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Samsung Chromebook Pro available to pre-order now

Samsung Chromebook Pro

Samsung unveiled two Chromebooks capable of running Android apps at CES 2017. The first to be available was the less expensive -- and less powerful -- Chromebook Plus, which arrived in February, while the more costly -- and more powerful -- Chromebook Pro was said to arrive sometime this spring.

And it looks like it will, indeed, be in customers' hands by the end of this month, as the Chromebook Pro is now available to pre-order on Amazon, with an estimated release date of May 28. Hey, that still technically counts as spring.

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Netflix drops support for rooted and unlocked Android devices

Hand stop

While rooting Android does not make it necessarily less secure, some software makers would rather you keep your device stock. Why? Well, because when you gain elevated privileges, which is what rooting enables, you might cause some issues or do some things that run afoul of their rules.

Netflix now seems to have a problem with Android devices that have been rooted and/or have an unlocked bootloader, as it just dropped support for those devices on Google Play.

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Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 BOGO deals available at T-Mobile

GALAXYS8_thumb_62fd

If you are looking to buy a Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or LG G6, T-Mobile has a very attractive deal on the hottest Android flagships available right now. What is it? If you buy one of the aforementioned smartphones through the magenta carrier you can get the second one for free.

This BOGO deal is applies to both new and existing T-Mobile customers, and in the case of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ you are still also able to take advantage of the free Gear VR promotion, during the time that it's running. Here's what you need to know.

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Samsung announces Z4 entry-level Tizen phone

Samsung Z4 Tizen smartphone

Samsung's most popular smartphones may run Android, but the company also has handsets that run on other platforms. The new Z4 is a perfect example, being powered by the up and coming Tizen.

Tizen is nowhere near as popular as Android is, but it is growing in popularity. In the smartwatch space it has edged Android Wear in terms of market share, which is a good sign for Samsung. But, getting back to the Z4, what does the new device have to offer?

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HP audio driver package comes with a built-in keylogger

face-palm-head-in-hands-embarassed cropped

ModZero security researchers have uncovered an unexpected behavior in an HP audio driver. The package, which is offered by the electronics maker through its website, secretly registers "all keyboard input," effectively working as a keylogger. Question is, is this a bug or a feature?

It is not abnormal for an audio driver to look for when certain keys are pressed, as, for instance, if you press the volume down button on the keyboard the driver needs to intercept that keystroke so it does what you asked it to, but it is uncommon for one to cast such a wide net, and, as a result, put users' private information, like usernames, passwords, personal communication and so on, at risk.

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Samsung's new 5,100mAh external battery is crazy expensive

Samsung 5100mah external battery

Value can sometimes be hard to determine, but not when it comes to basic items. Take external batteries for example. You can get a large pack from a renowned brand for around $20. That's a reasonable price. So when a company asks more than twice as much for something that has half the capacity you have to wonder what exactly are you paying for.

Case in point: Samsung unveiled a 5,100mAh external battery that costs a whopping $59.99. A quick look on Amazon will reveal packs with a similar capacity for less than $20. So, basically, the South Korean maker is charging that kind of money for what is otherwise a run of the mill external battery?

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Microsoft officially releases Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

We first learned of Microsoft's plans to bring Visual Studio to the Mac last year in November, but it is not until Build 2017 that the software giant announced the general availability of the much-awaited version of its IDE. That's right macOS users, Visual Studio 2017 for Mac is finally here.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac arrives two months after Microsoft released the Windows version and the fourth beta of the macOS IDE, and brings with it a number of new features related to things like .NET Core, web tooling and Xamarin.

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Apple's iPhone 6s is the most popular smartphone in the world

iPhone 6s front

Apple may not sell as many smartphones as Samsung, but its iPhones consistently rank at the top of the sales charts, typically edging their Galaxy S rivals by a healthy margin. So, it should not come as a surprise that it is an iPhone that is the most popular smartphone in the world as well.

ScientiaMobile, which recently released a report that crowns the Galaxy S7 as the most popular Samsung-made smartphone in the world, today expands its scope and announces that the title for the most popular smartphone in the world belongs to the iPhone 6s.

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Aspiring drivers don't want electric cars, are concerned about autonomous vehicles

Man in a self-driving car, no hands on the steering wheel

Aspiring drivers may be more conservative than you think when it comes to electric and self-driving cars. According to a new report by Elegant E-Learning, most of the folks studying for their drivers license are still very much interested in petrol-powered cars and have concerns about the benefits of self-driving vehicles.

Elegant E-Learning polled over 200,000 aspiring drivers in US, UK, Canada, and Australia and discovered that, if given the option between an electric and a petrol-powered car at a similar price, over 60 percent would opt for the latter. And that's interesting, because most respondents are Millennials -- they make up between 67.9 and 75.1 percent of the polled folks -- a group that is well known for its affinity for technology.

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Samsung opens unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ pre-orders in US

samsung-galaxy-s8

Samsung today announces that pre-orders for the unlocked Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are now finally open in the US. The South Korean maker officially released its latest flagships last month on all the major carriers. It unveiled the devices at a special event in late-March, offering the carrier models for pre-order shortly after.

Samsung is making the unlocked Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ available to pre-order through its online store and Best Buy. Customers who buy one now can get their unit on May 30. Both flagships will be readily available in an unlocked trim on May 31.

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OnePlus 3T no longer has 128GB storage option in every market [Update]

OnePlus 3T

If you are planning to buy a OnePlus 3T, you should know that, at least in some markets, there will only be one storage option available in the foreseeable future. OnePlus has dropped the 128GB model from the line, leaving only the 64GB version on the table for prospective buyers in some markets.

The 64GB OnePlus 3T continues to be available in both Gunmetal and Soft Gold, so you at least have two color options to choose from -- just like before. The 128GB OnePlus 3T was only launched in Gunmetal -- as well as black, if you count the limited editions announced this year.

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IBM: Remote working is awesome -- as long as we're talking about other companies

Confused

Judging by IBM's latest report on remote working, big blue seems to be a vocal advocate of the trend. However, when it comes to its very own employees it would rather they do their work in-house. How does that saying go? "Do as I say, not as I do?"

For the Making Telework, Work: Insights from SIOP 2017 report, IBM has used "perspectives from academia as well as public and private sectors" and found not only that "teleworking works" but also that "associated challenges can be managed with careful planning and communication."

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The Galaxy S7 is the most-popular Samsung smartphone in the world

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung is the biggest smartphone vendor in the world, thanks in no small part to the huge success that the Galaxy S series enjoys. Those flagships generate the most sales, and that is expected to continue this year as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ leave their mark in the consumer space.

But which Galaxy S device is the most popular with smartphone buyers? That is a question that may be tough to answer, as it's rare that the likes of IDC and Gartner reveal anything other than total shipments, but thanks to a ScientiaMobile report we now know that it is the Galaxy S7 that has attracted the most users.

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Newton email app now available for Windows, Alexa support arrives

Newton Alexa

Of all the email apps I have used in recent years, Newton (formerly known as CloudMagic) is my favorite. It is really easy to use, works with all the major email providers, has some pretty cool features, and, most importantly, is available on Android, iOS and macOS. So it nearly covers all the major platforms, except Windows.

CloudMagic, the company behind the app, has been working to change this since December, however, and now we get the first beta version of Newton for Windows. It is rough around the edges at this stage, as you might expect, but it will get the "core emailing" job done.

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Qualcomm wants to ban US iPhone imports because Apple's not paying licensing royalties

Qualcomm

Apple and Qualcomm are not on the best of terms. The iPhone maker has sued Qualcomm for overcharging on royalties, demanding $1bn in compensation. The chip maker, in return, has sued Apple for making its modems worse in the iPhone 7 to match the performance of similar Intel cellular radios.

And now Qualcomm wants to take things to the next level, as it considers asking the International Trade Commission to ban iPhone imports in the US. If the ITC agrees, that would potentially lead to billions and billions of lost sales for Apple and affect its plans for the launch of the new iPhone.

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