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French government to promote gender equality in the tech ecosystem

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

c3gkvcoxaaexqd3 The French government announced a new initiative today in order to promote gender equality in the tech ecosystem in France with the help of 15 organizations. Like in many other countries, there are less women working in French startups than men. This is a key issue when it comes to recruiting the best talent and addressing the right market. I’m glad to see that the French government… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

57 total views, 0 today

Slack takes aim at the corporate sector with Enterprise Grid, adds bots from SAP

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

enterpriseasset-01 Slack, the business app that lets teams of users communicate, share files from other services, and work on them with each other, has taken off like wildfire since launching three years ago, with 5 million daily users, 1.5 million of them paying today. Now, Slack is embarking on the next step in its ambition to be the go-to platform for all workplace collaboration, no matter how big the… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

70 total views, 0 today

Trump’s draft cybersecurity order raises policy questions

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order surrounded by small business leaders in the Oval Office of the White House January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump said he will "dramatically" reduce regulations overall with this executive action as it requires that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded. (Photo by Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images) President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today on cybersecurity that will commission a review of the federal government’s capabilities and defenses, similar to reviews ordered by Obama when he took office and again last year. A draft of the order, obtained by the Washington Post, summarizes review measures Trump wants federal agencies to take and raises more questions… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

73 total views, 0 today

Snapchat now lets you make QR Snapcodes that open websites

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

Snapchat Snapcodes Facebook gave businesses the Like button connected to their Page, and now Snapchat is giving websites their own QR Snapcodes. With today’s iOS update, users can create a unique Snapcode for a website, which will open inside Snapchat when they scan it with the app’s camera. This could create a powerful way for businesses and other sites to promote themselves with photographable… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

61 total views, 0 today

Google will soon open-source Google Earth Enterprise

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

2017-01-31_0935 Google Earth Enterprise, which originally launched over ten years ago, was Google’s tool for businesses that wanted to build and host private versions of Google Earth and Google Maps for their internal geospatial applications. In 2015, the company announced that it would shut the service down in March 2017 but in what is becoming a pretty standard move for deprecated products, Google… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

66 total views, 1 today

How TechRadar reviews and tests laptops and desktops

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

Update: We’ve overhauled this page with information on a series of new and updated tests that we run on laptops, desktops and other computing products going into 2017.

TechRadar believes evaluating laptops based on their value proposition. As such, we review computing devices, including laptops, convertibles and desktops of all sizes against their own price and other options available on the market. Our review process is also underpinned by rigorous tests to determine the quality, performance and battery life of each machine.

Build quality

We begin by examining a laptop’s design and build quality to see how solid it feels to the touch and whether it fulfils the role it was designed for.

The overall build quality is important, so we go to great lengths to test the overall strength and durability of each system. We also assess the functionality of all ports, switches and latches. The quality of the screen is considered, with checks for brightness, evenness of tone, as well as any dead pixels identified.

The final part of our initial tests deals with the weight of the machine and its relative portability. Next, we assess the overall usability of the machine, including the quality of the keyboard, touchpad and overall user interface.

Updating and optimizing

Before we begin testing every laptop by updating the system with the latest patches, firmware updates and drivers. No device stays frozen in time and while this means benchmarking numbers are a constantly moving – and often, rising – target, it’s a part of our technological progress.

To give every machine the benefit of the doubt, we also turn on “high performance mode” before testing. This ensures the integrated graphics as well as any other components inside the laptop are operating at their maximum performance. Similarly, we switch laptops to “balanced mode” in the power options before battery tests to ensure they don’t run out of juice prematurely in a setting that isn’t intended for use on battery.

Performance benchmarks explained

As every device is tested using the same suite of benchmark tests, its performance can easily be compared against rival products. Each review is accompanied by the test results for that machine, as well comparisons to its closest competitors.

Before the hands-on part of our testing has been dealt with, the laptop will spend up to 72 hours being run through a series of benchmarks to check overall performance. Each machine is set at the same high performance level for all tests save for battery life. This way, we can judge how effectively it will run at its maximum potential.

We use a number of synthetic tests to measure a laptop’s components. The first, PCMark 8 battery life, tests the device’s battery endurance. We then follow up with an anecdotal battery test further simulating real life usage: video playback. (Both of these are detailed in sections following this one.)

The PCMark 8 performance is conducted as well at the highest performance settings, testing its CPU and ability to multitask as well as render complex files and graphical elements. Meanwhile, 3DMark is specifically designed to test the strength of the laptop’s graphics processor(s) with various 3D modeling and game physics tests. Specifically, we run the Sky Diver (aimed at gaming laptops and low-power devices), Time Spy (DirectX 12-enabled) and Fire Strike (pushing the high-end) 3DMark tests on each gaming device.

We then evaluate the CPU’s multi-core performance through Cinebench., which measures various hyperthreading capabilities as well as CPU graphical performance. Geekbench 3 is also used to measure the CPU’s multi-core and single-core throughput. 

Finally, if we’re reviewing a gaming laptop or desktop, we use benchmark tools found within Grand Theft Auto V and The Division for PC, to truly tax those dedicated graphics chips. Both of those tests are run at their highest and lowest settings at 1080p resolution, to give an idea of where the device’s boundaries of power are at the most common pixel count.

Each of these performance tests are run at least twice to ensure an accurate result. If two results for a test vary by more than 100 points, then we run the test three times and record the average.

PCMark 8 battery life explained

This software tests mobile performance and battery life, simulating popular general tasks such as video chat, web browsing and document creation while the system is unplugged.

Firstly, all laptops are set to Balanced in the power options if possible. We also tweak some advanced settings, including telling the screen and hard drives to never sleep, we set the critical battery level to 5%. Most importantly, this test is conducted with the screen brightness and system volume set to 50%, with no radios active but Wi-Fi. Any additional lighting is disabled as well.

With the laptop’s battery fully charged, we disconnect the main power. PCMark 8 then simulates day-to-day use until the battery runs close to dry. Once it’s through, PCMark 8 provides an estimate of the battery’s total capacity in hours and minutes based on how quickly power drained during the test. Here is how we’ve come to interpret the scores based on past data:

  • 2 hours: This either isn’t a very power-efficient machine, or wasn’t designed for endurance.
  • 3 hours: Generally Ultrabooks come in at around the long end of this time, as well as high-resolution laptops.
  • 4 hours: Only the longest-lasting laptops can achieve this level of endurance or longer, though the trend is starting to near 5 hours in 2017.

Anecdotal battery life explained

In addition to using PCMark8 to create a synthetic measurement of battery life, we also test how long laptops can last through a regular day of use through a common task: video playback. In this real life test, we run a 1080p video on a continuous loop through VLC Player and measure the time until the battery is completely drained in hours and minutes.

We run the laptop from a full charge until the machine ultimately shuts down after the battery is fully exhausted.

This test is also conducted with the screen brightness and system volume set to 50%, with no radios active but Wi-Fi. Any additional lighting is disabled as well, and the power setting is set to Balanced if possible.

Source: TechRadar

72 total views, 0 today

LG’s 5K monitor for Macs doesn't like being near routers

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

LG’s UltraFine 5K Display might be a 27-inch monitor with a massive 5,120 x 2,880 resolution – and a honking price tag to match – but it’s suffering from a serious bugbear after going on sale last month. Namely, the fact that it doesn’t get along well with nearby Wi-Fi routers.

If the router happens to be within 2 meters distance of the display, then the monitor isn’t so “ultra-fine.” In fact, things aren’t remotely fine, and the peripheral becomes effectively “unusable”, as 9 to 5 Mac reports.

Apparently, users can experience nasty flickering which can turn into a black screen as the router is moved closer, with the tech site noting that the display would keep disconnecting itself from the MacBook Pro it was hooked up to – even causing the laptop to freeze up at times.

Proximity problem

LG’s technical support acknowledged the problem, advising to check whether the monitor is near a router, and saying that this could affect the performance of the display. In further correspondence, the monitor manufacturer said it recommends that any Wi-Fi router is placed at least 2m away from the screen to avoid such interference.

LG also made it clear that this issue only affected its 5K monitors and not other models.

Reviews of the product on the Apple store also complain about this issue, with one buyer writing: “Connecting the MBP [MacBook Pro] to the display causes the MBP to freeze frequently, or not respond at all. Connected keyboards (with required USB adaptors, naturally) constantly need to be unplugged and plugged in again to work…”

We’ve contacted Apple to see if the company has any comment on this matter, and will update this story with any response we receive.

At any rate, if you’ve been tearing your hair out due to similar problems with your shiny new 5K display, and there’s a nearby Wi-Fi router, you’ll just have to shift the latter a bit further out of the way to resolve any issues (hopefully). But of course this does not reflect particularly well on the build quality of such an expensive display.

  • So what display should you buy? These are the best monitors right now

Source: TechRadar

58 total views, 0 today

The best free Photoshop filters 2017

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

Free Photoshop filters

Photoshop’s built-in filters are superb, but you can expand your collection almost infinitely with third-party Photoshop Actions, which essentially ‘record’ a series of tasks conducted within the software and replay the steps automatically.

Third-party filters are an easy way to apply new and imaginative effects to your photographs, and their developers often offer some of their most popular creations to download and use free. If you love the freebies, you might then consider buying a package containing more.

Another good place to find free Photoshop filters is DeviantArt, where creatives and artists around the world share and critique each others’ work. Search the site for ‘Photoshop filter’ and ‘Photoshop action’ and you’ll find a ton of freebies (though you might have to email the creator for the file).

Here’s our pick of the best free Photoshop filters. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

Get retro kitsch via VHS glitch using this free Photoshop filter from Creativetacos

1. Glitch

Make your photo look like a frozen still from a broken video tape

This retro look will be familiar to both lovers of horror movies like The Ring, or anyone who’s watched their parents’ worn-out 80s wedding video. Glitch is a free Photoshop filter from from Creativetacos that you can use to give a normal photo the look of a glitchy VHS picture from decades past. 

Download here: Glitch

Give a sleek, iconic black and white look to your portrait photos with this free Photoshop filter

2. Weekend B/W

A sophisticated monochrome filter for upmarket portrait shots

Graded with five colours and sensitive to skin tones, this Photoshop filter gives a sleek, classic monochrome look to your photos. It works best on portraits, including wedding, studio and children’s portraits. It’s only compatible with the latest versions of Photoshop, though, so you’ll need either CS6 or the Creative Cloud. This Photoshop action was created by DeviantArt veteran Realgrow, aka Serge, from Russia. 

Download here: Weekend B/W

This creative Photoshop filter is not only great for photos, it’s also very handy if you make comics

3. Halftone Photo Effect

Apply a comic-style effect reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein

Want to make your image look like a page from a comic book? Use this free Photoshop filter from Creativetacos to create a stylish halftone effect. It works best with colorful photos, and it’s compatible with Photoshop CS3-CS6 and Photoshop CC.

Download here: Halftone Photo Effect

Give a cool vintage effect to your photos with this free Photoshop filter from Creativetacos

4. Free Vintage Retro Circle Effect

A stylish texture that lends pictures an old-school print look

Some Photoshop filters are quite subtle, others very dramatic. This one fits firmly into the latter category, using Photoshop’s built-in geometric shapes to create a stylish effect reminiscent of old print.

Download here: Free Vintage Retro Circle Effect

Turn back time to the film era with this Photoshop filter from Shutter Pulse

5. Old Film

Recreate the vintage feel of an old colour photo

Inspired by the era of film, this free Photoshop filter from Shutter Pulse will transform a modern photo to give it the vintage feel of a bygone age. You can either download this Photoshop action by itself, or get it as part of a free bundle that includes 20 Lightroom presets and 20 Photoshop actions (provided you’re happy to give the developer your email address).

Download here: Old Film

Make a scary photo even more chilling with this free Photoshop filter from Exposure School

6. Cold Nightmare

Add an icy look to your images with this high-contrast filter

Exposure School is a popular blog providing tips and tricks on how to improve your photography. Its creators are giving away this eerie Photoshop filter free, enabling you to add an unsettling look to your stranger snaps. It’s compatible with Photoshop CS3-CS6 and Photoshop CC.

Download here: Cold Nightmare

Great monochrome conversion is tricky. Free Photoshop filter Silver helps you get the balance right

7. Silver

Transform colour photos with a beautiful monochrome sheen

Silver applies a sophisticated monochrome look that can really add a touch of class to otherwise ordinary images. There are versions of this free Photoshop Action for both Photoshop (CS4-CS6 and CC) and Photoshop Elements (11 and upwards).

Download here: Silver

Achieve the soft, warm look of the much-loved Lomo LC-A camera

8. Lomo

Reproduce the fun effect of the Lomo LC-A camera

This free Photoshop filter from Photography Planet applies a fun, toy camera effect to your photos that’s inspired by the much-loved Lomo LC-A camera from the old Soviet Union.

There are two versions of the action included in the download: the low res one, which works best with photos less than 1500px in height or width, and the regular one, which works better with larger photos – the difference being the amount of edge blur. Compatible with Photoshop CS4-CS6 and Photoshop CC.

Download here: Lomo

Recreate the effect created by an imperfectly made analog camera body

9. Vintage Light Leak

Simulate the look of imperfectly exposed film

In the days of film photography, light leaks (where light gets into a camera, exposing the film or sensor) were seen as a problem that could ruin a picture. Nowadays, there’s fond nostalgia for the unintended yet dramatic visual effects that light leaks caused, so this free Photoshop filter from Photography Planet allows you to apply the look to a modern digital image. It’s compatible with Photoshop CS4-CS6 and CC.

Download here: Vintage Light Leak

Reimagine lush landscapes as arid, sandy scenes with a sandy color cast

10. Desert Dust

A view through the eye of a sandstorm

Anyone who’s watched Breaking Bad will know that there’s an eerie, dusty glow to any desert scene. Give your pictures a desert makeover with this free Photoshop filter from Vandelay Design, which summons up a hazy vista of desert dirt and dust. 

Download here: Desert Dust

As twilight sets in, light takes on a bluish hue. Recreate this effect with Blue Evening – ideal for atmospheric outdoor shots

11. Blue Evening

Envelop images in an evocative blue mist

Give your photo a dramatic blue cast with this evocative Photoshop filter from Photography Planet. Blue Evening works in Photoshop CS4-CS6 and CC, and there’s also a version compatible with Photoshop Elements 11 and above. 

Download here: Blue Evening

The free Summer Haze Photoshop filter creates a warm look that’s flattering to skintones

13. Summer Haze

Bring a touch of warmth to outdoor shots

This free Photoshop filter from Photography Planet simulates the look of warm late afternoon sunshine. It’s best used on outdoor photos – especially portraits taken in natural light – and is compatible with Photoshop CS4-CS6 and Photoshop CC. 

Download here: Summer Haze

Each filter in Nik Collection comes with a great range of presets, and you can create your own for future use

14. Google Nik Collection

A brilliant toolkit of professional-quality filters

Google Nik Collection is a set of seven top quality filters for creating stunning monochrome conversions, adjusting colors, applying retro film effects, sharpening, creating HDR images, reducing noise, and manipulating exposure. Each filter includes presets that will transform photos in a couple of clicks, as well as sliders to customize the results.

Download here: Google Nik Collection

Source: TechRadar

80 total views, 0 today

Walmart launches free, 2-day shipping without a membership on purchases of $35 or more

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 18:  A Walmart sign is seen on August 18, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Walmart announced today that earnings fell in the second quarter due to currency fluctuations and the retailer's investment in employee wages and training.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Walmart has just issued its strongest response to the growing Amazon threat, since its acquisition of e-commerce newcomer Jet.com last summer. Starting today, Walmart will begin offering free, two-day shipping on over 2 million items, with no need for a membership fee. The range of items will include “everyday essentials,” like household products, baby needs, pet supplies… Read More

Source: TechCrunch

47 total views, 1 today

Crunch Report | Tech Execs Are Matching Donations to ACLU

Uncategorized January 31, 2017

Tech execs are matching donations to the ACLU, Starbucks unveils a virtual assistant, Dropbox touts a $1 billion revenue run rate, robots are making coffee and Fitbit cuts six percent of its workforce. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Source: TechCrunch

69 total views, 0 today

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  • Best VPN solutions for Linux users

    by on April 2, 2017 - 0 Comments

    This article was provided to TechRadar by Linux User & Developer, a magazine which is dedicated to passing on the open source knowledge and expertise of grass-roots developers and hackers. Some of the software included may have been updated since the article was first published. If you use your Linux machine to access the internet, […]

  • Smart bedroom gadgets: 8 must-have devices for a more blissful bedroom

    by on April 1, 2017 - 0 Comments

    This is the second part of our room-by-room guide to the best smart home products on the market right now – and it’s all about the best room in the house, the bedroom.  From gadgets that’ll help you sleep soundly to ones that’ll brighten your morning, here’s the smart tech you need to master your […]

  • Best travel apps 2017: make travelling a joy

    by on April 30, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Best travel apps 2017 With cheap and frequent flights to almost anywhere in the world, it’s never been easier to see the Earth. That doesn’t mean that the actual traveling part of it is easy. To help make the whole experience of traveling less stressful we have compiled the best travel apps available on the […]

  • Intel Security is McAfee again

    by on April 4, 2017 - 0 Comments

     If you were on the internet in a certain era, you remember McAfee. It was the defensive line between you and the rest of the internet, reminding you with incessant popups that you were not hacked, not quite yet, but only if you renewed your subscription right away. Then Intel bought the firewall company in […]

  • Author Ryan Holiday will examine the legal battle between Gawker, Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel

    by on June 2, 2017 - 0 Comments

     Penguin’s business-focused imprint Portfolio plans to publish a book recounting the legal dispute between Gawker Media and wrestler Hulk Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bolea). The case, in which Hogan sued Gawker for publishing a sex tape involving him and the wife of his then-best friend, could often seem farcical — part of Hogan/Bolea’s […]