5 alternatives to Sonos speakers that all offer killer sound

Best Sonos Alternative 2016

Sonos wasn’t the first company in the world to release a wireless speaker, but there’s little question that the company played a major role in popularizing the category. Thanks to the success Sonos has had, every audio company imaginable has jumped head first into wireless speakers.

While there’s no question whatsoever that Sonos remains one of the best in the business when it comes to wireless home audio solutions, one size never fits all. Some people want different designs, and others might not want to work within the confines of the services Sonos supports. Whatever the case, rest assured that there are plenty of other great options out there for people in search of a new wireless speaker. In this post, we’ll check out five Sonos alternatives that offer great designs and fantastic sound.


Trending right now:

  1. Big Pokemon Go update is about to bring some exciting new features
  2. We have some bad news about this year’s new Nexus phones
  3. Apple will finally update its stagnant Mac lineup this fall

I'm pissed off about yesterday's big iPhone 7 specs leak

iPhone 7 RumorsTwo separate reports emerged around the same time on Monday claiming to offer new details on a number of key iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus specs. According to the claims, much of what we’ve seen and heard thus far about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is accurate. They’ll feature a new 16nm Apple A10 processor, 2GB or 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM depending on the model, upgraded cameras including a new dual-lens setup on the iPhone 7 Plus, and bigger batteries. That’s all good news.

But there was some bad news to be found in yesterday’s leak, and the more I think about it the more annoyed I get.


Trending right now:

  1. There are still two big problems with Apple’s iPhones, but the iPhone 7 will solve one of them
  2. Big Pokemon Go update is about to bring some exciting new features
  3. We have some bad news about this year’s new Nexus phones

Minecraft Update 1.33 Today on PS4, PS3 & PS Vita Adds Tumble Mini Game, Map Pack Support

Adding the new Tumble Mini Game, support for Battle Map Pack 3, six new Trophies for the Battle Mini Game, and more, Minecraft update 1.33 is now live on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita in Europe and Japan. Expect it to be available later today in North America.

“A frantic competitive clash in which players destroy the very floor beneath their enemies’ feet, sending them plummeting to their doom,” Tumble is the second mini game released for the Console Editions of Minecraft. Inspired by Spleef, Tumble includes two variants: one where you can throw snowballs, the other equipping you with shovels. Each fight is a best of three and takes place on a series of semi-randomized maps, each with several layers of differing materials and hazards.

Here’s the full list of patch notes for today’s Minecraft update on PlayStation platforms:

  • Added Tumble Mini Game.
  • Added Battle Map Pack 3 (Castle, Invasion & Shipyard).
  • Added six new trophies for the Battle mini game.
  • Re-enabled the previous Birthday and Minecon skin packs for players who had them.
  • Battle Mini Game: Made some changes to chest refilling logic to make things harder for players camping beside chests.
  • Battle Mini Game: Made some balancing changes to items spawning in chests.
  • Battle Mini Game: Fixed some map issues in Cavern, Siege, Ruin, Lair and Atlantis arenas.
  • Introduced a ‘vote to kick’ system for mini games. When there are more than three players in a public game, a player will be kicked from the game when they have received three votes. This scales down when there are less players.

Battle Map Pack 3 is available for free in the Season Pass, or $2.99/€2.99/£2.49 on its own.

An update is also available today for the Xbox versions of Minecraft. The Wii U version, meanwhile, will receive the update later this week.

[Source: 4J Studios (Twitter 1, 2, 3), Minecraft Forum (1), (2), (3), Mojang]

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HPE is betting big on A.I. to fuel your apps and analytics

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has made no secret of its desire to push further into big data, and on Tuesday it announced two key new offerings: HPE Haven OnDemand Combinations, an extension of the “machine learning as a service” platform it released earlier this year, and Vertica 8, a major new update to its analytics software.

Launched in March, HPE’s Haven OnDemand cloud platform offers machine learning APIs (application programming interfaces) and services designed to help developers and businesses build data-rich applications. The platform now has 70 artificial intelligence APIs and more than 18,000 users, and HPE is extending it to make development easier.

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New ransomware threat deletes files from Linux web servers

A destructive ransomware program deletes files from web servers and asks administrators for money to return them, though it’s not clear if attackers can actually deliver on this promise.

Dubbed FairWare, the malicious program is not the first ransomware threat to target Linux-based web servers, but is the first to delete files. Another program called Linux.Encoder first appeared in November and encrypted files, but did so poorly, allowing researchers to create recovery tools.

After attackers hack a web server and deploy FairWare, the ransomware deletes the entire web folder and then asks for two bitcoins (around US$1,150) to restore them, Lawrence Abrams, the founder of tech support forum BleepingComputer.com, said in a blog post.

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Intel's new Kaby Lake chips for PC: Here's the company's vision

New chips can be a reason to upgrade PCs. But does Intel’s latest 7th Generation Core chip, code-named Kaby Lake, have enough bite to trigger replacements of old PCs?

Intel hopes so. The company is framing Kaby Lake PCs as go-to devices for productivity, virtual reality, and 4K gaming and video.

So far, Kaby Lake is off to a good start. About 100 laptops, 2-in-1s, and tablets with Kaby Lake installed will be available from PC makers by the end of this year.

On paper, Kaby Lake’s launch comes at an inopportune time. PC shipments are slumping, the replacement cycle has slowed to six years, and consumers are instead using smartphones and phablets for computing. Many older PCs are powerful enough to run Windows 10.

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There's a new Tube map to help you get your steps up



LONDON — Choosing between arriving at work on time and getting in some cheeky steps is such a struggle. And thanks to Pokémon eggs, the pressure to squeeze in those steps is greater than ever before.

Thankfully, Transport for London (TfL) has just released an official Tube map showing the number of steps between stations in zones one and two, so you can plan how to sneak in some extra steps each day.

The map is designed to encourage Londoners to get walking. 

The map shows the number of steps between stations in zones one and two.

The map shows the number of steps between stations in zones one and two.

Image: transport for london  Read more…

More about Exercise, Health Fitness, Uk, Transport, and Lifestyle

Mophie's new, cheaper battery packs let you Snapchat longer



Mophie just unveiled its most affordable batteries yet.

Among the accessory maker’s new lineup of external batteries is the Powerstation Mini, which starts at $29.95.

The Mini is a new, smaller, take on the company’s signature Powerstation line. The 3,000 mAh batteries come in five different colors — pink, blue, purple, black and white — and provide up to 12 hours of additional battery life for your smartphone, according to Mophie. 

Mophie's powerstation mini batteries.

Mophie’s powerstation mini batteries.

Image: mophie

The company is also making new additions to the rest of its Powerstation line: The 6,000 mAh Powerstation, the 10,000 mAh Powerstation XL and the 20,000 mAh Powerstation XXL, which is also Mophie’s biggest battery to date.  Read more…

More about Ifa 2016, Mophie, Gadgets, Tech, and Mobile

Drive.AI ready to add layer of humanity to robot cars



Stepping in front of a self-driving car is the automotive equivalent of a trust fall. You believe the car can see you and does not plan to run you down, but you can’t catch the eye of a driver, since whoever is sitting in the driver’s seat is not actually in control — or paying attention. There’s no nod or wave, or even a “good day” smile. Stepping off the curb and crossing the street while the intelligent vehicle purrs at the intersection is a leap of faith.

It shouldn’t be. Self-driving cars will, by at least one measure, save thousands of lives and billions of dollars. But that does little to console those who find the idea of driverless cars creepy. The reality is, though, that there is almost no scenario in which, at least in the near term, robot cars will not mix with people. And that could cause some problems. Read more…

More about Robots, Autonomous Driving, Self Driving Cars, Driveai, and Artificial Intelligence