The Tech Monkey

RESTORING CONFIDENCE IN YOUR COMPUTER, ONE CUSTOMER AT A TIME

Welcome to the Tech Monkey! We are a small, locally owned and operated Computer Repair, Service and Sales business with over 20-years of experience.

We believe in quality diagnostics at a fair price. We use the latest tools and technology to deliver top notch service. Our techs are CompTIA and Microsoft Certified.  

Epic Games Store chief says they’ll eventually stop paying for exclusive PC games

Developer Epic Games has been shaking up the industry in more ways than one since launching the massively popular and influential Fortnite in 2017. Starting last December, the company has been using its newfound wealth from the battle royale hit to fund its PC marketplace, the Epic Games Store, which offers game developers a more generous 88-12 percent revenue split than the competition.

In addition to that, Epic has been paying out large sums of money to developers to launch their games exclusively on its store, creating a particularly heated point of contention between PC game fans and the company. As a result, the store has grown to 85 million users, thanks largely to Fortnite’s active player base, Epic announced today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. (The software used to launch Fortnite on PC also contains the Epic Games Store, making users of the game also registered users of the store.)

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/21/18276181/epic-games-store-exclusives-pc-gaming-fortnite-steve-allison-gdc-2019

Today’s AirPods launch underscores Apple’s latest AirPower misfire

Today, Apple finally announced its second-generation AirPods, most notably adding wireless charging to the popular headphones. Apple is even selling the wireless charging case separately, so that existing AirPod owners can join in the fun. The move brings Apple in line with its main competitors, whose phones and earbuds support similar Qi charging functionality, but there was one piece missing: Apple’s long-absent AirPower charger. If there was ever a moment to re-announce AirPower, this was the moment — instead, it’s a missed opportunity for Apple.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/3/20/18274842/airpods-airpower-apple-product-delay-issues

Keycap O-Ring Dampeners for Mechanical Keyboards - Introduction

Product Knowledge-base

Thanks for looking. Here is a basic intro to help you understand what Keycap O-Rings Dampeners do for your mechanical keyboard.



Basic intro: Your mechanical keyboard, regardless of brand uses some type of mechaincal switch. These switches vary greatly on sound, travel, resistance and overall feel. For example Corsair uses Cherry Switches. Logitech uses Romer G Switches. And although you might like it Team Green, even your Razer uses Cherry Switches (made in house by Cherry in Germany). ALl that matters is your experience and personal preference.

I personally use a Corsair K95 RGB with Cherry Red Silent switches.

Now the noise (loud) noise you tend to hear is your switch bottoming out. Bottoming out is when a key stroke is pressed all the way down where the stem of the switch hits the inside of the switch casing. Esentically you’re causing the switch to buckle. Its designed to, dont worry. Though your key press is already registered before the buckling occurs.

So where do these O-Rings come into play and why do you care?

Keycap O-Rings help do multiple things based on your selection. Some of the more common considerations are as follows.

  • Reduces key press travel from 0.2MM - 0.4MM

  • Reduces noise from preventing buckling of the switch

  • Allows for a bounce back effect due to the natural response of the O-Ring Material Type (Rubber/Silicone).

Other things to consider the the thickness, hardness and o-ring material. The two most common types are NBR (Nitrile Rubber) which is naturally black in color. The other is VMQ which is a Silicone Polymer. VMQ can be clear (opaque) or colored (Red, Green, Blue).

The thickness will determine travel reduction. Typically either 0.02MM or 0.04MM reduction. At 0.04MM, that is around a 50% reduction in travel.

Hardness is based on the Shore Hardness Rating (scale). You will typically see Shore Ratings on O-Rings between 40-80. More commonly 40-45 and 60-65. Meaning nearly all products will have a slightly varying percentage of hardness as a product cannot be produced that strict for such a cheap price.

Pandora now lets you change its algorithm for selecting music

Pandora is giving listeners more control over what songs their customized radio stations play with a new feature called Pandora Modes. Pandora’s classic algorithm has long chosen what plays when you start up a new artist station, but these alternative modes let you switch to other types of curation for different experiences. Modes work better the more you interact with the service while listening. Every thumbs-up or down on a song further informs what tracks Pandora will send your way.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/19/18272808/pandora-modes-algorithm-music-selection-radio

Qualcomm is working on standalone wireless VR headsets that can also connect to PCs

Qualcomm’s new VR headset will be one of the first to work as a standalone mobile headset and also connect to PCs wirelessly. The headsets will be demoed at the Game Developers Conference that’s currently going on in San Francisco, and they could arrive in stores in Asia as early as later this year, as spotted by CNET. Most mobile VR headsets don’t let you plug into your PC for a connection to additional VR gaming libraries, but Qualcomm envisions it to be possible in its new reference design called “Boundless XR.” The new headset reference design Qualcomm has laid out will work on its own as a mobile standalone headset with six degrees of freedom which also links to PCs for PC VR gaming through a 60GHz connection. The headsets are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processors.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/18/18271385/qualcomm-wireless-vr-headset-standalone-connect-to-pc

Turtle Beach is buying PC gaming accessory brand Roccat for $19.2 million

Turtle Beach is known for gaming headsets, but it’ll soon be adding an entirely new roster of PC gaming peripherals to its catalog: it’s purchasing Roccat, a fine purveyor of mice, keyboards, mouse pads, and headsets, for $19.2 million in cash, stock, and earn-out payments, according to the press release. These days, Turtle Beach is known more for value rather than quality, so Roccat will probably be a valuable, higher-end brand that the company can take advantage of. We wouldn’t expect to see the respected Roccat name disappear anytime soon.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/14/18266156/turtle-beach-roccat-acquisition-pc-gaming-accessories

Twitch streamer Ninja reportedly earned $1 million for promoting Apex Legends launch

When Electronic Arts’ battle royale shooter Apex Legends surprise-launched early last month, it seemed like the entire gaming community started paying attention at once. Part of the reason for the immediate surge in interest was that EA paid top Twitch streamers to promote the game. And, in fact, one of those streamers, Fortnite extraordinaire Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, may have earned as much as $1 million for doing so, according to Reuters. Ninja’s live-streaming and social media promotions helped Apex Legends gain traction among his 13.6 million-plus Twitch followers, as well as his Twitter following of over 4 million and Instagram audience of over 13.2 million. Now, an anonymous source tells Reuters that his efforts were reportedly worth the seven-figure sum.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/18264366/ninja-ea-apex-legends-1-million-dollars-promoted-stream-fortnite-sponsorships

Google Chrome’s dark mode is now available on Mac

Chrome 73 has officially rolled out to all users today, bringing with it several new improvements, including the long-awaited dark mode for macOS. (“Windows support is on the way,” the release notes read.) Dark mode was first announced for Chrome last month, but today’s release has made it official. It works pretty much as you’d expect: if dark mode is enabled on your computer (see here for macOS and here for Windows 10), Chrome will automatically theme itself appropriately to match, in what essentially looks like the browser’s regular darker Incognito Mode menu bars. (Incognito Mode while using dark mode on Chrome looks virtually identical, save for a new icon in the menu bar.)

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/12/18262480/google-chrome-dark-mode-now-available-mac-os-mojave-windows-10

Mophie’s Palm battery pack may be the most niche charging accessory ever made

The Palm phone is not a good phone. It is not a good replacement of a phone. But it is now a phone to join an incredible rare club: it now has a $59.95 Mophie Juice Pack battery case, making it the only device to get a custom case from the accessory company other than an Apple or Samsung phone. Now I get why someone who actually bought a Palm phone would want a Mophie case for a Palm phone — the device itself has just an 800mAh battery, delivering battery life that my colleague Dieter Bohn best described as “downright atrocious.” At 900mAh, the Mophie Juice Pack for the Palm phone is actually larger than the one in the phone, so it should help with that, and it adds wireless charging support, which the regular phone doesn’t have..

Source: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/3/11/18260713/mophie-palm-phone-battery-pack-charger-keychain

The Apple Watch Series 3 is $199, and the LTE-enabled version is at its lowest price yet

The Apple Watch Series 3 isn’t the latest model, but it’s a good place to start if you’ve been looking for an affordable wearable for your iPhone that has a lot of features. Best Buy’s deal starts at $199 for the 38mm model with GPS capabilities. This matches the best price that we’ve seen, and while it pops up about every month or so, it usually sells out. According to my colleague Dan Seifert’s review of the non-LTE model, “It’s fast, has by far the best support for third-party apps and integrations, and its battery life is reliable enough that I don’t have to charge it every single day.”

Source: https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/3/11/18259791/apple-watch-series-3-lte-best-buy-price-sale

Slack is rolling out a dark mode to iOS and Android beta users

Workplace collaboration app Slack is starting to test a dark mode for users, joining others, like the mail app for Windows 10 and Facebook Messenger. It’s not available to everyone just yet, but it is rolling out to beta testers. 9to5Mac and 9to5Google spotted the iOS and Android updates, noting that the feature is currently being tested, and helpfully points out how to activate it for yourself. To get it now, you have to be part of Slack’s beta testing program — something you can join. You can join by heading over to the app’s settings, and scroll down to the “Join Beta” section, which prompts you to provide your name and e-mail address. Once approved and you update your app accordingly, you’ll then have a toggle that will allow you to turn the mode on in settings. 9to5Google says that the Android app will prompt you to restart the app, whereas the iOS version will automatically switch.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/9/18257801/slack-dark-mode-how-to-enable-android-ios-apple-google-beta-tester

Everything we think we know about Apple’s AirPods 2

The Apple AirPods are ripe for a refresh in 2019, if only because these truly wireless in-ear headphones are approaching their third year on shelves without a single hardware revision. From where Apple is sitting, it’s easy to see why it has waited this long to release a new version. There are now several truly wireless headphones on the market — good ones, even— but new options like the Samsung Galaxy Buds are only now beginning to tread on the AirPods’ biggest selling point: simplicity. AirPods are recognized by iPhones and iPads when you flip its case open, and they play nicely on macOS computers, too, where we’ve seen many Bluetooth headphones falter. The AirPods’ design got a lot right back in 2016, and you can read our reviews to see why we like them. But now, it’s Apple’s turn to make a move again. Based on the rumors we’ve seen, Apple’s next AirPods will focus on new features to win over the remaining holdouts who still use the wired, Lightning-connected EarPods that come with a new iPhone.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/8/18250483/apple-airpods-2-wireless-headphones-rumors

SONOS AMP REVIEW: ALL KINDS OF POWER

One of the main reasons to buy into the Sonos audio ecosystem instead of the smart speakers from Amazon, Google, or Apple is overall flexibility: Sonos simply makes more kinds of audio products than any of the other players, and that means you can build a relatively custom home audio system very simply. The unheralded key to that flexibility for years has been the $499 Sonos Connect:Amp, which is exactly what it sounds like: a small Sonos-connected amplifier that can drive any standard speakers. People (and professional smart home integrators) have used Connect:Amps in all sorts of wacky ways, from driving multiple sets of ceiling speakers in mono to hacking together TV speaker setups using a box that was never designed for that. The Connect:Amp is tremendously useful, but slightly underpowered at 55 watts per channel, and the basic hardware is getting fairly long in the tooth.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/7/18254803/sonos-amp-review-speaker-specs-features-price

Microsoft open-sources its Windows calculator on GitHub

Microsoft is making the source code for its Windows calculator available on GitHub today. The software maker wants to “build an even better user experience in partnership with the community.” Opening up the calculator means anyone can contribute code to improve the app, but Microsoft wants to evaluate prototypes of new features or user interface changes before the company starts implementing them or reviewing code. The source code is now available on GitHub and it includes the build system, unit tests, and even the product road map for the calculator feature in Windows. While it might be a relatively minor part of Windows, the open-sourcing of the calculator follows years of Microsoft embracing open source. Microsoft even open-sourced the original File Manager from the ‘90s to allow it to run on Windows 10, and just recently made 60,000 patents open-source to help protect Linux.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/6/18253474/microsoft-windows-calculator-open-source-github

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Samsung Galaxy S10 preorder promo is ending soon, and Sling TV channel bundles are discounted

If you haven’t had a chance to look at deals this week, or are just looking for more, we’ve brought the best together below. On the horizon, March Madness is happening soon, and will bring on some major price cuts on 4K TVs and sound equipment. We’ll have you covered with the deals that matter once they land, so stay tuned. But first, if you preorder the Samsung Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus before March 8th, you can get a $130 gift card that’s redeemable toward any purchase on Samsung.com. The company ran through its stock of Galaxy Buds as a preorder initiative, but a gift card that can be used on anything else Samsung sells isn’t a bad replacement.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/3/2/18246207/samsung-galaxy-s10-preorder-promo-sling-tv-channel-bundle-discount-apple-watch-deal

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JBL’s soundbar with built-in Android TV keeps getting delayed

After missing its initial planned release timeframe, the $400 JBL Link Bar has been delayed yet again and is now scheduled to launch sometime in the summer — assuming the plan actually sticks this time. The product was first announced at Google I/O last May as a unique hybrid soundbar/streaming device running Google’s Android TV software. JBL initially hoped to get it out by late summer. Then that turned into the fall / October. And when that didn’t pan out either, the shipping target slipped to spring. Even before spring rolls around, JBL seems to have already realized it’s going to miss that window too. So now we’re looking at summer — meaning after Google’s next I/O keynote. More specifically, it’s “mid-to-late summer” according to a statement obtained by Android Police. The Link Bar still hasn’t lost its one-of-a-kind luster, but perhaps that’s part of the problem JBL is having. Getting this thing to a finished, consumer-ready state sure seems to be taking a long time.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/28/18245227/jbl-link-bar-android-tv-google-assistant-delayed-summer

‘Thunderclap’ vulnerability could leave Thunderbolt computers open to attacks

A team of researchers has revealed a new security vulnerability in the Thunderbolt data transfer specification called “Thunderclap” that could leave computers open to serious attacks from otherwise innocuous USB-C or DisplayPort hardware. As researcher Theo Markettos explains, Thunderclap takes advantage of the privileged, direct-memory access (DMA) that Thunderbolt accessories are granted to gain access to the target device. Unless proper protections are put in place, hackers can use that access to steal data, track files, and run malicious code.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/27/18243503/thunderclap-vulnerability-thunderbolt-computers-attack

Nubia’s new wearable puts a 4-inch flexible smartphone on your wrist

There’s been a lot of talk in the last year about the different form factors of devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) gradually converging over time. We’ve seen Google and Apple attempt to make the tablet a viable laptop replacement with the iPad Pro and Pixel Slate, and now Samsung and Huawei are merging the smartphone and tablet with their foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Fold and Mate X, respectively. Less common is the idea of using flexible displays to bring together the form factors of the smartwatch and the smartphone. But that’s exactly what Nubia has done with the Nubia Alpha, a smartwatch with a lot of the functionality of a regular smartphone. We saw it shown off in a non-touchable capacity at IFA last year, and now at MWC 2019 we’ve finally had a chance to strap it on our wrists and take it for a proper test drive.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/2/25/18240370/nubia-alpha-release-date-price-features-wearable-smartwatch-flexible-display-mwc-2019

Apple draws up a blueprint for the foldable iPhone

Apple has drawn a blueprint of its own foldable smartphone in a patent application published last week. The design plans were filed back in October and indicate Apple has also been considering a foldable phone for quite some time. Just yesterday, Samsung officially launched the Galaxy Fold, a foldable phone that costs just under $2,000, ushering in the foldable trend as the latest shift in the smartphone sector. Huawei has also confirmed it plans to launch a 5G foldable phone, likely during Mobile World Congress next week.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/2/21/18235091/apple-foldable-phone-blueprint-patent-iphone

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold might only launch on two of the big US carriers

Samsung’s very fancy foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, will be available on two carriers when it launches in the US in a couple months: AT&T and T-Mobile. As for everyone else? Samsung hasn’t said, but for now, it sounds like the initial model of the Fold won’t launch on Verizon and Sprint. It’s not clear if that means the Fold outright won’t work on those two carriers, but that may be the case. Verizon and Sprint rely on a different mobile technology for their 3G networks, and it’s possible the Fold just doesn’t include support. Sometimes, unsupported phones can still access LTE on Verizon and Sprint, but it isn’t guaranteed.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/20/18233886/samsung-galaxy-fold-att-tmobile-verzion-sprint-availability