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9 THING PEOPLE THINK WILL HAPPEN AT TOMORROW’S BIG MACBOOK PRO EVENT

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9 Things People Think Will Happen at Tomorrow's Big MacBook Pro Event

Apple fans have been anticipating tomorrow for some time now. At its Cupertino campus on Thursday, Apple will be holding its long-awaited “Hello Again” event in which the company will unveil a number of major Mac updates. But it’s not these refreshes people are excited about; it’s the release of the company’s redesigned Macbook Pro — which fans have gotten a sneak peak of through leaked images. There are also rumors of updates to the Air and iMac, along with speculation of release dates for AirPods, Apple’s new wireless headphones.

While the gossip mill is spinning, it is just talk. When it comes to Apple you never really know what you’re going to get. So as the countdown begins, we’ve taken a look at what’s expected at tomorrow’s big event.

MacBook Pro

1. Focus on thinner and lighter: Apple’s always trying to make their devices thinner and lighter so this one’s a given. Both the 13- and 15-inch models will have a slightly thinner design — but for the most part may look identical to their 2012 models, according to Bloomberg.

2. Introduction of the OLED Touch Bar: The new Pro will have an OLED Touch Bar — a small touchscreen strip in place of the small strip of keys — at the top of the keyboard for changing brightness, controlling volume and skipping through music, according to The Verge. The new bar will give users the ability to configure their own array of different options and shortcuts.

“Basically, imagine having a strip of keys that changes to whatever’s most useful for a given app,” The Verge reports. “So if you’re in a Word document, you might see copy, paste and formatting options. If you’re in Photoshop, you might see brush adjustments.”

3. Unveiling of the TouchID Fingerprint Sensor: Like the iPhone, it is rumored that people will be able to unlock their MacBook Pro with the touch of their finger, and use it to make online purchases through Apple Pay.

4. Removing USB ports: They’ve already ditched the headphone jack for the new iPhone 7, why not lose USB ports for new the MacBook Pro, too?

It’s predicted that Apple will eliminate the USB 3.0 and Magsafe ports on its new MacBook Pro, speculates Japanese rumor blog, Macotakara. If the rumors are true, the new Pros will feature USB Type C and Thunderbolt 3 ports instead. This change means “you’d presumably charge it through the USB-C port and connect peripherals via Thunderbolt 3” and would need “some kind of USB 3.0 adapter,” according to Engadget.

MacBook Air

5. Elimination of the 11-inch airs: Apple allegedly plans to kill the 11-inch MacBook Airs altogether, reports Engadget. This is likely because the lack of difference between the small Air and the 12-inch MacBook.

6. Transition to USB-C ports: Although no major changes are expected of the new MacBook Air, it is likely that the current version’s USB 3.0 ports will be replaced with USB-C ports, or mini ports, says Bloomberg.

iMac

7. Making the switch to USB-C ports: Like the Airs, the iMacs are expected to switch out USB 3.0 ports with USB-C ones.

8. Upgrade to new processor: This is under major speculation, but the push for new processors for the iMac have been ongoing by Apple — although Intel chip maker has not released the appropriate chips to do so yet (apparently). If this is announced tomorrow, the new iMacs will likely not ship until next year.

AirPods

9. Announce release date: This one’s not so much a secret, but since Apple killed the headphone jack of the iPhone 7, the company has talked about the new wireless earphones, or the “AirPods.” They are predicted to go on sale the day of tomorrow’s event.

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Desktops

18 CHROMEBOOKS FROM ACER, ASUS, LENOVO, & DELL RECEIVE LINUX APP SUPPORT

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Eighteen Chromebooks based on Intel Apollo Lake architecture, which includes many from brands such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell, get Linux app support in one fell swoop.

In a change that landed Wednesday morning, the developers switched on Linux app support for all Apollo Lake Chromebooks under the baseboards Reef and Coral. See below for a list of Chromebooks under these baseboards.

All Apollo Lake-based Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo gain Linux app support

All Reef and Coral boards get Linux app support, that’s a lot of Chromebooks!

See our list of Chromebooks that support Linux apps and what you can expect when Linux apps reach stable.

There are 18 Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell under Reef and Coral to our knowledge, but there could be more from other OEMs that are missing from this list:

OEMModelCodenameBaseboard
LenovoLenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook / Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e ChromebookPyroreef
LenovoLenovo 500e ChromebookRobo360coral
LenovoLenovo 100e ChromebookRobocoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 R751TElectroreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT/1HSandreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (C732, C732T, C732L & C732LT )Astronautcoral
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (CB311-8H & CB311-8HT)Santacoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H & CP311-1HN)Lavacoral
AsusASUS Chromebook Flip C213SAReefreef
DellDell Chromebook 11 5190Nashercoral
DellDell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 5190Nasher360coral

Apollo Lake is a generation of Intel mobile chips focused on efficient, low-power form factors. They are less powerful than the Kaby Lake chips in the Pixelbook and HP Chromebook X2 but should handle basic Linux apps with ease.

 

 

As the change has only just landed, Canary and Developer channels will see this first in the coming days and weeks. Stable or Beta channel users will have to wait until Chrome OS version 69.

Many of the Reef and Coral boards are education-focused, so it’s worth noting that if you have a managed or enrolled device, access to Linux apps is toggled by the administrator.

 

 

Source:  XDA

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Business

5 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A WEB HOSTING SERVICE

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If you are relatively new to the world of web hosting, you will be bombarded by advices and tips once you start looking into ways to host your brand new website (or indeed, even when you are at the planning stage or trying to find out whether you actually need a website or should simply go to a website builder). This article will hopefully help you avoid making them.

1. Using a free hosting service
A free hosting service might be useful if you are running your blog/website as a hobby or a community group. It will likely come with banners and pop-up ads though and search engines tend not to like websites hosted on free services. Note that there are good free web hosting services too but it is a very tough market to survive.

They are notoriously unreliable when it comes to speed, uptime and availability and because you haven’t paid for anything, don’t expect any compensation if they disappear or suffer from downtime.

Expect support to be minimal with no advanced features like free databases. You also risk losing credibility, particularly if you are hosted on a domain name like yourbusiness.get-free-hosting.com, rather than using a genuine domain name (although, some free web hosting providers do allow you to park your domain).

The bottom line is you usually get what you paid for and if you paid nothing then don’t expect much. And web hosting doesn’t have to be expensive. We even compiled a list of the best cheap web hosting services here.

2. Choosing a web hosting package with no refund guarantee
Some web hosting companies do not provide a refund guarantee for their starter packages. Choose one that offers a money back guarantee in case you select the wrong package.

A good hosting company will gladly refund you or move you onto a new package that suits your needs. After all, it is in their interests to make sure that you are a happy customer even if you leave them as you may well come back in the future should your circumstances change.

3. Choosing a shared web hosting package when you need a VPS, or vice versa.
The two main types of web hosting packages you can select are shared or VPS. If your website is small and straightforward, shared hosting is the one for you. A Virtual Private Server is only required for websites with high traffic. If your small website grows in the future, you can always switch over to VPS or dedicated hosting, in the meantime save your hard-earned money with some shared hosting.

4. Buying based solely on price
There are two different ways you could go with this:
1. Assume all web hosting is the same, so buy the cheapest you can find
2. Assume the best hosting packages cost more, so go for a higher priced package in the hope of getting better quality hosting.

Hosting is a commodity, so it’s tempting to go for the cheapest plan available, on the other hand you might be tempted by some of the marketing jargon used to up-sell more expensive packages.

In a very competitive market, price cuts and special offers will often be used to win customers, so don’t pay more than you need to and keep your eyes open for discount codes. The saying “you get what you pay for” doesn’t necessarily apply to paid web hosting, as a cheap package will quite often be perfectly adequate for a start-up website or personal blog.

Keep in mind that the price you see advertised is a monthly price. When you get to the checkout that figure will be multiplied by 12 months and have VAT added on top. This is standard industry practice and most hosts will advertise pricing this way. You may also get a discount for going for longer periods (annual or bi-annual).

5. Not knowing your limitations
You will come across terms like “unlimited” and “free” while searching for shared hosting packages. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. “Unlimited” bandwidth and storage will have a limit.

Check the terms and conditions to find out more, but restrictions of personal file storage are common, as are rules about certain types of media or streaming. Hosting companies have to implement these restrictions to ensure the smooth running of the service for everyone on a shared server since resources (the electricity the server consumes, the bandwidth used by the server, the hard drives) do cost money.

Ask your web host if you can do the following before signing up for a package: Maintain multiple POP accounts, add statistics to your account, install new software on your own, use a shopping cart on your website

Source: Tech Radar

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Business

THE US ECONOMY IS SUFFERING FROM LOW DEMAND

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We have concluded that demand matters for productivity growth and that increasing demand is key to restarting growth across advanced economies, write James Manyika, Jaana Remes, and Jan Mischke in Harvard Business Review.

A little over a century ago, Henry Ford doubled the minimum pay of his workers to $5 a day. When other employers followed suit, it became clear that Ford had sparked a chain reaction. Higher pay throughout the industry helped lead to more sales, creating a virtuous cycle of growth and prosperity. Could we be at another Henry Ford moment?

Some major companies have announced plans to boost employee pay. Target raised its minimum wage to $11 this past fall and committed to $15 by 2020. More recently, Walmart announced plans to match that increase to $11. In banking, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bancorp also announced pay increases for minimum wage employees.

These pay increases have occurred against a backdrop of weak economic growth and rising income inequality. Economic growth has been stuck in low gear for almost a decade now, averaging around 2% a year since 2010 while productivity growth, the key to increasing living standards, has been languishing near historic lows since the financial crisis. But more recently there has been a glimmer of hope. After stagnating for years, wages have begun picking up slightly, as has productivity growth, while corporate profits remain near record highs.

Are these recent wage increases merely necessary in light of a tightening labor market, or could they start a broader trend that may change our economic growth trajectory?

After a year-long analysis of seven developed countries and six sectors, we have concluded that demand matters for productivity growth and that increasing demand is key to restarting growth across advanced economies.

The impact of demand on productivity growth is often underappreciated. Looking closer at the period following the financial crisis, 2010 to 2014, we find that weak demand played a key role in the recent productivity growth decline to historic lows. In fact, about half of the slowdown in productivity growth — from an average of 2.4% in the United States and Western Europe in 2000 to 2004 to 0.5% a decade later — was due to weak demand and uncertainty.

For example, in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, rising consumer purchasing power boosted productivity growth in both the retail and the auto sector, by encouraging a shift to higher-value goods that can be supplied at higher productivity levels. In the auto sector, as customers in the early 2000s purchased higher value-added SUVs and premium vehicles in both the United States and Germany, they spurred incremental productivity growth of 0.4 to 0.5 percentage points. Today, that trend has slowed slightly in both countries, contributing only 0.3 percentage points to productivity growth in the period 2010 to 2014.

Similarly, in retail, we estimate that consumers shifting to higher-value goods, for example higher-value wines or premium yogurts, contributed 45% to the 1995-2000 retail productivity acceleration in the United States. This subsequently waned, dragging down productivity growth.

To put it simply, when consumers have more to spend, they buy more sophisticated things. That’s good not just for consumers and producers, but for the overall economy, because making more sophisticated, higher-value things makes everyone involve more productive, and therefore helps increase overall standards of living.

In addition, we found two other ways weak demand hurt productivity growth in the aftermath of the financial crisis: a reduction in economies of scale and weak investment.

First, the economies of scale effect. In finance, productivity growth declined particularly in the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain due to contractions in lending volumes that banks were unable to fully offset with staff cuts due to the need for fixed labor (for example to support branch networks and IT infrastructure or to deal with existing loans and bad debt). The utilities sector, which has seen flattening demand growth due to both energy efficiency policies as well as a decline in economic activity during the crisis, was similarly not able to downsize labor due to the need for labor to support electricity distribution and the grid infrastructure, and here, too, productivity growth fell.

Second, the effect of weak investment. We have found from our global surveys of businesses that almost half of companies that are increasing their investment budgets are doing so because of an increase in demand. Demand is the single most important factor driving corporate investment decisions. Investment, in turn, is critical for productivity growth, as it equips workers with more – and with more recent and innovative – equipment, software, and structures. But we have seen capital intensity growth fall to the lowest levels in post-WWII history. Weaker demand leads to weaker investment and creates a vicious cycle for productivity and income growth.

Of course, the financial crisis is long since over, and the economy has recovered, at least by some measures. So what’s to worry about? Won’t demand return to pre-recession levels, and thereby increase productivity?

Unfortunately, there is reason to believe that some of the drags on demand for goods and services may be more structural than crises-related. Slowing population growth means less rapid expansion of the pool of consumers. And rising income inequality is shifting purchasing power from those most likely to spend to those more likely to save. This is reflected in slowing growth expectations in many markets. For example, across our sectors and countries studied, in the decade from 1995 to 2004, growth in demand for goods and services averaged 4.6%, slowed to 2.3% in 2010 to 2014, and is forecast to slightly increase to 2.8% in 2014 to 2020.

Today, there is concern about where the next wave of growth will come from. Some prominent economists worry that we may be stuck in a vicious cycle of economic underperformance for some time. Our analyses strongly suggest that supporting sustained demand growth needs to be part of the answer. Demand may deserve attention to help boost productivity growth not only during the recovery from the financial crisis but also in terms of longer-term structural leakages and their impact on productivity. Suitable tools for this longer-term situation include: focusing on productive investment as a fiscal priority, growing the purchasing power of low-income consumers with the highest propensity to consume, unlocking private business and residential investment, and supporting worker training and transition programs to ensure that periods of transition do not disrupt incomes.

Companies play a key role in promoting growth through investment and innovation as well as supporting their workforce through training programs. Yet companies may also want to consider the words of Ford when he said: “The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.” While this is certainly not true for individual companies, it is true for the broader economy, and we might be at a rare point where the representatives of employees and employers alike share a common interest in healthy wage growth.

 

 

 

 

Source:  Harvard Business Review.

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