Dixons Carphone warns on profit as mobile sales hit

The owner of Carphone Warehouse and Dixons has warned that more expensive mobile phone handsets and lower EU roaming charges will hurt its profits.

Shares fell 20% after it said pre-tax profits this year would be £360m to £440m, down from £501m last year.

Dixons Carphone said customers were not upgrading their phones as frequently because handsets had risen in price.

It also predicted it would take a hit from the EU scrapping roaming charges for people using mobile phones abroad.

Chief executive Seb James said in an unscheduled statement that the market for contract mobile phones had become “more challenging” in recent months.

The fall in the pound had made handsets more expensive and innovation of phones has been “incremental”, Mr James said.

“As a consequence, we have seen an increased number of people hold on to their phones for longer,” he said.

He added it was too soon to say whether upcoming Samsung and iPhone handset launches would reverse the trend.

Dixons Carphone, which takes a slice of customer’s phone contracts, also said it would take a hit of up to £40m from the changes to EU roaming legislation.

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WD's New My Book Duo Puts 20TB On Your Desktop

Western Digital’s latest edition to the My Book Duo line of external drives boasts an impressive 20GB capacity.

This external hard drive features dual drive bays equipped with two RAID-optimized 10TB WD Red 7,200 RPM hard drives. All My Book Duo drives ship from the factory configured in RAID 0 by default but can be reconfigured for RAID 1 or JBOD (just a bunch of disks). According to the company, the My Book Duo 20TB is capable of hitting 360 MB/s sequential reads when operating in a RAID 0 configuration.

Each of the aforementioned RAID levels offer benefits and tradeoffs that you should carefully weigh before use. RAID 0 offers a higher level of performance by striping your data across both drives, but it lacks redundancy. RAID 1 mirrors your data onto both drives, thereby providing greater protection from unrecoverable read errors or failed hard drives. The drawback, though, is that the total amount of advertised drive space is reduced by half. JBOD, on the other hand, allows end users to utilize the full 20GB capacity of both hard drives at the expense of speed and data redundancy.

The My Book Duo is NTFS formatted, making it compatible with Windows 7/8/8.1/10. Reformatting is required for use with other operating systems. The drive features 256-bit AES hardware encryption and password protection to keep your data safe. Western Digital includes WD Backup, WD Security, and WD Drive Utilities to help manage your data.

This drive is equipped with a USB 3.1 Type-C port and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports. The latter can be used for accessories like a flash drive, webcam, or keyboard and mouse. These ports can also be used to charge devices such as smartphones and tablets. Western Digital also includes USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables in the box. The 20TB drive measures 100 x 180 x 160mm (WxHxL).

The My Book Duo will be available September 6. Retail pricing ranges from $280 for the 4TB model to $800 for the 20TB version.

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'Gwent' Will Get A Single-Player Campaign Later This Year

In its current state, you can play Gwent by constructing your own custom deck of cards and playing multiple rounds against different opponents. However, CD Projekt RED announced that it will add a single-player story campaign called “Thronebreaker” that will let you explore another part of The Witcher universe.

The story doesn’t seem to feature any of the familiar characters from The Witcher titles. Instead, you follow the path of Meve, a combat-experienced queen from the Northern Realms. Her kingdom is under threat from an invasion, so she summons her army and prepares to defend her homeland.

As you make your way through the story of “Thronebreaker,” you’ll take on multiple quests, but you can also gather resources to create new cards. Some of the games you play in the campaign stick to the traditional rules of Gwent, but the studio also teased the addition of custom-made story battles, which “twist the game’s rules in wildly unexpected ways.”

Even though Gwent is still in its public beta stage, CD Projekt RED plans to release “Thronebreaker” later this year. The studio has yet to release a specific date for the finished version of Gwent, aka Gwent 1.0. On its FAQ page, the studio said that it will release Gwent1.0 only when “the game is feature-rich, polished, and sufficiently tested.”

You can join the open beta by signing up on the game’s website, and you can read about our hands-on time with it from last year’s Gamescom.

Name Gwent
Type Strategy Card Game
Developer CD Projekt RED
Release Date TBD
Platforms PC, Xbox One

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card Prices

The GTX 1080 Ti is Nvidia’s 10-series flagship, sporting a partially disabled GP102 core with two SMs and one 32-bit memory controller deactivated. It is able to outperform the company’s own Titan X in games, and is available at a much lower $700 price tag, making it the best solution out there for gamers.

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Nvidia GeForce 10-series “Pascal” GPUs

GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
Core GP102 GP104 GP104 GP106 GP107 GP107 GP108
SMs 28 20 15 10 6 5 3
Shader Units 3584 2560 1920 1280 (6GB) / 1152 (3GB) 768 640 384
Texture Units 224 160 120 80 48 40 24
ROPs 88 64 64 48 32 32 16
Transistor Count 12 Billion 7.2 Billion 7.2 Billion 4.4 Billion 3.3 Billion 3.3 Billion 1.02 Billion
Base Clock / Boost Clock 1480MHz / 1582MHz 1607MHz / 1733MHz 1506MHz / 1683MHz 1506MHz / 1708MHz 1290MHz / 1392MHz 1354MHz / 1455MHz 1227MHz / 1468MHz
Memory Up To 11GB GDDR5X @ 11Gbps, 352-Bit Up To 8GB GDDR5X @ 10Gbps, 256-Bit Up To 8GB GDDR5 @ 8Gbps, 256-Bit Up To 6GB GDDR5 @ 8Gbps, 192-Bit Up To 4GB GDDR5 @ 7Gbps, 128-Bit Up To 2GB GDDR5 @ 7Gbps, 128-Bit Up To 2GB GDDR5 @ 6Gbps, 64-Bit
TDP 250W 180W 150W 120W 75W 75W 30W
Process Node 16nm 16nm 16nm 16nm 14nm 14nm 14nm

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

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Here we’ve listed all of the GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards currently available, separated by brand:







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Chrome Enterprise aims to make IT admins' lives easier

Google launched Chrome Enterprise today, a tool that aims to help IT admins manage Chromebook deployments more easily.

The tech giant said it designed its latest B2B service in response to customer demand for a simpler way of managing business devices

David Karam, product manager at Chrome Enterprise, said in a blog post: “With so many different business needs – not to mention so many different devices – companies have also told us they want a single, cost-effective solution that gives them the flexibility and control to keep their employees connected.”

At $US50 per device, Chrome Enterprise offers access to enterprise app storefronts, security measures, and 24/7 support. An integration with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) means IT admins can authenticate staff’s devices with their on-premise AD credentials, as well as Google Cloud services like Google Play. It also centralises the management of user and device policies for IT admins.

Ed Higgs, interim director of global service delivery for group IT at Rentokil, said: “With over 500 Chromebooks in use in our organisation, Chrome now forms part of our standard offering within Rentokil Initial. Google’s current Chrome OS initiatives will make the operating system of increasing value for us, and we are already finding an increasing number of use cases for Chrome devices. We’ve benefited from direct support from Google’s product and engineering teams, that have worked closely with us to help us execute our goals.”

Features Chrome Enterprise supports. Credit: Google

Another integration with VMware’s Workspace One means that Chrome Enterprise customers can manage all their Chrome devices via this management tool, bringing Workspace’s capabilities of delivering specific device policies based on factors like location, device platform, department and role to bear on Chromebook devices as well.

IT admins can also allow users to access cloud enterprise applications, native Android apps, and virtual Windows apps, all from one app catalogue, Google said.

Sumit Dhawan, senior VP and general manager at VMware, said: “The consumerisation of the enterprise has left IT managing multiple operating systems on a variety of devices – some provided by the business and others brought in by employees. As Chrome OS continues to gain momentum, our customers are eager to manage these devices consistently along with all other endpoints including mobile devices.”

He added: “Using Workspace One, our customers will be able to securely manage the lifecycle of Chromebooks along with all their other endpoints, giving them better security and a consistent user experience across all devices.”

IT admins are also able to give employees access to all enterprise applications through a single app catalogue. Chrome device users can access Windows desktops and application too, which Google hopes will speed up the adoption of Chrome devices in the enterprise.

Main image: Alphr

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: Better features, new frustrations

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199 on Amazon) is a relatively modest, incremental update to the original Ring Video Doorbell. And, wow, some of its set-up procedure was seriously frustrating. But as a more-or-less satisfied owner of Ring’s first doorbell, I have to give Ring credit: Motion detection is better than ever, and once I got through some initial set-up hassles, Ring Video Doorbell 2 was actually easier to install than the first-generation product.

Smart home gadgets are rarely as smart as we need them to be, and I’ve spent a lot of time on Ring tech support over the last two years, struggling to get the original doorbell working as advertised. But Ring has been tenacious, and through constant iteration the company has improved its core technology. Bottom line: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a useful home security device, and I heartily recommend it.

The Ring doorbell concept

Just like earlier Ring doorbells, the Video Doorbell 2 is a Wi-Fi-connected security camera with two-way audio. Let’s say someone approaches your door and rings the doorbell. The signal hops from the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network, and then to Ring’s cloud servers, and eventually to the Ring mobile app on your phone. If you accept the “call,” you can see a live video stream of your visitor, and initiate a two-way conversation.

You can see them, but they can’t see you. So, whether you’re sitting in your living room 10 feet away, or staring at your phone from a coffee shop in a different city, you can screen the visitor and reply appropriately.

ring video doorbell 1080p image Jon Phillips/IDG

Ring upgraded its video camera to 1080p for Ring Video Doorbell 2—so now you can see crooks (or your awesome mailman) in higher definition. (Note that the playback controls can be toggled off to see more of the video picture.)

I’ve used the Ring Video Doorbell to tell couriers to toss packages inside my security gate. I’ve also told a few shady types that I’m not interested in their charity scam du jour. Crooks ring doorbells to help determine if a home is occupied, and with a Ring Video Doorbell, you can see who may be casing your joint, and tell them to bounce.

With a $30 annual cloud subscription, you can save and share all your Ring videos, letting you keep video evidence of whatever the doorbell has captured. And perhaps best of all, Ring’s doorbells also include basic motion detection, and this triggers video recording as well. The upshot is you can capture video of people who merely approach your doorbell (but don’t actually press its button).

Ring Video Doorbell 2: Upgraded features

Nothing about the Video Doorbell 2 screams, “This is an entirely new experience!” As such, current Video Doorbell owners probably shouldn’t ditch their original models for the upgrade. Nonetheless, Ring’s incremental changes are mostly welcome. Here’s what you get:

Improved video quality. Video resolution has been upgraded from 720p to 1080p. Sure, the video quality does look better, but the extra clarity will probably only be necessary when trying to positively I.D. a bad guy—say, a package thief who’s making the rounds in your neighborhood. Ring also upgraded the camera’s night-vision mode, using an RGBIR sensor for the first time. Night-time video now looks better, as the camera can capture higher-quality images from greater distances.

Bandai Namco Shows Off Gamescom Trailer For 'Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown'

Bandai Namco is at Gamescom this week, and it showed off yet another trailer for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The latest footage shows more intense aerial dogfighting action, but it also reveals the cause of the war between the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea.

Within the first minute of the video, we hear the voice of an Erusean princess who condemns Osea because of the “forced construction of its giant space elevator” within the boundaries of Erusea. This act by the Federation sparks a war between the two nations, as Erusean planes fight Osean aircraft in the skies near the elevator.

In previous trailers, we saw a jet with orange-colored wings. The new trailer shows more of that same plane, and other pilots are afraid to fight it because it can quickly flank its target and shoot it down. It has speed and agility that’s unlike other conventional fighter jets in the game. It could be an experimental aircraft, or perhaps its pilot isn’t afraid to make daring maneuvers in the air. Every story needs a villain, and it seems like the orange-winged plane fits that role in the campaign.

If you want to play Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown in virtual reality, you’ll need to purchase it for the PlayStation 4. Bandai Namco told us that the game will have exclusive VR content for those using PlayStation VR. There’s also no word yet from the studio in regards to HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) support.

If you want to learn more, check out our hands-on impressions of the game in VR from E3. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown makes its debut sometime in 2018 on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Name Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Type Shooter, Aerial Combat
Developer Bandai Namco
Publisher Bandai Namco
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Where To Buy Amazon
Release Date 2018

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