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Verizon cancels plans to create its own TV streaming service

The company will instead integrate its own content with an existing service.

In mid-January, a report popped up claiming that Verizon was working on its own Internet-based TV streaming service to compete with the likes of Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and others. According to a Yahoo! Finance interview, however, it looks like these plans have been canceled.


Commenting on the company’s intention to create a TV service, CEO Lowell McAdam said —

Our view is that we should partner with those that are in the linear game. Let them be very good at what they do. We’ll add digital content into that mix, and we’ll position ourselves for where we become more of an over-the-top video culture versus the linear model that we have today.

Verizon wants to integrate content from Oath into an existing service, and according to Lowell, a partner should be chosen for this deal soon with plans to launch by Q4 2018.

Despite this change of mind for Verizon, we’re still expecting streaming services from competitors T-Mobile and AT&T. T-Mobile acquired Layer3 in mid-December last year to kickstart its plans in this niche, and AT&T recently announced that it’ll soon come to market with a streaming plan that costs just $15/month as part of a new AT&T Watch service.

What do you think about Verizon’s decision here?

These are the best deals from Verizon right now


Sony’s upcoming Days of Play promotion will bring big savings and new limited-edition hardware

Sony has announced that from June 8 through June 18 the company will be discounting nearly all of its PlayStation related products. From the PlayStation 4 Pro gaming console to PlayStation VR Bundles, exclusive game titles, and even its PlayStation Plus subscription, there are some deals here you won’t want to miss out on. After seeing success last year, the company decided to bring back its “Days of Play” promotion, which not only slashes some prices for you but also includes a new limited edition PlayStation 4.


This year, the limited-edition console features a Days of Play blue color with the iconic four PlayStation button symbols placed on the top in a gold color. It comes with a matching DualShock 4 controller, and will only be available during this limited promotion.

Hardware, software, and service subscription discounts will be available from Sony and a bunch of other retailers across the U.S. and Canada during this period. The Jet Black PS4 Pro will drop to $349.99 and PlayStation VR bundles will be starting at $199.99. All colors of the DualShock 4 controller will drop to $39.99, and some gaming titles, like Farpoint and The Inpatient, will be available for $14.99.

You’ll be able to add another year to your PlayStation Plus subscription for $49.99 during this time period as well. If you haven’t checked out PlayStation Vue, the company’s streaming service, this will be a good time to do that. You’ll be able to save $10 per month off the price of the Core Plan for the first two months, making it $34.99 a month instead of $44.99.

It’s not immediately clear which retailers will have these price drops available, but as soon as the sale begins and we know more, we will be sure to let you know where you can get the best deals.


Fortnite for Android: Everything You Need to Know!


The hottest game of 2018 will be coming to Android in the coming months.

Fortnite has been blowing up lately. Millions of people have become obsessed with the game, both as players and just watching popular Twitch streamers play the game.

Interested to learn more about what the heck Fortnite is all about? Just keep reading.

What’s new with Fortnite?

May 18, 2018 — The Android version will be here “this summer.”

Fortnite’s iOS version has been out for a hot minute now, and to ensure the experience is as good as can be, Epic outlined a heap of improvements coming to the game — including a customizable HUD, voice chat, improved controls, and more.

You can read through all the changes here, but the most exciting news has to do with Fortnite’s Android release. Epic notes that the game will be here “this summer”, and while that’s not as specific as we’d like, it’s still a step in the right direction.

May 4, 2018 — Season 4 has begun, but still no word on Android app release date.

While we patiently wait for Epic Games to finish the Android version of the game, the game itself continues to evolve with the start of Season 4.

The latest update for the game started out with a bang, with a meteorite crashing into the Dusty Depot on the map and introducing a new upgrade called Hop Rocks that, when consumed, let you jump and float in the air, defying gravity. Other changes have come to the map and you can learn all about it from our friends from iMore.

Meanwhile, still no word on a firm release date for Android. We’re sure Epic Games is eager to get Android users in on the fun, but until then you can sign up for your Epic Games account and let them know which phone you’re planning to play on.

Sign up for Fortnite Mobile

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is what would happen if you combined two of the most addictive games out there — Minecraft and PUBG.

Fortnite offers a free 100-player Player Vs Player (PvP) Battle Royale game mode. Just like PUBG, you’re dropped onto the large island map and must arm yourself and outlive your competition. But in Fortnite, you always start out armed with a pickaxe which can be used as a melee weapon or for harvest raw supplies for building walls, ramps, and shelters.

It certainly adds extra layers of strategy to the format, creating essentially a perfect storm of addictive gaming action that’s as fun to watch as it is to play. Oh, speaking of storms all the action takes place in the eye of a deadly electrical storm meaning you can’t just hunker down and hide out the whole game. You got to keep moving.

How do you play the game?

Just like PUBG, your goal is to be the last man standing — with up to 100 players involved in each match, that’s no small task.

Each game starts with the players jumping out of the flying “Battle Bus” and parachuting down onto a giant island. Once landed, you must loot nearby buildings for items, guns, and ammo to defend yourself and attack other players.

You also need to keep an eye on the map, as every few minutes the storm closes in on the play area. If you’re caught in the storm, you slowly die so you do not want to forget to regularly check where you are on the map. Eventually, the play constricts to a tiny area for the final showdown between the remaining players — there can only be one winner!

Unlike PUBG, you’re able to carry more than two guns. Instead, you’re limited to the number of weapons and items you can carry at one time. Also, guns are color coded to denote their rarity — from grey (common) to orange (legendary) — and the rarer the gun, the deadlier it is.

Then there’s the crafting element. Every player starts out with a pickaxe which can be used as a melee weapon or used to break down trees and buildings to harvest the raw resources. You can then use these raw resources to build your own structures, whether it be a defensive wall to provide cover from an advancing enemy, a set of stairs to reach the second floor of a building or your own watchtower to snipe players from across the map. The resources you mine will determine the strength. Steel is stronger than brick, which is stronger than wood.

When will it be available for Android?

Fortnite has been available for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for a few months now, and is now widely available on iOS devices after a brief invite-only beta.

There have been no firm dates set for an Android release by Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, but they have said to expect support for Android to come in the next few months. For now, Android users can head on over to Epic Games, log in or create your Fortnite Account, and then let the developers know which device you plan to play on which will also add you to the mailing list to be informed when the game eventually drops.

Until then, at least we’ve got PUBG to tide us over.

Yeah, but I found this site that offered an APK file for…

Stop. The game is not out for Android yet, so any website you see offering a version of Fortnite for Android is a scam.

Since Epic Games announced the Summer release window for Fortnite on Android, a bunch of fake websites have popped up claiming to offer an early version of the APK. I’m not going to link to them but unless you see an announcement from Epig Games themselves or we report it here, don’t fall for the scam.

If you want to be notified from the developers as soon as the game is available, you can sign up at the Fortnite Mobile website.

Will it be free to play?

Epic Games has so far released the PvP Battle Royale game for free across all platforms including the mobile version for iOS. The console version also has a paid game mode called Save The World that’s Player vs Environment (PvE). Save The World plays more like Minecraft, where you’re harvesting more resources and stocking up on loot to survive waves of AI enemies in a sort of tower defense-style of gameplay.

The PvE mode will not be available in Fortnite Mobile due to CPU limitations and, frankly, it’s the PvP mode that everyone is crazy for so that’s quite alright with us.

However, the mobile version will offers in-app purchases for cosmetic items to customize your player and people sure have been buying stuff. According to this report from Sensor Tower analtyics, Fortnite Mobile players spent more than $1 million during the first 72 hours of its release on iOS. Wow.

So, to answer the question, you have the option to spend money on Fortnite if you want a cool looking character, but the game is free to play and you won’t need to pay to win.

Will there be support for Bluetooth controls?

Epic Games has indicated that Bluetooth controller support will be coming later, but as of right now only touchscreen controls are available.

Is it cross-platform?

Epic Games have indicated that you will be able to play Fortnite across all platforms. Your Fortnite profile can be connected to all the platforms you play on so you can add to your stats however you connect to the game.

Don’t be worried about getting mismatched as the one mobile player in a server of PC and console players. If you’re playing solo on mobile, you will only be matched up against other mobile players. If you join a squad with friends playing on another platform, then that squad will be matched against a multi-platform population, essentially making cross-platform play opt-in.

  • Learn more about Fortnite Mobile

Are you hyped for Fortnite?

We’ll be sure to let you know when the game launches for Android. Until then, you can create your Epic Games account and start playing on one of the other platforms to start getting a handle on the game

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These discounted Greenworks outdoor tools will help you have the nicest yard on the block

Keep your lawn looking top-notch.

Amazon is running a one-day sale on a bunch of Greenworks outdoor power tools, including string trimmers, blowers, cultivators, and more. These are all battery-powered tools, some of which include the battery and others don’t. Spring may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean your lawn doesn’t still need some care for a few more months.

greenworks_0-2wzn.jpg?itok=avbdMlgfYou can grab this 20-inch mower for $235.58 with a battery or $211.49 without. Be sure to keep your property edges looking fresh with a new string trimmer for $122.48, and clean up after yourself with a cordless jet blower for $96.75.

There’s also chainsaws, cultivators, and even garden carts on sale today as well.

Be sure to check out the whole sale now, before it ends.

See at Amazon


Elago Launches ‘Wrist Fit’ Accessory to Store Your AirPods on Your Apple Watch Band

Elago, the company that previously launched the W3 Stand to turn an Apple Watch into a classic Macintosh, this week announced the “Wrist Fit” for Apple’s AirPods. The $14.99 Wrist Fit is a small silicone strap that slides onto an Apple Watch band, providing two small slots where you can store your AirPods and reach them with ease.

The company says that Wrist Fit is compatible with “most” Apple Watch bands, like the Sport Band, Sport Loop, Classic Band, Leather Loop, and more. It also promises that the accessory will “securely” hold your AirPods so that they will “not get loose or slide out over time.”

Lightweight and slim fitting. Perfect place to store your AirPods while you work out or when you run out of battery.

Hold your AirPods securely. It does not get loose or slide out over time. Keep your AirPods close at all times!

The Wrist Fit provides two options for carrying AirPods on your wrist: you can use the included black silicone strap to only carry the AirPods, or take off the small silicone attachment and slide it onto a compatible Apple Watch band. Elago says the attachment fits both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch bands.

Elago has a few other AirPods-related accessories, including a Waterproof Hang Case, Silicone Case, Leather Case, Carrying Clip, EarPads, and more. The company also has a colorful line of Duo Cases for AirPods that lets users switch out parts of the case to add a hint of personalization to the AirPods Charging Case.

Following the success of the W3 Stand, Elago released the M4 Stand to make an iPhone 7, 6s, or 6 look like an old Macintosh computer from 1984. Similar to the Apple Watch accessory, the M4 Stand lets users slide their iPhone into the side of the silicone housing, and a pass-through rail underneath the stand allows for Lightning cable organization.

In terms of price, the W3 Stand is currently $9.99 on Amazon and the M4 Stand is $25.99 on Amazon (both in “Classic White”). More recently, Elago debuted the W4 Stand to mimic Apple’s colorful iMac G3 line of computers from 1998.

For now, the Wrist Fit only appears to be available on Amazon in the United States, and it’s running for $14.99.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Tags: Elago, AirPodsBuyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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HomePod Launching in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18

Apple today announced that its HomePod speaker will be available in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18, according to BuzzFeed News.

The smart speaker originally launched in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, with orders going live on January 26 ahead of a February 9 debut. At the time, Apple announced that HomePod would launch in France and Germany “this spring”.

Pricing and other details should be available shortly.

Related Roundup: HomePodTags: Canada, France, GermanyBuyer’s Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)
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iOS 11.4 Launching Today With AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud, HomePod to Get Multi-Room Audio And Stereo Pairing

Apple today announced that iOS 11.4 will be publicly released today with support for AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.

The news was first reported by BuzzFeed News, which appears to have published ahead of Apple’s embargo time, so iOS 11.4 isn’t available just yet. The software update should be available shortly after 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

AirPlay 2 support will enable multi-room audio and stereo pairing on HomePods and other compatible speakers. When you add a HomePod to more than one room, for example, the speakers will instantly communicate with each other, allowing users to play the same music everywhere or different songs in different rooms.

More details to follow…

Related Roundup: HomePodBuyer’s Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)
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Elgato Announces New HomeKit-Enabled Eve Aqua and Eve Flare Lamp

Elgato today announced the launch of two new HomeKit-enabled accessories, the Eve Aqua and the Eve Flare.

The Eve Aqua is a HomeKit-enabled smart water controller, timer, and usage meter that’s designed to control your sprinklers. With Eve Aqua, you can control your sprinklers or other irrigation system using the Eve app, the Home app, or Siri voice commands.

There is an auto shutoff feature so you can enable the Eve Aqua via a voice command and then trust it to shut off after a period of time. Like other Eve products, the Eve Aqua connects to a HomeKit setup using Bluetooth.

Using HomeKit timers and automations, you can create autonomous schedules for your sprinkler system with the Eve app, and if you have an iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod as a home hub you can control your outdoor irrigation while away from home.

In addition to offering control over your water system, the Eve Aqua is able to track water consumption based on an irrigation system’s flow rate, with the information visible in the Eve app.

The Eve Aqua is UV and water resistant and can be left connected up to your irrigation system all the time.

Elgato’s new Eve Aqua is priced at $99.95 and can be pre-ordered from the Elgato website in the United States starting today.

Along with the Eve Aqua, Elgato is also debuting the Eve Flare, a HomeKit-enabled portable LED lamp that’s available exclusively in Europe.

The Bluetooth-enabled Eve Flare is a round multi-colored indoor/outdoor lamp that’s water resistant and able to offer six hours of illumination. It charges wirelessly and features a carry and hang handle. Like other HomeKit-enabled lamps, it can be controlled through Siri voice commands or through the Home app, and it can be set to any color of the rainbow.

Elgato is making the Eve Flare available for pre-order in Europe starting today for 99 euros.

Tags: HomeKit, Elgato, Eve
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When rendering video, the Alienware Area-51 R5 is literally a time machine

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

During our time with the Alienware Area-51 R5, we came to realize that some of our benchmarks just weren’t challenging enough to truly put the machine’s 18-core processor to the test.

So, we devised a new one using Adobe Premiere Pro. Using a custom workload, we measured how quickly the fully-loaded Alienware Area-51 R5 could render a video file. Our control in this experiment is a machine renowned for its on-the-go media management horsepower, the MacBook Pro 15.

Apple vs. Alienware

Here’s the thing: Obviously the Alienware Area-51 R5 will outperform the MacBook Pro 15. That’s not really up for debate. What we’re looking at here is how much time a machine like the Area-51 R5 cuts off of a typical Premiere render, the MacBook Pro 15 is just our yardstick.

The MacBook Pro 15 is a familiar laptop, you’ve probably seen it in the background of many of your favorite YouTube content creators’ videos, especially “behind the scenes” videos illustrating just how they go about creating the content that keeps their lights on. For video editors, anyone who has ever fired up Adobe Premiere Pro in a professional setting, the MacBook Pro 15 is a very familiar platform.

Even fully-loaded though, video renders can take an awful long time if you’re working with long videos with complex editing timelines, or manipulating raw 4K, 5K, or 8K video. It’s not uncommon to see render times hit upward of an hour for videos as short as six or seven minutes. Scale that up to feature-length films and you can see why long render times are familiar enough for video editors that they’ve become meme-worthy.

The Alienware Area-51 R5 might have enough horsepower to change all that.

Off to the races

First let’s go over the exact specs of our two test systems here. Our Alienware Area-51 R5 review unit featured an Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-core processor, 64GB of RAM, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards running in SLI, and a 1TB M.2 SSD.

The MacBook Pro 15 we used is a late 2016 model with an Intel Core i7-6920HQ quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM, and a discrete AMD Radeon 455 Pro graphics card with 2GB of RAM. We ran the test on the local drive, a 512GB SSD.

For our test project we stitched together three separate 8K raw R3D video files, threw on a bunch of extraneous color correction layers, and measured how long it took each system to finish an in-to-out render from the local drive. On top of that, we ran it a couple times just to be sure, and our numbers speak for themselves here.

Let’s just look at those numbers for a minute. An almost-fully-loaded MacBook Pro 15 took just over 25 minutes to crunch a sixty second raw 8K video. That’s actually not bad at all, that’s pretty quick for a laptop. But the Alienware Area-51 R5 with its 18-core processor, 64GB of RAM, and dual GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, just annihilated the MacBook Pro’s time here.

We could have run the Alienware through that same render about 76 times in the time it took the MacBook to crunch the same file. That’s right, the Alienware Area-51 R5 fully rendered sixty seconds of raw 8K video, with several color correction layers, in just 20 seconds.

That’s important for a couple reasons.

Time is money, but it’s also time

Sure, contests of strength like these are fun, but they can serve an important purpose when determining how much you want to spend on computer hardware. The Alienware Area-51 R5 is an exceptionally powerful machine, and as such it’s exceptionally expensive. Our review unit would run you about $6,700. A fully-loaded MacBook Pro 15 is going to run you about half that, maybe $3,300 depending on the specs you choose.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

They both have their advantages and disadvantages, you’re obviously not going to be carrying around the Area-51 in a svelte messenger bag as easily as you can a MacBook Pro 15. But when it comes to performing this kind of work, video editing, handling media, time is incredibly important.

If you spent an entire workday editing video on a MacBook Pro 15, you might end up spending half that time waiting for clips to render. Imagine how much work you could get done if your render times took one 76th the time they do now.

Time is valuable, and in the right professional setting, spending some extra cash for a powerful high-end desktop like the Area-51 R5 can give you a hell of a lot more of it.

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‘We’re going to have to leave this planet’: Jeff Bezos outlines moon colony plan

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going to have to leave this planet.” And he believes that his Blue Origin space company can help make it happen.

Outlining his ambitious vision at the Space Development Conference in Los Angeles during a recent on-stage chat with GeekWire‘s Alan Boyle, Bezos said that, ideally, Blue Origin would collaborate with NASA or ESA, Europe’s space agency, to move toward his goal, though he said that if that doesn’t work out, his company would go it alone.

It’s not the first time Bezos has described his plan for colonizing other space rocks, but his most recent comments suggest the long-term plan is still very much at the forefront of his mind.

Bezos believes earthlings will one day have to shift some of their industry to the moon to help our planet better cope with pressures brought on by a rising population. He told Boyle that leaving Earth will “make this planet better,” adding, “We’ll come and go, and the people who want to stay will stay.”

The billionaire entrepreneur predicted that the moon could one day be a home for heavy industry driven by solar power, while Earth would be for residential and light industrial use.

“The Earth is not a very good place to do heavy industry,” Bezos said. “It’s convenient for us right now, but in the not-too-distant future — I’m talking decades, maybe 100 years — it’ll start to be easier to do a lot of the things that we currently do on Earth in space, because we’ll have so much energy.”

While Blue Origin is enjoying success with the development of its New Shepard reusable rocket system, it’s designed for suborbital missions for a proposed commercial space tourism business.

But Bezos’ company is also working on the far more powerful New Glenn rocket, powered by seven BE-4 boosters.

He wants to use that rocket system to transport the necessary components to the moon to build the lunar base. Think of it as a long-distance Amazon delivery service. Such a project could begin in the 2020s, with humans arriving at an unspecified time after that.

The Blue Origin boss is already intent on building more powerful rockets and landers, and is now eyeing the necessary work to create the parts required for a functioning moon base that can support human life.

Time to return to the moon

In March 2017, Bezos wrote: “It is time for America to return to the moon — this time to stay. A permanently inhabited lunar settlement is a difficult and worthy objective. I sense a lot of people are excited about this.”

By the end of the year, the U.S. government authorized NASA to once again focus on achieving a moon landing, 45 years after the last one.

For sure, a moon landing is a long way from a moon settlement. But many space fans will sense the two ambitions edging closer together, where relatively brief visits will eventually develop into longer stays that Bezos believes can one day become permanent as well as productive.

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