Pizza is on the menu for this week’s T-Mobile Tuesday

T-Mobile subscribers better have a love of pizza, because the carrier is serving up some pies over the next four weeks. Each account will receive one free large or pan pie with a single-topping over one of the next four Tuesdays. The pizza will be coming from Papa John’s, and if you’re a T-Mobile customer, you will need to check the T-Mobile Tuesday app every week between February 14th and March 7th to see when your free pie will be delivered.

Other freebies that are part of this coming week’s T-Mobile Tuesday include 25% off the cost of an online order placed from Papa John’s regular menu. This Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, and T-Mobile is giving subscribers one free movie rental from among the 40,000 choices offered by FandangoNOW. This will allow you to have a romantic evening watching your favorite film. Also this Tuesday, subscribers can visit their local T-Mobile store to pick up a free pair of T-Mobile socks in either black or white. And lastly, T-Mobile subscribers will get a free Lyft ride of $15 or less.

Turning to the weekly contests, two Grand Prize winners will each win a $500 eGift Card from Papa John’s which can be used for food, drink or a tip. Both winners will also receive a home entertainment system, which includes a 55-inch 4K TV and soundbar system. The Grand Prize winners will be given a check for $1,072 each for taxes, or whatever the winners want to spend it on. One Hundred First Prize winners get a $100 eGift card for Papa John’s, which can be used toward the purchase of food, drink, or to leave a tip. Four Hundred Second Prize winners will be the recipients of a $25 eGift card from Papa John’s.

Altogether, there are 502 total prizes being handed out this week, valued at $27,144. As far as the freebies are concerned, since T-Mobile Tuesday started last summer, the carrier has given out over 30 million free items to more than 6.2 million subscribers.

source: T-Mobile

The LG Watch Style and Watch Sport are now available for purchase

Earlier this week, we got to feast our eyes upon the first smartwatches to be running Android Wear 2.0 – the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport. These are the first smartwatches that LG has released since the Watch Urbane, and although there isn’t necessarily anything revolutionary taking place with the Style or Sport’s design, that’s not really supposed to be the main focus here. Just like past Nexus devices and Google’s current Pixel smartphones, the Watch Style and Watch Sport serve as devices to showcases Google’s latest software.

Despite just being announced this past Wednesday, both smartwatches are currently available for purchase through a wide array of retailers and outlets. The LG Watch Style – the cheaper and less functional of the two wearables – can be picked up from both Best Buy and the Google Store. The Silver and Titanium colors will sell for $249, whereas the Rose Gold flavor will feature a $30 premium and sell for $279. You can also purchase the Watch Sport from the Google Store, but the added support for LTE, GPS, and NFC will set you back a hefty $349. The two color options for this watch include Dark Blue and Titanium, but the latter of the two is out of stock at the time of this writing. 

In addition to the Google Store, you can also choose to purchase the Sport though either Verizon or AT&T. Only the Titanium color is available through the two carriers, and while the Watch Sport gets a nice discount of $100 down to just $249 when purchased through AT&T, you’ll need to pony over $329 for the Verizon model when bought on a 2-year contract or $379 if you decide to buy it outright through the carrier.

Both the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport are very interesting devices, and if you’re already on the Android Wear 2.0 bandwagon and are in need of a new smartwatch, both gadgets can be purchased starting today. However, if you’d like to hold off a bit and see what others think of the watches, we’re in the process of getting review units sent our way so that we can get our thoughts on LG’s latest wearables as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

You can now pre-order the OnePlus 3T with 128GB of storage for $479

If you’re in the market for one of the best phones that costs less than $500, few handsets will offer you as good of an experience as what you’ll get with the OnePlus 3T. Although the company recently went under some fire for juking the stats on performance benchmark tests for the phone, the 3T itself is still a very commendable product. Up until this point, you’ve only had the option of purchasing the phone with 64GB of onboard storage. That’s a good chunk of space for storing all of your apps, games, photos, and more, but if you’re someone that still hasn’t jumped on the cloud bandwagon, that 64GB may not sound like quite enough for you.

Lucky for you, local storage hog, OnePlus has just opened up pre-orders on the 128GB variant of the 3T. The 128GB model is only available in the Gunmetal color option and not the fancy Soft Gold duds that just went on sale a couple of days ago, but even with this being the case, it’s still great to finally have the option made available. The OnePlus website currently shows that the 128GB variant of the 3T will ship within 11 days of purchasing it, and while that’s definitely a lot longer than the immediate shipping that is being offered for the 64GB flavor, our guess is that the higher storage option will get that same treatment as time goes on.

In addition to the massive amount of local space for keeping all of your content, the OnePlus 3T also offers the Snadragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM, 3,400 mAh battery with Dash Charge support, 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED display, and lot more. The 128GB 3T will set you back $479, making it just $40 more than the 64GB model. Not everyone will need that much space, but if you think you’re someone who will, a $40 premium is very reasonable.

The best free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator 2017

Free Adobe Illustrator alternatives

Adobe Illustrator is hugely popular software tool for making vector graphics. Unlike raster graphics (which you’re more likely to use Paint.NET or GIMP for), vector graphics use mathematical expressions to draw the lines, shapes and colours. This means they’re infinitely scalable, so you can blow them up to the size of a billboard with no unsightly pixellation. 

Vector graphics are the best choice for a number of design and illustration tasks, such as creating icons, logos, diagrams, charts, posters and website graphics. In the latter case, the current standard is the Scalable Vector Graphics format (SVG).

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard tool for vector graphics, but it’s undeniably expensive and many people have been turned off by its move to a subscription payment model as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. This has led to a renewed interest in alternatives such CorelDRAW, Sketch or Affinity Designer, all of which involve just a one-off fee. 

But if your needs are relatively simple, then you can save even more money by trying out alternatives to Illustrator that are totally free – and there are some brilliant options to choose from.

Example vector file designed by Freepik

Inkscape is to Illustrator what GIMP is to Photoshop – the best free alternative, packed with almost as many features as its premium Adobe counterpart

1. Inkscape


A feature-packed vector editor that’s a true alternative to Illustrator and doesn’t cost a penny
Open source vector graphics package Inkscape is staggeringly powerful, and is the best free alternative to Adobe Illustrator for pro and semi-pro illustrators, graphic designers and web designers.

As well as the standard drawing and shape tools, Inkscape boasts a special spirals tool, a tool to create patterns and arrangements of clones, advanced object manipulation options, multiple filters (including bevels, textures, overlays and more), and some nifty fill settings. In short, there’s very little Illustrator can do that Inkscape can’t. 

Because it’s open source, it’s not only free to use but if you have the technical smarts you can even edit it and incorporate it into other software. And new features are being added all the time, the latest January 2017 version bringing mesh gradients, improved SVG2 and CSS3 support and new path effects to the party.

So what’s the catch? Some users have complained that it performs slowly, although that does seem to depend on what device and operating system you’re using. The best thing to do is just download it and give it a quick try; there’s nothing to lose.

Download here: Inkscape

Chrome extension Boxy SVG makes the simplicity of its interface its main selling point

2. BoxySVG


A browser-based vector editor that packs a solid toolkit, but makes a virtue of its simplicity
Boxy SVG is a free tool for creating scalable vector graphic files that runs as an extension in Google Chrome. It comes with a good range of basic tools, including pens, bezier curves, text, basic shapes, stroke and fill, layers, ability to add type, groups, transforms and paths.

The main selling point for Boxy SVG is the utter simplicity of its UI. It makes a virtue of paring down the experience of creating vector graphics to a fairly minimal set of options. These essentially restrict you to the kind of things that the SVG format is good at. As a result, it’s fast, easier to pick up than Illustrator, and the files it creates are clean and efficient.

As well as importing and exporting files in SVG and SVGZ format, you can also use Boxy SVG to import and export JPEGs and PNGs. Wonderfully convenient.

Try it online: BoxySVG

Gravit works right in your browser, so it’s useful for sharing designs with others

3. Gravit


A handy Illustrator alternative that puts a complete vector-editing suite in your favorite web browser
Gravit offers many of Illustrator’s key features right in your browser, so there’s nothing to download and you can access your designs from a range of devices, wherever there’s an internet connection. 

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can run the editor in Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera – or any derivative thereof.

Gravit’s basic vector toolset includes Pen, Line, Knife, Slice and Bezigon tools. You can create shapes including rectangles, ellipses, triangles, polygons, and stars, plus there are layers, auto-shapes, live filters and path editing modes. There are also good typography tools, paste-inside support, all wrapped up in an intuitive user interface.

You can export your graphics in JPG, PNG, or SVG format, or save your work online and retrieve it later. 

Gravit might not be as powerful or feature-rich as Illustrator but is a very capable alternative, and its browser-based nature gives it an edge.

Try it online: Gravit

Free Illustrator alternative Vectr is perfect for quick editing tasks. It’s available as a web app, or downloadable desktop software for faster performance and offline use

4. Vectr


A slimline vector editor, Vectr is available as both desktop software and a web app
Vectr is a free cross-platform program that you can use used to create and edit vector graphics, either on your desktop (versions are available for Windows, Mac, Linux and ChromeOS), or in any modern browser.

It’s intuitive to use and the learning curve is small… and that’s no accident. “Design software shouldn’t bring people a sense of struggle, yet that’s exactly how the troublesome design software we grew up on made us feel,” its makers say on their website. So they’ve produced a tool that’s been purposely pared down, to make it easy to pick up and run with. 

While its lacks many of the advanced features of Illustrator, then, it’s got all the tools you need for basic vector editing – shapes, text, multiple layers and like – and what it does, it does very well. Overall, then, Vect is a great choice for beginners, or just anyone needing to create a simple graphic with the minimum of fuss. You can save all work you create in Vectr online, or export it in PNG, JPG, or SVG file formats. 

Try it online: Vectr

If you mainly want an Illustrator alternative to create SVG files for web use, SVG-Edit should have everything you need

5. SVG-Edit


A straightforward Illustrator alternative that’s just the ticket for web developers
If your prime reason for wanting a vector graphics editor is to create SVG files for websites, then SVG-Edit may be all you need. You can use this free vector software from within your web browser to create SVG images and edit existing ones. 

SVG-Edit works in any modern browser, and offers a basic set of vector editing features including hand-drawing tools, shape tools, text tools and path tools. The tool is open source, which means that new features are being added all the time by contributing developers. It’s built on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, with no server-side functionality, so if you wish you can download and modify the code yourself to make your own version. 

Try it online: SVG-Edit

Let’s go bowling: Xbox One will now play Grand Theft Auto IV

GTA 6 probably isn’t coming out anytime soon. But if you have an itch you need to scratch for crime, cash and bowling, you’ll be pleased to know that Grand Theft Auto IV is now available on Xbox One thanks to the system’s backwards compatibility feature, as is the game’s ultra-popular DLC add-on, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.

Now, you might be tempted to go in and run through the game’s excellently crafted story that takes an immigrant from the bottom social strata to the top of the world in true Scarface style, but don’t forget about your cousin. He called us and he wants to go bowling.

The game is available on Xbox One in two ways – either by inserting the Xbox 360 disc into the Xbox One, or downloading the digital version of the game from the Xbox Store. 

Don’t want to lose your progress in the story? Just move your saved game file on the Xbox 360 to the cloud saves folder and you’ll be able to pick up exactly where you left off on the Xbox One. Finally, if you can’t find your original disc Grand Theft Auto IV is available to purchase for $19.99 through the Xbox Store.

Don’t forget to call your cousin for bowling. He misses you.

Add an iris scanner to the iPhone 8’s list of suspected features

Each year, one of the most anticipated smartphone releases is Apple’s iPhone. Whatever your personal opinion on the product line may be, there’s no denying that the announcement and launch of a new iPhone creates for the most buzz and talk compared to other competitors. Last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus still created for a great deal of hubbub, but they were definitely some of Apple’s more conservative products in recent memory.

Thoughts and rumors about 2017’s iPhone have been circulating pretty much every since the 7 and 7 Plus were announced, and we’ve heard some pretty wild claims so far. Additions such as a larger battery and improved dual-camera setup sound very par for the course, but the iPhone 8, X, or whatever the special 10th year anniversary edition ends getting named, is also expected to come equipped with things along the lines of truly wireless charging and an all-new take on 3D Touch that currently exists on the iPhone 6S and 7 series. On top of these and all other claims we’ve been hearing, you can add an iris scanner to the list of expected features for Apple’s iPhone 8.

The report that an iris scanner will be present on the phone comes by way of DigiTimes, and although it isn’t necessarily a ground-breaking addition, it would certainly be a nice touch to be able to unlock the iPhone 8 with either your fingerprint or your eyes. We’ve previously seen iris scanners on handsets such as the Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, and if Apple does decide to add this eye-scanning tech to its upcoming flagship, you can safely bet that the company will do whatever it can to make it noticeably faster and more secure that the implementations we’ve seen so far.

DigiTimes’ report also goes on to say that “Makers in the supply chain are generally optimistic about the popularity of the device”, and based off of everything we’ve already conjured for the iPhone 8, we don’t find this hard to believe at all. Apple needs to go all out in 2017 with it being the 10th year anniversary of the first iPhone launch, and if an iris scanner is part of the equation to make the iPhone 8 the best phone we’ve seen from Apple yet, you won’t find us complaining.

BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ to be unveiled February 25th, according to teaser


We now know the date and time when BlackBerry is going to introduce the BlackBerry Mercury, according to a teaser that allegedly came from the company. Actually, the teaser itself looks legit especially because the BlackBerry Mercury name was not mentioned on it. While everyone has called the phone by that name, even BlackBerry, it is just a code name. The real name for the device should be announced when the phone becomes official.

So when will that be? The teaser shows that the last in-house phone to be designed by BlackBerry will see the light of day on February 25th, 2017. Mark the …

Alcatel Idol 5S spotted with Helio P20 processor and 3GB of RAM

The 2017 Mobile World Congress is quickly approaching, and as such, we’re anticipating a heap of new smartphone announcements. Gadgets such as the BlackBerry Mercury and LG G6 will undoubtedly steal a large portion of the limelight, but we’re also expecting a ton of other gadgets to get announced and shown off. One such smartphone that could be present at the show is that of the Alcatel Idol 5S.

Alcatel’s Idol 4 and 4S were two affordable handsets that launched last year in 2016, and the Idol 5S is more than likely a followup to last year’s 4S. The unannounced device was recently …

WhatsApp enables two-step verification for added security

Looking for a little more security in your digital life? If you're a WhatsApp user, you're in luck.

The messaging service has just turned on two-step verification for all its billion-plus users. Once you activate the optional feature, anytime you (or anyone else) tries to verify your phone number, a six-digit passcode created by yourself must also be entered.

To activate two-step verification, open WhatsApp, click on the Settings icon, then select Account. You'll see a "Two-step verification" option – click on this, and press Enable if you wish to turn it on.

Once you've activated two-step verification, you'll also have the chance to enter an email address. This is useful if you forget your passcode and need to disable two-step verification – just make sure it's an active email address, or you could get locked out.

Safety first

WhatsApp warns that you can't reverify your phone number within seven days of using the service without a passcode, and any pending messages will be lost once you get back into your account. 

Long story short  - do your best to remember those six digits. WhatsApp will help by asking you to enter your passcode every once in a while, a task you can't turn off until you disable two-step verification. 

With hacks an ever-growing occurrence, this is just another step you can take to keep your private chats and information that much safer. Now, about WhatsApp's incoming live location tracking feature

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Download of the day: Picasa

Picasa

Here’s an odd thing: Picasa shouldn’t exist. Google announced its retirement last year, but like a detective who can’t retire while his nemeses are still doing crimes, Picasa is still around to tame your photo libraries.

Although it won’t be updated now that Google has turned its attention to its newer Google Photos product, Picasa is still a superb tool for enhancing and organizing your snaps – and you don't need an internet connection to use it.

Why you need it

Picasa is fast, offers useful facial recognition, and includes a whole host of decent camera effects to make your pictures shine. There's also geotagging and text overlays, an excellent Fill Light tool to improve darker shots and its effective blemish removal tool.

Once you've finished refining your pictures, Picasa makes it easy to edit their metadata, rename them, and store them in a logical location. If you've got loads of photos sitting around gathering virtual dust on an SD card, it's ideal.

Download here: Picasa