Galaxy S11 will be the Samsung Galaxy S20, with new naming scheme

More rumors say that we may get three new Samsung Galaxy S20 devices instead of the Galaxy S11 series that we have been expecting

The post Galaxy S11 will be the Samsung Galaxy S20, with new naming scheme appeared first on Pocketnow.

PC games 2019: the best games that came out this year

It’s been a relatively quiet year for PC gaming, but that in no way means it’s been a bad year. 

In the absence of the usual big-budget RPG sprawls and major franchise regurgitations, more experimental games have stepped into the spotlight.

So here’s to the weird and the alternative ones that have brightened up 2019. In an industry that can often feel relentlessly industrial and commercial, it’s refreshing to have a year in which the weird and inventive games have been allowed to flourish.

We've also listed the best PC games ever if you fancy playing older titles as well.

1. Disco Elysium

Old-school style RPG Disco Elysium creeps up out of nowhere to take our top spot. It’s an RPG in the purest sense of the word, with each of your actions feeling consequential, and a robust levelling system that lets you immerse yourself in the role of good cop, bad cop, or some kind of maverick in between.

You play a troubled detective working in a fictional city district overrun by vice. While investigating a dark conspiracy stemming from a murder, you’ll face tough choices that will affect your character’s mental state and future dialogue options - it’s even possible to drive him utterly mad! 

There’s minimal combat, but a great sense of gravitas to every player decision, making for one of the most weighty and oppressive RPGs ever made.

2. Resident Evil 2 REmake

Is this the greatest videogame remake ever made? Quite possibly. With Resident Evil2 REmake, Capcom wisely stayed true to the beats of the original story, which sees dual protagonists with divergent stories Leon and Claire try to escape the zombie-infested Raccoon City.

Beyond that, this remake reimagines everything else perfectly. Resources are scarce, basic zombies become a constant bullet-absorbent threat that can burst through doors between areas, and Mr X is a systemic menace, unstoppably stomping after you for half the game. 

There’s even something of that Souls-like level design as you steadily open up shortcuts to offer some respite from the horror.

3. Outer Wilds

Gamers have a fair amount of space exploration games to choose from today, but something that many of them lack is personality – a sense that the places you discover have their own cultures, architecture and people, places that are homes rather than just resource repositories to exploit.

Outer Wilds addresses that, treating us to a warm, welcoming adventure filled with cosmic mystery and puzzles. 

It’s a game for those who want to take their time, to explore every corner and learn about the diversity of planets they visit. You’ll die and be reborn many times, but it’s presented so elegantly that you’ll be smiling all the way instead of biting your controller in frustration (see: Sekiro).

Total War: Three Kingdoms

4. Total War: Three Kingdoms

The Total War series has always been one of the finest exclusives on PC, but since its stabs at the Warhammer canon it’s reached new heights in terms of integrating great storytelling into its campaigns. 

With Three Kingdoms, diplomacy, quests and campaigns all feel rich and engaging, while the more immediate matter of the battles themselves continues to be unrivalled.

Ancient China is a  resplendent setting for the Total War formula, and fans of the Three Kingdoms saga will be delighted to lead great generals like Lu Bu, Cao Cao and Guan Yu into battle to the chimes of a beautiful musical score. From the sight of elegant Chinese forts burning in a night siege to the epic turn-based campaign, this is a spectacle worthy of its epic source material.

5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

When Sekiro was announced, the assumption was that it would be ‘Dark Souls in feudal Japan’. Instead, it took the brave step of leaving behind much of the intricate Souls formula in favour of a flashier, more stylised and more linear Samurai adventure that owes more to the Ninja Gaiden series.

One crucial thing that Sekiro retains from Dark Souls is the head-pounding difficulty and subsequent satisfaction of mastering those precise parries, or of finally overcoming a gruelling boss who ground you to dust about 20 times. 

Once again, From Software reassert themselves as masters of unforgiving gameplay that rewards the most headstrong of players.


6. Control

From the nightmare sequences in Max Payne to the time-twisting Quantum Break, Finnish developer Remedy has always had a penchant for the paranormal. 

These brilliant ideas weren’t always matched by compelling mechanics, but with Control the developer seems to have finally found the right balance.

A big part of Control’s appeal is its open design. The game’s setting, a Brutalist security complex called the Oldest House, is a fascinating environment, where you try to make sense of the shifting surroundings and reanimated bodies possessed by some kind of dark forces of physics. The flowing gravity-free combat is excellent too.

Untitled Goose Game

7. Untitled Goose Game

Some games are just made to make you smile, and few in recent years have been as effective at doing that as Untitled Goose Game. The irreverent sort-of stealth game casts you as the titular waterfowl causing chaos in a quaint English village.

You steal vegetables, create diversions while committing mischief, and terrorise locals with your honking as you trot around the pastelly and pleasing environs of the village. 

It doesn’t last long, but it’s a couple of the cheeriest hours you’ll spend with a game all year.

8. Metro Exodus

The Metro series has always flown just under the mainstream radar, while offering some of the best linear FPS storytelling since Half-life 2. Exodus moves away from its predecessors’ murky subway settings into the overworld of post-apocalyptic Russia. This means a greater range of environs, and vast open levels that offer freedom of approach. 

Despite the trademark bleak ambience, it maintains a well-paced sense of adventure as you take a train across the Russian wasteland. It’s atmospheric and gritty, effortlessly flowing between survival-horror and impressive insights into civilisation on the surface.

9. The Outer Worlds

Obsidian are masters of storytelling, so when their latest RPG The Outer Worlds was announced there was a sense that it would be the spiritual successor to the beloved Fallout: New Vegas. And in some ways it is, as you bounce between space colonies, explore strange locales, and engage with a vibrant world that has distinctly Fallouty future-50s stylings.

Choose which factions to side with, make decisions that will affect the colony’s fate, and run around diverse worlds scavenging resources to improve your character. It’s not as content-packed or meaty as the biggest RPGs of recent years, but its colourfully consumerist world is a joy to explore for dozens of hours.


10. Mordhau

Medieval first-person fighting games can often feel shambolic; a whirlwind of iffy animations, even iffier ragdolls and unthinkably high bunnyhops that would be impossible in a 100lb suit of armour.

Mordhau polishes off many of those rough edges, sharpening the combat to make it feel brutal and crunchy and immediate. Limbs fly, weapons have impact, and its physics-based play means you can do things like block a throwing knife with a shield you grabbed off the ground, then stick it between your enemy’s ribs. 

Never has the expression ‘rough and ready’ felt more apt.

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Games of the decade: TechRadar’s favorite games from the last ten years

It’s been quite a decade in gaming. We’ve seen consoles come and go, game subscription services rise, remasters reign and technology go beyond beyond our wildest dreams. Streamers have become household names, esports has become a booming industry and we can finally play console-quality games on our phones that put the likes of Snake to shame. The last ten years have been a rollercoaster.

But when we look back on the 2010s as a decade, what games will truly stand the test of time? Which games will we look back on fondly in 20 years and hope that it’ll be remastered for whatever next-next-next generation console is sitting in our futuristic homes?

Here at TechRadar, after some heated debates and mild eye-scratching, we put together a list of the best games of the decade. These aren’t necessarily the games we think have had the most cultural or technological impact, nor are they ranked, they’re simply the team’s favorite games from the last ten years. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to make a ‘definitive’ list of the best games of the past decade, not everyone will agree  - as we all have different tastes and opinions - plus there’s only a finite amount of games we can include.

So sit back and enjoy a journey down memory lane with TechRadar’s Games of the Decade list.

The Last of Us (2013)

Sony has knocked it out of the park this decade when it comes to exclusives, releasing mammoths like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man. But we believe Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is truly the most memorable of them all, marrying relatable characters with a beautiful cinematic action experience - all wrapped up in a post-apocalyptic bow. 

The Last of Us has everything you could want in a AAA game: tight mechanics, visually stunning environments, characters with emotional depth and fantastic scripting. But it’s truly Joel and Ellie’s relationship that steals the show, as we watch the grizzled, reluctant mentor and his spunky accomplice develop a bond for the ages. We can’t wait to see what The Last of Us: Part 2 has to offer as their story continues.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Zelda was due for a reinvention after Skyward Sword on the Wii, and this was as radical a change as the series has ever had. The traditional overworld/dungeon structure was switched for a completely freeform open world game, mixed with survival elements involving food and temperature for the first time. 

But the Nintendo difference is how tactile Breath of the Wild's open world feels. You can climb every surface in its world, a stark contrast to games like Assassin's Creed where platforming feels extremely prescribed. This feels like a true adventure, in a beautiful world where you can complete the main objectives in the order you choose. It's the most important Nintendo game of the last decade. 

Pokémon Go (2016)

It’s not often that a game can boast players having walked the length of the solar system (collectively). Actually, it’s not often a game can boast having made players walk at all, but Pokémon Go changed all that when it was released in 2016. 

Still hugely popular, Niantic’s mobile title shows just how much the Pokémon brand crosses generations, with players of all ages heading outdoors to catch the pocket monsters. Unlike many games, Pokémon Go encourages players to walk, work together and generally just be lovely to one another. There’s still Pokémon Go community days that see thousands of attendees. Pokemon Go is wholesome and - even better - it’s free (for the most part). No other game has quite got the formula right.

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

When deciding our best games of the decade, the TechRadar team knew that one Mass Effect game was going to make it onto the final list - what we didn’t expect was for us all to agree on which one. It’s obviously Mass Effect 2. 

While Mass Effect was brilliant in its own right, carrying on Commander Shepherd’s story in a more interactive, narrative-rich and mechanically tighter sequel is the pinnacle of this series. Not only can you directly carry on from the first game - retaining your Commander’s look and personality - previous decisions impact how the story plays out, making it feel like the character is truly your own. Mass Effect 2 takes the best parts of its predecessor and makes them better than ever, adding more depth to both the story and characters. It’s the best the series has ever been.

GTA V/GTA Online (2013)

As a series, Grand Theft Auto has always been a staple of gaming. When GTA V released in 2013, it was a success, but what no one banked on was the longevity of the game - and that’s primarily down to GTA Online.

While GTA V is a great game in its own right, GTA Online is what makes it one of the best games of the decade for us with its continually evolving world where you can essentially do as you please. It’s a feat of online multiplayer and one which Red Dead Online hasn’t quite caught up with yet. GTA Online changed the boundaries of what a shared online multiplayer experience could be and we’re still enjoying it to this day.

Journey (2012)

Thatgamecompany’s Journey is truly breathtaking. This indie gem may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that it is wonderfully unique. Journey is a piece of art, combining a moving soundtrack with an emotional nuisance that doesn’t even need words.The concept is so simple but speaks volumes.

Journey proves that a game doesn’t need a huge budget to be awe-inspiring, it epitomizes the emotional depth that indie games can tap into and does so much while (verbally) saying so little. Journey is an unforgettable experience.

Stardew Valley (2016)

Farming simulators have been done a thousand times but there’s nothing quite like Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone’s Stardew Valley. The pixelated RPG encompasses a classic farming simulator, dungeon-crawler and adventure game, all in one charming package. 

However, what we love most about Stardew Valley is just how relaxing it is and how much subtle depth the game has. Each of Pelican Town’s residents has been beautifully handcrafted to have their own personalities, likes, dislikes and flaws. Stardew Valley doesn’t feel like an escape, per-say, but more like returning to an old friend you haven’t seen in years.

Fortnite (2017)


Love it or hate it, Fortnite is a phenomenon. Not only did the game bring battle royale to the masses, it blurred the lines between pop culture and gaming. 

Fortnite streamers have become celebrities in their own right - just look at Ninja -, celebratory dances have made their way into the real-world, while you’ll find it hard to go into any toy store without seeing a mass of Fortnite merchandise. For a game that’s still technically in early release, that’s one heck of a feat.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Where do we even begin with Skyrim? Bethesda’s epic fantasy pushed the boundaries of open-world RPGs, allowing players to immerse themselves in a colorful world of peculiar characters and sheer adventure. 

Sure, in hindsight Skyrim has some issues with bugs and glitches, but that’s part of the charm. Plus, the main quest is superbly written and there’s plenty of noteworthy quotes, scenes and side quests that will keep it fresh in our minds for another decade - at least until The Elder Scrolls 6 releases. 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

The Witcher 3 is how an action RPG should be done. A riveting storyline, unique characters, picturesque environments, rich folklore, more side quests than you can shake a stick at and a grizzled - but charming - protagonist. 

The Witcher 3 is an immersive fantasy, full of exploration, humor and with plenty to see and so. Several years later, we still can’t get enough of Geralt of Rivia. 

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True wireless earbuds, vinyl, and Alexa: the 10 biggest audio trends of the last decade

A credit to the pace of our world’s technological innovation, today’s audio landscape is almost unrecognizable to the previous decade. We now ask our smart speakers and headphones to play music for us, our wireless headphones are good enough to consign wired pairs to a museum, and modern turntables mean that we're increasingly listening to a format that was on its deathbed in the late ‘80s. Accessing millions of high-quality songs at the touch of a button is no longer a pipe dream, either.

Here, we take a look at the biggest audio trends of the last decade – the upsurge of streaming, voice control and vinyl amidst the decline of music piracy, CDs and the headphone jack – for the 2010s will be remembered for much more than Gangnam Style, meme culture and the perceived color of that dress...

The last ten years in audio

sony wh-1000xm3

Bluetooth has hugely advanced headphones quality

1. Wireless headphones

Those AirPods in your ears or Sony headphones around your neck – you can thank Bluetooth for them. While the technology first gave rise to wireless headphones around fifteen years ago, it's only in the last decade that it has advanced enough for cordless cans to offer a true alternative to wired pairs. 

Today, many even sound comparable thanks to the combination of improved hardware and Bluetooth technology. While Bluetooth transmission was originally limited to 328kb/s (slightly less than MP3 quality), Qualcomm’s now widely adopted aptX Bluetooth audio codec arrived at the turn of the decade to enable ‘CD-like’ quality. Furthermore, aptX HD, which launched in 2016, now sees many pairs capable of hi-res 24-bit wireless transmission too.

Look mom, no wires! The Apple AirPods paved the way for mainstream true wireless earbuds.

2. True wireless earbuds

Advanced Bluetooth chips such as Apple’s H1 (as found in the AirPods) and Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo have also emerged to make way for the endemically popular AirPods-style true wireless earbuds which deliver (mostly) stable connections and increasing power efficiency through their completely wire-free, untethered form. 

They may have been the subject of unfavorable memes and electric toothbrush head comparisons, but since their release in 2016 (and subsequent 2019 update) the AirPods have been the talk of the headphone town. As rivals look to snatch some of that market share with noise cancelation and sleek designs, the popularity of true wireless earbuds will undoubtedly continue well into the 2020s.

Voice assistants like the Amazon Echo Dot's Alexa (pictured) have increasingly freed up our hands.

3. Voice assistants

These days you’d be forgiven for shouting “Alexa, play Ed Sheeran“ at your unresponsive wardrobe. After all, many ‘smart’ things in our homes and daily lives can now abide by such voice requests, whether that’s a wireless speaker (in which virtual assistants originated), an in-car system, a plug, light, or even a microwave. 

With the uptick in smart home adoption and the inarguable popularity of certain smart devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot and Apple HomePod, it would be almost impossible to ignore Amazon’s seemingly everywhere Alexa voice assistant, as well as rivals Google Assistant and Apple Siri, even if you wanted to. In only five or so years, these leading virtual assistants have paved a hands-free way for how we control our devices, find information and, ultimately, live our lives – and they will only continue to do so.

Multi-room audio from the likes of Sonos gave us music everywhere.

4. Multi-room audio

Music in the bedroom, music in the kitchen, music in the garden, music in the hallway; music anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi signal. Multi-room marvel Sonos introduced and normalized the concept of simultaneous music playback in multiple rooms of a household.

Seven years after it rounded out its catalogue with the wireless speaker line-up we know today, the now exhaustive multi-room market is still Sonos-centric despite venerable rivals from the likes of Bose, Audio Pro and Bluesound. The ability to pair and group multiple speakers together is now a fixture of many wireless speaker brand’s line-ups, and has become a paramount feature within many prevalent open-source platforms such as Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2.

Streaming became a battlefield for better sound.

5. Music streaming

The digital audio era birthed two ways to consume music – streaming and downloads – and while one is miserably losing out, the other is thriving. Predominantly thanks to Spotify’s arrival in 2008, the 2010s have very much belonged to music streaming. 

In 2018, streaming accounted for nearly half of the global recording industry’s revenue, its growth more than making up for the nosedive decline in CD and digital downloads revenue. It’s changed the way we consume music – we borrow rather than own it, we listen to songs as opposed to whole albums, it’s about cloud storage and bandwidth over hard-drives and...well, nothing. In a partial attempt to overthrow the largest streaming service on the planet, rivals such as Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer are offering not only much, much higher-quality, 24-bit sound quality, but also new listening experiences altogether, such as 3D audio.

3D audio is offering more than stereo.

6. 3D audio

“Here's something I probably shouldn't be saying: I never listen to my soundtrack albums because I can't stand it. It's just stereo,” said Hans Zimmer, in an interview with Coming Soon.

 ‘Just stereo’ was an adopted attitude when multi-channel music enjoyed its heyday in the early noughties (thanks to SACD), and while we’ve since returned to stereo partiality there’s still a desire for more immersive audio experiences; experiences processing wizardry hopes to deliver. And these have found homes on streaming services. On Deezer, Amazon Music HD and Tidal, for example, there are songs in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which uses proprietary object-based audio technology to deliver a full 360-degree audio experience. Dolby Atmos Music has also emerged to promise more engrossing music streaming through services, too. While 3D may be dead and buried in the AV world, it’s very much alive and kicking in music.

The rise of Spotify and other streaming services has led to more personalized music listening.

7. Personalized listening

Just as we don’t have to use our hands to play music these days, we don’t need to choose it anymore either. You could spend days, weeks, even months listening to a streaming service without needing to use its search bar – and not because you’re indecisive, but because recommendation algorithms now serve up what you want to listen to for you. Spotify et al will make us playlists – several playlists, in fact – based on our listening habits, and the more we listen the more intelligent (and, theoretically, accurate) the AI tool gets.

The headphone jack’s death spurred wireless listening.

8. No more headphone jack

When Apple axed the 3.5mm headphone jack on its 2017 iPhone 7, and the rest of the phone world began following suit, we were given two options: walk around sheepishly with a dongle sticking out of our phones in order to use our favorite trusty pair of wired earbuds, or simply use wireless headphones. 

Unsurprisingly, the latter emerged as the most popular choice, hammering another nail into the coffin of wired options. The 3.5mm jack isn’t dead just yet – it lives on in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10, midrange Google Pixels and even the iPhone SE – but its future doesn’t look bright.

Vinyl re-emerged and is here to stay.

9. The vinyl renaissance

Once left for dead as CD dawned, vinyl has resurged with a celebratory snap, crackle and pop. Staging the perfect revenge, it is even on track to outsell CDs for the first time in over 30 years. 

The comeback of the physical format was perhaps unlikely in this digital world, but its unwavering traction over the past half-decade just goes to show that while the convenience and accessibility of streaming is king, ownership and tactility also remains important. The vinyl revival has also in turn re-popularized and advanced turntables, not to mention expanded the connectivity checklist of audio systems to include a phono input. Would we have had Bluetooth turntables, or decks that can not only play, but also digitize vinyl records, selling on the high street without this renaissance? Not likely.

Bone conduction: from Beethoven to millennials.

10. Bone conduction headphones

True wireless earbuds may be under the spotlight in the headphone world, but another concept is battling to be heard: bone conduction headphones. What may sound like the futuristic brainchild of Isaac Asimov is actually centuries old. 

Instead of sitting in or on your ears, these, ahem, bonephones rest on your cheekbones, communicating the music they’re playing through the vibration of your face bones straight to your inner ear. Beethoven used the technology to hear his piano playing by attaching a rod to his piano and holding the other end in his teeth, and while it’s been used for hearing aids and military communication for years, only in the past few has it been hailed ideal for sports headphones like the AfterShokz Trekz Air, allowing wearers to stay aware of their surroundings during a workout.

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Apple could ditch the notch on the 2020 iPhone, according to new leaks

The notch that arrived with the iPhone X in 2017 may not make it to all of the 2020 iPhone range, according to reports based on recently published patents as well as information from inside the supply chain.

LetsGoDigital suggests that the patents and leaked data that it's gathered point to the top-end 2020 iPhone having a notch-free front display, with Touch ID moved under the screen and Face ID ditched.

That leaves the question of where the selfie camera will be on the iPhone 12 – it'll have to either be placed under the display like the fingerprint sensor, or packed inside the small bezel at the sides of the screen.

Images from a patent filed by Apple in Japan on December 23 show an iPhone without a notch, and in fact this is a rumor that's been doing the rounds for months. Apple is certainly looking into getting rid of the notch, it's just not clear when it'll happen.

Apple patent

Several sources have previously reported that Apple wants to put a selfie camera as well as a fingerprint sensor under the display of future iPhones, but we're not sure that this tech is going to be ready in time for the 2020 iPhones.

Phone makers are getting to the stage where this sort of technology is possible, but it's still early days, and image quality (not to mention facial recognition capabilities) are likely to be affected as a result.

Other manufacturers including Samsung are said to be planning in-screen cameras for future flagships, while some existing phones use pop-up selfie cameras to keep the front display as uncluttered as possible.

Despite these recent leaks, we'd expect at least some of the iPhone 12 handsets to keep the familiar notch – though one model may come with a smaller notch or no notch at all as Apple experiments with in-screen Touch ID.

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What is Amazon DynamoDB?

A database is the heart of any application. It’s where a web application stores all of the user information such as credit cards, phone numbers, and home addresses. It’s what an internal business dashboard uses to track all of the reporting functions that show the health of your firm. It’s how a massive e-commerce website tracks all of the product information such as product name, price, features, and SKUs (stock-peeping units). Without a database, there would be no applications -- on the web, on your phone or tablet, or on a computer.

Fortunately, a cloud database can deliver all of the benefits you might expect such as auto-scaling, high reliability, and fast performance. And, a modern database can benefit from advances in technology that make the database much faster and more efficient.

Amazon DynamoDB is a database that operates in the cloud, but it’s also one that operates more efficiently, faster, and with better security than a traditional on-premise database or even a cloud-based database that lacks the high-performance features.

To understand what it is and how it can benefit your company, it’s important to explain some database terms. Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value database, which is a way of describing how the data is stored. Unlike a traditional relational database such as SQL that assigns a descriptor to each field, a key-value database stores data in a nonrelational way using keys. This type of database using something called an “associative array” to store the records.

Because this is a more advanced form of a relational database using key values, it’s known as NoSQL which stands for Not Only SQL and means the database is meant for high performance and is enhanced by the fact that the database using key values.

While this might all sound technical, it’s an important distinction because Amazon DynamoDB is built for speed and performance; it’s intended for those with massive data throughout needs. It’s also a highly efficient way to use a database in an application, especially if the database contains millions of records. To give you an idea of what this means, Amazon DynamoDB can handle 10 trillion requests per day and at peaks of 20 million requests per second.

In practical terms, it means there are few business applications that would stress the database engine or cause issues in terms of reliability, uptime, scaling, or performance. That’s why large companies such as Lyft, Toyota, and Capital One use Amazon DynamoDB as their database engine of choice. When there are millions of concurrent users accessing a credit card database at the same time, or many millions of passengers accessing a ridesharing app, the DynamoDB database can not only keep pace but provide nearly instant results.

Benefits of Amazon DynamoDB

When your staff are free to focus on the actual application and not running the database and the supporting IT infrastructure management, it leads to better applications, services, business dashboards -- and better overall company support and service to end-users.

That’s one of the main advantages to using DynamoDB -- it is particularly efficient and fast, which helps companies that need that level of throughout and performance to meet the demands of customers. There’s no concern about “can the database keep up” because the platform can scale up or down as needed to meet dynamically changing user requests.

Amazon has called this “virtually unlimited throughout” and it means there are no bottlenecks -- in fact, the service is designed to provide a single-digit millisecond response time.

As with most Amazon cloud computing services, DynamoDB is designed to operate without direct involvement from your own staff. That means you don’t have to configure or setup the database itself, manage the related infrastructure such as the servers, networks, or online storage, and you don’t have to maintain the database. Your team doesn’t have to think about whether the data is secure, safe from hackers and data breaches -- that responsibility falls on the cloud provider. There are no requirements related to provisioning or patch the data.

The huge benefit here is that your company is free to focus on the application itself, not how the database is managed and maintained. It means you don’t have to become experts in infrastructure management, server provisioning, storage allocations, or any of the related technologies that are typically needed to make sure the data is available to apps.

An important benefit for Amazon DynamoDB specifically is that it is ready for enterprise-grade applications -- the kind that involves millions of users. In the example mentioned previously related to credit card data, as a company scales up and acquires millions of customers, there are no sudden requirements related to archiving and storing the data even as the database grows to petabyte-scale and no need to radically improve endpoint security.

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Microsoft takes down 50 North Korean hacking sites

Microsoft has successfully launched a court action to take control of fifty domains used for spear phishing attacks.

These attacks apparently came from a hacking group affiliated with North Korea, and collected user account details in order to both steal data as well as upload malware in an attempt to infect IT systems.

Spear phishing

The phishing emails were targeted at employees of governments, international agencies, as well as university staff, mostly based in the US, Japan, and North Korea. The spoof emails claimed that the user’s account was compromised, advising them to login to change their account details.

Of course, the links went to domain names that attempted to look official in order to record the user account details. Once inputted, hackers could use this login information to access the user’s official account. From there, they would not just access and copy user information, but also install malware in an attempt to infiltrate any IT systems the user had access to.

Additionally, the hackers were able to set up a command to copy any new emails to the user without the user realizing, even when the account password had been changed.

According to Microsoft, the court action allowed Microsoft to take control of the fifty domain names used in the attack.

While presented as a victory against cyberattacks, domain names are cheap and it would be easy for the hacking group to simply copy their phishing attacks onto a new set of domains.

Additionally, users are reminded that in the event of ever receiving an email claiming your account details have been compromise, DON’T click on the links in the email, but instead visit the main website directly in order to avoid what is one of the most common yet easiest to avoid web attacks.

Via ZDnet.

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Why the HTC One M8 is the best phone of the decade – and beat these four other phones

The last decade has changed the face of mobile phones. Major milestones have seen the introduction of brand new, game changing technologies as well as the death of big brands and operating systems.

Back in 2010, we were getting excited about the HTC Desire and iPhone 4. Now, we're talking about foldable devices, the introduction of 5G and some of the most high-tech pieces of kit you could imagine in your pocket.

While the noughties may have seen the introduction of the smartphone, manufacturers have taken devices to new heights in the last 10 years. That's why sitting down and deciding on the best phone of the decade has been difficult task.

We've been reviewing smartphones for the entire decade and beyond, so we put our collective heads together to come up with a top five list of the most impressive, influential and trendsetting devices of the last 10 years.

Below you can see how we decided on the list - Editor in Chief of TechRadar (and ex-Phones Editor) Gareth Beavis and Phones Editor James Peckham take on this task and try to come up with a fair list of the best devices.

There's one clear winner though, which if you read on below you'll find out all about:

5. OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

The Chinese manufacturer rocked the mobile market with its OnePlus One ‘flagship killer’ in 2014, but with limited availability and a tepid follow-up in the form of the OnePlus 2, it wasn’t until 2016 and the OnePlus 3 when the firm really made its mark on the industry.

The OnePlus 3 was the company’s first all-metal handset, instantly making it look and feel like a true top-tier device. It boasted a flagship chipset, plenty of RAM and a large 5.5-inch display. The real kicker, however, was the price. 

The OnePlus 3 cost around half the price of the iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, HTC 10 and Sony Xperia X - and showed the world that you didn’t need to pay through the nose to bag yourself a smartphone which had plenty of grunt and a premium design.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that’s certainly the case with the OnePlus 3. It set the standard for “affordable flagships” and since its introduction with seen the likes of Honor, Xiaomi, Oppo, Alcatel, Realme and more follow a similar formula - with varying degrees of success.

In recent years, even the established names have looked to take a leaf out of the OnePlus playbook, with handsets like the iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10e making an appearance.

The OnePlus 3 allowed us to dream. It allowed us to believe. It allowed us to own a premium handset without plunging us into crippling debt. And for that, we salute you.

Written by John McCann, Phones Editor at TechRadar 2016-2019

4. iPhone 4

iPhone 4

The iPhone was something of a joke among the ‘true’ tech fans of the world until this model came along - the plastic backs of the 3G and 3Gs, with the limited screen quality and poorer cameras did it no favors.

However, one feted trip to the bar and one lost iPhone later, the world glimpsed the new iPhone 4 for the first time. Whether this was intentional or not, we’ll never know, but the hype it generated was off the charts.

Why? Well, the Retina display was higher-res than anything Apple had made until that point - and of higher quality and richness too.

The camera was boosted, taking faster and sharper pictures that really shone on the new screen tech. But that’s not the reason it’s on this list - it’s the design. The industrial, metal rim and glass back were a real statement that Apple was serious about the smartphone game, and the improved power and upgraded design were shining symbols of that.

Was it the best phone on the market? Hell no, there were tonnes of more capable devices. But Apple’s burgeoning App Store, slick design and easy interface on the iPhone 4 was the moment the iPhone became more mainstream in critics’ eyes - and that led to the domination you see today.

Written by Gareth Beavis, Phones Editor at TechRadar 2009-2016

3. Moto G

Moto G

The Moto G is by far the least impressive handset on this list, but it changed what phones were capable of. It didn't have an impact on the top-end like the HTC One M8 or the iPhone 5S in 2013, but instead it changed the bottom of the market.

Motorola made a conscious effort to supply impressive devices at the cheaper end of the market. It changed what we could expect from the low-end handsets that were quite often terrible and difficult to recommend to anyone looking to save money.

The Moto G came along in 2013, and it just worked. Sure, it didn't have an impressive rear camera or phenomenal power inside, but it did enough so it just actually worked well.

Finally, there was a phone on the market that cost less that we could wholeheartedly recommend to anyone that wanted a more affordable device.

From there, the company took the Moto G series to new heights introducing new camera technology as well as new variants that have their own specific impressive features.

Take the Moto G7 Power with its phenomenal two day battery life. Without the Moto G, that phone wouldn't have been possible. 

The Moto G won't go down as the best phone of the 2010's, but it helped change the face of one of the most interesting areas of the whole phone industry.

Written by James Peckham, Phones Editor at TechRadar 2019-now

2.  Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

It's easy to forget how exciting the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was. We'd seen the bent screen technology debut the year before in the Galaxy Note Edge, but this was the second iteration and it was vastly improved for the flagship S7 phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was a five star handset on TechRadar. In fact, it was the last five star handset review in the phone space on the site, and we haven't seen anything worthy of that accolade on since it debuted in 2016.

It wasn't just the bendy screen technology that resonated with us though. The screen was bigger because of that curved tech, and it was just a genuinely well built phone with a beautiful glass design.

There was a bigger battery that allowed for the phone to last for a solid day, plus the camera was one of the best that we'd seen on a phone at the time and by far the greatest Samsung had introduced.

At the time, we said, "we could always want more from our handsets… but if you're looking for a well-designed, powerful phone that actually packs some useful day-to-day features, the Galaxy S7 Edge is the one to go for."

Written by James Peckham, Phones Editor at TechRadar 2019-now

1. HTC One M8

HTC One M8

There are some moments in a tech journalists career when you know you’re seeing something that absolutely represents the very best of the best - holding the HTC One M8 for the first time was one of them.

HTC, in the early part of this decade, was the big challenger to Apple’s iPhone dominance, with the Desire being the first true rival from the Android stable. And while Samsung’s resources and budget meant it started to pick up momentum, HTC’s rebooted ‘One’ line of phones was still the critics’ choice for so many reasons.

The ‘original’ One (let’s forget about the confusing One X, S and V that preceded it) was launched in 2013, and it showed that HTC was a brand still to be reckoned with - the metal chassis, the brilliant low-light camera and front-firing BoomSound speakers were revolutionary, and the software made the very most of Android.

Fast forward a year, and the ‘tricky second album syndrome’ was all reviewers could talk about. Would HTC be able to build on an almost perfect phone? What headroom was there left?

The One M8 (ridiculous name aside) was proof that perfection could be improved upon. The upgraded screen, speakers and addition of a second lens were big jumps forward (how many phones today have a single lens?) but it was the refined, polished and just more impressive feel of the phone in the hand that made it one of our top phones of all time.

Sure, it might not have dramatically exceeded the specs of the previous model, but that was a revolutionary device - the One M8 showed that it’s possible to bring amazing refinement and improvements in key areas, and that’s why it’s still a phone we’d love to see rebooted and brought into the 2020s.

Written by Gareth Beavis, Phones Editor at TechRadar 2009-2016

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Get £50 of PlayStation Network credit for just £43 in the January Sales

You can buy all sorts of stuff on the PlayStation Network (PSN), including games, DLC add-ons, movies and TV shows – and with this fantastic January deal from, you can save on those purchases as well. is selling £49.99 of credit for the PSN for just £42.99, which means you save £7 to spend on something else. If you've got some digital goods to buy, then it makes sense to get them at the cheapest possible price.

For this to work you need a UK-registered PSN account. You can use the credit to buy content for the PS4, the PS3, and the PS Vita, so you don't need one of the latest consoles to take advantage of this deal.

We've also got plenty of other PlayStation deals to tell you about, plus discounts on a year's subscription to PlayStation Plus.

Today's best PlayStation Network deals

You can find all the best January sales right here on TechRadar - we're collecting all the best savings to bring you amazing deals throughout the holiday period. You can also check out some excellent PlayStation Plus deals we've found online.

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These Bose wireless headphones have a huge £70 off in Amazon’s early January sale

The January sales have started early at Amazon, with some huge savings on top quality audio gear, including the superb Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II.  (Not in the UK? Scroll down for the best headphone deals where you are.)

These premium wireless headphones fit around your ears to block out external sound, so you can focus on what you're listening to. There's no active noise cancelling here, but that's part of what makes these more affordable.

The ear cups are made with a micro suede Alcantara for a soft feel and comfortable fit. Meanwhile, the headband itself combines nylon and stainless steel for a sturdy design that can handle life on the go.

The headphones connect wirelessly to your devices using Bluetooth and offer up to a 30-foot range. The battery inside offers up to 15 hours of playback. And, with fast-charging, plugging the SoundLink headphones in for just 15 minutes can give you an extra two hours of playback time.

If you're not in the UK, here are the best deals on these great-sounding headphones where you are:

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VMware completes Pivotal acquisition deal

After announcing that it would acquire Pivotal back in August for $2.7bn, VMware has revealed that it has now closed the deal.

The acquisition will fuel the company's efforts to transform from a pure virtual machine company into a cloud native vendor with the capabilities to manage infrastructure wherever it lives.

Alongside Pivotal, VMware also purchased Heptio and Bitnami this year. This recent string of acquisitions will likely strengthen VMware Tanzu which aims to bring Kubernetes containers and VMware's virtual machines together in a single management platform.

In a blog post announcing that the deal had closed, executive vice president and general manager of VMware's modern applications platforms business unit Ray O'Farrell explained how Pivotal, Heptio and Bitnami will help expand VMware Tanzu, saying:

“VMware has introduced this emerging portfolio of developer and application products and services as a unique and new VMware brand called Tanzu. VMware Tanzu is built upon our recognized infrastructure products and further expanded with the technologies that Pivotal, Heptio, Bitnami and many other VMware teams bring to this new portfolio of products and services.”

Pivotal and VMware 

Before the deal with VMware closed, Pivotal was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange but now the company has become a wholly owned subsidiary of VMware.

VMware and Pivotal have a history as both were part of a consortium of companies that Dell purchased when it acquired EMC back in 2015 for $67bn. However, while both companies were part of EMC and then Dell, each company operated separately and independently.

Pivotal's ties to VMware go back even further though as the company was originally created by a combination of EMC, VMware and GE with the aim of providing large organizations with a separate company to help undertake transformation initiatives.

In August, Pivotal's stock dropped by 42 percent in one day and it was at this time that VMware first proposed buying the company at $15 a share.

Via TechCrunch

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A year of PlayStation Plus is now nearly 30% off

If you're serious about your PlayStation gaming in 2020, then you're going to want a PlayStation Plus subscription – and right now at you can get sorted for the whole year for £35.79, rather than the regular price of £49.99.

That's a saving of £14.20 which you can put towards something else. You might not be triumphant in every game you play during the year, but at least you'll know you didn't pay over the odds for your PlayStation Plus subscription.

If you've not yet signed up for the service, now is the perfect time to do so. A subscription means you can play PS4 games online against other players, and it also gives you access to a select number of titles for free each month.

Don't pay full price for all this gaming goodness – take advantage of the offer and just pay £35.79 instead. Then check back here in 12 months for the best PlayStation Plus deals for 2021.

Check out more top deals in the January Sales

Today's best PlayStation Plus deals

You can find all the best January sales right here on TechRadar - we're collecting all the best savings to bring you amazing deals throughout the holiday period. You can also check out the other excellent PlayStation Plus deals we've found online.

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Save £450 on these Philips Ambilight TVs in early January sales deal

Looking for a 4K TV? The January sales have arrived early – and incredibly, some of the best TV deals are continuations of ones we saw over Black Friday and Cyber Monday back in November. 

Currys has slashed the price of these 2019 Philips Ambilight TVs, with savings of up to £450 to be had on these gorgeous displays. (Not in the UK? Scroll down for the best TV prices in your region.)

Today's best Philips Ambilight TV deals

Both sets sport 4K HDR panels, and come with three-sided Ambilight – a technology unique to Philips TVs that displays ambient colors around the television when in use, upping the atmosphere whether you're bingeing Netflix shows, gaming through the night, or just enjoying the light show.

If you've been angling after a new television, and missed out on the Black Friday sales, you could do a lot worse than these brilliant TV deals.

If you're not in the UK, or just missed the boat – unlucky reader – you can see some other TV prices from across the web below:

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