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iPhone SE rumors, iPhone 12 rumors, and more

Mac World - 2 hours 18 min ago

What’s up with the iPhone SE? What’s up with the iPhone 12? What’s up with the 13-inch MacBook Pro? We talk about this and more on the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 693 with Michael SimonLeif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 693

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Samsung's low-cost Galaxy A-Series phones aim to reverse U.S. smartphone slump

PC World - 2 hours 24 min ago

While its thousand-dollar-plus flagship phones might get all the attention, Samsung’s best-selling phone of 2019 wasn’t the Galaxy S10 or the Note 10+, it was the $350 A50. Now, with a global smartphone slump that has hit the Galaxy S20 hard, Samsung is doubling down on that strategy.

Update 4/9: This article has been updated with specs and buying information for the A01 and A51.

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Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 review: Good for Macs, waiting for multi-OS improvements

Mac World - 3 hours 18 min ago

It’s not that common to find full-featured security suites for the Mac. Quite often major antivirus makers provide a stripped-down version of their Windows product with notable bells and whistles missing. Not so with Intego’s Mac Premium Bundle X9, a security solution purpose-built for Apple users. This top-tier suite has a variety of solid tools that any Mac user would be happy to use.

But is that enough to recommend this product?

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them. IDG

Intego’s VirusBarrier. 

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10 pro tips for creating Excel macros

PC World - 3 hours 48 min ago

Excel macros save you time and headaches by automating common, repetitive tasks, and you don’t have to be a programmer or know Visual Basic Applications (VBA) to write one. With Excel, it’s as simple as recording your keystrokes. Use these tips to make macro recording a cinch.

Further Excel training

If you want to deepen your Excel mastery, a number of online courses exist to expand your knowledge. Here are our top picks to start with:

Coursera - Excel Skills for Business: Essentials

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Cord-cutters have more free TV news options than ever

Mac World - 4 hours 18 min ago
How cord-cutters can stream the news for free.

SOL Republic Soundtrack Pro ANC headphone review: Good-enough features and performance for the price

Mac World - 4 hours 18 min ago
These wireless noise-cancelling headphones deliver the basics, but their looks and features don't set them apart from the crowd.

Cord-cutters have more free TV news options than ever

PC World - 4 hours 18 min ago
How cord-cutters can stream the news for free.

SOL Republic Soundtrack Pro ANC headphone review: Good-enough features and performance for the price

PC World - 4 hours 18 min ago
These wireless noise-cancelling headphones deliver the basics, but their looks and features don't set them apart from the crowd.

Microsoft adds a News Bar app as part of its latest Windows Insider update

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:59

Microsoft is launching a redesigned Microsoft News app, now dubbed the Microsoft News Bar, in conjunction with a new Windows 10 Insider build that tidies up your PC’s storage.

Windows 10 Insider build 19603 is part of the Fast Ring, a sort of repository for ongoing code that Microsoft hasn’t formally slated for any particular release. (The Slow Ring, by contrast, is code that will appear in the upcoming release.)

Build 19603 contains several new features, a change from a recent run of bug fixes: better file integration within Windows Subsystem for Linux, improvements to the Storage settings, the News Bar, and support for the Canon CR3 format within Microsoft’s RAW image extension.

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Google's Stadia Pro is 'free' for 2 months, but the game-streaming service still comes with caveats

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:44

We reviewed Google Stadia in November, calling it “A glimpse of a future some other company will probably perfect.” The underlying tech? Solid. The platform and business model? Disastrous.

And not much has changed in the ensuing months, except now it’s free. Ish. Kind of. Google announced this morning that it’s no longer restricting Stadia to those who bought the $130 Founder’s Edition hardware kit. Anyone with a Gmail account can sign up.

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Sign in with Apple FAQ: What you need to know about Apple's single sign-on platform

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:31

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in 2019, it introduced a new single sign-on (SSO) solution called Sign in with Apple. Similar to the ever-present Sign in with Facebook and Sign in with Google options, Apple’s solution is meant to allow you to sign up for apps and sign in with a single ID instead of creating new ones for every app and service in the world.

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Maingear shifts gears to develop a ventilator in addition to PCs

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 13:27

Maingear, a boutique PC maker, has shifted to making ventilators. On Thursday, the company announced the Maingear LIV, which the company will make and sell to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

The idea for the emergency pulmonary ventilator was sparked by Rahul Sood, Maingear’s chairman, according to a video published by Maingear and its CEO, Wallace Santos. In it, Santos shows off the prototype ventilator, designed in conjunction with a board of advisors made up of medical personnel. 

Maingear is based in New Jersey, a state which has been hard-hit by the coronavirus. Neighboring New York state has more than 140,000 confirmed cases, as of Thursday, and New Jersey has over 44,000.

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Chrome OS’s new tablet mode is a lot more like Android (and the iPad)

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 11:39

Many updates have come since Chrome OS introduced a proper tablet mode for convertibles with version 70, and while Google has certainly refined the system, it’s done little to fix its core navigation issues. The main problem: It’s kind of confusing. But the next Chrome OS update will go a long way to fix that.

With the upcoming version 81, Google is bringing a new way to navigate when you’re not using the trackpad. It’s similar to both Apple’s new gestures on the iPad Pro and the latest Android 10 navigation with three main components:

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The show must go on: Brock prof encouraged by theatre’s resiliency in midst of cancellations

Brock News - Wed, 2020-04-08 11:09

MEDIA RELEASE: 8 April 2020 – R0064

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating blow on the performing arts, but a Brock University Dramatic Arts professor is encouraged by what she has seen from the industry.

“A vibrant industry went to ground over a matter of days, with theatres at first announcing cancelled or postponed productions and then, in most cases, cancelling the remainder of their winter-spring seasons,” says Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts and theatre critic for the Toronto Star. “Most performing artists are precarious gig workers who are seeing current and future bookings evaporate.”

In St. Catharines, arts organizations including the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, the Meridian Centre, Essential Collective Theatre and Carousel Players are among those that have cancelled or postponed programming through May.

The Stratford Festival has cancelled performances through to late May, and Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival through June. While Shaw has not laid off workers and is conducting rehearsals online, Stratford has temporary laid off 470 employees, including actors, technicians and box office workers.

But Fricker sees hope among the gloomy news.

“Theatre companies and artists have been demonstrating amazing resilience and ingenuity during this time of crisis,” she says. “A lot of activity has gone online.”

Essential Collective Theatre is turning its annual vaudeville fundraiser into an online affair. “Quarantine Cabaret” will feature short video recordings of various acts, including singing, magic, clowning, drag and melodramatic readings, which will be livestreamed at the end of April.

Several Toronto-based companies are putting on telephone plays: one-on-one shows in which an audience member gets a hand-made personal story delivered to them over the phone, says Fricker.

“DLT (DopoLavoro Teatrale), known to local audiences for their immersive shows including That Ugly Mess that Happened in St. Catharines, is producing a series of phone and online performances,” says Fricker. Some of the performances are inspired by Boccacio’s Decameron, a 14th–century collection of novellas about a group of youth sheltering outside Florence to escape the Black Death.

“I have been uplifted by engaging with online theatre over the past few weeks,” Fricker says.

“Watching theatre this way is not the same as sharing the same physical space and time with fellow audience members and the artists themselves, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lesser experience. It’s different, and theatres and audiences alike are adapting to what is, for now, the new normal.”

Brock University Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker is available for media interviews.

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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Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-08 11:00

The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. And the new MacBook Air has a pair of ports. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

Your best bet is to get a combination dock, like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter ($60 on Amazon). It connects via USB-C, and includes a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) support. With this, you don’t have to carry around multiple adapters.

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The Origin 12-core Ryzen 9 EON15-X wins for Monster Ryzen Laptop of the week

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 10:00

The updated Origin EON15-X is about to disappoint all the enthusiasts who thought their 8-core laptop was pretty rad. Check this: The EON15-X rocks a 12-core Ryzen 9 3900 insides its relatively “light” body.

Origin said the EON15-X (starting at $1,624 currently from OriginRemove non-product link) will feature a 15.6-inch, 144Hz panel, GeForce RTX 2070, up to 32GB of RAM, and two 1TB M.2 SSDs plus a 2.5-inch drive bay.

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Samsung unveils low-cost Galaxy A-Series phones to reverse U.S. smartphone slump

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-08 09:43

While its thousand-dollar-plus flagship phones might get all the attention, Samsung’s best-selling phone of 2019 wasn’t the Galaxy S10 or the Note 10+, it was the $350 A50. Now, with a global smartphone slump that has hit the Galaxy S20 hard, Samsung is doubling down on that strategy.

Make that sextupling down. On Wednesday, Samsung announced six new Galaxy A phones coming to the U.S., ranging from the ultra-cheap $110 Galaxy A01 to the $600 Galaxy A71 5G. The handsets have an array of different features and specs, but they all have three things in common, which Samsung calls “everyday essentials.”

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‘The Banker’ review: Strong performances prevent low interest rate

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-08 08:00

The Banker is a movie that both champions civil rights and the idea that making boatloads of cash through American capitalism is a fine and wonderful thing. Fittingly enough, it’s also one of the first feature-length films from Apple TV+, a service run by a company with near-unimaginable stores of wealth and which often sticks its neck out in support of LGBT and other civil rights. Beyond that, it’s also a good place to deposit a couple of hours of your time, even considering a troubled release schedule that saw it pulled from theaters and the name of the producer—who’s the real-life son of the main character—struck from the credits.

One of The Banker’s big themes is movement, not just for the cash hinted at in the title but also in the context of one’s standing in physical and social spheres. We see this in the character of Bernard S. Garrett (Anthony Mackie), a black man who moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s after realizing that his native Texas lacked fertile ground for his mathematical talents. We see a bit of it in the character of Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), Garrett’s eventual business partner who knows how to move through almost every strata of L.A.’s social scene. And most notably, we see it in the way the pair uses their talents to try to buy buildings that will enable African-American citizens to move into nicer neighborhoods that were once solely the province of white folks. In fact, The Banker is just as much a film about real estate as it is about banks.

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iPad vs. Surface: Apple and Microsoft get closer to convergence

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-08 07:00

When Apple announced the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro—which features a trackpad that users can use to drive a cursor around on the iPad screen—some pundits pointed out that at long last, Apple was admitting that Microsoft was right after all when it designed the Surface with a keyboard and trackpad.

Except that’s not what happened. With iPad and Surface, Apple and Microsoft are both headed for the same destination—a new kind of computer that is just as at home as a touch tablet, with a stylus, or with a traditional keyboard and mouse. They’re just converging on it from opposite directions.

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Unread 2 review: Stylish RSS reader for iOS improves while remaining exactly the same

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-08 06:15

For decades, major software versions were guaranteed to debut new features and fresh eye candy in the form of user interface enhancements. With the current subscription trend, developers have less incentive to wait for the next big release, instead choosing to roll out incremental updates as they’re ready.

But what happens when an app works so well that UI improvements are unnecessary? Such is the conundrum with Unread, an attractive RSS news reader client for iPhone and iPad. After changing hands in 2017, developer Golden Hill Software has finally debuted the long-awaited sequel with almost no changes to the sultry, gesture-based look and feel that made it a hit in the first place.

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