Computers

Dell launches their improved, TV-inspired Inspiron AiOs

No need to plug your laptop to the TV anymore

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All-in-one computers have certainly been a great alternative for bulky computer setups over the years. Despite the smaller form factor, it doesn’t stop the machine from performing just as powerful as their heavier, bulkier counterparts. Dell recognized this, and decided to go even further with their improved Inspiron AiOs for Computex 2019.

The improved Inspiron 24 5490 and Inspiron 27 7790 are the next-generation, sleeker versions of Dell’s all-in-one Inspiron lineup. Both models will sport the latest Intel processors and an optional NVIDIA MX110 graphics card. You can expect greater all-around performance, as well as decent gaming or graphics-intensive performance.

Both models also have an InfinityEdge FHD display, fit for a more theater-like experience. The display sits on top of a metallic stand and speaker grill, acting as its main speaker system. An HDMI-in port is also available at the back of the device, if you want to plug a console to the display. With all of these, your all-in-one device will feel more like a TV than just a regular computer in any room.

One key difference between the two models is the integrated yet hidden webcam, as the Inspiron 5490 comes with a 720p webcam. The bigger Inspiron 7790 comes with a 1080p webcam, yet both have an option for an IR facial recognition lens. The webcam is hidden behind the main display, giving you a full display to work on with nothing getting in the way.

The Dell Inspiron 24 5490 starts at US$ 699, while the Dell Inspiron 27 7790 starts at US$ 949. Although there’s no pricing for Singapore yet, Dell says they’ll come in mid-August.

Computers

This is how Apple envisions the next iMac

Made out of a curved sheet of glass

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Image by GadgetMatch

We all know the Mac Pro has been transformed from a trash bin to a cheese grater, but Apple has been using the same design language for iMac for years. Even the latest iMac Pro isn’t excluded in that list.

If you’re too worried about Apple’s design conformity, the official patent gives us a preview of what the next iMac might look like. It was already filed last year, but was recently published last 23rd of January, 2020.

Opening the document will surprise you with a series of patent figures. It is said that they will use a curved sheet of glass instead of the usual aluminum closure. The figure below shows how you can place a Magic Keyboard on top of the glass. It will then have a dedicated place for the trackpad beside it.

Animated image by GadgetMatch | Sourced from USPTO

There’s another figure which shows how you can insert the Magic Keyboard through the opening between the display and the glass. Unlike the first one, the display doesn’t extend below the glass edge.

Another figure gives us a hint that the future iMac may become an extended display without the use of other accessories other than the MacBook’s physical keyboard and trackpad — all by sliding the MacBook into the opening.

Sourced from USPTO

The problem with old AIOs is putting up all that power in such a limited space. Apple has defied the limits with their powerful iMacs. To further solve the heavy (and bulging) rear panel, they might consolidate all the powerful parts inside its stand. There’s also an option where you can dock your MacBook just above it.

Image by GadgetMatch | Sourced from USPTO

Lastly, there’s a figure that shows how the iMac can be partially folded. It might be useful to keep the trackpad and keyboard area clean when not in use.

Animated image by GadgetMatch | Sourced from USPTO

Ever since the departure of Jony Ive, we’ve been unsure about the design of Apple’s upcoming devices. One thing we all know (and wanted to happen) other than the redesign of the iPhone and its aging notch is for Apple to focus on making their existing computers more innovative while still offering a powerful punch in such a space-saving form.

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Computers

Report: Avast is selling your browsing history

Be careful what you install

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If you use Avast antivirus software for your PC, then you might not like the recent discovery regarding its data collection. A joint investigation by Vice and PCMag discovered that Avast is collecting browsing history and selling them to various companies.

Avast’s subsidiary — Jumpshot — has been collecting browsing history without user consent. The collection happens in the background as part of the Avast’s Web Shield feature. The collection of data extends to Avast’s browser extension as well. The subsidiary collected users’ full webpage URL, page title, referer, as well as resulting links from search engines.

Worse, Avast even approved the selling of collected data to various third-party companies. These companies include Google, Microsoft, and others willing to get their hands on your data for profit.

In its defense, Avast stated that it anonymized the collected data. In theory, the data cannot be traced back to users. However, researchers found out that a third-party company can easily build a profile of you just by corroborating with other data.

Mozilla and Google already removed Avast’s browser extension last December after a security researcher found out about Avast’s illegal practices. Recently, Avast shattered Jumpshot and promised not to collect anymore data.

For the time being, you should avoid installing Avast antivirus software for your PC. There are many alternatives out there, but the main takeaway here is that you should read the fine print before installing any software on your PC.

After all, many “free” software today is too good to be true. Some freeware come with malware that harm your PC, while others — like Avast — violate privacy by selling your data in exchange for profit.

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Computers

3 tips for proper gadget care against volcanic ash

Better safe than sorry

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Yesterday, the potentially destructive Taal Volcano in the Philippines erupted after almost 20 years of inactivity. The eruption belched out steam, rocks, and other volcanic materials. Most importantly, it belched out ash, which caused ashfalls as far as 100 kilometers from the volcano.

Volcanic ash impacts and disrupts society as a whole. It doesn’t only pose a threat to our health, but it also presents risks to our gadgets. Since they are less than 2-4 millimeters in diameter, they block openings, limit functionality, and even corrode our devices.

Needless to say, you need to look out for you and your family’s safety first. Afterwards, you can think about your other belongings like your gadgets and appliances.

To ensure the best proper care for your gadgets against volcanic ash, we came up with three tips that you can follow. Remember, an ounce of protection for your devices is better than a pound of expensive repairs.

1) Avoid direct exposure

Avoid exposing gadgets to volcanic ash as much as possible. Soon after a volcanic eruption, be cautious of any ashfall alert. If ash begins to fall in your area, relocate any gadgets indoors

When outdoors, place gadgets in the safety of a bag or cover them if necessary. Limit the use of phones or tablets, especially when it is raining ash hard.

2) Seal off any sensitive gadgets

Some of our gadgets are sensitive to dust particles. Since ash is comparable to these dust particles, they can enter our devices and cause problems if left unchecked. One of these problems is electronic short-circuit.

It is proven that ash can contaminate insulators in power lines, causing flashovers and triggering a short-circuit. Plus, ash can corrode equipment in the long term.

Sensitive gadgets are susceptible to these damages also. Seal them off during an ashfall to prevent ash from reaching critical components. Some sensitive gadgets that you need to seal off during an ashfall are generators, power supplies, servers, and the like.

If you can’t seal these sensitive gadgets, then it is recommended to shut down them.

3) Clean any opening in your gadgets

Last but not the least, you should clean any openings in your gadgets before, during, and after an ashfall. Ash accumulates around the openings of our gadgets, including laptops and smartphones. The tiny particles present in the ash can block the openings of some gadgets, preventing them from cooling down. As such, these particles limit the functionality of these gadgets.

Cleaning the openings is simple but goes a long way in ensuring proper care. A can of compressed air will do the trick, as do a soft brush.

However, do not excessively rub ash-covered surfaces as tiny particles present can scratch or cause static discharge, which is harmful to our gadgets.

These three tips will go on a long way to ensuring that our gadgets function properly, even in an ashfall event. As with any hazards, take necessary precautions when operating gadgets to avoid hazards. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

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