February 10, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

I’ve never really thought about parking lots, and that’s a problem. I mean, who does? I’m sure it’s someone’s job to design parking lots—to optimize the space to fit as many cars as possible, to pick out those tiny saplings that one day will shade the lucky few who get to park underneath, to decide whether the spaces will run parallel or diagonal. It’s not my job though, and now I’m at a loss. I’ve spent the last half-hour in Cities: Skylines trying to plan out a parking lot for a combination PetSmart-Trader Joes-Office Max-Wells Fargo, and it’s not going…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Microsoft’s iconic Surface Pro tablet turned five on Friday. The original product led the way for other productivity Windows tablets and detachable computers, but on its fifth anniversary, Microsoft may be losing momentum.On Twitter, the Microsoft Surface team celebrated its “revolution,” which began when it discarded the limited Windows RT and brought full Windows 8 to the tablet market. “Five years ago today, a revolution was born when Surface turned Pro,” the Surface account tweeted. “And it was just the start.”Surface sales falter That strong start has slowed, though. According to research firm IDC, unit sales of portable Surface devices…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Far Cry 5’s latest trailer gives its dog companion captions so you’ll understand his story. The sad part? I don’t think that’s in the real game. Imagine traveling through rural Montana with your talking canine, A Boy and His Dog style. Amazing, right?That trailer, plus Relic abandoning Dawn of War III, a slew of release dates and sequel announcements, a new Soren Johnson project, and more below. This is gaming news for February 5 to 9.Operators vs Aliens This week on Rainbow Six Siege: People screaming “Contact!” and “Jesus Christ!” while monsters run around in the fog, and then some…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

You can play a DVD in Windows 10 for free, with a little help that’s probably not from Microsoft. I’ll tell you how Microsoft’s solution sort-of works for some people. Then I’ll tell you about the much better alternative called VLC that anyone can use, and is still being updated regularly. Best of all, it’s free! Updated February 9, 2018, to mention improvements included in VLC 3.0. RIP Windows Media Center When Windows 10 came along, it left behind Windows Media Center, a utility for home theater PCs that let you play DVDs on your computer. Windows 8 didn’t come with…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

The best free media player is getting even better. After three years of development, VLC 3.0 ‘Ventari’ is rolling out to all platforms, and it’s packed full of goodies such as Chromecast support. The new version is available from Videolan.org’s dedicated page for VLC 3.0 and is rolling out to your device’s respective app store.The latest version of VLC contains a lot of great additions, as well as a tweaked UI. Chromecast discovery tops the list. It’s only available on Windows desktop and Android right now, but Videolan says the feature’s coming to VLC’s iOS and the Windows Store apps…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

In Excel, custom input or error messages explain the rules for each field to prevent data-entry errors. Imagine, for instance, that it’s your job to create, maintain, and assign user IDs and passwords for your company employees. You create a spreadsheet to perform this task. Then you get transferred. So now you have to delegate this task to someone else. The best way to ensure the job is done right is to create input and error messages. For the User IDs, first create an Error Alert that says, “No duplicates allowed.” Then create an Input Message that, when displayed, explains what…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

It’s called “Yeti,” and it’s the code name attached to an intriguing rumor about Google’s gaming ambitions that emerged this week. The rumor suggests the company is developing its own cloud-based gaming service and home console. As The Information reported, the so-called service would stream games into users’ homes from remote servers, allowing users to play on a Chromecast or a new console made by Google.A game console from Google could be a big deal, akin to how Microsoft transformed the gaming business after launching the Xbox in 2001. Still, this week’s reporting offered scant details how Google’s gaming service…

February 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

I’m torn over the HP Omen 15.Like the larger HP Omen 17 we reviewed (and heartily recommended) in late 2017, the Omen 15 isn’t the flashiest notebook around, nor the fastest. It doesn’t stand out from the wider crowd of gaming laptops with spectacular features. But nevertheless, it’s a solid, attractive all-around gaming notebook that’s light enough to actually carry with you. That’s a rare combination in gaming notebookYet a few puzzling design decisions in the specific configuration we’re reviewing tarnish its luster somewhat. One aspect might be a complete show-stopper depending on how you use your gaming laptop. The HP…