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The best Amazon Echo add-ons and accessories

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 19:46
A few are goofy, but many are great: These mostly inexpensive gadgets can make Amazon’s smart speakers even better.

Best phone mounts and holders for cars

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 17:24
Keep your phone (and your GPS directions) in sight with these mounts.

2020 iPhone rumors: Rear camera to get 3D sensing time-of-flight capabilities

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 13:50

The 2019 iPhone models haven't even been officially announced yet, and we're already starting to see reports about what will be in the 2020 iPhones. 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 07/17/19: A new report from Digitimes claims that Apple has plans to use VCSEL time-of-flight (ToF) sensors on the rear camera of next year's iPhone. 

To read this article in full, please click here

Emoji are getting more inclusive on your iPhone and Android phone—even if you're a vampire

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 11:43
Google and Apple have unveiled a preview of the new emoji coming to phones this fall.

iOS 13: How to use Look Around in Apple Maps

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 08:00

It only took 12 years, but Apple Maps will finally get a feature that resembles Google’s Street View when iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 drop sometime later this year. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with macOS.) Look Around works a lot like Street View, but it comes with some attractions of its own, including smoother transition animations and photos that use parallax in order deliver a 3D-like depth you don’t find Google Maps.

It’s also really easy to use, as you can see below.

One catch: Look Around is currently a very limited feature, as you’ll only be able to use it in the United States, and even then you can only use it in places like the Hawaiian island of Oahu and California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Apple is steadily collecting imagery for other locations, though, and you can get an idea of its progress through this page.

To read this article in full, please click here

13-inch MacBook Pro review: Updates make the new entry-level models worthy of the Pro name

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s recent revamp of its MacBook lineup makes it a lot easier to understand the target audiences for Apple’s laptops. And with the release of the new 13-inch 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro, Apple also made it easier to pick a 13-inch model.

It’s easier now because you don’t have to decide if you’re willing to sacrifice any features when picking an entry-level model over the higher-end ones. Before the newly-updated base model was released, there was a division within the four 13-inch models. Apple offered two entry-level models without the Touch Bar, and two high-end models with it. (The entry-level models were missing some other features, as well, but the main missing feature was the Touch Bar). So when it came down to picking a 13-inch MacBook Pro, you had to consider whether you were willing to give up some features for the lower price.

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V-Moda M-100 Crossfade Master headphone review: The best headphone V-Moda has ever made

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 06:00
The first real collaboration between V-Moda and majority stakeholder Roland delivers sonic refinements and performance improvements in just about every area.

Is it a good idea for Apple to buy exclusive rights to podcasts?

Macworld - Wed, 07/17/2019 - 06:00

The podcast industry has been flooded with big money over the last few years, as businesses and investors seek to get in on a rapidly growing media business that’s got a lot of room for audience and revenue growth. (Spotify alone is spending $500 million on podcast companies and exclusive content.)

And yet over all this time, the industry’s biggest player hasn’t made any big podcast business moves.

That player is Apple—its Podcasts app is the top podcast player, with 50 to 70 percent of the app market—and its time as a neutral supporter of the industry may be coming to an end. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Lucas Shaw report that Apple is talking to media companies about buying exclusive rights to podcasts.

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Is 'The Big One' next? California was shaking again Tuesday, with four earthquakes of 3.5 or greater

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 21:37

Multiple earthquakes rattled California on Tuesday, but  the U.S. Geographical Survey quelled fears of "The Big One."

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:44

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned Tuesday to the exact spot where he flew to the moon 50 years ago with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Collins said he wished his two moonwalking colleagues could have shared the moment at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the departure point for humanity's first moon landing. "Wonderful feeling to be back," the 88-year-old command module pilot said on NASA TV.

US bans Myanmar army chief over Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:07

The United States on Tuesday banned visits by Myanmar's army chief and three other top officers due to their role in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya minority, urging accountability for their brutal campaign. The State Department said it took action against army chief Min Aung Hlaing and the others after finding credible evidence they were involved in the violence two years ago that led about 740,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh. "With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Royal Caribbean cancels Puerto Rico cruise stop amid protests

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:05

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship opted to skip a Puerto Rico call as San Juan protests against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló continue.

Apple highlights new emojis coming this fall to iOS and macOS in celebration of World Emoji Day

Macworld - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:49

Last year, Apple celebrated World Emoji Day (July 17) by giving us a preview of some of the emojis coming to iOS 12 and macOS Mojave in the fall of 2018. This year, Apple’s doing it again.

In February, the Unicode Consortium finalized the Emoji 12.0 list, approving 59 new emojis to be included in our operating systems this fall. Those 59 new emojis include over 170 variants of gender and skin tone to better represent the diversity of people and couples on the planet.

To read this article in full, please click here

Judge formally bans citizenship question from 2020 census

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:40

A federal judge formally banned the citizenship question from the 2020 census on Tuesday, days after President Donald Trump announced his administration would no longer seek to add it. Judge Jesse Furman signed an order after New York State Attorney General Letitia James and the American Civil Liberties Union told him in a letter that defendants including the Commerce Department didn't oppose their request for an order. The Justice Department declined to comment.

How to make voice and video calls using Alexa and your Amazon Echo

Macworld - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:20
You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

'What am I supposed to do with you?' Judge bars Roger Stone from social media for breaking gag order

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:40

A federal judge ordered former Trump adviser Roger Stone to stop using social media after saying he had violated a gag order in his criminal case.

Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:13

(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s rent-stabilization law is under attack after a group of real-estate trade groups and landlords sued to overturn regulations that cover more than 1 million apartments.The decades-old law that limits rent increases violates the U.S. Constitution by placing an unfair burden on property owners, particularly those who own pre-1974 buildings with six or more units, according to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.The state legislature, now under full Democratic control, adopted sweeping tenant protections in June that further cap rent increases and restrict landlords’ ability to evict residents. The massive rewrite of the rent rules, which cover about 2.4 million residents, aimed to preserve affordable housing by eliminating tools landlords used to remove units from regulation. The package also abolished a “vacancy bonus” that allowed property owners to raise rents 20% when a tenant left.The plaintiffs say the update further eroded their rights and that the law’s “irrationality and arbitrariness” and “web of restrictions override core rights of property owners.”Read More: NYC Tenants Get a Rent-Law Blessing That Landlords See as CurseThe landlords claim the rules have morphed over the years so that they benefit too many higher earners, while renters who make less than $35,000 a year account for just 38% of rent-stabilized renters. The breakdown is about the same for unregulated apartments, the groups claim, suggesting the law isn’t much different from the unregulated market.The trade groups claim that 22% of rent-stabilized tenants make more than $100,000 a year and that married couples without children are over-represented in rent-stabilized apartments despite being less likely to suffer rental hardship than couples with children.The city said the suit threatens ordinary New Yorkers.“Dismantling rent stabilization would be a devastating blow to everyday New Yorkers who are working hard to call this great city home,” Jane Meyer, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement. She said the city would review the suit and continue to “fight to protect affordability, prevent harassment and keep this a city for everyone.”Supreme Court SnubTenants-rights groups argued the changes were needed to counter decades of abuse by some landlords and a shrinking supply of affordable housing. Tens of thousands of apartments have been removed from rent-stabilized status, sending rents higher as neighborhoods are gentrified. The effort won support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as well as New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the city’s rent-stabilization system in 2012, turning away an appeal from landlords who said the city had violated their constitutional rights by limiting rents on three one-bedroom apartments in their Upper West Side brownstone. The state of New York defended the statute, citing previous Supreme Court decisions that judges “should not sit as super-legislatures reviewing matters of economic policy, but should ask only whether a legislature’s policy judgments are rational.”Among the plaintiffs is the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. When the law was amended, the landlords said it would cause buildings to fall into disrepair because owners wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain them.The case is Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, 19-cv-4087, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with second paragraph under Supreme Court Snub)\--With assistance from Gerald Porter Jr..To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. Justice Department asks appeals court to pause antitrust ruling against Qualcomm

Top Stories - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:10

"For DoD, Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm's critical role in 5G technology in the short term," Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary for Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, wrote in a filing made in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Qualcomm, the largest supplier of modem chips that connect smartphones to wireless data networks, on May 21 lost in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year.


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