Big Tech Players Start To Adopt The RISC-V Chip Architecture

RISC-V (pronounced risc-five) is a brand-new instruction set architecture (ISA) that’s open to customize and free to use by anyone. The ISA is only a few years old, but both large and small companies, such as Nvidia, Western Digital, and Esperanto, are now planning to use RISC-V chips to power their products.

Why RISC-V Was Created

The initial version of the RISC-V ISA started development at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2010. The academics there wanted to develop a more modern and more efficient ISA for the 21st century that removes the legacy cruft and many mistakes built into multi-decade old instruction sets such as x86 and ARM. The researchers also wanted an ISA that is fully open and free for anyone to use for any purpose without having to pay any royalties to anyone.

In 2014, version 2.0 of the ISA was released, and that’s when many of the big players in the technology industry started becoming interested in it. If 1.0 was more of a research curiosity, 2.0 showed that the ISA could actually be used in production by large players who wanted to save money on royalties or simply wanted a much larger degree of freedom when designing their own CPUs.

In 2015, the RISC-V Foundation was created with more than 100 members and a board of directors that included companies such as Google, Nvidia, Western Digital, NXP, Microsemi, and Bluespec, as well as a representative from UC Berkeley. Since then, chip companies such as AMD, Qualcomm, and IBM have also joined the members list.

The foundation released version 2.2 of the RISC-V ISA specification earlier this year. Mozilla also recently announced that the memory safe Rust programming language, which the organization is now using to rewrite core components of the Firefox browser, supports the RISC-V ISA as a compilation target.

Western Digital Commits To Shipping “Billions” Of RiSC-V Cores

At the a recent RISC-V Workshop event, Western Digital, one of the largest manufacturers of storage devices, announced that it’s going to lead the industry in the switch to the more open RISC-V ISA by committing to ship over one billion RISC-V cores per year in its devices.

WD said that the purpose for implementing more powerful RISC-V cores into its products is that this will bring computation closer to data. The movement of the data will be minimized, which should bring increased performance and efficiency to its customers.

WD hopes that after switching all of its product lineups to using RISC-V microcontrollers, it will be able to ship over two billion RISC-V cores across its product categories.

Esperanto Promises “AI At The Edge” With RISC-V Cores

Esperanto Technologies a chip designer from Mountain View, California, also announced at the latest workshop that it will start developing energy-efficient AI chips using the RISC-V ISA.

“Esperanto’s goal is to make RISC-V the architecture of choice for the most demanding AI and machine learning applications which will drive computing innovation for the next decade,” said Esperanto CEO Dave Ditzel.

“RISC-V is so simple and extensible that we can deliver world class TeraFlop levels of computing without needing to resort to proprietary instruction sets, thereby greatly increasing software availability,” he noted.

He also added that the company will build a 16-core “ET-Maxion” 64-bit chip, which will have single-thread performance, as well as a 4,096-core “ET-Minion” energy-efficient chip, with each core having its own floating point unit.

Dave Ditzel has a long history of supporting RISC instruction sets. He was founder of Transmeta, a company that tried to build RISC chips that could emulate x86 programs on them, and he worked on the SPARC architecture at Sun Microsystems. Ditzel also worked at Intel for six years, working on various high-performance chip projects.

Western Digital CTO Martin Fink also announced at the RISC-V workshop that they’ve made a strategic investment in Esperanto in order to help build the RISC-V ecosystem.

Nvidia Quietly Adopting RISC-V, Too

Last year, Nvidia quietly revealed that it’s going to build its next-generation GPU microcontroller on the RISC-V ISA. The new RISC-V microcontroller is expected to improve performance by more than three times compared to its existing Falcon microcontroller. The RISC-V microcontroller will also include some significant security features that the current microcontroller is lacking, which could be of use in the autonomous driving industry, for instance.

We’re not going to see RISC-V take the market by storm and compete with Intel and ARM in high-end smartphones, PCs, and servers for at least a few more years. However, RISC-V’s modern ISA, which brings high efficiency, better security, as well as the openness of the architecture combined with the royalty-free license, may prove irresistible to many companies.

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Mozilla’s new open source model aims to revolutionize voice recognition

You may have noticed the steady and sure progress of voice recognition tech in recent times – all the big tech firms want to make strides in this arena if only to improve their digital assistants, from Cortana to Siri – but Mozilla wants to push harder, and more broadly, on this front with the release of an open source speech recognition model.

The initial release of this Automatic Speech Recognition engine has just been unleashed, based on work carried out by the Machine Learning team at Mozilla. The engine is modelled on ‘Deep Speech’ papers published by Baidu, which detail a trainable multi-layered deep neural network.

Mozilla says that its project initially had a goal of hitting a ‘word error rate’ of less than 10%. However, the firm says the engine’s word error rate on LibriSpeech’s test-clean set is now 6.5%, clearly beating this goal, and achieving close to the Holy Grail of human-level performance (which occurs at around 5.8%, according to the Deep Speech 2 paper).

Mozilla has worked hard to train the speech recognition model using ‘supervised learning’ and a huge dataset of thousands of hours of labeled audio, drawn from all manner of sources including free (TED-LIUM and LibriSpeech) and paid (Fisher and Switchboard) speech corpora.

Further labeled speech data was pulled from the likes of language study departments in universities, and public TV and radio stations, all of which was more fuel to the fire for honing the speech recognition engine.

And of course the huge strength of this project, its open source nature, means that this honed technology is now open to anyone to use in their speech recognition projects.

Streamlined speech

Mozilla further notes that the plan for the future is to release a model that’s light and fast enough to run on a smartphone or single-board computer like the Raspberry Pi.

The company has also unleashed its Common Voice initiative, which is an open and publicly available voice dataset containing some 400,000 recordings from 20,000 different speakers – that represents around 500 hours of speech.

As Mozilla puts it, the idea here is to “build a speech corpus that’s free, open source, and big enough to create meaningful products with”, running in parallel with the new speech recognition model.

Microsoft is also making big strides on the voice recognition front, having achieved a word error rate of 5.1% in the Switchboard speech recognition benchmark, as announced back in the summer.

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android

Nintendo’s new mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, available now for Android and on iPhone, is an addictive little number but frustrating at times. There are lots of built-in delays and there never seem to be enough of the necessary resources, whether wood, steel or coconuts.

In this article we offer 10 tips that will help you to do well at Pocket Camp.

Play regularly (but for short periods)

The Animal Crossing games have all tended to suit a ‘little but often’ approach – they are perfect for dipping in, catching a couple of butterflies, moving some furniture around and popping out again. (This was one of the reasons why the game was an obvious candidate for a mobile port.)

This is particularly true for Pocket Camp. There are rewards for logging in frequently – as your daily login streak gets bigger, you receive better and better stuff for free – while the array of timers and delays (and the tendency for one or two particular fishes or insects to dominate at a given time) mean there’s generally a limit to how much you can achieve in one go. Get a few jobs done and then come back later.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Login bonuses

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Login bonuses

This will also help you avoid making in-app payments, because skipping the timers is generally expedited by Leaf Tickets.

You can pay to speed things up

We don’t recommend this – the real-world expense is disguised by the fictional currencies, so it can mount up, and it goes against the spirit of the game in any case – but if you can’t be bothered to wait it’s possible to spend your way out.

Throw nets can be used on the river and sea levels to pull in a group of fish at once with no danger of failure; the larger ones can be bought with Leaf Tickets. The same principle applies to honey, which scoops up multiple insects on Sunburst Island.

Leaf Tickets can also be spent to speed up the building of craft items or amenities. And you can use fertiliser to make trees grow fruit immediately.

If an animal has stopped giving you quests, you can ask for more by spending a Request Ticket. And Calling Cards let you summon an animal who isn’t currently available, instead of having to wait.

Focus on new and low-level friendships

Probably not a tip to apply to real life. But in Pocket Camp you’ll generally get better ROI from helping new (or neglected) friends where your Friendship Level is fairly low.

Your Friendship Level with an animal gains a few points each time you do a job for them, and when this happens enough times it will go up to the next level, and you’ll get a boost to your XP – which is how your overall level goes up. However, the higher an animal’s Friendship Level gets, the more tasks you’ll have to do to make it go up another level.

(In fact, the first time you speak to an animal, the level will go up from 0 to 1 just for that, and you’ll get a little XP boost for nothing.)

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Level up

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Level up

There is an exception to this, and that’s when you want to accomplish something specific. Animals will have to reach a certain level before they will come and visit your campsite, for instance, and each one will offer a range of cool unique rewards when they hit the very high levels. And of course after a while you’ll only have mid- and high-level friendships to cultivate.

But when you’re trying to get some easy boosts to your level, it’s best to focus on the low-hanging fruit.

Make lots of (human) friends

Interaction with other humans playing Animal Crossing is a bit dry, but it’s still worth making plenty of friends if only for the benefits this provides in-game. Lots of timed goals providing lots of important resources depend on you visiting a certain number of friends’ campsites and giving them ‘kudos’, and it’s impossible to visit the quarry location (without spending Leaf Tickets) unless you can get five friends to help.

You’ll see non-animal characters in each of the game’s locations; these are real players, although you won’t see them do anything very interesting. But if you go and tap on them you’ll get the chance to make friends – ie send a friend request.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Make friends

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Make friends

Your friends’ details are accessible, not from the Contacts menu as you might expect, but from the slide-out menu just below your bells. Tap the icon with two people standing next to each other to see all your friends, and details of who has given you kudos lately. This menu will also contain friend requests from others, so be sure to check it regularly.

How to get animals to visit your campsite

Tap the Contacts icon at the bottom of the screen and you’ll see all the animals you’ve unlocked. The ones with a campsite background are visiting you already; the ones with a white background are not.

To get these guys to come along too, tap them and check out their ‘special requests’ – these are the criteria that must be fulfilled before they’ll turn up. You’ll need to hit a certain Friendship Level with them, but mostly the list will be items of furniture you need to craft.

When you craft all the necessaries, the game will encourage you to invite that animal to visit. And at this point you have two options: you can arrange the required furniture yourself (the animal will demand that it be available to sit on, play with etc, not just tucked away in your inventory), or you can get the game to do it for you.

The nice thing about this is that the game will also offer to revert the campsite layout back to the way it used to be after your new friend has settled in. Oddly enough they won’t flounce off when you get shot of their favourite chair: it just needs to be there for the induction ceremony.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Clear furniture

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Clear furniture

Don’t forget to collect your rewards

The rewards you get for going up a level, hitting a goal and so on are not paid directly into your inventory; instead, they are posted to your mailbox. And they don’t stay there forever – so it’s important to collect them before they expire.

Tap the icon at the top right, just below your bells, and then tap the mailbox icon on the righthand end of the menu that appears. Then tap Collect All.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Mailbox

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Mailbox

Fish shadows help you identify them

Pay attention to the size of the shadow that lurks in the sea or river, because it gives you an idea of what kind of fish is casting it. Flounders are big, squid are medium-sized and pale chub are tiny, for example. This can help if you’re trying to haul in a specific catch.

Fish and insects (seem to) turn up in groups

Whether it’s based on time of day, the day/night cycle or just random chance, experience suggests that a given location at a given time will tend to spawn lots of fish and insects of the same type. If you’ve been tasked with catching 15 squid, and you just pulled in two of them in a row, stick around and see if you can get some more, because it’s probably good squid conditions. The reverse applies if flounders can’t be had for love nor money – come back later.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Blowfish

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp tips for iPhone & Android: Blowfish

Be careful with insects

Tapping an insect, or tapping the water close to a fish’s head, will trigger a ‘catch’ animation with rod or net, and you must tap the screen again when instructed to complete the capture. This takes a little timing, but is pretty easy.

A bigger worry is that if you bump into the tree that a beetle is sitting on, or walk into a butterfly, it will (understandably) fly away. In other words, be careful that you tap the insect itself to trigger the catch animation, rather than just next to it.

Take out a big loan, and don’t worry about paying it back

Another one to avoid in real life! But the way Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp deals with loans is strange, and our advice would be to take the loans and not worry very much about where the money is coming from to pay them back. There aren’t any penalties or incentives not to.

The loans are part of the process by which you upgrade your camper van, which happens at OK Motors. If you want to expand your vehicle, a loan is automatically and unavoidably the way you’ll pay for it, even if you’ve got enough money in your wallet right there and then. (The other odd thing is that Giovanni doesn’t tell you how much it will cost until the work is done!)

But there are no interest payments or penalties for long-term non-payment, and it’s best to regard this process, as the game appears to do, as simply a form of medium-term quest: get 30,000 bells and you can add a level to your vehicle. It’s just that, thanks to the loan system, you get the upgrade right away, and then work to pay for it… at which point your reward is that you can immediately get the next upgrade and work towards that.

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Drayton Wiser review

There are lots of smart heating systems to choose between. From big names such as Nest and Hive to lesser-known systems from Tado, Genuis and Netatmo. One name you’ve probably heard of is Drayton, one of the biggest brands in UK heating systems.

Its Wiser system aims to make the upgrade from dumb to smart heating as simple as possible, while also giving you a system that’s both easy to use as well as comprehensive.

And on the face of it, we think it has succeeded. There are various starter kits to suit different types of boiler, and multi-zone kits which include smart radiator valves that let you create heating zones without having to change any plumbing.

The kit is very simple to install if you have a standard old-style programmer wired up to your boiler. And everything else is wireless and battery powered so there should be no need to pay for an electrician to install it.

Drayton Wiser: Price

We were sent the Wiser Multi-Zone Kit 1 for review. This includes a one-channel thermostat, plus two radiator valves. You can buy this from Screwfix for £189.99

 That’s good value considering most smart radiator valves (smart TRVs) cost between £50 and £70 each. Nest’s third-gen thermostat costs £179.99 on its own and as of yet, Nest hasn’t launched its own TRVs.

Bear in mind that a one-channel kit is good for combi boilers. But if you have a separate hot water tank and want to control that, you’ll need the two-channel thermostat kit. You can buy this from Screwfix for £199.99. buy this from Screwfix for £199.99.

Individual TRVs cost £34.99 each, which is the cheapest we’ve seen and means you can control extra rooms without the costs spiralling out of control.

If you need it, there’s a three-channel thermostat kit for £199.99 which doesn’t come with any TRVs but does include two thermostats, and extra wireless thermostats are £79.99. 

And if you don’t want the TRVs, the basic thermostat and relay bundle is only £139.99

All-in-all, it’s one of the cheaper smart heating systems, yet it offers a surprising amount of flexibility.


The control box uses the industry-standard connector so in a lot of cases, upgrading from your old manual heating programmer to the Wiser takes just a couple of minutes and a screwdriver.

Drayton Wiser review

Drayton Wiser review

If it does need wiring up, diagrams are included in the installation instructions or you can pay an electrician to do this job for you if you’re not confident.

Then it’s a case of installing the Wiser app on your iPhone or Android phone, creating an account and using the on-screen instructions to set up the system, including connecting to your Wi-Fi network. In all, it should take you under 30 minutes.

The thermostat is wireless and powered by a pair of AA batteries. You can place this anywhere, and even take it from room to room. It has a decent colour display and clearly displays the current temperature, the programmed temperature and the current humidity level.

Drayton Wiser review

Drayton Wiser review

The only hiccup could be if your radiators don’t have compatible valves already, but several adapters are included for popular valve types.

Drayton has designed the TRVs well. They have a control on top so you can manually control the valve: turning towards + boosts temperature by 2 degrees, and decreases by the same when turned to -. Even though there’s no screen which shows the temperature, it’s still handy if guests are staying or you don’t want to fire up the app just to adjust the temperature of one radiator. Some smart TRVs (even those which cost more) have no manual control or temperature display at all.

Drayton Wiser review

Drayton Wiser review

The valves also self-calibrate when you first install them, which should ensure that they all work properly.


The app itself is also well designed. The interface is clean and intuitive. You can set up a schedule just as you would with a traditional programmer. And thanks to the TRVs, you can also create schedules for individual rooms.

Drayton Wiser review

Drayton Wiser review

For example, you might install the valves in two bedrooms and set up a schedule so they’re not heated during the day, saving money in the process.

Alternatively, you might want the kitchen and bathroom to heat up earlier than other rooms. Whatever your preferences, the smart TRVs give you precise control over what happens when, so it’s well worth investing in a few more if you can afford it.

If you opt for the two- or three-channel version you will also be able to set schedules for when the hot water should be heated.

Naturally, you can use the app to control the system when you’re out. So if you’ve been away for a few day and you end up coming home earlier than expected, you can remotely turn on the heating so your home is warm when you arrive.

Wiser also offers an Eco mode which takes into account the outside temperature and learns how quickly your home warms up and cools down. This way it won’t needlessly turn the heating on early or keep it on for too long.

A boost function on the thermostat, replicated in the app, allows you to increase temperature in a certain room or zone for a set amount of time. This is useful, but it would be nice to have the option to keep the change until the next scheduled temperature change.

There’s also a holiday mode and an away mode. Unfortunately, the latter is a manual control: there’s not geo-location which uses your phone’s position to work out that you’re not at home and turn off the heating.

You won’t find IFTTT support either, so you can’t get around this by setting up your own applet to turn off the heating when everyone is out.

As the Wiser system is brand new, hopefully this is something Drayton will address: it can be added in a software update in the future.

Drayton Wiser review

Drayton Wiser review

One bonus is that there’s Alexa support from the get-go, so you can enable the ‘Wiser’ skill and ask Alexa to control the temperature in individual rooms and zones. This works well, and hopefully Drayton will add support for Google Assistant soon. It’s unlikely to get Siri support since the Wiser isn’t HomeKit compatible.

We had an issue with a weak signal from the control box to the thermostat and radiator valves. However, after a call to Drayton’s support, we were sent a booster box which fixed the issue immediately.

As the system uses RF rather than Wi-Fi to communicate it isn’t necessarily the size of your house which determines signal strength but rather the level of interference from other devices. We installed the Wiser in a standard-sized terraced house, and after plugging in the booster box have had no issues with signal strength at all.

Drayton says boosters will be sent to any customers experiencing problems for free, at least for now.

We’ve had the system installed for a few weeks and aside from a couple of teething problems, we’ve been impressed with it. It’s simple to use and does the job well.

We’ll be testing it long term and will update this review after a full winter of use, but our initial impressions are that it is very good value. We’d like to see geo-location or some automatic away mode so you don’t end up heating your house when no-one is there, though.

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Gamdias Achilles P1 RGB Gaming Chair, Hands On

You’ve filled your case with RGB lighting and synced everything together for a display that could put Las Vegas to shame, so what’s next? Why not try to match the chair? Gamdias is first to the market with a solution for that, erm, problem, and it’s named Achilles.

Currently available in both “L” (lattice pattern) and “S” (smooth) and four color options (black with white, red, blue, or black accents), we received the Achilles P1 L with the white accents.

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Back Height (to seat top)


Seat Width between bolsters

~16.5″ (15.4″ pad)

Seat Depth To Back


Armrest Spacing

~17.3 to 19.3″

Armrest Height

~5.6 to 8.4″

Seat Height (front)

~21.0 to 24.8″

Seat Height (rear)

~19.0 to 22.8″

Backrest Angle

~90° to 150°

Seat Angle Adjustment

~11° (~9° to 22°)


Steel frame, aluminum base


Sythetic Leather (Perforated in Seat)



The Achilles P1 L in a huge 35x27x15” box with 11 pounds of packaging for a gross weight of 73 pounds.

Included are the back, seat base with attached arms, seat mechanism, lumbar and headrest pillows, wheels, hardware, USB cable, and a one-piece cast aluminum chair base rated at a hefty 1500kg capacity.

Instead of a seat pan, the Achilles P1 uses a full tubular metal frame to support a thick seat pad, arms, and backrest. Screws for attaching the tilt and lift mechanism are already screwed in, and must be removed to complete the assembly. Rated by a pad width of around 15.4”, curvature of the side bolsters provides approximately 1.1” additional butt room.

The seat mechanism includes separate lever for tilt lock and height adjustment. The tilt range is around 11° by our rough measurements.

The end of a USB cable protrudes from the bottom of the seat back, so that it can be plugged into a chair to set a lighting program. LED settings are retained on internal storage, allowing the same settings to function from an alternative power source (such as a portable power bank).  The attachment method is also revealed in the below photo, as the brackets that secure the back to the base are to be pushed up through slits in the side bolster upholstery, and secured with exposed bolts.

The Achilles hardware kit includes large shoulder bolts for attaching the back, and a T-handle hex key to turn these. The P1 version adds a set of smaller socket head screws to be used as stops for the extendable leg rest, and a smaller hex key to secure those.

While factory photos showed a coiled USB extension cable, we received a 2m (78”) straight cable.


The seat base is a little shorter in length than previously tested chairs, and the extra-thick lumbar pad pushes users even closer to that forward edge. Height adjustment is a little on the tall side, ranging from around 21” to 24.8” at the upper apex of the seat base. The padded steel side bolsters are about ¾” from our hips, which could be uncomfortable to users who themselves have an, ahem, “wide base”.

A rocker switch at the inside edge of each firmly-padded armrest unlocks it to slide forward and back, inward and out, and to swivel. The swivel lock is a marked improvement over the unlocked swivel function of chairs like Corsair’s T1 Race, which often required adjustment after being bumped.

The recline lever is found at its pivot, just forward of the Achilles P1’s back. It’s notchier than most, feeling as though its teeth have rough edges, but it engages very firmly. Also seen below is the side tab for unlocking arm height adjustment.

Upholstery on the bottom pad is perforated to improve breathability of the synthetic material. The back upholstery doesn’t have this treatment.

The back reclines “150°” aka 60° from vertical. Since it’s attached to a pivot base, an additional 11° of recline is available by pivoting the front of the seat upward. The leg rest slides out, and flipping the pad to its upright position gives the chair around 12.8” of extension.

Control software for the entire Gamdias RGB line (including mice, keyboards, and headsets) can be downloaded from its site. The Achilles P1 L is factory set to RGB Wave mode, and “static” is the only mode where custom color settings worked properly. “Breathing” mode allows one to choose colors, but the breathing pattern still cycles through the basic pallet.

Software installation leaves the keyboard shortcut box unchecked by default, which is sad, because the shortcut in “Programs” failed to launch the first time. We had to right click that to find the original shortcut, and open it the first time as administrator. Consecutive program launches were unencumbered.

Continuous testing caused the software to lock up with random LED blinking stored on the chair’s firmware, but closing and reopening the application fixed that.

Butt How Did It Feel?

Let’s start with the Corsair T1 Race as a baseline, with its deep and dished bottom pad pushing the front of our legs up slightly, which wasn’t painful but did take a while to get accustomed to. The Achilles P1 L’s shorter base and flatter seat pad combine with a thick lumbar support that pushes the sitter closer to the edge to allow our legs to droop a little more at any given bottom tilt angle.

The wheels and castors lack ball bearings but instead feel bushed, rolling and pivoting far more smoothly than those of cheap chairs. The ball-bearing castors and wheels of the T1 Race chair could have beaten this, except that those castors were looser and flopped around too much to make directional changes easy.

The Achilles P1 leg rest supports my calves between midpoint and ankle with the chair’s back fully reclined. It’s impractically short when used in the upright position, if that matters.

The only ergonomic weaknesses are that the rigid seat frame doesn’t have any give for the hard foam padding and that the lumbar pad is a little too thick. Both problems should be minimized after an extended break-in period, and are likewise eased in warmer climates. The lumbar pad is also too narrow compared to the back, making it too easy to knock off-center. We should further remind that the padded-steel side bolsters are likely to be a bit too narrow for padunka dunks thick thighs.

But what about the price? You’re getting a lot of chair with a frame this sturdy, limited primarily by its Class 4 lift to 440lbs. On the other hand, the steel-based Achilles E1 L is nearly $200 cheaper at $269, lacking only the P1’s aluminum base, leg rest, and seat tilt mechanism. We’d have none of that: we wanna rock.  

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[Deals] 36% savings on the SanDisk Ultra 128 GB Dual USB Flash Drive USB 3.0

Your biggest files can now be moved about in a tiny flash drive with the SanDisk Ultra 128GB Dual USB Flash Drive. This flash drive features both microUSB and USB 3.0 connectors, allowing both Android devices and computers to take advantage of the massive 128GB capacity. It makes use of the USB 3.0 interface, allowing for transfer rates of up to 150MB/s. The drive is compatible with SanDisk’s Memory Zone app on the Google Play Store, which allows you to backup and manage your smartphone or tablet storage. A sleek, retractable design ensures incredible compactness despite the size and speed of the SanDisk Ultra.

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Mionix Refreshes 'Avior' Mouse With New Sensor, Color Options

Mionix launched an updated version of the Avior as part of its latest “Fresh Desk” collection. It comes in Frosting (Red), Ice Cream (Blue),French Fries (Yellow), Shark Fin (Gray), and Black.

Compared to the older Avior 7000, the refresh shares the same ambidextrous shape but lacks any side keys (the original had two on each side). Instead, there’s just a single DPI switch below the scroll wheel. Moreover, fans of RGB lighting will likely be disappointed that only the Black version features any lighting at all. Even then, just the scroll wheel is backlit, while the old RGB Mionix logo has been replaced by a simple matte sticker.

The sensor has been upgraded to the new true 5,000 DPI Pixart PMW-3325 optical sensor. To adjust DPI, you’ll need to use the Mionix Hub software, which is now available on both Windows and macOS.

Finally, although Mionix calls the Avior the “dopest entry level,”it retails on its site for a hefty €60, which is around $71 USD.

Product Mionix Avior
Sensor PMW3325
Resolution Up to 5000 SPI
Ambidextrous Yes
Switches Unknown
Polling Rate Unknown
Lighting Scroll wheel only on Black version
Buttons 4
Software Mionix Hub
Cable USB
Dimensions (H x W x D)
Price €60

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