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Windows ML will tap your PC hardware to smarten up Windows 10 apps with AI

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 14:08

Ever since the debut of Cortana within Windows 10, Microsoft has tried to inject Windows with artificial intelligence. Now it’s getting even more serious with a new API, called Windows ML, that will tap your CPU or GPU to make Windows and its apps even smarter.

Windows ML will debut within the “next major update to Windows 10,” presumably the “Redstone 4” update set to be released to hardware partners this month. Since it’s an API, every developer who writes apps for Windows will be able to take advantage of the new AI capabilities.

In the future, Microsoft said, Windows ML might even take advantage of an entirely new chip: a machine vision or visual processing chip designed by a subsidiary of Intel, called Movidius. Microsoft said that it is working closely with Movidius to support its 2485 VPU Accelerator, which could work in conjunction with or simply replace today’s webcams.

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Reading the Android 'P' leaves: 5 things the beta could tell us about the Pixel 3

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 14:00

With two months still to go until I/O, Google has given us our first sneak peak at Android P, and there’s a lot to digest. While it’s light on major front-facing features, there are a lot of changes that will impact flagship phones in 2018 and beyond, starting with the Google Pixel 3. Here are five things we learned from the first developer preview:

It will probably have a notch

It was previously rumored that Android P would include support for notched displays, but now we have some confirmation. And it’s more than a simple resolution shift. Google is baking support for “display cutouts” deep in Android P, with new platform and API layouts that help developers build immersive apps that work around the notch and use it their advantage. That means the next crop of notched Android phones will get a much better experience on Android P, and the Pixel 3 could very well be the phone that kicks off the new class.

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The Full Nerd episode 42: The future of Windows, and is cloud gaming any good?

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 13:22

In this episode of the Full Nerd, PCWorld’s resident expert on all things Microsoft, Mark Hachman, joins Gordon Mah UngBrad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray to talk about the future of Windows.  

What fresh features are coming in the next big Windows update? When can we expect that update? And hey, what’s up with all those “Polaris” and “Core OS” rumors? Could Microsoft restrict access to traditional desktop software in future versions of Windows? We dig deep into what’s coming to the operating system running on most people’s PCs. 

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Android P will have notch support and improve indoor mapping

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 13:00

The first developer preview of Android P has arrived, and with it Google is ready to show off the next phase of its mobile vision. And notches are all the rage.

As previously rumored, Android P will introduce display cutout support for Android apps, letting developers “take full advantage of the latest device screens with fullscreen content.” And it’s not just the status bar and home screen that will get the support. Google is expanding support for notched displays into all areas of Android P, including APIs so developers can get creative with their apps.

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Save Over 60% Photolemur Spectre, The AI-Powered Photo Editing Tool

Mac World - Wed, 2018-03-07 11:29

Editing photos doesn't have to be a mind-numbing slog of trial and error. Photolemur Spectre is the world's first automated photo enhancement solution for Mac, and it uses image recognition and artificial intelligence to automatically enhance your photos in batches at a time. And now, family licenses for Photolemur Spectre are on sale for more than 60% off their usual price.

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Edit Your Writing On The Fly With Ginger Page Premium, Now 80% Off

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 11:25

Just as few things say incompetent and sloppy like a document ridden with misspellings, poor word choices, and grammar errors, nothing says proficient and skilled like well-written, grammatically correct, easy-to-read prose. Improve your chances of getting your message across and being taken seriously with a one-year subscription to Ginger Page Premium, a full-featured document editing app that runs on virtually any platform or device, for just $29.99.

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SanDisk's monster 400GB microSD card is $65 off

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 09:59

If you're thinking of grabbing a Galaxy S9 when it comes out next week, need a super-sized Nintendo Switch storage solution for your collection of games, or simply want to expand beyond your laptop's stingy-sized SSD, Amazon and B&H Photo Video have a great deal today. Both retailers are selling a 400GB SanDisk Ultra class 10 microSD card for $185.

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Grab Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition for 20% off at Green Man Gaming

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 09:24

Good news! The long-awaited Final Fantasy XV PC port runs like a champ, and it looks drop-dead gorgeous. Better news! Even though the game only released on Tuesday, Green Man Gaming is already selling Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition for 20 percent off.

That brings the total down to $40, whereas all other storefronts—Steam, Origin, Amazon, and the Microsoft Store—are selling Final Fantasy XV for its full $50 price tag. And if you’re one of those “Steam or nothing” types, fear not. Green Man Gaming is selling the game as a Steam key, complete with the nifty “Bonus Half-Life pack” that gives you a crowbar, Half-Life-styled outfits, and Gordon Freeman’s distinctive scientist glasses.

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Speedify review: A mobile-focused VPN with zippy upload speeds

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 09:18

Speedify in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Business location: Philadelphia, PA

Number of servers: 1,000+

Number of country locations: 32

Cost: $50

VPN protocol: Speedify protocol (proprietary)

Data encryption: ChaCha20 (mostly for older devices); AES-256 (for devices with AES hardware acceleration)

Data authentication: DTLS 1.3

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How to manually add apps to your iOS devices in iTunes 12.7

Mac World - Wed, 2018-03-07 08:00

Last fall’s release of iTunes 12.7 disappointed a lot of people with the abruptness of change. The most notable one was removing the ability for iTunes to handle backing up iOS apps and syncing them directly. Henceforth, you have to use internet-based retrieval of yours app for a new iOS device or after a wipe and restore.

However, there’s still a way to add apps manually, though Apple doesn’t make it easy. Macworld reader Kate wrote in asking about how to get a few apps, including sticker packs, that were no longer being distributed on the App Store, and thus couldn’t be restored as a previous purchase.

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Final Fantasy XV looks and runs great on PC once you've downloaded it all

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 07:48

It took quite a while for Final Fantasy XV to finally make its way to PC—almost a year and a half after the console launch, to be exact. But in the end it made it over, and as of yesterday you can find the game on an oddball selection of storefronts, including Steam (sure), the Windows 10 Store (okay fine), and Origin (...what?). A non-EA game on Origin? Pretty sure that makes Final Fantasy XV the Dr. Pepper of video games.

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iOS 11: How to hide sensitive info in notification previews

Mac World - Wed, 2018-03-07 07:00

We all love the ability to pick up our phone and see notifications on the lock screen. It lets us know if those last few alerts are something we need to act on, or if we can put our phone back down and focus on what we were doing.

Notifications on the lock screen used to be a double-edged sword. They're convenient, but anyone could just pick up your phone and see the content of your text messages or the start of every email you receive.

Fortunately, iOS 11 has made it easy to have your cake and eat it, too. You can show notifications on the lock screen but hide the content of them until you unlock your device. That way, you can still see if that buzzing from your phone is a new iMessage or just Candy Crush without making your texts public to anyone who cares to look.

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MacBook Air: Why won’t it die?

Mac World - Wed, 2018-03-07 06:00

As someone who has been a user of the MacBook Air since the very beginning, I want to take a moment to lament its passing. But I can’t, because how can I miss it if it won’t go away? The MacBook Air, with its classic USB ports, previous-generation Apple keyboard, and big silver bezels around a non-Retina screen, is a time capsule of early 2010s Apple hardware design—and you can still buy one, brand new.

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The best smart home devices that work with Google Home

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 06:00
It's the third-party smart devices that put the "home" in Google Home. Here are our favorites.

LG Gram 15Z980 review: It's rich and thin, and its battery doesn't stop

PC World - Wed, 2018-03-07 06:00

Packing a quad-core 8th-generation Intel processor and a robust battery into an impressively thin and light shell, the peppy but pricey LG Gram cranks all day without weighing you down. While we love the Gram's lithe design and exceptional battery life, laptop shoppers looking for sheer speed may be disappointed by the system's relatively casual pace. We also had some quibbles with the Gram's cramped keyboard.

Price and specifications

We tested the top-of-the-line model of the LG Gram, which costs a cool $2,000 and boasts a 15.6-inch touch display, a quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a pair of 512GB solid-state drives. If you'd rather not spend two grand on a laptop, there are three cheaper versions of the Gram to consider, including (at the bottom end) a much more affordable $1,250 model with a Core i5 processor, a single 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM.

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Confirmed: Windows 10 S will evolve into a 'mode' of Windows 10 in 2019

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-06 23:22

Reports that Windows 10 S will become a "mode" of Windows 10 were confirmed Tuesday night by Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, who stated that the transition will occur next year.

Belfiore, a corporate vice president in the Operating System Group within Windows, tweeted his statement in response to a PCWorld reporter’s own comment that Microsoft had neglected to mention Windows 10 S in a recent blog post touting the success of Windows devices in schools. Microsoft launched Windows 10 S last year as a standalone version of Windows, partly to provide a secure, manageable version of Windows to those schools.

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OneCast impressions: Streaming Xbox One games to your Mac works much better than expected

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-06 19:32

Mac gaming is no longer in quite the sorry shape it was in the days before Apple started using Intel chips, but game developers clearly still think of it as an afterthought. Truth is, if you really want to play the best new PC games on a Mac, it’s often better just to partition a bit of your hard drive for Windows (through a virtual machine like Parallels) or to stream games from another system. Waiting for a Mac port is like waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish A Song of Ice and Fire.

As we shared last year, few streaming apps pull this off quite so neatly as Nvidia’s GeForce Now, as the service hosts entire PC games you own on Nvidia’s servers and you simply stream them to your Mac if you have a strong internet connection. You don’t need ridiculously priced GPUs, and you don’t even need a proper PC. Unfortunately, it’s still locked behind a public beta that remains tough to get into.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, March 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-06 15:00

What would we'd like to see in iOS 12? Will there be a cheaper MacBook Air? Will Apple release new headphones? Is iTunes LP on its way out? We'll cover these topics and well as your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Jason Cross, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 595.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on the Macworld Facebook page, on Twitter via Periscope or on YouTube.

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Report: Apple is killing off the iTunes LP format

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-06 13:06

Remember iTunes LPs? Don’t worry, a lot of us had forgotten about them. Launched in 2009, the iTunes LP was a format that encouraged iTunes patrons to buy entire albums by adding in video documentary extras, bonus tracks, liner notes, and sometimes even fancy interactive elements. It was the iTunes download equivalent of the Enhanced CD, and meant to help sell complete albums in an age where users could simply buy the two songs they like off of it for $0.99 each.

It looks like this somewhat forgotten feature is fading away. According to a report from UK site Metro, Apple sent a letter to music producers which states that, “Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPs after March 2018.” What’s more, the letter says that sales of currently-available iTunes LPs will be phased out over the course of the year. “Existing LPs will be deprecated from the store during the remainder of 2018. Customers who have previously purchased an album containing an iTunes LP will still be able to download the additional content using iTunes Match,” it says.

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AMD's Project ReSX makes ultra-popular games smoother and faster on Radeon graphics

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-06 11:26

AMD released Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.3.1 late on Monday with support for Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition and Warhammer: Vermintide 2. Providing day-one drivers for such hotly anticipated games proves yet again that Radeon has left its dark days of buggy, late software far in the rearview mirror, but newfound optimizations for e-sports games are even more intriguing.

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