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3
Dec

Best new songs to stream: Moses Sumney, Ty Segall, Sufjan Stevens, and more


Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click — you want the best new songs to stream right now.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our five best new songs to stream this week. And don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post. Not sure which streaming service is best for you? Check out our post about the best music streaming services, or go in depth and learn the differences between Apple Music and Spotify to better weigh your options.

Moses Sumney — Doomed (and more, live at NPR’s Tiny Desk)

Given that singer Moses Sumney‘s debut album Aromanticism ranks among our favorites of the year, we were very excited to listen to this recently released live performance at the NPR offices. The stripped-down and passionate 20-minute performance easily proves why Sumney’s star is quickly on the rise, thanks to gorgeous vocal melodies that drift over an elegant blend of harp, guitar, and keyboard sounds.

Ty Segall — The Main Pretender

The Main Pretender by Ty Segall

Garage rock hero Ty Segall may have already put out an excellent self-titled record this year, but that won’t stop the prolific musician from releasing new tunes. On his latest song, The Main Pretender, we get a healthy dose of Segall’s signature fuzz, with a punchy drumbeat, distorted guitars, and even a shrieking saxophone solo midway through. As with much of the songwriter’s catalog, this one is meant to be played loud.

Sufjan Stevens — The Greatest Gift

Gently plucked strings open up this short and sweet winter single from indie icon Sufjan Stevens, whose soft voice floats gently throughout the 2-minute gem. Hopeful and quiet, this is a warm musical morsel that will raise your spirits even during the coldest, darkest days of the year.

Day Wave — Drag (Live on KCRW)

A crisp drum groove and jangly guitars keep things moving during this brief but memorable cut from Oakland’s Day Wave. One of a few songs the band played during a recent appearance at Southern California’s KCRW radio station, the tune is very well-suited to movement, whether that’s head bobbing along at your desk or taking it with you on your next cold-weather run. We found ourselves particularly enjoying it on the brisk walk home from the office.

Mikko Joensuu — Warning Sign (and more, live on KEXP)

This performance by Finnish musician Mikko Joensuu is one of a few musical gems that was recently recorded by the team at Seattle’s KEXP radio during their time at the Iceland Airwaves festival. The simple folk melody of Joensuu’s opening track Warning Sign is surrounded by a beautiful large ensemble, with layered strings, background vocals, and supple guitar  joining together in powerful harmony.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more songs to stream, and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Best new songs to stream: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sufjan Stevens, and more
  • Best new songs to stream: Porches, Alvvays, Feist, Grizzly Bear, and Goon
  • Best new songs to stream: Chance The Rapper, Ty Segall, and more
  • These are the 50 best albums of 2017
  • Best new songs to stream: Radiohead, Weezer, Son Little, and more




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3
Dec

Microsoft reveals plans for massive new expansion of its Redmond campus


As if having meetings in treehouses wasn’t enough, Microsoft has announced  an ambitious new renovation of its flagship Redmond campus (home to 47,000 employees) on its company blog. It’s the biggest redevelopment project in the company’s history, and it will take five to seven years to complete.

“We have a new generation of employees,” said Brad Smith of Microsoft at the annual shareholders meeting. “So it’s only fitting — in fact, it’s essential — that this new generation of employees have this new generation of work space where they too can do their best work.”

Google Earth

Originally a chicken ranch, the site was later purchased for a shopping mall project that never materialized, and then acquired by Microsoft in the 1980s. Named “88 Acres,” the headquarters, with four two-story iconic “X-wing” buildings surrounding “Lake Bill,” opened in 1986, a few weeks before the company went public and a year after releasing the first Windows OS.

Those four buildings will be coming down, along with eight others, to make space for 18 new office buildings with room for an additional 8,000 workers.

oogle Earth

In an interview with Geek Wire, Smith said, “It’s going to be a working environment that we believe is going to foster creativity and teamwork and informality and the ability of people to connect with and learn from each other and connect with our customers.”

The new design will be very pedestrian- and bike-friendly, with a walkway over the nearby freeway and parking relocated underground. New soccer and cricket fields will be added, and a central plaza will allow 8,000 to 12,000 people to gather outdoors for presentations, meetings, or even musical performances.

Also central to Microsoft’s plans is the availability of public transportation, with the planned extension of light rail from Seattle to Redmond, cutting the commute time to 30 minutes. Microsoft has a $33.3 million funding agreement with Sound Transit for the construction of the light rail station and the new pedestrian bridge.

This announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s new “spaceship” headquarters that recently opened in Cupertino and a new campus for Google. Expedia, another tech giant headquartered in Seattle, is planning an eye-catching new headquarters on the Seattle waterfront. The new development is embracing Microsoft’s rural roots, with additional green space and a focus on sustainability.

“I think one would be hard-pressed to find any company anywhere in the world that can look to an asset that can match this,” Smith said of the Redmond campus. “We think it’s one of the crown jewels for Microsoft; we think it’s one of the crown jewels for Puget Sound.”

“Clearly, this is no longer a chicken farm,” he added.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Microsoft built treehouse workspaces for its employees at the Washington campus
  • Vertical forests are returning nature to cities, one skyscraper at a time
  • Researcher: Supposedly secure Wi-Fi networks vulnerable to ‘KRACK’ attack
  • Apple’s ‘Steve Jobs Theater’ looks stunning for next week’s iPhone event
  • Microsoft job listing hints at Surface device with a Snapdragon 845 chip




3
Dec

Get a lifetime of tech training from Virtual Training Company for just $53.40


Figuring out which skills to try and learn can be difficult. What is popular when you start learning may not be what is popular when you are done, so why not learn a bunch of different topics at your own pace? Whether you are interested in animation and 3D, networking and security, game designing or other topics, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to switch your focus between them all as you see fit? Well, you can.

That’s right, with a lifetime single-user subscription to the Virtual Training Company you’ll have instant access to more than 1,000 online courses on a variety of popular topics and skills. This allows you to move between them as you see fit, and use your time to accomplish the courses.

vtc-stacksocial.jpg?itok=YcAUiaoX

  • Get lifetime access to 1,026 courses on any topic available at the time of purchase
  • Learn from industry experts in their respective fields
  • Download work files to supplement the course
  • Access courses from laptops, tablets, & mobile

Normally, access like this would set you back $2,500, but right now you can pack a small fraction of that. For a limited time, you can grab all of this for just $89, which is a saving of 96% — then save an additional 40% when you use coupon code CYBER40 at check out and pay just $53.40! If you are looking to have a lifetime of access to all this information you won’t want to miss out, so be sure to make your purchase now!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

3
Dec

Razer Phone’s camera app gets a performing enhancing update


One of the biggest flaws with the Razer Phone is the camera.

It’s lacking in just about every area, especially the app Razer built to go with it. And now, at last, the first post-launch update to the Razer Camera app has pushed out.

razer-phone-review-12.jpg?itok=dcEbuY1y

Don’t get too excited about it though, as this is simply a performance-enhancing and bug fixing update. There are no new features added, so we’re still in barebones town when it comes to using the camera.

I’ve been using the Razer Phone for a month now and coupled with the OTA update the phone received around public launch better camera performance would certainly be expected. However, one thing that’s still pretty rough is the seamless zoom using the telephoto lens. It’s still really jerky and doesn’t feel improved in any way. Honestly, Razer, please just give us a button to switch between lenses. That would be best right now.

It’s too early to tell if there is any noticeable improvement in photos so we’ll need to play around with it for a couple of days to get a feel for it. But if you’re a Razer Phone owner (and you didn’t already load up a different camera app) hit the Play Store and grab it now.

3
Dec

After Math: Hello from the auto show


With Thanksgiving already in the rearview and New Years still on the horizon, you know what time it is: it’s auto show season! Engadget just wrapped up a week of reporting from the Los Angeles auto show and have plenty of posts to show for it. Volvo unveiled their subscription-based car service, VW showed off their all-electric crossover, and Desert Bus got itself a VR makeover. Numbers, because how else will you know how long it’ll be until we get there?

$600: That’s how much it’ll cost you a month to own a Volvo XC40 — including tax, insurance and the company’s 24/7 concierge service. All you’ll have to pay for is gas.

310 miles: That’s how far the upcoming Tesla Model 3 will be able to travel on a single charge, according to recently released EPA estimates. You just need to pony up $44,000 for it.

12 minutes: That’s how long Samsung’s new graphene-infused lithium ion batteries take to fully charge. Even better, these batteries will offer 45 percent more capacity than similarly-sized alternatives.

302 Horsepower: That’s how many ponies the upcoming VW I.D. Crozz electric vehicle will offer when it hits dealer show floors in 2020. Hopefully they’ll be able to do something about the name before then.

8 Hours: That’s how long you’ll spend in a digital tour bus trekking from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in Desert Bus, now in glorious virtual reality! Go ahead, honk that horn.

Mountain View, California, USA - November 3, 2017: .A Waymo, customized Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, used for Google's autonomous vehicle program near the company"u2019s headquarters in Mountain View, California

4 million: That’s how many simulated miles Waymo’s self-driving vehicles have racked up in the course of their development — a quarter of which they managed in just the last six months!

3
Dec

‘Ingress’ revamp will take cues from ‘Pokémon Go’


With all the buzz around Pokémon Go and an upcoming Harry Potter game, it’s easy to forget about Niantic’s original augmented reality title, Ingress. It’s looking old in the tooth, and not just because of its 2012-era visuals — it’s using aging tech that was made long, long before augmented reality hit the mainstream. The pioneering release is about to catch up, though. Niantic has offered a peek at Ingress Prime, a revamp of its hidden-reality sci-fi game due to launch in 2018. It’ll sport a more polished, up-to-date design, but the biggest improvements will come from Pokémon Go… and not just the expected under-the-hood elements.

The company explained to The Verge that Prime will share the same underlying platform as its Pokémon counterpart. This will not only let it share upgrades and fight cheaters, but make use of slicker augmented reality frameworks like ARKit and ARCore. More importantly, the reworked Ingress should be considerably more accessible to newcomers. Niantic is aware that the game is relatively cryptic (it’s something of an exclusive club that depends on finding teammates), and it’s using lessons learned from Pokémon Go to give you a gentler introduction.

Story will also get an overhaul. The core plot is familiar (we’d expect exotic matter and the Shapers to play prominent roles), but it’ll unfold differently and will even include anime segments to tell the tale.

Let’s be honest: Ingress will likely continue to live in the shadow of Pokémon (and eventually Harry Potter) without brand recognition to reel people in. However, the improvements coming with Prime could keep it relevant, making sure that the game isn’t just limited to hardcore fans willing to master the game and immerse themselves in the storyline.

Via: The Verge

Source: Ingress Prime

3
Dec

The best Linux laptops you can buy


Hunting down the best Linux laptops is nowhere near as overwhelming as seeking out the ultimate Windows-based PC. That’s likely due to the smaller number of manufacturers that actually support the open-source platform. HP and Dell are your primary well-known outlets, but there are a few others outside the spotlight offering shiny Linux-flavored gems that are tasty as well.

What you’ll find when investigating the best Linux laptops are an assortment of operating systems including Ubuntu, Elementary OS, and a few other lesser-known Linux distributions. Most of the laptops you will discover are based on Intel processors, and if you’re lucky, discrete graphics chips that support high-quality Linux-compatible games.

To help weed through all the options, we provide our favorite Linux-based laptop, and solutions ranging from premium to budget-friendly computing. If you’re worried about security and privacy invasion, we list a laptop just for you as well. You can’t go wrong with this batch, and if you’re on the market for high-dollar extreme gaming, we link to a few examples for your grazing pleasure.

Our Pick

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition ($849+)

Out of all the Linux-based options you can find, Dell’s XPS 13 is a well-rounded solution for both the general customer and the enterprise market — in fact, it’s been at the top of our list of best laptops for years. It sports what Dell calls an InfinityEdge display, which translates into a screen with borders measuring just 0.20 inches thick. The design is complemented by a thin and light form factor measuring between 0.3 and 0.6 inches thick, and weighing at least 2.7 pounds.

The processor options consist of two seventh-generation Intel Core chips, and you can configure the laptop with up to 16GB of memory, depending on your starting point (there are four). As shown below, all FHD configurations do not support touch-based input while the QHD+ version is your only touchscreen option. Other notable features include a Thunderbolt 3 port, PCI Express-based storage options, and support for enterprise-class security.

Screen size:
13.3 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080 (non-touch)
3,200 x 1,800 (touch)
Processor:
Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i7-7560U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Memory (2 slots):
Up to 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Storage:
1x 2.5-inch SSD up to 128GB or
1x PCI Express SSD up to 1TB
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Killer Wireless AC (Up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports:
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt 3
Battery:
60WHr
Camera:
720p webcam
Dual array microphones
Operating system:
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Dimensions (in inches):
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 to 0.6
Weight:
2.7 pounds
Color:
Silver
Rose Gold
Starting price:
$849

The best premium Linux laptop

System76 Oryx Pro ($1,499+)

If you’re looking for a high-dollar experience, System76 serves up its Oryx Pro in two flavors: 15.6 inches, and 17.3 inches. Both versions have enough horse power to serve as a Linux-based gaming machine sporting seventh-generation Core i7 processors, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics chips. Of course, if you want to go extreme, System76 serves up the bulky Serval WS and Bonobo WS laptops, the latter of which can play host to dual GTX 1080 graphics chips.

As the specs show below, the 15.6-inch model supports FHD and UHD resolutions while the 17.3-inch model only supports FHD. The screens are backed by Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 630 component in its processors in addition to the stand-alone GeForce GPUs. Even more, the Core i7-7820HK is an unlocked processor, enabling Linux gamers to overclock its speed for higher performance. Other notable features include USB-C ports (Gen1), a Mini DisplayPort output, and Thunderbolt 3 support on the 17.3-inch model.

15.6 inches
17.3 inches
Resolutions:
1,920 x 1,080
3,840 x 2,160
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Intel Core i7-7820HK
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Memory:
Up to 64GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz
Storage (up to 9TB):
2x M.2 SSDs
2x 2.5-inch HDDs (7mm)
Audio:
2x speakers
Stereo microphone
GTX 1070 models: Sabre headphone amplifier, HiFi DAC
Connectivity:
Wireless AC
Bluetooth
Ports:
2x USB-C (Gen1)
3x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Gigabit Ethernet
1x HDMI
2x Mini DisplayPort
1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x S/PDIF
2x USB-C (Gen1)
3x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Gigabit Ethernet
1x HDMI
2x Mini DisplayPort
1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x S/PDIF
1x Thunderbolt 3
Battery:
60 WHr Li-polymer
Camera:
1080p Webcam
Operating system:
Pop! OS 17.10
Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
Dimensions (in inches):
15.2 x 10.7 x 0.9 (GTX 1060)
15.2 x 10.7 x 1.1 (GTX 1070)
16.4 x 11.3 x 1.2
Weight:
5.50 pounds
7.05 pounds
Color:
Black
Black
Starting price:
$1,499
$1,599

The best Linux laptop for security

Purism Librem ($1,399+)

If you’re looking for a security-focused Linux laptop not manufactured by Dell, the Librem models are a good choice. For example, these laptops include physical switches to completely disable the built-in camera, microphone, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi components. They also rely on the open-source Coreboot firmware, which replaces the typical and proprietary BIOS/UEFI installed in other laptops. You can neutralize the controversial Intel Management Engine on these laptops too.

Outside the security aspect, both models are based on Intel’s sixth-generation Core i7-6500U processor, and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 520 component. The larger model provides a few additional ports, but both laptops are generally the same feature-wise. Purism plans to offer an 11-inch model based on Intel’s Core M-5Y10c in the near future with a smaller list of connectivity options.

Screen size:
13.3 inches
15.6 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i7-6500U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 520
Memory (one slot):
Up to 16GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
Storage:
1x M.2 SSD up to 2TB
1x 2.5-inch SATA 3 SSD Up to 4TB
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless N
Ports:
2x USB-C (Gen1)
1x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI
1x SD card reader
1x microphone/headphone combo
1x USB-C (Gen1)
2x USB-A (Gen1)
2x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI
1x SD card reader
1x microphone/headphone combo
Battery:
Up to 9 hours
Camera:
720p 1MP camera
Operating system:
PureOS
Dimensions (in inches):
12.75 x 8.62 x 0.70
14 x 9.6 x 0.86
Weight:
3.3 pounds
4 pounds
Color:
Black
Black
Starting price:
$1,399
$1,599

 The best budget Linux laptop

Alpha Litebook ($249)

For laptop seekers on a budget, Alpha’s Litebook costs a mere $249. It’s powered by Intel’s quad-core Celeron N3150 processor for mobile launched in early 2015, and the chips integrated HD Graphics component. It’s an older chip, but that can be expected with laptops in the $249 price range. The memory and storage options are small too, although your best bet storage-wise may be the 500GB hard drive with a built-in 32GB SSD.

Otherwise, this laptop provides a decently-sized screen with a FHD resolution for the price. It’s powered by the popular Elementary OS platform, so you should experience zippy performance due to the lightweight platform. The Litebook provides both ethernet and Wireless N networking, as well as a handful of ports for outputting video and connecting peripherals. You can’t do any high-fidelity gaming on this solution by any means, but it should be great for general use, streaming video, word processing, and so on.

Screen size:
14.1 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Celeron N3150
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
Memory (one slot):
4GB LPDDR3
Storage:
120GB SSD or
500GB HDD or
500GB HDD Hybrid with 32GB cache
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless N
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports:
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x Headphone jack
1x Ethernet
1x Micro HDMI
1x Micro SD
Battery:
Up to 9 hours
Camera:
720p Webcam
Operating system:
Elementary OS
Dimensions (in inches):
13.5 x 9.3 x 0.64 inches
Weight:
2.9 pounds
Color:
Black
White
Red
Price:
$249

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The monstrous ROG G703 Asus laptop could easily chew through your PC games
  • Push your PC to the max with the best graphics cards for gaming
  • The best laptops under $500
  • Thin and light cage fight: Dell XPS 13 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • AMD CEO shows off first laptop packing a Ryzen-branded chip at Best Buy




3
Dec

The best Linux laptops you can buy


Hunting down the best Linux laptops is nowhere near as overwhelming as seeking out the ultimate Windows-based PC. That’s likely due to the smaller number of manufacturers that actually support the open-source platform. HP and Dell are your primary well-known outlets, but there are a few others outside the spotlight offering shiny Linux-flavored gems that are tasty as well.

What you’ll find when investigating the best Linux laptops are an assortment of operating systems including Ubuntu, Elementary OS, and a few other lesser-known Linux distributions. Most of the laptops you will discover are based on Intel processors, and if you’re lucky, discrete graphics chips that support high-quality Linux-compatible games.

To help weed through all the options, we provide our favorite Linux-based laptop, and solutions ranging from premium to budget-friendly computing. If you’re worried about security and privacy invasion, we list a laptop just for you as well. You can’t go wrong with this batch, and if you’re on the market for high-dollar extreme gaming, we link to a few examples for your grazing pleasure.

Our Pick

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition ($849+)

Out of all the Linux-based options you can find, Dell’s XPS 13 is a well-rounded solution for both the general customer and the enterprise market — in fact, it’s been at the top of our list of best laptops for years. It sports what Dell calls an InfinityEdge display, which translates into a screen with borders measuring just 0.20 inches thick. The design is complemented by a thin and light form factor measuring between 0.3 and 0.6 inches thick, and weighing at least 2.7 pounds.

The processor options consist of two seventh-generation Intel Core chips, and you can configure the laptop with up to 16GB of memory, depending on your starting point (there are four). As shown below, all FHD configurations do not support touch-based input while the QHD+ version is your only touchscreen option. Other notable features include a Thunderbolt 3 port, PCI Express-based storage options, and support for enterprise-class security.

Screen size:
13.3 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080 (non-touch)
3,200 x 1,800 (touch)
Processor:
Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i7-7560U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Memory (2 slots):
Up to 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Storage:
1x 2.5-inch SSD up to 128GB or
1x PCI Express SSD up to 1TB
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Killer Wireless AC (Up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports:
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt 3
Battery:
60WHr
Camera:
720p webcam
Dual array microphones
Operating system:
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Dimensions (in inches):
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 to 0.6
Weight:
2.7 pounds
Color:
Silver
Rose Gold
Starting price:
$849

The best premium Linux laptop

System76 Oryx Pro ($1,499+)

If you’re looking for a high-dollar experience, System76 serves up its Oryx Pro in two flavors: 15.6 inches, and 17.3 inches. Both versions have enough horse power to serve as a Linux-based gaming machine sporting seventh-generation Core i7 processors, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics chips. Of course, if you want to go extreme, System76 serves up the bulky Serval WS and Bonobo WS laptops, the latter of which can play host to dual GTX 1080 graphics chips.

As the specs show below, the 15.6-inch model supports FHD and UHD resolutions while the 17.3-inch model only supports FHD. The screens are backed by Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 630 component in its processors in addition to the stand-alone GeForce GPUs. Even more, the Core i7-7820HK is an unlocked processor, enabling Linux gamers to overclock its speed for higher performance. Other notable features include USB-C ports (Gen1), a Mini DisplayPort output, and Thunderbolt 3 support on the 17.3-inch model.

15.6 inches
17.3 inches
Resolutions:
1,920 x 1,080
3,840 x 2,160
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Intel Core i7-7820HK
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Memory:
Up to 64GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz
Storage (up to 9TB):
2x M.2 SSDs
2x 2.5-inch HDDs (7mm)
Audio:
2x speakers
Stereo microphone
GTX 1070 models: Sabre headphone amplifier, HiFi DAC
Connectivity:
Wireless AC
Bluetooth
Ports:
2x USB-C (Gen1)
3x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Gigabit Ethernet
1x HDMI
2x Mini DisplayPort
1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x S/PDIF
2x USB-C (Gen1)
3x USB-A (Gen1)
1x SD card reader
1x Gigabit Ethernet
1x HDMI
2x Mini DisplayPort
1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x S/PDIF
1x Thunderbolt 3
Battery:
60 WHr Li-polymer
Camera:
1080p Webcam
Operating system:
Pop! OS 17.10
Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
Dimensions (in inches):
15.2 x 10.7 x 0.9 (GTX 1060)
15.2 x 10.7 x 1.1 (GTX 1070)
16.4 x 11.3 x 1.2
Weight:
5.50 pounds
7.05 pounds
Color:
Black
Black
Starting price:
$1,499
$1,599

The best Linux laptop for security

Purism Librem ($1,399+)

If you’re looking for a security-focused Linux laptop not manufactured by Dell, the Librem models are a good choice. For example, these laptops include physical switches to completely disable the built-in camera, microphone, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi components. They also rely on the open-source Coreboot firmware, which replaces the typical and proprietary BIOS/UEFI installed in other laptops. You can neutralize the controversial Intel Management Engine on these laptops too.

Outside the security aspect, both models are based on Intel’s sixth-generation Core i7-6500U processor, and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 520 component. The larger model provides a few additional ports, but both laptops are generally the same feature-wise. Purism plans to offer an 11-inch model based on Intel’s Core M-5Y10c in the near future with a smaller list of connectivity options.

Screen size:
13.3 inches
15.6 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i7-6500U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 520
Memory (one slot):
Up to 16GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
Storage:
1x M.2 SSD up to 2TB
1x 2.5-inch SATA 3 SSD Up to 4TB
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless N
Ports:
2x USB-C (Gen1)
1x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI
1x SD card reader
1x microphone/headphone combo
1x USB-C (Gen1)
2x USB-A (Gen1)
2x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI
1x SD card reader
1x microphone/headphone combo
Battery:
Up to 9 hours
Camera:
720p 1MP camera
Operating system:
PureOS
Dimensions (in inches):
12.75 x 8.62 x 0.70
14 x 9.6 x 0.86
Weight:
3.3 pounds
4 pounds
Color:
Black
Black
Starting price:
$1,399
$1,599

 The best budget Linux laptop

Alpha Litebook ($249)

For laptop seekers on a budget, Alpha’s Litebook costs a mere $249. It’s powered by Intel’s quad-core Celeron N3150 processor for mobile launched in early 2015, and the chips integrated HD Graphics component. It’s an older chip, but that can be expected with laptops in the $249 price range. The memory and storage options are small too, although your best bet storage-wise may be the 500GB hard drive with a built-in 32GB SSD.

Otherwise, this laptop provides a decently-sized screen with a FHD resolution for the price. It’s powered by the popular Elementary OS platform, so you should experience zippy performance due to the lightweight platform. The Litebook provides both ethernet and Wireless N networking, as well as a handful of ports for outputting video and connecting peripherals. You can’t do any high-fidelity gaming on this solution by any means, but it should be great for general use, streaming video, word processing, and so on.

Screen size:
14.1 inches
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Celeron N3150
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
Memory (one slot):
4GB LPDDR3
Storage:
120GB SSD or
500GB HDD or
500GB HDD Hybrid with 32GB cache
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless N
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports:
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x Headphone jack
1x Ethernet
1x Micro HDMI
1x Micro SD
Battery:
Up to 9 hours
Camera:
720p Webcam
Operating system:
Elementary OS
Dimensions (in inches):
13.5 x 9.3 x 0.64 inches
Weight:
2.9 pounds
Color:
Black
White
Red
Price:
$249

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The monstrous ROG G703 Asus laptop could easily chew through your PC games
  • Push your PC to the max with the best graphics cards for gaming
  • The best laptops under $500
  • Thin and light cage fight: Dell XPS 13 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • AMD CEO shows off first laptop packing a Ryzen-branded chip at Best Buy




3
Dec

Here are the 9 best Moto G5S Plus cases for the king of budget smartphones


The Moto G5S Plus is a fantastic device for the budget-conscious among us. It’s powerful, comes equipped with a dual-lens camera, and offers great value for the money if you’re not too worried about having the fastest phone on the market. However, like its flagship brethren, the Moto G5S Plus is not invinvible and comes with the usual safety concerns. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Moto G5S Plus cases that you can grab to make sure your budget device lasts as long as possible.

LK Ultra-Slim Gel Case ($8)

The major advantage of a gel case is the thin profile. This all-TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) gel case from LK fulfils those requirements with an ultra-slim design that clings to your phone and is easy to forget about. The durable TPU is stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and shock-absorbent, and it provides impressive protection given its size. A pattern of dots on the inside of the case helps to stop bubbles from forming, and anti-slip properties on the outside help keep your device in your hand.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Dretal Scratch-Resistant Clear Case ($7)

The ideal cases for people who aren’t too concerned with drop protection, clear cases offer some protection without blocking your view of your device’s style. While you won’t be getting the sort of protection you’d get from a larger case, this case from Dretal provides excellent scratch-protection, thanks to the durable TPU material that forms the inner layer. A hard back panel of polycarbonate (PC) completes the protection, guarding against impacts and shocks, while the raised edge around the camera and display ensure those areas don’t touch surfaces they’re placed on, stopping dirt and grit from reaching them as easily. This is a great case for a great price.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Anccer Rock Sand Ultra-Thin Cover ($12)

If you’re not too fussy about protection, and you just want to add a new style to your Moto G5S Plus, then check out Anccer’s range of clip-on hard cases. Made from hard PC, Anccer has designed this case to have a rough, gravel-style texture. Far from being uncomfortable, the rough texture lends extra grip to your device, and gives a new feeling to your smooth phone’s metal back. At only 0.8-millimeters thick, it’s super thin, and while the tough PC won’t absorb impact shocks, it’ll keep your phone’s backside from being scratched or dented.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Tekcoo Hybrid Combo Case ($6)

Hybrid or dual-layer cases are great choices if you want to protect against potential damage from drops and falls. Made from a twin construction of TPU and PC, this case from Tekcoo combines a shock-absorbent TPU inner lining with a hard outer shell of PC, giving it all-round protection against shocks from drops and falls. It’s also scratch-resistant and has a solid backbone thanks to the PC shell. It’s fairly bulky, but offers great protection, and the extra bulk means the phone is able to lie flat, rather than on the camera bump.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor Case ($13)

One of the most respected names in cell phone accessories, Spigen has proven itself time and time again with great protective options. This Rugged Armor case is all TPU, and offers a flexible but durable covering for your phone. The inner spider-web pattern and Air Cushion technology help to dissipate impact shock away from your phone and into the shock-absorbent TPU. A raised lip protects the screen and camera bump from touching surfaces. It does have some issues with screen protectors, but if you’re not using screen protection, then this case is one of the best you can get.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Tudia Slim Dual Layer Case ($13)

Tudia has designed its Slim Dual Layer Case to have a sleek and understated look that’s completely different from the usual rugged appearance that you’d expect from a tough case. While we can’t say we’d really call it slim, it does sit close to the device, and this is one of the slimmer dual layer cases we’ve come across. A raised edge protects the vulnerable areas of the phone, it has great drop-protection, and a smooth, executive style. Definitely one of our favorites for this phone.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Swoders Flower Design Clear Case ($8)

If you’ve found all the cases so far to be a bit bland and without personality, then here’s a touch of color for you. This Flower Design case from Swoders is another simple case that combines a flexible TPU inner shell and hard PC outer shell to protect the rear of the device. It’s a slim case, so it’s great if you don’t want your phone taking up extra space, and the clear areas of the case show your phone off to everyone around you. The only concern we have is that the pattern is printed on the outside of the case, rather than the insid, so it could eventually show wear and tear.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Incipio NGP Pure Case ($20)

Another case-maker with a fine record, Incipio offers a flexible case with protective qualities that also help you to keep a hold of your phone. Made from a shock-absorbing polymer material called Flex2O, this case is stretch- and tear-proof. Thanks to the soft material the case is made from, it adds excellent grip to your phone, and it’s easy to forget the smooth and slim exterior is even there. It’s possibly the best gel case you can buy.

Buy one now from:

Incipio

Zizo Bolt Case ($30)

This is one of the most protective cases you can get. The Bolt case from Zizo has been drop-tested from a height of 12feet, and comes with a kickstand and optional belt clip. Like others on this list, Zizo has used a dual-layer design, with an inner cushion of TPU absorbing shocks and the outer layer of PC taking the punishment. It’s quite bulky, even though it only adds around 0.5-inch to your phone, but it delivers amazing protection. Even better, it comes with a free tempered-glass screen protector to keep that vulnerable area safe, too. It has a look that’s sure to divide opinion, but if you like the rugged appearance, this case won’t disappoint in protecting your phone.

Buy one now from:

Zizo

Looking for apps to fill your new smartphone? We’ve got a list of the best Android apps this month, as well as the best Android games you can download. Have fun!

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lenovo Moto G5S Plus review
  • Moto G5 and G5 Plus: Everything you need to know
  • Nokia 6 vs. Moto G5 Plus
  • The best Moto X4 cases and covers to safeguard your smartphone
  • The best Galaxy S7 Edge cases




3
Dec

Jen’s Favorite Things of 2017


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2017 Jen’s Favorite Things

As the end of the year gets closer day by day, bringing the holidays with the passage of time, it means that’s ’tis the season for thinking of gift ideas. Whether you need something for the techie in your life, or you’re looking for something to surprise your gamer friends, 2017 has had plenty of awesome new things to feast your eyes upon. From games to accessories to hardware, these are my favorite things of 2017.

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Google Pixel 2

I’m generally not the kind of person who gets super excited when a shiny new phone hits the market. I enjoy them when I use them, but for me, a phone is a tool meant to help me do things, not something to admire on its own. Or, that was the case until I picked up my Pixel 2.

While plenty of features that the Pixel 2 offers are fantastic, it’s that sweet, sweet, camera that made me fall in love. With twice the image stabilization my shaking hands no longer ruin photos with blur, and selfie portrait mode is probably my favorite thing that’s shown up in 2017.

From $649 Buy Now

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Daydream View (2017)

I’m a big fan of VR and spend an inordinate amount of time watching videos, playing games, and seeing things from a new angle. I adored the first generation Daydream View, but the 2017 model has taken everything that was already fantastic and made it even better. A slightly different form factor, lovely colors, and a built-in heat sink to ensure that you can enjoy VR for as long as possible without your phone overheating.

$99 Buy Now

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Horizon Zero Dawn

When Horizon Zero Dawn finally released in February, I was all in. An awesome female protagonist, an open world fit for exploring, robot dinosaur enemies, compelling storyline, and jaw-dropping visuals combined with a beautiful soundtrack make this game my favorite new video game in years. It does everything it’s supposed to, and then goes even further. This game is the real deal, and there wasn’t a single moment I didn’t enjoy. With the addition of the Frozen Wilds DLC that dropped at the beginning of November, it got even better. I only hope that we’ll hear about a sequel in the next year or two because I haven’t had nearly enough fun in this epic world.

$30 Buy Now

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PlayStation Aim Controller

There are plenty of games in VR that let you shoot your way through pouncing arachnids, irradiated zombies, or just enemies in general, but until recently it didn’t exactly feel like I was shooting while in VR. The PlayStation Aim Controller delivers a controller that looks vaguely like a rifle and feels like one when I’m in VR. It initially showed up with Farpoint, but it’s now compatible with nearly a dozen different games and it makes things so much more immersive.

$60 Buy Now

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Strange Weather by Joe Hill

When I’m not playing with new tech you can almost always find me reading an awesome new book. I stumbled onto Joe Hill a few years ago, and tend to devour his novels. This year instead of one new novel from him, I snagged a copy of Strange Weather, which is a collection of four short novels compiled together. Each of the stories hits like a hammer, and they take the horror genre a step further. From a camera that erases memories, to actual nails falling from the sky during a rainstorm, there is plenty of bone chilling content here to love.

$17 Buy Now

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Cthulu Tales

I’ve loved tabletop games, and storytelling games for just about as long as I can remember. Recently I got the chance to pick up Cthulu Tales, a storytelling game where the goal is to use played cards to tell a story of madness. The party each takes turn retelling how it is they came to be in the asylum where they are telling their story. Your goal is to pull off telling a convincing enough story to convince the leaders of the Asylum that you don’t belong there. It’s a ton of fun, and full of all sorts of references to Lovecraftian horror.

$28 Buy Now

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