Thanks to Bitcoin, not a day goes by without some news from the Cryptocurrency world. However, a lot of people don’t know or don’t understand how cryptocurrency and the blockchain works. Here is a quick primer on the blockchain, the entire technology on which cryptocurrency is built.

When dealing with virtual currency, the biggest stumbling block is the confirmation of stake and existence. For example, in a real-world transaction, when someone gives something to another person, both people are party to the transaction. However, when the currency is virtual, confirming the transaction id harder. The solution to the problem and one that presents several other advantages is the blockchain.

The easiest way to describe the blockchain is as a ledger of all transactions. There are two ways the blockchain operates. When someone confirms a block, it becomes read-only, and nobody can change it. Also, the block is distributed across the entire network of nodes. When a new happens in the network, like a coin transfer, it is only available to the recipient when the block is confirmed, which can take as long as 15 minutes.

With the distributed nature of the blockchain, it is secure from corruption. Unfortunately, this very same technology makes it theft easy. Much like cash, when you lose it, it is gone forever. Which is why it is very important that owners of bitcoin secure their wallets.

 


Just like desktop gaming rigs, a gaming laptop can cost an absolute fortune. Fortunately, if you are on a budget, you can still find some great options for gaming laptops. Here are some of the best laptops you can buy under $1,000 that will still keep games like Destiny running along at decent frame rates:

HP Omen 15

The top pick is the HP Omen 15. Unlike its predecessor, the Omen 15 has a better-looking chassis that will appeal to gamers. Also, it sports a nice clicky keyboard along with a user-replaceable hard drive and RAM. You also get decent and loud speakers with a vibrant display.

Specs:

CPU: 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU * GPU: AMD Radeon RX 550 GPU with 2GB of VRAM * RAM/Storage: 8GB/1TB 7,200-rpm HDD * Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Lenovo Legion Y520

Are you looking for the best possible graphics performance at this price range? Nothing will beat the Lenovo Legion Y520. With its Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU, the Legion managed some surprisingly high frame-rates for a laptop of this configuration.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop

When it is battery life you are after, then look no further than the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop. Battery tests show the laptop running solid for as long as seven hours. It is also one of few laptops in this range that is ready for VR.

Specs:

CPU: 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU * GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (Max-Q) 6GB of VRAM* RAM/Storage: 8GB/256GB SSD * Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080


AMD spent the last few years far behind Intel in the performance stakes. Aside from powering low-end laptops, AMD was absent in any other segment of the mobile computing market. Fortunately, AMD’s latest generation Ryzen processors are taking the fight to Intel, with comparable performance to Intel’s eight generation processors at a fraction of the cost. With Ryzen Mobile, AMD now has a processor that will appear in ultra-thin and performance laptops.

There are only three laptops that will have Ryzen Mobile at launch, and they are the HP Envy x360, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720s and the Acer Swift 3. All other models with the new processor will ship starting 2018.

Pricing

There is no indication of pricing; however, when we look at the desktop market, we can approximate a similar price curve for the mobile processor. Such a pricing scheme would see a comparable performance at a lower price to laptops with Intel chips.

Performance

There are no reviews yet, but the expectation is that there will be comparable processor performance to 8th generation Intel cores. However, the integrated Radeon GPU will be far superior to any Intel mobile graphics offering.

Cores

The starting slate for Ryzen Mobile will sport four cores, with two threads each. The design appears to be intentional in its similarity to Intel’s architecture. The easiest way to compete is to provide a benchmark for comparison. The Radeon Vega will have eight (or ten) compute units, which are the graphical version of processor cores.

 


Do you need to keep an eye on your home when you’re out? It could be for security, to monitor a delivery, or even to keep an eye on your pet. The solution is to install an IP security camera. An IP camera will connect to your Wi-Fi and allow you to view the feed through an app on your phone. You only need to provide power and the details of your wireless network. The camera can record or send an alert when it detects motion. Here are the two best choices for IP cameras:

Netgear Arlo Q

This 1080p/30 fps camera is the best IP camera that money can buy. The camera has excellent video quality along with top-notch motion detection. The software allows scheduling of recording and motion detection. The best part of the device is the intuitive user interface, which most smart home devices lack.

Nest Cam Indoor

There are several good points to the Nest Cam Indoor. The third generation product from Nest increases its native resolution to 1080p and comes with a swiveling magnetic base which makes it easy to install anywhere. The video quality is excellent, and the device is easy to set up. The only reason that the Nest Cam Indoor is not the number one pick is that you need the $10 monthly subscription to make the full use of the camera.

When picking out a camera, avoid mixing and matching vendors to ensure maximum compatibility. The Nest Cam integrates with other Nest products, so that is also a consideration.


A Chromebook is a kind of laptop that runs the Chrome OS by Google, rather than Windows or MacOS. Chrome OS is meant to work online with storage on Google Drive with a focus on applications that run inside the Chrome browser. Devices that run on Chrome OS are popular in schools and workplaces thanks to the simplified management experience.

Applications

It should be no surprise that since Chrome OS is a Google operating system that the OS features Google applications heavily. If you or your workplace uses the Google ecosystem of applications and products, then it will be a natural fit. The downside is that to make the most of a Chromebook; you need an active internet connection. You will not find popular applications like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop on the platform. If the application runs in a browser, it will run on a Chromebook.

Games

Much like the applications above, if the game runs in a browser, it will work on a Chrome OS device. Platform-specific games that run on Windows or MacOS will not work on a Chromebook. The latest iteration of Chrome OS supports running Android applications, and as a result, will also run Android games. However, those will only work on new devices that also have touchscreen input.

Battery life

The average battery life on most Chrome OS devices is excellent. Although other laptops have caught up, Chromebooks still have something of an edge regarding battery life.