This Valentine's Day, you may have special plans, such as dinner and a movie with your significant other. If you are particularly romantic, you probably have jewelry, candy, or flowers planned too. If you are single, however, you may be planning to stay inside alone -- there is no shame in that, folks.
In 2017, there is something very exciting happening on February 14th -- tickets for Build will go on sale. If you aren't familiar, this is Microsoft's annual developer conference. Will you be buying tickets at noon ET this Valentine's Day?
Apple is a company that puts a big focus on security and privacy. Unlike Google, the iPhone-maker does not make the majority of its money from advertising and harvesting user data. Heck, Tim Cook and company even famously fought a government request to help it break into an iPhone. Ultimately, if you value your privacy, Apple products can arguably be trusted a bit more than its competitors.
With all of that said, today, a bit of a failure was discovered on Apple's part regarding user privacy. You see, when an Apple user deleted their web browser history, they assumed it was gone forever -- and rightfully so. While the data no longer appeared on Apple devices, it has been discovered by ElcomSoft that it persisted on iCloud. To make matters worse, this data is easily recoverable.
If you want to know the current weather, you can simply gaze out a window. If you want to know the weather beyond the moment, however, there are many sources from where you can get it. Some folks will turn on the television or radio, but in the computer age, there are far more convenient ways, such as mobile apps and search engines.
One such search engine that can present you with the weather is Bing. Today, Microsoft is improving the weather functionality of its search engine by offering improved visuals. As you can see in the image above, it is much more pleasing than Google's. In addition, Bing is now offering ski resort snow reports for skiers and snowboarders.
Voice assistants are changing the way consumers interact with their computers and devices. Services like Alexa and Siri are enabling people to use voice to ask questions and control home components, such as thermostats and lights. It really is an exceptional thing.
Microsoft's Cortana is also a great voice assistant, and since "she" is included in Windows 10, countless consumers already have access. Today, Microsoft announces that it is improving Cortana with a new feature called "Suggested Reminders". The assistant will scan your emails for dates and appointments, and then suggest reminders -- for times when maybe you forgot to do so yourself. Previously available to Windows Insiders, it is now an option for all Windows 10 users. There is one very big catch, however.
As the news of the world gets crazier and crazier, people are increasingly needing distractions to cope. While TV, movies, and music are obvious choices, video games should not be forgotten. These games allow the player to escape into an alternate reality for a while, and can be more immersive than other media.
If you do not own a game console, you really can't go wrong with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One -- both are powerful and have respectable game libraries. Today, however, Sony makes its offering very attractive. The company announces three new console bundles for a mere $249.
All SSDs are relatively "fast" nowadays, but as time marches on, SATA variants are getting very long in the tooth. Don't get me wrong, if you are still running a mechanical hard drive, moving to an SATA SSD should be a very rewarding upgrade. If your computer is capable of using a PCIe NVMe M.2 variant, however, that is what you should target -- these newer drives are much faster than SATA.
Samsung makes wonderful solid state drives -- some would argue the manufacturer's offerings are best on the market. You know what? I wouldn't disagree. Samsung SSDs are very fast, but more importantly, they are extremely reliable. I have been testing one of the company's latest drives -- the 960 Pro 1TB. This PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD is supposed to be insanely fast, but just how fast is it? I decided to do a quick benchmark review.
Whenever I am going on a day trip, such as spending an afternoon in New York City, I pack a special technology bag. Besides my laptop and camera, I am sure to include a USB battery pack. No matter what, I like to know that I can charge my iPhone in an emergency.
But what if I wanted something for a trip that is longer than a day? What if I wanted to stay juiced-up on a camping trip? Heck, what if there is a disaster that cuts my home's electricity? Renogy has a new hardcore product that is sure to excite. The Phoenix All-in-One Solar Powered Generator Briefcase could prove to be quite the life-saver -- it can charge an iPhone 6s 32 times! Not only does it offer a massive 16Ah internal battery, but it can be recharged by the sun. It can charge more than a mere smartphone too.
Using a smartphone while operating a car can be a dangerous affair. You obviously shouldn't text while driving, but sometimes using the device while moving is necessary, such as when using a maps app. Logitech ZeroTouch is an interesting Android-only solution that puts your phone into a special hands-free driving mode when mounted in a dock. It can be quite the elegant solution.
Today, Logitech announces that ZeroTouch is getting even better. The company is adding Amazon Alexa support, meaning you can call upon the voice assistant while in the car. Quite frankly, as great as Alexa is in the home, the assistant should prove equally as valuable in an automobile too.
When you buy a laptop nowadays, it will absolutely have a built-in webcam. Some desktop users may have a webcam built into their monitor too. For the most part, those integrated cameras should be passable in a pinch, but the overall performance often disappoints. It is for that reason that many consumers will still buy an external USB webcam.
Logitech has long offered well-reviewed USB webcams, and today, it is announcing what could be the best such camera ever. The BRIO 4K Pro Webcam is capable of recording or streaming 4K content. While UHD support alone makes it intriguing, it also has other notable features like HDR, USB-C connectivity and Windows Hello support. It even comes with a privacy shade in the box. If you want to mount it on a professional tripod, there is threading for that too.
Mechanical keyboards are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason -- they can be brilliant for both gaming and typing. The tactile and audible feedback that they can offer are sometimes a world beyond the crappy pack-in keyboards that come with many desktops. That's not to say that all non-mechanical keyboards are bad -- that is not the case at all. In fact, it is largely personal preference.
Back in October, respected manufacturer HyperX (a Kingston gaming brand) released the 'ALLOY FPS' Cherry MX Blue mechanical LED backlit gaming keyboard. The problem? Not everyone likes Blue switches. You see, different switches perform in different ways, and consumers can vary wildly in their preferences. You can witness visual examples of the differences below. Today, the company refreshes the keyboard with two new Cherry MX switch colors/types -- Brown and Red.
Solid state drives are one of the greatest things to ever happen to computers. Whether for business or personal computing, these SSDs have increased disk access performance dramatically. Heck, for mobile devices like laptops, the switch from physical hard drives has also improved battery life, while better protecting data from bumps and jostles.
As great as these solid state drives are now, they are only getting better. For example, SATA-based SSDs were once viewed as miraculous, but they are now looked at as slow -- PCIe-based NVMe drives are all the rage. To highlight the steady evolution of flash storage, Western Digital today unveils the first-ever 512 gigabit 64-layer 3D NAND chip.
Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I am so excited. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and bought chicken wings, fried mozzarella sticks, and seven-layer dip. By halftime, I will probably be in a food coma.
As a New Yorker and Jets fan, I don't have a horse in the race, but I do have a team that I am rooting for -- the Atlanta Falcons. Why? Because the Patriots have already won many championships, and quite frankly, New York and New England generally have a hardcore sports rivalry. Unfortunately for me and some others, according to Microsoft, Tom Brady and team will be victorious tonight.
If you find yourself needing an operating system that respects your privacy, you cannot go wrong with Tails. The live Linux-distro can be run from a DVD which is read-only, meaning there is less of a chance of files being left behind. Heck, Edward Snowden famously used it to protect himself when shining a light on the overreaching US government.
Unfortunately for some users, Tails will soon not work on their computers. The upcoming version 3.0 of the operating system is dropping 32-bit processor support. While a decline in compatibility is normally a bad thing, in this case, it is good. You see, because there are so few 32-bit Tails users, the team was wasting resources by supporting them. Not to mention, 64-bit processors are more secure too.
If you are a PC gamer, you probably own a hardcore graphics card and fancy mouse, am I right? Some of you will even have a mechanical keyboard and premium headset. Here's the question, though -- how's your monitor, bro? Are you still gaming on a small 1080p display with poor viewing angles? We are in 2017 -- it might be time to upgrade.
If your computer is powerful enough, and your pockets are deep enough, Acer has a new monitor that will make you drool. Called "XR382CQK," it is a 37.5-inch 21:9 ultrawide QHD (3440x1600) monitor. It even features a 5ms response and 75Hz refresh -- nice! AMD fans will particularly want this display as it supports FreeSync. There is one huge problem, though -- the price.
When I want to stream locally stored media to my television, I turn to Plex. The popular service has apps for many devices such as Xbox One and Apple TV -- both of which I own. Heck, even my Samsung 4K TV has Plex support built in. Ultimately, the value of the service is found in both its ease of use and cross-platform support.
Never known to stand on its laurels, Plex is constantly improving, and today, it gets a really exciting new feature. Users of the service that are also owners of Amazon Echo or other compatible devices can now leverage the Alexa voice assistant to interact with Plex.