Google appeals against huge EU anti-trust fine

Tech giant Google has lodged an appeal against the 2.4bn euro fine it was ordered to pay by the European Commission in June.

The regulator had ruled that positioning its own shopping comparison service at the top of Google search results was an abuse of power.

The fine was the largest penalty ever issued by the regulator, which also said the firm could face more fines if it continued its practices.

Google has been contacted for comment.

More to follow.

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Raidmax Alpha Prime Case Review

Priced at only $70, the Raidmax Alpha could have arguably been considered the best value in RGB-lighted ATX cases. We argued that it would need a little more airflow if it were to appeal to buyers seeking a cheaper case to help them put more money towards a high-end CPU or graphics card. The case had plenty of fan mounts, but its single included intake fan was situated behind a light diffuser panel that may have hindered airflow. The best way to test that theory would have been to add more fans, but the cost of added fans would have pushed it into a different price segment.

The Alpha has returned, and now it has more fans of its own. Welcome Alpha Prime.

Specifications

Alpha Prime is the first case to truly violate my notion of a glass side panel adding around $30 in cost, including the added shipping, increased product loss, and seller markup. At $90, it’s only $20 more than the original Alpha. And heck, it even comes with a glass face insert and extra fans.

Because the chassis hasn’t changed from our previous Raidmax Alpha review, this description is just a photo-enhanced recap. The front panel still has buttons and activity LEDs on one edge, two USB 3.0 ports and headphone/microphone jacks on the other.

The bottom panel still has a filter sheet held in by catch tabs, requiring additional effort to remove for cleaning.

The back still has its card holder tab on the outside, making it a little more difficult to fit cards into their slots, along with break out slot covers on six of the seven expansion slots, potentially making it more difficult to reconfigure card placement.

The top panel retains its magnetic dust filter sheet and, at 1.2” above the motherboard, its unlikeliness to be used as a radiator mount.

Separate sections for the switches and ports remain one of the better front-panel features, as it allows the user to completely remove the remaining facade without the issue of dangling wires, but the Alpha Prime improves this view with LED-lighted clear fans. It’s worth repeating that the 5.25” bay is held with screws, easing removal when making space for the end cap of a 3x 120mm radiator.

A 2.4” gap within the power supply shroud remains useful for adding a radiator up to 38mm thick, and we still find two alternative mounting points atop the power supply shroud that allows repositioning the two included 2.5” drive trays.

We still find an adequate 0.7” of space between the motherboard tray and right side panel, with an extra 0.4” added in front of the board to ease the placement of the fat 24-pin lead. The screwed-in lower (3.5”) drive cage must still be removed to install power supplies longer than 7.80” (including cables).

Builders lucky or thoughtful enough to have a power supply that fits without removing the lower drive cage will still find that its trays have side pins for 3.5” drives and screw holes for 2.5” drives. The two 2.5” trays above it are still secured with a single thumb screw.

And the LED controller is still powered via two pins of a 4-pin ATA-style connection, changing only in that the same connector also powers all three front fans. That’s going to require us to add an ATA drive cable to our modular power supply before continuing the build and evaluation on the next page.

MORE: Best Cases

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How to Watch iPhone 8 (iPhone X) Launch Live Stream & Live Blog

To mark the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, tomorrow Apple is expected to announce not only its usual upgrade to the iPhone 7, but an all-new iPhone with a full-screen OLED display and numerous other enhancements. Previously thought to be called the iPhone 8, it now appears that it may instead be the iPhone X (aka iPhone 10).

In this article we’ll explain how, where and when you can watch the live iPhone 8 launch, a summary of what you can expect from the new phone, and present our live blog with real-time coverage from the event.

When is the iPhone 8 launch?

The iPhone 8 will be unveiled in a special Apple event on Tuesday 12 September 2017.

What time is the iPhone 8 launch?

If you’re in the UK you’ll need to tune in at 6pm. The event usually lasts around two hours. 

US readers will need to tune in at 10am PDT.

Where is the iPhone 8 event being held?

The Apple event will take place over at the Steve Jobs Theater, a conference room in the brand-new Apple Park. This is an extravagant, multi-billion-dollar campus headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Where can I watch the iPhone 8 launch live stream?

Apple does not allow sites such as Tech Advisor to embed its live stream, but you can view the event over on Apple’s site.

What hardware do I need to watch the iPhone 8 live stream?

Unfortunately, Apple’s live stream is available only if you’re running certain hardware.

For Apple users that means running an up-to-date version of Safari on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 9.0 or later, or a Mac with macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later.

Alternatively, you can view the stream via a fourth-gen AppleTV, or second- and third-gen AppleTVs with TVOS 6.2 or later.

For Windows users you will need to be running Microsoft Edge in Windows 10.

If you do not own any hardware that meets these requirements, we are also hosting a live blog from the event, which is shown below.

If you cannot see our live blog this is likely because you are viewing a version of the page optimised for mobile. You can click here to view the full desktop site.

Key rumours about the iPhone 8

You can read pages and pages of rumours about the iPhone 8 on the web (including our own iPhone 8 rumour round-up), but we’ve summarised the key takeaways right here to save you time:

  • iOS 11 operating system
  • 5.8in OLED edge-to-edge screen
  • 3D front camera with facial recognition instead of Touch ID
  • Dual-camera at the rear
  • New features designed for augmented reality
  • Virtual, onscreen home button
  • Apple A11 processor
  • 64-, 256- or 512GB storage
  • 3GB RAM
  • Latest Intel LTE modem
  • Three possible colours: black, silver and a new ‘Blush Gold’
  • Optional wireless charger available after launch
  • It may actually be called the iPhone X to mark the 10th anniversary

iPhone 8 launch live blog


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How to downgrade iOS 11

If you’ve upgraded to iOS 11 and got cold feet, it’s possible to downgrade, but only if you’re quick.

There are two main ways to do it, one of which requires you to have a backup and the other which – fortunately – doesn’t. Here we’ll explain how to downgrade iOS 10.

How to downgrade iOS: Method 1 – no backup needed*

* You may lose your text messages, but all other settings and apps will remain after the downgrade

  1. Download the appropriate IPSW file for your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Make sure iTunes on your computer is the latest version. If not, download and install it.
  3. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and then click on your device when it appears.
  4. Under the Summary section, click the Check for Updates button while holding Shift (Windows) or Option (Mac).
  5. Now navigate to and choose the IPSW file you downloaded.
  6. Your device will be ‘updated’ to iOS 10.

As we said, the process will downgrade your phone or iPad without deleting all your stuff, but you will lose any text messages. So next time you upgrade, either make a full backup or don’t upgrade!

How to downgrade iOS: Method 2 – using a backup you already have

Not unreasonably, Apple doesn’t encourage downgrading to a previous version of iOS, but it is possible.

Currently Apple’s servers are still signing iOS 10.3.3. You can’t go back any further, unfortunately, which could be an issue if your most recent backup was made while running an older version of iOS (even version 10.3.2).

Let’s be clear: you can only restore a backup which was made while your phone or tablet was running iOS 10.3.3.

Our Macworld UK colleagues have a great guide to how to back up an iPhone, here. The key thing is to make sure you always have an up-to-date full backup, which is why it’s best to do a full password-protected backup via iTunes. You can also back up to iCloud to get a second chance of recovering your contacts, photos and other things.

Step 1.

To reinstall iOS 10 you need the relevant .ipsw file for your model of iPhone or iPad. Older versions won’t work as they’re not being ‘signed’ – or approved – by Apple’s servers.

(Mac users, if the ipsw file is stored on your Mac hard drive you can find it by following the path youruserfolder/Library/iTunes/ and then within a folder called iPad Software Updates, iPhone Software Updates or iPad Software Updates.)

If you can’t find the latest one on your Mac, or your a PC user, simply run a search for ‘download ipsw’ and select and download the appropriate file for your device. There are plenty of sites to choose from, including https://ipsw.me/ which helpfully tells you which versions are currently being signed.

Step 2.

Note: If you’re reading this after the final version of iOS 11 is release to the public you will have only a short time to downgrade (in past years as little as one week after the initial release date – not the date on which you upgraded) before it becomes impossible without a jailbroken phone.

Disable the Find My iPhone/iPad feature on the device if you’ve enabled it. You’ll find it in Settings > iCloud.

Plug in to your PC or Mac your iPhone or iPad. Launch iTunes. Click on your device in the iTunes interface and select Summary. Now hold down the Alt/Option key (Shift on a PC), and click the Restore iPhone button.

Now navigate to the IPSW file on your desktop and click Open. Your PC will now reinstall iOS 10.3.3 on your iPad or iPhone. Or it should…

Go into Recovery mode

If iTunes says you’re already running the latest version of iOS on your device, you may need to use Recovery mode. Completely power off the device, plug one end of the syncing cable into your computer and hold down the Home button on the iPhone/iPad while you connect the cable to it. When the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen appears, release the Home button.

iTunes will say that your device is now in Recovery mode. Hold down the Option key (Shift on a PC), click Restore, navigate to the iOS 10.3.3.ipsw file, and install it on your device.

Restore your backup

If you have managed to go back, you’ll have a near-blank iPhone with none of your stuff on it. That’s where the backup you made comes in.

In iTunes click the Restore iPhone… button and choose the appropriate backup. It may take an hour or so, but your phone will be back to the way it was when you made the backup.

If you have no backup, you’ll have to sync music, videos and other content from iTunes or iCloud. You can then go to the App Store and download anything you’ve previously purchased after logging in with your Apple ID.


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[Daily Deal] Save 18% On The 4TB Seagate Backup Plus External Hard Drive

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Thanks to the provided NTFS driver for Mac you can use the Seagate Backup Plus with both Windows and Mac computers without reformatting. The Seagate Dashboard software provides all the tools for local and cloud backup of your computer, while the free Seagate Mobile Backup app is available to back up photos and videos from any iOS or Android mobile device.

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Bowers & Wilkins 704 S2 loudspeaker review: These floor-standers sound as exquisite as they look

Bowers & Wilkins’ 704 S2 floor-standing speakers ($1,250 each) lie smack-dab in the middle of B&W’s completely new 700-series loudspeaker lineup. And they sound fantastic.

While the benefits of trickle-down economics are mythical, there’s a long and successful tradition of trickle-down technology: Innovations introduced at the high end being folded into less-expensive models as their manufacturer recoups their R&D costs. Such is the case with the 700 series.

B&W 704 S2 specs

B&W took several features first introduced with its ultra-high-end 800 Series Diamond speakers and incorporated them into the 700 series. The 704 S2 speakers reviewed here don’t get all those new technologies, but they do get a 5-inch Continuum midrange driver, along with a version of B&W’s Aerofoil Profile bass driver (there’s a pair of these airfoil-shaped cones in the cabinet).

Continuum is an all-new woven-metal material that B&W developed in house to replace the Kevlar it had been using in its mid-range drivers. The 704 S2 also feature a 1-inch carbon dome tweeter that’s decoupled from the cabinet to reduce cabinet coloration (the midrange is similarly decoupled). The 704 S2 cabinets are outfitted with a reflex port based on B&W’s Flowport design, which uses hundreds of dimples in the surface of the port at each end to improve airflow in and out of the cabinet.

bw 704 s2 midrange Michael Brown

B&W developed a new woven-metal material for its Continuum mid-range drivers that it says is stiffer than the Kevlar it used previously.

The 704 S2 B&W sent for this review came in a luxurious gloss black finish, but you can order yours in satin white or rosenut if you prefer. To avoid getting finger and palm prints all over the finish, I donned a pair of nitrile gloves. Marketing photos show these 36.4-inch-tall, 41-pound speakers resting on the bottoms of their cabinets, but they come from the factory with plinths that you bolt them to. You can then screw either non-marring rubber feet or metal spikes to the bottom of the plinths. I used the spikes to isolate the cabinets from the floor. The speakers are relatively slim, measuring 6.5 inches wide and 10 inches deep (9.9- and 11.7 inches respectively when mounted to their plinths).

How do the B&W 704 S2 sound with music?

The 704 S2’s will reveal sonic details you’ll miss with lesser speakers, especially in the high- and mid-range. And while you can choose from two new subwoofers in the 700 series, I didn’t find myself craving one—at least not for musical performances. I connected the 704 S2 to an Onkyo TX-NR737 A/V receiver and used that device’s room-calibration hardware and software to correct for my home theater’s acoustics after disconnecting my center and surround channels and my subwoofer.

On Steely Dan’s “Jack of Speed,” from the duo’s Two Against Nature release (RIP, Walter Becker), those carbon-dome tweeters rendered the opening high-hat strike with a delicious sizzle. You’ll hear that sound on just about any speaker, of course, but you can hear the two cymbals come together as they close and the electric bass hits the downbeat with a deep thrum. And when the drummer hit the snare drum at the 20-second mark, there was a remarkable separation—an instant of near silence—between the first and second snaps that I hadn’t noticed before.

bw 700 series tweeter Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins’ carbon-dome tweeter 

Listening to the lead-off track on Syriana’s A Life in Film, I was impressed with the dual 5-inch woofers’ ability to produce the opening double bass with an authority that I could feel in my solar plexus. That’s an instrument that benefits greatly from having a dedicated speaker reproducing very low frequencies, but the 704 S2 were very satisfying in this respect. And when the Arabic dulcimer entered the mix at about the 24-second mark, the midrange and tweeters worked in perfect harmony to deliver that instrument’s incredible dynamic range (it has 81 strings).

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