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PC Tools Weekly: Core Temp and CPUID CPU-Z

File-It-Under: Tools for your system By:D.F.Skinner

 

Welcome back to the long overdue PC Tools Weekly,this week we take a look at two  hardware monitoring apps that’s used by many PC builders including myself,and they are Core Temp and CPUID CPU-Z.

 

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Core Temp is a super powerful no nonsense app that monitors the processor temperature and other vital components in your system.What makes Core Temp so unique is it displays the temperature of each individual working core in your systems processor. You can view fluctuated temperatures in real time in varying workloads. Core Temp also analyzes your motherboard. The only drawback in using this particular software is its rather powerful and has a tendency to stall your system when in use. That could be because Core Temp places a heavy load on your systems processor.

 

 

 

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With CPU-Z,its more of a system monitoring software that gives a profile of all of your working hardware in your system without the computer users need to open up your case. It gives you information on your CPU clock cores,your graphic card and displays the SPD data from your memory modules. Usually system builders who like to overclock their PC’s will almost always use this app as a guideline as to how well their hardware is holding up under stress.

Both of these apps are open source and free and can be found on their respective websites. As always please stay far away from free download sites like CNET which always offload malware and Internet tracking software onto your computer.

 

 

 

How To Ruin Xmas For The Kids? Hack Xbox Live and PSN

File-It-Under: Networking hacks By: D.F.Skin

 

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If you’re one of millions of gaming console owners be it PlayStation and Xbox,or if got your brand new console for Xmas and was eager to tryout you’re new Call of Duty game,then you were  fortunate enough to see this dreaded message; PSN Status: Offline . This was because both gaming networks were subjected to a big time extreme hack,which brought down both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. So far while writing this post, Sony and Microsoft have yet acknowledge the cause.

The only group taking credit for these hacks boasted their claim on Twitter who go by the name Lizard Squad,yeah I know not necessarily a name that sounds threaten but nonetheless,they are responsible taking down an entire network.

The Xbox Live  were a little bit more straightforward with their information,while the PSN simply said,well this, “offline”. There are several Xbox services that are already running that includes your purchase content,multimedia,and the entire website itself.

This of course does not bold well for Sony as this the second time in so many weeks they have been hacked. As of now it seems the networks are still down,soon as both the Xbox Live and PSN go up I will post a followup on social media.

The Best Overall Gadget 2014: The Surface Pro 3

File-It-Under: Year ending tech By:D.F.Skin

 

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Whether you want to call it a tablet or a laptop,the Surface Pro 3 gets my vote as the best gadget of the year. For the record, I consider the Surface Pro 3 a full fledged laptop with touch screen capability with added bit of flare.I’ll would just call it a hybrid device for short because that’s what seemingly it is.

There are several key factors that makes the Surface Pro 3 my pick for gadget of the year. There is the thin compact perfectly squared off design, a well illuminated 2160 x 1440 resolution touchscreen display. An assortment of awesome hardware starting with the latest dual-core Intel Core i3 or i7 processors with a 1.5GHz clock speed,a 4GB max RAM support, and the latest Intel HD 4200 Graphics. In performance, the Surface Pro 3 behaves like a mid-range desktop,which itself is a compliment.

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With all the complimentary features I’ve just mentioned thus far,probably the main attraction with the Surface Pro 3 is its responsive super thin keyboard,(the keyboard sadly is sold separately) which gives the device its overall character in my opinion. Then we have the kickstand which offers users the perfect viewing angle.

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Yes 2014 was once again the year of the smartphone,but overall the Surface Pro garnished up enough praises from myself and many others to be the gadget of the year. Its the only Windows portable machine that fiercely rivals the Macbook Air.

 

Tek-torial Presents: How To Setup Your New Xmas Gift Tablet The iPad

File-It-Under: New tech toys By: D.F.Skin

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If you’re one of millions of would be new tablet owners and I say this in future tense because tablets will definitely be the hot gadget for Xmas, then you’re in luck,you stumbled upon one of many Tek-torials that will be posted the upcoming days leading right up to Xmas.I’ll show you right now in just a few simple steps how to setup your brand new iPad. If you’re already an iPhone owner then you don’t really need to view this post as the setup process is pretty much identical,but if you want to read the post because you like my brilliant digital periodical,feel free to read and expand the mind and read right along.

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Now for you first time iPad owners,other than quite the obvious powering the device on,always make sure you have the needed accessories that come with the tablet,that would be the lighting cable and the power brick. Believe it or not,I’ve read reports where consumers were actually missing these items.

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Once you power up,the iPad will welcome you to its device which then you’ll have the choice between your native languages,choose English of course. Now here’s where it gets interesting,assuming that you have a Apple account,type in your account name which is usually your email account. You’re also given a choice to setup your account right then and there,so if you don’t have an account,setup it now.

Once you setup your account,or typed in your account password ,you can by choice setup iCloud,but if you’re new to the whole Apple experience,I would hold off on iCloud for now. If you don’t know what iCloud is,its basically one of many cloud base storage apps. Once you setup your account,you will be taken to your display,you’ll see a variety of defaulted Apple apps.

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Now my recommendation is to first download apps you’ll need,you’ll need a web browser because Safari that’s defaulted on the iPad in my opinion is trash. Download Google Chrome,the best browser period on any platform be it mobile or desktop. Now you’re going to need to check the weather on the go,right this moment install the Weather Channel app or you can install Yahoo weather app,two very straight forward apps that gives the forecast without all the fancy bells and whistles.

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Now you need to keep tabs of what’s going in the the social media circuit,you’ll need to install the Facebook app,which is created by none other than,then there’s Twitter,the app that is. The best Twitter app for the iPad by far is TweetBot,enough said.

Then you’ll need some form of video entertainment,in comes YouTube and Netfllix. I probably spend the majority of my iPad time on those two apps alone.

After downloading all the apps I recommended,the rest is to your discretion. Try keeping tabs with other websites on app recommendation for the iPad, BGR and Cnet do a go job at revealing top mobile apps that’s out there for download.

Before we end this Tek-torial,we must talk connection. Now if you have a Wifi only device,simply just connect it to your router or any WiFi access points. Now there is the WiFi and Cellular version (which is what I have) go right to your settings and setup your Broadband account.

Enjoy your new Xmas iPad….

 

 

Tekspecz Year Ending Best Tech: The Best Most Expensive Hardware 2014

File-It-Under: Year ending tech By: D.F.Skin

 

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I just love hardware,I consider myself a true hardware junkie,seriously I am. I spend the better part of my daily life writing about hardware,fixing it and assorting it all into my nest PC build. Its a ole saying,(my saying) good hardware almost always runs great software,period.

Builders like myself if by choice would much rather choose the best hardware money can buy. Some of us though don’t have the financial means to purchase that top of the line hardware, often resorting  to the mid-range option. Let’s face it,building PC’s can be a bit expensive even with mid-range hardware. If though you happen to be the 1%  that have money to burn and want the more expensive option,then here’s a look at the top PC hardware in 2014.

 

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The Best Processor 2014 Haswell E Intel 3.0 GHz Core i7 560x Price Value: $1,090

When we rate things in a sports metaphoric sense,we’ll usually say the Micheal Jordan of this, or the Lebron James of that. In the case of the Intel Haswell E,its definitely the Lebron James of central processing units. It doesn’t have the fastest clock speed around,but what it lacks in speed it makes it up in cores,many many cores that is in the sum 8-cores altogether,with 16 Threads,20MB of L3 cache. In addition it has 40 PCI express lanes. Extreme multitasking would definitely have to be associated with this Haswell E Intel processor.

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The fastest Graphic card 2014 AMD Radeon R9 295×2 Price Value:$999

Word on the street is the AMD Radeon 295×2 is the fastest graphic card on the planet,the features on this graphic card most certainly justifies its speed.It has 8GB of graphic memory,1018MHz GPU clock speed,500 MHz memory clock. This graphic card is so fast,it even has its own liquid cooling fan attached to it just to keep things stable.

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The Best Most Expensive Motherboard 2014 ASRock X99 Extreme 11 Price Value: $650

What can $650 buy you nowadays,a motherboard of course. The X99 Extreme grants you with some pretty cool features that boosts extra power and speed to your GPU. The star feature on this motherboard is the storage technology. The X99 Extreme11 can support up to 18 SATA devices on one motherboard, and supports RAID 0/1. It can also allow 6.1 GBps at peak read/write speed when top tier SATA drives are connected to each port.Similar to the Z87,the Extreme 11 uses two couple PLX chips that allows x16/x16/x16/x16PCI e support combine with the LSI chip.

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 The Best 4K Flat Panel 2014  Asus  PQ321Q Price Value:$1499.99

Probably the best 4K flat panel displays that large sums of money can buy. Thirty inches in measurements, a 3840 x 2160 resolution,with an astounding 8 million pixels.This widescreen LED backlight LCD monitor will go well with that $1,000 graphic card I just mentioned in the above paragraphs.Other added additions are adjustable built-in speakers and a headphone jack,probably first monitor of its kind on the market. It

 

 

Tekspecz Year Ending Best Tech Awards: Tablets

File-It-Under: Year ending tech By: D.F.Skin

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Tablets for the most part aren’t the big selling ticket item like they were say 4 years ago. Tablets isn’t something you have to upgrade every year mainly because even much older tablets can still run the latest mobile OS like iOS 8 and Android Lollipop.You also have to factor in the limited functionality of the device,I myself only use my tablet to view social media feeds,watch movies and surf the Internet. Until the tablet hardware rivals that of the desktop and laptop,the device is what it is,its a form of handheld entertainment(no I don’t consider the Surface Pro 3 a full fledged tablet its more of a hybrid PC)

If you haven’t purchased a tablet yet,then you’re in luck,2014 was a great year for new and improved tablets,most have gorgeous displays, much improved hardware,but only a few can get the Tekspecz Best Tech Award 2014, and they are…

 

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The Best Overall Tablet 2014: The iPad Air 2

This pick here most will agree is not even close. In fact you can probably the make the case for the much older iPad 2 as being the best tablet on the market. The Air 2 is everything you need in a well constructed tablet. It has beautiful compact design,some serious hardware within,and a nice bright retina display which is the main selling point of the Air 2.

Apple just gets it right with their tablets where other 9-inch tablets have gotten it wrong.

 

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The Best 7-inch Tablet 2014: The iPad Mini 3 Retina Display

You can probably make a good strong case for the iPad mini (retina) as being the top tier tablet on the market,let alone being the best 7-inch device in the game. The new iPad Mini is basically the shrunken version of the iPad Air,only thing is the Mini still uses the A7 processor instead of the A8.

 

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The Best software on a tablet 2014: Android Lollipop Nexus 9

Even though I’m a current owner of the iPhone 6-Plus,I do wish Android Lollipop was the devices mobile operating system. Androids Lollipop is probably the most animated,clean operating system I ever seen on a mobile device. Material design looks absolutely stunning.

 

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The Best gaming tablet 2014: Nvidia Shield Tablet

The Nvidia Shield I think will and probably already have change portable gaming from here on out. Its basically a gaming PC that fits in the palm of your hand. It has a sleek,clean design, very stunning 1080p HD display,and has very excellent graphics. The core tech in the Nvidia Shield is its Tegra 4 processor that features an amazing 72-core Nvidia GeForce GPU and quad-core ARM A15 CPU for very intense graphics,and importantly the CPU runs very cool which lends to an extended battery life. Also the Nvidia Shield runs near stock Android Kitkat.

 

PC Tools Weekly: DashLane Password Manager

File-It-Under: Tools for the system By: D.F.Skin

 

 

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Have  you ever logged onto an account,any account be it Amazon, eBay, your bank, even your social media account like Facebook then suddenly the worst case scenario happens; “Uh what’s the password again?” Then even the worst happens,while observing your credit card or bank statement you notice unauthorized purchases from Amazon,yeah you been breached. Some clever soulless individual manage to gain access to your password and credit card information,ouch.

This is where a password manager is needed. Lets face it,myself included we all have over a dozen or more accounts that requires a password to access that account,either to maybe pay a bill,use our credit card to online shop,or view hot trends on Twitter.

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With a password manager you’ll make it very hard for unwanted intruders to gain access to any one of your accounts,some password managers have some forms of high levels encryption that protects all of your accounts under one software. It will also make it very easy for you to remember your password because usually password managers have a password generator that basically acts as a pad lock to all of your accounts. There are several password  managers out there,1Password, LastPass, and PasswordBox,trust me I been through all of these password managers,but the one that has really stoked my interest is Dashlane.

For me Dashlane seems to really go out of their way to protect you accounts, unlike the other password managers Dashlane is very easy to install and does not have  a insanely steep learning curve which for me is very important in any software.

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Dashlane has some very impressive features that puts this password manager in a class of its own. One feature I just love is the Password Changer which allows users to change passwords to anyone of your accounts with just one click of the green button. This comes in handy when you need to change your password if by chance you suspect any suspicious activity on any of your accounts, or have moments of mental lapse and forgotten your password altogether.

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Other noted impressive features in Dashlane its very accurate autofill technology that actually works to precisely to perfection, yet so easy to use. Then there’s the security Dashboard which will give you an actual security score on how well your passwords is protecting my account, I scored 43% yikes,not good. Dashlane will also alert users if your accounts have been breached.

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Then there’s the high level of security that Dashlane implements,it has a AES-256 high level encryption which is standard around the globe, the encryption key is not recorded meaning your data will be delivered from your Master Password,there is no default record of your data.Not even Dashlane will be able to crack your encryption once set. Dashlane also has a two-factor authentication system with Google Authenticator which brings an added layer of protection.

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Wait,there’s more,Dashlane has a super strong password generator where one password  can be generated with just one click,it is then saved to your password vault, then autofill to your web browser.

I can go on and on about Dashlane,but I’ll end it with this. Dashlane is arguably the best app I’ve recommended on PC Tools Weekly. Its a app that has high level of simplicity, yet not over saturated with useless features,every single feature in DashLane serves a useful purpose. You can download Dashlane as  a free option which is currently in beta format or get the premium edition,the difference with the two is the priced option allows you to sync Dashlane to all of your devices.

Download Dashlane now,its a beast and have spewed positive praises by many in the media and tech community. Its available for the Mac,PC, iOS and Android mobile devices.

 

Opps I forgot to tell ya: Dashlane also has a secure digital wallet feature where you can store all of your payment types in Dashlane’s online wallet. The app automatically capture receipts of all your purchase.Users no long have to store your credit card info on site that’s not trusted.

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Tekspecz 2014 Year Ending Best Tech Awards: Smartphones

File-It-Under: Year ending tech By: D.F.Skin

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For the past couple of years smartphones have become the main staple of technology,besides the obvious the computer,the smartphone is our connective gateway for gathering information. Its safe to say the smartphone today can be reclassified as an official handheld computing device.

In 2014 we’ve witnessed smartphones advance in both hardware and image capturing. There is also a significant improvement in both Android and iOS mobile operating systems.

With that said,it’s rather hard to come up with the best smartphone in 2014,the Lebron James of smartphones,which smartphones gets the best tech award 2014, I mean there were so many great smartphones that graced the market this year. So being the impartial guy that I am, I had to categorize the award into the best smartphone camera,hardware,design and display. The Teksepecz 2014 best tech award,let’s go.

 

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The Best Smartphone Design 2014: HTC ONE M8

The HTC One M8 pretty much set the standard as to how smartphones are suppose to be design, in fact HTC are the first smartphone manufacturers to successfully pull off an all metal chassis with the HTC One two years prior. Then we have those speakers, not only are they the best sounding speakers on any smartphone,but all  manufacturers should mimic the speaker placement,which is front facing,top and bottom.

 

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The Best Smartphone Camera 2014: iPhone 6-Plus

This indeed was a tough one because there are a couple of smartphones on the market who really stepped it up in the camera department this year, the Galaxy Note 4, Xperia Z and the iPhone 6-Plus have great cameras that all take gorgeous pictures. Though the Note 4 and Xperia Z have more pixels , I have to give this award to the iPhone 6-Plus. I mean you can probably make a case for the iPhone 5S being the best picture taking smartphone on the market, Apple just gets it right in this category. The iPhone 6-Plus has the ability to capture crisp clean sharp images even in a low light environment,it has a near perfect image stabilization technology that’s probably the best in any smartphone.

 

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The Best Overall Hardware In a Smartphone 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The Note 4 is probably the best smartphone Samsung has ever produced to date, why? Its that hardware man. The Note 4 has a superior collective piece of hardware all assimilated into one device.  It has a super fast 2.7GHz quad-core processor,3GB of internal memory (RAM), 32GB of storage with an additional 128GB of microSD storage. Don’t get me started with the additional 16 MP camera and a very bright Super AMOLED display that measures 2560 x 14450 resolution. Put all of these pieces of awesome hardware together, and you have the makings of a supreme smartphone.

 

 

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The Best Smartphone Display 2014: LG G3

The LG G3 has the best display on any smartphone period,yeah I know the intro to this passage was a bit lame and dramatic but seriously,the LG G3 has one of those displays that will have you gazing for hours without blinking your eyelids. Numbers wise,the LG G3 display is  head of its class with True HD IPS LCD capacitive screen with 16M colors, a astounding 2560 x 1440 pixels.

 

 

 

 

Witness 15 minutes Of Uncharted 4 Gameplay Right Here

File-It-Under: Gaming demo By: D.F.Skin

 

I have to admit I never played the game Uncharted,because up until this year I’ve always been an Xbox owner,Uncharted if you don’t know by now is a PlayStation only game. If you’ve seen my past post,you know I’m a first  time owner of the new generation gaming console the PS4, which I purchased this past Summer. ( You can read my review on the PS4 just dig up the archive). Uncharted has always intrigue me when viewing actual game play on YouTube.I mean game is a cross between Indiana Jones and Die Hard,awesome game.

Now I get a chance to purchase the game this month, Uncharted 4 is set to be release at the end of this month.

There is 15 mins of actual gameplay demo that was released online yesterday and I just happen to have it for you. Watch and enjoy.

 

 

August SmartLock Solves Could The Age Old Problem: Lost Keys

File-It-Under: Home automation By: D.F.Skin

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OK answer this question,how many times have you either locked yourself out of your house or worst lost your keys? The answer is probably yes,house and apartment owners at one time have had that miscued moment where we misplaced our keys. There are even moments when you’re miles away away from your place of dwelling when the inevitable crosses your mind “Did I leave my keys home”?

Good news though,the problem can be solved and it comes in a  form of a app (Yes,there is a app for that) and its call Smartlock,its creator is August.

August SmartLock main intentions is to take the keys out of your pockets, its a mere simple way to manage the lock to your place of dwelling. Locking and unlocking doors is just the tip of the iceberg as what SmartLock can really do, it can control who can enter and who isn’t permitted all without the need of any codes or physical keys. You can mange the lock from your smartphone or computer.

You can view log records of who has entered and exited your home,issue keys to family members for 24/7 or program the lock to operate for just a short period of time for housekeepers.

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August claims that the installation process is fairly easy,just replace the inner portion of the existing deadbolt without replacing the entire exteriors hardware. The process itself takes only 10 minutes, I can most certainly vouch their claim witnessing the entire installation process on YouTube.

As I mentioned before SmartLock can be operated via smartphone app which you can install on the latest iOS devices (Sorry Android no soup for you), August SmartLock uses a heavy dosage of encrypted locking technology. The SmartLock is an all metal anodized hockey puck design, with a very cool looking LED setup.

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The strange thing about SmartLock is you would think communicating with this lock should be wireless, instead it uses Bluetooth technology. Most home automated devices uses the latter. As power source SmartLock uses the standard triple A batteries, its has a encased inside built in sensors that informs the user that batteries needs to be replaced.

Many publishers who’ve managed to test and review SamrtLock have seem to sing the same tune; When it works its innovation at its finest, when things goes disarray,SmartLock can be a pain in the ass to jump start and get working again.

Nevertheless,SmartLock is welcoming those into the futuristic world of home automation at which will cost you $250 bucks. August SmartLock are currently being sold by Apple where you  can purchase via online or at your nearest Apple store.

 

Quick Note: Just to be clear,SmartLock aren’t the only home automated locks that uses smartphones to unlock and lock doors,there is Kevo and Kwikset.