It was during one of the early planning sessions for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that Chief Gibby Jacob heard a provincial government official talking about the Callahan Valley, which would eventually host cross-country skiing and ski jumping during the Games. Jacob, who participated in the bidding process for the Olympics and was a member of the Games organizing committee board, finally put up his hand. “I asked who the hell is this Callahan and how the hell did he get his name on our lands,” the Squamish Nation hereditary chief said with a chuckle. “They all looked at each other. I said find out and let us know.” It turns out the Callahan Valley, located near Whistler, B.C., was named after one of the early surveyors in the region. “That was the start of our big push to get our names back on places,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups had a voice in organizing and hosting the 2010 Games. But Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has suggested any movement to bring another Games to the city should be headed by Indigenous leaders. In early November, Vancouver city council voted to postpone a decision on whether it wants to explore making a bid. City staff are expected to present a report to council in early 2021. Stewart has said one of his conditions for supporting a bid is that the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh — the three Indigenous First Nations whose traditional territory includes Vancouver — head the Olympic bid committee. “I have talked to the Nations about this and there’s interest there,” the Vancouver Sun reported Stewart saying in a state-of-the-city address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Emails to Stewart’s office asking to explain the mayor’s proposal were not immediately answered. Khelsilem, a councillor with the Squamish Nation Council, isn’t aware of any formal talks about leading a bid. “We haven’t had any formal discussion about it,” he said. “We haven’t made any formal decision about whether we want or don’t want. And we haven’t had any formal discussions with our neighbouring nations.” Representatives of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh did not respond to interview requests. Khelsilem said before any decision is made, the pros and cons of hosting an Olympics must be weighed. “The reality is that something like hosting an Olympics requires a significant amount of investment and support from both the federal and provincial governments,” he said. “While there are a number of reported advantages, there’s also a number of drawbacks. “I think a lot of that workflow needs to be figured out, especially in the context of the challenges that we’re going to face over the next decade and the challenges that we’re facing on a number of fronts.” Furthermore, Jacob said: “there’s a lot to be gained by being involved [in a bid] for our people.” “I don’t think that our nations, given what we have as far as leadership resources and how fast they seem to change, would be able to take things right from scratch to completion,” he said. Creating a common agenda With 15 of the venues used for the 2010 Olympics built on First Nation traditional territories, Indigenous support was crucial for the Games success. The Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Lil’Wat nations formed The Four Host First Nations, a non-profit organization with the goals of uniting Canada’s Indigenous people and encouraging inclusion across the country. “I think it created a common agenda,” said Jacob. “By doing that and achieving what we set out, it was totally outstanding. “I think it showed leadership that the four separate First nations could work together for a common purpose and get benefits from it.” WATCH | President of 2010 Games says Vancouver should bid for 2030: Involvement in the Games raised awareness of Indigenous issues across Canada, he said. “When we first started out, we were pretty invisible in our own territories,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups did “fairly well in compensation for the use of our lands,” he said. The Olympics also led to traditional Indigenous names being returned to locations and landmarks plus recognition of First Nation arts and culture. John Furlong, who was head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), is part of the group looking at the 2030 Games. He said any bid would be impossible without Indigenous participation. “I see no scenario at all in which First Nations are not involved,” he said. “They were a difference maker in 2010. “First Nations are in multiple new business since 2010. My instincts tell me they will be keenly interested in being involved again.”
M1 MacBook Pro Review: One Month Hands-On With Apple’s Hot New Laptop – Forbes
I had been in desperate need of a laptop upgrade last year and finally decided to pull the trigger on the new M1 MacBook Pro. In November, my Forbes colleague Patrick Moorhead suggested you “might want to pass” on Apple’s new M1-powered MacBook Pro, pointing out potential issues like compatibility with third party software and peripherals. He did suggest that if you stick with Apple software, things should be fine. I’m an Apple software guy, so I was hoping I would be okay. I’ve been using M1 MacBook Pro all day, every day, as my primary work machine for over a month now. This is a review of the M1 MBP from that perspective — a daily-driver for someone who primarily uses Apple’s included software.
From where I sit, this is a pretty incredible laptop. I’m not going to focus on things like the keyboard, display, or ports. Those are knowns. This review is all about hands-on experience with Apple’s M1 processor.
The Decision to Upgrade
Let me make it clear upfront that I am not a “power” user. My job involves research, writing, plus editing photos and videos for web use. For my purposes, Apple software does the job — I spend 90% of my time in either Pages, Safari, Numbers, Preview, iMove or Photos.
For the past five years, I’ve been using a 13-inch MacBook Air (connected to an external monitor). In fact, my last three laptops have been MacBook Airs… I always upgrade them to get the best performance for as long as possible, so the latest was equipped with a dual-core Intel Core i7 processor. But it was struggling. Slow (especially with a lot of browser windows open), exporting video files took an excruciatingly long time, and the fan would fire up constantly, sometimes blowing like an airplane engine.
It was time for an upgrade. I was considering a 16-inch MacBook Pro, primarily because of the video card, minimum Core i7, and upgraded keyboard. Then came the M1 announcement in November.
I decided to skip the MacBook Air this time, I held off on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and instead took a chance with the M1 MacBook Pro. I wanted the maximum cores available for video processing, plus a fan, so I didn’t go with the less expensive M1 MBA. I opted for an upgrade to 16GB of RAM to ensure the longest useful life possible. The new laptop took the better part of a month to arrive, but it made an immediate impression.
My initial impression of the M1 MBP was that it was snappy, but not screaming fast. I’d read early reviews that made it seem like the instant I launched an app it would be onscreen. That’s not quite the case. It is very fast, but even with Apple apps it does take a split second. The laptop wakes instantly, but booting still takes 30 seconds to the login screen.
However, the M1 processor shows its power when you start giving it tasks to chew on. I can keep as many windows and apps open as I need. Video exporting was obviously a huge test and it passed that with flying colors.
A seven minute 1080p iMovie video at high quality exported as an MP4 file by the MacBook Air took about 14 minutes. That was with all other applications shut down. About a minute into the export, fans were blowing at full blast. In contrast, that seven minute 1080p video exported by the M1 MBP at maximum “ProRes” quality took 66 seconds. No fan. And while iMovie was processing the video, I had Firefox, Numbers and Pages open, and was actively surfing in Safari. I also had Activity Monitor opened, and it showed iMovie GPU utilization during the export ranging from 36% to 47%.
Yes, this a bit of an apples to oranges comparison given that it’s a MacBook Air vs. a MacBook Pro, and five years apart, but it was still a pretty incredible performance.
Speaking of Firefox, when I first used it the M1-native version wasn’t yet available. Rosetta 2 handled the app perfectly and after a slightly longer initial launch, I never would have known I wasn’t using a native app.
I use the laptop primarily as a desktop workstation, so I haven’t had the opportunity to really push the battery. However I did run on battery for a full day, from around 8am to after 11pm — including a three hour Zoom session — and it still showed about 20% of a charge left. That’s 14 hours of use and still some battery life remaining, so no complaints in that department.
Compatibility With Peripherals
I don’t use a ton of peripherals, but I have yet to run into an issue. I do plug into an OWC USB-C dock so I can easily access USB Type-A devices without requiring dongles.
I’m connected to a 27-inch 4K BenQ multimedia monitor (reviewed here) as a second display. No problems there at any resolution, and the USB-C connection to the monitor also keeps the MBP charged. I use a Blue Yeti X microphone (connected to the OWC dock using USB) and it has been solid. I have used a range of external hard drives including a Western Digital USB-C external SSD, multiple USB Type-A drives from WD and Seagate, and thumb drives. I print over Wi-Fi to an HP Envy 7640. I have a DAS mechanical keyboard plugged in.
So far, I’ve encountered zero compatibility issues.
I’ve also had no problem with Bluetooth connectivity. I have seen reports of M1 Bluetooth issues, but I have not experienced any. I use a Logitech MX Master 3 Bluetooth mouse (no dongle) and it performs as expected. I’ve also used a number of Bluetooth headphones with the M1 MBP without any issues.
I Have Never Had the Fan Come On
In the entire month and a bit that I’ve been using the M1 MacBook Air, I have never had the fan come on. Not once.
During several college football games, I had a three hour Zoom session with my father-in-law so we could watch together while socially distancing. The laptop ran Zoom and at the same time, I streamed the game from the MBP in full-screen maximum resolution on my external monitor. No fan.
At one point I tried running the usual collection of Apple applications simultaneously, while exporting a ProRes file from iMove, and also streaming a collection of 720p, 1080p and 4K videos on 12 Safari tabs. Nothing. No slowdown whatsoever and no fan.
To be honest, I was starting to worry that maybe the fan was broken. However, even under a heavy load, I’ve never felt the laptop get overly warm. One of these days, I’m going to have to try to find the time for some gaming — that might do it…
M1 MacBook Pro Recommendation
In month+ I’ve spent with the M1 MacBook Pro — using it for work all day, five days a week and then some — I have been extremely happy with it.
Typically, when I move from one laptop to a new one, it’s four or five years between models and the new one will seem noticeably faster. Not an Earth-shattering difference, but enough for a better user experience. This time around that difference isn’t just noticeable, it’s spectacular. The closest comparison I can come to is moving from a laptop equipped with a 5400rpm hard drive to one with an SSD — except in this case the performance gains are across the board, not just when booting or copying files.
For $1,499 ($1299 plus $200 for 16GB of RAM), this M1 MacBook Pro is an easy recommendation for anyone who needs “lite” pro performance and works primarily with Apple software. If you’ll be using third party apps under Rosetta 2, you might want to check to see if anyone has tried them and what their experience is.
If you need more horsepower, this was just the first release and what will be the entry level in MacBook Pro lineup. Stay tuned through 2021 for expected new models featuring even faster Apple chips, support for additional RAM, slick new form factors, and maybe even some additional ports.
Microsoft is no longer increasing the cost of Xbox Live Gold – MobileSyrup
In a surprise move, Microsoft has backpedalled on its original decision and will not increase Xbox Live Gold’s cost following significant backlash from gamers.
Below is the complete blog post from Microsoft regarding the decision (note that the prices below are in USD):
We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.
We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.
If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.
In Canada, 1-month Gold subscriptions were set to go up to $12.99 from $11.99, 3-months was going to cost $34.99 up from $29.99 and 6-months would have cost $69.99 up from $44.99. Microsoft didn’t reveal pricing regarding 12-month subscriptions, though their current cost is $69.99, the same price as the new 6-month subscription price if the change went into effect.
The company also says that free-to-play games like Apex Legends and Fortnite will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership. Halo Infinite, one of the Xbox platform’s biggest upcoming titles, is set to feature a free-to-play multiplayer mode.
This brings Microsoft’s approach to online gaming with the Xbox in-line with Sony’s PlayStation consoles and Nintendo’s Switch given both platform’s don’t require a subscription to play free-to-play titles online. Microsoft says that it’s “working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.”
This is a great move by the company given the price hike made it seem like the tech giant was pushing gamers towards subscribing to its more expensive $16.99 per month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service that includes Xbox Live Gold, access to all current and upcoming Microsoft first-party game releases (as well as numerous third-party titles) through Game Pass on Xbox and PC, EA’s video game subscription service EA Play and Xbox cloud gaming on Android (formerly called xCloud).
While Game Pass is a great deal, there are likely a lot of people out there that just want to continue subscribing to Xbox Live Gold and were upset by the price increase.
Apple's redesigned MacBook Air reportedly features MagSafe charging – MobileSyrup
2021 is shaping up to be a big year for Apple’s MacBook line.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, an often reliable source of Apple Leaks, Apple’s new MacBook Air will be thinner and lighter than the current version of the laptop. It’s also expected to feature reduced bezels, two USB-C ports and the next-generation version of its M1 ARM-based processor.
It also looks like Apple’s magnetic charging system, MagSafe, will make a return with this redesign. Bloomberg previously reported that the technology will also reportedly be included in the rumoured MacBook Pro redesign. MagSafe was included in Apple’s laptop line until roughly 2016. The technology aims to prevent the laptop from plummeting to the ground by magnetically detaching its power cord when force is applied.
The report then notes that Apple considered launching a larger 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, but eventually opted to kill the project. Gurman also mentions that Apple still plans to sell the current M1 version of the MacBook Air, with this upcoming redesign being offered as a “higher-end” option.
Finally, Bloomberg says Apple has developed technology that allows its MacBook line to connect to the internet through a smartphone data connection (likely 5G), a frequently requested feature that has been rumoured for years. Face ID for the Mac line has also been delayed and will likely be featured in the first iteration of the iMac’s rumoured redesign.
This past November, Apple introduced a new version of the MacBook Air that features the M1 chip.
If all of these rumours surrounding the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro turn out to be accurate, it seems Apple is actually listening to the criticism surrounding its current MacBook line.
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