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27
Jul

Shareholders Approve Disney’s $71.3B Acquisition of Fox as Deal Enters Final Stages


One week after Comcast officially bowed out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets by ceding to Disney, shareholders of both Fox and Disney have today approved Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition offer for Fox (via The Wall Street Journal).

At two separate gatherings this morning in Manhattan, both company’s shareholders were said to have “voiced their support” for the acquisition in brief meetings that lasted less than 15 minutes.

There are still a few hurdles before Disney officially acquires 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, mostly related to approval from overseas entities. Specifically, Disney is waiting for the European Union and China to grant approval for the acquisition, as well as “more than a dozen” other international territories.

Still, with the United States Justice Department approving the acquisition last month (with one condition for Disney) and now the shareholders voting to approve, it’s believed Disney’s acquisition of Fox will be done by early 2019.

News of Disney’s interest in Fox dates back to last December when Disney initially announced its bid to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion in stock. Comcast entered with its own $65 million cash offer for Fox’s assets, leading to Disney’s increased $71.3 billion cash and stock bid in June. At the time that it bowed out of the running for Fox, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney and its CEO Bob Iger and commended the Murdoch family and Fox “for creating such a desirable and respected company.”

Disney’s plans for Fox line up with its intent to launch a streaming service in late 2019, showcasing a lineup of content from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and likely a back catalog of films and TV shows owned by Fox, further enticing customers to sign up. Under the agreement Disney will acquire Fox assets including Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios, Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu, the film rights to the X-Men and Avatar franchises, and more.

Disney has already launched its first streaming service in the form of ESPN+ this past spring, granting subscribers access to live sports, original shows and films, studio programs, and an on-demand library of content. Ahead of the debut of its main streaming service a little of a year from now, Disney has warned Netflix users that it will begin removing its TV shows and films from Netflix before its own platform launches.

New Disney-owned movies have still appeared on Netflix at a decent rate this year — including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco, and Thor: Ragnarok — but a few have begun to disappear, including the impending removal of Pixar’s Finding Dory in August.

A Disney streaming service filled with Fox content will be a direct competitor to Apple’s upcoming streaming service, also believed to see a launch at some point in 2019. Apple’s partners in the original TV content space include Oprah Winfrey, M. Night Shyamalan, J.J. Abrams, Kumail Nanjiani, and more.

Tags: Disney, Fox
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27
Jul

Honor’s new Note phone is so big and powerful, even Rolls-Royce may be on board


The Galaxy Note 9 isn’t the only new Note phone we should expect in 2018, as Honor is going one better and apparently releasing the Honor Note 10. While it’s so far only rumored for China, Honor often releases versions of these devices internationally at a later date, and with the IFA tech show in Berlin around a month away, it’s possible the Chinese Honor Note 10 is the shape of international things to come.

Design

Honor has been talking about the Note 10 for several weeks, and Honor’s George Zhao has said the phone is the result of two years’ work. It has not given any hints about the design, however, but one leaked photo shows the phone will probably not have a screen notch. It is difficult to assess the size of the device from the picture.

What’s more, Honor may have struck a deal with none other than luxury car brand Rolls-Royce to release a specially branded version of the Honor Note 10. A leaked picture shows a silver phone with a mirrored finish, and the Rolls-Royce logo in line with the fingerprint sensor and the dual camera lenses.

Rolls-Royce is very protective of its brand, and we’re quite surprised to see its name on the back of any phone, let alone Honor, which is usually marketed with images of skateboarders, BMX cyclists, and, “the brave.” We look forward to seeing if this is real, and how Rolls-Royce influences the final product.

Specifications

Honor itself has started teasing the phone in China, with a poster stating the phone will have a positively giant 5,000mAh battery. A 4,000mAh battery is considered large by modern smartphone standards, so a 5,000mAh cell will have the battery-obsessed already salivating at the prospect of fewer charging sessions. The poster also talks about cooling technology to keep the device operating normally.

With such a large battery inside, it will come as no surprise to read the phone itself will be similarly massive. The phone has been certified by TENAA in China, where all devices pass through ahead of release, and the specs listed state the screen will measure 6.95-inches, which elevates it to almost tablet-status, and way beyond most other Honor and Huawei phones recently. The Super AMOLED panel has a 2220 x 1080 pixel resolution, suggesting an 18:9 aspect ratio, so depending on the size of the bezels the phone may still be relatively compact. Not small, obviously, but potentially manageable.

A dual-lens camera with 24 megapixels and 16 megapixels is expected on the back, with a 13-megapixel camera on the front, while Huawei’s Kirin 970 chip will provide the power. This will likely add the artificial intelligence features seen on other Kirin 970 phones, such as the Honor 10 and the Huawei P20 Pro. Two versions are rumored: One with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, and a second with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Honor will reveal the Honor Note 10 on July 31 in China. It will announce a new device at IFA 2018 on August 30. We will keep you updated here.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 has a tablet-sized screen and a huge battery
  • Everything we know about Microsoft’s ‘Andromeda’ Surface Phone device
  • Microsoft Surface Go hands-on review
  • Fans petition Microsoft to save the Surface Phone from cancellation
  • Everything you need to know about the Apple iPhone SE 2



27
Jul

Unlock Google’s cool new Material Design interface hidden inside Chrome 68


Although Google’s Material Design user interface recently popped in the Chrome Canary channel, you can actually enable part of this interface in Chrome 68 for the desktop and Apple iOS devices. This is done by enabling the setting using the “flags” command in the address bar.

For desktop, do the following:

Type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md into the address bar.
Next to “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome,” switch from Default to Refresh.
Restart Chrome.

Although Google lists MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS as supporting platforms for this new interface, this change didn’t work for us in the MacOS version but clearly changed the interface for the Windows 10 build, pictured above. We didn’t test the Linux and Chrome OS versions.

What you’ll see with Google’s new design are straighter tabs with slightly rounded edges. The address bar also took a redesign hit with cleaner, rounded edges. Your icon, if logged into Google, now appears just to the right of the address bar and to the left of the three-dot Settings button.

Next, for iOS devices, do the following:

Type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md into the address bar.
Under the “UI Refresh Phase 1” section, select Enabled.
Restart Chrome.

Here you’ll see a bigger difference in the visual presentation. Prior to Material Design, the top toolbar consisted of Back and Forward buttons, the address bar, the squared tabs icon, and the three-dot settings icon. As you scrolled down the page this toolbar disappeared. Pull down on the page and you could add, refresh and close the current tab.

With Material Design enabled, a rounded address bar remains at the top of the browser but reduces to small text as you scroll down the page. At the bottom of the browser, you’ll find a toolbar playing host to the Back and Forward buttons, a search icon, the tabs icon, and the three-button settings icon. This toolbar will also disappear when you scroll down the page.

But that layout is for using the iOS device vertically. As shown above, when holding the iPad or iPhone horizontally, the toolbar and address bar merge to create one long strip along the top of the browser that shrinks into small text when you scroll down the page. Hold down on the page to add, refresh, or close a tab as usual.

In addition to adding the secret Material Design interface, Chrome 68 marks a change in how Google labels HTTP-based pages. Previously, Chrome merely provided an “I” icon next to the address to indicate a nonsecure connection. Chrome 68 adds “Not secure” next to that icon.

“Chrome’s ‘not secure’ warning helps you understand when the connection to the site you’re on isn’t secure and, at the same time, motivates the site’s owner to improve the security of their site,” Google says.

Websites with “HTTPS” before their address means your connection to that site is encrypted. Sites with a vanilla HTTP address do not provide a secure connection, hence the browser’s warning. According to Google, 83 out of the top 100 sites use HTTPS connectivity by default.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Google’s Chrome desktop browser is about to receive a major facelift
  • Chrome’s search bar may soon display pictures for your browsing pleasure
  • The best web browsers
  • New Chrome OS features make your Chromebook a better Windows replacement
  • How to change your language in Google Chrome



27
Jul

Unlock Google’s cool new Material Design interface hidden inside Chrome 68


Although Google’s Material Design user interface recently popped in the Chrome Canary channel, you can actually enable part of this interface in Chrome 68 for the desktop and Apple iOS devices. This is done by enabling the setting using the “flags” command in the address bar.

For desktop, do the following:

Type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md into the address bar.
Next to “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome,” switch from Default to Refresh.
Restart Chrome.

Although Google lists MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS as supporting platforms for this new interface, this change didn’t work for us in the MacOS version but clearly changed the interface for the Windows 10 build, pictured above. We didn’t test the Linux and Chrome OS versions.

What you’ll see with Google’s new design are straighter tabs with slightly rounded edges. The address bar also took a redesign hit with cleaner, rounded edges. Your icon, if logged into Google, now appears just to the right of the address bar and to the left of the three-dot Settings button.

Next, for iOS devices, do the following:

Type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md into the address bar.
Under the “UI Refresh Phase 1” section, select Enabled.
Restart Chrome.

Here you’ll see a bigger difference in the visual presentation. Prior to Material Design, the top toolbar consisted of Back and Forward buttons, the address bar, the squared tabs icon, and the three-dot settings icon. As you scrolled down the page this toolbar disappeared. Pull down on the page and you could add, refresh and close the current tab.

With Material Design enabled, a rounded address bar remains at the top of the browser but reduces to small text as you scroll down the page. At the bottom of the browser, you’ll find a toolbar playing host to the Back and Forward buttons, a search icon, the tabs icon, and the three-button settings icon. This toolbar will also disappear when you scroll down the page.

But that layout is for using the iOS device vertically. As shown above, when holding the iPad or iPhone horizontally, the toolbar and address bar merge to create one long strip along the top of the browser that shrinks into small text when you scroll down the page. Hold down on the page to add, refresh, or close a tab as usual.

In addition to adding the secret Material Design interface, Chrome 68 marks a change in how Google labels HTTP-based pages. Previously, Chrome merely provided an “I” icon next to the address to indicate a nonsecure connection. Chrome 68 adds “Not secure” next to that icon.

“Chrome’s ‘not secure’ warning helps you understand when the connection to the site you’re on isn’t secure and, at the same time, motivates the site’s owner to improve the security of their site,” Google says.

Websites with “HTTPS” before their address means your connection to that site is encrypted. Sites with a vanilla HTTP address do not provide a secure connection, hence the browser’s warning. According to Google, 83 out of the top 100 sites use HTTPS connectivity by default.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Google’s Chrome desktop browser is about to receive a major facelift
  • Chrome’s search bar may soon display pictures for your browsing pleasure
  • The best web browsers
  • New Chrome OS features make your Chromebook a better Windows replacement
  • How to change your language in Google Chrome



27
Jul

How to get Android apps on a Chromebook


Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

One of the most exciting changes Google made to its Chrome OS platform and Chromebook hardware in recent years, was the addition of Android app support. While Chrome OS could already run Chrome browser extensions, web apps, and Chrome apps, the addition of the millions of Android apps has greatly increased the platform’s value.

Most new Chromebooks come with the Google Play Store out of the box, which allows you to quickly install your favorite Android apps. If your Chromebook was introduced in or after 2017, then it’s guaranteed to run Android apps. Either way, Google has put together an extensive list of Chromebooks that have access to Android apps that you can check. If you’re not on that list, there’s still a way to do it, just skip down to the second section.

If your Chromebook already supports Android apps, start here

Step 1: First, make sure that your Chromebook is running the latest Chrome OS version. You’ll need Chrome OS version 53 or later.

Step 2: To check, tap or click on the status area or the “Settings” cog. Then select “About Chrome OS” at the top of the screen.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 3: In the “About” window, tap or click the “Check for and apply updates” button. If there’s an available update, it will download and install. Once it’s finished, tap or click the “Restart to update” button.

Step 4: Once your Chromebook is updated, then go to the status area and tap or click the “Settings” cog. Go to the “Google Play Store” section, and check “Enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook.” You will be prompted to agree to Google’s terms of service — tap or click “Agree” to continue.

The Google Play Store app will open, and you’ll be asked to accept some additional terms and conditions. Once you’ve done this, you can proceed to the “How to download…” step below to install your chosen apps.

If your Chromebook doesn’t yet support Android apps, start here

Switching to the developer channel puts your Chromebook at the usual risks associated with running beta or preview software. You might experience bugs, things might break, and generally speaking you’ll be largely on your own in terms of support. And here’s a huge caveat: to return to the normal stable channel, you’ll have to Powerwash your Chromebook, which is how Chrome OS says “factory reset.”

In other words, make sure that all of your data is backed up before starting this process. If you’re not comfortable with running unproven software, then remember that the Chrome OS developer channel will maintain your Chromebook on the least proven version available.

Change to the Chrome OS developer channel

Once you’ve decided to take the risk, switching your Chromebook to the Chrome OS developer channel is a relatively simple process.

Step 1: Just tap or click on the status area in the lower-right corner and select the “Settings” cog. This will open the Chrome OS settings page.

Step 2: Tap or click “About Chrome OS” at the top of the page to check your version number and current channel.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 3: Tap or click “More info…” to expand the page and dig down into the details of your Chrome OS installation. Click on the “Change channel…” button to open a dialog where you can select a new channel for your Chromebook.

Step 4: You have two options, “Beta” and “Developer – unstable.” Select “Developer – unstable” and read the warning notice carefully. If you’re sure you want to proceed, tap or click the “Change Channel” button.

Step 5: Chrome OS will proceed to update your device and put it into the developer channel. Wait for it to finish, and then tap or click the “Restart” button.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 6: Once your Chromebook reboots after applying the update to move you to the developer channel, log in as usual. You’ll now have the Google Play Store (beta) app in your apps tray.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 7: Open the Play Store app, and move through the terms of service, the backup options, and the request to allow Google to gather anonymous location data.

Step 8: If you’re okay with everything, tap or click the “Agree” button. The Play Store will be set up and you will be asked to accept the Google Play terms of service. Tap or click “Accept” to continue.

The Play Store will open, and you may be already logged in if your Android account is the same one used to log into your Chromebook. If you’re asked to set up your Play Store account, then follow the instructions.

Download and install your Android apps

The process of installing Android apps from the Play Store on a Chromebook is similar to doing so on an Android device. You’ll find that the Play Store will be formatted as on an Android tablet. Other Android apps will work the same way — an app will take on the tablet user interface if the developer enabled it. Otherwise, they’ll scale to the Chromebook’s larger screen.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 1: To install an app, just locate it in the Play Store, tap or click on its entry, and the tap or click the “Install” button.

Step 2: The app will start installing and will pause to ask about any required authorizations. Accept them if requested. One the app is installed, it will show up in your Chrome OS apps tray. Tap or click on its icon to run it.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

You can manage Android apps like other Chrome OS apps, with the same window controls in the upper right-hand corner and the arrow key in the upper left-hand corner to allow you to navigate through the app.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Android app drawbacks

The quality of your Android app experience will vary based on your Chromebook. For example, Chromebooks with touchscreens, and particularly 2-in-1s, will provide the best Android app experience. System components like accelerometers will make playing games and other tasks more enjoyable as well.

While they’ve come a long way since they were first introduced, that doesn’t mean every Android app will run well on your old, outdated Chromebook. You’ll need to experiment. While they should work well on newer devices, your experience will likely vary.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • You can use Chrome OS on a tablet, but it’s not an iPad competitor yet
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro review
  • How to install Windows on a Chromebook
  • The best Chromebooks of 2018
  • New Chrome OS features make your Chromebook a better Windows replacement



27
Jul

Taotronics TT-BH040 headphones second opinion review: The best sound $70 can buy


taotronics-anc-headphone-hero-image.jpg?

Active Noise Cancelling headphones that don’t suck for under $80. Dreams do come true!

Very rarely do I go through a day without having some sort of headphones in, on, or around my ears. Whether I’m rocking out to The Police, listening to true crime podcasts, or taking calls on my iPhone and Mac, I am constantly plugged in to some form of audio.

While I don’t consider myself a hardcore audiophile, I do know what I like in a set of headphones. So when I got a chance to review the Taotronics TT-BH040, I was really excited to see what the budget active noise canceling headphones would bring to the table.

Read our other review of these excellent headphones, by Joe Maring

Taotronics TT-BH040 Active Noise Cancelling headphones

taotronics-bh040.jpg?itok=RRf8wpJh



Price: $70

Bottom line: Taotronics are the best low-budget active noise canceling headphones I have ever used. With a sound profile that will please most people, and a long-lasting battery, the BH040’s give you great value for its price tag.

The Good

  • 30-hour battery life
  • Low cost
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Noise canceling works very well

The bad

  • Big plastic awkward button
  • Can’t fold down to a smaller profile

See at Amazon

taotronics-anc-headphone-table.jpg?itok=

Solid preformance

Taotronics TT-BH040 What I like

I like so many things about the Taotronics TT-BH040’s that’s its hard to pick which aspect I should talk about first, so I’ll start with the most obvious one; these headphones sound great! They definitely bump up the bass a little more than some other manufacturers out there, but boy, do they sound clear and consistent through all types of audio. The lows are deep, warm, and powerful, but they never overshadow the high-end tones, whether you’re listening to spoken word or the heaviest of metal.

I have the freedom to leave my charging cable at home.

Let’s skip to my favorite part of using the TT-BH040’s, the battery life. When you’re as cheap as I am, and have used as many budget headphones as I have, you learn to carry the necessary charging cables everywhere you go. I have plenty of headphones that only last 6-8 hours on a full charge, which can’t even get me through a full workday. When Taotronics said the TT-BH040’s have a 30-hour battery life, I was convinced there was no way that number could be right. Not only was the number accurate in my testing, but I got over 30 hours of use using the ANC, which, to put it super casually, is bonkers! Finally, I have the freedom to leave the charging cable at home.

Let’s take a second to talk about the ANC. It’s the best I’ve heard on a pair of headphone this cheap…but it still isn’t as good as the Bose QC 35’s. So, if you’re used to the noise reduction that a high-end pair of cans gives you, the TT-BH040’s are likely to disappoint.

That being said, I enjoyed slipping on these headphones and tuning out the world as much as possible. Flip that switch, and boom, the loud roar of traffic on the street, becomes but a whisper. The mechanical drone of the AC in your home? Eliminated to nothing more than a gentle hum. It’s fantastic to have quality ANC in a pair of headphones that only cost $70 because typically it takes a lot more money to feel like you are in your own little world.

taotronics-anc-headphone-case.jpg?itok=x

A couple minor issues

Taotronics TT-BH040 What I don’t like

I can’t say the Taotronics TT-BH040’s are perfect, they are a few minor annoyances that come with the cheaper price, and while I don’t think any of these flaws are dealbreakers, it’s important to know them before you purchase.

Let’s start with the buttons located on the rim of the cans. While they certainly have their uses — like changing volume or playing and pausing music — they are a tad bulky and feel kind of cheap. They jet out from the bottom of the cans, making the headphones have a less slim and uniform look.

It takes up a pretty big space in a bag, which makes travel a little tricky.

While I appreciate that Taotronics included a carry case with the TT-BH040’s, the headphones don’t fold up into a smaller profile like you see with other pairs of a similar size, causing the carry case to actually be rather large. Fitting this into your carry on luggage on a flight may prove to be slightly difficult, especially since the soft carry case also does add much protection.

Think about the money

Taotronics TT-BH040 Should you buy them?

4.5
out of 5


If you’re looking for a pair of over-ear headphones that don’t come with a steep cost and still has plenty of upsides, you need to give the Taotronics TT-BH040’s a chance. They sound great, feel super comfortable, and the battery life is one of the best I have ever seen in ANC headphones ever.

I can’t really think of a better way to spend $70 for most people — the value for the cost is just so slanted in your favor, I’m almost worried the price will go up at some point. The good news is as long as you can grab these for this cheap, it’s you the consumer who really wins!

See at Amazon

27
Jul

What Gear S3/Gear Sport apps do you use the most?


These are the apps our forum users are crazy about.

We’re expecting big things from Samsung next month in the form of the Galaxy Watch, but until then, the Gear S3 and Gear Sport remain as two of the best smartwatches money can buy.

samsung-gear-sport-app-page.jpg?itok=P7s

Both wearables run Samsung’s own Tizen OS, and while the developer support for it isn’t quite as strong as what’s available with Wear OS, there are still plenty of apps that make the Gear S3 and Gear Sport much more functional than they are out of the box.

We recently decided to check in with our forum users to see which apps they’re loving right now, and this is what they had to say.

avatar946932_14.gif11B1P
07-22-2018 07:30 AM

Text messaging, calculator, stopwatch, timer.

If you work out, take a look at Skimble in the Gear store. The app for your phone has a companion app for your S3. Start a workout on your phone and open the app on your watch and you can follow along with your watch. If you have ear buds in, your coach will tell you each step of the way what to do next.

Reply

default.jpgHarplayr
07-22-2018 10:25 AM

I love Taylormade My Round Pro for golf and Radar for seeing the weather radar when I’m cycling

Reply

avatar2942408_1.gifMarineDawg
07-23-2018 07:26 PM

I would have to say aside from notifications; timer, weather, music player, and the workout function in SHealth. All stock apps but these are the ones I use at least once a day.

Reply

avatar2940031_1.gifNYCMetsPDX
07-24-2018 03:54 PM

Definitely enjoy having Pear Sports, Gear Navigator and Radar on the watch, all are great third party apps I use frequently.

Reply

Now we want to hear from you! What are your favorite apps for the Gear S3/Gear Sport?

Join the conversation in the forums!

27
Jul

The Elder Scrolls 6: Everything you need to know


Get ready for another exciting trip to Tamriel.

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Ever since Skyrim’s launch in 2011, Elder Scrolls fans have been clamoring for a new game to sink their teeth into. It’s fair for them to do so, with us having yet to receive a mainline Elder Scrolls game on a next-generation console. (It’s especially fair when you consider Fallout is about to get its second!)

And no, The Elder Scrolls online — despite its wholesome charm and awesomeness — simply doesn’t count. But that’s OK, because at E3 Bethesda finally broke radio silence on The Elder Scrolls 6. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is The Elder Scrolls 6?

The Elder Scrolls 6 would be, you guessed it, the sixth mainline game in the Elder Scrolls universe. For the uninitiated, Elder Scrolls games tend to be open-world RPGs that have the classic Bethesda formula: critical decision making, rich and deep lore, massive breathtaking open worlds, memorable characters, and some of the most fun sidequests you’ll find in a video game.

Elder Scrolls followed this formula even in the earliest days when technology wasn’t fully supportive of such ambitions. It wasn’t until the third entry — Morrowind — that the games began to take on the form that we’ve become used to, with each game being progressively more impressive than the ones before it.

Bethesda’s biggest deviation came in 2014 when they released The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMORPG that would feature many of Tamriel’s iconic locales in one massive world.

What’s the story so far?

Despite The Elder Scrolls 6 being a long-running series, the games aren’t necessarily connected. With the exception of the first two titles, each Elder Scrolls game has its own storyline. They’re all set in the world of Tamriel and they all feed off the same lore, but the stories are intentionally self-contained so as to allow new players to jump in wherever they want and not feel lost.

For that reason, we can’t really draw any conclusions about what will happen in The Elder Scrolls 6 based on previous titles. Oblivion was all about fighting demons at the doorsteps of hell. Skyrim was about you finding a dragon within yourself and shouting at people very loudly and violently. The Elder Scrolls 6 could be about, well, anything. Time travel? Aliens? Sweet rolls? We don’t know. But you know we’ll be clawing for any details we can as the months move on.

Where will it take place?

tamriel%20map.jpg?itok=WrrhY2LZ

One of the favorite pastimes of many-a Elder Scrolls fan is trying to figure out where the next game in the series will be. To date, we’ve seen locales such as Morrowind, Skyrim, Cyrodiil, High Rock, and Hammerfell represented in one form or another, not including places like Elsweyr in Elder Scrolls Online.

If we assume Bethesda wants to take us to a new location, we can guess that Elder Scrolls might take place in either Elsweyr (Home of the Khajit race), Black Marsh (home of the Argonians), or Valenwood (home of the wood elves). These locations are heavily referenced throughout Elder Scrolls lore as some of the game’s most prominent races come from these lands.

There are theories which suggest some other lesser known locations could be featured, though. In the very short, uneventful, and seemingly random teaser trailer for the game, you can notice a strange collection of peninsulas on the coast of the ocean area. Interestingly enough, this terrain seems to match up with that of the lost islands of Yokuda, which was once home of the Redguards before a catastrophic event sunk much of the continent.

I know the smart money’s on The Elder Scrolls 6 being in High Rock, but I keep looking at these 3 peninsula in the trailer & thinking about the lost island of Yokuda. That landscape does look a bit like a tidal wave scoured it flat. pic.twitter.com/665lb6W4ij

— Leon Hurley (@LeonHurley) June 11, 2018

Other guesses point to High Rock. High Rock — which is where prominent cities like Daggerfall and Shornhelm exist — was heavily featured in the first two Elder Scrolls games and in Elder Scrolls Online. The theory comes from the presence of mountainous terrain in the trailer, however, it’s entirely possible that it’s coincidental.

The truth is that no one knows where the next Elder Scrolls game will take place yet. It could be somewhere entirely new, or it could be somewhere we’ve already been in one game or another. We also don’t know which time period it will be set in, an important detail for figuring out the geographical and political landscape of the world of Tamriel. You can be sure we’ll be spending the coming months thinking heavily about it.

How far along is development?

It’s safe to say that The Elder Scrolls 6 is still largely in its planning phases. Bethesda’s main studio is still putting much of its weight behind the launches of Fallout 76 and Starfield. The former will be out in a few short months, while Starfield — an entirely new IP — doesn’t even have a release date (and in fact might not even be a current generation title).

Ahead of the company’s E3 announcement, it was said that we might not even see work on The Elder Scrolls 6 begin until Starfield was close to finished, and even if we assume that game will be ready in 2019, that would likely place The Elder Scrolls 6 at some point in 2020. And that’s at the absolute earliest.

It’s likely that Bethesda is still in the planning phases, which typically involves figuring out details through the advent of storyboarding. For all we know, they haven’t even written a single line of code.

Long story short, we still have a long wait ahead. It’s an unusual move for Bethesda, who has historically preferred to announce games when they’re pretty deep into development. Chalk it up to the restlessness of Elder Scrolls fans who were worried that Bethesda might be done with the series thanks to Elder Scrolls Online’s existence, but they announced the game far sooner than we’re used to and we’ll just have to be patient.

Will it launch for PlayStation 4?

Your guess is as good as ours. We’d have a hard time believing Bethesda would skip an entire generation without a single mainline Elder Scrolls game, but considering Starfield is being touted as a next-generation title you have to consider the possibility that Elder Scrolls 6 falls under the same outlook.

Even if that were the case, however, that doesn’t mean the game’s engine couldn’t scale with hardware. Much like Grand Theft Auto 5 felt like a whole new game on the current generation platforms, Elder Scrolls 6 could very well take launch for PlayStation 4 ahead of an upgraded version available when the new consoles roll around.

The only thing we can say for certain right now is that the game is coming and that it’ll likely be on a PlayStation console. Which exact PlayStation console is up in the air.

When will we learn more?

It’s tough to say when we might be treated to the first details about Elder Scrolls 6. Bethesda head Todd Howard has acknowledged the importance of keeping fans engaged with new expectations (that was the whole point of this early announcement), but he also knows it’s sensible not to say too much, too fast. Whatever the timeline may be, you know we’ll be keeping you abreast of all the latest details every step of the way.

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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27
Jul

Top 3 reasons to buy a Chromebook over a cheap Windows laptop


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You don’t have to spend a lot on a Chromebook to get a machine that will last and let you keep your sanity.

When looking for a new computer, you may think that the only things you need to really consider are price, storage, screen resolution, and how heavy it’s going to be to lug around, but before all of that, consider what operating system is really going to give you the best experience and performance. While in previous years there were some legitimate reasons to go for a Windows laptop over a Chromebook, they’re all gone now. For the vast majority of computer users, Chrome OS will offer better performance and need less maintenance, especially at lower price-points.

Whether your kid needs a new laptop for homework or you need to upgrade to a computer that doesn’t take 5 minutes to boot up, your best bet for a low-budget computer is a Chromebook.

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Built for business, built to last

Chromebooks are consistent, durable, and enterprise-approved

Chromebooks are expanding upon their not-insignificant footholds in two industries that have very important priorities when it comes to their computers: education and enterprise. Both of these fields have to distribute and maintain computers for hundreds to hundreds of thousands of users of very skill level, so there are three things they value over all else:

  • How easy is it idiot users to work on?
  • How hard is it for idiot users to break?
  • How hard is it for our IT department to keep it updated and secure?

Chromebooks feature a very simple, sandboxed operating system. Even grade-school children can learn their way around a Chromebook with minimal instruction, and since Chrome and Android apps on Chromebooks are sandboxed from the core Chrome OS system, it’s very hard to break that system. Since Chromebooks sign in through a Google Account or enterprise cloud-based account and sync to the same account, any user in the company can log into any Chromebook the same way, which brings us to another beautiful benefit of Chromebooks.

hp-chromebook-tom-2.jpg?itok=xSvziP-x Sign in with any Chromebook, get the same experience.

Chromebooks are designed around using the cloud for most of your document and data storage. If a student smashes their Chromebook on the bus or spills acid on it during a lab, all they need to do is log into their account on another Chromebook — or log into that account on their phone or home computer — and keep working on their homework; the only data they lost was whatever was saved in the Downloads folder.

Read more: How one non-profit uses Chromebooks in the workplace

Keep it supported. Keep it safe.

Chromebooks have an assured support life

Windows updates can take your computer down for hours at a time with little to no warning, and while the machine reboots to install updates, you can’t use your laptop for anything. Windows 10 has alleviated some of this strain, but updates that keep your machine offline for 20+ minutes are still common. Even worse, some Windows machines — especially cheaper laptops — often don’t get driver and firmware updates from their manufacturers needed to keep up with Windows updates and remain secured.

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Chromebooks fix most of these problems, for one reasonable price.

Chromebooks all have their driver/firmware/system updates pushed out through Google, keeping Chromebooks updated every 6 weeks or less. When an update comes, Chrome OS will install it in the background, then an icon will appear in the bottom-right system tray when finished, noting that your Chromebook is ready to reboot. Chrome OS will not force itself into a update reboot the way Windows can and often does.

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Whenever you’re done with what you were using your Chromebook for, you can tap Restart to Update or in many cases just shut the lid. Your Chromebook will reboot and be back up and running in less than a minute. Heck, most times when I reboot a Chromebook for updates, it’s back up and waiting for my password in less time than it takes to say this entire sentence.

This nearly perfect update system does come at a small prince, and that price is that every Chromebook on the market has an Automatic Update Expiration (AUE) date, after which Google isn’t committed to pushing out updates. Most Chromebooks have at least 5 years of support between their release and their AUE date; for instance the HP Chromebook X2 that came out this summer will be updated until June 2024, or 6 years after its launch.

Find out what your Chromebook’s Automatic Update Expiration date is

Do it all and do it all easily

You really can do everything you need to on a Chromebook

Once upon a time, Chromebooks needed an internet connection to get much of anything done outside basic word processing, and so to this day, most people think Chromebooks aren’t real computers that can’t do anything without an internet connection. Well, those people are missing out, because not only can a Chromebook do just about everything your Windows machine can — outside of professional-level CAD rendering and some proprietary programs like iTunes — a Chromebook will do them better and faster than a bargain-bin Windows laptop, and to them better for years longer.

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Google Play and Android apps have come to more and more legacy Chromebooks in recent months, and almost all new-model Chromebooks being launched or sold on the market today come with Google Play, meaning that if you can do something on an Android phone, you can do it on a Chromebook, including using the Microsoft 365 apps like Microsoft Word and Adobe Cloud Creative apps like Lightroom CC. In addition, Google announced that support for natively running Linux apps is coming to Chromebooks, with the feature already live in the developer channel for Chrome OS’s most powerful models. Linux apps mean that the professional-level CAD rendering and other high-end, computing-intensive tasks that are still currently unavailable on Chromebooks are going to be available, too.

And no matter what you install, Chromebooks continue to purr along since everything is sandboxed and secure. While Windows machines will start to bloat and crawl the more programs you install and the more you use the machine, my four-year-old Lenovo Chromebook is still as steady, stable, and speedy as it was when Jerry sent it to me back in 2014.

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Do yourself a favor and buy a Chromebook

A $300 Windows laptop is going to be crawling and begging to be put out of its misery in a year or two, while a $300 Chromebook just asks “What’s next?” and keeps on helping you bang out term papers and catch up emails. It’s good enough for your kids’ schools; it’s good enough for IT professionals across the country, and it should be good enough for you, too.

The best Chromebooks you can buy today

Chromebooks

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  • Should you buy a Chromebook?
  • Chromebook Buyers Guide
  • Google Pixelbook review
  • Join our Chromebook forums

27
Jul

How to fix PlayStation 4 overheating issues


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My console is overheating, how did this happen?

Overheating isn’t just a hassle; it can be damaging to your PlayStation 4. Prolonged heat at high temperatures can ruin your circuit boards, and no one wants that. A lot of the reasons that revolve around your console overheating are not your fault, so don’t beat yourself up. From a system overload to a routine cleaning job, I’m here to help walk you through your overheating problems!

Available options

  • Room temperature and random flukes
  • Compressed air is your friend
  • Proper ventilation
  • Check for system updates
  • Check for game updates
  • Make room for more memory
  • Get a cooling device
  • Check the warranty of your device

Room temperature and random flukes

Sometimes a console overheating is just a one-time fluke. Before you freak out about the possibility of your console being broken forever, try turning it off. Let the PlayStation cool down to a normal temperature, and then turn it back on. If you are still experiencing issues, continue on below for some more opportunities for easy fixes.

Another thing to check is what temperature you are keeping the area your PS4 resides in. If the room is kept too hot, it will cause your PS4 to overheat. Make sure your house is set to a comfortable temperature for safe gaming! Now we all know there’s always that one room in the house that stays hotter or colder than the rest. Thankfully you can get a cheap thermometer from Amazon for about $5 to track the temperature of your room. This way you have an active visual of whether you need to turn on a fan or open a window.

See on Amazon

Compressed air is your friend

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If you own any sort of game consoles or computers, a can of compressed air should now be on the list of things in your handy drawer. I can not even begin to count the number of problems I have had with technology that a can of air saved me from. That being said, if your PlayStation 4 is overheating the first thing you want to check is the cleanliness. Dust buildup can also be a reason your USB ports are acting up!

Are the fans on the sides of your console dusty? Usually, that’s the #1 reason for a loud or overheating PS4.

Unplug your PlayStation 4 completely and find a flat surface to work on.
Take your can of compressed air and gently navigate it through the openings to the fan on your PS4.
Go through and clean out the USB ports.
Turn your PS4 around and give your plug ports and gentle blow with the can as well.
When you feel satisfied, wipe down your PS4 with a microfiber cloth.

When all is said and done, plug your console back in and see if the overheating issues have improved. If you feel that your PlayStation requires a deeper clean, you may need to resort to a professional. Taking apart your PlayStation can be risky business.

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Proper ventilation

Now that you’ve used your can of compressed air to clean out your fans, make sure there is enough space for them to pull in the proper amount of air. While PlayStation did design the PS4 to be able to rest vertically I still don’t recommend it. Having your PS4 rest horizontally ensures that both fans are able to intake air for the maximum ability to keep cool.

Check for system updates

Not everyone plays their PS4 online or even has it hooked up to the Wi-Fi. Even if you don’t, it’s good to set a reminder on your phone to connect your PlayStation to the internet and check for software updates. This will increase the performance of your console and reduce the risk of it over-working itself and overheat!

Make sure your console is connected to Wi-Fi!

Select Settings from your top menu on the main screen of your PS4. It will resemble a briefcase.
Select System Software Update.
Select Check for Updates

If there is an update, select Install Update. If there is not an update it will notify you!

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Check for game updates

Another type of update you want to keep on top of is the updates to the games themselves. Most PlayStations are set to automatically update when connected to the internet, but on the off chance, you aren’t here’s how to do that manually!

Make sure your console is connected to Wi-Fi

On the main menu of your PS4 highlight the game in question.
Press the Options button located on your controller.
Scroll down the options menu and select Check for Update.

If there is an update, select Install Update. If there is not an update it will notify you!

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Make room for more memory

Sometimes when a PlayStation 4 is reaching it’s maxed amount of memory it’ll start to give you some problems with performance. This isn’t overheating, but the way the system slows down can feel similar. You can fix these issues by clearing up some space or buying an external hard drive. The good thing about the second option is that you can get a fairly good one on Amazon for roughly $90 and it’ll give you an extra 2TB of memory!

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How to check and delete memory from the Settings menu

Select Settings from your top menu on the main screen of your PS4. It will resemble a briefcase.
Select Storage.
If you are looking at the space on an external hard drive select Extended Storage.

To delete content, press the Options button on your controller and press select.

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How to delete a game from the main menu

On the main menu of your PS4 highlight the game in question.
Press the Options button located on your controller.

Scroll down the menu that will pop up and select Delete.

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Are you still experiencing overheating issues on your PlayStation 4? What sort of tips and tricks did you try to solve your issues? Tell us in the comment section below!

Cooling stand for original PS4

Cooling stands are an affordable way to help with your overheating issues when you can’t afford repairs to the device and your warranty is up.

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For $17.00 on Amazon you can find the Kootek Vertical Stand with Cooling Fan. This device is compatible with your PlayStation Slim and your original PlayStation 4 not your PlayStation Pro. Click here for the same device made for your PlayStation Pro for only a dollar more! Not only will this device give you the ability to keep your console cool, but it also serves as a charging stand for your controllers! No worries on USB ports either. As you can see from the picture there are 3 for you to use for all your charging needs.

See on Amazon.

Cooling stand for all

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For 29.99 on Amazon you can find this DOBE PS4/ PS4 Slim/ PS4 Pro Cooler, Multifunctional Vertical Cooling Stand. It has an anti-slip stand on the bottom of the device to prevent pets and children alike from pulling things they shouldn’t while giving your device more fans to keep it cooler. Aside from that the fronts of the device can charge up to two DualShock controllers and let you know when they are fully charged!

See on Amazon.

Check the warranty of your device

Whether the fans are extremely loud and not working (or silent and not working) you might need to actually send the devices in for repairs. Call the company you bought your console from to check what warranty plan you have. I’ve listed below the warranty information for the most popular places to buy your device from.

If your warranty is up (or not covering the damages) see below for some cheap alternatives you could do instead.

  • Amazon warranty information
  • Walmart warranty information
  • Best Buy warranty information
  • Game Stop warranty information

Still experiencing overheating issues?

Let us know in the comment section below what your device is giving you problems with, or what you’ve done to make it better!

Update July 2018: We’ve added information on buying cooling devices, checking warrenty and ensuring enough ventilation space as well as an organizer at the top of the article for your easy access!

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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