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Support for external graphics on MacOS finally arrives, but on select devices

Apple said last summer that support for external graphics cards would come to MacOS. That is finally happening with the release of MacOS 10.13.4 “High Sierra” but don’t get too excited just yet: Support for external graphics cards just isn’t possible on all Mac devices. Luckily, Apple provides a list of compatible models to eliminate any need for detective work. 

Here they are: 


Release date 

MacBook Pro 

2016 to present 


2017 to present 

iMac Pro 

2018 to present 

 The big hardware requirement needed to support an external graphics card is Thunderbolt 3. This technology is capable of transferring data at up to 40Gbps, providing plenty of bandwidth for the Mac and external card to thrash textures and other rendering data without any visual problems in games, 3D rendering applications, virtual reality content, and more. 

That said, your just-purchased MacBook Air that saw a huge price reduction during Best Buy’s recent flash sale won’t cut it, as Thunderbolt 2 doesn’t have a wide enough lane to handle data generated by external graphics. Thunderbolt 2 only speeds long at a slower 20Gbps: Four times the speed of a typical USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, but not fast enough for external graphics. 

With the Mac models narrowed down, Apple also provides a list of recommended external graphics card enclosures: Stand-alone “houses” that play host to the card and connects to the Mac via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.  

First, here are the recommended enclosures along with the graphics cards that work best: 


Graphics cards 

OWC Mercury Helios FX 

Radeon RX 570 

PowerColor Devil Box 

Radeon RX 580 

Sapphire Gear Box 

Radeon Pro WX 7100 

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W 


Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W 


Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W 


This group relies on AMD’s previous-generation graphics cards using its older “Polaris” design. Here, Apple recommends using graphics cards manufactured by Sapphire, specifically the “Pulse” series, and AMD’s in-house WX series for pros. 

If you’re looking for a bit more graphical power, check out Apple’s next batch. This list contains some of AMD’s latest graphics cards based on its newer “Vega” design: 


Graphics cards 

OWC Mercury Helios FX 

Sapphire Vega 56 

PowerColor Devil Box 

XFX Vega 56 

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W 


Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W 


 Finally, we can’t have an external GPU lineup without mentioning AMD’s top-of-the-line cards, the Radeon RX Vega 64 and the Radeon Pro WX 9100. Have a look at Apple’s recommendations: 


Graphics cards 

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W 

Sapphire Vega 64 


XFX Vega 64 


AMD Frontier Edition (air-cooled) 

AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 

 “eGPU support in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 is designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL applications that benefit from a powerful eGPU,” the company states. “However, not all applications support eGPU acceleration.

One last idea Apple suggests is the purchase of Sonnet’s Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck. It resembles set-top boxes used for streaming, only it packs AMD’s RX 570, three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI port, and the Thunderbolt 3 port. It relies on an external power adapter, enabling Mac owners to charge their device while using the external GPU. The RX 570 model costs $600 before taxes. 

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Logitech G560 review

Research Center:

Logitech G560 LightSync Gaming Speakers

Back in 2013, Logitech moved its G-Series gear into the new ‘Logitech G’ sub-brand (one of five under the company’s umbrella), signaling a newfound dedication to developing top-shelf tech for PC gamers.

Since then, the G family has expanded to include numerous mice, keyboards, and other peripherals built to optimize your gaming experience, and look awesome doing it. The new G560 speakers reflect this philosophy, packing an abundance of unique features into a powerful 2.1 setup. We spent some time evaluating them, and as we expected, they’re pretty impressive.

Unboxing and setup

The box for the G560 was bigger and heavier than we expected. Turns out, that’s thanks to the hefty subwoofer, which measures a whopping 16 inches tall and weighs more than 12 pounds.

The stereo speakers are smaller (about 6 x 6 x 5 inches) and weigh just a few pounds each. They’ve got a cool, distinctive design featuring circular grilles mounted in oblong plastic casings with a brushed finish. Each speaker is equipped with two LED “RGB zones” (read: light arrays) – one below the grille, which shines through the front of the speaker, and a spotlight in the rear designed to project light on the wall behind your monitor.

The right speaker hosts three buttons on top, including one for customizable macro controls and two for volume adjustment. On the back is a 3.5mm jack, a power button, and a Bluetooth pairing button, which allows you to connect up to two source devices simultaneously via Bluetooth.

Once you remove the speakers from their typical cardboard armor, there’s not much work to be done. Plug the subwoofer into the wall, and plug the speakers into the sub. Next, simply connect the sub to your computer via either the 3.5mm Aux input, or the included USB cable (we recommend the latter for full functionality), download the Logitech Gaming Software if you don’t have it already (you’ll need version 8.98.198 or newer), and you’re ready to start gaming.

Illuminative immersion

Before we get to the sound, we should discuss the G560’s most prominent and standout feature, the RGB light arrays. With the software – the same software you’d use to customize any other Logitech G gear – you can control all four zones individually using Logitech’s Lightsync technology. If you want to assign each zone a static color, you can do that, but that’s just the beginning.

Logitech has built lighting presets for more than 600 games.

Logitech has built an open software development kit (SDK) for the G560, which means developers can utilize the kit to add contextual light effects based on in-game events. For example, while playing Fortnite the speakers will turn from soft green to bright purple if you find yourself lost in a storm, while your speakers will glow orange as your health dwindles in Battlefield 1. The list of supported titles is currently short – other notable games include Counter Strike: Global Operative and Grand Theft Auto V – but we expect it to grow over time.

You might wonder, “Well, what about every other game?” Logitech has also equipped the G560 with a “screen sampler” mode, which allows you to select four rectangular areas on your screen and assign those areas to one of the four RGB zones (based on whatever color appears most in the selected area). If your health bar is in the bottom left corner, for example, you can select that area and the corresponding light will change from green to red (or whatever you select) when your health depletes. This allows for some pretty sweet customization, though the hue shifts can get a bit hectic if you’re running around a map in a first-person game.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Logitech has also built lighting presets for a vast number of games – more than 600, by our count – which can be accessed in the software. We did get a little confused at the difference between those presets and the games supported via SDK, though, and the software doesn’t do a very good job of explaining any of this.

There’s also an “audio visualizer” setting, which you can use to make the lights react to the game sound. Rather than using a microphone, the speakers actually draw any audio signals from the connected computer; treble and midrange frequencies trigger the front zones, while lower frequencies will trigger the rear zones. This mode seems better suited for listening to music than gaming, but it’s a cool feature.

Logitech G560 LightSync Gaming Speakers Compared To

JBL Pebbles

Harman Kardon Nova 2.0

Definitive Technology Incline


Monster Clarity HD Model One

Pioneer S-DJ05

Hercules XPS 101

Logitech Z523

Edifier E3350 Multimedia Speaker

Audioengine A2

Yamaha NX-U10

Logitech mm28

Logitech Z3 2.1

JBL Invader 4.1

Logitech Z-640

If you’ve got more Logitech gaming gear, you can even synchronize LED activity across all your devices for a really immersive setup. There are also more mundane modes which will “breathe” (fade a single color in and out) or morph through the whole rainbow at your chosen speed, similar to many gaming headsets.

As you might expect, all these features (save the fixed colors, “breathing,” and color morph) require a USB connection – they won’t work over Bluetooth or aux connection.

The LEDs can serve as bias lighting to reduce strain on the eyes of those who spend hours in front of their monitors, too.

Audio performance

The G560 are capable of reaching a peak of 240 watts, a fact that is immediately obvious upon plugging them in and starting up a game. The claimed frequency response extends down to 40Hz on the low end (extending to 18kHz up top), and the default setting is fairly bass-heavy. The downward-firing subwoofer produces truly bombastic explosions and gunshots, but you can fiddle with the custom EQ to your heart’s content if you’re looking for more balance.

No matter how you set them up, these speakers pump out powerful sound.

No matter how you set them up, though, these speakers pump out some powerful sound. You won’t find the same sparkling highs as you would in, say, the $400 Aperion Allere, but the G560 are half that price, and you’re probably buying them for gaming, in which case they’re superb.

Playing through battle scenarios in Battlefield 1, tank treads rolled with such thunderous crunches that we practically felt the ground shake beneath our feet, and machine gunfire crackled like heavy-hitting Fourth of July fireworks. The bass isn’t particularly tight, but it’s big, and should sate most gamers’ thirst for oomph. As an aside, there’s no manual bass control on the subwoofer or the speakers. While this isn’t an issue if you keep the software open, it would have been a welcome inclusion.

The G560 do also support DTS:X surround sound signals (though not for Mac), which you can toggle in the software and even adjust each digital channel’s volume. The virtual surround functionality works pretty well for a 2.1 setup — not as well as actual surround speakers, but good enough for the cost and system size.

Warranty information

The G560 come with a 2-year limited hardware warranty. Head to Logitech’s claim submission page for more information.

Our Take

The G560 occupy a unique niche. As speakers, they’re good – not spectacular, but good – but as complements to a Logitech gaming cave, they’re quite impressive. Even without more G gear, they have a lot of potential, thanks to the open SDK which allows for serious customization that should increase over time.

Is there a better alternative?

If you’re considering the G560 because of their awesome lights and synchronization capabilities, there aren’t really many contemporaries. The $150 Razer Nommo Chroma are similar, sort of, but they don’t come with a subwoofer and they’re just not quite the same.

If you just want some good computer speakers for watching shows or listening to music, consider the Edifier Luna Eclipse or the cheaper Logitech Z337.

How long will it last?

While the satellite speakers’ build quality isn’t outstanding, the G560 are probably going to sit in one place for several years. The cables are woven and durable, so we don’t expect any issues for quite a while.

Should you buy it?

If you want some cool, unique gaming speakers (and especially if you have some compatible Logitech G peripherals), then yes. Buy them.


Google Home and Google Home Mini could make their way to India in April

Google’s smart home products are ready to make their debut in India.


Google Home made its debut back in 2016, and Google introduced the mini variant late last year. Both smart home products are available in select markets around the world, and it now looks like they’re making their way to India. Information received by Gadgets 360 suggests both the Google Home and Google Home Mini will be introduced in the subcontinent in April.

The timing makes a lot of sense, considering Google Assistant picked up Hindi compatibility earlier this month. Allowing users to converse with the Assistant on their Google Home or Home Mini will be a huge advantage for Google as it tries to take the fight to Amazon on this front.

Amazon rolled out its Echo family in India, and while Alexa has been thoroughly customized for the local market, for now, language compatibility is limited to English. Amazon has also added a ton of local skills — all designed to make the smart home speaker that much more useful for Indian consumers.

I’ve been using two Google Homes for over a year, and the overall experience is similar to what you’d find in the U.S. As the product hooks into Google services, it didn’t have any issues detecting my location and tailoring weather updates and traffic routes, local restaurant and movie recommendations based on my locale.

Pricing will be an interesting factor, as that’ll ultimately determine how successful the Google Home and Home Mini will be in the subcontinent. The Google Home retails for $129 in the U.S. (₹8,400), and the smaller Google Home Mini is available for $49 (₹3,190). Google’s products command a significant markup in the country — with the Pixel 2 XL still costing over $950 — and it’s likely we’ll see a similar bump for the Google Home and Home Mini.

With the launch slated for sometime next month, we should know the pricing and availability details in the coming weeks.


Tesla: Autopilot was engaged in fatal Model X crash

After a fiery crash in Mountain View, CA last week killed the driver of a Tesla Model X, the company provided an update on the incident with a blog post. It did not name the driver, identified by ABC 7 News as Apple engineer and former EA programmer Walter Huang, while confirming that its Autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash.


In the moments before the collision, which occurred at 9:27 a.m. on Friday, March 23rd, Autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum. The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision. The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken.

It reiterated a statement from its first update, noting that a crash attenuator safety barrier intended to mitigate the effect of a collision in that spot was missing due to an earlier crash. While it noted that the driver had time and unobstructed view of the divider before the crash, it didn’t mention what action the automated systems took at the time. The driver’s brother told a reporter that Huang had previously complained the car would swivel toward that exact barrier and had complained to the Tesla dealership about it, but that they could not replicate the issue.

Tesla also went on to cite stats from the government showing Autopilot reduced crash rates by 40 percent, and suffered far fewer fatalities per mile than other cars.

In the US, there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles across all vehicles from all manufacturers. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware. If you are driving a Tesla equipped with Autopilot hardware, you are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal accident.

Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists.

No one knows about the accidents that didn’t happen, only the ones that did. The consequences of the public not using Autopilot, because of an inaccurate belief that it is less safe, would be extremely severe. There are about 1.25 million automotive deaths worldwide. If the current safety level of a Tesla vehicle were to be applied, it would mean about 900,000 lives saved per year. We expect the safety level of autonomous cars to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars.

The National Transportation Safety Board already said it’s investigating the crash, to look at the fire and steps to make the car safe for removal from the scene. However Bloomberg reported that it’s also looking into another crash earlier this year where a Model S ran into a fire truck parked on the highway, where the driver claimed Autopilot was engaged at the time. In 2016 a driver blamed Autopilot for a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but the company said data showed the feature was not in use at the time. And last year the NTSB found fault with both driver and technology in the case of a fatal Florida crash.

Source: Tesla


Hasbro got 5,000 pre-orders to build a massive replica of Jabba’s barge

The huge Jabba the Hutt barge replica Hasbro showed off at Toy Fair this year will soon become a real item making its way to backers’ homes. That’s because the toymaker’s first HasLab project, a program that takes a leaf out of Indiegogo’s and Kickstarter’s books, is a raging success. It has raised over $2.7 million in funds from over 5,500 backers (as of this writing), eclipsing its original 5,000-pre-order goal. And it has the potential to make more: The campaign still welcomes Star Wars fans willing to shell out $500 for a four-foot-long Khetanna with impressively detailed decks until April 3rd.

#StarWars fans, you #BackedTheBarge!! Jabba would be proud! #HasLab #BackTheBarge

— Hasbro (@HasbroNews) March 30, 2018

The barge’s replica is the biggest Hasbro-branded Star Wars toy yet, much bigger than the company’s Millennium Falcon replica that measures 2.6 feet in length. Hasbro will bundle the barge with a 3.75-inch Jabba the Hutt and Yak Face figures that can fit inside the toy. Speaking of its interior, the barge has a two-person cockpit, a galley, an armory and a lounge inside, all of which are as detailed as the toy’s exterior. Hasbro plans to ship the toy’s 64-page booklet companion as soon as April 4th this year, but the barge itself won’t sail its way to backers until February 28th, 2019.

Via: io9

Source: HasLab


Twitch layoffs affect around two dozen employees

Despite the continued rollout of new features and highlights like a recent record-breaking stream of Fortnite, Polygon reports that Amazon-owned Twitch laid off around 25 employees today. In a statement, the company said it “conducted team adjustments in some departments” but still has plans to increase headcount by 30 percent this year. Some of the people leaving include well-known names in the Twitch community like VP of community Justin Wong and director of content marketing Ben “Fishstix” Goldhaber.


Coming off the record-setting numbers shared in our 2017 Retrospective, Twitch is continuing to grow and advance with success stories from Overwatch League to Fortnite’s milestone-setting streams. In order to maintain this momentum, we have an aggressive growth strategy for 2018 with plans to increase our headcount by approximately 30%. While we’ve conducted team adjustments in some departments, our focus is on prioritizing areas most important for the community.

I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s messages of support 😭 I appreciate each and every one of you more than words can describe.

As for me, pls don’t worry. I’ve got two months to figure out what’s next, and turns out esports is doing pretty great in 2018. I’m gonna be fine.

— Ben Goldhaber (@FishStix) March 30, 2018

So long, and thanks for all the memes.

— Justin Wong (@JustinWong) March 30, 2018

Source: Polygon


‘Fortnite’ wants to put your dance in the game

The free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale has become a cultural sensation with a wide-ranging playerbase. How do we know? Because professional sports players won’t stop mimicking the game’s weird dances in real life. Maybe one day they’ll be doing one of your dances — because Epic Games just launched a contest for players to submit video of their smooth moves, with the best one making it into Fortnite.

From today until 11:59pm on April 10th, fans can upload one (and only one) dance or gesture they think would be a great emote in the game. Each will be judged on fun, originality and creativity. Obviously, dances have to be family-appropriate and uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Only one boogie will be added to the game, but the top one hundred entries get in-game currency and funky cosmetics. The top five get the recently-removed Boogie Bomb.

Tragically, the competition is only open for adults, per the rules here, so minor players will have to satisfy themselves with harassing their classrooms and teachers.

Source: Epic Games


AI predicts your lifespan using activity tracking apps

Researchers can estimate your expected lifespan based on physiological traits like your genes or your circulating blood factor, but that’s not very practical on a grand scale. There may be a shortcut, however: the devices you already have on your body. Russian scientists have crafted an AI-based algorithm that uses the activity tracking from smartphones and smartwatches to estimate your lifespan with far greater precision than past models.

The team used a convolutional neural network to find the “biologically relevant” motion patterns in a large set of US health survey data and correlate that to both lifespans and overall health. It would look for not just step counts, but how often you switch between active and inactive periods — many of the other factors in your life, such as your sleeping habits and gym visits, are reflected in those switches. After that, it was just a matter of applying the understanding to a week’s worth of data from test subjects’ phones. You can even try it yourself through Gero Lifespan, an iPhone app that uses data from Apple Health, Fitbit and Rescuetime (a PC productivity measurement app) to predict your longevity.

This doesn’t provide a full picture of your health, as it doesn’t include your diet, genetics and other crucial factors. Doctors would ideally use both mobile apps and clinical analysis to give you a proper estimate, and the scientists are quick to acknowledge that what you see here isn’t completely ready for medical applications. The AI is still more effective than past approaches, though, and it could be useful for more accurate health risk models that help everything from insurance companies (which already use activity tracking as an incentive) to the development of anti-aging treatments.

Source: MIPT, Nature (PDF), App Store


Oakley challenges amateur cyclists to ride like the pros

On April 8, one of pro cycling’s most revered spring classics will take place in northern France, where the annual Paris-Roubaix race takes place. Dubbed the “Hell of the North”  because if follows a demanding route that passes through an area of the country that was hardest hit during World War I, the race has long been a rite of passage for pro riders looking to leave a mark on the sport. The race is so tough that it prompted cycling teams to develop more durable frames and components just to survive the rigors of the road.

To celebrate this year’s race, eyewear and sports apparel manufacturer Oakley is throwing down the gauntlet in the form of a Strava challenge for amateur cyclists. The challenge tasks riders with covering 257 kilometers (about 160 miles) between April 2 and April 8. That is the same distance that the pro cyclists will cover in a single day while taking part in the Paris-Roubaix race.

Participants in the Oakley Paris-Roubaix Week challenge must sign up for the event ahead of time and need to log all of their miles in the Strava app (iOS/Android). And while the competitors in the actual race will only face about 250 other riders, this challenge will pit thousands of amateurs from around the globe against one another. As of this writing, more than 38,000 people have already signed up for the ride, which will require each of them to cover nearly 37 km (23 miles) every day for the week.

After the challenge ends, Oakley will pick one winner from all of the participants who have successfully covered the required distance. That lucky rider will win a prize package that will include an Oakley ARO helmet, an Oakley JB cycling kit that includes top-of-the-line cycling clothing, as well as cycling-focused eyewear. This is the same equipment that Oakley sponsored athletes on Team Katusha–Alpecin and Team Dimension Data will use while competing in the race on April 8, as well as the entire cycling season.

Following Paris-Roubaix, Oakley will offer three more weekly challenges designed to get more cyclists on their bikes. Each of those challenges will be available in Strava as well, with more prize packages to be awarded to winners. A Strava account is required, of course.

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Here’s how to use split-screen mode on your Android phone

Steven Winkelman / Digital Trends
Steven Winkelman / Digital Trends

Do you like to use Twitter and Google Maps simultaneously? Prefer to watch Netflix while you’re checking your email. Well, if you use an Android phone, you’re in luck: Newer versions of Android allow you to easily multi-task with split-screen mode.

Split-screen mode basics

Android has officially offered a split-screen mode for smartphones since Google released Android 7.0 Nougat in 2016. Sure, some smartphone manufacturers offered the option earlier but many of those methods were clumsy and didn’t work well.  The introduction of Android Nougat brought a standardized method for a split-screen mode that works across most smartphones and tablets.

That said, some themes and manufacturers’ interfaces will interfere with split-screen mode. This tutorial will show you the standard ways to use split-screen on Android. If you’re having problems, you may want to make sure your phone is running Android 7.0 or later before checking to see if your smartphone manufacturer has created a different method to open split-screen mode.

It’s also important to realize that split-screen mode doesn’t work with all apps. If the app is not compatible with split-screen mode, you will see a message at the top of the screen telling you as much.

How to turn on split-screen mode

There are two ways to enable split-screen mode on your Android phone. While both methods yield the same results, you may prefer one over the other.

Drag and drop

To use the drag and drop method, simply open the apps you wish to use in split-screen mode. Tap the app switcher icon (it’s usually a square on the right side of the navigation bar) and select the first app. Drag the app to the top of the screen to drop it into place. Once your first app is in place, simply tap the second app and it will appear in the bottom half of the screen.

Once you have your apps in split-screen mode you can make size adjustments. To adjust the size, simply drag the divider line that sits between the two apps.


The second way to enable split-screen mode tends to be a little easier if you’re already in an app and wish to open another one without leaving it. If you’re in an app, just long-tap the app switcher icon. The primary app will minimize to fill the top half of the screen and you’ll see the other open apps at the bottom of the screen. Tap the second app you wish to use and it will automatically resize to fill the bottom half of the screen.

Again, it’s pretty easy to adjust the size of each app in split-screen mode by dragging the divider line between the two apps to your desired location.

How to end your split-screen mode session

While split-screen mode can come in handy, it’s definitely not something you want to use all the time. There are a few ways to get out of split-screen mode.

The first, and probably most simple, way to end split-screen mode is by long-tapping the split-screen app switching icon. This method automatically closes the secondary app at the bottom of your display.

Another way to end your split-screen mode session is simply by dragging the divider line all the way to the top or bottom of your display. This method allows you to select which app you prefer to keep open, as opposed to automatically selecting the app at the top of your screen.

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