Tablets and laptops are getting more and more advanced all the time, but our input options often have a hard time keeping up. If you want to get down to business, a touchscreen keyboard usually just won’t get the job done. Serious work needs a proper keyboard.
You could opt for something big and chunky, or perhaps a mechanical keyboard that offers a more tactile typing experience. But if you are on the go, you’ll probably want something more compact that you can throw in your bag without all the wires. This guide will take you through some of the best wireless keyboards available today, for all sorts of different budgets and uses.
Note that we’ve omitted designs that integrate a case or cover, as with various iPad combinations or the Surface keyboard. First-party devices are generally high quality, but we’re focusing on solutions that work with multiple form factors and platforms.
Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard ($84)
William Harrel/Digital Trends
Unlike the K480, we absolutely adored the Logitech K780 when we got a chance to test it. Compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, this versatile wireless keyboard comes with a tray to seat your tablet in, supports up to three devices at once, and comes with its own USB dongle for use with systems without Bluetooth support.
We did feel the lack of NUM lock and caps-lock indicators when we tested it and no backlighting does mean that you aren’t going to want to use this one in the dark — unless you’re a pro touch-typer — but overall this is the best wireless keyboard we’ve tested in quite some time.
It’s comfortable, versatile and the battery life is said to last as long as two years on just two AAA batteries. Although this keyboard is more expensive, that’s comparable to our choice for best battery-life on this list.
Available now in two different colors, the Logitech K780 is our pick for the best wireless keyboard you can buy right now.
But it now from:
Amazon Logitech Store
Best budget keyboard
OMOTON Bluetooth Keyboard ($16)
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest Bluetooth keyboard you can get, the OMOTON $16 keyboard is a good option. It might look like a rip-off of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, but don’t be fooled: it’s made entirely of plastic. However, it is quite thin and light, making it convenient to quickly thrown in your bag with your iPad or laptop. The manufacturer claims 30 days of continuous use, using two AAA-batteries, which aren’t included in the package.
It really is made with the iOS in mind, but should work across the board for MacOS, Windows 10, and Android — though longevity for future updates is questionable.
Buy it now from:
Best battery life
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900 ($30)
As much as you might only be looking for a wireless keyboard to augment your tablet experience, the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900 goes a step further and comes with a fully-functioning wireless mouse too. Don’t fret that that will make this option the most costly, as its MSRP of $50 is hardly extortionate. Better yet, you can regularly find this wireless peripheral bundle for as little as $30.
Although there have been some reports of a slightly noisy spacebar, the keyboard in this bundle features quiet keys and a smooth typing experience. Its wireless signal is even encrypted to an AES 128-bit standard, so you can rest assured that what you’re typing won’t be intercepted. Keys are reprogrammable too, letting you customize the keyboard layout as you wish.
The big selling feature of this set though is battery life. With just two AAA batteries, Microsoft claims that you can have up to two years of operation out of both the keyboard and mouse. That means they will be a long, long time before you even have to think about replacing the batteries.
Buy it now from:
Best for Apple devices
Apple Magic Keyboard ($88)
Apple’s redesigned Magic keyboard is everything Apple fans (and others) could want from a minimalistic Bluetooth keyboard design. The older Magic keyboards had a rolled base that propped the back of the keyboard up and made room for AA batteries. The new version now has a rechargeable battery, so the keyboard lies much more flat. It might be a little bigger than some of the other options on the list, but it works well with both iOS and MacOS products.
The keys also received an upgrade, and now have a little more weight when typing, which is generally also an improvement. The arrow key redesign is somewhat less welcome, but the advantages to this new design are hard to deny. The Bluetooth battery claims a one month charge, too, so you can carry this keyboard around without worrying about it too much. That’s not a patch on some of the others on this list, but for Apple loyalists this is the keyboard to buy.
The next version may even come with Apple’s famed touch bar, though we hope it doesn’t.
Buy it now from:
Best compact option
Arteck HB030B Universal Slim Keyboard ($20)
Those looking for a super-compact Bluetooth keyboard for their mobile devices may find the inexpensive Arteck HB030B perfect for their needs. This 0.24-inch thin keyboard is easy to slip into most computer bags or backpacks, and is compatible with pretty much every common mobile platform. It’s tiny and scrunched, which might be just what you want when you need to type on the go.
It also comes with a surprising amount of backlighting, with seven different color options and two levels of brightness. Perfect for those who need a mobile keyboard in low-light conditions.
Buy it now from:
Updated 12/01/2017 by Jon Martindale – Overhauled categories and updated text.
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Night Light is a feature that lets users avoid eye strain when using a screen late at night, and it is now available for Chrome users.
As someone who spends most of his waking day staring at one of a few screens, night mode is my favorite feature to come along in the last few years. On Windows, Android and iOS, users can flip a switch to filter out the blue light spectrum coming from their screen.
The blue part of the color spectrum has some interesting effects on the human eye — exposing yourself to too much of this light at night will make it much harder to get to sleep. Fortunately, Chrome users also have the option to toggle night mode as well.
This feature is available in the stable channel of Chrome OS, which means users don’t need to deal with potentially buggy software to enable this. It does require a trip to the Chrome flags page, rather than just flipping a toggle in settings. There are some extensions available on the Chrome Web Store that duplicate this feature, but having it as part of the operating system will make the feature more stable and less likely to impact your battery life. Here’s how to enable the Night Light feature:
Open a new tab, and type chrome://flags into the address bar.
Hit Control+F on your keyboard to search for text in the page.
Type Night Light to find the night light setting.
Click Enable under the setting.
Click Restart Now to restart the device so the setting can take effect.
Now, you’ll have the Night Light toggle available to you in the quick settings menu. At press time, there isn’t an option to schedule this setting to take effect at sundown, so the user will need to manually toggle it. Here’s how to toggle the Night Light setting:
Click on your account photo in the lower right corner of the screen.
Click on the moon icon to turn Night Light on.
- When you’re ready to turn the filter off, simply click on the moon icon again.
We used this feature on newer Chromebooks without issue, but an older device may not have the feature available or it might be less stable. Are you going to use Night Light on your Chromebook? Let us know down below!
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- Join our Chromebook forums
What are the best subscription gifts for Canadians
It’s that time of the year again where we all start thinking about buying gifts for our loved ones. Can’t figure out what to get someone on your list? Why not buy them a gift that keeps giving throughout the year!
There are a good number of subscription services available in Canada that would make for great gifts this holiday season. Let’s dive in!
It’s 2017 — if you’re not streaming your music you’re doing it wrong. Amongst all the different music streaming services out there, Spotify is the best. Spotify Free is alright, but once you’ve gotten a taste for Spotify Premium there’s really no going back. You get to stream all your favorite music in high quality with no ads, unlimited skips, and the ability to download your favorite albums or playlists for offline listening
If you have a music lover on your shopping list and they aren’t on the Spotify bandwagon yet, you can be their hero and gift them a subscription to Spotify Premium this holiday season. E-Cards are available starting at one month for $9.99 and going all the way up to a full year for $119.88, with 3- and 6-month options also available. Give the gift of unlimited streaming music!
Learn more at Spotify
It’s honestly hard for me to remember what life was like before Netflix. We truly are spoiled to live in a time with so much great content is available to us wherever we go. Netflix is available for smartphones, most smart TVs, Android TV boxes, video game consoles — pretty much if you can plug it into a TV it can probably play Netflix.
Whether or not the person you’re buying for already has a Netflix subscription doesn’t matter, because if not having to pay for Netflix for a few months is as good as getting Netflix for the first time.
Online gift cards are unavailable up in Canada, but you should be able to find physical gift cards sold at wherever gift cards are sold including Best Buy, Shoppers Drug Mart, 7-Eleven, and Safeway locations in your neighborhood.
Learn more at Netflix
A Google Play gift card is one of the simplest and most versatile gifts you can buy the Android fan in your life because you’re able to spend it on such a variety of different apps, e-books, movies, or towards a Google Play Music subscription.
Google Play Music is quite comparable to Spotify in that a premium subscription gets you unlimited access to millions of songs that you can stream anywhere. If they’ve never tried out Google Play Music before, they can sign up for a 30-day free trial before deciding whether to continue the subscription.
Say you know the person you’re buying for is getting a new Android phone for Christmas (good job, Santa!) — a Google Play gift card is the perfect gift because it gives the power of choice to the recipient. They can spend it on paid apps or games, or put their credits towards a couple free months of music.
Learn more at Google Play
Canadians don’t get Hulu or YouTube Red, but we do have CraveTV. Owned and operated by Bell Media, it does a good job of filling in the gap of some TV shows that aren’t available on Netflix for Canadians. We’re talking HBO programming, from recent hits like Curb Your Enthusiasm and True Detective to classics like The Sopranos and Mr. Show alongside content from Showtime. It’s a great mix of classic shows like Seinfeld, South Park, and all the Star Trek series’ up to Discovery along with original content like the cult hit Letterkenny series.
You can gift a CraveTV subscription starting at just $24 for three months or save over 15% by giving a full 12-month subscription for $80. It’s a great gift option if they’ve binge-watched their way through everything Netflix has to offer.
Learn more at CraveTV
Xbox Live Gold
Gaming isn’t cheap. First, you gotta buy the console, then you gotta shell out to buy the games, and then if you want to play online you gotta sign up for an Xbox Live subscription — and that’s without even touching on micro-transactions for loot boxes.
Gifting a gamer an Xbox Live Gold subscription is such a nice gesture, especially for younger gamers who might not have any other means of acquiring one without their parents help. Not only does it allow for unlimited online play, but you also get free games every month along with discounts on select titles in the Xbox Store. It is truly a gift that will keep giving throughout the year.
You can buy Xbox Live Gold subscription cards at most places where gift cards are sold, or online through the Microsoft store. A 12-month subscription card is $70, with 3- and 6-month subscription options also available
Learn more at Microsoft
Buying for a PlayStation fanboy and don’t know which games they own? Consider gifting them a PlayStation Plus subscription. If they don’t already have a subscription, you’ll be unlocking online gaming on the PS4 along with a ton of great free games and discounts from the PlayStation Store. If they already have a subscription, they’ll remember you fondly every time they log on to frag some terrorists in Call of Duty.
Just like Xbox Live Gold, a 12-month subscription runs you $70. There are also 3-month subscription gift cards available for just $25 bucks.
Learn more at PlayStation
Alright, so far everything on this list has been fun and games, but you want to get someone a subscription that they’ll really appreciate when they’re no longer scrambling to try and remember all the different passwords for their accounts.
1Password is the best password manager for Android, but it also works just as well on PC, Mac, and even on Chromebooks. Not only does it handle the task of storing all your account information, it uses way stronger passwords than you could ever possibly remember yourself to ensure your accounts are kept secure.
Whether you’re buying it for that one forgetful friend that could really use it, or gifting it to your whole family, its just a sensible gift option especially with all the security breaches and hacking that goes on in the world these days.
An individual subscription starts at $2.99/month, or you can get a family plan for up to 5 people starting at $4.99/month. Give some peace of mind this holiday with 1Password.
Learn more at 1Password
It can be tough buying gifts for sports fans. Sure, you could buy them another piece of clothing or whatever with their favorite team’s logo on it, but that’ll just get lost amongst the rest of their stuff over time. Instead, you could get them a subscription to The Athletic and help them follow their favorite sports deeper than ever before.
The Athletic is a sports journalism subscription service that offers a mix of unique content from top local and national sportswriters, featuring in-depth coverage for all sports, cities, and teams. You get the best analysis available that can be customized to cater to your specific sports, teams, or cities. With newspapers putting up paywalls for their content, The Athletic lets sports fans keep up with the latest news and opinions without dealing with ads, clickbait, or pop-ups — just the best news delivered to you daily on your web browser our through The Athletic app.
An annual subscription fee runs at around $57. It’s a really thoughtful gift for any sports fan, plus it helps support quality journalism. Win-win!
Learn more at The Athletic
Some more fashionable options
Alright, so everything up to this point has been tech related, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a couple other subscription services available that offer something a bit more tangible for the gift recipient. Plus, everyone could use a fresh pair of underwear or socks, right?
- MeUndies: Members get a fresh pair of stylin’ underwear each month for $16 a month. Subscriptions are available for both men and women.
- SockBox: Socks are a classic Christmas gift. Give the gift of a fresh pair each month with a 3-, 6-, 12- or 24-month subscription.
- TeeBlox: Perfect gift for the pop culture geeks in your family. Each month they will receive a new funky t-shirt featuring some rad designs.
Any subscription services you’d recommend for Canucks?
These are our picks, but what subscription services have you tested out? Drop us a line in the comments!
Earlier this month, EA revealed its third big UFC game, which brings an improved career mode and quickplay options to the franchise. Though UFC 3 is set to launch on February 2nd, console owners can get an early look this weekend: The beta is live for Xbox One and PS4 owners through 11:59pm on Monday, December 4th.
Join the fight. Download the #EAUFC3 Open Beta now.
— EA SPORTS UFC (@EASPORTSUFC) December 1, 2017
The beta provides access to Fight Now, Online Quick Fight, Practice Mode and UFC Ultimate Team modes. That means fans won’t get to try out the improved GOAT Career Mode, which will require players to make choices outside fights to grow their fanbase and generate hype. But if you want a preview of the actual, y’know, combat, the beta is free and open to all for the weekend.
It’s fitting that the world’s oldest surviving work of literature is about a man who wanted to do just that: Live on. The Epic of Gilgamesh follows the eponymous hero, a king and mighty warrior, powerful enough to slay monsters, but nonetheless powerless to change his fate: Time will eventually wear him down, and he will die.
It is futile to try and evade death, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Advances in medicine and food production, as well as a recent trend away from international wars, have led to an increase in average life expectancy for people in many parts of the world.
However, while many populations today live longer than their ancestors did, death is only ever postponed, never vanquished. Even if someone survives infancy, avoids plagues and wars, and eats a diet optimally tuned to keep their body healthy, age will still wreak its havoc on the body, making flesh sag and organs fail. Time may spend decades drawing its bowstring, but its arrow never misses.
Recent studies suggest the human lifespan is approaching a limit, around 125 or so, past which bodies simply cannot function, no matter how healthy or careful a person may be. At the same time, there exists a school of thought that death is merely another disease — like polio or measles — and can therefore be eradicated.
There are a number of approaches to the problem of aging, but one that has gained a lot of attention lately is the study of blood, and how the blood of the young, injected into the veins of the old, can smooth over the rough work of time. The benefits — restoring functionality to muscles, organs, even mental faculties — are intriguing, but the method is disturbing to many.
“The first experiment, proving this worked was in 1954. It was a guy at Cornell, Professor McCay, and he did this,” says Jesse Karmazin, founder of a startup called Ambrosia, which studies the rejuvenative properties of blood.“He did this experiment in mice and it worked, and people did not like this idea. I think they just didn’t think this was appropriate, basically. It’s a tremendously old idea, and I think we’re just seeing the same thing happen again, where people disagree with the premise, and so they just say it shouldn’t happen.”
The research Ambrosia is doing could be a fatal blow to mankind’s oldest enemy, but it also occupies a precarious space in the public imagination — a space where concerns over ethics, classism, and common human decency intersect.
How does aging work?
A human lifespan, like a narrative, has an arc. A rising action, as one develops from frail infant to fully-formed adult, and an eventual decline, however long, on the way to a conclusion. Poets and philosophers alike have labored to express the pathos of — and find meaning in — the body’s inevitable decline. For researchers who would combat aging, settling on a definition of aging, and a cause, is essential; to treat a disease, you must understand it.
Professor Michael R. Rose, in Evolutionary Biology of Aging, defines aging as “a persistent decline in the age-specific fitness components of an organism due to internal physiological deterioration.” Put simply, parts of the body break down over time. It’s easy to identify what aging is, but rather difficult to explain why it happens.
Professor Michael R. Rose
The prevailing theory is that aging is a product of evolution: life’s engineer of happenstance. According to our understanding of evolution, organisms mate, and their traits are passed on to offspring through genes. Although pseudo-Darwinists often try to ascribe a narrative to evolution — such as that “survival of the fittest” attempts to weed out the “weak” — it’s a process governed by coincidence. Two organisms avoid predators and survive long enough to mate, and they pass on their genes, however admirable those genes may seem to a subjective, human observer. So it is that the lowly cockroach endures alongside the mighty lion.
From the view of many biologists, our bodies break down because evolution never granted us genes for extended life. As the New Yorker’s Tad Friend puts it, “The reigning view among longevity scientists is that aging is a product not of evolutionary intent, but of evolutionary neglect: we are designed to live long enough to pass on our genes, and what happens afterward doesn’t much matter.”
Time may spend decades drawing its bowstring, but its arrow never misses.
The physical mechanics of aging are complex, and researchers’ understanding of the process often shifts. One theory of aging focused on telomeres: repeated sequences of genetic data on the ends of chromosomes. When cells divide, the DNA within must be replicated, but the process results in chromosomes with small sections missing at the end. Telomeres, repeated sequences, sit at the end of a chromosome, so that when the cell divides, a complete chromosome is the end result.
The telomeres themselves suffer the shortening, however, and in most cells they do not replenish themselves. Eventually they wear away, and the cells follow after, turning senescent and ceasing to function. Some research indicates that telomeres correlate to aging, though whether the shortening causes aging is a matter of debate.
Another proposed cause of aging, and one which has become a popular topic of late, is pumping through your veins as you read this: Blood.
The rise of parabiosis
Blood has always been a potent symbol of life — a passage from the Bible remarks that “the life of a creature is in the blood” — and there has been a persistent fascination the possibility that it might grant life. The Germanic hero Siegfried, having bathed in the blood of a dragon, became invincible in every spot the blood touched. In the wake of a series of a murders orchestrated by the Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, folklore portrayed her as bathing in the blood of her victims in an attempt to stay young.
Belief in the rejuvenative power of blood may seem like the stuff of folklore, but researchers have found a remarkable amount of truth in the idea. These findings grew from the concept of parabiosis, in which two subjects are joined together physically, to study the effects on their bodies.
One of the earliest known examples of parabiosis came from a scientist named Paul Bert, who surgically joined rats in such a way that they shared a single circulatory system. Though his experiments may seem grotesque today, they won Bert an award for Experimental Physiology, and paved the way for modern research into the anti-aging properties of blood.
For over a decade now, studies about the role of blood in the aging process have become frequent, and increasingly high profile. Harvard scientist Amy Wagers experimented on mice, and observed that when the circulatory systems of young mice and old mice were joined together, the hearts of the older mice — grown swollen as a result of aging — shrank to a healthier size like that of the younger mice. In trying to determine the precise cause of the rejuvenation, Wagers’ team eliminated factors like blood pressure and behavioral changes, eventually zeroing in on a blood-borne cause, a particular protein known as GDF-11.
Another study, conducted by Stanford researchers including Tony Wyss-Coray, studied the effects of young blood on cognition. As Wyss-Coray explained in a TED Talk: “Could we potentially understand more about the brain at the molecular level if we see the brain as part of the entire body. So if the body ages or gets sick, does that affect the brain? And vice versa, as the brain gets older, does that influence the rest of the body? And what connects all the different tissues in the body is blood.”
The fascination among the rich and powerful with living forever, and the imagery…has given parabiosis research a bad reputation
As the body gets older, factors that help develop and maintain tissues decrease, while factors that cause inflammation increase. The researchers connected biologically aged mice to young ones. The older mice showed increased levels of neural stem cells. Curiously, no blood cells entered the brains, and so the researchers deduced that it must be plasma that carries the factors into the brain.
The mice performed better in in memory tests. The mice were trained in a Barnes maze, a flat surface with various holes in it, one of which conceals an escape tube. The mice are exposed to bright light, driving them to seek a dark place, and are trained to locate the escape hole by memorizing landmarks. Old mice injected with saline struggled to memorize the location of the escape tube, wandering from hole to hole, aimlessly. Meanwhile mice of the same age, treated with plasma from young humans, were able to remember and seek out the proper hole.
Research into the effects of young blood on old creatures has been inspiring, and it has sparked a particular fascination among the rich and powerful. Earlier this year, The New Yorker detailed a meeting of Silicon Valley investors, celebrities, and scientists who gathered in Los Angeles to discuss technologies that might extend the human lifespan. In episode of the popular TV show Silicon Valley, creator Mike Judge took a jab at parabiosis specifically with a scene that depicted a wealthy entrepreneur who paid a young man to function as his “blood boy.”
The fascination among the rich and powerful with living forever, and the imagery of blood flowing from young bodies to old — a sort of techno-vampirism — has given parabiosis research a bad reputation, and Karmazin is well aware of it.
“…there’s lots of people who don’t think blood should be used in this way,” he said. “Coming from a medical background, it’s such a ubiquitous [criticism].” The problem, according to Karmazin, is a lack of understanding among the public. While parabiosis experiments in mice often involve stitching two specimens together, treatment in humans is far less gruesome, and can be performed through a simple blood transfusion.
“There’s like ten million transfusions each year in the U.S. It actually is an extremely common and extremely safe procedure,” Karmazin adds.
One could argue that even though Ambrosia’s research is safe, it might constitute a waste of resources, given that “Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.,” according to the Red Cross.
Karmazin emphasizes, however, that Ambrosia’s treatment doesn’t actually use blood, but rather, like Stanford’s experiment, plasma — the solution in which red and white blood cells are suspended. As he explains, “when people donate blood, the red blood cells, they spin them out of the plasma, and then they discard the plasma, essentially. Sometimes it gets sold, and people make drugs out of it, but a lot of times it just expires, there’s no use for it. We’ve essentially been throwing away all this young plasma since blood banks were invented.” From Ambrosia’s perspective, the research utilizes a resource that often would not help people anyway.
If parabiosis lives up to its promise, concerns about resource allocation may fall by the wayside. Although society may look at the reversal of aging — or at least its effects on the body — as a frivolous indulgence for the rich and powerful, the health benefits appear tremendous. Aging’s effects are more than skin-deep; the aging process grinds away at organs, leading to disease. As researchers like Wagers and Wyss-Coray have demonstrated through their work, reversing the effects of aging can restore mental faculties and organ functions.
Among Ambrosia’s targets are diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s, which afflict millions of Americans. “We’ve treated Alzheimer’s patients and had remarkable improvements,” Karmazin says.
The possibilities are exciting, and Karmazin drifts into speculation. “It looks like there’s no theoretical limit,” he speculates. “You could simply march back someone’s appearance and health as far as you want, to the point of being a teenager, although I would expect it to be diminishing returns. The biggest differences probably happen at the beginning, and then it probably gets slower and slower, but maybe not.”
Ambrosia’s study is not without flaws. The most noteworthy is that the study lacks a control group. An essential part of many experiments, control groups help researchers to identify intervening variables. In the case of a medical study like this, for example, scientists might give one group the actual treatment while giving another group a placebo, to test if the young blood is actually what causes changes in subjects.
Karmazin admits the design is not perfect, but argues that it’s a necessary compromise. “If we had a control group, most people wouldn’t be signing up. It would take even longer, or maybe it wouldn’t even happen at all, that we would learn about how this treatment helps people,” he explains. “And it doesn’t make the study of zero value, it just means it’s less informative than a placebo-controlled study.” Ambrosia was able to secure FDA approval for the study, despite its flaws., a point Karmazin emphasizes. However insidious the research may appear to mainstream observers, it has the government’s seal of approval.
Just how effective has Ambrosia’s treatment been? It’s too early for the company to make any definitive claims, Karmazin tells us. At the time we spoke, the study included 100 or so people; Karmazin hopes to expand to at least two or three hundred (still small, for a medical study) before he considers publishing results. He was, however, able to offer at least a hint as to what he had seen so far: “I think the results from even a single dose are long lasting. That’s essentially what I’m allowed to say at this point.”
For now, parabiosis remains a fringe topic, largely brought up for its controversial aspects. The research will continue, however; if the results are positive, humanity could see a future without aging, although it remains in question who would be able to reap those benefits.
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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
Before your weekend begins it’s time to make sure you have the latest iPhone and macOS updates, then check out what Elon Musk is sending to Mars next month.
It couldn’t wait.Apple released iOS 11.2 last night to fix an iPhone date bug
If your iPhone won’t stop resetting, there’s a reason. Many iPhones running the latest version of Apple’s software started having issues where local notifications (like reminders) would peg the CPU at 100 percent usage and cause a soft reset. To fix the glitch, Apple moved up its planned release of the iOS 11.2 update to… now. Along with the fix, there’s also support for the Venmo-like Apple Pay Cash system and other tweaks.
Flex.Elon Musk is sending his Tesla Roadster to Mars
While confirming that SpaceX will launch its first Falcon Heavy next month, Elon Musk announced this Mars-targeted rocket will have a special payload on board: his “midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity.”
FYIApple’s macOS ‘root’ bug can reopen
The other big Apple glitch this week just won’t go away. While the company did patch a High Sierra bug that could allow anyone to get admin access to your PC, there’s one small problem. If you installed the patch first, then updated to the newest version of macOS (13.1), it reintroduces the vulnerability. To resolve that, just install the patch again, and make sure to reboot (it won’t happen automatically).
Study up.What you need to know about net neutrality
Don’t know the difference between Tier I and Tier II? Don’t worry — we’re here to help.
Great for gaming, not so much for photos.Razer Phone review
Razer’s first phone has long battery life and buttery smooth gaming performance. On the other hand, it also has an unimpressive camera and the screen can get washed out in sunny conditions. Check out Nicole Lee’s review before you shell out $700.
Choose wisely.Which gaming console is right for you?
Here we break down the best and worst bits of the PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, Xbox One X and the Switch for anyone looking to buy into the video game universe this fall.
But wait, there’s more…
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Apple CEO Tim Cook will attend China’s state-run internet conference next week, reports the Wall Street Journal. The annual World Internet Conference starts on Sunday in Wuzhen and is organized by the central government’s Cyberspace Administration.
According to the conference’s website, other foreign executives and officials set to attend include Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook VP Vaughan Smith, LinkedIn co-founder and VP Allan Blue, and Microsoft executive VP Harry Shum.
The event will host a range of discussions including the future of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and methods of combating criminal activity and terrorism online, all of which feed into the summit’s main aim of advancing the digital economy “for openness and shared benefits”. What the press material doesn’t mention is the Cyberspace Administration’s role in online censorship and its history of blocking access to unapproved sites.
Skype became the latest victim of its strict internet filters when it was removed from the App Store last month. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to the administration’s regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and the New York Times app.
During a Q3 earnings call in August, Cook said Apple believes in engaging with governments around the world even when it disagrees with rules or restrictions. Regarding the removal of VPN apps from China’s App Store, Cook said that over time Apple hoped to see the restriction loosened, because “innovation requires freedom to collaborate and communicate”.
Some folks have tried to link it to the [Apple-FBI dispute] last year — they’re very different. In the case of the US, the law in the US supported us. It was very clear. In the case of China, the law is also very clear there, and like we would if the US changed the law here, we would have to abide by it in both cases. That doesn’t mean we don’t state our point of view, in the appropriate way — we always do that.
To what extent Cook will voice concerns about Chinese law at the summit is unclear, however his attendance reflects the country’s growing importance to Apple’s business as it seeks to boost revenue in the region. Apple shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Canalys. The strong growth put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region. However, that growth could be short lived.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have quickly “run out of steam” in mainland China, despite being heavily discounted by online retailers, according to the South China Morning Post. And while the iPhone X could help Apple in the fourth quarter, its high price and supply constraints might inhibit the company’s growth in China in the short term, according to Canalys.
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Encrypted messaging app Signal pushed out its v2.19 update late on Friday after a post-release 48-hour delay, owing to an App Store issue that Apple has now resolved. The update includes a number of new features and improvements, including full UI display support for iPhone X.
After the update is applied, users will no longer see the “Load Earlier Messages” link within chat threads, because additional messages now appear automatically upon scrolling to the top of a conversation.
In other improvements, a new simplified interface has been introduced to the Signal mobile app that aims to make sending photos, files, and GIFs easier and quicker. For example, attachment previews are now displayed directly in the message bar instead of on a separate confirmation screen.
Adopting a design concept popularized by Facebook Messenger known as “Jumbomoji”, emoji characters are now also visibly larger in Signal chat bubbles that don’t contain any other text. Elsewhere, messages that fail to send have been made easier to spot and re-send, while a new “Tap for More” option should make navigating extremely long messages a more pleasant experience.
The list of supported languages has also been expanded to include Burmese, Hebrew, and Persian, while users with an external keyboard linked to their device can now make use of new key combination shortcuts for sending messages (Shift + Enter, and Command + Enter).
Apart from the above changes, Open Whisper Systems has revamped the layout code to improve performance and flexibility, so everything should feel smoother and more refined, according to the developers. Lastly, a number of bugs have been fixed, including one where recently sent messages sometimes reappeared after being deleted.
Signal Private Messenger is a free download [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store.
Tags: security, Encryption, Signal
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Apple software had a rough November, and December isn’t off to a good start as there’s an apparent date bug causing problems for iPhone owners running the latest versions of iOS (11.1.1 or 11.1.2). Around the world, users are reporting that after 12:15 AM, incoming notifications from apps that use daily or repeat settings can cause their devices to suddenly use 100 percent of the CPU and then soft reset. According to iMore, the problem seems to be tied to locally generated notifications, as opposed to notifications internet services send to your phone.
If you’re affected by this issue, the best fix appears to be disabling notifications from any apps that use the local settings (turning all notifications off also works). You can try resetting your date to December 1st, but that may cause other problems. So far Apple has not publicly commented on the issue, but posters on the company’s support forums and Reddit say that phone reps have informed them iOS 11.2 includes a fix for this issue.
Of course, it’s worth noting that this issue is coming on the heels of a nasty security flaw in macOS that allowed anyone to gain admin access. Apple quickly delivered a patch to fix that, although that process has not been without issues. This isn’t the first date bug for iOS either, as the most notable circumstance we can remember is the 2013 NYD event that kept Do Not Disturb from turning itself off. iOS 11.1.2 arrived a couple of weeks ago to fix cold weather problems on the iPhone X, and closely followed an update to fix the autocorrect bug that had everyone’s letter “i” looking strange.
Update: iOS 11.2 is now available to all, and Apple confirms that updating should fix this problem, as well as add a few new features.
I can predicate that tomorrow, Apple Store will be hell… and probably some team will be on-call at Apple and need to be in office… 🤔
— Yoshimasa Niwa (@niw) December 2, 2017
PSA: iPhone Reboot/Respring Issues Megathread from iphone
Source: Apple Support forum, r/iPhone, iOS 11 release notes, Apple Support
Apple doesn’t usually release its major iOS updates in the middle of the night, but it appears to have pushed the 11.2 schedule forward thanks to a date bug that just started making iPhones reset. iOS 11.2 is a pretty major update and it also brings new features, including a Venmo or Square Cash-like person-to-person money transfer system, Apple Pay Cash (available only in the US, for now — and according to reports, it’s not actually live yet). If you have the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, it also adds support for faster 7.5W wireless charging when used with a compatible Wireless Qi pad, and it updates the control center to let you know what’s really happening when you try to turn Bluetooth or WiFi on and off.
The most recent beta version of iOS 11.2 was just released yesterday, and a little more than twelve hours later it’s rolling out to everyone. Apple has had a bad month in terms of software issues, but at least we can let you know that there is a fix. Go ahead and look for the latest software update on compatible iPhones (5s and later), iPads (Air or mini 2 and later) and the sixth generation iPod touch.
Source: Apple Support