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Macworld's July digital magazine: The new MacBook Pro

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 15:27

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld digital magazine. 

Exclusive content in the July issue

This month, read Macworld's exlusive Guide to Apple Arcade. It's time to get your game on with Apple's gaming service. Also this month we review the 13-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2020): this $1799 model delivers a modest CPU and big graphics boost. Plus, check out our review of the new 2020 iPad Pro.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: What will the ARM Mac line-up look like? Plus, having problems with Bluetooth audio quality on a Mac? We have ways to fix it

To read this article in full, please click here

iPadOS 14 FAQ: All the new features in the Public Beta

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 15:17

Later this fall, Apple will launch a brand new version of iPadOS that brings a bunch of new changes to its iconic tablet. Here’s everything that you’re getting, how to get it, and whether your iPad will be able to get it.

Update 07/09/20: Apple has released Public Beta 2 of iPadOS 14.

What are the new features? App design

The biggest change you’re going to see on your iPad is with apps. Apple is bringing a refined design language to the iPad, with sidebars, pull-down menus, and toolbars that look more like Mac apps than ever before.

Apple

Tablet apps have new sidebars, toolbars, and menus in iPadOS 14.

To read this article in full, please click here

Apple releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta—here's how to get it

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 13:47

We’ve told you about the many big changes and new features in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, including an awesome new redesign of the home screen with Widgets and the App Library. For the last several years, Apple has made its operating systems available in a public beta, so you can kick the tires and help find bugs before its release in the fall.

If you’re interested in running the iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 public beta, here’s how you get it.

To read this article in full, please click here

Got a GoPro Hero 8? Use it as a webcam for your Mac

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 12:42

With the COVID-19 pandemic and people working from home, it has become more apparent that the Mac has mediocre webcams. I’ve even stopped using Apple’s webcam, instead using a camcorder that was gathering dust in my garage. I got a few compliments about the image quality during a recent staff meeting.

TechCrunch on Thursday reported that the GoPro Hero 8 action camera can now be used as a Mac webcam, thanks to the new GoPro Webcam software for Mac. The software, which is in beta, allows the Hero 8 to be used via USB; previously, you had to use dongles and HDMI cables. GoPro has complete details on how it works.

To read this article in full, please click here

Harmony is offering a full refund to anyone who ever bought its $250 Alexa remote

PC World - Thu, 2020-07-09 12:37
Harmony is discontinuing its Alexa-powered Express remote this year, but it's offering a full refund or upgrader to anyone who ever bought one.

Harmony is offering a full refund to anyone who ever bought its $250 Alexa remote

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 12:37
Harmony is discontinuing its Alexa-powered Express remote this year, but it's offering a full refund or upgrader to anyone who ever bought one.

Nvidia bundles Death Stranding for PC with GeForce RTX graphics cards

PC World - Thu, 2020-07-09 11:12

It’s not the best time to buy a high-end graphics card, but if you don't want to wait any longer—perhaps to prepare for this fall’s Cyberpunk 2077 release—then Nvidia’s sweetening the pot for a few weeks. Through July 29, buying any GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card from a participating retailer will get you a free copy of Death Stranding, Nvidia announced on Thursday. GeForce RTX-powered gaming laptops and desktops are also eligible.

To read this article in full, please click here

Roku backtracks on putting over-the-air channels into its live TV programming guide

PC World - Thu, 2020-07-09 11:10
Turns out some users didn’t like over-the-air TV listings mixed with dozens of streaming TV channels.

Brock University launches leading-edge augmented reality marketing course

Brock News - Thu, 2020-07-09 10:47

MEDIA RELEASE: 9 July 2020 – R0111

Brock University has created an innovative course in augmented reality (AR) marketing that responds to industry and consumer demand.

The new undergraduate course introduced in May by the Goodman School of Business focuses on the strategic marketing opportunities of AR and creating AR experiences that maximize customer engagement.

Professor of Marketing Joachim Scholz, who has been researching and teaching AR for the past six years, recently left a role at California Polytechnic State University to create and lead the course at Brock.

He said while courses offered by other universities and colleges offer training on the technology side of AR or teach generally about digital marketing with AR included as one component, “to our knowledge, Goodman is the first business school in the world to offer a course solely focused on AR marketing.”

“Students will become marketing experts who are familiar with the types of AR experiences that resonate with customers, and they will gain first-hand experience in how to design an AR marketing initiative,” Scholz said. “In that respect, Brock University is an innovative first-mover.”

AR is often confused with virtual reality (VR), and although there are similarities between the two, Scholz said AR has more practical uses and benefits for businesses and consumers.

“AR augments the user’s physical environment with a digital component,” he said. “You might use your phone to see what a sofa looks like in your living room, or how a garment fits your body, but everything else you see is in real life. In VR, everything is a virtual environment and all you see is the digital surroundings. VR is used more in gaming and entertainment.”

The new AR marketing course is made up of four main components:

  • Lectures led by Scholz that explain key concepts of AR, the strategic potential of AR for marketing, AR experience design, and how AR is applied in experiential marketing, retailing, and advertising
  • Guest speakers who connect concepts to industry practices
  • Student-created presentations and articles that examine and reflect on current AR experiences
  • A client project, which Scholz said is the core of the course

“The course has a huge experiential education component to it,” he said. “Workshops and pitch presentations to industry partners take up most of the second half. Students take the AR knowledge they learn from lectures, guest speakers and research and apply it to a real-world client.”

This spring, students created AR strategies for a premium winemaking kit brand owned by RJS Craft Winemaking.

“Partnering with Brock’s AR marketing course is a wonderful opportunity for our brand to engage with consumers in an innovative and relevant way,” said Catherine Field, an associate brand manager for Arterra Wines Canada, Inc., the leading producer and marketer of wines in Canada and parent company of RJS Craft Winemaking.

Throughout the course, students consult with several industry partners, including the client who keeps students focused on meeting business objectives; marketing agencies who offer students advice on how to create big ideas and manage the creative process; a pitch consultant who helps them hone their presentation and persuasion skills; and a development partner who will create and implement some of the students’ ideas once the course is complete.

Student teams recently presented their final recommendations via a written report and marketing pitch to Scholz and the industry partners. The client will choose the strategies they want to pursue and will work with the development partner to implement them.

Scholz collaborated with Etobicoke AR/VR firm UP360, which will work on technical aspects of the students’ chosen strategies with a goal of going live this fall.

UP360 President and CEO Harrison Olajos said he’s excited to offer his services for free to Brock, which provided him with free space, mentorship and coaching to launch his company through the University’s business incubator.

Being one of the new AR course’s first partners also allows UP360 to expand into the AR marketing side of its business at a time when an increasing number of consumers are relying on digital experiences to inform purchasing decisions

“AR is a new and accessible way to engage with clients,” Olajos said. “Video marketing is a bit overdone; people lose interest in a matter of seconds. AR is new form of media that can captivate attention and boost engagement because it’s usually interactive. It leaves a positive brand impression and experience.”

The University’s first offering of the AR marketing course took place exclusively online this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving forward, Scholz plans to incorporate Brock’s new augmented reality, virtual reality and sensory reality consumer laboratory into his syllabus. Known as the R3CL, the facility is the first of its kind and contains technologies such as the Microsoft HoloLens that can be used to create a variety of AR environments.

“Beginning with the R3CL and now this new unique AR marketing course, Brock University and the Goodman School of Business is on a trajectory to become a centre of excellence in the area of AR marketing,” said Andrew Gaudes, Dean of the Goodman School of Business.

“Goodman students will be among the first to have a solid foundation on how to use AR in marketing strategy.”

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Brock’s first online cider course sells out as thirst for virtual learning grows

Brock News - Thu, 2020-07-09 10:45

MEDIA RELEASE: 6 July 2020 – R0110

As teaching and learning transforms in response to COVID-19, Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has transitioned its popular Cider and Perry Production Foundation course to an online format.

This first-ever online offering was developed alongside CCOVI’s North American academic partners and sold out almost immediately.

“We’re thrilled to offer the foundation course in an innovative new format,” says Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI’s Manager of Continuing Education. “The uptake was incredible and affirms that we’ve provided the quality cider education experience students are looking for, even if we can’t provide it in person right now.”

CCOVI worked together with the Cider Institute of North America (CINA) and other program providers to develop the online course. Although it was born out of necessity to adapt to world events, Tatarnic says it offers new opportunities, too.

Since the online format is now offered over a 15-week period rather than a week-long intensive session, for example, it opens the course up to those with less flexibility in their schedules.

Brighid O’Keane, Executive Director of CINA, says another benefit to going virtual is that they were able to bring more industry experts on board.

“The Cider Institute represents the range of cider culture, production styles and techniques, apple regions, and business models across North America,” she says. “We are excited by the first-ever opportunity to connect students directly with leaders in the cider industry and experts in fermentation research through this online course.”

For the first time, all of CINA’s expert fermentation researchers (from Brock, Cornell University, Washington State University and Virginia Tech University) will be teaching a portion of the course.

Steven Trussler, Brock’s certified instructor for the course, said the co-teaching element is an exciting approach.

“With each of the instructors coming from different professional backgrounds and areas of expertise, the students learn the material from a variety of perspectives in a very multifaceted way,” he says. “The depth of time you can spend with the material in a 15-week-format also provides a very different experience even though the course has the same content and learning objectives.”

Guest speakers are also featured in the online course almost every week, including the internationally recognized Peter Mitchell, who developed the foundation course.

Brock graduate Emily Gillard (BSc ’15) is also one of the featured industry speakers. She is the assistant cidermaker at Brickworks Ciderhouse in Toronto and was recently awarded the Cider Institute’s Peter Mitchell Award for Educational Excellence in Cider Production.

The most challenging part of transitioning the course was finding a way to emulate the hands-on lab work, cider making and tastings to an online format.

Trussler said they relied on a hybrid approach, pairing live, virtual lectures and online forums with pre-recorded video content and assignments that use those video demonstrations. Students also receive kits containing cider samples for the sensory analysis and tasting components of the course, as well as fermentation supplies to make and test ciders at home.

“You have to adapt the way you are delivering this course and there is real work to make sure the value and the learning is still there,” says Trussler. “It’s not a question of what you can’t do online ­— it’s a question of what new things you can do online, and that presented a really exciting opportunity for this course.”

Students will also have access to virtual behind-the-scenes tours of the top cider apple orchards and commercial production spaces across North America, and networking opportunities to foster teamwork and interaction.

The current offering is sold out, but anyone interesting in taking the course is encouraged to enrol in the next session that runs from Aug. 31 to Dec. 18, with a live virtual session every week. Registration can be done online via Eventbrite and more information can be found on CCOVI’s website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Brock team analyzes park and trail access challenges during COVID-19

Brock News - Thu, 2020-07-09 10:44

MEDIA RELEASE: 30 June 2020 – R0109

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in outdoor activities.

Demand for outdoor recreation such as hiking, cycling and other nature-based activities has increased dramatically as individuals have found themselves living with an altered work and leisure schedule.

Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) launched the Trail Assets and Tourism Initiative with the Niagara Parks Commission and the Ontario Trails Council. While the partnership began with specific goals, COVID-19 has altered not only life for virtually all Canadians throughout these past few months, but also this important partnership work.

The Trail Assets and Tourism research team has turned its attention to examining best practices for communicating parks and trail use policies to the public.

“The work of the partnership is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic as trails are the lifeblood of park systems and serve as connectors between people, nature and health,” says Garrett Hutson, Brock University Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies and Chair of the Trail Assets and Tourism partnership. “As some park agencies continue to report record numbers of visitors, concisely clarifying and communicating best practices to protect people and the environment are necessary during this unprecedented time.”

As a result of the increased demand, operators of parks and protected areas have been under pressure to re-open their properties. In order to do so, park agencies have a list of tasks that must be completed before visitors can be safely accommodated such as recalling seasonal employees and developing and implementing COVID-19 safety protocols in order to protect staff.

The agencies must then complete all necessary pre-season maintenance work that had not been possible during the previous shutdown stages. Finally, before an agency is ready to welcome visitors, COVID-19 related safety protocols for visitors must be developed and implemented.

Once this is done, agencies face one of the most difficult tasks yet — effectively educating the public of the new policies and guidelines for visiting each specific location. Given the current COVID-19 climate, with many provinces loosening restrictions and enabling increased access to tourism and outdoor recreation, this communication has become incredibly important.

With hundreds of independent park agencies in Canada, visitors have found themselves required to learn the policies of each agency they might consider visiting. For example, a visitor in Ontario may find themselves visiting a Niagara Parks location, an Ontario Parks location and a Parks Canada location — all with their own COVID-19 policies.

“There has been extensive confusion for trail users throughout Ontario as to what trails and parks are open and what safety protocols are in place,” said Wayne Terryberry, President of Ontario Trails Council. “This research project provides extremely valuable information, which will assist trail management agencies communicate and plan in a concerted and co-ordinated manner.”

While it is important for individuals to plan and prepare for their visits to parks and trails, it is the responsibility of each park agency to facilitate that preparation by providing accurate, concise and readily available information regarding the changes in policies and procedures at their locations.

The Trails Assets and Tourism Initiative team examined more than 40 park and trail agency social media and website communications regarding COVID-19. It found that park agencies with an active social media presence and more information on their websites earn better approval and more appreciation from the public.

Given the evolving and changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, park agencies should consider utilizing reciprocal linking with other agencies to a greater degree, to demonstrate a coordinated approach to health and safety recommendations and communications, says Hutson.

With the help of the Niagara Parks Commission, the Ontario Trails Council, and through reviewing other agency COVID-19 communications, the Trail Assets and Tourism Initiative team has put together a list of best practices, which can be found in the infographic attached to this release.

“As restrictions continue to be lifted, our actions collectively, while congregating to some degree in natural and other areas, will determine the trajectory of the spread of COVID-19, which will likewise determine whether natural assets such as parks and trails will remain open for use,” Hutson says.

More information can be found on the websites of the Niagara Parks Commission, Leave No Trace and Ontario Trails.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Niagara Community Observatory explores challenges, opportunities in local transportation and logistics

Brock News - Thu, 2020-07-09 10:42

MEDIA RELEASE: 30 June 2020 – R0108

Government and private sector groups should collaborate on imaginative ways to help commercial vehicles by-pass the increasingly congested QEW between Niagara and Toronto, suggests new research from Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO).

One possibility suggested creating a ferry service for trucks that would “get them off the road and onto the water,” enabling them to reach Oshawa without going through the Golden Horseshoe, says the NCO’s latest policy brief.

This is one of several recommendations made in “Niagara’s Transportation and Logistics Sector: Becoming a Global Economic Lynchpin,” to be released next week.

NCO Director and brief author Charles Conteh will be presenting the policy brief followed by a panel discussion at a virtual event on Tuesday, July 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. Those interested in attending should register by emailing cphillips3@brocku.ca by noon on Monday, July 6. Registrants will receive a link before the event.

The brief provides a bird’s eye view of Niagara’s transportation and logistics industry with the aim of “leveraging its assets” to not only successfully overcome the challenges of a rapidly-changing Niagara economy, but hook into new and emerging opportunities, says Conteh, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Political Science.

“The sector plays a foundational role as an all-purpose platform sector in the region’s economic competitiveness,” he says. “It is the one sector that Niagara wants to invest in from the standpoint of job creation and job security.”

Conteh calls the sector a “workhorse” that facilitates the movement of goods and people by road, rail and water, connecting Niagara with the U.S. and the rest of the world and providing a stable workplace consisting of a range of white collar, blue collar and “no collar” jobs.

The transportation and logistics sector is doing well, with Niagara’s top three employers in the sector being in the areas of general freight trucking, freight transportation arrangement and specialized freight trucking, with a total of 3,012 jobs in 2019. Additionally, from 2011 to 2019, the number of jobs in scenic and sightseeing land transportation grew 1,286 per cent.

Compared to the regions of Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto and London, Niagara has a near-monopoly in the areas of deep sea, coastal and Great Lakes water transportation and scenic and sightseeing water and land transportation, says the brief.

The brief also points out the sector’s challenges, including a frequently bottlenecked QEW, the growth of automated driving capacities, drone technologies and robotic systems, and a labour pool shortage due to young workers leaving the area and pursuing opportunities in more knowledge-intensive and service-based fields.

In addition to offering a ferry service for trucks wishing to avoid Toronto-Niagara traffic congestion, the brief puts forth several other recommendations to help the transportation and logistics sector survive and thrive, including:

  • With the rising demand for ecommerce, increase investment in the process automation of Niagara’s warehousing industry, which has a competitive advantage over Toronto and Buffalo largely due to land availability.
  • Explore alternative road routes such as a mid-peninsula corridor and options for commuters such as light rail to ease QEW congestion.
  • Identify how policies and partnerships at the federal, provincial and regional government levels could be harmonized to increase efficiencies. For instance, municipalities could align their planning departments’ protocols and processes to make it easier to apply for transportation and logistics business permits.

“Niagara’s locational advantages cannot be taken for granted in a world of breakneck technological, economic and demographic shifts,” says the brief. “Addressing the immediate and growing constraints in the supporting infrastructure of transportation services, equipment and warehousing is time-sensitive. Equally so, investing in digital and institutional infrastructure to fully exploit emerging opportunities in eCommerce is not a luxury, but a necessity.”

Media interested in attending the July 7 virtual event should email cphillips3@brocku.ca

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Don’t keep your Mac laptop charged to 100 percent all the time. Here’s why

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 07:00

If you leave your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air plugged in all the time—no matter the vintage—the battery suffers wear for being charged to full. Over time, the maximum charged capacity diminishes and you lose many minutes—even hours—of usable time. It is just a characteristic of the lithium-ion batteries in laptops and nearly all modern electronics.

Here is a quick list of the best practices for managing your MacBook's battery. 

  • Routinely unplug your laptop, as frequently as daily, and let it drop its power down to the 30 to 40 percent range.

  • Don’t fully discharge your battery regularly—that is, don’t let it run down to zero. As Battery University (not a degree-granting institution) notes, “If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses.…There is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles to prolong life.”

    To read this article in full, please click here

Cool it! We talk laptop thermals with an expert from Dell

PC World - Thu, 2020-07-09 06:25

That high-performance CPU or GPU you're eyeballing for your next laptop is nothing if it's not backed by an effective cooling system. Yet consumers tend to know very little about the cooling in a laptop.

We fortunately had time to catch up with Dell's Travis North, who works as a Thermal Engineering Technologist. North answers our burning questions on whether a heat pipe is better than a vapor chamber, whether you should re-paste a laptop, is 100 degrees too hot, and more.

In the first section, North talks about a Dell patent on laptop cooling. You can watch the interview below or on YouTube at this link.

To read this article in full, please click here

Nine great things that cord-cutting brought us

PC World - Thu, 2020-07-09 06:00
Still think cord-cutting is no better than cable? Here's a reality check.

Nine great things that cord-cutting brought us

Mac World - Thu, 2020-07-09 06:00
Still think cord-cutting is no better than cable? Here's a reality check.

Intel unveils the Thunderbolt 4 spec, which AMD believes it can use

PC World - Wed, 2020-07-08 20:42

Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 4 on Wednesday, tightening the existing I/O specification for docks, some displays, external storage and GPUs. Bandwidth remains unchanged from Thunderbolt 3, though executives said to expect new types of docks and longer cables. AMD, which has traditionally never associated Thunderbolt with its Ryzen platforms, pooh-poohed Thunderbolt demand but said it meets the spec’s security restrictions.

Thunderbolt 4 will debut later this year as part of Intel’s “Tiger Lake” CPU platform, as Intel originally announced during CES in January. We now know it will support 40Gbps throughput, but with tighter minimum specs. Thunderbolt 4 will guarantee that a pair of 4K displays will work with a Thunderbolt dock, and require Thunderbolt 4-equipped PCs to charge on at least one Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt PCs will be able to connect to either “compact” or “full” docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports. Longer Thunderbolt cables will be possible, too.

To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft Teams adds 'Together mode' in massive update

PC World - Wed, 2020-07-08 17:00

Microsoft today said that it’s shaking up online Teams video meetings with a new “Together mode” that places participants in a virtual auditorium. It’s all part of a redesigned Teams experience that capitalizes on some of the promises Microsoft has been making for years. There’s even a pair of Teams smart displays.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said the company has spent much of the last few months rethinking the way in which video meetings were conducted. About 60 percent of those Microsoft surveyed said they felt less connected to their colleagues due to the coronavirus, so Microsoft’s new Teams update tries to make nonverbal communication a priority.

To read this article in full, please click here

What you need to know about Thunderbolt 4

Mac World - Wed, 2020-07-08 16:25

The USB Type-C connector is wonderful in many ways, but its ubiquity among modern computer interconnects has made it home to a host of confusing standards and capabilities. When you see that connector, you never know what you’re going to get: Is it USB 3 or 3.2? Maybe the upcoming USB4? What is the maximum speed? Does it have Power Delivery? Can I hook up an external display, and to what resolution? How fast is it?

Layer on top of it the Thunderbolt 3 standard and its optional specifications, and it is hard to know what to what will work with that Type-C connector and what won’t.

To read this article in full, please click here

The Full Nerd ep. 144: Ryzen 3000 XT reviews, Gordon buys Windows 10 cheap, and a food fight

PC World - Wed, 2020-07-08 11:18

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray wade into new chips and cheap Windows before digging into a plate full of food questions.

We kick things off with a look at AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 XT processors—the first Ryzen CPUs we can think of that landed with a collective “meh” from most reviewers. Gordon explains why, while Brad bemoans the lack of bundled coolers with the highest-end models. After that, Gordon explains why our Windows 10 Pro for $40 deal convinced him to join the “cheap Windows” squad, and how this offer’s different from what you’ll normally find on software resale sites.

To read this article in full, please click here

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