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Facebook sued by Russian firm linked to election meddling – CNET November 20, 2018

The company says it’s legitimate news agency. Facebook sued by Russian firm linked to election meddling – CNET Source: CNet

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ISIS influence on the decline as terrorists lose Twitter battles – CNET

The US Government is taking the battle against terrorism online, countering extremist ISIS messaging with some powerful messages of its own.
Source: CNet

A wild Pokemon Go appears in Asia – CNET

The servers for the augmented reality Pokemon game temporarily went live in Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore.
Source: CNet

It took just one day for Pokemon Go to outstrip Tinder – CNET

The day after Pokemon Go launched in North America, the game was installed on more Android phones in the US than Tinder, and now it’s close to surpassing Twitter.
Source: CNet

Neanderthals were cannibals and used leftover bones as tools – CNET

Technically Incorrect: A new study of remains found in Belgium suggests our ancestors were highly practical types.
Source: CNet

Tesla's Elon Musk has another 'top secret masterplan' – Roadshow

Electric-car maker’s CEO teases major project is in the works, saying he hopes to reveal more later this week.
Source: CNet

Tesla's Elon Musk has another 'top secret masterplan' – CNET

Electric-car maker’s CEO teases major project is in the works, saying he hopes to reveal more later this week.
Source: CNet

Pokemon Go players targeted in series of armed robberies, police say – CNET

Technically Incorrect: Police in O’Fallon, Missouri, warn players of the augmented-reality game to be very careful.
Source: CNet

'Ghostbusters' review: Fun, funny and full of freaky ghosts – CNET

The affectionate, well-cast update of the classic phantasmic comedy is one of the best remakes in years. Here’s our spoiler-free review.
Source: CNet

Arrest of Black Lives Matter leader is broadcast live on Periscope – CNET

Movement’s leader uses the Twitter streaming app to capture his own arrest during police shootings protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Source: CNet

Woman playing Pokemon Go finds dead body – CNET

Technically Incorrect: A Wyoming woman says the mobile game prompted her to find a Pokemon in a water resource, so she headed to a nearby river. She found something else.
Source: CNet

Technology makes everything less emotional, says Gene Simmons of Kiss – CNET

Technically Incorrect: The face-painted rock star is pained by people using phones to film concerts.
Source: CNet

​GoPro found in water with intact footage of a crab selfie – CNET

Watch video of underwater life captured on a lost GoPro found by a fisherman.
Source: CNet

A few insights on Amazon's Prime Day, from the guy running it (Q&A) – CNET

The head of Amazon Prime discusses this Tuesday’s sales event and future expectations for the membership program.
Source: CNet

This $250 turntable totally rocks – CNET

The Fluance RT81 turntable looks and feels a lot more expensive than it is.
Source: CNet

Who's more passionate about the sound of music: Audiophiles or musicians? – CNET

You might think they’re on the same page, the Audiophiliac ponders the question.
Source: CNet

What the heck's a hyperloop? – CNET

From CNET Magazine: If Elon Musk has his way, we could soon travel at nearly the speed of sound.
Source: CNet

Tidal adds Google Chromecast support to updated app – CNET

Tidal refreshed its media streaming app today with an update that finally lets users send audio and video to a Google Chromecast dongle.
Source: CNet

Helping save endangered species? There's an app for that – CNET

Two endangered birds, the western snowy plover and the California least tern, are getting an assist from San Diego Zoo Global and a custom mobile app.
Source: CNet

For Pokemon Go, it's stop — at least temporarily – CNET

The crazy-popular mobile game from Nintendo is crashing servers, so its rollout has been paused in some countries.
Source: CNet

These are the best-selling Nintendo consoles and games of all time – CNET

These are the classic video games and systems that defined your childhood.
Source: CNet

'Ghostbusters' laughs back at YouTube trolls in added scene – CNET

Who ya gonna call when haters leave mean comments on your videos? “Ghostbusters” actors Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig reveal that they mock angry online fans in a scene from the new film.
Source: CNet

In matters of life and death, how should Facebook decide what you see? – CNET

Live streams of shootings in Minnesota and Dallas raise questions about the social network’s responsibilities.
Source: CNet

PlayStation executive leaving to become game developer – CNET

After more than four years at Sony, Boyes parts ways.
Source: CNet

Amazon's latest Prime Day tease: Budget Fire tablets for under $35 – CNET

The tablets usually sell for just $50.
Source: CNet

Our impressions of the iPhone's iOS 10 and Apple Watch watchOS 3 beta 2 (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy, Ep. 45) – CNET

Apple releases iOS 10’s Public Beta, but all we can talk about is Bedtime. Plus, Pokemon Go is taking over the world. holder
Source: CNet

IDG Contributor Network: When your security products are insecure: Takeaways from the Symantec disclosure

Tavis Ormandy, a member of Google’s Project Zero initiative, recently discovered a series of vulnerabilities in Symantec’s security products that he describes as “as bad as it gets.” Affecting both the company’s consumer and enterprise products, these vulnerabilities are far-reaching and can’t all be patched with automatic updates.

Ormandy writes of these vulnerabilities, “They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible. In certain cases on Windows, vulnerable code is even loaded into the kernel, resulting in remote kernel memory corruption.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: Security

With acquisition, Google's cloud team thinks video stream – CNET

Google’s Cloud Platform unit buys up a firm that helps entertainment and other companies get their video to the masses, regardless of the gadget a viewer is using.
Source: CNet

Super affordable Alcatel Dawn rises up at Boost Mobile and Virgin – CNET

The $70 handset features Android Marshmallow, a 4.5-inch display and it’s available from both prepaid carriers.
Source: CNet

Hands-on review: Canon Pixma MG2450

Hands-on review: Canon Pixma MG2450

The past few months have seen the emergence of the first all-in-one printer that costs under £20 (around $26, AU$34) delivered. That’s quite a feat given how expensive couriering and mailing are.

The Canon Pixma MG2450, which is already more than 24 months old, usually costs around £25 but a voucher from popular online retailer Ebuyer regularly brings the price down to £19.99 including delivery. (Note that this review unit of the Canon Pixma MG2450 was provided by Ebuyer).

For that price you get a working, brand new printer, complete with cartridges but no USB cable; in an era of cost-cutting, that’s only to be expected.

Other obvious missing features include the lack of a network port, no Wi-Fi, no borderless/duplex printing, no card readers and no display, and this device uses two cartridges rather than one.

Canon Pixma MG2450 angle

When we removed this printer from the box, what surprised us is how light and small the MG2450 is compared to others we’ve reviewed recently.

There seems to be an unspoken law in printing – a direct correlation between size or weight and the price of your device. At 3.5kg, this Canon effort is lighter than some laptops we’ve reviewed and its footprint, barely larger than an A3 sheet, makes it ideal for a cramped desk in a small office/home office environment.

Canon Pixma MG2450 scan bed

The printer itself is entirely made of plastic with a two-tone grey colour scheme. Controls are kept to a strict minimum: four big buttons offer the ability to copy in colour/black, scan, and there’s the obligatory power button. A few status lights complement the control buttons.

Another untold rule in the printing industry is that CAPEX is inversely proportional to OPEX. In other words, the cheaper the printer, the more likely the consumables or cost of printing will be high.

A cartridge multi-pack (Canon PG-545 and CL-546) might cost under £17 (around $22, AU$29) but each of them will print only 180 pages. Swap it for the more expensive but bigger PG-545XL and CL-546XL combo for £25.95 (around $34, AU$45) to get around 400 pages and 300 pages.

Canon Pixma MG2450 front

To put that in perspective, a full set of XL cartridges is actually more expensive than the printer itself. Also bear in mind that using too much of one particular colour means that you will end up having to replace an entire colour cartridge in order to get the full set again.

Accessing the cartridges to swap them is also a rather convoluted exercise. You will have trouble inserting the two cartridges if you have fat fingers.

The MG2450 comes with a CD containing the manual in PDF format plus a number of utilities which vary in terms of their usefulness (Quick Menu, My Printer, Easy-WebPrint EX, My Image Garden and Easy-PhotoPrint Ex).

Canon Pixma MG2450 inside

As expected you don’t need to install any of them in order to get your printer to work properly. The latest printer driver and software package can also be downloaded straight from Canon’s support page; the latest one dates from January 2016.

The MG2450 has a rated print resolution of up to 4800 x 600 dpi thanks to an ink system that can deliver 2pl ink droplets, with a claimed speed of around 8 pages per minute for mono documents and 4 pages per minute for colour ones.

There are no paper cassettes, just paper trays – the one at the rear can handle up to 60 sheets up to A4 in size. It can also accommodate photo paper and envelopes as well; both trays fold nicely when not in use (just a word of caution that these can best be described as being a tad flimsy, so bear that in mind).

Canon Pixma MG2450 underneath

Sadly, we couldn’t test the print quality or speed (or the copy feature). The MG2450 was automatically recognised by our computer but a "user intervention" message popped up without any details regarding what intervention was required.

Troubleshooting it, though, brought up a worrying error: the printer is not compatible with USB 3.0 ports – "USB Composite Device is an older USB device and might not work with USB 3.0".

Since we didn’t have any available USB 2.0 ports to hand or another USB printer cable, we contacted Canon for further details and will update this hands-on as soon as we’ve got more information.

Curiously, the scanner did work. It uses CIS technology which helps reduce costs and power consumption by reducing the size and number of components. With a 600 x 1200 dpi resolution (optical), it scans an A4 sheet in around 15 seconds.

The printer also automatically wakes up from standby mode and conveniently switches off when not in use after as little as 15 minutes. Canon also claims that it uses a mere 1W in standby mode, jumping to 9W when using its copy feature.

Canon Pixma MG2450 options

The driver settings were pretty good as well with options for cleaning (and deep cleaning), bottom plate cleaning (to prevent paper smudges during printing), roller cleaning (for smoother paper feeding) and a quiet mode which may reduce the printing speed.

Early verdict

Clearly, this is an entry-level all-in-one printer and one that performed relatively well for the outlay. It would be a great sidekick for a cheap monochrome laser printer, adding the occasional dash of colour to documents as well as the one-off ability to copy and scan.

It is a true plug-and-play peripheral and we had no problem getting it to work without installing the bundled software (who has an optical drive in this day and age?). No problem, that is, except getting it to print – which is a real shame.

An interesting point to note: the cheapest standalone flatbed scanner on the market (the Canon CanoScan Lide 120) costs more than twice the price of the MG2450. So the latter would also effectively double as a scanner with copying and printing features thrown in for free.

Source: Tech Radar

Cersei wants to be murdered by one of these 'Game of Thrones' characters – CNET

Actress Lena Headey knows her character’s reign on the Iron Throne won’t last, and she has some ideas on who should take her out.
Source: CNet

ESPN's next play: Direct to web? – CNET

The cable sports giant is reportedly planning a direct-to-web live-sports package. It would be a small-scale offering though, meant as a test.
Source: CNet

Hypercars, sports cars, SUVs and bags of mulch: Our week on Instagram – Roadshow

Yeah, you read that last part right.
Source: CNet

The truth about bug finders: They're essentially useless

Today’s popular bug finders catch only about two percent of the vulnerabilities lurking in software code, researchers have found, despite the millions of dollars companies spend on them each year.

Bug finders are commonly used by software engineers to root out problems in code that could turn into vulnerabilities. They’ll typically report back how many bugs they found — what you don’t know is how many were missed, leaving success rates an open mystery.

So researchers at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering in collaboration with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Northeastern University decided to find out how much they are missing.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: Security

Dallas shooter killed by bomb-equipped robot in first for law enforcement – CNET

Dallas’ chief of police says his department rigged an explosive device to a robot to take out a suspect. “Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger,” he says.
Source: CNet

Twitter may soon bring live NBA, MLS games to your timeline – CNET

The news comes after Twitter strikes a deal with the NFL to stream 10 football games this fall.
Source: CNet

George Takei isn't thrilled about Sulu being gay, Simon Pegg responds – CNET

The original Mr. Sulu actor describes the character’s coming out in “Star Trek Beyond” as “unfortunate.” Actor and co-writer Simon Pegg respectfully disagrees.
Source: CNet

Get up close and DiRT-y with DiRT Rally for Oculus Rift – Roadshow

The popular rally-racing game comes up with an excellent reason to abandon your family and friends in pursuit of a virtual racing career.
Source: CNet

Microsoft updates its bot platforms with new features, support for Facebook, Slack bot features

Microsoft is updating its Microsoft Bot and Skype Bot platforms with new capabilities, as well as additional support for Facebook and Slack bot features.
Source: Microsoft

Review: Acer Chromebook 14

Review: Acer Chromebook 14

Introduction and design

Say what you will about Chromebooks, but they don’t have a reputation for being particularly high-end machines. Sure, you’ll find premium Chromebooks, like Google’s Chromebook Pixel.

But, generally speaking, they’re seen as budget machines, both in price and in terms of fit-and-finish.

With the $299 (about £206, AU$401) Acer Chromebook 14, the venerable PC maker hopes to bring the polish of a high-end notebook to the entry level. And, in terms of build quality, the Chromebook 14 delivers. But in terms of performance? Things aren’t so clear.

Acer Chromebook 14

Design

I’m not going to lie – when I first pulled the Chromebook 14 out of its box, the first thing I thought of was the MacBook Air. Tapered design? Check. All-metal case? Check That distinct Apple-style hinge? Check.

If the HP Chromebook 14 I previously reviewed was fun and funky, the Acer Chromebook 14 is svelte and professional. And it’s solidly constructed in a way that belies its relatively low price.

In terms of construction, the Acer Chromebook 14 is as solid as they come. The all-metal enclosure is rigid, with minimal flexing and almost no creaking. The case does attract fingerprints and smudges, though the brushed metal surface on the lid picks up fewer handling marks to some degree.

At .67 inches (17 mm) thick, the Acer Chromebook 14 is reasonably slim, and about inline with other 14-inch Chromebooks out there. Its 3.42-pound (1.55 kg) weight is similar to like-sized notebooks, and it’s comfortable to pick up with one hand.

Acer Chromebook 14

One sharp screen

Flip open the lid, and the 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display takes center stage. It is bright, crisp, and evenly lit – about what you expect from a notebook screen these days. Its matte finish reduces reflections, but can make the screen a little more difficult to read in sunlight.

Color and contrast are solid overall, though some colors, like shades of pink, appear slightly dulled. While the display’s high contrast can make images pop, it also means that darker areas of photos and videos get lost. And the downside to all these pixels is that text appears smaller than I’d like.

The hinge opens a full 180 degrees and allows you to adjust the screen freely and easily, but it’s a little too loose for my liking – it doesn’t take much jarring to send the screen backwards when you pick the notebook up.

Acer Chromebook 14

A satisfying keyboard and trackpad

The Acer Chromebook 14 comes with a full-sized keyboard and a spacious touchpad. The keyboard does a decent job, but its tactile feedback is a little softer than I’d like –although keys make an affirming loud click-clack sound as you type, you don’t feel the satisfying click as you press the key.

This is definitely usable, but it isn’t my favorite keyboard. The trackpad is smooth and responsive, with good clicking action, though any sort of oil on your fingers may impair tracking.

Two stereo speakers live on the bottom of the notebook. They’re plenty loud, but these being laptop speakers, they’re tinny and merely serviceable. For anything beyond casual listening, you’ll want either headphones or external speakers.

Specifications, performance, and features

The way Chrome OS is built means that specs aren’t quite as important as they would be for an ordinary Windows PC. That said, there are a few things to be aware of with the Acer Chromebook 14.

Spec Sheet

The Acer Chromebook 14 configuration provided to TechRadar is as follows:

  • CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3160 processor (quad-core, 2MB cache, up to 2.24GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400
  • RAM: 4GB LPDDR3
  • Screen: 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display
  • Storage: 32GB solid state drive
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, headphone jack
  • Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac, Bluetooth
  • Camera: Built-in webcam
  • Weight: 3.42 pounds (1696g)
  • Size: 13.4 x 9.3 x 0.67 inches (340mm x 236 x 17mm) (W x D x H)

Acer Chromebook 14

Specs-wise, the Acer Chromebook 14 is comparable to similarly-priced Chromebook models out there, like the HP Chromebook 14, right down to its Intel Celeron processor. Acer offers a Chromebook 14 model that starts at $279 (about £192 , AU$375), but a model with the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and more powerful quad-core Celeron processor costs only $20 (about £13 UK, AU$27) more.

Compared to Windows notebooks, the 32GB of storage is tiny, but it’s a decent amount when compared to other Chromebooks, which often come with only 16GB of storage. The lack of an SD card slot means that you can’t add more storage down the road, though.

Depending on your usage patterns, this may not be a big deal: storage space is less of an issue on web-centric Chromebooks than it is with a typical Windows PC or Mac.

Acer Chromebook 14

Performance

In regular usage – such as streaming music, browsing the web, watching YouTube videos and writing this review, the Acer Chromebook feels plenty responsive, even though its 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3160 is hardly a powerhouse by modern PC standards.

Video playback was hit-and-miss, though: I noticed stuttering and dropped frames while watching 1080p HD video, an issue I also noted with the HP Chromebook 14.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Acer Chromebook 14 fared in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • Mozilla Kraken 1.1: 3958ms
  • Octane 2.0: 8228
  • JetStream 1.1: 47.312
  • TechRadar Battery Test (movie test): 9 hours, 2 minutes

These benchmark results place the Acer Chromebook 14 right there with other lower-end, Celeron-based Chromebooks. The Kraken benchmark score of 3958 milliseconds is roughly on par with that of the similarly-specced HP Chromebook 14.

It lags well behind that of the more powerful – and more expensive – Dell Chromebook 13, however, which scored 2139 milliseconds on the Kraken test (lower scores are better), and 13,795 on the Octane test (higher scores are better).

How big an issue the Acer Chromebook 14’s relatively slow performance is depends on how you use it. If all you’re doing is working in Google Docs, browsing the web and so forth, you’ll probably be just fine with this notebook.

If you’re watching a lot of HD video or performing more advanced tasks – like performing frequent image editing in a tool like Pixlr Editor – maybe you’ll want to spring for a more powerful Chromebook.

Acer Chromebook 14

Solid battery life

And, if you’re not a super demanding user, you should be pretty happy with the Acer Chromebook 14’s battery life. In TechRadar’s Chromebook battery test – in which we play an HD video continuously until the battery calls it quits – the Acer Chromebook 14 managed a runtime of about 9 hours and 2 minutes (screen set at 50%brightness).

While that’s a few hours short of the 12 hours of run time that Acer promotes, and well behind the Dell Chromebook 13’s 14 and a half hours, it’s still longer than day’s worth of work. In my hands-on time, the battery paces for closer to 7 hours with the screen at about 65% brightness.

Put another way, this Chromebook should be able to make it through most of your workday without a charge, but you may want to pack the power adapter, just in case.

Verdict

Lower end notebooks always involve tradeoffs, and the Acer Chromebook 14 is no exception.

With this Acer Chromebook 14, you’ll get one good looking machine: it’s sleek and attractive, even if its appearance is a little derivative of a certain laptop. It’s also very well constructed and feels as solid as a rock. For 300 bucks? Nice.

But, you pay the price a little in terms of performance. While I find the Acer Chromebook 14 to be fast enough most of the time, HD video playback was also choppy at times.

We liked

With its clean lines and reasonably slim profile, the Acer Chromebook 14 makes for a subdued, classy notebook. In today’s world of metallic-styled laptops, the Acer Chromebook 14 won’t really turn heads, but that isn’t a bad thing.

Although its screen isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, it’s crisp and sharp. And while not stellar, the keyboard and trackpad combination definitely gets the job done. Battery life impresses as well, even if it falls a bit short of Acer’s 12-hour claim in real-life use.

We disliked

This is the second Chromebook I’ve reviewed here at TechRadar, and both exhibited issues with 1080p video playback. Depending on the sequence, videos dropped frames or appeared choppy at times.

Sure, it’s a lower-end system, but just the same, this is 2016. You should expect even 1080p video to play back smoothly. Plus, the onboard speakers are pedestrian, even by notebook standards.

Acer Chromebook 14

Final verdict

The Acer Chromebook 14 could be an unequivocal winner. It has the looks. It has rock solid build quality. It has a satisfactory screen, keyboard, and touchpad.

But, intermittent video playback issues, even on the lightweight Chrome OS, holds this Chromebook back. And, that’s really too bad, because Acer was so close to downright nailing it.

Source: Tech Radar

LG reports highest quarterly profit in two years – CNET

The world’s second-biggest TV maker by market share has a strong second quarter, with $504 million in profit.
Source: CNet

One of VW's diesel fixes might be making things worse – Roadshow

A consumer group believes that a potential Audi Q5 TDI remedy might increase pollution instead of reducing it.
Source: CNet

Ask Amazon's Alexa for Prime Deals and get $10 off your first order – CNET

Owners of Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot and Tap speakers will get access to a handful of exclusive Prime Deals starting today, plus a $10 discount if they place an order via Alexa.
Source: CNet

Google Chrome tests future of encryption with post-quantum crypto

Experiments are a way of life at Google, and the company’s latest project is focused on using post-quantum cryptographic algorithms in Chrome to future-proof encrypted digital communications.

Google is focusing its research on finding a way to secure today’s communications so they cannot be decrypted by a quantum computer some years down the road. A small fraction of connections between desktop Chrome and Google’s servers will use a post-quantum key-exchange algorithm in addition to the elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm that would typically be used, Matt Braithwaite, a software engineer at Google, wrote on the Google Security blog.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: Security

The Robomow Diaries: Weather thwarts inaugural mow – CNET

We take a robotic lawnmower for its first cut through a CNET editor’s front yard. But a rainy few days in Louisville, Ky., might have kept the Robomow from reaching its full grass-cutting potential.
Source: CNet

US lags behind on digital readiness, report says – CNET

The Networked Readiness index measures how ready countries are for a digital economy — and Singapore is leading the way, according to the World Economic Forum.
Source: CNet

Get inside London's Westminster Abbey on Google Street View – CNET

​One of the UK’s most hallowed buildings — and biggest tourist attractions — is now open for a virtual tour.
Source: CNet

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes banned from running labs for two years – CNET

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also revoked the license for Theranos’ lab in California.
Source: CNet

How Ringing Bells plans to keep selling its $4 smartphone – CNET

The company on Friday revealed a new set of products — the revenue from which it intends to use to further invest in the $4 Freedom 251.
Source: CNet

No Man's Sky is finally finished – CNET

One of the most anticipated releases of 2016, the space exploration game has made it through a troubled development cycle and numerous delays.
Source: CNet

Crave giveaway: Skulpt Chisel fat and muscle tracker – CNET

The Skulpt Chisel measures your body fat and the growth of individual muscles. Would you call it a scanner or joke about getting cut? Personally, we’d give it away, and here’s how you could win.
Source: CNet

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