Quick Takes: Mac Mini Turning 3.5 Years Old, But Unlike Mac Pro, Apple Remains Silent About Future Updates

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Thursday, April 5

For more coverage of Apple, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also head to our forums to join in the discussion.

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$20,000 mail drone takes flight — and hits a wall

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Want to know why mail drones aren't ready for prime time? Russia can tell you. The Siberian town of Ulan-Ude was expecting to beam with pride as organizer Rudron/Expeditor 3M tested a postal drone in the area for the first time, but they left red-fac…
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Another Thing That Climate Change Takes From Us: Our Beaches

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Poles without ice. Oceans without oxygenAreas of the planet without people.

These are just some of the effects of a rapidly warming planet.

Add to the list: coasts without beaches.

You might assume this will happen sometime in the distant future, when sea levels rise. But it’s already happening. Climate change is taking beaches away from humans — in a physical way, as rising seas erode them, and in the way humans interact with them, as several governments have closed beaches to visitors to limit further damage.

Just this week, the Thai government announced that it was closing one of its most famous beaches for four months out of the year. Its rationale? To allow nearby coral reefs to recover from the effect of millions of visitors, which range from pollution to physical destruction from boats and human hands. And as the ocean grows warmer, stressed coral ecosystems like these recover more slowly from these intrusions.

Several other Southeast Asian islands have done the same, closing off beaches to allow their marine inhabitants to recover with some peace and quiet.

Thailand's Maya Bay, a white sand beach with turquoise water ringed by mountains. This is one of many beaches being closed thanks to climate change.
Thailand’s Maya Bay. Ah it’s so beautiful. Too bad no one will get to go there. Image Credit: Mike Clegg / Wikimedia Commons

I know: this sucks. And that’s fair — many people think of beaches as a universal public right. But beaches are also bigger than you and your summer plans.

Organisms in, above, and next to the water dwell there, even if you don’t see (or eat) them. Without beaches, most of these animals would lose their homes, risking extinction.

If you live near the ocean, you can thank beaches for keeping your water drinkable and keeping your house where it is. Beaches and sand dune ecosystems are a vital barrier between the powerful seawater and shore-based ecosystems. They also stop salty ocean water from leaching into fresh groundwater.

Protective closures like the ones in Southeast Asia also mean tens of thousands of jobs could be lost, many in developing countries that rely on tourism to survive, as The Outline reports.

Southeast Asia may seem far away, but the problem is global, and happening faster than you might expect. Without human intervention, up to two thirds of beaches in Southern California will disappear from erosion within the next century, a 2017 U.S. Geologic Survey study found.

By 2100, sea levels may rise between 0.2 and 2 meters (0.66 to 6.6 feet), depending on how much the Earth warms. That could swallow the majority of beaches worldwide.

Banning beaches is disappointing for humans. But it might be worth giving up a chill place to sunbathe and sip out of coconuts to save an ecosystem.

The post Another Thing That Climate Change Takes From Us: Our Beaches appeared first on Futurism.

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Quick Takes: WebKit Team Teases ‘Cool New Apple Products’ as Rumors Persist About Red iPhones

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Monday, April 2

  • WebKit’s verified Twitter account teases “cool new Apple products” in the pipeline: WebKit is the open source web browser engine used by Safari on macOS and iOS, so the tweet from the Apple-owned account could be referring to a wide range of different products.

  • What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility: Accessibility expert and former special educator Steven Aquino believes that an iPad is far superior to a Chromebook in many levels of special education. Nevertheless, he feels there is enormous potential for Apple to go further. For example, he says Apple could broaden its new Schoolwork app to incorporate Individualized Education Programs.
  • Red-colored iPhones may still be coming: On March 21, 2017, Apple unveiled a special (PRODUCT)RED edition of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Rumor has it Apple may do so again this year with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and/or iPhone X at some point this month.

  • macOS 10.13.4 and external displays with DisplayLink software aren’t playing friendly: In the meantime, DisplayLink has released a new version 4.3 driver that will enable clone mode, but not mirror or extended mode displays on macOS 10.13.4. The notice from DisplayLink’s website:

    We have become aware that installing macOS release version 10.13.4 will cause DisplayLink connected displays to go blank after the OS upgrade, with the current DisplayLink driver [4.1] installed. Functionality such as Ethernet and audio, where implemented, is unaffected. We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in macOS 10.13.3.

  • Chrome Remote Desktop and Hotels.com apps optimized for iPhone X display: The updates are available from the App Store. The wait continues for a handful of other popular apps, including Inbox by Gmail, Google Authenticator, iMovie, and Amazon Alexa.

For more coverage of Apple, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also head to our forums to join in the discussion.

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Deal: Best Buy 1-Day Sale Takes $1,000 Off on iMac Pro, $100 on iPhone X, More

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Best Buy is offering some great deals on Apple products for a day to celebrate Easter. The products on discount include the iMac Pro, Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone X, and more. Continue reading
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Xander Bogaerts Does ‘Fortnite’ “Take The L” Dance in a Game, Then Team Takes the L

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Athletes doing Fortnite [Free] dances in celebration has just one pro, as Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox did the “Take the L” emote dance after hitting a double on Opening Day. He’s perhaps the most prominent athlete to drop a Fortnite dance after the UMBC bench was dropping dance moves during their upset of #1-seeded Virginia.

Bogaerts didn’t go all out in his dance, which is sad for us not getting to see a grown man do a ridiculous dance, but good because the Rays would probably hit him with a pitch next time he was up. You know, because baseball is a sport for mature adults, and when somebody does something you don’t like, you hit them.

However, whether it was the baseball gods punishing a player having fun, or the Fortnite gods punishing Bogaerts for his half-measure dance, the Rays got their revenge as they beat up on the Sox bullpen to make the Red Sox take the L on Opening Day. This should serve as a lesson to Fortnite players: don’t do your dances while the result is still unsettled, because egg might be on your face afterward. Also, go whole hog. Have a boombox play that ridiculous circus music while you do the dance. Just make sure one foot is on the base while the other leg goes up, or do it after a home run, but make sure you wear a literal suit of armor the next time you come up to the plate, because the pitcher will try to hit you. Glory ain’t cheap.

Of course, the counterpoint is the story of when NBA player Ben Simmons tried to convince the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns to stay up and play PUBG with him by pointing out that they’re playing the garbage Atlanta Hawks the day afterward. Not only did the T’wolves win, but Towns set a team record for points in a single game with 56!

So, I don’t know if there’s a lesson here, necessarily, other than “sports are fun but will also devastate you emotionally.” Also, maybe PUBG needs dances if it’s going to take the crown back from Fortnite.

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The ‘plant messiah’ on what it takes to save the world’s rarest species

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A fifth of all the world’s plants are in danger of extinction, and Carlos Magdalena is traveling the world to save them. Magdalena, a botanical horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is popularly known as the “plant messiah.” He’s gone to countries like Australia, Peru, and Mauritius to find the world’s endangered species and learn how to cultivate them before they go extinct.

Magdalena’s memoir, aptly titled The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species, will be out from Doubleday on April 10. The Verge spoke to Magdalena about the importance of plant conservation, why he considers himself a “codebreaker,” and what it takes to save the plants.

The interview has been lightly edited and condensed for…

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New Chrome OS quick settings menu takes design cues from Android P

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The first developer preview of Android P was released earlier this month, and some of the most noticeable visual changes were to be found in the quick settings panel. Icons are now placed inside circles which are blue if active/on and greyed out if inactive/off. It’s too early to say for sure if these changes will remain the same in the final version, but if Chrome OS 67 is anything to go by, they may be pretty much final.

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New Chrome OS quick settings menu takes design cues from Android P was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Apple Business Chat in iOS 11.3 takes on social media in privacy, sophistication

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Apple is gearing up to bring its innovative Business Chat feature out of testing and into production with the release of iOS 11.3, giving individuals a streamlined, new way to communicate with customer service without wasting time sitting on hold and without reporting the contacts of all their friends.
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Canon takes on RED with its first full-frame cinema camera

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Canon has unveiled its first full-frame cinema camera with some nice features and — if it's serious about taking on rivals like RED and Arri — some major omissions. The C700 FF has a 5.9K sensor (5,952 x 3,140, or 18.7 megaxpixels), and can captur…
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