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Everything posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Enlarge / Apple is adding machine learning volume-control features to the second-gen AirPods Pro. (credit: Apple) CUPERTINO, Calif.—At WWDC 2023 today, Apple announced that it will be adding adaptive audio, combining active noise cancellation and transparency modes based on the noises in the wearer's environment, to the second-generation AirPods Pro. This and a couple of other machine learning-based features are coming this fall via a software update. Apple touted the upcoming Adaptive Audio update as a way to use AirPods Pro with fewer distractions. It uses machine learning so it can detect noises you want to block out, like cars honking, but not the ones you want to hear, like someone speaking to you. Apple will also add what it's calling Personalized Volume, which allows AirPods Pro to make automatic volume adjustments based on how you use the device and "environmental conditions," Apple said. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  2. CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple's watchOS hasn't been known for big, flashy feature updates in recent years, but 2023 could be an exception. During the company's annual WWDC keynote, Apple announced a ship date for watchOS—and a couple of notable new additions for Apple Watch users. The main focus of the watchOS 10 update is the addition of widgets, which are similar to those previously seen in iOS and iPadOS. Using widgets, Watch wearers will be able to access some information and features of Watch apps without actually launching or browsing around in those apps. Widgets will appear on the watch face by just turning the digital crown and will appear in a "smart stack," and you can long-press on the stack to add more widgets. Apple demoed widgets for the weather, stocks, the calendar, fitness, timers, and complications, and developers will be able to add more, too. Apple also spruced up some of the built-in apps. The activity app now has corner icons for awards and other fitness tracking, and there are new full-screen views. These corner icons will be a theme in most of the new app designs. There are two new watch faces, a minimalistic color-based watch face called "palette," and a licensed Snoopy & Woodstock watch face. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  3. Singer, who also acts in the Mean Girls musical, wrote the title song last month on which she processes a traumaView the full article
  4. Enlarge (credit: Apple) CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple has unveiled the next major release of macOS, dubbed macOS Sonoma. It adds many of the features from iOS 17, plus a handful of Mac-specific enhancements over macOS Ventura. For anyone who mourned the loss of the old Dashboard feature a few releases ago, Sonoma brings back a redesigned widgets experience that lets you drag widgets out of the Notification Center and onto your desktop. When you have another app open, these widgets will fade into the background to get out of your way. iPhone widgets can also be displayed on your Mac, as long as your iPhone is within close range of your Mac or on the same Wi-Fi network. Apple is also continuing its quest to make gaming on macOS happen with a new "Game Mode" that gives games CPU and GPU priority while they're running, not unlike the identically named feature in Windows. Like the Windows version, Game Mode isn't going to make your CPU or GPU hardware more powerful than it is, but it should help improve the smoothness and consistency of game frame rates by keeping other running apps from spiking in usage while you're trying to play something. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  5. Two weekends ago, singer and bassist Mike Kerr from the English rock duo Royal Blood made headlines by flipping off the crowd while exiting the band’s set at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival, following a perturbed rant about how no one in the audience for the pop-focused fest was responding to rock music. This was fun fodder for blog posts here in America, but in the UK it spiraled into a career-threatening pile-on, as media personalities and online randos alike mocked the band for their petulant behavior. (Think of it as the British equivalent of the public meltdown after Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift.) Today, in what appears to be an attempt at a face-saving gesture, Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher sat down with Radio 1’s Greg James to discuss the incident. View the full article
  6. "Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album," musician writesView the full article
  7. Enlarge (credit: Apple) CUPERTINO, Calif.—As has long been tradition, Apple publicly announced the key features and other details of the next update to the iPhone's operating system at its WWDC conference. Apple's Craig Federighi said the new operating system would focus on "communication, sharing, intelligent input, and new experiences." As a follow-up to iOS 16's customizable lock screens, iPhone users can now customize their own "contact poster" that appears on other phones when a call comes in. Posters will appear not just for calls placed via cellular or FaceTime but also with third-party VOIP services like Zoom or Skype. Apple is also adding features for people who like to leave voicemails—live transcription can render text on your phone as the other person is speaking, so you can decide whether to pick up even if you can't hear or aren't listening to what the person on the other end is saying. And FaceTime callers will be able to leave video messages, too. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  8. Rachel Sennott is worried. Sennott, the star of Shiva Baby and Bodies Bodies Bodies, is a truly exciting actor who can’t help but come across as a fully-formed human being. In The Idol, the Weeknd and Sam Levinson’s much-discussed new HBO show, Sennott might be the only fully-formed human being in sight. Sennott plays Leia, the friend and personal assistant to Jocelyn, the vaporous pop star played by Hollywood scion Lily Rose-Depp. One night, Leia and Jocelyn are sitting around and watching Basic Instinct, the kind of sleekly sleazy entertainment that The Idol aspires to be. Jocelyn decides that she wants some male companionship, so she’s booty calling Tedros, a mysterious nightclub owner played by the Weeknd. She’s only just met him, but she’s intrigued. View the full article
  9. The Apple Mac Pro. It's still the cheese grater design. [credit: Apple ] CUPERTINO, Calif.—It has been three years since Apple began transitioning its Mac lineup away from Intel chips to its own silicon, and that project completes today with the last product to make the transition: the Mac Pro desktop tower. The Mac Pro might not look different from its predecessor on the outside, but on the inside, Intel's Xeon CPU and AMD's Radeon Pro graphics are gone, and in their place we have a new chip called the M2 Ultra. This is the same chip in the new Mac Studio; it has a 24-core CPU and an up to 76-core GPU, and it starts with twice the memory and SSD storage of the old Mac Pro. Apple promises it will be "3x faster" than the Intel Mac Pro. Memory tops out at 192GB. These stats all match the new Mac Studio—the only thing you get from the bigger chassis is expansion capabilities and more ports. (credit: Apple) Apple Mac Pro with M2 From $6999 at Apple (Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.) The whole point of a Mac tower is support for traditional expansion cards, and that normally means discrete GPUs. Apple demoed some expansion cards, but none of them were graphics cards. It sounds like you'll be using the M2 Ultra's on-board GPU. Making real graphics cards work with an ARM chip would have been a massive undertaking—for starters, no ARM drivers exist. Even for the non-GPU options, compatibility will be an interesting problem. Apple calls out digital signal processing (DSP) cards, serial digital interface (SDI) I/O cards, and additional networking and storage as PCI express card possibilities. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  10. Enlarge / Apple's new Mac Studio offers the M2 Ultra chip, which, like its M1 counterpart, provides vastly greater computing power. (credit: Apple) CUPERTINO, Calif.—The Mac Studio will be refreshed this summer with chips based on the M2, including the M2 Max and new M2 Ultra, the "most powerful chip" ever released "for a personal computer." The M2 Pro and M2 Max have previously been seen in MacBook Pro models released late last year, but the M2 Ultra will be a first. In the M1 line, the Ultra was the top-of-the-line chip with substantially better performance than the Pro or Max—particularly in graphically intensive tasks. M2 Ultra will support 192 GB of unified memory, 800 GB/s memory bandwith, and a 24-core CPU and up to 76 cores of GPU. Apple claims the M2 Ultra will work 30% faster than the M1 Ultra, and that a single system with the Ultra can work machine learning datasets that would choke systems with discrete GPUs. The M2 Max is "up to 50 percent faster" than the prior Max-based Studio, according to Apple, and features a 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, and up to 96 GB unified memory, with 400 GB/s memory bandwidth. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  11. Last week, when Paramore played the first show of a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden, two fans appeared to shove their way toward the stage. The people in the crowd around them were visibly upset, and Paramore interrupted their song “Figure 8” so that bandleader Hayley Williams could kick both of them out: “Yes, I will embarrass both of you. Both of you need to find somewhere else to take care of that shit because that’s not happening here.” After video of the incident went viral, though, Williams is now the one who’s embarrassed. View the full article
  12. The color options (left to right): midnight, starlight, space gray, and silver. [credit: Apple ] CUPERTINO, Calif.—It's common for Apple to refresh its various MacBook models more or less annually, but it's not so common that an entirely new screen size is introduced. But that's what happened today during the company's WWDC keynote: Apple announced a 15-inch variant of the traditionally 13-inch MacBook Air. It's a move that has been rumored for years. The 15-inch MacBook Air is in most respects identical to its 13-inch counterpart and has Apple's M2 chip. The star is the 15.3-inch screen, which has 5-mm borders and a brightness of 500 nits. Apple hasn't provided the resolution for the screen yet, but it was rumored that the 15-inch MacBook Air would have the same resolution as the 14-inch MacBook Pro, 3024×1964. The 15-inch MacBook Air will be available with up to 24GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, Apple said today. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  13. Enlarge / This Diablo II Resurrected screenshot looks pretty unremarkable until you zoom into the top-right and see that it's running on an Apple M2. (credit: CodeWeavers) Apple has made a tiny bit of progress in the last year when it comes to getting games running on Macs—titles like Resident Evil Village and a recent No Man's Sky port don't exactly make the Mac a gaming destination, but they're bigger releases than Mac users are normally accustomed to. For getting the vast majority of PC gaming titles running, though, the most promising solution would be a Steam Deck-esque software layer that translates Microsoft's DirectX 12 API into something compatible with Apple's proprietary Metal API. Preliminary support for that kind of translation will be coming to CodeWeavers' CrossOver software this summer, the company announced in a blog post late last week. CrossOver is a software package that promises to run Windows apps and games under macOS and Linux without requiring a full virtualized (or emulated) Windows installation. Its developers announced that they were working on DirectX 12 support in late 2021, and now they have a sample screenshot of Diablo II Resurrected running on an Apple M2 chip. This early DirectX12 support will ship with CrossOver version 23 "later this summer." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  14. On Friday, the massive British rap stars Dave and Central Cee got together to release the single “Sprinter.” Those two guys are old friends, but this was the first time they both rapped on the same song since 2016, when neither was famous and both were on an AJ Tracey posse-cut remix. But Dave and Central Cee are old friends who were born one day apart in 1998. Today, to celebrate their shared almost-birthday, they’ve released a new collaborative EP called Split Decision. View the full article
  15. “Closing Time” guys Semisonic, led by the accomplished and wide-reaching songwriter Dan Wilson, have a pair of new songs out today — their first new music in three years. The soft-but-sprightly pop-rock tunes “Little Bit Of Sun” and “Grow Your Own” arrive ahead of a Semisonic tour with Barenaked Ladies, the archnemeses of our Number Ones column, though we used to be on friendlier terms with them. But back to Semisonic — who, yeah, we once interviewed too. View the full article
  16. Metallica have existed in the public eye for 40 years, and it seems like they’ve been battling over the meaning of their own existence for 35 of those years. View the full article
  17. The Western Massachusetts band Longings brings together three noteworthy names from the underground: Cole Lanier (California X, Rogue Trooper), Meghan Minior (Siamese Twins, Ampere), and Will Killingsworth (Orchid, Vaccine). They’ll release their second album, Dreams In Red, a month from now on the esteemed Don Giovanni label, and today they’ve shared its opening track. View the full article
  18. In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my way up into the present. Book Bonus Beat: The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the History of Pop Music. View the full article
  19. Enlarge / What're ya buyin'? (credit: Aurich Lawson | Capcom) Online retailers that host third-party sellers, like Amazon and Walmart, have extensive, competitively priced electronics selections. But for years, they have also served as playgrounds for fraudulent sellers, who list products with inflated or deceptive performance claims. Worse, some of these products pose a physical threat to customers. The problem has become so widespread that by the end of this month, the federal government will require online retailers to do a much better job of vetting seller credentials, courtesy of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act. But scammers are persistent, and workarounds seem inevitable. So what more should we demand from these giant retailers, and what can shoppers, including the less tech-savvy, do to take matters into their own hands? To paint a picture of how prominent scammy tech is online, imagine you're in the market for a roomy portable SSD. You eventually land at Walmart.com, where there's a 60TB drive selling for under $39. The only downside? It's obviously not a real 60TB SSD. Read 50 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  20. “It deals with near-death experience and locked-in syndrome situations where people are unable to communicate or move,” musician says of i/o trackView the full article
  21. Last night, Taylor Swift had an eventful time performing the second of three Eras Tour shows at Soldier Field in Chicago. Not only did she bring out Maren Morris to sing their Fearless (Taylor’s Version) collaboration “You All Over Me,” but at one point during “22” Swift attempted to bring a kid onstage — then realized it might not be a safe thing to do. View the full article
  22. In 2016, English guitarist James Blackshaw announced the ostensible end of his music career, citing how difficult it was to constantly tour, not to mention make a living via record sales. That said, Blackshaw has technically continued to put out music, announcing an end to the hiatus in 2019 and releasing a single, “Why Keep Still?,” later that year. Today, Blackshaw has announced “New Album 2023” via Bandcamp — his first in eight years, coming December 31. He has a lengthy message for all concerned parties, where he describes his reasoning and work in the restaurant business. View the full article
  23. Earlier in the week, Yungblud — aka Dominic Harrison — teased a new single called “Lowlife” at a series of fan events in London, Los Angeles, and Germany. The new single follows Yungblud’s self-titled third album, which came out last year. That brings us up to today: Yungblud teamed up with Limp Bizkit at German festival Rock im Park today (June 4), where they performed Limp Bizkit Y2K classic “Break Stuff” together. In some fan-shot footage, Yungblud raps the refrain with Fred Durst, who is decked out in a bright blue worker’s uniform, blonde wig, and shades. View the full article
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