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Teleportation: will it ever be a possibility?
Posted on Tuesday June 12, 2018

Instant travel seems further away than when Captain Kirk first reanimated, but scientists are fighting to make it happen

Star Trek has a lot to answer for. Not content to tease us with unreasonable expectations of phasers and warp drive, it also thrust into the popular imagination the idea of teleportation, in which we step into a giant scanner of some sort and instantaneously find ourselves somewhere else, mind, body and soul intact (and hopefully, unlike Jeff Goldblum, untainted).

Theoretically, there are really only two ways this can(’t) be done – physical deconstruction at x and reconstitution at y, or the translation of one’s person into data to be transmitted, then reconverted into matter, like some organic fax machine.

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Marshall Major III Bluetooth review: rocking wireless headphones
Posted on Thursday June 07, 2018

The much-loved British brand has improved its wireless on-ear range, perfect for metal and hip-hop heads alike

The Marshall Major III Bluetooth headphones are the latest in the much-loved British audio brand’s wireless headphone range, and while the changes are minor over the last pair they are still a winning combination of look, sound and battery life.

Pros: great sound, long battery life, great controls, fold up for travel, sturdy, great look, good connectivity

Cons: on-ear design may not be comfortable for everyone, no NFC for one-touch pairing

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Hushed tones: six of the best noise-cancelling headphones
Posted on Sunday June 03, 2018

From Bose to Beats, we assess the cans capable of shutting out the world as well as making your music sing

Bose is one of the pioneers of noise-cancelling technology and is often lauded as the best in the business. The QC35 II are the second edition of the company’s wireless noise-cancelling cans and set the standard by which everyone else is measured.

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How much screen time is too much for kids? It's complicated
Posted on Thursday May 31, 2018

Parents have been advised to limit media consumption, but research suggests it’s the nature of it that matters

For many parents in the digital age, battles over screen time and devices have become a depressing part of family life, and knowing how much is too much has become a moving target.

Whether it’s three-year-olds throwing tantrums when the iPad is taken away, seven-year-olds watching YouTube all night, nine-year-olds demanding their own phones, 11-year-olds nagging to play 18-rated video games that “all their friends” are, or 14-year-olds who are never off Instagram, every stage of childhood and adolescence is now accompanied by its own delightful new parenting challenges.

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Google launches video doorbell with facial recognition in UK
Posted on Wednesday May 30, 2018

Nest Hello promises to recognise friends and family at the door, but could provoke privacy concerns

Google’s facial recognition video doorbell, the Nest Hello, is launching in the UK to challenge Amazon’s Ring.

Initially released in the US in March, Nest Hello is the first of Google’s new home security product lineup to make it to the UK, ahead of its Nest Secure alarm system.

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How to make travel more bearable? Bring on the robot suitcase
Posted on Wednesday May 30, 2018

The inventors of the Vespa have created Gita - a robot on wheels that will follow you around and carry your stuff. What other products do we need?

In 1946, the Italian car manufacturer Piaggio made travelling by two wheels a cool pursuit by inventing the Vespa. Now its US offshoot, Piaggio Fast Forward, has embraced convenience, and invented a small blue robot on wheels that will follow you around and carry your stuff. Gita (the Italian word for “outing”) can hold 20kg (a case of wine, some hand luggage, a bounty of snacks or a five-year-old). It won’t be available until 2019, however, and only if it’s a staycation, because it’s unclear if this two-foot-high two-wheeler will be allowed on planes. But it’s a start … So what other inventions might make holidaying more bearable?

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Holograms: are they still the preserve of science fiction?
Posted on Tuesday May 22, 2018

A projected Princess Leia in Star Wars suggested a 3D future, but we’ll have to wait a while before we are playing holochess

The fragile apparition endured only long enough to say: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” before flickering out. But R2D2’s 3D projection gave millions of young eyes, including mine, their first taste of holograms, and planted unrealistic expectations of a future playing dejarik, the gruesome game of holographic chess played on board the Millennium Falcon.

The concept of the hologram was already familiar, invented in the 1940s by physicist Dennis Gabor, but since the force reawakened the idea almost 40 years later, things haven’t really moved on. Why aren’t real, moving, Leia-style holograms now part of our day-to-day lives?

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Jetpacks: why aren't we all flying to work?
Posted on Tuesday May 15, 2018

It’s not as if the tech hasn’t shown promise, but jet propulsion has never become part of our daily lives. Here’s why

Those of a certain age may remember the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. As Rafer Johnson lit the eternal flame, a man strapped into a rocket-propelled backpack launched himself across the arena above the ticker tape and balloons, landing gracefully on the track before a TV audience of 2.5 billion.

It was a moment of triumph seeming to herald a new age in which, finally, teased for decades by Buck Rogers’ “degravity belt” and King of the Rocketmen, we’d all soon be fizzing off to work with our own personal jetpacks. Even Isaac Asimov confidently predicted that by the turn of the century, they would be “as common as a bicycle”.

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From solar-powered shirts to drunken droids: what the smarthome will look like
Posted on Wednesday May 09, 2018

Can a robot fold towels? Could your toaster turn against you? And will Amazon know when you’re hungry and drone-deliver a Chinese takeaway directly to your mouth? Find out as we step into the home of the future

If the invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck, as the French philosopher Paul Virilio suggested, then what does that make the invention of the Nest learning thermostat? As our homes fill up with more connected devices, funnelling every aspect of our lives into the great cloud of big data, the answer could be something much more alarming than just a few more faulty appliances cluttering up our cupboards.

This is one of the unsettling questions at the heart of The Future Starts Here, an exhibition about to open at the V&A in London. It promises to be less of a showcase of Tomorrow’s World-type gadgetry than a thought-provoking probe into where exactly this new generation of smart technology is taking us. “People seem scared of the future at the moment,” says Rory Hyde who, with co-curator Mariana Pestana, has spent the last two years trawling university laboratories and touring Silicon Valley to gather 100 hot-out-of-the-factory innovations, from a low-cost satellite to a solar-powered shirt that can charge a smartphone.

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Snapchat hopes for second time lucky with new Spectacles launch
Posted on Thursday April 26, 2018

Only 220,000 units of wearable gadget were sold first time around, with the tech firm writing off $40m in the process

Snap is doubling down on its hardware business, launching a new version of its Spectacles camera-glasses today with a better camera, the ability to take still images and water resistance.

The new model comes as Snapchat attempts to recover from the disappointing long-term fate of the first generation, which gathered attention – and long queues – when they were launched in extremely limited quantities in November 2016, but failed to sell in large numbers when they were eventually released on general sale.

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San Francisco's scooter war: city hits back as 'unlawful' schemes flood streets
Posted on Tuesday April 17, 2018

City officials send cease-and-desist letters to electric scooter startups, as local residents complain the unregulated schemes are a nuisance

Some people are tossing the scooters into trash cans and lakes. Others are tripping over them on the sidewalk, complaining of broken toes and dangerous collisions.

The San Francisco war over electric scooters – which several startups have dumped on to sidewalks in a competitive rush to launch unregulated rental programs – dramatically escalated on Monday when the city attorney sent cease-and-desist letters, warning that authorities would “impound” the motorized devices to stop the “dangerous” and “unlawful operation”.

Gf just texted me what should undoubtedly be the file photo for San Francisco’s dockless scooter backlash pic.twitter.com/Gko2ToHmpd

This is for white techies. I don’t know one Latino that knows anything about this

Related: San Francisco sours on rampant delivery robots: 'Not every innovation is great'

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Ring: Amazon aids smart home push by closing video-doorbell firm deal
Posted on Thursday April 12, 2018

Retailer celebrates by slashing prices on smart doorbells, while deal includes transfer of customer data to company

Amazon’s reported $1bn acquisition of video-doorbell maker Ring has closed, giving the company a significant lead over rival Google in the potentially lucrative home security market.

The deal, announced in February and closed today, means Amazon now owns a leader in DIY video security systems. Ring makes popular wireless doorbells with cameras and a range of home security cameras, recently launching a wireless home security system with keypads, contact sensors and motion detectors.

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Huawei MateBook X Pro review: the slim, do-it-all MacBook Pro rival
Posted on Wednesday April 11, 2018

Beautiful screen, excellent keyboard, great trackpad – Huawei’s new machine shows it has what it takes to build a great laptop

The MateBook X Pro is Huawei’s more powerful follow up to last year’s excellent MateBook X, and as the name might imply it is aimed squarely at Apple’s MacBook Pro.

PC laptops have come a long way in the last few years, with good design, build and performance – all hallmarks of Apple’s laptop line – now common in the £1,000-plus category.

Pros: beautiful screen, tiny bezels, slim, compact, excellent keyboard, great trackpad, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, regular USB port, fingerprint scanner, discrete GPU, pop-up webcam, Dolby Atmos speakers that are good

Cons: battery life not class-leading, no SD card slot, webcam has an up-nose angle, only two USB-C ports of which one has to charge the machine

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Researchers develop device that can 'hear' your internal voice
Posted on Friday April 06, 2018

New headset can listen to internal vocalisation and speak to the wearer while appearing silent to the outside world

Researchers have created a wearable device that can read people’s minds when they use an internal voice, allowing them to control devices and ask queries without speaking.

The device, called AlterEgo, can transcribe words that wearers verbalise internally but do not say out loud, using electrodes attached to the skin.

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Huawei says three cameras are better than one with P20 Pro smartphone
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2018

New top-end phone is first to have three separate cameras on back, as well as a new full-body screen with notch at top

Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone is the P20 Pro, which has not one, not two, but three cameras on the back.

The new P20, and the larger, more feature-packed P20 Pro, launched at an event in Paris that indicated the Chinese company is looking to match rivals Apple and Samsung and elevate the third-largest smartphone manufacture’s premium efforts.

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Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: the best big-screen smartphone by miles
Posted on Thursday March 08, 2018

Gorgeous screen and excellent camera are highlights of this top-end phone, but battery life could be improved

Having ushered in a new super-slim bezel design at the beginning of 2017 with the S8, has Samsung’s new dual-aperture, dual camera enough to entice people to upgrade?

It’s fair to say the Galaxy S9+ looks practically identical to its predecessor. It’s got the same curved glass design, metal sides and lump-less camera on the back, and while it is 1.4mm shorter, 0.4mm wider and 0.4mm thicker than the S8+, you’ll need a ruler to notice.

Super slow motion on the Samsung Galaxy S9+

Pros: 128GB + microSD card slot, wireless charging, IP68, fantastic screen, excellent camera, iris scanner + face recognition combo, great fingerprint scanner, notification LED, headphone socket

Cons: battery life could be better, very similar to S8+ design, Bixby button can’t be remapped

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My TV's audio isn't great – will a soundbar help?
Posted on Thursday March 08, 2018

Keith’s Toshiba smart TV lacks good sound and he’s bought a soundbase that overdoes the bass. What should he do next?

I have a Toshiba 32L3753DB TV, which is OK, but the sound needs help. I bought an Otone Audio Ltd Soundbase, which does amplify the sound, but it over-emphasises the bass and cannot be adjusted. Is there a soundbar or other addition that will allow me to adjust the bass and treble? Keith

It looks as though bass and treble controls have gone out of fashion. They certainly featured on the now-discontinued Sony CT60 and similar soundbars, using up and down buttons on the remote control.

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Google to provide free UK phone calls through Home smart speaker
Posted on Wednesday March 07, 2018

Tech firm is first to offer calls to UK mobile and landline numbers without charge, as battle for the home intensifies

Google has started offering free voice calls through its Home smart speakers to UK landlines and mobile phones, bringing it in line with US offerings.

Following an update rolling out this week, Google’s Home and Home Mini smart speakers will be able to place calls to ordinary UK numbers over its wifi connection, for hands-free phone calls. It doesn’t need a mobile phone to work, unlike some rival systems.

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How can I use my laptop to create a home office?
Posted on Thursday March 01, 2018

Gareth sometimes works at home with his MacBook Pro and wants to use it with a separate keyboard and screen

I’m a contract project manager. I work at a mix of client sites and at home, where I run a new MacBook Pro and Synology NAS. I would like to set up a small home office. I’ll need basic items like a monitor, keyboard, mouse and printer, but floor space is limited, so any creative desk solutions would also be appreciated. Gareth

I’ve set up home offices in four different houses now, so I’m familiar with the problems. However, I’ve not used any of the desks that are currently available, so my advice will have to be somewhat general. Readers who have bought desks recently may be able to offer more specific recommendations.

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Amazon buys video doorbell firm Ring for over $1bn
Posted on Wednesday February 28, 2018

Smart doorbell maker is retailer’s second largest acquisition as it pushes further into in-home deliveries and internet of things

Amazon has acquired video doorbell and home security camera maker Ring in a deal reportedly worth more than $1bn, as it pushes further into the internet of things and in-home-delivery space.

The deal values Ring, which makes and sells popular video doorbells in the US, UK and Europe, at between $1.2bn and $1.8bn, according to reports, making it Amazon’s second largest acquisition after the $13.7bn deal last year for Whole Foods Market.

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CloudBerry Backup Free: Cloud storage syncing that's worth the learning curve
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

CloudBerry Backup Free is an app that's especially useful for users who wind up with data scattered across a several online services. Not too long ago, I was rowing that boat, with digital stuff strewn across Mozy, OneDrive, Google, etc. It got confusing. CloudBerry makes it easy to synchronize the files in multiple locations. It has some foibles, but it gets the job done. Check out our reviews and rankings of the best free backup solutions to see how competing products fare. 

Features

CloudBerry Backup is designed to interface with online storage services and will be a breeze for IT types. The average user? Once you’re up to speed, it all makes sense, but that may take a bit longer than with most programs. There's a boatload of options and a similar-sized vessel of supported services: Amazon S3 and Glacier, Microsoft One Drive and Azure, Google Drive, and BackBlaze, just to name a few. The complete list is impressive, as you can see below.

To read this article in full, please click here

4 ways Android Messages for web is better than Apple Messages on the Mac (and 4 ways it's not)
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Google this week released a feature that Android users have wanted since the days of the Nexus phones: Messages on the web. Finally, Android users can log into a browser to see and send messages, just like their Apple pals.

android messages for web qr code IDG

Linking Android Messages with you PC's browser is as simple as scanning a QR code.

While the feature is still rolling out to phones, it's already live on the web and it's a snap to get started:

To read this article in full, please click here

Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Antivirus software is nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. Even if you’re well aware of potential threats and practice extreme caution, some threats just can’t be prevented without the extra help of an AV program—or a full antivirus suite.

You could, for example, visit a website that unintentionally displays malicious ads. Or accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens!). Or get stung by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program gives hackers entry to your system.

We’re not suggesting that PC security software is fool-proof. Antivirus software often can’t do much to stop zero-day exploits, for example. But it can detect when the undisclosed vulnerability is used to install other nasty bits, like ransomware, on your machine. Anyone who actively uses email, clicks on links, and downloads programs will benefit from an antivirus suite.

To read this article in full, please click here

Follow along as we build a Twitch streaming PC!
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

You've seen us display the contents of our pockets, discuss our favorite adult beverages, and even use an installed CPU as a coaster during our live builds, but maybe that's still not personal enough for you. If that's the case, you'll want to tune into our new vlog series.

For our first project—a PC that can simultaneously play games and stream to Twitch—we're charting the entire process from start to finish. That includes everything from picking parts to configuring our choice of streaming software. Unlike our live builds, you'll get to follow us along this whole journey toward Internet stardom.

(Or, more likely, a resounding lack thereof. But it'll still be fun.)

To read this article in full, please click here

Best NAS box for media streaming and backup
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

If you rip and library your own media, there's no better tool for storing and streaming it than a NAS box. These versatile storage devices also serve as the perfect personal, secure cloud for backing up your PCs and other devices.

Upgrade your PC peripherals for cheap in Amazon's huge one-day Logitech sale
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Hands-on: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is like XCOM with a quirky personality
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

A duck, a pig, and a zombie(?) walk into the burned out ruins of a bar, and all hell breaks loose. At least, I think it was a bar. To be honest, it was more ruins than anything else, and that was before one of the 15-odd enemies threw a Molotov through the window and lit everything on fire.

I went hands-on with Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden at E3 last week, and it was a real treat—like playing XCOM’s quirky cousin. So engaging, I didn’t even mind I got my ass kicked.

Super mutant scum

Four times I got my ass kicked and started over, I should mention. And I wasn’t alone. I just barely squeezed Mutant Year Zero into E3—it was actually the last appointment on the last day—and still we were told that only three people had managed to beat the demo the entire week. Some difficulty tuning is in order, maybe.

To read this article in full, please click here

The Full Nerd ep. 56: Intel and AMD's CPU Core Wars go nuclear, the best PC games of E3
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosHayden Dingman, and Adam Patrick Murray go deep on the escalating CPU Core Wars and what PC gamers need to know about from E3 2018. On tap:

If you missed it before, we sat down with AMD computing boss Jim Anderson to go deep on Threadripper 2’s genesis during Computex. Check it out if you haven’t had a chance yet!

To read this article in full, please click here

The Humble Cybersecurity Bundle offers everything you need to protect your PC for $15
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Keeping your PC secure isn’t always cheap. To get a top antivirus suite, for example, you’ll easily pay $50 to $100 per year. On top of that, your password manager is another $25 to $35 per year, and if you want to pay for a VPN connection it’s at least another $50 to $60 annually.

You don’t have to break the bank with today’s deal, however. Through July 3, Humble is offering a Cybersecurity Software Bundle that cuts through all the high prices to get you one heck of a deal. 

To read this article in full, please click here

Trend Micro Maximum Security review: A great security suite, but the privacy protection features need work
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

The best antivirus solution is one that’s as simple as possible. After all, if a user can’t navigate the app to take advantage of its features, then much of the program’s usefulness is lost. Trend Micro’s Maximum Security nails this principle with some of the easiest navigation we’ve seen yet.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

To read this article in full, please click here

Bullguard Premium Protection review: A solid security suite that likes to bark
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Bullguard Premium Protection is feature-packed with what the company calls “next gen anti-malware,” a new game optimization tool, and a “firewall on steroids.” As a premium security suite it certainly has all the necessary features and then some. Bullguard’s protection is also highly rated by independent AV testing organizations, but this combination of heavy security does come with its problems, especially for older machines.

Bullguard tries to be a very simple desktop application to navigate and understand. For the most part it succeeds, though you do have to get used to its logic. When you first fire it up, Bullguard Premium Protection presents a tiled interface for all of its major sections including: Antivirus, Firewall, Vulnerabilities, Backup, Game Booster, PC Tune Up, Parental Control, and Home Network Scanner. When each featured section of the security suite is running smoothly you’ll see a green checkmark on its respective tile.

To read this article in full, please click here

7 ways to master the new Google News and use it more like Google Reader
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

It’s been nearly five years since Google shut down its Reader service, and we still haven’t gotten over it. We’ve tried our share of replacements—Feedly, Inoreader, NewBlur, etc.—but between subscription fees, cross-platform compatibility, and interface oddities, we’ve yet to find anything that completely fills the void Reader left in our feeds.

But Google hasn’t given up on organized, personalized news feeds. Quite the contrary: After taking several swings with services such as Google+, Google Now, and News and Weather, Google unveiled at its I/O developer conference in May a brand-new Google News app, with a uniform experience across Android, iOS, and the web, a new philosophy, and a completely redesigned interface.

To read this article in full, please click here

QSAN XCube XT3002T NAS review: Classy, clean, and fast—but better suited to the enterprise
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Network-attached storage has a place in the home, and this box covers all the basics in style, but it's missing a few features consumers will find essential.

Best DVR for cord cutters
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

TiVo Roamio OTA vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

Plex DVR review: Still the best option for power users
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

Plex is the most powerful over-the-air DVR for cord-cutters, but it's not the easiest to use.

Vivint Smart Home bundles two Google Minis with its starter kits, nudging users toward voice control
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

Amazon’s Echo had a long head start with Vivint, but this is the first time the service provider has included smart speakers in its packages by default.

Adobe, Microsoft join to put PDF document creation into the Office ribbon
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

PDF creation is about to become even more convenient within Office apps, thanks to a partnership between Adobe and Microsoft. Unfortunately the pricey subscriptions required make it inconvenient for all except business users. Adobe’s updated Scan app, meanwhile, could be the hidden gem among Adobe’s new announcements.

Adobe and Microsoft announced an extension of their ongoing collaboration, which began with the Adobe Sign e-signature solution and now adds PDF documents. The agreement calls for the ability to save Word files in the PDF format right from the ribbon within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and SharePoint. Within the latter two applications, Adobe said that you’ll also be able to convert PDF documents to editable Office documents.

To read this article in full, please click here

Google's new Podcasts app offers the bare-minimum Android listening experience
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

Podcasts may have started on Apple devices, but millions of Android users listen to them on their phones every day. And now Google is finally getting in on the act with its own standalone podcast player, aptly called Google Podcasts.

While podcasts have always been available for listening inside the Google Play Music app or via searching inside the Google app, Google Podcasts represents the first real default presence for podcasts on the platform. But if Google wants Podcasts to become as synonymous with podcasts as YouTube is to video, it has a long way to go.

To read this article in full, please click here

Get A Lifetime Code Avengers Pro Subscription For Over 90% Off
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

In its review of Code Avengers, where PCMag dubbed this online programming course as "Excellent," the writer said, "Code Avengers is a great tool for learning programming, and its wide selection of courses make a subscription worthwhile." And that was when the course sold for $1,200 for a lifetime subscription (or $240 for one year and $720 for three years). The good news is that for a limited time you can get that same lifetime subscription to Code Avengers Pro Subscriptions for just $79.99, or 93% off the original price.

To read this article in full, please click here

Rock out this summer with $110 off the awesome Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth speaker
Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2018

 


 

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