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2018-04-25T20:21:59.987Z
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Whether you’re a cord cutter, a cord shaver, or even a cable subscriber, a smart TV can elevate your viewing experience. And if you use cord-cutting services like Hulu and HBO Now, Roku’s lineup of video streamers are among the best on the market. But you don’t have to buy these two things separately. In fact, you can get a 40-inch TCL smart TV with built-in Roku for $229.99 right now, which is about 10 percent off its average price on Amazon.

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A gigantic, curved display can make your PC experience feel wonderfully immersive, regardless of whether you’re gaming or slinging spreadsheets around. Impressive monitors like that don’t come cheap, though—at least usually. Amazon’s featured deal today is a refurbished curved monitor from retailer Woot. A refurbished 32-inch Samsung C32F397FWN is only $190. This monitor normally sells for $270 brand new. The deal ends just before midnight on Wednesday, Pacific time.

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HP’s Pavilion Gaming Laptops are jumping straight into a massive, multiplayer battle royale, as PC vendors vie for mainstream gamers’ money. The Pavilion Gaming line, announced Wednesday, is due to ship in late May or early June (and also includes desktops). It closely follows the Dell G series competition announced April 3 and shipping later this month. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s Legion gaming line and Acer’s Nitro affordable gaming PCs are already on the field. 

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The DVP-5000S sits between your HDMI source and display and uses a stereoscopic processing trick to create greater apparent detail in 1080p and lower-resolution video.

Intel recently finished its barrage of CPU microcode updates designed to combat the nasty Spectre variant 2 exploit, and on Tuesday, AMD revealed its own plans to protect PCs against the flaw. (AMD processors aren’t vulnerable to Meltdown.)

AMD’s announcement, penned by chief technical officer Mark Papermaster, released alongside Microsoft’s monthly “Patch Tuesday” update. It showcases how complex plugging Meltdown and Spectre’s security holes can be. Today’s Windows 10 updates include code containing Spectre variant 2 mitigations at an operating system level, similar to how a Windows update in early January protected against Specter variant 1.

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Last week Boss Key said it was moving on from Lawbreakers to a “passion project.” Now just a handful of days later that passion project is out on Steam. I didn’t expect such a fast turnaround, but the game is called Radical Heights, and it’s a free-to-play, ‘80s game show-themed battle royale shooter. Basically, it’s The Running Man.

And you know what? I like it.

Smash and grab

Okay, "like" is maybe too strong a word for what's here. I think it has potential though. Radical Heights cribs a lot of its best ideas from the arcade classic Smash TV, but I’m hardly going to complain about that. There’s an over-the-top announcer yell-talking bad jokes at you, there are “prizes” to pick up. It’s very much that sort of game show aesthetic, and it fits well with the low-stakes setup of battle royale matches.

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Microsoft’s next Windows 10 upgrade, code-named Redstone 4 and informally known as the Spring Creators Update, improves Windows in numerous ways. But Microsoft has also added innumerable under-the-hood adjustments. That’s why this roundup exists: to underscore smaller additions you might miss, or explain subtle changes in how Windows 10 works.

(Update: Based on a Windows update that we're seeing, it's possible that this update might be called Windows 10 Version Next. Microsoft has yet to confirm this.)

Unlike previous lists we’ve compiled, though, some of these hidden features seem tentative, with more work clearly needed. Fortunately, Microsoft seems inclined to keep developing Windows 10, with no major replacement on the radar. (We'll highlight the very best features as part of our review, due soon.)

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Was your Facebook data shared with Cambridge Analytica? The political research firm harvested the personal information of roughly 87 million people to target American voters, using a personality quiz called “This Is Your Digital Life” that scraped the Facebook data of you and your friends. The social network recently started notifying users who had their information scooped up.

If you haven’t seen the prompt in your News Feed, you can check if your Facebook data was shared with Cambridge Analytica by logging into the network and visiting this help page. The section titled “Was my information shared?” explains whether your or your friends ever logged into the nefarious quiz, though it won’t name which friends handed over your data to the app.

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Car chargers are essential for keeping your phone powered up during busy days. They’re a boring, necessary accessory that get the job done, but usually don’t spice up the drive. Not Anker’s Roav Viva. This car charger is compatible with the Alexa smart assistant found in the heart of Amazon Echo, and you can get it right now for $40 on Amazon, almost 20 percent off its average price. It’s never been cheaper on the retail site.

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If you’re asking yourself: “Should I buy a Core i9 laptop?” don’t worry. We can help you cut through the hype, innuendo, and specs so you can make the right decision.

Frankly, the name itself is enough to confuse casual observers. In desktops, the Core i9 brand indicates the processor packs a ton more CPU cores (10 to 18) than the other “Core” brands (4 to 8). But today, Core i9 in laptops mostly just signifies higher clock speeds—not more CPU cores. The 6-core, 12-thread Core i9-8950HK laptop chip has a base clock of 2.9GHz with a boost speed of 4.8GHz, for example. Intel’s new 8th-gen Core i7-8850H laptop chip also packs 6 cores and 12 threads, but slower speeds at 2.6GHz base and 4.3GHz boost.

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Built for families and parties, Roxi can be slow on the draw, but it makes up for it in versatility.
How to watch all the hardwood heroics without paying for a cable subscription.
Find the best Fitbit for your activity level and habits, without spending more than you need.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has slick design and the latest hardware, but it’s not just a pretty face. This phone includes ample software features and options—so many, in fact, you might need help wading through it all to find the truly useful stuff. You need not wander the menus alone anymore. Here are the best tips to make your new Galaxy S9 as useful as possible.

[ Looking for a Galaxy S9 or S9+ case? We pick the best here. ]

One-handed mode
Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Samsung's slim bezels make the Galaxy S9 and S9+ comfortable to hold, but the displays are still quite large. The Plus in particular can be a hand-stretcher even for those with big mitts. You might want to consider using One-handed mode when the need arises, which you can turn on under Settings > Advanced features > One-handed mode.

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Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching cars flying into buildings, or the occasional meteor, as happened in Thailand and in Russia a few years ago.

But while auto cons aren’t as common here, recording your excursions is a reasonable precaution to take—especially if you’re driving professionally.

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Amazon has completed its acquisition of Ring and immediately cut the price of its popular video doorbell
Ring provides home security through a video peephole, letting you see who's at the door whether you're inside the house or 100 miles away.