6 December 2021 Android update

If you want a pure Android experience with the most timely operating system updates, you should buy a Pixel smartphone from Google, right? Yes, that is largely true. On paper, at least, the Pixel line of devices are what hardcore Android users should opt for. In actual use, however, Pixel phones are often riddled with issues that lead to disappointment. They are arguably not worth the headaches.

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in particular have been disastrous. They have notoriously slow and insecure fingerprint readers. Shockingly, some users have reported "phantom" dials, where the friggin' phone calls contacts at random! Even the display is problematic, with many owners experiencing flickering and artifacts. And now, Google has been forced to pause the December 2021 Update due to serious bugs. Sigh.

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Skype gets zoom (with a little z) support

Skype for Web

Do you use Skype? If yes, it is time to get really excited, as there is some legitimately cool news surrounding Microsoft's wildly popular cross-platform communication software. You see, Skype now has zoom support. Please don't misunderstand things, however, as that is zoom with a lowercase z. In other words, Skype is not getting support for the competing Zoom (with an uppercase Z).

Yes, folks, Microsoft has quite literally added the ability to zoom in on Skype screen-shares. In a new blog post, the Windows 11-maker explains, "It has happened to the best of us. You're in a call and someone shares their screen to show you something. Everyone else is nodding along, but you're squinting at your computer screen trying to read the tiny text they are referencing. It's just too small! With Skype's easy zoom in feature, you don't have to miss out."

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