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Gaming monitors, headsets and peripherals for a winning desktop setup

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

Makula Dunbar

Makula Dunbar is a writer with Wirecutter.

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Gear for getting better at your side gig

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch earn affiliate commissions.

New and serious gamers know that it takes a significant amount of time sharpen skills, and to strategize ways to capture high scores. Staying ahead of player 2 is easier when you have the right gaming peripherals.

A monitor with a crisp display, a responsive gaming mouse, a comfortable headset—or all of these items combined—are what you need to take your PC gaming experience to the next level. We can’t promise that new equipment will keep you at the top of the board, but the best gear with accommodating features is essential to a great setup, and to helping you try.

G-Sync Monitor: Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

For the best option to..

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Pandora’s personalized playlists go live for all Premium users

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

Earlier this year, Pandora announced its plans to challenge Spotify by taking aim at one of its rival’s top features: personalized playlists. Pandora in March began rolling out dozens of variations of personalized playlists, including those spanning moods, activities, and genres – all powered by its music database, the Music Genome. Today, Pandora says the rollout has completed and all its Premium users will now have access to these new playlists.

The feature is meant to offer Pandora’s free users a reason to upgrade to its top-tier paid offering, Pandora Premium. This $9.99 per month service offers on-demand listening, playlist creation, downloads for offline listening, unlimited skips and replays, higher-quality audio and no advertisements.

Premium users can share their personalized playlists with friends, even if they’re on the free tier, by sending a link.

The free user can temporarily access Premium by watching a video ad as a way to test drive the Premium experience, and liste..

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A new eyewear brand is taking on Luxottica with a single wire, some seed funding, and a sustainability story

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

A U.K.-based startup has come up with a new design for high-end, direct-to-consumer sunglasses that are original, modular, and virtually indestructible. But to get their eyewear in the hands of consumers, they’ll have to compete with some industry giants, including Luxottica Group of Italy, whose brands include Ray-Ban and Oakley among others.

Their company, Wires Glasses, isn’t competing on price. At $380 per pair, its sunglasses cost as much as other designer eyewear. If Wires succeeds, it will largely owe instead to its unusual single-wire design, patented invisible hinge, and, perhaps most important, the narrative it tells about design and sustainability. Indeed, in a day and age where new brands are launched every day, storytelling can mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving, something this team seems to understand.

A new, albeit undisclosed, amount of seed funding from the early-stage venture firm True Ventures should also help. True has helped grow a number o..

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Okta’s PassProtect checks your passwords with ‘Have I Been Pwned’

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

Okta just launched a free browser extension for Google Chrome today. After installing PassProtect, your browser will compare the passwords you type with Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned.

This extension isn’t necessarily for you, tech savvy readers of TechCrunch. But it could be a great way to warn your neighbor who doesn’t know anything about computers. Maybe their Gmail password has been part of a data breach.

Have I Been Pwned is a big database with all the passwords that have leaked over the years. There have been security breaches at Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr or Adobe services. So chances are you’ve been pwned in the past.

That’s why you should be using a password manager, a different password for each online service and two-factor authentication when it’s possible. And that’s also why many companies rely on Okta to secure your authentication to a company’s intranet.

But the vast majority of users don’t do that.

So the next time you visit your relatives, you could install this ex..

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Review: A week in an Audi R8 Spyder, an everyday supercar

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

It’s the sounds. The wisps and growls and gargles. Hit the red Start Engine button on the steering wheel and the world wakes up to the sounds of rumbling V10.

The Audi R8 Spyder is a marvelous cup of coffee and a great way to start the day. What’s more, after a week as treating this red R8 as my daily driver, I can plainly state the supercar is surprisingly easy to live with as long as some concessions are made. Sometimes, when slogging through a daily routine, it’s easy to forget you’re driving a mid-engine supercar. And then you put your foot down and the sun explodes.

Spring arrived in Michigan just in time for some cruising with the Audi R8 Spyder. The snow is gone and the trees are budding. The sun is bright and warm and perfect for a bit of driving with the top down on this mid-engine machine.

This R8 packs a 10 cylinder engine paired to a fantastic 7 speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that converts the engine’s raw power into speed. It’s all-wheel drive and cap..

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Tempow raises $4 million to improve Bluetooth

May 23, 2018 Alex 0

French startup Tempow has raised a $4 million funding round. Balderton Capital led the round, with C4 Ventures also participating. The company has been working on improving the Bluetooth protocol to make it more versatile.

Smartphones, speakers and connected devices all use Bluetooth in one way or another. There are only a handful of Bluetooth chipset manufacturers in the world, such as Qualcomm and Broadcom. While Bluetooth chips have become incredibly efficient as they use much less power than they used to, it’s been stagnant on the software front.

Tempow is a software company that wants to rewrite the Bluetooth stack from scratch. The company started with an audio profile.

Thanks to Tempow’s technology, you can connect a phone to multiple Bluetooth speakers at once. This is just a software improvement — it works with standard Bluetooth chipsets and all Bluetooth audio devices out there.

Lenovo liked this idea and licensed the technology for its Moto X4 handset. More than 5 milli..