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BeatsX Earphones review: These Bluetooth earbuds are an ace for bass

Macworld - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 07:00

It’s no wonder that Apple’s AirPods are a hit with many iOS users. They’ve got awesome battery life, a brilliantly designed charging case, and you can almost pair them with iPhones and iPads in your sleep.

But not every iOS user is a fan, thanks in part to their decidedly unsubtle design. While they produce decent-sounding audio, AirPods provide almost no passive noise cancellation, and so they allow any surrounding noise to interfere with your enjoyment of music and podcasts. Frustratingly, their rigid plastic ear caps make them uncomfortable and sometimes unwearable for people who don’t have Apple’s "ideal" ear shapes.

If any of these issues have kept you from buying AirPods, the BeatsX earphones could be the alternative you’ve been longing for. With their lower price, urbane design, and Apple’s ownership of Beats itself, the BeatsX manage to deliver many of the features that Apple’s AirPods so desirable.

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Dahlia Home Review: Finally, I can repurpose my old iPhone as a smart home hub (said no one ever)

Macworld - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 06:00
Here’s a truly innovative solution in search of a problem.

Amarey A800 robot vacuum cleaner review: This budget robot vac delivers premium performance

Macworld - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 06:00
Your floors won't collect dust but your stand-up vacuum might.

The Best Waterless Carwashes

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 05:30


Easter 2019: Forbidden eggs, Eostre and how the date is decided

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 05:06

Easter weekend is fast approaching with all the fondant-filled Creme Eggs, sticky hot cross buns and sugar-coated Mini Eggs our stretchiest waistbands can withstand.  Of course, the  Christian festival is far more than its associated confectionery. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ who, according to the New Testament, died on the cross on Good Friday and came back to life three days later. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday, which also marks the end of Lent's 40-day period of fasting. From the origins of the Easter bunny to the celebrations' ever-changing dates, here is your essential guide to the holiday. Jump to it, bunny: Your complete guide to Easter decorations When is Easter 2019? This year, Good Friday falls on April 19, Easter Sunday on April 21 and Easter Monday on April 22 - three weeks later than they did last year.  While the holiday is a movable feast, it always falls somewhere between March 21 and April 25 every year. It is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring. The full moon is known as the Paschal (Passover) Full Moon. Methods for calculating Easter are fiendishly complicated and a uniquely baffling synthesis of mathematics, astronomy and theology.  As Christians believe Jesus was crucified during the Jewish Passover festival, Easter is celebrated around the same time. Nonetheless, different Christian groups were already marking it on separate dates by the end of the 2nd Century. Q&A; | Maundy Thursday These date-led disagreements even set the course of history for the British Isles at the Synod of Whitby in 664AD when the preferred date of the Roman - rather than the Celtic - church became the standard. The decision is said to have catapulted Britain into the European sphere of influence. Though disputes over Easter's exact timing have been used as proxies for deeper power struggles for centuries, most now accept that it falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox - which the Church approximated as March 21. This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 21, the longest stretch following March 21's full moon – which falls on a Sunday. In 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested Easter should fall on the same Sunday every year and the Most Rev Justin Welby said Anglican leaders would join discussions with other church leaders to fix the date for the first time, theoretically putting an end to almost 2,000 years of controversy. The 10 best destinations for Easter sun What do eggs have to do with Easter? Eggs illustrate new life, just as Jesus began his new life on Easter Sunday after the miracle of his resurrection. When eggs are cracked open they are said to symbolise an empty tomb. Originally, eating eggs was forbidden in the week leading up to Easter (known as Holy Week). They were saved and decorated in the run-up to the celebration and given to children as gifts. Sometimes they were coloured red, in recognition of the blood sacrificed by Jesus when he was crucified. Green was also used to symbolise spring re-growth after the winter. The first chocolate eggs appeared in France and Germany during the 19th century. As chocolate-making techniques improved, the Easter egg as we know it was popularised. Where does the Easter Bunny fit in to all of this? Rabbits and hares have been associated with spring for hundreds of years. It is thought that the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre – who many believe the Christian event is named after – had a hare as her companion, symbolising fertility and rebirth. It’s hardly surprising that rabbits and hares have become associated with fertility as they are both prolific breeders and regularly give birth to large litters in early spring. The legend of the Easter Bunny is thought to have originated among German Lutherans, where the ‘Easter Hare’ judged whether children had been good or bad in the run-up to Easter. Easter bunnies and eggs are symbols of spring and fertility.  Over time it has been incorporated into Christian celebrations, becoming especially popular in Britain during the 19th century. Many children believe that the Easter Bunny lays and hides baskets of coloured eggs, sweets and toys in their homes or around the garden the night before Easter Sunday – much like Father Christmas delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. This has given rise to the tradition of the Easter egg hunt which is still popular among children today. Why do we eat hot cross buns? A hot cross bun is a spiced, sweet bun marked with a cross on top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday as the cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus, while the spices are said to remind Christians of the spices put on his body. Hot cross buns appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1733 but they are believed to have existed long before. Enriched, sweetened bread dough dates back to the Romans. Long before Christianity, loaves and buns were baked with symbols on them, one of which was a cross. Small, spiced cakes were also baked to honour the Saxon goddess Eoestre and celebrate spring, but it was the Tudors who began to link the spiced currant buns we know today with feast days, celebrations and - eventually - Lent. Delicious recipes to cook this Easter Wild garlic and parsley soup Jose Pizarro's roast rack of lamb with braised peas and lemon-thyme salsa Hot cross bun panna cotta Paul Hollywood's Easter simnel cake How is Easter celebrated around the world? In many central and eastern European countries decorating eggs with beautiful patterns is especially popular. In Switzerland, Easter eggs are delivered by a cuckoo and, in some areas of Germany, a fox. The egg-giving tradition arrived in the United States in the 18th century via protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area. Traditional Easter foods from around the world On Easter Monday, the President of the United States holds an annual Easter egg roll on the lawn of the White House for young children. In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland it is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916.


Pentagon authorises $1bn transfer of funding for US-Mexico border wall

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 04:28

Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan has authorised $1 billion (£757 million) to build part of the wall sought by Donald Trump along the US-Mexico border, the first funds designated for the project under the president's emergency declaration. The Department of Homeland Security asked the Pentagon to build 57 miles (92 kilometres) of 18-foot (5.5-metre) fencing, construct and improve roads, and install lighting to support Mr Trump's emergency declaration. Mr Shanahan "authorized the commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol," a Pentagon statement issued late Monday read. The acting defence secretary cited a federal law that he said gives the Pentagon broad authority to build infrastructure "across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of federal law enforcement agencies." The statement was released a day before Mr Shanahan was due to testify in Congress to present and defend the Pentagon's draft budget. At a glance | Donald Trump’s border wall The White House has laid out an ambitious 2020 budget proposal that contains $8.6 billion in new wall funding, above the $5.7 billion Mr Trump sought for this year. Frustrated by Congress's refusal to provide the budget he wanted, Trump declared a national emergency last month. The White House has signalled it will seek to repurpose some $6 billion from military funds, without specifying which Pentagon programmes would be slashed. The move drew condemnation from both the president's rival Democrats and fellow Republicans, who warned it was an abuse of presidential powers and created a dangerous precedent. Mr Trump has made border security an over-arching domestic issue and says it will remain at the center of the agenda in his 2020 reelection bid. Although there has been a surge in arrival of families and children at the border, overall apprehensions at the frontier are down substantially from a decade or more ago.


15-year-old girl's body found in industrial area of Compton

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 04:13

A 15-year-old girl's body was discovered in an industrial area in Compton early Monday morning, investigators said.


McConnell Pushing Green New Deal Vote to Put Democrats in Corner

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 04:00

The Green New Deal -- mostly a collection of goals for mitigating climate change rather than a fully formed plan of action -- has been a favorite punching bag for McConnell and Republicans since it was rolled out with fanfare by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. “I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on this radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy,” McConnell said Monday, ahead of a planned vote that could come as soon as Tuesday.


In 2017, Did a Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile Hit a New Israeli F-35 Stealth Fighter?

Top Stories - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 03:45

The evidence cited by seems rather tenuous. Here is what we know.


The Latest: Group says Newtown dad's death is devastating

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 22:44

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the community of Parkland, Florida, focusing on suicide prevention programs after two survivors of a high school massacre there killed themselves (all times local):


No more indictments from Robert Mueller, but Russia is a habit Trump won't break in 2020

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 21:36

Trump knew he and Russia were aiming for the same goal. So he fawned over Putin, undercut US foreign policy and sold out his own intelligence agencies.


Apple News+, at $10 a month, could deliver more content than multiple subscriptions

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 19:56

While it was not immediately clear what was on offer across all publications, subscribing to the 300 titles would cost a whopping $8,000 per year, Apple executives said during a launch event at its Cupertino, California headquarters on Monday. "It's a good value," said Merrill Brown, a media consultant and founder of The News Project, which is building technology for news providers. Conde Nast - publisher of the New Yorker, Vogue and Wired magazines - will include the full load of stories from each print issue of its titles, plus other curated content on Apple News+.


What Next? UK lawmakers torn on fate of Brexit, and May

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 19:44

LONDON (AP) — Britain has just a few weeks to break its Brexit impasse, with the fate of the country's departure from the European Union and that of Prime Minister Theresa May both hanging in the balance.


U.S. calls Russia deployment of planes to Venezuela 'reckless escalation'

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 19:43

The Russian planes and military personnel arrived outside the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Saturday, according to local media reports, two months after the Trump administration disavowed President Nicolas Maduro. Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president and demands that Maduro leave power, which Russia has described as a U.S.-backed coup against the socialist government. "The United States condemns Russia's deployment of military aircraft and personnel to Caracas, which is another contradiction of both Nicolas Maduro's and Russia's calls for non-intervention in Venezuela and is a reckless escalation of the situation," a State Department spokesman said.


Linked by pain: 2 school massacre survivors, dad kill selves

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 19:11

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Tragedies like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and Sandy Hook Elementary school massacres eventually fade from view, blunted by other mass shootings and the passage of time. But for the survivors, the pain can never end.


Defeat for May Hands Control of Brexit Process to Parliament

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:56

Prime Minister Theresa May lost control over the Brexit process after conceding she doesn’t have the votes to get her unpopular divorce agreement ratified in the U.K. Parliament. The House of Commons voted 329 to 302 late on Monday to strip power away from May over what happens next. The result paves the way for members of Parliament to demand she pursues radical Plan B options, potentially including a second referendum, keeping the U.K. in the European Union’s customs union, or even canceling Brexit.


MAX effort: Boeing tests changes to grounded planes to get them back in the air

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:48

Pilots from five airlines tested upgrades to the 737 MAX's flight-control system over the weekend at Boeing’s facility outside Seattle.


How Apple Arcade could make Apple a major player in gaming

Macworld - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:43

Apple’s new gaming service is called Apple Arcade, which you, O loyal Macworld reader, may recognize as the name I use for my column on Mac and iOS gaming. I suppose we can effectively declare the column dead.

It’s a cool name, though, and what Apple showed us on stage at its “Show time” event looks like a cool service. Beginning sometime in the fall, you’ll be able to pay Apple an unspecified subscription fee that grants access to around 100 “new and exclusive” games. None of the games will have in-app purchases, and they will only be playable on iOS devices and Macs. All of the games will be accessible offline.

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Apple to launch a new credit card with Goldman. Are the perks worth it?

Top Stories - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:50

Apple Inc said on Monday it will launch a credit card with Goldman Sachs Group Inc this summer that can be used to earn cash back on the purchase of Apple products, but analysts suggest its rewards do not stand out among rivals. The Apple Card will sync with iPhone's users' Apple Wallet and work through its payment system Apple Pay, said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay. Cardholders will earn 2 percent cash back on all purchases made using their phones or 3 percent cash back on Apple products.


Best media streaming devices

Macworld - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:50
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

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