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Exclusive: I Need a Cheap Laptop So My Kid Can Play Minecraft! Which Gadget Should I Buy?

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I Need a Cheap Laptop So My Kid Can Play Minecraft! Which Gadget Should I Buy?

#Cheap #Laptop #Kid #Play #Minecraft #Gadget #Buy

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Photo: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Buying a laptop for a kid isn’t easy. Review sites (even this one) tend to focus on flagship devices and those with unique features rather than basic budget products. That’s partly due to reader interest, but also because vendors don’t like sending us cheapo, low-margin devices they don’t put much effort into. I’ve found that to be especially true in the laptop segment, where budget devices aren’t that good. Fortunately, a few worthy options have entered the market in recent years.

It’s these recent budget-friendly releases that I’ll be recommending to reader Ben in this week’s “Which Gadget Should You Buy?” A business analytics project manager, Ben is in search of a $400 or less laptop for his kid. He has only two requirements: that the system boot quickly and can play Minecraft.

Can my kid play Minecraft on a Chromebook?

Whenever someone tells me they want a good budget laptop, my mind immediately jumps to Chromebooks. They typically offer better specs at the same price as Windows PCs. Unfortunately, Minecraft isn’t supported on Chrome OS unless you’re an education user who can access the Play Store and download the Android app.

What about on the Acer Aspire 5?

Bummer. That leaves Bob with Windows laptops (we’re priced well out of Mac territory here). Finding a decent $400 laptop that runs Windows 11 is no simple task, but it’s possible if you’re willing to compromise on a few things. My first pick for Ben is the Acer Aspire 5. It’s not the most premium device, but you’ll have a hard time finding better specs for the price.

For just $379, the Aspire 5 comes with a 14-inch, 1080p display, an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And since it uses an 11th Gen chip, the Aspire benefits from Iris Xe graphics, which will be more than enough to run Minecraft at decent frame rates.

So, what’s wrong with it? Well, in typical budget PC fashion, the Aspire 5 comes with a boatload of bloatware. The webcam is also dreadful, and the design, with its thicker display bezels, isn’t exactly modern. The bigger issues are its relatively large size (0.7 inches thick and 3.2 pounds isn’t exactly thin and light anymore) and plastic touchpad.

Maybe an HP Stream?

A lot of people like to recommend an HP Stream but not a lot of people like to play games on an 11-inch screen, so I’m going to nix it. There is a 14-inch version, but the screen is super low-res and the processor is fairly underpowered. Instead, I’d try scoring a deal (like this one) on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. It might be more laptop than what Ben and his son need, but it’s hard to complain given the $330 price.

Minecraft on Surface?

Ben mentioned he’d been looking at Surface devices and would love the Surface Laptop SE if it were being sold to the public (not only purchasable through CDW). I’ll counter the SE with the Surface Laptop Go, which currently costs $350 for the base model. The specs aren’t great (4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage), but you won’t find a laptop that feels more premium at this price. If Ben can swing it, the new Surface Laptop Go 2 starts at $600 (I know, that’s quite a bit extra) and comes with twice the storage and a faster processor.

Would you recommend something else? Let us know in the comments! And if you need help deciding on which gadget to buy, then fill out our simple questionnaire.

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Exclusive: Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows files for bankruptcy – TalkOfNews.com

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Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows files for bankruptcy

#Crypto #hedge #fund #Arrows #files #bankruptcy

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in a bid to protect its US assets from creditors in the country, as reported earlier by Bloomberg and CNBC. Representatives for the Singapore-based company made the filing in a Southern District New York court on Friday, which legally protects the US assets of insolvent foreign debtors from creditors in the US.

Founded in 2012 by Kyle Davis and Su Zhu, 3AC managed about $10 billion in assets as recently as March, later sinking to $3 billion in April. Like several other crypto firms, including the lending giants Celcius and Babel Finance, 3AC’s turn in fortunes is part of the so-called crypto “winter” that’s brought down stablecoins and sent Bitcoin’s value plunging.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that 3AC failed to pay a $670 million loan provided by crypto broker Voyager Digital, which has since halted all trades, deposits, and withdrawals as a result. Sky News later reported that a court in the British Virgin Islands has ordered 3AC’s liquidation and that the firm is reportedly working with business consulting company Teneo to oversee the process.

In May, Davies and Zhu admitted in an interview with the WSJ that the company lost out on a $200 million investment following the crash of Luna and its sister coin TerraUSD. At the time, the two remained optimistic about the prospects of crypto, telling the WSJ that they’ve “always been crypto believers” and “still are.”

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Exclusive: 'Doctor Strange 2': Post-Credits Scenes' Cameo and Classic Sam Raimi Nod Explained – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

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'Doctor Strange 2': Post-Credits Scenes' Cameo, Sam Raimi Nod Explained     - CNET

#039Doctor #Strange #PostCredits #Scenes039 #Cameo #Classic #Sam #Raimi #Nod #Explained #CNET

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which became available to stream on Disney Plus last month after landing in theaters in May, sends the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s charmingly grumpy sorcerer on an adventure that spans multiple realities. The 28th MCU movie brings director Sam Raimi back to Marvel for the first time since 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and leans hard into his signature horror style, with one of the two post-credits scenes riffing on a moment from early in his career.

The movie takes place after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw Strange offering Peter Parker some magical help as the teen dealt with the entire world knowing his secret identity.

Let’s step into a portal and explore a universe full of SPOILERS. We also have a separate ending explainer, a deep dive into the Illuminati and a list of WTF questions the movie left us with.

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Another sorcerer

In a mid-credits scene, Strange is happily strolling through Manhattan’s streets, having seemingly accepted the corruption caused by his use of the Darkhold. He’s intercepted by a blonde sorcerer in a purple and pink costume (Charlize Theron). She opens a portal to the Dark Dimension, the hellish reality ruled by 2016 Doctor Strange big bad Dormammu.

Clea give Doctor Strange an intense look in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Charlize Theron makes her MCU debut as Clea.


Marvel Studios

“You created an incursion and we’re gonna fix it… unless you’re afraid?” she says.

“Not in the least,” he responds, his Darkhold-induced third eye opening.

Doctor Strange 14 cover

Clea has been among Doctor Strange’s most reliable allies in the comics.


Marvel Studios

What does it mean?

She isn’t named until the credits start rolling after this scene, but Theron’s character is Clea — a Dark Dimension magic wielder who’s been in the comics since the ’60s.

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She’s the daughter of Dormammu’s sister Umar and Dark Dimension Prince Orini, and became fascinated by Strange during one of his early adventures in that reality. Their paths have crossed many times in the years since, with Clea becoming Strange’s student and later his wife.

Following the events of 2021’s Death of Doctor Strange miniseries (you can imagine the premise), Clea replaced Strange as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Stephen will undoubtedly be resurrected and return to the role soon though, since status quo shifts like this seldom last long in the comics.

You might have been too busy reeling or screaming with joy when Reed Richards (John Krasinski) explained what incursions were earlier in the movie, but they’re catastrophic events that occur when a multiversal reality crashes into another. In the comics, this happened in 2015 event Secret Wars.

It’s unclear how Strange caused an incursion — he jumped through a whole bunch of realities in Multiverse of Madness — or what this means for the MCU, but it could see elements from a different cinematic universe crossing into this one.

Such a crossover already created a dangerous scenario (filled with delightful cameos) in No Way Home, so it’s possible we’ll see characters from Fox’s X-Men reality next. The presence of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) may have been foreshadowing this.

Or maybe that’s just more wishful thinking.

ash-vs-evil-dead-starz.jpg

Bruce Campbell’s cameo pays homage to his iconic Evil Dead character Ash Williams.


Starz

Poppa Pizza returns

In an alternate reality’s Manhattan, rude street vendor Pizza Poppa (Bruce Campbell) earlier accused America Chavez of stealing his precious dough balls. Strange hit the poor guy with a spell to get him off their backs, and they left him to be attacked by his own hand.

The post-credits scene brings us back to Pizza Poppa just as his meat hook’s campaign of violence ends.

“It’s over!” he says joyously.

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What does it mean?

This scene is unlikely to have any MCU-scattering implications, since it’s more of an homage to Campbell and Raimi’s relationship. The pair have been friends since high school, and the actor played hero Ash Williams in Raimi’s 1981 breakout feature The Evil Dead. In that movie’s 1987 sequel, Ash’s hand is bitten by one of the undead, becomes possessed and tries to kill him.

Unlike Pizza Poppa, he tries to solve the problem by severing his hand and replacing it with a chainsaw (which is extremely metal). His former hand stalks him for the rest of the movie.

Campbell also shows up in Raimi’s non-MCU Spider-Man trilogy, seemingly playing three different characters. He was a wrestling announcer in the first movie, a snooty usher in the sequel and a French maître d’ in the third. If the scrapped Spider-Man 4 had come to fruition, the actor could have played Mysterio, Raimi confirmed to Rolling Stone.


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Exclusive: Intel starts shipping its Bitcoin mining rig as cryptocurrencies crash – TalkOfNews.com

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Intel starts shipping its Bitcoin mining rig as cryptocurrencies crash

#Intel #starts #shipping #Bitcoin #mining #rig #cryptocurrencies #crash

In a nutshell: Intel’s accelerated computing group has started shipping its second-gen Blockscale ASIC for SHA-256 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The launch is months ahead of schedule, but still too late to capitalize on the most recent cryptocurrency craze.

Intel announced that it was developing Blockscale ASICs in January when Bitcoin was worth twice as much as it is now and hardware was desperately in demand. Its second-gen is arriving after the market has satiated its need, which is usually when Intel starts shipping its hardware (I’m looking at you, Arc GPUs).

Despite that, the Blockscale ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a great chip. It measures 7 mm by 7.5 mm and consumes just 4.8-22.7W but hashes Bitcoin at up to 580 GH/s (gigahash per second). It’s only capable of SHA-256 proof-of-work calculations, though.

Raja Koduri, executive VP and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group for Intel, tweeted the news at the end of last week…

Koduri seems to have forgotten about the first-gen Blockscale ASIC that was announced in February. Intel did say at the time that a second-gen model was in-development and then it announced it just two months later, so perhaps the first version doesn’t qualify as a fully-fledged product in Koduri’s eyes.

In any case, the second-gen model is much better than the first. It consumes just 26 J/TH (Jules per terahash) while its predecessor consumed 90 J/TH. It’s also more competitive with offerings from other companies. Intel’s system with 256 ASICs can hash at a rate of 148 TH/s with the consumption of 3,850 W, about on par with Bitmain’s S19 Pro at 110 TH/s and 3,250 W. Both systems cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Koduri tagged GRIID Infrastructure, Hive Blockchain Technologies, and Argo Blockchain in his tweet, three companies that mine cryptocurrencies using renewable power sources. Intel markets the Blockscale ASIC as an environmentally-friendly product and it’s good to see it standing by those principles by partnering with like-minded companies.

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