Microsoft is adding a headset port to Xbox One controllers

Xbox One controller diagram

Even though the Xbox One controller has earned many plaudits, one thing universally hated is the lack of a headphone port. So far the best solution has been to buy the $24.99 Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, but even that’s not without its problems. Although it won’t be much consolation to gamers that already bought the adapter, Microsoft is going to release a refreshed controller this June with a 3.5mm port built in.

The news comes via Microsoft’s own support site, which says the port (number 16 on the diagram above) will feature on “controllers released after June 2015.” It also notes that only “compatible” 3.5mm audio devices can be connected to this port. Chances are you’ll be able to hear audio through any headphones, but there will be some headset mics that won’t work due to the pointlessly different way manufacturers order the conductors on their jacks. The PlayStation 4, and many phones, suffer from the same issue, so that’s not really something Microsoft can control.

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DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler could trade places

  • Why would Tyson Chandler, who departed from Dallas due to the cold business of basketball once before, wait patiently for the Mavericks’ pursuit for his potential replacement to play out?

    Perhaps the Mavs can make Chandler a promise: They’ll eventually sign him to a market-value deal, whether it’s with the intention to keep him in Dallas or send him to a contender.

    That contender would be the Los Angeles Clippers. Of course, the Clippers would prefer to keep DeAndre Jordan, the third-team All-NBA big man who ranks right up there with perennial All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the Mavs’ top targets in free agency. However, Jordan intends to consider all of his options and has privately made it clear that he’s highly intrigued by the possibility of coming to Dallas as a featured attraction for the Mavs.

    A sign-and-trade swap of the centers, which has been mentioned in Mavs front-office offseason brainstorming sessions, would make a lot of sense for all of the involved parties.

    Jordan has all the leverage in this situation. If he decides to leave Lob City, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers would be crazy not to cooperate in this scenario. It’s the only way the Clippers could get a legitimate replacement for Jordan next season.

    The Clippers are essentially capped out heading into the summer, leaving them with only the mid-level exception to fill the massive void in the middle if Jordan leaves. That’s a fraction of what an average starting center will command this summer, much less a big man of Chandler’s quality.

    But if the Clippers take advantage of owning Jordan’s Bird rights, they could potentially plug in Chandler. He’s not quite the rebounder, finisher or rim protector that Jordan is, but Chandler isn’t a drastic downgrade in any of those departments and is a tremendous leader with championship experience. The Clippers, who were a historic comeback away from advancing to the Western finals this season, could certainly contend with Chandler complementing superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

    The Mavs want to do right by Chandler, who has been the epitome of a class act during his two one-season stints in Dallas — first as the finishing piece of their championship puzzle in 2010-11 and again last season, when the team wasn’t nearly as successful but the big man was every bit as productive and professional. But that doesn’t mean the Mavs’ motives for a sign-and-trade would be purely unselfish.

    Dallas would insist that the Clippers also take reserve point guard Raymond Felton, who was the Tyson Tax in last summer’s trade with the New York Knicks. Felton earned a lot of respect from the Mavs with his approach last season, when the longtime starter stayed ready despite playing sparingly, but they’d still like to dump his $3.9 million salary after he officially exercises his player option for next season.

    The Mavs could make much better use of that money. For example, it could go to Al-Farouq Aminu, the 24-year-old reserve forward who will be on the market again after his breakout second half of the season for the Mavs, who signed the former lottery pick last summer as a minimum-salaried reclamation project. Keeping Aminu, an athletic, versatile defender who is still developing, would be a critical move for Dallas.

    With the Clippers operating over the cap, Felton’s salary is basically pocket change for megabillionaire owner Steve Ballmer.

    The benefits for Jordan would be to give his new team maximum roster flexibility and do a favor for his former team on the way out of town.

    For Chandler, this swap would provide him a chance to be paid handsomely while competing for a championship in his native Southern California with old friend and former New Orleans Hornets teammate Paul. If Jordan doesn’t choose Dallas — or if Mark Cuban and Co. lands Aldridge instead — the Mavs would welcome Chandler back with open arms and a market-value contract.

    Wouldn’t that be a win-win scenario worth waiting for?

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    The top 15 gaming products you can buy

    The approach of summer might mean it’s time to unfurl the Slip N Slide, but there’s only so much gaming you can do while flopping around in the water. Yes, you should get outside while the weather’s nice, but there are also worlds to explore back in the air-conditioned confines of your home. If that system needs a refresh, or you’re still in the process of cobbling together the ideal setup, we’ve got a list of some must-have gaming consoles, computers and accessories. Items like Astro’s A50 wireless headset help keep you in touch with your raiding party, while Antec’s Bias Lighting can improve your display’s aesthetics. We’ll have even more gaming gadgets for our buyer’s guide in coming months, but for now you can scroll through the gallery below or head to the full gaming section to see what you’re missing.

    The top 15 gaming products you can buy right now

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    Taylor: Mavs should focus on signing Jordan

  • We all know the Dallas Mavericks’ history when it comes to signing big-time free agents.

    It’s awful.

    For a franchise as successful as the Mavs since Mark Cuban became owner — one championship, two NBA Finals appearances and 12 50-win seasons — Dallas never persuades superstar free agents to sign, for whatever reason.

    They missed on guard Deron Williams, which really turned out to be a blessing because he’s been average at best since leaving Utah. Forward Carmelo Anthony spurned the Mavs, though they were never a real contender for his services.

    And last year, center Dwight Howard opted to sign with the Rockets instead of the Mavs. Heck, they couldn’t even get a meeting with All-Star guard Chris Paul last summer.

    How sad is that? Well, it’s time for the Mavs to spend yet another summer sweet-talking a star NBA player in hopes he’ll join them.

    They should focus all of their attention on signing DeAndre Jordan this offseason.

    For the Mavs, who have been superior offensively and inept defensively for much of Cuban’s tenure, this represents a different approach.

    Normally the Mavs would focus their attention on a supremely talented offensive player like LaMarcus Aldridge, a Dallas native.

    But Jordan is the guy they need.

    He represents the Mavs’ last hope to put a championship-caliber team together around Dirk Nowitzki before he retires, as expected, in a couple of seasons.

    Don’t laugh — the Mavs could sign Jordan. Yes, you’ve heard this all before, so your skepticism is warranted.

    That said, every year is a new opportunity for Cuban and the Mavs to land an impact player. Jordan doesn’t score many points, but he can dominate a game every bit as much as Stephen Curry or LeBron James.

    Jordan averaged a career-high 11.5 points — the sixth consecutive season his scoring average has improved — and 15 rebounds per game, while shooting 71 percent from the field this season.

    He’s led the NBA in rebounding the past two seasons and had 13 games with at least 20 rebounds, including four games with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

    We haven’t seen a rebounder like that around here since Roy Tarpley in the late 1980s.

    Jordan blocks 2.2 shots per game and probably changes four times as many. He can defend pick-and-rolls, and some players don’t even think about driving into the lane because they don’t want Jordan swatting their shot into the second row.

    Jordan runs the court like a small forward, which is conducive to the way coach Rick Carlisle wants the Mavs to play, and we’ve all seen the spectacular ways he finishes above the rim.

    No, he can’t shoot free throws. A lot of terrific big men in the history of the game have struggled to shoot free throws. It’s something Carlisle will be happy to work around.

    Of course, Jordan will be in high demand because quality big men are incredibly difficult to find. The Los Angeles Lakers might want to make a run at Jordan. The Cleveland Cavaliers, too.

    Coach Doc Rivers has reportedly said Jordan is among the Clippers’ top offseason priorities. Still, multiple published reports have said the relationship between Jordan and Paul has deteriorated over the years and the center is ready to move on.

    The Clippers can pay Jordan the most money, and it’s rare for a player to give up the extra year and $20 million or so in security.

    But the NBA salary cap is supposed to go up exponentially in the next year, so Jordan has options. He could take a long-term max contract from the Clippers worth about $109 million over five years. A team such as the Mavs could only offer about $81 million over four years.

    The cap is expected to swell by $22 million in 2016 and another $21 million in 2017, talking it to $108 million.

    Jordan could sign a two- or three-year deal with the Mavs and opt out after a year or two and sign a long-term deal that could be worth considerably more than $100 million.

    Jordan, who grew up in the Houston area and attended Texas AM, is good friends with Mavs forward Chandler Parsons, in part because they share the same agent.

    None of that guarantees Jordan will sign with the Mavs. We’ve seen them whiff too much over the years to get excited.

    But the Mavs can offer something more valuable than money: an opportunity to be the face of the franchise after Dirk retires.

    Maybe that’s enough for the Mavs to rewrite their history of missing out on marquee free agents.

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    Wake up to the smell of money, not farts

    If we were rich, we’d pay gourmet baker Richard Bertinet to rouse us every day with the scent of his freshly baked bread. Unfortunately, we’re not, which is why SensorWake’s smell-based alarm clock is such an exciting prospect. Rather than waking users up with the traffic report, the device uses a cartridge of odors to get you out of bed in the morning, from coffee and croissants all the way through to the smell of US dollars.

    The project was created by 18-year-old engineering student Guillaume Rolland and was named a “top 15″ invention at last year’s Google Science Fair. Now, the company is taking to Kickstarter to raise cash for an initial production run, with deliveries expected to begin in November. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these devices, then early birds can snag one for €60 (around $65), with two capsules of your choice. When a capsule expires, you’ll be able to replace it for $7.50, with each one rated to last roughly two months at a time.

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    Dallas Mavericks’ Salary: By the Numbers

    The Dallas Mavericks rank 39th of 333 international teams surveyed in an ESPN/SportingIntelligence report revealing the sports franchises that spend the most on their players. That ranks 19th among NBA teams.

    The Mavericks’ average player salary is $4.6 million. The total payroll of $69 million ranks 112th.

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