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FreeTail EVOKE 256GB CF Card


TP-Link Archer C3150 Router


ZTE Grand X 4 Smartphone


App Pick - Grumpy Cat Weather

Samson QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier

We have just posted our review of the Samson QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier. This takes your standard input and outputs it to four separately controlled 1/4-inch headphone jacks. While not everyone needs a four channel amplifier, the price tag of $70 certainly makes it inviting. Take a look at our review for all the details, upsides and downfalls before you spend your money.

For $70, the Samson QH4 should be on the wish list of pretty much anyone who enjoys music, creates content or monitors audio. Expensive headphone amplifiers also modify the sound to create a warmer, richer experience, but the QH4 is simply an amplifier. It does that job very well.

Samson QH4 4-channel headphone amplifier

Broadcast 4K TV is on the Way

The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, presented a proposal to the FCC commissioners that would allow for broadcasters to be able to start using the new ATSC 3.0 standard by the end of the year if they so choose. ATSC 1.0 (digital) is the current standard that broadcasters use and was the foundation that allowed the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. While 1.0 offers 1080i and 720p broadcasting resolution, the new 3.0 standard would allow for 4k broadcasting along with other fundamental changes to the TV systems we currently know. Check the full rundown here.

On the consumer side of devices, there's not much to do or worry about yet. LG announced that it would be selling TVs this year with both ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 tuners in preparation of South Korea rolling out ATSC 3.0 broadcasts this year (the country began testing the system in December of last year, something Pai calls out as a sign that the US could be "in danger of falling behind" when it comes to broadcasting).

Source: TheVerge

Corsair Teases First Whole Computer

Corsair has revealed that it wants to go beyond making just parts and peripherals for the computer, but that it wants to make full computer systems as noted by its published ad in Maximum PC's March issue. According to the Corsair website, the system, called the Corsair One, is coming soon but asks you to sign up for notifications if you want "first to know" release information.

The ad called it a "category-defying new PC" that was "built from the ground up to power anything and everything you love to do." That's pretty much the extent of what the ad divulged, though it also has the URL to Corsair One's barebones landing page. You can sign up on the website to get updates, but rest assured that we'll also share more details when they become available.

Source: Engadget

Phone Screens Made with Diamonds?

Phone screens could be made with diamonds very soon. Akhan Semiconductor is trying to do just this with its product called "Mirage Diamond Glass". CEO Adam Khan explains that they plan to choose only one manufacturer per category (phones, wearables, etc) due to supply and exclusivity. Don't plan on seeing these on Samsung or Apple phones anytime soon though as the semiconductor company plans to produce between 10 and 30 million screens for phones which is far less than what the two giants sell in a year. Catch the full story here.

But strength and toughness are only two of a diamond display's promising properties. It can also help keep electronics cooler to the touch, both on the screen and at the semiconductor level (so the processors are less likely to overheat), Khan said. How much cooler? Over 800 times cooler during use than the usual materials, allegedly. That would make VR and AR systems much more comfortable to wear up against your face.

Source: CNET

 

Comcast Can No Longer Claim to be the Fastest

Comcast has been told by the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) that they can no longer advertise their Xfinity broadband service as being the fastest. After Verizon questioned the legitimacy of the claims, the investigative arm of NARB conducted reviews of Comcast's speeds. While the highest and most expensive tier of Xfinity was faster than Verizon's FiOS, not every tier could say the same and with Comcast not specifically stating this in their ads, consumers could be lead to believe Comcast was the fastest for all tiers.

At the heart of the debate was data taken from speed test provider Ookla, which Comcast used to claim that its offering was the fastest available. The investigative panel determined that Ookla speed test data was not representative sample of all subscribers, but rather just a sample of the top 10 percent of Xfinity customers who happened to test their internet speed. Verizon also had better upload rates for its top-tiered service, further disproving Comcast’s claims.

Source: TheVerge

It just keeps getting worse for Oculus

Oculus lost in court last month a $500 million dollar decision that they'd used code that wasn't theirs, which probably wasn't a great day for them. Now the problem is that code that they weren't supposed to be using has been distributed to VR partners and potentially could face a ban from the courts which would put Oculus in a tough spot. Now because the courts are involved, this of course will all be appealed numerous times, but it isn't a great situation for Oculus to be in while they're trying to push their VR offerings. The BBC has more details.

Oculus has already made the disputed code available to companies that develop games and it is also embedded in many of the games available for use on the Oculus Rift headset and some on Samsung's Gear VR, a device developed in partnership with Oculus.

If the judge enforces the ban, it could be a blow to the nascent technology, which Facebook has big ambitions for, said intellectual property lawyer Matt Jones, a partner at law firm EIP.

Android Messages

Google Messenger is no more thanks to a rebranding that started yesterday to rename it Android Messages. Seems like there are a couple reasons why this change happened, mainly to avoid confusion with Facebook Messenger as well as giving it a more generic name so that 3rd party companies are more willing to use it on their phones. The change is rolling out as well speak so if you see your Google Messenger disappear you'll know why. AndroidHeadlines has more on the story.

The Google Messenger messaging app has now been renamed to “Android Messages.” The change was introduced through a client-side update that started rolling out on Thursday and should already be available for download from the Google Play Store in all parts of the world. The company’s decision to change the name of its messaging app was likely prompted by several different reasons. For starters, Google recently started pushing for a deeper integration of the app into the Android operating system, meaning it makes more sense for the app to bear the Android branding. Furthermore, it’s possible that some users were confusing Google Messenger with Facebook’s Messenger, and renaming the app to Android Messages solves that issue. While the Google Play Store listing refers to the app as “Android Messages,” the actual app will only appear as “Messages” in your app drawer once you install it.

Lima Ultra Personal Cloud Review

We have just posted our review of the Lima Ultra Personal Cloud. This is a device that connects a hard drive to your network and gives you as much cloud storage as your drive is big. If you need a lot of information available to the cloud - and synchronized between computers, this could be the perfect solution for you. It's not for everyone, but the steady software updates have been pretty consistent. Take a look for all the details.

In the end, the Lima Ultra is a much simpler and more powerful single-drive cloud solution than any we've used before. While there are ways to do something similar through a new router with a USB port; the seamless integration, synchronization, installation and usability of the Lima far exceeds those other options.

Lima Ultra

Next-gen Radeon announcement coming Feb. 28th?

The Ryzen CPU has been getting most of the attention over at the AMD camp, however, on their Radeon graphics side we are getting close to finding out more about their Radeon Vega GPU which they've been teasing people about. It looks like we are finally going to get more information on February 28th about the Vega which is being rumored to be released in the first half of 2017. We'll keep you updated when we know more. PCWorld has more on the story in the meantime.

Radeon Vega doesn’t have a firm release date, but AMD says the card will launch in the first half of 2017. Want to know more? AMD’s holding a “Capsaicin” livestream on February 28, where more Radeon Vega details will no doubt be teased

Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors

The rumor of the week is the new Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be sporting a 6.2" screen. The smaller S8 version could be sporting a 5.7" screen which makes then booth on the larger end of the smartphone spectrum. All of the other specs are pretty standard, dust and water resistant, Snapdragon 835 CPU, really nothing on the specs end that will surprise anyone too much. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be available late March so if you've been waiting you've only got about another month left. The Verge has more details.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is slated to arrive in late March, but details continue to leak in a steady stream in the lead up to the event. The latest dump of new info comes courtesy of VentureBeat’s Evan Blass, who posted the S8+ spec sheet on Twitter this afternoon. The thing that should pop out is the monstrous 6.2-inch display size.

Due to the S8’s rumored design, which drops physical buttons in favor of drastically reduced bezels, the phone may not be much larger than the Galaxy Note 7, which packed a 5.7-inch display into a 6.04-inch-tall device. Prior leaks containing photos of the device back up the idea that the S8 will pack an edge-to-edge display that allows for a drastic increase in screen real estate while retaining a relatively compact form.

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