Tech News

Apple AirPods 3 could arrive by the end of 2019, according to analysts

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 18:34

Apple AirPods rumors are like weeds, just when you thought you’ve cleared your yard of them, another one pops up. Such was the case today when we caught wind of the new Apple AirPods 3 in a report corroborated by analysts.

The original report, which came from DigiTimes, said that the third-generation of Apple AirPods will arrive by the end of 2019 and will actually pack the features we believed the second-generation headphones would have like noise-cancellation and water-proof casing.

Shortly after that news broke, an analyst (TF International Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo) told 9to5Mac that he expects another two models to join the line-up either in late 2019 or early 2020. One of these models would be another incremental update on the second-gen AirPods that just came out, while the other would be something more substantial - i.e. the Apple AirPods 3. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘How can there possibly, possibly be more rumors about a pair of headphones that just came out a few weeks ago?’

To be honest, I’m not sure... but there are.

PSA: Predictions can be wrong 

Here’s where it’s our job to point out that predictions, rumors and conjecture can be (and often are) wrong. It’s not that analysts and journalists - ourselves included - aren’t providing the best data we have, we are, but sometimes internal deadlines shift and entire products end up on the chopping block. 

With all that being said, you should take rumors with a grain of salt - especially when they involve the most popular products that everyone wants to know more about.

The counterpoint to this is that, sometimes, rumors are accurate and they can be a good way of starting a conversation about the next-generation of technology. 

Without direct confirmation from Apple the veracity of these rumors won’t be determined today, but in Kuo's and DigiTime’s defense, the rumors of noise-cancelling AirPods have been floating around for over a year now and at some point are bound to be true - even if the expected release date slips further back. 

To a certain extent we’ll get some of these features in the new PowerBeats Pro that are due out shortly and are both sweat-resistant and mildly noise-isolating according to the folks that tried them at a private Apple press event.

  • What's new with the latest 'Pods? Check out our Apple AirPods 2 review to find out
Categories: Tech News

New laptops and improved tech support may make 2019 the 'Year of Razer'

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 16:45

Razer already started off 2019 on a strong note with the release of a new 15-inch Razer Blade gaming laptop that ranks among the best gaming laptops around. And, now it's earned a second place ranking for best tech support in the 2019 Tech Support Showdown published by our sister site, Laptop Mag.

The ranking sees Razer take second place with a score of 88 points out of a possible hundred. This puts it in second place right behind Apple in first with 91 points. The scores are based on a combination of web support and phone support. 

Razer scored 58 points out of a possible 60 for web support, earning it the highest grade in that category of all 11 brands considered. But, it only earned 30 points for phone support, which wasn't even available a year ago, and thereby fell below Apple. 

Up and up for Razer

While coming in second place may not sound like the biggest feat, it's a major step up for Razer. The company hasn't been in the laptop-building game for nearly as long as competitors like Apple, Dell, or HP, but it's put on a solid showing against them. 

Last year, Laptop Mag had rated Razer second to last for its tech support. So, the rise to second place is a big improvement for Razer. And, that big improvement comes on top of some other positive shifts for the company.

The Razer Blade 2019 released earlier this year is the most improved release from the company yet. It has great battery life, powerful gaming performance and a sleek design. But, Razer has already upped the ante, releasing a refresh of that Blade with options for a 240Hz 1080p panel or a 4K OLED panel with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. It's also launched a new Razer Blade Pro 17.

The combination of new and improved hardware, on top of dramatically improved suppor,t could make this a year for Razer to truly shine.

Categories: Tech News

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation release date, news and features

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:55

While AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation launched in April 2018 and brought notable performance and power improvements. Then, in August 2018, AMD launched Threadripper 2nd Generation, producing the very best high-end desktop (HEDT) processors on the market – well, at least until Intel’s Basin Falls Refresh launched (albeit for a much higher price). 

Similar to the move from Ryzen to Ryzen 2nd Generation, the second release of Threadripper gives us a big boost in performance and efficiency. It’s not just core counts that see a boost, but Threadripper 2nd Generation boosts power management and brings higher clock speeds across its lineup. This helps boost the price to performance ratio in chips like the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X.

Ryzen 3rd Generation is on the horizon now, too, and it looks like AMD is ready to repeat its magic with Threadripper 3. Plus, we’re already starting to see some rumors trickle out about the architecture that will be behind Threadripper 4th Generation. 

So, now that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation processors have been on the market for nearly a year, we decided to explore everything there is to know about the workstation processors. So, b e sure to keep this page bookmarked – we’ll keep it updated with any Threadripper 2nd Generation information that pops up.

Cut to the Chase
  •  What is it? AMD’s next generation of high-end desktop CPUs
  •  When is it out? August 13, 2018
  •  What will it cost? $649 (about £500, AU$880) for the 2920X – $1,799 (£1,639, AU$2,679)
Ryzen Threadripper Generation 2 release date

 Since Computex 2018, we knew that Ryzen Threadripper Generation 2 would launch in the second half of 2018. And, now the entire lineup, including the the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X has launched between August and October 2018. 

Ryzen Threadripper Generation 2 price

 Ryzen Threadripper proved to be a much more affordable line of high-end desktop processors than Intel Skylake-X, and it appears these 2nd Generation chips will continue the trend.

Here’s the pricing of the AMD Threadripper Generation 2:

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX: $1,799 (£1,639, AU$2,679)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX: $1,299 (about £1,000, AU$1,755)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: $899 (about £690, AU$1,210)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2920X: $649 (about £500, AU$880)

Although Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation introduces two higher-end SKUs to the series, AMD’s new HEDT chips (processors for high-end desktop computers) are actually more affordable than the ones they’ve replaced.

The $899 (about £690, AU$1,210) Ryzen Threadripper 2950X is notably $100 cheaper than the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X that initially launched with a $999 (£845, AU$1,359) price tag. Likewise, the Ryzen Threadripper 2920X runs for $649 (about £500, AU$880) and is also more affordable than its predecessor, the $799 (£689, AU$1,069) Ryzen Threadripper 1920X.

At the top-end of the series, the $1799 (about £1,380, AU$2,430) Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX remains more affordable than Intel’s flagship $1,999 (about £1540, AU$2,700) Core i9-7980XE.

Ryzen Threadripper Generation 2 specs

Thanks to moving to the same Zen+ 12nm architecture used in the recent Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation gains better power management, higher clock speeds and most notably a huge increase in possible core counts.

Here’s a quick spec breakdown of the current Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation lineup:

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2920X: 12-cores, 24-threads, clocked at 3.5GHz to 4.3GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: 16-cores, 32-threads, clocked at 3.5GHz to 4.4GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX: 24-cores, 48-threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.2GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX: 32-cores, 64-threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.2GHz

Of course, the highlight of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation lineup has to be the 32-core and 64-thread 2990WX. What’s more impressive is that the CPU is apparently capable of running up to 4.2GHz – a noticeable upgrade over the 1950X top speed of 4.0GHz with half as many cores and threads.

Some may point out that the 28-core processor that Intel showed off at Computex hit 5GHz, but we’re still not 100% sure of the particulars (i.e. cooling setup) surrounding that demo and Intel later clarified it achieved that speed with overclocking. 

You may have also spotted the WX suffix at tail end of AMD’s two top-end HEDT processors, and this is to signify a new series of consumer workstation-grade processor meant for creators and innovators. AMD is specifically targeting these two CPUs at creators and innovators such as video editors, those in design and general media creators.

Meanwhile, the X-series Threadripper 2nd Generation processors, the 2920X and 2950X, cater towards streaming gamers who need that extra processing power to drive 4K livestreaming as they game. Once again AMD flexes the strength of its 12nm architecture, by giving us an 2950X that’s 0.3-0.5Ghz faster than the 1950X it replaces, and we haven’t even gotten to overclocking yet.

Luckily, AMD is also sticking to the same TR4 Socket, so anyone looking to upgrade once Threadripper Generation 2 drops shouldn’t have to worry about buying a new board. However, unlike the Ryzen 2nd Generation jump to an X470 chipset, AMD isn’t introducing a new chipset to replace the existing X399 platform – at least in name anyway.

Instead, users will find a few new Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation-ready X399 motherboards designed with improved overclocking performance and power consumption. Thankfully, though, older motherboards are compatible after installing the latest BIOS, and it won’t require you to boot them with an original Ryzen Threadripper CPU or UEFI Boot Kits.

Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation features

Although Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation hasn't jumped to a new chipset, it has got a new bag of tricks thanks to enhanced features and even one that's brand new.

Precision Boost originally controlled CPU frequencies down to 25MHz increments. Now with version two, AMD has sprinkled in an algorithm that ensures the processor intelligently runs at its thermal and electrical limit whenever tasked. 

Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR2) has also seen a significant buff allowing it to enable 16% additional processor performance across any number of cores and threads. On the previous generation of Ryzen Threadripper chips, XFR could only influence a small number of cores.

Lastly, Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) is a brand new feature that allows AMD's newest HEDT CPUs to exceed their specifications and max out their power draw from the abundant VRMs on X399 motherboards. Though users will technically void their warranty by doing so, PBO can help users achieve overclocks hitherto undreamt of.

AMD itself achieved a 5.1GHz overclock across all 32-cores with a liquid-nitrogen cooled processor.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation Performance 

We finally got our hands on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, and we have to say: the performance is phenomenal. While a lot of the benchmarks need to be updated to recognize the bonkers amount of cores that the 2990WX offers, you can basically throw any workload at the 2990WX and have a ton of performance to spare. 

Where the 2990WX falters is in its gaming performance. It falls behind the much more affordable Intel Core i7-8700K and the Ryzen 7 2700X, but that should be expected. Do us a favor – don’t spend $2,000 on a processor for gaming, it’s just not worth it. Buy two RTX 2080 Tis instead. 

Then, there’s the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX. At $1,199 (£1,199, AU$2,729), it does keep up with other HEDT processors like the 2990WX or the Intel Core i9-7980XE. However, oddly enough, it’s beaten out by the Intel Core i9-9900K in a lot of workloads. This is worrisome because of just how much cheaper Intel’s mainstream Core i9 is. 

Even if the Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX does beat Intel’s chip in heavily multi-threaded tests like Cinebench, the value just isn’t there right now. So, unless your workload specifically demands all the cores and threads you can get, like say, if you’re working in an animation studio – you might want to look at the Intel Core i9-9900K and save a couple bucks.

Categories: Tech News

ASUS wasn't the only company hit by ShadowHammer

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:06

As it turns out, ASUS was not the only company targeted by supply chain attacks during the ShadowHammer hacking operation uncovered by Kaspersky Lab and we're now learning that at least six other organizations have been infiltrated by hackers.

The Taiwanese hardware maker's supply chain was compromised by trojanizing its ASUS live software updater which was eventually downloaded and installed on tens of thousands of customer computers according to experts' estimations.

However, ASUS wasn't the only company which had its IT infrastructure infiltrated during Operation ShadowHammer since Kaspersky's researchers were able to find a number of other similar malware samples that were also signed with legitimate certificates.

The cybersecurity firm discovered that the ASUS samples and the newly discovered ones were both using very similar algorithms to calculate API function hashes. Additionally the IPHLPAPI.dll was used within all of the malware samples.

ShadowHammer victims

Besides ASUS, three Asian gaming companies (Electronics Extreme, Innovative Extremist and Zepetto) also fell victim to Operation ShadowHammer and Kaspersky also discovered that another video game company, a conglomerate holding company and a pharmaceutical company in South Korea were targets as well.

The researchers did not name the three new victims as they are still in the process of alerting them regarding the supply chain attacks they suffered.

The attackers that targeted the three Asian gaming companies were able to drop a malicious payload designed to collect system information and download additional payloads from its command-and-control (C&C) server.

Once installed on a user's system, the trojanized games first check to see if traffic and processor monitoring tools are running or if the system language is set to either Simplified Chinese or Russian. If any of these checks come back as true, the backdoor is programmed to stop execution automatically.

Kaspersky provided more details on the nature of Operation ShadowHammer in a blog post, saying:

“We believe this to be the result of a sophisticated supply chain attack, which matches or even surpasses the ShadowPad and the CCleaner incidents in complexity and techniques. The reason that it stayed undetected for so long is partly the fact that the trojanized software was signed with legitimate certificates (e.g. “ASUSTeK Computer Inc.”).”

If you have an ASUS computer, it is highly recommended that you download and update to the latest version of the ASUS Live Update Utility to prevent falling victim to any further attacks.

Via BleepingComputer

  • Keep your systems protected from the latest cyber threats with the best antivirus
Categories: Tech News

Next Nvidia Shield Tablet could be a 2-in-1

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:02

Nvidia might be working on an updated Nvidia Shield Tablet - and it may be a 2-in-1 device able to switch into laptop and desktop modes, according to code XDA Developers found in the latest build of the Shield Experience software.

That software powers Nvidia’s Shield TV set-top boxes, and the newest version indicates an as-yet unseen feature called “NvDtExp,” which XDA Developers theorizes is Nvidia Desktop Experience. It first appeared in Shield Experience builds back in December 2018, and has only just been noticed.

Given that the company hasn’t updated the software for any of its now-discontinued tablets in a year (if not more), and that other code references a product code-named “Mystique,” the publication inferred that “Mystique” is a new tablet in development - one built to harness this feature. The feature seems to switch between three different UI modes: Dynamic, Tablet and Desktop. 

While XDA Developers couldn’t explore the Desktop Experience and switch between the modes - its code allegedly checks whether the device used is a “Mystique” - they did see mention of start menu visibility and ‘mouse hover control’ for desktop UI, suggesting a more traditional windowed look while in ‘Desktop’ mode. ‘Dynamic’ may logically be a hybrid between ‘Tablet’ and ‘Desktop’ UI layouts.

The code also suggested that “Mystique” would auto-switch to ‘Desktop’ if a keyboard was plugged in. 

 A new product...or a bygone idea 

“Mystique” would be Nvidia’s first new device other than its Shield set-top boxes since the company discontinued its Shield portable, tablet and Tegra Note 7. 

While XDA admits that the product hints in the Shield TV builds may be outdated, it does provide some clues: source code from last year suggests “Mystique” has a 13.5-inch (3,000x2,000) LCD display. This is pretty large for a tablet (the largest iPad is 12.9 inches), which leads XDA to believe it’s more likely a 2-in-1 device.

Further, while the original Shield Tablet used Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chip, which also powers the Nintendo Switch, the “Mystique” might use the more advanced Tegra X2 - or, as more recent code implies, the Tegra Xaviar processor that Nvidia is developing for autonomous vehicles and AI computing.

Whether it’s actually in development - well, we’ll have to wait and see. Nvidia declined to comment to XDA on “Mystique” or the Desktop Experience code, instead opting for a boilerplate statement. The publication reprinted a statement they’d received after uncovering code referring to a possible new remote and gamepad for the Shield TV back in March. It read: 

“It's fairly standard practice for various concept codenames to appear in codebases. Those references remain even when it becomes unlikely that the concept ever goes into production. We can't comment on which codenames refer to product concepts that are active vs which ones are inactive, as it can be fluid. However, I can confirm that none of the codenames below refer to products that have launched publicly."

  • "Mystique" may not see the light of day - but here's a list of the best tablets out now
Categories: Tech News

Smaller, cheaper Nintendo Switch might surface during E3 2019

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 14:47

For months we’ve heard rumors about a smaller, cheaper Nintendo Switch that could come out sometime in 2019. Now, thanks to a new report, we have a potential launch date for the console: June 2019. 

The report comes to us from Bloomberg who spoke to two people familiar with Nintendo’s plans, both of whom not only corroborate the existence of the console, but claim that it’s coming soon.

What the sources from Bloomberg couldn’t nail down is the exact price - although they say it’s cheaper than the current $299/£279  model - nor its exact specs, saying that the lite version of the console would be smaller and may lack the dock. They didn’t provide any other specific information.

What the sources could say with confidence is that the smaller Switch will be out sometime in June… which, admittedly, would line up nicely with E3 2019 and the company's most-watched Nintendo Direct event.

If Nintendo plans on announcing a new console, that'd be a good place and time to do it, especially since it sounds like we may not see either the PS5 or Xbox Two at the show.

Bad news for the Nintendo Switch 'Pro'

Of course, the report isn't all good news: the sources claim that earlier rumors about a more powerful Nintendo Switch console are incorrect - according to them, there's no console in development that's significantly different in power.

Where the confusion likely came from is the a slightly modified version of the hardware - what the sources say is a 'modest upgrade' - that seems likely to replace the current model on the market. It's unlikely that this modest upgrade would provide a substantial difference for gamers chomping at the bit for higher frame rates and resolutions. But it could help make the console more VR-friendly.

As for other E3 2019 announcements, we're hoping to hear more about Pokemon Sword and Shield, Luigi's Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing on Switch, but for now all we can do is wait.

  • Thankfully, E3 2019 is right around the corner
Categories: Tech News

EU to create major biometric database

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 14:11

Last week the European Parliament voted to create a biometric-tracking, searchable database of EU and non-EU citizens by interconnecting a series of border-control, migration and law enforcement systems.

The new database will be called the Common Identity Repository (CIR) and it is expected to unify records on over 350m people.

CIR is designed to aggregate a user's identity records (name, DOB, passport numbers, etc) and biometrics (fingerprints and facial scans) in one place with this data available to all border and law enforcement authorities.

The new database will help simplify the jobs of EU border and law enforcement officers who will soon be able to search a unified system at a much faster rate as opposed to searching through separate databases individually.

Common Identity Repository

EU officials explained what systems would make up CIR in a statement last week, saying:

"The systems covered by the new rules would include the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and three new systems: the European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)."

CIR was approved by the European Parliament recently in two separate votes. The CIR rules for borders and visa checks were adopted by 511 to 123 while the CIR legislation for police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration was approved 510to 130.

While the new database has raised security concerns, both the European Parliament and the European Council have promised “proper safeguards” to protect consumers' right to privacy and to regulate officers' ability to access data.

Once it's completed, CIR will be the third largest people-tracking database in the world right behind the Chinese government's system and India's Aadhar system. 

Via ZDNet

  • Protect your privacy online and prevented unwanted tracking with the best VPN
Categories: Tech News

Samsung reveals hundred-billion dollar push on logic chips

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 13:19

In an effort to reduce its reliance on the volatile memory chip market, Samsung has announced its plans to invest $116bn in non-memory chips through 2030 as the Korean hardware giant aims to develop chips for self-driving cars and AI-enabled devices.

The plan is part of the company's ambition to challenge its larger rivals, Taiwan's TSMC and San Diego-based Qualcomm, in the mobile processor chip business as the memory chip business has finally subsided after years of an unprecedented boom.

Semiconductor makers around the world are currently racing to create powerful ships to support a wide range of new technologies including 5G, connected cars and artificial intelligence (AI).

Up until now, Samsung has expanded its chip business mostly through organic investment but the company said that its $116bn in spending will be split in half with $64bn for domestic R&D and $52bn for production infrastructure.

Logic chip push

Samsung revealed its ambitions for the future in a statement, saying:

“The investment plan is expected to help the company to reach its goal of becoming the world leader in not only memory semiconductors but also logic chips by 2030.”

While the company does not disclose its investment in the semiconductor business, more than half of its total capital expenditure usually goes to memory chips according to analysts familiar with the matter.

Last year, Samsung spent $25bn in capital expenditure and four-fifths of its investment budget went to the semiconductor division which generated 96 percent of the operation's profit through sales of its memory chips.

The company also highlighted the fact that its investment into non-memory chips will create 15,000 jobs.

Via Reuters

Categories: Tech News

Best PS4 accessories: all the extras you need to own for your PlayStation 4

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 13:15

Games aside, you get everything you need to get up and running with your PlayStation 4 console in the box. But adding a few accessories into the mix can really enhance your experience, whether it's giving you extra convenience or a more immersive challenge. 

However, you don't want to rush out and buy any old accessory. A quality console demands quality add-ons, and with that in mind we've pulled together the best of the best in this list, PS4 accessories that will genuinely add to your gaming experience.

From VR headsets and wireless headphones to subscriptions and external hard drives, these are the best PS4 accessories on the market.

Image credit: Thrustmaster

Like an arcade stick, a racing wheel with pedals isn't necessary for everyone, but if you take your racing games seriously then it's probably the number one accessory you can pick up. The ThrustMaster T300RS is worth every penny if titles like Project Cars 2 and Gran Turismo are among your faves.

Impressive precision is essential of course, but force feedback is the T300RS's most important feature – this uses motors to pull against your hands as you turn around corners, simulating the forces you'd feel in a real car. And as Thrustmaster uses a belt-driven system, here you get the smoothest, most realistic feel of any racing wheel that's not ridiculously expensive.

Sturdy design and solid pedals ensure it'll stand up over the long haul, and it's compatible with both the PS4 and PS3, letting you give last-gen gems fresh life with this killer wheel.

Image credit: SteelSeries

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is one of the best-sounding headsets you can buy. As such, it's doubly worth considering if you use your PlayStation 4 to watch films and listen to music as well as play games. 

Clarity and audio balance are much better than most of the other sets here. Both the Arctic Pro Wireless and GameDAC versions will work with a PlayStation 4 console, but the vanilla wired version is just for PC – so make sure you pick the right set before buying.

The GameDAC model has an outboard box with top quality Hi-Res audio converters. It needs to be wired-in though, so this may not be the best choice if you play a few meters away from your PS4. The wireless version may be a better choice.

All versions have LEDs around the cups. It may be made for audio perfectionists, but it's still a gamer headset.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Arctis Pro

Image credit: Sony

Got a PlayStation 4? Great. Your next step should certainly be to consider PlayStation Plus subscription. Having Sony's membership plan, which is sold in one-month, three-month, and annual options, is the only way you can play PS4 games online and access cloud storage for saves, but there's a potentially even bigger perk: free games every single month.

That's right, at the start of every month Sony drops a handful of free downloadable games across the PS4 and PS3, and they're yours to keep and play to your heart's content so long as your Plus membership is active. With two or three PS4 games free each month, as well as additional discounts during sales and other promotions, the membership rapidly pays for itself. 

Image credit: Sony

There's plenty to like about Sony's Platinum Wireless Headphones, offering exceptional – and balanced – audio performance and an above average mic. There's also 3D Audio support that creates 100 'virtual speakers' for more immersive positional sound. 

That said, the Platinum Wireless doesn't have the same surround sound panache as the very top models.

Ultimately, it's hard to find a better value headset that's this easy to use and sounds this good overall. Those qualities definitely exist at a higher price, but if you're looking for something you can set up without a fuss, you're going to want a pair of these.

Read the full review: PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset

Image credit: Sony

Sony's PlayStation VR is no longer brand new red-hot tech, but it's still one of the best high-end virtual reality experiences around, not least because it's the only one that plays nice with a home console.

The headset is comfortable and immersive, and it's greatly helped by an increasingly impressive library of games. By the way, these are our picks of the best games on PSVR. 

Experiences you won't want to miss include the terrifying Resident Evil 7 (OK, some of you will want to miss this one) and Superhot VR. For the full experience you'll also need a PlayStation Camera and Move controllers, as many of the top VR games require them.

Read the full review: PlayStation VR

Image credit: Sony

Unlike the Kinect on Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation Camera was never a big focus of the PS4 platform. However, it's well worth buying if you want PSVR as it's used to track your movements and translate those into gameplay. 

There are other uses for the PlayStation Camera, as well: you can use it while streaming live games on Twitch, for example, so your viewers can see your face. However, less and less games are using the PlayStation Camera - unless you're a big fan of Just Dance 2019. 

Image credit: Sony

The only true competition we've seen to the Wii motion controls, Sony's Move Controllers are perfect for those who want to kick their PSVR experience up a notch. 

With near-perfect precision and movement accuracy, Sony's PlayStation Move controllers truly enhance virtual reality, providing a more immersive gameplay (for the games which are compatible with it of course).

If you aren't interested in PSVR (or already own a headset) then there's little reason to invest in Move controllers but for those who love stepping into a virtual reality, having a Move controller in your arsenal can prove useful.

Read the full review: PlayStation Move

Image credit: Seagate

Do you need more hard drive space for all the games you want to play but aren't overly keen on digging into your console's internals? You should definitely consider an external hard drive. 

External hard drive support was introduced in February 2017 and it was something of a revelation for those who were unwilling to consider an internal hard drive change. 

There are some great models out there but Seagate tend to make the biggest and the best of the bunch. This 4TB beast will hold around 100 games and since it's made just for the PlayStation 4 you know it's going to work well. 

Image credit: Sony

There's nothing worse than settling down for a long, lazy gaming session only to discover that your controller is dead. Now you're hunting for a charging cable and moving to make sure you're close enough to the TV – it's sure to infuriate you more than any trash-talking 12-year-old Call of Duty guru can. But there's an easy solution.

Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 Charging Station is a dock designed to keep two PS4 gamepads fully charged. Simply pop your DualShock 4 into the slot when you finish playing and it'll top off while you're not playing, ensuring the controller is ready to go the next time around. Also, you're less likely to lose a controller if you keep 'em docked.

Image credit: Sony

If you enjoy playing first-person shooter games in PlayStation VR then the PSVR Aim Controller is simply a must-have – it combines both a move controller and a DualShock into one integrated whole, transforming the experience of shooting down enemies in virtual reality (for compatible games). If only all VR accessories were this good...

Categories: Tech News

Manchester United vs City live stream: how to watch today's Premier League football derby online

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 12:26

It wasn't meant to be like this. With three games to go in this season's Premier League, a Manchester derby between last year's winner and runner-up should have been the big title decider. As it is, United will have to settle with trying to disrupt Man City's march to the trophy and you're in the right place to get a Manchester United vs City live stream - regardless of where on Earth you are.

Today's derby hosts, Manchester United, are on a downward trajectory in their roller coaster of a season. Ole Gunnar Solskjær had brought back the good times and an epic winning run after Jose Mourinho was shown the door. But after limping out of the Champions League to Barcelona and then getting destroyed on Sunday at Everton, the 'knotweed' at the club is taking a hold again. Will the potential to derail their cross-town rival's title bid be enough to spur on players like Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial to perform tonight?

It's rare to see Manchester City as such heavy favourites going into a derby, but their rampant league form continues as they look to complete back-to-back title wins. We all know about the talent at Pep Guardiola's disposal by now - Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and both Silvas - but Kevin De Bruyne is sidelined yet again with an injury. Will that hurt their hopes?

Keep reading to discover all the details you need in order to live stream Manchester United vs City, regardless of where in the world you are. And to find out how to watch every single league game this season, you should also take a look at our guide on how to live stream Premier League football

Use a VPN to watch Premier League football from outside your country

If you're abroad today but still want to watch your home coverage, you'll need a VPN to do so. That's because your normal coverage will be geo-blocked. It's really easy to do and stops you having to tune in to some dodgy stream you've heard about on Reddit.

How to stream Manchester United vs City live in the UK 

How to watch Manchester United vs Man City: US live stream 

How to watch a Premier League live stream in Canada

How to get a Manchester derby live stream in Australia

How to watch Man United vs Man City: New Zealand live stream 

How to live stream Premier League football in India

Categories: Tech News

The best free YouTube video converter 2019

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 12:17

It's easy to spend hours watching new videos on YouTube when you have a reliable internet connection, but if you're going to be offline, you might want to save a collection of clips to watch later on your PC, tablet, games console, or smartphone. That's when you need a free YouTube video converter.

The best YouTube converters include preset profiles to take the guesswork out of choosing the optimum format, resolution, and compression settings for your device. They also let you save and convert clips in batches, and let you choose where they're saved once the download and conversion is complete.

Downloading videos from YouTube is against the site's terms of service . There's also a risk of copyright violation unless the video is in the public domain, or you have permission from the copyright holder.

When you need to download videos in a specific format, 4K Video Downloader should be your first port of call. Unlike most free YouTube video converters, there are no ads or unwanted extra applications to worry about - just a superb, flexible program that will grab the clips you want with the minimum of hassle.

It's possible to convert videos with subtitles and annotations, and - as the software's name suggests - in resolutions up to 4K where available. Those are features you'd normally only find in premium software, but here they're completely free.

4K Video Downloader can also convert videos from many sites besides YouTube, including Vimeo and DailyMotion. You can even download and convert entire playlists up to 24 videos long (a premium subscription will unlock the ability to convert more).

The downside of 4K Video Downloader is its relatively small selection of conversion formats - you can save video as MP4, MKV and 3GP, and audio as MP3, M4A and OGG. These will be enough for most purposes, and you get a wide choice of quality options (the exact number will depend on the quality of the source video) but it's a shame WMV and AVI aren't available.

If the choice of file types available covers your requirements, then you won't find a better YouTube video converter.

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter (from the superb DVDVideoSoft) is a wonderfully simple YouTube converter for ripping the audio from videos and saving it to your PC in a format of your choice.

The program lets you queue up multiple files for conversion and features a clean interface that clearly displays what files are waiting to be converted. There's even the option to download an entire channel, though this can be time-consuming so you might prefer to be selective.

If you do decide to go on a downloading spree, look in the options menu for the setting that shuts your PC down automatically once it's finished.

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is a particularly useful tool for musicians who may want to download guitar backing tracks to jam along to, or similarly you could grab a karaoke backing track to burn to a CD ready for that weekend party – provided you have the copyright holder's permission, of course.

Any Video Converter Free can download and convert files from almost any source – CDs, locally stored files, or video sharing sites including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and LiveLeak. 

Any Video Converter Free is packed with options, but still accessible. The interface is well designed, with tooltips to explain each function. You can paste in URLs from your clipboard, as with most free YouTube converters, or drag videos directly from Chrome or Firefox.

While installing Any Video Converter Free, you’ll be prompted to install ByteFence (an anti-malware tool) and a Yahoo browser extension. It’s not immediately obvious, but you can opt out of these using the small text links labelled ‘Click here to customize the installation’ and unchecking the boxes that appear. Or you might choose to leave them selected to support the developers.

Another great tool from DVDVideoSoft, Free YouTube Download comes with a massive 25 video conversion options that can convert your files automatically once they've downloaded for viewing on different devices.

Its interface is almost identical to Free YouTube to MP3 converter – a clean, self-explanatory affair with more advanced settings tucked away in an Options menu. There, you can choose to shut down your PC once the download is finished, download via a proxy, and paste URLs from the clipboard automatically.

Clicking the file format details beside each thumbnails gives you a great choice of export options. Once you've made your selection, click the 'Download' button and your video will begin processing. You can only download and convert one video at a time without upgrading to the premium version of the software, but there's little else to complain about.

YTD Video Downloader can download and convert videos from some of the most popular video hosting sites, including Facebook, DailyMotion and College Humor and, of course, YouTube. It features the ability to convert videos into most popular video formats – from MP3 and MP4 to WNV, FLV, MOV, 3GP and AVI.

This YouTube downloader's makers claim that the latest version is faster and more stable than previous releases. It also has the handy feature of resuming downloads automatically if your internet connection goes down temporarily.

The thing keeping YTD from a higher place in our roundup is the WebDiscover browser that comes bundled with the software, and is difficult to avoid if you don't want its search bar welded to your desktop.

Categories: Tech News

The best free YouTube downloader 2019

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 12:04

Free YouTube downloaders will let you save videos from the world's biggest video hosting site, ready to watch offline later whenever you want. 

These free tools will enable you to download and save videos from YouTube – and often other video sharing sites too – in a format of your choice. You can usually choose to save the whole clip or just the audio, which is a great choice for music videos and video podcasts. It's easy; it doesn't require owning one of the best laptops, either.

YouTube downloaders can also come in handy in other circumstances. If you have a slow internet connection, you'll find that streaming videos can be a pain. With the right downloader, however, you can set the videos you are interested in to download overnight so they are ready and waiting for you to enjoy in the morning, stutter-free and buffer-free. 

Free YouTube downloaders are always changing, but we upgrade this guide frequently so you can be sure that you're always getting up to date advice.

Before you use a free YouTube downloader, bear in mind that using third-party apps to download videos is against YouTube's terms of service, which say you can only stream videos directly from its servers. Downloading videos is also a potential copyright infringement unless you own the video yourself, have permission from the copyright holder, or it's in the public domain.

Image credit: TechRadar

4K Video Downloader is the best free tool around for quick, fuss-free YouTube downloads. It's simple to use, highly customizable, ad-free, and doesn't include any bundled extra software.

To grab a video (or a whole playlist, provided it's not longer than 24 videos), simply copy its URL from your web browser, click 'Paste URL' and select an output format, quality and location. 

There's a great choice of formats – both video and audio – including MP4 and MP3. You can download captions for individual videos, and there's support for 3D and 360-degree videos too.

Delving into the properties lets you tweak options like multi-stream downloads (increasing the number of streams will speed up downloads, but increases the risk YouTube blocking your IP address) and set up a proxy connection.

Buying a key will let you download longer playlists and playlists with captions, and at £7.95 (about US$10, AU$15) for a lifetime license for three PCs, it's a bargain, but the free edition has everything else you could wish for.

Image credit: TechRadar

Running a very close second, WinX YouTube Downloader can download videos from all the most popular sites, including Facebook, Vimeo and DailyMotion. It's very easy to use. Just paste in a URL, select an output format and quality setting, and it will be added to the current batch.

Once you've added all the videos you want to download, simply click the 'Download' button and they'll all be processed at once, and saved to the destination folder of your choice.

WinX YouTube Downloader can download 4K video when available, and only loses out to 4K Video Downloader because it's unable to download 3D and 360-degree videos. If this isn't a problem for you, this free YouTube downloader comes highly recommended.

Image credit: TechRadar

On the face of it, Any Video Converter Free is possibly the best free YouTube downloader and converter out there. The only drawback is that the free version of this brilliant program limits you to downloading a single video at a time, but if you're looking for a free solution, this is something you may decide you're happy to put up with.

There are lots of video formats to choose from, and there's even a basic video editor built into this YouTube downloader. This can be used to crop a video you download, add simple effects such as colour adjustment, and add overlay text.

The whole process is quick and easy. Any Video Converter's interface may not be to everyone's liking, but that's really nitpicking; this is a fantastic free YouTube downloader all other respects. Watch out for the bundled ByteFence and Yahoo software during installation, and you're good to go.

Image credit: TechRadar

There are no prizes for guessing what Free YouTube Download does. This is a very simple, tightly focused free YouTube downloader that does away with distractions to get the job done well. Paste in a URL from YouTube and you can download the video in just a couple of clicks – or no clicks at all if you enable the Auto Download option.

You can download several videos at once if you need to, and you can convert to several different formats on the fly. Just which formats are available to you will depend on the quality of the original video, but AVI, MP4, iPhone/iPod and MKV should be available in most cases. It's also possible to convert to audio-only MP3 if you don’t need the footage as well.

There's only one real drawback, but it's a biggie – you can only use Free YouTube Download to grab clips that are less than three minutes long. That rules out most music videos for a start, and is a real shame.

Image credit: TechRadar

Although the name suggests that this is just a YouTube downloader, aTube Catcher can actually save videos from most of the big video hosting sites.

First, however, a word of warning: sneaky adware abounds during the installation. When you're offered the first app, make sure to hit Cancel, and for the second one click Decline – then you'll be free to enjoy aTube Catcher without any unwanted surprises.

Downloaded videos can be converted automatically to a number of popular formats, so you can tailor them for their intended use, or whatever device you intend to watch them on. If you're looking to download a large number of videos, you can download them all at once, maxing out your bandwidth – something not available in all free YouTube downloaders.

This free YouTube downloader offers plenty of added extras too, such as the ability to record any on-screen video, video merging, and disc burning.

Categories: Tech News

Fujifilm X-T30 vs X-T3: 12 key differences you need to know

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:53

Fujifilm has made a habit of bringing technology from its single-digit X-series models down to its more affordable double-digit line, and the latest X-T30 keeps to tradition by packing a whole heap of goodies from last year's X-T3.

The similarities go right to the core, with the 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 engine shared between the two cameras. The feature-sharing works both ways, though, and Fujifilm has promised that a handful of features first seen inside the X-T30 will eventually make their way up to the X-T3 via a forthcoming firmware update. 

These include more accurate Face and Eye Detection systems, together with the new Face Select function that allows the user to prioritize different faces detected in the frame. A new algorithm that promises faster autofocus is also set to be included in the update.

So where exactly does the newer model have the edge? And does the X-T3 still offer any advantages of its own? Taking into the account the changes promised by the upcoming firmware update for the X-T3, here are the main ways in which the two cameras will end up differing from each other.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: size and weight

Including its battery and memory card, but without a lens mounted, the X-T3 weighs 539g. The X-T30, meanwhile, weighs more than 150g less, at just 383g with its card and battery in place.

The X-T30 is significantly smaller in the hands too, with a width, height and depth of 118.4mm x 82.8mm x 46.8mm respectively. The X-T3, meanwhile, is bigger in every dimension, measuring 132.5 x 92.8 x 58.8mm, and, together with its bigger grip, this enables it to better support longer and heavier lenses.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: LCD screen

Both the X-T30 and X-T3 are designed with 3-inch touchscreen displays, each with a 1.04 million-dot resolution. Both screens can also be pulled away from the camera and tilted to a variety of angles, although neither can face the front.

The only real difference between the two here is that the X-T3's display has a tri-axis mounting design, which allows it to tilt not just up and down but also sideways. This makes it slightly more flexible when capturing images in portrait orientation – and also around corners, if you ever find yourself needing to do that – where up-and-down tilt isn't all that useful.

The X-T30, meanwhile, has a dual-axis design, which provides a little less flexibility by comparison, although many cameras manage to do just fine with such a design.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: EVF

One difference that can only really be appreciated in use concerns the viewfinders on the two models. 

The X-T3 is equipped with a 0.5-inch EVF with a magnification of 0.75x in 35mm terms, and a 3.69 million-dot panel. The X-T30, meanwhile, has a 0.39-inch alternative with a significantly lower magnification of 0.62x, and its 2.36 million-dot resolution is also lower. The two also have a different eyecup, as can be seen in the images above.

We didn't find the X-T30's viewfinder to be a bad performer when we got our hands on the camera, but this is still one advantage you get by forking out for the more senior of the pair.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: burst rate and buffer depth

With strong autofocus systems, and the option to capture up to 8fps on the X-T30 and 11fps on the X-T3, both cameras are perfectly serviceable for action photography. The X-T3 can soldier on for longer here, capturing up to 145 JPEGs or 42 losslessly compressed raw frames, or 36 uncompressed raw frames at this rate. The X-T30 isn't quite as impressive, managing 90 JPEGs and 18 raw frames (either compressed or uncompressed).

Those figures are when using each camera's mechanical shutter, but both can be boosted if you're happy to use an electronic shutter. Here, each camera can capture up to 20fps at full resolution, with the X-T3 crunching through 79 JPEGs or up to 36 raw frames, while the X-T30 manages 32 JPEGs or 17 raw files.

Both cameras also have the same Sports Finder mode, which boosts the shooting speed even further to 30fps, albeit with a 1.25x crop. This results in images of around 16MP, with the X-T3 once again showing its mettle, with 60 JPEGs or 33 raw frames against the X-T30's 26 JPEGs or 17 raw files.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: base ISO

The X-T30 (pictured) and X-T3 may use the same sensor, but the base ISO is different. Image credit: Fujifilm

While both cameras make use of the same processing engine and sensor, the newer X-T30 has a base sensitivity of ISO200, while the X-T3 has a slightly lower ISO160 setting. So, the X-T3 will require a (slightly) longer shutter speed or wider aperture for the same given scene at its base ISO than the X-T30.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: maximum shutter and flash sync speed

One small difference we're seeing across models in different classes is that more senior models tend to offer slightly faster shutter speeds with their mechanical shutters. And this is what we find here, namely a maximum 1/8000 sec shutter speed on the X-T3 and a top setting of 1/4000 sec on the X-T30.

As both cameras have electronic shutters too, these speeds can be boosted to 1/32,000 sec where required, although this may not be suitable for some moving subjects or in artificial light. 

The X-T3 also has a flash sync speed of 1/250 sec, whereas on the X-T30 it's a slightly lower 1/180 sec.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: flash

The X-T30 (above) boasts a built-in flash, whereas the X-T3 can only work with external units, such as the small EF-X8 option provided with it as standard. Image credit: Fujifilm

One small bonus for the X-T30 is that it offers a built-in flash, something that's missing from the X-T3. The latter camera does, however, come with the separate EF-X8 as standard, which slips into the camera's hotshoe.

So, you can use flash with both cameras without needing to purchase a separate unit, although some people will no doubt prefer the integrated flash on the X-T30; that camera also sports a hotshoe should you want to partner it with something more powerful.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: video specs

The X-T30 gains a lot of the same video specs as the X-T3, with 4K video recording in both UHD and DCI formats from originally oversampled at 6K footage. 

The two main points of difference are that the X-T3 can capture 4K footage at a maximum 60p rather than the X-T30's 30p limit, and it can also capture 10-bit 4:2:0 footage internally, rather than 8-bit 4:2:0 like the X-T30. Each camera is also capable of outputting 10-bit 4:2:2 footage through its HDMI port. 

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: ports

The X-T3 has the upper hand here. Both the X-T30 and X-T3 are fitted with USB (3.1) Type C and Micro HDMI ports, although the X-T3 complements these with a 3.5mm socket for microphones and a further 3.5mm port for headphones.

The X-T30 doesn't offer these 3.5mm ports; instead, it packs a 2.5mm socket for microphones, and has no dedicated headphone socket, although headphones can be used through the USB port. 

So, the X-T3 is a little more flexible here, but if you have a mic with a 2.5mm jack (or 3.5mm headphones and the right adaptor) and a pair of headphones with a USB-C connection, you'll be fine with the X-T30.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: weather sealing

If you tend to shoot landscapes, seascapes and anything else outdoors, you'll be better served by the X-T3, as it's protected against inclement weather, something the X-T30 lacks. For complete protection, you'll want to partner it with a lens designed to the same standard, which you can tell by the 'WR' suffix in its title.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: battery life

Both cameras are powered by the same NP-W126S lithium-ion battery, but the X-T30 promises 390 frames per charge rather than the 380 frames of the X-T30 (according to CIPA testing). 

This is a small and largely insignificant difference, and it's worth remembering that what you actually achieve in real-world use tends to be different from these figures. 

Incidentally, both figures are pretty average for mirrorless cameras, and are easily bettered by some other models.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: card slots

Only the X-T3 (above) offers two card slots, although both cameras accept SDHC and SDXC cards. Image credit: TechRadar

It's a brave manufacturer that fits pricey cameras with just a single card slot, but this is far more tolerated on cheaper bodies. Accordingly, we find a single card slot on the X-T30 and a pair of them on the X-T3. 

Both models support the SD-type format, which allows for SDXC, SDHC and older SD cards to be used, although only the X-T3 supports both UHS-II and UHS-I types. The X-T30 only supports the latter, so while you can still use UHS-II cards if you have them, you won't see any performance benefits once they're in the camera.

Categories: Tech News

This super-soft headband is designed to gently rewire your bad sleeping habits

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:46

French neurotech company Dreem has released an updated version of its sleep-tracking headband, with a new, softer feel, improved audio quality and more flexible fit.

Poor sleep isn't something you should take lying down; it can result in serious health problems, including increased risk of dementia and heart attacks, disrupted hormones, and a weakened immune system. Dreem aims to solve this problem by identifying your particular sleep issues and coaching you to better habits.

The whole band is completely bendable, we redesigned the electrodes and we changed the material to make it even softer

Hugo Mercier, CEO, Dreem

Dreem has two parts: the headband itself, and its accompanying app, Dreem Coach. The headband gathers biometric data as you sleep, tracking your brain activity, heart rate and head movement. It's much more accurate than a smart watch – more like a sleep lab, but without having to spend the night in a strange bed with electrodes taped to your face.

This information is transmitted to Dreem Coach, which also asks you a series of questions about your sleeping patterns during the day, After seven nights it combines the biometric data with your survey answers to create a detailed sleep report just for you, with tailored recommendations.

These might be simple things that you can do to help unwind at night, but Dreem Coach can also offer advanced six or eight-week courses incorporating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) if you're suffering chronic insomnia.

Sweeter dreams

Any device you'll be wearing all night needs to be as comfortable as possible, so Dreem's engineers have paid great attention to making the new version of the headband softer and more flexible.

"We wanted to keep roughly the same design, so it is quite similar," Dreem CEO Hugo Mercier told TechRadar, "but we remade it from scratch, and we have made some changes to try to improve some elements for the user.

"First of all, we have increased the level of comfort for the product. What was quite hard with the Dreem headband was the fact that you need to have something that will fit everybody’s head – the size and shape – and at the same time you need to ensure that it has contact with the skin to ensure the electrodes are working and measuring the signal."

Image credit: Dreem

It was possible to make the electronic components a little smaller, but to actually make the band feel softer, the team had to think more creatively.

"In the previous version of the headband, the bridge of the headband had some rigidity [even though] it was quite bendable and quite soft," Mercier said. "We tried to find a way to innovate on that with the materials to try to take all the rigidity off. So when you feel the new headband, there is a great softness.

We reworked the [bone conduction] technology as well in order to make it higher audio quality

Hugo Mercier, CEO, Dreem

"All the electrodes and the cables are protected by foam, meaning that now it’s completely bendable, except for the bar, which isn’t a problem because it’s sitting on top of your head. So now the whole band is completely bendable, we redesigned the electrodes [and] we changed the material to make [it] even softer."

The headband is now more adjustable too. The previous version featured elastic at the back, but as Mercier explained, this wasn't always enough: "The thing is, you have a really, really wide range of size and shape for the head. So if you have a too big head, or too small head, the elastic is probably not enough.  So we tried to open the elastic and add some kind of adjuster.

"It’s really simple – we have an S, M, L adjuster. You open it once when you use the headband, you can move it to three different places, and it improves the comfort. So when we compare the comfort between the previous version and version two, we have an improvement for 45% of our users, which is huge."

Soothing sounds

The Dreem Band doesn't just track your vitals; it can also help you drift off to sleep with gentle sound, and use pink noise at specific intervals to improve deep sleep. The second iteration of the headband offers improved audio quality to make this more effective

"We really re-worked the bone conduction technology," Mercier told us. "What we found was the fact that the sound is going through your skull and your bones, so you are limited by the mechanical properties of your head. But we reworked the technology as well in order to make it higher audio quality. Again, we have improved by 40% the audio quality."

Image credit: Dreem

Dreem has managed to achieve all this while also dropping the headband's price by €100 (about $110, £85, AU$160). The band is available to order now for €399 (about $450, £345, AU$640).

We'll be reviewing the Dreem 2 headband soon, so stay tuned to find out whether it helped us enjoy a better night's sleep.

Categories: Tech News

4K TV deal: this excellent LG 55-inch OLED TV is at its lowest price ever

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:22

If you're looking for a fabulous mid-size TV with premium features, then look no further than this killer deal from Newegg. For a limited time, you can get the top-rated LG 55-inch OLED TV on sale for $1,349. That's a whopping $1,000+ discount and the lowest price we've seen for this 4K smart TV.

The LG E8PUA has everything and more than you'd want for your dream TV - it features highly in our countdown of the best TVs in 2019. You'll be able to watch movies and TV shows with brilliant colors and stunning contrasts thanks to OLED TVs superior picture quality. The LG TV also features an a7 Intelligent processor which provides a life-like viewing experience with crisp images and vibrant colors. The sound experience is also premium because the TV offers Dolby Atmos technology which provides cinema-like surround sound.

The LG TV also includes AI Thin IQ which means you'll be able to turn your TV into a smart home hub. Just connect your compatible Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices to the TV, and you'll be able to control all of your smart home devices with the command of your voice.

This is the lowest price we've seen for this particular model and a fantastic price for a 55-inch TV with premium features. This rare deal ends on Friday, so you should act fast before it's gone!

See more of the cheapest OLED TV prices and deals and shop other cheap TV deals and sale prices that are currently going on.

You can also learn more about our top-rated TVs with our guide on the best TVs of 2019: the big-screen TVs worth buying this year.

Categories: Tech News

New offer from Plusnet just made it one of the cheapest broadband deals in UK

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:17

Time to renew your internet package? Well the timing is perfect as Plusnet has just dropped a new offer to effectively become one of the UK's cheapest broadband deals.

Offering an ADSL broadband package at the cost of £18.99 a month, this is already a pretty affordable option. But, Plusnet essentially slashes that price all the way down to just £14.82 thanks to the offer of a £75 reward card. That makes this one of the cheapest options for internet, second only to lesser-known Onestream

So if you want to grab yourself a cheap broadband deal, you can see this Plusnet offer in full below. Or if you don't feel like these speeds will be fast enough, check out our guide to the best fibre broadband deals

This new Plusnet broadband deal in full: Want something a bit faster from your broadband?

When it comes to cheap ADSL broadband, this is one of the best options out there. If you just want the cheapest overall broadband deal, Onestream is your best bet - currently the UK's cheapest option at £13.99 a month. Or for another well known name in internet, TalkTalk has a £17 ADSL offer that could be more up your street.

But if you need something a bit faster, a fibre broadband deal perhaps? Then there really is no beating BT right now. It starts with monthly costs of £29.99 but then dampens that cost with the offer of a free Google Home Mini - in terms of overall value, its hard to beat this offer but it ends tomorrow at 11.59pm so there isn't long left.

For our pick of the most affordable fibre we would offer up Vodafone. With average speeds of 35Mb, no upfront costs and monthly payments of just £21, this is a great fibre package for those looking to spend a smaller price. 

Categories: Tech News

Best Xbox One accessories: all the extras you need to own for Xbox One

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:14

The Xbox One family is an impressive collection of consoles. Whether you own the Xbox One S or the upgraded Xbox One X, you'll want to make the most of your powerful console with the best Xbox One accessories.

But with such a wide variety of choices, it can be hard to work out which accessories are best for you: whether that's a controller, headset, or Xbox Live Gold membership.

Luckily, we've put together this list of the best Xbox One accessories to help you make the most of your console.

Image credit: TechRadar

The Xbox One controller is already a pretty solid piece of hardware, improving on the Xbox 360's controller that became the industry standard. Somehow, Microsoft managed even further improvement in the form of the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller.

There's swappable thumbsticks and directional pads that offer up a better feel than the standard Xbox One controller, as well as quick-hit triggers to help out in the most high-impact shooters. While it's pretty pricy for a pad at almost three times the cost of a standard controller, you definitely get what you pay for with this premium piece of hardware. 

Read the full review: Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller

Image credit: Microsoft

While there is some benefit to having the Xbox One controller use standard batteries (like not having to worry about having a controller-free console in a few years when the other platforms controller batteries start dying and the platform manufacturers have moved on), the process of switching out AA batteries every few weeks can be maddening.

If you yearn for some simplicity, though, the Xbox One Play and Charge Kit puts the Xbox One Controller on the same playing field as the competition. Just put the simple battery back where you'd put the batteries and use a micro-USB cable to keep the controller fresh when you run out of juice.

Image credit: Microsoft

Ever since the PlayStation 2 put a DVD player in the homes of millions, one constant has remained this millennium; using a controller to watch videos on consoles is the worst. If you're using your Xbox One as a streamer, Blu-ray player, and TV watcher, the Xbox One Media Remote is a great way to watch all of your favorite content without fumbling to remember the proper controller command to bring up closed captions or time remaining.

This remote is perfectly sized to fit every important command (including volume options that controllers and Xbox One Smartglass cant handle), is very sleek, and has a backlight that's perfect for home theaters and late-night video-watching.

Image credit: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach is the longest established specialist gaming headset manufacturer, with a fanatical following among pro-gamers – and when you unbox its top-of-the-range Elite Pro, you can see why. It simply oozes no-expense-spared design, and sports all manner of neat touches born from decades of pro-gaming experience.

But more importantly than that, it sounds spectacular, with huge bass and crystal-clear treble adding up to a sound which will allow you to get deeply immersed into whatever game you're playing. Comfort-wise, it's exemplary, with big, thick earpads that eliminate all ambient noise, and can be easily adjusted to fit all head-sizes. A neat feature lets you add spacing to the earpads to accommodate a pair of glasses.

On an Xbox One, we'd recommend teaming it up with piece of kit called the Tactical Audio Adapter, which clips into the Xbox One controller and operates as an amplifier, adding some of the extra sound-control features which come in a separate graphic equaliser-style box called the Tactical Audio Controller (which is pricey but adds Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound). 

Those features include Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing, which enhances the sound of incoming players' footsteps and is great for hardcore first-person shooter fans, and Dynamic Chat Boost, which keeps chat-levels audible even when background noise rises. Plus, it lets you independently adjust game and chat volumes.

Add tank-like build-quality to the equation and you have a headset which has become something of a status symbol for those who take their gaming seriously.

For more information, check out our full Turtle Beach Elite Pro review.

Image credit: Microsoft

Over the last decade-plus, Xbox Live has been synonymous with Xbox consoles; if you want to get the most out of your Xbox 360 or Xbox One, having Xbox Live to play online with friends is tantamount. Even if you don't play games online regularly, there's still a lot of value that comes with this subscription.

On top of weekly discounts, Xbox Live members also get free Xbox One games (and another pair of backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games) to keep as long as their Xbox Live subscription stays valid. It's a great deal that ensures you'll rarely even have to pick up new games, given the breadth and depth of freebies that come to Xbox Live on a monthly basis. 

Image credit: Microsoft

Sometimes, a voice message won't do and you've got to send some words to your Xbox cohorts. So what do you do? Painfully trudge through the UI keyboard to slowly...type...out... each... word? Pull up your phone and dive through a series of Smartglass menus to text your fellow players? Wouldn't it be great if you had a keyboard handy at all times?

That's why the Xbox One Chatpad is so darn handy. Sending messages is a snap, even in the dark thanks to the back-lit mini-keyboard. Sending longer messages to friends or redeeming one of the Xbox One's insane 25-character redemption codes is a heck of a lot easier with this sweet add-on that fits flush with your controller.

Image credit: TechRadar

Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller is truly an innovative piece of tech, making gaming more accessible for gamers with limited mobility. While this Xbox One accessory isn't necessarily for everyone, its large programmable buttons and ability to connect to external switches, buttons, mounts and joystick means the controller can be customized for users of varying needs.

However, the issue with this controller is price. While it works with a range of devices, they all need to be purchased separately (as the purchase price is only for the main controller). So if you have more precise needs, then you will need to buy more plug ins. It's not ideal but Microsoft's effort to make gaming more accessible is definitely a step forward.

You can purchase the Xbox Adaptive Controller from Microsoft for £74.99 / $99.99 / AU$129.99.

Image credit: Microsoft

Whether you've got an old reliable headset that saw you through some Xbox 360 battles or want your PC gaming headset to pull double duty, you'll need something to get a non-official headset working with the Xbox One's proprietary controller connector.

Thankfully, there's the Xbox One Headset Adaptor that allows one to plug a standard wired gaming headset on the Xbox One console. It also helps things out by centralizing the headset commands right underneath the controller. No longer will you have to feel around on your headset's wires to find the volume and muting controls; it's all right there on the controller no matter what headset you've got connected.


 Image credit: Seagate

Even with the streamlined simplicity that consoles offer, sometimes storage can be tricky, especially given the sheer variety of external hard drives on the market. Will a hard drive get enough power from the console to run properly? Is the speed up to snuff enough to play full games at a proper clip? Sometimes reliability and peace of mind is worth spending a little more for, which is why Seagate's official external drive is worth seeking out.

Beyond the snazzy look and logo, you're guaranteed a solution to your storage ills and a hard drive that will work right out of the box. If you've ever had to futz around formatting your drive and crossing your fingers that your console will recognize it, the Game Drive is a breath of fresh air.

Categories: Tech News

How to watch the 2019 NFL Draft live stream online from anywhere in the world

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:00

The New England Patriots may have dominated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 at Super Bowl LIII but a new NFL season is just around the corner and the real interest starts here - with an NFL draft live stream.

The 2019 NFL Draft is where the best college players across the country will be divided up amongst the league’s 32 teams. The draft begins on Thursday, April 25 and lasts until Saturday, April 27 with round one taking place on Thursday, rounds two and three on Friday and rounds four to seven on Saturday.

Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen are just a few of the players likely to be chosen in the first few picks of this year’s draft. The Oakland Raiders will have the most first round picks this year and the team will hopefully add three new rookies to its squad. However, the Arizona Cardinals will have the first pick in round one followed by the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.

Whether you’re a college football fan waiting to see which of your favorite players gets picked or are just eager for the 2019-2020 NFL season to begin, don’t worry as we’ll show you exactly how to live stream the 2019 NFL Draft online from anywhere in the world.

How to watch the NFL draft: US live stream 

If you live in the US and have a television, then you’ll have plenty of options to watch this year’s draft as the event will be broadcast across a variety of networks including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network. 

If this sounds a bit too complicated don’t worry as you can watch all three days of the draft on ABC for the first time in the network’s history. The network will produce its own distinct telecast, separate from ESPN and the NFL Network, for the first two nights of coverage and it will simulcast ESPN’s presentation on the final day of the draft. While you can watch ABC on your television (even with a digital antenna), you can also watch the network’s coverage live on the ABC app from your mobile devices or on your computer and connected devices on ABC’s website. Just remember that you will have to provide your credentials from your cable provider to watch ABC online.

Don’t want to sign up for an expensive cable TV package just to watch the NFL draft? Don’t worry as a number of streaming services also give you access to the channels you’ll need to watch the event and often times, they are even cheaper that a traditional cable package. We’ve listed our favorite streaming sites with access to ABC, ESPN and NFL Network below to help you make your decision.

  • Hulu with Live TV $44.99 per month - Hulu with Live TV gives you access to ESPN and ABC in most markets but the service doesn't include the NFL Network. Hulu with Live TV supports a wide variety of streaming devices and even includes its own Hulu Originals in case you want a break from watching sports.
  • Playstation Vue starting at $44.99 per month - Playstation Vue has four plans: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra but you'll need to opt for the Core plan at $49.99 per month to watch the NFL Draft. The service's base plan gives you access to ESPN, NFL Network and ABC in most markets. There is also a 5-day free trial available.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now gives you access to ESPN and ABC in most markets. You can stream on up to three screens simultaneously and with the DirecTV Now app you can watch live TV on the go. New customers can take advantage of a 7-day trial but you'll have to purchase on of DirecTV Now's packages first.
  • Sling TV starting at $15 per month - Sling TV's Sling Orange or Sling Blue packages each cost $15 or you can combine them for $25 per month. However, each package contains different channels so make sure the one you choose has the channels you want to watch. For instance, Sing Orange gives you access to ESPN and ESPN2 while Sling Blue gives you access to the NFL Network. If you want to watch ABC though, you’ll have to pay an extra $5 per month for the “Broadcast Extra” add-on package
  • fuboTV $44.99 for the first month - fuboTV doesn't include ESPN but you do get access to the NFL Network. The service also includes Cloud DVR so you can record games to watch them later and if you forget to record a game, the company's 3-day replay allows you to replay nearly any game, show or movie that aired in the last three days. FuboTV even offers a free 7-day trial so you can test out the service.
  • YouTube TV $49.99 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC in most markets. With YouTube TV you get free unlimited DVR storage space to record games for later and you can stream the service on three devices simultaneously. A free 14-day trial is also available so you can test it out for yourself.
Watch an NFL Draft live stream from outside your country

If you're eager to watch but find yourself abroad while the draft takes place, you'll soon discover that access to watching is geo-blocked.

Annoying, but not the end of the world as you can override this by using a VPN. Pick one of the VPN providers listed below, download their software and you’ll be able to change your IP address to one back home so you can access a 2019 NFL Draft live stream from anywhere in the world. 

How to watch the NFL draft in the UK 

American football fans in the UK will be able to watch the 2019 NFL Draft on Sky Sports. The network’s broadcast will begin at 12:30am GMT on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event in the early hours of Friday. 

If you’re not yet a Sky Sports subscriber, you can get access to all eight Sky Sports channels for just £23 a month for 18 months. However, if you’re not interested in a commitment, you can always buy a Sky Sports Day Pass or Sky Sports Week Pass from NowTV for £8.99 or £14.99 respectively.

And don't forget that you can also use a VPN to change your IP address to one in the UK if you want to watch but are abroad this week.

Categories: Tech News

Are there any truly ‘free’ VPNs?

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 10:32

For those in the know, a VPN has become an important tool to safeguard their privacy, providing a higher level of security when using public Wi-Fi, protecting from hacking, and bypassing geo-restrictions to access content. 

There are plenty of both free VPNs and paid VPNs, and the latter have all types of plans from monthly subscriptions, to lifetime ‘pay once, use forever’ offerings - and everything in between. Many users are better off with a paid VPN plan, that can protect all their devices, has servers in the major countries, unlimited data, high throughput rates, a robust no logs policy, and a customer service department in case support is needed. 

Also realize that all of this VPN goodness is available - even some of the very best VPNs start at an affordable $3 per month - which is quite reasonable compared to what you pay your ISP monthly for your internet connection.

Free, with downsides

That being said, for the cash strapped, ramen noodle eating college student, or other casual VPN user, there are some options for a free VPN. Just be aware that finding a decent one too often involves some serious compromises, so look and compare exactly what you are getting before blindly signing up. 

A number of paid VPNs offer a free tier, often dubbed ‘Freemium’, but these offerings are limited with a low monthly data allotment, and often the restriction of a single supported device, fewer available servers, lower priority for transmitted data, and less options for customer service. 

Still, for those folks that think a 4-cylinder under the hood of their Mustang is a palatable idea, these freemium VPN services can get the basic job done. Also, if the user collects and installs several of these, it is possible, with enough effort, to get adequate data to last the month with lighter usage.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Malware - no extra charge

Using a mobile device is a risk, with data being transmitted both over the Wi-Fi and cellular radios, and unencrypted at that. Users must be aware of this, as Android VPNs are quite popular, with millions of downloads.

However, these free VPNs tend to be a hotbed for all types of malware, particularly on the Android platform, which tends to be less curated than in the iOS App Store. Earlier this year it was reported that of 150 free VPN apps studied by Metrics Lab, astonishingly, 27 of these apps came up positive for malware when scanned with VirusTotal, an anti-malware utility.

Given this situation, users who want a free VPN are better off seeking it out for another platform, such as Windows or Mac, where the malware is less rampant, and there are better tools to identify and scrub it out.

Also, while there have been stability issues, and concerns about privacy with the Opera browser’s included VPN, which runs through SurfEasy, a recent development has been to add a free VPN integrated into the Android Opera browser (like the Opera desktop browser has had for years, but the standalone VPN got pulled about a year ago from the mobile browser). While we are watching this carefully, at least it does offer a free VPN for Android with unlimited data from the Opera browser that has a solid track record.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Trading the ads out for... yet more ads

A primary reason to use a VPN is to avoid those pesky ad trackers, to regain a user’s privacy while they are online. However, ad trackers tend to be a profitable business, and a free VPN is eager to make a profit somehow. Therefore, it is quite simple for the VPN to track the user, and then sell the resulting data to a third-party advertiser.

This is not a hypothetical by the way. Hotspot Shield, from AnchorFree, which was installed on 10 million Android devices at the time, was reported by Tom’s Guide to have: “Actively injected JavaScript into web pages, and redirected e-commerce traffic to AnchorFree's partners.” 

Dismally, many of these Android free VPN apps also got overly grabby with the phone’s data, and went into the user’s other accounts, including text messages. Finally, yet even more concerning, some of these VPN apps did not even encrypt the user’s data via a tunneling protocol; in other words they did not perform the core function that a VPN should, making this a situation of ‘risk without reward’.

Know what you're getting into

Free VPN software is literally ‘The Wild West,’ with major disclaimers, and caveat emptor certainly applies - you need to apply a healthy dose of skepticism when considering going the freebie route.

The argument can seriously be made that there really are no free VPNs, as these companies need to make some money somehow, and therefore the user’s data gets monetized into a revenue stream, which goes against a critical primary reason to employ a VPN - to regain privacy.

Those looking for some gratis choices should be sure to check TechRadar’s list of the best free VPN providers, which has already done the legwork to weed out the offenders of the practices mentioned above, and makes some some solid recommendations.

Categories: Tech News

UK's Huawei decision ends uncertainty for 5G operators

Latest Tech News - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 10:30

Reports that the UK government will allow Huawei to supply operators with kit for the radio element of 5G networks but not the core have been greeted with the usual hyperbole that has surrounded recent conversations about the Chinese mobile giant.

Depending on who you read this morning, the Prime Minister has either “banned” Huawei from 5G core networks or given the “green light” for the company to participate in the rollout of next generation networks.

The final decision won’t be confirmed until the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) long-awaited report into the UK’s communications infrastructure is published – either later this month or in May.

But if these latest reports are correct, the truth is that nothing has really changed for mobile operators except that a huge source of uncertainty will have been eliminated.

The political fallout

The calls for Huawei to be banned from the UK’s 5G networks have largely been sparked by the US government’s long-held suspicions about the company and because 5G will support a new breed of mission-critical business applications.

This means 5G networks will carry unprecedented volumes of sensitive data and that any suspension to connectivity would be crippling.

Huawei has been excluded from the US’s telecoms infrastructure on national security fears, largely founded on the firm’s perceived links to the Chinese government and a belief that legislation requires firms in China to assist in state surveillance.

Huawei has repeatedly denied such allegations and has embarked on a widespread publicity blitz in recent months. It’s reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei has given interviews to western media outlets, it has taken out full page adverts in US newspapers, and Rotating Chairman Guo Ping told MWC that the US had “no evidence” for its claims.

This hasn’t stopped the US from applying pressure to its allies in the West to follow its lead. However, Huawei is a major supplier for operators in Europe elsewhere, while other nations, such as Germany, have been less keen to exclude the company.

The political consequences of a UK decision to allow Huawei’s radio kit to be used shouldn’t be ignored, especially when it comes to the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence partnership with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Australia has barred Huawei from 5G, New Zealand has stopped one operator from using the company’s kit, and Canada is considering the matter.

Meanwhile, a formal ban for a Huawei could raise political tensions between the UK and China.

UK 5G impact

But in reality, such a ruling would have no impact on mobile operators. None of the major operators plan to use Huawei’s 5G kit in their core infrastructure, while EE is actively removing it from its 3G and 4G networks.

However, the prospect of being prevented from using Huawei radio kit has been an unwelcome one. Despite initial concerns the UK wouldn’t be a leader in 5G, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have all confirmed plans to launch in 2019 – making the country one of the first to receive a commercial service from all major operators.

Any ban would reduce the pool of suppliers for operators to choose from, reducing competition and innovation while rising prices. The ban would also jeopardise the UK’s position as a 5G leader by delaying the widespread availability of services by 18-24 months. This could cost the UK economy as much as £6.8 billion.

The fact of the matter is that operators do not regard Huawei as a security risk and plan to use a mixture of kit from all vendors across their radio, transport and core layers.

“With the radio network, the risk is low because an attack on a base station isn’t effective [to steal data],” said Vodafone UK CTO Scott Petty earlier this year. “There are too many base stations and too many people who move around. Equally, it’s low risk from an infrastructure perspective as you could switch off one base station and although it would be inconvenient for a few users, we have 18,000 base stations.

“The effort to launch an attack on a base station is not worth the reward. It’d be easier to hack your phone.”

For Huawei, the allegations and restrictions have not yet had an impact on its bottom line. Sales rose by a fifth to more than $100 billion last year, while it has agreed 40 commercial contracts for 5G, shipping 45 base stations in the process.

Whatever the political fallout might be, it appears to be business as usual for UK operators.

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