January 28, 2021

Gadget

  • Apple’s iconic MacBook Air is expected to get a major upgrade as soon as the second half of 2021.
  • The new Air will be smaller, lighter, and more powerful than the 2020 M1-powered model.
  • The laptop will also come with MagSafe support, just like the new MacBook Pro that Apple will launch later this year.

A few days ago, a report said that Apple plans a major makeover for the MacBook Pro, the top-of-the-line laptop that many professionals use and that other companies try to imitate. The new MacBook Pro will get MagSafe charging back, the feature Apple removed a few years ago, much to the dismay of loyal Mac fans.

The new Pro will also address other criticism, as it’s supposed to feature more ports and do away with the Touch Bar. But it’s actually the MacBook Air, the most iconic, best-sold, and most copied Mac design out … Read the rest

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On January 10, Charlie O’Donnell, a startup investor who runs Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, published a blog post that he hoped would inspire self-reflection among his peers in the industry. Provocatively titled Seed Investments in Insurrection, his argument was that venture capitalists needed to wrestle with their impact on democracy. 

“It’s kind of hard to make money if the long-term consequences of your investments threaten the free and open democracy that underpins our society,” he wrote, “an extreme statement—until this past week,” when “domestic terrorists, at least in part radicalized on one-time venture capital backed platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Twitter stormed the US Capitol building.” 

The events in Washington forced technology companies to face a public reckoning over their role in promoting and amplifying extreme content. For years, critics called for social media platforms to enforce their own policies on hate speech, harassment, and incitement to violence, but … Read the rest

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A wirelessly charging Magic Mouse? Yes please!

What you need to know

  • An engineer on social media has modified a Magic Mouse to give it wireless charging, and the results are amazing.

An engineer on social media has finally fixed one of the worst designs ever created by Apple, by adding wireless charging to Apple’s Magic Mouse.

The Magic Mouse is notorious because the device’s charging port is housed underneath the device, making it impossible to use whilst charging, and making the upturned device very unsightly and un-Apple to look at. (Pictured)

Now, in a video shared to social media, one engineer has taken matters into their own hands and created a wirelessly charging Magic Mouse thanks to a whole lot of DIY.

The video, shared by DuanRui on Twitter, is a therapeutic 90 seconds of wizardry, which ends with a Magic Mouse that can be charged wirelessly. They even

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  • Microsoft just announced the five free Xbox games it’s giving away in February.
  • Xbox Live Gold subscribers can grab Gears 5, Resident Evil, and Dandara for Xbox Series X and Xbox One, as well as Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb and Lost Planet 2 for Xbox 360.
  • You can save about $105 by picking up all five Games with Gold while they’re on sale for free.

On the same day Microsoft announced it would effectively double the price of Xbox Live Gold by bumping the price of the subscription service up to $60 for 6 months, we also learned which games will be coming to the Games with Gold program for free in February. It appears that Microsoft wanted to soften the blow of the price hike somewhat, as this is the first genuinely solid selection of free games in months, with Gears 5 leading the way, … Read the rest

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Salim Abdool Karim was at a cricket match on December 26, Boxing Day, when he made the mistake of looking at his email. He had received a new report and the news wasn’t good. A heavily mutated coronavirus spotted in South Africa appeared to allow the virus to bind more tightly, and more easily, to human cells.

Karim, an epidemiologist and lead covid-19 adviser to the South African government, knew what the report meant. It could explain a drastic change in covid-19 in his country, where rising case numbers were turning every province red.

“It simply went up, up, up, and up, into the equivalent of an Everest,” Karim says.

The rise in cases in South Africa has been linked to a new, highly mutated form of the covid-19 virus. And it’s just part of a wider pattern being seen around the world. Over the last month, weary researchers racing … Read the rest

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Getting connected on your device

A little known feature introduced in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is the ability to use a private Wi-Fi address. But, why would you want to use a private Wi-Fi address? It’s simple, really. The device you are using on any wireless network is trackable by its MAC (media access control) address. Apple is making it easy for your iPhone or iPad using iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to use a private address. This makes your device and its activity less trackable, meaning more peace of mind for you.

Why is a private Wi-Fi address important?

To illustrate why it’s important to use a private Wi-Fi address, let’s consider our daily routine. We may stop for some caffeine at our favorite coffee shop, grab lunch at our favorite burger joint, and then pick up a few items at the grocery store. If you’re not using

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  • The LG Rollable phone that was teased at CES 2021 and then confirmed to launch this year might turn out to be vaporware.
  • LG is looking to sell its mobile division, according to several reports, including a story that says a Vietnam-based group wants LG’s mobile business in the US.
  • It’s unclear what will happen to the LG Rollable project should LG sell its mobile division.

LG stunned the world a few weeks ago with the most exciting phone it ever developed. We learned of LG’s plans to launch a Rollable phone last year, around the time the company was getting ready to launch one of the worst ideas in mobile tech in recent years, the LG Wing phone with a swiveling screen. We all thought the LG Rollable phone that LG showed at CES could be easily filled into the category of “vaporware” tech that’s often showcased at … Read the rest

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A virtual robot arm has learned to solve a wide range of different puzzles—stacking blocks, setting the table, arranging chess pieces—without having to be retrained for each task. It did this by playing against a second robot arm that was trained to give it harder and harder challenges.

Self play: Developed by researchers at OpenAI, the identical robot arms—Alice and Bob—learn by playing a game against each other in a simulation, without human input. The robots use reinforcement learning, a technique in which AIs are trained by trial and error what actions to take in different situations to achieve certain goals. The game involves moving objects around on a virtual tabletop. By arranging objects in specific ways, Alice tries to set puzzles that are hard for Bob to solve. Bob tries to solve Alice’s puzzles. As they learn, Alice sets more complex puzzles and Bob gets better at … Read the rest

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Whether you’re still in high school or the middle of college, a laptop is an essential piece of equipment for every student. Apple makes some of the best laptops in the world with its MacBook lineup. Whether it’s the powerful MacBook Pro or hyper-portable MacBook Air, Apple’s laptops will power you through any task you’ll meet. For most students, the MacBook Air (M1,2020) is the best choice. It has enough power to face almost any academic challenge you come up against. There are other MacBooks to consider, depending on your situation, as you can see below.

Best Overall: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

In mid-2020, Cupertino announced Apple silicon. Six months later, the first non-Intel-based MacBooks in over a decade arrived, starting with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). The best MacBook for students this year, the latest MacBook Air packs a punch for anyone on a smaller budget, starting with

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  • An early battery comparison between the Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12 Max, S20 Ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 11 shows promising results for Samsung.
  • The new S21 Ultra, powered by the new Exynos 2100 chip, outperformed all other Android handsets, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasting the longest. Except for the iPhone, all phones support 120Hz refresh rates.
  • The S21 Ultra’s performance indicates the Exynos 2100 platform will not be plagued by the same issues as the Exynos 990.

A week ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series, with the three phones already available for preorder in several markets. The handsets feature top of the line specs and offer the best possible Android experience in early 2021. The phones pack brand new processors meant to rival the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic, including the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 (depending on the market). Both platforms are built … Read the rest

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