Python is one of the most popular programming languages out there thanks to a fast edit-test-debug cycle and wide versatility. Jumping into Python from a beginner’s standpoint isn’t exactly easy, as there are many routes you can take. The training required to become a Python expert is also generally quite expensive.
What if there was a bundle of courses that included teaching for beginners as well as advanced users? What if, instead of paying over $800, you could pay under $50 and have access to the bundle for lifetime access?
Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a great deal on the Python 3 Boot Camp Bundle includes seven courses that will take you from amateur to expert. Instead of paying the regular price of $810, you’ll pay just $19. That’s over 90 percent off the regular price!
Included in this bundle are hundreds of lectures in the following nine courses:
- Learn Python 3 from Beginner to Advanced
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Django
- Python for Programmers
- Python Scrapy
- Python Scipy
- Python Numpy
- Learn iPython
- Python BeautifulSoup
- Python Object Oriented Programming Fundamentals
Even if you’re a complete beginner to Python, this bundle has what’s needed to become a true expert. At over 90 percent off, there’s no better time to get started on a new career. Don’t wait too long; this deal won’t last forever.
See at Android Central Digital Offers
So you have a Gear VR, but what can you actually watch on it? Quite a bit if you know where to look.
Oculus Video allows you to watch all sorts of content within a virtual cinema. You can browse content by categories such as news, entertainment, and horror. You can also check out your own videos in a gigantic virtual screen.
It’s not that hard to jump in and start watching content, but it’s important to know where to look. Not that long ago it was called Oculus Cinema, but has since had its name changed to Oculus Video.
- How to open Oculus Video
- How to view content
How to open Oculus Video
Go to the Oculus home menu where you usually launch apps and games.
Select Video (the tile for the app is purple).
You’re now able to browse categories of content including new videos, entertainment, travel and nature, news and documentary, horror, thrills and your own videos. The categories of content are populated by a large number of sources ranging from CNN to MTV to Animal Planet.
How to view content
There are different types of content you can view, primarily split between how immersive they are. If you open up a 360 video you’ll be jumped into the middle of it and can simply look around. If it’s 2-D content, such as your own recorded videos, you’ll be placed inside the virtual cinema. Here’s how to browse and view 360 content.
Select a category from the left menu.
Scroll through content and select a video you want using your controller.
You’ll be immersed and can just look around naturally.
If you want to view your own videos there aren’t many more steps but there are some more options.
Select My Videos.
Browse to the video you want to view and select it.
Select the video type button.
Select if the video is 2-D, 3-D, 360 degrees, or 180 degrees.
Select the Theaters button.
Select the *theater** you want to view it in.
That’s pretty much it! You can now view content ranging from full 360-degree immersion to just watching your favorite videos on a massive screen. It’s worth noting that if you want to view your own videos, you’ll have to download them directly onto your device. The Gear VR supports using USB drives to view videos but Oculus Video does not. If you want to view videos off of a USB drive you can use Samsung Video.
January 28 is Data Privacy Day, a day commemorating the signing of the first legally binding international treaty on privacy and data protection. It’s an important day, and it grows more important all the time, since so much more of our personal, private data is stored online.
IPVanish is one of over 300 organizations who are pledging their official support of Data Privacy Day as Data Privacy Champions. And what better way to show true support than to make that privacy protection more accessible to all? That’s why PVanish is offering 25% off of 1-year subscriptions from now until January 29, 2018.
You’ll pay only $4.87 per month (billed as $58.49 up front) for a quality VPN that can help you take back control of your online information. We love data privacy, we love IPVanish as a VPN provider, and we love a great deal.
Take advantage of this limited time offer and start protecting your data, browsing habits, and privacy with IPVanish. Save 25% off of 1 year of data protection from now until January 29, 2018.
See at IPVanish
The Google Home Mini is small and lightweight, making it easy to mount on a wall.
The Google Home Mini is an impressive little puck that can play music, automate your home and tap into the search powers of Google for only $49 — or $29 if you get it on sale. At either price, it’s not hard to buy a few to have them placed at different spots through your house.
You could have the Home Minis placed on different tables or shelves, or you can go a step further and have the speakers mounted on your walls. These are the best options for mounting a Google Home Mini!
- Double-sided tape
- The Mini Back Pack by Dot Genie
- Incipio Wall Mount
Double-sided tape — quick and easy
This method firmly falls into the “If it looks stupid, but it works, it isn’t stupid” category. But this is the cheapest, fastest and easiest mounting method. The Google Home Mini is pretty light, so just grab some double sided tape (I used some mounting squares from 3M), stick one side to the Home Mini and then just stick the Home Mini to the wall. Done!
If you want to go one step further, you can get a custom length micro-USB power cable to reduce clutter.
See at Amazon
Mini Back Pack by Dot Genie — best for renters
This solution is a lot more elegant. The Mini Back Pack features a plastic clip for the Home Mini itself, then the USB power supply slides in. A tiny micro-USB power cable completes the ensemble, and the whole thing is light enough that a power jack has no problem supporting it. The user still has easy access to the side touch controls and the physical mute switch.
This is the better option for renters and apartment dwellers who can’t drill into their walls, or someone who isn’t entirely sure which rooms they’d like the mount the Home Mini in.
See at Amazon
Incipio Wall Mount — a mix of both worlds
This last method is a combination of the previous two. A plastic piece clips onto the back of the Google Home Mini, this time with two holes for nails. This lets you place the Home Mini at any height you’d like, but also have something much more permanent than tape. Again, you can use any micro-USB cable with the Home Mini, so feel free to buy one that’s the perfect length or color to match your decor.
See at Google
What say you?
Have you mounted your Google Home Mini? Let us know how you did it in the comments below!
- Google Home review
- Google Home Max review
- These services work with Google Home
- Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
- Join our Google Home forums!
Google Store Best Buy Target
Pricing starts at $289.
Devices like the Pixelbook help Chrome OS be more appealing and attractive to general consumers, but in addition to this, there’s a giant slew of Chromebooks that are targeted specifically at schools. The Dell 5190 is the latest education-focused Chromebook to come to market, but even if you aren’t a student, there’s enough here that makes it worth checking out nonetheless.
The 5190 is Chromebook with an 11-inch screen, and it’s available as either a traditional laptop or with a 2-in-1 design so you can have it double as a tablet. In addition to this, there’s also stylus support and USB-C (making the 5190 the first Dell Chromebook to adopt the new charging/syncing standard).
You’ll be able to configure the 5190 with up to a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and battery life is rated to be up to 13 hours. Plus, if durability is a big concern for you, Dell states that it’ll be able to withstand “10,000 micro-drops” from four inches.
Dell will begin selling the 5190 in February with a starting price of $289.
Lenovo has three new rugged Chromebooks for the education market
Kid-friendly VR at an amazing price.
The View-Master Virtual Reality Pack just dropped to $9.99 on Amazon. Its average price lies around $19, and this is just a dollar above its lowest price ever which it saw in late 2016.
View-Masters used to be one of the coolest toys when I was a kid. You could buy slides featuring various scenes from movies and shows, slip them into the toy and view the scene in a larger format. Today’s View-Master puts that thing to shame. Instead, you simply download one of the View-Master VR apps to your smartphone and slide your phone into the viewer. From there, you can enter a 360-degree immersive experience by putting on the goggles and looking around. Of course, it’s kid-friendly – which is great considering many VR experiences tend to be scary, though you will want to make sure your child isn’t walking around with these things over their eyes for hours too.
To use this device, your smartphone must have a screen size between five and six inches. It requires iOS 8 or above for use on iPhones. It comes with a Preview Reel which lets you demo all the available apps, though to use them properly, you’ll need to buy additional “Experience Packs” which are available on Amazon from $4.
See at Amazon
Developers also get new goodies with the new Android Wear SDK 2.2.0.
If you’re an Android Wear loyal and still rocking a smartwatch that’s powered by Google’s wearable OS, you’ve got a new feature to look forward to with the upcoming 2.9 release – an unread notification indicator.
Receiving notifications from your phone is one of the highlight features of smartwatches, but if you get busy and forget to check your watch after some time has passed, there’s no way to see if you have unread texts or emails without swiping to access them. With the release of Android Wear 2.9, you’ll begin to see an unread notification indicator on all of your watch faces if there are notifications you missed.
This indicator will be positioned at the bottom of your watch faces by default, but developers can use the new Android Wear SDK 2.2.0 to adjust the position and appearance of this.
Additionally, the new SDK also adds better permission handling and a new drawable callback to improve the performance of watch face complications.
Android Wear 2.8 adds system-wide black theme
IP Cameras vs. Nest, Arlo, and other integrated systems: Which security ecosystem should you invest in?
Whether you want something simple or need a complicated whole-house system, there is a security camera that will work for you.
Home surveillance cameras are more popular than ever before. Whether you want cameras as part of a larger home security system, to use as a baby monitor or even to keep an eye on the pets while you’re at work, there are plenty of options available at just about every price point.
But before you buy, you need to think about things like placement, power needs and, most importantly, what type of system to start with: a simple integrated system like a Nest Cam, or a standard IP camera. There are pros and cons to both types and a bit of time spent deciding which is best for you will save frustration and money.
- Integrated camera systems
- Standard IP cameras
- Which is best?
Integrated camera systems
Camera packages from companies like Nest or Netgear’s Arlo are available as a complete turnkey system in one box. You’ll have everything you need to get a camera in place and monitoring the things you want to monitor without any headaches or difficult installation instructions.
Once installed, you’ll have a system that can stream HD video with advanced features like motion detection triggers and zone fencing that works with your smartphone to do things like sending push notifications for motion alerts. The cameras use your home internet connection to stream video to the company’s servers where you can monitor things in real time or download clips to save them for later. The companies making these consumer IP camera kits have thought of nearly everything, and it only takes a few minutes to get it all up and running. Additional features can integrate your system with Amazon’s Alexa service, Google’s Assistant service or Apple’s HomeKit without any headaches.
What makes installation and setup of these types of cameras so easy are their proprietary nature. They are designed to work very well in limited ways, with little to no flexibility in how you set them up and use them.
Everything is easy because nothing is flexible.
There are some really great options in this space. Nest and Arlo have already been mentioned, but other companies like Logitech and their Circle 2 system or Canary, or Ring’s Spotlight cameras work really well and are simple to set up. More importantly, they are simple to keep running month after month, year after year. We love them both because they can give us a clear picture of our home, both inside and out, and because they are so simple to use.
After connecting a camera or a base station to your home network, they are attached to a user account through the company that manufacturers them. You’ll notice during the setup process that all you need to do through the app on your phone or a PC is enter your network name and password; the cameras themselves do the rest. Your only options for viewing and storage are the ones approved by the manufacturer, and depending on your needs the hosting plans for camera storage can be pretty pricey. Workarounds from other companies who offer cloud-based camera FTP services exist, but can be complicated to set up and limit the features supported.
Fully integrated camera systems and the ecosystem that drives them are great for families who need something that can be easily set up and requires little to no maintenance. The initial high price of the equipment as well as long-term expense for hosting services are mitigated by the ease of use and well thought out feature set.
- See Arlo security camera systems at Amazon
- See Nest security camera systems at Amazon
- See Logitech Circle 2 security cameras at Amazon
- See Ring’s Spotlight camera system at Amazon
Standard IP cameras
Standard IP cameras are usually a very different experience than an all-in-one-box setup. Instead of a simple camera or cameras designed to work with a specific service from the manufacturer, a standard IP camera is just a camera. It transmits video, both wired and wireless options exist, and it’s up to you how to capture and preserve the streams. A typical IP camera setup will have several inexpensive cameras connected to an NVR (Network Video Recorder) on a standalone storage device or a computer system.
These systems can be more complicated to setup than an integrated system. But part of the reason is the number of options you have for just about every piece of the system itself. IP cameras come in many different styles with different mounting options, can use PoE (Power over Ethernet) for a single-wire FHD installation, often come with zoom lenses and true night vision, and can work when you have special needs like a tamper-proof design or a stealthy setup. Countless hardware and installation options make a standard IP camera an excellent part of a larger automation system and “regular” IP address based stream access means you won’t have any trouble seeing what the camera sees with an on-site monitor or through a web server over the internet.
Standard IP cameras are prefect for anyone who loves to DIY.
The biggest difference between these cameras and an integrated camera kit is the video storage. A basic system like this one from Zmodo comes with four indoor/outdoor autofocus cameras (with IR cut filters for basic “night” vision), a stand-alone NVR storage device and the software to set everything up through a computer on your existing home network. Others, like this Samsung 16 channel FHD DVR system come with everything needed to cover your home inside and out in one box. The cost of these systems is about the same as a basic integrated multi-camera system with no additional costs for cloud services or storage.
Most IP camera systems also have the benefit of not having video from your cameras in the cloud. Popular use cases for security cameras include children’s rooms, bedrooms and other places where privacy is paramount. With proper installation and setup, only you will be able to access your camera recordings, and they are stored on media in your home. If you want the convenience of cloud storage, you’ll usually find that option available, too. But it’s an option — you still have all the footage on site where you can secure it or dispose of it as you see fit.
You can also build your own NVR storage devices, and capture and administrative software is available for everyone from the hobbyist to the enterprise. If you have particular needs or just want to set everything up yourself, a standard IP camera system is the way to go.
See IP cameras and systems at Amazon
Which is best?
One type of security camera system isn’t inherently better than the other. The easy setup and use of products like a Nest Cam are worth the extra cost and storage service plans for many. Others will be more comfortable keeping their recordings local or have needs better served by a standard IP camera system.
If you found your way here because you’re an enthusiast and enjoy the setup process or will have no problem going through all the options and troubleshooting things, you will want an IP camera system. They are more felxible, cost less, and have no monthly or yearly storage fees attached. This also applies if you have any special needs like needing to disguise your cameras so they aren’t stolen or need a real zoom feature. Hobbyiests and tinkerers can also buy into an IP camera system on the cheap and if you find it something you want to expand you’ll be able to move from a single inexpensive Yi Camera to a bigger multi-camera NVR system with no loss of your initial investment.
There is no one-size-fits-all security cam solution.
Some of us would rather spend a little more money for a system that’s more plug-and-play, then let someone else worry about storing the feed and monitoring the connection. It’s hard to put a price on ease of use, but if we could we’d probably feel that products like Netgear’s Arlo system or a Nest Camera system are a bargian. The higher starting costs are offset by the time you’ll save installing things, and the yearly fees are worth it if you would rather not have to worry about local storage or feel that you aren’t yet ready to take care of it yourself. That’s exactly why these types of products came to market — people want the simplicity and are willing to pay a little more for it.
Decide what your needs are, and if you want to work through a more complex setup or want a system that just works. Luckily, both are readily available options. If you are using security cameras and have a particular brand you like or any feedback, feel free to talk about it in the comments!
Updated January 2018: New products are awesome and we added some thoughts about them to this post.
Minecraft is pretty important to Microsoft. Not only did the company spend $2.5 billion in 2014 to own the world’s most popular building-block game, but just last week it promoted Matt Booty, the head of Minecraft, to Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios. As far as Microsoft sees it, there’s a direct line from Minecraft to Gears of War, Halo and all of the company’s major first-party games. And now, with Booty’s ascent, there’s a new Minecraft boss.
Helen Chiang has been with Microsoft for 13 years, and the past 11 of those were spent in the Xbox division, managing the Live team and working with developers in the Xbox Live Arcade program. She helped Minecraft get settled on Xbox long before Microsoft’s acquisition, and now she’s in charge of the entire game.
“It’s really important for the overall gaming strategy,” she told Engadget. “What I like to think is that we’re out in front thinking about a lot of different things.”
Chiang says Microsoft can use Minecraft as a proving ground for new ideas and features that might make their way to other Xbox projects. For example, Microsoft recently partnered with NetEase to release a version of Minecraft in China, and Chiang says the game is doing well in the region. This opens the door for other Xbox games to make the international leap. In the coming years, players might also see more Microsoft games coming to a range of devices, just like Minecraft.
“We’re one of the games that’s on all of the platforms outside of just Microsoft platforms,” Chiang says. “When I started at the company, and it’s really evolved over time — that is something that’s changed in our strategy. I’m really excited to work on a game that, really, it doesn’t matter where the players are playing. Part of what’s important to Minecraft is that we make it available to anybody, anywhere they want to play, on any device that they want to play. And that’s something I think we’ll see Microsoft do more of.”
With more games on more platforms, an obvious question looms: What about cross-console play? Currently, Microsoft allows PC and Xbox players to join select games together, including Gears of War 4, but the list is limited. The company is even willing to enable cross-play between Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch — here’s looking at you, Rocket League — and it wants to work out similar deals with Sony’s PlayStation 4. Cross-platform play is possible from a technical standpoint, and both Microsoft and Nintendo have expressed interest in connecting their consoles. However, Sony has historically rebuked these efforts.
Minecraft is an ideal test case here. The Better Together update unifies all versions of Minecraft, from consoles and PC to mobile, allowing players to interact with people on different devices and receive updates at the same time. Better Together is live for Xbox One, Windows 10, mobile and virtual reality versions of Minecraft, and Chiang’s team is working on the Switch version right now. It should be available “shortly,” though there’s no concrete launch date.
Sony, meanwhile, is still playing coy.
“In my role as the new studio head for Minecraft, I’m looking forward to continuing the discussions with Sony about bringing the Bedrock engine over to players on PlayStation,” Chiang says. “I think that is something that is very important to us and I’m looking forward to continuing to have those conversations with Sony.”
If everyone decides to play along, Minecraft’s future will be more connected, communicative and open than ever, and Microsoft’s broader game strategy could follow suit.
“I think games are such a dynamic industry, one that really builds on everything that’s happening in technology,” Chiang says. “So I’m really excited about what we’ve done in games and how much farther we still have to go.”
Deceptively-simple automatic runner RunGunJumpGun is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 8th, according to a tweet by its developers, Good Shepherd. The game first hit iOS and Android in 2016, amassing an army of fans initially intrigued by its simple premise — shoot, jump, survive — and subsequently ensnared by its addictive intelligent level design and masterful difficulty curve. Under the slightly tweaked moniker ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun, the game will offer Switch players the same twitchy platforming fun — and for just $8/£8.
Source: Good Shepherd