Does Razer Kraken Tournament Edition work with the PS4?

Best answer: Console players don’t get access to all the features but the Kraken Tournament Edition (TE) works just fine with the PlayStation 4 over a 3.5mm connection.

Amazon: Razer Kraken TE ($90)

Hook up to your controller

The Razer Kraken TE headset has a USB audio controller but the headphones part connects to it with a standard 3.5mm cable. So, in order to use it with your PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch or even your mobile device, you simply remove the USB audio controller and hook up the headset directly to the device.

For PS4 owners, simply connecting to the 3.5mm jack on your controller will be enough.

USB works with limited features

Unlike on the Xbox One, standard USB PC gaming headsets work only fine with the PS4. Slightly crazy, but still true. In the case of the Kraken TE though, there’s no benefit to using the USB audio controller at all.

The main reason to use it on PC is for the game and chat audio mixing, and most importantly, the THX spatial audio. You also have the Razer Synapse application for Windows to customize the experience.

None of these features are compatible with the PS4, but you do have an inline remote to adjust the volume and mute the microphone. The only functions you’d be using on the USB audio controller.

PC gamers get the most from this headset

Even though it does work just fine with consoles and mobile devices, the Kraken TE is geared towards PC gamers, and it’s those buyers who will really get the most from this headset.

The THX spatial audio is the biggest deal, but in conjunction with the Razer Synapse application, you get access to an equalizer, microphone settings, and more.

The Kraken TE is a great headset to buy if you’re a PC gamer, but if you also play on console and don’t want to spend on an extra headset, it’ll get the job done.

Razer Kraken TE

$90 at Amazon

Another great headset to bear the Kraken name

The THX spatial audio is amazing, the headset is absurdly comfortable, and it’s perfectly capable of working with your PlayStation 4 and other consoles as well. Just note that you won’t be getting all the features if you switch from PC.

Facebook employees caught leaving 5-star reviews for Portal on Amazon

A publicity image of the Facebook Portal smart display in a kitchen. Facebook

If you visit the Facebook Portal listing over at Amazon.com, you’ll find plenty of five-star reviews of the smart display product. However, what you might not know is that a small handful of those glowing reviews are actually from Facebook employees.

That’s what Kevin Roose — tech columnist for The New York Times — exposed on Twitter earlier today. Roose didn’t use any secret trickery to find the clearly-biased reviews, he simply checked the names: three prominent Facebook employees used their own, full names to review the product.

Editor’s Pick

Not only is it a violation of Amazon’s TOS for a company employee to write reviews for its own products, but it also makes Facebook look a bit desperate. After all, it’s not easy to sell a product designed to sit in your home with a camera attached to it when the company is constantly in the news for data and privacy violations.

To that end, Facebook’s vice president of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth tweeted back to Roose:

[These reviews were] neither coordinated nor directed from the company. From an internal post at the launch: “We, unequivocally, DO NOT want Facebook employees to engage in leaving reviews for the products that we sell to Amazon.” We will ask them to take down.”

Facebook Portal and its larger sibling Portal Plus are designed to act as an Alexa-powered smart speaker, a video-consumption device, as well as an easy way to have video chats through Facebook Messenger. Although you can easily turn the cameras and microphones off, Portal has had an uphill battle from the beginning since several Facebook privacy and security scandals have dominated headlines over the past year.

The Google Home Hub — another smart display released in 2018 — does not feature a camera.

Click the button below to buy a Facebook Portal — if you’re into that sort of thing.

Which Dell Chromebook should you buy?

Best answer: The best Chromebook you can buy from Dell today is the 13.3-inch Dell Chromebook 3380. Just know ahead of time that only the version with 16GB of storage has a touch screen, though.

Dell: Dell Chromebook 3380 ($349)

Buying into a brand

Sometimes buying a product is as easy as picking the one you like without worrying about which company made it. For some of us, though, a laptop isn’t a thing you buy that way. Maybe you need it to work with other peripherals or have a line of credit, or maybe a purchasing agent has told you which company you need to buy from. The latter is pretty common when you’re buying something yo use for work or for the kids to use at school, and one of the companies that is often used this way is Dell.

Dell never made a long list of Chromebook models, instead depending on just two or three to fill out their laptop portfolio. 2019 looks to be no different, and you won’t find page after page of models to choose from. that makes choosing the right one pretty easy — it’s the 13.3-inch Chromebook 3380.

Like many Chromebooks, the 3380 is designed for education.

Like many Chromebooks in the past year or so, it’s designed for education which means it can take a fair bit of abuse and come out on top. It’s not particularly a speed demon, but the Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB or memory will serve the needs of most users well and the 180-degree hinge makes it easy to set up for movie night.

One major consideration is whether or not you need a touch display. If you do it’s unfortunate that only the model with 16GB of storage is available with a touch display. While you can get away with 16GB of storage on a Chromebook, most are better served with 32 or 64GB. I’d recommend the $349 model with 64GB of storage above the others.

Not having a touch screen might hamper how you use your favorite Android app, but you’ll appreciate the well-built body and free shipping from Dell.

Our pick

Dell Chromebook 3380

$349 at Dell

Solid midranger

Dell might not make the flashiest Chromebooks out there, but the Chromebook 3380 is rugged and will serve the needs of most users well.

Slimmed-down Weather Timeline app is coming back soon under new management

Weather Timeline

The much-loved weather app known as Weather Timeline unfortunately got removed from the Google Play Store last fall. Due to rising costs, the app’s creator — Sam Ruston — elected to hide the app from new users to keep functionality working for existing installs.

However, a different company ended up acquiring Weather Timeline. That company — the awkwardly-named ACME AtronOmatic — just pushed out a new update to the app, a big step on its way to re-release (via 9to5Google). ACME AtronOmatic also promised that Weather Timeline will be back on the Google Play Store soon in both a free, ad-supported version and a paid, premium version.

Editor’s Pick

Unfortunately, Weather Timeline won’t be exactly the same as people remember it. The biggest change will be the source of the weather data: whereas the original app featured many different sources to give as accurate a prediction as possible for your local area, the new version only uses one source in the United States: MyRadar. That means other sources such as Weather Underground and the popular Dark Sky will no longer be options.

If you’re one of the lucky people who previously downloaded the original Weather Timeline, congratulations: you are grandfathered into the premium, ad-free version of the app. When the app does get re-published to the Play Store, new users will have to choose between seeing ads or paying for the premium variant (which, notably, is what Ruston was trying to avoid).

ACME AtronOmatic does promise that the “new” Weather Timeline will look and function much as it did before, albeit with the loss of major data sources.

We will let you know when the app gets re-published to the Play Store. In the meantime, check out our weather app roundup below:

NEXT: 15 best weather apps and weather widgets for Android

The massive Collection #1 data breach: What is it and what you should do?

Troy Hunt

  • Have I Been Pwned creator Troy Hunt announced the Collection #1 data breach.
  • The collection of files contains millions of compromised email addresses and passwords.
  • The compromised data supposedly comes from 2,000 databases.

Data breaches have become so commonplace nowadays that we’ve almost become numb to them. However, security researcher and Have I Been Pwned creator Troy Hunt just reported a data breach that will hurt for a long time: Collection #1.

Collection #1 is a massive file that was recently uploaded to cloud storage service Mega. The file features 12,000 separate files that contain 87GB of data.

What’s in the data, you might ask? 772,904,991 unique email addresses and 21,222,975 unique passwords. A significant issue is the stolen passwords having cracked protective hashing. That’s why the passwords show up as plain text instead of being cryptographically hashed when the websites were breached.

These cracked passwords allow for a second issue, a practice called credential stuffing. Credential stuffing is when breached username or email/password combinations are then used to get into someone else’s account. Attackers don’t need to brute force or guess passwords — they can just automate the logins.

Credential stuffing is particularly concerning for those that use the same username and password combination across websites.

Editor’s Pick

It just so happens that Collection #1 contains almost 2.7 billion combinations. It also just so happens that roughly 140 million email addresses and 10 million passwords from Collection #1 are new to the Have I Been Pwned database.

Let’s also not forget the decentralized nature of Collection #1. Previous breaches usually had a common silver lining: each breach could be tied down to one website. Not so with this breach, which comprises of breaches across 2,000 databases.

In this case, the only possible silver lining is that Hunt doesn’t know if every single breach in Collection #1 is legitimate. However, Hunt also said that this is “the single largest breach ever to be loaded into HIBP.”

What should I do?

First, go to Have I Been Pwned and type in your email address. The site lets you know if an account that uses that email address was compromised.

If you already used Have I Been Pwned, you should have received a notification of the breach. Almost half of the site’s users are caught up in the breach, so keep that in mind if you’re a member.

From there, click the Passwords tab on the top of Have I Been Pwned. Pwned Passwords lets you know if your password was compromised and helps you to use strong passwords.

Editor’s Pick

If you have a compromised email address and compromised passwords, it’s time to clean up your password practices. If a site supports it, use two-factor authentication. It might not be foolproof, but two-factor authentication helps to dissuade most that might want access to your account.

You can also avoid using the same password across multiple sites. It’s tempting to use the same password for the sake of convenience, but the practice is a dangerous double-edged sword.

Finally, use a password manager. 1Password, Dashlane, and LastPass are three of the more popular options out there, though you can also use the tried-and-true method of pen and paper.

Oh, and change your password. Definitely change your password. Make it something complex, something that can’t be found in a dictionary.

Android 9 Pie rolling out to Honor View 10 in the US

The Honor View 10 is one of the very few Huawei-made devices to be available in the United States. Those of you U.S. citizens who bought the popular 2017 smartphone will likely be excited to know that EMUI 9 — based on Android 9 Pie — is rolling out to U.S. variants now.

This update is build number 9.0.0.201 (C567E6R1P12) which is specifically for the Honor View 10 model BKL-L04.

Since the update carries Android 9 Pie, it comes with the usual Pie upgrades such as adaptive battery, navigation gestures, revamped UI elements, etc. You can read all about what Pie has to offer in our roundup here.

Editor’s Pick

EMUI 9 also has some specific upgrades of its own, such as more AI features, an upgraded game optimization program, etc. Check out what EMUI 9 has to offer here.

You likely will receive an OTA notification soon which you can use to upgrade your device. However, if you want to upgrade manually, you can open the HiCare app, select Update, and then follow the on-screen prompts.

If you don’t already own an Honor View 10, the device is going for only $389 on Amazon.com right now. Click below to grab one!

Jump in the pool and take your tunes with you with these headphones!

Technology and water don’t usually mix very well, but with more and more devices getting sealed and protected against water, we as consumers are reaping the benefits. While there are tons of headphones for everyday use, if you’re a swimmer who likes to listen to music, a regular pair of headphones can’t follow you into the pool. You’ll need headphones that have a high IP rating. Here are our favorite headphones that can stay in your ears while you’re swimming laps.

Best for most people

Plantonics BackBeat Fit

With its IP57 rating, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit can withstand being in the water for 30 minutes up to a depth of 3 feet. Its 100-foot Bluetooth range should be more than enough to keep your phone playing music to the headphones from a safe, splash-free distance. The headphones’ quick charge ability gives you eight hours of playback time on just a 15-minute charge, so you can jump in the pool every day and always make sure the battery is ready to play!

$65 at Amazon

Truly wireless

Jabra Elite Sport

With its truly wireless design and IP67 rating, the Jabra Elite Sport means business. With 4.5 hours of battery on the earbuds, plus an additional nine hours in the included charging case, it’s easy to make sure the headphones stay charged. Not only can these headphones join you while you’re swimming laps, but they also can track your heart rate and provide in-ear coaching through the Jabra app.

$170 at Amazon

Submergable storage

Sony NW-WS413LM

The Sony NW-WS413LM is wearable and highly water-resistant (up to 6 feet) 4GB MP3 player that will allow you to keep your phone at home when your swimming at the gym. With a simple drag and drop music loading process and 12 hours of playback, the Sony NW-WS413LM will last you many workouts. Plus. it’s even able to go into salt water, so you can take it to the beach!

$98 at Amazon

Best on a budget

Mpow Flame

Mpow makes a lot of affordable headphones, and the Flame is its latest workout-focused pair. You’ll find IPX7 sweat and water-resistance (up to three feet for 30 minutes), support for Bluetooth 4.1, rich bass, and customizable ear tips. Add that together with 7-9 hours of playback on a single charge and you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

$20 at Amazon

You can’t just bring any pair of headphones into the water, so you need to make sure the pair you purchase is designed specifically for swimming. If you don’t swim super often and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a water-resistant headphone, the Mpow Flame a great way to listen to your tunes in the water. Otherwise, you might want to consider a more expensive option if your budget allows.

For 2019, expect more Nokia smartphones in the U.S.

Even though HMD Global is one of the fastest-growing smartphone makers in the world, its presence in the U.S. leaves much to be desired. That might change in 2019, when HMD Global looks to expand its presence in the U.S.

In an interview with Digital Trends, HMD chief marketing officer Pekka Rantala acknowledged that the U.S. is “one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world,” and that there are “big boys out there” in the U.S., where companies like Apple and Samsung hold the most mind and market share.

Even with stiff competition, Rantala is “confident” that HMD will increase its business in the U.S. this year.

To that end, HMD head of sales in the Americas Cristian Capelli said the company is in talks with U.S. carriers. Expanding its retail distribution remains HMD’s first goal in the U.S., but Capelli said that carriers will eventually “be the main outlet.”

Editor’s Pick

You can currently buy Nokia smartphones in the U.S. from retailers like B&H, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Micro Center. For HMD to further expand its retail presence would be good news for its bottom line.

Also good news for its bottom line: selling a wider array of Nokia smartphones in the U.S. That’s not to say devices like the Nokia 6.1 and Nokia 7.1 are bad smartphones. It’s just that seeing higher-end smartphones like the Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco officially sold in the U.S. would be nice to see to increase competition and the number of choices.

In the U.S., you have Apple, you have Samsung, and you have everyone else. With the likes of LG and HTC struggling to regain relevance, HMD has a real chance to carve out a large space to call its own in the U.S.

Spotify Android app gets a new ‘Car View’ mode

Come for the easy setup, stay for the algorithm-based recommendations

One of the most popular names in the music world today isn’t a band or a record label: it’s an app called Spotify. Spotify was one of the earliest and most popular music streaming services on the market today. The service is available on almost every platform, from cars to home assistants to high-end speakers to phones, tablets, and computers. Spotify’s prowess with data analysis and algorithmic music suggestions have made the service addictive for music-hungry users, and as the first major service to offer student pricing, it’s spread like wildfire on college campuses across the country.

Here’s what you need to know before and after you dive in with it.

The latest Spotify news

January 16, 2019 — Spotify Android app gets a new ‘Car View’ mode

Spotify allows you to listen to music no matter where you are, and for a lot of people, the car is one of the most frequent places to jam out to your favorite tunes. To help keep users safe while streaming, the Spotify Android app is getting a new “Car View” setting.

When enabled, Car View will change the UI of the Now Playing screen that hides the album artwork, makes the font larger, and increases the size of all the buttons. The rest of the Spotify app is left unchanged.

Car View appears to be gradually rolling out to users, but I’m already seeing it on my Google Pixel 3. It was turned on by default, and while you can permanently turn it off in the settings, you also have the option of temporarily disabling it for your current ride and then having it come on again the next time you get in the car.

There’s currently no way to manually trigger Car View, meaning you’re left at the mercy of Spotify detecting that the Bluetooth device it’s connected to is your car’s audio system. Somewhat surprisingly, it worked just fine with this cheap adapter I have plugged into the cigarette lighter of my 2003 PT Cruiser.

Are you seeing Car View in your Spotify app?

November 7, 2018 — Free Spotify users will soon be able to use Spotify Connect

Spotify Premium comes with a host of features to help users get the most for their $9.99 each month, one of which is full access Spotify Connect. Thanks to an update to Spotify’s SDK for connected speakers, free users of the service will soon be able to experience the magic of Connect for themselves.

With this SDK update, speaker manufacturers are given the ability to open up Spotify Connect to both free and Premium users. So, while you won’t be able to rush out and use Spotify Connect on a free account this very second, we should see updates to speakers in the near future that offer this new functionality.

Commenting on the news, Spotify’s Senior Product Director, Mikael Ericsson, said:

The release of our new eSDK will change the game for Spotify’s Free users who want to enjoy music on their connected speakers. We look forward to supporting our partners over the coming months as they update existing speakers and bring new products to market.

October 31, 2018 — Spotify’s family plan now comes with a free Google Home Mini

If you live in a house with multiple music fanatics, Spotify Premium for Family is a great value. For just $14.99/month, you get access to six individual Premium accounts so everyone can enjoy their own custom Spotify experience.

Now, as part of a new partnership with Google, all Spotify Premium for Family plans come with a free Google Home Mini.

Both new and existing subscribers can take advantage of this promotion starting November 1, and you’ll be able to claim your free Home Mini through December 31.

Get your free Home Mini here

September 14, 2018 — Spotify is raising its offline limits!!

Spotify’s offline limits have been one of the bigger sticking points for Premium users. While Spotify’s 10,000 song library limit takes a while to reach, the 3-device, 3,333 song limit for Spotify’s offline content has been quite easy for users to hit, especially if they subscribe to any huge community playlists. Well, after years of persistent user complaints, Spotify is upgrading its offline limits to 10,000 songs on up to 5 devices. A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone:

At Spotify, we’re always working on improving the experience for our users. We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device — from 3,333 on three devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to five devices.

Being able to use more devices with Spotify’s offline content is great news, but the fact that you’ll be able to download your entire library on a single device is even better, since most users only use one phone at a time, and want to be able to access all of their music offline rather than just a third of it.

All the big details

Getting Started

Spotify is built to be as easy a listening experience as possible, and for most users, making an account is as easy as pressing one button. From setting up an account to getting your library established, we’re here to help you avoid as much pain as possible while you make the switch.

Getting started with Spotify

Pick your subscription

There are a lot of subscription styles out there for Spotify, but which one will fit you — and your family members — best? We break down the difference in Spotify subscriptions beyond the price points and show their prices and pitfalls, especially the very tight strings wrapped around Spotify Premium for Family subscriptions.

How to pick a Spotify account

Play your music everywhere

One of Spotify’s perks is that users can play back their music just about everywhere: their watch, their phone, their TV, their car, their smart speakers, high-end speakers, their computer, and just about everything in between. Best of all, connecting to all of these diverse devices uses the same simple UI: Spotify Connect. Here’s how this musical magic works and what it works with.

Spotify Connect: What it is and why it’s awesome

Settling in with Spotify

Once you’ve gotten your account up and running, it’s time to start mastering Spotify and making it work for you. From library management to offline playback and beyond, there are some simple things you can do to turn your Spotify experience up to 11.

Top 5 tips to make the most of your Spotify subscription

Playlist problems persist…

Playlists are a big part of any music service, but they’re doubly important on Android because playlists curated by everyday users can be highlighted by Spotify’s search and shared with your friends, family, and followers. There’s just one little problem: you can’t really edit playlists properly on Android. Or Chromebooks, for that matter.

Spotify has a playlist problem on Android

… but Spotify’s playlists have a secret ally

Even if you can’t tweak your playlist order, description, and image on Android, it’s still possible to build a big, beautiful playlist on Spotify. If you start running out of ideas for additions to your playlists, don’t worry. You can leverage the work you’ve already done and Spotify’s algorithms to expand your playlist with Playlist Radio.

Use Spotify’s radio to build bigger, better playlists

Queues, subqueues, and frustration

Managing and mixing up your queue on Spotify is a bit of a minefield for two reasons. The first is that rather than showing your listening history by letting you scroll up in your playlist, whatever you’re playing is at the top of the queue and what you last listened to is at the bottom if it’s visible at all.

The second is that Add to Queue doesn’t do what it’s called, which can turn an already confusing queue into a vanishing, inconsistent tur-queue-ken.

Spotify’s Add to Queue is a lie

Offline mode could use some work

We take our music out for a run, we bring music into the shower, and we always bring music when we travel, be it by plane, train, or automobile. And since we bring our music where our internet sometimes cannot follow, that means that offline modes for our music apps are important. Offline for Spotify is lackluster at best, and that’s disappointing for a whole host of reasons.

Offline mode on Spotify sucks out loud

Made For You is made in heaven

Finding something to listen to can be a tricky proposition for any music lover, but Spotify is known far and wide for their algorithmic prowess. And the best example of it isn’t the Discover Weekly or the year-end statistics. No, siree, the best use of Spotify’s number-crunching genius is a little section in Your Library called Just For You.

Spotify’s ‘Made For You’ is a love letter to music addicts

Spotify vs. Google Play Music

Spotify has a lot of competition, but perhaps the biggest competition they face on Android is convincing people that they’re better than the music player that came pre-installed on your phone: Google Play Music. To be sure, both services have their ups and downs, but here is a critical comparison of the two services to help you decide if you want to give Spotify your time, attention, and money.

Spotify vs. Google Play Music: The battle of the bigs

What’s your take?

What do you love or hate about Spotify? Let us know in the comments!

YouTube is banning dangerous pranks and challenges including Bird Box and Tide Pod

After the Netflix Original Bird Box became a viral hit, people around the world uploaded videos to YouTube showing them compete in the Bird Box challenge. While some of the clips showing people stumble around their homes were funny, others involved dangerous stunts such as driving while blindfolded.

After receiving demands from the community to not allow these types of dangerous videos, YouTube has announced that it is banning all harmful challenges and pranks.

YouTube announced its policy changes yesterday in a blog post (via Ars Technica):

Dangerous challenges and pranks: Reminder – content that encourages violence or dangerous activities that may result in serious physical harm, distress or death violates our harmful and dangerous policy, so we’re clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks. YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress. Read more in this Dangerous Challenges & Pranks FAQ.

YouTube’s official policy on harmful or dangerous content has also been updated. The following items were added to the list that already included instructional bomb making, hard drug use, and other acts that may result in serious injury.

  • Challenges that encourage acts that have an inherent risk of severe physical harm
  • Pranks that make victims believe they’re in physical danger
  • Pranks that cause emotional distress to children
Editor’s Pick

Many worry that YouTube’s guidelines are too ambiguous and will lead to some content being deleted while others are left untouched. As YouTuber Philip Defranco discusses, will this only remove videos involving dangerous stunts such as the Bird Box and Tide Pod challenges or will it also wipe the platform free of everything that includes upsetting a child such as Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween Candy challenge?

To enforce these new policies and deter creators from uploading harmful videos, YouTube is using its community guidelines three-strike rule. After the channel has been stricken three times, the video platform can choose to shut it down completely.

YouTube is giving creators who have previously uploaded this type of content a pass. Over the next two months, any videos that were already uploaded involving harmful pranks or challenges will be deleted without striking the channel.