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Amazon's one-day PC gear blowout offers deep discounts on gaming rigs, laptops, SSDs, and more

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 09:23

Memorial Day 2019 may be over, but Amazon still has a blowout sale hangover it’s sharing with everyone. On Tuesday, the retailer is running a massive PC products and accessories saleRemove non-product link with some mouth-watering deals on SSDs, hard drives, desktops, laptops, SD cards, and more. Here are our top three picks from the sale.

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WWDC 2019: What to expect from Apple’s big June event

Mac World - Tue, 2019-05-28 07:00

Apple holds multiple events throughout the year, but the most important two by far are the introduction of new iPhones (typically in September), and the Worldwide Developers Conference in the summer. Known simply as WWDC, the week-long event focuses on the people who make all the apps and services we enjoy on our iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.

WWDC is centered around developer sessions, but the week kicks off with a big keynote presentation. Apple’s top execs preview the company’s upcoming operating systems and often reveal new products and services. Here’s what we expect to see this year, as well as helpful links to watch the keynote yourself. We’ll have continuing coverage of all the hot news out of WWDC beginning on Monday, June 3.

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug WiFi review: A commodity add-on outlet with more flaws than features

Mac World - Tue, 2019-05-28 06:01
Don’t be enticed by the low price: This smart plug is a me-too wannabe.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug WiFi review: A commodity add-on outlet with more flaws than features

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 06:01
Don’t be enticed by the low price: This smart plug is a me-too wannabe.

Camera obscura: Pre-judging the iPhone XR2

Mac World - Tue, 2019-05-28 06:00

We are months and months away from actually seeing Apple’s 2019 iPhones but it’s never too early to judge how ugly they are. (Spoiler: so ugly.)

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and hand-stuck-in-a-mason-jar survivors support group, Gordon Kelly doubles (or possibly quadruples, The Macalope has lost count) down on how ugly the iPhone XR2 will be.

“New iPhone XR2 Renders Detail Apple’s Shocking Design.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

Worried about Apple’s new iPhone designs?

Um, no? Frankly, the horny one thinks that you can slide the new iPhone designs under “alien invasion” and “kaiju attack” on your list of things to worry about.

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Hands-on: Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 gets thinner and 2.5x faster with Intel's 10th Core i7

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 03:01

Let’s be honest, Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 has been the Jan Brady of the famed XPS family. Not anymore. The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 finally steps out into the limelight with Intel’s newest 10th-generation, 10nm-based Core i7 CPU, Iris graphics, much faster memory, and a fabulous 4K panel.

Adam Patrick Murray The redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 still features a milled aluminum lid.

The darling of the new XPS 13 2-in-1 is Intel’s 10th-gen Core i7-1065 G7 processor. Cynical nerds will want to yawn at a quad-core in an ultra-thin laptop, but the XPS 13 2-in-1 platform has always been built around low power, 5 watt dual-cores CPUs such as the Core i7-8500Y. The Core i7-1065 G7 boasts Intel’s new Sunny Cove cores with improved IPC and a smarter boost capability that improves performance despite running at lower clock speeds than the previous 8th-gen Whiskey Lake CPUs.

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Who should buy Intel's 10th-gen CPU in a laptop: Five reasons for and against

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 03:00

With Intel’s 10th-generation Ice Lake CPU finally here, you may be wondering whether to wait for laptops to come out with the new CPU, rather than buy an existing model with an 8th-gen CPU (Note: Intel’s 8th generation offers a full range of mobile CPUs, while the 9th generation offers only high-end ‘H’ mobile parts). We’ll walk you through the reasons why you’d want to wait for a 10th-gen laptop, and five reasons why you don’t have to.

Five reasons you should wait for Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake CPU in your next laptop

We know, you want shiny new things. And you know what? The shiny new thing in laptops are Intel’s new 10th gen-chips. Here are five reasons why it would be worth it to wait. 

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Intel's 'Ice Lake' 10th-gen Core CPUs boost graphics and Wi-Fi, tap AI to offset slower turbo speeds

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

Intel’s upcoming 10nm “Ice Lake” processor won’t deliver any more cores and threads than its current 8th-gen parts, and at slower turbo clock speeds. But what Intel is calling its 10th-gen Core chip here at Computex offers numerous improvements across the board: performance boosts across CPU, graphics, and AI tasks, plus platform-level enhancements like “Wi-Fi 6 Gig+” that offers more bandwidth than your wired router.

The Ice Lake-based 10th-gen processors will be Intel’s first widely available 10nm Core chips and the company’s first major chip redesign since 2015’s Skylake architecture. They're now shipping, Intel's Gregory Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, is expected to say in his Computex address.

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Here's what's inside Intel's boundary-pushing 'Project Athena' laptops—and why

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

After unveiling its grand vision for the future of mobile computing at CES in January, Intel finally provided more detail on what exactly will be inside the “Project Athena” notebooks that will begin shipping later this year, showcasing how the company thinks the laptop market should evolve. 

Intel sees the “Project Athena” notebooks as essentially the next generation of ultrabooks, but they’re also a showcase for Intel’s strengths. There’s less emphasis, for example, on the 5G technologies that rival chipmaker Qualcomm deems essential. Though the company isn’t defining exactly how an Athena notebook should be made, the company does have compliance and qualification programs in place. Most importantly, Intel has also listed requirements for specific types of components that should be included in a Project Athena laptop, such as a precision touchpad and Thunderbolt 3.

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How the Intel Ice Lake processor's new AI powers will improve your PC

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

Those who buy an Intel notebook with Ice Lake this fall may start to see increased instances of something special: a sprinkling of AI magic, first here and there, and then more and more.

This isn’t to say that AI capabilities are exclusive to Ice Lake, or that without it you won’t see drastic improvements in desktop software. But some of the “whoa” moments that app developers are working on require artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, which Intel is building into its new 10th-gen Core chip.

Some of those you already see today. Microsoft’s Photos app, for example, uses AI image analysis to come up with its own assessment of what it’s “seeing,” such as a beach scene, for example, or snow. Microsoft Photos and Google Photos already identify and group the subjects of your photos, recognizing who’s in them.

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AMD's Lisa Su at Computex, on the record: Threadripper, Huawei, ray tracing and more

PC World - Tue, 2019-05-28 00:52

After AMD chief executive Lisa Su wowed a Computex audience with her announcement of a cost-effective Ryzen 9 3900X, we were still left with some questions: Where was Threadripper, for example? In a question-and-answer session following her speech, Su took the time to address this and many other topics, from ray tracing to Huawei and more.

We summarized some of Su’s post-keynote remarks earlier, but to dig down into the details—and to argue over the nuances of what was said and unsaid, you need the transcript, which we’ve published below. 

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Brock University awarded $2.2 million in NSERC funding

Brock News - Mon, 2019-05-27 15:28

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 May 2019 – R00088

If older adults are afraid of falling when standing on an unstable platform or walking on an icy sidewalk, will that fear and anxiety cause them to lose their balance and fall?

Brock Associate Professor of Kinesiology Craig Tokuno is aiming to answer this and other questions through his research on how the brain, spinal cord and muscles work to maintain balance under various conditions.

Tokuno’s work will be aided by funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He is one of 14 faculty researchers, as well as six students, from Brock University receiving a total of $2.2 million in this year’s NSERC funding round, which was announced last week.

Tokuno will use his Discovery Grant to examine anticipatory postural adjustments (APA), a strategy that the central nervous system uses to allow us to remain stable when we stand.

The central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, generate APAs which, in turn, cause certain muscles to contract at various intensities prior to an upcoming movement.

This occurs when an action is initiated, such as grabbing a door handle, or when a situation is expected that will cause the body to lose stability, such as extending your arms to stop a swinging pendulum from hitting you.

But older adults are less able to regulate the size and timing of their anticipatory movements when initiating or reacting to actions, which “may explain why falls in daily life often occur as a result of an incorrect shifting of body weight during movement preparation,” says Tokuno.

In a series of experiments, he plans to better understand the generation and trainability of APAs across the lifespan. Among other things, he’ll be looking at the role that fear and anxiety play in older adults’ balance control.

“Scientific discoveries help us better understand the inner workings of our bodies and minds as well as the world around us,” says Vice-President, Research, Tim Kenyon. “NSERC’s research funding is vital for us to investigate these areas in which we can make valuable contributions to society.”

Tokuno says he is pleased with his NSERC funding.

“This research will expand our fundamental understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying human anticipatory balance control and provide insight into how and why these processes become altered with advanced age,” he says. “This research may also help to improve our ability to determine why falls and balance deficits arise due to aging.”

Brock University researchers awarded funding in the latest NSERC round include:

Discovery Grants

  • Stephen Anco, Mathematics and Statistics: “Symmetries, conserved integrals, Hamiltonian flows, and integrable systems”
  • Michael Bidochka, Biological Sciences: “An integrated study of Metarhizium–plant interactions”
  • Robert Carlone, Biological Sciences: “Regulation of neural stem cells by retinoic acid and Notch signalling in the regenerating axolotl spinal cord”
  • Jens Coorssen, Health Sciences: “Proteomes of proteoforms — improving routine top-down proteomic analyses”
  • Kimberly Cote, Psychology: “Investigating the functional role of sleep in waking cognitive and emotion processing”
  • Travis Dudding, Chemistry: “Applications of cyclopropenylidene metal complexes and thioureas in catalysis”
  • Stephen Emrich, Psychology: “Neural mechanisms of the representation, prioritization, and manipulation of visual working memory”
  • Val Fajardo, Kinesiology: “Examining the role of neurogranin in calcineurin activation in rodent skeletal muscle” (plus a Discovery Launch Supplement)
  • William Marshall, Mathematics and Statistics: “Integrated information — theory, estimation, and application” (plus a Discovery Launch Supplement)
  • Craig Tokuno, Kinesiology: “Neural processes underlying human balance control”
  • Rene Vandenboom, Kinesiology: “Estrogen, myosin phosphorylation and muscle thermogenesis”

 Discovery Development Grants

  • Allan Adkin, Kinesiology: “Emotional and cognitive contributions to human postural control”
  • Mei Ling Huang, Mathematics and Statistics: “Nonparametric inference for extreme value analysis”

 Research Tools and Instruments Grants

  • Cheryl McCormick, Psychology: “Equipment to investigate social brain development in adolescence in rats”

Graduate Student Awards:
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships

  • Kristen Baker, Psychology: “Investigating the mechanisms of face learning: The role of variability, expectation, attention and experience”
  • Brent Pitchford, Psychology: “Reward responsiveness as a potential moderator of the effect of mental effort on attentional breadth”
  • Kate Wickham, Applied Health Sciences: “An investigation of sex differences in the physiological responses to acute cold exposure”

Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Bradley Baranowski, Applied Health Sciences: Mechanisms of exercise on BACE1 regulation and amyloid precursor protein processing in the brain mediated through BDNF signaling”
  • Garrick Forman, Applied Health Sciences: “Investigating the neuromuscular effects and mechanisms of forearm muscle fatigue on ipsilateral and contralateral fine motor function”
  • Sarah Walker, Biological Sciences: “Investigating the role of microRNAs in axonal pathfinding”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Corsair's MP600 SSD will feature PCIe 4.0 to support 5GBps transfers

PC World - Mon, 2019-05-27 10:06

AMD bragged that its new Ryzen, Radeon and X570 enable the first PCIe 4.0 PCs, and now you can add a PCIe 4.0 SSD to that mix too. Corsair on Monday unveiled its beefy Force Series MP600 M.2 SSD with support for PCIe 4.0.

Corsair officials said the MP600 will hit 4,950MBps sequential read speeds as well as sequential write speeds of 4,250MBps. The drive is built on 3D TLC NAND and features a Psison PS5016-E16 controller.

The transfer rate of the MP600 is impressive, but it’s not busting the limit yet. In theory, a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drive could move data just under 8GBps, which is about double that of a PCIe 3.0 x4 device.

The limitation, though, appears to be the Psison PS5016-E16 controller, which Psison’s website says will hit 5GBps reads and 4.4GBps writes. It’s probably nothing to be concerned about, however, as we’re in the early days of PCIe 4.0.

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Asus tells other dual-screen laptop makers to hold its beer, revealing the dazzling ZenBook Pro

PC World - Mon, 2019-05-27 09:50

In the race to make dual screens a must-have laptop feature, Asus just did the equivalent of asking the competition to hold its beer. Because, damn, if you want an impressive dual-screen laptop, how do you beat the ZenBook Pro Duo? This engineering marvel somehow manages to jam a 15.6-inch screen and a 14-inch screen into a 5.5 lbs laptop.

Yes, we’ll say that again: The ZenBook Pro Duo features two screens, including one that’s 14 inches diagonal and occupies the entire space above the keyboard. 

Asus

With its 14-inch touch-enabled secondary screen, the Asus ZenBook Pro laughs at laptops with puny 6-inch auxilary screens.

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