Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Update with Linux and Notepad Enhancements

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Microsoft is starting to release the latest twice-annual update to Windows 10, featuring enhancements to the longstanding Notepad app and a way to find your cursor in a sea of text. Some of the other features include: Faster and easier connections: We’re making it easier and faster to pair your Bluetooth devices to your compatible Windows 10 PC. Now you can take care of everything in notifications (instead of Settings) with fewer steps.
Go passwordless: Did you know — for improved security and a simple sign-in experience, you can sign in with your face, fingerprint, or PIN? It’s easier than ever to enable passwordless sign-in for your Microsoft accounts: just go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options on your Windows 10 PC and select ‘On’ under ‘Make your device passwordless.’ Note that this is hardware dependent.

Name your desktops: Now instead of “Desktop 1” or “Desktop 2” you can give your Virtual Desktops more descriptive, clever, or amusing names. Using Virtual Desktop in Windows 10 allows you to expand your desktop beyond the physical limitations of the space, organize groups of related tasks, and easily switch between them. Tackling what you want to — when you want to — just got a whole lot easier. Visit this post to learn more on how to access Virtual Desktop in Windows 10.

See gaming in a whole new light: New DirectX 12 Ultimate features provide smoother graphics with increased detail — all without sacrificing framerate.

Customization and utility at your fingertips: Xbox Game Bar now supports third-party widgets, helping you customize the overlay experience to fit with the way you game.

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HBO Max Takes on Netflix With Human Curation Instead of Solely Relying on Algorithms

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Just like nearly everything else on the internet, streaming services are ruled by recommendation algorithms that are designed to predetermine what people want before they ask for it. WarnerMedia is trying to accomplish the opposite with HBO Max. From a report: The company’s new streaming service, which will allow for three concurrent streams, is positing itself as a human-first platform — the opposite of Netflix’s strategy. As streaming becomes more of a centerpiece in people’s homes and more platforms find their way to people’s television sets, focusing on improving the actual curation system subscribers use is just as important as available content, Sarah Lyons, senior vice president of product experience, told The Verge. CNET adds: Like rivals Netflix and Disney Plus, HBO Max has a sprawling catalog of hit shows and movies, plus a big-budget slate of exclusive originals packed with stars. But HBO Max is the most expensive of the bunch. New subscribers can sign up and pay a simple $15 a month subscription after a week-long free trial, the same price HBO already charges for its linear channel on most pay-TV providers and for its preexisting standalone streaming service, HBO Now. But if you’re already paying for HBO in some form, the amount you’ll have to pay for Max now, or whether you have to pay anything extra at all… well, it’s complicated. “The question is: Does your provider have to deal with us for Max and do you move over? That answer will be fairly simple, and then beyond that it gets a little more complicated,” Andy Forssell, the general manager of WarnerMedia’s streaming operation, said in an interview last week. “We’ve got really broad distribution, and … midnight next Tuesday we’ll be where we are — not that that’s an end point, if there any discussions undone.” To entice you to give it a try, HBO Max has padded itself with more content than you’ll find on either the regular HBO channel or HBO Now.

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Locked-Down Teens Stay Up All Night, Sleep All Day

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Parents share a roof but see little of teenagers who have adopted vampire schedules; “Sometimes, my dad just wants me to wake up for no reason.” From a report: Paul Cancellieri wakes up most mornings around 6 a.m. He makes himself breakfast. Then he says good night to his 16-year-old son, Cole. Cole, a high-school junior in Wake Forest, N.C., is one of the American teens who have gone nocturnal in the Covid-19 pandemic. While some schools require students to log on to live classes, many others are instead assigning work for students to complete on their own. With no daytime commitments, some teens prefer to stay up all night and sleep days. Some watch movies or chat with friends on similar schedules. Others do homework without their folks hovering. “I feel more relaxed, honestly,” said Zach Zimmerman, a high-school senior in Mansfield, Texas. That was in April, when he was in the habit of going to bed around 10 a.m. and waking up in the late afternoon.

This month, Zach started taking an online college class that starts at 1 p.m., forcing him back to daylight hours. “When my college classes are over,” he said, “I’ll probably go back.” Some parents welcome the daytime peace and quiet. They say it isn’t worth arguing over bedtimes when teens are stuck at home and have no compelling reason to rise early. Gabrielle Powell, a 17-year-old in Escondido, Calif., spends her nights on Snapchat and video calls with friends. She plows through TV shows like “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” and “All American,” she said, and makes macaroni and cheese. Her post-dawn bedtime varies. She recently broke her routine for the Advanced Placement calculus exam, at the ungodly late 11 a.m. Gabrielle stayed awake the rest of the day before going to sleep, but she soon returned to the night shift.

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Siri, What Time Is It in London?

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John Gruber, writing at Daring Fireball: Nilay Patel [Editor-in-Chief of news website The Verge] asked this of Siri on his Apple Watch. After too long of a wait, he got the correct answer — for London Canada. I tried on my iPhone and got the same result. Stupid and slow is heck of a combination. You can argue that giving the time in London Ontario isn’t wrong per se, but that’s nonsense. If you had a human assistant and asked them “What’s the time in London?” and they honestly thought the best way to answer that question was to give you the time for the nearest London, which happened to be in Ontario or Kentucky, you’d fire that assistant.

You wouldn’t fire them for getting that one answer wrong, you’d fire them because that one wrong answer is emblematic of a serious cognitive deficiency that permeates everything they try to do. You’d never have hired them in the first place, really, because there’s no way a person this stupid would get through a job interview. You don’t have to be particularly smart or knowledgeable to assume that “London” means “London England”, you just have to not be stupid. Worse, I tried on my HomePod and Siri gave me the correct answer: the time in London England. I say this is worse because it exemplifies how inconsistent Siri is. Why in the world would you get a completely different answer to a very simple question based solely on which device answers your question? At least when most computer systems are wrong they’re consistently wrong.

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Apple May Stop Bundling Free Earphones With Its iPhone Starting This Year

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TF International Securities’ reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is at it again with another ominous note on the iPhone 12: it won’t come with wired EarPods included in the box. From a report: We can already feel the palpable anger bubbling up inside of you as you read these words, shaking your head in disbelief and crossing your fingers in hopes it’s not true. But this is news coming from Kuo, an analyst who rarely misses when he spreads his gospel, so there’s a good chance the information is right and Apple is summoning up its infamous courage once again. Every version of the iPhone has shipped with wired earbuds in the box and removing them would make the iPhone 12 less accessible. Imagine ponying up the big bucks for a shiny new iPhone 12 and not being able to listen to music in private unless you shell out separately for wired or wireless earbuds.

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Microsoft’s New PowerToys Run Launcher for Windows 10 is Now Available To Download

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Microsoft is releasing a new Spotlight-like launcher app for Windows 10 today. Designed to replace and modernize the existing Win + R shortcut, the new PowerToys Run launcher includes quick search for apps and files across Windows, plugins like a calculator, and the ability to find running processes. From a report: This early version will support basic search tasks that are typically handled by the built-in Windows Start menu search functionality. But there are plans to make this a more powerful launcher that’s similar to Alfred on macOS and more functional than Apple’s Spotlight search. The current Win + R functionality is basic and used by Windows power users to launch cmd prompts, regedit, powershell instances, and even shortcuts to areas in Windows like the Control Panel. This new PowerToys Run launcher will support all of the same commands that Run does currently in Windows, but Microsoft is collaborating with an open-source community that’s contributing to make it far more powerful. Also read: Microsoft Debuts Windows Package Manager for Your Dev Environment.

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Addressing ‘Design Mistakes’ in Node.js, Its Developers Release JS/TypeScript Runtime Deno 1.0

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“The makers of the widely used JavaScript server-side runtime, Node.js, have released Deno 1.0, a new runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript that addresses ‘design mistakes’ in Node.js,” reports ZDNet:
Just like Node.js or Node, the Deno runtime is for executing JavaScript outside a web browser. However, unlike Node.js, Deno offers first-class support for Microsoft’s increasingly popular Typescript, a superset of JavaScript designed for large projects… “With the changing JavaScript language, and new additions like TypeScript, building Node projects can become an arduous endeavor, involving managing build systems and other heavy-handed tooling that takes away from the fun of dynamic language scripting,” writes Node.js creator Ryan Dahl in a blogpost co-authored by fellow Deno developers Bert Belder and Bartek Iwanczuk…
Deno is based on Google’s Chromium V8 JavaScript engine.

While its standard modules are all written in TypeScript, Infoworld points out that Deno “can be a replacement for utility scripts that may have been written in Python or Bash… Deno was designed as a series of Rust crates to allow integration at different layers.” (A blog post by its developers notes Deno “makes it easy to bind Rust future-based APIs into JavaScript promises.”)

But “Like a web browser, it knows how to fetch external code,” the developers wrote, calling Deno “a web browser for command-line scripts” while arguing that with Node, “the mechanism for linking to external libraries is fundamentally centralized through the NPM repository, which is not inline with the ideals of the web… Also like browsers, [Deno] code is executed in a secure sandbox by default. Scripts cannot access the hard drive, open network connections, or make any other potentially malicious actions without permission.” In an interview Dahl tells JAXenter they’re already keeping an index of third party modules that work on Deno at https://deno.land/x/.

“It’s important to understand that Deno is not a fork of Node,” the developers’ blog post explains. “It’s a completely new implementation…”

“One last thing,” the blog post concludes. “Consider supporting this open source software work by pre-ordering a Deno v1.0 hoodie.”

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Apple’s Rumored Over-Ear Headphones Feature Head and Neck Detection, Custom Equalizer Settings

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9to5Mac has learned more exclusive details about Apple’s upcoming over-ear headphones, dubbed the “AirPods Studio,” including specifications and settings. From the report: One of the key features of regular AirPods is ear detection, which automatically pauses the song when you take the earphones off. We’ve learned that AirPods Studio will have a similar feature, but it will work in a different way. Instead of ear detection, Apple is working to include sensors that can detect whether the headphones are on your head or neck. Based on this, we assume that AirPods Studio will play or pause content when they detect being placed on your head. Neck detection can be used to keep the headset turned on while the music is paused, just like when you take just one of the AirPods out of the ear.

Another new sensor will be able to detect left and right ears to automatically route the audio channels. That means there’s likely no right or wrong side to use AirPods Studio, whereas current headphones have fixed left and right channels. Just like the AirPods Pro, Apple’s new headphones will have Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. Users will be able to easily switch between the two modes to reduce external noise or to hear the ambient sound.

As AirPods Studio are expected to be mainly focused on professional users, pairing the earphones with a Mac or iOS device will unlock custom equalizer settings, with low, medium, and high frequency adjustments available, sources told us. According to a Bloomberg recent report, Apple’s own-brand over-ear headphones will be available in at least two variations of the headphones — one using leather fabrics and another with lighter materials to fitness use cases. Bloomberg also said Apple is testing a new modular design with exchangeable magnetic ear pads. […] As for the price, rumors suggest that it will cost $349.

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Unreal Engine 5 Demo Shows the Stunning Future of Video Game Graphics

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Epic Games’ Unreal is already one of the most widely used game engines on the planet, utilized by game developers, advertisers and filmmakers alike. And it’s ready to take the next step. From a report: Epic Games announced its new Unreal Engine 5 today and we finally have an idea of what graphics will look like on next generation hardware. The first gameplay footage from Microsoft’s Xbox Series X was underwhelming, but the first run of games on new hardware typically is. The nine minutes of footage from Epic, which is running a tech demo on PlayStation 5 hardware, offered our first real glimpse of what may be the future of video game visuals. The clip features a video game protagonist exploring a cave system then skysurfing through a mountain pass as ruins crumble around her. Epic designed it to showcase two new features of Unreal Engine 5 — nanite and lumen. Epic Games says that nanite allows game designers to render an incredible amount of polygons on screen, leading to photo-realistic environments. Lumen is a new lighting engine that renders light and fills space similarly to Nvidia’s RTX tech.

In the demo, the two new technologies add up to a beautiful scene with complicated textures, animation, and lighting. Epic Games is selling these new technologies, and Unreal Engine 5 in general, as tools developers can use to save time in the development process. According to Epic Games, Unreal Engine 5 comes with a suite of tools that allow developers to rely less on hand crafting environments and animations. The demo is gorgeous, but it doesn’t show off the developer’s version of the software and it’s hard to know what the software will look like for its target audience — people making video games.

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How Animal Crossing’s Fake Industries Let Players Afford Real Rent Amid COVID-19

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Nintendo announced last week that Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold over 13.41 million copies in its first six weeks. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is about as far as you can get from a communications super-app geared toward in-app sales or collaboration. From a report: In fact, as a franchise originally made for children, it barely has a proper chat function. But as we watch real-world society grind to a painful halt, many players are now also using this game as an unexpected economic and creative lifeline. Here’s the story of how this Nintendo Switch game has become an experimental playground for real-world businesses and creative experiences, letting players find new ways to mirror conventional culture with in-game resources.

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Which Linux Desktop Environment is the Best?

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Tom’s Hardware “put five of the most popular desktop environments up against each other in a no-holds-barred, seven-round face-off. We’ve rated GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Awesome and Regolith on a 10-point scale based on Installation, Applications, User Experience, User Documentation, Performance, Extensions and Configurability.”

It’s a good read, with a detailed and thoughtful 3,700-word analysis, especially about memory performance:

When you use the standard desktops, Gnome and KDE, you will likely notice that you are using a lot of memory… If you haven’t noticed yet, try running htop in a separate window while you try out your choices. You should see a substantial difference with Awesome, i3 and, if you are elite, dwm. The difference in memory footprint is staggering when you start measuring. GNOME starts with somewhere in the region of 3GB at boot. This can be trimmed down by serious tweaking, but not very much. In comparison, the Awesome window manager weighs in at around 600MB… You can put a lot of eye candy and daemons before you weigh down your system as much as the others…

Getting the advantage comes at a cost, though: you need to learn a few new habits to use Awesome desktop environment.

Among GNOME, KDE, and Cinnamon, the article ultimately calls KDE “the most polished… decorative and versatile of the bunch. This comes at a cost, though.”

Cinnamon has the best balance between extensions and ease of use, while it is also fast and responsive. At the same time, it is not that heavy on resources. You can also add a wide range of extensions in the shape of widgets that send you ongoing and updated information.

Regolith requires a bit more training, but it does set itself up for you so you can continue as you did with GNOME. Adding extensions and other gadgets is a bit more tricky, however… With Awesome you have to set up and practice to use it! It’s easily the hardest in the group to get started with. When you are up and running, Awesome does deliver the most benefits from a resource point of view…

Overall Winner: Cinnamon…because of its strong combination of user experience, performance and customization.

Click through to read reactions and share your own thoughts. (And to see a short list of some of the article’s other highlights.)

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Richard Stallman Joins Discussion About Changing Emacs’ Appearance To Make It More Popular

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Emacs “predates Linux, and was once far more popular,” writes LWN.net, while adding that the text editor “has fallen into relative obscurity over the years.”
Then it reports on a “mega-thread” on the emacs-devel mailing list about how to make Emacs more appealing and attractive to users:
The discussion started with a post from “ndame” asking why Emacs is “so square”; the appearance of things like buttons could be improved with rounded corners, they said. Richard Stallman, one of the original authors of Emacs, seemed somewhat dismissive in his reply: “Perhaps we should implement a mode that puts cosmetics on Emacs so it will appeal to those who judge by the surface of things.” But Stefan Kangas thought there was more to it than that:

I think it’s unfortunate if we assume that this is all bells and whistles. Graphical design elements can also improve usability. I also don’t know that it’s helpful to assume that the rest of the world will take the enlightened stance….

He wondered if there was “any reason not to improve the default look”. Stallman said that there are some technical barriers in finding someone interested in and capable of doing the work needed, but there is an overarching problem that needs to be addressed first:

The code to interface Emacs to X-based GUIs needs rewriting by an expert, and has needed it for decades. Until it gets that rewrite, changes in it are likely to break something.
Stallman did agree that the graphical design could improve usability, “but I have a feeling that the changes that would help are deeper issues than the shape of corners”.

It was a long and interesting discussion, touching on the popularity of both Vim and Visual Studio Code, while another post questioned whether Emacs should even be prioritizing its menu bar and tool bar.

One post suggested “starter kits” to make the text editor more friendly to newcomers, another suggested making Cntrl-C cut-and-paste the default key binding, and one asked whether it was Emacs’ terminology and keyboard shortcuts that might be confusing to users coming from Microsoft Word. “You are basically making a commitment to being or becoming a power user…” argued another post.

“If you just want to do ‘casual’ text editing emacs is a very weird choice in 2020.”

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AMD Launches Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100 Low Cost, Low Power Quad-Core CPUs

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MojoKid writes: AMD unveiled two new Ryzen 3 processors recently, designed to drive its Zen 2 CPU microarchitecture into more affordable price points. The new Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X are entry-level 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs that will run in any socket AM4 motherboard, with price points of only $99 (Ryzen 3 3100) and $120 (Ryzen 3 3300X). They are both quad-core/eight-thread chips, with similar cache configurations (2MB L2 + 16MB L3), and they both include basic Wraith Stealth coolers in their retail boxes. Internally, however, these two processors are somewhat different. The Ryzen 3 3100 is setup in a 2+2 configuration with two cores active per CCX (CPU Core Complex). The Ryzen 3 3300X, however, has a 4+0 configuration, with all of its active cores residing on a single CCX. These differences should result in better overall performance for the Ryzen 3 3300X, over and above just having a higher peek clock speed of 4.3GHz, versus 3.90Ghz for the Ryzen 3 3100. In the benchmarks, these new AMD quad-core chips offer similar or better performance versus competitive Intel Core i5 chips, but at significantly lower price points.

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Will Your TV Handle Xbox Series X Games That Tun at 120 FPS?

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Jeff Grubb, writing for VentureBeat: One of the tidbits revealed during the first Xbox 20/20 event today is that Dirt 5 supports 120 frames per second on Xbox Series X. Publisher Codemasters’ racing game is coming in October, but it supports Smart Delivery. So if you get it for Xbox One, you’ll get the Xbox Series X version at no additional cost. And what does the Xbox Series X-optimized version of Dirt 5 get you? In an interview with the Xbox team, Codemasters confirmed that Dirt 5 supports the next-gen console’s high-framerate feature. This means you can drive around the rally racer at 4K and 120 frames per second. High framerate is one of a number of key features for the next-gen consoles. And that makes sense. Racing games already have nearly photorealistic visuals. More graphical effects are not going to make much of a difference to the presentation of a Dirt 5. So this enables Codemasters to put that extra horsepower toward running the game faster.

OK, so the Xbox Series X can run Dirt 5 at up to 120fps, but that’s not going to matter if you don’t have the right display. High-refreshrate content is common on the PC, but consoles have primarily topped out at 60fps. Because of this it hasn’t matter that most TVs top out at 60Hz. But it is a problem for the next-gen consoles. To actually see Dirt 5 running at 120fps, you’ll need a TV that runs at 120Hz or faster. That means the TV updates its frames 120 times every second. The good news here is that a lot of TVs already have this feature. The bad news is that even if you have an HFR panel, support is a lot more complicated than that. The issue comes down to the audio/video interface running between your TV and the Xbox Series X.

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Google Lens Can Now Copy and Paste Handwritten Notes To Your Computer

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Google has added a very useful feature to Google Lens, its multipurpose object recognition tool. From a report: You can now copy and paste handwritten notes from your phone to your computer with Lens, though it only works if your handwriting is neat enough. In order to use the new feature, you need to have the latest version of Google Chrome as well as the standalone Google Lens app on Android or the Google app on iOS (where Lens can be accessed through a button next to the search bar). You’ll also need to be logged in to the same Google account on both devices. That done, simply point your camera at any handwritten text, highlight it on-screen, and select copy. You can then go to any document in Google Docs, hit Edit, and then Paste to paste the text. And voila — or, viola, depending on your handwriting.

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Microsoft Announces Surface Book 3 With 10th-Gen Intel CPUs and New NVIDIA GPUs

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Ammalgam shares a report from Redmond Pie: Microsoft has officially announced the Surface Book 3. Not much has changed for the device in terms of external design, but internal circuitry is where it’s at. This newest addition to the Surface family was formally unveiled alongside the Surface Go 2 today. And the detachable PC finally got the long overdue refresh. Microsoft decided to go with the latest Intel 10th generation CPUs, codenamed Ice Lake. There was talk that the company might opt for the Comet Lake processors. Both are 10th generation chips, but Ice Lake is made on a 10nm process, while Comet Lake is 14nm. […] As for the CPU options, we have the Core i5-1035G7 and Core i7-1065G7 available. The Core i5 models don’t offer dedicated graphics, while the 15-inch variant of the Surface Book 3 only comes in the Core i7 flavor. GPU got a real look, too. The 13.5-inch Surface Book 3 gets you the 4GB Max-Q variant of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, while the 15-inch one comes with a GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q with 6GB.

On the display side, we have a 3000 x 2000 screen on the 13.5-inch model, while the 15-inch one offers a resolution of 3240 x 2160. Microsoft also claims that the Surface Book 3 has the best battery life of any device it has made up until now. It’s rated at 17.5 hours on the 15-inch model and 15.5 hours on the 13.5-inch variant. Some neat improvements when it comes to port selection, with both the USB Type-A and Type-C ports now being USB 3.1 Gen 2, meaning you get 10Gbps instead of 5Gbps. There is also a Surface Connect port on both the base and the tablet, to go with the 3.5mm audio jack in the tablet. All these enhancements mean that the starting price of the Surface Book 3 is a bit higher at $1,599. It will be available on May 21.

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Apple Announces New 13-inch MacBook Pro With Magic Keyboard

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Sooner than expected, Apple has announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Magic Keyboard. It features optional Intel 10th Gen processors and starts at $1,299. In one sense, it is a minor spec-bump upgrade for the existing lineup of 13-inch MacBook Pros. But it also represents the end of an era: Apple no longer sells any new laptops with the much-maligned butterfly keyboard mechanism. From a report: Apple has moved relatively quickly to cycle out the butterfly keyboard from its lineup. The 16-inch MacBook Pro was announced in November 2019, followed by a refreshed MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard this past March. In the span of six months, Apple has completely swapped out its entire laptop lineup with models that use better scissor-switch keyboards. Compare that to the five years it spent trying to make the butterfly keyboard mechanism work since the 2015 MacBook (now discontinued). As with the last MacBook Pro, Apple is sticking with Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C connectors, two or four of them in total (plus a headphone jack). The Touch Bar also remains for better or worse, alongside a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and — praise be — a real, physical Esc key. The RAM can be upgraded to 32GB and the storage can be specced all the way up to 4TB. Apple says that 10th Gen Intel processors have a turbo boost up to 4.1Ghz and that the new Intel Iris graphics support the Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

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‘Virtual Fistfight’ Created With Historic Collaboration of 40 Film Stars

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DevNull127 writes: You probably remember Zoe Bell strapped to the hood of a speeding 1970 Dodge Challenger in the Death Proof half of Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. (She also had parts in The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.) Today Zoe pulled together what may become a historic video — a massive online collaboration with 40 different film celebrities [and also some stuntpeople] that one reporter called “a stunning display of stunt, editing and acting skills — all put together without anyone collaborating in-person.”

Deadline explains:
The most badass actresses and stuntwomen of Hollywood had a full-out, virtual battle royale thanks to actress and stuntwoman extraordinaire Zoe Bell and her video appropriately titled Boss Bitch Fight Challenge. “I’m so bored! I just want to play with my friends!” she proclaims as it is clear she wants to liven things up during her quarantine. What happens next is over five minutes of virtual fisticuffs.
It’s a real adrenaline-booster, and Deadline’s article also has a complete list of each star appearing in the video.

That list is like revisiting the history of Hollywood action films over the last 20 years. It includes:

Lucy Lawless (Xena the Warrior Princess) Halle Berry (Catwoman) Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz (the 2000 version of Charlie’s Angels) Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill) Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Watch out for the baseball bat!

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Are Job Interviews Broken?

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“Job interviews are broken,” according to a recent New York Times piece by an organizational psychologist at Wharton who argues that his profession has “over a century of evidence on why job interviews fail and how to fix them…”

The first mistake is asking the wrong kinds of questions. Some questions are just too easy to fake. What’s your greatest weakness? Even Michael Scott, the inept manager in the TV show “The Office,” aced that one: “I work too hard. I care too much….” Brainteasers turn out to be useless for predicting job performance, but useful for identifying sadistic managers, who seem to enjoy stumping people.

We’re better off asking behavioral questions. Tell me about a time when… Past behavior can help us anticipate future behavior. But sometimes they’re easy to game, especially for candidates with more experience… The second error is focusing on the wrong criteria. At banks and law firms, managers often favor people who went to the same school or share their love of lacrosse… A third problem: Job interviews favor the candidates who are the best talkers…

My favorite antidote to faking is to focus less on what candidates say, and more on what they do. Invite them to showcase their skills by collecting a work sample — a real piece of work that they produced… Credentials are overrated, and motivation is underrated. It doesn’t matter how much experience people have if they lack the drive to think creatively, work collaboratively and keep on learning.
The article’s subheading argues “Instead of focusing on credentials, let’s give candidates the chance to showcase their will and skill to learn.” Any Slashdot readers want to share their own experiences?
And are job interviews broken?

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OpenAI’s Jukebox AI Produces Music in Any Style From Scratch — Complete With Lyrics

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OpenAI this week released Jukebox, a machine learning framework that generates music — including rudimentary songs — as raw audio in a range of genres and musical styles. From a report: Provided with a genre, artist, and lyrics as input, Jukebox outputs a new music sample produced from scratch. The code and model are available on GitHub, along with a tool to explore the generated samples. Jukebox might not be the most practical application of AI and machine learning, but as OpenAI notes, music generation pushes the boundaries of generative models. Synthesizing songs at the audio level is challenging because the sequences are quite long — a typical 4-minute song at CD quality (44 kHz, 16-bit) has over 10 million timesteps. As a result, learning the high-level semantics of music requires models to deal with very long-range dependencies.

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