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Four top web hosting hacks to boost SEO

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 17:35

Your web host has a major influence on SEO. Speed, or how quickly your website loads is the most important factor. When a user arrives at your website it needs to respond quickly – it feels more natural and it’s what we all expect these days, no one likes waiting for anything anymore! 

There are several factors at play here, so let’s look at the key factors that can up your site’s SEO…  

Bandwidth

The bandwidth available to your website to broadcast and the capacity available to you when viewing - only the former is relevant here as the search engine crawlers generally run from the fastest networks around they still ‘see’ your site very quickly if the sites available bandwidth is good enough. But, if you have built your website with a mass of inappropriately large images and videos this will also slow the site down and impede user (and search crawler) experience, thus impacting negatively on the site. 

The sweet spot therefore is a fast host with plenty of bandwidth and a well optimised website in terms of all the content therein. 

Uptime

Uptime is the amount of time your website is active for people to view and visit it. Poor uptime creates an adverse experience for your users and thus reduces the ‘value’ of the site in the search algorithms matrix. Furthermore, if your website were down at the time the search engines were crawling your website this can be extremely bad. 

So, hosts with poor uptime performance should be avoided at all costs. There are a number of ways you can find out how good your potential host is from online data sources and third-party monitoring.

Cost

It is likely (but not a rule) that the lower the price of the hosting you are using the worse it will be. Why? The lower the cost the less bandwidth you will be allocated, and more likely the lower quality hardware you will be placed on. 

Hardware with many processor cores, solid state hard drives and 10GB networking will outperform single processor, spinning disk, 1GB network systems by orders of magnitude on a number of different levels.

Network

The network your website is being broadcast from can be a huge factor in either improving all the previous points or even undermining the good ones! If you have a fast server which has great uptime, but the network is in the outer reaches of the Antarctic with very few routes to anywhere else, the impact will again be speed performance.

Finding the best web host

To find the best web host possible for your site you should look for a host with the following combination:

1. A very fast network located on or near major points of presence (in the UK these include London and Manchester), and with the ISP having negotiated priority routing (known as Tier 1 routing). 

2. Excellent hardware based on multi-core and even multi-machine hardware with RAID (5,6 or 10) arrays, based on solid state hard drives, and redundancy capability to mitigate hardware failure and downtime. Note: wherever possible make sure you grab a backup of your website and associated data regularly (but do bear in mind the new GDPR rules).

3. CDN (Content Delivery Networks) and distribution of load points for common libraries such as JQuery can also dramatically improve load time performance, reduce bandwidth requirements from your main host and thus improve user experience and load times. 

CDNs are a way of co-locating your image and video (generally) content such that it takes the load of your main host. Your website html and operational code remains on your hosting server along with Database (another massive area of consideration – more on this, below), and consequently transactional information. The images and videos are placed on a distributed network of hosting usually designed to deliver more ‘locally’ to the user. So, my website may be hosted in the UK but the images and videos can be loaded more locally for users in Australia and the US for example, as such massively improving latency and the feel of the website for those users.

Databases

A word on databases; Most functional websites use databases, let’s face it, if you just have a static site with minimal to no updates it doesn’t matter how fast your website is it’s unlikely to rank well. So, assuming you have a database, everything we have discussed so far becomes doubled up. The same rules apply – a very fast web host with poor database service will impede the performance of your website. 

The size and scale of your database needs to be considered here. Most larger scale sites need separate and dedicated hardware for their databases, keeping the site and database on the same hosting server both increases risk, and in many cases reduces overall performance.

It goes without saying at this point that a well-designed website with a good codebase and well-engineered database architecture are also key factors. 

Improving SEO performance

To summarise, fast hosting, well linked by the underlying IPs (Internet Protocol addresses), especially with a number of high performing sites, boost each other’s potential. Whereas bulk, (cheap) relatively slow hosting by an ISP with masses of low-quality sites will potentially adversely affect the SEO performance of your website.

Now we’ve covered web hosting, for some more general tips on boosting SEO, try the following: 

  • UX is key, is your site giving users a great experience? Are there call to actions? Is it easy to navigate? Users want to get their information and answers quickly and easily, so if your site is hard to use, they will go elsewhere.
  • Post regular, engaging content that relates to you and your business. Update your content regularly, don’t expect users to come to you if your content isn’t fresh and is more than six months old.
  • Use social media platforms to post links back to your site.
  • Use H tags for headings, generally use HTML5 well.
  • Optimise your alt tags on images. They must be relevant. Don’t have “getty10485795.png” for example – it means nothing to anyone.
  • Optimise your on page meta Add OG images making your pages sharable with supporting images.
  • While keywords are a bit out-dated now, it doesn’t hurt to add them and be sure to enrich your copy with them. However, the key words and phrases in your articles should match the page title and images as well as possible.
  • Use SEO tools to monitor and gain an understanding of how your site’s SEO is performing, then adapt where there is room for improvement. 
  • Optimise image size. The bigger the image, the longer the load time. They need to be good quality but not too large, in terms of file size. 

Marc Woodhead, Founder and CEO of Holograph

Categories: Tech News

The best Netflix series in the US (August 2019): fantastic Netflix shows

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 16:26

Best Netflix Shows: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best shows and TV series you can stream on Netflix in the United States. 

These days Netflix plays host to some of the best TV shows on the planet, bar none. From originals like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black, to syndicated content like Archer, Black Mirror and Breaking Bad, if you need to unwind with a great TV show, there's only one place to go.

That means, if you're anything like us, you spend a lot of time in front of the Netflix screen. That also means you run out of shows to watch. 

To help you keep that IV bag of great TV content dripping, we've scoured the video streaming service to create a guide to the best Netflix shows in the US right now. We keep this list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching, so check back soon for more highlights.

August update: It has been an incredible season for Netflix with new episodes of Queer Eye, Stranger Things and Last Chance U all dropping within the last few months. We're excited about September's show lineup - including the second season of Matt Groening's Disenchantment - but there's no shortage of great new shows on the service.

So where should you start? Our list starts with the most recent releases - so start at the beginning with the latest options or dive straight in to the best of the best, the choice is yours. 

Why focus on Netflix? Why not hit up Hulu or tackle Vudu, Crackle or Vimeo? Well, those services are great but, in our opinion, Netflix has the most variety and probably the best shows of any of the other services. 

That being said, there’s never been a better time to binge watch, so get stuck into our gallery and let us know if your favorite show isn't on the list. 

Live in the UK, the UAE or Australia? We have guides for those, too!

Check out our Amazon Prime vs Netflix video below:

When it comes to TV and movies, the '80s is the nostalgia decade of the moment. Whether it's Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special that plays like a Steven Spielberg film, if Spielberg still made films like he did in the Eighties, or The Goldbergs and Red Oaks mining the decade for laughs, filmmakers can't get enough of the shell suits and Sony Walkmans.

Stranger Things is another brilliant homage to this era. Leaning heavily on Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King the story revolves around a small town, a group of friends, a missing person and a dodgy science lab. Writing anything else would give away the myriad twists in a show that is full of brilliant creepy fun.

The third season hit earlier in the summer and it was simply fantastic.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Need a dose of feel-good TV to help cope with today's rocky political landscape? Check out Queer Eye, a show about being the best you with help from five of the coolest dudes on the planet. The show just entered its fourth season in three years and we're still loving the premise of taking people stuck in a rut and hoisting them to the self-respecting, self-loving person we all want to be. 

Seasons on Netflix: 4  

ESPN might've had the world of sports documentaries well in hand with its 30 for 30 series. But that was before Netflix got the crazy idea to make one of its own. Inspired by an article in GQ magazine, Last Chance U follows student athletes who are one step away from never playing football again. On top of the pressures on the field, students face problems in the classroom where class absences and the fear failing hit harder than a defensive lineman. It's gritty, heart-wrenching and exactly the kind of series that gives you something to root for all while biting your nails.

Just in time for football season, the fourth season of the show – which continues following the team in Independence, Kansas – is now available.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Starting in June you can catch three new episodes of Charlie Brooker's spiritual successor to The Twilight Zone. We won't spoil the episodes' details here but, with Miley Cyrus playing a frighteningly good lead character in this batch, there's good reason to be excited about the show's return.

Before Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker was best known for his snarky looky at the news in Weekly Wipe and his fantastic, caustic look at meeja types in London’s Shoreditch. Now the show has given him superstar status. For good reason, it’s fantastic TV with each episode taking on a different dystopia topic, mostly framed around technology going very long. The third season was commissioned by Netflix and is in 4K, with most of the episodes being feature length.

Seasons on Netflix: 5 + Bandersnatch special 

If you like your cultural analysis with a dose of humor, Dear White People is the show for you. Starring Logan Browning at the conflicted Sam White, Dear White People navigates the tricky grounds of race relations in America in the post-Obama-but-yet-not-post-racism era. The first few episodes back away from hitting on anything too heavy but come episodes five and six, you get a biting sense of why this show is so needed at this point in our history. Funny, clever and dripping in wit, Dear White People isn't so much an attack on American ideals as it is a series about exploring, explaining, defending and deliberating the issues facing people of color in the US.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction has a simple but fantastic premise: What if, instead of having David Letterman host a late night talk show, he sits down with some of the most prominent people in entertainment and politics and just talks to them, person-to-person. There's no big band to play him off, no goofy segments to fill time, and no commercial breaks. It's just Letterman and his guests for 50 minutes at a time. The inaugural episode stars former US President Barrack Obama, which in and of itself makes it worth watching.

Season 2, which just went up at the end of May, stars rapper/media mogul Kanye West, Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Haddish,  Lewis Hamilton and philanthropist Melinda Gates in poignant, pointed conversation with the former king of late night. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

If you're looking for a scintillating time-travelling romance, check out Outlander, arriving on the service on May 27. The plot follows Claire Randall as she's taken back in time to Scotland where she... uh, befriends the locals.

It's basically Who Do You Think You Are meets your grandma's romance novels.   

Seasons on Netflix: 2

We've got some bad news, true believers: Netflix will no longer play host to Marvel TV shows. The companies announced their separation in late 2018, and sealed the deal in February of this year with the cancellation of Jessica Jones and The Punisher. 

That said, for the foreseeable future, you'll still be able to watch episodes of all the existing Marvel shows, which now include Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the one-time crossover event, The Defenders.

But don't dawdle, there's no telling what tomorrow will bring for the heroes (and villains) of Hell's Kitchen. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

While we were disheartened to hear that Netflix would end its long-running partnership with Marvel Studios on shows including Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, we were treated in February to The Umbrella Academy - a comic series written and developed by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerald Way. The comic series, which is currently in its third run, has attracted a huge cult following (not unlike My Chemical Romance) and Netflix scooped up the rights to the series.

That said, the show isn't as great as its Marvel forerunners - but it scratches the itch for super-powered TV shows without relying on iconic (and expensive) IPs.    

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The long-awaited reboot of everyone's favorite teenage witch is finally here, and it's easily one of the best new shows on Netflix. 

The first season arrived just in time for Halloween - offering 10 episodes of
supernatural high school drama. In the show's second season, which debuted in April, we got our chance to see how Sabrina is taking to her new life as a witch, and her struggles with both her inner and outer demons. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Orange Is The New Black's Natasha Lyonne stars in this dark comedy as Nadia, who keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party in a surreal time loop – much like Groundhog Day. 

With it's cynical and witty examination of living and dying, Russian Doll switches rapidly between laugh-out-loud hilarity and devastating sadness – it's a must-watch. In June 2019, Netflix announced it would be renewing Russian Doll for a second season - more details to come soon.

Seasons on Netflix: 1 

Created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, Big Mouth is a fictionalization of Kroll and Goldberg's teenage years in Westchester County, New York. 

The series is all about puberty, with Nick's raging hormones personified by Maurice the Hormone Monster, who wreaks havoc on his anxiety-ridden teenage life. 

Season 2 has just hit Netflix, and it's still as graphic as ever in its frank portrayal of the ups and downs of being a teenager and dealing with a changing body (don't watch this one with your parents).

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Critically acclaimed comedy The Good Place is back for a new season, continuing to follow the afterlife of a recently deceased woman who is sent to heaven by mistake.

The last season ended on something of a cliff hanger, so fans will be pleased to know that there will be a new episode every week. A great cast, clever writing and an original concept make this a must-watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, Maniac is a dark comedy miniseries, which follows two strangers as they embark on a pharmaceutical trial for a drug that claims to solve the users problems, permanently.

In the first day of its release, the show has been met with widely positive reviews, and the entire first season is available to stream on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Bojack Horseman is back for a brand new season, following glowing reviews for the previous four. 

Following the life of  washed up actor Bojack as he struggles with alcoholism, toxic relationships, and family issues, the series is just as heartwarming as it can be heartbreaking. For those who are worried it may be too dark for them, fear not - there's loads of slapstick humor, word play, and stunning animation to keep everything balanced.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Coming of age show Atypical is back for a new season, with Keir Gilchrist reprising his role as Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old with autism. Season two follows Sam as he starts thinking about colleges, and his family as they struggle to come to terms with a betrayal. 

Sam may be the show's protagonist, but it's his little sister Casey who steals the limelight in the new season, as she tries to balance school, her running career, friendship, and love. 

Even if you left education a long time ago, it's difficult to shake that feeling of 'back to school' at the beginning of September - with that in mind, why not try out a few high school themed shows on Netflix?

A good place to start is American Vandal, a mockumentary that examines the aftermath of a school prank that sees teachers' cars vandalized. The light-hearted ribbing of serious true crime documentaries like Making A Murderer and The Staircase has received great reviews, and the second season is set to arrive on Netflix on September 14. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Before the new season drops on October 10, you can still catch up with the first two seasons of Riverdale, the teen drama based on the infamous Archie comic book series. 

If you were a fan of Archie comics as a kid, this interpretation of the beloved characters is far darker and more mysterious than you'll remember, revolving around the murder of a local boy while the characters attempt to navigate high school, relationships, and family.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Orange Is The New Black is back for its sixth season and is a show that consistently one of the best to watch, with its superb tale of life in a women's prison. It's so popular that its makers have announced that the show will be running until at least season seven.

That being said, the show is dark. Tensions and issues with the US prison system brought to the forefront and while the comedy from the first few seasons is still there, it's slathered with a fair bit of drama. 

Seasons on Netflix: 6

Before we continue on with recommendation, Shameless comes with a warning: this show, a dramedy about a poor family in Chicago, really is shameless. Frank, played by William H. Macy will scheme his way to his next drink ... even if that means taking his own kids' lunch money. If you have ethical problems watching less-than-admirable people doing whatever it takes to make ends meet, Shameless isn't for you.

All that said, those that don't mind a bit more ... unscrupulous cast of characters will seriously enjoy Shameless's grittier, sex- and money-driven take on the Modern Family comedy.

Seasons on Netflix: 8

13 Reasons Why tackles tough subject matter in a way that's both heartfelt and shocking in equal measure. The show is a high school drama that revolves around a student, Clay Jensen, and his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah commits suicide, and the first season covered the 13 reasons why that happened. 

As you'd expect, a lot of the topics and themes in 13 Reasons Why might be distressing for some viewers. So really bear that in mind if you're planning on watching it soon - and consider who you're planning on watching it with, too. 

That said, if you can stomach the source material, 13 Reasons Why offers a well-wrought candid look at the societal pressures put on teens in the technological age.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Netflix has had a rocky road with sci-fi adaptations - the Wachowski's Sense8 had grand ambitions but didn't quite hit the sweet spot for everyone. Altered Carbon is hoping to change that, with its unique blend of dystopian science fiction. Based on the book of the same name by Richard Morgan, the show has sparks of brilliance ( Joel Kinnaman is great) but is also occasionally ridiculous in its outset (James Purefoy hams it up throughout). It strives to be more than it actually is but we admire what it's trying to do. Oh, and it looks fantastic in 4K.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

If you feel like you've been getting too good of sleep recently, American Horror Story is all-too-happy to fix that for you. You'll find seven seasons of the show on Netflix, each of which centers around a different plot line and unique set of fears. Not sure if clowns are all that scary? Watch American Horror Story. Think porous materials are harmless? Again, watch American Horror Story. Anything you love can and will be used to scare you silly.

[Update: American Horror Story: Apocalypse, the eight season in the anthology series is out now on FX. We're not sure when it will be available to stream on Netflix, but we will update this article as soon as it lands.]

Seasons on Netflix: 7 

If it wasn't for Netflix, Arrested Development would have stayed as a three-season wonder. The streaming giant decided to take a gamble and fund a fourth season of Mitchell Hurwitz's brilliant family comedy and we are glad it did. While splitting the family up for most of the season meant some of the spark had disappeared - this was done to fit in with the actors' busy schedules - the fourth season proved that there was still a lot to like about the dysfunctional Bluth family. 

Filled with season-long in-jokes, perfect site gags and spot-on wordplay, Arrested Development is a comedy that needs to be watched on repeat - and even then you will find something new to laugh at.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Freddie Highmore was one of the sweetest child actors around in his younger years, playing cherubic children in the likes of Finding Neverland and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now he's a fully fledged adult he's taken a much darker turn as future Psycho psycho Norman Bates in the show Bate Motel. A prequel of sorts to the Psycho movies, Bates Motel is a fantastic spin on the horror tale, ramping up the relationship Bates has with his mother - a cold and calculating Vera Farmiga - and sprinkling breadcrumbs along the way that point to how he became who he became. 

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad. That’s a sentence we never thought we would write, but it’s now three seasons and it is flawless TV. It doesn’t have the menace or fear that propelled Walter White in Breaking Bad, instead it takes its time to paint a picture of Saul Goodman, someone that was in Bad mainly for comic relief. 

In his own show, though, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have created a well-rounded, means well character whose descent into criminality is a slow burn. Although some characters have started to appear from Breaking Bad, the show doesn’t beg for the appearance of Walter White or Jesse - it’s now it’s own thing entirely.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

More addictive than the meth pushed by Walt and Jessie, Breaking Bad is brilliant binge-watching television. The initial plot is simple: a straight-laced teacher is told he has cancer and to make sure he leaves his family with the best possible life, he turns to drug making and dealing. There's method to his madness as he ends up being pretty good at it. Creator Vince Gilligan has created such a good group of characters, he is currently mining the same world again with Better Call Saul. But that has some way to go reach the highest highs that Breaking Bad offers.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

The words 'food porn' get thrown around a lot these days, and typically are preceded by a hashtag and proceeded by us viciously rolling our eyes. But Chef's Table is the real deal – 4K footage of some of the best chefs in the world making their signature dishes and doling out morsels of philosophy to keep your mind just as engaged as your stomach. 

Parts of the show come off as a bit too heady for the source material and are prone to veering a bit off course (there's multiple scenes where a particular chef talks about polygamy for some odd reason) but overall most of the chefs come off as genuinely eccentric masters of their craft. 

Seasons on Netflix: 6

Wish your fairy tales were a bit ... darker?  Dark is a German-language supernatural thriller in which the disappearance of two children in a small town brings the fractured relationships and dark pasts of the people living there to the surface. 

Adding a touch of Scandinavian crime thriller to American drama, Dark is an example of foreign-made TV from Netflix that translates into every territory.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Created by Netflix and Vox Media, this handy and smart series takes a look at some of the most popular ideas and tech around today and explains them in a way that's poignant in its presentation without feeling overwhelming to take in. 

From the racial wealth gap, cryptocurrency amd why diets rarely work through to K-Pop and the stock market, it's an insightful look at the problems, ideas and trends around today and the stuff that could shape tomorrow. At the very least, it gives you enough knowledge to have a really good debate down at the pub. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Co-created by and starring the ever-brilliant Brit Marling, The OA consists of eight episodes that rival Stranger Things for, well, strangeness. 

Marling is a blind woman who comes back after disappearing for many years. Her sight is restored and she has a tale to tell. Although there are eight episodes they vary wildly in length - from 70 minutes to 30 minutes. The whole thing has been made to make you feel uneasy and it does a great job of that.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

The long-awaited second season of the female wrestling comedy GLOW is finally here. The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling have returned and this time they’ve been commissioned for a full series of their trashy, hot-pink, hairspray-fuelled wrestling show led by their coked-up director (played by Marc Maron). Early reviews suggest the second season could potentially even outshine the first for its refreshing female-fronted cast and writers and its brilliant balance between empowerment and exploitation. It’s a must-watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Based on the life of comedian Bill Burr, F is for Family is a funny and endearing cartoon set in 1970's American suburbia, and centers around Burr's father Frank Murphy. 

A little like an even more adult version of The Simpsons, the series is all about 70's nostalgia, with musical, costume, and cultural throwbacks interspersed with Frank's profane rants at his misbehaving children and long suffering wife Sue.

Full to the brim with laugh-out-loud moments, the series is just as heartwarming as it is hilarious. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Calling The IT Crowd the British version of The Big Bang Theory is an insult to one of the greatest 'nerd' comedies of all-time. Even though the show ran for a scant four seasons, it remains one of the best parodies of modern geekdom. If you need a break from all the murder mysteries and crime fighting shows on the streaming service, the IT Crowd is a harmless, hilarious take on life in the world of IT and thoroughly deserves its cult status. 

Seasons available on Netflix: 4

 And there was us thinking that Daredevil's subject matter was dark. Jessica Jones is another tale set in Hell's Kitchen that may be under the Marvel banned but is about as far removed from the bromance of Thor and Iron Man that you are likely to see. 

Breaking Bad's Krysten Ritter is superb as the titular Jones, a private detective with superpowers and super issues. This is nocturnal noir that moves in the same circles as Daredevil - figuratively and literally as both characters will eventually team up in the Defenders. It may not have the bone-crunching violence that Daredevil is famed for, but there's enough booze, sex and black humor on the screen to make this a cracking comic-book caper that's strictly adults only. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

This awkward rom-com has been penned by Judd Apatow and it's yet again another hit for Netflix Originals. It's a similar bedfellow to Master of None, but it improves on the themes of dating, love and city life with characters that are more rounded and a touch more believable as they fail, give up and start over again in rapid succession. Community's Gillian Jacobs is great as the prim Mickey, while Paul Rust is effortless as slacker Gus. The show stealer, though, is Apatow's uber talented daughter Iris who plays a frankly horrible child star.

The 'will they, won't they?' shenanigans continue in the second season - those expecting a plot-heavy season will be disappointed, though, as Love meanders through its storylines - which is no bad thing (and more realistic) if you ask us.

Love's third and final season, the third, is also ready to watch. You can finally lay this rocky relationship to rest. Phew. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Luke Cage is back for a second season and this time he's brought some of the other TV superheroes along for the ride. This season sees Cage teaming up with the Iron First for what is an other assured stab at the Luke Cage mythos. 

After making his debut in the first series of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is now firmly rooted in Hell's Kitchen and over two seasons (and two shows), the character has matured into something of a powerhouse. The second season still suffers from the same slump the first did, but after the mediocre The Defenders and the plain bad Iron Fist, this is a breath of fresh air. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Mad Men is more addictive than the cigarettes Don Draper is trying to market us. If you've never watched it, essentially Mad Men is a show about everything we now consider taboo in glaringly harsh light. Set in 1960s America, inter-office intercourse is par for the course, along with ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes, sexism at the highest levels and a complete disregard for morals so long as it serves the characters on their climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his assistant Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) shock and entertain us by showing the lifestyles of the advertising executives who got the public to buy cigarettes long after they knew the health risks.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

True crime stories are so hot right now, evidenced by the immense popularity of the podcast Serial and HBO's The Jinx. Netflix's original series Making a Murderer however, is probably the hottest of them all, documenting and recounting the trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, two working-class Americans accused of the murder of 23-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Over its 10 episodes, the show exposes the failings of the Wisconsin justice system in blood-boiling detail. Having spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Steven Avery is exonerated based on new DNA evidence.

 However, shortly after his release, he becomes the prime suspect in Halbach's murder, and Avery is put through the ringer once again by law enforcement figures that seem to have it out for him. What follows is an anger-inducing sequence of events that involve forced confessions, unconvincing (and possibly planted) evidence, dodgy lawyers and a complete presumption of guilt from almost everyone involved. Compelling, infuriating and tragic, we guarantee you won't be able to stop watching Making a Murderer once you've started.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Master of None takes Ansari out of Amy Poehler's shadow and brings him into his own, showing audiences a side of the comedian that anyone in their mid-20s or early 30s can relate to. Like Louie, Master of None covers the oddities of everyday life, incorporating all the heartfelt moments and awkward situations that come with the territory. 

If you haven't watched it, now's a good time – the second season just arrived.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

David Fincher is no stranger to Netflix, he's heavily involved in House of Cards as producer and directed the first episode, but Mindhunter is Fincher going ... well, full Fincher. It's based on John Douglas' book of the same name and charts the life of an FBI profiler whose job it is to track serial killers. It's set in the '70s and all 10 episodes of the show ooze appeal. It's a sinister mashup of Silence of the Lambs and Mad Men and stars the superb Anna Torv - of Fringe fame. 

Fincher directs four episodes and the whole thing has been written by Joe Penhall who wrote the screenplay for The Road. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Narcos is that wonderful thing: a TV show that doesn't scrimp on controversy. Based on the exploits of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, the show examines the criminal's rise to the top of one of the biggest drug rings the world has seen, while constantly trying to avoid the clutches of the DEA.

Uncompromising, uncomfortable but completely unforgettable, Narcos is exactly the sort of thing that Netflix should be commissioning. It's also the sort of thing that HBO would have snapped up just a few years ago - which is very telling as to where television is today. 

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Based on the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan is an action -packed anime that's set in a world where humans live in cities protected by enormous walls to protect them from gigantic humanoid monsters called Titans who devour them at any opportunity. 

When a Titan breaks through the wall of protagonist Eren Yeager's hometown, he vows to get revenge by joining a group of soldiers who battle them. Although the show has a dedicated fan following, the second and third seasons are yet to be released on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Zooey Deschanel is adorkable - a word that we hate to use but describes her character of Jess perfectly. The plot lines are thin here but the comedy is sheer gold as Jess lives with a gaggle of guys who just can't seem to get their lives together. Now going into its last season, Jess has a man-crush and while we don't want to ruin the surprise here, the long journey from single life to nearly married is one well worth taking.

Seasons on Netflix: 6

We always knew Amy Poehler was funny. Sketch after sketch on Saturday Night Live proved she had the comedic timing of a professional stand-up mixed with the creative capacity of an executive producer. Each episode of Parks and Rec is a chance to see Poehler do what she does best, with an excellent supporting cast of Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza and Rashida Jones behind her every step of the way. While we were sad to see the show come to a heart-wrenching conclusion this year, the finale in February was the perfect excuse to go back and binge-watch the entire series from start to finish.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

Santa Clarita Diet is sort of like if the show Dexter met Modern Family. It stars Drew Barrymore as the stereotypical TV mom, with one simple, but quite interesting difference: she likes eating people. 

This brand-new show on Netflix is a great send up of the family sitcom, taking all the tropes that make Modern Family and the like so successful, then turning them on their head, and then eating their head. And be warned: when things are eaten it's all very grizzly – so much so that it could give The Walking Dead a run for its money. That said, it's probably best to put the kids to bed first.

The second season of Santa Clarita Diet came to Netflix in March 2018, and proves this high-concept show isn't a one-season blow-out. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

It shouldn't work but it really really does. This modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories is as good as it gets. Benedict Cumberbatch is everything you want in a Holmes - someone that wallows in wit, weirdness and warmth. While Martin Freeman plays Dr Watson as he plays all his characters - he's the everyman that has to learn how to deal with his extraordinary colleague. Episodes are scarce but each one is feature length, which gives them time to breath. Let's just hope these two superstars can find time in their busy schedules to keep doing the show.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Is The Crown Netflix's crowning glory? Not quite, but it is a sumptuous look at one of the world's most famous families: the Royal family. 

Charting the early years of the relationship between the Queen (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip  (former Doctor Who Matt Smith), the show was written by Peter Morgan and, at £100 million, is one of the most expensive TV series ever made. Which means there's enough pomp and ceremony to keep those pining for a Downton Abbey replacement happy.

The second season continues to chart the queen's life, tracing major events from 1957 to 1963. We're ready for season 3, in which Olivia Colman takes over the lead role.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

If The Great British Bake Off or Zumbo's Just Desserts makes you feel inadequate, you should try Nailed It!, the baking show for people who suck at baking. The series sees three contestants per episode take on two impossible baking challenges, with the "winner" receiving $10,000. (Winner is a term we use loosely, of course.) 

Hosted by the infectiously upbeat Nicole Byer and suave French pastry chef Jaques Torres, this show is guaranteed to make you smile.

[Update: The Christmas edition, Nailed It: Holiday is out now...perfect watching for a cosy night in.]

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Adapted from the comic book of the same name (mins the ***), The End Of The F***ing World is f***ing brilliant. It tells the tale of two teenagers on a journey; both are loners on the run but one of them just happens to be a bit of a psychopath. It's funny, but brutal TV. It's British and co-funded by Channel 4 and there's a fantastic edge to everything in it - and it's perfectly bite-sized, too at just under 20 minutes an episode. It's so good, it's destined to get a second season. The first ends so perfectly, though, it's actually a real shame that this will happen.

Seasons on Netflix: 1 (and it needs to stay that way)

Categories: Tech News

Humans are listening to some of your Skype calls and Cortana interactions

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 16:12

Some of our worst assumptions about smart speakers, digital assistants and internet phone services are coming true, as Microsoft has admitted that both Microsoft employees and contractors may listen to your Skype calls and voice interactions with its Cortana digital assistant.

The confirmation comes a week after Vice's Motherboard discovered that Microsoft has hired contractors to listen to the calls and voice interactions of Skype and Cortana users, respectively. The details gathered, according to Motherboard, include "sensitive and personal conversations of Microsoft customers."

"We realized, based on questions raised recently, that we could do a better job specifying that humans sometimes review this content," a Microsoft spokesperson told Motherboard.

Prior to this change, Microsoft's privacy policies did not make this distinction clear. Now, the policies states that this practice is in place to improve its services. "Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing," the policy now reads specifically.

The odd one out

Don't think that Microsoft is unique in this practice. At one time, Apple, Google and Facebook used human labor to monitor and improve their digital assistant products. However, all three of those companies have since dropped these practices.

Not so with Microsoft, as the company seems to be standing its ground on using human employees or contractors to improve its services.

"We’ve updated our privacy statement and product FAQs to add greater clarity and will continue to examine further steps we might be able to take," the spokesperson added for Motherboard.

Whether Microsoft will buckle under the peer pressure put on by its biggest rivals in the online services space is unknown. In the meantime, Microsoft does offer a tool to delete audio recordings stored of your voice on its servers.

Categories: Tech News

Liverpool vs Chelsea live stream: how to watch UEFA Super Cup 2019 football online from anywhere

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:56

Champions League winners against Europa League champs - the UEFA Super Cup has become the traditional curtain raiser for European competitions. This year's is a first - an all-English affair, with Liverpool taking on Chelsea. Which Premier League side will earn the bragging rights in Istanbul? You watch all the action no matter where you are in the world by following our Liverpool vs Chelsea UEFA Super Cup live stream guide below.

Tonight's match highlights something of a sea change in European football, with the balance of power perhaps slipping away from La Liga - no Spanish team will contest the Super Cup for only the second time since 2008 (Atletico Madrid are the reigning champions after beating Real in Tallinn last season).

This encounter brings together two teams from the same nation who have played each other an unusually frequent number of times on the European stage, with the Wednesday's Super Cup showdown the 11th meeting in UEFA competitions since 2005. Liverpool have notched up two wins in that time, while Chelsea edge it with three wins, the remaining five games having been stalemates.

On early season Premier League form, Liverpool go into today's clash the clear favourites with Frank Lampard's Chelsea coming into the game off the back of a demoralising 4-0 defeat against Manchester United. Liverpool meanwhile earned a convincing 4-1 win over Norwich in their opening Premier League fixture.

The 2019 UEFA Super Cup poised to be a fascinating one-off game, so make sure you follow the instructions below for how to live stream Liverpool vs Chelsea from wherever you are in the world.

Use a VPN to watch Super Cup football outside your country

If you're away from your country but are desperate to get around geo-blocking from your home broadcaster, don't sweat. Thanks to the tools provided to you by a VPN service, you can tune in no matter where you are in the world. And best of all, it's really easy to do.

Stream Liverpool vs Chelsea live in the UK 

How to watch a Liverpool vs Chelsea live stream in US for FREE

How to live stream UEFA Super Cup football in Canada for FREE

How to live stream Liverpool vs Chelsea Super Cup match in Australia

How to watch Champions League football in New Zealand

How to live stream the UEFA Champions League football in India

Categories: Tech News

Improving cybersecurity in education systems

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:37

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. We already know that businesses, organisations, and government entities must follow certain guidelines in order to protect sensitive information. However, the education sector equally possesses important assets of data to protect. According to the report sponsored by VMware, cyber-attacks on UK universities presents an increasing risk to national security. This clearly indicates that the education sector must begin addressing any risks posed from cyber-hacks with immediate action for overall security

How is the education sector under threat?

Over the recent years, the education sector has become more susceptible to cyber hacks due to the following motives:

  • Financial gain – A motive for hackers carrying out an attack on an education institution is often for financial gain. With Universities & Colleges handling a large number of student fees, they’re a prime target for cybercriminals;
  • Data theft – All institutions hold student and staff data, including sensitive details like names and addresses. This type of information can be valuable to cyber criminals who could potentially exploit the information to a third party.
Why are cyber hacks becoming so common within the education sector?

As seen above, schools have become vulnerable to hacks due to sensitive data and financial gains. However, the attacks have now become so common and often successful to the detriment  of the industry; let’s look at a few key reasons:

  • A lack of resources– potentially the lack of budget to invest in cybersecurity, be it security software or staff;
  • Cultural issues – a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ culture is common in educational institutions and can present difficulties in securing the wider network, particularly with IT staff already facing stretched resources, without a suitable MDM solution;
  • An absence of policy – setting out policies for using the network and making sure they’re adhered to can be difficult in large institutions with a dynamic user population.
How can the education sector take measures towards cybersecurity?

As mentioned, the cyber security related risks from technological devices remains a primary concern for the education sector. Therefore, we have devised a few top tips recommended to follow so that data remains secure and safe across the system: 

  • Password protection on laptops and other devices. 

People forget to secure their password safely and securely, loosely sharing information amongst peers and other staff members. Therefore, one of the first basic yet most effective cybersecurity practices is to secure and protect passwords. 

The best practices to secure passwords includes using a mix of characters, not re-using university provided passwords, changing annually, and never sharing your password.

Most data breaches are the result of human error. A strong school network security regimen holds no great significance if students and staff don’t understand how to mitigate risk. Therefore, introduce cybersecurity training for all staff and students who regularly make use of technology on school grounds. Such training may include:

  • How to identify safe and unsafe sites
  • Spotting phishing attempts or other scams
  • Using antiviruses, malware or another frontline defence

By investing time and expenses in the actual training the mitigation strategy in place will be twice as more effective; if a risk does develop it will be more likely to receive an early detection and do-little damage once addressed. 

  • Place clear policies and more importantly ensure everyone follows it

The more you know where your vulnerabilities are, the better prepared you can be to prevent against them. If you already have cybersecurity policies in place, a formal audit can help you validate whether your university is enforcing the policies that were set. 

Audits are typically performed by third-parties. If you don’t have clear cybersecurity policies in place, an assessment of your technology infrastructure, organisational policies, and user-training can give you the full picture of where your biggest risks lie.

Importance of Cybersecurity within Education

It is apparent that today no sector is immune from the threat of a cyberattack and this sadly includes schools and universities. The voluminous data these institutions hold as well as the increasing number of connected devices makes this sector a vulnerable domain for cyber-hacking. 

Given the complexity of networks today, and of the threats to their security, traditional anti-virus solutions are also no longer enough. Therefore, manually following the above best practices ensures you are covered as a vicinity from all areas. Cyber security is no longer considered just an IT issue but is holistically approached throughout the organisation and hence should be treated as a collaborative effort to mitigate.

 

Nick Walter is the Head of Commercial and Education at Acer.

Categories: Tech News

Millennial workers more likely to use unsecured collaboration apps

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:27

Collaborating at work has never been easier thanks to the slew of collaboration tools that have become commonplace in organizations worldwide but new research has revealed that millennials are 1.5-times more likely to use unapproved apps when doing so.

To compile its new “Teamwork and Collaboration: Rise of Millennials and End User vs IT Discord” report, the collaboration platform management company Unify Square surveyed 600 end-users across three age groups in large organizations to better understand how IT departments are managing their collaboration apps.

The survey found a disparity between what IT departments believe users want and what the users themselves actually think. IT believes 44 percent of users are “very satisfied” with the collaboration apps used at their organization and 47 percent are just “somewhat” satisfied. However, respondents reported satisfaction levels of 51 percent and 34 percent respectively.

Collaboration apps such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google G Suite and Zoom have been adopted at many organizations but employees often choose to use their own unofficial apps in an effort to boost their productivity.

Unapproved apps

Unify Square's report found that millennial workers are more likely to use unapproved apps for collaboration in the workplace when compared to other generations. Almost a third (28%) of the millennials surveyed reported using unapproved apps two to four times per week while 71 percent said they use unapproved apps at least a few times per year.

When it came to IT's preferred collaboration platform, Microsoft Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams were the most popular at 59 percent and 48 percent respectively. However, end users disagree with only half preferring Skype for Business and 34 percent reported preferring Teams.

Chief product marketing officer at Unify Square, Scott Gode provided further insight on the report's findings, saying:

"Many of these apps don't share information, causing "islands" of communication and collaboration to form, negating much of the benefit of using apps that should be better than email at enabling users' productivity. IT needs to shift from 'command and control' to 'trust, but verify' for organizations deploying WSC platforms to realize the greatest value from their investments."

Via ZDNet

Categories: Tech News

A mysterious AMD Threadripper CPU may have appeared in leaked Geekbench result

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:16

We've been sitting, waiting for 3rd Generation Threadripper processors to appear, but we might have finally seen one of these HEDT Castle Lake processors appear in a leaked Geekbench result.

This leak was spotted by the folks over at TechPowerUp, and it references a mysterious 'Sharkstooth' processor. Now, previously we've heard these chips referenced as Castle Peak, but because this is a 32-core chip with a 3.6 GHz boost, it doesn't match any of the recently-announced Epyc processors. So, if this chip is actually a real thing, it would have to be Threadripper. 

As for how this alleged Threadripper 3rd Generation processor performed in this leaked benchmark, it scored a whopping 94,772 points in the GeekBench multi-core test. For comparison's sake, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX scores 82,678 points, as noted by Tom's Hardware. That makes this mysterious AMD 'Sharkstooth' processor about 13% faster in a multi-threaded workload. 

If these numbers are accurate, and this AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Gen processor is both real and this powerful, it could be a compelling option for any serious creatives out there looking for a little extra horsepower.

Still, we don't really have a clear picture of when we'll actually see AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processors show up on the streets. However, we have seen some previous speculation that these HEDT (high-end desktop) processors would appear as soon as October 2019. 

We're sure we'll see these Threadripper processors once AMD is ready to share the information. But, if these leaked benchmarks are any indication we could be getting some extremely powerful silicon in the near future.

Categories: Tech News

Borderlands 3 isn't the game you remember - but that's OK

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:14

Threequels are notoriously hit-or-miss. While some series’ third instalations go beyond expectations and breath new life into a franchise, others can fall seriously short of the bar. It’s all about striking that sweet balance between fresh new content and the formula that fans originally gravitated to - and it’s a balance that Gearbox does beautifully with Borderlands 3.

It has been seven years since the release of the critically acclaimed Borderlands 2, the second core game in Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series, and fans are salivating at the prospect of sinking their boots into Pandora’s soil once more. But with that anticipation, also comes apprehension. How can the developer build on what we’ve seen before? What if it changes too much?

“It's actually really, really hard to balance that on any sequel,” Chris Brock, Borderlands 3’s multiplayer producer tells TechRadar. “The more successful the game is, the harder it is. And the longer you've been away, the harder it is.

“You don't want to change too much because you don't want it to deviate from the game they fell in love with but, at the same time it's a numbered sequel, it needs to be new enough to where there's a reason for it having come out.” 

This is a value that runs rampant through Borderlands 3’s veins. Stepping into Pandora once more feels like you’ve never been away: old friends have returned, bandits still rule the wastelands and you won’t be able to decide if you love or hate Claptrap. 

Though, while familiar, there’s no denying that things are aesthetically more pleasant and playability is generally much smoother. It’s like finally getting that pair of glasses you’ve needed for years, it’s just an extra bit of sharpness that elevates the experience to meet what you had remembered in your mind’s eye. 

Character assassination

While the chaotic heart of Borderlands remains, there are plenty of new features in Borderlands 3 that set it apart from its predecessors. For a start, we’ve got four new playable characters to get to know: FL4K the Beastmaster, Amara the Siren, Zane the Operative and Moze the Hunter. 

Perhaps our favorite character from the new roster is FL4K the Beastmaster, whose pet skills allow him to summon a companion in the form of a Jabber, Spiderant or Guard Skag. FL4K can then select an ability alongside this pet, allowing for a more dynamic playstyle that can see you combining your own combat techniques with that of your (mostly ugly) companions. For example you could harness a tank pet while taking a personally stealthy approach - almost like having a less cognizant player two. They’re also particularly useful for earning an easy second wind.

But if you’re not one for companionship then you may gravitate to the classic, assault-style of Zane, the mech-wielding tankishness of Moze or the familiarity of Amara. 

While you be be lamenting the characters of Borderlands past, don’t fret, as the likes of Zero and Axton will be making appearances in Borderlands 3 - and there is apparently a method to Gearbox’s roster-changing madness.

“Making a suite of four new characters, while that is difficult, is not necessarily difficult enough to not do it."

Chris Brock - Multiplayer Producer

“If we were to bring Zero, Axton, Maya and Salvadore into Borderlands 3 - if we were to change them - then the fans of those characters would be like 'why did you change my character',” Brock explains to TechRadar.  “If we don't change them at all, then people ask why we didn't bother. 

“We really preferred to start fresh with new vault hunters, and then we want to keep the old characters around. We keep them around in NPC capacity, but that way they're present but not taking over the while franchise.

“Making a suite of four new characters, while that is difficult, is not necessarily difficult enough to not do it. “

What’s more, these new characters actually have personalities. Rather than the occasional word here and there, your character has a voice and will engage with other characters rather than standing there smouldering with nobility. Playable characters quip as good as any comedic-action hero, but the real showcase of this is in co-op when all the characters are bouncing off each other. But it’s never done in a way that’s annoying, it’s just enough for comedic value and effect.

Not only do characters in co-op bounce off each other through voice interactions but you can now combine different characters’ combat abilities to your advantage. For example, when we played co-op as Zane, we teamed up with someone playing as Moze. Moze has an ability that allows her to spawn a big ol’ mech (a bit like Overwatch’s D.Va), and atop this mech is a turret gun. As Zane, I was able to clamber onto the turret gun and mow down bandits while Moze controlled the mechs full body. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

It's the little things

While there are some notable big changes, the devil is in the details when it comes to Borderlands 3 and the game’s true crown and glory is its new quality-of-life features. It can be hard to notice how many small features have been implemented in Borderlands 3, as most are the kind of things you wouldn’t notice until they weren’t there. For example, you can now simply hit one button at a vending machine to refill all your ammo or you can see the item of the day without ever having to go into the store.

While some of these features were feedback-driven, Gearbox is not afraid to admit that others were a result of taking a leaf out the playbooks of other studios. 

"Sometimes someone does something, and they do it so well, that's just the way you do it."

Chris Brock - Multiplayer Producer

Perhaps the most obvious similarities have been drawn between Borderlands 3 and BioWare’s Apex Legends. It’s not particularly surprising considering Gearbox has implemented mantling and sliding in Borderlands 3, alongside a handy new ping system.

“We've been seeing the evolution of shooters over the past five years or so and player movement is a thing that's become much more robust - we start to expect it now,” Brock tells TechRadar. “I think Apex and Titanfall have kind of done that.”

“So it's funny, because with Apex, when that came out we were as surprised as anyone. By that point we already had sliding and mantling in the game but with the player ping we were like 'man that is elegant’. That's a simple elegant system that works so well. Sometimes someone does something, and they do it so well, that's just the way you do it. I think pinging was like that for us.”

Formula for funny

Borderlands 3 somehow manages to take everything that made its predecessors spectacular and amp it up. The little tweaks and additions are carefully deliberate, with every change arguing its purpose and earning its spot. 

However the lifeblood of Borderlands 3 is its tongue-in-cheek humor which majestically walks the line between dark satire and utter silliness - self deprecating jokes and burger launchers.  It’s something that could easily grow old but there’s no worry of that in the latest addition to the series - in fact, we found it funnier than ever.

“Internally the mantra is 'it's funny but it's not a joke',” Brock explains. “There are jokes but there's also that very serious thread. The tone is weird but, within the universe, it all kind of makes sense.” 

Categories: Tech News

4K TV deal: save $200 on the Vizio 65-inch TV and receive a $150 gift card at Dell

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:09

If you're looking for a bargain on a large screen TV, then look no further than this fantastic deal from Dell. For a limited time, you can get Vizio 65-inch 4K Smart TV on sale for $549.99. That's a $200 discount and the best price we've found for the Ultra HD TV. Dell has also sweetened the Dell by including a free $150 Dell Promo eGift card with your purchase of the TV.

The Vizio big screen TV is packed with premium features and allows you to watch movies and TV shows in brilliant 4K UHD resolution. You can launch your favorite apps directly from the home screen thanks to SmartCast OS, which also allows you to use the app to browse and control your favorite content from your phone. The Vizio E-Series TV has Google Chromecast built-in and works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to launch movies, turn the channel, and control other smart home devices using your voice.

Like we mentioned above, this is the best price we've found for the Vizio 65-inch TV, and you're receiving a free $150 gift card to use at Dell's online store. This offer ends on August 16, so you should snag this rare deal before it's gone.

Shop more of best 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

Biometric data of a million users leaked

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 12:53

Security researchers have discovered a huge collection of unsecured biometric credentials and personal information including the fingerprint data of over one million people.

The discovery was made by researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar alongside vpnMentor and in addition to fingerprint data, they also found facial recognition information, unencrypted usernames and passwords as well as other personal information from users of Suprema's Biostar 2 security platform.

As with other recent data leaks, the information was found in a publicly accessible database which contained 27.8m records spanning 23GB of data. As of now, it is still unclear as to whether any malicious actors were able to access the data while it was publicly exposed.

Organizations around the world rely on the Biostar 2 security system to secure their commercial buildings. According to vpnMentor, the system is used to control access to facilities in the US, UK, Japan, India and the UAE.

Biostar 2

If cybercriminals did manage to access the data, they could use it to either create or modify existing user credentials which would allow them to access any building secured with Biostar 2.

Employees enrolled in the security system could also be at risk as their personal information could be used to commit identity fraud and their fingerprint data could be used to gain access to other systems that are secured using their unencrypted fingerprint data.

According to The Guardian, Suprema also recently announced that its Biostar 2 platform would be integrated into another security system called AEOS which is used in 83 countries by governments, banks and even the UK's Metropolitan Police service.

The security vulnerability has now been fixed but the biometric credentials and personal information exposed in the data leak could still be leveraged by malicious actors. Businesses using the Biostar 2 platform should change the passwords they use to access the system's dashboard immediately to prevent falling victim to any potential attacks.

Tripwire's VP of product management and strategy, Tim Erlin provided further insight on the data leak and the disadvantages of using biometric data for security purposes, saying:

“As an industry, we’ve learned a lot of lessons about how to securely store authentication data over the years. In many cases, we’re still learning and re-learning those lessons. Unfortunately, companies can’t send out a reset email for fingerprints. The benefit and disadvantage of biometric data is that it can’t be changed.

“Using multiple factors for authentication helps mitigate these kinds of breaches. As long as I can’t get access to a system or building with only one factor, then the compromise of my password, key card or fingerprint doesn’t result in compromise of the whole system. Of course, if these factors are stored or alterable from a single system, then there remains a single point of failure.”  

Via The Verge

Categories: Tech News

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation release date, news, and rumors

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 12:48

Now that AMD has released its first 7nm Ryzen 3rd Generation processors, what will the future look like for Threadripper 3rd Generation – its next line of HEDT processors?

The new Zen 2 architecture was revealed at CES 2019, with AMD promising dramatically improved efficiency and performance, thanks to the new 7nm manufacturing process. 

This is the architecture behind the latest Ryzen processors like the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, and sees performance jump up dramatically, thanks to a 15% boost to IPC (instructions per clock). This is definitely exciting information if you’re looking to upgrade to a new Ryzen chip, but we’re interested in Threadripper 3rd Generation here. But, if this same jump in performance can appear in the next Threadripper processors, we could see some of the best CPUs for creative work yet. 

Still, AMD has yet to officially announce when we'll actually see these processors, much less how powerful they'll actually be. However, that doesn't mean we don't have anything to go off of – we've used our tech expertise to gather up all the Threadripper 3rd Generation rumors and speculation in one spot. So, be sure to keep this page bookmarked, and we'll keep it updated with all the latest Threadripper news. 

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? AMD’s next line of HEDT processors 
  • When is it out? Likely late 2019
  • What will it cost? TBD

 Image Credit: TechRadar 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation release date

AMD hasn’t come out and announced the release date for the next Threadripper chips, but the last two generations have had pretty consistent release dates, so we have a solid basis for speculation.

Both the original Threadripper and Threadripper 2nd Generation launched in August of 2017 and 2018, respectively. We’re fairly sure that AMD is going to follow the same general release schedule this time around, but, obviously we don’t know that for sure. 

The Zen 2 architecture launched with Ryzen 3rd Generation in July 2019, however we still don't know when we'll see this architecture enter the HEDT market. 

And, well, it looks like we may have to wait until 2020 to even see these processors. AMD’s next-gen HEDT chips have dropped off of Team Red’s roadmap entirely, so we might be waiting quite a while to get our hands on them. This isn’t the most concrete of rumors, but it’s better to be prepared for the worst. 

We’ll update this article as soon as we hear more substantial rumors about the release date.

 Image Credit: TechRadar 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation price

Now, so far ahead of AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation’s launch, we don’t have any official pricing information, but we can look at past generations to get an idea of what AMD’s next HEDT chips will cost. 

The original lineup of Threadripper topped out with the $999 (£999, AU$1,439) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, but the second generation introduced surprisingly lower priced replacements. There were also two higher specced – and higher priced – additions. We believe Threadripper 3rd Generation will follow the latter model.

The prices of AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation chips are as follows: 

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX: $1,799 (£1,639, AU$2,679)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX: $1,299 (£1,159, AU$2,039)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: $899 (£809, AU$1,415)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2920X: $649 (£583, AU$1,019)

AMD could very well surprise us and introduce an even higher-end SKU, like it did with the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X, but we're not sure that will actually happen. Stay tuned, and we’ll update this page as soon as we hear any Threadripper 3rd Generation price information.

 Image Credit: TechRadar 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation specs

With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation, we expect to see a huge bump in core counts, efficiency and per-core performance with Threadripper 3rd Generation. If you need a refresher on last year’s Threadripper lineup’s specs they’re as follows:

  • 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

With its Ryzen 3rd Generation processors, the move to 7nm has massively improved specs, not only resulting in higher core counts, but boosted clock speeds, much higher cache and lower power consumption. So, if that repeats with Threadripper Castle Peak, we're sure that performance is going to be massively improved. You can just look at the recently-announced Epyc processors, also based on Zen 2, which feature up to 64-cores.  

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, which will hit store shelves in September, features 16-cores, for instance, double that of the previous-generation Ryzen 7 2700X. And, when it comes to power consumption, just look at the Ryzen 7 3700X, which beats the Intel Core i9-9900K with a 65W TDP (thermal design power). 

AMD Zen 2 processors feature up to 8-core chiplets that are smaller than the IO die. This means that Threadripper 3rd Generation should have many more cores in the same amount of space. 

Right now, all the rumors are pointing to AMD Threadripper 3rd Generation processors having up to 32-cores and 64-threads. That's the same amount of cores and threads featured in the Threadripper 2990WX, but a leaked 3rd Generation Threadripper processor appeared that's 13% faster with the same amount of cores

If AMD is able to bring higher core counts to Castle Peak HEDT processors, we could see AMD absolutely dominate Intel’s Basin Falls Refresh – and potentially the Cascade Lake-X family that’s rumored to follow it. And, if Intel can’t answer with anything but 14nm silicon, AMD might claim the HEDT throne just as it toppled Intel’s mainstream sales. This is especially true if Intel can’t get a smaller manufacturing process out before Zen 3 comes out and refines AMD’s 7nm process, likely in 2020.

Categories: Tech News

UFC 241 live stream: how to watch Cormier vs Miocic 2 from anywhere

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:43

UFC returns to California this weekend with its next big PPV and the heavyweight title will be on the line in UFC 241’s main event rematch. Current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will defend his title against the opponent he won it from in the first place back in July of 2018, Stipe Miocic. Sound good? Then keep reading to discover the best ways to get a UFC 241 live stream - no matter where you are in the world.

Stipe Miocic defended his title three times before losing to Cormier by knockout in the first round at UFC 226 in July last year. Cormier, who already held the title of light heavyweight champion at the time, became the new heavyweight champion and only one of four fighters to hold two UFC championships simultaneously.

While Cormier fought three times last year, Miocic has not fought a match since his defeat but he has been hoping for a rematch. At UFC 241 this Saturday, Miocic will get his chance and we’ll see whether he or Cormier is the better fighter.

Elsewhere on the card, Nate Diaz will return to the Octagon for the first time since losing to Conor McGregor in August 2016 and the former lightweight title challenger will take on Anthony Pettis in a welterweight match.

Whether you’ll be cheering for Cormier or Miocic during Saturday's MMA action, we’ll show you how to live stream UFC 241’s card from anywhere in the world - for US viewers, you should just head straight to ESPN+

Live stream UFC 241 from outside your country

Worry not if you're a huge UFC fan but aren't in the US to watch that ESPN+ coverage this weekend. If you find the coverage is geo-blocked, you can try using a VPN to change your IP address to a US server and watch this week's main card just as if you were back at home.

How to watch UFC online in the US exclusively on ESPN+

Live stream UFC 241 in the UK

Live stream UFC 241 on PPV in Australia The UFC 241 card in full

Main Card

-Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title

-Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis

-Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero

-Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff

-Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch

Preliminary Card

-Clay Collard vs. Devonte Smith

-Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen

-Christos Giagos vs. Drakkar Klose

-Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney

Early Preliminary Card

-Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel

-Brandon Davis vs. Kyung Ho Kang

-Shana Dobson vs. Sabina Mazo

Categories: Tech News

iPhone 11 line-up may feature 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max - but probably won't be called that

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:39

We’re expecting Apple to launch three new iPhone handsets this September, but what they’ll be called remains uncertain. However, a new leak puts forward some possible names, with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max all mentioned.

Those names come from an Excel spreadsheet created by ESR (a case-maker) and obtained by iPhoneSoft. We would however take them with a huge side of salt, as while case-makers sometimes have advance information on handsets, they’re just as often guessing. Plus, iPhone 11 Pro Max seems a rather clunky name.

We have however heard both iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Max (but not Pro Max) rumored before, so there could be some truth to this. It’s interesting to note too that if this is accurate then there won’t be an iPhone 11R, rather the standard iPhone 11 will be the most basic new handset.

As well as the names, this spreadsheet says that the iPhone 11 is 6.1 inches, the iPhone 11 Pro is 5.8 inches, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is 6.5 inches. That’s the same assortment of sizes as the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max offer.

That’s also in line with most current leaks, with the only significant design change expected to be the shape of the rear camera block.

Again though, we’d take this with a pinch of salt for now. Everything should become clear soon though as Apple is likely to unveil the new iPhone range in mid-September. TechRadar will be reporting live from the event and bringing you all the news and rumors in the meantime, so stay tuned for updates.

Via Tom's Guide

Categories: Tech News

Best Android phone 2019: which should you buy?

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:34

The best Android phones sport slimmer bezels and introduce startling new design quirks. With the growing number of killer Android smartphones, it can hard to pick the best one to suit your particular needs, but we’ve had plenty of hands-on time to list the best – and the rest.

For now, Samsung is still holding strong thanks to its talent for blending features, high specs, and exciting design alongside some stunning cameras in its new S10 line. But given the advancements coming from competing Google Pixel and Huawei phones, the roster of best Android smartphones will keep getting more interesting. The new OnePlus 7 Pro is a scrappy contender in its own right. 

If you’re shopping around for a new Android smartphone, be sure to check all of these handsets out, as you'll see some you might not have known about or haven't taken seriously - but we can assure you they're all quality picks.

You can also compare the list to our best phones and best unlocked phones to see how Android and iOS devices stack up. And, if you need mobile service to go with your phone, we can help you find the best unlimited data plan.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best Android phones on the market right now.

While the Samsung Galaxy S series has only made incremental improvements in recent years, the Galaxy S10 Plus makes a bit more of a substantial leap ahead with new features and an even sleeker look. While the other models in the series have their advantages, the S10 Plus is simply the best of the best – top specs, an expanded camera suite and some shiny new tricks.

The Snapdragon 855 at the phone's core competes with the Apple A12 for the fastest chip you can get in phones, and the 8GB RAM makes browsing and gaming speedy. The baseline 128GB of storage is great, but you can also pick up the phone with 512GB – or even 1TB, if you pay for the premium ceramic-backed version (which boosts the RAM to 12GB). If that's not enough, storage can be boosted by 512GB via microSD, bumping potential storage to 1.5TB...whoever should need it.

The phone has few drawbacks, with a huge 6.4-inch screen in the smallest frame we've seen thanks to a 93% screen-to-body ratio. The in-screen fingerprint sensor is cool, the ability to wirelessly charge other devices using the new Wireless PowerShare feature is even cooler, and we just love the clean look of the phone. Aces all around...if you're willing to pay the (very) high price.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

If you hate the smartphone notch, you can still get the best smartphone camera without it. Google’s Pixel 3 comes in smaller and more affordable than its bigger sibling, but it offers the same best-in-class camera performance.

The design of the Pixel 3 isn’t quite up to par with the rest of the new flagships from 2018, as it has sizable bezels above and below the screen. It fits a 5.5-inch display with a resolution slightly above Full HD. 

Though it’s not winning any contests for its looks, the internals are up to the task, with a Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM to power through most tasks quickly. Google’s phones also get timely and ongoing updates to the operating system, so the Pixel 3 may remain relevant longer than some of its competition.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 review

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is essentially the iPhone XR for Android: flagship specs at a lower price, with a few features shaved off to cut costs. And yet, the S10e is less of a compromise. It retains an AMOLED display (the XR's is LCD), starts at 6GB of RAM and packs a second ultrawide rear camera to the XR's single wide lens.

There are several things the S10e lacks compared to its pricier siblings, but nothing you'll terribly miss: its side-mounted sensor is still more reliable than the in-screen fingerprint sensor on the S10 and S10 Plus. The 2x telephoto lens on its bigger siblings isn't as useful as the ultrawide sensor it keeps. 

But most importantly, it's a cheaper, smaller phone in a sea of Android phones that are getting larger and pricier. The S10e is a more distinct alternative to the S10 Plus than the standard S10, which ends up being a middle child that doesn't quite earn its price hike from its budget flagship sibling. 

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S10e

Image credit: TechRadar

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the pinnacle of the company's design ethos: top-tier specs and software at sub-flagship prices. While the latter is still true - and you can get the standard OnePlus 7 a little cheaper, if you want - the pricetag for the elite OnePlus 7 Pro is creeping closer to the competitors it had previously outvalued.

But arguably, the upgrades from last year's OnePlus 6T are worth it. The new handset adds a third ultrawide camera (following the Samsung Galaxy S10 line and Huawei Mate 20 Pro before it), retains its in-display fingerprint sensor, and even bumps up the resolution to an impressive WQHD+ (1,440 x 3,120) for a sharper-than-ever picture.

The OnePlus 7 Pro's real innovation is a seamless, no-notch display - made possible by a persicope 16MP selfie camera. It pops up when taking selfies, but also when unlocking the phone with facial recognition. It even auto-retracts when the phone's gyroscope detects it's been dropped, though we haven't tested how effective this is. 

All in all, the phone is a solid upgrade over its predecessor, though its extreme value over leading flagships has diminished somewhat.

Read more: OnePlus 7 Pro review

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is an incredible phone – a true flagship that ticks all the boxes and even has a few new tricks that make it a bit more than just an incremental upgrade over the Galaxy S9. But with the addition of the 'budget flagship' S10e to the S10 line, the standard edition is a bit harder of a sell.

Don't get us wrong, it's still a fantastic phone. Packing the latest Snapdragon 855 chip and doubling the RAM to 8GB makes the standard S10 a powerful device, and the baseline 128GB of storage is very welcome. The new in-screen fingerprint scanner is pretty cool, and the extra 2x optical telephoto and ultrawide lens are reasons alone to pick this over last year's Galaxy S9. The new Wireless PowerShare is very handy in a pinch to charge other devices.

But for a noticeable price cut, you aren't missing much if you opt for the S10e; and on the other side, for a bit higher price, the S10 Plus offers a slightly larger screen, another selfie camera for portrait depth, and a higher spec ceiling. Thus, the standard S10 is likely for folks who want a flagship that's not too big, not too small, yet is powerful enough to last years of use.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S10

Huawei's P series has always taken photography seriously, and the P30 Pro takes that to an extreme. Where other phones have struggled to fit more than a 3x optical zoom in ever-slimmer phones, Huawei circumvented that limit with a novel design: lay its lens stack along the phone's length and use a mirror to reflect it out the rear cover. Hence the "periscope" lens, which manages 5x optical zoom, a 10x digital zoom and a baffling 50x full digital zoom.

The phone is no slouch in other departments, either, sporting Huawei's latest Kirin 980 chip to reach speeds on par with Apple and Samsung flagships. Respectable RAM and storage round out the phone's specs, but you'll pick up the P30 Pro for its astounding photo capabilities, which include impressive DSLR-level ISO, per Huawei's claims. 

Alas, Huawei phones aren't the easiest to get in the US – you'll have to pick them up wholesale from a retailer, since no carrier currently sells the company's devices and network support is limited. If not for that scarcity issue, this phone would likely rank higher in our list. But if sourcing your phone isn't much of an issue, the P30 Pro looks to be a great choice.

Read our full review: Huawei P30 Pro

The Galaxy Note 9 may not reign supreme after other phones have surpassed it this far into 2019, but its high specs and handy stylus keep it on our list of best Android devices.

With a sharp, 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, the Note 9 offers a great viewing experience for anyone that’s on the go often. Inside, it’s powered by the same components as the Galaxy S9 Plus, but with larger storage capacities available, a bigger battery, and more RAM optional. 

The Galaxy Note 9 sets itself apart with the S Pen, which enables some handy hands-free features and smooth note-taking. The cameras on front and back are just as impressive as the Galaxy S9 Plus shooters. For everything that the S9 Plus offers and a little bit more, this is a winner if you have the wiggle room in your budget.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro isn’t the easiest to get your hands on in the US, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive a phone. It’s the best we’ve ever seen from Huawei, and stacks up well against all other Android phones.

It’s QHD display measures 6.39 inches and supports HDR10 for a great visual experience, as long as notches aren’t an issue There’s a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the display as well. Inside, it’s offering impressive performance with Huawei’s own Kirin 980 chipset and 6GB or 8GB of RAM. It comes with plenty of storage and a large battery as well. 

The camera offering on the Mate 20 Pro is truly impressive, with a combination of three cameras on the back and a super-sharp 24MP selfie camera. The rear camera system combines a 40MP wide-angle sensor, an 8MP telephoto sensor, and a 20MP ultra-wide sensor. The result is an incredibly versatile snapper with AI backing it up.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Google’s Pixel 3 XL is a bit bigger and blockier than its smaller sibling, with sizable bezels that are less and less ignorable in 2019. The phone still has one of the best camera setups on the market, and it does that with just one rear sensor, two front-facing sensors, and a whole lot of software optimization, so credit where credit is due. 

The design of the Pixel 3 XL isn’t quite as dazzling as the other offerings on this list, but it’s passable. It boasts a 6.3-inch OLED screen, but has a glaring notch at the top. The dual front-facing speakers help make up for that unsightly notch.

The internals are also competitive with the other flagship phones. And, with regular operating system updates guaranteed by Google, the Pixel 3 XL may have a longer life than some of the competition. 

Read more: Google Pixel 3 XL review


The recent LG G8 isn't the company's strongest offer in recent years. It launched with a design that wasn't keeping up with its contemporaries, yet it had a price that was just about as expensive.

All the same, it comes with the latest Android experience and all the power that's offered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. That combination is enough to make it a worthwhile consideration as an Android phone.

The screen may have a notch cut out of the top, but it's otherwise bright, sharp, and decently large. The cameras aren't top-class, but with a wide angle lens on one, they offer some handy versatility. If you can find the LG G8 at a discounted price, some of its detractors get easier to forgive.

Read more: LG G8 ThinQ review

Categories: Tech News

10 best Android phones 2019: which should you buy?

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:29

If you're looking out for the best Android phone you can buy, this is the place to be, as we've put all the biggest and best Google-powered handsets through their paces to come up with this rundown of all the best Android smartphones.

If you're an Android fan, you'll certainly appreciate the key way in which Android is hugely different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition – the sheer number of devices out there running Google's mobile operating system (OS).

The big names are all here. The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

If you're keen to part your money on a new phone, though, it may be worth holding on to your cash for just a tiny while longer. The end of 2019 brings with it many new phone releases too like Google's latest Google Pixel 4, and possibly the Huawei Mate 30 too.

We've already seen the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which we've yet to fully review but is sure to give the new iPhone a run for its money. Will these new Android phones work their way into the list? Only time will tell.

To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are - the best Android phones money can buy today.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the best Android phone you can buy right now, packing the best of what Samsung has to offer.

It's a big phone that's designed for big hands - and it takes the very best of what's on the smartphone market and puts it together in a compelling package that we've loved testing.

The Super AMOLED 6.4-inch display has been measured as the very best around, with super colours, plus there's a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

Battery life is an improvement over the S9 Plus, thanks to the larger 4,100mAh battery inside and you also get Samsung's new Wireless PowerShare, allowing you to wirelessly charge other devices on the rear of the handset.

The trio of cameras on the rear of the Galaxy S10 Plus are among the best on the market, offering more features, shooting modes and overall clarity. 

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei P30 Pro could be the best Android phone we've used when it comes to photography. Its 5x and 10x zoom capabilities are staggeringly good. It also performs fantastically well in low light.

For those who really want to get up close to their subject, the P30 Pro also offers a 50x digital zoom, and although quality is reduced it's still impressive.

You also get plenty of power under the hood, an in-display fingerprint scanner, premium design and wireless charging with the ability to wireless charge other devices from the back of the P30 Pro.

It's a top, top Android phone and only narrowly misses out on top spot due to the Galaxy S10 Plus' overall slicker and more rounded smartphone experience.

Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review

Image Credit: TechRadar

It's close at the top, with Huawei snapping at Samsung's heels it's never been tougher for the South Korean firm, but the Galaxy S10 still manages to muscle its way into number three spot.

The bigger S10 Plus is by far Samsung's best phone, but the standard S10 backs almost all the same top-end features into a more compact form factor and slightly lower price tag (but still steep).

The Samsung Galaxy S10 gets proper under-the-hood upgrades. You’ll like all of these powerful features, while your friends will like the new Wireless PowerShare perk – it helps them out more than you. 

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a party piece in the form of an in-display fingerprint scanner thrown in too.

The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a lots of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great.

It also comes with three rear cameras, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro - but the third sensor is new. It's an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.

The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price - it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Image Credit: Samsung

The South Korean features again with Galaxy Note 9 in at five in our best Android phones lists.

The Galaxy Note 9 boasts a huge screen and a huge amount of power under the hood, plus there's the iconic S Pen stylus which slides into the body of the phone for safe keeping.

It means the Note 9 offers a huge array of productivity functions few phones can compete with, but the overall package isn't quite as finessed as the Galaxy S10 Plus - not to mention its high price tag.

For power users who want a phone that will doing pretty much anything they ask of it, the Galaxy Note 9 is a top choice.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

What's next? Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus. When we've tried these properly for our full review, they're likely to feature in this list.

Image Credit: TechRadar

What's this? Another Huawei phone in the top ten? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P30 really is sixth in our best Android phone rundown.

It has a smaller screen than the P30 Pro, and makes do with just the three rear cameras (rather than four) and a maximum zoom of 30x, but it's still a great Android phone.

There's heaps of power, a handy headphone jack (something the Pro can't boast) and a more manageable form factor for one-handed use. And of course, it's a little cheaper too.

Read our full Huawei P30 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

For the first time OnePlus released two top-end phones at the same time, and the OnePlus 7 Pro is the far more exciting device.

Rather than sporting a notch, OnePlus has managed to supply an all-screen front with the help of a pop-up selfie camera that only appears when you switch the shooter on.

It's hard to demonstrate here, but the 90Hz screen refresh rate is better than most other phones on this list. It allows for a more fluid viewing experience in video as well as when you're scrolling through your social media feeds.

The price isn't as low as it was for the first few devices from OnePlus, but this is one of the best Android phones that money can buy right now with an attractive design and top-end spec.

Read more: OnePlus 7 Pro review

Image Credit: TechRadar

If you're looking for a the best camera phone on the market, look no further. The single rear snapper on the Google Pixel 3 XL (and the smaller Pixel 3) is the best we've come across.

You also get a big screen, decent battery life and plenty of power under the hood, making the Google Pixel 3 XL a great all-round flagship smartphone.

The Google Pixel 3 XL marries the best camera phone we’ve ever tested with a sizable OLED screen. It’s the right fit for people who don’t mind the notch cut out at the top and have already adjusted their grip for bigger smartphones in the past.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 XL review

Image Credit: TechRadar

Like the look of the new S10 and S10 Plus, but not a fan of their lofty price tags? Well fear not, as Samsung has catered for you with the Galaxy S10e.

The Galaxy S10e has many of the flagship features of its pricier siblings, while offering a more palm-friendly size and a few compromises to help keep the cost down.

It’s hard not to recommend the S10e to anyone who prefers a smaller phone. Size queens, look elsewhere - this smartphone is for folks who want to text and browse apps one-handed without compromising performance.

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10e review

The Honor View 20 is the best phone to come out of the Chinese brand, with a striking rear design (which may divide opinion), plenty of power under the hood, an impressive 48MP camera and a 'punch-hole' display which ushers in the post-notch revolution.

There's a huge 6.4-inch display on the View 20, giving you plenty of space to play with. It's the location of the front-facing, 25MP camera within the screen which is the real talking point though, as rather than appearing in a bezel or a notch which juts into the screen, it's surround by screen. 

The Honor View 20 has a big 4,000mAh and the result is a battery which will comfortably last through an entire day and into the next on a single charge. It's also the world's first smartphone to boast a 48MP rear camera, as the firm has used Sony's new sensor to provide a camera which really packs a punch.

An ultra-high-resolution camera and punch hole screen are the highlights on the Honor View 20, and they set a standard this year’s more expensive phones will need to match.

Read more: Honor View 20 review

Categories: Tech News

Yes, Ice-T is in Borderlands 3 - as a fluffy pink teddy bear

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:18

Borderlands 3 is a pretty big deal, so it's no surprise Gearbox managed to get a famous face (or voice) on board. That's right, the rumors were true, rapper Ice-T is in Borderlands 3.

But what badass role is the legend taking on? Perhaps a gun-toting psycho? Or a wise-cracking vault hunter? Nope, Ice-T lends his voice to a fluffy pink teddy bear called Balex (his parents couldn't decide between Barry and Alex) who is having some trouble with an ex girlfriend.

Well, we say he's a teddy bear. He's actually an AI that's been uploaded into a teddy bear by the aforementioned scorned ex.

Rumor has it

Rumors have been floating around since earlier this year that Ice-T would appear in Borderlands 3. Mainly because the rapper started the rumor himself on Twitter...

We don't want to spoil exactly what Balex's mission involves, but we will tell you that it is a chunky and hilarious mission that we thoroughly enjoyed. 

We recently attend a lengthy preview event for the game so keep an eye on TechRadar as a whole heap of Borderlands 3 content is on the way.

Borderlands 3 is due for release on September 20, 2019.

Categories: Tech News

Misfit Vapor X is a powerful, feature-packed and potentially long-lasting smartwatch

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:00

Misfit has announced its latest smartwatch in the form of the Misfit Vapor X, the newest device in the Vapor line after the Vapor 2, and it's arguably Misfit's most premium wearable to date.

The reason we say that is because it runs on the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, making it one of only a handful of smartwatches to benefit from the enhancements the new processor bring. 

The main benefit of Wear 3100 is greatly reduced power consumption, so your device should last longer on each charge, but it also brings more accurate fitness tracking and advanced ambient modes. In short, it should be good news for the Misfit Vapor X.

Another change the Vapor X has is in design, as it's metal instead of plastic like on previous Vapor wearables. 

Here, there's an aluminium alloy case, which at 12mm is thicker than the Vapor 2, although coupled with its new Sport Strap+, Misfit claims the Vapor X is its "most comfortable smartwatch ever". 

The Vapor X comes in just one size, at 42mm (the Vapor 2 came in 41mm and 46mm), and at 1.19 inches the AMOLED screen is just smaller than the 1.2 and 1.4 inches of the Vapor 2.

The Misfit Vapor X runs Google's Wear OS operating system, as previous Vapor watches have, and it comes with many of the same features too, like fitness and heart rate tracking, water resistance and swim tracking, rapid charging, plus 4GB of storage and 512GB RAM. There's NFC too, allowing for contactless payments with the watch.

In fact, in terms of functions it's pretty much identical to the Vapor 2. The main changes you're getting here are the metal design and the new chipset, which should keep the battery going for longer.

You can pick up the Misfit Vapor X from Misfit's website immediately, where it'll cost you $279 (roughly £230, AU$410) – but if you pick it up quickly, Misfit is offering it for an introductory price of $199.99 (about £165, AU$295), which is a significant saving.

We haven't tested out this watch yet, but when we do we'll let you know our full thoughts on it, so stay tuned to TechRadar to find out how good the Misfit Vapor X is.

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 7T with 5G support seemingly confirmed by CEO

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:45

We've not heard too much about the OnePlus 7T yet, but the Chinese phone manufacturer's CEO, Pete Lau has revealed that it plans to launch another 5G enabled phone before the year is out.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, Lau said, "We believe with the development of 5G technology next year we can have an [even] better performance, with the upcoming 5G era approaching, we are going to invest more."

Lau confirmed that OnePlus is looking at releasing another 5G handset in the fourth quarter of 2019.

That falls in line with predictions of an October/November launch for the OnePlus 7T (and potentially OnePlus 7T Pro), following a trend it's set with the launch of the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T in previous years - all of which went on sale in November of their respective years.

The OnePlus 7T had been tipped to launch on October 15, but TechRadar exclusively confirmed that this isn't the case - although we still expect the reveal to happen around that time.

Doubling down in the 5G race

This new 5G handset won't be the first smartphone OnePlus has launched with support for the next generation network, however.

We've already seen the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G arrive in a number of countries, including the UK and Finland, but with its next 5G phone OnePlus is aiming to break into more regions, such as North America.

It won't be the only firm to launch more than one 5G handset this year, with Samsung having already launched the Galaxy S10 5G and Galaxy Note 10 5G, while Huawei and Oppo are also tipped to double their 5G devices before the end of 2019.

A noticable absentee from the current 5G race, however, is Apple, and it looks likely that it won't join the party until 2020. The new iPhone 11 - expected to launch in September - is rumored to skip on 5G connectivity, with Apple instead waiting for coverage to expand before potentially including it in the iPhone 12.

Categories: Tech News

Lord of the Rings TV show: when is it coming to Amazon Prime?

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:41

If you haven't heard already – yes, there's a Lord of the Rings TV show in the works. 

Retailer, streaming service, and production studio Amazon beat off fierce competition to purchase the rights to the books, paying a whopping $250 million (£230m, or AU$270m) for the privilege of creating up to five seasons based on J. R. R. Tolkein's epic high fantasy novels, which lay out a mystical world of elves, dwarves, dragons and hobbits besieged by a great evil known as Sauron (the big eye from the films, remember?).

Amazon, like seemingly everyone else these days, is looking to create the next Game of Thrones phenomenon (there's even an upcoming Game of Thrones prequel) – and few source novels have as much cultural cache as Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings.

But if you're thinking that there might be film adaptations of these books already, you'd be right. Peter Jackson's trilogy of films, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King hit cinemas between 2001 and 2003, making for an iconic piece of cinematic history – and many will be wondering how Amazon's take on Middle-Earth can improve on the originals.

The Lord of the Rings TV show won't be retreading the movies, though. We now know the series will take place during the Second Age, which is a 3,441-year period before the events of the films (which take place in the Third Age). That's a big slice of time, though we don't how expansive a story Amazon will end up telling.

Much like Frodo and his hobbit companions, Amazon is still starting out on its journey to bring The Lord of the Rings to life for the small screen. We know enough about the setting, creative team, and when the TV series is likely to hit our screens to get us excited – and you can begin your adventure below.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? Amazon's TV adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth series of novels
  • Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime Video
  • When will it be released? Probably 2021

Details are still somewhat sparse on the content of the show, other than the events being set during the Second Age, which covers the rise of Sauron – the dark lord that crafted the fabled ring of power, which is destroyed at the end of The Return of the King.

We expect Amazon is planning to make all five of the seasons it has the rights to make, meaning we could get a story on a real epic scale, covering years, decades or even centuries of the magical Middle-Earth. 

The Tolkein estate is naturally protective its intellectual property, with the power to stop Amazon from altering any of the canonical events as set out in Tolkein's writings (via A.V. Club). However, Tolkein scholar Tom Shippey – who is acting as a consultant on the TV series – suggests that Amazon will have quite a blank slate to work with:

"Tolkien wrote some of it down, but as far as the Second Age goes, the information we have is a three-page timeline in the appendices to the Lord of the Rings and the List of Kings of Númenor and a little more material in the Unfinished Tales, but that’s about all" (via Deutsche Tolkein).

(Any budding Tolkein cartographers can take a peek at this map Amazon released of the series' Middle-Earth, too.)

Lord of the Rings TV show release date

When will The Lord of The Rings TV show actually hit our screens? Production is rumored to be starting in 2020, and given the intended scale of the series, it's unlikely the show will be ready to stream before 2021. That's obviously a while to wait, but Amazon's ambitious plans for the show should mean you have plenty to binge when it does land.

How ambitious? Amazon's Tolkein consultant Tom Shippey has said that 20 episodes are being planned for the first season (via Deutsche Tolkein). If we assume a 40-60 minute run time per episode, that's a lot of television that needs to be filmed. (And you thought the films were long!)

Lord of the Rings TV show: who's involved?

Let's get one thing straight: you're unlikely to see any returning faces from the Peter Jackson trilogy.

Given the timeline that the show is going to be set in, most of the characters from the movies are yet to be born. Some of the older characters like or Gandalf or Galadriel – or even Sauron – could hypothetically appear. There were rumors of the series featuring a young Aragorn (by Tolkein fan site theonering.net), though that's since been contradicted by the official time period being announced.

We expect the show will find interesting ways to tie into the elements of Tolkein's world that viewers are already familiar with, but given the different production team and earlier sertting, we think it unlikely any actors will be reprising their roles.

We do, however, know some exciting news about the writers and directors involved. J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) will be serving as an executive producer, and also directing the first two episodes of the series (via Variety).

Production design will come courtesy of Rick Heinrichs, who worked on the visually stunning Star Wars: The Last Jedi – while Game of Thrones writer Brian Cogman will be consulting on the series.

JD Payne and Patrick McKay will serve as showrunners, having worked together on scripts for Star Trek: Beyond and the now-cancelled Star Trek 4 movie, as well as 2020's upcoming Godzilla Vs. King Kong.

You can see a video introduction of more of the creative team in the video below:

Lord of the Rings on Amazon: how to watch

Amazon's huge spend on acquiring the rights makes a lot of sense when you consider the wider Amazon ecosystem – as anyone wanting to stream the TV show will need to sign up to Amazon Prime to do so.

An Amazon Prime subscription ($12.99 / £7.99 / AU$6.99 per month) will net you access to the entire Amazon Prime Video library, which you can access through browsers, smart TV apps, streaming devices like the Fire TV Stick, or even smartphone and tablet apps. 

Prime Video includes popular shows like The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Grand Tour, and Good Omens. Amazon doesn't quite have the breadth of Netflix, but there are some worthwhile titles – as well access to the Amazon Music streaming service, and a host of other membership perks.

You also get faster delivery – often only one day – as well as exclusive discounts and offers through virtue of being a Prime subscriber. You can see everything you get for the service – and whether it's worth it – in our Amazon Prime review.

Will the Lord of the Rings TV show be in 4K / HDR?

As stunning as Peter Jackson's trilogy of LOTR films were – with The Fellowship of the Ring nabbing an Oscar for best cinematography – it's been over a decade since the last movie came to cinemas. Video recording equipment has vastly improved, and there's potential for a real visual overhaul of Middle-Earth.

We strongly suspect Amazon will be filming the show in 4K Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), to bring out the landscapes and characters in sharper detail than the HD films.

Amazon was also an early supporter of HDR (high dynamic range) – before Netflix at least – and we expect to see the show streaming in the HDR10+ format used on the Amazon platform, for enhanced contrast and popping colors. Keep in mind you'll need an HDR-capable 4K TV to make the most of those improved visuals.

Categories: Tech News

In Control, you will depend on allies to unlock the mysteries of the Oldest House

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:01

Control, the latest game from Remedy, is all about regaining, well, control of the OldestHouse from the supernatural forces that have taken over - but you won't have to do it alone. 

In the latest of its "What is Control" series of trailers, Remedy Entertainment has revealed some of the allies you'll be working with to solve the mysteries in its X-Files-esque world. Not only should these allies help you defeat the enemies you'll run into throughout the course of the game but will provide guidance and help unveil the truth behind the Oldest House and the FBC. 

If you're unfamiliar with the game, Control puts you in the shoes of Jesse Faden, the new director of the FDC or Federal Bureau of Control - a clandestine group that is in charge of researching and enforcing supernatural events and entities. Think of it like Men in Black, but directed by David Lynch. The game takes place after the FBC loses control of the Last House, basically FBC headquarters, to a supernatural force called The Hiss. 

Its good to see that players won't be alone in their task to regain control over the last house, and it looks like there will be some interesting characters to meet in your time with the game. 

And, it looks like there will be some familiar faces. For instance, Sean Durrie, who starred as Nick Masters in Remedy's last title, Quantum Break, will be returning in Control. He will be playing a mysterious character that "has an interesting connection to Jesse." 

We're not sure what that means, and Remedy isn't being more specific, but we're sure the answer will be as mystifying as the trailers leading up to the game's release.

Control is out August 27 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. And, on PC, it will support all the latest ray tracing technology, provided you have the Nvidia Turing graphics card to back it up. 

Categories: Tech News

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