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Apple ‘biggest update’ to Logic Pro X in years bring Live Loops, no native iPad app

PC World - Tue, 2020-05-12 10:12
Apple unveils Logic Pro X.5, "the biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X," so where's iPad support?

Apple ‘biggest update’ to Logic Pro X in years bring Live Loops, no native iPad app

Mac World - Tue, 2020-05-12 10:12

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled what it’s calling “the biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X” in 2013, bringing it more in line with GarageBand while also adding powerful sampling, sequencing, and editing tools.

Most notably, the X.5 update brings “a professional version” of Garageband’s Live Loops that debuted in January 2016. As one of GarageBand’s most popular features, Live Loops let musicians “play, edit, and arrange musical ideas in real-time” by either selecting from a library of instruments and pre-recorded cells or creating their own sounds. Live Loops works the same on Logic Pro X as it does on GarageBand, though tracks can be “further refined using all of the professional production features in Logic.”

To read this article in full, please click here

Participants needed for study on COVID-19 and outdoor recreation

Brock News - Tue, 2020-05-12 10:00

MEDIA RELEASE: 12 May 2020 – R0084

A team of Brock University researchers want to know how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted outdoor recreation participation patterns before, during and after the start of physical distancing strategies and the closure of outdoor recreation areas in Canada.

Recreation and Leisure Studies Professor Tim O’Connell says this is an opportunity for people to reflect on their outdoor recreation practices and its importance in their lives.

“The study is also exploring how the closure of outdoor recreation areas have impacted individuals’ perceptions of their mental, physical and overall health,” says O’Connell, the study’s principal investigator. “This study is both timely and time-sensitive as all levels of government are reviewing timelines for opening outdoor recreation activities.”

Findings from this study will be shared with government agencies, land managers and private service providers in the hopes of informing future decisions about the opening (or not opening) of public outdoor recreation areas.

Currently, there are vast differences in the timelines for opening recreation spaces in the various regions across Canada. For example, Saskatchewan began limited individual activities for which physical distancing can be maintained on Monday, May 4 and Ontario has started reopening Provincial parks and conservation areas. There are also ongoing discussions with municipalities across cottage country regarding the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend.

The team, which includes co-investigators Recreation and Leisure Studies Associate Professor Garrett Hutson and Adjunct Professor Ryan Howard, hopes the study will provide the added benefit of participants learning more about outdoor recreation opportunities by considering the scope and range of activities available in Canada.

“Outdoor recreation in Canada is often understood as activities that occur in, and are reliant on, the natural environment,” explains O’Connell. “We are very fortunate as Canadians to have a wide range of geographical green and blue spaces, and social contexts for recreation and leisure activities.”

As policy makers began to implement safe physical distancing recommendations in mid-March, outdoor recreation was initially seen by many as an acceptable way of engaging in leisure activities with family and friends. Following media reports of overcrowding in public parks and outdoor recreation areas, these resources were closed to ensure public safety.

“We know that research suggests people are very protective of and emotionally attached to the places in which they engage in outdoor recreation activities,” O’Connell says. “We hope, with reflection, this study will nurture advocacy for natural environments which are used for outdoor recreation purposes to be protected.”

Those interested in participating must be 18 years of age or older and currently live in Canada.

The online survey, which takes 15 to 20 minutes, must be completed by Friday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Recreation and Leisure Studies Professor Tim O’Connell is available for media interviews about the study.

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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Eggtronic Wireless Power Bar review: A handy but pricey travel companion

Mac World - Tue, 2020-05-12 08:00

There are lots of power banks out there, and many of them are quite good. Eggtronic's new Wireless Power Bar is one of the more unique solutions we've seen. It's a 10,000mAh battery pack with a USB-C port capable of 30W output and input, two Qi wireless charging pads, and a pop-out Apple Watch charger. It's a single "all your Apple gear" charger you can throw in your travel bag, without a lot of supporting cables.

Two wireless pads, USB-C, Apple Watch

We've seen power packs with lots of USB inputs and outputs, and we've seen power packs with wireless charging built it. But the Wireless Power Bar has one of the more unique configurations we've ever seen.

To read this article in full, please click here

Price points: Do iPhones cost too much?

Mac World - Tue, 2020-05-12 07:00

Apple has released a low-cost phone so it is now time to complain about how iPhones cost too much.

Wait, what?

Writing for The New York Times, Shira Ovide says “Your iPhone Costs Too Much.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

At $449 for his 2020 iPhone SE with 128GB, The Macalope is pretty sure you’re wrong about that. Of course, Ovide’s not talking about the iPhone SE. And possibly not the iPhone XR, either.

To be fair, maybe the Times has data showing a correlation between the people who subscribe their paper, enjoying it for the Fairfield county wedding announcements and stories of how even hedge fund managers are “feeling the pinch” of this difficult economy and having to sell one of their yachts, and people who buy the most expensive iPhone.

To read this article in full, please click here

iPad Pro (2020) review: A modest improvement on a great tablet

PC World - Tue, 2020-05-12 06:15
The 2020 iPad Pro is a fantastic tablet, although you'll find most of its improvements over the previous model in the camera array. This model now has a 10MP ultra-wide lens and a LiDAR sensor for augmented reality—both of which seem like they'd see little use on a tablet.

iPad Pro (2020) review: A modest improvement on a great tablet

Mac World - Tue, 2020-05-12 06:15

In 2018 the new iPad Pro was bold and sleek, and just what Apple needed to shake up a product line that was starting to show its age. Unlike its predecessors, it featured Face ID, a new and improved Apple Pencil, a USB-C port, thin bezels, and a blazing fast processor.

The 2020 model looks and performs much the same, but now much of the initial excitement has settled. Instead of going for a new design, Apple used this updated model to test drive some technology that may become more important to other Apple products down the line, although it’s not particularly exciting or even well-suited for this particular device. This is unquestionably the best iPad ever made, but the real question is whether all of its flashy features make it the best iPad for you.

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5 ways to improve your relationship with Google Assistant

PC World - Tue, 2020-05-12 06:00
Learn how to change the sound of Google Assistant’s voice, teach it your nickname, make your conversations flow better, and more.

Software worth paying for: 10 programs you won't regret buying

PC World - Tue, 2020-05-12 06:00

Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Outfitting your computer with useful software doesn’t have to cost a dime, as our roundup of the best free software for your PC proves. But paying up for programs often gets you perks you won’t find with freeware, from smoother interfaces to more plentiful features, or even customer support if you need help. Some of the most useful software is available only in premium form.

Freebies tend to get the headlines, but today, let’s shine a light on some programs and services that are actually worth paying for, drawing on both our extensive testing archives and a few personal picks. Break out your wallet, you won't regret it.

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Google Pixel 4a preview: The sequel to Android's best bargain of 2019 is on the way

PC World - Tue, 2020-05-12 06:00

There might not be an I/O keynote to stream, but some new hot Google hardware might still be on the way. All rumors and signs suggest that Google will celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of the bodaciously budget Pixel 3a with an equally affordable Pixel 4a follow-up. Here's what we already know about it.

Design

While the Pixel 3a was basically a plastic Pixel 3, the Pixel 4a will reportedly deviate from the bezel-heavy design of Google’s Pixel 4. Based on leaked images, the Pixel 4a may be Google’s first phone to adopt a hole-punch camera, which will be aligned in the upper left corner of the screen. The 4a design was seemingly confirmed by Google exec Rick Osterloh, who tweeted about his Fitbit Earth badge with an Android screenshot sporting an indented status bar. However, he could have been using a OnePlus 8.

To read this article in full, please click here

AirPods Studio rumors: Everything we think we know about Apple’s high-end headphones

Mac World - Mon, 2020-05-11 19:00

Apple has been said to be working on a pair of high-end, over-the-ear, noise-cancelling headphones. Rumors began circulating last year, and have recently begun picking up steam, with more specific details. Perhaps a release is imminant?

While Apple will maintain its Beats products, these over-the-ear headphones will be Apple-branded products and carry the AirPods name. Here’s what we’ve heard about them so far.

Name and price

Apple tipster Jon Prosser, who has been on fire with the Apple leaks lately, recently tweeted that Apple will call its headphones “AirPods Studio” and price them at $349.

To read this article in full, please click here

Major Thunderbolt security flaw found in Macs and PCs: Should you be worried?

Mac World - Mon, 2020-05-11 18:00

Security researcher Björn Ruytenberg with the Eindhoven University of Technology recently published a report detailing a series of serious security vulnerabilities in Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3, collectively called “Thunderspy.”

They affect every single computer with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 port, including old-style port connectors and new Type-C connectors, whether the computers are running Windows, Linux, or macOS.

How badly does this security flaw impact Mac users? Should you freak out about someone hacking into your MacBook the next time you get up from your desk to refill your coffee?

To read this article in full, please click here

Gmail-like text prediction is due soon for Outlook on the Web

PC World - Mon, 2020-05-11 16:54

Microsoft is adapting one of the more interesting features of Gmail, predictive text, and bringing it to the online version of Outlook.

Recently, Microsoft updated its publicly available Microsoft 365 roadmap, and text prediction is now listed as one of the upcoming features scheduled to roll out in May. “Using smart technology, Outlook will predict text while you type,” Microsoft’s description says. “Just use the Tab key to accept the text prediction.”

Microsoft has already included predictive text within Windows for months, though the implementation has been lousy. The text prediction Microsoft associates with your hardware keyboard opens up a small window above what you’re typing and forces you to select the word manually. (It’s off by default inWindows 10's Settings > Devices > Typing menu, probably because it’s so bad.) The online text prediction in both Gmail and apparently now the web version of Outlook appears to be far more useful; suggestions will be enabled via the tab key, and (hopefully) by other shortcuts as well.

To read this article in full, please click here

Best power banks 2020: The top portable chargers for your phone

Mac World - Mon, 2020-05-11 16:41
These USB portable chargers from Anker, Mophie, Xiaomi, and others will keep your Android or Apple phone charged while you're on the go.

Best power banks 2020: The top portable chargers for your phone

PC World - Mon, 2020-05-11 16:41

Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup battery pack. But given the large number of options on Amazon, you might feel overwhelmed, understandably. Besides the various charging specs, ports, and even cables you have to consider, there are a ton of competing brands. But how do you know which ones actually deliver on their promises? Is it worth saving a few bucks if a battery pack’s performance is lacking?

Cheat sheet: Best power banks 2020
  • Mophie Powerstation XXL: Best overall [mophie.com]
  • Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank: Most portable [amazon.com]
  • Sherpa 100AC Portable Power Bank: Best for road warriors [goalzero.com]
  • Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD: Best USB-C pack with Power Delivery [amazon.com]
  • RockPals 300W Power Station: Best portable power station [amazon.com]

We decided to do the legwork for you, acquiring a wide range of power banks from different manufacturers, some offering unique features. We then spent weeks testing the packs (read about our testing process in detail below).

To read this article in full, please click here

Spotify’s Group Session feature lets your friends control your music queue

PC World - Mon, 2020-05-11 15:55
Once you've created a Group Session, your friends can take charge of your Spotify tunes in real time.

Virtual memberships available as students help Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being expand offerings

Brock News - Mon, 2020-05-11 13:44

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 May 2020 – R0083

The Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being continues to adapt under the COVID-19 pandemic challenges to help older adults and others stay active throughout the quarantine.

When the pandemic first started impacting Niagara, the Brock University-operated Centre closed its doors, but began offering online tools and daily home workouts to keep members engaged and active. As it became clear that local businesses would need to stay closed for a significant period of time, the Centre enhanced its remote operations.

The Centre has now begun to offer online fitness classes hosted by the Centre’s staff and Brock graduate and undergraduate students who have previously worked or completed courses in the Centre.

“Initially, only existing members of the Centre were eligible to join; however, with appropriate documentation, online membership is now open to community members,” said Debbie O’Leary, Professor of Health Sciences and Director of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being. “A virtual membership includes live fitness classes, educational seminars, weekly check-ins and social meetings with the students.”

The Centre has about 75 online members, but that number is growing. Classes being offered include yoga, circuit workouts, golf, chair-based, osteoporosis, core and Parkinson’s classes, all delivered on the video conferencing platform Lifesize.

“The virtual fitness classes are extremely important for our members to promote physical and mental health and to maintain their social connections,” said Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the SeniorFit program, Kimberely Gammage.

Brock Kinesiology, Health Sciences and Therapeutic Recreation students will be teaching virtual classes throughout the Spring and Summer Terms that will count towards the placement aspect of their credits.

Specifically, Kinesiology students are offering one-on-one sessions to develop personalized home-based workout programs. They will use these sessions to create a library of exercise-related videos, presentations and pamphlets. Health Sciences students are working on social programming designed to enhance mental health and well-being.

Four master of Professional Kinesiology students doing their placements with the Centre will be offering virtual programming, as well as doing the intake of new members, mentoring undergraduate students and doing online fitness testing with members.

“These classes are allowing us to continue to offer student-learning opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge about working to promote health and well-being in diverse populations,” said Gammage. “Our students are also developing a whole range of new skills related to communication and the implementation of technology in the workplace.”

For information on joining the Centre with an online membership, please visit the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being 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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Apple TV+ originals: Documentary feature 'Dads' coming on June 19

Mac World - Mon, 2020-05-11 12:31

Apple is planting its own flag in the streaming wars with Apple TV+, its in-house streaming service that features only original programming—no reruns of hit TV shows or last year’s blockbuster movies.

The company is said to be spending several billion dollars a year on original programming. That’s a lot of TV! Apple is attracting some of the best talent in TV and film production, including huge stars and directors, and locking down the television and movie rights to best-selling books.

Though the service is relatively new and has few shows available, there’s a lot in the works. This is a list of all its content for it that we know of so far, along with details about prominent stars, directors, producers, and release dates.

To read this article in full, please click here

iPhone 12 rumors: Possible specifications for the iPhone 12 lineup

Mac World - Mon, 2020-05-11 12:25

Reports about what will be in the 2020 iPhones are hitting the wire. We’ve compiled the most notable ones here, but take these with a big grain of salt. Even if these reports are accurate representations of what suppliers are saying, or come from moles within Apple itself, the company’s plans can and do change. There’s still plenty of time before the design and features have to be totally set in stone.

Update 05/11/20: New rumors from Front Page Tech and EverythingApplePro about Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 lineup.

Possible specifications for the iPhone 12 lineup

The iPhone 12 rumor mill is heating up. Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser released a video on Monday morning with specifications on the upcoming iPhones. There are four models that will use Apple's A14 processor and support 5G. Here are the specs Prosser is reporting.

To read this article in full, please click here

Canadian scholar, academic leader to be Brock’s next Provost

Brock News - Mon, 2020-05-11 10:38

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 May 2020 – R0082

Lynn Wells, an accomplished scholar and academic leader, will be Brock University’s new Provost and Vice-President Academic, effective July 1, 2020.

Brock President Gervan Fearon made the announcement Monday, May 11, welcoming the scholar and researcher to Niagara. Wells is currently the Associate Vice-President, Students and Teaching at MacEwan University in Edmonton, and previously served as the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, and Acting President at the First Nations University of Canada, in Regina. She has many years experience as a professor, teacher and researcher in the Department of English, including scholarly work in contemporary British fiction.

“Brock is pleased to welcome someone with the wealth of experiences that Dr. Wells brings to our campus,” said Fearon. “Lynn is a highly respected teacher, has undertaken thoughtful and important research and is one of the country’s leading senior academic administrators. Our faculty, students and staff as well as the academic mission and strategic priorities of the University will be well served by her appointment.”

Wells said she is excited to be joining an institution where academic excellence, research strength, inclusivity and university-community partnership are key priorities.

“As someone from Ontario, I’ve long known that Brock is a community of accomplished faculty, researchers and great students,” she said. “With Canada’s universities working to address major challenges resulting from the global pandemic, Brock’s role is even more vital to Niagara and to Ontario, and I am honoured to be joining the institution and the community.”

Wells has more than a decade of experience in senior administrative roles at universities. Prior to accepting her current position in 2018, she spent seven years in the senior posts at First Nations University of Canada. She also served from 2006 to 2011 at the University of Regina, in consecutive postings as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate), Faculty of Arts; Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts; and Associate Vice-President (Academic).

She received her PhD (English) from Western University (1997); MA (English) from York University (1987); and Honours BA (English/French Studies) from York (1986, Summa Cum Laude).

Wells will succeed longtime Brock leader Greg Finn, who stepped into the University’s senior academic role in October 2018, and who has been instrumental in supporting the implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan and helping Brock achieve record enrolments.

Fearon praised Finn for his “tireless service,” saying the community is indebted to him for providing vital leadership and stability during a transitional phase at Brock.

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

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

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