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Apple has now officially announced the iMac 2019, and offered us some tantalising information about what we can expect from this year's all-in-one Mac.
As we've said from the start, the iMac 2019 needs to offer a decent leap in hardware power because, almost immediately after the iMac 2017 hit the streets, backed with a 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, Intel announced the new 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips – which have been succeeded by 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh chips. With the current iMac two generations behind the curve when it comes to silicon, the iMac 2019 needs some serious hardware upgrades.
The good news is that Apple has done exactly that, announcing a refreshed iMac 2019 that doesn't look any different from the iMacs that have come before it, but with new 8th generation and 9th generation Intel processors.
While we don't currently have all the information about the iMac 2019, we've updated this page with everything we know so far, as well as any rumors and speculation we've found as well.Cut to the chase
- What is it? A new version of the Apple iMac
- When is it out? Pre-orders begin March 19, 2019
- What will it cost? Starting at $1,299/£1,249 (about AU$1,899)
Apple has just announced that the iMac 2019 will be available to order on March 19, 2019 from Apple.com and the Apple Store app.
If you want to walk into a store to pick one up, then Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will begin selling them in the week beginning March 25.
The iMac 2019 (Image Credit: Apple)iMac 2019 price
Apple has also now officially revealed the iMac 2019's price. The 21.5-inch iMac 2019 starts with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel processor at $1,299/£1,249 (about AU$1,899), but you can upgrade that to a 6-core processor for an additional cost.
Meanwhile, the 27-inch iMac 2019, with a Retina 5K screen, comes with a choice of 9th-generation 6-core and 8-core processor configurations and starts at $1,799/£1,749 (around AU$2,699).
The base price of 2017’s non-retina iMac is $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,599), and will be continued to be sold.iMac 2019 specifications
According to Apple, the iMac 2019 benefits 2x performance boost, with Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac Product Marketing, stating that “With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and macOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world.”
So, there's now an iMac 2019 with a 21.5-inch Retina 4K display, a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, 1TB hard drive and a Radeon Pro 555X GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
There's also an iMac 2019 with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, and a Radeon Pro 560X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
For the 27-inch iMac 2019, which comes with a Retina 5K display, you can get it with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and a Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
This also comes in a cofiguration with a 3.1GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
Finally, there's an iMac 2019 27-inch with a 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 2TB Fusion Drive and a Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.
All of these configurations can be tweaked, including boosting the RAM up to 32GB or 64GB for the two more expensive 27-inch models.
So, that certainly gives the iMac 2019 a power boost compared to previous models, and makes it a very competitive all-in-one PC.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this report
You can be honest with us, you're here because those new prices on Apple devices like the XS Max and XR gave you a bit of a fright. Well we completely understand why and luckily for you grabbing an iPhone 6S deal is the obvious solution.
We've had a fair few new iPhones since the 6S, we've had the 8's, iPhone X's and now the (rather convoluted name) iPhone XS Max. The good news here is that these new releases have driven the prices of the iPhone 6s way, way down. Sub-£20 a month tariffs appear quite frequently now, so getting a great deal on Apple's 2015 flagship phone makes it a great budget option if you don't want to spend the earth on your new iPhone deal.
If you want more than the minimum of data, then check out our comparison chart below, or head straight down to our pick of the best tariffs on the web.
The 6S may be one of iPhone's older phones now, but it still features a lot of the features we have come to expect from flagships. It has improved battery life and 3D touch, where you can press a bit harder on the screen to get a different response.
- Check out all of the best iPhone deals around today
We've gone all Top of the Pops to show you our favourite five iPhone 6S deals on the market right now - we'll give you a clue...they're much cheaper than the iPhone XS! Read about all of the best iPhone 6S deals here, including tariffs on EE, O2 and Vodafone.
It may be very similar to its predecessor, but there's no denying that the iPhone 6s makes a fantastic alternative to the more expensive Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone XR. The phone works fluidly at nearly every task and will cost you a lot less than Apple's current flagships. Low end cost with high end features
Read TechRadar's full iPhone 6S review
Anyone in a technology job knows that education doesn’t end with a degree or certificate. The rapid pace of technology advancement means that any programmer or IT administrator needs to constantly take lessons or even full courses to stay current. Anyone who isn’t familiar with the latest tools and techniques, isn't going to be in practice for long.
But the traditional method misses a key opportunity for learning: people learn best while on the job, and they often need help applying the skills they learned in a real or virtual classroom. People spend an amazing amount of time researching answers to problems. According to an IDC survey from all the way back in 2013, the average knowledge worker spends up to 30 percent of a workday researching solutions to problems. Six years later and with ever more complicated business and IT systems to deal with, it is easy to imagine that percentage is even higher.
AI can help, though it won’t replace human beings in the learning process. Certainly, artificial intelligence systems will likely replace a small number of jobs that involve repetitive processes in the near future, but AI will mostly be used to help people do their jobs better rather than doing the job for them. In the case of learning, AI can bring learning into day-to-day work through assistance with on-the-job training and corporate e-learning.
- The future of work in the age of AI
- AI is transformational for businesses of all sizes
- UK leading the way in AI jobs
Outside of the classroom and on the job, AI can help a worker learn while doing by answering questions about a specific training topic. The first and most obvious way AI can help is natural voice recognition, driven by machine learning. Modern consumer products like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa show how far such systems have come in being able to recognize normal human speech. This ability is vital to AI’s ability to help field natural language questions on the job, particularly in a noisy environment.
But the most important role for AI in remote on-the-job education is being able to have the correct answers readily at hand. And to do this accurately requires the AI to understand not just the meaning of the words, but also the context of the question.
Without a good understanding of a question’s context, we risk replicating the “Google Doctor” problem, where users get answers that best match the exact words of the query from a vast database of information, but ignore the context required to narrow down the exact problem being asked about. In a best-case scenario, this can lead to answers that may be technically correct for the question asked, but unrelated to the actual problem. More often, the answer could be completely wrong. Just ask any doctor, and they’ll tell you how frequently their patients come to them with a bad self-diagnosis or treatment thanks to a few minutes with a search engine
Similarly, the level of experience of the student may result in significantly different answers that would be appropriate. For example, a network administrator learning a new transport protocol on the job, such as NVMe over Fabric, may ask questions early on that seemingly aren’t related to the particular nature of NVMeoF, because they aren’t familiar with it.
Once the question is understood in context, the AI can then help provide an answer. But it shouldn’t do this all alone, because even with a database of prior course content to draw on, a human expert should sign off on the initial answer to a question to ensure accuracy. However, after that question is answered, the AI can handle similar queries from students, and only kick up answers to experts for approval on questions for which it has not previously received sign-off. Additionally, the AI can act as an alert system to both the experts and the course creators, if it finds the questions about topics for which it can’t find answers in the course materials. This process can create a virtuous feedback loop, helping course designers ensure their classes keep up-to-date with students’ needs and new advancements in the field.
Image Credit: GoogleMake it open and transparent
Whatever the mix of human expert and AI, the artificial intelligence part needs to be as open source as possible. The proprietary “black box” type of AI is fine if you are creating a one-off demonstration system, such as Google’s AlphaGo AI family, which learned to play the game Go at the very highest level, beating some of the best professional players.
Developed by Google’s DeepMind division in London, the family includes the original AlphaGo and increasingly powerful successors AlphaGo Master, AlphaGo Zero and AlphaZero. It’s an incredible achievement in AI. Because Go does not lend itself to the kind of brute force tactics that apply to a more confined game like chess, mastering the game has long been a holy grail of sorts for AI researchers. But, unfortunately, AlphaGo is a black box, unable to explain why it makes so many unintuitive but clearly excellent moves.Black box AI does very little to help us learn
Likewise, when it comes to e-learning, open source platforms such as Open edX can make it much easier to integrate an AI, because you can see exactly how the system works, and it can also make it easier to swap content between applications. Based on open source software such as Ubuntu, Docker, django and React, Open edX is the education software platform behind edX, the joint e-learning project from MIT and Harvard.
I will be speaking at greater length about how AI to enhance on-the-job training and corporate e-learning at Open edX 2019, scheduled for late March at UC San Diego. The more corporate knowledge and training officers know about how AI can work with them to enhance e-learning and training, the more efficient their training and become and the more productive their workforce will become.
AI isn’t some science fiction creature that will put vast numbers of people out of a job and onto the streets. It can be a way to improve the work experience of many workers, improving their personal skill sets and knowledge base, while increasing the productivity of an organization’s workforce. Natural language query recognition, AI-assisted answer databases and AI-driven problem detection and reporting are just a few ways that artificial intelligence will significantly improve the lives of corporate knowledge departments in the very near future.
Walter Bender, CTO at Sorcero
- We've also highlighted the best AI platforms for business
The iMac 2019 is finally here, and while it doesn't look different from the all-in-one computer last upgraded two years ago, it does get a much-needed specs update.
Apple is outfitting the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs with 6- and 8-core processors for the first time, and both Retina iMacs are available to order today and ship next week.
- It's back with a 10.5-inch screen: the new iPad Air (2019)
- Pint-sized favorite: New iPad mini (2019)
- Our ultimate list: Best laptops 2019
The new 21.5-inch iMac 2019 (left) and 27-inch iMac 2019 (right) (Image credit: Apple)
No, there's no iMac 2019 redesign. Apple is simply closing the gap between the iMac meant for most people and the Intel Xeon-powered iMac Pro ideal for workstations.21.5-inch iMac specs breakdown
The 21.5-inch iMac 2019 starts with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel processor at $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,999, AED 5,459), but you can crank that up to a 6-core processor for an additional cost.
Image credit: Apple
Apple's top-of-the-line 21.5-inch iMac configuration offers an Intel Core i7 processor, which is a chip that was previously only an option on the larger 27-inch iMac.
The Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU, with 4GB of high-bandwidth memory, is where we see the biggest gains. Apple claims up to 80% faster graphics performance here.
There's one holdover from the iMac 2017 era that's still on sale. Starting at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,599, AED 4,619), the entry-level iMac isn't seeing an update inside or outside today.27-inch iMac 2019 specs breakdown
The 27-inch iMac 2019, with its lush-looking Retina 5K screen, is where you see a mix of 9th-generation 6-core and 8-core processor configurations starting at $1,799 (around £1,749, AU$2,799, AED 7,559).
Same thin 5mm thin profile (Image credit: Apple)
Gone is the base line option for four cores here, and Apple is clocking this upgrade as up to 2.4 times faster on the CPU side when you spring for the 9th-gen Core i9 chip.
It sees a boost of up to 50% faster on the GPU side with AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics that can be configured with up to 8GB of memory, capable of 7.3 teraflops.
All of this translates into faster performance for demanding applications. Photoshop sees a 70% performance increase, and Final Cut Pro X more the doubles the multi-cam 4K Pro Res editing cap from 7 to 16.All-too-familiar all-in-one design
The iMac 2019 is shaping up to be a suitable upgrade for anyone who has had iMac Pro envy, but doesn't actually need workstation-class power or a $4,999 (£4,899, AU$7,299, AED 20,999) price that matches.
Three iMac models: 21.5-inch iMac, 27-inch iMac and 27-inch iMac Pro (Image credit: Apple)
It won't, however, satisfy everyone seeking dramatic change from the 20-year-old iMac line – especially those looking for that still-elusive iMac redesign in 2019.
Apple is stick with the familiar aluminum-and-glass design, 5mm thin profile and that sizable chin on the bottom of the display to almost proudly sport the Apple logo.
The good news is that the starting prices remain unchanged from two years ago (except in Australia, where it's AU$100 more expensive), and the modular Mac Pro 2019 does promise the change many are clamoring for.
Paying full price for any Sky TV deal is something we always want to help you avoid and we're always on the lookout for big discounts to give you the cheapest monthly price.
It's not always easy - especially if you want a Sky Sports offer - but today's the day as you can save big on the price you pay each month. Get every Sky Sports channel going for £10 a month less than usual, saving you a massive £180 over the course of your contract. Sporting channels include Sky Sports Premier league, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event.
That's not all though - you get the base Sky package, known as Sky Entertainment, which comes stuffed with excellent channel like Sky Atlantic (yes, you're all set for Game of Thrones!), Sky One, Fox, Comedy Central, Nat Geo Wild and more. This Sky package also comes with a Sky Q Box which allows you to record up to 500 hours of TV content.
As you go through the order at Sky, you'll see optional bolt-on extras you might want to add. The sports channels come in HD as standard now, but if you want the other content from the Entertainment bundle in High Definition, you can upgrade for an extra £5 a month.
Elsewhere, you can add Sky Cinema for £10 a month for a great selection of up-to-date movies. Our favourite option though has to be the new Ultimate On Demand double pack which comes with Netflix and Sky Box sets for just £10 a month. Children are catered for too with Sky Kids (11 channels and over 5000 episodes on demand) at just £5 a month.
We think this is a fantastic deal. But if you're looking for more options to see the latest TV content, be sure to check out our handy guides.
- Premier League live stream: how to watch all the footy online
- How to watch and live stream the best sport and TV online from anywhere
- How to watch Game of Thrones online: season 8 is almost here
- Need something to enjoy it all on? Try our cheap TV deals guide.
Buckle up, get excited and get a coat because winter is coming...or more aptly, winter is finally making a return for its 8th season. Finally, after what feels like more than a lifetime, Game of Thrones is finally returning for its 8th and final, yes final season.
We will finally be graced with the epic conclusion to the Game of Thrones adventure that we have all been on together. That means finding out what will happen with the white walkers, if Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven and who will take over the throne - seriously, it's in the name of the show, we better find out.
And for all of the keen fans of the show, you're in the right place to learn about where to watch Game of Thrones season 8 online from absolutely anywhere in the world, now just under one month away, the day is edging nearer and nearer.
Set to be an extraordinary crescendo to the show, season 8 of Game of Thrones is one not to miss. HBO has managed to do a brilliant job at keeping this season spoiler-free - even the trailers have been impossibly vague.
But as exciting as this is, there is still time to catch up on all of the 67 previous episodes of the show. That's only just under 3 days of straight viewing, or probably a ever so slightly more healthy 2 and a half episodes a day.
That means there is still plenty of time to catch up on the show. Considering the last episode of Game of Thrones aired almost two years ago now, we can understand feeling a bit rusty on the plot, especially considering it's not always the easiest to follow, really, who's related to who at this point?
So if you feel like 'you know nothing' and want to watch all the seven seasons in one go, catch up on the odd episode to save yourself the 'who's that guy?' questions or simply find out about where to go for the final release, this is place to be for all your how to watch Game of Thrones online know-how. We've tracked down all of the locations to watch the old episodes, no matter where you live - you can find them all down bellow.Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer - Get yourself excited for what's to come in 2019
The final trailer has been released and with the first episode of season 8 just under one month away now, we are beyond excited. Make sure to tune in at 2am on April 15 or catch up on the, now readily available, first seven seasons.
If you want to see how to watch Game of Thrones in the US, Canada, UK, Australia or New Zealand then scroll down to see what your viewing options are.
However, if you find that you've managed to double book your holiday plans with Game of Thrones or you'll be out of the country for a little while, things get a bit more complicated thanks to the annoyance of geo-blocking. This means that broadcasters do tend to try and stop you from watching in other countries, putting up some virtual roadblocks.
There is still a way around that but it will require a little bit of work. By using a VPN, you will still be able to catch up on the show by changing your IP address to a location back where you live, allowing you to watch it all (assuming that doesn't breach any TS&Cs, of course).How to watch Game of Thrones episodes in the USA
Rather go for something with a little less commitment? You can also watch GoT on these streaming services:
Call of Duty is one of the most popular first-person shooter games on console and PC, and publisher Activision has now confirmed it’s coming to smartphones too in the shape of Call of Duty: Mobile.
Call of Duty: Mobile will be a port of the multiplayer mode of the games, optimized for mobile, with a range of modes from the games including Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy.
Activision has confirmed that popular maps from the online shooter will be included, including Nuketown and Crash, and by the sounds of it every map in the game will be a port from other Call of Duty titles.
- This is what we're expecting from E3 2019
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- What are the best mobile games to play on the go?
Interestingly, maps will be ported from both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare series, a rare instance of harmony between the two, and Activision has also confirmed that characters and weapons from both will be present in the game.
However the mobile title will be a standalone entry in the Call of Duty franchise, not part of either series, and there’s no word on a single-player or zombies element to Call of Duty: Mobile.
Activision has confirmed that the game will be free to play and will receive free updates, although like other rival mobile shooters PUBG Mobile and Fortnite paid skins could be made available.
Pre-registration for the game is open now at the Call of Duty: Mobile website, where you can get updates on game’s upcoming public beta. Activision hasn’t confirmed an official release date yet, but with E3 2019 around the corner we could find out more soon – stay tuned for all the news and announcements from the event.
At the time of writing there are six colors in all, namely: black, white, blue, yellow, coral and red... you'll agree, a decent amount of choice.
But you should choose carefully, as while the iPhone XR is cheaper than the XS range, it’s still a pricey handset, and you’re likely to be stuck with it for a couple of years, so you’ll want a color you’ll love.
With that in mind we’ve created this guide to help you choose. Below you’ll find images of the iPhone XR in every available color, along with additional information on the shades and links to buy them at the best prices we can find – because while all shades cost the same from Apple, prices sometimes vary elsewhere.
If you're looking for the cheapest iPhone XR deals, we've got that very page here, or here we've listed the cheapest ways to get a variety of colors upfront if that's more likely to sway your opinion:iPhone XR in white
Image credit: Apple
White is one of the two most ordinary shades that you can get the iPhone XR in - it's an Apple staple. Being plain it’s less likely to turn heads than some of the shades below, but also sure to be less divisive.
The aluminum frame also looks the most like metal here, as it’s a silvery white, which isn't too far off the natural color of the metal.iPhone XR in black
Image credit: Apple
Another ordinary shade. The iPhone XR in black, like white, looks less showy than some shades and also looks a bit more like an iPhone XS (as that phone is available in a similar space grey color). Black looks like the smartest option here - something understated.iPhone XR in blue
Image credit: Apple
This is more like it if you're looking to stand out. The blue shade is light and bright and unlike the sorts of colors you’d find most iPhone models in. This color makes it immediately obvious that you’re using an iPhone XR as there aren't any other Apple devices using this shade - whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.iPhone XR in yellow
Image credit: Apple
If you thought blue was bright, you haven't seen anything yet. The yellow shade is the brightest iPhone XR color and a far cry from the restrained gold color that you can get the iPhone XS in.
This shade certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you want an iPhone that visually stands out from the crowd, this is it.iPhone XR in coral
Image credit: Apple
The coral shade sits somewhere between red and pink and is perhaps the most unusual of all the iPhone XR colors, just because it’s not a shade you see anything in very often.
Like the blue and yellow colors it’s quite bright, and it will definitely attract attention - and possibly shoals of clown fish bobbing past looking for a snack.iPhone XR in (PRODUCT) RED
Image credit: Apple
The red shade, or (PRODUCT) RED to give it its proper name, is so called because a portion of each purchase goes towards (RED) – a global fund dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS.
This shade isn’t quite as bright as you might expect, given the yellow, coral and blue options above, but it’s still a fairly bright red. It's one of our top picks at the moment as it's arguably the most distinctive while still retaining some decorum for the boardroom.
- Now check out the best iPhone XR cases
The announcement of Doom: Eternal at E3 2018 got a lot of trigger fingers twitching. But what is it, when is it coming, and how will it expand on the well-loved franchise?
Few franchises embody the FPS genre quite like Doom. Packed to the seams with blood, hellfire, shotguns, and even more blood, id Software's ultra-violent shooter has earned legions of fans since its first game in 1993: pitching a nameless marine against hordes of demons unleashed from hell.
Now, two years after a 2016 reboot brought the franchise successfully to modern consoles, we have word of a direct sequel: Doom Eternal.
[Update: Bethesda has announced that its E3 2019 press conference will take place on Sunday 9 June, with Doom Eternal its showcase centerpiece. Read on for more info.]
The sequel is aiming to go bigger and better than ever before, introducing an enhanced Doom slayer and a host of new demons - and this time the invasion has spread further than Mars.Cut to the chase
- What is it? A fast-paced, ultra-violent shooter where you beat and shoot demons to a pulp, and the sequel to 2016's Doom
- What can I play it on? PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch
- When can I play it? TBA
The game's Amazon listing sets Doom Eternal's release date as December 28 this year. However, that's a much quicker turnaround than 2016's Doom, which was announced at E3 a year prior to release.
It's likely that this could be a placeholder release date in lieu of any concrete information as no confirmation was given by the developer at QuakeCon 2018.Doom Eternal trailers
The Doom Eternal worldwide premiere gameplay reveal of Doom Eternal took place during the QuakeCon 2018 keynote, and was our first chance to see the sequel in action.
You can check out the gameplay trailer below:
Doom Eternal's E3 2018 trailer had everything we love about the series, dialled up to 11. Get a glimpse of its apocalyptic vision of Earth, with a suitably thumping soundtrack and some jacked-up demons staring down the barrel of a shotgun.Doom Eternal news and rumors
Doom Eternal will be Bethesda's E3 2019 star
Ready for an "in-depth look at Doom Eternal"? That's what the blog post accompanying the announcement of Bethesda's E3 2019 showcase promises. Kicking off at 5.30pm PDT on Sunday 9 June, the horror shooter is the first big-confirmed name at Bethesda's showcase, and will take up a large portion of the show. Here's hoping there's room for The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield, too.
The team has created the most powerful Doom slayer we’ve seen yet, with enhanced armor and an arsenal of badass new equipment, including a shoulder-mounted cannon with flamethrower, an extendable blade, and a new dash ability. In addition there's an upgraded selection of guns and mods to play with, such as the Super Shotgun's new Meat Hook attachments which pulls you into the face of enemies.
A host of new demons (and returning favorites)
Doom Eternal will see the return of classic demons such as the Pain Elemental, Archvile and Arachnotron, alongside an array of brand-new demons like the Doom Hunter and the corrupted Marauders.
An all-new Invasion mode allows other players to invade your campaign as a demon. Likewise, you can join the demon horde yourself and invade other players' campaigns - either alone or as part of a hunting party.
There's no place like home
Instead of the previous game's isolated mining site on Mars, Doom Eternal brings the action to Earth, and it looks like there's been a lot of damage. Skulls litter the ground, creatures howl, and tendrils pull apart skyscrapers in the distance.
While Doom is traditionally known for its tight, claustrophobic level design, a more expansive map could encourage different styles of play and allow for far bigger set pieces (read: bigger demons).
We imagine Doom Eternal will continue with the same fast-paced, gun-heavy combat the series is known for. But Bethesda has promised a lot more demons to fight, and that you'll feel a lot more powerful this time around.
Could Eternal be online?
While Bethesda have clarified Doom Eternal will be a direct sequel to the previous entry, the Eternal branding makes us think there may be more of a stress on online components – especially since Bethesda's Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises have been branching out in this direction.
Could we see an expanded online game mode with regular updates to its world-sized hellscape?
Or will we see a VR version?
The last Doom came to the HTC Vive and Playstation VR last year, albeit with some clunky navigation issues and a comparatively stripped-back three-hour story. The upcoming sequel is the perfect opportunity to build on that foundation and make a VR experience deserving of the legendary IP.
Could we see it on the Switch?
Seeing a bloodthirsty rampage like Doom Eternal on Nintendo's family-friendly Switch seems like an odd match, but Bethesda has confirmed Doom Eternal will indeed be coming to the Nintendo Switch.
Keep checking back here for all the latest Doom Eternal news
- Keep up to date with all our game coverage of E3 2018
In a press briefing held in San Diego, Qualcomm announced its next-generation system-on-a-chip (SoC) that will make smart speakers even smarter.
In a product category that’s all about doing more with less, faster, the Qualcomm QCS400 series specialize in better understanding voice commands through beam-forming and advanced algorithms, and could increase standby battery life in portable speakers by about 2,500%.
The SoC will be sold to audio manufacturers in four different versions – the Qualcomm QCS403, QCS404, QCS405 and QCS407 – that will then be used to power the next generation of speakers and soundbars.
- Apple loses to Qualcomm in court
- We've got a roundup of the best smart speakers
- And pit the Amazon Echo vs Google Home
When asked how, exactly, audio processing would be improved, Qualcomm’s Director of Product Nishant Kumar Mittal told us that the SoC would be able to process some requests without connecting to the internet and could theoretically support multiple assistants on the same device.
For example, Mittal said, the tech could enable a Bose speaker to understand both Google Assistant commands as well as commands created by Bose.
While Mittal wouldn’t reveal any of the next-generation products that would use the updated SoC series, he specifically mentioned pending speakers, soundbars and AV receivers as well as mesh Wi-Fi routers and a few other IoT categories in our briefing.So when can we expect the Google Home 2?
Admittedly, Qualcomm only uses its briefings to talk about its own future products, not those of the companies that buy components from them, and while there were some not-so-subtle hints as to which products will support its chips, Qualcomm didn’t want to give anything away.
What Mittal would say is that the QCS400 SoC will be distributed via a developer kit soon and that products featuring the design could be here as early as September or October of this year - which means the next-gen smart speaker of your dreams may only be a few months away.
- Speaking of, here's what we know about the Apple HomePod 2
The Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative is designed to be a cost and time saving exercise both for the Exchequer and the small businesses that must comply. Almost three million businesses will be affected by MTD when it comes into effect in April 2019, and it offers a real opportunity to find a cloud-based accounting system that will help ease financial reporting as well as improve productivity when used properly.
It’s for the latter reason that retailers should shop around to find the software that best works for their whole business, rather than purchase a platform purely to enable digital tax submissions. For all the hype around digital transformation, there is now compelling evidence that online business management can help a retailer to become more competitive. For example, the right software can help to analyse consumer trends and inform more intelligent stock decisions.
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- Governments make slow progress with digital transformation initiatives
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The UK government is doing all it can to encourage businesses to think ‘digital-first’. Tax is a key area of this, not least because the Exchequer has said inaccuracies in submissions cost the economy almost £9 billion per year. It’s hoped automation may solve many of the issues currently experienced.
Retailers have to get on board, and VAT-registered businesses with a turnover of more than £85,000 will have to submit quarterly reports with more detail than that included in a VAT Return from 1 April 2019. MTD will render filing receipts in drawers or storing records in a shoe box under the till meaningless, as the government will no longer accept paper records when it comes to tax and VAT submissions.
Against this backdrop, MTD-compliant software will allow small and medium-sized retailers to keep a digital record of all transactions and will store sale prices, costs and taxes.
Image Credit: PexelsThe purchase decision
As ever, when the government asks businesses to change the way they operate, it can mean additional work and research to ensure everything, including the benefits, have been understood. For independent retailers preparing their businesses ahead of the deadline, there are three tips before making a decision:
- Talk to your accountant. Getting professional advice is crucial, as it’s their job to help with any questions and to lay the best options for you on the table. Get in touch with your accountant or bookkeeper for more information on MTD and what it means for your business.
- Look for a certified accounting system. Make sure that the existing accounting system used, or any new one purchased, will be certified under MTD. If it’s not, start researching other options. If you find one that is able to integrate seamlessly with your ePOS then the business will be able to benefit from other productivity benefits of going digital.
- Research cloud ePOS systems. Start looking immediately if the business is not currently using one. Take trials to make sure the software is a good fit for the business and if you do already have an ePOS then look into integrating it with your accounting system as soon as possible.
Vend allows retailers to run their entire sales operation digitally and it pushes information about transactions, stock orders and cost of goods sold (COGS) on a daily basis to its partner accounting platform, Xero. Xero is MTD compatible software, meaning a retailer will be able to file their VAT returns online, while Vend is the British Independent Retailers Association’s preferred retail ePOS. More importantly Vend and Xero are integrated platforms meaning information is transferred seamlessly so no double entry is required, which saves customers valuable time.
Now is the time to go digital. With the MTD deadline in just a few months’ time, retailers should consider how ePOS and accounting systems could integrate and power more productive, more profitable digital-first businesses.
Higor Torchia, UK Country Manager at Vend
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That's right, there's a free Amazon promo code doing the rounds today which will knock £5 off any eligible order of £25 or more as long as the item is supplied by Amazon EU.
There are some T&Cs to consider, but nothing that should get in the way of most purchases. So as we've said, it has to be shipped by Amazon and no third-party or marketplace sellers ('fulfilled by Amazon' doesn't count either). Digital products, video game pre-orders, booze and gift cards are also excluded. Otherwise, you're pretty much good to go, just remember it expires at midnight tonight and can only be used once.
Amazon promo code
- Voucher code: BIGTHANKS
- Discount: £5 off a spend of £25 or more
- Where: Amazon.co.uk
- Expires: 23:59 March 19th
So head on over to that wishlist and get some shopping done! Ideally, you want to use it on something that's already had a bit of a discount to maximise your savings. Usually, we'd be encouraging you to take a look at one of the Alexa smart speakers or Kindles, but they're all currently full-price. And seeing how often these items regularly get hefty discounts over £5 we think it's worth waiting for an even better deal. Keep an eye on our Amazon Echo deals and Kindle sale prices guide for the best offers.
We've found plenty of already discounted items on our extensive roundups of the cheap laptop deals and TV deals, with plenty of options from Amazon included if you've been considering an upgrade of your old model.
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Nice of you to ask. Much like last year, Amazon is celebrating winning another Consumer Choice award after a nationwide survey named the company the UK's favourite retailer at the Retail Week Awards. Actually, this is the third year in a row it has won the accolade.
“We strive to provide the best customer experience on the things we believe customers will always care about – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – and we work hard to provide all three, all the time,” said Doug Gurr, Country Manager at Amazon UK. “We’re grateful for the support of our customers and I’m confident our investments in the UK will help us provide an even better shopping and entertainment experience in the years to come.”
Retail Week's Managing Director, Chris Brook-Carter said: “Many of the reasons that put Amazon on the top spot in 2019 were the same that have made it a customer go-to since its launch.
“Shoppers cited the online retailer’s breadth of products, price competitiveness and convenient delivery options as the reason it was their top pick. However, a recent addition that stood out for shoppers was the Prime membership scheme. It is an example of an innovation that has moved the goal posts of what a retailer should offer.”
Speaking of Prime membership, if you've not signed up yet how about a free 30-day trial? You can enjoy super fast delivery and get stuck into Amazon's Instant Video library for a great selection of TV and movie content. Stick with the service and you can enjoy exclusive discounts in the Amazon Prime Day sales later this year too.
Microsoft has just added the OpenXR standard to its Windows Mixed Reality devices, which aims to make it easier to port virtual reality apps and games between platforms.
Virtual reality has a lot of potential, but the number of different platforms and hardware makes things complicated – especially with certain games being exclusive to different devices.
While OpenXR won’t stop platforms from having exclusive games, it does mean that if an exclusive game moved to another platform, the process would be much easier.
It could also potentially make it possible to use different headsets with different platforms, for example using the PlayStation VR headset on a PC.What is OpenXR?
OpenXR is an open and royalty-free platform standard that includes an API (application programming interface) that allows developers to create their apps so that they run on applications such as SteamVR and Google Daydream, and a device layer which allows virtual reality devices to display and interact with the application.
By using those two layers, developers can potentially allow their app or game to run on a number of platforms and VR devices, without having to write the app for each individual platform.
A diagram of how OpenXR works (Image Credit: Khronos)
OpenXR has been created by the Khronos group, which is made up of some big names in VR, including Microsoft, Sony and Google – though Apple is one of the noticeable absences.
With Microsoft bringing OpenXR to Windows Mixed Reality, it makes it an even more flexible platform. Giving customers more choice on what platforms and hardware they can use will hopefully benefit virtual reality, and make it easier for people to get into VR.
Developers can download and install the OpenXR runtime from Microsoft’s website.
With greater concern about online privacy and cybersecurity, both individuals and small businesses have adopted them in greater usage. In fact for 2018, VPN usage is up exponentially at a rate of 165% compared to the year prior. Globally, 25% of internet users are deploying a VPN, with the most common use case scenario to access entertainment content, such as Netflix.
A barrier to VPN entry for many is that most VPN services have a cost. This causes penny pinching folks to forgo the VPN that would provide protection from hacking attempts, and afford them a higher level of privacy online, despite the otherwise modest cost.
In an effort to include these folks, over the last few years, a new category of VPN service has cropped up, specifically the free VPN service. They generally have significant downsides compared to their paid stablemates, such as low monthly limitations on data, lower throughput speeds that make video streaming downright painful, and user restrictions to a low number of devices. The service also tends to be spotty, with either intermittent outages, or essentially does not work.
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Despite these shortcomings, some folks do persist in using them, and have luck with free tier offerings from the likes of HotSpot Shield, TunnelBear, WindScribe, and the Opera browser with its integrated VPN offering (although with the last offering our experience differs).
While the progressive Opera browser has an integrated free VPN, we have noticed that it has not been able to make the connection to initiate the encrypted tunnel over the last several months (Image Credit: TechRadar)
This raises the question of if these free VPN’s are even safe, and can they be trusted with your data? After all, if the point of using a VPN is to take control of your privacy, than why we would trust your personal information to the bottom basement, lowest bidder? Also, these companies are not generally altruistic, and they need to squeeze a profit from somewhere. This goes back to that phrase “If You're Not Paying For It, You Become The Product,” raising the concern that a free VPN will have no incentive to protect your privacy, and sell your data to the highest bidder.
Hola Free VPN is just one of many free VPNs that has gained public attention recently for being unsafe (Image Credit: Hola)Say goodbye to Hola
A good example of this is the Hola Free VPN. Rather than building out a network of servers to host the service, Hola created a “peer to peer” VPN, with each user potentially acting as a node, with other users traffic going through your smartphone, although Hola reassured users “The amount of traffic that Hola passes through a peer on its network per day on average is less than a 20 second YouTube clip,” estimated to be about 5 MB’s.
Hola claims that this practice keeps the cost down, but this immediately raises the concern that another Hola user’s illegal activity could be sharing your IP Address and bandwidth. In fact, subsequent research by security firm Trend Micro showed that not only were Hola users being used for Hola VPN nodes, but sneakily, were simultaneously being used as nodes for a commercial VPN, Luminati. On top of that, HolaVPN users could be incorporated by cybercriminals into a botnet attack. And yet, despite these serious issues, Hola Free VPN soldiers on for the unsuspecting, claiming over 184 million users.The hidden free VPN secret
Now experience with one lousy VPN should not taint all free VPN’s. However, when the issue of free VPN’s, specifically for the Android platform has been studied, the results are more than concerning. Published in the Proceedings of the 2016 Internet Measurement Conference, the article “An Analysis of the Privacy and Security Risks of Android VPN Permission-enabled Apps” brings up some serious issues. After all, a VPN service is in a unique position to inspect a user’s traffic. With researchers studying 283 VPN’s, it was found that 38% of them contain some type of malware, including adware, trojan,
malvertising, riskware and spyware. If this was not concerning enough, what is even scarier is that users are not aware of the security risk with this paper going on to point out that “Only less than 1% of the negative reviews relate to security and privacy concerns,” when going through reviews of these VPN’s on the Google Play store, suggesting that the vast majority of users are quite oblivious that they are putting themselves at such high risk.
Tuxler is a free VPN that doesn't even try to hide the fact that it shares user data with advertisers (Image Credit: Tuxler)Tuck Tuxler away
From the examples and research provided above, yes, your data is truly being sold off to the highest bidder by these free VPN services. Therefore, a free VPN is in the category of “Free can be very expensive,” and therefore should not be used. After all, isn’t you and your family’s privacy worth a few dollars a month?
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Netflix will not be part of Apple's new streaming service, according to Netflix Chief Executive, Reed Hastings.
Speaking to reporters at the Netflix offices in Hollywood, Hastings said that "we prefer to let our customers watch our content on our service," and that "[Netflix has] chosen not to integrate with [Apple's] service."
This doesn't come as a huge surprise, as Apple's new streaming service is said to be a new rival to Netflix, that might well include subscription bundles for digital news and magazines as well as shows and movies.
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It's expected that Apple is planning a launch event for the new streaming service on March 25, judging from suggestively-titled invites for its next major launch event that went out last week, simply stating: 'It's Show Time'.
The streaming service is said to contain a mixture of Apple's original content and content provided by the likes of HBO which may be available to buy as add-ons.Big spenders
Even so, the omission of Netflix from the new streaming service could be enough to turn some viewers off.
The March 25 event might not be all about the new streaming service too – there are rumors that Apple might also be launching the AirPods 2 at the event, plus the long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat, although we highly doubt that given the reported problems with production that device has suffered.
Food delivery is big business. While most of us would love to come home to a freshly cooked meal, the reality is that most of us come back from work, slump on the couch, and fire up our phones to get dinner ordered ASAP.
There’s no fault in ordering delivery, but the pressing question is which food app should you actually use? There are a plethora of delivery apps and services running around Dubai, and it genuinely can be a bit of a mystery as to why you’d want to pick one over the other.
So in the interest of science (and our bellies), we took the five most popular food delivery services – Zomato, Uber Eats, Careem Now, Deliveroo, and Talabat – and pitted them against each other to see who’d come out on top across various criteria.
In order to make the test fair, we would be placing the order simultaneously across all five services using their associated app (either on Android or iOS), from the same restaurant branch. We would also be ordering the exact same thing (a burger with fries and vanilla shake) so that there was no discrepancy between any of the orders. All orders were placed at 12:15pm and accepted immediately by the restaurant.Delivery Speed
Deliveroo: Estimated time – 12:45pm, actual arrival – 12:43pm (28 mins)
Uber Eats: Estimated time – 12:50pm, actual arrival – 12:48pm (33 mins)
Zomato: Estimated time – none given, actual arrival – 12:48pm (33 mins)
Talabat: Estimated time – 12:50pm, actual arrival – 12:52pm (37 mins)
Careem Now: Estimated time – 12:44pm, actual arrival – 1:05pm (50 mins)
When it came to speed of Delivery, Deliveroo was the first to arrive to our offices, two minutes earlier than the estimated delivery time. Zomato and Uber Eats arrived exactly at the same time, however there was no estimated time of delivery on the Zomato app. Talabat similarly kept changing its estimated delivery time, but Careem Now was the slowest delivery with a constantly changing estimate time, making it the slowest delivery out of everyone.
WINNER: DeliverooDelivery Quality
This refers to the quality of the delivered order, and we specifically were looking to see if anything was missing or damaged. Most delivery services allow you to report missing or damaged food back to them for refund or credit, but thankfully nothing was amiss in our orders.
Each order was packed properly, and the drinks had been secured in a separate carrier and wrapped with either clingfilm or with tape – though we did find that it was harder to open up the drinks that had been taped shut.
Deliveroo: AED 67
Uber Eats: AED 53
Zomato: AED 65
Talabat: AED 66
Careem Now: AED 47
Here’s where things get interesting. The actual cost of our order was AED 60, but this price would fluctuate a bit across the different services when delivery cost was factored in. Deliveroo was the most expensive with an AED 7 delivery fee, while bother Uber Eats and Careem Now offered promotion codes for delivery on the day we ordered, thus bringing down the pricing anywhere from 10-30%. While Careem Now may have taken the longest time to arrive, it still worked out to be the cheapest order among the five.
WINNER: Careem NowApp usability
This highlights how easy the particular app was to use when it came to actually finding what we wanted to eat as well as placing the order. We found that Deliveroo had the cleanest interface, followed by Careem Now which actually divides each menu into sections so you can quickly tap to navigate to that section of the menu directly. There’s a similar layout with Zomato, though it’s not immediately evident which places actually offer delivery as the app shows all available branches for a particular restaurant.
A point of confusion was how Zomato and Uber Eats labelled the size of the burger – what was known as a regular burger at the restaurant was called ‘single’ in Zomato and ‘small’ in Uber Eats, so we had to match the price of the burger to figure out the correct size.
So there you have it – five contenders step forward, but in this case it was Deliveroo that won based on the pure fact that when you order something, you want it delivered in the shortest time possible, and Deliveroo certainly came through on this regard.
One thousand. Two thousand. Three thousand.
That is the amount of Dirhams that you need to base your iPad purchasing decision on - not the naming scheme. That's because names are confusing. For example, the iPad Air is more expensive than the iPad but the MacBook Air is cheaper than the MacBook.
The regular 9.7-inch iPad with an A10 processor flies in everyday tasks such as web browsing and streaming videos, has Touch ID and Apple Pencil support. It also has an equally impressive 10-hour battery life and back-camera capabilities like the new iPad Air.
The only missing features on the regular iPad are the faster A12 processor, smart keyboard connector and a bigger screen that supports true-tone. I don’t think that’s reason enough to spend an extra thousand Dirhams for the iPad Air over the regular iPad- especially considering how well the A10 processor on the iPad has aged.
Now let's flip the coin and see if the iPad Pro 11-inch is worth the extra thousand Dirhams over the new iPad Air and in my opinion, that answer is a resounding yes.
With the iPad Pro, you're getting a slightly bigger screen but with ProMotion (120Hz) capabilities, Face ID for more secure authentication and the latest generation of Apple Pencil with magnetic charging capabilities.
While I haven't tested the performance on the iPad Air, the iPad Pro is a beast with the A12X processor that I doubt the Air will be able to come close to. The iPad Pro also has a better rear camera and a four-speaker setup for nicer multimedia experience.
And finally, the iPad Pro is also the first iPad with a next-gen design that we're likely to see the entire iPad line move to sometime in the future. I found it very surprising that Apple released the new iPad Air yesterday with the old iPad design language.
Based purely on the specs and features, I feel that the new iPad Air is a middle-of-the-road product that really doesn't make much sense. If you're a casual user, the regular iPad is much cheaper and a really good device. And if you're looking to get the most out of a tablet, the iPad Pro is extremely powerful with the best feature set Apple has to offer on it’s tablet.
As a precursor to the unveiling of the Redmi Go, Xiaomi announced its digital payments app for users, the Mi Pay. With this, India is the only other country after China where Mi Pay is available. Naturally, Xiaomi has tweaked the app to make it more India-centric as it prepares to take on services like Paytm, PhonePe among others.
Mi Pay is based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) through which users can transfer money or even pay their utility bills. For mobile phone recharges and household bill payments such as electricity, gas and water, Xiaomi has tied up with Bharat Billpay which supports 120+ major vendors across India.
Xiaomi's payment service allows users to initiate peer-to-peer transfers using the UPI ID with an option to directly transfer money to the receivers bank account. In addition, a QR code can be generated to pay or receive money from the Mi Pay app.
Mi Pay has also been baked into the MIUI and offers hassle-free ways to send or receive money right from the messages app or from the contacts list. The company has also added an option to pay via Mi Pay on its Mi India Store.
The app has a clean and slick interface and requesting or paying money happens in just a couple of clicks. Mi Pay uses Mi Account ID so there's no sign-up process involved if one already has an account.
As far as the security of the payments app is considered, the Mi Pay app has been audited and approved by NPCI, Ernst & Young (EY) and Indian cybersecurity company Lucideus for penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. Additionally, Xiaomi also revealed that all user data from the Mi Pay app is stored in India itself.
E3 2019, this years entry into the annual gaming blowout event, is just around the corner, and giant of the industry Bethesda has just announced its plans for the show.
Bethesda Softworks fifth annual E3 press conference will take place on Sunday June 9, with the star of the show set to be its horror-sci-fi shooter, Doom Eternal.
Taking place in Los Angeles and kicking off at 5.30pm PDT, Bethesda will be streaming the extravaganza on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Mixer, and Facebook Live, giving those not physically in attendance “an in-depth look at Doom Eternal."
Doom Eternal is the next entry in the veteran first-person shooter series, following 2016's superb Doom. Headed to PS4, Xbox One and PC, we're also going to get to look at a Nintendo Switch version of the game, after developer id Software found great success scaling 2016's Doom to the portable console with the help of developer Panic Button.
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That's all that Bethesda is officially sharing about the event at this stage – there's not even a venue announced, though the showcase will be open to fans who will soon be able to register to attend the show.
So what else is in the pipeline that we could see? The big hopes will of course center around a proper look at both The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, the former the next entry in Bethesda's phenomenally popular high-fantasy open world RPG, the latter an all new property set in a sci-fi realm that looks likely to follow similar "go anywhere, do anything" principles as the Elder Scrolls series.
These two games were merely teased at last year's E3 conference, but could be revealed in a little more depth this summer. Our money is on both becoming next-gen titles on the PS5 and Xbox Two, so if either of those are revealed around the E3 timetable, there's a better chance that will see Bethesda's new works make an appearance.
Suggesting that fans "refresh Walmart Canada" in its blog post, Bethesda is making a reference to the early leak that prematurely revealed Rage 2's existence. With Rage 2 releasing before the show on May 14, it'd be a safe bet that some sort of post-release content will be revealed at the company's E3 conference.
As for Fallout 76, it's got off to an incredibly shaky start, so long-running fans of the series will be looking for some good news to come out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
TechRadar will be out in full force at this year's E3 conference, so keep your eyes locked on us for all the latest news.
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Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi has released its first Android Go Edition phone in India. The Redmi Go is for consumers who are looking to move on from feature phones and with the addition of stock Android goodness, it does make a compelling option in the budget segment.
The Redmi Go goes old school with its 5-inch 16:9 aspect ratio HD (1280 x 720 pixels) display. It has a metal chassis and three capacitive buttons on the chin-- home, recents and back.
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset with a quad-core CPU, the Redmi Go will be offered in just one configuration. The phone comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. It supports microSD cards for further increasing the storage by up to 128GB. There's a dedicated microSD card slot along with support for dual SIMs. However, the phone doesn't support 4G networks on both the slots.
Being a part of the Android Go program the phone comes loaded with a stock Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition).
There's an 8MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture while a 5MP selfie camera is housed on the front for selfies. The camera has got basic functionalities such as HDR, burst mode, manual mode, real-time filters among others. It can also record videos up to Full HD resolution.
The Redmi Go has a 3,000mAh battery to its disposal which Xiaomi claims can provide up to 12 hours of calls, 78 hours of music and 5 hours of video playback. The battery is also said to last for up to 10 days on standby.Xiaomi Redmi Go price and availability
Redmi Go is priced starting at Rs 4,499 for the 8GB storage variant. The first sale will be held on March 22 on Flipkart, Mi Store India and Xiaomi's offline partners across India.