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Ryzen 4000 performance benchmarks: Ryzen 7 4700U beats Intel H-class mobile chips

PC World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00

Our first taste of the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U came in the form of the affordable Acer Swift 3 laptop. After AMD launched its 7nm Ryzen 4000 CPU family at CES and dealt a first, crushing blow with the Ryzen 9 4900HS chip in high-end notebook PCs, the Ryzen 7 4700U tackles the next challenge: U-class, thin-and-light laptops. The company’s offerings in this area have been weak in the past, so AMD focused on optimizing Ryzen 4000 for thinner notebook PCs. Everyone wants to know if AMD’s Ryzen “U” chips finally have what it takes.

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The best video baby monitors: Keep eyes—and ears—on your bundle of joy

PC World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00
Today's baby monitors are more capable—and more complex—than ever. Here's how to find the right one, so you and your baby can get some sleep.

Swapping streaming remotes for fewer cord-cutting annoyances

Mac World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00
Annoyed by your Roku or Apple TV remote? Replace it with something better.

Motorola Lux65 Connect-2 video baby monitor review: This two-camera set offers monitoring and more

Mac World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00
This baby monitor can operate as a conventional video monitor or a sophisticated smart camera, but a paid subscription is required to unlock its full feature set.

Roland Go:LiveCast review: Hardware/app combo for iPhone improves any livestream

Mac World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00

Even before COVID-19 disrupted our daily routines, live streaming was already all the rage on social media. With little more than a mobile phone and internet connection, almost anyone can broadcast messages in real time to a worldwide audience.

Of course, professionals know there’s more that goes into making a live broadcast than that—good sound, for example, will always make seasoned veterans stand out in a crowd of amateurs. If you’re looking to step up your live streaming game, there’s a new product to help you do just that.

Sound improvements

Billed as a “live streaming studio,” Roland Go:LiveCast combines diminutive 5.4 x 4.2 x 2.0-inch hardware with a mobile app that helps make broadcasts sound and look more professional. Rather than using less-capable hardware built into iPhone or iPad, Go:LiveCast allows streamers to upgrade to a higher-quality external microphone with XLR or 1/4-inch connectors through a combo jack on the side of the unit.

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The best video baby monitors: Keep eyes—and ears—on your bundle of joy

Mac World - Thu, 2020-04-30 06:00
Today's baby monitors are more capable—and more complex—than ever. Here's how to find the right one, so you and your baby can get some sleep.

iOS and iPadOS 13.5 beta is available with initial contact tracing API, faster passcode for Face ID failures

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-29 15:35

Having released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24 with big new features like trackpad and mouse support for iPads and iCloud folder sharing, Apple is moving on to its next minor release.

Apple released iOS 13.4.1 without a beta test, and then started realeasing beta versions of 13.4.5 that primarily included only bug fixes. On April 29, without ever releasing 13.4.5, Apple released what it calls “beta 3” of iOS 13.5. This is just a continuation of the 13.4.5 beta releases, upgraded to a point-release version number as it now includes more significant features. 

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Microsoft starts pushing coronavirus info in Windows Search

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-29 14:07

Microsoft said Wednesday that it will begin pushing coronavirus news and information to Windows Search within Windows 10. There’s also a quick and easy way to opt out.

Search for “coronavirus” on either Google or Bing, and both providers will return a wealth of information before search results even appear. Now, Microsoft will jump the queue, so to speak, and provide a link to that information within the Windows Search box within Windows before you even begin typing.

Mark Hachman / IDG

An invitation to explore coronavirus news is now within Windows Search.

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Want free games? You need to turn on the Epic Games Store's two-factor authentication

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-29 11:26

If you want to get your grubby gamer paws on all those free games coming to the Epic Games Store through the rest of the year, you’ll need to step up your security. This week, Epic announced that gamers will need to enable two-factor authentication on their accounts in order to claim the giveaways.

“Beginning today and ending on May 21, we will periodically require two-factor authentication prior to claiming free games on the Epic Games Store,” Epic announced, with an in-store notification making users aware of the change. If you try to claim a free game without 2FA enabled, you’ll be prompted to activate the feature first.

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How to use a new monitor with an old Mac

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-29 08:00

While Mac 911 receives a lot of email about connecting Apple’s old series of displays to new Thunderbolt 3 Macs via USB-C connections, it’s also possible to go the other direction: connect a new “USB-C” monitor to older Macs—so long as the monitor has multiple video ports. (We published a large FAQ on what you need to connect old displays to newer Macs.)

Many display makers advertise their newer monitors as “USB-C” models. And there’s no backwards compatibility from USB-C, whether that port offers Thunderbolt 3 or just USB, video, networking, and power. No manufacturers have created docks for Thunderbolt 2 that allow a USB-C connection. I’m not sure it’s even possible, but there’s simply not enough of a market for it if it were.

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OnePlus 8 review: Android's mid-range champ has less bang for more bucks

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-29 06:30

In a topsy-turvy world where Apple is releasing $399 iPhones and OnePlus is making $999 premium phones, the OnePlus 8 should be the perfect foil to the OnePlus 8 Pro. After all, OnePlus built its reputation on showing up the high-priced Galaxies and Pixels of the world with premium-specced Android phones for pennies on the dollar. It’s only fair that it does the same for its own four-figure phone.

In some ways, the OnePlus 8 delivers on that promise. It has a great screen, the newest Snapdragon processor, 5G, and a triple-camera array at a price lower than the Pixel 4 and Galaxy S10. But when you zoom in on what the OnePlus 8 offers for its price ($699 from OnePlus), which is $200 higher than last year’s 7T (currently discounted to $499 from OnePlus), it becomes clear the while it’s a very good phone, it’s not quite the killer bargain OnePlus wants us to think it is.

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OnePlus 8 Pro review: A great phone that's no longer a great value

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-29 06:30

The OnePlus 8 Pro ushers in a bunch of firsts for the humble Android phone maker. It’s the first OnePlus display with a hole-punch camera and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s the first OnePlus phone with wireless charging and a quad-camera. It’s the first time OnePlus has made Wi-Fi 6 and 5G standard. Heck, it’s even the first OnePlus phone with IP-rated water resistance.

It’s also the first OnePlus handset to top a thousand bucks (with tax), more than three times the cost of the original OnePlus One. To be fair, things have changed quite a bit since 2014, when Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 cost just $650 off-contract. But even though OnePlus can claim the 8 Pro costs $300 less than the closest apples-to-apples comparison Galaxy phone, a four-figure sticker price is still much more shocking on a OnePlus phone than a Samsung one.

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Google Meet becomes free for everyone, as the pursuit of Zoom continues

PC World - Wed, 2020-04-29 06:00

Google Meet is now free for everyone. As part of the video conferencing land rush begun by Zoom, Google has moved Google Meet out of its paid, premium tier, and made it available to both consumers and professionals alike.

In the same way that rival Facebook Messenger Rooms requires you to belong to Facebook to launch a new Room, Google Meet does require users to have a Google account, such as a Gmail email address. The free tier also limits users to just 60 minutes, though the company said it won’t enforce it until after September 30.

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Windscribe for Mac review: A great VPN at a great price

Mac World - Wed, 2020-04-29 06:00

Windscribe Pro is a good VPN for securing a connection over open Wi-Fi, but what really sets this service apart are the extra features. It also has good speeds, and a very good price.

For well over a year, the company has been working on a new app design, dubbed Windscribe 2.0. The refresh has already rolled out on mobile, but has yet to hit the desktop of either operating system. We’ll update this review once the app changes, but there’s so much to offer with this service we got tired of waiting and decided to plunge ahead.

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

WIndscribe for Mac

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AMD reaps big profits from Ryzen and Radeon, but PC sales remain a question mark

PC World - Tue, 2020-04-28 19:38

AMD reported very strong earnings for the first quarter of 2020, though AMD executives acknowledged that lower consumer spending may offset the strong demand for its Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs as the year progresses.

AMD provided important context into how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the technology industry, providing a counterpoint to rival Intel’s earnings last week. Chief executive Lisa Su said that AMD has already seen strong demand in the work-from-home category, specifically notebooks. It’s unclear, however, whether that demand will slow if the economy continues to be hit hard.

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Best iPhone: How to pick the perfect iPhone for you

Mac World - Tue, 2020-04-28 16:01

This guide was most recently updated on April 28, 2020.

Picking out an iPhone used to be easier—just get the newest one with all the storage you can afford. We still recommend plenty of storage, but the choice of which iPhone to get it on isn’t quite so cut-and-dry. Do you want the phone with the best camera, the one with the lowest starting price, or maybe size is a big factor in your decision?

Apple’s latest iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 11, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone SE.

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Brock-led team studying bone and muscle loss in samples from NASA

Brock News - Tue, 2020-04-28 13:57

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 April 2020 – R0076

The legendary agency that put a man on the moon is helping a Brock University-led research team explore secrets of human health — including how to slow the kind of tissue loss that happens to astronauts during space flight.

The team, headed by Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Val Fajardo, was selected for a NASA research program whose work includes studying muscle samples from mice that have spent some time on the International Space Station. The research got started in January and will continue in full once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

In examining muscle and bone loss in the ‘space mice,’ the scientists are hoping to unlock strategies for slowing bone and muscle loss in aging humans.

“This space model is widely considered to be an accelerated aging model,” says Fajardo. “You can study aging more efficiently because it takes a shorter amount of time to age. Mice already age at a quicker rate than humans, even more so in space.

“If you can figure out ways to stop or slow down muscle and bone loss in space, why not apply that here on Earth for aging or other diseases?”

As they spend time in space, rodents and humans lose skeletal density at a much faster rate than we do on Earth.

To develop and maintain the musculoskeletal system, muscles and bones must undergo stress, which is why regular exercise benefits our muscles, bones and health overall.

In space, the reduced gravity removes stress provided by the downward pull of gravity. This results in muscles and bones not being used as much, quickly leading to deterioration or atrophy.

Brock PhD student Holt Messner is examining an enzyme called GSK3, which is involved in a cell’s metabolism, differentiation and immunity. GSK3 activity is associated with muscle and bone deterioration.

He and master’s student Kennedy Whitley will compare GSK3 levels in the space mice samples with those of samples from two groups of mice on Earth, one group being housed in cages resembling those on space ships and another group kept in typical laboratory cages.

“We’re looking for ways to lessen microgravity-induced muscle atrophy by modifying the presence and/or activity of GSK3,” says Messner.

Master’s student Sophie Hamstra and upcoming master’s students Ryan Baranowski and Jessica Braun will study other processes involved in muscle loss and weakness in space.

Collectively, their work will determine how a muscle’s ability to regulate calcium — the signal for muscle contraction — is altered after spaceflight.

“Now that the samples have been awarded to our team, it is important that we maximize our efforts in order to learn all we can from these rare muscle samples,” says Fajardo.

There is also loss of bone density in space for the same ‘use it or lose it’ reason as for muscles: a lack of gravity means that bones don’t need to support the body.

The Canadian Space Agency says astronauts lose on average one to two per cent of their bone mineral density every month.

In addition to muscle atrophy, GSK3 may also harm bone health by triggering processes leading to bone deterioration. When GSK3 is inhibited, this may turn on processes that favour bone formation.

“It is possible that GSK3 may be contributing to the bone loss observed with spaceflight,” says Wendy Ward, Canada Research Chair in Bone and Muscle Development.

Ward and her team are examining GSK3 signalling in bone samples from space and will analyze the quality of the bone to provide insight into the risk of fracture.

“More fully understanding how bone loss occurs in terms of changes in GSK3 may benefit Canadians, as one in three women and one in five men will experience a fracture during their lifetime due to osteoporosis,” says the Kinesiology Professor.

Also on the team is Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Rebecca MacPherson, who will be examining how neurons in the brain deteriorate with age and what role GSK3 content and activity might play. Her research will help to describe the effects of space flight and radiation exposure to brain health.

Researcher Fabrice Bertile from Laboratoire de Spectrométrie de Masse Bio-Organique in France sent the team muscle samples from mice that spent one month in space in the BION-M1 biosatellite.

Fajardo says he is excited about the application of the team’s research results not only to the baby boomer population, but also to astronauts and, in the far future, to those traveling to Mars.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Val Fajardo is available for interviews about the research.

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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Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Mac World - Tue, 2020-04-28 13:32
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

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