Must Read Bits & Bytes

I bought the Amazon Fire TV, and I love it

I bought the Amazon Fire TV, and I love it

I’m a weak person. I know it. Every time a new gadget comes out, I find a way to justify buying it and I do just that – without even thinking.

On April 2, when Amazon unveiled the Fire TV, I fell into the same trap. I saw what I believed to be a compelling set-top box, and I didn’t waste time jumping over to Amazon.com, plunking down my $99, and having it shipped to me overnight. The reason? I need a set-top box in my bedroom, and what better device to scratch that itch than Amazon’s latest and greatest device?

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Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet Review

Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet Review

Today we're having a look at a tablet that's very familiar, yet a whole new concept in Acer's brand of tablet releases. Here with the Acer Iconia A-830-1633, you're getting an Android tablet that's working with a 7.9-inch display with a moderate resolution, brightness, and a processor under the hood that should be able to bring you the best in news-reading apps and video. So what's the holdup?

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Can the HTC One M8 save HTC?

Can the HTC One M8 save HTC?

HTC has a problem, and it's more than just hemorrhaging cash. The company has confirmed its second consecutive quarter with losses, bleeding around $62.2m as it readied the new HTC One M8 and crossed its collective fingers that 2014 would deliver the turnaround many had hoped - but which failed to transpire - for 2013.

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Pokemon NXT gameplay hands-on: 3D MMO in the making

Pokemon NXT gameplay hands-on: 3D MMO in the making

It’s Alpha time for the game known as Pokemon NXT. Made by the fan community and aiming for an eventual (who knows when) full release, this game is a labor of love by members of the Pokemon-loving public, the public that has decided to stop waiting for Nintendo to create an online, 3rd-person, multiplayer experience with the Pokemon universe, instead making it themselves. We’re playing the game today not because we want to level our Pokemon up, but because we want the world to know about the game so that development can be encouraged.

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Windows XP end-of-life tomorrow, Custom Support rides forth

Windows XP end-of-life tomorrow, Custom Support rides forth

Supposing you’re one of the last users of Windows XP out there in the universe, you’ll want to make sure you understand the implications of continuing to use that operating system after tomorrow. Tomorrow, after all, is the last day Microsoft will be offering technical support for Windows XP for the public. After that, it’s all about Custom Support for Windows XP.

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Five Fire TV updates to make it the streamer to beat

Five Fire TV updates to make it the streamer to beat

Amazon's Fire TV launched last week to grand fanfare and plenty of promise, but as we discovered in our review the streaming box isn't quite perfect yet. Taking on Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku with faster performance, easier search, and more compelling gaming makes a lot of sense, but some aspects of the Fire TV experience still need work. Head on past the cut to find the five tweaks that could make Fire TV the set-top box to beat.

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Kinect Sports Rivals Review

Kinect Sports Rivals Review

Kinect Sports Rivals takes Kinect seriously, in a way that no game for the Xbox One yet has. It’s absurd that the Xbox One’s Kinect hadn’t been utilized to the extent that Sports Rivals makes use of it now. Here the developers at Rare and the teams responsible for this game at Microsoft Studios give the platform a good kick in the pants.

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Remote GameStream Review with NVIDIA SHIELD

Remote GameStream Review with NVIDIA SHIELD

It’s not often that we review the services of a device we’ve reviewed in the past, but the opening of the gates NVIDIA is providing here in the SHIELD, we must. When NVIDIA SHIELD was first introduced, the service that would eventually be called GameStream showed how we might mirror PC games to a handheld gaming system, and control them with that system too. Here a year and four months later, we get to see this service work outside of our own home internet network.

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Windows in the Car to put Cortana in the dashboard

Windows in the Car to put Cortana in the dashboard

Apple has CarPlay, Google has the Android Open Automotive Alliance, and now Microsoft has Windows in the Car, its own take on piping smartphone content from your Windows Phone directly to the dashboard. Quietly demonstrated at Build 2014 this past week, in concept form at least, Windows in the Car pares back the standard Windows Phone interface to suit center console touchscreens and safer use while on the move thanks to features like Cortana.

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Amazon Fire TV Review

Amazon Fire TV Review

Does the world need another streaming box? Amazon Fire TV argues “yes” and says speed, voice search that actually works, and proper gaming set it apart from the Apple TV, Roku 3, and Google Chromecast. As we’ve seen with the Kindle Fire HDX tablet range, Amazon can certainly build some impressive hardware when it puts its mind to it, but is the Fire TV quite ready for primetime? Read on for our full review.

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