Categories
Computing

Flash sale: Save $660 on this Dell PC with 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD

While there tends to be a big focus on the best gaming PCs, many folks don’t need anything that fancy, just something at home to do productivity work. Well, Dell has you covered with the Vostro 3888, a budget productivity desktop currently discounted at Dell’s website down to $549 from $1,213, which is a considerable 55% discount and certainly worth taking a look at if you want good performance at a reasonable price.

Why you should buy the Dell Vostro 3888 PC

One of the most important things when it comes to productivity software is the CPU, and we’re happy to say that the Vostro 388 comes with the 10th-generation Intel i5-10400, which is a midrange CPU that’s more than powerful enough to deal with all productivity software you’re likely to throw at it. It might also be able to get away with some simple editing, although don’t expect too much from it in that regard. It’s also a great CPU for streaming content, whether you’re streaming to or from your PC, making it a good budget streaming rig for those who already have a gaming/editing PC that they don’t want to bog down further.

Whether you stream or not, it’s important to point out that there’s no GPU on this desktop. Instead, it has integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics, which isn’t powerful enough to let you play most modern games but may let you get away with a few indie or casual games. Again, it’s not a gaming desktop, so the lack of GPU isn’t a big deal. As for the rest of the specs, you get 8GB of RAM, which should be more than enough for most folks and the sort of productivity work that they do. You also get 512GBs of storage space, which should be more than adequate for most folks who need a desktop for productivity and general day-to-day use.

Overall, the Vostro 3888 is a great productivity desktop; if you need something and you’re on a tight budget, Dell is deal discounting it down to just $549. Otherwise, check out some other great computer deals to pick from, and don’t forget to take a look at a few monitor deals to pair with your new PC.

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Computing

Best Buy is having a massive gaming PC flash sale this weekend

If you’ve wanted to pick up a gaming PC for a while now but are waiting for a sale, you’re in luck. Best Buy has a massive flash sale on gaming PCs, so it’s the perfect time to look at everything on offer from the link below. We’ve also collected some excellent deals for you to look to help with your choice.

MSI Aegis ZS Gaming Desktop — $1,200, was $1,500

While being more well known for motherboards and GPUs, MSI still makes a pretty good pre-built PC, and we don’t often see them on sale, which makes this especially interesting. The first thing you’ll likely want to know is what GPU’s in the box, and we’re happy to say that it’s the RX 6700 XT, one of the top AMD GPUs, and about roughly equivalent to an Nvidia RTX 3070 if you’re more familiar with that. Given the powerful GPU, you can easily run games at 2K and a 144Hz refresh rate using something you can find among one of our gaming monitor deals. As for the CPU, it’s a mid- to high-end Ryzen 5 5600X, so it should easily handle CPU-intensive tasks like simulation and strategy games. You also get 16GB of RAM, which is what we’d expect in a higher-end gaming PC, and 500GB of SSD storage, which is a bit on the smaller side but not too bad with good management.

iBUYPOWER Trace MR Gaming Desktop — $1,300, was $1,500

iBUYPOWER Trace MR gaming Desktop next to keyboard and mouse.

Next up is iBUYPOWER, a company that focuses completely on custom pre-built gaming PCs, which is pretty nice if you have an idea of what specs you want. Of course, this one comes with an already established spec build, in the form of the RTX 2060 GPU and an 11th-gen Intel Intel i7-11700F, a great combo that should manage most games fine, albeit in slightly lower graphical settings. It also comes with 16GB of RAM, which is great, and a total storage of 1.48TB through a combination of a 1TB HDD and a 480GB SSD, meaning you aren’t likely to be running out of space any time soon.

HP OMEN 30L Gaming Desktop — $1,400, was $1,700

HP Omen 30L Gaming PC sits next to a mouse and keyboard.

Another great deal is on an HP OMEN 30L Gaming Desktop, one of the company’s mainstays along with its HP Pavilion lineup. This one in with an RTX 3060, a reasonably good GPU that should handle most AAA games well, especially if you’re using a 2K, 144Hz  monitor or lower. The CPU is an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, which is a bit more powerful than the GPU, meaning it’s great for doing productivity or editing work that requires a lot of CPU resources. As for RAM, you get 16GB, and storage is a reasonable 1TB SSD, making this a great gaming PC deal overall.

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Computing

Amazon is Having a FLASH SALE on Microsoft Office Today

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Microsoft Office: You know it, you use it, you need it. The world’s most ubiquitous software for getting stuff done is available at a discounted price during this Flash Sale going on at Amazon today. Some of the best Black Friday deals are already kicking off, and as expected Amazon is leading the retail industry with major markdowns happening now. Right now, you can get a 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal for $59, a one-time download of Microsoft Office Home and Student for just $125, or the deluxe Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021 for $220. Whether you’re using Word to write your novel, Excel to track your small business earnings, or Teams and Outlook to manage your employees, the Microsoft Office suite of programs is essential to everything you want to do. Check out these Amazon Black Friday deals for more savings on the tech you need.

Microsoft 365 Personal 12-Month Subscription — $59 per year

If you’re looking for the Microsoft Office Suite for yourself, then this budget-friendly version is perfect. Available through Amazon, this is a download that comes with a 12-month subscription to all of the Microsoft apps you need for your home, education, and business needs. For just $59, you’ll get access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. This subscription will auto-renew, so you don’t have to worry about losing access to your documents during a lapse. Built-in security features help protect your data and information. Use your Microsoft apps across your devices, including your phone, iPad, laptop, and others.

Buy Now

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021 — $125, was $150

Microsoft Office home and student apps and options.

Got more to do than the average user? You’ll want to check out the next tier up for Office users. Right now, you can get the one-time download of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021 for just $125, marked down $25 from its regular price of $150. This download includes a download to one PC or Mac computer and provides the user access to all of Microsoft’s best products for small businesses, homeowners, and students alike. If you fall into more than one of those categories, even better. There’s nothing like having all of the tools you need together in one place and compatible with each other. Whether you’re accessing your apps from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet, you’ll be able to create documents, spreadsheets, and more to manage everything in your life.

Buy Now

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021 — $220, was $250

Microsoft office home and business 2021 cover and options.

If your business is growing, you know that you need the right tools to stay on top of things and keep succeeding. Microsoft Office for Home and Business is one of the best software programs out there to help you keep everything organized and flowing smoothly. On sale right now at Amazon for just $219, you’ll save $30 off the regular price of $250 when you get it today. This is a one-time download for a single PC or Mac, so you’ll need to purchase multiple copies if you plan on installing them on multiple machines. You’ll get access to all of the essential apps for managing your home and business, including the 2021 versions of PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Word. Use the Microsoft Office Suite to plan your monthly budget and weekly meals, track your business earnings, create invoices and documents, prepare presentations, and more.

Buy Now

More Microsoft Office deals

Looking for something a little different? There are even more great Microsoft Office deals going on today. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones for you below.


Have a busy family, or just need several copies of Microsoft 365 for your office? This 365 package gets you digital keys for up to 6 people for 12 months. Works with both PC and Mac.

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Lifetime activation key for Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021 for Windows 10. Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

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Pair your Microsoft 365 with virus and VPN protection while saving some cash with this Nortion 360 bundle deal.

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If you want a basic Microsoft Office 2021 suite, this is the best price going right now on the latest version of core Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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Packed with all the classic apps for professionals, the Microsoft Office Professional 2019 also comes with access to Outlook, Publisher, and Access for one PC.

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This Microsoft 365 Family bundle doesn’t just give you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more, it also keeps you covered from viruses and malware with AVG Internet Security 2021.

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We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Computing

Dell’s Second Black Friday Flash Sale Started — What to Buy

You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to upgrade your laptop with this year’s best Black Friday deals, as there will be all kinds of Black Friday laptop deals and Black Friday gaming laptop deals that you can shop. Whether you’re using your machine for working from home, attending online classes, or playing video games, you’ll find an offer that’s perfect for you.

If you can’t wait for Black Friday to arrive, the good news is that some retailers have already rolled out significant discounts ahead of the shopping holiday. For example, you can already take advantage of Dell Black Friday deals, which include price cuts from Dell laptop deals, in what’s already Dell’s second Black Friday flash sale. Some of the offers are only available for a limited time though, so you shouldn’t waste time if you want to purchase a laptop for much cheaper than usual ahead of Black Friday.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop — $280, was $355

For an affordable but reliable laptop, you can’t go wrong with the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. It’s powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of RAM, and the Intel UHD Graphics 600, which makes it more than capable of handling basic tasks such as typing documents, surfing the web, and watching streaming content. The laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch HD screen and a 128GB SSD for storage.

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is available from Dell at $75 off its original price of $355, making it even more affordable at $280. If you just need a no-frills laptop for daily use, you should click that Buy Now button as soon as you can to secure your own Dell Inspiron 15 3000.

Dell XPS 13 Laptop – $700, was $950

A Dell XPS 13 laptop open on an upholstered bench by a window.

The Dell XPS 13 is the top choice in Digital Trends’ best laptops, and its most recent iteration makes the machine an even better purchase. Inside the laptop are the 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Xe graphics, for smooth performance during your daily usage. Meanwhile, the 13.3-inch Full HD screen looks even larger with its thin bezels and 16:10 aspect ratio.

For a laptop that won’t let you down, you can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 13. Its price is slashed by $250 on Dell, lowering it to $700 from its original price of $950. The deal’s availability is limited though, so if you don’t want to miss out on this offer for the Dell XPS 13, you should click that Buy Now button immediately.

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop – $700, was $985

Gaming on a Dell G15 Gaming Laptop.

Gamers shouldn’t settle for anything less than a gaming laptop like the Dell G15. It won’t have any trouble running the latest games with its 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, with all that power shown on the laptop’s 15.6-inch Full HD screen. The gaming laptop also comes with the Alienware Command Center, which will let you adjust how your hardware runs each game.

Dell is selling the Dell G15 gaming laptop for only $700, after a $285 discount to its original price of $985. There’s no telling when stocks will run out though, so if you’re already looking forward to playing your favorite games on the Dell G15, you should click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop – $1,170, was $1,320

A man watching a video on a Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 in presentation mode.
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Enjoy extreme versatility with the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop, which can function as a laptop when the 13.4-inch Full HD+ screen is opened, as a tablet when the display is completely folded back, and anything in between. The device doesn’t sacrifice power with its 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

If you’re already thinking about the usefulness of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop, then you’d be glad to know that it’s discounted on Dell by $150, bringing its price down to $1,170 from its original price of $1,320. The deal may disappear at any moment though, so if you want to purchase the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop for this special price, you should click that Buy Now button immediately.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Game

Walmart Has a Flash Sale on Nintendo Switch Games Today

Gamers look forward to the best Black Friday deals every year for the massive savings on consoles, games, and accessories. For Nintendo fans, and those who want to find out what all the hype is about for themselves, you shouldn’t miss this year’s Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals. If you already own the hybrid console and you want to expand your library, you might want to take advantage of the early Walmart Black Friday deals for Nintendo Switch games.

There’s a wide variety of Nintendo Switch game deals from Walmart, ranging from exciting adventures such as Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time to the augmented reality experience of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. There’s something for everyone from Walmart’s Nintendo Switch deals that you can shop well before the chaos of Black Friday.

Transformers: Battlegrounds — $20, was $40

Assemble your squad of Autobots, including fan favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, to stop the evil Megatron and the Decepticons from acquiring the All-Spark. As their new commander, roll out the Autobots into battlefields from Central City to Cybertron. Engage in turn-based tactical warfare with intuitive controls in Transformers: Battlegrounds, as you take advantage of special abilities and the environment to crush your enemies.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom — $20, was $40

The four main characters of The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom.

Take control of Jack, Quint, June, and Dirk as they search for the missing piece of the Staff of Doom. Explore zombie-manifested streets, upgrade your weapons and armor, and unleash special skills to stop Malondre, Queen of the Slime Monsters, as she seeks the Staff of Doom to resurrect Rezzoch the Ancient, Destructor of Worlds. Up to four players can play in couch co-op to complete the missions and go through the story of The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom.

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia — $20, was $40

An enemy in Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia.

Stop Porgon the Trickster Troll in Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia by upgrading your armor and boosting your abilities. Play as Jim Lake Jr. when you’re going solo, or with Claire in couch co-op with a friend or family member. You’ll also receive help from more characters in the series, which you’ll need if you want to stop the Time-pocalypse.

Lego: The Incredibles — $20, was $60

Lego: The Incredibles with the whole Parr family.

Lego: The Incredibles reimagines The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2 in Lego form, with the signature Lego humor. Use the iconic abilities of the Parr family to build amazing structures, complete side missions, and defeat supervillains. With the help of Edna Mode, you can also modify the appearance and abilities of characters, as the Parr family teams up to fight crime and put the bad guys away.

Lego: Jurassic World — $25, was $40

Fleeing from dinosaurs in Lego: Jurassic World.

Follow the stories of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and Jurassic World, but in Lego form in Lego: Jurassic World. Explore Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, and even wreak havoc as Lego dinosaurs such as the Velociraptor and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. You can create your own dinosaur collection by collecting Lego amber, and you can even experiment with DNA to make original dinosaurs of your own.

SnowRunner — $26, was $34

A truck in SnowRunner.

Drive powerful and massive vehicles in SnowRunner — conquer extreme environments with advanced terrain simulation, behind the wheel of vehicles made by Ford, Chevrolet, Freightliner, and others. Travel through mud, snow, and frozen lakes while trying to complete contracts and missions, with your driving skill put to the test. Customize your expanding fleet with upgrades and accessories, so that you’ll be ready for any situation.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time — $34, was $40

Crash Bandicoot 4 stylized gameplay screen.

Neo Cortex and N. Tropy have launched an attack on the entire multiverse, so it’s up to Crash and Coco to save the day. There are new abilities to master and more characters to control in Crash 4, where you need to recover the all-powerful Quantum Masks. Run through the levels of the platformer while jumping, spinning, and sliding through obstacles and enemies.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy — $34, was $40

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Relive the adventures of everyone’s favorite purple dragon in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which includes remastered versions of the series’ original three games: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Fly through the air, breathe fire, and smash obstacles as you go on quests, help friends, and beat bosses. Spyro’s back, and it’s your turn to explore the many realms of his world.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze — $44, was $55

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the levels transform in unexpected ways, but the dynamic rotating camera lets you appreciate every stage. Reclaim the Kongs’ stolen home by mastering special moves, overcoming challenges, and defeating bosses, in a platformer that can be shared with a friend in two-player co-op gameplay. You can also play as Funky Kong, who has extra hearts and helpful abilities that make the game easier.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin — $50, was $60

A rider rides a Tigrex in Monster Hunter Stories 2.

Team up with some of the most popular creatures in the Monster Hunter franchise in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. In the turn-based RPG, collect and train monsters, and fight battles with them after having them learn various skills. Meet charming characters as you assume the role of a young monster rider in an expansive adventure.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit — $75, was $100

Mario Kart Live Red Shell

If you’re a fan of the Mario Kart franchise, you’ll love Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which brings the adrenaline-pumping racing game into your own living room with the help of augmented reality. The package comes with gates that you can use with objects around the house to create courses in the real world, which you can then see come alive in the game. Up to four players can race if you all have your own kart to dash through the track.

More Nintendo Switch game deals

There are a lot of great options in Walmart’s flash sale for Nintendo Switch games, especially with discounts that resemble what you can expect from Black Friday. However, these aren’t the only offers out there. If you want to take a look around, we’ve rounded up some of the best Nintendo Switch game deals that you can shop for from different retailers.


Build your personal getaway from scratch on your own island and customize your character. Collect materials to construct what you need, get to know the residents, and show off your creation.

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Choose from all the fighters in Super Smash Bros. history and battle it out in both old and new stages. Play locally or online in up to eight-player matches as you try to win as the last one standing.

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Play as Mario or one of the other playable characters as you try to complete various levels. You can play with friends in multiplayer sessions, or try other game modes for replayability.

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In this award-winning rogue-like dungeon crawler, battle through the forces of Hell as you try to escape. Experience thousands of story events and determine the best character build for you.

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Join Mario in a new paper-crafted adventure with strategic, ring-based battles. Beat the Folded Soldiers, repair the damaged world, and rescue Princess Peach from King Olly.

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Experience the Olympics with all-new events such as skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing. Choose from a colorful cast of characters, which includes Mario, Luigi, Sonic, and Tails.

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We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Computing

Dell Is Having a Black Friday Flash Sale

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Dell is in the midst of a 48-hour Black Friday flash sale, offering enormous discounts on laptops, desktop computers, gaming laptops, and a range of accessories that includes keyboards and external displays. Featured in this flash sale are laptops from the Dell Inspiron lineup, the Dell XPS lineup, and a 27-inch full HD monitor. These are limited-quantity deals and they’re only around for 48 hours, so click over to Dell quickly to claim some of the best Dell Black Friday deals you’re going to find on the internet.

27-inch Dell S2721H Monitor (Full HD) — $200, was $320

Kick off your flash sale search with a savings of $120 on the Dell S2721H, a 27-inch full HD monitor that’s perfect for gaming or expanding your digital work space. Watch movies more clearly, get through your work day with less squinting, and get more immersed in your gaming. The Dell S2721H is an amazing value even at its regular price, and we think it’s a steal with the discount you’ll get amidst these Black Friday deals. Dell is also offering free next-day delivery for the S2721H monitor, adding even more value to one of the best Black Friday monitor deals you’ll come across. Grab yours before inventory — or the countdown on this flash sale — runs out.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 — $230, was $355

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop on sale at Dell.

Coming in at the lowest laptop price of this Dell Black Friday flash sale is the Inspiron 15 3000, a stylish and versatile laptop offering a savings of $125. Made for the student, professional, and creator on the go, it has a sleek, modern design, the power to push you through your work day, and enough ports to expand your desktop computing with an external display or to create your digital content on the fly with an external hard drive. Free next-day delivery is offered with this laptop, and supplies will be going quickly. Grab a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop now. We’re sure it’s one of the best Black Friday laptop deals you’re going to come across.

Dell XPS 13 — $700, was $950

Dell XPS 13 laptop on sale at Dell.

The Dell XPS 13 laptop takes computing to the next level, and Dell is taking $250 off one of the most popular and versatile laptops in the business. The Dell XPS 13 is the perfect computer for professionals, students, and evening binge watchers, and it’s one of our favorite laptops, receiving a full five stars in our Dell XPS 13 review. One of the best value computers on the market, the Dell XPS 13 is always a favorite for a markdown, and this flash sale makes it one of the best Black Friday laptop deals around. Add the Dell XPS 13 to your backpack or briefcase by clicking over to Dell now.

Dell XPS 15 Touch — $1,800, was $2,200

Dell XPS 15 Touch laptop on sale at Dell.

Looking for an even more immersive computing experience? Save $400 on the Dell XPS 15 Touch laptop, which features a stunning 15.6-inch InfinityEdge display, DolbyVision for HDR content support, and a premium carbon fiber body. Made with content creators and content consumers in mind, the Dell XPS 15 Touch laptop brings a great experience and savings to you as part of this Dell Black Friday flash sale.

Dell XPS 17 — $2,150, was $2,450

Dell XPS 17 laptop on sale at Dell.

Rounding out this Dell Black Friday flash sale is the largest XPS laptop in the Dell lineup, the Dell XPS 17. It’s marked down a head-turning $300 right now, and comes with head-turning features. It features the high-performance power of a 10th-generation Intel processor and powerful Nvidia graphics for both creators and gamers alike. Dell has managed to fit a 17-inch display into a 15-inch laptop body, making the XPS 17 one of the stars of the XPS lineup, and one of the stars of this Black Friday flash sale. Grab yours while inventory lasts.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Tech News

WhatsApp on Android to make flash calls to verify logins

There are different systems these days for securing accounts beyond fragile and weak passwords. While authenticator apps are often the recommended method, others also use your phone number as a sort of a second authentication factor. That’s especially true for services that use your phone number as your account number anyway, like WhatsApp. It seems that Facebook’s messaging service is going to use that number to implement another layer of security, making a flash call to verify the number that you gave for login is a valid one.

This upcoming feature, if it does make it out the door, is for both security and convenience. With the currently existing system, WhatsApp sends OTPs via SMS when logging into their accounts. Users either type in the numbers or, depending on the permissions granted to the WhatsApp Android app, is automatically entered by the app itself.

This method, while better than just a password, has also been criticized for offering no real security because of the vulnerability of the SMS protocol. WABetaInfo, which often leaks upcoming or in-development WhatsApp features, reveals that the network is working on yet another method to verify logins. Instead of sending an OTP, it will call you and immediately drop the call and will then scan your call history to check if the phone’s number and the number it called, which would have been the number it would send the OTP to, is one and the same.

The catch is that to perform this action, WhatsApp needs permission to read your phone’s call history log. This is something it will ask Android users once when setting up the app for the first time and WhatsApp promises the data won’t be used for any other purpose. Given the recent scandal the network is under due to its new Facebook-friendly privacy policy, that’s a rather big promise to make.

That requirement is also one reason why this feature will never make it to iOS since Apple’s platform doesn’t give third-party apps access to call history. It is also an optional verification method so those with privacy concerns can keep using the older methods, presuming they still use WhatsApp, of course.

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AI

Mythic raises $70M to disrupt AI chips with analog and flash components

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Mythic has raised $70 million to fund the analog-based AI processors it plans to launch later this year.

Mythic has spent nine years coming up with a patented, potentially disruptive way to compete with other makers of artificial intelligence chips. The company emphasizes energy efficiency and lower cost with its design that focuses on analog technology integrated with dense flash memory, CEO Mike Henry said in an interview with VentureBeat.

Henry said that in AI computing, chips have to normally handle massive amounts of simple arithmetic, with trillions of adds and multiplies per second. His company figured out how to do that in analog circuits, rather than digital, using a smaller electrical current. It stored the results in flash memory, which is a dense storage medium. He believes this will work much more efficiently than graphics processing units (GPUs) or other ways of handling the same calculations, when it comes to chip size, cost, and power usage.

“We had a high level of ambition on the technical side,” Henry said. “This was a milestone almost everyone thought was impossible. It’s been pursued since the 1960s. We have developed a  disruptive way of doing a computer AI that gives us the same compute as a GPU, but at a much lower cost and power.”

The funding was led by BlackRock and Hewlett Packard Pathfinder. Mythic has raised $165.2 million since its founding in 2012. The fresh funds will help expand the team and ready it for the launch of its chip. Mythic currently has 125 employees in Redwood City, California and Austin, Texas.

Mythic wants to accelerate plans for mass production of its solutions and better support its growing customer base, which spans Asia Pacific, Europe, and the U.S. Mythic will also use the money to develop its next-generation hardware platform and build out its software portfolio.

Above: Mythic has raised $70 million.

Image Credit: Mythic

In November 2020, Mythic unveiled the first Analog Matrix Processor for AI applications, which combines high performance with good power efficiency in a cost-efficient solution. While expensive and power-hungry hardware has limited the broad deployment of AI applications, Mythic’s integrated hardware and software platform is making it easier and more affordable for companies to deploy powerful AI applications for the smart home, AR/VR, drones, video surveillance, smart cities, manufacturing markets, and more. A single drone can contain as many as six cameras to help it learn to avoid collisions.

“Really, it comes down to cost and power. If it’s too expensive and too power-hungry, they just don’t put the features in,” Henry said. “We think there’s a lot of pent-up demand at the edge. There are a lot of people wanting to do a lot of really interesting things, and they just can’t do it with the last-generation hardware.”

Mythic’s M1108 Mythic AMP makes this possible by using analog computing and integrated flash memory to deliver significantly faster results at much lower power consumption compared to typical digital processors.

Above: Mythic combines flash memory with analog computing.

Image Credit: Mythic

This kind of computing is needed at the edge of the network, alongside sensors such as cameras, lidar, radar, and security. Those sensors produce so much data that it’s hard to fit such large data models into a chip. So Mythic handles the computing with a small chip and packs a lot of flash memory into the chip, eliminating excess parts in the system. The Mythic chip should fit into an area the size of a postage stamp, Henry said. By contrast, GPUs and other options need heat-reducing components such as fans.

By comparison, Nvidia’s Jetson AI platform for robots and drones may consume 30 watts and cost $700 to $800, with a low-cost version at $100. But Mythic is shooting for a lower cost, lower power consumption, and 10-20 times the performance, Henry said. The company is targeting around 25 trillion to 35 trillion instructions per second for its first chip.

When the company first launched, it was easy to foresee that AI data models would increase exponentially, Henry said.

Above: Mythic’s first chip will target at least 25 trillion operations per second.

Image Credit: Mythic

“We never envisioned the world that we have now, with neural networks with a trillion parameters,” he said. “But we did see the chance to do something ambitious.”

Device makers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can choose from the single-chip M1108 Mythic AMP or a variety of PCIe card configurations, including the M.2 M Key and M.2 A+E Key designs, with added design flexibility and easier integration so customers can bring products to market faster.

Above: Mythic is based in Redwood City, California and Austin, Texas.

Image Credit: Mythic

Mythic Analog Compute Engine (Mythic ACETM) aims to deliver revolutionary power, cost, and performance for AI innovation at the edge. The Mythic Analog Matrix Processor (Mythic AMPTM) makes it much easier and more affordable to deploy powerful AI solutions from the datacenter to the edge device.

Henry said that the company has production silicon available, and he expects it will go into mass production by the end of the year.

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Tech News

Microsoft is dropping the ax on Adobe Flash Player in June

Microsoft has been warning users for months now that the end was near for Adobe Flash Player. Adobe stopped supporting Flash on January 1, 2021. Adobe also released a kill switch preventing Flash Player from running. The problem for Flash Player was that it was a source for many attacks against Windows users, making it a security risk.

Microsoft has now said that an update called KB4577586 will remove the 32-bit Adobe Flash plug-in from Windows and prevent it from being installed again. That specific update is currently available for download from the Windows Catalog as a manual installation. However, starting in June 2021, the update will be pushed out to all users.

The update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player will be included in the Preview Update for Windows 10, version 1809, and above. The update will also be included in every subsequent Latest Cumulative Update moving forward. In July 2021, the KB4577586 update will be included in the Latest Cumulative Update for Windows 10, version 1607, and Windows 10, version 1507.

The KB will also be integrated into the Monthly Rollup, and Security Only Update for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Embedded 8 Standard. Microsoft expects that on the next Patch Tuesday, expected to be July 13, KB4577586 will roll out as a mandatory update. Microsoft says there is a high risk of malware exploiting flash players that are not updated in the future, and it makes sense for Microsoft to kill off flash altogether.

While some businesses and users out there may commonly use apps that require Flash, the death of Flash is no surprise. Microsoft has given users a long time to sort out any applications relying on Flash.

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Categories
Tech News

This $14 128GB flash drive connects to your iPhone, Android phone and PC

It’s for iPhones, it’s for Android phones, it’s for laptops, it’s the E&jing Photostick 128GB thumb drive! And if you’ve ever wanted a flash drive that can hook up to three very different devices, it’s for you. Amazon is selling the 128GB USB drive for $14 with the checkout code LLQ6E6CG, half off the usual price for a whole lot of storage that will fit into pretty much any device you need.

At first glance, this is a big ol’ USB drive with a lightning connector meaning it only works with iPhone and iPad devices. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll see that this USB drive has a pop-out standard Type-A USB connector.

usbdriveconnectorsE&jing

Thumb drive does whaaat?

If that wasn’t enough the Type-A connector flips up to reveal a microUSB connector for Android devices underneath. Unfortunately, this drive doesn’t have a USB-C connector so you’ll need a microUSB-to-USB-C adapter for it to work with newer Android phones that have already made the switch to Type-C ports. Also, iPhone users will need to download a companion app to enable file transfers.

While it might not be for everyone, the unique features of this USB drive caught our eye, and its $14 price tag for 128GB of storage makes it an awesome impulse buy.

[Today’s deal: E&jing 128GB thumb drive with multi-device connectors for $14 at Amazon]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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