SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Reviews About Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

FOR

  • All-you-can-eat VPN
  • Ability to disable VPN per device

AGAINST

  • Tied to one VPN
  • Warranty is void when router is flashed

Routers, like pretty much every other piece of computing hardware, have reached a maturation peak with very little disruptive innovation now happening.

A few smaller vendors are trying new things to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition, often by offering fine-tuned, bespoke services.

It certainly came as a surprise when one VPN provider, ExpressVPN, offered to send us the Linksys WRT 1200AC router with its services baked in by way of a customised firmware.

Note that in our case, the router was already preconfigured, but owners of the WRT 1200AC or the WRT 1900AC/S (the only two Linksys routers that support the native ExpressVPN option) will be able to install this particular firmware.

A couple of points here: changing the firmware of your router is not for the faint hearted and there’s a small chance that you could brick (break) your device during the process.

Doing so with a third-party firmware will invalidate your warranty although you can always go back to the original Linksys firmware.

ExpressVPN told us that, while this is the case, Linksys has done a good job to make this device a lot more reliable than anything else on the market.

Speaking of the WRT 1200AC, this is a relatively mature device that was launched well over a year ago; although the one that was sent to us is the v2 incarnation.

You can nab it for as little as £102 (around $125, AU$165) including delivery from online retailer Ballicom (and you can check out our review of the ExpressVPN service here).

Those who have used the now legendary WRT 54xx series will recognise the device’s blue-black colour scheme. The WRT 1200AC is the heir to that line with some pretty bold lines and a futuristic design.

There are plenty of holes in its enclosure, a sign that the hardware inside may well get warm under near-constant use. As expected, it sits comfortably on four big plastic feet and carries two detachable antennas at the back.

As with the vast majority of routers on the market, there are plenty of status lights up front (11 in all), a lot of ports at the back, and all the admin details about the router are on its base.

Overall, the 1200AC has a very solid feel to it with an air of nostalgia; it won’t wobble or fall off a flat surface thanks to a low centre of gravity.

The original router had 256MB of RAM while the new version 2 we evaluated doubles that to 512MB. There’s still a Marvel 88F6820 ARM system-on-chip at its heart, a dual-core model clocked at 1.3GHz. It has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 900Mbps on 5GHz; you can of course use both at the same time, depending on your devices.

Note that the WRT 1200AC incorporates beam forming technology which means that it can focus its wireless signals on devices connected to it.

At the back of the router you’ll find a switch, a reset button, a power connector, one USB 3.0 port, one eSATA/USB 2.0 connector and four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

You must have an ExpressVPN subscription for the VPN to work, something that can cost you as little as $99.99 (around £80, AU$135) for a year. You’ll need to enter your 23-digit activation code to use the router, and the VPN service will work on all the devices connected to it.

You will not need a subscription to use the router if you do not plan to use the VPN service, but presumably if you’re buying this product, you’re doing so for the bundled VPN. Still, if you change your mind down the line, the hardware will still work without the subscription.

Linksys also encourages you to register for its free Smart Wi-Fi service which allows you to monitor and manage your router using a mobile app from anywhere in the world. Very useful if you want to reset or troubleshoot when you’re not physically near the device.

The router’s user interface is well laid-out with some clear options that even include a speed test feature, one which connects with the popular Speednet service. You can configure the modem to run on OpenWRT or DD-WRT, two popular alternative router operating systems.

This, however, would require you to get rid of the ExpressVPN firmware (which is itself a customised version of OpenWRT).

While ExpressVPN usually enforces a limit of three simultaneous connections per account, that limit doesn’t hold for this router, and as we mentioned earlier, you can connect as many devices as your broadband can support, a real boon for households with loads of devices.

It’s worth noting that the only type of split tunnelling support is VPN (single location) or No VPN. Individual devices cannot have individual servers.

Users can select which devices they want to connect through the VPN, and which devices they do not want to be protected.

Connecting the router to our existing Virgin Media Superhub 2ac directly (without switching on the router mode) worked, with the WRT 1200AC consistently providing a better browsing experience than Virgin Media’s bundled router.

Early verdict

There are two parts to this verdict. The first pertains to the router itself which is a decent model that delivers a strong showing in terms of transfer rate and stability.

The user interface and the free mobile app are a welcome change from what you usually get with the router bundled with your broadband line. Sure, it doesn’t have features like MU-MIMO or triple band but then again, it is a £102 (around $125, AU$165) router and one of the cheaper AC1200 models.

And secondly, as for the ExpressVPN option, it is unfortunately a flawed one as it invalidates the hardware’s warranty (as confirmed by Linksys). If you’re happy to take this risk, there’s one incentive and that’s the fact that everything is done transparently.

Experienced users can always install VPN clients on their own devices and swap between providers as they see fit, either because features have evolved or they feel they could get better value-for-money elsewhere.

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Office Guide: How to Mail Merge in Office 2016

Mail merge lets you easily turn one document into several personalized, unique versions of it. You can use mail merge in Office 2016 to create form letters or address labels, certificates with unique names, and more. Here’s how.

With mail merge, you create a document in Word that has the information that you want to be the same in each version (such as the return address on an envelope or the main content of your email). You add fields as placeholders in the document for the unique information that you want to be updated (such as the recipient’s name or address). Instead of having to manually create new versions of the same document and replace those fields, Word does all the work, pulling in information from your Outlook contacts, an Excel spreadsheet or other data source to run the mail merge.

top mail merge envelope

In this example, we’ll be using mail merge to create a letter for multiple recipients.

1. Make sure your contacts list is ready. It’s best to have your spreadsheet or Outlook contacts prepared before you start creating the document so the mail merge goes smoothly. For example, whether you’re using Outlook contacts or an Excel spreadsheet for your data source, make sure none of the data is missing for the fields you’ll be pulling in. If you’re using Outlook and have a large number of contacts but only want to use mail merge for specific contacts, you’ll make the process easier by selecting those contacts and copying them to a new folder. (To do this, select the contacts, right-click, choose Move and then Copy to Folder…)

outlook copy to folder

Make sure you change the contact folder’s properties so it will be shown as an email address book (Right-click the new contacts folder, go to properties, and check “Show this folder as an email Address Book”)

outlook folder address book

2. Create a new blank document in Word.

3. Navigate to the Mailings tab.

4. Click the Start Mail Merge button and select your document type. We’ll start with the letter first.

word start mail merge

5. Click the Select Recipients button and choose to create a new list, use an existing list, or choose from Outlook Contacts. The “Type a New List… ” option creates a new data table in Word, but you’re better off using an external source like a spreadsheet or the contacts list in Outlook so the data is readily available to other programs and other purposes.

word select recipients

6a. If you choose “Use an Existing List…” you’ll be asked to browse to the file on your computer and then confirm the data table.

word select recipients excel

6b. If you choose “Choose from Outlook Contacts…” you’ll be asked to choose the Outlook contact folder and then add or remove recipients from the merge. (This is why we advised in step one to create a new contacts folder for your mail merge: You won’t have to scroll all of your contacts in this small box.)

word select recipients outlook

word select recipients outlook contacts

7. Create the content for your document and insert the placeholders. When you get to the part where you get to information that needs to be personalized from your data source, insert a placeholder with either the Insert Merge Field button or one of the two shortcuts Word offers for common fields: Address Block and Greeting Line.

8. Use the Address Block shortcut. As the name suggests, the Address Block button creates a placeholder for a name and address–useful when creating letters or mailing labels or envelopes. With both the Address Block and Greeting Line shortcuts, you’ll be able to specify what gets inserted and preview what it will look like.

word address block

If the preview seems to be missing information, as in the address preview above, click the Match Fields button to tell words where the data is for the missing fields.

word address block match fields

When the preview looks okay, click OK, and Word will insert the address placeholder.

word address block placehol

9. Use the Greeting Line shortcut. The Greeting Line button adds a salutation that you can format. The dropdowns will let you select to include the full name (by default), the full name with the title (e.g., Mr. Joshua Randall Jr.), title and last name, just a first name, a nickname, and other variations.

word greeting line

As with the Address Block shortcut, preview the results of the mail merge and use the Merge Fields… button to correct make sure your fields match if they don’t in the preview.

10. Insert other fields into your document. For other placeholders you might need, click on Insert merge field and select the field you want to insert at that point in the document. In this case, I have a unique account number in my database that I want to add to the letter, so I choose the Account Number field and click Insert.

word insert merge field account number

11. Preview the merge results after you’ve finished the document and inserted all your fields by clicking the Preview Results button.

word preview mail merge

You can format any of the placeholder text, such as adjust the line spacing, by selecting the text and formatting it as you would any other content. In the Mailings tab, use the forward and back buttons to check all of the mail merge results.

12. If all looks good, click on the Finish & Merge button and you can print individual documents, send them as email messages, or editing each individual document if you would like.

word mail merge finish

Repeat this for other types of documents you’d like to use mail merge for. In addition to letters (which can be any sort of document, including certificates and coupons), you can choose emails, envelopes, labels, or directories as the document type. Word also has a Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard (found under the Mailings tab > Start Mail Merge button), which basically walks you through the process above.

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Amazon’s Music Service Launches With a Secret Weapon: Alexa

ALEXA CAN ALREADY order you an Uber, control your smart home devices, and keep you company. She’s about to learn much better DJ skills, save you six bucks a month on streaming music, and possibly even change the way you listen to music in your house.

Amazon Music Unlimited, a beefed-up subscription service built to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, launches today. It’s cheaper than those big-name services—for many users, at least—and it features clever voice control with the company’s Echo speakers.

If you’re using Music Unlimited on an Amazon Echo, Tap, or Dot, the service only costs $4 a month. To use it on anything else—mobile devices, your computer, a Fire TV stick, or even Sonos speakers—the pricing falls more in line with Spotify or Apple Music. It’s $8 per month if you’re an Amazon Prime member and $10 per month if you aren’t.

Is There an Echo in Here?

At face value, entering a streaming-music market that has established Goliaths like Spotify and Apple divvying up more than 50 percent of the market share may sound like Fire Phone 2.0. In fact, it may seem even crazier: People generally don’t switch the music services they’ve bought into every two years. They drive tent stakes in the ground in the form of playlists and saved albums, then camp out for the long haul.

But Amazon’s secret weapon isn’t just lower prices. Its popular Echo lineup of voice-assistant products are a huge draw, and because of Echo and Alexa, Amazon Music Unlimited is aiming at a different target than its competitors. Traditional mobile and desktop users aren’t an afterthought, but Amazon is hoping the in-home experience is the huge hook for millions of new subscribers.

To be sure, the service has slick mobile and desktop interfaces. There’s also an (optional) offline tool that auto-downloads music recommendations to your device in the background—a handy feature to ensure you’ve got something to listen to on the train or plane.

But the far more compelling UI for the service is invisible. Or maybe it looks like an Echo speaker.

Amazon Music Unlimited’s marquee feature is the way you use spoken commands and the Echo speakers to dive into it, and it shows how Amazon is trying to transform the household listening experience. According to Amazon, unlocking Alexa’s full potential as an in-house DJ was a two-step process.

“The first thing we wanted to do was provide that full-catalog music service… that’s a no-brainer,” says Amazon Music VP Steve Boom, noting the company has been talking to music labels about this effort for a long time. “But looking at how people were listening to music in the Alexa environment, it’s a different experience than doing it on their phone or on their laptop. You talk to her naturally, you talk as if you’d talk to a friend about music. It forces you to reimagine how people interact with a music service.”

The Request Line Is Open

As you’d expect, you can just ask for a specific album, artist, or genre, and Alexa will start spinning. But Amazon has also employed the voice assistant’s machine-learning smarts to get much more granular and helpful. You can request genre- or mood-specific music from a certain era, to fit a certain mood, request the latest single from an artist, or say “Alexa, play music” to start a dynamic playlist based on your listening habits.

The service even aims to one-up Shazam. If you don’t know the name of the Das EFX song stuck in your brain, just ask Alexa to “play the song that goes ‘I diggedy dot my i’s and cross my tiggedy-t’s bro.’”

Boom says the voice features for the new music service required significant investments in deep machine learning, creating new metadata for the entire universe of music, and verifying information.

“Even something like playing a new song, that’s not easy,” Boom explains. “If you say, ‘play Adele’s new single,’ it’s now the third single off the album. All the songs have the exact same release date, so we had to train Alexa to get smarter about looking at songs that are rising the charts and are the newest songs being played on the radio.”

Amazon is also trying to replicate the liner notes experience with a “Side By Side” feature. Like a Criterion Collection for albums, it plays spoken-word introductions to album tracks from an artist, giving anecdotes about the song that follows. This certainly won’t be the service’s most-used feature—and it’s only available for a few albums—but it speaks to one of Amazon’s throwback goals.

“One of the things that’s been lost in the age of digital music has been music’s primacy in the home,” Boom says. “It’s been moved to the personal device. Music is finding its way back into the home, and we wanted to try to recreate that [liner notes] experience via voice.”

Prime Directive

This isn’t Amazon’s first stab at a streaming-music service, but it’s certainly its most ambitious and compelling effort. A couple of years ago, Amazon Prime Music launched, and it has about two million songs on demand. It’s a decent extra for Prime subscribers, but it offers a fraction of the music the major streaming services do.

Music Unlimited also won’t replace Amazon Prime Music altogether. Amazon Prime Music lives on, giving Prime members the ability to stream a couple million songs as part of their Prime subscription. For an extra $4 to $8 a month, Prime subscribers get access to the Music Unlimited catalog, which is at least 10 times bigger.

Amazon won’t offer a more-specific number than Music Unlimited having “tens of millions of songs,” but it’s a mammoth leap forward. Spotify and Apple Music have around 30 million songs each, and one would assume Amazon is trying to match that reach.

But Amazon’s aim isn’t just putting a dent in Spotify or Apple Music—even though the combination of a lot of music for a lower price with deep Alexa integration could help make that happen. The greater goal is redefining the way we listen to music in our homes. After a decade of tech companies rallying around a “mobile first” mentality, Amazon’s one-two punch of music and Alexa is focusing on “home-first.”

“Historically, the home market has been driven by smartphones,” Boom says. “Amazon has established a really strong position there, and voice is the interface for that environment.”

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The official Galaxy Note 7 return kit includes safety gloves

Earlier on Tuesday it emerged Samsung had finally pulled the plug on the Galaxy Note 7, halting production and advising owners to immediately halt use.

Now the company is sending buyers, who purchased the phablet directly, special return kits that include safety gloves.

The package, shown off by XDA Developers features a static shielding sleeve and three three different boxes, the last of which is lined with fire retardant ceramic fiber paper.

Incidentally, that’s the stuff they use to line ovens because it can withstand temperatures in excess of 2300-degrees Fahrenheit.

In a note accompanying the return kit “designed specifically for the Galaxy Note 7” the firm says “some individuals may be sensitive to ceramic fibre paper lining the Recovery Box” so the gloves have been included as a “courtesy.”

The firm says those returning the device must to do via the ground, in order to avoid the near-catastrophy experienced by one replacement Note 7 owner last week.

His new Galaxy Note 7 began smoking when boarding a Southwest Airlines plane, an incident which spelled the end for the Note 7.

Has your trust in Samsung been shaken by the way it has handled the Note 7 situation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

You can see the unboxing of the box in the video below.

>>> Check out to read some news about game of thrones and online games for kids

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How to remove chewing gum from clothes, hair, and shoes – Life hacks

Amazing facts – It’s happened to all of us at least once in our lives, and for the particularly unlucky, many times. We’re walking innocently along when we step in it. Yes, we’re talking about gum. Icky, gooey, sticky, gum. Here in this article, we will show you some smart tips on how to remove gum from shoe, how to remove chewing gum from clothes, clothing or how to get gum off clothes, and how to get gum out of hair.

how-to-get-gum-out-of-clothes-clothing

How to remove gum from shoes, gumout Peanut butter Use a butter knife to generously rub a glob of peanut butter over the gum. After 10 to 15 minutes (or depending on how soft the chewing gum was to start with) the gum should start to soften and become one with the peanut butter. Once this happens, scrape it off, then clean the rest of your shoe with soap and water to remove any peanut butter or gum remnants. WD-40 or Compressed Air WD-40 is a lifesaver for more than just squeaky drawers or doors. Spray directly on the gum until it hardens, and then scrap off the offender with a butter knife. A canister of compressed air will also work in a pinch. They contain freezing cold air which can also harden the gum and make it easier to remove. Freezer If the gum isn’t on an expensive pair of pumps, then this method works well. Stick your shoe in a plastic bag with the gum pressed tightly against the plastic. Let it harden in the freezer for an hour or two. When you take the bag out, pull the plastic back from the shoe and the gum should peel off with the plastic. If there’s any gum remnants left over you can pick it off with a butter knife or toothpick. How to remove chewing gum from clothes – How to get gum off clothes Ice Cube If you’re strapped for time, try rubbing an ice cube over the gum for 10-20 minutes. It should freeze and turn putty-like. Follow the instructions above for sanitary removal. How to remove Lemon juice Lemon juice works wonders when trying to remove chewing gum from clothes, is extremely cheap, and causes no damage to fabric. All you have to do is soak the garment in lemon juice and scrape the gum off with a blunt edge. It is recommended, however, that you wash the garment as soon as possible after applying lemon juice. Hairspray. Removing chewing gum from clothes is simple with this cheap method. Apply the hair spray directly onto the chewing gum and it will harden. Then just scrape the chewing gum off. Vinegar. Soak the garment in hot vinegar, then brush or scrape the gum off gently with a blunt tool to avoid damaging the fabric. Mayonnaise. Pour this household condiment onto the chewing gum and work in slowly. The gum should then peel off smoothly. Check out tigers facts and more animal facts

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Reviews About GAMDIAS Hephaestus v2 Gaming Headset For Gamer

By David Shields

Manufacturer: GAMDIAS Technology, Inc. Product Name: Hephaestus v2 Surround Sound Gaming Headset Model Number: GHS3510 UPC: 84847500156 EAN: 47129601300289 Price As Tested: $59.99 (Amazon)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by GAMDIAS.

In my last article, we reviewed the GAMDIAS EROS ELITE EQ Headset, a budget-minded base headset with plenty of useful features. Today, we have the Hephaestus v2 headset, a higher-end GAMDIAS product that comes with a few added features.

The GAMDIAS Hephaestus v2 Surround Sound Gaming headset features a 50mm USB connection, built-in smart controller, large ear cups, decorative LEDs, omnidirectional mike, and finally “bass impact.’ This takes low frequency bass tones and applies a slight vibration effect to let wearers “feel” the sound. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, we’ll look at the design of the Hephaestus v2 before diving into some basic performance tests.

GAMDIAS logo headband

Features & Specifications

Sensitivity
119±3dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Driver Diameter 50mm
Microphone Size F6*5mm
Microphone Sensitivity -40db±3db
Vibration Unit Driver Unit Size 35mm
Cable Length 1.9m
Plug Type USB
Application UI YES
Model No. HS3510

>> Check out to get list of new games coming out and upcoming video games

Hephaestus v2 Headset Overview

The body of the Hephaestus v2 is made from quality plastic that doesn’t collects noticeable marks or dust during use. I think it should stand up to repeated and long-term use over time very well.

HephaestusIIFullView

The headband and ear cups are covered in a layer of vinyl. Both are very comfortable and stand up well to extended use without causing perspiration or chaffing. An omnidirectional microphone with noise cancelling is included. We’ll get into it’s actual performance later, but for now its worth noting the microphone can be easily adjusted to any height and is placed for optimal voice pickup.

HephaestusIIEarCups

GAMDIAS states that the Hephaestus v2 features a “Flat-foldable design to fit the lean space of laptop carrying bag,” as shown above. As demonstrated below, it can in fact by stored in multiple configurations to fit nearly anywhere, making it a perfect travel companion.

HephaestusIIFoldedCompact

This headset fits comfortably for long term wear thanks to the large ear cups and wide headband. One complaint I had with the Eros Elite was it’s weight – the double headband was very heavy and unsuited for long-term wear. Each side is fitted with an extension that allows roughly three centimeters of additional height on each side.

HephaestusIIWornView

In our next section, we’ll address some of the finer details of the Hephaestus v2 before moving on to testing and performance.

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Review About Wileyfox Spark X: A new Moto G4 rival

A huge improvement on Wileyfox’s original Spark, but the X still has some way to go before it beats the Moto G4

Pros

Smart design
Customisable operating system
Low price

Cons

Camera could be better
Screen resolution is a little low for its size

Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek 6735, Screen Size: 5.5in, Screen resolution: 1,280 x 720, Rear camera: 13 megapixels, Storage (free): 16GB (11.3GB), Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Dimensions: 154 x 79 x 8.8mm, Weight: 163g, Operating system: Cyanogen 13.0

The Wileyfox Spark was pretty underwhelming when it first launched earlier this year, but the Spark X, its upmarket sibling, is arguably a much better bet. For an extra £20 over the original Spark, you get a larger 5.5in display, 16GB of storage rather than 8GB, double the RAM, a bigger battery and a higher-resolution 13-megapixel camera.

That’s quite the leap from the Spark’s 5in screen, 1GB of RAM and 8-megapixel rear camera, and it makes you wonder why Wileyfox bothered releasing it in the first place. The Spark X still has some things in common with its little brother, namely its overall design, quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek 6735 processor and 1,280 x 720 resolution, but otherwise it’s a huge improvement in every respect.

Wileyfox Spark X rear

The Wileyfox Spark X still quite a chunky handset, measuring 8.8mm at its thinnest point, but its classy soft-touch rear gives it an air of sophistication that many £110 smartphones simply don’t have. Whether you like the bronze fox head and Wileyfox branding on the back will be down to a matter of personal taste – I, for one, am not a huge fan – but at least they’re nicely complemented by the bronze ring surrounding the camera lens and subtle bronze plastic frame framing the phone.

Display

It’s a shame Wileyfox hasn’t seen fit to include a Full HD screen here. The Spark X’s resolution of 720 x 1,280 means it’s less sharp than its 5in sibling due to a lower pixel density.

Its Cyanogen 13 interface still looks crisp enough from a normal viewing distance, but it doesn’t take much before you start noticing its flaws. App icons in homescreen folders are noticeably jaggy, and notification text is a little fuzzy around the edges. To be fair, this would have been perfectly acceptable on a phone this cheap about a year ago, but ever since the £160 Moto G4 rolled into town with its 5.5in, Full HD screen, large budget smartphones have had to try a lot harder to make the grade.

Wileyfox Spark X display

The Spark X falls behind on overall screen quality, too, with our measurements showing that it’s only able to display 85% of the sRGB colour space. This is a step down from the Spark’s 89.8%, and the Moto G4’s 90.0% coverage, and the result is a slightly duller, less vibrant colour palette. The colour temperature is also a little warm for my liking, with whites taking on slight pinkish tinge. That said, its contrast ratio of 1,154:1 is respectable, and with a peak brightness of 563cd/m2, it will remain perfectly readable whether you’re using it indoors or standing outside in direct sunlight.

Performance

With a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 processor and 2GB of RAM at its disposal, the Spark X isn’t the quickest phone in the world, but it’s fast enough to handle some light web browsing and basic menu navigation. It can be a little sluggish on media-heavy websites, but with decent Geekbench 4 scores of 592 and 1,680 in the single- and multi-core tests, it won’t leave you hanging if all you want to do is browse your photo gallery or load up Google Maps.

It’s less adept at playing demanding games, as its rather pitiful score of 441 frames (6.6fps) in GFXBench GL’s Manhattan 3 onscreen benchmark can attest, but simple puzzle games such as Threes ran perfectly well.

Wileyfox Spark X side

Battery life

The biggest improvement the Spark X makes on the original Spark, though, is its battery life. While its little brother couldn’t even make it to nine hours in our video-playback test, the Spark X put in a much better performance. It lasted 11hrs 4mins when I set the screen brightness to our standard measurement of 170cd/m2 and switched the handset into flight mode. This is still pretty mediocre – the Moto G4 lasted 13hrs 39mins – but at least the Spark X is better equipped to get you through the day than its little brother.

Camera

On the back, you’ll find the Spark X’s 13-megapixel camera. Considering it has a fairly narrow aperture of f/2.8, it actually does a decent job for the money. Shooting in Auto mode has a tendency to blow out whites and leave shadows quite dark, but this improved when I switched over to HDR mode. Otherwise, its colour reproduction was good and detail levels were steady throughout.

However, the camera app itself makes it very difficult to frame your pictures accurately. Despite being set to shoot in 4:3, the app’s viewfinder still displays in 16:9, so you never know whether you’ve got everything in the shot. It’s something I’ve complained about on previous Wileyfox phones, so it’s disappointing to see this still hasn’t been fixed.

Wileyfox Spark X camera test
Wileyfox Spark X camera test indoors with flash

It’s particularly irritating when you’re taking indoor shots in close quarters, and I constantly had to lean back to fit everything in. The Spark X started showing its limitations indoors as well. Objects were very soft round the edges even in bright lighting conditions, and there wasn’t much contrast between light and dark.

On the plus side, there’s little to no noise and colours were still reasonably bright and vivid. The fur on our stuffed bear was a little greenish, but nothing too troublesome.

Cyanogen 13

For some people, a large part of the Spark X’s appeal will be down to the fact it uses Cyanogen rather than stock Android as its main operating system. Cyanogen is still based on Android, so it’s not too dissimilar in terms of its overall look and menu structure, but it does have a couple of extra features.

The Themes Store, for instance, lets you customise the look of the OS, while Truecaller is built straight into the phone’s dialler, allowing you to block calls and identify unknown callers without having to download an additional app. Another of Cyanogen’s big draws used to be individual app permissions, but this is now part of Android 6 and 7 by default, so it’s not quite so cutting-edge as it once was.

Instead, it’s the smaller touches that give the Spark X a bit of an edge, such as the option to select a left-handed mode when you’re using the phone in landscape mode, and the ability to add additional shortcuts to the power button. A double-press opens the camera, for instance, but you can also use it to end calls.

It’s also possible to configure separate system profiles for when the phone is set to silent or when you’re in your car, allowing you to alter the phone’s notification preferences, screen brightness, lockscreen mode and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS automatically.

Wileyfox Spark X camera

Verdict

For all its merits, though, there’s still one smartphone that does it all better than the Spark X, and that’s the Moto G4. It is, admittedly, £50 more expensive SIM-free, but I’d say it’s worth the extra cost. Not only are you getting a sharper, higher-quality display, but also a superior camera and longer-lasting battery.

The Spark X is still a good choice if you don’t want to spend much more than £100 on a smartphone (although this might change once I get the new Moto E3 in for review, which has a 5in screen, a splashproof design and costs just £99). However, if you’re looking for the very best budget smartphone that money can buy, the Moto G4 still reigns supreme.

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News About Keyboard: Best budget gaming keyboard

Thermaltake Poseidon Z

Pros

  • Extremely affordable for a gaming keyboard
  • Decent build quality
  • Has backlit keys
  • Full numpad

Cons

  • Flimsy and slippery keycaps
The Thermaltake Poseidon Z has been around for nearly two years, but its tremendous value still firmly seats it as one of the most popular mechanical keyboards on the market. At the time of writing, you can easily pick one up for around $65. Those who crunch numbers will definitely appreciate the inclusion of the number pad. At a budget price, this is a huge bonus compared to many of the other tenkeyless (TKL) options in this price category. It also comes with blue backlighting, a feature that’s often lost in the pursuit of lowering the cost.

Thermaltake’s decision of going with Kailh switches instead of Cherry MX which may upset some die-hard Cherry fans. Kailh switches are often perceived as inferior in quality when compared to Cherry MX switches. In reality, you’d be hard put to tell the difference between Cherry and Kailh, even if you are a veteran.

The Thermaltake Poseidon Z comes in either Kailh Blue or Brown flavors. What you choose is up to you. Blues have fantastic feedback for typing but have a loud click, Browns offer slightly less tactility but are much quieter.

There are no ornate designs with the Poseidon Z: It’s cased in a plain but durable plastic chassis. While its shell feels solid, there’s an unsightly red logo sprayed above the number pad. The Thermaltake logo has also been etched into the center of the spacebar, but we’re willing to overlook these small details considering its price

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New Aorus Gaming Rigs Add Pascal GPUs, Colorful Keyboards

Gigabyte’s Aorus line of gaming notebooks is one of my favorites. No matter the size, the company manages to squeeze some seriously powerful specs into a ridiculously slim chassis. And now that Nvidia’s new 10-series GPUs are here, Gigabyte is doing it again with the launch of the Aorus X5 v6 and X7 v6 which are now available on Newegg starting at $2,399.

Just like its predecessor, the Aorus X5S v5, the 15.6-inch X5 v6 has a crazy-slim 5.5 pound, 0.9-inch thick chassis. The 17.3 inch X7 DT v6 and X7 v6 are also pretty svelte for their weight class at 7.1 pounds with a 0.9~1-inch thickness. Each of the laptops will be clad in Aorus’ sleek, all-black aluminum design.

Each of the laptops is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, making them ready and able to support virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both laptops will also have overclocked Intel Core i7-6820HK CPUs with 16GB of RAM. Storage-wise, you can choose between 256GB and 512GB SSDs which are paired with a 1TB 7,200-rpm HDD. In addition, Aorus has finally caught up to the competition, by offering customizable backlighting on its RGB fusion keyboard.

The biggest differentiator between the Aorus X5 v6 and X7 v6 lies in their displays. The x5 v6 will be outfitted with a 2880 x 1620 panel or you can go for the 1920 x 1080 iteration with a blistering 120Hz refresh rate. Fans of the X7 will be stuck with only a 1080p option until the 2560 x 1440 (120 Hz refresh rate) launches in November.

Aorus has a few more tricks up its sleeve with the 13.9-inch X3 Plus v6 a. Currently available for pre-order for sometime in November, the X3 Plus v6 (starting at $1,999) will come equipped with an overclocked Core i7 CPU, 3200 x 1800 display and an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU. Any way you slice, gamers that don’t want to sacrifice performance in the name of portability will have a lot to choose from this holiday season.

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Why is 11 not pronounced onety one – Funny thoughts of the day

Have you ever wondered why is 11 not pronounced onety one, why is 11 not called onety one? That is an interesting question which seems to come up with no answer. Here in this article, we will show you some possible answers for this funny and tricky questions. Interesting facts of the day.

why-is-11-not-pronounced-onety-one

Why is 11 not pronounced onety one? Why is 11 not called onety one? In English, eleven and twelve come from “one left over” and “two left over”. Elleovene, from Old English endleofan, literally “one left” (over ten), from Proto-Germanic *ainlif- (compare Old Saxon elleban, Old Frisian andlova, Dutch elf, Old High German einlif, German elf, Old Norse ellifu, Gothic ainlif), a compound of *ain “one” (see one) + PIE *leikw- “leave, remain” (source of Greek leipein “to leave behind;” Here are some possible answers: #1 Ten is not called onety because you have ten fingers and not nine. That part is actually extremely logical and straightforward. Besides, what do you think “ty” actually means? You suggest that we say “one ten” every time we want to say “ten”. Now that is illogical Our cavemen ancestors must have had a sizeable input into the development of our numbers system. For all those who have read Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel, or watched the the very lovely Darryl Hannah in the movie of the same name, it is clear that the breakthrough in counting came at this time. Who can forget the scene where the leaders of the cave tribe are struggling to count beyond ten, and Darryl’s younger version manages to figure it out in about 10 minutes. Of course, not wanting to be shown up, the leaders banish her from the tribe. You can get more information about language through language facts. #2 Our ancestors might have had two extra fingers and could count to 12. When you learned how to count, you did it using your fingers right? As we have a different number for 11 and 12, it must be that our ancestors had 12 fingers. During those early days of counting, this makes perfect sense – it explains why we have different, unrelated words for each of the numbers 1-12. Perhaps our cousins, the Neanderthals, had 2 extra digits. They were of course the more advanced branch of humans at one point. #3 If it wasn’t our ancestors, then perhaps the originator of the counting system was somehow genetically mutated and born with 12 fingers. The sort of person who was thinking about numbers (instead of hunting deer) must have had some sort of genetic advantage, so they could well have had 12 fingers. #4 Perhaps the origins of 11 and 12 came from the ancient, and long forgotten race of Elves. If I had rather pointy ears that are ideal for counting, then I would have invented a number system based on my 10 fingers, and 2 pointy ears. If these numbers did originate from the Elves, then Eleven and Twelve would come quite naturally. #5 I seem to remember the German for 11 is Elf, which backs up point 4 quite nicely. Check out for facts about baby giraffe and amazing animal facts

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