Brian Fagioli

Shutterstock Adobe Creative Cloud plugin gets video support, comes to Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and InDesign


When you need to use an image or video for a website, advertising campaign, or other project, you can't simply grab something from the web and use it. Well, you can, but that isn't a smart idea. Why? Someone else could own the image or video and bring legal action against you. Instead, you should use a reputable service where you can obtain properly licensed media.

We here at BetaNews use a few such services, but Shutterstock is obviously one of our favorites -- we probably use it more than any other. The company even offers a cool plugin for Adobe Photoshop that can make things even easier. Today, Shutterstock enhances that plugin with video support, while also bringing it to other Adobe Creative Cloud programs -- Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and InDesign.

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Google Code-in 2017 lets students win prizes while learning about open source

open source laptop

Open source is changing the world, and it is important that children get educated on the subject as early as possible. It's a competitive workforce out there, and students need to be prepared. Of course, learning about open source doesn't have to be a chore -- gaining knowledge can sometimes be fun too.

Google does a lot for the open source community -- far more than just contributing code. Actually, the search giant hosts two very important education-focused open source events -- "Google Code-in" for younger teen students and "Google Summer of Code" for University-level learners. Today, the company announces the 8th annual edition of the former -- Google Code-in 2017. Not only can these teens gain experience by working on an open source project, but they can also win prizes!

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Linux Mint 18.3 Ubuntu-based operating system is named 'Sylvia'


Ubuntu 17.10 is almost here, and many Linux users are excited. Canonical's operating system is already excellent, but it will soon be even better thanks to a new default desktop environment -- GNOME. What this means for the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint's usage remains to be seen. You see, many people choose Mint because they do not like the Unity DE. Now that Ubuntu has ditched Unity, the reasons to opt for a distro based on Ubuntu rather than using "The Real McCoy" are dwindling.

But OK, if you are still a diehard Linux Mint user for some reason, I have some interesting news. Version 18.3 is coming soon, and we now know the official code name. As is typical with the Mint operating system, a woman's name is being used. This time, "Sylvia" has been selected. Besides the name, we know some other interesting tidbits -- the distro will be getting a secondary default backup tool (Timeshift), and Xreader is being significantly improved.

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Warning: If you are using this Kodi repository, you could be in danger


Kodi is quite possibly the best media center software of all time. If you are looking to watch videos or listen to music, the open source solution provides an excellent overall experience. Thanks to its support for "addons," it has the potential to become better all the time. You see, developers can easily add new functionality by writing an addon for the platform. And yes, some addons can be used for piracy, but not all of them are. These addons, such as Exodus and Covenant, are normally added using a repository, which hosts them.

Unfortunately, there can apparently be security issues with repositories when they shut down. For example, when the metalkettle repo ended, the developer deleted its entry on GitHub. This in itself is not a cause for concern, but unfortunately, GitHub's allowance of project names to be recycled is. You see, someone re-registered the metalkettle name, making it possible for nefarious people to potentially serve up malware to Kodi users.

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Satechi releases elegant Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand


If you are like me, your laptop doubles as a desktop. With notebooks being so powerful nowadays, it is often wasteful to have a dedicated desktop too. Yeah, if you are a gamer or have some hardcore video editing needs, for instance, a tower may serve you well. For everyone else, however, a laptop connected to a monitor is probably more than enough.

With a quality docking station or dock, such as the excellent OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Apple MacBook Pro, a single cable can charge your laptop and connect all of your accessories. Unfortunately, with this type of a solution, there is nowhere to put the laptop. In other words, the laptop just sits on the desk, taking up room, while also being vulnerable to spills. A stand can solve these issues, and today, Satechi unveils an all-new absolutely beautiful vertical variant.

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Google Chrome will finally let you fight back against those annoying autoplay videos


Auto-playing videos on websites. Is there anything worse? Sigh. They have caused me a lot of grief over the years. For instance, I am sitting alone quietly browsing the web at night, when all of a sudden, a loud autoplay video starts, awakening the other people in my home. Quite frankly, once I learn that a website uses this type of media, I try to avoid the site going forward -- if possible.

Today, Google announces that it will be empowering Chrome users to fight back against these annoying videos. Starting with version 63 of the web browser, users will be given the option to permanently mute audio on specific websites. Taking it a step further, version 64 will automatically block all autoplay videos with sound by default, unless the user specifically whitelists that site.

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Street View comes to Google Earth VR


Virtual reality is hardly new, but the technology is finally getting to a point where it is fairly affordable and easy to use. It still has a long way to go before it can truly be considered mainstream, as for now, it is largely just for enthusiasts and gamers. There will need to be some truly great non-gaming uses to propel VR to the next level.

Google Earth VR is the type of application that could get people excited about virtual reality, and today, it gains an amazing new feature -- Street View. Yes, with the help of either an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you can experience Street View in a more immersive way.

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Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus coming to Xfinity Mobile

Apple iPhone X

In the United States, there are four major cell carriers -- Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. They are not the only game in town, however, as there are regional carriers too. Not to mention, there are many MVNO offerings that piggyback off of the towers belonging to the aforementioned "big four."

One interesting new player in the MVNO space is Comcast with its affordable and unlimited "Xfinity Mobile" offering. Limited to subscribers of Xfinity home service, it uses a combination of Verizon's excellent LTE network plus Xfinity's 18 million hotspots to maximize coverage. Today, Comcast announces that the the budget-friendly service will soon be getting Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

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ADATA SE730H USB-C External SSD [Review]


There are two very important technologies changing the computer landscape nowadays -- solid state drives and USB-C. SSDs are flash-based storage devices, meaning they are faster than traditional hard disk drives, while having no moving parts either. USB-C is just a connection type, but its reversible nature makes it an absolute dream for users -- Type-A connectors were a hassle as you had a 50-percent chance of inserting it incorrectly.

When these two things come together, you get a fast portable drive that can easily connect to the newest computers, such as the Apple MacBook Pro. I have been testing a very intriguing such external SSD lately from renowned company ADATA. This manufacturer is known for its high-quality memory products, such as RAM, flash drives, and solid state drives. The 512GB SSD I am testing, called "SE730H," is extremely small, very fast, and quite durable. It uses the USB 3.1 generation 2 interface.

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GNOME 3.26 'Manchester' desktop environment is here, Linux fans!


When people think of Linux-based operating systems, they often imagine people typing in a terminal or coding in a basement while drinking Mountain Dew -- yeah, those stupid old stereotypes still exist, sadly. While that is surely part of the user base, other users choose an open source operating system for nothing more than using their computer as a tool. In other words, some folks use Ubuntu, Fedora, or other distros just to get normal stuff done -- word processing, web surfing, and more. No terminal. No coding. No religious-like experiences.

For these Linux users, and others, the desktop environment sort of is the operating system. It is how they interact with their computer and launch their apps -- what's under the hood doesn't necessarily matter. For many, GNOME 3 is their preferred environment, and for good reason -- it is beautiful, intuitive, and getting better all the time. Today, GNOME 3.26 codenamed 'Manchester' sees release. It is chock full of improvements, such as a much-needed refreshed settings menu, enhanced search, and color emoji! Yes, Linux users like using the silly symbols too!

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Western Digital releases massive 12TB 7200RPM WD Gold HDD with 256MB cache


As many of you know, 2.5-inch notebook mechanical hard drives are largely obsolete. The larger 3.5-inch desktop variants have a lot of life left in them, however, as they offer much more capacity compared to a solid state drive. If you want the most storage from a single SATA drive, a desktop HDD is where it's at -- for now.

Today, Western Digital unveils a monstrous desktop HDD as a part of its Enterprise-class "WD Gold" line. This new 12TB SATA model (WD121KRYZ) has a large 256MB cache, 7200RPM disk speed, and an impressive five-year limited warranty. Of course, such a massive capacity comes with a rather high price tag.

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TP-Link releases KC120 Kasa Cam Wi-Fi security camera


Every home should have a Wi-Fi security camera nowadays. They are convenient, easy to use, and very affordable. It used to be a rather expensive affair to have security cameras installed in a home. Now? Not so much. Not only do they let you monitor your home remotely for security reasons, but they can help you keep an eye on family members and pets too.

Today, popular network hardware manufacturer TP-Link releases an all-new Wi-Fi security camera, and it looks rather nice. Called "KC120 Kasa Cam," it is inexpensive, making it a product homeowners should consider. It even comes with free cloud storage. The camera has some nice features and specs, such as 1080p video, night vision, activity alerts, 2-way audio communication, and an adjustable magnetic base for easy placement.

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Apple TV 4K is finally here


It has been two years since Apple announced its 4th-generation media box. While it hasn't been the most popular device for home media, it is certainly one of the most elegant. Quite frankly, to call it a media box is a bit of a misnomer. Actually, Apple TV is also a full-fledged video game console too.  You can use the innovative remote to control music and videos, but it can also serve as a game controller. Optionally, you can also pair a more traditional game pad if you prefer. Hell, it can even order pizza!

The biggest criticism of the 4th-gen Apple TV has been the lack of 4K support. Two years ago, Ultra HD televisions were fairly rare, so Apple was probably smart to focus on 1080p at the time. In 2017. however, 4K is much more prevalent. And so, today, the iPhone-maker unveils the all-new 5th-generation Apple TV with 4K support. Besides the improved resolution output, it also supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 for HDR video. This will lend to sharper imagery.

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Toshiba unveils 1TB MQ04 2.5-inch 7mm hard disk drive


Look, mechanical hard disk drives are on their way out. The technology is quite outdated -- solid state storage is obviously the future. For the short term, however, these mechanical drives do have some value, mostly because they are inexpensive comparatively. With SSD storage capacities increasing, the need for a HDD -- especially the 2.5-inch form factor -- is entirely due to cost savings at this point.

Toshiba is happy to manufacture these HDDs as long as people and laptop makers are buying them, and today, the company unveils its latest offering. Called "MQ04," it is a 1TB 2.5-inch drive that is very slim at a mere 7mm. The small physical design is possible because internally, there is just a single spinning 1TB disk.

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Google publicly releases internal developer documentation style guide


When people think of contributing to either a closed or open source project, they often imagine needing the knowledge of coding. Actually, there are many ways to contribute besides programming, such as moderating a community for the project, spreading awareness, or helping to write documentation to name a few.

The documentation aspect of any project is very important, as it can help people to both understand it and track changes. Unfortunately, many developers aren't very interested in documentation aspect, so it often gets neglected. Luckily, if you want to maintain proper documentation and stay organized, today, Google is releasing its internal developer documentation style guide. This can quite literally guide your documentation, giving you a great starting point and keeping things consistent.

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