Construction is underway at the new Apple store in downtown Chicago, and today, as reported by DNA Chicago, a new design element was added — a giant Apple logo. A construction crew laid out the logo on the store’s silver, rectangular roof, making it look like a giant MacBook. It stayed for less than an hour before crews rolled up the logo and removed it.
Designed by London-based Foster+Partners, the store is a relocation of Apple’s original Chicago flagship and is a 20,000-square-foot space which, upon completion, will have all-glass walls and a thin, carbon fiber roof… that looks like a MacBook.
The first renderings were originally unveiled in 2015, and touted the project’s “echo” to Prairie Style homes. As the Chicago Tribune details, the all-glass walls range between 14 to 32 feet in height, and are made out of four layers of half-inch thick glass joined with layers of stronger, thicker laminated glass.
After being launched in India, HMD Global is expanding the availability of Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 Android smartphones. Both the phones will be going on sale in the UK starting next month.
The Nokia 3 will be going on sale in the UK from July 12, and will be available unlocked at GBP 129.99 (roughly Rs. 10,600). The Nokia 5, on the other hand, will be going on sale sale on July 19 and will be priced at GBP 179.99 (roughly Rs. 15,000). Currently, interested consumers in the UK can pre-order the Nokia 3 or Nokia 5 via Amazon or Clove e-commerce websites.
Notably, Clove also mentions that July 12 and 19 are official launch dates for the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 respectively. Surprisingly, there’s no availability detail on the Nokia 6, which completes the trio of new Android smartphones from HMD Global.
The company unveiled the trio of Android smartphones in India earlier this month. The Nokia 5 price in India is Rs. 12,899, and will be available for pre-booking starting July 7 through offline channels. Nokia 3, is the cheapest of the three, has been priced at Rs. 9,499, and is now on sale in India. The Nokia 6 has been launched in India at Rs. 14,999. The Nokia 6 registrations for the first sale will start on July 14, but the company has not announced when the smartphone will go on sale.
The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch HD display and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It is powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB inbuilt storage and also supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). Nokia 5 packs a 13-megapixel sensor on the back and an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. The handset features a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button and it houses a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
The Nokia 3 is targeted at those who are looking for a premium-looking handset at a budget and features a 5-inch HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, and 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card support. Optics include an 8-megapixel camera on both the front and back. The N
Dedicated to-do apps abound, but one of the best may be right in your inbox. Google Tasks, integrated into Gmail, provides a simple way to create ordered task lists, complete with due dates, and even turn emails into action items. Here’s how to get started.
Create a task
To start building a to-do list, click the down arrow next to “Gmail” in the upper left corner of your inbox. The Tasks window will open in the lower-right corner. To add a task, click the plus icon at the bottom of the window. A blank field will open with a checkbox and a blinking cursor. Type in your action item.
If you want to add a due date or notes, click the arrow to the right of the task and enter the details in the appropriate fields.
Turn an email message into a task
You probably find that a good chunk of the emails you receive require some action from you. Google Tasks allows you to quickly turn these messages into to-do items without leaving your inbox.
To turn an email into a task, select the message either by selecting the checkbox next to it or opening it. Next, click the More button above your inbox and select Add to Tasks from the drop-down menu. The message is added to your to-do list using the subject line as the item name. A link to the original message is also included. As when you create a task, you can add a due date and other details by clicking the arrow next to the task.
For more complex to-dos, you’ll want to break the main task into several sub-tasks. To do this, create each sub-task under the main task and hit the Tab button to indent each one.
Make multiple task lists
In addition to your daily task list, you may want to create separate lists dedicated to specific projects. To do this, click the Switch List icon (it looks like three bullets, each followed by a line) at the bottom of your main task list and select New list from the pop-up menu. Enter the name of your new list, then click OK and add your tasks. When you want to switch between lists, just click the Switch List icon and choose the one you want.
Print or email lists and other actions
To print or email a task list click the Actions button and select the appropriate option. From here you can also rearrange your tasks either by sorting them by due date or manually moving them up and down using the displayed key combos.
A lot of time and effort will be spent discussing Middle Earth: Shadow of War’s improved Nemesis System between now and probably about a month after release. And for good reason—the Nemesis System was the only thing that elevated predecessor Shadow of Mordor from another me-too Assassin’s Creed clone into a technical wunderkind.
Leaning into that aspect for the sequel is probably a good call, especially since we’ve failed to see similar tech make its way through the industry. The dynamic characters that made Shadow of Mordor such a joy are still, three years on, a novelty.
But I had 20 to 30 minutes of hands-on time with Shadow of War during E3 and to be honest, the Nemesis System was the least of my concerns. There was a bit of been-here-done-that to the proceedings, sure—but more problematic is the time investment required to see the Nemesis System in action. The entire concept only flourishes when it’s your cast of characters, when it’s your army of orcs following you into battle against another army of orcs you’ve come to systematically despise.
That’s the whole premise, right?
So I captured the fortress Monolith had prepared for the demo. I scaled walls, rode the backs of various beasts, hurled poison at foes, leapt hundreds of feet through the air to assassinate an unwary foe. I captured the courtyard, then the outer keep. Lost a few commanders along the way. Killed more than a few of the enemy’s commanders. I made it to the center of the fortress, fought a monstrous troll-enemy while poison spurted from the floor.
It was very similar to the Shadow of War demo we saw back at GDC. The impression I get is still just “Nemesis System, but expanded.” And that’s fine, and I’m sure it’ll be an interesting bit of tech to watch in action when the game releases in October.
Let’s talk about the story, though. Or, rather, the risks Monolith gets to take with the story this time around. That’s what got me really interested last week.
The original Shadow of Mordor’s story wasn’t anything to write home about—it seemed like a barebones scaffolding for an extensive Nemesis System tech demo, as if Monolith came up with this amazing idea and then slapped a license on it. Shadow of Mordor could’ve been an Arkham game, a Suicide Squad game, a Justice League game, another interminable Lego adventure, or any other WB license.
But it wasn’t. It was Lord of the Rings, sort of.
And so Gollum popped up at one point, there were various bits of fan service hidden in scraps of lore around the world, and what have you. It was ever-so-carefully crafted. Almost too carefully, as is the case with many “Extended Universe”-type stories. Like Tron: Legacy or Star Trek: Into Darkness, an insistence on too-obvious callbacks mixed with hesitance to deface what came before left Shadow of Mordor feeling like a very extensive fan-fiction.
This awkward reverence was everywhere, from our hero Talion acting as poor man’s Aragorn to Marwen’s life force being sucked away by Saruman the same as Theodin’s. Predictable, at best. Boring, most of the time.
Shadow of Mordor spent so long lulling the player into a sense of complacency that when its story finally did go to some weird places—right at the end—it came as a sharp left turn. For 20-odd hours you’d been fed a generic tale of revenge, and then suddenly Monolith decided to upend Tolkien’s whole universe and create a (paradoxical) second One Ring.
Then the game ends.
The sequel sees Monolith picking up and fleshing out that story, as Talion and his ghost-elf buddy Celebrimbor struggle to take over Mordor as the “Bright Lord.” This plays into the whole Nemesis System of course, with Talion dominating orcs and forcing them to swear fealty to the Bright Lord, conquering entire regions in the name of the Bright Lord, and the like.
But it’s also indicative of a freer hand for Monolith’s writers, an impression that was reinforced when I played one of Shadow of War’s story missions. We followed some orcs into a swamp reminiscent of the book’s Dead Marshes, an eerie fog-filled nightmare full of brackish water. Normal enough for Mordor, and a typical set-up for Shadow of Mordor—take something familiar, then reskin it.
Some orcs imprisoned in elaborate vine growths came as a surprise though, as did the relative calm of the nearby wildlife—creatures that usually attacked Talion on sight simply watched us walk deeper into the swamp.
That’s when the forest spirit approached. Dryad, nymph, or some other Lord of the Rings-centric term I don’t know, what came out of the woods was a 20-foot tall woman made from vines. She then transformed into a warg made from cast-off bark, then into a wooden troll, and finally into a massive wooden dragon, each of which we had to defeat in battle.
It’s far more audacious than pretty much anything I saw in Shadow of Mordor. This isn’t just some retread of the films. This is an entirely new creation, a whole new force at play in Middle Earth. Sure, you could draw some loose parallels to the Ents, but the correlation isn’t nearly as 1-to-1 as the various creatures and beings in Shadow of Mordor were.
And for good reason. A Monolith developer was observing as I went through the demo, and I asked about this forest entity, why she seemed so much more creative than what we saw in Shadow of Mordor. His answer was pretty simple—with the success of the first game, the writers were given considerably more freedom this time around. Expect a more daring story, or at least more daring moments as Monolith experiments more within the Lord of the Rings lore.
That’s an interesting prospect, at least to me. If it’s bad? Well, just write it off like the first game, or like any other fan-fiction.
I’d much rather Monolith try something new though. I want a reason to play Shadow of War that isn’t just “Well, the underlying technology is cool.” Especially with the game reportedly many times the size of Shadow of Mordor, the story hook needs to actually hook this time.
We haven’t seen much yet, and I doubt we’ll see much more before the game releases in October, but I came away from the E3 demo feeling more charitable than I did at GDC. Sure, the core of the game is still just “The Nemesis System, but bigger,” but maybe this time the surrounding framework won’t feel quite so skeletal.
That’s the hope, anyway.
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With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Dr. Binoy Ravindran, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, has designed a system that could revolutionize how military and commercial computing systems perform.
It’s called Popcorn Linux—an operating system that can compile different programming languages into a single cyber tongue.
“By applying Popcorn Linux to longtime, legacy Navy and Marine Corps computer systems, we can improve software without requiring thousands of man-hours to rewrite millions of lines of code,” said Dr. Wen Masters, head of ONR’s C4ISR Department. “This could yield significant savings in maintenance costs.”
Crunching huge amounts of data for complex applications like battlespace awareness and artificial intelligence requires extremely powerful processing. Unfortunately, many of the processors capable of this speak their own specialized software programming languages—and must be programmed to interact with each other.
To increase computing speed, microchip manufacturers in recent years have placed multiple processing units on individual chips. Take the iPhone 7, for example, which has four processors—two high-power (think of a Ford Mustang) and two low-power (think of a Toyota Prius)—to simultaneously dial phone numbers, open web pages, check text messages and take photos and videos.
That involves designating specialized “heterogeneous” processors to carry out specific tasks, like displaying graphics or web browsing. Each processor can be devoted to one specialty, rather than divided among several functions, resulting in much better, faster performance.
“Before, each processor was like one handyman re-modeling your entire bathroom,” said Dr. Sukarno Mertoguno, the ONR program officer sponsoring Ravindran’s research. “Heterogeneous processors, by contrast, represent an actual plumber installing the pipes and an actual painter painting the walls. Each processor has a specialty.”
But this specialization has problems—a “language” barrier. Each processor has its own set of instructions that only it understands. To address this, software developers must manually adjust code to determine which tasks should run on which processors—a tedious process, as extra features and updates are added regularly.
“This is especially true for Navy and Marine Corps software systems,” said Ravindran. “Many of these legacy systems were built in the 1970s or earlier, have numerous security patches and millions of lines of code, and represent a huge investment of time and money. How can Navy developers enjoy the benefits of next-generation heterogeneous processors without rewriting applications from scratch?”
Ravindran’s answer is Popcorn Linux, which can be used with any computer or device, and serves as a translation tool—taking generic coding language and translating it into multiple specialized program languages. From there, Popcorn Linux automatically figures out what pieces of the programming code are needed to perform particular tasks—and transfers these instruction “kernels” (the “popcorn” part) to the appropriate function.
While Popcorn Linux is still a proof-of-concept prototype created by Ravindran and his students, the system is about to enter a new phase of development.
“In our lab and academic setting, we’ve demonstrated that Popcorn Linux works well with respect to performance speed and power usage,” said Ravindran. “Later this year, we’ll work with industry partners to create a version of Popcorn Linux that can meet the strenuous industrial standards required by the Navy and Marine Corps.”
“We’re already hearing great enthusiasm from industry for Popcorn Linux,” said Masters. “We look forward to see how Dr. Ravindran and his team further develop this exciting system.”
Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.
Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.
But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.
Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with…
Apple wages a constant war on leakers designed to ensure it can unveil new products on its own terms. But the leaks never seem to stop, and it’s evident they won’t anytime soon.
The Outline’s William Turton obtained a leaked recording of an Apple presentation on Apple’s anti-leaking efforts, hilariously highlighting how difficult it can be to stop leaks.
The presentation reveals the elaborate steps Apple takes to safeguard the secrecy of its products. Apple has recruited a large team of anti-leak investigators, including people who previously worked at the National Security Agency, the FBI, and the Secret Service. One investigation lasted for three years.
“These investigations go on a long time,” Lee Freedman, who was an assistant US attorney before leading Apple’s investigation team, said in the recording. “We don’t take a defeatist mentality and say, ‘Oh well, it’s going to leak anyways.’” In one case, Apple pursued a case for three years before identifying the leaker.
One of Apple’s big challenges has been leaks from manufacturing facilities in China. To prevent these leaks, Apple requires Chinese workers to be searched as they enter and leave factories where Apple products are made. In the recording, an Apple official bragged that Apple screens more people than the TSA: “Their peak volume is 1.8 million a day. Ours, for just 40 factories in China, is 2.7 million a day.”
Apple has less draconian, but still extensive, security procedures at its American campuses.
Apple’s brass believes that all this secrecy helps the company’s bottom line. Early leaks of a forthcoming product could discourage customers from buying Apple products that are already on store shelves. And the surprise of a big Apple product reveal makes news organizations more likely to cover it.
At the same time, it’s hard to be sure if any of this really matters. Apple loyalists are going to buy a new Apple product sooner or later. And Apple is such a prominent brand that there’s little risk of customers not hearing about a new Apple product
Apple may leverage augmented reality on the iPhone to help pave the way for a future smart glasses product, UBS said in a note to investors Tuesday.
Apple recently launched its ARKit developer tools, which will allow its partners to build new augmented reality applications for millions of iPhones already in the hands of consumers. It will give Apple an overnight leg up on companies like Google that are participating in the space on a much smaller scale.
Apple hasn’t participated in the smart glasses space yet, but the idea is that a user will be able to wear a special pair of glasses that overlays computer images over the real world. You might learn more about a restaurant, perhaps view its menu, by standing in front of it, for example.
Right now, companies like Apple and Google would be forced to create bulky glasses that wouldn’t be feasible or comfortable to wear. UBS believes Apple could use AR-ready iPhones to power the experience.
“Advanced sensors and camera capabilities will enhance the iPhone; eventually there could be independent hardware offerings, perhaps iGlass,” UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said. “We can imagine a pair of glasses with quintessential Apple design (iGlass), which enable a Hololens-type experience,” the company said, referring to Microsoft’s bulky alternative.
“However, the amount of compute power and sensors required likely pose a serious design challenge. If Apple could find a way to send massive amounts of data from the eyeglasses to the iPhone where the bulk of the compute would occur, the eyewear could have a more attractive design. The issue then becomes how to transfer massive amounts of complex data between devices quickly.”
Milunovich laid out 10 AR use cases ranging from games and entertainment to home improvement and health care/medical diagnostics. It said AR will help Apple retain iPhone users.
Whether you place the blame on the general manager, the manager, the players or a combination of the three, anyone who has watched Cardinals baseball this season can agree on this: It’s not working.
The Cardinals are 31-37 and fourth in the National League Central entering a greuling and defining stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
GM John Mozeliak has shaken up manager Mike Matheny’s staff a bit and churned the roster some, but before he considers putting a for sale sign in the yard — a real possibility, he acknowledged during a candid press conference earlier this month — he must exhaust his attempts to bring this often-lackadaisical club to life.
One potential option? Inject some youth.
Here are four minor leaguers who might provide some oomph in St. Louis.
One already has.
All Sierra did during his eight-game body of work in the majors was get at least one hit in every game and reach first base safely 43 percent of the time. The Cardinals went 6-2 in the games he played in. These days, Sierra, who was shipped out June 4, is in the midst of a seven-game hit streak at Class AA Springfield. He’s 13-for-26 with three doubles, a triple and an inside-the-park home run during the stretch. The 21-year-old’s game is still growing, but he never looked overwhelmed at the major league level. In fact the Cardinals seemed to feed off his speed, energy and excitement.
Luke Weaver is 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts (46.1 innings) at Class AAA Memphis. He’s averaging 10 strikeouts and fewer than two walks per nine innings. The 23-year-old righthander has K’d 28 percent of the batters he’s faced. He’s induced groundouts from 18 percent. Of the 37 hits he has allowed, only seven (four doubles, three home runs) have gone for extra bases.
The big question with Weaver is his back. It bothered him during spring training and flared up this season. If he’s healthy, he could help fortify a rotation that is looking wobbly due to the recent struggles of Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha. Weaver was sped through the system to help last year’s Cardinals, and some wrote him off due to a 1-4 record and his 5.70 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance. That’s silly. He should be better suited for another shot. But if Weaver’s back is holding him back, there’s another Memphis pitcher in the mix.
Flaherty surrendered two homers and three earned runs in 5.2 innings in Class AAA Memphis’ 5-4 win against Round Rock on Monday night. It was the second start in a row in which the righthander was touched for two home runs. But Flaherty still has a 3.04 ERA in four Class AAA starts (23.2 innings), and he completely baffled opponents at Class AA to start the season, cruising to a 7-2 record and a 1.42 ERA in 10 starts (63.1 innings) there. In Memphis, Flaherty has averaged 11.5 strikeouts and two walks per nine innings. The 21-year-old righthander should be intriguing to a team that is concerned about its starting rotation’s recent struggles.
There is power in his bat, but he only plays first base, meaning it’s going to be hard for him to find at-bats in the majors. No, we are not talking about Matt Adams. This time, it’s Luke Voit, the Class AAA first baseman who just keeps slugging. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Wildwood native and Missouri State product now boasts a .396 on-base percentage and a .560 slugging percentage through 66 games with the Redbirds. The former 22nd-round draft pick has crushed 12 homers and 21 doubles this season, somehow rumbling to one triple along the way. Voit’s strikeout percentage (18.2) isn’t ideal, but it’s not horrid. And he’s taken 25 walks to his 50 K’s. His power surge hasn’t come with a diminished average (.315).
Why Voit here instead of prized catching prospect Carson Kelly or up-and-coming outfielder Harrison Bader? Here’s one reason: He’s 26. Unlike Bader (23) and Kelly (22), there isn’t really a downside to the righthanded hitting Voit awaiting spot starts and pinch-hit, home-run opportunities in St. Louis instead of playing every day in Memphis. He’s not Chad Huffman old (32), but at this point he is what he is.
The Cardinals have to be kicking themselves now that Adams is raking in Atlanta. That kind of power could be used here. Isn’t it worth seeing if Voit’s might translate?
Of course, there is only so much room on the roster. Changes would have to be made to give any of these kids a shot. That shouldn’t be much of a hindrance these days. There aren’t many Cardinals the club can’t survive without. A shot in the arm might be the reward.
Why not shake things up a bit and add some new blood before the All-Star break? The Cardinals need to know what they have and what they are by then.