Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Mini can make life easier, but they also present some privacy concerns. Doesn’t a device that responds to voice commands need to be listening all the time ? Let’s talk about that. If you think about how a smart speaker or smart display works, logic would tell you that they need to be constantly listening. After all, how can your device hear your “Alexa” or “Hey Google” command if it’s not listening? Well, you’re right. These devices are always listening, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Listening vs. Recording When people hear that smart speakers are always listening, what they’re really afraid of is the possibility that the smart speaker is always recording them. That’s how humans listen, but that’s not what’s happening with smart speakers. This is an important distinction to make. When you listen to someone talk, you are essentially making a recording of the information in your brain. You remember what the … [Read more...] about Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening to Me?
Members vs shareholders
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?
So, you’re thinking about buying an Xbox. Do you want a Series X or S? Is your existing TV good enough, or do you need to upgrade? And will you have to stand the console up like some sort of monolith? Let’s answer the most pressing Xbox Series X and S questions. What’s the Difference Between Series X and S? The Xbox Series X costs $499, while the Series S retails for $299. Beyond price, the main difference between the two consoles is graphical power. They have similar CPUs, but the GPU on the Series S has about one-third of the raw power the Series X has. The Series X sets a target of 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), while the Series S settles for a more modest 1440p, also at 60 fps. On paper, this should be the only difference. However, in practice, we’ve seen games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also cut back on features like ray tracing in the Series S version. The Series X has a 1TB SSD, while the Series S only comes with 512GB. The Series S is an … [Read more...] about Everything You Need to Know Before Buying an Xbox Series X|S
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
Chromebooks are called Chromebooks because they’re usually laptops, and laptops typically have trackpads. If you’d like to use a Bluetooth mouse with your Chromebook instead, it’s easy to do. We’ll show you how. As long as your Chromebook has Bluetooth, you can connect a number of wireless peripherals (such as a keyboard and other accessories) to it. A Bluetooth mouse is a popular choice for better navigation. You can easily tuck one in a bag with your Chromebook, too. RELATED: How to Get a Caps Lock Key on Your Chromebook First, click the clock icon on your Chromebook’s Shelf to bring up the Quick Settings panel. Then, select the gear icon to open the Settings menu. In the Settings app, scroll down and select “Bluetooth.” If your Chromebook doesn’t support Bluetooth, you won’t see this option. First, toggle the switch on (if it isn’t already). Your Chromebook will begin scanning for Bluetooth devices. Make sure that your mouse is in pairing mode. … [Read more...] about How to Connect a Bluetooth Mouse to a Chromebook
If someone has ever told you something you didn’t really ask to know, they probably also told you “JSYK.” Here’s what that internet initialism means and when to use it. “Just So You Know” JSYK stands for “just so you know.” It is used to share a piece of information or comment with someone who didn’t request it. It can be used to start a conversation, or it can come up in the middle of a discussion with someone. It bears a lot of similarities to the popular FYI or “for your information.” While the initialism can be written in both uppercase “JSYK” and lowercase “jsyk,” the lowercase version is much more popular online in messages and social media. One thing to note is that sharing something with “JSYK” may be considered rude, depending on what you say and its context. For example, while you might consider it helpful, providing sudden criticism can be considered unwarranted by the person you’re talking to. The Origin of JSYK JSYK can be traced back to the earliest days … [Read more...] about What Does “JSYK” Mean, and How Do You Use It?