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13
Dec

You can now buy your neighbor’s couch from Craigslist using Bitcoin


Bitcoin may be smashing analyst expectations the world over, but the real victory for the cryptocurrency isn’t its meteoric rise past the $20,000 mark — it’s decidedly lower-tech. Mama, Bitcoin has truly made it, because it’s now being accepted on Craigslist. So the next time you’re looking for a questionable roommate or want to buy that mysterious couch, you can conduct these transactions on everyone’s somewhat nebulous, extremely volatile cryptocurrency.

Initially noticed late last week by a Reddit user, it would appear that Craigslist is making it easier than before for folks to accept cryptocurrency when selling online. While Craigslist has never really had any say over what methods of currency are used in buyer and seller transactions, it’s now giving its metaphorical blessing to Bitcoin. If you log into your Craigslist seller account now, you should see a new button that you can check if you’ll accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in place of cash (or whatever other tender you may choose).

The box is located in the “posting details” portion of the seller form, and can be found next to other more innocuous fields like “contact information.”

Of course, this is, in a way, Craigslist’s way of passing the buck. Since you can’t actually make transactions on Craigslist, having their community use cryptocurrencies could provide the site with a standardized (and for now, trustworthy) method of payment. After all, checks can be canceled, and higher-value items can often be tricky to deal with in cash. But cryptocurrencies could provide a solution.

That said, sellers may not be so eager to part with their own Bitcoins, especially since the currency has been doing so well in the last few weeks. A purchase for 0.5 Bitcoins could be worth $8,000 today, but $10,000 tomorrow. Similarly, sellers could also be a bit wary of placing too much stock in this new form of currency — the extremely volatile market has seen Bitcoin lose 40 percent of its value in the course of a single day.

But if all that aside, it’s certainly a sign that Craigslist, with its somewhat retro website design, is very much part of the 21st century.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • You’ll need to sell your Bitcoin if you want to buy games with it on Steam
  • Bitcoin’s latest boom sends it scorching past $9,000
  • Bitcoin is still soaring. What’s the limit?
  • Bitcoin Cash surpassed Ethereum as world’s second most popular cryptocurrency
  • Sell! Sell! Sell! This AI tries to predict when the bitcoin bubble will pop




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13
Dec

T-Mobile wants you to ditch cable, satellite for its ‘disruptive’ new TV service


T-Mobile has set out to shake up another industry. The Un-carrier is planning to take on satellite and cable providers by launching a “disruptive new TV service in 2018,” according to a press release.

To bring its TV ambitions to its millions of customers, T-Mobile acquired cable provider Layer3 TV. The company brands itself “the new cable,” and has its own IP network, which allows it to send high-definition video to homes at levels of bandwidth similar to Netflix. Layer3 TV is currently only available in five U.S. cities and provides more than 275 channels, including ESPN, NBC, AMC, and other popular channels at higher video quality than similar services. The TV provider also mixes video content from streaming services and social media with broadcast and cable channels.

In a promotional video, T-Mobile gives a glimpse into how its TV service will operate. The T-Mobile TV service’s user interface in the video shows a carousel of channels and services such as Netflix, AMC, and Hulu, which people can swipe through. Options such as DVR are available above the viewing options. While watching video content, you can swipe through channels overlaid on the screen with information on which of your friends are watching that particular program.

In the video, T-Mobile says it will use “machine learning to understand your likes and tastes.” TV programs are pictured with a thumbs-up button next to them, presumably allowing you to “like” a program. Cooking competition show Chopped is recommended to a viewer in the video because they liked the Food Network. Everything in the video is a demo of possible services, so all of this could be different by the time T-Mobile rolls it out next year.

T-Mobile’s opinionated CEO John Legere released a video announcing T-Mobile’s foray into TV, and took aim at today’s cable TV model. “Requiring a landline just to get a better price on cable? It’s complete bullshit,” Legere asserted.

The new TV service is part of T-Mobile’s Un-carrier strategy that has included giving free Netflix subscriptions to those with T-Mobile family plans. No price has been announced for T-Mobile’s new TV service, but you’d have to expect T-Mobile will be aiming to make it more affordable than cable.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • T-Mobile and Sprint say no to merger — yes, again
  • T-Mobile doubles down on Revvl smartphone, intros pumped-up Revvl Plus
  • Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best streaming TV service
  • YouTube rolls out its own live-TV streaming service, YouTube TV
  • T-Mobile wants to keep the giving theme going this holiday season




13
Dec

Monoprice Mini Delta review


Research Center:
Monoprice Mini Delta

Back in 2012, it was damn near impossible to find a 3D printer that cost less than $1,000, but the 3D printing landscape has changed considerably over the past few years. Today, consumers have a much broader range of choices when it comes to 3D printers, including a small (but growing) group of them that are available for less than $300.

The latest addition to this burgeoning category is the $160 Monoprice Mini Delta: a printer that, when released in the spring of 2018, will be the cheapest fully-assembled 3D printer on the market. But as we’ve learned from other 3D printers, the 3D printing space is still very much one where the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true. So is the ultra-cheap Mini Delta worth buying, or is it just a great way to transform $160 into a pile of molten plastic and bubbling frustration? Here’s our take:

Standout Features and Specs

The incredible thing about the Delta Mini isn’t just the fact that it costs $160. What’s really crazy is that, in addition to being one of the cheapest printers on the market, it also boasts a range of advanced features that you typically can’t find on 3D printers that cost less than $1,000.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Check out what this thing’s packing: A sturdy, all-metal frame; a heated build plate that helps prevent warping; automatic bed leveling functionality; a maximum resolution of 50 microns; a full-color LCD screen; WiFi connectivity; and compatibility with a wide range of materials. You’d be hard-pressed to find all that stuff baked into a $2,000 printer — let alone one that costs less than a FitBit.

Now in all fairness, this printer isn’t without its own set of downsides – arguably the most glaring of which is its minuscule build volume. The Mini Delta’s printing area is only 110 millimeters in diameter (4.3 inches), and 120 millimeters tall (4.7 inches). That diminutive size definitely puts limits on what objects you can print — but perhaps that’s why they call it the Mini Delta.

Setup and Configuration

After undressing the printer from its packaging, getting it set up and powered on is about as simple as it gets. The machine comes out of the box fully assembled, and doesn’t even have power switch for you to flip on — you just plug it in and the printer blinks to life.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another printer that offers so much for so little.

Unfortunately, the process gets a bit trickier after that. Monoprice doesn’t currently offer any kind of setup wizard or walkthrough for the Mini Delta, so figuring out how to load filament and initiate the first print will likely be confusing for users who aren’t familiar with 3D printing. To get the printer loaded with plastic, you have to manually set the temperature on the hot end, then feed filament through the extruder until it squirts out the nozzle. Only after that are you ready to print – and Monoprice definitely doesn’t hold your hand through the process.

Because of this, if you’re new to 3D printing, this probably isn’t the easiest printer to get started with – at least in its current state. However, if you know your way around 3D printers and understand the fundamentals of FDM, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

User interface & ancillary software

Thankfully, the trickiness of the Mini Delta’s setup process is offset by a delightfully simple user interface. It consists of a color LCD screen and three physical buttons (up, down, and select), which you press to navigate forward or backward through the printer’s various submenus. Sure — it’s not the best UI we’ve ever encountered, but it’s damn impressive for a $160 machine.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The only downside? While the onboard software is relatively simple, figuring out the software you have to use alongside the printer is a colossal pain in the ass.

Much like Monoprice’s other 3D printers, the Mini Delta doesn’t come with any proprietary slicing software, nor even a recommended one. It’s totally open-ended, which, for the novice user, creates a pretty big roadblock between getting set up and initiating your first print. MP ships the Mini Delta with a micro SD card that’s pre-loaded with test models, various drivers and config files, and a handful of download links — but nowhere in the documents provided does MP explicitly tell you how to get a new model loaded and printed. Even at $160, this confusing roadblock is where you might begin to doubt your purchase.

Thankfully, the Monoprice 3D printing community has many forums ready and willing to guide you along the proper path and help you get started with MatterControl, Cura, or any of the myriad slicing programs that the Mini Delta can be used with. Still, while having a vibrant and active user community is nice, having no clue how to operate a machine you just purchased is not. Some additional guidance in this area is something we’d like to see from Monoprice.

Whether you end up using Cura, Mattercontrol, or some other software to get your models sliced, rest assured that it will take time to learn this printer’s nuances and smooth out all the kinks in your workflow.

Print performance

The good news is that if you survive the Google-searching/forum-skimming gauntlet and eventually figure out how to get your model file onto the printer, the Mini Delta prints damn decently. As usual, we put it through our testing protocol to tease out its strengths and weaknesses, and the results were surprisingly good for such a cheap machine.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The first thing we printed was the “happy cat” model that Monoprice pre-loaded onto the included SD card. As expected, it came out really nicely, with minimal “noodling” and other imperfections — but was what we expected. Manufacturers typically pre-load printers with painstakingly-prepared models that will showcase their machine’s best qualities. Printing other objects is usually a different story.

This printer will get you a ludicrous amount of bang for your buck.

After that, we ran it through our standard test suite, which includes the 3DBenchy tugboat, CTRL-V benchmark, a warp test, and a small assortment of miscellaneous objects we randomly found on Thingiverse.

From layer to layer, the Mini isn’t too bad. Its sturdy construction and delta-style configuration give it the advantage of not being quite as prone to z-axis turbulence — which ultimately means it prints very reliably from one layer to the next. However it does have some issues with leaving “burs” of plastic when finishing a layer. We couldn’t figure out if this was because of our plastic, our slicer, or the printer; but most of our objects were definitely “dirtier” than those printed on high-end machines.

If you don’t mind a little bit of post-print cleanup, though, the Mini Delta preforms admirably in many other aspects of printing. Its heated bed does an excellent job of mitigating warping, it has good (but not great) dimensional accuracy, and prints unsupported spans/overhangs just as well as printers that cost 20 times as much. By all the measures that count, this pint-sized printer definitely punches above its weight

Monoprice Mini Delta Compared To

Ultimaker 3

FormLabs Form 2

NewMatter MOD-t

M3D Micro

MakerBot Replicator (5th Gen)

Pirate3D Buccaneer

3Doodler 2.0

3D Systems Cube

Ultimaker 2

Formlabs Form 1+

Our Take

Aside from the fact that it’s a bit finicky to work with and will likely be a pain for inexperienced users, we’re rather fond of Monoprice’s Mini Delta 3D printer. It’s light, cute, and prints a damned decent model after you work through all the kinks in the software. Once you’ve found a good workflow and have models printing without much friction, this machine is a joy to own and operate.

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this printer to someone who has never used one before, it’s definitely a great machine for the money. If you’re willing to bite the bullet and brave the steep learning curve, this printer will get you a ludicrous amount of bang for your buck.

Is there a better alternative?

At $160? Heck no. This is the only printer you’ll find for that price. There are a handful of Kickstarted sub-$100 printers currently in development, but they’re either not for sale yet, or might not ever hit the market (see: Tiko, Peachy Printer, etc.)

In the sub-$300 category, your only real options are other Monoprice printers, and the M3D Micro. The MP Select Mini costs less than $200 (prices vary depending on the retailer), while the second generation sells for just  $220. Both models offer a slightly larger build envelope than the Mini Delta, but don’t offer automatic bed calibration.

At just $198, the M3D Micro is also a noteworthy competitor — but it doesn’t offer a lot of the premium features that the Mini Delta does, like a heated bed, metal body, or WiFi connectivity.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another printer that offers so much for so little.

How long will it last?

This printer is obviously quite cheap, and despite the fact that it’s reasonably well-made and we have no reason to expect it to break down, the fact that its made with inherently cheaper components means that it probably won’t last as long as a higher-end machine might.

That said, in the unfortunate event that something does break, Monoprice Mini Delta is built from components that are both inexpensive and readily available online, so if you do need to replace a broken/malfunctioning component, it should theoretically be fairly easy. If properly maintained, this machine should last well over 5 years — at which point it will likely be obsolete anyway.

Should you buy it?

Absolutely — Just know what you’re getting yourself into. This is not a printer for beginners, and it can’t print anything over 4.7 inches. If you’re cool with that, then we can’t think of a better way to spend $160.

13
Dec

Monoprice Mini Delta review


Research Center:
Monoprice Mini Delta

Back in 2012, it was damn near impossible to find a 3D printer that cost less than $1,000, but the 3D printing landscape has changed considerably over the past few years. Today, consumers have a much broader range of choices when it comes to 3D printers, including a small (but growing) group of them that are available for less than $300.

The latest addition to this burgeoning category is the $160 Monoprice Mini Delta: a printer that, when released in the spring of 2018, will be the cheapest fully-assembled 3D printer on the market. But as we’ve learned from other 3D printers, the 3D printing space is still very much one where the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true. So is the ultra-cheap Mini Delta worth buying, or is it just a great way to transform $160 into a pile of molten plastic and bubbling frustration? Here’s our take:

Standout Features and Specs

The incredible thing about the Delta Mini isn’t just the fact that it costs $160. What’s really crazy is that, in addition to being one of the cheapest printers on the market, it also boasts a range of advanced features that you typically can’t find on 3D printers that cost less than $1,000.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Check out what this thing’s packing: A sturdy, all-metal frame; a heated build plate that helps prevent warping; automatic bed leveling functionality; a maximum resolution of 50 microns; a full-color LCD screen; WiFi connectivity; and compatibility with a wide range of materials. You’d be hard-pressed to find all that stuff baked into a $2,000 printer — let alone one that costs less than a FitBit.

Now in all fairness, this printer isn’t without its own set of downsides – arguably the most glaring of which is its minuscule build volume. The Mini Delta’s printing area is only 110 millimeters in diameter (4.3 inches), and 120 millimeters tall (4.7 inches). That diminutive size definitely puts limits on what objects you can print — but perhaps that’s why they call it the Mini Delta.

Setup and Configuration

After undressing the printer from its packaging, getting it set up and powered on is about as simple as it gets. The machine comes out of the box fully assembled, and doesn’t even have power switch for you to flip on — you just plug it in and the printer blinks to life.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another printer that offers so much for so little.

Unfortunately, the process gets a bit trickier after that. Monoprice doesn’t currently offer any kind of setup wizard or walkthrough for the Mini Delta, so figuring out how to load filament and initiate the first print will likely be confusing for users who aren’t familiar with 3D printing. To get the printer loaded with plastic, you have to manually set the temperature on the hot end, then feed filament through the extruder until it squirts out the nozzle. Only after that are you ready to print – and Monoprice definitely doesn’t hold your hand through the process.

Because of this, if you’re new to 3D printing, this probably isn’t the easiest printer to get started with – at least in its current state. However, if you know your way around 3D printers and understand the fundamentals of FDM, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

User interface & ancillary software

Thankfully, the trickiness of the Mini Delta’s setup process is offset by a delightfully simple user interface. It consists of a color LCD screen and three physical buttons (up, down, and select), which you press to navigate forward or backward through the printer’s various submenus. Sure — it’s not the best UI we’ve ever encountered, but it’s damn impressive for a $160 machine.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The only downside? While the onboard software is relatively simple, figuring out the software you have to use alongside the printer is a colossal pain in the ass.

Much like Monoprice’s other 3D printers, the Mini Delta doesn’t come with any proprietary slicing software, nor even a recommended one. It’s totally open-ended, which, for the novice user, creates a pretty big roadblock between getting set up and initiating your first print. MP ships the Mini Delta with a micro SD card that’s pre-loaded with test models, various drivers and config files, and a handful of download links — but nowhere in the documents provided does MP explicitly tell you how to get a new model loaded and printed. Even at $160, this confusing roadblock is where you might begin to doubt your purchase.

Thankfully, the Monoprice 3D printing community has many forums ready and willing to guide you along the proper path and help you get started with MatterControl, Cura, or any of the myriad slicing programs that the Mini Delta can be used with. Still, while having a vibrant and active user community is nice, having no clue how to operate a machine you just purchased is not. Some additional guidance in this area is something we’d like to see from Monoprice.

Whether you end up using Cura, Mattercontrol, or some other software to get your models sliced, rest assured that it will take time to learn this printer’s nuances and smooth out all the kinks in your workflow.

Print performance

The good news is that if you survive the Google-searching/forum-skimming gauntlet and eventually figure out how to get your model file onto the printer, the Mini Delta prints damn decently. As usual, we put it through our testing protocol to tease out its strengths and weaknesses, and the results were surprisingly good for such a cheap machine.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The first thing we printed was the “happy cat” model that Monoprice pre-loaded onto the included SD card. As expected, it came out really nicely, with minimal “noodling” and other imperfections — but was what we expected. Manufacturers typically pre-load printers with painstakingly-prepared models that will showcase their machine’s best qualities. Printing other objects is usually a different story.

This printer will get you a ludicrous amount of bang for your buck.

After that, we ran it through our standard test suite, which includes the 3DBenchy tugboat, CTRL-V benchmark, a warp test, and a small assortment of miscellaneous objects we randomly found on Thingiverse.

From layer to layer, the Mini isn’t too bad. Its sturdy construction and delta-style configuration give it the advantage of not being quite as prone to z-axis turbulence — which ultimately means it prints very reliably from one layer to the next. However it does have some issues with leaving “burs” of plastic when finishing a layer. We couldn’t figure out if this was because of our plastic, our slicer, or the printer; but most of our objects were definitely “dirtier” than those printed on high-end machines.

If you don’t mind a little bit of post-print cleanup, though, the Mini Delta preforms admirably in many other aspects of printing. Its heated bed does an excellent job of mitigating warping, it has good (but not great) dimensional accuracy, and prints unsupported spans/overhangs just as well as printers that cost 20 times as much. By all the measures that count, this pint-sized printer definitely punches above its weight

Monoprice Mini Delta Compared To

Ultimaker 3

FormLabs Form 2

NewMatter MOD-t

M3D Micro

MakerBot Replicator (5th Gen)

Pirate3D Buccaneer

3Doodler 2.0

3D Systems Cube

Ultimaker 2

Formlabs Form 1+

Our Take

Aside from the fact that it’s a bit finicky to work with and will likely be a pain for inexperienced users, we’re rather fond of Monoprice’s Mini Delta 3D printer. It’s light, cute, and prints a damned decent model after you work through all the kinks in the software. Once you’ve found a good workflow and have models printing without much friction, this machine is a joy to own and operate.

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this printer to someone who has never used one before, it’s definitely a great machine for the money. If you’re willing to bite the bullet and brave the steep learning curve, this printer will get you a ludicrous amount of bang for your buck.

Is there a better alternative?

At $160? Heck no. This is the only printer you’ll find for that price. There are a handful of Kickstarted sub-$100 printers currently in development, but they’re either not for sale yet, or might not ever hit the market (see: Tiko, Peachy Printer, etc.)

In the sub-$300 category, your only real options are other Monoprice printers, and the M3D Micro. The MP Select Mini costs less than $200 (prices vary depending on the retailer), while the second generation sells for just  $220. Both models offer a slightly larger build envelope than the Mini Delta, but don’t offer automatic bed calibration.

At just $198, the M3D Micro is also a noteworthy competitor — but it doesn’t offer a lot of the premium features that the Mini Delta does, like a heated bed, metal body, or WiFi connectivity.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another printer that offers so much for so little.

How long will it last?

This printer is obviously quite cheap, and despite the fact that it’s reasonably well-made and we have no reason to expect it to break down, the fact that its made with inherently cheaper components means that it probably won’t last as long as a higher-end machine might.

That said, in the unfortunate event that something does break, Monoprice Mini Delta is built from components that are both inexpensive and readily available online, so if you do need to replace a broken/malfunctioning component, it should theoretically be fairly easy. If properly maintained, this machine should last well over 5 years — at which point it will likely be obsolete anyway.

Should you buy it?

Absolutely — Just know what you’re getting yourself into. This is not a printer for beginners, and it can’t print anything over 4.7 inches. If you’re cool with that, then we can’t think of a better way to spend $160.

13
Dec

Relax like a badass feline with a Microsoft Ninja Cat-themed wallpaper


Although Microsoft’s beloved Ninja Cat might have started his career riding into battle on a unicorn, and has since saddled a variety of strange beasts, sometimes he likes to relax and you should too this holiday season. To help get you into the festive spirit, the Microsoft Ninja Cat can be enjoyed as a Windows 10 theme with a few new wallpapers entitled Ninja Cat Holiday Escape.

“Snow, sun, or sand, Ninja Cat knows how to have the purr-fect holiday getaway — and if you have to flee a fierce Yeti now and then, it just adds to the adventure,” reads the Microsoft store page about the new wallpaper collection. It does a good job of introducing potential downloaders to the intriguing mix of screen backdrops that feature the famous feline in all of his seriously cool glory.

There are four wallpapers in total, each of which are said to showcase the “best of Ninja Cat’s greatest moves.” Some are more exciting than others, but all of them have Ninja Cat as their main focus. In one, he appears to be trekking through the snow, ready to take on some frosted peaks in the distance, while another has him at the center of his very own Christmas sweater design.

While we certainly have our favorites when it comes to that kind of apparel, Ninja Cat is wearing a variety of outfits in his new wallpaper collection. In one where he appears to visit some sort of candy land — please do tell us how that’s related to winter, we’re still wondering — he’s wearing a red jumper, blue jeans and some fluffy lowtops.

The final one seems the most appropriate for such a master of the animal kingdom. In it, Ninja Cat has turned the age-old dog and cat paradigm on its head by manning his very own dogsled through a snowy forest. Better yet, he’s able to enjoy the Aurora Borealis as he goes, making for a very fetching wallpaper in the process.

Of course as cool as of all of these wallpaper choices are, the branded Digital Trends ones are pretty swanky, too. If you’d rather download the Ninja Cat ones, though, we fully understand. The Microsoft store has them as a complete collection.




13
Dec

Drone Gift Guide: What Gifts You Should Fly This Holiday Season


best-camera-drones-hero.jpg?itok=M69JJC_

What are the best drones to buy for everyone on your list this season?

Over the past decade, drones have gone from uber expensive toys for movie makers and rich kids, to something you can buy at a convenience store for $50.

As we fly right through the 2017 holiday season, drones are one of those trendy gifts that you’re going to see in a lot of stores. But before you buy a disappointing drone that may not hold up past the first flight or overspend on a drone for advanced pilots only, check out this guide and find the right drone to buy for your loved one this season.

Best Camera Drones for 2017

Best Drone to Buy For Kids

There are two main considerations to make when buying a drone for a kid: should I buy something that’s really cheap and easy to replace, or spend a bit more on something that’ll hold up to abuse?

For better or worse, there are a staggering number of entry-level drones available that are great for kids! Here’s our top pick that’s both affordable, cool looking, and designed to survive some early crashes.

UFO 3000 LED Drone

ufo-drone-press-image.jpg?itok=1IAT87FL

When you’re learning how to fly a drone, crashes will happen. The UFO 3000 LED Drone helps to mitigate that by keeping the blades fully protected. Any novice pilot can bump into walls and whatnot while they learn how to zip around on low and high-speed modes, as well as perform flips with the simple press of a button.

Oh, and then there’s how cool this drone is, with its blue and green LEDs creating four brilliant rings of light — it’ll really look out-of-this-world when you fly it at night. Two batteries ship with this drone, with flight time averaging around 7 minutes on a full charge.

See at Amazon

See more great options for kids

Best Drones for under $50

Maybe you’re looking to buy a drone for the older kid in your family — dads like to play with toys, too. But if dad is a complete novice when it comes to piloting drones, you’re still going to want to start him off with something that’s easy and affordable to fix or replace.

Once he’s earned his wings, maybe next year you can surprise him with something a bit more advanced. For now, this is our top pick for a drone that’s really fun to learn on.

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Quadcopter

holy-stone-predator-press.jpg?itok=WoqDb

If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable drone to practice with both indoors and outside, the Holy Stone Predator is a great option. It comes with its own controller that’s simple enough for beginners to pick up and fly and is capable of pulling off stunts and withstanding light winds for outdoor flights.

The real bonus here is the size — it’s small enough to allow for practice indoors if you’ve got the space, with blade guards built in for protection. A fully charged battery supplies 6 minutes of flight time; with replacement batteries really cheap and easy to swap in and out, this is a cheap drone with affordable accessories.

See at Amazon

See more great options under $50

Best Drones for under $300

If you’re looking to gift a drone that’s a bit more substantial than a stocking stuffer that’s still more affordable than a $1,000 behemoth drone, there are a plethora of mid-range drones to choose from.

These are great options for intermediate skill level — this ain’t their first time flying a drone, but they also aren’t quite ready for a professional drone just yet.

Tokky MJX Bugs 3 Brushless Drone set

tokky-bugs3-press.jpg?itok=H08GNd3E

The Tokky MJX Bugs 3 offers great value to those who have practiced flying with cheaper drones and are ready to move onto something a bit more substantial but still affordable.

This drone has both beginner and advanced flight modes, but even the beginner mode is pretty fast. The base kit includes the drone, wireless transmitter, one 1800mAh LiPo battery, and eight spare blades. While this drone doesn’t have a built-in camera, it does include a camera mount for a GoPro or other similar sized action cameras.

You’ll get about 15-19 minutes of flight time on a fully-charged battery. You can get a two-pack of extra batteries for under $30 as well as extra sets of blades for under $15 — and you’ll probably need those extra blades.

For $160, you can get a kit that includes a waterproof backpack for storing and transporting your drone, or just buy the drone itself and save $30.

See at Amazon

See more great options that are under $300

Best Drone for overall value

DJI Spark

DJI-Spark-press_0.jpg?itok=686XC9Ti

It should be no surprise to see a DJI drone make an appearance as one of the best you can buy — they’ve been one of the leading innovators in the drone space for years and have consistently released some of the best drones on the market.

While it might seem odd to call the DJI Spark a budget pick at $539, but when you consider all the fantastic features packed into this drone and compare it against the other top-end drones out there you can’t beat the value here. Weighing in at under one pound, this thing is compact and lightweight, but still packed with intelligent flight controls and an HD camera attached via a mechanical gimbal so you can keep flying and recording epic footage or take the best selfies ever!

With a max flight time of 16 minutes and motors capable of flying at up to 35 mph, the Spark is a ton of fun to fly. You can also test out some FPV flying with this drone, too, although you’ll need the DJI Goggles.

This is a substantial drone with a ton of cool features that you’re going to want to push to the max right out of the box… but as our own Mr. Mobile found out in his review you need to be cautious when you’re just starting out because, for all the power and features packed in here, these things can quite literally get away from you sometimes. Fly safe!

See at Amazon

Best Drone of 2017

DJI Mavic Pro

dji-mavic-pro-press.jpg?itok=NfzRIBgv

If money is no option and you want to get the best drone money can buy, that’s going to be the DJI Mavic Pro.

The Mavic Pro is the latest high-quality camera drone released by DJI, and it’s a very compelling option.

For starters, it’s extremely portable with arms that fold in to pack it down to the size of a bigger water bottle. The Mavic Pro offers up to 4.3 miles of transmission range and flight speeds of up to 40mph with average flight times of around 27 minutes. It’s also packed with the latest smart features including Activetrack which uses advanced image recognition algorithms to track a moving object with the camera without using GPS. TapFly lets you control your drone with simple taps on the touchscreen. And it’s also loaded with advanced sensors for obstacle avoidance, flight safety, and reliability.

Considering all the smart design that went into this drone, along with its portability, the DJI Mavic Pro offers great value at under $2000 for a state of the art drone.

See at Amazon

13
Dec

Galaxy Note 8’s Secure Wi-Fi VPN now powered by McAfee


McAfee’s now in charge of Secure Wi-Fi’s backend.

Earlier this month, Samsung released a new app for the Galaxy Note 8 called “Secure Wi-Fi” that aimed to protect users when on public Wi-Fi networks from potential threats and attackers. This came as a result of the KRACK WPA2 Wi-Fi vulnerability that was discovered in October, and Samsung’s now upgrading its Secure Wi-Fi service thanks to a new collaboration with McAfee.

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With this collaboration, McAfee will now be in charge of the backend for the Secure Wi-Fi VPN so that those using the service can have enhanced protection when using the Note 8 on public Wi-Fi networks and hotspots.

McAfee says that a survey it conducted revealed 58% of individuals know how to check and see if the Wi-Fi network they’re on is safe to use, but even so, less than half of that 58% actually does something to really make sure that the connection is truly secure. Secure Wi-Fi on the Note 8 acts like most other VPNs by encrypting all online activity and user data, and the new McAfee partnership should enhance the effectiveness of these features.

Per John Giamatteo, McAfee’s Executive Vice President of the Consumer Business Group –

Increasingly consumers are using their mobile phones to connect to both public and private Wi-Fi. By encrypting Samsung users’ sensitive data with Secure Wi-Fi, we’re helping ensure they can connect with the confidence they need to feel secure.

Secure Wi-Fi is available for the Galaxy Note 8 in the United States for users on T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular, and it’ll be launching in Europe later this year as part of a software update for the phone. All Note 8 users get 250MB of free data with Secure Wi-Fi per month, and if they want more, there’s an option to purchase more bandwidth.

These are all the Android devices updated to fix KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability

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  • Galaxy Note 8 review
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  • Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy Note 5
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13
Dec

Learn more about your dog’s DNA with this $51 Wisdom Panel test kit


It’s like 23andMe for your pupper.

The Wisdom Panel 3.0 dog DNA test kit is down to $50.99 on Amazon. This kit normally sells for around $80 and rarely ever goes below $70. It has only dropped as low as this deal once before and that was all the way back in May.

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Curious where your dog comes from? Maybe you adopted one from a local shelter or took care of one you found on the street? Wondering about his intelligence or susceptibility to disease? Maybe this is just the answer to a question you’ve never bothered to ask about your dog! This kit uses a simple cheek swab to test your dog’s pedigree history. Of course, giving your dog a cheek swab might be difficult, but it is painless… to the dog.

Features include:

  • The largest breed database of any DNA test in the world with more than 250 breeds, types and varieties covered.
  • The only officially licensed canine DNA test in the US to offer the potentially life-saving MDR1 drug sensitivity screening at no extra charge.
  • This single test allows you to test Mixed Breed, Purebred or Designer Dog breed ancestry back to great-grandparents.
  • Pre-paid shipping to the lab and results are ready in only 2-3 weeks after the sample arrives.
  • You can uncover DNA-based insights that may help you understand your dog’s unique appearance, behaviors and wellness needs.

This kit has 4.2 stars based on more than 1.500 user reviews.

See at Amazon

13
Dec

Get two powerful military-grade flashlights for just $16!


What do you do when the lights go out? Sure, you could use the light on your phone, but if you can’t charge your phone, then you’ll want to conserve power. Maybe you’re out camping or hiking, night falls, and you don’t even have your phone on you. Then what?

Get two flashlights for just $16 with coupon code GREEN20! Learn more

If you’re going to do things, do it up right. Don’t bother with some dollar store flashlight that you’ll have to toss because the plastic’s dried out. Get yourself a flashlight with a metal casing that can stand up to the rough life so that you can take it with you wherever you go: camping, hunting, in the car, whatever.

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The UltraBright 500-lumen Tactical Military Flashlight is made of an aircraft aluminum alloy and has a range of about a mile in ideal conditions with adjustable zoom. Right now, a two-pack of these flashlights is only $20 at Android Central Digital Offers. They regularly retail for $100 together, so you save 80% — but then you can use coupon code GREEN20 to save an additional 20% and bring that final cost down to just $16!

The UltraBright flashlights feature three modes to fit every situation: bright, lower bright, and SOS mode. They come with a convenient storage case, so you can toss them in the trunk of your card and never lose them. The handy and sturdy clip lets you slap one on your belt and have it stay put until you need it. UltraBrights are light and only take one AA battery.

Get two fantastic flashlights for $16 for a limited time! Learn more

If you’re looking for a handy little flashlight that’s perfect in any situation, check out the UltraBright 500-lumen Tactical Military Flashlight two-pack at Android Central Digital Offers and pay only $16 with that coupon code GREEN20.

13
Dec

T-Mobile is getting into the streaming television business with Layer3 TV acqusition


T-Mobile will offer an over-the-top TV service in 2018.

T-Mobile has announced the acquisition of a small streaming television provider called Layer3 TV, which currently operates in five U.S. cities. Similar to services like YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue, Layer 3 carries the signals of most U.S. cable networks and pay channels like HBO, Showtime, and ESPN, but bundles them with a straightforward HD decoder and PVR set-top box that connects to a television in your living room. Think Tivo.

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T-Mobile says that it will use Layer3’s technology to launch its own over-the-top TV service sometime in 2018, positioning itself as a more customer-friendly and likely cheaper alternative to the cable companies, many of which, like AT&T DirecTV and Dish’s SlingTV, have endeavored to pivot to over-the-top in recent years.

In a blog post and companion video, T-Mobile said that it “the Un-carrier will build TV for people who love TV but are tired of the multi-year service contracts, confusing sky-high bills, exploding bundles, clunky technologies, outdated UIs, closed systems and lousy customer service of today’s traditional TV providers.” According to a University of Michigan report quoted by T-Mobile, “8 of the 10 brands with the lowest customer satisfaction scores in America are cable and TV providers.”

It’s unclear at this time what T-Mobile’s over-the-top TV service will look like, and whether, like the bundling schemes that the company is criticizing, it will be offered at a discount with wireless service. More likely, the service will be offered separately in various tiers depending on how many channels, with the data usage zero-rated for T-Mobile’s own wireless customers.

While Layer3 TV is only available in five U.S. cities right now, T-Mobile promises to rapidly expand that presence post-acquisition. “The Un-carrier’s new TV service will take full advantage of T-Mobile’s nationwide retail presence, top-rated brand and award-winning sales and customer care organizations.” There’s no word on whether T-Mobile will be jumping into the potentially lucrative but enormously expensive content business a là Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others, but it’s unlikely to do so at first, especially since it’s partnered with Netflix itself with its T-Mobile ONE Family bundle.

T-Mobile also claims that the time is right for the Layer3 acquisition because of its capable 4G LTE network and all of the work it is doing to prepare for 5G. Given that, unlike AT&T, Verizon, Dish, Comcast and others, T-Mobile doesn’t offer home internet, whatever TV service T-Mobile offers will likely be heavily optimized for its T-Mobile ONE plan, which means plenty of downsampling to 480p over LTE connections.

What do you think of this move? Would you sign up for a T-Mobile TV service?

Carriers

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  • Which unlimited plan should you buy?
  • Verizon’s Unlimited plans: Everything you need to know
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