Best Amazon Prime Day Deals SSDs and HDDs

first_img Anna Kendrick’s Transformation is Turning Heads 3 Comments By Michael Sexton on July 16, 2019 at 11:07 am Best Amazon Prime Day Deals: SSDs and HDDs The Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads Tagged In et deals Post a Comment 3 Comments Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. This Movie Will Have More Fight Scenes Than Any Other MCU Film Gamora’s Fate Is Finally Revealed After Tony’s Snap in ‘Endgame’ We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled The Biggest Movie Remake Box Office Bombs Ever Amazon’s Prime Day sales event is back again this year with countless deals on just about everything money can buy. Included in this are some excellent deals on SSDs and storage devices. After carefully sorting through the available deals, we’ve compiled this list of the best storage deals going on right now.Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD (R/W: 3,500/3,000MB/s)Adata has made quite a name for itself in the SSD market by offering affordable high-performance SSDs. This model of the company’s popular XPG SX8200 Pro product line has 512GB of storage space and it’s one of the fastest NVMe SSDs on the market with a read speed of 3,500MB/s. Right now this SSD is marked down from $129.99 to $74.99, and it drops an additional 6% with a clickable coupon on the store page that drops its final price to $70.49.Regular Price: $129.99Price From Amazon: $70.49Western Digital Black 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (R/W: 3,400/2,800MB/s)Western Digital got a late start into the SSD market but has since become a force to be reckoned with. This WD Black drive can hold 500GB of data and it features a fast read speed of 3,400MB/s. The drive is also marked 47 percent off, which drops its price from $149.99 to $79.99.Regular Price: $149.99Price From Amazon: $79.99Intel 660p Series 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (R/W: 1,800/1,800MB/s)Intel’s 660p isn’t the fastest NVMe SSD on the market and its read/write speeds are both capped at 1,800MB/s. It features a 1TB capacity, however, and it’s one of the least expensive NVMe SSDs of this size available.Regular Price: $149.99Price From Amazon: $79.99Samsung 860 QVO 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA-III SSD (R/W: 550/520MB/s)Large 2.5-inch SSDs like this one are slowly heading off the market as they are being replaced by smaller and faster M.2 NVMe drives. If your PC doesn’t support an M.2 slot, however, getting a 2.5-inch SATA-III SSD like this one will provide a significant performance boost over an HDD.Regular Price: $129.99Price From Amazon: $99.99Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (R/W: 3,500/3,000MB/s)This model of Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro offers just as much performance as the 512GB version, but with twice as much storage space. It also offers more gigs per buck compared to its less expensive counterpart. It’s marked down from $219.99 to $149.99 after a 32 percent discount, and it drops to $134.99 after applying a coupon that knocks off an additional 10 percent.Regular Price: $219.99Price From Amazon: $134.99Samsung 970 Evo 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (R/W: 3,500/2,500MB/s)Reading data at 3,500MB/s, this SSD hits the limits of what the M.2 interface is capable of when connected using PCI-E 3.0 lanes. The drive was built using Samsung’s V-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND, which offers excellent performance. The drive is also rated to last for up to 1.5 million hours before failing.Regular Price: $299.99Price From Amazon: $169.99Western Digital Blue 3D Nand 4TB SATA-III SSD (R/W: 560/530MB/s)If you need a large and fast storage device, then this SSD will be perfect for you. Its enormous 4TB capacity can hold more data than the average person will use for several years. It’s also one of the fastest SATA-III SSDs and it can write data at a speed of up to 560MB/s. During Amazon’s Prime Day sales event you can get this drive marked down from $549.99 to $429.99.Regular Price: $549.99Price From Amazon: $429.99Seagate BarraCuda 4TB 3.5-Inch SATA-III HDD (R/W: 190MB/s)If that 4TB SSD is out of your price range but you still need large amounts of storage space, then a traditional 3.5-inch HDD like this one is a sensible alternative. Its read and write performance are significantly slower at 190MB/s, but it’s also significantly less expensive at just $79.99. This drive also comes with a large 256MB cache that helps to accelerate file navigation.Regular Price: $99.99Price From Amazon: $79.99SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External USB3.1 Type-C SSD (R/W: 550/500MB/s)This compact external SSD easily fits in your pocket, which makes it easy for you to take large amounts of data with you anywhere you go. The drive was also designed to be durable and water-resistant with an IP55 rating.Regular Price: $549.99Price From Amazon: $429.99Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD (R/W: 210MB/s)Seagate’s FireCuda SSHD offers a balanced compromise between an HDD and an SSD. It packs in a large 2TB capacity with an 8GB SSD NAND chip.  It’s read/write performance can’t compete with an SSD and lags behind at 210MB/s, but frequently accessed files get transferred to the SSD chip and will load significantly faster as a result.Regular Price: $94.99Price From Amazon: $59.99Note: Terms and conditions apply. See the relevant retail sites for more information. For more great deals, go to our partners at TechBargains.com. The Real Reason the ‘Blade’ Reboot Is Happening Jason Momoa’s Marriage Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder Extremetech may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page. To find out more, read our complete terms of use. You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNetlast_img read more

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Tokio Marine Nichido Selects Salesforce to Exceed Customer Expectations at Every Touchpoint

first_imgLeading Insurance Provider in Japan Deploys Salesforce to Support Its 50,000 Insurance Agencies and One Million Insurance AgentsSalesforce, the global leader in CRM, announced that Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.—one of the largest property and casualty insurance providers in Japan—selected Salesforce to unify every customer touchpoint across its corporate and sales, call centers, insurance agencies and marketing divisions onto a single CRM platform. With Salesforce, Tokio Marine & Nichido will get a 360-degree view of its customers, a deeper understanding of their needs and the ability to deliver highly personalized products and services at scale.The pace of innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution has led to high demand for financial services companies to provide customer experiences that meet diverse needs. To address this shift, Tokio Marine & Nichido established a mid-term business plan entitled, “To Be a Good Company 2020—’Becoming No. 1 in Quality’ Exceeding Customers’ Expectations.” The plan is the company’s commitment to using new technologies to enhance its products and services and transform customer experiences.Marketing Technology News: Whitebox Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate eCommerce “Factory Floor to Front Door” Tech PlatformTokio Marine & Nichido selected Salesforce to support its 50,000 insurance agencies and one million insurance agents in Japan. With Salesforce, the agencies will have the technology they need to get a complete view of their customers and their needs, and the agents will have the tools to increase productivity and build deeper, trusted customer relationships. In addition, the company is unifying its business on Salesforce across its corporate and sales, call centers, insurance agencies and marketing divisions—bringing every customer touchpoint onto a single CRM platform to deliver personalized engagement at scale and exceed customer expectations every step of the way.Marketing Technology News: LiveVox and TDECU Share Keys to Optimizing the Customer Experience in a Digital Environment at CCW 2019“The insurance industry is going through a period of transformational change as policyholders demand seamless and transparent experiences with insurance companies,” said Rohit Mahna, SVP and GM, Salesforce Financial Services. “They expect their insurance agent to know their individual needs and provide personalized service at every touchpoint. We are excited to partner with Tokio Marine on their journey to becoming a true customer-focused company and help them navigate the changing industry landscape.”Tokio Marine & Nichido’s digital transformation with Salesforce includes Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Community Cloud, Einstein Analytics, Marketing Cloud, Pardot and the Salesforce Lightning Platform.Marketing Technology News: Global Software Leaders Xero and Stripe Join Forces to Bring Seamless Payments to Millions of Small Businesses crmMarketing TechnologyNewsNichido Fire InsuranceSalesforceTokio Marine Previous ArticleOptimizely Announces Series D Funding Led by Goldman Sachs, Catapulting Digital Experience Optimization Into the MainstreamNext ArticleActiveViam Receives Investment from Guidepost Growth Equity Tokio Marine & Nichido Selects Salesforce to Exceed Customer Expectations at Every Touchpoint PRNewswireJune 24, 2019, 5:53 pmJune 24, 2019 last_img read more

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Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data Visualization

first_img Brian Matsubaradata visualizationGigapacesInsightEdgemachine learningNewsTableau Previous ArticleVerve Releases SDK 4.0 To Supercharge The Revenue-Generating Power Of In-App InventoryNext ArticleVonage Reinforces Its Position as Innovator in Programmable Business Communications With Strategic Partnership With Sendinblue Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data Visualization PRNewswireJune 27, 2019, 9:52 pmJune 27, 2019 Combined Solution Provides Real-Time Interactive Views of Operational Data and Machine Learning InsightsGigaSpaces, the provider of InsightEdge, the fastest in-memory real-time analytics processing platform, announced that it has partnered with Tableau, the leading analytics platform, to help enterprises accelerate customized BI visualizations on their operational data for smarter actionable insights at scale.Marketing Technology News: Comm100 Launches Agent Assist to Boost Agent Performance and Customer SatisfactionGigaSpaces InsightEdge big data analytics processing platform runs real-time analytics and machine learning on streaming, hot and historical data, in production at scale. Combined with Tableau, enterprises can visualize and understand their continuously updated operational data with low-latency interactive queries. InsightEdge’s high speed big data layer supports sharding, filtering and customized aggregation in a distributed manner for accelerated customized queries. The solution also supports a high number of concurrent users, while retaining extreme performance and scales according to need, handling peak events utilizing a distributed, highly efficient shared nothing architecture where there is no single point of contention between nodes.In Tableau Desktop 2019.1 or later, InsightEdge can be listed as a connection.Marketing Technology News: Orange County United Way and Salesforce Team Up to Revolutionize Philanthropy“More and more companies are leveraging big data for improved decision-making but are struggling to support their growing requirements for real-time analysis,” said Brian Matsubara, Senior Director of Global Technology Alliances at Tableau. “Integrating Tableau with GigaSpaces InsightEdge will help accelerate complex analytic queries and enable organizations to quickly act on time-sensitive insights.”“Data visualization brings business intelligence to life, helping organizations make better business decisions,” said Yoav Einav, Vice President of Products for GigaSpaces. “Our customers can work with Tableau to visualize their operational data and analytic results in real-time, as well as share them throughout the organization to act at the speed of their business.”Marketing Technology News: New Study From Wunderman Thompson Commerce Reveals Amazon Lacks Loyalty Among Gen Zlast_img read more

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32 Years of Mr India Anil Kapoor Dedicates the Moment to Veeru

first_imgIt was 32 years ago that Anil Kapoor and Sridevi-starrer Mr. India hit the screens. Getting nostalgic, its director Shekhar Kapur said on Wednesday that the film refuses to age. Anil, on the other hand, said he wanted to dedicate its 32nd anniversary to the late Bollywood action director Veeru Devgan.”‘Mr. India’ was made iconic by its children-friendly action scenes and Veeru’s Midas touch. I want to dedicate its 32nd anniversary to the man who made these unforgettable moments possible,” Anil tweeted. “Veeru Devgan was an amazing man and I’m lucky to have worked with him. He is sorely missed,” he added.Veeru Devgn, the father of actor Ajay Devgn, died here on Monday, family sources said. He was 85.#MrIndia was made iconic by its children friendly action scenes & Veeru’s Midas touch. I want to dedicate its 32nd anniversary to the man who made these unforgettable moments possible. #VeeruDevgan was an amazing man & I’m lucky to have worked with him. He is sorely missed… pic.twitter.com/jdw1w6ULtI— Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) May 29, 2019Shekhar posted a collage of images from the iconic film and captioned it: “What’s with this film! It’s 32 years old today and refuses to age. Mr. India.”What’s with this film !! It’s 32 years old today and refuses to age. #mrindia pic.twitter.com/TueEoDkfOw— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) May 29, 2019Earlier this month, Anil and Shekhar had met and shared a glimpse of the meeting on Twitter.Shekhar teased fans as he wrote: “Discussing the look for the next ‘Mr India 2’, or another movie together? You tell them Anil.”Then Anil wrote: “Feels like deja vu! Shekhar and I are deep in discussion about something new and super exciting! We’re hoping to create the same magic we did before with ‘Mr. India’.”Mr. India is the story of a poor man (Anil) who gives shelter to orphans. After discovering his scientist father’s invisibility device, he fights to save his children and all of India from the clutches of a villain Mogambo — an unforgettable portrayal by late actor Amrish Puri. Follow @News18Movies for more 32 years of Mr IndiaAjay Devgnamrish puriAnil Kapoor First Published: May 29, 2019, 2:37 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Abandoned Brides Victims Seek Separate Law Against NRIs Deserting Wives Amid Triple

first_img abandoned bridesharyanaInstant triple talaqNational Commission for women First Published: July 9, 2019, 9:07 AM IST New Delhi: It was Zuby’s maternal uncle, a cousin on her mother’s side who set up the match. The NRI groom was a naturalised US citizen with a villa in UAE, comfortably settled and earning well. The uncle vouched for the man’s character. And thus, though he was older and demanded dowry, Zuby Zaidi at 26 years was married off to Syed Ali Murtaza, a.k.a Samar, a.k.a Sam.It wasn’t until she left her Lucknow home for UAE, two months after her wedding in 2014, that she realised something was wrong. She soon learned that her husband was much older than what was previously advertised, wore a wig, and had a wife in the US. When she objected and refused to ask her father for more money, Sam and his parents cooked up a plan to confine and torture Zaidi, whose phone had already been seized, leaving her with no way to contact her family or the police. “I soon realised that all they wanted was a homely Indian girl who can work as a ‘naukrani’ for my in-laws and cough up money as and when needed,” Zaidi told News18.After spending eight months in Abu Dhabi, confined, intimidated and mentally and physically abused, a non-complying Zaidi was finally made to believe that the perpetrators were sorry and that they wanted a second chance.However, under the pretext of getting her a visa, they brought Zaidi back to India, only to quietly leave in the dead of the night after sending her a legal notice for divorce.”They realised that keeping me in confinement in UAE was dangerous. When I stopped being compliant with their demands, they first turned violent and then tricked me back home,” Zaidi recalled.A lawyer by profession, Zaidi was not one to give up. She decided to pursue the people who tormented and cheated her and make them pay. Hence was born Still Alive Foundation (SAF), a platform for abandoned NRI wives to fight for justice, share their stories and feel comfort and confidence in the shared experience of thousands of victims who face a similar or worse fate than hers.One of the issues raised by SAF president Amarjeet Singh was the seeming invisibility of the issue in the eyes of lawmakers and politicians.”It is ironic that governments at both the state and Centre make such a hue and cry about women’s issues but turn a blind eye to one of the most burning problems faced by women of all religions and backgrounds in India,” Singh said.His own sister had faced a similar form of desertion, which urged him to become an activist working for the rights of these women.Not AloneZaidi’s is not a one-off case. Chennai’s Cynthia Raphael, 35, was abandoned by her NRI husband, who was a resident of Singapore in 2013, after just 40 days of marriage. The groom had demanded Rs 5 lakh in dowry, which was paid to him.He was, however, refused when he demanded the same amount a second time after marriage. Cynthia, who has a child fathered by the absconding groom, is now fighting the case against him.Then there is Geetanjali, a 32-year-old woman from Delhi who was married to a man working in the merchant navy. The man got married to another woman without divorcing her.The Ministry of External Affairs regularly receives petitions from Indian women deserted or harassed by their NRI spouses. In fact, according to data provided by the ministry in February in response to a written question in the Lok Sabha, it had addressed 5,379 complaints of distressed Indian women who had been deserted by their NRI spouses.Most complaints received from them pertain to harassment and ill-treatment, loss of communication with the spouse, assistance in serving judicial summons for court proceeding, child support, impounding the passport of overseas spouse, extraditing the spouse and child custody.However, estimates by various NGOs put the number of such cases at a much higher percentile, especially in states such as Punjab and Haryana. As per estimates produced by SAF, as many as 50,000 such cases are pending in Punjab.Another NGO called ‘Abandoned Brides by NRI Husbands Internationally’ in Punjab estimated the number to be 32,000.In May 2019, The New Indian Express reported that the Regional Passport Officer (RPO) of Chandigarh had suspended 370 passports of accused NRIs and revoked 21 passports in the past year. It also got 52 people deported.The problem is not just relegated to Punjab. Previously, a New Jersey-based NGO Manavi released a paper that states that about 12,000 abandoned women were living in Gujarat in 2004 while some 25,000 NRI brides were deserted in Punjab in 2007.In the last three years, SAF has taken up about 44 cases of NRI bride abandonment, a maximum of which involve accused spouses with a US citizenship, followed by Australia and Canada.The lack of consolidated and official data means that these cases, which are in thousands, rarely get the attention they deserve within the legal system as well as governance.In 2018, the Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) said that it will undertake comprehensive research and collect country-wide data of such cases. But no such report has so far been released.Lost in TransitExperts claim that only a small percentage of distressed NRI brides’ cases reached the prosecution stage. And even when they do, they rarely fare well.According to Delhi-based advocate Aman Usman, who has fought a number of such cases, the biggest problem in prosecuting cases of NRI bride abandonment is the fact that the perpetrators are not physically present in India.”Because the accused are not local, it is difficult to acquire the necessary legal documents needed to send them the summons or warrant in case of non-compliance,” Usman told News18.He also said that lax authorities at every level, including the police, judiciary and ministries such as the Ministry of External Affairs, were a big impediment.The second problem was the inherent bias to protect NRIs that Usman insisted was reflective in Indian laws as well as their implementation at various levels.If an offence is committed beyond the jurisdiction of India, Usman said, it cannot be tried here unless the Central government gives permission. Suppose an offence was committed in the US, the complainant files a complaint in India, investigation is conducted and a charge sheet filed. Yet many cases cannot proceed since the Centre ends up denying permission.One of the only tools that prosecution has for freezing the movement of the accused is to revoke their passport, which can be done in cases where a criminal charge has been filed. “But here,” Usman interjected, “courts often use their discretionary powers to stay the revocation.” The resulting delay was often too long for complainants to bear.”The problem exists at every level, including judiciary, legislative, executive, police and bureaucracy,” the lawyer asserted. “Reforming just one of the aspects would not work in the long run.”No Specific LawZaidi, who is now 32 and lives with her parents in Lucknow, felt that while it was great that the government was focusing on the issue of women’s abandonment in the Triple Talaq Bill, the basic tenets of the Bill should be extended to women of all religion.”Not just Muslims but women of all religions are just as easily abandoned by their husbands,” Zaidi said. “Why is there no specific law for the case of fraud marriages and abandonment?”Zaidi’s question is pertinent: Why are there no specific law or procedures for prosecuting culprits of fraud marriages?Currently, a combination of sections under the IPC is used to prosecute cases of NRI bride abandonment, Advocate Mahmoud Pracha informed News18. “The most used law by abandoned victims is Section 498 that deals with cruelty to women,” he said.However, victims were often unaware that other sections such as Section 420 and others which deal with cheating and dishonesty and even rape laws can be invoked.While it was urgent to sensitize victims of their rights and expose them to all the courses of action available to her, Pracha said that it may also be time to perhaps develop a new law that deals specifically with the issue.In 2018, then EAM Sushma Swaraj had proposed a Bill for prosecuting absconding or accused NRI husbands. In November, she told the media that 25 passports of such husbands had been evoked after complaints from victims. However, “The Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019” failed to see the light of day.Rigorous Reforms NeededAdvocate Pracha, who is also the chairman of Legal Axis, a law firm that has provided legal counsel to the National Commission for Women (NCW) among others, said that the only way to shake the authorities out of their slumber was with multi-level changes that deal with the issue at a priority basis.He suggested that the Supreme Court should be made to take cognizance of the fact that such cases exist and carry out sensitization of all judges and associated authorities.Sensitisation of bureaucracy and strict action against non-complying government officials was also important as many cases of prosecution are often bungled up by these “middlemen” in return for bribes or due to their connections with the accused.An interesting point that Pracha emphasised was how authorities could use existing beneficiary provisions of other laws such as the use of nodal officers to regulate offences as in the case of the SC/ST Act.This network already exists across India. Using them as nodal officers, the government can keep a tally of all NRI weddings that have taken place in an area, as well as their dependencies and financial condition.He also stated that matrimonial service providers such as Shaadi.com should also be held accountable for such cases and suggested setting up fast-track courts specific to the cases of NRI marriages for speedy hearings and the delivery of justice.From the accounts of victims, it is evident that the biggest problem with prosecuting cases of NRI wife abandonment is the stigma attached to the “left women”. Victims often face ridicule from police officers, courts and authorities and are even blamed for their plight, despite having lost money, respect and social security.Changing laws may give a superficial relief to suffering married women. To that effect, the Triple Talaq Bill could be the first step. But sectional, politically charged reforms may not help improve the autonomy of women at large.To bring real change, Zuby Zaidi of SAF concluded, the first step could be toward empowering “toothless” bodies like NCW that have been set up to look after the needs of women so that they become more representative of all women and also more able at instituting action. last_img read more

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Ninety7 Vaux Review Echo Dot speakerbattery cuts Alexas cord

first_imgAt first glance you could mistake Vaux for a Sonos PLAY:1. At about 6.4-inches tall it has a square base but tapers in slightly to a circular top. Almost all of the sides are clad in fabric, either ash gray or black. The base is non-slip rubber. It’s not really eye-catching, but it feels sturdy and well constructed. Setup is straightforward, too. Pull open a rubber flap on the back of Vaux, and there are two short cables: microUSB for power, and a 3.5mm plug for audio. Drop your Echo Dot into the circular bay at the top, line up the sockets at the back, and hook up the two cords; the rubber flap closes back up to keep things looking tidy. It’s easy to get hooked on having Amazon Alexa around, but though the affordable Echo Dot’s always-listening microphones are good, there’s no beating the true portability of a battery-powered speaker. Rather than splash out on an Amazon Tap, though, Nintey7’s Vaux offers an upgrade route to make an Echo Dot mobile. For $49.95 you can not only cut the power cord, but boost Alexa‘s volume in the process. The Echo Dot sits ever so slightly proud of the top of its bay, allowing you to see the color band that flashes when Alexa is processing or glows when you have an voice message from across the room. There’s nothing actually holding the Echo Dot in place beyond the two cables, however. Still, I found I could turn the whole speaker upside-down and shake it, without the Dot falling out.On the back of Vaux there’s a power button, 3.5mm input for other audio sources, and a microUSB port. The latter relies on the USB charger that Amazon supplies with the Echo Dot; indeed, Ninety7 warns that it’s the only power adapter you should use. Vaux works both plugged in permanently or from its internal battery. In use, the experience is much like a full-sized Echo. All the Echo Dot controls still work for volume and microphone-mute, it’s just that Alexa is much louder. Volume levels are similar to what you’d get from a regular Echo too, though Vaux does distort more at the top end of its volume scale. Bass isn’t as thumping either, though treble and mids are solid. In short, it falls somewhere in-between the Echo Dot and the Echo in quality and power, as you might expect. Periodically Vaux makes the odd burp and pop, as the speaker or the Echo Dot itself goes into standby. If it’s right next to you on the desk, you might find the very slight hiss annoying too; it’s quiet, but noticeable if there’s no background noise. Nintety7 suggests you’ll get six hours of battery life from a full charge. In practice, the Vaux lasted for around five hours of solid music playback at mid-volume range. Less than you’ll get from many Bluetooth speakers, true, but being able to move your Echo Dot from one place to another – or take it outside – without interrupting its streaming audio is handy.Vaux arguably made a lot more sense when the Amazon Tap still demanded you press a button to trigger Alexa. Since launching, though, Amazon pushed out a firmware update that did away with that limitation; now, like the regular Echo and Echo Dot, it’ll listen out for the wakeword. Tap’s battery life is several hours more than Vaux’s, too, and it comes with a handy charging dock. NOW READ: Amazon Echo Dot ReviewStill, at $130 Tap is more expensive than buying both an Echo Dot and Vaux. Neither system is waterproof, but I found Vaux was better at catching my voice instructions from across the room. Honestly, if you want noticeably better audio quality than either offers, you’ll have more impressive results hooking up a big external speaker – either wired or Bluetooth – to the Echo Dot, but then you lose the flexibility of a battery.Wrap-UpThere are a few ways to take Alexa with you, and plenty of ways to get louder or higher-quality audio from an Echo Dot, but not that many options if you want some of both. Vaux’s music improvements aren’t going to wow audiophiles, and its battery life won’t untether you for a whole day, but considering it’s one of the cheapest ways to both amplify and cord-cut Alexa, those compromises seem acceptable to me. At under $50, Vaux is a no-brainer upgrade for those who dipped a toe into Amazon’s voice-control ecosystem and found they can’t quite live without Alexa’s help.last_img read more

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Belkin USBC Express Dock 31 HD Review

first_imgFor over a decade, Apple has been using its own proprietary charging connector for its MacBooks. While it offered safety features no other connector did or does to date, it was also non-standard and incompatible with the not so small number of competing standards already in the market. When Apple finally gave in, it didn’t come without a price. The 2015 MacBook only had one USB-C port for both data and charging and last year’s MacBook Pros threw all ports out, replacing them with two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports. That, however, consequently gave birth to a new market of docks and dongles that aimed to bring back what was lost. One of them is the new Belkin USB-C Express Dock 3.1 HD, which we have taken for a spin to see how it fares against the competition. DesignIf you’ve been keeping an eye on docks and hubs, then you might find the Belkin USB-C Express Dock to be eerie familiar. If so, then you might have already seen the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD. Yes, they are two peas in a pod but they differ in subtle yet significant ways, making things a little confusing.Like the older dock, this new USB-C dock features a very shiny metallic silver finish, clearly designed to match the aesthetics of the MacBook. Well, presuming yours are of the same color. The dock does have glossy plastic panels where they clearly mark the ports on the front and the back. There’s also black on the rarely seen sides, just for accent.At 2.06 lbs (0.93 kg), the USB-C Express Dock is hardly portable. Not that you will be carrying it around anyway. Unlike a multi-port hub for emergencies on the go, this is meant to stay on your desk, at home or in the office, ready to transform your MacBook into a desktop. Since you need to plug it in anyway, portability is really out of the question.SpecsA dock might be shiny and all but it will be practically useless if it doesn’t offer enough ports to make it worth its salt. In that regard, the Belkin USB-C dock offers ports in droves. It is advertised to connect up to 8 devices simultaneously, though that’s not entirely accurate. One of those devices will be your MacBook or compatible computer.This is also where the USB-C Express Dock 3.1 HD varies the most with its Thunderbolt 3 look-alike. No, they both advertise 8 devices, but the connection to those devices differ. On the front, you have three ports instead of just two. The USB-A 3.0 port and the in/out audio port is joined by one of two USB-C 3.1 ports. This is the port you’ll use to connect the dock to your MacBook or PC.On the back, you have the Gigabit Ethernet port, an audio out port, two USB-A 3.0 ports, the other USB-C 3.1 port, and an HDMI port. That last one might be the most contentious part of the dock, as we’ll see next.Setup and PerformanceSetting up the Belkin USB-C Express Dock is dead simple. You just plug the dock into a power outlet and plug it into your computer with the included USB-C to USB-C cable and that’s it. Just plug any other peripheral and you’re off running. Well, working. Even the Ethernet just works, no need for any special driver on macOS, which wasn’t the same with the old Thunderbolt 3 dock.The dock’s 60 W output is enough to power and charge a MacBook while powering any peripheral you might have connected. The front-facing USB-A port is, in fact, perfect for charging a mobile device while you work. For USB-C devices, the dock also has a special feature called “Power Priority”, which “intelligently” adjusts the power delivered to the device as need.While the Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C 3.1 docks seem to be functionally equivalent, that is only partially true. They differ in two significant ways and it’s those differences where the newer USB-C dock hurts the most.The Thunderbolt 3 incarnation used a DisplayPort, which allowed for 4K 60 Hz output. While the HDMI connection on the USB-C Express Dock does offer 4K resolutions, the refresh rate is capped at 30 Hz only, which is going to be a deal breaker for some.Somewhat related to this is the switch to using USB-C 3.1 ports instead of Thunderbolt 3. The two may look similar and some peripherals might work on both, but not all the time. In the context of video output, the USB-C ports on the Express Dock don’t support Thunderbolt 3 video out, so a dual 4K display setup is not possible.Wrap-upThe rise of USB-C type connectors and Apple’s own aggressive push has produced dozens of docks and hubs to choose from that it can become a daunting decision to make. It might seem, based on the above, that the USB-C Express Dock 3.1 HD is a step back from its predecessor, it has one major advantage over the older Thunderbolt 3 version: compatibility.The Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock is only compatible with the 2016 MacBook Pro, or at least computers with a Thunderbolt 3 port. There are, however, more devices with USB-C ports, with or without Thunderbolt 3, and the USB-C Express Dock HD embraces them all, from the 2015 MacBook to the 2016 models and even Windows 10 laptops. Granted, there might be other docks that can beat Belkin at the price game, but few of those will be able to boast of the brand’s quality and track record.last_img read more

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Kodak Super 8 camera resurrects retro film favorite

first_imgKodak first introduced its Super 8 film back in 1965, positioning it as a better alternative to ordinary 8mm film, offering a larger exposure area, among other things. The format became a favorite among home and amateur film photographers, but soon fell into obscurity. That changed, sort of, in 2016 when Kodak announced plans to create a new Super 8 camera based on classic models, but with some modern updates for a modern world. The camera still hasn’t been released, and Kodak hasn’t said when that will happen aside from being scheduled for some time this year. The company has in recent times revealed that the price will be much higher than first stated, hitting somewhere between the $2500 and $3000 mark. Assuming you’re willing to spend that much for what amounts to a nostalgic home film camera, you’ll get some neat features. Kodak is about to bring back a classic with a new Super 8 camera. The company introduced the concept years ago, eventually showing off a retro-styled Super 8 camera with some modern twists. Among other things, this Super 8 camera (it’s not clear what the final product will be called) packs modern tech, including a display through which the operator can view the scene and access the settings menu. The new Kodak Super 8 camera has a display that flips out on a hinge, as with modern camcorders, though it is fairly limited due to this being a film camera. The display shows a live preview of the image you’re shooting, and also provides access to the camera’s settings via a physical control dial. This includes choosing the frame rate.The camera also packs some modern ports, including an SD card slot via which the audio is stored. The camera utilizes an 8mm film cartridge, which Kodak will directly develop for its customers once they finish one. The resulting footage is digitized by Kodak, which uploads it to a secure site through which the customer can download it.What will the footage look like? That’s what Kodak has revealed in recent days. The company has published a video showing sample footage recorded with the new Super 8 camera, and it is every bit as retro, fuzzy, and fun as we’d hoped. Check it out in the video above!last_img read more

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