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Samsung Galaxy S7 buyers can claim their free Gear VR

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, it offered a pretty nice enticement to pre-order buyers: A free Galaxy Gear VR headset and six-game bundle worth $150. If you plunked your money down or are planning to do so before March 18th, you can now claim your goodies through a new portal on Samsung’s website. All you need to do is select the carrier or retailer you bought it from and follow the instructions. Verizon buyers can pick a Gear S2 smartwatch valued at $300 instead, while T-Mobile users get a free year of Netflix on top of the Gear VR, a $120 perk.

Sprint customers will be sent the Gear VR directly, while everyone else will need to wait four to six weeks to receive their goodies. You’ll need to supply the phone’s EMEI, WiFi info and a picture of the receipt. In our review of the consumer Gear VR, we called it a “no-brainer” for owners of Galaxy devices, and we’d say that applies if you’re thinking of getting a Galaxy S7 device too. It’s better than plunking down $600 on an Oculus Rift or $800 on a Vive VR and then deciding you actually hate virtual reality.

Via: Android Central

Source: Samsung


The best 24-inch monitor

By David Murphy

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read the full article here.

After spending 50 hours researching 19 different monitors and testing six finalists, we recommend the 24-inch Dell UltraSharp U2415 to most people looking for a large computer monitor right now. It has the best picture quality of any 24-inch display we tested, indistinguishable from perfection thanks to its factory-calibrated IPS screen.

Who this is for

For most people, a 24-inch monitor hits the sweet spot of size and price. Most 24-inch monitors these days have 19201080 screens, but we prefer the slightly less common 19201200. A 19201200-pixel monitor with a 16:10 aspect ratio gives you more vertical space than a 1080p monitor with its 16:9 proportions. The taller screen makes a big difference for most office work, Web browsing, and gaming. You’ll still have black bars when you watch movies, but you’ll probably have those on a 1080p monitor, too. If you’re still using a monitor smaller than 20 inches, give your eyes a break by upgrading to our pick.

How we tested

Our i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer costs a small fortune but offers incredible accuracy. Photo: David Murphy

The Wirecutter’s Chris Heinonen helped design our monitor testing process, which relies on two measuring devices: a $1,200 i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer from X-Rite and a $170 Spyder4 Pro. We customized tests in the CalMAN 5 software calibration suite to measure each monitor’s maximum and minimum brightness levels, gamma, color temperature, and color accuracy.

Most people don’t change their monitor settings, so default performance is critical. We measured each monitor on its default picture mode as well as on its sRGB mode where applicable. For each test, we adjusted the monitor’s brightness to 140 cd/m—a good value for everyday use—and set the contrast as high as it could go without losing white details. We left every other setting at the default value. We then used each of our finalists for a few days to get a feel for their features.

Our pick

Dell minimized the UltraSharp U2415’s bezel, creating the illusion that the monitor’s panel ​is bigger than its actual dimensions​. Photo: David Murphy

Dell’s UltraSharp U2415 is the best 24-inch monitor for most people because its factory-calibrated display looks practically perfect, its 19201200-pixel resolution gives it 11 percent more screen space than a 1080p monitor offers, and its ultrathin bezel makes its screen feel bigger and look better than monitors with thicker bezels. Its stand lifts, tilts, pivots, rotates, and swivels, so you can position the screen exactly where you need it. Equipped with HDMI and DisplayPort connections as well as five USB 3.0 ports, this monitor gives you more flexibility than most other models for anything you do at your desk. Other 24-inch monitors have a subset of these attributes, but no other has them all. The U2415 also costs hundreds less than most monitors with comparable display quality.

A distant runner-up

Dell’s UltraSharp U2412M hasn’t aged badly, but it lacks many new features and the factory calibration of our top pick. Photo: Michael Hession

If the U2415 is unavailable, we recommend the Dell UltraSharp U2412M. This model’s default picture quality is better than that of other uncalibrated monitors, and it has some of the same features we love in our primary pick, including a 1200p resolution, excellent adjustability, VESA support, and a great warranty and premium panel guarantee. However, it lacks a factory-calibrated mode and HDMI, has USB 2.0 ports instead of USB 3.0 connections, and uses pulse width modulation to dim the backlight.

The upgrade pick

If you already have a 22- or-24-inch IPS display, save up for the 27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2715H, which is both bigger and better. Photo: David Murphy

You won’t find any 24-inch monitors that are better than the U2415. If you have more money to spend, you should get our 27-inch pick, the Dell UltraSharp U2715H. This 25601440 monitor has a bigger screen and more working space than a 24-inch, 1200p monitor. For Windows users, it’s a better choice than a 4K monitor, because it doesn’t have any app display-scaling issues (and you don’t need to spend as much money to play games at high settings on it).

The budget pick

ASUS’s VS239H has good color accuracy for its price, but among other deficiencies, it lacks almost all of the awesome adjustability of our pick’s stand. Photo: David Murphy

If you need a decent but cheap monitor, get the ASUS VS239H. It’s a pretty good 23-inch, 19201080 IPS monitor that usually costs less than $150, but you give up a lot to get to that point: Its screen has 11 percent fewer pixels than our 19201200 primary pick, its colors are less accurate, and it has very limited adjustability, no DisplayPort connections, no USB ports, and an ugly on-screen display. Still, it looks a lot better than the other monitors in its price range, which tend to use lower-quality TN (twisted nematic) panels.

Wrapping up

The best 24-inch monitor is the Dell UltraSharp U2415, which has the best picture quality of any display we tested. The UltraSharp U2412M is a distant runner-up, as it has the same 1200p resolution but lacks factory calibration, USB 3.0, and HDMI. If you have more money to spend, we recommend our 27-inch pick, the 2560×1440 Dell UltraSharp U2715H, and if you’re on a budget, we recommend the ASUS VS239H-P, which is the cheapest good IPS monitor available.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.


Major League Baseball takes Snapchat to the dugout during games

Snapchat isn’t new to sports coverage, but with Major League Baseball this season, the social channel is making a big push at the ballpark. The collaboration between the app and the league kicks off next Friday (March 11th) when MLB will allow players to use cellphones in the dugout for the first time. Before, during and after Spring Training games, players will be permitted to post their own snaps and selfies. Oh yeah, there’s a special selfie stick for the occasion: the SnapBat. Yes, really.

The partnership between Snapchat and MLB isn’t limited to pre-season action on the diamond. Coverage of Opening Day, the All-Star Game and postseason matchups is also in the works for this year and beyond thanks to a multi-year deal. We’ll be curious to see how it goes next week, and there’s several ways to take in the action. There will be a day-long curated Live Story to cover the festivities as well as plenty of content on player and team accounts.

Via: The Verge, Yahoo

Source: Major League Baseball


Five reasons why crowdfunding projects fail

Engadget was an early proponent of crowdfunding and has helped many exciting gadgets become a reality. The only downside of this is that my inbox now overflows with Kickstarter and Indiegogo pitches looking for similar treatment. In 2015 alone, I received almost 1,400 emails relating to campaigns on those two websites. It may be a chore to get through them all, but it’s also given me plenty of time to pinpoint what makes a successful campaign. So, before you quit your day job, save yourself some heartache.


Apple Support Has Responded to Nearly 100 Tweets Per Hour So Far

Apple’s new support account on Twitter has quickly gained momentum after launching on Thursday morning, surpassing 125,000 followers in just over 24 hours. The account has over 2,750 tweets as of writing, meaning that Apple’s support team has responded to nearly 100 customer tweets per hour so far.

Keyhole, a real-time social media analytics website, provides a closer look at the Apple Support account. The data shows that the account, and related tweets, have already generated over 124 million impressions, with 44.6% of users viewing the tweets from an iPhone. 77% of the account’s followers are male.

Apple joins a growing number of companies, ranging from retailers to banks, that provide customer service on Twitter in 140 characters or less. A customer can send a tweet to @AppleSupport, and an Apple Advisor will typically reply with a generic message that requests the user send more details via Direct Message.

We’re always looking for new ways to help you get the most from  products. Meet @AppleSupport!

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 3, 2016

The account will respond to customer inquiries every day between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific, and it will also share tips, tricks, and tutorials related to Apple products and services. Apple support continues to be available on the web, or by phone, email, or scheduling a Genius Bar appointment.

Tag: Twitter
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How to keep your dehydrator dust-free when it’s not in use – CNET

Alina Bradford/CNET

The last thing I want to do when I’m prepping foods for dehydration is to clean my dehydrator. Since it doesn’t get used as often as my other appliances, though, it’s usually quite dusty when I pull it out of the pantry. Some people wrap their dehydrator in plastic wrap to keep it clean, but I’ve found an easier, reusable solution.

Go to your local discount store and pick up a king-size pillowcase. It is the perfect size for a dehydrator cozy and will slide right over it to keep it dust-free. If you have a large dehydrator, purchase a small grill cover to shroud your dehydrator.

The next time you use your dehydrator, simply pop the cover into the washer so that it will be fresh when the appliance needs to go back into storage.


How to play Android games on your Windows PC – CNET

For many a game fan, playing desktop games on a mobile device is a kind of Holy Grail pursuit. Hence the creation of devices like the Nvidia Shield tablet and streaming apps like Remotr.

Ah, but what if you want to flip the equation? Android is home to innumerable great games, many of which have no desktop counterparts. Wouldn’t it be great if you could play those games on your PC?

You can. Nox App Player is a free Android emulator that makes it easy to run Android games in Windows.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

How easy? Almost to the point where you don’t need me to explain it. Because all you really have to do is install the Nox App Player, then navigate the virtual Android environment the same way you would on your phone or tablet — but using your mouse for “taps” and “swipes” instead of your finger.

Of course, some games benefit from a keyboard interface, which is why Nox lets you map keyboard keys. To activate this “simulated touch,” press Ctrl-1, click or swipe with the mouse, then press whatever keyboard key you want assigned to that action. Keep clicking/swiping and assigning until you’re done, then click Save.

I used this method for Crossy Road and it worked perfectly. I also tried Nox with games like Asphalt 8 Airborne, Batman: Arkham Origins and The Walking Dead: Road to Survival. For all of them, you simply hit up the Google Play store and install them normally.

Incidentally, all those games worked really well on my system, an Asus ZenBook UX305. Your mileage may vary, of course, especially with graphics-intensive titles. (Batman, for example, was a little laggy in spots, but still playable.)

It’s worth noting that Nox can be used for more than just games; it’s a full-blown Android emulator, though one stuck at Android 4.2.2. That may present a few compatibility issues, but, again, I ran into no problems with any of the games I tried. Also cool: Nox makes it easy to record video, which could be useful for training purposes or the like.

There are other emulators out there, including Andy and Amiduos — the latter capable of running Android Lollipop. But in terms of simplicity and game-friendliness, it’s tough to beat Nox App Player.


The Verizon Galaxy Note 5 gets its sweet, sweet Marshmallow update


If you’re a Galaxy Note 5 owner on Verizon, then today is a good news kind of day. The carrier has announced the rollout of its upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow which you should be seeing on your devices sometime soon.

Interestingly, Verizon also says the update comes with “the latest security patches,” and we’re particularly interested in seeing exactly which one that means. We’re still waiting on word from Google of the March update, so in theory we’d expect nothing less than February, here. As we’ve not seen it hit our own devices yet, we’re unable to confirm. But if you’ve got it, let us know in the comments below.

Along with all the Marshmallow goodness and the visual changes, Verizon has highlighted a few other key features. These include improvements to Live Broadcast, WiFi Calling for HD Voice users and the removal of the Amazon Appstore. Which is easy enough to get back should you actually want it.

You can either wait it out for an update notification or try your luck by hitting Settings > About phone > Software updates > Check for Updates.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Google Play Store offers a 50% discount off one movie rental until March 17


Want to have a movie night at home, or even on your smartphone or tablet? The Google Play Store currently has a promotion that may be to your liking. From now until March 17, you can cut the price of one movie rental from the Store by 50%.

The discount can be applied to any movie that’s available to rent in the Store, including new releases. It will be applied at checkout. As usual with any movie rentals on the Google Play Store, you have 30 days after you make your purchase to watch the film before it expires.

Which movie will you rent from the Google Play Store with the 50% discount. Let us know in the comments!

Get the 50% movie rental discount at Google Play Store



HTC 10 reportedly shown off in new leaks


HTC is reportedly getting ready to announce its next flagship smartphone, but newly posted images and information may have given away some of its features. The new phone is reportedly going to be called simply the HTC 10, ditching the “One” and ‘M” branding from the company’s last flagship device, the HTC One M9.

The hardware leaker called “OnLeaks” posted what he claims are prototype images of the HTC 10. He claims that it will have a 5.15-inch QHD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics chip, 4GB of RAM, a 12MP camera and a USB Type-C connection. All of which are pretty par for the course for flagship class phones releasing any time soon.

#HTC10 (prototype specs) 5.15″ QHD / SD820 / Adreno 530 / 4GB RAM / 12MP / USB Type-C

— OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) March 4, 2016

Evan Blass, quickly posted another leaked image of the HTC 10. This one looks like a render for the smartphone. Keep in mind that HTC has not confirmed anything about their next flagship, so take these images and specs with the appropriate grain of salt.

.@OnLeaks Can I play too?

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 4, 2016

Source: OnLeaks (Twitter), Evleaks (Twitter)


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