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09/21/2020   PC World Latest News

Don’t call it Bitdefender 2021, but the popular Windows antivirus suite has added several new features over the past year. The company is now going with a rolling release plan, where new features are released as they’re ready. This is becoming quite common as many services prefer the approach of continually updating apps instead of a single yearly release.

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

Bitdefender Total Security’s main changes, the company told us, is that it has improved its vulnerability scanning, and in our opinion the overall look of the scan results are easier to read. At a glance you can see issues with operating system updates, the strength of Windows account passwords, the security of the browser and other applications, network issues, and more.

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09/21/2020   PC World Latest News
This self-amplified multi-room music streamer delivers high-res audio experiences that Sonos won’t, but Bluesound’s user experience isn’t nearly as polished.
09/19/2020   PC World Latest News

President Trump has signed off on a deal that will put TikTok’s U.S. operations under control of Oracle, Walmart, and other U.S. investors, apparently in exchange for a $5 billion fund that Oracle and Walmart would set up to fund the education of young Americans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that both Walmart and Oracle would share approximately a 20 percent stake in the new company, which would be headquartered in the United States. In total, U.S. investors would own 53 percent, Chinese investors would own a 36 percent stake, with European investors taking up about 11 percent, the paper said.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Cyberpunk 2077 looks like a truly next-gen game from everything we’ve seen, but you won’t need a futuristic rig to run it. CD Projekt Red unveiled the system requirements for the hotly anticipated game on Friday, and they’re surprisingly forgiving. You’ll need more powerful gear to unlock the real eye candy, though.

On the processor front, your needs are minimal: an ancient Intel Core i5-3570K or AMD FX-8310 CPU. That's likely because Cyberpunk 2077 is also landing on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which rock ancient, atrocious AMD Jaguar cores. You’ll need only a 3GB GeForce GTX 780 or Radeon RX 470 graphics card, too, so this should run on most modern gaming PCs, even modest ones. The 8GB RAM and 70GB storage requirements are probably more onerous than the CPU and GPU demands.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Buying a processor for a gaming rig isn’t as hard as it used to be. Now that Ryzen 3000-series and Intel’s 10th-gen Core CPUs come with more performance and cores than ever before, it’s hard to buy a stinker these days—especially because most games favor graphics firepower over CPU oomph. All that said, there are specific chips that stand out from the horde as the best gaming CPUs due to their price, performance, or nifty extras.

09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Microsoft said Friday that it has finalized its next Windows 10 feature release, code-named 20H2, which it has now released to beta testers as the Windows 10 October 2020 Update.

“We believe that Build 19042.508 is the final build and still plan on continuing to improve the overall experience of the October 2020 Update on customers’ PCs as part of our normal servicing cadence,” Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager at Microsoft on the Windows Insider Program team, wrote in a blog post.

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09/18/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is putting the Windows 10 20H2 feature update through its near-final paces, rolling out what's likely the 'October 2020' update to Release Preview Ring testers.
09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Microsoft’s Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) update will usher the new Microsoft Edge browser onto millions of PCs, while upgrading the venerable Alt + Tab shortcut with a needed new function. But Microsoft’s designers have turned the once-colorful Start menu into watery gruel with a less-than-impressive visual update.

All in all, the Windows 10 October 2020 Update is another in a line of anemic fall feature updates. And that’s okay! We expected this. For the past two to three years, Microsoft’s major feature updates have coalesced within the “spring” releases, leaving mainly minor patches and quality updates for the fall release. (See the Windows 10 November 2019 Update.) This year is no different, though the small list of changes do allow for some interesting tweaks to your Windows 10 PC.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Pour one out, enthusiasts. Nvidia’s beastly new GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards just slammed the final nail into SLI’s coffin. Well, almost.

A glaring fact jumped out at me while I was sifting through Nvidia’s product pages for our GeForce RTX 30-series vs. RTX 20-series spec comparison: Only the monstrous $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090 includes support for NVLink, the proprietary connector that enables SLI mult-GPU configurations. Even the $800 GeForce RTX 3080 lacks it, and Nvidia calls that graphics card the 30-series flagship. (The RTX 3090 is a “BFGPU” above and beyond the rest.) Given that Nvidia controls 80 percent of the graphics card market, it seems clear that the days of slapping multiple graphics cards into your PC to boost frame rates is effectively over. 

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

While we await word of a sale or some kind of a compromise, the popular TikTok and WeChat mobile apps will be removed from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store at midnight on Monday, September 21. The announcement follows months of jockeying and negotiations after the Trump Administration put the two apps on notice for allegedly collecting personal data from U.S. citizens and funneling it to the Chinese government.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”

That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Battlefield and get right to playing.

Updated September 18, 2020 to update the news, 1440p, and 4K sections with information about Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series resetting performance baselines, and to name the RTX 3080 the best option for high refresh rate 1440p and 4K gaming.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

Do you need to upgrade your power supply for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card? That’s a concern many people have, but it’s actually two concerns clumped into one.

First, people fear they’ll need a new PSU to handle the new 12-pin connector on Nvidia’s own RTX 3080 Founders Edition. Second, the RTX 3080 pulls more wattage than even the prior-gen RTX 2080 Ti flagship. That's why Nvidia bumped the recommend power supply rating up to 750 watts to compensate, up from a 650W maximum last go-round.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News
But the sonic balance tips toward the bass and away from the mids and highs.
09/18/2020   PC World Latest News

We’ve been telling you for a while that it’s an awful time to buy a graphics card, but now we’re serious. Nvidia’s next-gen GeForce RTX 3080 is here (with the RTX 3070 and 3090 coming soon), and it basically turns all GPUs that came before it into the walking dead—graphics cards that aren't worth buying unless they’re deeply discounted.

Don’t get me wrong: These are all still great graphics cards if you already own one. But if you bought any of the seven last-gen GPUs listed below right nowwithout a substantial discount that takes the value of RTX 30-series graphics cards into account, you’d be the sucker that retailers are hoping to find. Let’s get you smart so that doesn’t happen.

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09/18/2020   PC World Latest News
It’s not perfect, but the B-hyve XR is both flexible and reasonably priced.
09/17/2020   PC World Latest News

If you suddenly can’t seem to get your Tile Pro to be seen by your iPhone, you’re not alone. The company has acknowledged that some of the users of its Tile Pro locator beacons were having issues locating their Tiles. Tiles use Bluetooth LE to help you find your keys, wallet or even pets, from your phone. 

The problem appears mostly limited to those who use the company’s Tile Pro units on an iPhone. For example, a Tile Slim might still be seen by your iPhone, but the Tile Pro won’t respond no matter how close you get or how many times you power-cycle your phone or Bluetooth. PCWorld has also tested Tile Pro units on Android without issue. The Tile app on two different iPhones, meanwhile, had issues seeing Tile Pro units.

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09/17/2020   PC World Latest News

You might not have noticed many changes to Android 11 when you updated your Pixel phone last week—unless you tried to take a screenshot on your Pixel 2 or Pixel 3. Depending on which navigation method you selected, you might have lost the handy screenshot shortcut that was built into the power button.

While Google has taken away two-button navigation on the Pixel 4 and 4a, it remains on the Pixel 2 and 3, which is where the problems begin. If you were using 2-button navigation on Android 10—with the pill-shaped home button and back arrow—it’ll remain on Android 11. However, like the other Pixel phones, when you long-press the power button, you’ll get a whole new set of options. At the top are three buttons for Emergency, Lockdown, and Power, followed by Google Pay and Home actions.

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09/17/2020   PC World Latest News

You’re casually browsing through YouTube, video after video. Suddenly, you jolt upright. Some content creator you’ve never heard of is trying to tell you the moon landing was faked...or worse. A lot worse. And like you, Mozilla’s RegretsReporter browser plugin wants to know how in the world that happened.

In a way, Mozilla’s new RegretsReporter plugin—available for Mozilla Firefox and Chrome—takes a look back at the ”Elsagate” scandal of 2017: when videos supposedly depicting child-friendly characters were put into bizarre, disturbing situations by creators hoping to game YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. YouTube said later that it had demonetized those types of videos and prevented them from appearing on YouTube Kids.

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09/17/2020   PC World Latest News

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake is perhaps the most important laptop CPU launch for the company. While previous generations suffered no real competition from AMD, Tiger Lake enters the ring facing a legitimate foe: Ryzen 4000.

You can read up on AMD’s game-changing Ryzen 9 4800HS, or its recently surfaced and equally impressive Ryzen 7 4800U for mainstream laptops. And yes, that was a budget Acer beating a Core i7 MacBook senseless.

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09/17/2020   PC World Latest News

While Microsoft's Game Pass for PC is scheduled to more than double in price as it  comes out of beta this week, don't despair! Microsoft Rewards is your ticket to getting the best deal in gaming, for free.

Microsoft Rewards is basically free money, and not enough of you know how to use it. We’re going to show you how to use Microsoft Rewards to help buy all the things you want—an Xbox Series X! Starbucks! Amazon gift cards!—beginning with the awesome Game Pass for PC subscription.

Like the name says, Microsoft Rewards is Microsoft’s incentive program for using its consumer services. Using Bing earns you points. Playing Xbox games can earn you points. Playing PC games can earn you points. You can “chase points” as much as you’d like, and earn more and more. Or you can chill, go about your daily activities as you normally would, and still earn points. All of these points can be traded in for stuff you'll actually want.

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09/17/2020   PC World Latest News
09/15/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has a strategy to build a WeChat-like experience across its various Microsoft 365 business and consumer services in the form of a 'MetaOS' foundational layer.
09/13/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
As the deadline for a forced sale or shutdown of the U.S. operations of the TikTok video-sharing app fast approaches, ByteDance is said to have decided its algorithm won't be part of any sale that happens.
09/11/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is working on making blocking issues for Windows 10 feature updates more customized and actionable, according to sources.
09/10/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
I've been using Microsoft's Surface Duo for the last two weeks as a phone and mobile productivity tablet. Here's my 'non-reviewer's review' of the company's newest $1,400+ Surface.
09/08/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's coming Surface 'Sparti' clamshell laptop could be the latest PC intended to help the company compete with Chromebooks, according to a new report.
09/04/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
After many legal twists and turns, the Department of Defense says it has decided that Microsoft is the winning bidder for the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract.
09/02/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Windows 10 test build 20206 includes new 'voice typing,' touch keyboard, emoji picker and other input-focused features.
09/01/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is enabling users to switch out the Windows 10 Team OS on their 50-inch Surface Hub 2S devices for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, as officials said they planned to do last year.
09/01/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is starting to roll out its 'Project Moca' productivity feature for Outlook, starting with Outlook for the Web users.
08/27/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is still in the TikTok bidding, with Amazon adversary Walmart by its side.
08/27/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has released a new test build of Windows Server 'vNext' and has also shared a list of features in it. Test build 20201 is for a version of Server that will be designated as LTSC.
08/26/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Windows 10 1803 Enterprise, Education and IoT Enterprise editions will continue to get security updates until May 2021, rather than November, 2020.
08/26/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
I've got a Microsoft Surface Duo, the company's first Android-based dual-screen mobile device, for review. What do you want to know about it?
08/25/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is adding automatic audio transcription to Word, starting with Word for the Web, for Microsoft 365 users.
08/24/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
On August 24, 1995, Microsoft held what's likely to go down in history as its biggest Windows launch in history with Windows 95.
08/22/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft looks to be building a new foundational layer on top of SharePoint, the Office 365 substrate, Azure, Microsoft's machine-learning infrastructure in the name of improving users' experiences when using its productivity cloud.