Mikel Arteta: Arsenal players ‘all very down’ after Europa exit

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his players are still “down, frustrated and disappointed” two days after Europa League exit.

from BBC News – London https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51689909

from Blogger http://componentplanet.blogspot.com/2020/02/mikel-arteta-arsenal-players-all-very.html

Samsung Galaxy S20 Sales Tank Compared With S10, Coronavirus Blamed

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 launched in South Korea recently, but early sales of the handset have been nowhere near what Samsung expected them to be. Coronavirus is one potential culprit, though the steep increase in smartphone prices could be another issue. The Galaxy S10 family was priced at $749, $899, and $999, while the 5G flavor cost $1,299. The Samsung Galaxy S20, on the other hand, is priced at $999, $1,199, and $1,399. That’s a 1.33x increase for the bottom-line device, 1.33x at the midrange, and 1.4x for the top-end SKU, if you don’t count the handful of people who might have bought the terrible 5G variant of last years’ phone.

In short, we’ve got a situation in which Samsung will undoubtedly blame coronavirus for its weak debut, probably because admitting people might not want to pay 1.33x more over the Galaxy S10 could make the product look bad. Samsung moved 70,800 units on launch day, compared with last year’s launch day volume of 140,000 units, and 220,000 launch day sales for the Galaxy Note 10, according to The Korea Herald. Telecom officials told that publication that the impact was caused by sharp declines in phone discounts and lower-than-expected subsidies towards new purchases, with coronavirus also listed as one contributing factor. Pricing on the devices in SK appears to be roughly similar to the US after accounting for inflation.

Are Modern Smartphones Overpriced Luxuries or Fairly Valued?

There are two schools of thought on whether these devices represent good values. My own opinion — which I’m disclosing right up front — is that they absolutely aren’t. The marginal improvements companies have introduced from generation to generation do not justify the dramatic increase in recent costs. Samsung and Apple have both radically jacked up prices from where they were just a few years ago, without delivering a single feature I’d actually consider worth paying for — which is why I haven’t. Modern smartphone companies want you plugged into their services, which is just another way of saying “We want to extract money from you on an ongoing basis so you find it more difficult to stop using our increasingly expensive products.”

I’m far from the only journalist to ask whether it’s worth it to pay $1,000+ or more for a device, but John Gruber over at Daring Fireball has a very different view. According to a post he published earlier this month:

Yes, phones that cost $1,000 or more are expensive. Yes, that’s outside the budget for most people. But why in the world would anyone argue this is ”hard to justify”? Phones are, for most people, the most-used computing device in their lives. They are also their primary — usually only — camera. A good camera alone used to cost $500-600.

There are way more people on the planet who’d rather have a $1,400 phone and a $400 laptop than the other way around. But you’ll never see a tech reviewer claim that $1,000-1,400 is “hard to justify” for a laptop. It’s ridiculously out of touch to argue otherwise. And, the fact that top-of-the-line phones have reached these price points does not negate the fact that truly excellent phones are available at much lower prices.

My response to this would be that while it’s true cheaper devices are also available, the price of those is also increasing, in many cases. When Apple launched the iPhone XR, it was lauded as the “budget” device of the new family. Given that it launched at $750, calling it a budget phone was absurd — but that’s what people did. (The actual “budget” device in the iPhone family is the iPhone 8, a 2.5-year-old device at $449.) Samsung does sell cheaper devices than the Galaxy family, but the entire point of increasing device price is that companies are trying to squeeze more revenue out of fewer smartphone sales.

Also, for the record — and as a tech reviewer — I’ll go ahead and say that I think paying $1,000 – $1,400 for a standard laptop is far too much money. One thousand dollars is a decent price for an affordable gaming laptop, and $1,400 isn’t too bad, either, but these are products designed for specific and more-expensive use-cases. Nobody who needs a basic machine for word processing and internet use should be stuck paying anything like $1,000. According to OEMs I’ve spoken to, the midrange market for smartphones barely exists in the United States. High-end devices are more popular here because of payment plans and the like. There’s nothing wrong with people choosing to buy whatever hardware they want, but that doesn’t mean they’re well-served by doing so, or that raising prices has no impact.

At the same time, the big difference between Samsung and Apple these days isn’t really in the objective experience of the hardware, but more in which software and ecosystem you want to be plugged into, as Ars Technica points out. On the one hand, this is potentially great, since many ecosystem capabilities are available whether you have an absolute top-end phone or a model from several generations back. However, this kind of explanation also cuts against the “It makes sense to buy a top-end phone” argument.

The Galaxy S20 rear-facing camera.

What bothers me the most over the argument of whether we should be paying more for phones, though, has nothing to do with whether you believe a $1,500 price is justifiable or how much you value the iOS / Android ecosystem. What bothers me is the idea we’ve all unconsciously accepted in phones — namely, that faster, better devices should always cost more year after year. The mantra of “faster, better, cheaper” drove the entire semiconductor industry and associated advances for decades. Median PC prices were celebrated as they fell from $2,000+ to $999 and below. The first computer I ever personally purchased was a $999 model, back when that price point was being regularly hit and celebrated with decent hardware for the first time.

I’m not claiming that relentlessly racing to the bottom didn’t have negative effects, because it absolutely did. By the time machine prices bottomed out, a lot of the median equipment was barely worth paying for given how cheaply it was built and how uninspired the design was. But there’s a middle ground between continually jacking up the price and cutting it to the point that the final device experience is subpar. It’s true that companies like Apple and Samsung have found ways to improve their hardware even as they’ve made it more expensive, but the price has increased significantly more than the features warrant, in my own opinion. Obviously people are welcome to buy any device they want for any reason they wish, but we’ve long since passed the price points where I’d personally consider upgrading to a new flagship device at launch.

Now Read:

from ExtremeTechExtremeTech https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/306817-sales-of-the-galaxy-s20-tank-compared-with-last-year-coronavirus-blamed

from Blogger http://componentplanet.blogspot.com/2020/02/samsung-galaxy-s20-sales-tank-compared.html

GOG Didn’t Warn Developers About Refund Changes, and They’re Not Happy

Back in the day, we all used to get our games on discs to install with an old-fashioned optical drive. The move to digital downloads offered some clear convenience advantages, but there are also more restrictions without that physical copy. GOG recently announced a surprisingly lenient refund policy that lets players get their money back up to 30 days after buying a game. However, it turns out the storefront didn’t consult developers before it made this change, and some of them are worried it could affect their bottom lines. 

GOG (formerly known as Good Old Games) is a Steam competitor operated by CD Projekt Red (CDPR). You might know CDPR as the developer behind games like The Witcher 3 and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. From the beginning, GOG has focused on offering games without DRM, much to the delight of gamers everywhere. 

As CDPR has become a force in the industry, GOG has become a more prominent way to sell games. Despite being connected to a major development studio, GOG didn’t ask developers for input about the policy change beforehand — they weren’t even told in advance of the blog post. As we pointed out after the policy went into effect, GOG’s lack of DRM could make it easier for people to cheat the system. That’s not what has most developers concerned, though. They’re mostly fretting over the length of GOG’s return period. 

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Developers have pointed out that 30 days is probably longer than you need to decide whether you like a game. However, it’s probably long enough to beat most games. Playing an hour or two per day is enough to complete even big AAA titles (at least those not made by CDPR itself). There’s very little stopping players from beating a game and getting a refund at the end of the month. 

Some developers have told Eurogamer that they saw substantial revenue drops when Steam instituted its much less generous return policy several years back. They worry GOG’s version could cost them even more money. Others are just annoyed that GOG (and other game distributors) have complete control over how their games are sold, and no one sought input from developers in advance of the change. 

For its part, GOG says it will aim to prevent abuse by monitoring account activity. If someone is refunding a lot of games near the limit, GOG reserves the right to deny refunds. It also asked gamers politely not to ruin it for everyone. Time will tell if developer fears are unfounded or not.

Now read:

from ExtremeTechExtremeTech https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/306810-gog-didnt-warn-developers-about-refund-changes-and-theyre-not-happy

from Blogger http://componentplanet.blogspot.com/2020/02/gog-didnt-warn-developers-about-refund.html

ET Weekend Deals: Extra 17 Percent Off Dell and Alienware PCs, $125 Off iPad Pro, Extra $300 Off The Frame 4K TV

Looking for a gaming desktop? You’re in luck! Dell’s powerful Aurora R8 gaming desktop is currently on sale and has all the power you need to run modern games with high graphics settings.

Alienware Aurora Intel Core i5-9400 Gaming Desktop w/ Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB HDD ($829.99)

With a hexa-core Intel Core i5-9400 clocked at up to 4.1GHz and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, this system’s ready to tackle the graphically challenging games on the market today. Gamers will also appreciate the edgy Alienware case that features LED lights on the side panels. By using promo code EXTRA17 at checkout on Dell’s website, you can get this system marked down from $999.99 to just $829.99.

Apple iPad Pro 11-Inch 64GB 2018 Wi-Fi Tablet ($1,070.70)

Apple designed this version of the iPad Pro with its in-house designed A12X Bionic processor that offers excellent performance. This model also has a large 64GB storage capacity, which will let you store a large amount of MP3s and videos. Right now it’s marked down from $799.00 to $674.00 from Walmart.

Samsung The Frame QN55LS03R 55-Inch 4K QLED Smart TV ($1,149.00)

Samsung designed this TV to be more than just a TV. The product was designed to mimic the look of a picture frame, and it can easily be hung on the wall like a piece of art. When not in use to watch television, the screen has a special art mode that gives it the false appearance of having a true piece of art hanging on your wall. Right now it’s marked down from PCMag’s shop marked down from $1,999.00 to $1,149.00 with promo code SAVE300.

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Apple Devices

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Amazon Devices

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TVs & Home Entertainment

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Laptops

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  • Lenovo Ideapad 330s AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Quad-core 15.6″ Laptop for $359 at Walmart (list price $499)
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  • Dell New Vostro 15 7000 Intel Core i7-9750H 6-core 15.6″ 1080p Laptop with GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD for $1059 at Dell (list price $1927.14)
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  • Acer Predator Helios 300 Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core 15.6″ 144Hz 1080p Gaming Laptop with RTX 2060, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $1299.99 at Amazon (list price $1599.99)
  • HP Omen 15 Intel Core i7-9750H 6-core 15.6″ 1080p 144Hz Gaming Laptop with GTX 1660Ti, 16GB RAM + Omen Headset and Mouse for $999.99 at Walmart (list price $1399)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Intel i5-9300H 6-Core 15.6″ 1080p 120Hz Gaming Laptop with GTX 1660 Ti, 512GB SSD for $949 at Walmart (list price $1299)
  • Ematic AMD A4-9120 13.3″ 1080p IPS Laptop for $109 at Walmart (list price $229.99)

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Desktop Computers

  • Alienware Aurora R8 Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Gaming Desktop with GTX 1660 for $829.99 at Dell (use code: EXTRA17 – list price $999.99)
  • Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Gaming Desktop with RTX 2080 SUPER OC, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD for $1552.09 at Dell (use code: EXTRA17 – list price $1869.99)
  • Dell Inspiron 3000 Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Desktop for $481.39 at Dell (use code: EXTRA17 – list price $628.99)
  • Dell Vostro Small 3470 Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Desktop for $549 at Dell (list price $927.14)
  • Dell Precision 3431 SFF Workstation Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Win10 Pro Desktop for $719 at Dell (list price $1159.34)

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Monitors

  • Alienware AW3420DW 34″ 3440×1440 120Hz Curved IPS G-Sync Gaming Monitor for $849.99 at Dell (use code: EXTRA17 – list price $1499.99)
  • Dell UltraSharp U3419W 34″ 3440×1440 USB-C Curved IPS Monitor + $100 Dell Gift Card for $699.99 at Dell (list price $929.99)
  • Samsung The Space 32″ 4K Frameless Bezel Monitor with Adjustable Stand for $349.99 at Walmart (list price $599.99)
  • Samsung CF39M 32″ 1080p Curved LED Monitor for $149.99 at Walmart (list price $249.99)
  • Acer ED242QR Abidpx 23.6″ 1080p 144Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor for $149.99 at Amazon (list price $199.99)
  • AOC C24G1 24″ 1080p 144Hz 1ms FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor for $144.99 at Amazon (list price $179.99)

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Smart Home Devices

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PC Components, Networking and Storage

  • WD My Passport 5TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for $99.99 at Amazon (list price $149.99)
  • NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 AC2200 Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System (3-Pack) for $199.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)
  • TP-Link Deco M5 AC1300 Whole Home WiFi Mesh System (3-Pack) for $152.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)
  • Jetstream AC1900 Dual-Band 802.11ac WiFi Router for $29.99 at Walmart (list price $139)
  • TP-Link Archer C5400X AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router for $229.99 at Amazon (list price $279.99)
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7200 AC2100 Smart WiFi Router for $79.99 at Walmart (list price $179.99)
  • TP-Link Archer AX1500 WiFi 6 Dual-Band Wireless Router for $69.99 at Walmart (list price $79.99)
  • RAVPower FileHub AC750 Wireless Travel Router, 6700mAh External Battery, Hard Drive, Media Reader for $34.99 at Amazon (Clip $3 Coupon and use code: WD009221 – list price $55.99)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler for $119.99 at Amazon (list price $199)
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  • Logitech G604 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse for $79.99 at Amazon (list price $99.99)
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Electronics

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  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise-Cancelling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Rose Gold) for $218.99 at Amazon (list price $349)
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  • BeatsX Bluetooth Wireless Earphones for $79.95 at Amazon (list price $99.95)
  • Sony DPT-CP1/B 10″ Digital Paper for $398 (13″ for $598) at Amazon (list price $499.99)
  • Garmin Fenix 5S 42mm Premium Multisport GPS Smartwatch for $339 at Amazon (list price $499.99)
  • Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Premium Multisport GPS Smartwatch for $499 at Amazon (list price $799.99)
  • GoPro Karma Grip Stabilizer for $199.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)
  • RAVPower 20,000mAh 60W PD USB-C Dual USB Power Bank for $40.89 at Amazon (Clip $5 Coupon – list price $53.99)
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Gaming, Toys, and Collectibles

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Tools & Home Improvement, Kitchen Gadgets, and more

  • Falcon Dust-Off 10oz Compressed Gas Duster (4-Pack) for $13.98 at Amazon (list price $19.99)
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  • Kwikset Contemporary Electronic Keypad Single Cylinder Deadbolt for $40.19 at Amazon (list price $59.97)
  • WEN 3417 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Industrial Strength Air Filtration System for $200.02 at Amazon (list price $291.92)
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Note: Terms and conditions apply. See the relevant retail sites for more information. For more great deals, go to our partners at TechBargains.com.

Now read:

from ExtremeTechExtremeTech https://www.extremetech.com/deals/306807-et-weekend-deals-extra-17-percent-off-dell-and-alienware-pcs-125-off-ipad-pro-extra-300-off-the-frame-4k-tv

from Blogger http://componentplanet.blogspot.com/2020/02/et-weekend-deals-extra-17-percent-off.html

Samsung Says New OLEDs Emit Less Blue Light, Are ‘5G-Optimized’

Samsung is always at the forefront of OLED display technology — every flagship smartphone it launches sets new records in brightness, color accuracy, and more. Now, Samsung has announced a new generation of OLED panels that emit less blue light. Oh, they’re also optimized for 5G, whatever that means. And as near as we can tell, it means literally nothing. 

We’ve been warned of the dangers of blue light from displays for years, but the research on that was always questionable at best. We’re now starting to hear that the “night modes” employed by most smartphones to improve sleep may actually be worse for you. Still, most smartphone makers are still in the “blue light bad” mindset, and Samsung says its new OLED panels emit 70 percent less blue light than the previous ones. 

The new OLED panel technology emits just 6.5 percent blue light versus 7.5 percent in the last-gen models. That’s also about 70 percent less than current LCD panels, which emit more blue light as a consequence of their backlight technology. Samsung says the panel has earned a certification of “Eye Care Display” from SGS in Switzerland. 

Samsung also says its new screens are “5G-optimized.” You’re probably thinking that OLEDs don’t have anything to do with 5G, and you’re right. The connection to 5G mobile networks is tenuous at best, but Samsung is doing everything in its power to shoehorn 5G into the discussion. Its angle is that these screens are better than others, and 5G can (theoretically) deliver higher-quality streaming media and games. That is technically true but also doesn’t matter on a phone-sized screen. 

AMOLED

There is one element of these new displays that might actually improve your mobile experience. Samsung’s latest OLEDs will only require 1.3W of power compared with 1.5W for older versions. That’s a 15 percent reduction in power consumption, which could help to offset the added drain of high refresh rates, as seen on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. 

Samsung is still using the “old” OLEDs with more blue light in its new lineup of S20 smartphones, which will begin shipping next week. However, you can expect this new display technology to find its way into the company’s late 2020 launches, and we’ll probably hear more about the blue light improvements when that happens.

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from ExtremeTechExtremeTech https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/306783-samsung-says-new-oleds-emit-less-blue-light-are-5g-optimized

from Blogger http://componentplanet.blogspot.com/2020/02/samsung-says-new-oleds-emit-less-blue.html