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Apple Watch Series 4 Reviews: Larger Screen is 'Incredibly Good', Upgrading From Series 0 or 1 a 'No Brainer'

MacRumors - Wed, 2018-09-19 08:00
The first reviews of the Apple Watch Series 4 have been published online today, just a couple of days before the new smartwatch is available in stores.

The Apple Watch Series 4 features a new design with a slimmer body, a 30 percent larger display, and electric sensors for taking ECG readings. Despite the larger displays, the Series 4 has a thinner, smaller case.


All Apple Watch Series 4 models feature a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing, and the Digital Crown includes haptic feedback for what Apple says is a more mechanical, responsive feel. Inside, the Apple Watch features a faster, more efficient S4 chip that offers twice the speed.

With all that in mind, several reviewers have been trying out Apple's new smartwatch for five days, and most of them agree that while the Series 4 model is a great smartwatch, it "isn't the kind of refresh that justifies upgrading from the last generation," as TechCrunch's Brian Heater puts it.

Likewise, iMore's Rene Ritchie thinks Series 3 owners looking to vindicate the purchase will "have to really want the new capabilities, never mind the new design," although he thinks that upgrading from a Series 0 or Series 1 is a "no brainer" and Series 2 owners will also find the new model "compelling".

In terms of design and wearability, Heater found that the Series 4's larger, wider case was "not really noticeable unless you happen to have two side-by-side," although for those who have used an earlier model with any regularity, "the increase in surface area is pretty readily apparent."


The Verge's Dieter Bohn found that the difference between a 42mm Series 3 and the Series 4's 44mm size is "only subtly bigger" and "feels about the same." However, Wired's Scott Rosenfield found more of a difference when actually interacting with the device:
The watch still looks like a watch. But in practice, the larger screen feels as significant as going from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6. The rounded edges and thinner bezel give you substantially more screen space, which make it easier to read and tap.

That changed how I used the watch: I crammed in more complications on each watch face, and I found myself scrolling through texts, looking at heart rate and workout data, and even playing with the News and Photos apps in a way that I hadn't since the watch first launched.
TechCrunch's Heater took particular liking to the watch's new haptic Digital Crown, which "feels like turning a mechanical dial... And when there’s nothing on screen to move by spinning it, the feedback simply shuts off." iMore's Ritchie concurred, noting that "the new clicking absolutely feels more precise and more fun to use."


The new watch faces were also a hit with Ritchie, who called the new Infographic (analog) and Infographic Modular faces "informational escalations that manage to be denser without sacrificing legibility."
You can fill them with communications apps and contacts, if you're running around playing secret agent. You can fill them with world clocks and trackers if you're traveling. You can fill them with fitness features if you're off to a workout. Or you can mix and match to best suit your average activities.Elsewhere, Wired's Rosenfield came away impressed by the accuracy of the watch's new optical heart-rate sensor as well as the automatic workout detection, while noting that "runners will love the new rolling mile measurement, cadence, and target pace notifications."

The improvement in the Series 4's speaker was also particularly noticeable. The Verge's Bohn called it "way louder," while iMore's Ritchie said "everything from Siri to calls now boom... I can make out conversation from a good dozen feet away."


Speed-wise, Wired's Rosenfield felt the Series 4 was generally faster than previous models, although not as big a jump as with past iterations:
In everyday life, the Series 4 does feel snappier, but it doesn't feel to me to be as significant as the jump from the Series 2 to Series 3. The exception: I found the initial watch pairing process to be much faster with the Series 4 than with prior models.Despite the speed improvements, the reviewers agreed that general battery life is largely unchanged from the Series 3 – TechCrunch's Heater felt that most users would be able to get through a day's use without worrying about finding a charger.

Reviewers were unable to test the ECG feature, which won't be available until later this year. Likewise, when it came to Fall Detection, Apple advised against trying to trick the Apple Watch Series 4 into thinking they have accidentally fallen, although Wired's Rosenfield couldn't resist: "I tried to trigger a false warning by tripping onto a yoga mat, jumping on the bed, and flailing around while attempting to powerlift. No dice."

Summing up, The Verge's Bohn concludes: "The Apple Watch has earned its place as the best-selling watch" and is "at least an order of magnitude better than other smartwatches and fitness trackers."

Other publications have shared Apple Watch Series 4 reviews that are worth a read. We've rounded up some links below and will add more when we find them.
Apple Watch Series 4 will go on sale, and begin arriving to customers, this Friday.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Nvidia RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti review: A tale of two very expensive graphics cards

Ars - Wed, 2018-09-19 08:00

Sam Machkovech

Specs at a glance: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition CUDA CORES 4352 TEXTURE UNITS 272 ROPS 88 CORE CLOCK 1,350MHz BOOST CLOCK 1,635MHz MEMORY BUS WIDTH 352 bits MEMORY BANDWIDTH 616GB/s MEMORY SIZE 11GB GDDR6 Outputs 3x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x USB Type-C (VirtualLink VR) Release date September 20, 2018 PRICE Founders Edition (as reviewed): $1,199. Partner cards priced at: $1,169.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU Price: $799 at Nvidia

Buy
Like any piece of expensive technology, a top-of-the-line graphics card comes with all manner of lingo and abbreviation. You'll need a glossary to wade through the stuff inside (processors, CUDA cores, ROPs), the speeds measured (memory bandwidth, boost clocks, TeraFLOPS), and the results you want from a good card (anti-aliasing, frame rates, higher resolutions).

Thanks to Nvidia's newest products, the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti, that required glossary is only getting bigger.

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Family’s ‘genetic background’ sheds light on autism symptoms

Futurity.org - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:59

The total amount of rare mutations—deletions, duplications, or other changes to the DNA sequence—in a person’s genome can explain why individuals with a disease-associated mutation can have vastly different symptoms, according to new research.

Whether an individual develops a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism or ADHD, and the severity of that disorder, depends on genetic changes beyond a single supposedly disease-causing mutation.

Family matters

“Genetic sequencing tools can reveal a large number of mutations in a person’s genome, but diagnosis typically focuses on identifying one primary mutation as the cause of a disorder,” says Santhosh Girirajan, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of anthropology at Penn State and senior author of a new paper, which appears in Genetics in Medicine.

“However, this strategy does not explain why many individuals with the same primary mutation have very different features or symptoms.

“For example, when a parent and child have the same primary mutation but only the child develops the disorder. Our work reveals that the primary mutation likely sensitizes a person to a disorder, but the amount of other mutations elsewhere in the genome is what actually determines the cognitive ability and developmental features in that person,” he says.

The research team considered genetic, cognitive, and developmental information from individuals who contained one of two known disease-associated mutations, and of their families. Both mutations are deletions of genetic material on chromosome 16—one in a region referred to as 16p11.2 and the other 16p12.1—and are detected in a global screen for children with developmental delays. These primary mutations provide a frame of reference to study the additional mutations that make up an individual’s “genetic background.”

“Ninety-five percent of children who have the 16p12.1 mutation inherit it from their parents, so any difference in clinical features between the parent and child is due to what they have in the genetic background,” says Girirajan.

Individuals with one of the primary mutations who expressed clinical features had significantly more mutations in the genetic background than their parents or siblings who did not express clinical features. The researchers also linked the number of mutations in the genetic background to head size, a feature of cognitive development, in individuals with the primary 16p11.2 deletion; and to IQ scores in individuals with one of the two primary mutations or one of several other disease-associated primary mutations.

“This suggests that a child with a higher number of mutations in the genetic background is more likely to develop intellectual disabilities,” says Girirajan. “The more mutations you have, the more different types of combinations you have that can potentially produce clinical features.

“Most of these mutations in the genetic background are passed on by the parents, and when the parents’ mutations come together in a combinatorial way, the child ends up having more than what either parent had individually,” Girirajan says. “The primary mutation is usually only passed on by one of the parents, and it turns out that the parent who does not pass on the primary mutation actually passes on more mutations in the genetic background.

“This tells us that getting information about family history, about the parents’ genetic profile, is incredibly useful when trying to make a diagnosis.”

The more info, the better

The researchers suggest that the primary mutation sensitizes an individual to a particular disorder and that the genetic background sets the trajectory for potential clinical features.

“Some primary mutations may sensitize an individual to a lesser degree, requiring large numbers of mutations in the genetic background to produce symptoms associated with the disorder,” says first author Lucilla Pizzo, a graduate student in Penn State’s molecular medicine program.

“For example, an inherited mutation that has been passed on for many generations may not have produced strong symptoms in the parents or grandparents, but large numbers of mutations in the genetic background of the child could lead to clinical features,” Pizzo says. “Other primary mutations may sensitize the genome to a greater degree, with fewer additional mutations required to produce symptoms associated with the disorder.”

This study focused solely on genetic changes in the protein-coding portions of the genome. The researchers plan to expand their investigation to the rest of the genome.

Ultimately, the researchers hope this knowledge—and continued studies of how mutations affect specific, measurable traits such as IQ and head size—will change how clinicians obtain genetic data and offer diagnoses to patients.

“We need more-thorough screens when a patient comes into a clinic so that we can consider more than just one mutation,” says Girirajan. “With knowledge about the family history and genetic background, we can get closer to a more accurate prognosis and provide rehabilitation sooner. For example, a patient could start speech therapy or physical rehabilitation before the developmental delay hits.”

The National Institutes of Health, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) funded the research. The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the Fulbright Commission Uruguay, the Italian Ministry of Health, the Jacobs Foundation, and the Swiss National Science Foundation provided additional funding.

Source: Penn State

The post Family’s ‘genetic background’ sheds light on autism symptoms appeared first on Futurity.

Welcome to NES-flix: Testing Nintendo Online’s new 8-bit library on Switch

Ars - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:55

Enlarge (credit: Nintendo)

On Tuesday night, at roughly 11pm ET, Nintendo finally did it: it put a bunch of classic NES games on the Switch.

(No, the December 2017 launch of Vs. Super Mario Bros. doesn't count, because that's a Switch port of an arcade game. We win on a technicality.)

After signing up for the new paid Nintendo Switch Online service, we were able to load 20 first- and third-party NES games on a Switch, all via one 54MB app full of pre-loaded ROMs. Only paying subscribers get access to this app, which makes this—a subscription-based classic-gaming service—as close as Nintendo has ever gotten to resembling Netflix. (NES-flix?)

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Kavanaugh’s accuser is calling Republicans' bluff

Washington Post - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:53
Christine Blasey Ford says she wants the FBI to investigate her claims before she appears before a hyperpartisan Senate. What will Republicans do now?

Why world is watching Kavanaugh drama

CNN - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:53

The Energy 202: Democrats really wanted Scott Pruitt gone. Now what?

Washington Post - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:52
They might not like Andrew Wheeler much better.

Senator to men: Shut up and step up

CNN - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:51
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said her message to men in the United States is to "just shut up and step up. Do the right thing," following the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Couple is accused of drugging and raping women. Police think there are more victims.

CNN - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:48
A well-known surgeon from Newport Beach and his girlfriend are accused of drugging and sexually assaulting two women, and Southern California authorities said they believe there could be many more victims.

Tragedy? Farce? Confusion? The Method Behind That Russian Poisoning Interview

NY Times - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:47
When two Russians were trotted out to deny British accusations that they tried to kill an ex-spy, few believed them. Maybe no one was really meant to.

2 Patients Die in Sheriff’s Van Submerged by Florence’s Floodwaters

NY Times - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:46
The women were being transported between health facilities in South Carolina.

6 possible Kavanaugh scenarios

CNN - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:46
Allegations of a sexual assault have thrown the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, which had seemed to be on a glide path, into chaos.

Brooklyn Diocese Is Part of $27.5 Million Settlement in 4 Sex Abuse Cases

NY Times - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:42
The settlement is believed to be one of the largest ever awarded to victims of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

California Today: California Today: To Tell the Brown Family Saga, Start in 1852

NY Times - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:36
Wednesday: The historian Miriam Pawel talks about the governor’s family history, Christine Blasey Ford wants an F.B.I. investigation, and a Santa Barbara teenager finds $10,000.

What happens to Brett Kavanaugh now? Here are 3 scenarios.

Washington Post - Wed, 2018-09-19 07:34
Republicans are facing a tight timeline to get Kavanaugh on the court before the November midterm elections.
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