August 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

A year ago, Amazon and Microsoft pledged that their digital assistants, Alexa and Cortana, would become friends. That future has now arrived: Beginning today, you’ll be able to invoke Alexa from Windows 10’s Cortana, and Cortana from an Alexa device like the Echo.Today (or possibly tomorrow, according to a Microsoft representative) Alexa and Cortana will become skills in their respective devices. Put another way, you’ll be able to say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa” on a Windows 10 PC or Harman Kardon Invoke. On an Amazon Echo, you can say “Alexa, open Cortana.” It sounds as though there will be a…

August 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Remember the great living-room PC fad of 2013 to 2016? Oh, what a thrilling time that was, when we still thought Steam Machines might take off, when the Steam Controller was full of potential, and when everyone rushed to capitalize with their own miniaturized PCs and peripherals. Into that environment arrived Corsair’s Lapdog, a combination keyboard/mousepad lapboard made for couch use.It was emblematic of everything wrong with living room PCs at the time, trying to translate the entire desktop experience to the couch. Overlarge, overpriced, and wired, the Lapdog was a bit of a mess. But two years later, Corsair…

August 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

We technically received Corsair’s K63 Wireless Keyboard as part of our review of the Corsair K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard—a living-room ready lapdesk, and a refresh of the old Corsair Lapdog but slimmer and wireless this time around. And the K63 works excellently in that context. But the Gaming Lapboard is overkill for most people, and you know what? The K63 stands great on its own. It’s compact, it’s durable, it’s reasonably comfortable to type on, and I’ve spent a surprising amount of time using it separate from the Lapboard enclosure. After all, it’s only the second wireless mechanical keyboard from a…

August 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Should I buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop? Whether you’re seeking out the best computer for your child or just weighing which inexpensive computer is right for your home, considering a Chrome OS-powered Chromebook as a PC alternative is a smart choice—and we can help you choose the right one.Who should buy a Windows PC? A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages: Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, as well as the choice of any browser you choose. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose.That convenience demands more…

August 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Move over, Meltdown and Spectre. A new “Foreshadow” attack, alternatively called L1 Terminal Fault or L1TF, targets Intel’s Security Guard Extensions (SGX) within its Core chips.You should be safe, though, if you’ve already patched your PC as part of the earlier Spectre and Meltdown mitigations that rolled out over the course of the year, according to a blog post from Intel, which disclosed the flaw today. (Wired has more of the technical backstory on the bug itself, and Intel has published a video explaining the issue.) Microsoft is also rolling out patches, Intel said.To read this article in full, please…

August 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

World of Warcraft’s long and storied history has always had at its heart the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde, with last year’s events in the mostly excellent Legion storyline intensifying that conflict. The Battle for Azeroth expansion, which launches today, takes that existing hatred between the factions and ramps it up even more. Here’s what I think of it so far, based the past couple of weeks playing the beta. Battle for Azeroth picks right up after the compelling and satisfying events of Legion, which saw the Titan Sargeras imprisoned – but not before he plunged a sword…

August 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

During QuakeCon 2018, Bethesda game director Todd Howard, development director Chris Mayer, and project lead Jeff Gardiner were part of a Q&A session centered on the upcoming Fallout 76. While we know a fair amount about the setting and general gameplay mechanics, the Q&A yielded a few interesting new bits of information about customization, what you lose in death, and a uniquely brilliant way of dealing with online trolls and griefing. Probably the most significant detail we learned was how the game will handle trolls and players who grief others online. In order to engage in PvP, players can attack…

August 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

An up-to-date PC is less vulnerable to attack, so Windows automatic updates are generally a good thing. But sometimes an update will make things worse, rendering a PC problematic, or even unusable until the problem is solved.That’s why some people prefer to hold off on a update until other people have tried it without disaster. But this requires you to take time out of your day to keep up on the news about Windows updates (a Google News alert can help).If you’re using Windows 10, you’ve got another problem: It won’t let you turn off automatic updates. Luckily, there are two…