CenturyLink, Frontier missed FCC broadband deadlines in dozens of states

Patrick
Enlarge / A CenturyLink service van parked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 2, 2019.

CenturyLink and Frontier Communications have again failed to meet broadband-deployment deadlines in dozens of states after taking money from the Federal Communications Commission.

When the FCC awarded Connect America Fund Phase II grants in 2015, CenturyLink accepted $505.7 million in annual support over six years in exchange for deploying broadband with 10Mbps download speeds and 1Mbps upload speeds to 1.17 million homes and businesses in 33 states. Frontier accepted $283.4 million in annual support over six years to deploy service to 659,587 homes and

Samsung is making “very large quantities” of 90Hz OLED displays for laptops

Patrick
Enlarge / The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED display.

Samsung

The world’s biggest OLED manufacturer is making a push for more OLED laptop screens. A press release from Samsung Display says the company is making “very large quantities of 14-inch, 90Hz OLED displays destined for laptops and notebooks, beginning in March.” Apparently, Samsung has a lot of orders coming in, and the company says that “several global IT companies are expected to release new laptops or notebooks with 90Hz OLED screens this year.”

Usually, faster-refresh-rate displays are the realm of gaming laptops, where you can get

Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Its value is its strength

Patrick

This year, power users are no doubt super excited about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has all the specs, all the cameras, and all the juice you need to power through a day (or two) of heavy smartphone use. While that’s great for the enthusiast crowd, they represent but a tiny fraction of the overall smartphone-buying population. Most people don’t need all those bleeding-edge specs and features (or all that money drained from their bank accounts).

Enter the Samsung Galaxy S21. This phone isn’t for power users. In fact, if you’re a power user, I can guarantee that

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: the real deal

Patrick

Samsung’s “Ultra” phones are meant to be the absolute pinnacle of the company’s (non-folding) mobile technology. And so the Galaxy S21 Ultra — the third Ultra phone after the S20 and Note 20 Ultras — spares very few expenses. The price is lower than before, starting at $1,199.99, but the phone itself is a perfect example of what happens when Samsung goes all-out.

It’s also a perfect example of how Samsung often whiffs on its first attempt at something but presses on anyway, eventually achieving the original vision it couldn’t the first time. The original Galaxy S20 Ultra from last

EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid review: light on features for the cost

Patrick

The $199 GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds from audio company EPOS are, to my knowledge, the first truly wireless earbuds made for gaming — but the buds themselves aren’t the biggest selling point. The USB-C Bluetooth receiver that comes with the earbuds gets that distinction.

It’s much more compact than the standard flash drive-sized USB dongles included with many headsets. It’s more capable, too, operating with the aptX low latency (aptX LL) codec that delivers good-sounding audio with no perceivable lag. Using the receiver, the GTW 270 Hybrid can be especially great for fast-paced games where sound cues count for success;

CBS All Access is dead, long live Paramount+: “New” streaming service launches March 4

Patrick
Enlarge / Star Trek: Picard will be offered on the new/old streaming service.

It’s time for yet another streaming service—sort of. ViacomCBS has announced that Paramount+ will launch on March 4, but it’s more of an evolution than a wholly new service, as it replaces and expands upon the company’s previous service, CBS All Access.

The move to replace CBS All Access was announced several months ago. It’s in large part a result of the completion of the merger between CBS and Viacom, as CBS All Access launched before that merger, but the merger greatly increased the content library that

Some M1 Mac users reporting screensaver takeover bug

Patrick

I picked up a new MacBook Air with Apple’s M1 chip, and I’ve absolutely loved it so far. It’s really speedy and the battery is fantastic. But I’ve been dealing with one nagging issue. Every once in a while, for reasons that I haven’t been able to figure out, a screensaver will suddenly take over the entire computer — despite the fact that I never use a screensaver. And frustratingly, the screensaver renders my laptop inoperable until I completely close the screen and reopen it.

It seems I’m not the only one seeing this bug, according to this MacRumors article

With latest Starlink launch, SpaceX to set record for rapid reuse

Patrick
Enlarge / Falcon 9, booster 1051, breaking through the sound barrier on December 13, 2020. It’s back for an eighth launch a little more than a month later.

SpaceX is continuing to make strides as it pushes the boundaries of reusing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.

On Wednesday morning, the company plans to launch its next batch of 60 Starlink satellites, reusing booster No. 1051. This will in fact be the eighth flight of this Falcon 9 rocket first stage—setting a new record for the number of uses of any single rocket core. SpaceX anticipates reaching the

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