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With less practice time, NHL morning skates are making a comeback – The Globe and Mail

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D.J. Smith knows what the data suggest.

NHL players strapping on their gear for a morning skate seven or eight hours before a game probably isn’t the best use of energy.

But in an abbreviated, pandemic-condensed season where practice time is limited and days off priceless, the Ottawa Senators head coach sees benefits in a hockey tradition that, for many in recent years, has come to be viewed as nothing more than an archaic nod to the past.

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And he’s not alone.

“Science says to not skate on the day of a game,” Smith said. “But there’s so little teaching time … you have to use every opportunity.”

One of the sport’s staples from a bygone era, morning skates that see players handle the puck for roughly 15 or 20 minutes were often used as a kind of roll call to make sure everyone was out of bed and in the right frame of mind.

In a 56-game campaign brought on by COVID-19 where teams might suit up for as many as five games in seven nights – with travel mixed in – those brief on-ice sessions could be more important than ever as coaching staffs looks to find a balance between rest and instruction.

“They’re going to have value,” Calgary Flames bench boss Geoff Ward said. “We have to use them as practices.”

Schedule changes owing to coronavirus outbreaks in various locker rooms across the league have already compressed things even further. For example, the Florida Panthers will play 54 games in 102 days, while the Dallas Stars, who previously had 17 players test positive, have the same number of contests stretched over 104 dates.

“You may see that there’s going to be some teaching and some structure [the morning of a game],” Ward said. “You could see it in terms of reviewing one or two things on top of what you normally want to accomplish in a morning skate, just to prepare yourselves because practice time is going to be at such a premium.”

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A creature of habit and routine like most hockey players, Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is a fan of hitting the ice in the hours before puck drop during a normal season, but also acutely aware of the other side.

“Morning skates are something that have been around for a long time and have been so integrated in the game,” he said. “A lot has been looked at in terms of the volume [of work] you’re putting yourself through – sports science has become a big part of that.

“When you’re playing four games a week, having to put your gear on again and have meaningful stress on the body, when you’re preparing yourself, sometimes it’s going to be necessary. But other times you’re going to be in such a rhythm of the season that I’m sure it will still be a balance of trying to find what’s best and keeping players fresh and healthy.”

Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian said it’s crucial NHLers manage their energy levels, especially in a season that’s been likened to a sprint.

“Morning skates are important,” he said. “Are they beneficial? Depends who you ask. Some guys like to go out and feel the puck. Some prefer to stay off the ice and do a lot of stretching.”

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said his philosophy on what he wants out of pregame workouts will depend on the schedule.

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“If we don’t have a practice [the previous day], that’s when you would see us have a full team skate,” he said. “A little more teaching and little bit more structure-based rather than just getting them out and getting a little bit of a sweat.

“We’ll adapt to it.”

New York Rangers head coach David Quinn agreed schedules will play a role, but added, in general, morning skates should hold more weight in 2021.

“Without question I think they are going to be more important,” he said. “When you do use them, you’re going to have to use them from a teaching standpoint – work on some of the things you wouldn’t normally work on at a pregame skate.”

But not everyone is on board.

Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault has never been a fan of morning skates, and doesn’t expect that opinion to change or his teaching to increase.

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“I think players need to touch the ice once in between games,” he said. “That should permit them to have their timing and their energy level right.”

Smith, whose roster is sprinkled with young players still getting their feet wet in the NHL, expects to use morning skates as a tool all season long.

“Some people believe in them, some don’t,” he said. “But with a team like ours, I think we’ve got to be practising and be teaching all the time.”

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OnePlus shows OnePlus 9 Pro off in teaser – MobileSyrup

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OnePlus announced that it’s partnering with Hasselblad today and that its upcoming OnePlus 9 series will be revealed on March 23rd. Beyond that, the company also posted a brief ad that ends with a quick glimpse of the OnePlus 9 Pro.

The image shows off the phone’s camera module. This includes two large lenses, two smaller lenses, a microphone and a flash. There’s one other sensor that 9to5Google thinks is a laser autofocus module and Hasselblad branding.

It’s assumed that the standard OnePlus 9 will feature a pared-down version of this camera. Both the OnePlus 7 and 8 series launched with a ‘Pro’ variant.

We know from OnePlus’ recent announcement that at least one of these cameras is the new Sony IMX789 sensor that’s capable of dual native ISO, full-pixel omni-directional autofocus, 4K video at 120fps and real-time HDR video processing.

OnePlus is also highlighting that the ultrawide lens will feature minimal distortion. This system uses both lenses together to each take a wide image. Then it stitches these two photos together via software to create an ultrawide shot. This will likely disappoint people who love the fun fish-eye effect of most phone-based ultrawide cameras but will delight people who want to use this camera to take realistic images.

Overall we won’t know how effective this new camera setup will be until the phone releases. Still, since OnePlus is really hyping the camera tech this time, I expect big things from the company.

Source: OnePlus, 9to5Google, GSMArena

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Google Tops List of Mobile Publishers Worldwide for February 2021 – iPhone in Canada

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According to the latest data from Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence platform, Google was the highest ranking mobile publisher worldwide for February 2021 with more than 227 million downloads across App Store and Google Play.

Facebook came in at second spot last month with more than 138 million installs, whereas Voodoo, Bytedance, and AppLovin rounded out the top five most installed mobile publishers worldwide. 

Google was also the top ranking mobile publisher worldwide for January 2021 with close to 250 million installs, with Facebook again in second place with 191 million installs.

Store Intelligence notes that its estimates include downloads for the App Store and Google Play worldwide between February 1, 2021 and February 28, 2021. Apple apps and Google pre-installed apps are excluded.

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Apple to discontinue the iMac Pro – IT World Canada

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Apple will be discontinuing the iMac Pro, its workstation all-in-one computer.

The iMac Pro’s purchase page now informs buyers that the device is “available while supplies last.” Apple has also removed iMac Pro’s custom build option from the buy page. The iMac Pro now only comes with an Intel 10-core Xeon W processor, 32GB of ECC memory, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics, and 1TB SSD storage for CA$6,299.

Apple introduced the iMac Pro in 2017 as a souped-up all-in-one workstation for professional content creators. As such, it came with Intel’s Xeon workstation processors, error-correcting memory and a 27-inch 5K display.

The iMac Pro featured a 27-inch 5K Retina display.

After its initial release, Apple made little change to the iMac Pro’s hardware. Unlike the bulkier Mac Pro computers, which have enough room to let users upgrade components with relative ease, the iMac Pro only allows users to upgrade the RAM due to its design. It’s technically possible to upgrade the processor, but that would void the warranty. Its constrained upgrade path left few options for DIY users who wanted to adopt newer technology.

Apple has yet to announce future plans for the iMac Pro or whether there will be a successor. But if one is in the pipeline, then it will likely be equipped with Apple’s own silicon rather than Intel’s processors. Tech publication 9to5 Mac also theorizes that Apple may merge the Pro line with the regular iMac series once it fully transitions to using its own processors.

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