Wi-Fi Alliance introduces a certification program for new smart home construction

From Tech Hive: Imagine buying a brand-new home and needing to install your own electrical and plumbing infrastructure. That’s what it’s like today when it comes to home networking. It’s a DIY affair in which you need to provide your own equipment and figure out the best place to set it up. That could become a thing of the past thanks to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program.

Xbox's chief wants to bring Xbox Game Pass and old-school Xbox games to Windows PCs

From PC World: The walls between PCs and consoles keep crumbling down. Microsoft’s spearheading the charge with its stellar Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, which lets you buy a single copy of select Xbox One games and play it on Windows 10 PCs as well, complete with cross-platform cloud saves and multiplayer. But if Xbox head (Xboss?) Phil Spencer has his way, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Mario Kart VR coming soon, but only to Tokyo arcade for now

From CNET: Have you ever wanted to play Mario Kart in full 3D? Your dream may soon become a reality because it was announced Tuesday that Mario Kart Arcade VR will be coming to Bandai Namco's new VR Zone arcade in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The game will have arcade chairs outfitted with steering wheels, motion sensing wristbands and HTC VIVE headsets. You'll be able to race around the track from your character's point of view and virtually throw shells and other powerups with an actual throwing motion.

Google adds Recaptcha API to Android to block the bots

From InfoWorld: Developers on the Android mobile platform, which has had ongoing problems with security, now have at their disposal an API intended to protect apps from malicious traffic and bots.

Google is adding a Recaptcha API to Google Play Services for Android apps. The API is included with Google SafetyNet, a set of services and APIs to protect against threats that include device tampering and potentially harmful apps.

Logitech’s new Circle 2 home security cameras can be used indoors or out

From Tech Hive: Most companies manufacturing home security cameras offer one model for indoor use and a weatherized version for outdoors. When it ships in July, Logitech’s new Circle 2 will fit both use cases, but one model is battery-powered and wire-free, while the other is tethered to a power cable.

AMD Threadripper exclusive: Only Alienware's Area-51 will have it in 2017

From PC World: If you can't wait to order a new PC with AMD’s crazy 16-core Threadripper CPU, there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is, Dell subsidiary Alienware announced Monday afternoon that it has secured an exclusive deal for AMD’s high-end chip through the end of the year.

But before you get out your torches and pitchforks, there's also good news here. The exclusive applies only to big-name PC rivals like HP and Lenovo. Smaller boutique gaming PC vendors will be able to build Threadripper systems, and DIY PC builders will have access to it, too.

Intel revealed the Core i9 ship dates, but you won't like them

From PC World: Intel's announced ship dates for its Core i9 chip family, but enthusiasts aren't going to like it. The company is staggering the release dates over several months, and it's saving the best—the monster 18-core Extreme Edition—for last.

On Monday at the E3 show in Los Angeles, Intel said you'll be able to buy the lower-end 4-core, 8-core, and 10-core Core i9s as soon as next week. The mid-range 12-core Core i9-7920X will be next, shipping in August.

Jet.com to phase out Costco products after Walmart deal

From CNET: If you are Jet.com customer partial to Kirkland Signature brand products, you'll soon have to look elsewhere for them.

Jet.com, which was purchased last year by Walmart, plans to phase out the Costco-owned brands, Bloomberg reported Monday. Some Kirkland products will still be available on the internet retailer but only through third-party sellers, a spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

Sprint nabs Essential Phone exclusive

From CNET: Andy Rubin's recently unveiled Essential Phone will be exclusively available on Sprint in the US, according to USA Today.

Rubin, known as the father of Android, worked at Google for many years. Now he's back in the US with a high-end device designed to breathe new life into the concept of modular phones, and Sprint has the exclusive.

"I feel like we are a new brand and a new consumer electronics company and we are partnering with the network of the future," Essential President Niccolo de Masi told USA Today.

Logitech's Powerplay mousepad wirelessly charges your mouse while you use it

From PC World: A few weeks ago when Corsair unveiled its Concept Zeus mousepad at Computex—a prototype that charges a wireless mouse sans wires—I said I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies follow suit in the near future. It happened sooner than expected, as it turns out: Today, Logitech announced its own wireless charging mousepad, the Powerplay, along with two mice to take advantage of the technology.

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