iFixit cuts the prices on its battery replacement kits to one up Apple’s $29 offer

iFixit, the internet’s most popular repository of guides for repairing Apple devices, has announced that it’s cutting prices for all of its iPhone battery replacement kits down to $29 or less. They usually sell for between $39 to $49, depending on how recent your phone is.
The news comes after Apple announced yesterday that it would be cutting the price of its own battery replacements to $29 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, starting in late January and running through December 2018 (a $50 discount off the usual price). The decision came in response to the uproar over Apple slowing down devices with aging batteries to try to preserve performance.
iFixit’s offer outdoes Apple’s in a few ways, offering kits for phones as old as the iPhone 4S and at cheaper prices. Only iFixit’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus kits cost $29, with most of other older models going for $24.99 — a price that includes a new battery and all the tools you’ll need to pry open your phone and replace it.

If you fry your phone installing the battery yourself, you’re pretty much on your own

That’s of course the major downside here: Apple’s price includes professional installation, whereas if you fry your phone installing the battery yourself, you’re pretty much on your own.
It’s certainly nice that iFixit is looking to making replacing batteries cheaper for iPhone owners — the company cites its usual arguments about the importance of letting consumers do repairs on their own devices and Apple’s ongoing fight against Right to Repair legislation as part of the reasoning here, too.
But it’s also hard not to look at this decision as one that just makes good business sense for the repair company, seeing as it’d be almost impossible for iFixit to sell a DIY battery replacement kit for more than $29 now that Apple has set the price so low (at least for 2018). iFixit also hasn’t said if it’ll be permanently keeping prices in this range or if it’ll be raising back up to the usual costs once Apple stops offering discounted batteries in 2019.
Still, unless you’ve got an older phone not covered by Apple, really need to save $5, or just distrust Apple’s repairs, it’s hard to argue that Apple’s official replacements aren’t the way to go for the next year.
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Source: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/12/29/16829556/ifixit-apple-iphone-battery-replacement-kits-diy-software-slowdown-price-cut-29

Bethesda Founder Thinks Loot Box Backlash Could Lead to Higher Game Prices

One of the biggest controversies in the game industry this year came from loot boxes, items which have existed previously but greatly increased in appearance. While games like Overwatch have utilized this mechanic for well over a year now, players became fed up when certain titles took the randomized loot mechanic too far like Star Wars Battlefront II and Destiny 2. Fan backlash to the practice have been incredibly loud and vocal, likely shaking up how companies approach this system in the future.

Christopher Weaver, Bethesda founder and one of the creators of The Elder Scrolls franchise, was recently asked about this loot box trend and specifically how video games should make money in the wake of this controversy. Weaver began his answer by criticizing the freemium model in AAA games, admitting that he’s not a fan of people believing in getting something for nothing. Offering a single chapter first or a subscription, however, is a better way.

Weaver believes that players will continue to rebel against the loot box system and unpopular nickel and diming strategy largely because it interferes with the flow of a game, preventing players from losing themselves in the play world. On the flip side, he also understands that its a business and for companies to remain profitable, players may also have to absorb some of the increasing costs of creating AAA games without microtransactions. This could mean paying more money for games up front.

Whatever the solution may be, Weaver is thankful that his day to day job doesn’t require him to worry about economics anymore, only about teaching his students. The same can’t be said for EA, however, as the publisher continues to deal with the fallout from the backlash over Star Wars Battlefront 2. The most recent controversies surrounding that game have started to negatively impact EA’s financials now, which have caused its financial projections for 2018 to be lowered. Though the company responded to fan concerns over what many believed to be a predatory microtransaction system, the damage appears to have been done.

Source: Rolling Stone

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Fantasy football 2017: Which players could get rested in Week 17?

Figuring out which players are sitting is one of the biggest challenges of playing fantasy football in Week 17. We try to help sort things out.
The fantasy football season might have wrapped up in Week 16 for many players, but there’s still a contingent that plays into Week 17. This is where players face possibly the biggest challenge of the entire year — figuring out which teams are going to rest starters ahead of their playoff matchups. This can be a tricky game, and getting your lineups right is all the more crucial with the fantasy championship on the line.
First off, let’s go over the playoff standings and narrow down which teams still have something to play for.

New England Patriots (need win to clinch home-field advantage)

Pittsburgh Steelers (can still win No. 1 seed with win and Patriots loss)

Jacksonville Jaguars (clinched No. 3 seed)

Kansas City Chiefs (clinched No. 4 seed)
Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans

The division winners are all set, while the wild card field has four teams in must-win scenarios (Titans, Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers).

Philadelphia Eagles (clinched home-field advantage)

Minnesota Vikings (need win to clinch first-round bye)
Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints

Carolina Panthers (can clinch first-round bye with win and losses by Saints, Rams, Vikings)

Atlanta Falcons (clinch No. 6 seed with win)

The Seattle Seahawks need a win and Falcons loss to clinch the No. 6 seed.
As you can see, there’s still a lot up in the air in the NFC, especially with an out-there scenario where the Panthers can jump from No. 5 to 2.
Out of those teams in the playoff picture (and discounting the non-contenders just playing out the string), only the Eagles, Jaguars, and Chiefs are locked into spots and truly have nothing to play for. The Rams can go either No. 3 or 4, but it doesn’t sound like Sean McVay is all that bothered by his seeding.
Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell will not play this weekend. There has been no official confirmation, but that is something to keep on your radar. The Steelers can clinch home field with a win and a Patriots loss, but the Patriots are hosting an atrocious Jets team this weekend.
So that leaves us with four teams most likely to rest their starters ahead of the playoffs. Let’s run down the positions and how this could affect fantasy football in the regular-season finale.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid already confirmed that rookie Patrick Mahomes will get the start, so that clears this up, at least. With no chance to improve their No. 4 playoff seeding, the Chiefs are more or less taking it easy. Mahomes will be a borderline QB2 against a still-stingy Denver Broncos pass defense.
Chances of sitting: 100 percent

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
McVay has been talking about this situation all week, largely confirming that he will rest some starters. It makes sense for the Rams, who can’t get a first-round bye and are playing next week regardless. Goff is only 196 yards away from 4,000 on the season, but they seem comfortable getting some rest before their wild card matchup.
Chances of sitting: 100 percent
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Steelers sit Roethlisberger, it’s a big loss for fantasy owners. He has been a consistent presence the second half of this season. He’s not putting up monster totals with regularity, but he’s been a high floor player, even without Antonio Brown. If he does not play, Landry Jones would get the start and is not a good start outside of 2-QB leagues and flex QB leagues.
Chances of sitting: 50 percent

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles was pretty atrocious in last week’s Christmas night game, but the Eagles did just barely enough to beat the Oakland Raiders and secure the No. 1 overall seed. Still, his performance hardly inspired confidence, so there’s a decent chance Foles gets plenty of reps Sunday while the Eagles try to figure out their offense without Carson Wentz.
Chances of sitting: 40 percent

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags already won the NFC South and secured the No. 3 seed, so they have nothing to play for beyond pride — which is why they’re definitely playing after last week’s humiliation in Santa Clara. Led by the old-school, hard-nosed stylings of Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin, the Jags aren’t about to get an easy week off after the San Francisco 49ers destroyed them. Look for them to go all-out as they try to knock their divisional rival Titans out of the wild card race.
Chances of sitting: 10 percent
Running backs

Todd Gurley, Rams
Much like Goff, Gurley’s situation went from early week toss-up to definitive by the middle of the week. He could also use one more strong game to boost his MVP resume and win the league’s rushing title, but the playoffs are more important for the Rams.
Chances of sitting: 100 percent

Jay Ajayi/LeGarrette Blount/Corey Clement, Eagles
Don’t expect much from Ajayi or Blount this week — the Eagles know full well what they have in their veteran duo. Clement could be an interesting DFS play if he ends up leading the backfield in touches, but overall, fantasy owners might just want to avoid this altogether.
Chances of sitting: 70 percent

Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
Bothered by ankle and quad injuries for the past month, Fournette is the one Jaguar starter most likely to get some rest in Week 17. There’s a chance he gets a handful of carries to reach the 1,000-yard mark (he’s only 29 yards away), but the Jags will probably just make do with a T.J. Yeldon/Chris Ivory platoon.
Chances of sitting: 60 percent
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
It’s been a monster season for Bell, who is third in the NFL in rushing and second among running backs in fantasy points. Stevan Ridley would start in place of Bell if the Steelers elect to sit him.
Chances of sitting: 50 percent

Kareem Hunt, Chiefs
As noted below, Hunt is firmly in the rushing title race, but the Chiefs already sat Alex Smith for Mahomes, and the rest of the starters could follow suit. Maybe they give Hunt a chance to pad his stats before he makes way for the backups, but it’s a dicey situation for fantasy owners. Have Charcandrick West on standby just in case.
Chances of sitting: 50 percent
Wide receivers

Sammy Watkins/Robert Woods/Cooper Kupp, Rams
Watkins is the most likely to sit given his long injury history, but if he starts it’ll be the first time since 2014 he’s played all 16 games. Woods missed several games with a shoulder injury earlier this year and could take it easy for a week. Kupp is a candidate to lead the team in targets if those two players hit the bench.
Chances of sitting: 60 percent

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
It would be so, so tempting to stack Hill and Mahomes in DFS leagues, but we just don’t know how the starting lineup will shake out, and he’ll still have a tough matchup with the Broncos secondary. As the Chiefs’ only reliable weapon at wide receiver, we imagine Reid only gives him a token start before he goes into mothballs alongside Smith.
Chances of sitting: 50 percent

Alshon Jeffery/Nelson Agholor, Eagles
Both players’ fantasy value took a huge hit with Foles replacing Wentz, and they won’t be recommended options even if they play every snap.
Chances of sitting: 40 percent

Dede Westbrook/Keelan Cole, Jaguars
With Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns still sidelined by ankle injuries, the Jags don’t have the luxury of sitting their few healthy receivers. Westbrook has emerged as a quality PPR asset down the stretch, while Cole offers speedy game-breaking potential. Both of them will be in play as WR3 options against the Titans’ overrated defense.
Chances of sitting: 10 percent
Tight ends

Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Same deal as Hunt and Hill — at best, he probably starts and gets a few targets from Mahomes, but it’ll be a surprise if he plays the whole game.
Chances of sitting: 50 percent

Zach Ertz, Eagles
Ertz was the one player who didn’t suffer from Foles’ presence, taking advantage of his safety blanket status to rack up nine catches for 81 yards against the Oakland Raiders last week. And Ertz might be the least likely option to sit, because Foles could use a confidence-booster before the Divisional round. Assuming he plays, he’ll be an easy top-five fantasy option at the tight end position.
Chances of sitting: 30 percent

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‘I used to say to clubs Virgil van Dijk had it all, and then they’d buy someone else. I’d despair’ | Football

The scene was a meeting room in a plush Istanbul hotel. The president of a high-flying Turkish football club sat on one side of the table crunching the numbers while David Moss, the agent charged with negotiating his client’s personal terms, allowed himself a moment of self-reflection. “It was fascinating watching it all play out, the negotiations on fees and pitch on salary packages,” he said. “I found myself smiling a lot of the time because I know how it works. The club know what they can pay and what they can’t even before everyone gets round that table. It’s all a game. But a game I can now see from all angles.”
Moss is in an almost unique position when it comes to the forthcoming transfer window, having filled virtually every role going in football’s recruitment business over a lengthy and diverse career. He has been the player, the nomadic midfielder crisscrossing the lower leagues from Doncaster Rovers to Chesterfield, Falkirk to Partick Thistle. He has spent time in youth football as academy manager at Swansea City and Crystal Palace, then seven years at Celtic which eventually saw him oversee their senior scouting division. At the end of last season he left Celtic Park to become head of football operations at Huddersfield Town, newly promoted to the Premier League, and directed a frantic summer of squad strengthening.

Then came an abrupt departure from the John Smith’s Stadium in late autumn and now, armed with a masters in sporting directorship from Manchester Metropolitan University and a place on the Football Association’s recently created level five course for technical directors, he is an agent working informally with . These are early days wearing his latest hat, and the reasons for his sudden if amicable divorce from Town are bound to secrecy by a confidentiality agreement, but clubs and players alike will see the value in tapping in to his vast knowledge when it comes to the scramble to strengthen or balance the books.
“As a sporting director I helped players play in the Premier League, and I could see the excitement in their eyes at signing for a top-flight club,” he said. “I’ve seen ‘little Huddersfield’ spend £11m on Steve Mounié, £7m on Aaron Mooy, £8m on Tom Ince, the kind of fees they’d never paid before, and I’ve seen the excitement, too, on the owner’s face. Now I’m in a position where I can help clubs sign players they might otherwise not have known about through the contacts I’ve built up. I can source players outside their normal channels, and help players from abroad find a way to play in England.
“Leaving Huddersfield came out of the blue but, in life, things happen which throw you in a different direction. At Palace I’d overseen an academy producing the likes of Victor Moses, Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne under Simon Jordan’s ownership. I was on a cross-Channel ferry back in 2010 going over to Holland with an under‑16s team when the managing director, Phil Alexander, rang to say we’d gone into administration. I was one of 29 people who’d been made redundant. The sense of shock … but over the next few months I had the head of youth development at Celtic [Chris McCart] calling me up to head up the scouting for their academy. I eventually gave in, and it was the best decision I ever made. That role submerged me in scouting, from youth into senior level, and set me up for everything.”
Life at Celtic, “a juggernaut of a football club”, was a challenge in a market warped by English Premier League clubs’ turnovers. Where English top-flight clubs would receive £100m per season at the very least through broadcast rights, Celtic would be all‑conquering domestically on around £2m a year in television revenues, but Moss and his staff – half-a-dozen full‑time scouts in Scotland and England, and seven or eight assigned to regions in Europe – would still have to recruit players capable of holding their own in the Champions League. “The most we could pay would be around £3m, and we had two criteria: did the player have the ability and character to compete against the likes of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, AC Milan? And did they have the potential to be sold at a huge profit?
“Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembélé – all had that huge potential. The big clubs all knew about them but found faults and reasons not to pursue them. If you’re receiving £100m every year, why take risks? You can wait for a club like Celtic to do that and if you have to pay through the nose further down the line for the finished article, so be it. But you can see a Rolls Royce of a player early. I used to say to Premier League clubs: ‘Van Dijk is a man playing in a playground against kids, he stands out so much. He’s 6ft 4in, can ping it from one end of the field to the other, can head it, scores goals, is quick … he’s got everything.’ And they’d still go and buy someone else. I’d despair.

Look at what Les Reed has achieved at Southampton: there is the example of the system working perfectly.

“I was aware of Dembélé when he came over to Fulham from PSG, and all the Premier League clubs had watched him in the Championship. He wasn’t the quickest – he’s not slow, either – but he’s got great presence, is a natural finisher, and has a big-game mentality. The bigger the game, the cooler he is. Once it was clear he wasn’t going to sign a new contract at Fulham, that deal was perfect for us. English clubs would have to go to a tribunal and pay up to £5m for him, but Scotland is considered ‘cross‑border’ so we only had to pay £400,000 in compensation. He’s only 21 and is a dark horse to go with France to the World Cup. The bigger the game, the bigger his contribution. I’ve seen the suggestions he might go for £18m this window, but he’d still be cheap at £30m.”
As head of scouting, Moss would spend the vast majority of his time traipsing across Europe, or south to the Championship or below, with the manager’s positional wish-list always in mind. Brendan Rodgers would call monthly meetings where the Yorkshireman would present the department’s findings to the manager and his staff. “Say we were looking for a box-to-box midfielder, we’d deliver 15 different options and Brendan, very professional, would make notes on each player. We’d go into each one, their strong points, and whittle it down to an absolute maximum of four to focus on. Brendan would say which ones he preferred, and we’d get the go-ahead to explore how much it would cost us, either with the agent or the club.
“Initially, you’re looking at technical and physical abilities, then tactical and football intelligence, such as positioning. And then you’d have his psychological profiling, talking to people in the game or around the player. Further down the road we could come together again and update, and then hand over to the chief executive, Peter Lawwell, and [the company secretary] Michael Nicholson to deal with the financials with the player’s agent once we had permission from his club. That process eventually landed us, say, Olivier Ntcham, from Manchester City, who we’d watched [on loan] at Genoa.”
Seeing these success stories play out at Parkhead provided satisfaction for Moss, but he craved authority over the whole process. When Huddersfield targeted him to replace the departing Stuart Webber, even Rodgers told him he would be mad not to accept. Town had been promoted on an £11m budget, one of the lowest in the Championship, with their new head of football operations inheriting two full-time scouts. Some of Moss’s staff at Celtic followed him south and a network sprang up across Europe almost overnight, alongside new data, video scouting and analysis staff. The owner, Dean Hoyle, embraced progress, and the manager, David Wagner, pushed for recruitment to be implemented swiftly and efficiently. The results were eye-catching.

Jaguars vs. Titans odds 2017: Tennessee a field goal betting favorite in Week 17 game

The Tennessee Titans will try to earn a trip to the playoffs with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars as small chalk at the sportsbooks on Sunday afternoon.
The Tennessee Titans are 7-2 straight up and 4-4-1 against the spread in their last nine home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans could punch their ticket into the postseason with another home win over the Jaguars this Sunday.
Tennessee is a 3-point home favorite in Nashville at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their last five games as a home favorite, the Titans are 5-0 SU and 3-1-1 ATS.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
When: Sunday, December 31, 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Betting Line / Total: Tennessee -3 / 41.5 Points
Jaguars at Titans OddsShark Matchup Report

Tennessee Titans
The Titans have lost each of their last three games since starting the season off 8-4 SU, failing to pick up the ninth win they’ve needed to clinch a playoff spot.
Tennessee has only three wins this season against teams with winning records with one of those wins coming in a 37-16 blowout of the Jaguars back in Week 2. The Jaguars are a much more polished team now than they were then, and the stakes are much higher for the Titans this time around too.
Tennessee hasn’t been a good bet over in its last 38 games against division rivals going just 9-27-2 ATS over that stretch per the OddsShark NFL Database.

Jacksonville Jaguars
With the No. 3 seed in the AFC clinched and no opportunity to move up to No. 2, the Jaguars for all intents and purposes have nothing to play for on Sunday. But while some coaches opt to rest their starters in spots like this, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has stated that his team is “all-in” on beating the Titans this week as he is set to treat this like any other rivalry game.
For a 10-5 SU and 9-6 ATS team making its first playoff appearance since 2007, it makes sense that Marrone would like to carry some momentum into the postseason.
Sunday’s total is set at 41.5 points. The OVER is 10-0 in Jacksonville’s last 10 late afternoon games.
Jacksonville is 1-10 SU and 3-8 ATS over its last 11 games played in Week 17. This year’s Jaguars team has been breaking a lot of these ugly trends in 2017 and would love nothing more than to spoil their division rival’s playoff push with a rare Week 17 win this weekend.
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
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BlackBerry PRIV is DEAD! End of Life Status Confirmed

Richard Goodwin

19/12/2017 – 10:55am

The BlackBerry PRIV is dead, after almost two years of service – no more updates, no more support. Adios, good buddy!

The BlackBerry PRIV is now dead. BlackBerry has confirmed the handset has reached its end of life status, meaning no more updates, no more support, no more nothing, basically.
The BlackBerry PRIV was originally launched in 2015 to a rather mixed reception. It was essentially the predecessor to the BlackBerry KeyOne, which turned out to be a far superior handset, though many still had a lot of love for the Priv.
Now that the phone has reached its end of life, it will no longer receive updates for the BlackBerry App World, Playbook Video calling and anything else pertaining to software, though BlackBerry says it is keen on getting existing users upgraded to either the KeyOne or the BlackBerry Motion.
This upgrade initiative will offer discounts and incentives to existing Priv users. BlackBerry did also confirm that if something really bad happens, like a critical security issue, it will, of course, release new firmware for the handset in due course.

You can pick up the BlackBerry KEYone for $449.99 via Amazon, for instance, while the impressive BlackBerry Motion retails for $519 – we just reviewed the Motion and bloody loved it too.
I’ve always liked BlackBerry handsets. But the company’s latest run of phones is the best yet, with excellent software and great cameras. They run pure Android, like the Pixel phones, and the imaging prowess of both is great.
They’re also a good deal cheaper than a lot of flagships in the marketplace right now, so if you’re looking for a new BlackBerry, you have two very solid options in the form of the KEYone and the Motion.

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iPhone 7 colours: A range of gorgeous hues

So the iPhone 7 is no longer Apple’s flagship, what with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X release earlier this year. Still, the iPhone 7 is a great choice, and now at a cut-down price too. But when you get to the checkout, you have one more decision to make: what iPhone 7 colour do you pick? Available in a range of dreamy hues, consumer indecision when it comes to the iPhone 7 is palpable. Damn these infernal choices.
Here’s a quick outline of all the options available, to give you the best chance of picking one you won’t end up regretting for every month of your contract.
Right now, you can buy an iPhone 7 in one of five colours. Here they are in an aesthetically appealing row on the Apple website:

Black being less a colour and more an absence of light, you’d imagine that “black” would be as dark as it goes, but no: Jet Black is Apple’s darkest iPhone to date, coming in a glossy black finish that is spectacular to look at.
There is a drawback to going for this iPhone 7 colour, however. It scratches more easily, with Apple noting that the model “may show fine micro-abrasions with use.”
iPhone 7 Gold

Silver, despite being hugely flashy too, doesn’t get half as bad a rap as gold. I can only assume that’s because it means “second place” in the Olympics, and buying a “second place” phone must imply a certain amount of humility, right?
Not much to say about this, other than to note that the antenna lines are virtually invisible, and that it will match your old MacBook nicely if you have one. That’s probably worth something to someone, somewhere.
iPhone 7 Black

By far the most colourful of the iPhone 7s is the Rose Gold edition. Although pictures make it look quite pink, in person it’s a little bit more subtle, offering a softer edge to your handset.
This outlines the white antenna lines quite clearly, which isn’t actually a good or a bad thing – but given they’re pretty much invisible on the silver model, it’s worth highlighting all the same.

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Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C Review


The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C is a fast standard prime lens that offers a maximum aperture of f1.4. It offers the equivalent angle of view as a 24mm lens on an APS-C camera and 32mm on Micro Four Thirds. The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C features a rounded 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. It has a minimum focusing distance of 25cm / 9.8in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:9.9, while the stepping AF motor ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens is currently available for £449.99 / $449.99 in the UK and the US, respectively. We tested the Micro Four Thirds version of the lens.

Ease of Use
Weighing in at 405g and measuring 9.23cm in length, the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C is quite a compact lens given its fast f/1.4 aperture. As seen in the photos below, it complements a camera like the new Panasonic G9 very well.
Build quality is excellent given the affordable price tag. The lens has a plastic shell with a mixture of metallic parts and a new compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), used inside. It also incorporates a brass bayonet mount that’s supposed to be more durable. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass. The focus ring is wide enough given the size of the lens and ridged for easier grip.
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens mounted on a Panasonic G9
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens mounted on a Panasonic G9
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens mounted on a Panasonic G9
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens alongside the Panasonic G9
In terms of features, the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C offers all the basics that you need from a standard prime lens. The main exception is the lack of built-in Vibration Reduction, although the very fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes up for this.
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens has a very wide focus ring. There are no hard stops at both ends of the range, making it more difficult to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 67mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.
Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the camera body. Full-time manual focus override is also available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring.
Side of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens
Front of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens
Rear of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens
When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C zoom is a very quick and reliable performer, taking about 0.10 second to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Panasonic G9 that we tested it with.
We didn’t experience very much “hunting”, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It’s also a very quiet performer, thanks to the built-in stepping AF motor, which makes this lens well-suited to video recording.
Front of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens
Rear of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C ships with a good quality plastic circular-shaped lens hood. It accepts 67mm filters.
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens in-hand
The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens fitted with the supplied LH716-01 lens-hood
Focal Range
At the 16mm focal length the angle of view is 83.2 degrees.
Chromatic Aberrations
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, can be detected in quite a lot of our sample shots – this is definitely one of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C’s weaker points in terms of image quality.
With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/1.4, there is some light fall-off in the corners. Stopping-down to f/4 virtually eliminates this.

The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C isn’t claimed to be a macro lens, but it delivers reasonable performance nonetheless. It has a useful minimum focusing distance of 25cm / 9.8in. and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:9.9. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN C lens, Sigma employed an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades, which has resulted in quite nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we’ve included several 100% crops for your perusal.
In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Next Page
Sharpness: 1 »

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How to transfer WhatsApp conversations to new devices: the easy way

WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication tools on the planet. But if you get a new phone and transfer your WhatsApp account to it, your old messages don’t automatically come with you. Thankfully we’re here to help. This tutorial explains how to transfer WhatsApp conversations to a new device, so you can pick up your chats where you left off.  

Google Drive backup and restore
Newer versions of WhatsApp include automatic Google Drive backups, which makes the process of transferring your WhatsApp chat history between phones even easier than before.

You simply tap the trio of dots at the top left of the screen and go to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup. 
From here, you can back up manually, or set it to automatically back up as regularly as you like. When WhatsApp is reinstalled, it will prompt you to recover your chats and multimedia from Google Drive. 

The ability to make Google Drive backups in the latest version of WhatsApp makes life easier. / © AndroidPIT

Manually backing up chats and restoring them
If you’ve yet to receive the Google Drive WhatsApp update, it’s still reasonably easy to create a backup and move it to your new phone. Simply proceed as follows:

Open the Settings menu of WhatsApp, tap on Chats and calls and then tap Chat backup.

Tap the three dots (options) button. Go to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup. / © AndroidPIT

If your old Android phone and new one both primarily use an external SD card for memory, simply take the SD card out of your old phone, and put it into your new one
For phones that save to internal memory, such as most newer devices, connect your smartphone to your PC via USB cable, and navigate to the internal memory of the device to the folder WhatsApp / Database. This is where all the backup files are saved with a date. They will look something like “msgstore-2013-05-29.db.crypt”. Copy the file with the latest creation date (it will have a different name from the automatic backups created, mine is “msgstore.db.crypt8”) onto your PC in an easy to find location (such as your desktop). 

Install WhatsApp on your new device but do not start the app!

Connect your new device to the PC via USB. Because you’ve already downloaded WhatsApp onto your new handset, the folder WhatsApp / Databases should now exist. If not, you can manually create a new Databases folder in the WhatsApp folder. 

You can use a folder browsing app like File Commander to navigate to your internal storage on your phone, just like you can on your PC. / © AndroidPIT

Copy your WhatsApp conversation backup file into this folder.
Now start WhatsApp on your new phone and verify your phone number. You should now get a notification that a message backup was found. Just tap Restore, and you’re done. After a few seconds, all of your messages should have appeared on your new device.

Transferring WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android
Please note that without using a questionable third party tool, it is not currently possible to transfer chats from iOS to Android or vice versa. iPhone users can, however, use iCloud to get their old messages on their new iPhone in much the same way as Android users can make use of the Google Drive backup feature.
Are there any other methods you’ve tried? Did your transfer to a new phone go smoothly? Let us know in the comments. 

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Attending CES 2018? TechCrunch wants to see your company

CES is a horrible, god-awful experience that will shave years off your life. The casinos, the food, the people, the germs. Horrible. All of it. But we love it! And we’re sending a huge contingent to the show again this year and want to see your gadgets, toys and products.
TechCrunch cares much more for the hardware startups than the big CE players. We want to see the future FitBits and the company that will be the next GoPro. If you have a hoverboard that’s actually novel, let us know. Do you have a new drone that does something wacky and interesting? Stop by and see us.
Even better, fill out the form below and we’ll do our best to get you coverage.
TechCrunch has a booth yet again, and like last year, we’re in the Mezzanine of the Sand Expo Center, located right outside of the Eureka Park. A CES badge is not required to visit our booth.
This year’s show is set to be our best yet and we want you to be part of it.

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