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Vansky Bias Lighting for HDTV review: This bargain bias lighting strip is a little too cool

Mac World - Thu, 2019-08-15 06:00
This popular LED light strip is easy to install and boasts a variety of colors and light modes, but its color temperature leaves something to be desired.

Dash cam reviews 2019: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving

PC World - Thu, 2019-08-15 04:21

Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching cars flying into buildings, or the occasional meteor, as happened in Thailand and in Russia, all thanks to dash cams in the right place at the right time.

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Roav DashCam Duo review: Excellent video plus GPS, but no life after 12-volt

PC World - Thu, 2019-08-15 04:09

The $130 Roav Dash Can Duo is a very capable front/interior dash cam that takes some of the best video I’ve seen. Exceptionally easy to use, it also has a GPS receiver to record your location, and it enhances interior night captures with infrared. The only downside is that the unit won’t capture after 12-volt power is removed, as occasionally happens in an accident. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

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#VanLife culture: Brock student researches what drives the nomadic lifestyle

Brock News - Wed, 2019-08-14 14:50

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 August 2019 – R00129

Stephanie Murray has turned #VanLife into #GradLife.

The St. Catharines native recently wrapped up her master’s thesis at Brock University studying the modern phenomenon of people choosing to live on the road.

Inspired by impossibly picturesque Instagram photos, the trend is seeing more and more people selling or storing their possessions, buying a camper van or retired school bus and hitting the road. They sleep for free in Walmart parking lots or wherever they can discreetly park their vehicles and see the world without the pull of monthly bills.

For Murray, the seeds of a nomadic lifestyle were planted more than a decade ago when she lost a high-paying job and had to go on welfare.

“It wasn’t even enough to cover my rent,” she said, looking back. “One day I looked out at the railroad tracks and thought, ‘what if I just hopped a train and rode it to wherever it’s going?’”

Ten months spent in South Korea during her undergrad at Brock fuelled the desire to be mobile even further.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Human Geography in 2016, Murray started a Master of Geography that fall. With funding from Brock and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, she purchased a used 2003 Ford cargo van on Kijiji, which she converted into a camper van named Lola.

Her master’s research involved a two-month trip to the U.S. in the summer of 2017, living out of the van and interviewing other nomads on what attracted them to the lifestyle. It was the first research of its kind.

“I knew there was a gap in academia that I could fill,” said Murray, whose final research thesis is titled Defining Freedom: An Ethnographic Study with American Vanlifers. “But if I wanted to truly study this culture, I needed to be able to live and move like they did.”

The people Murray met were as diverse as the types of vehicles they drove.

“One of the couples I spoke to worked remotely in IT, another couple ran a blog and one of the other vanlifers was making money from a book he’d written. They’re a pretty talented bunch,” she said.

Murray was out to discover their motivation for giving up conventional lives and choosing this mobile lifestyle.

“Our society is oriented towards people who stay in one place, and van nomads help to call that way of thinking into question.
“I have encountered so much kindness on the road,” she said. “People have welcomed me into their homes and helped me with my van, with no expectation of anything in return. And while the vanlifers I interviewed took up this lifestyle for a variety of reasons, they were united by a desire to choose their own path, rather than the one that’s handed down to them.”

Murray discovered that van life is about slow mobility and choosing scenic roads over direct routes such as interstate highways.

“I asked what the difference is between tourism and this and they said their schedules aren’t based on hotels or finding places to eat,” she said. “Their travel is more open and less structured than tourists.”

Murray’s faculty supervisor and the graduate program director of Geography at Brock, David Butz, believed Murray’s research was novel and important, given today’s mobile society. He said Murray becoming a van nomad herself was pivotal.

“This strategy — and life choice — gives her research an unusually strong experiential and autobiographical component, which is rare in ‘mobilities’ research, and which adds to the distinctiveness and potential significance of her findings,” said Butz. “We also felt Stephanie’s unusual project, while logistically complicated, was worth supporting.”

Murray is grateful for the backing she received from Brock.

“This research changed the course of my life, and it showed me that it’s possible to turn your passion into a groundbreaking research project,” said Murray, who still calls Lola home.

She has discovered that the romanticism of the #VanLife culture, which many only see through Instagram, isn’t always the reality of life on the road.

“It does appear a lot more idyllic than it is,” she said. “A few of the vanlifers I interviewed talked about how Instagram makes it look so perfect. But if you look past that perfect photo, they’re often saying things like ‘my van broke down today, but look at the view.’”

Her research also taught her that a nomadic lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

“It takes a particular mindset to live in a van. People like their routines, they like to be comfortable,” she said. “There are times living in a van that you really call this way of living into question. But being in this community, it helps you realize you’re not crazy. It’s so reassuring to know this is a viable way of life.”

With her master’s thesis successfully defended, Murray will graduate in the fall, but she’s not done with van life just yet.

Knowing how expensive it can be to fix her own vehicle, Murray has enrolled in a diesel mechanic course at Fanshawe College for the fall.

“I’ve been debating upgrading to a small school bus,” she said. “I just can’t picture a life where I don’t have the option of picking up and going.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity badges

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 14:30

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

To read this article in full, please click here

PCWorld's August Digital Magazine: Ryzen 3000

PC World - Wed, 2019-08-14 13:50

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the August issue

The August cover of PCWorld is all about the Ryzen 3000 review. With its ground-breaking 7nm process, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X leaves little room for Intel’s best CPUs. Plus, about a month past 2019’s midway point, we take a look at all of the best new games so far this year; don’t miss our roundup.

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iOS 13: How to turn on Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 11:59

One of iOS 13’s most highly anticipated changes is also one of its simplest. The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system finally introduces a Dark Mode for your iPhone and iPad’s interface, much as last year’s macOS Mojave finally bought a Dark Mode to Apple’s desktop operating system.

Once it’s on, formerly white interface elements of iOS change to black (or a deep slate gray), and the text shifts to a brighter color for better legibility. That means that many Apple apps (such as Mail and Music) will now put less of a strain on your eyes at night, and there’s a small chance that Dark Mode will even improve your battery life. And, of course, it just looks cool.

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How to use 2FA on older Apple devices that won’t let you enter a verification code

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 09:00

Most people who own Apple hardware have different generations of equipment in use. And because the company’s gear can last a long time, you can wind up with some old equipment—like an ancient Apple TV or Mac that’s being used to serve up video or what have you.

Apple has shifted aggressively to require two-factor authentication (2FA) with Apple ID accounts as a way of deterring account hijacking. This is admirable, though it has some adverse side effects for people who have multiple Apple IDs for historical or other purposes. (I wrote a couple of years ago about using multiple macOS accounts and other tricks to manage that.)

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iOS 13: How to set and use Favorites and Collections in Maps

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 08:00

Apple has slowly been releasing brand-new mapping data across the U.S., and it's more detailed and accurate than ever before. But a great mobile maps experience is about more than just great map data. With iOS 13, Apple's adding a slew of useful new features, and the most useful are probably the ability to mark locations as favorites and build sharable collections.

Both functions are somewhat related, but act a little differently. Favorites are there to provide quick access on your own device, while Collections group locations together and can be shared with others. Here's how they work.

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Momentum Meri smart thermostat review: The opposite of bang for the buck

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 07:00
Sluggish, convoluted, and unreliable, this low-cost smart thermostat just can't justify its $99 price tag.

Why Disney’s video bundle will force Apple to bundle Apple TV+

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 07:00

It’s amazing how one company can change how you view pricing in an entire market.

More than a year ago, I made some guesses about how Apple would roll out its still-forthcoming TV streaming service. I was a symbol away from getting the name right, and guessed that “Apple TV”—we now know it’s called Apple TV+—would cost $7.99 a month, with an affordable bundle with Apple Music.

But back then, Disney’s streaming plans were still on the drawing board. Today, with the launch of Apple’s service coming very soon, the landscape is more complicated and competitive than ever. Not only are NBCUniversal and Warner Media preparing their own streaming-service launches, but Disney’s moves keep getting more aggressive.

To read this article in full, please click here

Momentum Meri smart thermostat review: The opposite of bang for the buck

PC World - Wed, 2019-08-14 07:00
Sluggish, convoluted, and unreliable, this low-cost smart thermostat just can't justify its $99 price tag.

Windows 10: What to expect in the next two releases

PC World - Wed, 2019-08-14 06:46

The next two Windows 10 updates, code-named “19H2” and “20H1,” reflect Microsoft’s recent decision to split the major Windows 10 feature releases into two: a full-fledged update, with new features, and a secondary patch update. We’ve already had the major “19H1” update, known officially as the May 2019 Update, so we’re now looking forward to the minor 19H2 patch and then the major 20H1 feature release. Here’s what we know so far about both of them.

As of July 2019, the upcoming 19H2 feature will focus on “quality enhancements,” while the “20H1” feature will return to more substantive improvements. If the latter hews to Microsoft’s usual schedule, it’ll drop in March or April of 2020. Interim beta builds will provide further hints about what’s coming, and we’ll continue to cover them. Meanwhile, here’s where we stand on each release as of early August:

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Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar review: This easy-to-install soundbar delivers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00
Yes, it’s pricey, but the Samsung HW-Q70R lets you add rich, detailed, and immersive sound, complete with Dolby Atmos and DTS;X support, to your TV in a matter of minutes.

It's time to liberate the Apple Watch from the iPhone

Mac World - Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00

By the time watchOS 6 drops later this year, only the slimmest of threads will keep the Apple Watch tethered to the iPhone. The watch itself will soon have its own App Store. It’ll have more useful built-in apps, such as a calculator and voice memos, and long ago, the cellular models eliminated the need to rely on the iPhone for internet connection. It’s already so close to being a standalone device, so I say it’s time for Apple to snip the last thread and open it to buyers who don’t have an iPhone.

The Apple Watch is already a hit with its current design, but a standalone Apple Watch may turn into a cultural phenomenon of the likes that Apple hasn't seen in years now. Even handcuffed to the iPhone, the Apple Watch is already the undisputed leader of the smartwatch world, to the point that earlier this week research firm Strategy Analytics (via The Street) released a report claiming that Apple now commands 46 percent of the market. Samsung comes in second place at a measly 13 percent, while Fitbit commands a mere 10 percent.

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Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar review: This easy-to-install soundbar delivers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

PC World - Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00
Yes, it’s pricey, but the Samsung HW-Q70R lets you add rich, detailed, and immersive sound, complete with Dolby Atmos and DTS;X support, to your TV in a matter of minutes.

Kingston A2000 NVMe SSD: Fast and cheap, at 10 cents per gigabyte

PC World - Wed, 2019-08-14 06:00

As out headline trumpets, the big news here is a new low in NVMe SSD prices, at 10 cents per gigabyte. The drop comes courtesy of Kingston’s new A2000, which also offers surprisingly good performance the vast majority of the time. 

Design and features

The A2000 is a 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) M.2, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe SSD, that’s available in 250GB (currently , 500GB (currently $60 on AmazonRemove non-product link) and 1TB (currently $100 on Amazon) capacities. I must admit I did a double-take when I saw those prices, as they’re considerably lower than those of the Addlink S70, which itself set a price record only a month or so ago. Commodity items at last! Mostly: 1TB seems to be the sweet spot in price per gigabyte these days. At the time of this writing, larger capacity 2TB/4TB SSDs, SATA or NVMe, were still in the 20-cent-per-gigabyte range.

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FAA confirms ban of recalled 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros on U.S. flights

Mac World - Tue, 2019-08-13 22:46

Remember how Samsung suffered the indignity of having the Galaxy Note 7 banned from U.S. flights after one exploded in Southwest Airlines passenger’s set? Today Apple is attracting slightly similar attention after Bloomberg quoted a statement from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration confirming that 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros with defective batteries are banned from U.S. flights. The FAA’s statement follows a voluntary recall for the devices that Apple issued in June following the discovery that the batteries were a fire risk because they prone to overheating, and the recall applies to all variations of this model made between September 2015 and February 2017.

To read this article in full, please click here

Brock, Niagara Folk Arts partner to help newcomers

Brock News - Tue, 2019-08-13 14:24

MEDIA RELEASE: 13 August 2019 – R00128

Niagara Folk Arts Executive Director Emily Kovacs’ story of immigrating to Canada in the 1980s is a familiar one to Brock University President Gervan Fearon.

Kovacs arrived from Romania in 1988, struggled in Niagara in her first two years, and then discovered the services offered by what was then known as the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines. With the organization’s support, she enrolled at Brock University, graduating with a degree in Psychology in 1998.

Fast forward two decades and Kovacs joined Fearon, who himself immigrated to Canada as a young man, in signing a formal agreement Tuesday, Aug. 13 that will see the two organizations working together to improve the well-being of newcomers to Canada in the Niagara region.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre’s Robertson Hall in St. Catharines strengthens a partnership based on a mutual goal of helping those new to Canada through research, outreach and support services.

Fearon said supporting newcomers helps them achieve their own dreams of becoming engaged members of society and helps build strong and inclusive communities that benefit all Canadians.

“Brock has a role to play in helping to develop the knowledge and skill sets that will enable individuals to become contributors to and champions of their new home,” he said. “We are pleased to partner with Niagara Folk Arts to help the community embrace new members and welcome new friends and neighbours.”

First launched in 1970, Niagara Folk Arts is a charitable not-for-profit organization with a mandate to support and assist the ethno-cultural and newcomer community in Niagara through a broad range of programs and services.

“As a newcomer on my journey settling in Canada, receiving service at Niagara Folk Arts and then connecting with Brock were both amazing experiences,” she said. “Tying these two amazing organizations together through this formalized partnership will continue to open doors to newcomers like me and many others to achieve our best selves. That is what both our organizations represent.”

Folk Arts has collaborated with Brock on many projects over the years, from research participation to having Brock students complete experiential education placements at the Centre. Brock also hosts a Newcomer and Community Basketball Game each March that provides mentorship and friendship through the annual friendly matchup at the University.

Helping out with Niagara Folk Arts’ Mentorship Program has and will continue to be a meaningful aspect of the partnership. Among the faculty and staff who have volunteered to work with new community members is Fearon, who started helping out in the program shortly after he arrived at Brock.

“I know how important it is for newcomers to be helped and supported,” said Fearon, who was born in the United Kingdom to Jamaican parents and moved to Canada at a young age. “Canada offered the opportunity to pursue our family’s educational aspirations and the possibility of making a contribution to the betterment of all members of Canadian society. We were fortunate to have been supported and welcomed years ago and more recently when we moved to the Niagara region.”

Some of the collaborative projects being planned for the future include enhancing Brock student engagement within Niagara Folk Arts through new volunteer opportunities and awareness building, as well as the two organizations working together to provide support to newcomers looking to upgrade or begin their post-secondary studies.

“It is a great strategic opportunity to partner with Brock University,” Kovacs said. “At Folk Arts, we are an inclusive centre for excellence that encompasses both theory and practice supporting newcomers in their journey to settle in Canada.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

New Apple Maps are rolling out to the northeast U.S.

Mac World - Tue, 2019-08-13 12:39

About a year ago, Apple announced a huge change to Apple Maps. It wasn’t about new features in the Maps app (though there are new features coming in iOS 13), but rather a complete overhaul of the fundamental map data. Buildings, rivers, roads, vegetation; it’s all vastly more detailed and accurate in the new maps.

Apple began rolling out the new mapping data to Northern California just after its announcement, with a promise to continue rolling out new maps to the rest of the U.S. “over the next year.” Southern California and Hawaii followed in late 2018, then parts of the southwest in April 2019.

To read this article in full, please click here


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