Amazon's e-ink Kindle-reader devices, Fire tablets, and the associated e-book service are wildly popular. Competitor devices, such as the Nook from Barnes and Noble, simply don't compare. Is it worrying that Amazon essentially has a stranglehold on the digital book market? I suppose, but look, no other company has truly put up a worthy alternative. Even Apple's Books service, while decent, doesn't have an e-ink reader -- reading on an iPad is not ideal.
Sadly, Traditional Chinese readers were not able to properly take advantage of Amazon's Kindle. Thankfully, this has now changed. Yes, Amazon has brought support for Traditional Chinese books to Kindle!
Samsung makes some of the best internal Solid State Drives -- they are fast and reliable. That is why many gamers and enthusiasts choose the company's SSDs for their computers. Samsung makes great portable SSDs too, including the popular T5, which uses USB-C.
Now, the Samsung T5 is getting two new color options -- Rose Gold and Metallic Red. This is in addition to the existing Deep Black and Alluring Blue options. Both new colors can be had in two capacities -- 500GB and 1TB. Unfortunately, the 2TB capacity model remains black only. A 250GB model is available too, but only in blue.
More and more people are trying Linux-based operating systems these days, and with Windows 10 being so hated, that should not be a surprise. Sadly, while the Linux community should be thriving from Microsoft's missteps with Windows, it feels like the opposite is happening. The Linux Mint development team is experiencing turmoil, for instance, while Scientific Linux has shut down entirely.
Unfortunately, things are getting even more dire, as yet another Linux distribution has shut down. This time, the operating system is the Arch-based Antergos.
openSUSE Leap fans, prepare to be excited -- the latest version of your favorite Linux distribution is here! Yes, openSUSE Leap 15.1 can now be downloaded.
The YaST configuration tool is one of the most significant aspects of openSUSE, and with Leap 15.1, it is getting several improvements. Firewalld gets a new user interface, which will be appreciated by many users, I'm sure. When you need to divvy up the storage space on your hard drive or solid state drive, you will be treated to an enhanced Partitioner tool. YaST will even look prettier on HiDPI screens with this update. There are plenty of non-YaST changes in openSUSE Leap 15.1, of course.
People sometimes forget, but The Sims was a revolutionary game when it was first released. The innovative game essentially allowed you to play God, controlling characters on the screen. It was really unique -- almost like Sim City, but instead of a city, you simulated humans/life. Hardcore gamers often turned their noses up at the game, while many casual gamers enjoyed it immensely. In fact, over 100 million copies of games from the franchise have been sold since the initial release in the year 2000.
The fourth (and most recent) major version of the game, The Sims 4, remains wildly popular today, and it is available for Windows, macOS, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. And now, for a limited time, both the Windows and macOS versions of the game are totally FREE!
Believe it or not, Bose speakers are a bit controversial. While many consumers (including yours truly) enjoy the sound quality of Bose products, many self-proclaimed "audiophiles" tend to speak badly of the brand. The reality is, if you enjoy Bose speakers, that's all that matters -- ignore the haters.
Today, some existing Bose speakers are arguably getting even better. If you own a Bose Home Speaker 500, Bose Soundbar 500, or Bose Soundbar 700, you will get the always-listening Google Assistant functionality through a free automatic update.
Kingston has long been a popular brand with enthusiasts, as its flash memory products are often high quality and reliable without breaking the bank. This isn't just its USB flash drives and RAM, but its solid state drives too.
Today, it launches its newest such SSD. Called "KC2000," it is an NVMe PCIe variant, meaning it will be blazing fast. Pricing is pretty reasonable too, as it starts at just $62.40.
Windows 7 support will end in January of next year, and that is a huge problem for both business and home users that are still running the aging operating system. Can't these people just upgrade to Windows 10? Well, yeah, but many just don't want to. Windows 10 has extreme telemetry that many people consider to be spying. As a result, they simply don't trust Microsoft's latest operating system. Not to mention, for businesses and organizations with many computers, the upgrade to Windows 10 could prove to be a costly affair.
And now, as a result of the upcoming death of Windows 7 support, the South Korean government has reportedly decided to ditch Microsoft Windows entirely. According to The Korea Herald, the Asian country's government will switch from Windows 7 to a Linux-based operating system.
Ubuntu is a great operating system; that's why so many other Linux distributions are based on it. Hell, even Microsoft seems to be enamored with Ubuntu these days. What makes Ubuntu so good? The Linux distro is rock solid, has tons of compatible packages, and its online community can be very helpful (unlike snooty Arch users).
Today, a lesser-known (but very good) Ubuntu-based operating system reaches a new milestone. Called "Peppermint," version 10 is now available. Peppermint 10 should be particularly good for those with modest hardware, thanks to its use of the fairly lightweight Xfce desktop environment and available 32-bit variant. With that said, those with more powerful computers should have a positive experience with Peppermint 10 too.
For the most part, Android tablets have proven to be a massive failure. What looked like a promising market has devolved into a collection of low-quality tablets from no-name manufacturers. Sure, companies like Huawei and Samsung are still producing solid Android tablets, but consumers largely don't care. If it isn't an iPad, the tablet won't get much attention.
There is one big exception to this, however -- Amazon Fire. Yes, the book-seller's affordable media consumption tablets -- which do run a variation of Android -- are extremely popular with consumers. Despite not having access to Google's Play Store, Fire tablets are very affordable while providing a quality media experience. Not to mention, you get access to the Alexa voice assistant. Today, Amazon refreshes the 7-inch Fire 7 tablet with improved specifications, such as providing double the storage capacity and a beefier processor. Believe it or not, despite better hardware, it still retains its sub-$50 starting price tag.
Satechi is a company that makes really great products that are also affordable. While many of its offerings are Apple-focused, they usually work fine with all things. For instance, it manufactures USB-C dongles that use colors to match MacBook laptops, but color aside, they are totally Windows compatible too.
Today, Satechi launches a new elegantly designed Bluetooth 4.0 mouse that is clearly aimed at macOS users, but it will of course work with both Windows and Linux too. Called "M1," it features a premium aluminum body and scroll wheel. Sadly, there are no side thumb buttons -- likely a deal-breaker for some.
For most consumers, Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbit/s) is more than enough. After all, they likely only use a hardwired network connection when accessing the internet, which typically won't even fully saturate the connection. Hell, many don't even do that -- some households strictly have Wi-Fi devices, with the only use of a cable being the connection from their router to the modem.
Some enthusiasts and business users don't only use Ethernet for getting on the internet -- they may have high-speed internal networks where they are moving files between various hardwired computers and network-attached storage devices. And sometimes Gigabit speeds wont cut it. These folks may opt for 2.5GBASE-T (2.5Gbit/s), 5GBASE-T (5Gbit/s), or even 10GBASE-T (10Gbit/s) networks.
Everyone knows Google tracks its users. When you use a "free" service, such as the many the search giant offers, you essentially end up being the product. In other words, your personal data is the true cost. Unfortunately, Google is not the only company spying on its users. Microsoft is also guilty of this, especially with its overreaching telemetry in Windows 10.
That isn't Microsoft's only product that is anti-privacy, however. The company is now trying to spy with Office, and as you can imagine, its Bing search engine is tracking user activity too. Today, the Windows-maker openly brags about spying on your recent search activity by announcing a new "feature" for Bing Maps Autosuggest.
Lenovo is very well known for manufacturing high quality business laptops. Its ThinkPad line, for instance, which it inherited from IBM, is considered by many to be the best. Of course, there are others who prefer Dell, HP, or another maker.
Today, Lenovo launches a new line of Windows 10 laptops aimed at small businesses in particular. Called "ThinkBook," there are two models from which to choose -- the 13s and the 14s -- both of which have a screen size that match the model name. There is just one resolution for both -- 1080p. Each model will have an m.2 solid state drive by default -- either SATA or PCIe. You can get up to 512GB of storage.
If you have a large home, it can be difficult to blanket it entirely with Wi-Fi. Sadly, many folks experience dead spots, meaning some locations in the house either have no Wi-Fi or an exremely low signal. Speaking frankly, this situation sucks. Sure, you can potentially remedy it with a range extender, and that can be a great solution, but it isn't as elegant as mesh.
Unfortunately, a mesh Wi-Fi system with multiple access points can be a pricey affair. While they have been coming down in price, these mesh systems are still largely too much money for many consumers. Today, TP-Link brings mesh Wi-Fi to the masses with an insanely low price. Called "Deco W2400," this Dual Band AC1200 system costs less than $100!