Remember that joke about Razer making a toaster that brands your bread with the Razer logo? How about that one time they teased it for April Fools Day? Well, we got news on all that and more! Don’t forget to donate to our Kickstarter today!
The glittery ball has dropped, New Year’s resolutions have been made, and that means it’s time for the world’s biggest tech companies, startups, journalists, and random celebrities to swarm upon Las Vegas for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It’s a weeklong showcase of every gadget you could ever dream of, spread out across a sprawling convention center and glitzy casinos. Robots, wacky VR headsets, smart mattresses, TVs, AI-powered appliances, self-driving vehicles, and even some zany concepts that will shape consumer tech in the years to come—this is where tech companies come to show the world what they’ve got in store.
Following the success of Hitman and Hitman 2, Warner Bros. and IO Interactive are looking to strike while enthusiasm is high by releasing a remastered collection of older games in the series. The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection includes Hitman: Absolution and Hitman: Blood Money, and it will be available on PS4 and Xbox One on January 11th for $60. There’s no word as yet on a PC release date, however.
Earlier this week, Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell announced his company was developing the Mad Box, a new standalone video game console to rival the PlayStation and Xbox. Bell has now revealed a few more details about the mysterious platform, including how an early version of it looks.
More than 100 million devices with Alexa on board have been sold. That’s the all-too-rare actual number that Amazon’s SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, revealed to me earlier this week. That’s not to say Amazon has finally decided to be completely transparent about device sales, however. While the company claims it outstripped its most optimistic expectations for the Echo Dot during the holiday season, Limp wouldn’t give a number for that. Instead, Limp says, Amazon is sold out of Dots through January, despite “pushing pallets of Echo Dots onto 747s and getting them from Hong Kong to here as quickly as we possibly could.”
This article, like most of the internet, is presented to you via black text on a white background. Depending on what time of day it is, and how long you have been staring at an obnoxiously bright screen, you might find the experience of reading it a bit … aggravating. Perhaps even exhausting. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The next version of Windows 10 will support passwordless Microsoft accounts. Microsoft will just text a code to your phone number when you sign in. It’s all part of Microsoft’s stated goal: “a world without passwords.”
A video claiming to show a folding phone from Xiaomi has been leaked by Evan Blass. In the clip, what appears to be a tablet-sized device can be seen being used to access Google Maps, before both sides are folded backwards to give it the form-factor of a compact (but likely thick) smartphone.
At a row of computers, the team sits, ultrafocused, fingers flying over their keyboards. The video game “Counter-Strike” plays out on their monitors as they communicate over headsets, engaged in a fierce competition at Moscow’s IgroMir Expo, Russia’s largest computer and video game convention. But this is not your average group of gamers. The slogan on their black jackets reads “We’ve got time to kill.” With an average age of 67, the Silver Snipers from Stockholm, Sweden, are the oldest esports team in the world.
Unless you spent 2018 living in a cave (which would be 100 percent justified given the political climate) you’ve undoubtedly heard the buzz around the new 5G wireless networks coming online. They not only promise faster internet speeds for mobile devices but wireless internet that’s actually fast enough to completely replace the wired broadband you use at home. With D-Link’s new 5G NR router, all you need is electricity and a SIM card to say goodbye to cable forever.
Epic Games is bringing back the ’14 Days of Fortnite’ event to correct the wrong ending date. On January 2, Epic Games announced that they would be compensating players with the Equalizer Glider as long as they completed one of the 14 challenges apart of ’14 Days of Fortnite’. Two days later on January 4, they decided to allow all players the chance to complete every ’14 Days of Fortnite’ challenge.
THE PROMISE OF Patreon, the membership platform for independent artists and creators, has always been simple: If your fans like your work, they will pay you for it. No need to slough off cash from advertisers, or make shady deals with brands. It’s just you, your fans, and the stuff you make for them. Patreon has slowly introduced new ways for creators to milk the most out of these fan relationships. They can give subscribers (called “patrons”) a peek into their lives behind-the-scenes with Patreon Lens, a Snapchat dupe specifically for creators. They can host live Q&As with fans on Discord, the voice-and-text chat app. Now, Patreon has another trick up its sleeve: It’s announcing an integration with Reddit, aimed at bringing creators closer than ever to the fan networks that support them.
Facebook today announced that it’s rolling out a redesigned, simplified version of the Messenger app on a global basis starting today. Messenger 4, as Facebook is calling it, will refocus on conversations, making it easier to navigate through the app. Instead of nine separate tabs, there will be three tabs, with conversations quickly accessible through the “Chats” tab. Quick access to the camera for sharing photos and for video chats is also included in the Chats tab.
The retro gaming trend gives us many ways to spend new money reliving old memories. Systems like SNES Classic, C64 Mini and the upcoming PlayStation Classic top the gift charts as consumers yearn for the good ol’ days. But now, the company Arcade1Up is taking the craze to the next level with build-it-yourself home arcade cabinets. The machines are now on sale in retail stores, starting at $300 (which converts to roughly £288, or AU$420). There are several flavors of machines, with each cabinet featuring a handful of iconic arcade titles: Street Fighter, Rampage, Centipede, Asteroids and Galaga are among the first batch.
HP is updating its popular Spectre x360 convertible laptops today. Both the 13- and 15-inch versions are getting a new “gem cut” design with a more angular look and feel. The new design also includes a USB-C port that’s angled on the edge of the Spectre x360 to improve cable management. As you’d expect, HP is including Intel’s latest 8th Gen quad-core processors inside the 13-inch Spectre x360, and six-core options for the larger 15-inch model.
“What was your favorite thing today?” I heard the question from at least five different Amazon executives last month in Seattle, when the online megaretailer introduced us to about a dozen new Alexa gadgets. “What jumped out at you?” All of it? None of it? I really wasn’t sure. I didn’t see a new, breakout hit like I saw when Amazon first compressed Alexa down into a Dot-sized speaker that cost just $50. Instead, I saw a mess of tangents, an Echo for everything. Alexa, throw the spaghetti at the wall. Alexa, tell us what stuck.
When Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey debuted earlier this month, it received widespread praise for the quality of its world-building and narrative. Some historians say it also deserves high marks for its attention to historical detail in recreating ancient Greece. Notably, the game showcases colorfully painted statues, temples, and tombs dotted about the virtual city. Yes, it’s true: contrary to all those pristine, gleaming white marble sculptures we see all the time in museums—the ones we long thought defined the Western aesthetic of the Classical era—Greco-Roman art was awash in color. Art historians have known this for a while, of course, but the knowledge hasn’t really moved beyond the confines of that rarefied world. That might change, now that it’s a feature in a hugely popular game.
Monster Sanctuary is a monster-taming RPG with party-based combat and metroidvania-like exploration. New monsters provide additional strategic options in combat and allow you to overcome obstacles to explore new areas and find hidden treasures. The turn-based combat focuses on team synergy and combos, distinguishing Monster Sanctuary from other popular monster collecting games.
This new skill available to Alexa devices, created by Hippo, let’s you play different conversations through those devices. In the event someone does want to raid your house, it will sound for all practical purposes that someone is home.
Some crazy theories are floating around, some of which may be hopeful thinking and some of which may just happen. Listen in to hear what those 14 new characters might me!
Join The Conversation
We’d love to hear from you over on our Facebook Fan Page, via Twitter (@technewsgadget) or our daily livestream! For the next 7 days we are making the livestream available to anyone but on August 9, 2018 we are shutting down access to the daily livestream and only making one show live per week to everyone. You can still get daily access and more by becoming an Insider, learn more here.
IFTTT, a free web-based service is an acronym for “If this, then that”. It is perfect for people like me who don’t know how to code but want a better integration between Internet-enabled apps and services running on a variety of gadgets. Some portals like Slack now play “nicely” with Google Drive but NOT everything runs as smoothly as this. For instance, we have both Dropbox and Google Drive for downloading photos yet because these two don’t communicate, what we download on one isn’t automatically uploaded on the other.
Applets bring your favorite services together to create new experiences. — IFTTT
IFTTT is one of the popular productivity apps popular for Android devices – in fact, it already installed on mine. iOS version is also available. With the number of productivity apps easily downloaded for free, it is easy to get trigger happy and download more than what’s of practical use. Between business, personal, and social apps, it can be confusing and time-consuming. With IFTTT, simple tasks can be automated and since its launch in 2011, applets had been created to do just that.
In 2014, IFTTT was already valued at $170M and with over 600 apps that work with popular platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Slack, Telegram, Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, YouTube, Google Calendar, Evernote, Skype, Salesforce, MailChimp and more, on IoT devices (Alexa, FitBit, Android etc), a buy-out by Google, Amazon, or Apple may be in the offing soon. In fact, Microsoft has already developed “Flow” and it already has a major competitor, Zapier.
Each applet has a trigger and a resulting action. For instance, if you like a photo on Instagram (trigger), this can immediately be sent to your Dropbox account. A few of the popular things it can do through its “trigger-and-action mechanism” are:
Automate web application tasks like posting the same content on various social media accounts.
Track mention of companies in RSS feeds.
Automate switching on the light with detection of motion.
IFTTT enables you to have better control when using Alexa (Amazon) or Google Assistant while keeping you informed about news feeds and weather forecasts. You can be alerted on your chosen search words and even back up “files, contacts, photos”.
Among the many ready-to-use Applet collections on the IFTTT site are:
Applets for Google
Applets for iOS
Applets for Android
Applets for Voice Assistant
Applets for Photography
Applets for IoT
Applets for Cars
Applets for News
Applets for Weather
Applets for the home (keeps you comfortable, safe, secure) and more.
However, the paradox of choice from such an extensive array is paralyzing so IFTTT has provided shortlisted Applets for:
Small Business Owners
There are even Applets for Weddings and Music Lovers! With IFTTT, it’s different strokes for different folks – something ultra handy when you are dying for seamless integration between home and office. If you hate to drop the ball on anything (especially work-related tasks), IFTTT is a true GIFT. But beware since some users have found out that performance is less than ideal – it does crash on occasion. But for those who have made it work, it quickly becomes the indispensable interface between your apps and smart devices in your connected life.
For the past months, we heard that software giant Microsoft was seriously working on Alexa support for Xbox One. This support has a voice control that is compatible with Amazon Echo speakers. And just this week, we’ve have seen proof that Microsoft has offered more beyond its support for Alexa but for Google Assistant, as well.
Microsoft’s Xbox One will soon support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
If you could still remember, the company no longer provides its users with a device that could alternately control console using voice commands. This happened when Microsoft killed Kinect. While users could use a headset to speak with Cortana, multi-tasking is really impossible.
Now, the forthcoming Microsoft’s Xbox One console would soon be getting an ability to enable Alexa and Google Assistant support through a skill on both platforms. At present, the software giant is only supporting Cortana, its own smart digital assistant via headset or Kinetic accessory.
It is even a common knowledge that Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana has a limited set of skills. Hence, the company’s decision to include Alexa and Google Assistant support is a welcome development, especially for Xbox users. This means that Xbox users could be able to control their console through both of the digital assistants.
However, as of press time, there are no exact features yet as to what Microsoft would support. What is certain, though, is that Xbox One owners would no longer require to use a Kinect or headset to issue voice commands.
HP’s Envy Curved desktop will come with Amazon’s Alexa voice-command technology built in.
I think it’s time to admit that smart assistants are here to stay. Alexa, Amazon’s creation, is definitely one that would become a staple in a lot of homes. And now, HP just unveiled a desktop PC with Amazon Alexa preinstalled.
Users can use this to call up the assistant and see any information to be displayed. Updates and info like weather forecasts or the album art of any music are such examples. Do take note that there is no mute button on the HP. Which means, there is no quick way to turn the assistant on and off other than going to the app.
Part of the Envy portfolio, the Envy Curved AiO 34 is an an all-in-one computer that features with a 34-inch curved screen. It is built with the new HP Command Centre which allows users to optimise the system performance and control the fan noise. Users can also control its temperature with CoolSense technology.
Other features that make this PC premium include embedded Bang and Olufsen speakers and dark ash wood grain finish.
As to the specs, it comes with an option to add the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics. It comes with a built-in charger on its base an a pop up camera for added privacy.
The AiO 34 will be available later this year. No word yet as to how much this premium PC will cost but expect it to be at the high $1000 mark.
Other products included in the Envy portfolio are the Envy 13 laptop, Envy x360 13, Envy x360 15, Envy Desktop and Envy 17 Laptop.
Alexa Can Help You Decide Where To Drop Off In Fortnite
If you’re bare tired of arguing where to drop off in Fortnite, Alexa can help you. It may seem silly, but they are actually quite useful. It is actually tough to decide if you have a squad full of voices arguing about the merits of each individual location. No need to fuss about it. Just let Google or Alexa make the call.
It Is All About Technology
Technology now helps us make decisions to some stressful situations. One of these is deciding on where to drop off in Fortnite. Now that is stressful. This can be done via a robotic voice in your phone or a cylinder on your shelf. Artificial Intelligence is not strategizing or anything. It just picks a location randomly. Bit considering all the variables at play in Fortnite, you will probably do as suggested. It will save you more time and put an end to arguments about the drop off point.
The Fortnite Dropper Skill
The Fortnite Dropper skill for Android Assistant is built-in for Android. But it also works just fine on iOS if you install thee app. What is cool about this one is you can ask your question in a variety of ways. But you always have to start with “Ask Fortnite Dropper…”.
Other Alexa Skills Available
There are other Amazon Alexa skills available for this purpose. Among the higher rated ones is you can ask Alexa for coordinates. The voice assistant can not only give you named locations, but coordinates as well. Unfortunately, it is difficult to create custom commands for Alexa. So you will end up asking Alexa to Ask Fortnite Dropper. But still, it is much better than ending up dropping at Tilted again. That is, unless the robot voice tells you to drop off at Tilted.
Alexa may help lift the burden of making drop off decisions of your shoulders. But this does not mean it will be a good decision. If you do as Alexa suggests, it might probably be your end as it might kill you. Alexa picks locations randomly. Now that does not mean it is a good drip off for you.
The final verdict will be that you weigh Alexa’s suggestion properly. Think about the situation first before you do as Alexa suggests.
Alexa is a voice assistant from Amazon. Alexa was first launched in 2014. It provides a way to play music, get news bulletins, or check the weather. All these can be done without touching the device. All it needs is your voice. Here are some helpful Alexa skills and commands that you can do.
Customize Your Amazon Echo Or Amazon Echo Dot
By enabling your Amazon Echo to access websites and apps, you can customize it. This allows Alexa to interact with smart appliances in your house. Alexa can also read headlines from the newspaper or website. It can check public transportation in your are and a whole lot more.
Amazon Echo Alexa skills have different categories. There is one for smart homes, travel, food and drinks, and best games to play on your Amazon Echo.
Music And Radio
This is the first thing that we use Alexa for. Just asking Alexa to play a specific song or for a particular radio station is faster. It is much easier and simpler to just command Alexa than having to open an app. You can also do this on the Alexa app through your smartphone. Just sign into it using your login details then set it as your default.
Amazon allowed users to control their Fire TV devices using an Amazon Echo. This allows you to open a specific streaming app. It can also play specific content through searching by titles, actors, or genres.
General Playback Information
You can connect your Echo to an external bluetooth speaker. That is, if you want to improve its sound quality. This can be done through your Alexa app’s settings menu.
You can also use your smart speaker to control your Sonos devices. If you are using an Amazon Echo Dot or a 2017 Echo, you can just connect them to your external speaker using the 3.5 mm jack.
You can use voice control over the music you are playing. No need for you to rely on physical controls on your device.
These are some skills and tricks Alexa can do for you. These tips are helpful to make your day-to-day activities faster, easier, and more convenient.