“No Man’s Sky” provides a soulful antidote to our anxious times


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Open up any newspaper, listen to any current events podcast, stream any pundit’s YouTube channel, and you’ll see it’s no secret we live in anxious times. In a world where every other second brings another push notification demanding your attention, it can be difficult to focus intensely on one thing for more than a few minutes, let alone escape into your own world for an hour or more at a time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to blast off into space for a little while, do some exploring and catch your breath before returning to real life again? After all, in space, no one can hear you scream — at your phone, or your inbox, or your boss. That’s the escape No Man’s Sky offers, if you’re ready to suit up and blast off into a distant galaxy Read more…

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Source: https://mashable.com/ad/feature/no-mans-sky-beyond/
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How to Make Windows Desktop Icons Extra Large or Extra Small

Extra large icons on a Windows desktop

Windows lets you choose large, medium, or small desktop icons. But did you know many other size options are available? You can fine-tune the size of your desktop icons with a quick shortcut that involves your mouse wheel.

The standard desktop icon sizes are available in the desktop’s context menu—right-click the desktop, point to view, and select “Large icons,” “Medium icons,” or “Small icons.”

Choosing Windows desktop icon size from the desktop's context menu.

For extra size options, position your mouse cursor over the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, and scroll the mouse wheel up or down. Stop scrolling and release the Ctrl key when you’ve found your preferred size.

This shortcut lets you select a wider range of desktop icon sizes than the typical desktop context menu does—we counted a range of 28 sizes, from extra tiny to surprisingly huge. The mouse wheel shortcut will give you extra control over resizing your icons, shrinking or enlarging them much more than you otherwise could.

Extra small desktop icons on Windows 10

This trick works in File Explorer or Windows Explorer, too. You can quickly resize file and folder icons by holding Ctrl and rotating your mouse’s scroll wheel.

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/437371/how-to-make-windows-desktop-icons-extra-large-or-extra-small/
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Why Nest Accounts are Becoming Google Accounts and What You Can Do About It


It’s official: If you’ve got a Nest account, you can now swap everything over to your Google account. But should you do it right away, if at all? And why is Google asking you to combine accounts anyway? Here’s everything you need to know if you’ve got Nest-branded smart home gear set up.

Read more…

Source: https://gizmodo.com/why-nest-accounts-are-becoming-google-accounts-and-what-1837473764
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How to Update the VLC Media Player

VLC traffic cone logo

The VideoLAN project releases regular updates for the VLC Media Player. These updates add new features and fix bugs, but can also include important security patches that help protect your PC or Mac from attack.

VLC automatically notifies you of new updates when you open it, but it doesn’t automatically install them. Here’s how to check manually and get the most recent version of VLC on any platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iPad.

If you don’t want to use the built-in update process, you don’t have to. You can download the latest version of VLC from VideoLAN’s website. Be sure to only get it from the official website at videolan.org.

How to Update VLC on a Windows PC

On a Windows PC, click Help > Check for Updates to see whether an update is available.

Checking for updates in VLC on Windows

If an update is available, VLC will offer to download and install it for you. Click “Yes” and VLC will download the latest update for you.

Installing an available update in VLC media player on Windows 10

VLC will offer to launch the installer once it’s downloaded. Click “install” to close VLC and begin installing it.

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Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/437819/how-to-update-the-vlc-media-player/
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5 iPhone settings to change now


You’re probably using your iPhone wrong. 

Okay, maybe not wrong wrong, but there’s a very good chance you could be using your phone a lot more efficiently. When was the last time you took a moment and customized your settings beyond the default?

If the last time you really messed with your settings was when iPhones still had home buttons, then you’re probably missing out on some of the best new features from the last few iOS updates. Here are a few things worth changing.

1. Customize your Control Center

Apple started allowing users to customize Control Center in iOS 11, but it’s added more customization options since then. You can change the Control Center shortcuts around by going to Settings —> Control Center and then adding to your list. The exact shortcuts you want will vary based on what apps you use the most, but here’s a few of my must-haves: Read more…

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Source: https://mashable.com/article/iphone-settings-change-now/
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This Linux computer plus router is the size of a ring box


If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up.

Apparently not content with that level of devotion, the good folks at VoCore have gone and made a tiny Linux computer that is impossibly cute, on top of its multiple applications.

The VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer packs a wireless router and 16M of onboard storage into a cube about the size of a coin. Just hook it up to any display monitor through a standard USB2.0 port, and you’re ready to put it to work. With 128MB of DDR2 memory and an MT7628AN MIPS processor, it’s equally useful as a streaming station, VPN gateway, data storage – you name it.

The standard VoCore2 package comes with an Ultimate Dock that takes MicroSD cards for $42.99 – a full 14% off the list price. For those who want to get cracking right out of the box, there’s a VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer Bundle for $69 (a 13% discount), including an 800 X 480 screen just perfect for the tiny powerhouse.

Source: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/23/this-linux-computer-plus-route.html
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Bees added to Minecraft, finally


My “bee”-obsessed young son will not be delighted to see the addition of bees to Minecraft, as he is still too young to have played Minecraft or, indeed, to have become cognizant of the difference between bees and other winged insects.

We’re buzzing with excitement!

• Bees are cute, fuzzy, neutral mobs

• Don’t hurt them, they don’t want to hurt you

• If a bee does sting you, it will leave its stinger in you and eventually die, dropping nothing 😦

• Bees love pretty flowers and spend their lives gathering pollen from them

• After gathering pollen, bees fly back to their home nest

• Bees help you by growing crops while carrying pollen back to the nest

• Bees can be bred using flowers

• Bees like sharing the location of their favorite flowers with other bees

• If a bee can’t find nectar, after a while it will return home for a bit

• If a bee doesn’t have a home nest, it will wander around until it finds one it can use

• Bees don’t like the rain and they sleep at night. They will go back to the nest in these cases

In keeping with Minecraft’s rougueish leanings, there’s an entire ecology of honey production to go with it. Can’t wait!

Source: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/23/bees-added-to-minecraft-final.html
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How to Switch from a Windows PC to a Mac

An iMac with an Apple keyboard and mouse on a wooden desk.Krisda/Shutterstock.com

It’s easy to switch from a Windows-based PC to a Mac. The platforms probably aren’t as different as you’ve heard. Our handy guide will have you up to speed in no time!

Choose a Mac

If you haven’t already purchased your Mac (or you’re still mulling it over), you should try to decide which computer is right for you. Apple’s lineup is divided into three classes: laptops, consumer home computers, and powerful high-end behemoths.


For portable use, Apple currently offers two laptops: the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The 13-inch MacBook Air (starting at $1,099, at this writing) is a great all-rounder, with a new Retina (high-DPi) display, energy-efficient performance, and the classic “wedge” shape. It’s ideal for web browsing, typing essays, watching Netflix, and can even handle some light sub-4K video editing.

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch screen.Apple

If you need more power on the go, particularly in the graphics department, the MacBook Pro is the next logical choice. It’s a mobile powerhouse available in both 13- and 15-inch models (at this writing, starting at $1,299 and $2,399, respectively). It’s fatter, heavier, and packs far more punch than its lightweight sibling. It’s also considerably more expensive. You customize both models at checkout, but you get more options if you opt for the Pro.

Consumer Home Computers

For home and office users, the iMac is a great choice. It’s available with a built-in 21.5-inch display up to 4K or 27-inch 5K display (at this writing, starting at $1,099 or $1,799, respectively). It’s great value for the money, even when you compare it to building your own computer. You get a lot more performance for your money if you opt for the larger, desktop type. You also get expansion ports to add more RAM, a proper array of ports on the back, Apple’s decent keyboard, and its passable mouse.

A 21-inch Apple iMac sitting next to a 27-inch Apple iMac.Apple

If you already have a monitor and peripherals, you might be interested in the Mac mini (starting at $799 at this writing). This is the most affordable computer Apple manufactures, partly due to the somewhat limited hardware. You won’t get iMac-like performance, nor are these machines armed with powerful GPUs, but you can beef up the RAM and processor selection at checkout if you want.

High-End Professional Systems

Professional users are left with the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro. Generally speaking, if you have to ask, you don’t really need either of these machines. They’re stuffed with high-end components, like Intel Xeon server-grade processors, Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, and more RAM than you know what to do with. At this writing, the iMac Pro starts at $4,999, and the Mac Pro isn’t shipping until late 2019 (price to be announced).

The Mac Pro hardware.Apple

For most people, an iMac or MacBook Air are the obvious choices. If you’re happy to trade some performance for portability, the MacBook Pro should be on your radar. If you’re buying your primary computer, and you opt for a laptop, avoid the smallest SSD.

At this writing, you can upgrade the MacBook Air’s tiny 128 GB SSD to 256 GB for $200, or 512 GB for $400. If you’re going to store your main photo library on the machine, along with software like Office or Photoshop, you’ll need that extra space a few years down the line. While increasing your MacBook’s storage later is sometimes possible, solutions can be expensive and inconvenient.

The Basics

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Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/437168/how-to-switch-from-a-windows-pc-to-a-mac/
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At-Home DNA Kit Company Gave Data to FBI

News-DNA-Kit-FBI-Featured.jpg Home DNA kits that can help you discover your family ancestry are popular now, with two of the most used being kits offered by ancestry.com and 23andme.com. The question is, what do these companies do with that personal data you’re handing them? FamilyTreeDNA sold 1.5 million of these at-home DNA kits and then allowed the FBI to take a look at the data to solve crimes. Is that what these 1.5 million people signed up for when they spit into the tube? FBI Exploits Home DNA Kit Data Don’t get me wrong: I’m here to… Read more

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Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/dna-kit-company-gave-data-to-fbi/
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Americans are waiting three years to replace their phones, study finds

dims?crop=6049%2C3772%2C0%2C153&quality=A new study released by Strategy Analytics reflects the current state of the smartphone industry. Apparently, consumers in the US — Baby Boomers, in particular — are increasingly delaying their smartphone purchase for three or more years. In additi…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/23/us-phone-upgrade-strategy-analytics/
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