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8
Apr

After Math: The week of living dangerously


It was a chaotic week in the tech world, even before the YouTube HQ shooting. Apple’s pushing its luck by pushing its Mac Pro release to next year, Russia’s mail delivery drone barely got off the ground, and Scott Pruitt’s EPA is doing its best to suffocate California in smog. Numbers, because how else will you know when yours is up?

6 years: Apple’s “it just works” tagline might not apply to its Mac Pro machines for much longer, given that the company has now gone more than half a decade without giving them a significant upgrade. And it looks like the creatives that the Pro is designed for will have to wait just a little bit longer as the company announced this week that the promised revamp won’t happen until 2019.

11.5 miles: The Curiosity rover has been an unprecedented success, to be sure, but the next time NASA returns to the Red Planet, it plans to send a slightly more mobile expeditionary force: swarms of robot bees! Guess Nick Cage won’t be headed to Mars anytime soon.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flies over the Mojave Desert in California April 29, 2013 shortly before successfully completing a test flight that broke the sound barrier. Virgin Galactic has been granted an operating license to fly its passenger rocketship with the world's first paying space tourists aboard once final safety tests are completed, the Federal Aviation Administration said August 1, 2016.   REUTERS/Gene Blevins/File Photo

Mach 1.6: The last time Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took the the skies, one of its pilots died. Nearly four years and multiple glide tests later, the company has successfully taken a second shot at the stars with Virgin CEO Richard Branson proclaiming that the space travel company is officially “back on track.”

87 million users’ data: Not sure what everybody is so upset about. Out of the 113 million Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election, Facebook only gave data on 87 million of them to Cambridge Analytica. I’m sure Zuckerberg will be able to explain away the massive implications for that when he testifies before the Senate next week.

A view shows a mail delivery drone during a test launch, which is part of the Russian Postâs project to deliver mail to remote regions by drone, in Ulan-Ude, the capital city of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Anna Ogorodnik

110-plus WiFi signals: Yes, those are clearly what caused this $20,000 Russian mail delivery drone to take a header into a brick wall seconds after liftoff.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

51.4 miles per gallon: In what will hopefully be one of the last boneheaded moves he makes before being kicked to the curb, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced this week that he’ll be gifting a new set of rolled-back emissions standards to his buddies in the auto industry. Pruitt reportedly has the president’s “full confidence” but who knows what that means any more.

18,740 pounds: It’s cool, just 9.37 tons of Chinese space station unpredictably falling out of the sky onto a random patch of the Pacific. The Tiangong-1 orbital base thankfully didn’t cause any damage or deaths when it reentered the atmosphere with its stunning Luca Brasi impression.

8
Apr

The best blender


By Christine Cyr Clisset and Lesley Stockton

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After researching dozens of blenders, talking with five experts, and testing 22 models over the course of five years, we’re confident that the Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender offers the best value for most people. It performs as well as some blenders that cost twice as much, and it blows cheaper blenders out of the water. With both variable speed and preset options for things like soup and smoothies, it has one of the most user-friendly and versatile control panels we’ve seen.

How we picked and tested

Since 2013, we’ve researched or tested most of the decent household blenders available. Even though our top picks are powerful high-performance models, we looked at blenders ranging from $40 to $700. A great blender should be user-friendly, reliable, and powerful enough to make smooth purees. We looked for the following criteria:

Jar shape and motor strength: A great blender should be able to smoothly process tough things like fibrous kale, frozen berries, and ice without burning out the motor. How efficiently a blender does this depends on a combination of blade length and position, the shape of the mixing jar, and motor strength. All three of these elements combine to create a vortex that will bring food down around the blade.

Jar material: All our picks have jars are made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, which is very durable; most lower-end blenders are generally made of polycarbonate. Both materials will crack if heated too high, which is why these jars should not go in the dishwasher.

Price: High-end blenders ($150 and up)—often called high-performance blenders—are more powerful, produce much smoother textures, and will generally last a lot longer than the lower-end, under-$100 blenders.

Warranty: High-performance blenders from companies like Vitamix, Oster Versa, and Cleanblend all come with warranties of five to seven years, and are likely to last much longer with proper care. You can’t expect that level of performance from dirt-cheap models, which mostly come with one-year limited warranties.

Speed control: Whether you want a blender with manual controls or preset functions is largely personal preference. But we appreciate a powerful blender with a simple interface that includes an on/off switch, pulse button, and variable speed dial.

Tamper: In our five years of testing, we’ve found that a tamper—a small plastic bat that pushes food down into the blades when air pockets occur—separates the good blenders from the great.

To test each blender, we made a thick green smoothie and took notes on each blender’s interface and ability to create a consistent vortex. We also tested each blender by emulsifying mayonnaise, processing peanut butter, and making a thick white-bean and kale dip. With our finalists, we also made piña coladas to see how well they blended ice into slush. To read more about our testing process, please see our full guide to blenders.

Our pick: Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender

Photo: Michael Hession

We don’t think you can beat the value of the Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender. It works as well as blenders twice the price, making silky smoothies, purees, and blended cocktails. It has one of the best combinations of variable and preset speeds we’ve found, and its controls are more intuitive to use than those on other models we’ve tried. And at 17½ inches tall (to the top of the jar), it will fit under most cabinets, unlike many high-performance blenders.

The Oster Versa has a broader range of speeds, and the motor runs more quietly than equally priced blenders we tested. It comes with features usually available only in more expensive machines, like a tamper and overheating protection. Though it does struggle to make mayonnaise (we could effectively emulsify only once out of four tries) and didn’t achieve the absolute smoothest textures in our other tests, we don’t think these minor faults will be a big deal for most people.

Runner-up: Cleanblend 1,800-watt Blender

Photo: Michael Hession

We prefer the Oster Versa’s wider range of speeds and longer seven-year warranty, but we were impressed by the equally priced Cleanblend 1,800-watt Blender. In our tests, it blended silkier smoothies and piña coladas than many models that cost over twice as much. It comes with a well-designed jar and a tamper to help move thick mixtures while blending. Based on our long-term testing, the Cleanblend’s motor is durable and able to handle tough jobs like nut butter better than the Oster. But it comes with only a five-year warranty, compared with Oster’s seven years. And because Cleanblend has been around only since 2013, we’re a little uncertain of the company’s staying power and reliability.

Upgrade pick: Vitamix 5200

Photo: Michael Hession

If you want the best performance you can buy in a home blender, spring for the Vitamix 5200. This has been our overall favorite blender for four years, and it’s the classic Vitamix model that’s still the standard for pro chefs and blender enthusiasts. It consistently performed best in all of our tests, doing especially well on the peanut butter and mayo tests. The Vitamix powerfully purees and pulverizes foods more reliably and thoroughly than most, and comes with a seven-year warranty. The only reason it isn’t our top pick is its price tag—the Vitamix costs nearly twice as much as our top pick.

Budget pick: KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender

Photo: Michael Hession

If you want just a simple and inexpensive blender for occasional use, we like the KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender. It beat out every other low-end blender in our 2014 tests, and after light long-term testing, we’ve found it works fine for the occasional smoothie or soup. We were very impressed with its vortex, and it gracefully passed the beans and kale test. This blender is no Oster—and it’s certainly not a Vitamix— but it makes a better smoothie or pureed soup than any other blender in its price range.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

8
Apr

How to fix common PlayStation VR problems


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How to fix pretty much everything.

PlayStation VR is a great system that’s introduced many people to VR, but even the best systems experience problems from time to time. From tracking issues to display issues to audio issues, here’s how to fix pretty much any problem you experience with your PlayStation VR.

If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting options and are still experiencing problems with your PlayStation VR, it’s probably time to contact Sony support.

  • How to update your PlayStation VR
  • How to fix blurry images
  • How to fix a shaking image
  • Get the best light calibration
  • How to fix screen-mirroring issues
  • How to fix poor head and controller tracking
  • How to fix a USB error
  • How to fix 3D audio not working
  • How to fix scratches in your headset
  • How to deal with nausea
  • How to deal with Aim controller drift
  • How to deal with menu stutter
  • How to deal with Holiday lights and your PSVR camera

  • How to prevent lens fog

How to update your PlayStation VR

A lot of the performance issues you might be experiencing can be a direct result of an outdated device. If you’re unsure of how to update your PSVR, check out the instructions here!

See the original article

It’s a really easy process, thankfully, and here’s what you need to do:

Head to the Settings menu.

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Scroll down and select Devices.

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Scroll down and select PlayStation VR.

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Scroll down and select PlayStation VR device software.

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The screen you see will now show you the current software version you’re on.

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To check for a software update select update PlayStation VR device software.

If there’s an update available the console will now download and install it ready for your next virtual adventure to begin! You don’t need to have the PlayStation VR headset connected to the console in order to update, either. It can be detached from the processor unit and you’ll still be able to look for updates.

See the original article

How to deal with blurry images in PlayStation VR

Blurry images will definitely ruin your VR experience. Here’s how to make sure you see clearly!

See the original article

Make sure your headset is properly fitted

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One of the most important parts of using VR is the headset. The other is making sure it’s fitted on your head properly. Be sure to use the button on the back of the headset to spread the device over your head. Afterwards, use the gear to twist it snugly to your head. Then use the button on the top of the face mask of the headset to adjust how close and far away it is from your face.

The key thing to remember here is that you will get the best results if your headset is as flush as possible to your face.

Clean your headset

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Any kind of dirt or grime may be obscuring the lenses on your PlayStation VR. Try cleaning your PlayStation VR before you start worrying that your device is defective.

Adjust the interpupillary distance

If the image is blurry and you’re sure the headset is fitted properly and your lenses are clean, it’s time to adjust the IPD.

Select Settings.

Select Devices.

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Select PlayStation VR.

Select Measure Eye-to-Eye Distance.

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Select Next.

Select OK.

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Select Take Photos after you line up your face with the boxes.

Select OK.

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Adjust boxes so that they line up with the center of your eyes.

Select OK.

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If the IPD isn’t perfect the first time, keep trying until you get it right. It will make a huge difference in the end.

Restart your PlayStation VR

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In some very rare cases, the video coming from PlayStation 4 to your PlayStation VR can become warped or corrupted. This will probably never happen for most people, but if you do encounter a blurred or distorted image and the above fixes don’t help, you can reboot PlayStation VR to try correcting a receiver issue. Just tap the power button on the PlayStation VR control cable, wait a few moments, and tap again to restore power. This will reset the connection with your PlayStation 4, which should correct any distortions.

See the original article

How to fix a shaking image in PlayStation VR

Few things ruin an experience in VR like a display that shakes and moves when you’re standing still. Here’s how to deal with this problem.

See the original article

Be mindful of the boundaries

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PlayStation VR’s setup has a reliable distance of six feet. Sony floats a warning when you exceed that 6-foot line so you don’t experience any significant problems, but if you’re right on that 6-foot line you’ll notice occasional instability.

The key to avoiding this is to walk back until you see the floating message, and then take a single step forward. If your seat is located on the 6-foot line, you’ll want to slide it forward an inch or two. This also stops you from seeing the floating warning when you lean back or turn around to get something behind you while still in VR.

Adjust Tracking Lights

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Whether you were cleaning and accidentally moved the camera or someone ran in front of you while setting up, small tracking issues can be fixed with recalibration inside the PlayStation 4 menu.

Go to Settings in the PlayStation menu.
Select Devices from the Settings menu.
Select PlayStation VR from the Devices menu.
Select Adjust Tracking Lights.
Complete all three adjustment procedures.

Once you’ve completed recalibration, your headset will be just as accurate as every headset should be after initial setup. Enjoy!

See the original article

Getting the best light calibration

Ever wondered what the best light calibration for your PSVR was? Here’s some helpful information on that!

See the original article

Hold still and be precise

The Light Calibrations setup is a four-step process that requires you to hold the headset in those positions while the calibration is taking place, which means your hands need to be steady and your headset needs to be precisely lined up with the outline you see on the display.

It’s also important there are no reflective surfaces near the PlayStation Camera field of view.

Lighting matters

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The key to a consistent PlayStation VR experience is to make sure you run Light Calibration when the lighting in your playspace is the same as it would be every time you play, and the darker the room is, the better this process will be.

Make sure no lights are shining directly onto your or your PlayStation camera either!

How to fix screen-mirroring issues

Some users have reported an issue where they can’t see anything on their TV but can see an image in their head-mounted display (HMD). Here’s how to fix this problem.

See the original article

Check your HDCP settings

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is designed to prevent copying of content while it is transferred via certain connections. For whatever reason, some PSVR games are affected by having HDCP enabled. Here’s how to disable it.

Click Settings.

Click System.

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Click Enable HDCP.

Click Yes. The checkmark should disappear from the box and HDCP will be disabled.

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Check your HDMI cables

If you’re having screen-mirroring issues, unplug each HDMI cable one at a time and replace it with one that didn’t come with your PSVR. If an image shows up on your TV, you’ll know it was an HDMI cable.

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Again, other users claim the problem is with the PlayStation 4’s HDMI port. If you’ve swapped out HDMI cables and still aren’t getting a picture, try gently jiggling the HDMI cable that connects to the back of your PS4.

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If you see flickering images on your TV, it’s a good sign the hardware in your PS4 is causing the problem.

Remove the extension cable

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To further eliminate the possibility of a faulty cable, try removing the extension cable between the PSVR’s external processing unit and the HMD.

Plug the HMD directly into the processing unit and see if you get a picture on your TV. If you do, you know the extension cable is the problem. Time to order a replacement!

See the original article

How to fix poor head and controller tracking

One of the best parts of VR is being able to use your head and hands to interact with the virtual environment. One of the worst parts of VR is when your movement isn’t tracked properly. Here’s how to fix it!

See the original article

How to fix poor head tracking

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  • Start by making sure your PlayStation camera is seated on a dull or matte surface. You don’t want it to pick up any reflective surfaces, or anything that is particularly shiny.

  • You also want to ensure that the camera isn’t picking up any other bright lights or LEDs. Common electronic items that can throw off your PlayStation camera include computer monitors or a second television in the room.

  • Also, be sure that there aren’t any bright lights shining directly onto your PlayStation VR HMD.

You can also help out your PlayStation camera by playing in a dark room. For once, playing video games in a dark room won’t mess with your eyes, because you’ll be in your VR helmet seeing something entirely different. Playing in a dark room will also ensure that your camera is picking up the best possible image of the LED in your helmet, which should aid in tracking.

How to fix poor controller tracking

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The same rules for dealing with jerky head tracking also apply when dealing with PlayStation Move controllers not tracking correctly. For the most part, there are fewer issues with the PlayStation camera not properly picking up the LED signatures on your DualShock 4 controller or Move controllers.

  • Make sure whatever controller you are using has been properly charged. Low power means you may lose power to your controller without realizing it, which equals a poor VR experience.

See the original article

How to fix a USB error

Everything appears ready to go, but you’re getting a USB error that’s preventing you from playing. Here’s how to fix it.

See the original article

Check your USB cables

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Have you been faced with a message that reads USB Error? Check these:

  • Something isn’t plugged all the way in or plugged in incorrectly. It’s possible that one of the USB cables for PlayStation VR has come unseated. You’ll need to check both the cords on the front of the PlayStation VR control box, as well as the USB that is plugged into the front of your PlayStation 4 console. If any of these have come loose, it can cause the USB error.

Be sure to check and make sure that everything connects properly. This can take a few minutes because of the number of cables, but you should be able to suss it out pretty quickly.

See the original article

How to fix 3D audio not working

Virtual reality without 3D audio just isn’t the same. You’ll miss out on what’s happening around you and, depending on the game, you could end up dead. Here’s how to fix 3D audio when it’s not working.

See the original article

Use the earbuds that came with PlayStation VR

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First off, wireless headphones will not work with PlayStation VR. Instead, you’ll need a pair of stereo earbuds or headphones. If you’re trying to use a different pair of headphones and they are not working, switch back to the headphones the VR headset came with.

Double check to ensure that the correct earbud is in the correct ear

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PlayStation VR uses 3D sound to deliver a superior experience. This means if you turn your head, stand up, move around, the sounds around you will change as well. For this reason, it’s quite important to make sure that you have the correct earbud in the correct ear. If you don’t, then you may well get disoriented when you hear something to your left, and the noise is actually coming from your right.

Make sure everything is properly plugged in

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If you aren’t getting any audio at all when you put in the earbuds, then what you’ll want to do is make sure that everything is properly plugged in. This means double-checking to make sure that the headphones are plugged in properly. If they’ve come unseated or unplugged, then you aren’t going to get any sound.

Restart your system

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If you’ve already tried everything else, but you’re still having issues, there is one final thing that you can do. You may need to go ahead and restart your PlayStation 4 console. Sometimes your system just needs a quick reboot to get everything working correctly. This should only take a few minutes and may solve your problem.

See the original article

Fixing Scratches in your lenses

The most fragile part of any VR headset is the place where you put your eyeballs. These lenses, regardless of type, are either glass or plastic and not particularly easy or cheap to replace. If your headset has been in the hands of many friends, family members, or even kids, chances are you’ve got a few scratches on your device.

See the original article

Make sure everything is clean first

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Before we even start with how to repair, you want to make sure all the surfaces of your headset are clean, especially the lenses in question. You’ll need a dry microfiber cloth, a can of compressed air, and alcohol or anti-bacterial pads.

Use your compressed air can to blow all the dust and dirt out of the tiny areas you won’t be able to get to with your cleaning pads.
Wipe down your entire headset with the alcohol or anti-bacterial pads, making sure to get all the dust bunnies up your just agitated.
Gently dry off your device with your dry microfiber cloth, and clean the lenses last. I say this because you want to make sure the most of your effort goes here to ensure the dirt is removed, the surface is dry and that you are now dealing with a clean surface.

Is your device clean? Great! Now, time to look at your options.

Meguiars ScratchX Solution

Check out the video, and then see the extra steps I’ve added for optimal care.

After you have ensured your device is clean and dry, coat your lenses with Meguiars ScratchX.

Use your next Q-Tip to gently massage the glass in small circles, focusing on the areas you know are scuffed or scratched.

Test the area by wiping away some of the toothpaste with your Q-Tip, if you feel satisfied with the results, move to the next step.

Scratches are gone, or you’re just ready to clean up? Take your microfiber cloth and wipe away the residue from the Meguiars ScratchX, this will make a bit of a mess. If your Meguiars has gotten lodged in the cracks use a clean Q-Tip or an air compressor to help you clean those crannies.

Repeat the steps above in regards to cleaning. Then check out your protection options and go back to enjoying your headset!

See Meguiars ScratchX on Amazon
See Meguiars ScratchX at Walmart

White toothpaste

For this repair you’ll need the white toothpaste, a few Q-Tips, a damp paper towel, and a dry microfiber cloth.

After you have ensured your device is clean and dry, put a coat of the white toothpaste on your lenses. I used a healthy amount, making sure the entire glass was covered.

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Scroll down and select Devices.

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Use your first Q-tip to spread it around evenly.
Let this set for a minute or two.
Use your next Q-Tip to gently massage the glass in small circles, focusing on the areas you know are scuffed or scratched.

If you have been rubbing for more than 3-5 minutes with little to no change, please check out the other options listed above.

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Take your microfiber cloth and wipe away the residue from the toothpaste, this will make a bit of a mess.

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If your toothpaste has gotten lodged in the cracks as I’ve shown above go ahead and use a clean Q-Tip or an air compressor to help you clean those crannies.
Repeat the steps above in regards to cleaning. Then check out your protection options and go back to enjoying your headset!

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See the original article

How to deal with nausea

Don’t be embarrassed if you experience nausea while in VR — it happens to the best of us. Nausea doesn’t mean VR isn’t for you. Here are a few ways to deal with it and get back to gaming.

See the original article

Sit down

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If you find yourself particularly sensitive, then sitting down while you play can seriously help. If you tend to stay in place when your brain gets confused, then playing while sitting down is definitely your safer option. Thankfully many of the PlayStation VR games that are available support having you play while sitting down. Certain games like Batman: Arkham VR can feel weird if you’re sitting down while playing, but it can make a serious impact in becoming dizzy or feeling sick.

Don’t play through the pain

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If you start to feel off or dizzy, then it may be time to take a short break from VR. This rule also applies if you have a cold, an ear infection, or an eye infection. That’s because the inner ear is linked to motion sickness in VR, so if things are already out of whack, playing with PlayStation VR may only exacerbate the problem.

Motion sickness has also been shown to crop up more if you are playing while too tired. What this translates to is listening to what your body is telling you. If you’re exhausted or sick, you’re more liable to make it worse by playing around in VR. Instead, take breaks when you need them so that you can make the most out of your time in VR.

If the experience is laggy or jumpy, turn it off

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Choppy or jumpy images, lag, and frame-rate drops all contribute to feeling dizzy or nauseous. If you start to have this issue on PlayStation VR, then your best bet is to turn it off and restart the game or app. If that doesn’t help out, you may need to close the application for awhile or give your console a break for a few minutes.

See the original article

How to deal with Aim controller drift

The best way to describe controller drift is when your PSVR can’t tell where your Aim controller is. This could cause problems where your controller might be 3 inches from your right and the PSVR visualizes it 5 inches to the right in your headset view. Here’s some tips to help eliminate this problem!

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How do I fix controller drift?

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  • Double check your playspace. Remember that PlayStation VR works best in a room where it can easily see the lights on your headset and controller. This means ensuring that your room doesn’t have any bright lights, or reflective surfaces to confuse it while you are playing.

  • Check is what the battery level of your Aim controller. If your battery is low then it may be time to just go ahead and plug it in to charge for a little while before you attempt to play.

How to deal with menu stutter on PlayStation VR

While perusing the PlayStation VR menu, things can get jumpy or stutter on the screen in front of you. While this is a frustrating problem, it can be fixed.

See the original article

Pause your downloads

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  • It takes a lot out of your PlayStation to run VR. If you’re menu is stuttering try closing out the background applications so that your console isn’t doing so many things at once.

  • Some applications don’t have an option to close on exit, you just back out of them: Littlstar and YouTube are two great examples. You can close out of them by pressing and holding the PS button and exiting them from that menu.

  • If there is a lot of network activity like downloads and updates going on, this can cause the menu to act up in VR mode. To pause downloads, you can do the following:

Go to Notifications
Select Download
Hit X on the game that is downloading or updating

How to deal with Holiday lights and your PSVR camera

Christmas lights might be confusing your Move Controllers and we’re gonna help you figure out how to make that stop.

See the original article

Check What the Camera Sees

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Select “Settings” from your PlayStation menu.
Select “Devices.”
Select “Adjust Tracking Lights.”
From there you wanna make sure all your lights and controllers are in the designated areas they are supposed to be. If you see a dark blob on the screen, that’s a light that is too bright. Now that you know where the main problem is, you can adjust accordingly to fix it.

If your options are limited you may need to move the tree entirely or, at the very least shut off the lights.

Using Solid LED Lights

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If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, of you haven’t bought your Christmas decorations yet, you’re in luck. Turns out, if you use Christmas lights that have only one color to them, your Eye Camera won’t have a difficult time finding where your Move Controllers are. White LED Lights worked the best, as we found solid colors like purple and blue still caused a little interference.

You still don’t want these lights in your direct area, but if they’re a good 3 feet away from the edge of your playspace, you’ll be fine to keep those gorgeous lights up.

Shop Solid Lights on Amazon
Shop White Lights On Amazon

How to prevent lens fog with any VR headset

Clear up your sight with these quick tips to reduce lens fog in virtual reality.

See the original article

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Store your VR headset in a warm location

Warm up your VR headset before play

Use anti-fog solutions

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Various anti-fog solutions are on the market for use with VR headsets, which promise to reduce the fog build up through sprays or wipes. By reducing surface tension, water droplets are spread, reducing the chance of fog building up over time. While some achieve excellent results with these solutions, their effectiveness can vary between different scenarios and brands. We recommend using a solution designed with glasses in mind, rather than solutions used for wet environments.

See anti-fog spray at Amazon
See anti-fog wipes at Amazon

Have you run into problems?

Every console is going to run into problems from time to time, and PlayStation VR is no exception to that rule. These are just the issues we’ve run into, but we want to hear from you! Is there a common issue we didn’t address here? Have you had issues you can’t find a fix for? Let us know in the comments below!

8
Apr

Best Android Phones with Expandable Storage


  • Best overall
  • Best for features
  • Other alternatives
  • Best mid-range option
  • Best budget pick

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

galaxy-s9-micro-sd-1.jpg?itok=V-RjwaOF

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 series takes what made the Galaxy S8 so good and fixes many of the minor irritations, including the placement of the rear fingerprint sensor. The screen is brighter, the software feels smoother thanks to a faster processor, and the camera is significantly improved in low light.

But Samsung didn’t mess with what counts for those who need additional space: in addition to 64GB of internal storage standard, there’s a microSD slot for up to 400GB of additional room, something we know a lot of you desire.

Bottom line: Both versions of the Galaxy S9 come with expandable storage, and are a couple of the best phones out there today.

One more thing: The Galaxy S9+ has more RAM, a bigger battery, and a secondary camera.

Why the Galaxy S9 is the best

A gorgeous phone loaded with features, and top-notch performance.

The Galaxy S9 series is the culmination of many years of Samsung learning lessons about what its customers want. Available in two sizes, 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches, the S9 and S9+ are beautiful phones. Both are made with curved glass and reinforced 7000 Series aluminum, and they’re about as compact as phones their size can be. They also have plenty of power and battery life, along with excellent cameras that offer superlative low-light performance.

Of course, these phones cater to power users, too: wireless charging, water resistance, headphone jacks, and, of course, expandable storage.

There’s 64GB of space built in, but that SD slot will ensure your Galaxy S9 never runs out of space for photos, videos, and music.

Best for features

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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See at T-Mobile
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See at Samsung

If you want something a bit bigger than the S9+, or want to partake of the excellent S Pen stylus, the Note 8 is your next best bet for a phone with microSD expandability.

The Note 8 features everything you’d expect from a modern Samsung phone — water resistance, wireless charging, and 64GB of storage, plus microSD. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip in the U.S., or Samsung’s own Exynos equivalent internationally, with a hefty 6GB of RAM for smoother performance.

Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is just about the most expensive Android phone you can buy right now, but with good reason — it’s also one of the very best.

One more thing:If you’re buying in the U.S., you’ll miss out on some of the more exotic color options, like blue and gold. (In Europe, you’ll have black and gold to choose from.)

Other great alternatives

Here’s the thing about microSD slots in Android phones: They’re not exactly a rarity. In fact, the majority of our favorite flagships from the past year have included expandable storage. A few great, recent examples include:

  • LG V30
  • HTC U11
  • Honor View 10
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The mid-range option

LG G6 (Prime edition)

g6-review-22.jpg

See at Amazon
See at Verizon
See at AT&T
See at Sprint
See at T-Mobile

LG’s high-end offering from earlier in 2017 now firmly fits into the “mid-range” category — meaning it doesn’t perform quite at the level of some of the others on this list, but it is possible to track down a G6 for considerably less than its higher-end rivals.

The features a tall yet ergonomic 18:9 aspect ratio, and it’s powered by the still-capable Snapdragon 821 processor, and 4GB of RAM. All that technology is wrapped up in a sturdy metal and glass design that’s both functional and beautiful.

Bottom line: The LG G6 is a solid all-rounder with capable cameras, and a hand-friendly 5.7-inch display, thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio.

One more thing: The version offered above is the Amazon Prime Exclusive model, which is only $420 but gives you everything you expect from the full-priced model (in exchange for Amazon software coming pre-installed).

Best budget pick

Honor 7X

honor-7x-8.jpg

See at Amazon

With a premium anodized aluminum chassis and dual cameras at the back, the Honor 7X doesn’t feel like a budget phone. The internal hardware is also surprisingly good, with the phone featuring a 14nm Kirin 659 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, and a 3340mAh battery. The 6-inch Full HD+ display is one of the best in this segment, and the first at this price point to boast the new 18:9 aspect ratio. The main 16MP camera at the back is joined by a 2MP secondary sensor that adds depth information to images, giving you an optional a bokeh effect.

The Honor 7X has a hybrid dual-SIM card slot, which means that the secondary SIM card slot doubles up as a microSD slot. It also runs Oreo, thanks to a recent update.

Bottom line: The Honor 7X offers a lot of value for its relatively low price tag.

One more thing: Like other Huawei phones sold in the U.S., the Honor 7X will not work on Verizon or Sprint.

Conclusion

If you want a phone that has expandable storage, the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ are your best options. Sure, they’re expensive, but the phones boast top-of-the-line hardware, a stunning metal and glass design, and some of the best cameras in this space. Water resistance and fast wireless charging make it an even more compelling choice. Add all that and throw in a microSD slot that supports up to 400GB of expandable storage and it’s easy to see why the Galaxy S9s are the most feature-rich Android phones around.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

galaxy-s9-micro-sd-1.jpg?itok=V-RjwaOF

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 series takes what made the Galaxy S8 so good and fixes many of the minor irritations, including the placement of the rear fingerprint sensor. The screen is brighter, the software feels smoother thanks to a faster processor, and the camera is significantly improved in low light.

But Samsung didn’t mess with what counts for those who need additional space: in addition to 64GB of internal storage standard, there’s a microSD slot for up to 400GB of additional room, something we know a lot of you desire.

Bottom line: Both versions of the Galaxy S9 come with expandable storage, and are a couple of the best phones out there today.

One more thing: The Galaxy S9+ has more RAM, a bigger battery, and a secondary camera.

Update, April 2018: We’ve replaced the Note 8 with the Galaxy S9 series, and clarified our selections in other price ranges.

8
Apr

The RAVPower Qi fast wireless charging pad is down to $11


Just drop it and charge it. Easy.

The RAVPower Qi fast wireless charging pad is down to $10.99 with code BKG4XX7P on Amazon. This charging pad is $15 without the code and normally sells for around $16. The drop to $11 is a match for its lowest price ever.

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The Qi fast wireless charging pad works with any Qi-certified wireless charging mobile device, including the iPhone and the Galaxy S9. Devices with Quick Charge like the S9 can charge twice as fast with up to 10W where the non-QC devices are at 5W. Be sure to use a Quick Charge adapter to get the most out of those devices. The device is designed with safeguards to keep your devices from getting too much current or voltage. It comes with an LED indicator to indicate whether it’s charging or in standby, and RAVPower backs it up with an 18-month warranty. Users give it 4.1 stars based on 1,030 reviews.

See on Amazon

8
Apr

The Logitech MX Sound stereo speakers are down to $80 for the first time


Works with all Bluetooth devices.

The Logitech MX Sound 2.0 Multi Device Stereo Speakers are down to $79.99 on Amazon. The street price is around $100, and they’ve never dropped this low before.

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Logitech’s Easy-Switch lets you move between audio sources easily. All you have to do is pause the audio from one source and press play on the next. If you’re sitting at your computer and want to go mobile, you can just get up and keep listening. The 24-watt peak drivers have balanced audio designed to play more powerfully than most speakers this size. They pair with any Bluetooth device and allow quick volume adjustments. The back-lit controls are motion activated as well. Users give them 4.2 stars based on 19 reviews.

See on Amazon

8
Apr

Best Buy Sale: MacBook Air Up to $200 Off, iPad Trade-In Deal, Beats Studio3, and More


In Best Buy’s latest sale this spring, the popular retailer has marked down select models of Apple’s 2017 MacBook Air by up to $200.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

  • MacBook Air – Save up to $200 / starting at $849 with Student DealsU&bids=570502.13069&type=3&subid=0 for students and parents of students

Best Buy is also still offering its in-store iPad trade-in dealU&bids=570502.18920&type=3&subid=0 that gives users a minimum $125 Best Buy gift card when trading in a working iPad mini 2 or newer, iPad Air/Air 2, iPad Pro, or fifth-generation iPad.

Best Buy’s outlet store for refurbished and clearance productsU&bids=570502.145&type=3&subid=0 offers up to 40 percent on a wide array of products, including some solid deals on refurbished Apple devices. AirPods are priced at $142.99 (save $17 over new), select Apple Watch Series 3 models are available for as low as $294.99 for GPS (save $34 over new) or $319.99 for Cellular (save $79 over new), AirPort Express is just $52.99 (save $47 over new), and BeatsX and Powerbeats3 headphones are 50–60 percent off compared to new. Lots of other non-Apple products are also included in the outlet, so make sure to check our the full listings.

Along with the MacBook Air, iPad, and refurbished deals, there are also multiple savings on accessories launching this week. Best Buy has marked down or introduced new offers for the Beats Studio3 wireless headphones, a few JBL speakers, various smart assistant devices like Google Home Mini and Echo Show, and more. You can check out these sales in the list below:

  • Beats Studio3 WirelessU&bids=570502.18944&type=3&subid=0 – Save $40 / on sale for $309.99
  • Google Home MiniU&bids=570502.18938&type=3&subid=0 – Save $20 when you buy two
  • Echo SpotU&bids=570502.18935&type=3&subid=0 – Buy two Echo Spots and save $40
  • Echo ShowU&bids=570502.18936&type=3&subid=0 – Buy two Echo Shows and save $150
  • Philips HueU&bids=570502.18937&type=3&subid=0 – Buy a Philips Hue Color Starter Kit and get a $49 Hue Tap Remote at no cost

Finally, Best Buy has launched a new discount that’s offering 25 percent off three or moreU&bids=570502.18934&type=3&subid=0 cell phone accessories. These products can include cases, chargers, cables, adapters, screen protectors, and more, as long as they are each priced at $9.99 and above.

Visit our full Deals Roundup for more of the latest sales happening this week.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: Best Buy
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8
Apr

Apple faces patent lawsuit over Watch’s heart rate sensor


Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor is built on stolen tech — that’s what a lawsuit filed against the company is claiming, at least. A Michigan-based health startup called Omni MedSci is accusing Cupertino of using technology on the Watch that infringes on four of its patents, all of which reference the use of a light source on a wearable device to take blood measurements. In his lawsuit, Omni founder Dr. Mohammed N. Islam said he met with Apple’s medical technology specialist, hardware designer and even VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak several times from 2014 to 2016 to discuss what were then merely patent applications.

Islam claimed he showed those patents to Apple’s employees, but apparently, Cupertino suddenly broke off contact and ceased any partnership discussion they might have had in 2016. The patents involved in the suit were eventually approved in 2017 and earlier this year; the one approved in February even covered the use of light sources to monitor glucose. Sound familiar? That might be because CNBC reported last year that Apple has a team working on developing a Watch sensor that can keep track of blood sugar levels.

It’s worth noting that in his lawsuit, Islam — who also previously sued Huawei, Nokia and Engadget parent company Verizon for patent infringement — said he first met with Apple in June 2014. Cupertino’s wearable device had a heard rate sensor from the start, and it probably started developing the tech years before the wearable’s launch. June 2014 was only three months before the Watch’s debut.

Another murky aspect of the tale is that, according to AppleInsider, the plaintiff revised his patent-pending apps to include more extensive mentions of “wearable devices” and “LED light sources” two weeks after that initial meeting. Apple hasn’t issued a statement yet, so we unfortunately still don’t know the tech titan’s side of the story. As for Islam, he’s now seeking damages and an injunction against sales of the Apple Watch.

Source: Axios, Apple Insider

8
Apr

Saudi Prince Meets Tim Cook at Apple Park to Discuss Education and App Development Opportunities


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Tim Cook and other top Apple executives on Saturday at the company’s new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino to discuss app development, education, and other partnership opportunities (via Saudi Press Agency).

For the Saudi prince and his entourage of officials, the visit was part of a whirlwind tour that included stops to visit Virgin founder Richard Branson, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai, and Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz.

According to the press release, the aim of the discussion with Apple executives was to talk about technological solutions for “enriching the Arabic educational content in the classroom” as well as the creation of an educational curriculum for Saudi schools. The meeting also covered the potential creation of job opportunities for Saudi youths who received their training at Apple’s headquarters.

The themes are broadly consistent with Apple’s most recent focus on education at its Chicago event last month, where the company revealed its Everyone Can Create curriculum alongside its most affordable iPad with Apple Pencil support.

Following the meeting, members of the official delegation received technology-led presentations on Apple’s work in the areas of health and marketing, before visiting the Steve Jobs Theater to learn more about Apple’s “modern voice applications”, which is likely a reference to the Siri digital assistant.

Apple is known to have been in discussions with Saudi Arabia to open its first retail store in the country as soon as 2019. State officials are said to be in licensing discussions with both Apple and Amazon in an effort to entice major technology companies into the country.

Saudi Arabia also recently lifted a ban on FaceTime and other services that provide access to calling someone over the internet, as part of government efforts attempting to attract more business to the country.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Saudi Arabia
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8
Apr

Uber avoids ban in Egypt over taxi driver lawsuit


Uber has faced more than a few service shutdowns over legal issues, but it just dodged a bullet in Egypt… at least, for a while. A court has negated a decision that would have suspended the licenses of both Uber and its local rival Careem for allegedly violating transportation laws. A group of 42 taxi drivers had filed a lawsuit claiming that both ridesharing outfits were illegally using private cars as taxis, and that they’d registered under false pretenses (Uber, for example, reportedly registered as a call center). There’s still a final decision coming from the Highest Administrative Court, but that may not happen for some time.

The bigger concern may come in the long run. Egyptian leadership has sent Parliament a draft law that would regulate how ride hailing services operate in the country. What those requirements entail will depend on how the draft changes, but they won’t necessarily work out in Uber’s favor. The company recently halted UberX service in Athens, Greece precisely because it believed local rules could make service untenable. If Egypt passes legislation that would force Uber to dramatically change its business model, its court victories might not amount to much.

Source: Reuters

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