SteelSeries Apex M500 Review

Have you ever preferred the original thing, no matter how hard people tried to push something else, or how many claimed improvements a newer model has? I am not a big consumer of soft drinks, but if you ask me, my favorite will have to be Coca-Cola. As for anything from Pepsi, even if it could win all the so-called taste tests, who cares? It is just not Coca-Cola. Thankfully, I am not the only one who thinks this way, as Coca-Cola is still the most popular soft drink in the world. In fact, its popularity is so intrinsic to the drink itself, even the company themselves could not change it. Back in 1985, when they tried to change the formulation of the drink, the public reaction was so hostile, the company was forced to quickly reverse its decision and put the original back on the shelf within three months. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to try out many keyboards, whether it featured membrane, scissor, or mechanical switches. Even within the mechanical realm of things, we here at APH Networks has tried everything ranging from TTC to Kailh to SteelSeries' own QS1 found in the Apex M800. Most of them has its merits, but when it comes to what I would really use day-to-day, I would stick to switches manufactured by Cherry. I do not care if they are not as quiet as other brands, or even if they often cost the most money; the fact is Cherry MX switches are often imitated but never duplicated, just like products from Coca-Cola. Do not get me wrong -- the Apex M800 in question is a brilliant keyboard. But die hard loyalists like me will only stubbornly settle for keyboards equipped with the German switches. Thankfully, even if we are not hostile with our voices, we vote faithfully with our wallets, and companies understand that. Today, we will take a look at the SteelSeries Apex M500, a keyboard featuring real Cherry MX Red switches. Cherry MX Red is my favorite kind of switch, so will the SteelSeries Apex M500 be my favorite new keyboard? Read on to find out!

Apple retires its Thunderbolt Display without warning or a successor

From PC World: Apple is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display, the high-resolution external display that users of the MacBook and other Macs could use to get a better picture and work with more apps.

The company said Thursday that the 27-inch widescreen display with LED backlight technology will be available on Apple’s online store, Apple retail stores and authorized resellers while supplies last. A successor wasn't announced.

The Thunderbolt Display currently retails on the Apple online store at $999. It has a 2560 by 1440 pixels resolution.

Oracle will give cloud users first dibs on its next big database update

From InfoWorld: Oracle's namesake database may have been born on-premises, but the next big update to the software will make its debut in the cloud.

Oracle Database 12c Release 2, also known as Oracle Database 12.2, is slated for release in the second half of this year. It will first be made available in the cloud, with an on-premises version arriving at some undefined point in the future.

BlackBerry results paint a bleak future for its phones

From CNET: The clock is ticking on BlackBerry's phone business, and it looks like time is almost up.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has repeatedly vowed to exit the phone business if it continued to be unprofitable. If Chen sticks to his word, BlackBerry phones may soon be a thing of the past. The company's numbers only continue to disappoint.

The Canadian company sold just 500,000 phones in the first fiscal quarter, down from 600,000 in the prior quarter and from 700,000 in the quarter before that. It doesn't take a mathematician to chart the trajectory.

Instagram will soon automatically translate foreign languages in-app

From CNET: Fresh off hitting 500 million users, Instagram has announced that user bios, comments and captions posted in foreign languages will be automatically translated to the user's native language.

Now, we can better enjoy the snaps of breakfast, dogs and memes posted by our friends abroad (and the occasional photo featuring actual humans, too).

Google Fiber will add urban coverage and wireless by acquiring Webpass

From PC World: Google Fiber is acquiring Internet service provider Webpass to be able to increase its urban coverage quickly and offer customers a combination of fiber and wireless delivery of high-speed Internet.

For Google Fiber, which has typically worked with cities in planning and building a fiber network from scratch, the acquisition will give the Alphabet business a headstart in many markets, particularly in dense urban areas.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Google did not immediately comment on the acquisition.

IBM wants to sell Power servers based on OpenCompute designs

From InfoWorld: IBM is warming up to the idea of adding servers using its Power processors and the OpenCompute open design to its product portfolio.

"I'm going to bring OpenCompute servers into my portfolio at some point so that I'm offering directly to the marketplace if there's a demand for it," said Doug Balog, general manager for Power Systems at IBM.

Sony to pay millions to settle spurned gamers' PS3 lawsuit

From CNET: Sony has agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle a long-running class-action lawsuit over the removal of support for the Linux operating system in its PlayStation 3 console.

The lawsuit stemmed from Sony's decision in 2010 to eliminate the "Other OS" option available in all pre-Slim models of the video game console. The feature allowed PS3 owners to install an operating system -- in almost every case, Linux -- onto the PlayStation 3.

Samsung's Gear 360 goes on sale in US on 'limited basis' for $350

From CNET: VR enthusiasts in the US can finally get their hands on Samsung's Gear 360 virtual reality camera -- if they're going to an online video conference in California.

Intel's appealing $1.4 billion European antitrust fine over blocking out AMD

From PC World: Intel is still contesting a €1.06 billion (then US$1.4 billion) antitrust fine from the European Commission, which in May 2009 found it had abused its dominant position in the market for x86 processors.

The Court of Justice of the European Union heard Intel's appeal against that fine on Tuesday.

The facts of the case date back a decade or more, but Intel, having lost its first appeal before the EU's General Court in June 2014, fought on, filing its final appeal with the CJEU in August of that year.

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