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15
Jan

Nissan’s Xmotion concept swaps key fobs for fingerprints


Infiniti’s eye toward the future has manifested itself with the Xmotion (pronounced “Crossmotion;” it’s a crossover SUV). The suicide-door clad ride boasts hand and eye motion and gesture sensors for the generous door-to-door digital dashboard, climate controls and infotainment system. The latter is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple’s Car Play setups, as well as surround sound for the 4+2 seating arrangement. In the stage demo, the display showed off swimming koi and driving information. The fish are actually a virtual assistant, and you can see them in action below.

As far as power goes, Infiniti is holding that close to the chest aside from saying it has an Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system. More than that, it also uses a fingerprint reader instead of a key fob to unlock the doors. It also uses the ProPilot driver assist system for semi-autonomous single lane highway travel.

Nissan has sold over 75k semi-autonomous vehicles, saying that it has more on the road than any other mass market manufacturer. By 2022, its ProPilot tech will be in all of its models.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from NAIAS 2018!

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15
Jan

Contraceptive app under fire for causing unwanted pregnancies


A contraceptive app used by more than 500,000 women has come under fire after reportedly causing 37 unwanted pregnancies. Stockholm’s Södersjukhuset hospital has now reported the Natural Cycles app to the Swedish Medical Products Agency (the government body tasked with the regulation of medical devices) according to news outlet SVT.

The app scans body temperature during the menstrual cycle to notify women when it is safe to have unprotected sex. Days when it’s okay are marked as green on its calendar, but if it shows red couples are advised to use an extra form of protection. It’s own research suggests Natural Cycles is more effective than the contraceptive pill when used correctly.

The 37 unwanted pregnancy cases stem from a study of over 600 women who sought abortions at Södersjukhuset hospital from September 2017 until the end of the year. “We have a duty to report all side effects, such as pregnancies, to the Medical Products Agency,” midwife Carina Montin told Siren news agency. The findings could come as a blow to Natural Cycles’ plans to gain FDA approval.

In a statement, Natural Cycles said: “No contraception is 100 per cent and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception.

“To have 37 unwanted pregnancies out of the 668 mentioned in this study at Södersjukhuset means that 5,5 per cent of women who stated they used Natural Cycles also had an unwanted pregnancy. This is in line with what we communicate as the risk of unwanted pregnancy with typical use, and which is comparable to other types of contraception.”

In February Natural Cycles became the first app to be certified for contraceptive use, following approval by Germany’s Department of Health, after which its UK users spiked from 5,000 to 125,000. In November, the app, founded by husband and wife duo Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl and Dr. Elina Berglund, snagged $30 mIllion in funding.

Source: SVT

15
Jan

Make-up brand taps AR to help you find the perfect brow shape


Benefit Cosmetics is throwing people all over the world a high-tech lifeline before they drown in desperation over failing to find the right brows for their face shape. The make-up company has teamed up with digital makeover veteran Modiface to create Brow Try-On, an augmented reality tool that can show what you’ll look like with different eyebrows before you attack your real ones with a blade and a tweezer.

Brow Try-on works by detecting the hair on your brows and cloning each one to create different shapes. Add the tool’s ability not too stray too far from your real arches, and you’ll get the most natural-looking suggestions. Nothing too high, too pointy or too unnatural that you can’t replicate it unless you shave all your brows off and draw them back on an inch higher.

The tool is far from being the first cosmetics or beauty-related AR tool/app you can use to see what your face will look like with make-up or with a slightly altered feature. Even cosmetics retail giant Sephora jumped into the AR app game with the release of Virtual Artist last year. But the fact that this focuses on brows in an era where “power brows” and “brows on fleek” are a thing makes it extra useful for those who still don’t know the most flattering shape for their face.

In fact, the tool’s target users are people still new to shaping their brows, but there’s no rule saying you can’t use it even if you’re already a pro. If you want to try it out, simply go to Benefit’s official website, choose live to see its magic in real time, upload your photo or choose a model’s image if you see someone there with a face shape like yours.

Source: Benefit Cosmetics

15
Jan

Top 5 best writing apps for Android and IOS


As the world continues to move towards mobile technology, everybody seems to be looking for an easy way to prepare their documents via their mobile devices. Nowadays, there are several phones and tablets with big screens and great external keyboard supports. These and much other technological advancement has provided an avenue for people to use their mobile phones for writing.

Many certified mobile app developers have offered a great writing papers help. There are now several apps available for writing via mobile. Some of them are free while some are premium. In order to assist you, we have come up with a list of the top 5 best writing apps for Androids and iOS devices.

Each app has its own unique feature and you need to watch out for the app that really suits your need. All in all, all the mobile applications for writing listed below are perfect for your everyday writing needs. You must be eager to check out these apps, isn’t it?

Top 5 best writing apps for Android and IOS

1)    iA Writer (iOS, Android)

iA Writer is a very popular premium writing app among most people for good reasons. It works perfectly on both Android and iOS devices. Although its Android app is still lacking in terms of features, it is still a very good writing app for you.

The iOS app version has additional features ahead of the Android own. These extra features include syntax highlighting which allows you to highlight the nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, or conjunction in a document. What’s more, the iOS app version has a full support for the iOS 9 special features, such as a split screen. The Android version is more of a “Beta” version when compared with the iOS version. All in all, iA writer app is a good writing mobile app.

2)    Microsoft Word (iOS, Android)

Definitely, you must be already familiar with Microsoft Word on your PC and desktop computer. The company has put effort into developing mobile application compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Although it is considered too bloated, its freemium package has made it a top choice for most mobile users.

Microsoft word app integrates the Dropbox feature which allows you to save/backup your document to cloud. This, coupled with other excellent features, make Microsoft word a great mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

3)    Drafts 4 (iOS)

You can use the draft iOS app not only to easily prepare your documents but also to quickly enter your thoughts for safekeeping and immediate future use. Drafts app also allows you to send a text to a number of service and apps. Simply, it can be called a scratch pad for writers.

Plus, it has an Apple Watch app which allows you to access your Drafts inbox and the app also supports split6 screen on iPad. Another exciting feature is that the app has a customizable app at the top which allows you to Markdown shortcuts.

4)    Editorial (iOS)

The editorial mobile app is one of the powerful writing applications available today and the favorite app of WritingJobz freelance writers according to the recent statistics. It has every necessary feature all writing app should have. Plus, it has a support for workflows and a powerful and intuitive user interface.

Furthermore, the editorial app has a strong Dropbox synchronization and an active workflow online community where you can easily explore further options. In short, Editorial is a very good premium app for iOS users.

5)    JotterPad (Android)

Last but not the list o out list is the JotterPad Android writing application. It has a long list of exciting features and one of the few best writing apps available out there. It has an option to export to PDF and DOCX file format.

The app is freemium but has some other premium features. The app is of great use to those looking to write articles, thesis, dissertations and other creative design writing works.

Conclusion

With the increasing trend of mobile technology in the world today, there is even a need for writers to follow the trend. There are many mobile writing applications available for both the Android and iOS devices. However, only a few of them are perfect for you. We have drawn out a list of the top 4 best

15
Jan

Bitcoin miners have extracted 80 percent of all the bitcoins there will ever be


Although bitcoins are bought, sold, and lost more today than ever before, the rate of new bitcoins being created is starting to slow. The reasons behind that are a little complex, but suffice it to say, the closer we get to the 21 million maximum number of bitcoins mined, the harder it gets and we’ve just hit the 80 percent milestone.

Even if you’re only just coming to grips with this whole cryptocurrency phenomenon, or have been trading them since the days where they were worth just a few dollars each, bitcoin has been mined for far longer. Its creator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, mined the first bitcoin block in its blockchain back in 2009, rewarding him with 50 bitcoins. Earlier this month, miners extracted the 16,800,000th bitcoin, which is significant, because it means there are only 20 percent of all the bitcoin there will ever be to go.

The self-imposed scarcity of bitcoin is one of the reasons it has become so valuable in recent months and proponents of the flagship cryptocurrency believe that that will help propel it to new heights over the next few years. Although there are many detractors of bitcoin, claiming that its scaling issues and ballooning transaction costs make it a difficult cryptocurrency to support long-term, it has proven to be the best store of value of all 1,300-plus coins so far, as per Bitcoin.com.

Other cryptocurrencies that are in vogue, like ethereum, have no cap on their number, meaning that new Ether and similar will be produced as long as people see it as a worthwhile practice to pour their computational cycles into making it. Considering that’s also required for transactions to be completed, it’s important that it continues into the future.

As for bitcoin, as the difficulty of mining the last coins continues to increase and the rewards, in turn, are reduced, the rate of new coins being created will continue to slow. Although it’s hard to make any concrete estimations on the eventual date of the last bitcoin being mined due to the unpredictable nature of mining hardware development, some estimations put it as far in the future as the year 2140 — long after all existing investors are gone. Here’s hoping we’ve spent at least a few of our coins before then.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to sell bitcoin
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  • North Korea suspected of stealing millions in bitcoin from South Korean exchange
  • Bitcoin is still soaring. What’s the limit?
  • The best bitcoin wallets




15
Jan

The best webcams


Whether you’re broadcasting gameplay or conducting a video conference, there’s always the need for a webcam, even if you just want to take a profile picture, or a snapshot of you and your child enjoying a PC-based game. That’s where our list of the best webcams comes in. 

Logitech manufactures all but one webcam on our list. That’s not surprising given Logitech’s dominance in the webcam market for the last decade. Sure, there are other solutions on the market, but Logitech remains as one of the best-selling brands, even in the keyboard and mouse markets.

Our Pick

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($80)

To kick off our roundup, Logitech provides a solid camera for a decent price. It supports a 1,920 × 1,080 resolution at 30 frames per second (FPS) while video conferencing with Skype for Windows, and a 1,280 × 720 resolution using Apple’s FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and other clients. If you’re simply recording video, you can take advantage of the higher Full HD resolution due to support for the H.246 video compression codec. Images can be captured using a “natural” 3MP resolution, or “software enhanced” up to 15MP. 

The camera’s five-element glass lens is complemented by a 20-step auto-focus, automatic low-light correction, two integrated microphones with automatic noise cancellation, and a 78-degree field of view. You can attach it to your monitor, laptop, or even a tripod using the provided universal clip, and a 72-inch cable requiring at least a standard USB-A 2.0 port on the parent PC. You’ll also need an Intel Core 2 Duo 2 processor at the very least to stream video at 1,280 x 720 resolution or higher. 

Logitech’s downloadable software for Windows includes face tracking, motion detection, controls for pan, tilt, and zoom, and controls for capturing video and photos. It doesn’t filter out your background, but there are plenty of other settings to adjust including gain and white balance. Presumably this camera works well on the Xbox One, but Logitech’s Amazon listing says its works on the PlayStation 4 as well, although the console isn’t mentioned on Logitech’s product page. 

Requirements: 

 

VGA Minimum 

VGA Recommended /
HD Minimum
 

HD Recommended 

OS :

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Processor: 

1GHz CPU 

2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2 

 

2.6GHz 4-core i7 

Memory 

256MB 

2GB 

4GB 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For 4K

Logitech Brio ($200)

If you’re looking for a 4K solution, the Logitech Brio is the camera for you. It supports three resolutions for video calling: 4,096 x 2,160 (30 FPS), 1,920 x 1,080 (30/60 FPS), and 1,280 x 720 (30/60/90 FPS). It also provides a default field of view of 90 degrees, but you can adjust the camera to 65 and 78 degrees using Logitech’s downloadable software. This free software provides pan, tilt, and zoom controls as well. 

As for other features, the camera provides a 5x digital zoom when using the Full HD resolution, an image resolution of up to 9MP, auto-focus, an external “privacy” shutter so the camera isn’t always staring at your face and surroundings, and built-in omni-directional microphones with noise cancellation support. You can mount the camera on a desktop monitor, laptop screen, or use the universal clip to mount the device on a tripod. It requires a USB-A 2.0 connection for all resolutions except for Ultra HD, which requires a faster USB-A 3.1 Gen1 port. 

Outside the Ultra HD resolution support, Logitech’s camera includes a feature called RightLight 3. This component relies on High Dynamic Range technology to provide the best image, whether you’re sitting in a low-light office, in a high contrast area, or in direct sunlight. The camera includes both optical and infrared sensors, enabling owners to take advantage of password-free Windows 10 access via Windows Hello and facial recognition. The camera ships with a custom carrying case for safe travels during business trips. 

Read our full Logitech Brio review

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.10+Chrome OS 29.0.1547.70+ 

Memory: 

2GB 

Connection: 

USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.1 Gen1 for 4K 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For Business 

Logitech C930E ($130)

Although Logitech’s Brio is great for office environments, it’s also more expensive. The Skype-optimized Logitech C930E is “certified” for business, serving as an official compatible product for Skype for Business and Cisco Jabber. According to Logitech, the camera also provides “enhanced integrations” with other business-class communication software such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Lifesize, and several other solutions. 

On a hardware level, the camera supports video calling at 1,920 x 1,080 and 1,280 x 720 resolutions, a field of view at 90 degrees, and a 4x digital zoom in 1080p mode. It relies on the H.264 codec for video compression, and RightLight 2 technology to produce the best visuals in low light, high contrast, and direct sunlight conditions. It’s backed by two integrated omni-directional microphones although the product page doesn’t mention noise reduction. 

Other notable features provided with Logitech’s business-focused camera include an external privacy shutter to prevent the weird boss from watching your every nose pick, and a universal clip for mounting the camera on a desktop monitor, laptop screen, or tripod. It’s even compatible with software that supports UVC 1.5 video encoding for businesses that don’t allow third-party drivers installed on their Windows PCs. The camera requires a USB-A 2.0 connection or better. 

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.7+Chrome OS 29.0.1547.70+ 

Memory: 

2GB 

Connection: 

USB-A 2.0 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For Streaming 

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam ($100)

Let’s face it: you can’t use just any webcam for your broadcasts. It not only needs a high resolution and great microphones, the camera needs to support background replacement so all your viewers see is the gameplay, and your pretty mugshot. The C922 Pro Stream Webcam does just that for a decent price, providing a highly-optimized streaming and recording experience for any broadcaster, whether the subject is gaming or a Windows how-to demonstration. 

For gamers, it’s optimized for the XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software solutions. It provides a 1,080 x 720 resolution at 30 FPS, and a 1,280 x 720 resolution at 30/60 FPS. These resolutions are backed by a 20-step autofocus, a field-of-view of 78 degrees, two integrated omni-directional microphones, and automatic low-light correction. The camera connects to the parent PC via a 72-inch cable with a USB-A 2.0-compatible connector, and even includes a tabletop tripod if you don’t want to mount the camera on your screen. 

The built-in background replacement component is powered by Personify for Windows 7 and newer. All other aspects are handled through the Logitech Gaming Software desktop client, such as setting the zoom, white balance, gain, exposure, and so on. Unfortunately, for gamers lurking in caves, it doesn’t work in complete darkness, and there’s no on-board storage for saving your settings directly to the device. There’s also no privacy shade either, so make sure the broadcast ends before picking your face. It’s compatible with Android and the Xbox One consoles, too. 

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.9+Chrome OSAndroid 5.0+Xbox One 

Buy one now from:

Amazon 

For Any Budget

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 ($40)

If a cheap camera is what you seek, Microsoft has the solution for you. The LifeCam HD-3000 is a small, mountable device supporting video chat with a 1,280 x 720 resolution at 30 FPS. Naturally, it’s certified for Windows and Skype, making it an affordable solution for Windows-based PCs in the home or office. Amazon lists a second, business-focused version too for $1 more, although there doesn’t appear to be any differences in hardware. 

According to Microsoft, its budget-oriented camera relies on TrueColor technology to produce “bright and colorful” video in most conditions by supporting a 24-bit color depth. The cameras is backed by two omni-directional microphones, a 4x digital zoom, and a 1MP still image resolution. But unlike the other cameras on our list, Microsoft’s solution has a fixed focus ranging from 11.8 to 59 inches in length. 

Given this is a no-frills solution, the feature list basically stops there. There’s no tripod support, meaning the device focuses on adding video chat support to desktop monitors and laptop displays. Microsoft lists two sets of requirements: one for standard use, and one for streaming video in the 720p resolution. Both need a single USB-A 2.0 port or newer on the parent PC. 

Requirements: 

 

VGA 

720p 

OS: 

Windows XP SP2 to Windows 10 

Windows XP SP2 to Windows 10 

 

Processor: 

Intel Dual-Core 1.6GHz or higher 

Intel Dual-Core 3.0GHz 

Memory: 

1GB 

2GB 

Storage: 

1.5GB 

1.5GB 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best laptops for high school students you can buy
  • Best car stereos
  • The 30 best Mac apps if you’re new to Apple
  • You can have more than a “Wii” bit of fun with the best Wii games
  • The best tablets for kids whatever their age or your budget




15
Jan

The best webcams


Whether you’re broadcasting gameplay or conducting a video conference, there’s always the need for a webcam, even if you just want to take a profile picture, or a snapshot of you and your child enjoying a PC-based game. That’s where our list of the best webcams comes in. 

Logitech manufactures all but one webcam on our list. That’s not surprising given Logitech’s dominance in the webcam market for the last decade. Sure, there are other solutions on the market, but Logitech remains as one of the best-selling brands, even in the keyboard and mouse markets.

Our Pick

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($80)

To kick off our roundup, Logitech provides a solid camera for a decent price. It supports a 1,920 × 1,080 resolution at 30 frames per second (FPS) while video conferencing with Skype for Windows, and a 1,280 × 720 resolution using Apple’s FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and other clients. If you’re simply recording video, you can take advantage of the higher Full HD resolution due to support for the H.246 video compression codec. Images can be captured using a “natural” 3MP resolution, or “software enhanced” up to 15MP. 

The camera’s five-element glass lens is complemented by a 20-step auto-focus, automatic low-light correction, two integrated microphones with automatic noise cancellation, and a 78-degree field of view. You can attach it to your monitor, laptop, or even a tripod using the provided universal clip, and a 72-inch cable requiring at least a standard USB-A 2.0 port on the parent PC. You’ll also need an Intel Core 2 Duo 2 processor at the very least to stream video at 1,280 x 720 resolution or higher. 

Logitech’s downloadable software for Windows includes face tracking, motion detection, controls for pan, tilt, and zoom, and controls for capturing video and photos. It doesn’t filter out your background, but there are plenty of other settings to adjust including gain and white balance. Presumably this camera works well on the Xbox One, but Logitech’s Amazon listing says its works on the PlayStation 4 as well, although the console isn’t mentioned on Logitech’s product page. 

Requirements: 

 

VGA Minimum 

VGA Recommended /
HD Minimum
 

HD Recommended 

OS :

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Windows 7/8.1/10
MacOS 10.6+
Chrome OS
Android 5.0+ 

Processor: 

1GHz CPU 

2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2 

 

2.6GHz 4-core i7 

Memory 

256MB 

2GB 

4GB 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For 4K

Logitech Brio ($200)

If you’re looking for a 4K solution, the Logitech Brio is the camera for you. It supports three resolutions for video calling: 4,096 x 2,160 (30 FPS), 1,920 x 1,080 (30/60 FPS), and 1,280 x 720 (30/60/90 FPS). It also provides a default field of view of 90 degrees, but you can adjust the camera to 65 and 78 degrees using Logitech’s downloadable software. This free software provides pan, tilt, and zoom controls as well. 

As for other features, the camera provides a 5x digital zoom when using the Full HD resolution, an image resolution of up to 9MP, auto-focus, an external “privacy” shutter so the camera isn’t always staring at your face and surroundings, and built-in omni-directional microphones with noise cancellation support. You can mount the camera on a desktop monitor, laptop screen, or use the universal clip to mount the device on a tripod. It requires a USB-A 2.0 connection for all resolutions except for Ultra HD, which requires a faster USB-A 3.1 Gen1 port. 

Outside the Ultra HD resolution support, Logitech’s camera includes a feature called RightLight 3. This component relies on High Dynamic Range technology to provide the best image, whether you’re sitting in a low-light office, in a high contrast area, or in direct sunlight. The camera includes both optical and infrared sensors, enabling owners to take advantage of password-free Windows 10 access via Windows Hello and facial recognition. The camera ships with a custom carrying case for safe travels during business trips. 

Read our full Logitech Brio review

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.10+Chrome OS 29.0.1547.70+ 

Memory: 

2GB 

Connection: 

USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.1 Gen1 for 4K 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For Business 

Logitech C930E ($130)

Although Logitech’s Brio is great for office environments, it’s also more expensive. The Skype-optimized Logitech C930E is “certified” for business, serving as an official compatible product for Skype for Business and Cisco Jabber. According to Logitech, the camera also provides “enhanced integrations” with other business-class communication software such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Lifesize, and several other solutions. 

On a hardware level, the camera supports video calling at 1,920 x 1,080 and 1,280 x 720 resolutions, a field of view at 90 degrees, and a 4x digital zoom in 1080p mode. It relies on the H.264 codec for video compression, and RightLight 2 technology to produce the best visuals in low light, high contrast, and direct sunlight conditions. It’s backed by two integrated omni-directional microphones although the product page doesn’t mention noise reduction. 

Other notable features provided with Logitech’s business-focused camera include an external privacy shutter to prevent the weird boss from watching your every nose pick, and a universal clip for mounting the camera on a desktop monitor, laptop screen, or tripod. It’s even compatible with software that supports UVC 1.5 video encoding for businesses that don’t allow third-party drivers installed on their Windows PCs. The camera requires a USB-A 2.0 connection or better. 

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.7+Chrome OS 29.0.1547.70+ 

Memory: 

2GB 

Connection: 

USB-A 2.0 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

For Streaming 

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam ($100)

Let’s face it: you can’t use just any webcam for your broadcasts. It not only needs a high resolution and great microphones, the camera needs to support background replacement so all your viewers see is the gameplay, and your pretty mugshot. The C922 Pro Stream Webcam does just that for a decent price, providing a highly-optimized streaming and recording experience for any broadcaster, whether the subject is gaming or a Windows how-to demonstration. 

For gamers, it’s optimized for the XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software solutions. It provides a 1,080 x 720 resolution at 30 FPS, and a 1,280 x 720 resolution at 30/60 FPS. These resolutions are backed by a 20-step autofocus, a field-of-view of 78 degrees, two integrated omni-directional microphones, and automatic low-light correction. The camera connects to the parent PC via a 72-inch cable with a USB-A 2.0-compatible connector, and even includes a tabletop tripod if you don’t want to mount the camera on your screen. 

The built-in background replacement component is powered by Personify for Windows 7 and newer. All other aspects are handled through the Logitech Gaming Software desktop client, such as setting the zoom, white balance, gain, exposure, and so on. Unfortunately, for gamers lurking in caves, it doesn’t work in complete darkness, and there’s no on-board storage for saving your settings directly to the device. There’s also no privacy shade either, so make sure the broadcast ends before picking your face. It’s compatible with Android and the Xbox One consoles, too. 

Requirements: 

OS: 

Windows 7/8.1/10MacOS 10.9+Chrome OSAndroid 5.0+Xbox One 

Buy one now from:

Amazon 

For Any Budget

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 ($40)

If a cheap camera is what you seek, Microsoft has the solution for you. The LifeCam HD-3000 is a small, mountable device supporting video chat with a 1,280 x 720 resolution at 30 FPS. Naturally, it’s certified for Windows and Skype, making it an affordable solution for Windows-based PCs in the home or office. Amazon lists a second, business-focused version too for $1 more, although there doesn’t appear to be any differences in hardware. 

According to Microsoft, its budget-oriented camera relies on TrueColor technology to produce “bright and colorful” video in most conditions by supporting a 24-bit color depth. The cameras is backed by two omni-directional microphones, a 4x digital zoom, and a 1MP still image resolution. But unlike the other cameras on our list, Microsoft’s solution has a fixed focus ranging from 11.8 to 59 inches in length. 

Given this is a no-frills solution, the feature list basically stops there. There’s no tripod support, meaning the device focuses on adding video chat support to desktop monitors and laptop displays. Microsoft lists two sets of requirements: one for standard use, and one for streaming video in the 720p resolution. Both need a single USB-A 2.0 port or newer on the parent PC. 

Requirements: 

 

VGA 

720p 

OS: 

Windows XP SP2 to Windows 10 

Windows XP SP2 to Windows 10 

 

Processor: 

Intel Dual-Core 1.6GHz or higher 

Intel Dual-Core 3.0GHz 

Memory: 

1GB 

2GB 

Storage: 

1.5GB 

1.5GB 

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best laptops for high school students you can buy
  • Best car stereos
  • The 30 best Mac apps if you’re new to Apple
  • You can have more than a “Wii” bit of fun with the best Wii games
  • The best tablets for kids whatever their age or your budget




15
Jan

It’s cocktail o’ clock with the best bartending apps


Do you know the difference between a Manhattan and an old fashioned? How about a martini and a cosmopolitan? Can you make a good one, even after you’ve had a few? One of the smartest ways to mix perfect cocktails every time is to snag one of the best bartending apps for your iPhone or Android phone. We’ve got a delectable menu of boozy apps for you right here, containing every delicious cocktail recipe under the sun.

You may also want to check out the best bar gadgets, learn about some of the cool drinking gadgets you can get nowadays, or try some other great food and drink apps.

Lush Cocktails ($2)

We love the clean, accessible interface in this bartending app and it has hundreds of detailed recipes with animated images that show you the precise ratio of ingredients in your chosen drink. You can search for options with multiple ingredients, making it easy to find cocktails you can make based on what you actually have at home. You can also save favorites, browse flavor profiles, or check out the curated shortlists tailored for different kinds of parties and occasions. It’s one of our favorite iPhone apps, but sadly there’s no Android version.

Download now from:

iTunes

Cocktails Guru (Free)

You’ll find more than 15,000 cocktail recipes in this comprehensive app. There’s detailed information on each drink including the type of glass you should use, the method, the ingredients, the tools you might need, and step-by-step instructions. Most drinks have good photos and users can add their own photos and comments. You can also rate and favorite cocktails, follow other mixologists, and learn all the bartending techniques and lingo you will ever need.

Download now from:

Google Play

Highball (Free)

The elegant design of this cocktail recipe app is irresistible and it’s the ideal way to create your own personalized list of favorite drinks. You can create recipes, include instructions, choose an image, with glass type, color, ice, and then share your recipe via social media or messaging. You can also import and edit other people’s recipes using the QR codes at the bottom left of every recipe card. If you want to build a library of your ideal cocktails, then this app is the way to do it.

Download now from:

iTunes

8,500+ Drink Recipes (Free)

This app is not pretty and some of the instructions leave a lot to be desired, but what you will find is a massive list of drinks with details on all their ingredients and simple instructions on a separate tab. You can search the app, browse by category, or get a random drink suggestion. There is also the option to build a list of favorites or search by ingredients.

Download now from:

iTunes Google Play

Bartender’s Choice ($3)

This app is a great way to discover new cocktails. Created by the master bartenders behind New York City’s Milk & Honey, it allows you to select your preferred alcohol, sensation, style, and extras, and then comes up with a suggestion to match. You will also find some handy expert tips on how to deal with garnishes and ice, or mix the perfect drink.

Download now from:

iTunes

My Cocktail Bar (Free)

This bartending app doesn’t have a huge list of cocktail recipes, but most of the classics are here and you can create and save your own recipes. The instructions are good, and it’s easy to search using different filters, or you can browse by category. You can also browse by ingredient, enabling you to find out which drinks you can make with what you have in the cabinet.

Download now from:

Google Play

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15
Jan

Still using Windows 8.1? You’re on your own now


Microsoft has officially ended mainstream support for Windows 8.1, marking the second-to-last milestone in the four-year-old operating system’s lifecycle. The last will come in 2023, when Microsoft will end all support for it. In the meantime, users can at least expect security updates, but no further improvements.

As keen as Microsoft is to get as many of its billion-plus users running the latest version of its operating system, the company has always maintained an extended support system for its historical platforms. They don’t last forever though, with Microsoft periodically ending first improvement support and finally security fixes at specific points throughout their lifecycle. Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 saw its mainstream support end in January 2015, while Windows Vista lost all support in April 2017.

Now it’s Windows 8.1’s turn, with Microsoft officially severing the chord on January 9, per the OnMSFT blog. This should nudge Microsoft’s extended user base towards the latest version of Windows 10, which will have its own sunset (for the basic version) in 2020. Yet it’s likely that many fans of Windows 8.1 will continue to lag behind; we have seen time and again that even without the safety net of Microsoft updates, many people stick with the operating system they know. So much so in fact, that in very special cases, Microsoft does continue to support them.

That is rarely the case for everyday users though, so if you are still running Windows 8.1, make sure that you start to think about upgrading to Windows 10 over the next few years, as you’ll be left extremely vulnerable to malware and other attacks once extended support ends in 2023. Current builds of older operating systems like Windows Vista and Windows XP, which have long lacked regular security fixes, have been easily exploitable for quite some time.

If that’s not enough to convince you to upgrade your OS, consider that game companies are also slowly moving forward with their OS support, leaving the ancient ones in the past. Blizzard most recently ended long-term support for Windows XP and Vista — and actually carried through with it too.

Sorry, 8.1, but your time has come. You had a good run, unlike some operating systems we could mention.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Microsoft to end free Windows 10 upgrades – this time for good
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15
Jan

Do you plan on getting the Samsung Galaxy S9?


The Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are great, but the S9 is shaping up to be a beast of a phone.

Following months of leaks and rumors, we’re finally getting close to the announcement of the Galaxy S9. We have a pretty good idea of what the phone will look like and what major features it’ll be shipping with, and all that remains is for Samsung to officially unveil it.

samsung-galaxy-s8-review-2.jpg?itok=4PB1

The Galaxy S9 will look a lot like the S8, but thanks to things like a repositioned fingerprint sensor, even slimmer bezels, and possibly a camera with a physically changing aperture, there’s plenty to be excited for. Some of our forum users recently got into a discussion about whether or not they’ll be picking up the S9 once it’s available, and this is what they had to say.

avatar235300_3.gifcwbcpa
01-12-2018 09:14 AM

While I have no doubt that the S9/S9+ will be awesome, I’ll wait for the Note 9. The Note 8 will get a refresh with Oreo. Even if it didn’t, the Note 8 does everything I need it to and more. Then we will see how much of a leap the Note 9 is from the Note 8.

Reply

avatar473311_6.gifjamezr
01-12-2018 09:41 AM

I love my Note 8…but there is a S9+ with my name on it. Just wish I could get it in Pearl White!

Reply

default.jpgstrikeIII
01-12-2018 10:06 AM

S9+ features definitly look nice but that just means the N9 will be even better. Of course I’ll be getting the S9+ tho.

Reply

avatar1448120_1.gifbassplayrguy
01-13-2018 03:46 PM

The more I read about the S9 series, there’s just no real upgrades over the note 8. There are some minimal things but that’s it. Less ram, smaller screen, no S pen for $1000? It’s def a no for me. The Note 9 is the only phone that can take the note 8 off of the throne.

Reply

How about you – Will you be upgrading to the Galaxy S9?

Join the conversation in the forums!

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