Thursday, March 23, 2017

Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Create a Snapchat Geofilter for Your Event

Have you heard of Snapchat geofilters? Want to use them to promote an event or your business? Snapchat on-demand geofilters let you design custom filters people...

7 basic tips to improve Apache security

Apache is the most popular and most used web server in the world, and it is the first web server used to serve more...

How To Run Multiple Conky Scripts At The Same Time

Want to run more than one Conky? The hardest thing about using Conky …is choosing which theme to use. Thousands of different configs, themes and set-ups available for the...

Linux Users Say They’re ‘Unable to Join’ Calls on Skype

Have you been experiencing issues with Skype calls on Linux lately? If so, know that you are not alone. Linux users say they are unable to join Skype group calls started using the most recent version...

Install Nomacs Image Viewer On Linux Ubuntu Systems

Nomacs 3.0.0 open-source image viewer for Linux Ubuntu Systems. Install Nomacs image viewer on Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10 and Ubuntu 14.10 Systems....

Install Wireshark Network Protocol Analyzer On Ubuntu

Download Wireshark is 2.0.1 stable release. Install Wireshark network protocol analyzer on Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 14.10.  Wireshark is the...

Install Lollypop GNOME Music Player On Ubuntu Systems

Install Lollypop on Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04 and Ubuntu 14.04. Lollypop is a GNOME music player application for Linux Systems. Lollypop is a Rhythmbox...

Xbox Live service fully restored, hackers take responsibility

  The last couple of days have not been fun for Xbox gamers as we’ve been reporting that Xbox Live service has been consistently plagued...

Outlook.com Premium details revealed

  Last week we told you about rumors of a new service coming from Microsoft, Outlook.com Premium. The new subscription service was rumored to bring...

10 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection

With the proliferation of smart home devices, online gaming platforms, and streaming video services, maintaining a strong Internet connection at home is more important than ever. If you're experiencing lag while playing League of Legends, or it takes forever to download music, there's good chance that the problem is on your end and not an Internet Service Provider (ISP) issue. Before you schedule a service call with your cable company, check out our tips for troubleshooting your Internet connection. Is Your Router Getting Power? If you can't connect to the Internet at all, the first thing you should do is take a look at your router's LED status indicators. If there are no lights at all, the router is probably unplugged or powered down. Disconnect the power cord and reconnect it after a minute or two. Make sure that the Power switch is in the On position. If the router still isn't powering up, you may have a failed power adapter, a faulty power strip, or a fried router. Check Your Status If the Power LED is lit, check the Internet or WAN indicator. On most routers, this should be green and may be flashing. If your router doesn't have status indicators, look around back to see if the Ethernet port lights are flashing. If there is no activity, turn the router off. Unplug and reconnect each cable, making sure each cable is seated correctly in the appropriate port. Wait a few minutes before rebooting the router. If you still can't connect to the Internet, try the next step. Cable Connection Okay? Before you start thinking about resetting or replacing your router, inspect the cable connection coming into your home. This is usually located on the side of your house and may or may not be housed in an enclosure. Make sure that the main cable hasn't been chewed up by a squirrel or knocked loose by debris from a storm. If a cable splitter is being used, make sure each connection is tight and the connectors are properly crimped. If the splitter looks suspect (i.e., rusty or dirty), try replacing it. Start Fresh If rebooting your router doesn't do the trick, try resetting it to its factory defaults and performing a fresh install. For most routers, this is done by pressing a very small reset button on the rear panel and holding it down for several seconds until the LED lights begin flashing. Once reset, use the accompanying disk or Web-based setup utility to reinstall the router. Make Sure Your Firmware Is Current Firmware is embedded software, installed at the factory on a read-only memory (ROM) chip, which allows the router hardware to implement network and security protocols. Most vendors provide downloadable firmware updates that resolve performance issues, add new features, and increase throughput performance. Look for the firmware update tool in the System section of your router's management console and follow the instructions carefully to ensure that you are installing the correct firmware version. Do not download firmware from a third-party site. Do You Need an Extender? If you can wirelessly connect to the Internet in one room, but not another, check your router's Wi-Fi signal strength. Look at the network connection icon on your PC or mobile device to see how many bars are showing. If you're only seeing one or two bars, your Wi-Fi signal may be too weak to maintain a strong Internet connection. Try connecting to another band if you have a dual-band router. Readjusting the router's antennas or changing the location of your router (if possible) can help improve range as well. If relocating the router is out of the question, a range extender may be required to boost the router's Wi-Fi signal. We like the Tenda P1002P 2-Port Powerline Adapter Kit and the TP-Link AC1750 (RE450). Is Your PC/Phone/Tablet Configured Correctly? If you can browse the Web with your laptop, but can't connect with your smartphone or another PC, check the problem device's network settings. For smartphones, go to your Wi-Fi settings and make sure Wi-Fi is enabled and that you are connected to the proper SSID using the correct security password. Make sure Airplane Mode is disabled and that your time and date are correct. For Windows clients, make sure the Wi-Fi switch is turned on, and that the device is not in Airplane Mode. Right-click on the network icon in your system tray and select Troubleshoot Problems to run the Windows Network Diagnostic routine. Very often this will correct common issues by resetting the adapter. Also, check your network adapter settings to make sure that the adapter is functioning properly and is using the latest driver. Make Sure Your PC Is Healthy Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you're surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance. There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place. Time to Upgrade Your Router? If you're using an older 802.11b or 802.11g model, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer, more powerful router, especially if you have multiple client devices vying for bandwidth. A dual-band router gives you two radio bands to choose from and allows you to dedicate a band to clients that require lots of bandwidth, like streaming video devices and gaming consoles. Moreover, newer routers employ the latest technologies to deliver speedy throughput, with enhanced Wi-Fi range. Check out our list of the 10 best wireless routers when you're ready to take the plunge. Last Resort: Dial Up Your ISP If you've tried everything and are still experiencing Internet connection woes, it's time to call your service provider. It could be that the problem is on its end and may require a new connection at the pole coming into your house and/or new equipment such as a cable modem or amplifier. If you're experiencing slowdowns at certain times of the day (think: after-school hours) it's possible that your ISP is simply unable to handle the increased user load in which case you may want to find a new service provider. Lucky for you, we've tested the to find the fastest ISPs in the country. For more tips help speed up your surfing, check out Router Features You Should Be Using, Tricks to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal, and How to Set Up and Configure Your Router.

8 best Mac games: top OS X titles to satisfy your gaming itch

Introduction The idea that Macs can't do gaming is an outdated one. Sure, you can't crack open one of Apple's computers and slot a Nvidia GTX 980 inside, but today's iMacs and MacBooks fare much better than they used to thanks to improvements in Intel's integrated graphics solutions and AMD's increasingly powerful mobile GPUs. Heck, you could even say that casual gaming is more accessible on the Mac thanks to the wide variety of titles available in the App Store. And, though it's nowhere near as eclectic as its Windows equivalent, Steam's library on OS X is growing every day. Click on to discover the best Mac games available on the Mac App store and elsewhere. Once you're done, check out the best PC games1. Homeworld Remastered How to get it: App Store Originally launched in 1999, the influence of real-time strategy classic Homeworld runs deep in the DNA of today's fantasy RTS games. Homeworld went beyond the genre's traditionally flat battlefields by allowing you to position your fleet of spaceships anywhere in a 3D map of space. The extra freedom requires a whole new level of tactical nous, which you'll need if you want to get through its 30-hour campaign without tearing your hair out. When you're not overseeing ship formations and tactics, you'll be monitoring fuel levels, harvesting resources and fighting against gravitational pull to keep your squad together. 2. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic How to get it: App Store Even a decade later, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic may be one of the best Star Wars game of all time, thanks to a choose-your-own-path approach that lets you customize a character, make moral choices along the way, and explore the galaxy's ample depth as you desire. It looks and feels a little dated at this point, but it remains the most thorough franchise realization yet. 3. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition How to get it: App Store A truly beloved adventure games classic, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition brings the 1990 entry to the Mac App Store with a fresh coat of paint, thanks to enhanced visuals and full voiceover work. You can always switch to the old graphics at any point, and however you play, it's really the rich humor and smart puzzles that make this an enduring favorite. 4. Limbo How to get it: App Store Set in a mysterious and monochromatic world, Limbo sends you off into the shadowy 2D space without explanation or prompt, tasking you with guiding a young boy through a series of environmental puzzles. Also one of our best indie games, Limbo is a gripping puzzle/platform adventure that mesmerizes plenty within just a few hours' span, and the one-of-a-kind presentation really makes it memorable. 5. Braid How to get it: App Store Braid takes many of its cues from classic platform adventures like Super Mario Bros, but Nintendo's portly plumber never mined the kind of emotional territory that reveals itself over the course of this puzzle-tinged affair. Gorgeous hand-painted visuals and contemplative storytelling help frame the action, which uses a time-manipulating effect to shake up the platform approach. 6. Doom 3 How to get it: App Store Itching for a bit of big-budget ultra-violence? Doom 3 is the culmination of id Software's legendary first-person shooter franchise, sending you running through dark corridors filled with all sorts of horrifying beasts. Several years after its release, it's no longer the flashiest shooter around, but it still delivers an effective burst of horror at a pretty fantastic price. 7. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery How to get it: App Store An off-beat but gripping pixel adventure, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP finds you exploring a stunningly imagined fantasy world while you solve puzzles, take in the quirky dialogue, and even engage in occasional boss battles. It's difficult to understand in moments, but that actually adds to its odd charm, making for one seriously memorable quest. 8. Cities: Skylines How to get it: Steam The best city builder is now available on Mac. Developed by the team behind transport management sim Cities in Motion, Cities: Skylines sees you take care of everything from building infrastructure to macro and micro management, land planning, traffic routes and collecting garbage. A stunning-looking game, Skylines makes creating a bustling metropolis great fun from start to finish.

Here’s how to pre-register for Nintendo’s first smartphone app, Miitomo

Just off the back of its quarterly financials, Nintendo has announced how we'll be able to get our hands on its first smartphone and tablet app, Miitomo. Miitomo will launch in March for iOS and Android, but you'll be able to pre-register from February 2016. While Nintendo has already spoken about the app, many of the details remain unclear. It describes Miitomo not as a game but a "social experience" in which users can interact with their friends by asking questions (such as "Do you believe in aliens?") and then using the answers for… something. We're still not sure how it's all going to work, but it looks a lot like 3DS title Tomodachi Life. Players in the game will be represented as Mii characters (Miitomo actually means "Mii friends"), which anyone who's ever played a Wii or Wii U will be familiar with. RewardsTo pre-register for Miitomo you'll have to create a Nintendo Account, which you'll be able to do from February 17 using a Nintendo Network ID, social network account or simply an email address. Additionally, Nintendo announced that its My Nintendo rewards program will be launch alongside Miitomo, and will interact with the app. My Nintendo, which replaces Club Nintendo , is described as "more comprehensive" than a traditional rewards programs. Points are split into Gold and Platinum. You'll get Platinum points for logging into your My Nintendo account, while Gold points will be awarded for buying Nintendo consoles and games. Plus, subscribers will get a Miitomo bonus if they create a Nintendo Account between February 17 and the launch of Miitomo. Finally, Nintendo reiterated that it will be pushing out five smartphone/tablet apps before March 2017. That aside, this year is set to be huge for Nintendo, with the company set to announce (and maybe launch) its new console, currently codenamed the NX. The best news from Nintendo's financials? Lots of people are playing Splatoon

Sony looks to shake up SSD arena with new 240GB and 480GB drives

Sony is putting out a range of consumer SSDs – brace yourselves for the SLW-M series. As TechPowerup, which spotted the development, notes, Sony has been producing solid-state drives for the Japanese market previously, but these units will get an international rollout. The SSDs are 2.5-inch drives supporting SATA 3.0 and will initially come in two sizes – 240GB and 480GB, apparently using Toshiba A19 TLC NAND flash. Presumably, larger capacity models may follow at some point. As for performance, you can expect (up to) 560MB/s for sequential reads and 530MB/s in terms of writes. It's said that the drives will feature a Phison S10 series controller. They will also come bundled with cloning software (Acronis True Image 2015 HD) and Sony's own SSD ToolBox to help monitor and keep an eye on your drive's health. It'll be interesting to see how Sony prices these offerings, and with another player active in the global SSD market, with any luck we might see an extra edge of competitiveness in terms of pricing. Other recent news on the Sony front included a rumour that the firm was pulling out of the tablet market – but by all accounts, that turned out to be false. Of course, the company did drop out of laptops a couple of years back, although its Vaio brand (which was sold off) is still going as a standalone company. Sony Xperia Z6 Tablet: what we want to see

Samsung to launch pair of cinematic 35″ monitors with speedy 144Hz refresh rate

Samsung is planning to launch a pair of monster ultrawide (21:9) monitors later this year which will boast a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and will push refresh rates on that res skywards. The two planned displays are 30- and 35-inches and will boast a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, thanks to the use of DisplayPort 1.3 tech (previously, this wasn't possible, and if you wanted a resolution at this level, you had to sacrifice that refresh rate). Of course, there aren't any graphics cards from either of the big players that carry DisplayPort 1.3, which is why these monitors are launching later this year when said video cards are actually on the market. In terms of the exact timing, OC3D reports that the larger 35-inch model will be out first in Q2 of 2016, with the smaller monitor following in Q3. Both will use a VA panel. FreeSync FTW?Hopefully we'll see support for AMD's FreeSync on board these ultrawide behemoths, too – there's a fair chance of this, but nothing is confirmed at this point. Indeed, there is no other information currently available about these monitors, but given the release date isn't too far off, it shouldn't be long before we hear more. Asus is also planning to release a 34-inch QHD resolution ultrawide monitor, the MX34, which has a curved screen and we found to be "absolutely stunning" in our recent hands-on with the display. Image: OC3D Via: Techspot 10 best monitors and displays on the market 2016

If you use a VPN, beware of this anonymity killing security flaw

If you use a VPN (virtual private network) connection, you might not be as anonymous or secure as you thought, as reports have surfaced of a security flaw that allows a user's real IP address to be pinpointed. This news comes courtesy of a VPN provider by the name of Perfect Privacy (as spotted by the Register), although there are certainly caveats when it comes to tracing a real IP using the vulnerability. The flaw is described as "port fail" and it affects virtual private network providers that offer port forwarding – if they have no protection implemented against this issue, of course. An attacker using the same VPN as a potential victim simply needs to set up port forwarding (note that the victim doesn't have to be using port forwarding), connect to the same server as the victim, and then trick the victim into clicking a link to a site which is under the attacker's control. The attacker will then be able to discover the real IP address of the victim. This affects all VPN protocols across all operating systems, Perfect Privacy notes (assuming the VPN provider hasn't taken the appropriate defensive measures, of course). Mitigation measuresOne suggested method of mitigation is as follows, Perfect Privacy suggests in its blog post on the matter: "On Client connect set server side firewall rule to block access from Client real IP to portforwardings that are not his own." You would hope that providers who are potentially in the firing line here will be quick to respond to this threat. Of course, user vigilance is also a factor in terms of not being lured to the attacker's bait site (though as the Register notes, BitTorrent users are especially in danger should they use port forwarding as their default torrent client port, as then they don't even need to be duped into visiting the malicious party's website). There is already speculation about whether movie and music industry trade bodies could have been using this vulnerability to track down the IP addresses of pirates. Best free VPN services of 2015

New AMD FirePro S-Series can provide graphics grunt for up to 32 PCs

AMD has unveiled its new FirePro S-Series video cards, which it notes are a "world first" in terms of graphics technology, being virtualised GPUs boasting multi-user GPU (MxGPU) tech. In other words, stick these cards in a server and they can provide virtual GPUs for remote PCs which are relatively underpowered lacking discrete graphics cards or the grunt to tackle heavy duty graphics tasks like, for example, CAD or video editing. The new cards AMD has unleashed are the FirePro S7150 and FirePro S7150 x2. A single S7150 has 8GB of GDDR5 video memory on board and can support up to 16 simultaneous users, with the x2 version doubling up the memory to 16GB as the name would suggest, being able to support up to 32 users. AMD boasts that its MxGPU technology provides consistent performance, and offers a secure environment in terms of the application data being passed through the card – one virtual machine can't access another VM's data thanks to hardware-enforced memory isolation logic. The company also notes that all graphics functionality is accessible to remote users, with full virtualisation support for not just DirectX and OpenGL, but also the likes of OpenCL. Head in the cloudAs well as providing graphics power to remote workstations, these cards could find many other uses, such as the delivery of cloud gaming to those with rigs that wouldn't otherwise have the power to play modern games. Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research, commented: "AMD multi-user graphics promises to change how and when companies utilise workstations by providing workers with on-demand powerhouse graphics when needed, while helping significantly reduce the total cost of ownership typically associated with large installations of workstations. "The move to virtualisation of high-performance graphics capabilities typically associated with standalone workstations only makes sense, and will likely gain significant traction in the coming years." So when are these cards coming out? Both these GPUs should be available in the first half of this year. AMD Radeon R9 Nano review

Dell’s new BIOS security tool makes its laptops harder to hack

Dell is planning to beef up security on its business laptops (and PCs) by introducing a new tool which helps to protect the UEFI (BIOS) from being compromised by malware. This sort of attack is a thorny issue, as it's not something your typical security software – which sits in the operating system – can handle. And when it comes to the cure, even wiping your system drive won't help, because this is something that is kicking in at the first moment of boot-up – loading before the OS – and it requires the firmware to be flashed afresh to get rid of the issue. So Dell has introduced this new tool which makes a copy of the clean UEFI which is kept in the cloud, and compares this snapshot with the machine's UEFI every time it boots. If something's been hacked or messed with, there'll be a discrepancy between the two which the comparison will flag up. Automatic cleanseThe user or admin can then be notified of the problem, and the system subsequently reverted to the clean UEFI. That will still have to be done manually at this point, but in the future Dell aims to automate the entire process. As David Konetski, Executive Director, End User Computing at Dell told PC World, in this ideal future scenario the hacked UEFI will be capable of "auto-remediating" itself, which would be pretty nifty indeed. The system will be optional, and will cost extra for users who decide they'd like this level of protection. It will be available on Dell's Precision and OptiPlex models, along with XPS PCs and Venue Pro tablets. Last autumn, Dell revealed a number of enterprise security solutions at Dell World, including a fresh approach to Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) detection and blocking, and better security for cloud apps. Dell's Precision workstation laptops are fast, slim and super powerful

Here’s more evidence that the iPad Air 3 will be a smaller iPad Pro

Those of you hoping for a major overhaul of Apple's flagship tablet may be disappointed, as leaks suggest the iPad Air 3 will be following in its predecessor's footsteps rather closely. What appear to be simple schematics for the iPad Air 3 were sent to Engadget, complete with dimensions, revealing a slate almost identical in size to the iPad Air 2. In fact, the drawings note that the Air 3 could be ever so slightly wider and thicker, although we're talking less than a millimetre in both directions. There will be some new features though, as the designs show four speaker grills and a smart connector port - which have been rumoured in the past. Pro or conThis would see the iPad Air 3 fall more in line with Apple's supersized iPad Pro which already sports the quad-speaker setup and the connector port for its keyboard accessory. Finally, the schematics also appear to depict an LED flash on the rear of the slate - which would be a first for any iPad camera. Reports are currently tipping Apple to hold an event in March where we could see the launch of the Apple Watch 2, iPhone 6C/5SE and the iPad Air 3. That would be a crowded lineup.

Top Chromebooks reviewed

Best ChromebooksUpdate: We've added the new-and-improved Toshiba Chromebook 2 to our rankings. Read on to see where it ended up on the list. Original article follows... Chromebooks are budget laptops that are both odd and brilliant, low-impact and potent. Running Google's Chrome OS rather than, say, Windows 10, they focus on what computing has been all about since the late '90s, the web browser. Mostly with low-impact processors and barely HD screens starting at 1,366 x 768 resolution, most of these machines are also designed to last. Almost every Chromebook claims between 7 and 9 hours of battery life and comes within a few hours of that range, based on our testing. If you're unclear what specs you should be on the lookout for when purchasing a Chromebook, we've developed a nifty cheat sheet for you. Prices will start to climb above the budget range, as is the case with the MacBook-rivaling, $999 Chromebook Pixel 2 (£670, AU$1,320), especially in the classroom, where Chromebooks are gaining significant presence. Despite the expanding Chromebook scene, there should always be something within your budget. At that point, it all comes down to size and price, with Chromebooks available as small as 11.6 inches and as large as 14 inches. (There are even Chromebook 2-in-1 laptops now.) Always updated, here are our top-ranking Chromebook reviews. 1. Google Chromebook Pixel 2015The end all, be all of Chromebooks. CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with turbo boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3 | Screen: 12.85-inch 2,560 x 1,700 IPS touchscreen display | Storage: 32GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260; Bluetooth 4.0 LE | Camera: 720p HD wide angle camera with blue glass | Weight: 3.3 pounds Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches (W x D x H) See more Google Chromebook Pixel 2 deals Inter Core i5 or i7 processorLong, long battery lifeVery expensive3:2 screen hurts multitaskingOutfitted with a Core i5 processor, USB 3.1 (and USB-C) ports, a high-resolution screen, and more RAM than it will ever need, the Chromebook pixel sets a high bar for Chrome OS machines for years to come. Power and performance aside, the Pixel is one of the few Chromebooks that feels like it has itself completely figured out. The build quality of this machine is exquisite and the design has been engineered down to a science. What's more, its vivid screen - plus the impeccable keyboard and trackpad - all help to round out the Pixel as one excellent, premium package. It's impossible not to get hung up on the Pixel's high price. For the same amount of money, you could buy two or even three Chromebooks or a decent Windows laptop. So before you we suggest you consider all the much more affordable options out there before investing so much money into this machine. Read the full review: Google Chromebook Pixel 2 2. Acer Chromebook 15 C910The colossus of Chromebooks CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 dual-core processor | Graphics: Intel HD 5500 Graphics with shared memory | RAM: 4 GB, DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 32GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi | Camera: 720p HD webcam |Weight: 4.85 pounds Dimensions: 1.0 x 15.1 x 10.1 inches (H x W x D) See more Acer Chromebook 15 deals Fast processing speedLong battery lifeVery heavyAwkward keyboardIf you're considering the Acer Chromebook 15 C910 ($499.99, £249, AU$620) for your next laptop, then you'd better have big ideas. Compared to most other Chromebooks, the C910 has a bigger screen, bigger processing power and it comes with a bigger price tag. It takes this series of laptops to two new places, as the first with a 15.6-inch screen and the first packing a fifth-generation Broadwell processor. Specifically geared toward students and teachers – thanks to its rugged design and gorgeous visuals – the C910 is perfectly suitable for any consumer who doesn't mind lugging around a few extra pounds and inches. Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 C910 3. Dell Chromebook 11 (2015)Dell's updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard CPU: 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD for Intel Celeron processors | RAM: 4GB RAM (DDR3L, 1,600Mhz) | Screen: 11.6-inch HD, 1366 x 768 touchscreen |Storage: 16GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0; 802.11ac (B/G/N), dual-band Wi-Fi | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.91 pounds Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.4 x 0.76 inches See more Dell Chromebook 11 deals Rugged design180-degree barrel hingeTouchscreen not standardSmall keyboardDon't let the understated aesthetics of the Dell Chromebook 11 (starting at $249, £170, AU$320) fool you. Dell packed in features that are typically reserved for more expensive business notebooks into its Chromebook 11 in an effort to create a durable product for the education market. In the Chromebook 11, you'll find a 180-degree reinforced hinge, rugged design, sealed keyboard and trackpad, and a great typing experience inside a portable package. In addition to using the Chromebook for school, students will appreciate the loud stereo speakers for multimedia and entertainment. There's a new version of this Chromebook available. We've given our first impressions, here. Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11 (2015) 4. Asus Chromebook FlipA flipping premium Chromebook for almost nothing CPU: 1.8GHz Rockchip 3288-C (quad-core, 1MB cache) | Graphics: ARM Mali T624 | RAM: 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM | Screen: 10.1-inch, WXGA (1,280 x 800) IPS multi-touch display | Storage: 16GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 720p HD webcam | Weight: 1.96 pounds | Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.2 x 0.60 inches (W x D x H) See more Asus Chromebook Flip deals Fully metal construction Excessive battery life Occasional crashes Large screen bezelsThe Asus Chromebook Flip isn't perfect, but it's an excellent little piece of kit. And for $249 (about £160, AU$337), it's so temptingly affordable that you might want to pick one up just to have a Chrome OS device on hand – even if you already own a MacBook or Windows laptop. Aside from the alluring price tag, the Flip is one of the best built Chromebooks to pave the way forward for more convertibles. Touchscreen functionality feels a bit more thought out, with a screen that actually rotates for once. All the while, the Flip meets all the core tenants of an excellent Chrome OS machine, including stellar battery life. If you've been ho hum on Chromebooks before, this is definitely one to ... flip out about. (Sorry.) Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 5. Toshiba Chromebook 2Full HD on a Chromebook just got better CPU: 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-5015U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 | Storage: 16GB eMMC | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260; Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD webcam | Weight: 2.97 pounds | Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.4 x 0.76 inches (W x D x H) See more Toshiba Chromebook 2 deals Gorgeous 1080p screen Intel Core i3 power Screen glare A bit priceyFor a steeper $429 (about £299, AU$612), the latest Toshiba Chromebook 2 is a gorgeous laptop that – clearly, judging by the price – has very few flaws. It comes with more RAM and a 1080p screen, lining it up with competing, (pseudo-) premium models in this class, like the Dell Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Pixel. However, note: the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is now officially in budget Windows 10 laptop territory. Unless you're buying this laptop specifically for the Google ecosystem, you might be overpaying. That said, the Intel Core i3 chip behind that 1080p screen is a huge bonus. Read the full review: Toshiba Chromebook 2 6. Lenovo N20p ChromebookA versatile Chromebook experience for a reasonable price CPU: 1.83 GHZ Intel Celeron Processor N2930 | Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3L 1333 MHz | Screen: 11.6" HD (1366 x 768) dsplay with 10-point multitouch | Storage: 16GB eMMC storage | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Bluetooth® 4.0, 802.11 a/c WiFi | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.86 lbs Dimensions: 11.6" x 8.34" x 0.70" See more Lenovo N20p deals Gorgeous designSuper fastPoor viewing anglesBad speakersThis is one of the "sexier" Chromebooks available, showcasing Lenovo's eye for style. However, the best feature is the N20p's 300-degree hinge, which lets you flip the N20p's display backward all the way into stand mode (or 'tent' mode, whatever you prefer), which lends itself nicely to viewing movies or showing presentations. The touchscreen controls also work in a pinch for recreational activities such as watching shows on HBOGo viewing or Pinteresting. Still there's some difficulty when using it as a tablet, as Chrome isn't entirely tailored to touch as a largely browser-based operating system. It's not very tuned for business use, but the Lenovo N20p offers great versatility for a leisure device. Plus with two USB ports (one 3.0), and HDMI port and an SD card reader, this Chromebook delivers a great bang for its buck. Read the full review: Lenovo N20p Chromebook 7. Acer Chromebook 13With incredible battery life, the Chromebook 13 is a winner CPU: 2.1GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 (quad-core) | Graphics: Nvidia Keplar | RAM: 2GB DDR3 (1,333MHz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1.920 x 1.080 | Storage: 16GB SSD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 720p HD webcam | Weight: 3.31 pounds Dimensions: 12.9 x 9 x 0.71 inches (W x D x H) See more Acer Chromebook 13 deals Battery lifeGreat speakersStrange port locationsLackluster visualsPowered by Nvidia's ARM Cortex A15-based Tegra K1, this Chromebook packs a lot of punch in a tiny frame. Users will love its 13.3-inch 1080p resolution screen, as well as its portability. At 3.31 pounds, the Acer Chromebook 13 is a relatively light laptop. This Chromebook does have some minor issues: it doesn't multitask very well and the laptop itself only comes in one color. But for the price ($279 about £165, AU$300), you're likely to enjoy the simplicity and productivity, as you learn to overcome the design limitations. Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 13 8. HP Chromebook 11A Chromebook that's as cheap as it is excellent CPU: 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 | Graphics: value | RAM: 2GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM |Screen: 11.6-inch diagonal HD LED-backlit IPS display (1366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB eMMC | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: 720p webcam |Weight: 2.3 pounds Dimensions: 0.69 in (H) x 11.69 in (W) x 7.56 in See more HP Chromebook 11 deals Wonderful buildExcellent screenMediocre battery lifePoor trackpadThe HP Chromebook 11 (starting at $279, £179, AU$399) is smooth and usable. While Chrome OS is limited by definition, between us growing more comfortable in web apps and those apps growing in power – and Chrome OS maturing – we're bumping into those limitations far less often. This laptop is punchy enough to make the experience slick, cheap enough for anyone on a budget (or an impulse buy for the well-off), but something that still feels solid. It is a delight to own and use. Apple and the other premium manufacturers should look at this little gem of a computer and applaud what has been achieved. The Chromebook 11 shows that it's possible to create a product with a little bit of the magic and joy you get from an Apple laptop without charging four figures for it. Read the full review: HP Chromebook 11 9. Acer C720 ChromebookA good budget option at a cheap price CPU: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3-4005U Dual-core | Graphics: Intel HD 4400 DDR3 SDRAM Shared | RAM:4 GB DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 11.6" 1,366 X 768 | Storage: 32GB | Optical drive: none |Connectivity: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Bluetooth 4.0 + HS | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.76 pounds Dimensions: 0.8 x 11.3. 8.0 inches (HxWxD) See more Acer C720 deals Fast processorMushy keyboardTinny speakersIn terms of power and endurance, you can't argue with the Acer C720 Chromebook (starting at $199, £199, AU$399). When you just want to get on the web quickly to answer emails or look something up, the C720 is ideal. For parents, it's also a perfect "homework machine," as long as you can get a printer hooked up. This is a true web appliance, a fine system for families. The Google account log-in gives each user a personalized interface, and just a few keystrokes completely wipe the system. That limits the risk substantially in sharing the system with others. One key criterion we use in evaluating a device is whether we'd actually want to use it every day. Even taking this laptop's flaws into account, it's something we definitely would want to use, for the price. If you're an educator and buying in bulk, try the Acer C740. Read the full review: Acer C720 10. Acer Chromebook R11360-degree flips all day long CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel Braswell Quad-Core Celeron N3150 Processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB DDR3L | Screen: 11.6" 16:9 HD (1366x768) | Storage: 32GB | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD Web Camera | Weight: 2.76 lbs | Dimensions: 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.76 inches (WxDxH) See more Acer Chromebook R11 deals Convertible Good battery life HD-only display Terrible trackpadAcer's Chromebook R11 packs in all-day battery life, capable performance and a 360-degree hinge with touchscreen into a minimalist design. Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11 Joe Osborne has also contributed to this article

New gestures and voice commands, plus speaker support coming soon to Android Wear

Android Wear users should be on the lookout for new ways to use Google’s wearable device platform. According to the Android Blog, there’s a firmware upgrade happening soon (“in the next few weeks”) that includes some new input and output features. Once the upgrade rolls out, Android Wear watches will take advantage of the functionality of their built-in speakers, as well as support new gestures and voice commands. As far as gesture controls go, the big news is that gestures are expanding from the simple wrist flick. With the upgrade, after flicking to scroll through different cards, users can take action on them through pivoting their arm downward in a motion called a “push.” Reverse the motion to trigger a back command. And to get back to the home screen, just shake your wrist back-and-forth. Use your voice to dictate messages to some of the apps on your smartwatch, including Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Telegram. And since speaker support is enabled in the upgrade, your Android Wear watch can be used as a Bluetooth speakerphone for tethered handsets. Watches with speakers compatible with this function include the Huawei Watch and 49mm Asus ZenWatch 2. Excited? Look for the OS version 1.4.0. Don't have a smartwatch? Just carry on with your day (I don't have one either.)