While you’re still waiting on your refrigerator or your microwave to be as smart as your phone, the car in your garage is already ahead of the curve. If you own a vehicle made after 1996, you can connect to it with a simple device called an OBD-II adapter and find out your fuel efficiency, diagnose check engine lights, and gather a ton of other useful data. Most cars manufactured since the 80s have an on-board diagnostics (or OBD) computer inside. These computers allow mechanics and regulators to troubleshoot any computer-controlled parts of the car. From January 1st, 1996 onward, all cars sold within the US were required to have an OBD-II compatible port. This allows anyone with an adapter to read information from the car. You may have seen this when a technician checks your emissions. For the most part, OBD-II tools were only used by professionals to do things like figure out why you check engine light is on, or to make sure your car is meeting emission standards. However, … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Car Smarter with an OBD-II Adapter
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Have you ever seen something so uncomfortable, you didn’t have the words to describe it? “Thanks, I Hate It” might be the exact phrase you’re looking for. Here’s what it means. “Thanks, I Hate It” TIHI stands for “Thanks, I Hate It.” It’s an acronym of a popular slang phrase on the internet, particularly on Reddit and other internet message boards. It’s used to respond to a photo, post, or story that makes the viewer uncomfortable because of its unnatural or unattractive nature. Often, TIHI images are heavily photoshopped to have strange, unpleasant details that will trigger a response. They can also be tweets or comments posted online. TIHI can be used in both the titles of posts and in the comments under them. When used as a post title, it’s also used as a disclaimer warning that the photo may make you feel uncomfortable. In specific uses, TIHI is synonymous with another internet slang term, “cursed,” which refers to images or pieces of text that you may prefer not to … [Read more...] about What Does “TIHI” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or a casual viewer, you’ve likely heard the term “GOAT” before. Here’s what being the “GOAT” of a sport (or anything else) means. “Greatest of All Time” GOAT stands for “greatest of all time.” If you’ve participated in online sports talk, you may recognize that the term is used to refer to the greatest athlete in the history of a professional sport. Alternatively, some use it to refer to the best currently active athlete in the field. Because of its prominence, it has also become a general term for an all-time great at topics outside of sports. The acronym is frequently found in every part of the internet where sports are talked about. This includes message boards, social networking sites, and video sharing sites like YouTube. It is also used between smaller groups of sports fans, whether in chats or real life. Many sports media outlets have also adopted the term, frequently writing articles about who they think the GOAT of a particular … [Read more...] about What Does “GOAT” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
High-quality sound on PCs from drop-in sound cards and external DACs is a weird subject. It’s not as necessary as it once was. In fact, nobody even thinks about it much anymore. There’s no song or game that you won’t be able to listen to because of underpowered gear. Sound vs. Graphics Hardware Your computer’s built-in sound is pretty good for most tasks. Contrast that with gaming, where if you want to play the newest AAA games at high frame rates, you need a graphics card. A CPU’s integrated graphics processor simply isn’t up to the challenge. Nevertheless, some people still want better sound than a motherboard can offer. When that’s the case, it comes down to two primary choices: a sound card or an external DAC (digital-to-analog converter). A quality listening experience needs a minimum of electrical interference, which is a problem because a PC motherboard is a hotbed of electrical activity. That’s why onboard motherboard audio has shielding to protect itself as best … [Read more...] about What Is an External DAC, and Do You Need One for a PC?
On Dec. 14, 1990, Apogee Software released Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons . It was the first in a series of PC shareware games that brought fluid, Mario-like platforming to the PC. It also launched legendary developer id Software. Here’s why it was special. Keen: Playful Console Magic on the PC The first Commander Keen game, Invasion of the Vorticons , is split into three episodes designed for PCs with MS-DOS. In the first episode, you play as Billy Blaze (aka Commander Keen), a kid who must travel to Mars to repel an invasion of dog-like aliens called Vorticons. The aliens have dismantled your ship and scattered its parts across the planet. Your job is to retrieve those parts so you can get back home. Along the way, Commander Keen builds a compelling backstory through special stages. The mini-narrative scenes present items like a pogo stick and an alien language written in glyphs. Keen also picks up whimsical items, like teddy bears and books with the word … [Read more...] about 30 Years of Vorticons: How Commander Keen Changed PC Gaming
Buying a TV is more complex than ever. There are new technologies, formats, and buzzwords you have to keep up with. Plus, pricing is also all over the place as more affordable companies try to unseat brands like LG and Samsung. And if you’re looking for a TV specifically for gaming , different features are more important. We’re breaking down everything you need to know to make the wisest purchase! Choosing a Display: OLED, QLED, and More Currently, there are two dominant display technologies on the market: LED-LCD (including QLED) and OLED. Understanding the differences will help you make the right decision. A simple rule of thumb is to match the display type to your viewing habits. Most TVs on the market are LCD panels lit with an LED backlight. These include the cheapest new TVs, from brands like TCL and Hisense, all the way to LG’s NanoCell lineup and Samsung’s top-tier QLED sets. Not all LED-lit panels are equal, however. Panels advertised as QLED use a Quantum … [Read more...] about How to Buy a TV: What You Need to Know