IK Multimedia announces Total Studio 2 MAX, the ultimate collection of software instruments & FX

The world's most comprehensive suite offering 94 award-winning products, 16,800 sounds, 39 high-end mixing and mastering processors and over 350 gear models for guitar and bass

IK Multimedia is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the brand-new and unique Total Studio 2 MAX bundle, the world's most complete studio collection of software instruments and FX. It brings together an amazing 94 products in one single suite for Mac/PC and equips composers as well as engineers, creative sound designers, producers, performers, multimedia artists, broadcast professionals, and others with everything they need to be inspired and to take their music making and audio processing to a new level. From full orchestral arrangements for TV, cinema and video games to complete, polished mixes and masters, ready for distribution, as well as full-blown tracks in any style and genre, everything is within easy reach. Total Studio 2 MAX and its entry-level version, Total Studio 2 DELUXE, are now available for purchase today.

World's widest and most balanced collection

Total Studio 2 MAX comprises 94 award-winning products, 16,800 sounds, 39 high-end mixing and mastering processors and over 350 of most sought-after gear models for guitar and bass, which is more than any other collection on the market, and offers a virtual one-stop-workshop that covers any music production needs from A to Z. The entire range of products from SampleTank MAX, Miroslav Philharmonik 2, Syntronik, MODO BASS, T-RackS 5 MAX, Lurssen Mastering Console, AmpliTube MAX, Fender Collection 2, Ampeg SVX 2 and Fulltone Collection have been compiled together for the widest and most balanced collection of virtual instruments, mix and master processors, amps and effects available. Furthermore, it represents unbeatable value, saving up to 90 percent off the individual purchase price of the included products.

Cinematic & orchestral, acoustic & electronic
Total Studio 2 MAX contains 43 virtual instruments, almost 17,000 sounds and 179 GB of samples amongst which there are 7,000 acoustic instrument sounds to suit any musical style or genre as well as a stunning 3,000 orchestral sounds with articulation switching for incredible expressiveness. These put the sounds from the uniquely musical Miroslav Philharmonik 2 at composers' fingertips and give the tools for the perfect score. Miroslav Philharmonik's soul was first masterfully captured by the legendary Miroslav Vitous at the prestigious CNSO Studios in Prague, where the soundtracks for The Hateful Eight, The Young Pope, The Illusionist and many other blockbusters have been recorded.
To guarantee the ultimate ease of use, all sample-based sounds can be accessed, browsed and combined within the single SampleTank interface which allows for the creation of quick and easy multitimbral productions from Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, EDM, Trap, Jazz, House and more, there is no limit to the style. The industry-standard SampleTank MAX, IK's complete sound and groove workstation, itself comprises 24 libraries, 4,600 instruments, 7,400 drums and loops and 3,500 MIDI patterns. These sounds are far from ordinary: they have been carefully assembled and recorded by IK's experienced recording engineers with high-quality instruments played by professional musicians in some of the world's finest studios. Most importantly, SampleTank 3's powerful editing and effects features make it possible to control every aspect of these sounds, which allows for an unparalleled creative sonic experience and satisfies the needs of even the most demanding music producers.

Physically modelled
Furthermore, Total Studio 2 MAX adds the break-through physically modelled iconic instruments from MODO BASS into the bundle, incorporating the widest assortment of electric bass sounds for unmatched expressiveness. MODO BASS utilizes a completely new technology where sound is generated by recreating the physical properties of a real bass, no samples are used, and it recreates virtually every electric bass sound imaginable delivering an unprecedented realistic performance for any bass track.

Legendary synthesizers
In addition, Total Studio 2 MAX comprises over 4,000 electronic instrument sounds including hybrid sample and modelling synths. From the undeniably authentic sound of legendary synthesizers and string machines to the driving power of world-class effects, IK's Syntronik offers the definitive and best-sounding collection of vintage synthesizers in a virtual instrument. It includes 17 amazing instruments with over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic to ultra-rare and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesizers. Syntronik's synthesis engine goes well beyond traditional sampling thanks to a brand new analog modelled filter section created with the utmost expertise from IK. All of this coupled with exclusive DRIFT™ technology to accurately reproduce the behaviour of oscillators from real hardware synths makes it the ultimate source of inspiration with the widest palette of synthesizer sounds ranging from exact reproductions of the originals to sounds never heard before that will stand out from the crowd in productions covering any genre and style.

First-class mix and mastering effects
39 individual, high-end mixing and mastering processors from the industry-leading T-RackS 5 MAX workstation and the acclaimed Lurssen Mastering Console are available as single plug-ins or within a single mix and mastering chain, supporting up to 192kHz sample rate. T-Racks 5 MAX is the most powerful mix and master modular system on the market and includes all the necessary tools from EQs & channel strips, dynamics, reverb & effects, harmonics processors to special processors/metering. Lurssen Mastering Console, the official emulation of the multi-Grammy® award-winning Lurssen Mastering, Inc. mastering console even further enhances the mastering power packed into Total Studio 2 MAX. Also included is a unique album assembly feature with sequencing and metadata embedding. It's fast and intuitive and enables the assembly of full-length productions directly within the T-RackS interface.

Sought-after guitar and bass amps & FX
Total Studio 2 MAX offers the largest and most authentic collection of guitar and bass gear available with over 350 coveted circuit-modelled amps, cabinets, mics, stomp effects and rack effects. They include official models of iconic world-class brands such as Fender®, MESA/Boogie®, Ampeg®, Orange®, Fulltone®, Soldano®, ENGL® and more, and span the range from the essential bread and butter models to the most sought-after rarities which most could otherwise just aspire to own.

State-of-the-art technologies coupled with musicality
Everything in Total Studio 2 MAX utilizes the most sophisticated industry standard and IK's proprietary technologies to always ensure the highest sound quality and musicality, true to IK Multimedia's mission to putting musicians' needs first. All products can be easily used both as standalone applications and plug-ins for AU, AAX and VST.

Total Studio 2 DELUXE
The entry-level version, Total Studio 2 DELUXE, with over 9,700 sounds, 12 powerful virtual instruments, 22 mixing and mastering processors and over 140 guitar amps and FX, is aimed at musicians, composers and producers who need a comprehensive collection of creative and specialized tools for their studio, striking the right balance between features, flexibility, variety and power, all at an incredibly affordable price. Total Studio 2 DELUXE comprises 35 products including AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, T-RackS 5 Deluxe, SampleTank 3, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 and more.

Pricing and availability

Total Studio 2 MAX is available in the following versions:
  • Full version for new users priced at $/€999.99*
  • Upgrade version priced at $/€249.99 for current Total Studio MAX owners
  • Maxgrade priced at $/€499.99 for owners of AmpliTube MAX, SampleTank MAX, T-RackS MAX and Miroslav Philharmonik 2
  • Crossgrade priced at $/€699.99 for all IK users with a registered purchase of $/€99.99 and up
Total Studio 2 DELUXE is available in the following versions:
  • Full version for new users priced at $/€499.99
  • Crossgrade priced at $/€399.99 for all IK users with a registered purchase of $/€99.99 and up
Special introductory price
All of the Total Studio 2 Upgrade, Maxgrade and Crossgrade titles are offered at a special introductory price of 20% off from March 15 until April 30, 2018.
  • Total Studio 2 MAX Upgrade at the 20% off introductory price: $/€199.99
  • Total Studio 2 MAX Maxgrade at the 20% off introductory price: $/€399.99
  • Total Studio 2 MAX Crossgrade at the 20% off introductory price: $/€559.99
  • Total Studio 2 DELUXE Crossgrade at the 20% off introductory price: $/€319.99

Total Studio 2 MAX and Total Studio 2 DELUXE are immediately available for download from the IK Multimedia online store and from select retailers worldwide. The boxed versions with a USB flash drive are open for pre-orders at the same corresponding prices** and will commence shipping in April.

* All prices excluding taxes
** Shipping charges apply

For more information about Total Studio 2 MAX, please visit: www.ikmultimedia.com/ts2max
For a video of Total Studio 2 MAX, please visit: www.ikmultimedia.com/ts2max/video

For more information about Total Studio 2 DELUXE, please visit: www.ikmultimedia.com/ts2deluxe

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Healthcare Industry

Now more than just a well-known cinematic catchphrase, in the context of artificial intelligence (AI) and healthcare, “Come with me if you want to live” has never been this relevant.

Roughly 86% of healthcare providers, life science companies, and tech-oriented healthcare vendors have become involved with AI, based on CB Insights’ findings in 2016. Furthermore, according to a 2016 study by Frost & Sullivan, come 2021, the AI healthcare market share will grow to approximately $6.6 billion — an impressive compound annual growth rate of 40%.

Now, there is little doubt of this happening, as the world’s greatest minds continue to develop more AI solutions for the healthcare industry. One way AI is applied in the healthcare industry, for instance, is in detecting insurance fraud, a practice committed by a handful of deceitful providers with tremendous impact on both healthcare costs and quality of service. Another way is in managing population health: identifying patients with similar risk factors, measuring the effects of these risk factors (and corresponding interventions) over time, and so on.

In the meantime, let’s take a deeper look at three other ways in which artificial intelligence is pushing healthcare toward the next frontier.

1) Health monitoring and risk assessment

These days, it’s not uncommon to see health enthusiasts wearing the latest in health tracking technology on their wrists. Beyond simply providing assistance to them when they engage in exercise (e.g. tracking their heart rate while jogging), these wearable devices also store the users’ health information, allowing their respective physicians to accurately monitor and determine their current state of health, as well as prepare for potential health risks. A New York-based healthcare AI company called Prognos is taking this a step further, as it is currently working on developing “predictive models” that can gauge the chances of a patient experiencing a particular health event based on data from anonymous patients gathered by partner labs across the United States.

Another example of this is how the UK National Health Service is using the Google DeepMind platform for health risk detection, based on data collected via a mobile app. Meanwhile, IBM has made significant progress in its Watson Health initiative, which aims to develop a singular, all-encompassing database capable of reading and analyzing a patient’s symptoms, comparing it to a virtual library of clinical studies, patient records, and medical textbooks in order to identify the most likely diseases to manifest in the patient based on risk level. The company has partnered up with other brands such as Medtronic (for diabetic patients) and Under Armour (for fitness and nutrition) to further develop this program.

Finally, AI is also utilized by medical experts and specialists to accurately spot and diagnose cancer by taking medical images of the body. Geneticists and genomicists have even been using AI to take a closer look at a patient’s DNA in order to find early indicators of eventual diseases.

2) Drug discovery, design and development

As it turns out, AI is just as crucial and helpful in developing solutions as it is in identifying problems. Thanks to the adoption of AI, the process of developing medicine for serious illnesses can be made much more efficient and cost-effective.

In addition to the Watson Health program, IBM has also partnered up with Johnson & Johnson for more advanced drug development, as it looks into scientific research and analyzes them from an AI-empowered perspective.

Another company, Atomwise, was deeply involved in developing technology that could pinpoint specific molecules that could inhibit the invasion of Ebola in healthy cells. Given that at the time they were developing this (2014), the Ebola scare had grown into a full-blown, wide-scale panic, and Atomwise did not have the typically generous amount of time that such undertakings require. Thanks to predictive AI processes and a supercomputer-driven approach, they were able to cut down on the lengthy research cycle—14 years, according to CEO Abraham Heifets.

3) Automated consultation, diagnosis, and treatment development

AI has gotten so advanced that it has become possible to rely on this technology for outpatient treatment and care.

Take tech company Sense.ly, for instance, and its Molly program. Molly is an AI program that essentially functions as a “digital nurse.” In addition to its capacity to monitor the health of patients suffering from chronic pain and illnesses, Molly is equipped with the functionality to answer inquiries and even evaluate symptoms. It can also modify its recommendations and prognosis based on changes in patient data.

Another example would be KidsMD, an app developed by the Boston Children’s Hospital for Amazon Alexa in 2016. KidsMD can answer questions about medication guided by weight and age information, as well as advise parents on whether or not their child’s symptoms merit a visit to the doctor. Lastly, two tech companies, The Butterfly Network and iCarbonX, are making waves in the AI healthcare industry by developing better ultrasound technology and a big data platform for disease prevention, respectively.

As more and more breakthroughs in AI occur each year, we inch closer and closer to more effective and efficient means of disease treatment and prevention. And while AI can never truly replace actual human medical practitioners, it can at least help humanity say “Hasta la vista” to its most critical healthcare challenges.

Entrepreneurs to discuss how to embrace Internet

Zhiliangzhi Siheyuan hosts the press conference for the Internet + Zhiliangzhi (Wuzhen) Conference.

The Internet is gradually crossing technical restriction, from the age of big data and the era of cloud computing to the quantum computing age. The Internet brings great convenience to people's life. However, at the same time, our real life has been kidnapping by the virtual network. The rapid development of the Internet has also brought many puzzles and worries to the future of mankind. How can we make the Internet and our lives better and more secure?

A number of Chinese entrepreneurs will gather in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on April 20 to discuss how to develop traditional industries by leveraging the power of the Internet.
Echoing the national strategy of Internet Plus, about 3,000 senior company executives will attend the Zhiliangzhi Study Session, where they will share experience and exchange ideas about how to use Internet technologies to reduce costs, improve efficiency and boost sustainable growth in various industries - including healthcare, catering and food, education, manufacturing, community service and agriculture.
The event will be organized by Zhiliangzhi Siheyuan, an education and research institute.
At a press conference on Thursday, Hu Jiqiang, chairman of Conba Group, said that Internet medical service and consultancy could be the next big thing, as traditional medical and healthcare companies need to embrace this trend. Conba is a pharmaceutical and healthcare company based in Zhejiang province.
Bai Lixin, founder of Zhiliangzhi Siheyuan, said on Thursday that how to promote the traditional Chinese culture in the Internet era will also be a major topic to be discussed at the April event.

SOURCE Zhiliangzhi Siheyuan

Microsoft tests forcing Windows Mail users to open links in Edge

Microsoft says it is testing a change to Windows 10 that will open links clicked within Windows Mail in Edge, even if Edge is not the default browser

The High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) has arrived for Windows 10 and the Photos app! HEIF is an image container that leverages modern codecs like HEVC to improve quality, compression, and capabilities compared to earlier formats like JPEG, GIF, and PNG. In addition to traditional single images, HEIF supports encoding image sequences, image collections, auxiliary images like alpha or depth maps, live images & video, audio, and HDR for greater contrast. We have heard your feedback that these features and the ability to share photos easily with other platforms is important to you. This release we are delivering essential viewing support (You cannot edit HEIF images in this release).

In order to try this out, you need to join the Windows App Preview Program for the Photos app and make sure you are running the March release of the Photos app (Version 2018.18022.13740.0 or newer). This version of the Photos app has been updated for RS4 to support viewing the primary image inside a HEIF file and to guide the install of dependencies like the HEIF and HEVC media extensions from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, these media extensions enable HEIF viewing in Photos as well as thumbnails and metadata in File Explorer.

Read more

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Google India introduces Plus Codes to Maps and adds support for six additional Indian languages

Google Maps adds “plus codes”, a simple digital addressing system, to help with navigating to places without clear addresses in countries like India 

Introducing Plus CodesWe have developed an open sourced solution -- Plus Codes -- which represents a simple and consistent addressing system that works across India and globally. This system is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny ‘tiled areas’, attributing a unique code to each of them. This code simply comprises a ‘6-character + City’ format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone -- all that’s needed is Google Maps on a smartphone. The open source nature of Plus Codes means that applications that uses location services can easily incorporate it on their platforms for free.

Read more

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ rolls out just in time for Pi Day

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ launched with 1.4GHz quad-core processor, dual-band WiFi, gigabit ethernet over USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2, and Power over Ethernet for $35  

If you’ve been a Raspberry Pi watcher for a while now, you’ll have a bit of a feel for how we update our products. Just over two years ago, we released Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. This was our first 64-bit product, and our first product to feature integrated wireless connectivity. Since then, we’ve sold over nine million Raspberry Pi 3 units (we’ve sold 19 million Raspberry Pis in total), which have been put to work in schools, homes, offices and factories all over the globe.

Those Raspberry Pi watchers will know that we have a history of releasing improved versions of our products a couple of years into their lives. The first example was Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, which added two additional USB ports, introduced our current form factor, and rolled up a variety of other feedback from the community. Raspberry Pi 2 didn’t get this treatment, of course, as it was superseded after only one year; but it feels like it’s high time that Raspberry Pi 3 received the “plus” treatment.

So, without further ado, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi 3 Model B), featuring:
  • A 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
  • Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0)
  • Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT)
  • Improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting
  • Improved thermal management

Alongside a 200MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, we have roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods.

Broadcom officially withdraws $117B Qualcomm offer

Broadcom abandons its $117B takeover bid for Qualcomm after President Donald Trump blocked the deal, citing security risks  

Broadcom Limited (NASDAQ: AVGO) ("Broadcom") today announced that it has withdrawn and terminated its offer to acquire Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) ("Qualcomm") and has withdrawn its slate of independent director nominees for Qualcomm's 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Broadcom today issued the following statement:

Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the Order. Broadcom will continue to move forward with its redomiciliation process and will hold its Special Meeting of Stockholders as planned on March 23, 2018.

Broadcom's Board of Directors and management team sincerely appreciate the significant support we received from the Qualcommand Broadcom stockholders throughout this process.

Broadcom thanks the independent nominees who stood for election to the Qualcomm board, not only for their time and effort but also for their unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of Qualcomm stockholders.

Broadcom appreciates the following statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary and CFIUS chair Steven Mnuchin on March 12: "This decision is based on the facts and national security sensitivities related to this particular transaction only and is not intended to make any other statement about Broadcom or its employees, including its thousands of hard working and highly skilled U.S. employees.

Google to Ban Ads for Cryptocurrencies

Google will ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising, including ICOs, wallets, and trading advice across all of its ad platforms, starting June 2018  

In June 2018, Google will update the Financial Services Policy to restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex and financial-spread betting. In addition, ads for the following will no longer be allowed to serve:

  • Binary options and synonymous products
  • Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice)
Ads for aggregators and affiliates for the following will no longer be allowed to serve:
  • Contracts for Difference
  • Rolling spot forex
  • Financial-spread betting
  • Binary options and synonymous products
  • Cryptocurrencies and related content.

Advertisers offering Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex and financial-spread betting will be required to be certified by Google before they can advertise through AdWords. Certification is only available in certain countries.

To be certified by Google, advertisers will need to:
  • Be licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting
  • Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all AdWords policies
  • Comply with relevant legal requirements, including those related to complex speculative financial products
Advertisers can request certification with Google starting March 2018 when the application form is published.
This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more details, see About restricted financial products certification.

Source: Google 

Top Web Design Companies Recognized for Excellence by 10 Best Design

10 Best Design - an online industry magazine that produces podcasts, research reports, and daily articles for the design sector - announced staff picks for their March 2018 list of the best web design companies

Businesses and their brands rely on heavily on their web presence to capture the eyes and attention of target audiences. That is why so many turn to one of the web's largest online industry magazines for the traditional and web design sector. 10 Best Design has been enchanting the world with its informational design podcasts, research reports, and plethora of articles covering a myriad of topics. Among these articles, the site has announced its staff selections for recognitions of the best web design companies.

The firms being recognized come from a shortlist of consistent top performers. Ruckus Marketing, appearing atop the ranking, is a New York-based branding team which specializes in web design, but has made a name for itself in virtually every creative subset. Founded 10 years ago, Ruckus focuses on quality over quantity, a trait that has resulted in a first-place position.

Though technically a Ruckus competitor, Blue Fountain Media has a different approach to web design. Data and analytics support results-driven layouts. A Pactera Digital company, BFM has expertise in a wide range of industries and caters to its global portfolio of clients through their offices in Chicago, New York, Seattle, & Shanghai. This agency's capacity for applying data-intelligence to every project allows them to provide superior services and has granted them a name among the top web development firms.

SOURCE 10 Best Design


Meet Cora, Kitty Hawk's prototype air taxi that was designed and built to bring the freedom of flight to our everyday lives

Larry Page-backed flying taxi firm Kitty Hawk signs agreement with New Zealand government to test autonomous planes as part of an official certification process

The vehicle is self-flying, completely electric and can take off and land vertically.

The vehicle, which has been in development for eight years, can take off and land vertically, much like a helicopter. It is electric-powered and will be flown by self-piloting software – with human oversight from the ground. It has a range of about 100 kilometres and can hit speeds of 150kmh. The prototype can carry two passengers.

The New Zealand trial is seen as an opportunity for the country and Canterbury to establish itself as a hotbed for the research and development of cutting-edge technology, which the Government sees as a key area for growth.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the programme was about "sending the message to the world that our doors are open for people with great ideas who want to turn them into reality". Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the project was "a great example of our commitment to be prepared for the future".

Cora began as a dream. An air taxi so personal and so simple it could take the trips you make everyday, the ones that define our lives, and bring them to the sky.

After eight years of tackling some of the biggest challenges in aviation, that dream is one step closer.

Cora isn’t just about flying. Cora is about the time you could save soaring over traffic. The people you could visit. The moments that move you.

Cora was designed with the planet in mind from day one. It’s part of the electric revolution that’s leading us to a sustainable future. And with the power to rise above the road, Cora will help ease the pressure traffic places on all our lives.

Twitch Introduces Free Games With Prime

We’re celebrating the incredible community response to the Twitch Prime Indie Amplifier program and welcoming all of our new members with the introduction of Free Games with Prime, a brand new program that upgrades your membership by giving you a collection of free games every month starting this Thursday, March 15th.

We’re digging into our archives to bring you the best of our previously released games, starting with a pair of critically acclaimed titles: Superhot and Oxenfree.

We’re also happy to announce that all eight titles from the Indie Amplifier program will be made available for free over the next few months. First up are the winner, Shadow Tactics, and strategy-RPG Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation. The rest of the titles will be released in the following months, in no particular order.

Finally, the 2.5D beat ’em up Mr. Shifty will be available for Twitch Prime members for the first time this month.

That’s five games, all available for FREE and yours to keep starting on March 15th!

Here’s the full Free Games with Prime lineup for March:

· Superhot

· Shadow Tactics

· Tales from Candlekeep

· Oxenfree

· Mr. Shifty

And be sure to come back in April because our next Free Games with Prime collection will be available:

· Tales from the Borderlands

· SteamWorld Dig 2

· Kingsway

· Tokyo 42

· Dubwars

That’s 10 games in the next two months, all for FREE and yours to keep forever.
Welcome to Free Games with Prime. Your Twitch Prime membership just leveled up.

PS. If you want to check out any of these games in action, ElegyofGames and seriouslyclara will regularly show off the Free Games with Prime through July on their streams Sundays at 6PM PT and Mondays at 8:30PM PT starting on 3/25 and 3/26 respectively.

Mozilla launches new enterprise-friendly version of Firefox Quantum

Firefox 59 arrives with faster page load times, better private browsing, and option to block sites from asking to send notifications or access device's location

Mozilla: If you’re a regular reader of Firefox release notes (and thank you if you are!) you’re probably aware of just how much we’ve invested in the performance of Firefox Quantum. We launched an entirely new engine in November, made significant improvements to graphics rendering in January, and are continuing to post performance gains and add features with this release. On Firefox for desktop, we’ve improved page load times, added tools to annotate and crop your Firefox Screenshots, and made it easier to arrange your Top Sites on the Firefox Home page. On Firefox for Android, we’ve added support for sites that stream video using the HLS protocol.
As always, this is made possible by Mozillians around the world, including the new Mozillianswho contributed to this release of Firefox.

Read more

Fitbit Announces Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, Fitbit Ace Fitness Wristband for Kids

Fitbit launches its second mainstream smartwatch, Versa, for $200, and the first fitness wearable for kids, Ace, for $100; both available for preorder today  


Fitbit (NYSE: FIT), the leading global wearables brand, today unveiled Fitbit Versa, a modern, intuitive smartwatch at an approachable price. The lightest metal smartwatch in the U.S. market,i it offers a comfortable design and a new dashboard that simplifies how you access your health and fitness data. Advanced health and fitness features like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking meet smart features like quick replies on Android,iii wallet-free payments on Fitbit Versa Special Edition, and on-device music – all with 4+ days battery life.ii Versa is available for presale today at $199.95, with global retail availability in April 2018.

Fitbit also announced new female health tracking to help women track their menstrual cycle, view holistic health data in one place, and better understand connections to their overall health. Female health tracking will be available on-device for Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic™ users, and to Fitbit® app users starting in Spring 2018.

"As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. "Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and 4+ days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today."

Pricing and availability

Fitbit Versa is available for presale today on Fitbit.com and select online retailers tomorrow for $199.95 in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case; accessories range from $29.95-$99.95. The Fitbit Versa Special Edition, including Fitbit Pay, is available for $229.95. Versa will be available in stores worldwide beginning April 2018, including North American retailers Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl's, Macy's, Target, Verizon and Walmart.


Fitbit also today introduced Fitbit Ace, an activity tracker that makes fitness fun for kids while inspiring the entire family to build healthy habits together and help fight decreasing levels of activity in children.ii Designed for kids ages 8 and older, Ace automatically tracks steps, active minutes and sleep, has up to 5 days of battery life,i features an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors, and provides encouragement to be active. Plus, with the new Fitbit family account, parents can control who their kids connect with in the Fitbit®app so they can safeguard their kids’ privacy and stay on top of their activity. Ace is available for presale today, with global retail availability in Q2 2018.

According to the World Health Organization, childhood obesity rates are on the rise,iii with two out of three kids inactive every day.ii Based on a new Fitbit study, most parents agree and believe their children are less active than when they were children.iv They are concerned about their child’s weight, the food they eat, and their activity levels, as well as the rising trend of childhood obesity. The majority of parents want their children to be healthier (84%) and want their families to be more active (87%).vi Screen time is cited as the biggest challenge in getting their kids to be active, and parents are looking for ways to encourage a more healthy, active lifestyle, including being more active as a family, cooking together, or encouraging their children to have a better understanding of their own activity levels. In fact, 75% of parents said they are interested in the use of fitness trackers to help them keep their kids active, and Fitbit was selected over competitors more than twice as often due to ease of use and brand trust.

Pricing & Availability

Fitbit Ace is available for presale today on Fitbit.com for $99.95. Ace will be available in stores worldwide in Q2 2018, including major North American retailers Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Target.

Apple announces WWDC 2018

Apple announces WWDC 2018 will be held June 4-8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, opens registration 

When technology connects with creativity, incredible ideas come to life. This summer, we invite thousands of talented minds from around the world to join us and turn their ideas into reality.


Immerse yourself in over 100 technical and design-focused sessions presented by Apple engineers to help you build the next generation of apps using newly announced Apple technologies.

Hands-On Labs

Get in-depth details on how to implement new features, directly from the engineers who helped build the latest advances in Apple platforms. Receive guidance on the fundamentals, suggestions for coding issues, and more.


Make an appointment to take your apps to the next level with one-on-one guidance from experts on user interface design, accessibility, app review, marketing, analytics, app distribution, and more.


Engage in motivating conversations around key topics with fellow developers and Apple experts. Meet new people, consider different ideas, and encourage each other to reach new heights.

Guest Speakers

Explore a variety of perspectives and gain valuable insights through compelling presentations given by industry experts and luminaries.

The Bash

Celebrate your week of inspiration and learning as you mingle with friends, hear exceptional music, and enjoy great food and drinks.


Students and STEM organization members can apply to receive a conference ticket, lodging, and one year of membership in the Apple Developer Program.

Learn more


The opportunity to buy tickets to WWDC18 is offered by random selection. Registration is open until Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Learn more

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