March 19, 2019

‘Call of Duty: Mobile’ brings the popular series to iOS and Android for free

One of the best-selling video game series of all time is finally making its way to mobile devices. On Monday, Activision announced that it is teaming up with Chinese game publisher Tencent to bring Call of Duty: Mobile to the West. Made by Tencent's Timi studio, the free-to-play game draws on maps, modes, weapons, and characters from the history of the franchise, including the Black Ops and the Modern Warfare series. Call of Duty: Mobile will focus entirely on competitive multiplayer, featuring familiar modes like Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and Free-For-All. Classic maps such as Nuketown, Crash, and Hijacked will be included as well, and players can "earn and unlock classic Call of Duty characters, weapons, scorestreaks and other gear to equip and customize their loadouts as they battle to be among the best in the world." “We are delivering the definitive, first person action experience in a new mobile title with incredible graphics and visceral Call of Duty gameplay,” said Chris Plummer, VP of Mobile at Activision. “Together with the amazing team at Tencent, we’re bringing together a collection of the most beloved maps, competitive modes, familiar characters and signature weapons from across this storied franchise into one epic experience for the first time on mobile.” There's sure to be more information to reveal as we get closer to launch, but the end of the trailer seems to suggest that a battle royale mode could be included as well -- possibly a port of the Black Ops 4 Blackout mode. Starting today, anyone with an account on CallofDuty.com can pre-register for the mobile beta. In an FAQ on the site, Activision says that it will host multiple pre-launch betas over the coming months, but it looks like the beta might only be available on Android. The game will be free to download on iOS and Android later this year.
March 19, 2019

Scientists are using a video game to help stroke victims regain movement

Most people play video games for their entertainment value or simply to kill a bit of time, but games have also proven useful in a variety of medical contexts. Customized interactive digital experiences have helped patients battle symptoms of PTSD and even train doctors to be better at their jobs. Now, researchers from Northwestern Medicine have developed a retro-styled arcade game designed specifically for stroke survivors. The game, which has since been tested on over 30 volunteers, has demonstrated its effectiveness at promoting muscle control and increased mobility in individuals who suffered reduced mobility for decades. The scientists developed a specialized device called a myoelectric computer interface that pairs with a simple video game that requires players to move a cursor to a specific point on the screen. Stroke victims who have decreased mobility in their arms typically suffer from a loss of control over their arm muscles. When they attempt to move their arms the muscles in the limb tend to fight against each other leading to a condition called co-activation or co-constriction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9MWoQY4pYw Researchers isolated the muscles responsible for this condition in each participants and then monitored the electrical muscle triggers being sent from the brain. They used that information as an input for the game, retraining the participant's brains to activate muscles independently. This is called "decoupling" and it's crucial to a stroke victim regaining mobility in their limbs. What the team found was that after completing a session with the game, participants demonstrated increased mobility in their retrained limbs. Most volunteers who participated in the experiment continued to demonstrate increased arm mobility even a month later. "The beauty of this is even if the benefit doesn't persist for months or years, patients with a wearable device could do a 'tune-up' session every couple weeks, months or whenever they need it," Dr. Marc Slutzky, senior author of the study, said in a statement. "Long-term, I envision having flexible, fully wireless electrodes that an occupational therapist could quickly apply in their office, and patients could go home and train by themselves." A single training session takes as little as an hour and could provide huge benefits to stroke patients. Going forward, similar applications could be provided to victims shortly after their stroke to enhance recovery and rehabilitation.
March 19, 2019

Why buy a $50 Philips Hue bulb when these $16 smart LED bulbs don’t need a hub or Wi-Fi to work?

Most of our readers probably realize by now that spending $50 per bulb on pricey big-brand smart LED lights isn’t necessary to put together an awesome and versatile smart lighting setup. In fact, you don’t need to spend anywhere near that much. There are plenty of great options out there, but there’s one in particular that you should check out. It’s called the MagicConnect Bluetooth Mesh Multicolor Light Bulb, and it has two things that set it apart from a solution like Philips Hue. First, it doesn’t need a hub or even a Wi-Fi connection to work. And second, it’s WAY cheaper than Philips Hue!

Here’s some additional info from the product page:

  • ✔ Control a of maximum 64 bulbs together at one time. Mesh bulbs link to each other automatically as a local area network allowing for a greater range of control, and allows for multiple mobile device control at the same time.
  • ✔ No hub required, and compatible with other MagicConnect Bluetooth Mesh products. Also, you can create many groups to control, one bulb can be set to a maximum of 8 groups, it is the perfect choice for household and engineering lighting.
  • ✔ Compatible with Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant via MagicConnect Hub (Hub Required, Hub Sold Separately), also you can control it remotely (Hub Required, Hub Sold Separately)
  • ✔ Various Modes: 16 Million Color Setting, Group Control, Sunlight, Timer, Music Sync, Sunrise, Sharing Control, Unlimited Patterns. If you just need a few bulbs, this is a perfect choice. If you need many bulbs for whole house or big project, this is also a perfect choice.
  • ✔ Application: Multiple lighting patterns, suitable for a showcase, residential, office, hotel, shop, exhibition room, landscaping etc.
March 19, 2019

Apple’s new iPad Air and iPad mini just released, but you can already find great deals

Apple on Monday announced a couple of new iPad models -- the 2019 iPad Air and iPad mini -- with prices starting at $499 and $399, respectively. Both devices share the same set of specs, and both of them are almost as powerful as the 2018 iPad Pro — the new tablets have the iPhone XS’s A12 Bionic chip inside, rather than the A12X flavor that goes into the Pros. That makes them great alternatives to the iPad Pro, which is more expensive, or the regular iPad, which isn’t as powerful. If you’re looking for even better prices for either the Air or the mini, some retailers are have already introduced deals. Best Buy members will be able to save up to $25 when ordering select iPad Air or iPad mini models. If you’re going for the cellular version of either model and are willing to ink a two-year contract with Verizon, you’ll save $200 on specific models. Verizon, meanwhile, is out with its own iPad Air and iPad mini sale, ready to shave off $100 on any Cellular version of the two new iPads, when purchased on a two-year contract. Preorders start on March 21st, with the in-store launch set for March 26th. Here are Verizon’s prices:
  • 64 GB iPad Air: $26.24/month on device payment ($629.99 Retail); $529.99 with a 2-year contract
  • 256 GB iPad Air  $32.49/month on device payment ($779.99 Retail); $679.99 with a 2-year contract
  • 64 GB iPad mini:  $22.08/month on device payment ($529.99 Retail); $429.99 with a 2-year contract
  • 256 GB iPad mini:  $28.33/month on device payment ($679.99 Retail); $579.99 with a 2-year contract
Verizon has a special deal for buyers who’re also shopping for a new iPhone: You’ll get $250 off when you buy both devices on a Verizon device payment plans. Furthermore, Verizon is also offering buyers $150 off or $250 off other select iPads, when purchased with a device payment plan or a two-year contract. However, the discount isn’t given at check out on offers that require device payment plans. Instead, they’ll be applied as bill credits for the duration of the offer.
March 19, 2019

Everything leaving Netflix in April 2019

Bond fans -- this is going to be a tough pill to swallow. Netflix is dumping not one, not two, but eleven James Bond movies next month, including Casino Royale, Goldfinger, and The Spy Who Loved Me. If you're looking to get your spy fix in, you'll need to do it before April, because they're all being removed on the 1st. Netflix will also be losing the entire Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, which, believe it or not, was actually a really solid entry into the Star Wars canon (unlike the prequel movies). Other tough losses include Billy Madison, I Love You, Man, Silver Linings Playbook, and all four seasons of Luther. You can see the full list of Netflix streaming departures for the month of April below:

Leaving April 1st

  • American Pie
  • Billy Madison
  • Blue Mountain State: Seasons 1-3
  • Casino Royale
  • Diamonds Are Forever
  • Die Another Day
  • Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
  • Goldfinger
  • Happy Feet
  • Happy Gilmore
  • Heat
  • I Love You, Man
  • L.A. Confidential
  • Live and Let Die
  • Luther: Series 1-4
  • Octopussy
  • Pokémon: XY: Seasons 1-2
  • Seven
  • Sex and the City: The Movie
  • The Living Daylights
  • The Man with the Golden Gun
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • The World Is Not Enough
  • Wallander: Series 1-4
  • You Only Live Twice

Leaving April 4th

  • Raw

Leaving April 7th

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Seasons 1-5
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

Leaving April 13th

  • Video Game High School: Seasons 1-3

Leaving April 18th

  • Silver Linings Playbook
Now that you’ve seen everything that will be removed from the service over the next month, be sure to check out all of the new movies and TV shows being added to Netflix in April as well.
March 19, 2019

Add SD and microSD card slots to your iPhone for $13

We can’t see the future, but there’s one thing we can guarantee: there will never come a time when iPhones will have microSD card slots. Not. Ever. Apple makes a ton of money by forcing its customers to buy more expensive iPhones if they want extra storage, and there’s no way the company will ever leave all that money on the table by supporting expandable memory. There is a way to use memory cards with any iPhone or iPad though, and it’s actually much easier than you might have thought. Just pick up a Fixget 3-In-1 Lightning Memory Card Reader and pop it into the Lightning port on your iOS device. That’s it! Now you can just use the free companion app to offload all your big photo and video files to a microSD card or even a full size SD card.

Here’s more info from the product page:

  • ❤ *** Limited Time Deal, Plz Click the Coupon*** 3 IN 1 CARD READER - Lightning, standard USB and micro USB plug combination, making the card reader compatible with all tablets, Mac, PC, Notebook, Android smartphones(Android phone must with OTG function), Apple Iphones. Compatible with all iphone and ipad with IOS 9.2 or up to Newest System 11.2.6.
  • ❤HIGH TRANSFER SPEED - Fixget 3 in 1 adopted the latest technology, so that it can support the transfer speed is 20~27MB/S. Writing speed IS 11~20MB/S. And it can Support 8G~128G SD and TF card. **NOTE - Memory Cards are NOT Included**.
  • ❤FREE APP NEEDED FOR IOS - Free APP from APP Store for communication between your iDevices and iReader. You can download the APP when you firstly plug this card reader on your device, because it will remind you download APP. Then you can manage your data directly on the Free APP.
  • ❤ANDRIOD PHONES WITH OTG FUNCTION - Android Smartphones do not download app,but the phone need with OTG function and when you connect the card reader, please enter to the phone "file manager" to operate.
  • ❤STORAGE EXPANSION - You can create copy move delete rename open in and many more. Playback videos/music, backup and restore your contact list, document viewer for all major file formats, voice recorder and text editor via card reader from SD/TF card. It can help you release space of your SD card just like an external storage memory expansion. And its very tiny and fashion. Its so easy for you to carry the 3 in 1 card reader to anywhere even in your journey.
March 19, 2019

Apple just launched new iMacs with faster Intel processors and AMD Vega GPUs

After launching new iPad Air and iPad mini tablets on Monday, both featuring specs that are basically on par with the more expensive iPad Pro, Apple on Tuesday unveiled updates for the iMac -- its iconic all-in-one desktop that was last upgraded nearly two years ago. As expected, we’re not looking at a massive redesign for the 2019 iMac models. Instead, we’re getting faster processors and better graphics cards across the board. Both the 4K and 5K iMacs get the new 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors, as well as “powerful Vega graphics options.” You’ll be able to configure your 21.5-inch iMac from 8th-gen Intel quad-core chips up to the new 6-core chips from Intel. The iMac will be 60% faster than previous models. The 27-inch model will come in 9th-gen 6-core and 8-core Intel processors, ready to deliver up to 2.4 times faster performance. On the graphics side, you can expect up to 80% and 50% boosts in performance, on the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs, respectively, thanks to the new Radeon Pro Vega GPU hitting iMacs for the first time. AMD is supplying the Vega 20 for the smaller iMac, while the 27-inch all-in-one gets the Vega 48 GPU. The bigger iMac also supports up to 64GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The smaller one only gets half of that — 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD. Fusion Drive storage versions are also available for both models, which is what you'll get on some of the base configurations of both iMacs. The 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at $1,299, while the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at $1,799. Both models are available to order and customize now, and they’ll hit Apple Stores next week.
March 19, 2019

This $20 Wi-Fi router is good enough for most apartments

If you live an a small to medium-sized apartment, there’s simply no reason whatsoever to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy Wi-Fi system. In fact, you don’t even need to spend $25! Check out the TP-Link TL-WR841N Wireless Wi-Fi Router, which is on sale right now on Amazon for only $19.99. It has two high-power antennas and it supports Wireless N data speeds up to 300 Mbps, which is much faster than you need. Definitely check it out before this sale ends.

Here are the bullet points from the product page:

  • Wireless N speed up to 300Mbps ideal applications for video streaming, online gaming VoIP, web browsing and multi-tasking
  • Two 5dBi antennas greatly increase the wireless robustness and stability. Easy Setup Assistant provides quick & hassle free installation
  • System requirements is internet explorer 11, firefox 12.0, chrome 20.0, safari 4.0 or other, java enabled browser or cable or dsl modem. Signal rate for 11n up to 300 mbps dynamic, 11g up to 54 mbps dynamic and 11b up to 1 mbps dynamic
  • Features parental control function managing the internet access of children or employee's computer
  • IP based bandwidth control allows administrators to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each PC and internet devices
  • Fast ethernet ports(10/100 Mbps) allow you to directly connect your wired devices
  • Backward compatible with 802.11b/g products. TP-LINK Live 24/7 Technical Support
  • This product is ONLY a router.
March 19, 2019

Google’s Inbox app will shut down the same day as Google+

A pair of Google products that just never seemed to catch fire are both shutting down two weeks from today -- Google+, the company's once-beleaguered attempt at a social network to rival Facebook, and Inbox, the company's email app that brought a new approach and a slew of new features to managing email. About the latter closure, we already knew the day was fast approaching. Google confirmed in the fall that it would be pulling the plug on Inbox around this time, and users have been getting notifications letting them know that Inbox would finally be sunset on April 2. "You can find your favorite Inbox features in the Gmail app," reads one such notification users have reported getting when they open the app. "Your messages are already waiting for you." That's a version of the same message that greets visitors to the Inbox page, at https://www.google.com/inbox/ - "While we were here, we found a new way to email with ideas like snooze, nudges, Smart Reply and more. That’s why we’ve brought your favorite features to Gmail to help you get more done. All your conversations are already waiting for you. See you there." In a Google blog post back in September, Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt suggested that the company decided to pull the plug on Inbox because it wanted to "take a more focused approach" to bringing the best email experience to users. Rather than having Gmail be the far and away leader and only bringing the most interesting new experiences to Inbox. "Inbox by Gmail has been a great place to experiment with new ideas like snoozing emails to later, as well as try the latest AI-powered experiences like Smart Reply, Nudges and high-priority notifications to help you stay productive," Izatt wrote at the time. Inbox's closure comes at the same time Google will also finally turn the lights out on Google+, the company's social network that it decided to shut down last year after disclosing a privacy-related bug. That's also happening on April 2, and this Reddit thread explains how the Internet Archive has been racing to preserve all public Google+ posts before that shutdown gets under way.
March 19, 2019

Jon Snow may have let a massive ‘Game of Thrones’ spoiler slip out

The month of April will be a fantastic month for entertainment. Not only does Avengers: Endgame launch on April 26th, but Game of Thrones premieres on HBO nearly two weeks before that, and it'll eventually bring an end to the saga. We’ve already learned a bunch of things about the final season of the show. We know that some episodes will be as long as movies and that one of these episodes will deliver the longest battle scene ever shot on video. But we have no idea what happens or how the show will end — the finale has been a closely guarded secret, a previous report said. But Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the show since its inception, has spoken at length about his journey in a new interview, and he may have dropped a huge spoiler about Jon Snow's fate in season 8. “They went balls out, I think is the term,” Harington told Variety while speaking of season 8. “They could have easily set the same budget as they did for season 7, but they went bigger.” The actor revealed how long the entire Jon Snow journey was, from the first years through the early stages of Game of Thrones fame, and culminating with all the attention he got thanks to that epic episode where the whole world saw Snow die. For the Watch. Harington also said that shooting season 8 has taken an emotional toll on all the cast. He says the last season was a nine-month shoot “in extreme weather and just in heaving f—ing costumes.” And here is where things get interesting:
I was there the whole time this year. I felt a bit like people were coming in and out, and Jon Snow was just f—ing there the whole time. You have these in-jokes, and these relationships that thrive for eight years. That’s a long time for those jokes to be going, and they never felt old or tired. In the last season, I was like, these are getting tired now. And I think they got tired because we could see the end coming. That’s a way of emotionally detaching from something: relationships very slightly starting to strain, just on the edges, just frayed. Now everyone loves each other again.
If Harington was there the whole time then he can’t die any sooner than the series finale. HBO can’t pull off any more Snow resurrection tricks in the upcoming season, so the last “chance” for Snow to die, if he does end up perishing, would be in the finale. The report also details another anecdote from shooting. Harington saw Peter Dinklage wrap production a day earlier, “and I saw him just break down.” That seems to be an indication that Tyrion will also survive most of the episodes. And if he does die, then it’ll be before Jon Snow. The next day, when Harington wrapped up, he recalls “a huge heave of emotion. I’m just blubbing.” As for the fate of his character, Harington said he cried at the table read of the final season. “The end of Jon’s journey, whatever that may be … I was satisfied with how his story ended,” the actor said. Variety’s full interview is available at this link and it’s worth a read in full while you wait for the April 14th premiere of Game of Thrones season 8.