Brian Fagioli

Purism Librem Mini is a tiny Linux desktop

Desktops have largely fallen out of favor with home consumers, as they instead opt for laptops. Really, it isn't hard to see why this is -- a desktop PC often takes up a lot of room in a home, as it usually requires its own dedicated desk. Not to mention, you then have to add a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. You are then tethered to one place, unable to realistically work outdoors or at a coffee shop.

And yet, despite all the benefits a notebook has over a desktop, many people -- including yours truly -- prefers them. If you like the idea of a desktop, but prefer one that is very small (and won't take up a lot of space), there are plenty of options such as Intel NUC and Apple Mac mini. Today, we get another diminutive desktop option, but this one is designed for Linux and privacy. Yes, Purism is finally launching a tiny desktop, and it will come pre-installed with the Debian-based PureOS. Called "Librem Mini," the cute bugger has 4 USB-A ports on the front, along with a 3.5mm audio jack, and the power button. On the rear, there are two more USB-A ports, a single USB-C port, Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and the power port.

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Seagate launches fast and reliable IronWolf 510 PCIe Gen3 M.2 NVMe NAS SSD

PCIe-based NVMe solid state drives are pretty common in consumer devices these days. Seagate, however, would like to bring them to another area -- network attached storage for business. You see, today, the company unveils the all-new IronWolf 510 -- a PCIe Gen3 M.2 NVMe NAS SSD. Performance is quite respectable, with a top read speed of up to 3,150 MB/s and a top write speed of up to 1,000 MB/s (depending on capacity, of course).

But what exactly makes the drive a "NAS SSD" anyway? Is that just marketing? Actually, no. The IronWolf 510 provides higher endurance and reliability than a normal such SSD -- ideal for network attached storage. You even get a limited five-year warranty. While the drive is designed for both businesses and professionals in a network attached storage application, but they can obviously work for other things too.

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Fedora 32 Beta Linux-based operating system now available with GNOME 3.36

Fedora is one of the best Linux distributions on the planet, but it doesn't always get its due. It isn't flashy or new, instead hanging its hat (pun intended) on being stable and reliable. That is why many Linux users try other distributions, only to find themselves back at home with Fedora. Fans of the GNOME in particular flock to Fedora, as the operating system is one of the best ways to experience that desktop environment.

Today, Fedora 32 Beta becomes available for testing, and it is very exciting. It comes with GNOME 3.36 -- the lastest and greatest version of the desktop environment, You can read more about GNOME 3.36 here. If you aren't a fan of GNOME, that is OK -- you can instead opt for KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE, and more. There is even a special ARM variant of Fedora 32 that will work with Raspberry Pi devices.

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Seagate announces Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X

Earlier today, Microsoft revealed a ton of new information about its upcoming new game console -- the terribly named Xbox Series X. This is just three months after the game system was first unveiled to the world. Despite its terrible name, the Xbox Series X is looking to be an incredibly powerful console. The AMD-powered system features 12 Teraflops of power, 4K gaming, and an insane 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

The Xbox Series X will come with a super-fast 1TB SSD too, which sounds like a lot of capacity, but it really isn't. Look, with more and more people downloading games and forgoing optical disks, a terabyte of storage will fill up very quickly. Thankfully, Xbox Series X has a special storage expansion port on the rear that will allow owners to easily increase capacity without opening up the device. Best of all, this port will apparently allow the same speed as the internal drive. Unfortunately, however, Microsoft has opted for a proprietary port -- one that will only work with this console.

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Microsoft launches Bing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc across the globe, infecting people on all continents with the exception of Antarctica. Whether or not the disease is serious or not seems to depend on the infected's age and other underlying medical conditions, but still, people are hoarding food and supplies as if it were the apocalypse.

So, why are people panicking? Well, there are many reasons, but a big one is misinformation. Sadly, the internet is full of fake data and mistruths, causing people to worry. Since so much misleading information is on social media, people have no idea where to turn for reliable data. Microsoft is hoping to provide truthful information with an all-new Bing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker.

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Children are annoying, so Frozen 2 will hit Disney+ three months early

As of now, I don't have any children of my own, but from what some parents have told me, children can be wildly annoying. People keep on reproducing, however, so there must be some unseen benefit to having them. All kidding aside, I am sure most parents love and enjoy their kids, but let's be honest, it can be tedious for an adult to have to spend an extended amount of time with a child. That's why many parents love the ability to drop the kids off at school -- it gives them a break. There's nothing wrong with wanting some adult time either.

Unfortunately, due to the damn COVID-19 coronavirus, many schools are closed and parents are being asked to work from home. This is the perfect storm for parents to be annoyed by their bored children. Thankfully, traditional television, DVDs, and streaming services can keep the little ones quiet. OK, fine, to a lesser extent, I suppose reading books can help too. Knowing the pain of these parents, The Walt Disney Company is doing something extraordinary -- releasing Frozen 2 to the Disney+ streaming service three months early.

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Tim Cook quotes Abe Lincoln as he closes Apple Stores to fight COVID-19 coronavirus

Have you ever been to an Apple retail store? They are very hip and fun -- a great way to get a hands-on experience with a product before buying it. Unfortunately, Apple retail stores are also wildly disgusting. Look, it is in my experience that most people in these stores aren't actually buying anything, or planning to make a purchase, but instead, they are killing time by playing with things. Germs can have a field day at the Apple Store!

In particular, Apple stores inside of shopping malls are often places parents drop their kids to play while they shop. Apple doesn't ban food either, so it is not uncommon to see people eating Auntie Anne's Pretzels with their hands and then touching iPhone screens. The spread of germs in an Apple retail store is a legitimate concern.

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You shouldn't buy Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell 3

Video doorbells are some of the best examples of how the "connected home" can be truly beneficial. These doorbells can alert you to both visitors and intruders -- plus package deliveries and package thieves. Best of all, many models allow you to interact remotely, giving someone at your door the illusion you are home. Ultimately, they are ideal for both convenience and security.

Unfortunately, not all models are created equally. Amazon's "Ring" brand is undeniably the most popular video doorbell on the market, but sadly, it is also the most untrustworthy. You see, it has been found that not only does Ring have terrible security and privacy practices, but Amazon also has many deals with law enforcement. By purchasing a Ring, you are essentially helping turn your neighborhood into a police state.

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GNOME 3.36 'Gresik' is here -- the best Linux desktop environment gets even better

One of the best things about Linux is having access to all the wonderful desktop environments (DEs). With Linux, you can often customize things to your heart's content, switching environments entirely if you prefer. Conversely, with Windows 10, for example, there is essentially just one user interface. Don't like it? Sucks to be you! If you run Windows, it is Microsoft's way or the highway. True, there is value in having all users sharing one experience, but ultimately, choice will always reign supreme.

Despite there being many great desktop environments available on Linux, only one can be the best. Consistently, for many years now, GNOME has been the greatest DE, and that is still true now. What makes it so wonderful? Well, GNOME 3.x is ideal for  productivity, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand. Not to mention, it is beautiful and simple -- it is a no-nonsense computing experience. There's a reason both Ubuntu and Fedora use GNOME as their default environment.

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Logitech launches new line of premium 'POWERED' Qi wireless chargers

Qi wireless charging is one of the best inventions ever -- from a consumer electronics perspective, at least. True, it's no penicillin or automobile, but it has been a godsend for smartphone users. No longer do you have to fiddle about with cables like early man. Instead, you can live like you are in the year 3020 and charge up your devices by placing them atop a pad. Hell, it's not just smartphones using this technology, but things like headsets and keyboards too! Yes, it seems like Qi is being added to everything these days, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Today, Logitech is expanding it Qi wireless charging game with a trio of new "POWERED" chargers. Evolving from the original model, this line of chargers is designed to focus on simplicity and excellence. In other words, not only do they charge your devices, but they will look good while doing it. After all, this is Logitech we are talking about -- its accessories are always excellent. In fact, the company is calling these chargers "magical."

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Microsoft throws $1 million at Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Virus face mask

Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a big deal? I suppose so. Look, any virus should be taken seriously. I mean, people are dying from it. With that said, it isn't exactly Ebola -- for most folks, contracting it will result in a mild sickness. Hell, some will show no symptoms at all. There is certainly no need to fight fellow shoppers for toilet paper, water, and Purell. Believe it or not, humanity will ultimately defeat COVID-19, as we have with every other Coronavirus before it. The world is not ending, people.

With all of that said, we should absolutely approach COVID-19 in a very serious and scientific way, but sadly, the USA Government has severely botched the response. President Trump's dangerous mistruths and misleading statements have contributed to panic-shopping, the spread of false information, and a lack of testing for the disease. Thankfully, as a capitalist country, the USA can turn to the private sector to save the day. For example, Microsoft is generously pledging $1 million to the Puget Sound COVID-19 Response Fund. But that's not all. The Surface-maker will additionally match all employee donations to that fund.

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Apple says you can use disinfectant wipes to clean the Coronavirus (COVID-19) off your gross iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Want to know a secret? I have never cleaned my iPhone or iPad. Gross, right? Even more nauseating, I often use them both while sitting on the toilet! Hey, don't blame me for this behavior -- Apple caused it. For the longest time (years), the company never suggested using disinfectant wipes on its products. At the Apple store, I had countless "geniuses" tell me that alcohol would ruin the displays. And so, I just lived with the germs.

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) dominating the news, however, people are starting to take stock in their hygiene practices. Suddenly, as we all wash our hands more frequently and douse ourselves in Purell, germ-ridden devices become a much more important topic. Thankfully, starting today, Apple has finally given us the green light to use disinfectant wipes to clean the Coronavirus (COVID-19) off the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers.

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Google launches secret Easter Egg for Indian Hindu Holi Festival

Pots of paint

Holi, the "festival of colors", is a hugely popular event in India that signifies the triumph of good over evil and heralds the arrival of spring. It's when Hindus throw colorful paint at each other.

Today marks the start of the Holi Festival, and to celebrate it, Google has launched a new Easter Egg in its search. Accessing it is pretty easy too. Best of all, it is very fun.

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Kanguru Defender Bio-Elite30 fingerprint-encrypted USB flash drive -- great for storage, perfect for Tails Linux [Review]

When I first saw the Kanguru Defender Bio-Elite30 flash drive, I was immediately intrigued. Having the ability to decrypt an encrypted flash drive with the touch of a finger was immensely convenient. And yes, convenience matters, as making encryption easy increases the likelihood that the user will actually use it. If encrypting files becomes too cumbersome, the user may not bother, leading to poor security practices.

Also cool was Kanguru's promise that it was operating system agnostic, meaning it would work with any OS, such as Windows, macOS, and desktop Linux distributions. I'd later find out that was only partially true, but more on that in a moment. It is even well-built -- the housing is a solid piece of aluminum that not only looks beautiful, but should lend to increased durability.

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Google Assistant is losing Chrissy Teigen's husband's voice

Google Home

Chrissy Teigen is an absolute delight. She is wildly popular, not only from her modeling, but from her wonderful social media accounts too. Apparently, her husband is rather famous as well. Teigen's spouse, named John Legend, is a notable singer and pianist.

Likely thanks to his marriage to Chrissy Teigen, Legend scored a pretty cool partnership with Google, lending his voice to Google Assistant. In other words, when summoning Google Assistant, you can be greeted by Chrissy Teigen's husband's voice. Sadly, this is coming to an end, as the search giant announces the partnership concludes later this month.

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