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Windows Sandbox: How to use Microsoft's simple virtual Windows PC to secure your digital life

Microsoft may be positioning its upcoming, easy-peasy Windows Sandbox within the Windows 10 May 2019 Update as a safe zone for testing untrusted applications, but it’s much more than that. Windows Sandbox, and sandboxing PC apps in general, give you a solution for trying a “utility” that may be malware, or a website that you’re not sure about. You could leave those potentially dangerous elements alone, but with Sandbox, you can be a little more adventurous. 

Windows Sandbox creates a secure “Windows within Windows” virtual machine environment entirely from scratch, and walls it off from your “real” PC. You can open a browser and surf securely, download apps, even visit websites that you probably shouldn’t. Sandbox also includes a unique convenience: you can copy files in and out of the virtual PC, bringing them out of quarantine if you’re absolutely sure they’re safe.

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Tuesday May 21, 2019

How Google's rift with Huawei could change Android and smartphones forever

A bad month has just gotten a whole lot worse for Huawei. According to a Reuters report and confirmed by the two companies, Google is preparing to cut off the China-based smartphone maker’s Android license, preventing future Huawei phones (such as the upcoming Mate 30) from using the Play Store and Google’s popular apps and services.

The bombshell comes just days after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms that “pose a national security risk.” While the order didn’t single out Huawei, the Commerce Department simultaneously added Huawei to its Entity List, effectively banning the smartphone maker from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without explicit government approval. Together, the two moves make it extremely difficult for any U.S. company to do business with Huawei.

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Tuesday May 21, 2019

BrandPost: Use GPU-accelerated VideoProc to easily process 4K video, audio, and DVDs

More and more people are using mobile phones, 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) cameras, GoPro action cameras, drones, and other devices to shoot exciting video. But when it comes to sharing and displaying the output, the results can often be disappointing, lacking the polish of professional footage. Now, whether you’re a novice or a pro, you can take advantage of VideoProc on your Windows PC to utilize full hardware acceleration to process and touch up your footage.

Turning raw footage into polished videos

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Tuesday May 21, 2019

Need a dragon fix after Game of Thrones’ finale? Head to Elder Scrolls Online’s Elsweyr expansion

ZeniMax Online either has an impeccable sense of timing, or it’s so lucky that all its employees should go buy lottery tickets this second. The smoke and memes have barely cleared in the aftermath of last night’s series finale of Game of Thrones, and yet, mere hours later, ZeniMax is kicking open the gates of early access for Elder Scrolls Online’s Elsweyr expansion ahead of its official release in two weeks. (Only for PC and Mac users, though—if you’re on a console, you’ll have to wait until June 4.)

Elsweyr is a perfect chaser for HBO’s tale of politics and fantastic beasts. You’ll see dragons, for one, and lots of them. You’ll find family members with decidedly different opinions about the invasion of a city, and you’ll even find an army of the undead worked into the mix. And if that all sounds a little too familiar, get this: Elsweyr’s also got a bunch of cat people. And we all know how much the Internet loves its cats.

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Monday May 20, 2019

Save $100 on the luxurious Bowers & Wilkins PX Active noise-cancelling wireless headphones

A solid set of noise-cancelling headphones can be a lifesaver in offices, commutes, homes, and all the other noisy places you spend your life. And today, you can get one of our favorite pairs, the luxurious Bowers & Wilkins PX Active noise-cancelling wireless headphones, for $300 on Amazon. That’s down from a list price of $400 and the lowest we’ve ever seen them.

“The Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones’ excellent audio fidelity and solid noise cancellation make these a set of headphones all but the most fussy audiophiles will be happy to own,” we declared in a glowing 4-star review of this headset.

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Monday May 20, 2019

Google pulls Huawei's Android license: 5 reasons not to panic (yet) if you own a Huawei phone


Monday May 20, 2019

Logitech's couch-friendly K600 TV keyboard has never been this cheap

If you’ve been pining for a couch-friendly keyboard with an integrated trackpad for the living room, today’s your lucky day. Amazon dropped the price of the Logitech K600 TV keyboard to $50. That’s down from a $70 list price, and the $60 street price this keyboard recently hovered around.

The keyboard has a 15 meter wireless range using an included USB dongle. It works with Windows and Mac PCs, as well as Android and iOS devices. Being a living room-focused peripheral, the Logitech K600 can also connect directly to select smart TVs, including Samsung Tizen-based units from 2016, LG TVs rocking webOS 2016 or newer, and Sony Bravia sets running Android TV 2016 and up.

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Monday May 20, 2019

The Lutron Aurora handily solves the smart bulb, dumb switch predicament

This battery-powered dimmer retrofits toggle switches controlling Philips Hue and other Zigbee smart bulbs, so they can’t be turned off by accident.
Monday May 20, 2019

FileShadow review: 100GB of free online storage plus local data backup and consolidation

FileShadow is a free backup program that's grown up. It started as a very nice cloud storage consolidator with advanced search and sharing abilities. It could transfer from various online storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive to its own facilities, as well as tag photos and perform OCR on your PDFs. Good stuff, but not PC backup. 

Stop the presses! Or actually, start them up: The company has added both Windows and macOS backup clients. Good thing—free 100GB storage accounts don’t grow on trees these days. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best free backup services. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

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Monday May 20, 2019

Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.
Monday May 20, 2019

How to use Siri for hands-free Apple TV control

Siri can control your Apple TV with hands-free voice commands. Here's how.
Monday May 20, 2019

Marshall Stanmore II Voice review: This voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker has the iconic look of rock royalty

The sound quality is fairly good overall, especially with rock music, but I had several problems with its operation.
Monday May 20, 2019

Asus ZenFone 6 hands on: Flipping the script to take on the OnePlus 7 Pro

Even if they hadn’t released within days of each other, it’s impossible not to compare the Asus ZenFone 6 to the OnePlus 7 Pro. They both have Snapdragon 855 processors, funky selfie cams, and near-stock Android skins. And they’re both a whole lot cheaper than their premium counterparts.

But while we expected the OnePlus 7 Pro to stand out in the field, the Asus ZenFone 6 may be one of the most surprising phones of the year so far. Where last year’s ZenFone 5z was an iPhone imitator with an ugly notch, forced AI camera gimmicks, and a heavy-handed skin, Asus has completely reimagined its smartphone experience for this year’s model: The camera cutout is gone, the AI scene detector is little more than a toggle, and ZenUI has been all but jettisoned. It’s a refreshing change that makes the ZenFone 6 feel more like a reboot than a annual refresh. That’s exactly what Asus needs to take on OnePlus 7 Pro, the ZenFone 6’s most obvious competitor. 

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Monday May 20, 2019

Score over $1,750-worth of coding courses for a price you pick


Monday May 20, 2019

Learn how to design your own Amazon Echo clone for just $29

Home automation devices continue to gain popularity. But some consumer-grade products boast only limited abilities, leading some people to go the DIY route. Want to learn how to make your own for cheap? Then try The Complete Raspberry Pi and Alexa A-Z Bundle, discounted to just $29.

If you’ve got even just a passing interest in electronics, then this package is ideal. It includes four courses that’ll teach you how to turn an economical Raspberry Pi microcomputer into a Amazon Alexa compatible home automation device. You’ll learn RPi essentials, discover how to create custom Alexa skills, and you’ll even design your own Amazon Echo clone.

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Monday May 20, 2019

You can learn Python programming with this $35 bundle

Python’s simplicity makes it an ideal language for first time programmers to learn. And now anyone can learn Python programming for cheap with The Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle, which has been temporarily discounted to just $34.99.

This bundle, which is normally valued at over $2,000, features twelve courses that’ll turn virtually anyone into a Python coding expert. Students will learn the highly readable syntax, find out the many applications of Python, and be able to create their own code fast. It’s more flexible than traditional classroom training, which makes it perfect for people that have other life commitments.

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Monday May 20, 2019

You can train to be a certified Excel expert for just $49

The job market is competitive. To be the successful applicant, you’ll need to possess skills that others simply do not have. If you want to position yourself for success, then you'll want to start training with The A to Z Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle, discounted by over 90 percent to just $49.

This package is ideal for job seekers in nearly every employment sector. It includes eight courses that’ll familiarize students with the world’s top spreadsheet software title, Microsoft Excel. They’ll learn how spreadsheets work, how to apply them to business, and become adept with Excel’s many features. They’ll even walk away with certifications that prove their expertise.

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Monday May 20, 2019

These WD 10TB My Book and 4TB My Passport deals are so insane we thought they were a mistake

Editor's note 1:05 pm ET: These deals are currently unavailable but we recommend checking periodically throughout the day in case they pop up again.

Even if you don’t need any more storage for your PC right now, you might want to consider grabbing one of these Western Digital Amazon deals, since we don't know how long they will last. Today Amazon is selling WD 10TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive for $80, 73 percent off its list price and the 4TB My Passport drive for $55, 65 percent off and far below the previous low price of $90.

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Sunday May 19, 2019

This week in games: World of Warcraft Classic enters beta, another new Vampire: The Masquerade game

Okay, making the E3 schedule and...wait, Netflix? Really? Netflix is at E3 this year?

That news, plus Ubisoft delays one game and jokes about another, a second Vampire: The Masquerade game is announced, World of Warcraft Classic opens beta signups, Metro details its two expansions, and KFC gets put in its place by Respawn. Sigh.

This is gaming news for May 13 to 17.

Ski Free

It’s basically summer, which makes this timing a bit funny—like buying a winter coat on-sale at the end of the season—but if you’re longing for the slopes and need something to tide you over until next fall, Steep is currently free through Uplay. That’s Ubisoft’s ski/snowboard/wingsuit/paraglide simulator, if you need a refresher. Released in late 2016, I played it for an hour or two back then and found it a bit stiff, but it’s hard to fault free. You can nab your copy here, anytime before May 21.

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Saturday May 18, 2019

A Plague Tale: Innocence review: A grisly, story-driven journey through Medieval France

France, 1348. Times are grim. The Black Plague has arrived—as have the Hundred Years’ War and the Inquisition. Within a decade, at least a third of the population will die. Some estimates place that number as high as two-thirds.

It feels closer to the latter in A Plague Tale: Innocence. There’s no end to the bodies—left to rot in the streets, abandoned to houses marked with a chalked “X,” piled high on foggy battlefields amid the trebuchets and wagons. And where there are bodies, worse is sure to follow.

Des rats.” Even with the silent “T,” the French is unmistakable: Rats. Rivers of them, black fur dotted with gleaming red eyes, waiting on the edges of the light. Hungry.

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Friday May 17, 2019

Get your kids started on JavaScript with 50% off a Bitsbox coding subscription box

Your kids may be gearing up for summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. Just in time for the long break, Amazon has slashed the price of its Bitsbox coding subscription box for kids, bringing the first month’s box down to $15 from a normal price of $30.

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Friday May 17, 2019

Minecraft Earth busts out of the box as a Pokemon Go-inspired mobile AR game

If you’ve ever wished your Pokemon Go had a little less Pikachu and a little more Creeper, Microsoft has a game for you. Headed to mobile phones this summer as a limited beta, Minecraft Earth will blend the power of augmented reality with the mobs and skins of Minecraft to create a whole new world to build and explore.

In an interview with the Verge, game director Torfi Olafsson said Minecraft Earth is an “adaptation” of the popular sandbox game rather than a straight port. However, the game is built on the same Bedrock engine, so it brings over many of the same elements, along with some new ones. “We have tried to stay very true to the kind of core design pillars of Minecraft,” Olafsson said, “and we’ve worked with the design team in Stockholm to make sure that the spirit of the game is carried through.”

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Friday May 17, 2019

OnePlus 7 Pro review: Not a flagship killer, a flagship contender


Friday May 17, 2019

Snag 8 awesomely fun Lego video games for just $12 while you still can

It’s Friday, and the Humble Store’s offering some dirt-cheap gaming gratification to kick off the weekend. The Humble Lego Games Bundle includes a total of eight games available as Steam codes, and paying just $12 or more unlocks every one. Don’t delay, though: This Humble Bundle expires on Tuesday, and a portion of the proceeds go towards charity. 

As with other bundles Humble, there are several pricing tiers available, with certain games unlocking at each. If you pay just one dollar you’ll get Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Batman: The Videogame. If you pay more than the average ($8.44 at this writing), Humble adds Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, and The Lego Movie - Videogame. The latter is really the prize of the lot, as it’s a great game for kids 8 and up.

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Friday May 17, 2019

How to type kaomoji on your PC in Windows 10

How can I type kaomoji on my PC? And what are kaomoji, anyway? Fortunately, the answers to both questions are simple, and easily accessible within Windows 10, starting with the May 2019 Update. The familiar emoji keyboard within Windows has been expanded to include both kaomoji and symbols, and adding them to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media apps is extremely easy. 

What’s a kaomoji? A kaomoji is simply a more complex emoticon, the predecessor to the emoji. You’re probably familiar with the smiley :) or winky ;) which consist of familiar punctuation symbols combined to form an expression.That’s an emoticon. Emoji are simply pictorial representations of emoticons, so that a winky symbol is represented as a 😉.  

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Friday May 17, 2019

Nuimo Click review: This smart home device’s novelty wears off quickly

The one-touch access to your favorite Sonos playlist or Hue lighting scene is fun—for the first few days.
Friday May 17, 2019

How to set up Steam Link on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

Valve’s Steam Link app allows remote streaming from a PC or Mac to an iOS device or Apple TV, and it’s relatively easy to set up.
Friday May 17, 2019

The Epic Mega Sale tempts PC gamers with weekly freebies and $10 off any game over $15

The Epic Games Store is holding its first sale since it launched last December, and it’s both a) complicated and b) generous. Why? Well, it’s actually two sales stacked on top of one another. “Great games up to 75% off” is the first part—fairly standard. “$10 off every game $14.99 and up” is the second, and yes, the deals are cumulative.

It’s Epic’s latest play at luring you into the Epic Games Store. Exclusive titles like Metro: ExodusAshenThe Walking Dead – The Final Season, and Hades all have nominal discounts under the “Up to 75% off” umbrella. And I do mean nominal, for the most part. Metro for instance is discounted by...$5. That wouldn’t normally be enough to stand out.

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Friday May 17, 2019

The dream of dual-booting Windows 10 on Chromebooks appears dead

It sounded dreamy. Late last year, signs of an “AltOS” mode appeared in Google code, indicating that the company was working on a way to let you dual-boot into Windows 10 on high-end Chromebooks like the Pixelbook. It was apparently too good to be true, alas, as new developments suggest that Google abandoned the secretive “Project Campfire” months ago.

Poking around Chromium code, Redditor u/crosfrog noticed comments stating AltOS mode is now deprecated, as first reported by Kevin Tofel at About Chromebooks. Tofel says that active development on Project Campfire halted last December after an initial flurry of activity. The dream of dual-booting Windows on Chromebooks appears to be dead.  

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Thursday May 16, 2019

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge.

Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds, as was recently reported about site TheBestVPN.com. The site’s creator appears to not actually be a cypber-security expert, as he once claimed, but might not actually be a real person, casting serious doubt on any of the site’s VPN reviews and research.

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Thursday May 16, 2019