Geek

Apple Arcade debuts new ‘Ultimate Rivals’ exclusive sports game franchise

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 22:08

Apple has announced a major new sports game franchise that is now available on Apple Arcade. “Ultimate Rivals,” developed by Bit Fry Game Studios, Inc., brings together athletes from hockey, basketball, football, baseball, and soccer.

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Microsoft's Next Xbox Is Xbox Series X, Coming Holiday 2020

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 21:50
At the 2019 Game Awards today, Microsoft revealed the name and console design of its next-generation gaming console: Xbox Series X. The Verge reports: The console itself looks far more like a PC than we've seen from previous Xbox consoles, and Microsoft's trailer provides a brief glimpse at the new design. The console itself is designed to be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations, and Microsoft's Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, promises that it will "deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way." The Xbox Series X will include a custom-designed CPU based on AMD's Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture. Microsoft is also using an SSD on Xbox Series X, which promises to boost load times. Xbox Series X will also support 8K gaming, frame rates of up to 120 fps in games, ray tracing, and variable refresh rate support. Microsoft also revealed a new Xbox Wireless Controller today. "Its size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people, and it also features a new Share button to make capturing screenshots and game clips simple," explains Spencer. This updated controller will work with existing Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs, and will ship with every Xbox Series X.

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‘Snowflake Weather’ is powerful new weather app designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 21:29

The developers of the popular iStat Menus app for Mac have debuted a powerful new weather app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Dubbed “Snowflake Weather,” the app is designed to offer a detailed look at weather data, in a sleek and consistent interface across platforms.

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Lawsuit Forces CenturyLink To Stop Charging 'Internet Cost Recovery Fee'

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 21:10
CenturyLink has agreed to pay a $6.1 million penalty after Washington state regulators found that the company failed to disclose fees that raised actual prices well above the advertised rates. CenturyLink must also stop charging a so-called "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" in the state, although customers may end up paying the fee until their contracts expire unless they take action to switch plans. Ars Technica reports: "CenturyLink deceived consumers by telling them they would pay one price and then charging them more," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in an announcement yesterday. "Companies must clearly disclose all added fees and charges to Washingtonians." Ferguson encouraged Washington residents "who believe they have received bills that include undisclosed fees to file a complaint" with the state. Ferguson's office said it began investigating CenturyLink in 2016 "after receiving complaints from consumers that their actual bills were more than the advertised price, or the price that they were promised by sales representatives." Here's what Ferguson's office found: "There were three main fees CenturyLink did not disclose: a broadcast fee of $2.49 per month, a sports fee of $2.49 per month, and CenturyLink's 'Internet Cost Recovery Fee,' ranging from $0.99 to $1.99 per month. CenturyLink charged its Internet Cost Recovery Fee to 650,000 Washingtonians. Of those, another 60,000 were also charged the broadcast and sports fees. These fees alone added up to $7 per month to a television subscriber's bill -- $84 per year. The investigation found that CenturyLink did not adequately disclose additional taxes and fees for its cable, Internet and telephone services." CenturyLink admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to a financial settlement and changes in business practices as part of a consent decree filed in King County Superior Court on Monday. The attorney general's office detailed its allegations in a lawsuit filed the same day.

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Apple Watch with cellular officially debuts in New Zealand following pre-orders

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 20:31

Last Friday, Apple opened pre-orders for the cellular Apple Watch in New Zealand. Now, the first orders are arriving to customers and support is rolling out from New Zealand carrier Spark.

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Less Than 10 Percent of Americans Are Buying $1,000 Smartphones, Report Says

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 20:30
According to a new report from research firm NPD, less than 10% of Americans are actually spending $1,000 or more on a smartphone. 9to5Google reports: The report was produced by research firm NPD and shows that while the media and brand focus is on the flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, and iPhone 11 Pro, everyday Americans are less likely to spend their hard-earned dollars on these expensive trinkets. NPD does note in their report that this could be due to the rate of 5G adoption. Currently, 5G is in its early rollout stages in the U.S., with many regions simply not covered. 5G-enabled smartphones are thin on the ground and also come with the associated "early adopter" price-tags of well over $1000 in most cases -- although that isn't the case with products like the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren edition. Some buyers may simply be holding out until 5G becomes more affordable or viable before taking the plunge and opting for those $1000+ flagship smartphones. The report also highlights the significant difference in buying habits from region to region. NPD notes that those living in major cities such as Los Angeles and New York City are far more likely to spend over $1000 on a smartphone.

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Spin's San Francisco Staff Becomes First E-Scooter Workforce To Unionize

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 19:50
The San Francisco workforce of Spin, the e-scooter company owned by Ford, have unionized, in a first for the industry. Mashable reports: Having voted to unionize on Dec. 5, the workers were authorized to join the Teamsters Local 665 chapter on Wednesday. As well as office-based staff, scooter rental companies largely rely on a workforce of independent contractors, i.e. gig workers, to charge, maintain, relocate, and check the 85,000 or so vehicles scattered in cities around the U.S. But Spin says its entire San Francisco workforce of 100 people is comprised of W2 employees, and this is "the model" for its 60-plus other markets. A Spin spokesperson told Mashable on Wednesday evening that the company would not be approaching the collective bargaining negotiations with an "adversarial" mindset, as it respects workers' right to unionize, and that the labor peace agreement the San Francisco office signed with the Teamsters earlier this year included a neutrality clause for that reason. "Spin has long differentiated itself with our workforce policies, choosing a W-2 model and local hiring over independent contractors and staffing agencies," the spokesperson said. "We believe investing in everyone from our headquarters to our warehouses leads to a safer, more reliable service." "We don't anticipate any changes to our work force from unionization."

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Apple working on fix for iOS bug that lets kids easily bypass Screen Time Communication Limits

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 19:38

Apple this week released iOS 13.3 to the public, which includes a new Communication Limits feature for Screen Time. A new report from CNBC, however, explains that the feature doesn’t exactly work as it’s designed to.

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Cisco Outlines Silicon, Software Roadmap For Next Generation Internet

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 19:10
An anonymous reader writes: Cisco on Wednesday outlined new details behind its strategy to build next-generation internet technology. As a set up for what it dubs its 'Internet for the Future' strategy, the networking giant announced a multi-year plan for building and investing in 5G internet technology, including silicon, optics and software. On the silicon side, Cisco announced Silicon One, a new switching and routing applications specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the 5G internet era. The programmable networking chip is designed to provide significant improvements to performance, bandwidth, power efficiency, scalability and flexibility, according to Cisco. Cisco said the first first generation of the chip, Q100, surpassed the 10 Tbps routing milestone for network bandwidth. In addition to the silicon, Cisco also outlined its focus on the optics space. As port rates increase from 100G to 400G, optics become a larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure. To account for that, Cisco said its qualification program tests its optics and non-Cisco optics to comply with industry standards, and invests organically to make sure that its router and switch ports rates continue to increase. Cisco also announced plans to offer flexible consumption models for Silicon One that were first established with its optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS XR7 software. The Silicon One architecture will integrate into its new 8000 series carrier class routers, which is powered by Cisco's new IOS XR7 operating system. The OS will provide faster download speeds and security improvements, Cisco said. According to the report, Cisco is currently working with Comcast and NTT Communications on ongoing deployments and trials of the 8000 series.

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iDB Holiday Gift Guide: great gift ideas for gamers

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 18:52

For this segment of our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, we put together a thoughtful collection of great gift ideas for the gamers on your list.
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Apple avoids steep iPhone tariffs as US and China reportedly reach trade deal

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 18:38

Apple has avoided steep 15% tariffs on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook – at least for now. The US has reportedly reached a limited trade deal with China that will ease the tensions between the two countries, preventing new tariffs and rolling back some existing tariffs.

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Microsoft Reveals New Windows Logo, Office Icons

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 18:30
Ammalgam shares a report from The Redmond Cloud: Microsoft is refreshing its Windows logo and the icons for many of the operating system's apps. While Microsoft already announced new icons for the Office suite, Microsoft is now redesigning more than 100 icons across the company with new colors, materials, and finishes. We can see a softer modernized design based on their Fluent Design set of principles. You can see the new Windows logo in the images here. This is all part of a bigger push to modernize Microsoft's software and services under the Fluent Design set of principles. These aren't huge changes but slight flourishes to existing icons to make them look congruent when viewed in a series or set. This also seems like part of an attempt to clean up inconsistent icons in the Microsoft Windows OS. Microsoft's icon work is gradual and will continue throughout 2020. Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, announced the changes in a Medium post.

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Google Hands Feds 1,500 Phone Locations In Unprecedented 'Geofence' Search

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 17:50
According to Forbes, Google has sent 1,494 device identifiers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to help them investigate arsons carried out across Milwaukee, Wisconsin, throughout 2018 and 2019. "The requests, outlined in two search warrants obtained by Forbes, demanded to know which specific Google customers were located in areas covering 29,387 square meters (or 3 hectares) during a total of nine hours for the four separate incidents," the report says. "Unbeknownst to many Google users, if they have 'location history' turned on, their whereabouts are stored by the tech giant in a database called SensorVault." From the report: To investigators, this kind of "geofence" demand is useful, allowing them to go through the data trove provided by Google, look for devices of interest such as a known suspect's phone and ask for more personal information on the user of that mobile. But it's also the kind of search that's been making pro-privacy folk anxious over the last year. Such data grabs, also referred to as "reverse location searches," see the police give Google a timeframe and an area on Google Maps within which to find every Google user within. Google then looks through its SensorVault database of user locations, taken from devices running the tech giant's services like Google Maps or anything that requires the "location history" feature be turned on. The police then look through the list, decide which devices are of interest to the investigation and ask for subscriber information that includes more detailed data such as name, email address, when they signed up to Google services and which ones they used. It's unclear whether or not Google handed over any identifying information, but to Jerome Greco, a public defender in the Digital Forensics Unit of the Legal Aid Society, it's a sign that geofence warrants are overly broad and endanger user privacy. "The number of phones identified in that area shows two key points," he tells Forbes. "One, it demonstrates a sample of how many people's minute-by-minute movements Google is precisely tracking. "Two, it shows the unconstitutional nature of reverse location search warrants because they inherently invade the privacy of numerous people, who everyone agrees are unconnected to the crime being investigated, for the mere possibility that it may help identify a suspect." For what it's worth, Forbes did obtain a search warrant that indicates Google is trying to fight back against overly broad government requests, "but still appears to be handing over innocent people's information as well as legitimate suspect data."

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Apple acquires Spectral Edge to improve iPhone photography

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 17:16

Apple has acquired UK-based Spectral Edge in an effort to improve iPhone photography.
Categories: Geek

Samsung Has Sold 1 Million Galaxy Fold Smartphones

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 17:10
An anonymous reader shares a report: Today at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, Samsung Electronic's President Young Sohn revealed the company has sold 1 million foldable Galaxy Fold smartphones. Estimates from October pegged sales at that time at 500,000 units. "And I think that the point is, we're selling [a] million of these products," Sohn said. "There's a million people that want to use this product at $2,000." Today's conversation at Disrupt Berlin focused around growth through innovation. Sohn commented on the sales number while explaining Samsung's process of releasing products to get feedback. He said, in part, if they kept devices like the Fold in labs, they wouldn't get the input they needed.

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The Apple Card 6% Daily Cash back made me do it

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 17:09

Apple Card

The Apple Card's Daily Cash back reward is temporarily double. The Apple Card gives you better debt management tools, but the goal is still for you to spend.
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Apple ‘working on a fix’ to bug that allows kids to work around Screen Time Communication Limits

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 17:01

Set Up Communication Limits on iPhone

Apple says it's working on a Screen Time Communication Limits bug that allows kids to talk to people they shouldn't be allowed to.
Categories: Geek

Apple acquires startup developing machine learning to improve iPhone photography

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 16:37

Apple has acquired a startup in the UK that develops technology designed to improve smartphone photography. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple has acquired Spectral Edge for an undisclosed sum.

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988 Will Be the New 911 For Suicide Prevention

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 16:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission plans to designate 988 as the short dialing code for the United States' suicide-prevention hotline. Much like 911 for general emergencies, 988 could be dialed by anyone undergoing a mental health crisis and/or considering suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can already be reached at 1-800-273-8255 (or 1-800-273-TALK), but the FCC today gave preliminary approval to a plan that would make 988 redirect to that hotline. The commission's unanimous vote approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks public comment on the plan. Once the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day period for taking public comments, and the FCC would finalize the plan after considering the public input. It could take another 18 months after that to implement 988 nationwide, depending on what requirements the FCC imposes on phone providers. [...] The proposal would require all telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers to support 988 on their networks within 18 months, the FCC said. But the FCC noted that it is "seek[ing] comment on all aspects of implementation, including whether a longer or shorter timeframe would be needed to make 988 a reality." Based on the comment-period length and proposed implementation time frame, 988 would be implemented nationwide sometime in late 2021.

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PewDiePie’s game ‘Poopdie’ was rejected from the iOS App Store

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 16:29

Apple has rejected famous YouTuber PewDiePie's mobile game, "Poopdie", from the App Store.
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