News en Teachers Claim Overexposure to Tablets Stunt Motor Skill Development and Memory <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/baby_ipad.jpg" alt="Baby iPad" title="Baby iPad" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Infants raised on iPads have trouble using building blocks, teachers say</h3> <p>Maybe parents should rethink giving their children a tablet this holiday shopping season, especially if their lifestyle makes it difficult to limit use to such devices. <strong>Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are speaking out against overexposure to tablets</strong>, warning that a growing number of infants aren't developing the proper motor skills to play with building blocks due to their "addiction" to tablet PCs and smartphones.</p> <p>According to a report in the U.K.'s <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a>, teachers claim that three- and four-year-old children known how to swipe a screen just fine, but beyond tablet controls, they lack dexterity in their fingers after spending hours a day playing on the iPad.</p> <p>"I have spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone," Colin Kinney, a teacher from Northern Ireland, told the <em>The Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>The article makes several references to Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, though the concern isn't limited to those specific models. It just so happens that Apple holds a large share of the mobile market and so iPads and iPhones are more prominent. However, it's a problem that extends to mobile gadgets in general.</p> <p>Teachers have also noted a decline in pen and paper exams, saying that kids who spend a lot of time using mobile gadgets rely on the instant support of their electronic device.</p> <p>The obvious way to combat against all this is for parents to do a better job monitoring and limiting the amount of time their children are allowed to use tablets and smartphones. In addition, teachers recommend turning off Wi-Fi access at night.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">Gustavo Devito</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware iPad mobile slate tablet News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:30:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 27649 at Microsoft Builds a Wireless All-in-One Keyboard for Smart TVs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard_living_room.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" title="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />An all-in-one keyboard with an integrated touchpad</h3> <p>It's been 20 years since Microsoft released its first keyboard. Called the "Microsoft Natural Keyboard," the Redmond outfit went after the ergonomic category with a curved design intended to reduce or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other stress injuries associated with typing at awkward angles. Two decade later, <strong>Microsoft is adding to its peripherals line with the All-in-One Media Keyboard (N9Z-00001)</strong>.</p> <p>This time around Microsoft is going after smart TV owners and the home entertainment crowd in general. The AIO Media Keyboard sports a full-size keyset with low profile keys and an integrated multi-touch trackpad on the side where you'd normally find a numpad.</p> <p>The trackpad supports gestures, allowing you to tap, swipe, drag, zoom, and click for easy navigation. Sitting above the trackpad are customizable media keys for quick acces to your music, photos and videos. Volume controls are found way over on the other side.</p> <p>It's a wireless keyboard that communicates with a mini USB dongle. Microsoft says it can hold a connection up to 30 feet. It also features a durable spill-resistant design.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" title="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" width="620" height="231" /></p> <p>Microsoft's AIO Media keyboard looks very similar to <a href="" target="_blank">Logitech's recently introduced K830</a>, though Logitech's sports a backlight and Microsoft's does not. That luxury carries a $60 premium, however --&nbsp; the K830 goes for $100 while Microsoft's AIO Media Keyboard carries a much lighter <a href="" target="_blank">$40 MSRP</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware keyboard microsoft Peripherals Smart TV News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:02:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 27648 at Cotton White Version of Google Glass Sells Out During Public Sale, What Comes Next? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/glass_cotton_white.jpg" alt="Glass Cotton White" title="Glass Cotton White" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />KitKat is headed to Google Glass</h3> <p><a href="">Google made available</a> its Glass Explorer program to the general public for a single day on April 15, and while we don't know how many of the $1,500 wearable devices it managed to sell, we do know that the "Cotton White" (white) version proved most popular. That color option sold completely out by mid-day, so anyone who purchased a Glass device afterwards had to choose from Charcoal (black), Tangerine (orange), Shale (gray), or Powder Blue (light blue). <strong>Now that the sale is done and over with, what comes next for Google Glass?</strong></p> <p>We suppose Google will analyze the sales figures to gauge consumer interest while all of the <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">early adopters</span> Explorers continue to beta test the wearable tech. It remains to be seen if Google will make more tweaks to the hardware or physical design before rolling out a commercial launch.</p> <p>In the meantime, Glass owners will be receiving a software update sometime this week. Google described it as a "big one," as it rolls out Android KitKat to Glass.</p> <p>"We've been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It's not a change you can see, but it brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android KitKat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK," Google stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">Google+ post</a>.</p> <p>Improved battery life is probably the most welcome upgrade by Glass owners, though it's far from the only update. As requested by users, photos will be organized into bundles for better viewing with less swiping. There will also be photo replies in Hangouts, voice command sorting, and a bunch of subtle changes.</p> <p>Interestingly, Google decided to remove video calls from Glass with this latest update. According to Google, less than 10 percent of Explorers use this feature. It also wasn't working as well as Google hoped, so it's gone "until the experience is better."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> glass Google Hardware Wearable News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:07:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 27646 at Motherboard Makers Turning to Alternative Products for Bigger Profits <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_gaming_laptop_0.jpg" alt="MSI Gaming Laptop" title="MSI Gaming Laptop" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />As Intel's Haswell refresh looms, Asus and other mobo players look to other areas to boost profits</h3> <p>Intel is getting ready to refresh its Haswell platform, and when that happens, it should spark some sales in the motherboard industry. Motherboard makers should also get a boost from XP users looking to upgrade their ancient boxes. Despite these market drivers, however, word on the web is that<strong> Asus and other motherboard players have begun pushing their other products much more aggressively</strong> in hopes of pulling in a bigger profit.</p> <p>So says <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a>, which itself is citing "market watchers" with eyes on the situation. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock are all focusing on their "non-motherboard businesses" pretty hard these days. Specifically, ASRock is making a big push in the server industry with related products after achieving flat performance on year with its motherboard shipments in 2013. It's a long-term strategy that ASRock believes will pay off in a couple years from now.</p> <p>MSI, on the other hand, is pushing mid-range and high-end gaming laptops. This is something we've seen ourselves, as we've posted several MSI gaming laptop announcements during the past year. It's a crowded field that also includes competition from Gigabyte and Asus.</p> <p>Gigabyte shipped 20 million motherboards last year and expects to ship 22 million in 2014. It's going to be a close race between Gigabyte and Asus for the top spot. At the same time, both companies are looking at notebooks, tablets, handsets, and networking equipment to generate additional revenue.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asrock Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboards msi News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:56:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 27645 at Intel Sees "Signs of Improvement" in PC Sector, Reports First Quarter Profit of $1.9 Billion <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_graffiti.jpg" alt="Intel Graffiti" title="Intel Graffiti" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Earnings report sends Intel's stock soaring to a 52-week high</h3> <p>Talk is cheap at the end of the day, so despite doomsayers predicting the demise of the PC, Intel's sales and revenue proved those notions wrong. <strong>Intel, the largest semiconductor company in the world, beat out analyst expectations by reporting first quarter revenue of $12.8 billion</strong>, operating income of $2.5 billion, net income of $1.9 billion, and earnings per share of 38 cents.</p> <p>Intel's PC Client Group did decline 8 percent sequentially, but only 1 percent year-over-year, generating $7.9 billion during the first quarter of 2014. That's more than twice as much as Intel's Data Center Group, which ramped up 11 percent year-over-year to $3.1 billion.</p> <p>"In the first quarter we saw solid growth in the data center, signs of improvement in the PC business, and we shipped 5 million tablet processors, making strong progress on our goal of 40 million tablets for 2014," <a href=";ReleasesType=Financial%20News" target="_blank">said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich</a>. "Additionally, we demonstrated our further commitment to grow in the enterprise with a strategic technology and business collaboration with Cloudera, we introduced our second-generation LTE platform with CAT6 and other advanced features, and we shipped our first Quark products for the Internet of Things."</p> <p>Intel's performance impressed investors, who in turn sent the company's stock price temporarily above its 52-week high of $27.12. The stock price has since come down a bit and is currently trading at around $26.90, up around half a percentage point.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">gogostevie</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> financial report Hardware intel revenue sales News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:25:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 27644 at First Purported Photos of Amazon's Rumored Smartphone in Prototype Form Hit the Web <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amazon_phone_1.jpg" alt="Amazon Phone" title="Amazon Phone" width="228" height="129" style="float: right;" />This is what Amazon's smartphone could look like</h3> <p>Amazon hasn't yet announced plans to launch a smartphone, so what you're looking at could in fact be a fake. However, if you're a believer that where there's smoke there's fire, the <strong>leaked photos purporting to show a prototype version of Amazon's smartphone might actually be the real thing</strong>. Certainly the rumors and speculation have kicked up a notch in recent weeks, some of which suggest Amazon's handset will sport 3D functionality.</p> <p>First things first -- the boys and girls at <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a> obtained what they claim are exclusive photos of the unreleased device. They've also spoken with "multiple trusted sources" to confirm existing information and learn new details surrounding Amazon's smartphone.</p> <p>If you're thinking, "Who cares, that's one fugly smartphone!," bear in mind that it's sporting a protective case specifically intended to keep the actual overall design a mystery from those who lack the authorization to see it (you, us, the web at large).</p> <p>Moving on, you can see a series of cameras on the handset. Rumor has it the thing is toting around six cameras in all, including a 13-megapixel lens on back and five cameras on the front. Apparently Amazon is messing around with not only a heavily customized version of Android, but some kind of funky glasses-free 3D interface unlike anything we've ever seen before. Color us intrigued, albeit skeptical that this won't turn out gimmicky.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/amazon_phone_bottom.jpg" alt="Amazon Phone Bottom" title="Amazon Phone Bottom" width="620" height="346" /></p> <p>One of <em>BGR's</em> sources says the handset will feature a 4.7-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 2GB of RAM. There's also chatter of a second, lower end handset.</p> <p>In any event, there you have it -- a possible first look at what may end up being Amazon's first smartphone, covered in fugly case.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amazon Hardware mobile prototype rumor smartphone News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:37:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27643 at Broadcom and Quantenna in Arms Race to Speed Up Wi-Fi Data Rates <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/5g.jpg" alt="5G Wi-Fi" title="5G Wi-Fi" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />Both Broadcom and Quantenna are working on chips to dramatically increase 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds</h3> <p>We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but in the true sense of the term, there's simply no such thing as "future proofing." Take for example the draft 802.11ac standard. You can go out and buy the fastest consumer router avaiable today (a tossup between the Asus RT-AC66U/AC68U and Netgear R7000) and by this time next year, we'll likely have a new speed king. In fact, the efforts of two competing companies -- Broadcom and Quantenna -- all but ensure it. <strong>Both companies recently announced new chipsets</strong> that will make today's routers look pokey by comparison.</p> <p>Let's start with Broadcom, which <a href="" target="_blank">today introduced</a> the industry's first six stream 802.11ac MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) platform for home networks. Othewise known as "5G WiFi XStream," Broadcom is promising data rates of up to 3.2Gbps, a 50 percent improvement over Multi-User (MU) MIMO routers.</p> <p>To fully understand what's taking place here, we have to back up a moment. Today's wireless chipsets aimed at the consumer crowd send and receive three spatial data streams at the same time. You might see this marketed as 3x3 MIMO. The fastest routers built around these chipsets deliver data on the 5GHz Wireless-AC band at up 1.3Gbps (1,300Mbps).</p> <p>Broadcom's solution for home routers includes six 802.11ac streams and three 802.11n streams that run simultaneously. It also employs channel bonding technology to combine multiple channels on the 5GHz band to effectively create a single channel with 160MHz of bandwidth (today's 802.11ac routers use channel bonding for 80MHz of bandwidth).</p> <p>Technical details aside, you're looking at faster Wi-Fi speeds over your home network, though <a href="" target="_blank">Quantenna is promising</a> even faster throughput. Quantenna said this week it's developing the world's first 10Gbps Wi-Fi chipset using 8x8 MIMO, compared to its existing 4x4 MIMO chipset, which has yet to be fully utilized by router makers.</p> <p>Asus is current tapping into Quantenna's 4x4 MIMO chipset to build what Quantenna claims will be the world's fastest consumer router (1.7Gbps), so don't expect the 8x8 MIMO chipset to make any waves just yet. Instead, Quantenna is looking at making the first 10G Wi-Fi 8x8 MIMO chipsets available in 2015.</p> <p>Image Credit: Broadcom</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 5g Broadcom networking quantenna routers wi-fi wireless News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:53:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 27642 at Reminder: Google Glass Available to General Public Today <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/glass_explorer.jpg" alt="Google Glass" title="Google Glass" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Today's your chance to become a Glass Explorer</h3> <p>Google today will get its first real test of consumer interest towards its wearable Glass device. To date, there are about 10,000 Glass devices in the wild, the vast majority of which include hand selected journalists, developers, and celebrities. <strong><a href="">Google decided</a> to make Glass available to the general public today for one day only</strong>, and if you're interested in becoming a Explorer, there are still units available at the time of this writing.</p> <p>There are some caveats. You must be a U.S. resident who is at least 18 years old, and you must use a U.S. shipping address. Assuming you meet these requirements, your reward is that you're eligible to become an Explorer for $1,500 plus tax.</p> <p>This is the first time Google has opened up the Explorer program (which is a nice way of saying early adopter) to the general public. It's not known how many units have been set aside for the one-day run of sales, though we do know they're available on a first come, first served basis.</p> <p>Google gives buyers a bit of customization. To begin with, you select from one of five colors, including Charcoal, Tangerine, Cotton, Shale, or Sky. You then choose a complimentary style of frames or shades, of which there are a total of seven. From there, you can either checkout or browse add-on accessories, such as stereo earbuds, clear shades, and a few other items.</p> <p>If you're game, <a href="" target="_blank">head here</a> to make your purchase.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> explorer glass Google Hardware Wearable News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:42:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 27641 at Toshiba Satellite P55t Wields a 4K Ultra HD Display, Technicolor Certification <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_satellite_p55t.jpg" alt="Toshiba Satellite P55t" title="Toshiba Satellite P55t" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />The world's first laptop with Technicolor Color Certification</h3> <p>Toshiba was quick to embrace Intel's Ultrabook form factor during its infancy, and now that 4K displays are gaining traction, here comes Toshiba once again. The <strong>Toshiba Satellite P55t is a 15.6-inch laptop with a 4K Ultra HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel</strong>, which offers up four times more pixels than a Full HD 1080p display. It's also supposedly the first notebook in the world to earn Technicolor Color Certification.</p> <p>According to Toshiba, each Ultra HD display is individually calibrated by Chroma Tune and is Technicolor Certified during production for a more natural color expression and accurate color gamut. The end game here is to eliminate mismatches when viewing photos or other imagery.</p> <p>"Our color certification team worked closely with the engineering team at Toshiba to ensure the highest levels of color calibration on this laptop's display," said Manuele Wahl, senior vice president, Licensing at Technicolor. "We applied the same rigor of testing and calibration used on major motion pictures to ensure not only that photographers and videographers now see what they shot in perfect color, but consumers can also experience 4K film and videos as Hollywood directors intended."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_satellite_p55t_keyboard.jpg" alt="Toshiba Satellite P55t Keyboard" title="Toshiba Satellite P55t Keyboard" width="620" height="420" /></p> <p>In addition to a 4K Ultra HD display, the Satellite P55t also boasts a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3L-1600 RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M265X graphics, 1TB hard drive, four USB 3.0 ports, UHS-II SD card slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HDMI output, Harman Kardon speakers, and an optical drive (Blu-ray burner optional).</p> <p>The Toshiba Satellite P55t will be available on April 22 for $1,500 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 4k Hardware laptop mobile notebook OEM rigs satellite p55t toshiba uhd ultra hd News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:35:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 27640 at iFixIt Announces $100 'Refurbisher's Toolkit' for DIY Gadget Repair <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/refurbisherstoolkit.jpg" alt="iFixIt Refurbisher's Toolkit" title="iFixIt Refurbisher's Toolkit" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />Specially designed to service game consoles, PCs, laptops, and other electronics gear</h3> <p>The tech surgeons at <em>iFixIt</em> haven't met a gadget yet that they couldn't open up and dissect. Patience and a steady hand are needed to gut an electronic device without leaving a wake of broken parts, but like anything else, having the right tools makes a world of difference. We're not talking about hammers and duct tape -- essentials for DIY repair of another kind -- but plastic and metal spudgers. <strong>You'll find both plus a whole lot more in <em>iFixIt's </em>Refurbisher's Toolkit</strong>.</p> <p>It's a bit pricey for the casual hobbyist at $100, but if you're the go-to guy or gal in your neighborhood for repairing electronics, there are several tools in the kit that could make your life a bit easier. For example, there's an Xbox Opening Tool specifically designed to crack open the plastic case on the original Xbox 360. It's not a necessary part to get at the guts of Microsoft's previous generation console, but it should save you time from having to pry each of the clips holding the case together.</p> <p>The kit also includes ESD tweezers, a dust blower, anti-static wrist strap, 26-bit driver kit, surface detailing block, German detailing eraser with bruse, pencil sharpener, small ESD safe brush, large ESD safe brush, 1/4-inch driver handle (Philips #2, flathead 6mm, game bit 4.5mm, game bit 3.8mm), and a custom carrying case.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/xbox_opening_tool.jpg" alt="Xbox Opening Tool" title="Xbox Opening Tool" width="620" height="336" /></p> <p>We haven't sampled a Refurbisher's Toolkit so there's no hands-on experience from our end to relay, though we have used <em>iFixIt's</em> collection of spudgers, which do indeed come in handy for prying open things like smartphones and tablets.</p> <p>You can find more information and/or order a Refurbisher's Toolkit on <a href="" target="_blank"><em>iFixIt's</em> website</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> DIY electronics ifixit refurbisher's toolkit repair tools News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:26:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 27639 at Newegg Daily Deals: Asus Maximus VI Hero Motherboard, ViewSonic 24-inch LCD, and More! <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/asus_maximum_iv_hero.jpg" alt="Asus Maximus IV Hero" title="Asus Maximus IV Hero" width="300" height="173" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>Ever since the fatherboard packed up and left town, it's been up to the motherboard to raise up a family of add-in cards, tend to the RAM, and do everything else a motherboard is responsible for. Maintaining order is a thankless job, but a necessary one. In honor of Mother's Day being right around the corner, today's top deal is an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MOBO-N82E16813131989-_-0415&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus Maximus VI Hero Motherboard</a> for <strong>$180</strong> with free shipping (normally $200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPFWP67</strong>]). This board features Intel's Z87 chipset is packed with high-end goodies.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-EXT-HDD-N82E16822236517-_-0415&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 3.0 Black External Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$60</strong> with free shipping (normally $70 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPFWP23</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-RAM-N82E16820231703-_-0415&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 1600 Laptop Memory</a> for $70 with free shipping (normally $77 - use coupon code: [EMCPFWP68])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824116650-_-0415&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">ViewSonic VA2446M-LED Black 24-inch 5ms Backlight LCD Monitor w/ Built-in Speakers</a> for <strong>$135</strong> with free shipping (normally $150 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPFWP27</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822178379-_-0415&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate Hybrid Drive 4TB MLC/8GB NCQ 3.5-inch Desktop SSHD</a> for <strong>$180</strong> with free shipping (normally $218 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPFWP37</strong>])</p> asus daily deals g.skill Newegg seagate viewsonic wd Western Digital News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:27:35 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 27638 at You'll Need a Burly PC to Run Watch Dogs at Ultra Settings <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/watch_dogs.jpg" alt="Watch Dogs" title="Watch Dogs" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Watch Dogs creative director confirms specs for running title at Ultra settings</h3> <p>The minimum system requirements to run Watch Dogs on a Windows PC makes the game pretty accessible to anyone with a relatively modern PC (we're talking Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 era hardware). However, the recommended system requirements are quite a bit more demanding, and <strong>if you want to run Watch Dogs with Ultra settings, you'll need a GeForce GTX 780 graphics card</strong>.</p> <p>Watch Dogs creative director Johnathan Morin took to Twitter to announce the beefy hardware you'll need to run the game in all its visual glory.</p> <p>"Ultra specs: Intel Core i7 4770K with a GeForce 780. The PC video was recorded on an Intel Core i7 3930K with a GeForce Titan IIRC," <a href="" target="_blank">Morin said</a>.</p> <p>As for the minimum requirements <a href="" target="_blank">listed on Steam</a>, you'll need one of the aforementioned processors or higher, 6GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 460 / AMD Radeon HD 5770 or higher, and 25GB of hard drive space. For the recommended requirements, hardware gets bumped up to an Intel Core i7 3770 / AMD FX-8350 X8 or higher, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 560 Ti / AMD Radeon HD 7850 or higher, and the same amount of hard drive space (25GB).</p> <p>Watch Dogs will be available to play May 27, 2014. You can pre-purchase the game for $60, or snag the Deluxe Edition for $70.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> design cave games jonathan morin Software watch dogs News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:35:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 27636 at Microsoft's Offers Developers Early Look at Windows Phone 8.1 Update <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_phone_81.jpg" alt="Windows Phone 8.1" title="Windows Phone 8.1" width="228" height="166" style="float: right;" />Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers</h3> <p>Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the <strong>Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers</strong>. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.</p> <p>Before you can download the update, you must be a registered developer or be running a "developer unlocked" phone. To become a registered developer, you need to fork over $19 and publish apps in the Windows Store, or register as a developer with App Studio.</p> <p>If you're going the "developer unlocked" route, you'll need to download the developer tools to register and unlock your handset.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you risk voiding your phone's warranty by fooling around with the preview update. You also need to be aware that the update only includes Microsoft's portion of the software -- mobile operator and OEM driver updates will be available when the official update for your phone is released.</p> <p>Finally, bear in mind that there's no going back. Microsoft says you can't revert or return to a prior OS release after you've updated your phone to a preview update.</p> <p>If none of that scares you away, you can download the preview update <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft mobile. operating system OS smartphone Software windows phone 8.1 News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:10:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 27635 at T-Mobile Chief Challenges Wireless Competitors to End Overage Fees <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/t-mobile.jpg" alt="T-Mobile" title="T-Mobile" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />Self-proclaimed "Un-carrier" pats self on the back, dares other carriers to stop charging overages</h3> <p><strong>T-Mobile</strong>, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S.,<strong> is hoping that an impassioned blog post by its Chief Executive Officer will convince other wireless carriers to put an end to the tyranny of overage charges</strong>. Company CEO John Legere said that any big change that's ever led to lasting good started with a single person standing up to point out a wrong, and that he's more than willing to be that person.</p> <p>"Today, we’re capping off several days of major announcements by launching a broad social campaign to abolish domestic overage penalties and begin a national conversation," Legere stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "The Un-carrier is eliminating one of the most widely despised wireless industry practices for all of our T-Mobile customers on consumer plans. And I’m also laying down a challenge to my counterparts at AT&amp;T, Verizon and Sprint, to do the same."</p> <p>T-Mobile's made a series of announcements during the past few days. It started with the announcement of its Simple Starter plan (a value plan for budget shoppers) followed by the launch of its Operation Tablet Freedom, which allows customers to add a tablet to a postpaid voice plan for free.</p> <p>"But today is different. Today, we’re taking the change to a whole new level. We’re capping off these past few days by ending overages for all customers on T-Mobile consumer plans," Legere added.</p> <p>Rather than charge an overage fee for going over your data allotment, T-Mobile will throttle down data connectivity to 2G speeds. To encourage other wireless carriers to do the same, Legere posted a petition on <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">JeepersMedia</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> john legere mobile overage fees smartphone t-mobile News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:41:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 27634 at Rumor: Microsoft Prepping a Surface Mini Tablet <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_1.jpg" alt="Microsoft Surface" title="Microsoft Surface" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />A smaller size Surface device may be in Microsoft's future</h3> <p>The neat thing about Microsoft's non-RT Surface gadget is that it's not solely a tablet, but also a full-fledged notebook PC, provided you connect it to a keyboard. Would the dual-form factor approach work on a smaller size display? Perhaps we'll get an answer to that question, as <strong>Microsoft is rumored to be working on a "Surface Mini"</strong> to compete against the iPad mini and other 7-inch class tablets.</p> <p>According to <em>Neowin</em>, the shrunken Surface will be a 7-inch or 8-inch class device with "proper" pen support, meaning this should include Wacom digitizer support as well. The ability to take notes will be an important feature that Microsoft intends to tout on the Surface Mini.</p> <p>Microsoft recently upgraded its Surface family with the Surface 2 launch. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 both feature an improved kickstand with "dual angle" support, faster hardware, and longer battery life. It's not yet clear if a kickstand is in the cards for a Surface Mini model, or what kind of hardware it will have inside.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware microsoft mobile slate surface mini tablet News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:41:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 27631 at