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Member Since 10 Nov 2009
OFFLINE Last Active Apr 24 2012 08:08 AM
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The truly new MacBook Pro 2019 will be a 16-inch LCD laptop debuting in October

Yesterday, 07:07 PM

We may have already seen new MacBook Pro models refreshed for 2019, but the true MacBook Pro 2019 is expected to land this October as a 16-inch LCD laptop, according to Taiwan’s United Daily News (UDN).

Given that this would be Apple’s largest MacBook Pro laptop since 2012’s final run of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, the company reportedly plans to slap a gargantuan baseline price tag onto this year’s model - which could rise above $3,000 (about £2,450, AU$4,350).

This laptop will likely be pushed heavily toward content creators and developers as a demonstration of Apple’s sincerity in serving those audiences. Here’s to hoping it will somehow satisfy the cross-section of folks that also like to game on their workhorse machines.

MacBook Pro 2019 backs down from OLED

This report corroborates one published by London-based market analysts IHS Markit, adding the pricing element to the mix. More importantly, this is the second report to state that the 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 display will not be an OLED product.

Instead, it will be an LCD to the tune of a 3,072 x 1,920 pixel resolution, which would give the display a rather competitive 226 pixels per inch (ppi) rating and a total of 5.9 million pixels. LCD or not, this is going to be a sharp 3K display.

Will that alone be enough to justify such an exorbitant starting price? Hardly. There are surely other features that Apple has cooking for this device.

We know that Apple is planning to allow this MacBook Pro up to 32GB of memory (RAM), which is already possible on the 15-inch MacBook Pro. 

And, of course, every report mentions an entirely new design likely focused on smaller screen bezels.

Exactly what kind of processor technology will be inside these laptops is also up in the air. Is Apple’s supposed ARM laptop processor to be finished in time for these new laptops? Or, will Apple go all in with AMD considering Intel’s faltering pole position in the laptop computing space?

We’ll almost certainly see more about these missing MacBook Pro 2019 details as we get closer to October 2019.


Xbox Project Scarlett games: all the games confirmed and expected on the next Xbox

Yesterday, 06:31 PM

Microsoft officially announced Xbox Project Scarlett during its E3 2019 keynote conference. It's real, and it's coming.

Faster and capable of more advanced graphics than its predecessors, the next-generation hardware promises to be the most powerful games console (or perhaps consoles) in the world when it launches late in 2020 – even more so than the PS5, which is expected to hit shelves around the same time.

While Microsoft has confirmed at least one game that's coming to Xbox Project Scarlett, we're fairly in the dark as to what other titles we will see hitting the platform.

So without further ado, we've gathered together this handy guide to all the Xbox Project Scarlett games Microsoft has confirmed - and some that we expect to see...

Confirmed Xbox Scarlett titles

Halo Infinite

Xbox Project Scarlett games

Image credit: Microsoft

Halo Infinite is currently the only title that Microsoft has actually confirmed for Xbox Project Scarlett - so we definitely know Master Chief is making the jump to the next-generation console. 

Not only that, but Halo Infinite will be a launch title for Project Scarlett, releasing in Holiday 2020 alongside the console (or consoles). It's not particularly a surprise, considering Master Chief has served as the face of Xbox for nearly 18 years... 

Suspected Xbox Scarlett titles

Cyberpunk 2077

Xbox Project Scarlett games

Image credit: CD Projekt Red

CD Projekt Red has already confirmed that its dystopian cyberpunk title is being developed with next-generation consoles in mind. 

In an interview with VG247 last year, CD Projekt Red revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 will be able to work with future gaming technology.

“Next gen hasn’t been announced yet, so we can only speculate,” CD Projekt Red president Adam Kiciński explained. “Technology-wise, Cyberpunk is very advanced. Our technology is ready to interface with future generations.

“The game is developed in such a way that it can use very powerful future equipment."

With Cyberpunk 2077 due for release in April 2020, and Xbox Project Scarlett not due to launch until late 2020, it's likely that it'll be a cross-generation title - but this is still open to speculation. We think it's safe to say it seems like Cyberpunk 2077 will be a Xbox Project Scarlett game.

Starfield

Xbox Project Scarlett games

Image credit: Bethesda

Bethesda has quite a lot of projects in the works, but the one we seem to know the least about is Starfield. All we know so far is that Starfield is the gaming behemoth's first new IP in 25 years and will be a single player RPG set in outer space.

Having only seen an announcement trailer, we don't expect Starfield to release until at least 2020 which means it will land in the prime window to become an Xbox Project Scarlett game. Bethesda hasn't let slip if this will be the case, but it seems likely we will be venturing into Bethesda's galaxy on next-generation consoles.

The Elder Scrolls 6

Xbox Project Scarlett games

Image credit: Bethesda

As we said, Bethesda has been pretty busy behind the scenes since E3 2018. Not only is Starfield on the cards, but the long-awaited Elder Scrolls 6 has also been confirmed to be in the works. 

Bethesda's Todd Howard has already stated that The Elder Scrolls 6 won't be coming out until after Starfield. So it'll be a while before we venture into Tamriel again, likely on next-generation consoles. 

Grand Theft Auto 6

Xbox Project Scarlett games

Image credit: Rockstar Games

Ok, yes, we are being a bit hopeful here - mainly because Grand Theft Auto 6 has not been announced by Rockstar Games. But it's almost guaranteed that we will see a new instalation in the Grand Theft Auto series, and it's not going to be for a while. 

Therefore, it is likely that a release date will fall into the next generation, making GTA 6 a Project Scarlett game.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Image credit: Square Enix

Again, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake has not been confirmed to be an Xbox Project Scarlett game but Square Enix has confirmed the title will come to PS4 first - with an Xbox One and PC release likely in the future .

Given the age of the Xbox One, and the ambitious nature of the game - it's coming in multiple episodes across a multi-year release schedule - a cross-generation title with next-gen platforms isn't out of the question. So we're definitely hoping to see the Final Fantasy 7 Remake on Xbox Project Scarlett.


Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration is going too slowly for many businesses

Yesterday, 05:50 PM

As the Windows 7 end of life approaches, new research from the endpoint management and security company 1E has revealed that many organizations remain significantly behind in completing their Windows 10 migration.

The firm found 32 percent of endpoints were left unconverted which raises serious questions about the risks organizations are willing to take when it comes to cybersecurity.

According to the report, 82 percent of organizations say security is a motivating factor in completing the migration yet over half (56 percent) acknowledge that it is just not happening quickly enough.

The retail, distribution and transport industries are the furthest behind with just 65 percent of devices migrated but financial services, public sector, construction and property, and media, leisure and entertainment are just slightly ahead at 66 percent.

Windows 10 updates

While many organizations have not completed their Windows 10 migration, 1E warns that of those who have, maintaining Windows 10 with its massive bi-annual updates could still prove problematic without the right tools.

The company's CEO Sumir Karayi explained how automated endpoint management solutions could help organizations deal with Microsoft's frequent updates, saying:

“If you’re already struggling with Windows 10 migration, you will continue to struggle even more with the updates, and it all comes down to the same problem: a lack of endpoint reach and control. It’s clear organizations still have a long way to go and not much time left to get there. Investing in an automated endpoint management solution today can give you a massive jumpstart on migration and set you up for a much fewer headaches when the first updates roll out.” 

Of those surveyed, nearly 80 percent said that software migration automation is the top cybersecurity investment their organizations must make in the next year.

If you're organization has not yet migrated to Windows 10, now is the time to do so as Windows 7 end of life is quickly approaching and January 14th, 2020 is just around the corner.


Pandora launches Voice Mode on iOS and Android

Yesterday, 05:26 PM

Long after Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Bixby and a half-dozen others, Pandora has finally launched a 'voice assistant' helper of its own called Voice Mode for its iOS and Android apps that will begin rolling out to devices starting today. 

Voice Mode was unveiled at CES earlier this year, and entered into early beta with a small percentage of users having access to the update. Now it's available to everyone.

Voice Mode, which is really a set of specified voice commands rather than a robust assistant in the vein of Siri or Alexa, can be activated by saying “Hey Pandora” while the app is open. Powered by SoundHound's Houndify Voice AI platform, Voice Mode is designed to play a specific artist, album, radio station or playlist when asked to, but it can also be used to match your mood when you give it commands like “play music for relaxing” or “play workout music”. This request is then personalized by Pandora's algorithm and you'll then hear a personalized result that's tailored to your music tastes... sometimes.

In our short time playing around with the app, results were hit or miss. Some requests went smoothly (asking “Hey Pandora, who is this?” was a useful feature when we weren’t right next to our phone) while others - like “Hey Pandora, give this song a thumbs up” or "Hey Pandora, play today's latest hits" - didn’t really work as intended. Don't worry, Siri, you're safe for now.

Putting the 'personal' back in personal assistants

What separates Pandora’s Voice Mode apart from the other umpteen competing helpers already on the market is that it will return personalized results. Ask it to play new music, for example, and it will play new music that it knows you’ll like, rather than feeding you the same new music playlist it feeds everyone else.

If you've been using Pandora's app to listen to podcasts, you'll even be able to apply the service's patented personalization algorithm to get its assistant to recommend new podcasts based on what you've already heard.

Rolling Voice Mode out to iOS and Android is really just the first step for Pandora’s 'virtual helper' – it could really come into its own if Pandora decides to deploy it on smart speakers sometime down the road. 

If you want to check out the Pandora personal assistant for yourself, download the Pandora app and press the search icon in the top right-hand corner. 

Source: Pandora

Editor's note: This story was updated on July 23 to reflect the news that the service is now available to everyone.


Windows 10 20H1 has a lot of changes in store for the operating system

Yesterday, 05:18 PM

Windows 10 updates keep coming whether you install them or not. They generally bring a whole host of bug fixes and new features, but they've also been known to come with their own share of issues.

While we don't know what possible problems next year's Windows 10 Version 20H1 will introduce, we've got some details on the new features coming. Builds of Version 20H1 have been available to Fast Ring Insider testers since early this year, and that's made plenty of information available. 

We're going to lay out all of the most exciting, interesting, and generally useful features that are coming up in Windows 10 20H1 within – you guessed it – the first half of 2020. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Windows 10 20H1 is next major version of Windows
  • When is it out? Windows 10 20H1 is expected in the first half of 2020
  • How much does it cost? Windows 10 20H1 will be free for all users

Windows 10 20H1 brings a new look

We've seen more than one hint that Version 20H1 could be making a move toward a more rounded design instead of the sharp angles seen currently in Windows 10. This would extend from windows and buttons to sliders and pop-up dialog boxes.

This would work to provide some more consistency between the desktop user interface and apps, as well as aligning it more with modern web and app style. This change isn't certain though, but has been hinted at more than once.

Windows 10 20H1 brings new virtual desktop names

When you make virtual desktops in Windows 10 right now, they get rather unhelpful, numbered names: Desktop 1, Desktop 2, etc.

Version 20H1 should introduce the option to create custom names for each virtual desktop. So, if you use virtual desktops to separate work and play or various projects, you can make sure each is clearly labeled for which project each is dedicated to.

And, as Windows Central notes, the custom virtual desktops can be saved so they aren't reset after each reboot.

Windows 10 20H1 brings commitment to Windows Hello

Many computers are now built with fingerprint scanners or advanced cameras that provide facial recognition to work with Windows Hello. This lets you sign on without a password, but Windows still requires a password for the account even if you don't have to use it to sign on every time. 

The 20H1 update may include an option to make your device password-less, letting it exclusively rely on Windows Hello for signing into your Microsoft account, Windows Central reports.