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Updated: 39 weeks 4 days ago

34% off Lumsing 5 Port 40W USB Charging Station, with Quick Charge Port - Deal Alert

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:40

Inexpensive, highly rated and discounted. That's the situation with this Lumsing charging station. This compact device will be the central charging hub in your dorm room, kitchen, bedroom, etc, and can charge up to 5 devices simultaneously. Each port intelligently detects your device's needs and delivers the maximum charging rate, whether its iOS, Android, or any other USB powered gadget. A quick charging port has been included for when you need an even faster charge, and Lumsing claims it can charge up to 75% faster. The charging station has built-in safety features to protect your device, and comes with a 12-month warranty. It currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 900+ people (read reviews) and its list price of $29 has been reduced to $19.

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21% off Innova 3100i Vehicle Engine & ABS Diagnostic Code Reader - Deal Alert

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:07

When the "check engine" light comes on, we're left wondering what exactly is going on under the hood. With an engine code reader like this one, you can quickly find out what your vehicle is trying to tell you, and be armed with information before you rush off to a mechanic. Simply plug it in, turn on your ignition, and follow the on-screen prompts. The 3100i will show you existing problems, and can detect & display pending problems as well. Check and erase engine light codes with the push of a button on any car, light truck, minivan, hybrid, or SUV (OBD2) manufactured since 1996. The 3100i can also diagnose and erase anti-lock breaking system (ABS) codes on most 1996 and newer GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda's. A "freeze frame" feature shows engine conditions such as fuel trim and engine coolant temp at the time the malfunction indicator lamp was set. And it can also check the performance of your battery and alternator. The Innova 3100i averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 830 people (read reviews) and its typical list price of $100 has been reduced to $79

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Uber's self-driving cars will start picking up passengers this month

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:06

Uber's rushing to replace its million-plus drivers with robots, and the company's early forays towards that effort start in Pennsylvania later in August. The ride-sharing service plans to roll out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh that will accept real world passengers right from the get-go, according to Bloomberg.

The cars, while fully autonomous, won’t be unleashed onto Pittsburgh streets without human supervision. The cars will have a specially-trained engineer ready to take the wheel should something go wrong. There will also be a co-pilot taking notes on how each ride goes.

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Spot the utility: iPads are chock full of it

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:00

How many roads must a man walk down? How many times must a mythical creature explain that, yes, an iPad can replace a laptop depending on what you want to do?

If utility were a snake, it would have bit Quartz’s Mike Murphy and he would have expired still lamenting Apple’s woeful product offering.

“At this point, the MacBook is a really overpriced iPad that doesn’t have a touchscreen.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher and Paul Raulerson.)

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Better Notes review: Simple and sparse can still be powerful

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 09:00

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as a revolutionary mobile phone, widescreen iPod and breakthrough Internet communicator, he could have added a fourth tentpole: next-generation note-taker. Multi-touch was a game-changer for scribblers and scribes alike, and over the years, developers and even Apple itself have packed their note apps with advanced features and powerful extensions that elevate the experience to near-desktop proportions.

Dashes are used to create simple lists.

Better Notes (free on the iTunes Store) harkens back to a simpler time. You won’t find tabs, sidebars or folders, but you will get a clever, speedy note-taking app that wants to be the pocket post-it of the post-paper age. And while it might not replace whichever notes app you use to store and organize your ideas, it’s a great way to quickly jot down something you don’t want to forget.

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Deus Ex Go turns the stealthy shooter into a sharp mobile puzzler

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 08:01

The history of mobile gaming is littered with middling-to-awful attempts to turn beloved, big-budget console and PC game franchises into touchscreen experiences, but Hitman Go was the rare example to the contrary—and Lara Croft Go was even better. 

Both titles came out of Square Enix’s Montreal studio, and showed the mega-publisher learning to build new experiences that captured the essence of the original franchise in novel and compelling ways, rather than cram an existing experience onto phones and tablets. Hitman Go turned the methodical assassination simulator into turn-based puzzle affair with board game-like charm, while Lara Croft Go evolved the premise even further and gave us a brilliant adventure starring the Tomb Raider heroine. 

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How to manage ZIP files on an iPad with PDF Expert

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 07:59

When setting up a new iOS device, there’s a certain cadence to the apps I install before anything else. Usually, the order goes something like: 1Password, Tweetbot, iA Writer, Outlook, Facebook, Slack, Dark Sky, Deliveries, and Facebook.

From there, I will go through the Purchased tab in the App Store or install apps as I need them. But there’s always one app I forget about, even as the need for it arises: PDF Expert ($10). Yet, it’s one of the more valuable apps for my iPad Pro workflow.

How can that be? Well, for starters, I rarely use it for what its namesake claims it’s designed for. In other words, I don’t need to edit, create, or work with many PDFs. If so, it’s rare and something that I use an app like SignNow for.

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How to use Photoshop to turn a photo into a realistic painting

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 07:00

One of the most frequently asked Photoshop questions is how to turn a photo into a painting. Unless you’re a fine artist who’s skilled at digital painting, it can be a daunting task. Fortunately, the mortals among us can use a combination of Photoshop filters to get it done.

This technique works especially well on landscape shots, wherein you don’t have to worry about distorting facial features. This column teaches you how to use Photoshop CS6 or CC 2015, specifically, to create a fairly realistic painting complete with canvas texture (your author learned this technique from Jack Davis of

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Netflix moved cord cutting forward; it's also holding it back

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 06:00
Netflix's vast video library makes it easy to cut the cord, but you can't see what's available unless you use its native app.

The Week in Mac Apps: A new update for Calcbot, Tapbots' calculator and unit conversion app

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 16:30
New Mac apps of the week

It’s back-to-school time, and this week’s roundup of new Mac apps brings you a serving of calculators, great ways to create your own library, and a fun way to learn more about Linux. Read on!

1-Degree Finance: Home Budget, Expenses and Bills 1.5.2

Neroli Studio’s 1-Degree Finance helps you keep your finances organized by creating useful reports for budgeting and monitoring your financial life.

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33% off Hibermate Sleep Mask with Integrated Headphones - Deal Alert

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 16:10

Unlike most other sleep masks, this one from Hibermate has integrated speakers, allowing you to drift off in complete darkness while drowning out the world with relaxing music, sounds or white noise, without disturbing those around you. Fully adjustable and made from super-durable materials, the mask features a generous 3.3 feet of high quality Kevlar-coated cable for maximum reliability, durability and tangle free listening. Its speakers are super flat, fully removable, and produce loud, rich sound. The sleep mask with integrated audio averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon (read reviews) and its typical list price of $59.95 has been reduced 33% to $39.97.

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Apple is producing a documentary about Drake, Lil' Wayne, and Nicki Minaj

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 15:55

More rappers are joining forces with Apple, but Jay-Z is not in the mix.

Apple is producing a documentary about Cash Money Records, the hip-hop label that’s home to Drake, Lil’ Wayne, and Nicki Minaj. According to Bloomberg, Apple has agreed to finance the project, and it’s expected to stream exclusively on Apple Music.

Earlier this week, Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan Williams, better known in the music industry as Birdman, posted a photo on Instagram with Larry Jackson, Apple’s head of original music content. He captioned the photo, “It’s official… Cash Money makes a power move with Apple Music.”

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Podcast 521: iPhone 7 rumor-palooza

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 15:42

The iPhone 7 isn't announced yet, but we can't wait! This week we tear into the latest rumors about its camera system and lack of headphone jack, along with a rumor about another size of iPad Pro.

Elsewhere, Facebook is blocking ad-blockers, so the ad-blockers are blocking the ad-blocker-blocker. Makes sense! CVS Pay could get awkward in Target. And Tim Cook gives good interview—hey, Tim, you should guest on the podcast sometime!

Show notes

19% off Goal Zero Yeti 400 Electric Power Generator with Solar Charging - Deal Alert

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 14:48

Quiet, portable power for when you're off-the-grid or faced with an unexpected outage. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Generator produces a ton of juice without the noise and fumes of traditional back-up generators. The Yeti 400 gets charged from either a wall outlet, a vehicle's 12V port, or an optional solar panel (see the "frequently bought together" section on Amazon for the solar package). Once fully charged, it can power everything from an inflatable mattress to a CPAP machine. It can recharge a laptop up to 5 times. A digital camera over 20 times. A smartphone 30 times. A head lamp over 70 times. Outputs include 1.5 amp USB, 12 volt, and 300 watts pure sine AC inverters. The Yeti 400 averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 350 people (read reviews). It's typical list price of $460 has been reduced a generous 19% to $375 on Amazon.

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How to use dictation on your Mac

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 14:03

Once again, I am in a place where I can’t work directly with my servers to test the NetInstall steps and images, so... we’ll take a brief detour here to take a quick look at your Mac’s built-in dictation features.

I can hear you now

You may think you have to wait for Siri to appear in macOS Sierra before you can talk to your Mac, but your Mac already has a way to listen to everything you say and to turn what it hears into text. You can enable this feature, which supports over 30 languages and many more dialects, using the Dictation & Speech preference in System Preferences.

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76% off Phaiser BHS-730 Bluetooth Sweatproof Sport Earbuds, Magnetic - Deal Alert

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 13:00

Phaiser's BHS-730 Bluetooth Sport earbuds are both highly rated and dramatically discounted on Amazon. Averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 1,100 people (read reviews), the list price of $160 has been reduced a significant 76% to just $39.  The BHS-730 uses the highest quality hardware, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and A2DP stereo transfer protocols to produce bigger bass, lighter-than-air treble, and perfect phone call clarity every time. Bullet-shaped Comply T-400 M memory foam tips provide total isolation from external noise. It's designed to withstand the toughest environments, and the earbuds are made from Aviation Grade Aluminum-Magnesium-Alloy which doesn't add weight. And a LiquipelTM Nano-Coating means it can be dropped into water and will live to see another day. The BHS-730's are magnetized, so they stick to each other and stay securely around your neck when you need to take them out of your ears. Along with the earbuds you get a generous 7 sets of ear tips, a 60-day "no questions asked" return policy, and a lifetime sweatproof warranty as well. See the discounted Phaiser BHS-730 now on Amazon

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53% off J5 Tactical V1-Pro Ultra Bright 3 Mode Flashlight - Deal Alert

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 12:04

Heavy duty, compact and tough as nails. Perhaps the last flashlight you'll ever need. That's how J5 Tactical describes their V1-Pro. A super bright 300 lumens LED produces an intense beam of light up to 600 feet with high, low and strobe modes. It can take a beating, is weather resistant, and works for hours on a single AA battery. With nearly 6,000 reviews on Amazon, it averages 4.5 out of 5 stars (read reviews). Its typical list price of $29.95 has been reduced by 53% to $13.95. See the discounted J5 Tactical V1-Pro flashlight now on Amazon.

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Intel praises killer USB-C audio features in war against traditional headphone jacks

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 10:45

You may like your earbuds and its 3.5mm jack, but you’ll downright love USB-C headphones, Intel says. At the company’s IDF developer conference in San Francisco, Intel’s once again pushing hard for mobile devices to ditch analog audio and embrace feature-filled digital headsets.

Replacing the vaunted 3.5mm jack has evolved into a contentious issue ever since rumors surfaced that Apple would use a lightning connector for audio in the next iPhone. Similarly to the passion that surrounds Windows XP and Windows 7, people are so used to the longstanding headphone jack they just can’t let it go—even for the promise of something potentially better.

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Apple steps up environmental efforts in China

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 10:40

Apple doesn’t talk about its supply chain very often, but the company does love to tout its environmental efforts. On Tuesday, Apple announced that its supplier Lens Technology has committed to using 100 percent renewable energy to manufacture glass for Apple, by the end of 2018.

Lens Technology is expected to use wind power to reach this goal. Currently, it produces glass for Apple at two factories in Changsha, Human province, in southern China. By using clean wind power, the firm will avoid releasing nearly 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

“We want to show the world that you can manufacture responsibly and we’re working alongside our suppliers to help them lower their environmental impact in China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, in a press statement. “We congratulate Lens for their bold step, and hope by sharing the lessons we’ve learned in our transition to renewable energy, our suppliers will continue to access clean power projects, moving China closer to its green manufacturing goals.”

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$39 for 54 Hours of Training with the Linux Essentials Bundle - Deal Alert

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 09:49

These 5 courses will take you from newbie to Linux pro. Complete with two classes designed for Linux beginners, the Linux Essentials Bundle is the first step to a system administrator career, or to making a lateral move to your IT department.

The classes in your bundle include: