Brian Fagioli

Google donates £1 million worth of computer training to U.K. teachers

It is imperative that students learn about computing in school -- the earlier the better. The problem? Sometimes teachers aren't very knowledgeable about computers. In other words, some of these educators simply aren't qualified to teach young people about computing. In order for these people to teach future generations about computing, they must first learn about it themselves.

Today, Google announces that it is donating £1 million worth of computer training to U.K. teachers. Don't misunderstand -- the search giant is not just throwing money at the situation. Instead, Google will be having some of its employees provide actual time and assistance to these educators -- how cool is that?

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Was the PC's death fake news? More consumers want laptops than smartphones on Black Friday 2017

Next week is one of my favorite holidays -- Thanksgiving! I'm not gonna lie, I like to eat, and since this is a day dedicated to chowing down on some good food, I am beyond excited! Oh yeah, it is also a day in which we spend time with family and reflect on all the things for which we are thankful.

Once the eating is done, the shopping begins. What used to just be "Black Friday" now begins the night before on Thanksgiving -- sacrilege to some. Yeah, while still digesting turkey and stuffing, consumers will queue up in front of stores such as Best Buy, Target, and Kohl's to take advantage of some deep discounts. Surprisingly, according to a new survey, technology devices are not the most wanted products. Actually, clothing seems to be what many people want most. Make no mistake, however -- products like televisions, laptops, and smartphones will be very popular on Black Friday too.

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ASUS ZenFone V Live Android smartphone is beautiful, affordable, and exclusive to Verizon

Apple is selling the $1,000 iPhone X nowadays, and yeah, there is a place for it. Shockingly, when the "X" first came out, people were not only willing to pay a high premium for Apple's latest, but they waited in line to do so. Think about that -- queuing up to part with a grand! If you have that kind of money, more power to you, but I know a lot of people are hurting financially out there -- the iPhone X is simply not achievable for them.

If you don't have a lot of money, do not worry -- you can still get a quality smartphone for much less. You can opt for an older iPhone model, or if you are particularly low on cash, choose Android. Google's operating system powers many affordable devices, and now, ASUS unveils a very intriguing model that is exclusive to Verizon. The "ZenFone V Live," as it is called, has respectable specifications, looks great, and best of all, it costs an insanely low $168.

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Belkin launches USB-C Car Charger with fast charging for iPhone X

The iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus are all wonderful smartphones. Heck, you can’t go wrong with any of them. This trio of devices supports fast charging, although you need to use a compatible USB-C charger and Lightning cable.

Today, Belkin announces an all-new car charger that supports fast charging with the newest iPhone devices. Of course, it will work with Android devices too. This is exciting, as it means you can charge your phone more quickly when driving.

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Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' BETA is here

Back in September, we told you some interesting Linux Mint news -- version 18.3 would be named "Sylvia." That is hardly the most exciting recent Mint news, however. Actually, the bombshell that the operating system would be abandoning KDE was far more intriguing. While some people will mourn Linux Mint KDE, I certainly won't. Quite frankly, it should never have existed in the first place as it fragments the user experience, but I digress.

If you are a fan of Mint KDE, don't panic -- there is still one more release featuring the desktop environment. Yeah, the upcoming 18.3 "Sylvia" will have a KDE version. Today Linux Mint 18.3 BETA sees release, but it is only a Cinnamon and Mate affair -- for now. Unfortunately, the Mint team picked a bad day to release the beta as it will surely be overshadowed by the superior Fedora 27 which was released earlier today too.

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Forget Windows 10! Dell launches five new computers with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed

Over the years, many people have bought Windows machines only to wipe the storage drive and install their favorite Linux-based operating system. For the most part, this practice works well, but you still may experience hardware incompatibilities, albeit far fewer nowadays than in prior years. The Wi-Fi card, for instance, may not have Linux drivers, leading to huge headaches.

The better option is to buy a computer with Linux pre-installed. Why? Well, this lets you know that all the hardware is compatible, as the seller has tested it beforehand. Not to mention, you are supporting the Linux community this way. Buying a Windows PC even when you erase Windows still helps Microsoft -- why the heck would you want to do that?

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Fedora 27 Linux distribution now available for download

If you want a pure, no-nonsense, Linux-based operating system, look no further than Fedora. It is stable as all hell, while also being fairly bleeding edge with up-to-date packages. Best of all, the distribution focuses heavily on open source ideology, using only truly free software. It is a great way to experience Linux as it should be. Hell, the father of the kernel, Linus Torvalds, uses Fedora -- that’s saying something.

Today, version 27 of the operating system finally becomes available. Desktop users should love the GNOME 3.26 desktop environment, which offers many improvements, including color emoji support. Yes, emojis do matter -- Linux users can have fun too. Also included is LibreOffice 5.4 -- a worthy alternative to Microsoft’s office suite. From a more technical aspect, some users will appreciate the addition of TRIM support for newly encrypted solid state drives.

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Linksys unveils RE9000 Max-Stream Tri-Band MU-MIMO AC3000 Wi-Fi Range Extender

Mesh networking is all the rage nowadays. If you aren't familiar with the concept, a mesh network links several access points into a single wireless network, providing improved range and speed. The problem with a mesh network, however, is that it requires you to purchase all new hardware. If you already own a great router, but need to eliminate a dead zone in your home, it might not make sense to invest in mesh right now.

If you love your existing router but want to expand your Wi-Fi coverage, a range extender is a smart buy. It is a device that connects wirelessly to your existing router and then provides access to your dead or spotty zones. Today, Linksys unveils one of the most beautiful such devices. The "RE9000 Max-Stream Tri-Band AC3000 Wi-Fi Range Extender," as it is called, has four antennas and promises to improve your home's Wi-Fi coverage. It can also serve as an access point to convert up to four hardwired gigabit device connections into wireless. Linksys even provides a useful app to help you find optimal placement of the extender -- nice.

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Do you have a jailbroken Apple TV running Kodi? You are in danger of being hacked!

The Apple TV has long been a wonderful device for consuming media on your big-screen television. From video to music, it is a great experience. Some people weren't satisfied with the default functionality, however, opting to jailbreak Apple's media box. In fact, the jailbroken Apple TV 2 was one of the most popular XBMC/Kodi boxes for this reason.

Are you running one of those jailbroken Apple TV 2 devices? You should be worried then. You see, as the folks over at TVAddons warn, the jailbreak process installed OpenSSH by default. This means your network could be compromised by the fairly outdated media box. A hacker only needs your ip address to attack you.

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CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX CMK32GX4M4K4333C19 is world's fastest 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 RAM kit

For many home computer users, a five or even 10-year-old PC can be powerful enough for their needs. For some other people -- gamers and enthusiasts, primarily -- a computer can never be quick enough. These consumers will spend massive amounts of money for the latest and greatest hardware to achieve the fastest speeds.

If you like having the fastest hardware on your block -- whether you actually need it or just for bragging rights -- Corsair has a new memory kit that will tickle your fancy. The VENGEANCE LPX CMK32GX4M4K4333C19 kit runs at an insane 4,333MHz. This is the world's fastest RAM using a 4x8GB configuration, and it narrowly beats G.SKILL with its similar kit running at 4,2666MHz.

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Microsoft uses Artificial Intelligence for all-new LinkedIn-powered 'Resume Assistant' for Word

If you are currently unemployed, underemployed, or simply looking to change jobs, I urge you to create a LinkedIn profile if you haven't already. The days of showing up at a job with a pen to complete an application is largely dead. Heck, many employers don't even want you to email them a resume nowadays -- some just ask for your LinkedIn profile instead. Don't have one? You are out of luck.

But OK, some employers do still ask for a traditional resume, so it is good to be prepared just in case. Today, Microsoft announces that it will make creating a resume even easier. How? With the upcoming "Resume Assistant" for its Word program. This tool is powered by LinkedIn -- a service Microsoft now owns. The Windows-maker is even leveraging Artificial Intelligence to make this endeavor work better. Basically, the tool will create a resume in Microsoft Word using your LinkedIn history, while also suggesting ways to improve the way you are describing your skills, education, accomplishments, and more.

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Samsung Galaxy Note8 gets new 'Deepsea Blue' color option in the USA

If you are in the market for an Android smartphone, now is an exciting time. There are so many excellent models from which to choose -- a great problem to have.

Of course, you can never go wrong with a Samsung flagship, and the company’s latest such smartphone -- the Galaxy Note8 -- should delight you in more ways than one. It is powerful, beautiful, and offers one of the best cameras on the market. Today, Samsung announces that its popular Note8 will soon be getting a new color in the USA -- Deepsea Blue.

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Ubiquiti Labs unveils VPN-like AmpliFi Teleport to bypass location restrictions with Netflix, Hulu, and more

Ubiquiti Networks is a very respected company in the networking market. Its high-end hardware is used by many in the enterprise. Under its "Ubiquiti Labs" branding, however, the company recently entered the home consumer space with the "AmpliFi" mesh wireless router system. That product is exceptional -- my current recommended home router for anyone that will listen. It gets plenty of timely updates, looks beautiful, and offers both wonderful speed and coverage. Seriously, folks, it rocks.

Today, Ubiquiti Labs unveils its next home consumer product. Called "AmpliFi Teleport," it is a little box that promises to route your on-the-go internet traffic through your home router. The device plugs into the wall for power and connects to an access point using Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It creates an encrypted connection, making it operate sort of like a VPN, but that's not all. Your media services (Netflix, Hulu, MLB, etc.) will think you are at home when you aren't, so you can still access location restricted content. In other words, you won't get the dreaded message of "sorry, this is not available in your area," even if you are in a different state -- or country. It supplies access to the things connected to your home network too, such as smart devices that don't offer remote access.

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SteelSeries launches 'Arctis 3 Bluetooth' gaming headset with simultaneous wired and wireless audio

Wireless headsets are my favorite, although wired variants are my favorite too. Is that sentence nonsensical and devoid of logic? Not really, but sort of. All kidding aside, it is totally possible that someone can prefer using a cable in one scenario, while opting to go wire-free in another. Case in point, when I am at home on my gaming PC, I prefer a wired headset. Why? Because I am sitting in a chair in front of a monitor -- having to charge a headset in that case is silly. When I am in my living room or on the go, however, being wireless has its perks -- no cables to get tangled or trip over.

Having a headset that can operate as both wired and wireless is nothing new, but today, SteelSeries unveils a new product that takes this idea to another level. The "Arctis 3 Bluetooth," as the headset is called, can process audio over both Bluetooth and hardwired connections simultaneously. I know what you are thinking -- why would you want that? On the surface, it seems crazy, but once you think about it, the concept is very smart. Best of all, it is based on the already well-received Arctis 3 wired headset.

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Xbox One X celebration giveaway -- win a Microsoft console and free video game!

Today is Xbox One X release day, and we here at BetaNews are very excited. Microsoft has created the most powerful video game console of all time. Besides playing 4K video -- including UHD Blu-ray -- it can handle 4K gaming too. Yes, folks, you will finally be able to leverage that new 4K TV for incredible graphic detail.

To celebrate the Xbox One X release, we are giving away an Xbox One console. In fact, it is the exact console as seen in the video here. While it is "only" an original Xbox One, it is actually a fairly rare white variant. Despite not being the latest and greatest, it will be able to play all Xbox One games, albeit at a max of 1080p. It can also play Blu-ray and DVD discs. Wow!

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