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Windows 7 should live on as open source, spectacularly optimistic petition demands

Windows 7 may have reached end-of-life, with official support no longer provided (at least not for free), but the veteran OS could live on if Microsoft released it as open source.That’s the demand – and it is a demand, not a suggestion – from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which has issued a petition calling for Microsoft to ‘upcycle’ Windows 7 by turning it open source.
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After all, Microsoft is huge on everything open source these days, right? It’s all about open source, listening to user feedback, and acting on it.The feedback from FSF might raise a few hackles at Microsoft, though, as the wording of the petition is, shall we say, on the strong and blunt side.It reads: “On January 14th, Windows 7 reached its official ‘end-of-life,’ bringing an end to its updates as well as its ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security. The end of Windows 7’s lifecycle gives Microsoft the perfect opportunity to undo past wrongs, and to upcycle it instead.“We call on them to release it as free software, and give it to the community to study and improve. As there is already a precedent for releasing some core Windows utilities as free software, Microsoft has nothing to lose by liberating a version of their operating system that they themselves say has ‘reached its end.’”And FSF further directly addresses Microsoft executives to “demand that Windows 7 be released as free software”, and urges them “to respect the freedom and privacy of your users – not simply strongarm them into the newest Windows version.”
Nothing to lose?
Of course, the truth is that making Windows 7 open source would be an unprecedented and radical move, and there are obvious problems with this idea.FSF might insist that Microsoft has ‘nothing to lose’, but that’s not really the case, is it?Microsoft could obviously potentially lose users who will soon – or eventually – upgrade to Windows 10 (if they don’t look entirely elsewhere for an OS).And remember that Microsoft is still making money from Windows 7, by charging for extended support beyond end-of-life (business users can get an extra year of support with certain versions of Windows 7, and there’s a scheme that allows companies to pay for additional support on top of that). Moreover, there would be obvious dangers for Windows 10 in such an endeavor, because a good deal of Windows 7 code was carried on into Microsoft’s most recent OS, of course.In short, there’s vanishingly-little-to-no-chance of this actually happening, in spite of how many signatures the petition might end up gathering – with the tally currently standing at just over 1,000. FSF wants to get 7,777 supporters on board, and that might just happen as word of the petition spreads.But no matter how much Microsoft might be pushing the angle that it wants to work with open source projects across all fronts, in all kinds of different ways, Windows 7 being opened up to all and sundry just isn’t going to happen.
How to deal with Windows 7 End of Life
Via The Register

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Google Cloud is now able to store all your secrets

Google Cloud has announced a new tool aimed at helping users securely store their API keys, passwords, certificates and other data online.Secret Manager provides the company’s customers with a single tool to manage their data as well as a centralized source of truth.In a blog post announcing the new tool, Google developer advocate Seth Vargo and product manager Matt Driscoll provided further insight on the kinds of problems Secret Manager will help solve, saying:
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“Many applications require credentials to connect to a database, API keys to invoke a service, or certificates for authentication. Managing and securing access to these secrets is often complicated by secret sprawl, poor visibility, or lack of integrations.”
Secret Manager
Google already provides an open-source command-line tool for managing secrets called Berglas. With the launch of Secret Manager, both tools will work together and users will even be able to move their secrets from the open-source tool to Secret Manager. Berglas can also be used to create and access secrets from Secret Manager.Google’s Key Management Service (KMS) provides users with a fully managed system to handle their keys. However, KMS does not actually store the secrets but instead encrypts the secrets you store elsewhere. Secret Manager on the other hand, provides users with a way to easily store and manage these secrets in Google Cloud.Secret Manager includes the tools needed to manage secret versions and audit logging. The secrets stored in the tool are also project-based global resources which sets it apart from competing tools which often manage secrets on a regional basis.Google Cloud customers can begin using Secret Manager today as the new tool is currently in beta and available to all.
Also check out our roundup of the best cloud storage services
Via TechCrunch

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Audi Q5 TFSI e: Audi’s plug-in hybrid SUV delivers a smooth, comfortable, quiet ride

The Audi Q5 is a mid-range premium SUV with plenty of space for five people and their luggage. With the TFSI e though, it’s also trying to be a little friendlier to the planet thanks to its plug-in hybrid motor.It means you can drive the Audi Q5 as a fully electric vehicle (EV) during short journeys, reducing petrol consumption (and cost) and harmful emissions. For longer journeys – and when you needed a boost of power – the petrol engine can step in to deliver a powerful punch.The Audi Q5 55 TFSI e starts at $52,900 / £49,735, however we drove the quattro S Line Competition model, with a host of extras on it (including the comfort and sound pack, parking assistance pack and tour pack), which brought the total up to £61,805 (around $80,000).It’s not cheap then, with the price tag moving it out of the range for many families, but for those families and business people that can afford the Audi Q5, you’re going to like what you find.
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Audi Q5 TFSI e design and drive
The Audi Q5 is a good looking car. It follows the design of Audi’s premium saloons, with a contoured hood and large grill giving it a powerful stance.Open the door and slide inside, and you’ll appreciate the ride height of the Q5. Not too high as to prove tricky to enter and exit, but high enough to provide an excellent view of the road ahead. In fact, visibility is good all round, with large windows and plenty of cameras to guide you in the areas you can’t see – but more on those later.Allow the door to close and the sound-proofing is instantly recognizable. The cabin is spacious, comfortable and quiet. Even when travelling at speed, the Audi Q5 does a good job of deadening exterior sounds and road noise, providing a more relaxing driving experience.The seats provide ample support, and as well as being heated, in this model they also include a massage function. A small circular dial on the side of the two front seats (sorry rear-seat passengers, no heating or massage functions for you) allows you to control the location, type and intensity of massage. Initially we found the controls a little tricky, and we had to check the manual to completely understand what was required of us.There are three different types to choose from; wave, stretch and knead, each with three levels of intensity to select. It’s a luxury feature, but one that works well and was welcome on our long drives.
There are three seat massage options available in the Q5 TFSI
Hit the road and the Audi Q5 cruises comfortably around town, and is effortless to shift on highways. The start/stop motor and automatic electronic parking brake which activate when you come to a stop provides some good petrol saving and the security that you won’t roll forward if you lift your foot off the brake.Press the accelerator and the engine springs back to life and the parking brake releases itself, allowing you to pull away without any fuss.The seven speed automatic gearbox works well, with smooth changes and very little lag between you pressing the pedal and power being provided to all wheels. If you’d like manual control over gear shifts, you can opt to use the paddle-shifters mounted just behind the wheel. They don’t get in the way of driving, but are equally easy to reach when required.Really put your foot down, and despite the Audi Q5 being a mid-size SUV, it gets going at a healthy rate, with a 0-62mph time of just 5.3 seconds. It’s impressive, and means you can get up to speed quickly and easily, without feeling out of control.This is possible thanks to the combination of petrol and electric power in the hybrid engine, but you don’t always have to burn fossil fuels to get around in the Audi Q5.
Audi Q5 TFSI e charging and EV mode
As we mentioned at the start, the Audi Q5 has the ability to drive as a fully electric vehicle. There’s a button on the center console – cleverly labeled ‘EV’ – which you can press to enter this all-electric mode.There are a couple of limitations, however. First up, you’ll need to plug the Q5 into a charging station to top the battery up – the car isn’t able to replenish the battery (located at the rear of the car, under the trunk floor) by itself.Plugging it into a standard three-pin UK residential socket and we were looking at around 11 hours for a full charge. That’s hardly speedy, but if you find a public charging station, Audi also provides a fast charging cable to top up at these, allowing you to cut that time down from hours to minutes.
Press the EV button to go all-electric
You can always install a faster charger at your home too, although you may want to stick to overnight charging from a standard socket.That’s because the Audi Q5’s battery only has a range of around 26 miles (depending on your driving style and road conditions). It’s not surprising, as generally most plug-ins offer this sort of all-electric range.What it does provide is enough distance to pop to the shops, do the school run or, if you’re lucky, commute to work and back without using any fuel.Finally, when in EV mode the top speed is limited to 84mph, while acceleration also takes a hit, with the 0-62mph time dropping to 14.3 seconds. Considering its short range, that’s not really an issue as it’s design for city driving.
The virtual cockpit shows you how many electric and petrol miles you have left
Audi Q5 TFSI e specs and tech
The Audi Q5 TFSI e we got our hands on came fully laden with tech from more standard fare such as climate control, auto wipers and lights, and adaptive cruise control to smart lane assist, wireless phone charging, multiple cameras around the car and a couple of sizable displays.The main display, located at the top of the central console was bright, clear and colorful, however it’s not a touchscreen. Instead you have to use the circular dial, sitting just in front of the gear shift, to navigate around the screen. Its rotating bezel allows you to cycle through menus and lists, it clicks in to select and you can move it in four directions (up, down, left, right) to open up additional menus or to go back.There’s also a touch pad in front of that, with core buttons such as menu and back, for those who find the click wheel a little too much. After a short bit of practice we picked up the controls and were able to enter navigation addresses, select radio stations and adjust various car settings with ease.
The second display is behind the steering wheel, and takes up the entire space of the instrument cluster. This isn’t the first time we’ve come across Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, and we’re still big fans.The default display is two large instrument gauges left and right, with a map in the middle. However, click the ‘View’ button on the steering wheel and the gauges shrink into the corners of the display, giving you a full-width map view.Use the arrow keys on the wheel and you can skip between the map navigation, audio select, your phone’s call list (if connected via Bluetooth) and various vehicle information screens. It’s intuitive, feature rich and great to look at.
Switching focus back to the main display, and there’s DAB digital radio and the option to play audio from your smartphone via Bluetooth – however you can get deeper integration than that.Plug your phone into the visible (and illuminated) USB port, and you’ll be able to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the Audi Q5. This gives you access to your handset’s maps and navigation app (such as Apple Maps and Google Maps), as well as other apps including Spotify, iMessage and WhatsApp.That said, the stock navigation built into the Q5 is very good. It uses Google Maps, provides you with three route options to choose from for most journeys and comes with live traffic updates so give you accurate arrival times.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a modern smartphone which supports wireless charging you can place it on the charging pad which slides out from under the central armrest for cable-free charging (there’s a second USB port and an AUX port under the armrest too).A nice touch on the Q5 is when you park up and open the driver’s door, a voice reminds you to take your phone from the charging pad, so you don’t leave it in the vehicle.When you’re stopped (or stuck in traffic) you can dive into the menu of Audio’s MMI infotainment system and get live weather and news bulletins – a handy way to pass the time while you wait.Audio – be it navigation instructions, a podcast or music – sounds fantastic thanks to the Bang and Olufsen sound system in the Audi Q5, which includes a powerful subwoofer for deep bass.
Another tech-inclusion we found useful was the multiple cameras all the way around the Q5. Put the car in reverse and you’ll be shown two camera views – one shot of behind the bar and another birds-eye-view from above, which uses all the cameras to give you a 360 degree view around the car. It ensures you won’t miss any low obstacles, and lets you check you’re inside the lines of your parking bay.There’s a front facing camera too, and an array of parking sensors to give you all the visual and audible warnings required to not put a dent in the Q5.If you can afford it (and that’s an ask for most), the Audi Q5 TFSI e provides an excellent, premium experience. It’s comfortable, quiet, spacious, powerful and laden with tech to keep you safe, make your drive easier and simply entertain you.The addition of the plug-in hybrid engine makes it a little easier on the wallet when it comes to running costs, not to mention the environment, and the EV mode is great for short trips.

John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he’ll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.

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Samsung could launch a true Galaxy Fold successor later this year

It seems that Samsung is going all-in on foldable phones in 2020, with two new folding devices set to launch before the middle of the year – one in February and one a few months afterwards.We’ve already heard a lot of unconfirmed details about the foldable phone that’s expected to be unveiled at Unpacked 2020 on February 11, a phone which is going to be called the Samsung Galaxy Flip Z if the rumors are to be believed.Now prolific leaker Max Weinbach of XDA Developers says that another folding device is coming in Q2 (April, May or June) – and this one is apparently going to be a true successor to the original Samsung Galaxy Fold.
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Whereas the Galaxy Flip Z is said to be a smaller, clamshell device along the lines of the rebooted Motorola Razr, this other smartphone is being tipped to follow the same design as the first Galaxy Fold.
Based on the rumors that have hit the web so far, the true successor to the Samsung Galaxy Fold is going to come with an 8-inch display, a 108MP camera, 5G connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 and an S Pen stylus.Its fold will run down the middle of the device too, so you’ll get more screen for your money than on the Galaxy Flip Z. Let’s just hope Samsung has managed to sort out the hinge.We’re all for having as much choice as possible when it comes to the foldable phone market, and it looks like by the middle of the year you’ll be able to pick between the pocket-friendly Galaxy Flip Z and the more substantial Galaxy Fold 2.Those names are still to be confirmed – it’s not clear yet exactly how Samsung is going to label these new products – but we’ll bring you all the news on the Galaxy Fold 2 as it breaks over the next few months.
Here’s what we’re expecting from the Samsung Galaxy S20

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Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 release date, news and updates

Since its launch in 2017, Fortnite has been a worldwide phenomenon and its headline-making move into a second chapter in October 2019 was only further confirmation of that. After Epic Games dumped its beloved game world into a massive black hole, leaving players without warning, assurance, or confirmation of what was to come next, it came back with its biggest update ever: Fortnite Chapter 2.Fortnite Chapter 2 brought plenty of tweaks and, most significantly, a brand new map for players to explore. Now, though, what was new is becoming old and after one of Fortnite’s longest seasons to date, players are ready to see some change. It’s probably just as well, then, that Epic has confirmed Fortnite Chapter 2’s second season is coming on February 20 2020. 

What is Fortnite?
Fortnite is one of the biggest video games of all time – and that’s not hyperbole. Since its launch in 2017, millions of players have tuned in to the free-to-play battle royale game, which sees 100 players duke it out to be the last one standing.All battle royale games take place on the same map – known as ‘the island’ – though Epic Games tends to tweak its exact features and geography for each new Season, or for timed events and alternative game modes.With a fun, cartoon style, blend of shooting and building mechanics, and accessible gameplay – with a fiercely competitive goal for each 1 v 100 game – it’s not hard to see why Fortnite has been so popular and permeated pop culture so broadly, with hordes of young’uns, teenagers, and adults all chipping in to give the game a try. Yes, even Drake plays it.There’s a campaign mode called Save The World, though it’s not usually what people refer to when they talk about Fortnite.
How to download and play Fortnite on mobile

What is Fortnite Chapter Two?
Back in 2019, Fortnite had a reboot of sorts. Players were given a rude awakening on Sunday 13 October, when a massive black hole destroyed the game’s island map and shut down all of the battle royale servers. It came at the end of a long-winded sci-fi plot that will likely only make sense to players who have been with the game for a significant amount of time – but what’s important is that the game disappeared, allowing Epic to make a completely fresh start with Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 1, rather than the Season 11 continuation that many expected. The new chapter brought some notable changes to Fortnite as well as a brand new map for players to explore. Now, this first season of Fortnite Chapter 2 is coming to a close and players are beginning to look ahead to what’s next. After the dramatic end to the first chapter of the game, expectations are high and the possibilities feel endless. 
When will Season 2 of Fortnite Chapter 2 start?
After much speculation, Epic Games has now confirmed that the second season of Fortnite Chapter 2 will begin on Thursday, February 20 2020. 
Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2: what’s coming?
Now that we know when the second season of Fortnite Chapter 2 is coming it’s only natural to wonder what’s coming with it. Unfortunately, we don’t really know for sure just yet. In its announcement of the game’s launch date, Epic kept its cards pretty close to its chest, offering only a redacted sentence which said the season will “feature” something unknown “with multiple” other unknowns. Given it was a chapter-ending finale, we’re not expecting the scale of Fortnite’s last big update this time around but some kind of change is reasonable to expect along with a brand new Battle Pass. Historically, Epic has allowed a story to evolve over the course of several seasons and we could see something begin to pick up now that Season 1 is coming to an end. One thing we know for sure is that Epic is moving the game onto Unreal Engine’s Chaos physics engine in early February as part of update 11.50. It’s not clear just how much of a difference this is likely to make to player experience as Epic has promised that “at launch, the goal is to ensure that Fortnite still feels like Fortnite.” Epic is, however, expecting that “along the way there will be some bumps” and as such it’s “starting tests with a small group of players” with the intention to monitor feedback and “make improvements over time.

What’s still to come in Season 1?
There are still a few weeks left of Chapter 2 Season 1 and naturally Epic Games isn’t going to let things get quiet. In its Season 2 announcement, the developer confirmed that players will be able to enjoy more overtime challenges as Season 1 comes to an end, as well as a brand new two-week event. Now, what exactly this event is hasn’t been confirmed. However, there have been rumors that it could be some kind of tie-in with the new Birds of Prey movie featuring the character Harley Quinn.When Warner Bros posted a tweet about the film, the official Fortnite account sent a reply which reads “See you soon Harley”. Given the game’s previous tie-ins with Star Wars and Marvel movies, this is a pretty convincing hint that the final event of Season 1 could involve Birds of Prey. That said, nothing has been confirmed by Epic Games just yet so we’ll have to sit tight and wait a bit longer to know for sure. 
How to download and play Fortnite on mobile
Where can I play Fortnite?
Fortnite is a free-to-play game available to download on Android and iOS mobile, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.Epic makes it money through optional purchases of skins and customizable items, though they are purely cosmetic and won’t improve your chances of winning – notwithstanding the ability of your sick outfit to intimidate other players.
See also: how to unblock Fortnite at school or the officeOr check out: the best gaming keyboards for Fortnite 
Can I play Fortnite on mobile?
Yes you can! Well, maybe. After months of waiting, Fortnite is finally on both iOS and Android, though you’ll need a phone that can actually run the game.iOS users can download straight from the App Store. As long as you’re using iOS 11 on iPhone 6S/SE, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro devices or later you’ll be fine. Oh, and you’ll need an internet connection, naturally.Fortnite also hit Android phones and finally came out of beta in October 2018. You can see the full list of phones – and how to find the Fortnite Installer – on our Fortnite on Android page.Is it the full game?It is the full Fortnite game. There are some small differences: it’s not quite as visually impressive as it is on more powerful devices, the controls are touchscreen, and a lot of audio cues have been made visual so you can play comfortably in public without the need for headphones. But you won’t be missing out on any key features.  

What’s the deal with cross-play?A sweet deal is what it is. While previously Xbox One and PS4 owners couldn’t play the game together, Sony’s U-turn on the matter means that now everyone across Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android can all take part in the crossfire.So if you’ve got friends that prefer PC, others that prefer console and you’re off on holiday with your mobile, that’s no reason for the fun to stop.There’s also cross-progression. So, if you’re logged into your Fortnite account on mobile and you later log into your console to play there, everything you did on mobile later that day is carried over.  Sounds great, how do I get it?We have a guide on how to get Fortnite on mobile on TechRadar and we’re constantly updating it with the latest rollout news. If your device isn’t there yet, keep checking back and one day it probably will be.
What’s a Fortnite Battle Pass?

The Battle Pass is a purchasable item in Fortnite that gives you access to exclusive in-game rewards. As players complete daily challenges and level up their rank, they earn Battle Stars which can then be used to unlock Tiers in their Battle Pass. Each new Tier you unlock will bring both Free and Premium rewards. Season 10 has also seen the introduction of missions to the battle pass. These are thematic objectives that span the island and on completing them you’ll unlock additional rewards. Everyone who has a Battle Pass will get the Free reward they unlock, but only Premium Pass holders will get the Premium reward. Battle Pass Premium can only be purchased with in-game V bucks and not with real money.You can purchase a Battle Pass for around £7/$10 in the Battle Pass tab of the game’s menu. 
Twitch Prime benefitsThose who use Twitch Prime and play Fortnite will be glad to know that they have access to free loot right now. Those with a Prime account can claim the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack and the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack 2 which include a host of cosmetic items and are available across all platforms.The first pack includes two exclusive gliders and outfits: the Havoc Outfit and Back Bling, plus the Sub Commander Outfit and Slipstream Glider.  The second pack contains three exclusive items for Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode including the camouflage-heavy Trailblazer Outfit, the True North Back Bling, and the Tenderizer Pickaxe. There’s also a brand new dance emote for those that like the dance floor as much as the battleground. The packs can only be claimed on a single platform, but they can be shared across PC/console and mobile as long as you use the same Epic account across these platforms. You can’t however, share your loot across PS4 and Xbox One even if you are using the same Epic account. 
Sick of getting schooled in Fortnite? Here’s what happened when we hired a Battle Royale teacher

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These are the five broadband deals most worth investing in right now

With so many broadband deals floating around now, it can be hard to know which ones to go for. Do you go for the fastest fibre plan? Or drop your costs with the cheapest ADSL? Or should you even be tempted by the many incentives on offer?No matter what you need from your internet, we’ve made that search slightly easier by narrowing the competition down to the five most worth considering. And with options from Virgin, BT, Vodafone, Plusnet and the Post Office, you only have to deal with the big names.We’ve listed these five top picks below for you to compare. Or, if we’ve wrongly guessed what you’re looking for (sorry) then consult our guide to the best broadband deals to see everything all in one place.
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Getting the speed you should be? Check with TechRadar’s broadband speed test

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9 things besides the Samsung Galaxy S20 we’re expecting from Unpacked 2020

The Samsung Galaxy S20 launch is in a matter of weeks, and we’re eager to see everything that might be unveiled at this year’s Unpacked event. The tech giant often takes the opportunity to debut more than just phones, and some much-anticipated gadgets could see the light of day.Case in point: at the Samsung Galaxy S10 launch back in February 2019, the phonemaker introduced the AirPods-like Samsung Galaxy Buds. Now that Apple’s released its AirPods Pro, we expect Samsung to fire back by debuting the much-rumored Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.We’re also curious if we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G, a version of the company’s pro tablet that could connect to the next-gen networks – something that would put Samsung ahead of Apple in the tablet game.Speaking of getting ahead, we’re also awaiting news on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 as well as the rumored Samsung S Flip foldable. At the less likely end of the spectrum are much-wanted but little-rumored products like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, which we haven’t heard much about in the years since its much-beloved predecessor hit the market. And, of course, we might see a Bixby Speaker. If there’s one thing we can virtually guarantee, it’s that the Samsung Galaxy S20 won’t debut alone. Here’s what we’re looking forward to at the event.

Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S20 along with the likely larger Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus will take center stage at Unpacked. We’re expecting a few innovations from the new flagships, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about these phones. First and foremost: will they all be 5G-capable?Either of these phones will almost certainly pack the Snapdragon 865 chipset, which requires a 5G-capable modem like the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, so we could reasonably assume the phones will be able to connect to the next-gen networks out of the box. It’s still possible that Samsung will release cheaper 4G-only versions alongside 5G ones, but it seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth.Most of what we’ve heard about the phones has involved incremental improvements: thinner bezels, centerline selfie camera, larger 6.2-inch (S20) and 6.7-inch (S20 Plus) displays – but a few, like a souped-up 64MP telephoto lens with 3x zoom and 120Hz max screen refresh rate, have us excited. However it seems like Samsung is saving the most substantial improvements for the biggest, baddest model… 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
This is more like it. The largest, highest-specced version of the S20 line is rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. It might be called the S20 Ultra 5G, which makes it an even more obvious inheritor of the massive Samsung Galaxy S10 5G that launched in mid-2019; this time, we’re expecting the top-top-tier phone to arrive at the same time as its smaller siblings.The Ultra is rumored to pack a max-sized 6.9-inch display and seriously souped-up cameras: a 108MP main shooter, a 48MP telephoto with 5x zoom, and a 40MP front-facing camera. (All S20 phones are rumored to pack the same 12MP ultrawide lens, while the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra both come with time of flight sensors.) Put simply, the S20 Ultra is poised to be the highest-tech phone out there, with a rumored 100x digital zoom packaged as ‘Space Zoom.’ 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite / Note 10 Lite price and release date
Curiously absent in the S20 lineup is a follow-up to the S10e budget flagship. It’s entirely possible that Samsung is following Apple in making its prime-named phone (the standard Galaxy S20) the cheapest option. Or Samsung could be slotting its recently-announced Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite into the budget flagship role.We’ve already seen and played with these phones at CES 2020, but we could finally learn when they’ll be sold and how much they’ll cost. While their specs are technically a year behind the new S20 line, that should work in their favor when it comes to affordability, and they’ll likely cost less than the S10e did at launch – making both these handsets strong contenders for the best mid rangers out there.There’s another possibility, of course: both the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite were specifically created to appeal to different markets than those that embrace Samsung’s priciest flagships. If that’s the case, we may not hear about the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite at all.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are rumored to be Samsung’s answer to Apple’s AirPods Pro – noise-canceling premium true wireless earbuds, but in this case, for Android phones. At least, that’s what we’re expecting – but rumors have both supported and refuted the possibility of noise-canceling. Even without packing the AirPods Pro’s standout feature, the Galaxy Buds Plus could outshine the Pro in terms of battery life – one rumor suggests they could last up to 12 hours. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 2
The original Samsung Galaxy Watch was a powerhouse with a neat rotating bezel that made navigating the smartwatch easier – and a more fun, tactile experience. While the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 introduced a digital haptic version of this feature, it’s not the same and we’re eager for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2.We haven’t heard much at all about the Galaxy Watch 2, which itself suggests we probably won’t see this smartwatch at Unpacked 2020. But we can still dream.

New fitness tracker?
It’s entirely possible we get a successor to the Samsung Galaxy Fit, or perhaps even another budget fitness tracker like the Samsung Galaxy Fit e. We haven’t heard any news or rumors, so there’s no real hype building around a new device from Samsung. But if we don’t get another smartwatch this year, it might make sense for the company to whet appetites with a refreshed fitness tracker.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 was a welcome surprise: a higher-specced tablet to rival the iPad Pro, but with a few extras that stand out in contrast. The Tab S6 includes an S Pen in the price (which is lower than the iPad Pro), has an improved desktop-simulating Dex mode, and its keyboard accessory (sold separately) has a touchpad. It’s an intriguing contender that only gets more exciting with 5G.A Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G launching at Unpacked 2020 would beat Apple to the punch, which hasn’t released a 5G-capable iPad yet. It would also be rather useful for on-the-go professionals that need to upload and download files rapidly, like media editors. Of course, 5G networks are still in early days – and a Tab S6 5G would need to be keyed to each provider’s 5G network. We’ll see how Samsung handles this if it does release a 5G tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Ah, the enigmatic Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. It’s unclear if this is simply a code name for the Galaxy Fold 2 or a forked device in its own right that, rumor has it, will be a clamshell-style foldable that hinges on its horizontal access, somewhat similar to the Motorola Razr. We’ve also heard that it could have two hinges – so that it can be folded into a Z-shape, hence the name – but that’s uncertain, and sounds finicky for a company to attempt just a year after its first foldable was famously delayed for screen durability issues.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
For all the vertical-fold diehards, we’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 will follow its predecessor’s footsteps as a ‘hot dog style’ foldable – but bigger and better. Specifically, leaks have told us it could have bigger battery, faster charging speeds, better cameras, and other incremental improvements. While Unpacked 2020 seems soon after the original Fold’s delayed launch in late 2019, it could be a jumping off point to leave behind the baggage and start anew with a (much more tested) successor device.

Samsung Bixby Speaker
There’s long been rumors of a Bixby-supporting smart speaker in the works at Samsung – or, as it might be known, the Samsung Galaxy Home. Whether this ends up surfacing is unclear, but the appeal is obvious: a smart speaker housing the unpopular but ubiquitous-on-Samsung-devices AI assistant Bixby to compete with all the Amazon Echo and Alexa-powered speakers in the world. We haven’t heard rumors of one coming – but anything’s possible at Unpacked 2020.

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Fortnite Chapter 2’s second season now has a launch date

Epic Games has confirmed that the long first season of Fortnite Chapter 2 will soon be coming to an end.In an official blog post, Epic stated that the second season of Fortnite Chapter 2 will begin on Thursday, February 20. We suppose 02.20.2020 is a pretty satisfying launch date for the second season of a second chapter, at least numerically. 
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So far, there’s no information on what we can expect from this second season, as Epic has made sure to add some cheeky redactions to its announcement. 
New season, new physics engine
As well as revealing the launch date of season two, Epic also announced that Fortnite will be moving to a new physics engine: Unreal Engine’s Chaos system. The move will happen in early February with update 11.50 and Epic says its main goal at launch, “is to ensure that Fortnite still feels like Fortnite” which suggests that the change over shouldn’t make a game-changing amount of difference to what players experience. In order to keep things running smoothly, Epic has said it will be “starting tests with a small group of players”.The final release date for season two has come after a couple of extensions to season one, first from December 2019 into early February 2020 and now, it seems, from early to late February. But things won’t be quiet in the meantime; Epic has stated that in season one’s final days, players can expect some more overtime challenges as well as a yet-to-be-revealed “new two-week event” which should see the time fly by. There have been suggestions that the event could be some kind of Birds of Prey movie tie-in after Fortnite’s official Twitter channel responded to a Warner Bros tweet about the movie saying “see you soon Harley”, but this is yet to be officially confirmed. Given previous Star Wars and Marvel events, though, there’s good precedent. 
February is fast approaching, though, so it’s likely we don’t have too long to wait to find out what the rest of the season has in store. 
Fortnite is now better on iPad than consoles in one particular way

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Looking for Google Pixel 4 deals? These EE tariffs blow everything else away right now

The Google Pixel 4, the latest phone from the search engine giant, has been around for a good few months now. In that time we’ve seen prices shoot up, down, left, right and just about every direction imaginable but now, costs seem to have settled…at least for one network.Currently, the EE network seems to have secured all of the cheapest Google Pixel 4 deals. That means currently there are options ranging from £23 a month (with lots of upfront costs, of course) through to free upfront plans on EE giving you plenty of choice.However, when there is so much choice, picking the perfect plan can be daunting. That’s why we’ve analysed a heap of Pixel 4 plans and picked out the top three available on EE right now.We’ve listed these three plans below so you can find your perfect contract. And if you find them all lacking in the data department, try this 100GB data Three plan out for size.
Compare these to the best mobile phone deals out there
The Google Pixel 4 offers a number of innovative features and major upgrades. It’s the first phone to fully implement motion sense features, allowing you to use the phone with gestures.The processor has gotten a major upgrade, finally bringing the Pixel range up to competitive standards of RAM, and the OLED screen has seen major improvements, now capable of 90HZ refresh rates and offering ambient EQ technology that lets you adjust the screen to your environment.Read our full Google Pixel 4 review and Pixel 4 XL review
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The laptop with the world’s biggest screen is still on sale, two years after launch

There’s a good reason most companies never launched a laptop with a curved screen  as often, you need ample space to appreciate the curvature of the display, which a laptop often simply can’t provide.However, this didn’t prevent Acer releasing the world’s first notebook to feature a curved display – the Predator 21 X.If you want to get your hands on one, US retailer Insight still sells it at the time of writing for a staggering $9,935, which is actually more than the suggested retail price at launch.
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A whopper of a laptop
The Predator 21 X is the first and only laptop ever to ship with a curved display – but that’s not all it has to offer.It has a proper mechanical keyboard, a four-speaker/dual-woofer setup, three fans and two (yes, two) 330W power supply units that feed an 8-cell battery.The rest of the tech is somewhat long in the tooth; a desktop-grade Intel Core i7-7820HK, 64GB of RAM, two SSDs in SATA-mode, with a backup 1TB hard disk drive, and two Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 in SLI with 16GB GDDR5 RAM.Not surprisingly, the Predator 21 X weighs a lot – more than 10Kg including the PSUs. It is also very big (22.4 x 12.4 x 3.3in) and has a horrendously short battery life under load, meaning that whilst the Predator launched as a gaming laptop, it can also be used as a mobile workstation at a push.
Sadly, the Predator laptop didn’t make it into our list of the best video editing laptops

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