How technology will change life in the future and more...
Best Buy is ending its Gamers Club Unlocked program
Best Buy is ending its gaming subscription services including the Gamers Club Unlocked (GCU) program, which offered discounts on new games for customers, as spotted by SlashGear. The GCU originally cost $99.99 for a two-year membership before being slashed to $29.99 back in March 2015. With membership, customers could receive 20 percent off new games, including pre-orders, and other benefits like better trade-in credits.
According to a memo released to employees and shared on Twitter, Best Buy will shut down its Gamers Club programs including free membership and paid tiers, and will no longer accept new members. Current members will still receive benefits, but won’t be able to renew their membership once it ends.
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The new Razer Blade has a bigger screen, smaller bezels, and Nvidia Ma
The Razer Blade has served as the core of Razer’s laptop lineup for years now, but while the compact Razer Blade Stealth and high-end Blade Pro have received recent updates in the past few years, the middle-of-the-road Blade has been largely left out: the basic look has been unchanged since 2013, even as Razer has continued to update internal hardware over time.
But that changes today with the latest revision of the Razer Blade, which completely overhauls the stagnant Blade design. with a new look, a bigger 15.6-inch display, Intel’s latest eighth-generation Core i7 processors, and NVIDIA’s Max-Q architecture that should let the Blade stand toe-to-toe with the best gaming laptops out...More Info...
Razer announces a cheaper external GPU enclosure and support for macOS
Razer is updating its Core line of external GPU enclosures today, introducing a new Core X model and adding support for Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The Core X is designed as a new, entry level model for Razer’s external GPU line, costing just $299 (as opposed to the Core V2’s $499 price tag), although it loses out on some of the Core V2's more advanced features like USB and Ethernet ports and Razer’s Chroma lighting. That said, the Core X does offer some improvements over the Core V2, with 100W pass-through charging over Thunderbolt, an integrated 650W power supply (versus the V2’s 500W), and support for larger 3-slot GPUs (compared to the 2.2-GPU size on the V2.)
HTC website leaks new flagship phone
A testing subdomain on HTC’s website, spotted by Roland Quandt, has confirmed the already-leaked specs and design of HTC’s next flagship phone, while also giving us an indication of its price. Priced at 5,888 yuan in China (roughly $920) with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the U12 Plus appears poised to compete against the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S9, Apple’s iPhone X, and Huawei’s P20 Pro. Not a budget model, in other words.
Aside from the obvious absence of a notch, HTC is also deviating from the hot trends of 2018 by not having an OLED screen: the display listed on the spec sheet is a 6-inch WQHD+ (1440 x 2880) Super LCD6. The U12 Plus is also set to have Boomsound speakers, IP68-rated water and...More Info...
Trump reportedly ignores ‘inconvenient’ security rules to keep twe
President Trump has been ignoring White House protocols meant to keep his phones secure, according to a report this evening in Politico. The story says that Trump carries at least two iPhones, one for calls and one for browsing Twitter and reading news. These are supposed to have features like the camera disabled and be inspected on a regular basis; but according the report, that hasn’t been the case.
The phone used for calls reportedly still has its camera and microphone installed, which are obvious hacking targets that could reveal a great deal of intelligence to adversaries. In the past, President Obama made it sound as though his phones had both the camera and microphone taken out to remove this risk. Trump’s phones do, at least,...More Info...
Comcast’s mesh Wi-Fi extender pods are now available
Comcast has launched new Xfinity xFi Pods, which are mesh Wi-Fi extenders meant to combat dead zones in homes. We wrote about the pods last year, but their launch was delayed. They are small pods that can be plugged into an outlet and paired with the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway. The xFi Pods are supposed to keep checking Wi-Fi connections in the house and monitor their own performance.
To set up the xFi Pods, all you need to do is download the xFi mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android, and the app will give you instructions on how to pair the Pods with the compatible router. Then you can continue to monitor the status of all your Wi-Fi devices through the app.
The xFi...More Info...
The lava striking the sea is gorgeous — and can be deadly
Lava spilling off the southeastern edge of the island of Hawaii is producing a noxious haze where it hits the seawater. Made out of hydrochloric acid, steam, and shards of volcanic glass, the gas is hazardous to anyone who breathes it. But while the mixture is dangerous, it shouldn’t put many people in danger.
The noxious fumes are called “laze,” which volcano experts say is way less peaceful than it sounds. The stuff forms when lava hits the cool ocean, almost like water on sauna rocks — if the steam that sizzled off had acid and glass in it. The more lava, the more laze. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen laze floating over a spot on Hawaii’s coast, according to Robin Andrews for IFL Science. So scientists have had time to study...More Info...
R. Kelly is still doing just fine on Spotify
Despite a new Spotify policy on hateful content or conduct that removed R. Kelly’s music from the service’s official playlists, the musician’s streaming numbers have been unaffected, according to The Associated Press. Before the policy change on May 10th, his music received an average of 6,584,000 streams per week on Spotify; in the week after the announcement it received 6,676,000 streams.
Kelly’s music was originally blacklisted from the curated playlists created by Spotify — but not from the service itself — because of the numerous allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation leveled against him over the years. A 2017 BuzzFeed article reported on an abusive sex cult allegedly created by Kelly, where women said he physically punished...More Info...
Google and Microsoft disclose new CPU flaw, and the fix can slow machi
Microsoft and Google are jointly disclosing a new CPU security vulnerability that’s similar to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws that were revealed earlier this year. Labelled Speculative Store Bypass (variant 4), the latest vulnerability is a similar exploit to Spectre and exploits speculative execution that modern CPUs use. Browsers like Safari, Edge, and Chrome were all patched for Meltdown earlier this year, and Intel says “these mitigations are also applicable to variant 4 and available for consumers to use today.”
However, unlike Meltdown (and more similar to Spectre) this new vulnerability will also include firmware updates for CPUs that could affect performance. Intel has already delivered microcode updates for Speculative Store...More Info...
Google Photos now has a Favorites feature
I know a lot of people love Google Photos, but sometimes you realize that the service is missing some elementary stuff. For example, there hasn’t been a Favorites feature until now. Google has announced that, over the next week, it’s rolling out that functionality. You’ll be able to tap a star at the upper right of any photo in your library, and it’ll automatically show up in Favorites.
A Favorites album is created as soon as you begin starring images. And that’s pretty much it! Nothing fancy. If you don’t see the option to star a photo, you don’t have Favorites just yet. The wait shouldn’t be more than a few days, though.
It’s OK to play favorites. Rolling out this week, tap the ⭐️ button to mark a photo as a favorite. Head to the...