Wayne Williams

Enter to win: Amazon Echo Smart Home Bundle Sweepstakes ($500 value)

Get ready to own the new Echo Plus, an essential product to start or enhance your smart home! With a built-in ZigBee smart home hub, it seamlessly connects and controls compatible smart devices. Don’t have any other compatible smart devices? You will if you win this bundle sweepstakes.

The bundle includes: Amazon Echo Plus with Built-In Hub, Wemo Mini Smart Plug, 2 Smart LED Light Bulbs, Arlo Q Security Camera, and a 1-year Amazon Prime membership.

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Magic Leap unveils its long-awaited augmented reality system

Magic Leap is a secretive company that has received a lot of coverage in the media, mainly due to the amount of funding it’s received, including a sizeable investment from Google.

The firm has been working on augmented/mixed reality for years now, but so far without a physical product to show for it. Today that finally changes, as the company takes the wraps off the Magic Leap One: Creator Edition.

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Holiday giveaway! Get WinX MediaTrans 5 -- an iTunes alternative for Windows -- FREE for a very limited time ($59.95 value)

WinX MediaTrans is a fast and easy to use iTunes alternative for Windows that lets you manage content on your iPhone/iPad/iPod. No iTunes or Apple ID needed, and no file erasing risk. It gives you ultimate control over your HEIC photos, 4K/HEVC videos, music, ebooks, podcasts, iTunes U and more.

The software, from Digiarty WinXDVD, usually retails for $59.95, but BetaNews readers can get it entirely free for a limited time.

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Microsoft releases action-packed Windows 10 Redstone 4 build, with new Timeline and Sets features

It’s been a whopping four weeks since Microsoft flighted a new Windows 10 Insider build. Given the software giant normally rolls out new builds on a weekly basis, it’s been a long wait for Build 17063 to arrive, but a wait that’s definitely been worth it.

Microsoft said this was an important build, and one it wanted to get right. It’s easy to see why. There are new features, and big changes galore throughout.

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Sphero BB-8: The app-enabled Star Wars droid you're looking for [Review]

Star Wars fever is once again high as The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas around the world. Sphero offers a range of Star Wars droids -- R2-D2, R2-Q5, BB-8 and BB-9E -- which you can control via an app, and which also interact with one another.

The BB-8 model I’ve been testing for a few weeks now is a perfect scaled down version of the orange and white droid first introduced in The Force Awakens. Like most of Sphero’s robots, it’s a gyroscopic ball that rolls around, but with a dome on top that moves independently.

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While you're watching streaming video, your browser is secretly mining cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency mining

There’s a cryptocurrency goldrush on at the moment. People are investing insane sums, and also making good money -- Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are all doing phenomenally well.

However, some sites are turning to mining cryptocurrency as a way to supplement falling ad revenue, and a new report from security firm Adguard has found that almost a billion monthly visitors to four popular streaming sites have unknowingly been mining Monero currency while watching videos.

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You can now pre-order apps for your Apple devices

In an effort to build up hype, and also gauge demand, developers can now make their future apps available for pre-order on the Apple App Store.

If you’re excitedly awaiting the arrival of a new app from your favorite developer, you can now buy it up to 90 days in advance, and it will be downloaded automatically once released.

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Microsoft unveils the first Always Connected ARM-powered Windows 10 PCs

Today, at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit, Microsoft and Qualcomm officially unveiled the first ARM-powered Windows 10 laptops.

These devices, referred to as Always Connected PCs, are always on, always connected (via LTE), and promise "incredible" battery life. How incredible? Well, depending on how much you use them, you could see around 22 hours of active use/a month of standby between charges.

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Get 'Windows 10: All-In-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition' ($19 value) FREE for a limited time

Windows 10: All-In-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition includes all the guidance you need to make the most of this latest update of Windows.

This freshly updated resource cuts through the jargon and covers everything you need to know. It shows you how to set up multiple user accounts, create a Homegroup for easy sharing between devices, backup your files, troubleshoot common problems, and much more.

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Back from the dead: Unofficial Kodi add-on provider TVAddons now has 12 million monthly active users

TVAddons has had a tough year. The site, which provides access to unofficial Kodi add-ons, and for a time had a custom build of Kodi called FreeTelly, has been sued, had its site closed down and its domains and social media accounts seized.

On top of that, it’s also had a number of run-ins with Team Kodi, which called for the site to be permanently shut down, claiming it brings "nothing but misery to everyone."

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Vivaldi browser now available for Raspberry Pi and other ARM based Linux devices

Vivaldi, the new web browser from Jon S. von Tetzchner, the former co-founder of Opera, is already available for Windows, macOS and Linux (x86/x86_64), but from today you can now run it on ARM based Linux devices, including Raspberry Pi.

The speedy browser offers useful built-in functionality such as tab grouping, screenshot capture, and ability to take notes. Part of Vivaldi’s appeal is it’s highly customizable, and the experimental new build offers even more options for tinkerers.

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Get 'Getting Started with PowerShell' ($20 value) FREE for a limited time

Windows PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language designed specifically for system administration.

This ebook can teach you the fundamentals of PowerShell, enabling you to build reusable scripts and functions to automate administrative tasks with Windows.

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Popular Start menu replacement Classic Shell is dead

When Windows 8 arrived there was one thing that everyone wanted to know -- "Where’s the Start button gone?" In removing the traditional Start menu from its reimagined tiled OS, Microsoft managed to immediately alienate the majority of its user base. It was, unquestionably, one of the main reasons why that OS flopped so badly.

Thankfully, programs like Classic Shell (which has been around since 2009) stepped in to fill the void, reintroducing the classic Start menu to Windows 8, and later Windows 10. While Microsoft’s new OS has a Start menu of its own, a lot of people still prefer Classic Shell’s simpler, tile-free design.

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Steam: Windows 7 now nearly three times more popular than Windows 10

While Windows 10 still lags behind Windows 7 in terms of market share, there’s one section of user that has embraced the new operating system since day one -- gamers. That’s no surprise of course, as they like to run the latest and greatest hardware and software.

Steam’s monthly usage survey, which shows the state of things from the gamers’ perspective, has consistently reported Windows 10 as the top operating system of choice, until last month when -- to the surprise of many -- Windows 7 took over.

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Anti-piracy firm's scaremongering attack on Kodi boxes should make you angry

You can’t have failed to notice, but copyright holders and anti-piracy groups are waging war on Kodi -- and "fully loaded" Kodi boxes in particular -- at the moment. And as is the case in all wars, the first casualty is truth.

A new video from the Hollywood-backed Digital Citizens Alliance is so full of lies and nonsense it will have you shaking your head in wonderment. Does anyone truly believe this propaganda anymore (if they ever did)? Clearly the DCA thinks they do.

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