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Apple introduces keyboard service program for Mac laptops with ‘butterfly’ keyboards

Mac World - Fri, 2018-06-22 17:32

The new “butterfly” keyboard featured on the MacBook and MacBook Pro has been contentious to say the least. Users don’t like the key action and travel or the noise it makes. Perhaps more importantly, the keyboard appears to have some technical problems. You don’t have to look very far online to find users complaining about stuck keys, repeating keys, or keys that have stopped working.

Apple is now acknowledging that at least some small percentage of users are having legit technical issues, and has launched a “Keyboard Service Program” to take care of affected customers.

If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro with the butterfly keyboard that has been exhibiting the following problems, you can take it in to Apple or an Authorized Service Provider to have it repaired free of charge:

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The best laptops: Ultrabooks, budget PCs, 2-in-1s, and more

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 17:03

The best laptops today are basking in the glow of Intel’s 8th-gen Core CPUs, which at last bring quad-core performance to mainstream machines. The only thing missing is Oprah shouting, “and you get an 8th-gen quad-core laptop!”

There’s plenty of good news with this new generation. Our favorite convertible laptop, HP’s Spectre x360 13, sports a quad-core 8th gen chip while maintaining its diminutive size. It’s really the total package. 

But let’s be honest: Not everyone needs a quad-core powerhouse laptop, especially if the hottest application they run is Microsoft Excel. Check out our budget favorites, like the Acer Aspire E15 and Asus ZenBook Flip, whose dual-core CPUs do just fine with mainstream fare; and the Asus Chromebook Flip, a well-priced and versatile laptop for living on the web—or delving into the wide, wide world of Android apps. 

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Make your bulbs brighter with $30 off the Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 10:43

Smart bulbs add convenience and control to your home lighting system, and right now one of our favorites is on sale on Amazon.The Philips Hue White Ambiance A19 starter kit is $120 today, down from a list price of $150 and the lowest price since December of last year.

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Make your bulbs brighter with $30 off the Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit

Mac World - Fri, 2018-06-22 10:43

Smart bulbs add convenience and control to your home lighting system, and right now one of our favorites is on sale on Amazon.The Philips Hue White Ambiance A19 starter kit is $120 today, down from a list price of $150 and the lowest price since December of last year.

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The Humble Store is giving cyberpunk RPG Shadowrun Returns away for free

Mac World - Fri, 2018-06-22 10:00
The Humble Store is giving away Shadowrun Returns through Saturday morning, and selling the sequels for dirt cheap.

The Humble Store is giving cyberpunk RPG Shadowrun Returns away for free

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 10:00

Sure, the Intergalactic Steam Summer Sale has thousands of games going cheap right now, but over at the Humble Store you can get a damned fine game for the even more compelling price of free. Until 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific on Saturday—or until supplies run out—you can claim Shadowrun Returns at no cost except having to create a Humble account. The game itself comes in the form of a Steam key.

Shadowrun Returns wasn’t perfect when it released in 2013, but the isometric RPG’s gorgeous artwork and fantasy-infused cyberpunk world sucked us in regardless. “I got invested in the world of Shadowrun Returns,” Hayden Dingman wrote in his review. “I enjoyed chatting with the colorful characters—including my best friend Mr. Kluwe, a troll bodyguard—roaming the streets with an assault rifle in hand or a katana on my back, and barreling through corporate computer systems in pursuit of illicit information.”

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EVGA's GeForce GTX 1060 is back down to $250 just in time for the Steam Summer Sale

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 09:36

It’s almost July and the summer gaming fun is starting with gear and games hitting some awesome prices—or at least awesome for our current GPU-impoverished gaming world. Right now, at Amazon you can get an EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 for $250.

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How to disable Apple’s HEIF and HEVC formats in iOS

Mac World - Fri, 2018-06-22 08:00

Apple introduced two high-efficiency multimedia formats in iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra: HEIF and HEVC. They take up substantially less storage for the same quality of image as comparable JPEG, PNG, and H.264 video. However, they’re not very useful outside the Apple ecosystem of apps.

Right now, these formats get employed exclusively when you take pictures or shoot video in iOS 11. By default, you’re using HEIF for images and HEVC for video. However, whenever you export images or share them from iOS or the Photos app in macOS, they’re converted into a compatible format. It’s only when a non-Apple app (or an older version of Apple’s apps) tries to work directly on the original file as stored that you can run into trouble, as Macworld reader Nik has found.

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Alienware 17 R5 review: Core i9 and an overclocked GTX 1080 create an incredible desktop replacement

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 06:09

Dell already had a winning formula for its flagship desktop replacement.

The Alienware 17 R4 sat atop our guide to the best gaming laptops ever since we reviewed it just shy of a year ago. Sure, it was big and heavy like all the most powerful gaming laptops are, but the notebook delivered such blisteringly fast performance that the trade-off proved worthwhile for enthusiasts. The classic Alienware design delivered nice touches (like side RGB accent lights) you don’t often see elsewhere. It kicked ass, full stop.

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Where oh where can the Mac updates be?

Mac World - Fri, 2018-06-22 06:00

Even before Tim Cook took the stage, there was little expectation that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference would focus on anything other than software. But now, with it in our rearview mirror and a new iPhone announcement likely not far down the road, questions have turned to the future of Mac hardware.

Rogue Amoeba co-founder Quentin Carnicelli stirred up some discussion this past week by examining Apple’s current Mac lineup, and pointing out that, with the exception of the new iMac Pro, none of it has been updated in over a year. (The most egregious case being, of course, the Mac mini, which is closing in on four years without a revision.) That’s prompted some clamor that Apple should commit to yearly updates of its computer platform, just as it does with the iPhone.

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The Intergalactic Steam Summer Sale: 15 great picks for under $5

PC World - Fri, 2018-06-22 06:00
Great deals to be had

Image by Steam

Steam's annual Summer Sale certainly isn't as monumental an event as it was a decade ago, but it's easy to forget it's still full of great deals. Like, a lot of them, and more every year as Steam fills up with games.

To wit: There are currently 26 thousand games (and DLC and et cetera) on sale on Steam, from now until July 5, and 14 thousand of those cost less than $5. Lots and lots of trash, sure, but also a surprising number of rich and deep experiences you can pick up for the cost of a cheap lunch. We've grabbed some of the better ones.

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GarageBand 10.3 update makes Artist Lessons free and adds 1,000 new loops

Mac World - Thu, 2018-06-21 17:27

Apple's free music creation software, GarageBand, hasn't been updated for about a year. Last summer, with version 10.2, the Mac app got a totally redesigned interface, Touch Bar support, and the ability to sync and edit projects between Mac and iOS.

This summer's 10.3 update is every bit as substantial, and perhaps even more so. It adds a huge number of new loops and sound effects, new instrument sounds, and it makes all the Artist Lessons free

First introduced in 2009, Artist Lessons are a series of videos in which famous recording artists teach you how to play some of their most famous songs on guitar or piano. Sting will show you how to play "Roxanne" on guitar, while Norah Jones will teach you how to play "Thinking of You" on piano.

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TESTING CLONE Apple, Microsoft and Amazon offer fairer deal on cloud storage

PC World - Thu, 2018-06-21 17:15

Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have agreed to give cloud storage subscribers fairer contracts after intervention by the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority.

Such cloud storage services are typically used to store photos, videos, music or digital copies of important documents.

If the services shut down or vary their capacity or prices without notice, customers can lose their data, or be held hostage.

The CMA asked the storage service providers to give adequate notice before closing, suspending or changing services, and to allow customers to cancel their contracts and receive a pro-rata refund if they didn't accept service changes.

The regulator last year obtained similar undertakings from Google, Dropbox and five other cloud storage providers.

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The Intergalactic Steam Sale kicks off with steep deals on PC games, a $2.50 Steam Link, and an alien-blasting side activity

PC World - Thu, 2018-06-21 16:24

It’s freezing here in San Francisco, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Steam Summer Sale again. Of course, maybe you already knew that: It’s the first day of summer after all, and oh yeah, the Steam Database Twitter account leaked the date.

Regardless, it’s here, and bringing with it the usual tide of discounts. Remember of course that this is a “New Era” Steam Sale, meaning no Daily Deals, Flash Sales, or any of the other fun stuff. Then again, you probably know that already, because the “New Era” is itself something like three years old at this point.

Still there are some decent deals hidden among the ever-increasing piles of chaff that fill Steam these days. Right on the front page you’ve got Tyranny for $15 and Thimbleweed Park for $12, both pretty great sale prices for games that are still relatively new.

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The best Mac game deals from the Steam Summer Sale 2018

Mac World - Thu, 2018-06-21 16:06

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s the first day of summer—but more importantly, it’s also the first day of the Steam Summer Sale. And if you love to play games on your Mac, then you’ll want to grab your wallet for this one.

Thousands upon thousands of games are discounted in this year’s Intergalactic Summer Sale, with some bigger and/or recent releases available for a fraction of their normal asking prices, plus a fine selection of older classics sold for a couple bucks a pop. Ready to load up on Mac games for the months ahead? Here are the best deals we’ve found in the sale. Be sure to snag any games before the sale ends on July 5.

Cheap AAA games

Macs get a fraction of the larger games released for PC and consoles, but at least we see some real gems in the bunch—and several recent releases from the last couple years are heavily discounted during the Steam Summer Sale. Highlights include the recent Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20th Anniversary Edition, which is 70 percent off right now, as well as the deeply discounted XCOM 2 and Hitman – Game of the Year Edition.

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iOS 12: How to use Live Listen with your AirPods

Mac World - Thu, 2018-06-21 15:25

If you have MFi-compatible hearing aids, you can do more than just play music or make calls straight from your iPhone: You can also use your iPhone as a special sound-boosting microphone to help you hear in difficult situations.

You simply turn on the feature—called Live Listen—and place your phone near the person you’re talking to. Say, over on their side of the table in a crowded and noisy restaurant. Your iPhone’s mic will pick up nearby sounds and send them, boosted, to your hearing aids.

With iOS 12, the Live Listen feature comes to AirPods, too. It’s a great feature that can really help those who don’t necessarily need a hearing aid but are having trouble hearing others in a difficult situation. Here’s how to get it working.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unexpectedly steps down at a critical point in Intel's evolution

PC World - Thu, 2018-06-21 14:37

Five years ago, Intel faced an unexpected transition: Intel chief executive Paul Otellini was stepping down, two years before his expected retirement. Former COO Brian Krzanich took Otellini's place. Now it’s Krzanich’s turn to step down unexpectedly, after violating an Intel policy against fraternizing with employees.

The good news, if any: Krzanich and Intel weathered the same forces that any new chief executive will have to face—a declining PC market, and Intel’s ongoing efforts to breach a mobile market that has stubbornly resisted its entry. The question for consumers, though, is how much effort Intel’s new chief will dedicate to the PC market that has sustained Intel for decades.

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Toughen up your home security with this great deal on Kwikset's SmartCode lock

Mac World - Thu, 2018-06-21 10:43

If you're always losing your keys, or if you just want a little more control and peace of mind over who enters your house and when, a smarter lock is a great way to secure your home. And today, the Kwikset SmartCode 915 lock in Venetian Bronze is $99 on Amazon, down from a list price of $160.

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Toughen up your home security with this great deal on Kwikset's SmartCode lock

PC World - Thu, 2018-06-21 10:43

If you're always losing your keys, or if you just want a little more control and peace of mind over who enters your house and when, a smarter lock is a great way to secure your home. And today, the Kwikset SmartCode 915 lock in Venetian Bronze is $99 on Amazon, down from a list price of $160.

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Get A Lifetime Of PixelModo's Graphic Design Tools For $49.99 (91% Off)

Mac World - Thu, 2018-06-21 10:42

Admit it. In at least one point in your life, you wanted to create something aesthetic. We’ve all been there, but not all of us have done that. Some individuals happen to have an eye for design, but that doesn’t mean no one else can create something beautiful.

This leads us to today, the digital age. When you open up a website, what’s the first thing you notice? Does the website look good? Are the banners well made? Yesterday’s artists are becoming today digital designers. However, as we stated before, you don’t need to be Picasso to design a great website; all you need are the right tools, and a PixelModo subscription has everything you need.

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