Tips and Tricks for Civilization VI

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Jen Karner has some great tips and tricks for Civilization VI. Although her article specifically mentions the Nintendo Switch, these tips work for any platform.

I’ve been playing Civilization VI since it launched on PC in 2016, and with more than 700 hours logged I’ve got strong feelings on just about every kind of start, civilization and play style. During that time I’ve beaten the game a handful of times with Culture and Science victories and have restarted the game more times than I want to count — seriously.

The best tip on there is to play to your civilization’s strengths. Each civilization gives you a unique bonus, and you should take advantage of that.

The Kilogram Could Soon be Redefined. But You Won't Notice

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I’ve always been a keen observer of weights and measures, so this interested me. Digital Trends writes: “On Friday, November 16, a 129-year-old tradition will likely come to an end. Nearly all the world’s weighted measurements have relied on a single standard since 1889 — the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK), a block of metal made of platinum and iridium locked in a subterranean vault in Paris.

“Rather than defined by a block of metal, weights will be expressed in terms of the Planck constant (h). The stated goal is to shift the standard toward a more reliable form, one that won’t be damaged or corrupted by environmental factors that cause it to slightly and inexplicably lose weight.”

The Kilogram Could Soon be Redefined. But You Won’t Notice

Feedly Offering 30% off Pro Plan

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It’s not Black Friday yet, but RSS reading app Feedly has launched its Black Friday offer already. For the next few hours, existing free users can get 30% off an annual pro plan. For $45 users can have unlimited sources, Google keyword alerts and integration with apps such as Evernote, Pocket, and OneNote.

Feedly Offering 30% off Pro Plan

Behaviourism - the Science That Makes Apps so Addictive

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behaviourism phone addiction

Behaviourism, the psychology theory that the behaviour of human beings is best understood as responding incentives and rewards, has been around since the 1930s. It was overtaken in scholarly thought in the 1950s, but it’s a big deal in Silicon Valley today. Behaviourism helps us understand why games are so addictive. Why Apple is obsessed with making the unboxing experience as pleasurable as possible. A fascinating feature in 1843 Magazine gives an in-depth explanation of how it all works and who the scientists are that make it all happen.

The more immediate and intense a rush of emotion a person feels the first time they use something, the more likely they are to make it an automatic choice. It’s why airlines bring you a glass of champagne the moment you sink into a business-class seat, and why Apple takes enormous care to ensure that a customer’s first encounter with a new phone feels magical.

Apple Toxic Chemical Reduction Efforts Rated A+

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Apple has received an A+ rating by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families organization for its efforts to reduce its use of toxic chemicals. AppleInsider reported that despite being found to have some room for improvement, Apple was the only firm given the top rating this year. It builds on last year when it received an A rating from the same organization.  Retailer Target was the only firm to receive an A rating this year. Best Buy and Amazon were only awarded a C rating.

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a body comprised of 450 businesses which has been issuing annual report cards called Mind the Store for three years. Each report awards a point score as well as an overall grade and this year Apple earned 106.25 out of a possible 135 points. Part of that point score was 15 out of 15 for what Mind the Store calls continuous improvement in a steadily expanding safer chemicals policy. It also scored 9 out of 15 for public disclosure and transparency. Other scores included 7.5/7.5 for establishing management responsibilities and 10/10 for supply chain accountability.

Spreaker Studio Adds Siri Shortcuts to App

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Spreaker Studio has added Siri Shortcuts to its app. The Spreaker Studio app transforms mobile devices into fully-equipped audio studios, offers anyone an easy way to broadcast from live events, share original music, create an audio blog or podcast series and connect with the world over shared passions. In addition to the ability to pre-record podcasts or broadcast live, users can add music and sound effects, interact with audiences via live chatbot and share across Facebook and Twitter. With the capabilities of iOS 12, Spreaker Studio now supports creation of user-generated commands and includes two ready-to-use shortcuts for hands-free podcast creation: “Record Audio,” which triggers capture, and “Broadcast Live,” which triggers simultaneous capture and publication of content. Users also benefit from the pairing of Siri Suggestions and Shortcuts in iOS 12, which enables Siri to learn users’ frequent in-app actions to predict and proactively prompt them in the future. App Store: Spreaker Studio – Free

Spreaker Studio Adds Siri Shortcuts to App

How to Edit HEIC Photos Without Data Loss

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William Gallagher has a good article on how to edit HEIC photos without data loss. HEIC is now the default format for photos taken by iPhones.

When it was just that Facebook and the rest weren’t supporting HEIC, we thought time would sort that out. Now that Apple itself is still automatically converting HEIC to JPEG in emails, we’re wondering what the point is. We’d just like it to be possible to set up a Siri Shortcut so that we could tell our iPhones “no, no, we meant JPEG” and have it switch back and forth.

You can manage these settings in Settings > Camera > Formats. Choosing High Efficiency will mean your iPhone shoots in HEIC. Choosing Most Compatible means your iPhone shoots in JPG.

VSCO X November Film: Introducing Fuji Velvia 50

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VSCO X is a membership program for the photography app VSCO. It’s a yearly subscription that offers members exclusive film emulation presets. Members also have access to the entire library of 130+ presets. The membership costs US$19.99/year.

Since Kodachrome, no film has attracted as loyal a following as Fujifilm’s Velvia 50. With its high contrast and richly saturated colors, Fuji Velvia 50 quickly became the go-to film for landscape photographers. A slight magenta cast and warm color palette make Velvia 50 especially suited for autumn, desert, and sunset scenes.

The Mac Observer has a full list of Film X presets that are updated every month.

VSCO X November Film: Introducing Fuji Velvia 50

Latest Data Breach: SMS Text Database Exposed

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A server belonging to Voxox (formerly Telcentris) in San Diego was exposed because the server wasn’t protected with a password. Security researcher Sébastien Kaul discovered that it was an SMS text database containing “tens of millions of text messages, including password reset links, two-factor codes, shipping notifications and more.”

Each record was meticulously tagged and detailed, including the recipient’s cell phone number, the message, the Voxox customer who sent the message and the shortcode they used.

If you’re dumb or negligent enough to not secure a password containing other peoples’ sensitive data, you should not be in whatever industry you’re in. I hope Senator Ron Wyden’s bill gets passed.