Brian Fagioli

Amazon unveils all-new Kindle Oasis with adjustable warm light

If you want an e-reader, you should buy a Kindle -- plain and simple. Are there other e-ink devices on the market? Yes, but none compare to Amazon's overall book shopping and reading experiences. While you can read on an Android tablet or iPad -- including Amazon's Kindle service -- you really shouldn't. E-ink screens are far better for your eyes.

Today, Amazon unveils the all-new Kindle Oasis -- this is a refresh of the previous generation. If you aren't familiar, Oasis is the company's top-of-the-line e-reader. This model still has has a beautiful 7-inch display, but now, it also gets the ability to adjust the light termperature. In other words, you can opt for a warmer light for a better experience when reading at night. It is very durable too, retaining the same IPX8 waterproof rating as the previous generation.

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Satechi launches Dual Smart Outlet with Apple HomeKit support

While smart home devices are very popular these days, Apple's HomeKit sadly isn't. This is a shame, as I rather like the company's centralized approach to controlling the home. If all of your devices are HomeKit compatible, you can expect an elegant experience where you don't have to jump from app to app. Unfortunately, there are many popular smart home device manufacturers that don't put resources into supporting Apple's solution.

Today, Satechi announces a new smart outlet adapter that thankfully is compatible with Apple HomeKit. Called "Dual Smart Outlet," it can control power to two devices -- not just one like many other models. Don't want to use HomeKit and Siri? You don't have to -- you can use Satechi's app instead.

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Win a Roku Streaming Stick

Smart televisions are kind of... stupid. While TV makers love to advertise all of the integrated streaming services, the truth is, the interfaces are often slow and clunky. Ultimately, it is a much better experience to use a streaming device, such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, or Apple TV. Hell, connecting your smart TV to the internet could even put your home network at risk!

The best thing about streaming media boxes and sticks, however, is they are typically very affordable. Well, with the exception of the pricey Apple TV. For instance, you can buy a quality Roku Streaming Stick for less than $40. You know what’s better than spending a little money? Spending no money. You see, Roku is giving away five devices (one per winner) to celebrate the summer.

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Microsoft To-Do comes to Mac

Apple makes great hardware and operating systems, but when it comes to applications, the company has plenty of room for improvement. For productivity, Microsoft still reigns supreme. Apple's iWork, for instance, is passable, but it is largely garbage compared to Microsoft Office. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote may look great, but smart professionals will invest in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- they are far more powerful. Even the totally free LibreOffice bests Apple's iWork.

With all of that said, macOS users should be very happy that Microsoft supports Apple's operating system. Quite frankly, without Microsoft's excellent productivity software -- such as Office and OneNote -- Mac computers would be far less attractive to power users and professionals. Today, Microsoft brings another fine app to the macOS platform -- To-Do. It is chock-full of useful features, including the ability to add tags/hashtags by simply typing a #.

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OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 Linux distro is here, and there is a special AMD-only version

Today, there is some great news for the Linux community -- OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 is now available! This KDE-focused distribution should have you very excited.

The default web browser browser has been changed in 4.0 -- it is now the Chromium-based Falkon, which promises better KDE integration. Don't worry, you can install Firefox or Chrome if needed.

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System76's supercharged Linux-powered Gazelle laptop is finally available

Today is Thursday, which is one of the worst days of the week. I mean, I suppose it is better than Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but it can't hold a candle to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday -- otherwise known as the weekend. So, yeah, Thursday is typically not something to get excited about.

With all of that said, today is a pretty special Thursday for the Linux community. Why? Well, the System76 Gazelle laptop is finally available! This is a laptop we reported on last month, and at the time, System76 only promised it would be available in June 2019. Well, June 13 of 2019 is apparently the exact day it goes on sale, as you can get it now.

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Debian 10 Buster-based Endless OS 3.6.0 Linux distribution now available

When it comes to Linux, I prefer my distributions to be no-nonsense -- Fedora is my favorite distro, for instance. Is Fedora boring? Yes, I suppose. But that is sort of why I like it. Look, I just want the damn operating system to take a backseat to my actual work. Fedora with GNOME allows me to focus on my tasks without getting in the way.

Understandably though, some Linux users like to "distro hop" where they are constantly moving between distributions, always wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. And yeah, I get that -- new is fun. People want excitement.

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Apple makes Windows 10 less terrible with refreshed iCloud app in Microsoft Store

Most iPhone users do not own a Mac. If they did, Apple's desktop market share wouldn't be so low compared to Windows. That's historically not a big deal for Apple, since its Mac business was never really about volume -- the company make a fortune off the marked up machines as it is.

The problem, however, is the company is increasingly focusing on services. And as great as iCloud is, the Windows experience has been abysmal. Yes, iCloud on Windows is functional, but it is not even close to the elegance of macOS. So when an iOS user needed to use Windows 10 for iCloud, it made the OS seem sort of... terrible. While Microsoft's desktop OS has lots of problems, and some consider it to be quite bad, the iCloud deficiencies (slow, buggy, etc.) were not really the fault of the OS -- that was Apple's failure. Well, except that one time.

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Logitech upgrades G403, G703, and G903 gaming mice with HERO 16K

They say when something isn’t broken you shouldn't fix it, and that is largely good advice. I mean, just look at how Microsoft "improved" Windows 7 with the abomination that was Windows 8. Or even more infamous, Coca-Cola and it’s "New Coke."

With that said, sometimes you can truly add to a product that seems to not need fixing and end up with something much better. Today, Logitech does exactly that. It has taken a trio of mice that consumers already loved and simply upgraded them with the excellent HERO 16K sensor. This is the same treatment given to the G502 in May and the MX518 in February.

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Samsung CRG5 is a curved 27-inch FHD gaming monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC and 240Hz refresh rate

If you are a gamer, you know a monitor with a high refresh rate is very desirable. These days, however, it is also important to have anti-tear technology, such as NVIDIA's G-SYNC or AMD's FreeSync. Believe it or not, gamers do not necessarily want a display with a high resolution. Sure, 4K looks great for video and images, but for gaming, it can lead to lower frames. This is why many hardcore game players still use FHD (1080p).

Today, Samsung announces a new monitor called "CRG5" that ticks all the right boxes for gamers. It is a 27-inch 1080p display with NVIDIA G-SYNC and an impressive 240Hz refresh rate. In other words, this monitor should be silky smooth. There is one more cool aspect, however -- it is curved. While I am not a huge fans of televisions with a curve, I do see value in a curved monitor as you sit closer to it.

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More than 80 million Huawei device users are on Android Pie (EMUI 9)

Donald Trump may have a bug up his ass over Huawei, but anti-Chinese propaganda aside, consumers around the world love the company's devices. Huawei's laptops, smartphones, and tablets are well-received by both professional reviewers and consumers. There should be no mystery how Huawei achieves such praise -- its products are elegant, well built, and not overly priced. The P30 Pro might be the best Android smartphone on the market.

With Android in particular, Huawei is not only providing an excellent customer experience through hardware, but with OS updates too. In fact, the company is celebrating an impressive milestone -- more than 80 million Huawei device users are now on Android 9.0 Pie. Technically, it is EMUI 9, which is Android plus Huawei's improvements. This puts many other device makers, such as Samsung and LG to shame.

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Philips Brilliance 32-inch 4K monitor (32P9H) with integrated Windows Hello camera and USB-C dock now available

Back in January, we reported on two new "Brilliance" monitors from Philips. What made these displays stand out were their integrated Windows Hello-compatible cameras. This would allow the user to log into Windows 10 using their face -- no need to enter a password or touch a fingerprint reader. One was a pricey 49-inch super-wide monitor (499P9H), while the other was a 32-inch 4K display (329P9H). The latter has an integrated USB-C docking station and KVM switch, which is insanely cool.

At the time, we shared that the 329P9H would hit stores in February. Well, it was apparently very late, as it is just now coming to market! Yes, today, Philips announces that the Brilliance 32-inch 4K monitor (32P9H) is finally officially available for purchase. And yes, it looks like it was worth the wait.

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Urban Armor Gear (UAG) launches rugged NATO Strap for Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a very popular product despite its many flaws. I wore one for a while, but ended up getting rid of it due to many frustrations. The wearable has a terrible user interface -- very unlike most Apple products. Ultimately, I found it more convenient to simply pull my phone from my pocket.

With all of that said, I am probably not the best candidate for an Apple Watch. I'm a fairly sedentary fellow, working at computers and avoiding the outdoors. People that like hiking, running, and other forms of exercise will probably find a lot of value in Apple Watch. Today, popular company Urban Armor Gear (UAG) launches a watch strap that should delight consumers that are into being outdoors.

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Zorin OS 15 Linux distro is ready to replace Microsoft Windows 10 on your PC

While I’m a Linux fan and advocate, I'm not delusional. Switching from Windows to an operating system based on the Linux kernel is not for everyone. For some folks, Microsoft's desktop operating system is more appropriate, and for others, maybe Apple's macOS is better. Ultimately, people should pick whatever tool they enjoy. After all, a computer is a tool, not a religion.

With all of that said, Windows 10 has many detractors. In other words, it is not an operating system that is beloved by many. Even the people that don't necessarily hate it, probably tolerate it more than truly enjoy it. And that's sad. Thankfully, for those that want a way out of Microsoft's Windows, there are many alternatives. If you want to try Linux, there is a new version of a great distribution you should try -- the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS 15.

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Urban Armor Gear launches Scout Series cases for Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Smartphones are way too expensive these days, with prices for some flagships hovering around $1,000. If you are wealthy and have a lot of disposable income, this probably doesn't bother you. For regular folks, however, this is simply too much to ask. Thankfully, Google heard the cries from its more meager customers and released the well-received Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones, starting at $399 and $479 respectively.

Even though these phones are more affordable, that doesn't mean consumers can afford to break them. A case is still a wise investment, even if your smartphone costs less than $500. With that said, popular case-maker Urban Armor Gear (UAG) has released new Scout Series cases for both the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. The case is very rugged and officially sanctioned as a "Made For Google" accessory.

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