Applications for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association FLAGship Program now available

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Corn Growers Association is now accepting applications for the next class of the Future Leaders in Agriculture Scholarship (FLAGship) Program. The FLAGship Program is a scholarship program intended for future agricultural leaders in Nebraska. The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) will award up to five $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors or college freshman who are continuing their education in the state of Nebraska. Three of the scholarships are set aside strictly for those students pursuing a degree directly related to agriculture. Two of the scholarships are open to non-agricultural degree seeking students.

To be eligible for this scholarship students must be a member of NeCGA or the son/daughter of an NeCGA member. The application for the FLAGship Program must include one letter of recommendation, a current resume (not to exceed one page), as well as proof that the student is continuing their education in-state. Applicants are also asked to explain issues they feel the ag industry is currently facing.

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Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2023. Recipients will be notified in the spring of 2023 and scholarships will be distributed in December 2023. For more information about the scholarship and an application, please visit or call 402-438-6459.

Apple calls on global supply chain to decarbonize by 2030

Fujifilm X-H2 review: Less speed, more resolution

(Pocket-lint) – When Fujifilm released the X-H2S this summer, we all knew that an X-H2 would be arriving at some point, but few were expecting the specifications that have come along with it.

It has the highest resolution sensor that we’ve ever seen in an APS-C mirrorless camera, along with 8K video recording and it comes at a significantly lower price than its speedy sibling.

Fujifilm’s latest hybrid body is an appealing prospect, indeed, but what’s it like to use in the real world? We’ve been putting it to the test.

Our quick take

The Fujifilm X-H2 is a very compelling hybrid shooter. It has the same excellent robust chassis as the X-H2s, along with a higher-resolution sensor and a lower price tag.

In our testing, we found that the X-H2 didn’t hold us back in photography at all, with 15fps bursts being more than fast enough for our purposes. We also loved having the extra resolution to crop in on our images when our lens wasn’t quite long enough.

For video shooting, however, we really missed the 4K 120fps mode, which is far more useful to us than 8K resolution – especially with its poor rolling-shutter performance.

Whether the camera is right for you all depends on your needs. If you’re likely to shoot a lot of locked-off talking head videos, then the rolling shutter won’t present much of an issue, and the extra resolution allows you to punch in significantly.

In any case, the X-H2 is undoubtedly one of the best APS-C bodies on the market today. If you don’t need the speed of a stacked sensor, you can save a wad of cash and get much of the same experience, along with even more detailed photos.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: Less speed, more resolution

Fujifilm X-H2

4.5 stars – Pocket-lint recommended


  • The highest-resolution ASP-C sensor on the market
  • 8K video capture
  • Internal ProRes recording
  • 160MP pixel shift multi-shot
  • Significantly cheaper than the X-H2S

  • Rolling shutter is noticeable at 8K
  • No 4K 120fps shooting
  • Still expensive for an APS-C body


Design and connectivity

  • Dimensions: 136.3 x 92.9 x 84.6mm
  • Weight: 660g
  • Displays: 1.28-inch settings LCD, 3-inch flip-out monitor, OLED EVF
  • Ports: Full-size HDMI, USB-C, 3.5mm headphone and mic sockets


The X-H2 utilises the same great chassis as the X-H2S. Aside from the little white “X-H2” text on the rear, and the lack of an “S” badge on the front, the two cameras are identical. They both come in at the same weight, too, so you can’t really tell them apart in the hand.

Pocket-lintFujifilm X-H2 review photo 5

This means that it benefits from the same deep hand grip and ergonomic design, and despite being a bit hefty, it manages to be one of the most comfortable camera bodies to hold. The large settings display is still present on the top, and as was the case when we tested the X-H2S, we found it extremely handy. The standout feature was the ability to check our remaining battery life and storage space without even needing to turn the camera on. That’s the kind of thing you really miss when you switch back to your daily shooter.

The displays and connectivity are the same on this camera, too. The flip-out LCD is great and usable in almost all lighting conditions, while the 3.68 million dot OLED EVF is sharp and clear. You get a full-sized HDMI port, along with headphone and microphone sockets and a USB-C port. As with the X-H2S, the USB can be used for charging or data transfer, but it doesn’t allow you to record to a portable SSD.

Photographic performance

  • X-Trans CMOS sensor – 40.2MP stills
  • Up to 20fps burst (1.29x crop) / 15fps with mechanical shutter
  • 160MP pixel shift multi-shot
  • Maximum electronic shutter speed 1/180000

The biggest advantage offered by the X-H2 is its extremely high-resolution sensor. It’s a traditional back-side illuminated sensor, rather than the stacked sensor found on the X-H2S. This means it can’t offer the same extremely fast burst rates, but instead produces a much more detailed image that’s more suitable for large-format prints or cropping in.

Pocket-lintFujifilm X-H2 review photo 14

We tested the camera with a combination of the XF 18-120mm, XF 16-55mm and XF 56mm F1.2. Across the board, we were very impressed with the results that we were able to achieve. Images are sharp and detailed, whilst also benefitting from Fujifilm’s renowned colour science.

Film simulation modes are sometimes considered a bit of a gimmick, but we found ourselves using them quite frequently on the X-H2. There are 13 to choose from, including a couple of black-and-white options. These modes essentially apply a LUT in camera, saving you some editing time after the fact. We’re quite keen on the “Nostalgic Negative” preset, which gives images a bit of warmth and a slight shift toward magenta tones.

With high-resolution sensors, noise is often a concern. Thankfully, we found that ISO settings up to around 3200 are extremely clean and noise-free, and results are usable up to around 12800. Very impressive stuff.

As we mentioned, the X-H2 is no match for the X-H2S when it comes to burst rates, however, it offers the same speed when you’re using the mechanical shutter. And 15fps with autofocus is not to be sniffed at. We did think that the autofocus was a little less reliable for fast-moving subjects, but it does a pretty excellent job overall.

Pocket-lintFujifilm X-H2 review photo 2

Interestingly, there’s one area in which the X-H2 is the fastest, and that’s the maximum electronic shutter speed. It goes all the way up to an astonishing 1/180000 sec. Does anyone need a shutter speed this high? We’re not so sure, but if you’re looking to freeze motion entirely, and have enough light, this could be the camera for the job. It could also be handy if you need to take a photo of the surface of the sun at f/1.2 with no ND filter.

Finally, we have a feature called pixel shift multi-shot, wherein the camera physically moves the sensor and takes 20 images of a scene that can be combined into one gigantic 160MP photo. You need a tripod for this, along with a completely static subject for it to work, which severely limits its usefulness. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool feature that was previously exclusive to Fuji’s more expensive GFX lineup of medium-format cameras. The images aren’t combined in the camera, which we found a little disappointing, but it’s easy to do using Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift Combiner software on Windows or Mac.

Video performance

  • Up to 8K 30fps/ 4K 60fps / 1080p 240fps
  • Internal ProRes 422, HQ and LT support
  • 7-stop in-body image stabilisation
  • 2x digital zoom at 4K with little to no loss in resolution

With video shooting, it’s a similar story, the higher-resolution sensor allows you to shoot video at up to 8K resolution, rather than 6.2K on the X-H2S. However, you also give up some speed, losing 4K 120fps recording, which was one of our favourite modes on the X-H2S.

The 1080p 240fps slow motion is still available, but it suffers the exact same issues that we saw on the X-H2S. We’re not sure what makes this mode so grainy and unpleasant, but we’ve still got hope that Fujifilm can clean it up in future firmware.

On this model, you still get all the same internal ProRes recording options as the pricier X-H2S, along with the ability to output up to 12-bit RAW video to a compatible recorder over HDMI. 

Pocket-lintFujifilm X-H2 review photo 11

In our testing, the X-H2 performed quite similarly to the X-H2S in terms of stabilisation, dynamic range, autofocus and colour reproduction. Given that it’s about $500 cheaper, and can also record 8K, that’s a pretty big win.

The X-H2 also has a digital zoom function, that utilises the higher-resolution sensor to allow for up to 2x digital zoom at 4K without any noticeable loss in quality. This can come in handy, especially for wildlife shooting, and is a feature that’s not available in the X-H2S.

Pocket-lintFujifilm X-H2 review photo 12

However, there’s one area that lets the X-H2 down for video, and that’s its rolling shutter performance. Depending on how you shoot, this could be a potential dealbreaker. In 4K standard mode (which offers up to 60fps) the rolling shutter is roughly on par with the Sony A7 III, which is not bad at all. However, when you bump things up to 4K HQ (oversampled) or 8K recording, the rolling shutter effect gets progressively worse, and it’s very noticeable at 8K.


To recap

We think the X-H2 is one of the best APS-C cameras on the market today. If you don’t shoot slow-motion video or high-speed bursts, you can get much of the X-H2S experience at a significantly lower price. Plus, it has advantages of its own, like more detailed images and 8K recording.

Writing by Luke Baker. Editing by Verity Burns.

VMware patches vulnerability with 9.8/10 severity rating in Cloud Foundation

VMware patches vulnerability with 9.8/10 severity rating in Cloud Foundation

Getty Images

Exploit code was released this week for a just-patched vulnerability in VMware Cloud Foundation and NSX Manager appliances that allows hackers with no authentication to execute malicious code with the highest system privileges.

VMware patched the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-39144, on Tuesday and issued it a severity rating of 9.8 out of a possible 10. The vulnerability, which resides in the XStream open source library that Cloud Foundation and NSX Manager rely on, posed so much risk that VMware took the unusual step of patching versions that were no longer supported. The vulnerability affects Cloud Foundation versions 3.11, and lower. Versions 4.x aren’t at risk.

“VMware Cloud Foundation contains a remote code execution vulnerability via XStream open source library,” the company’s advisory, published Tuesday, read. “Due to an unauthenticated endpoint that leverages XStream for input serialization in VMware Cloud Foundation (NSX-V), a malicious actor can get remote code execution in the context of ‘root’ on the appliance.”

The vulnerability was discovered by Sina Kheirkhah and Steven Seeley of security firm Source Incite. At the same time VMware disclosed and patched the vulnerability, Kheirkhah published their own advisory, which included the following proof-of-concept exploit.

“In XStream <= 1.4.18 there is a deserialization of untrusted data and is tracked as CVE-2021-39144,” Kheirkhah wrote. “VMWare NSX Manager uses the package xstream-1.4.18.jar so it is vulnerable to this deserialization vulnerability. All we need to do is find an endpoint that is reachable from an unauthenticated context to trigger the vulnerability. I found an authenticated case but upon showing Steven, he found another location in the /home/secureall/secureall/sem/WEB-INF/spring/security-config.xml configuration. This particular endpoint is pre-authenticated due to the use of isAnonymous.”

“isAnonymous” is a Boolean function that indicates a particular account is anonymous.

With exploit code available, a vulnerability of this severity is likely to pose a serious threat to many organizations. Anyone using an affected appliance should prioritize patching as soon as possible. Organizations that can’t immediately patch can apply this temporary workaround.

Tim Cook sheds doubt on new M2 MacBook Pros in 2022

16-inch MacBook Pro

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Based on comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook during the quarterly earnings report, the odds of a November release for a new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro have dropped.

The fall is Apple’s main product launch period, with the annual iPhone refresh being the centerpiece of events. Flanking them are Apple’s other ecosystem changes, covering product areas including the iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Mac, which can sometimes get their own events.

Apple’s M2 processor debuted in 2022, with new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models. And, before that, the incredibly powerful Mac Studio found its way to store shelves.

The obvious next choice for the M2 is in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. That update has been rumored for some time. November has been the most likely timeframe.

A combination of a fall release cycle with atypical timing, and comments made by Tim Cook directly, have called a November event into question.

So now, we may not even see anything new until 2023.

Maestri’s “challenging compare” and Cook’s “set” lineup

A couple of things were mentioned in a call to analysts following Apple’s quarterly results release. As is typical for a results call, Apple doesn’t offer opinions or details of yet-to-launch products.

However, you can still pull out details based on what is said.

During the call, which saw Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri discuss generally favorable revenues and currency challenges, the pair also broke down details based on each unit.

For the Mac, Maestri spoke about the “great quarter” for the Mac unit, achieving an “all-time revenue record of $11.5 billion, up 25% year-over-year despite significant FX headwinds.” Maestri points out three things that helped the quarter, including the launch of the M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Second was Apple’s ability to “satisfy pent-up demand that carried forward from the significant supply constraints we faced during the July quarter,” explained the CFO. Lastly, as the supply position improved, the channel was able to be filled completely.

Maestri also referenced how Apple has attracted upgraders and new customers, increasing the install base to an all-time high. “In fact, we set a quarterly record for upgraders while nearly half of customers buying Macs during the quarter were new to the device.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook during a fall special event.

Apple CEO Tim Cook during a fall special event.

While good for the quarter gone by, Maestri offered some guidance for the fiscal Q1 2023 quarter — the crucial holiday quarter. Maestri expects the quarter will see a deceleration of performance growth for the company as a whole.

A lot of this is a 10% negative impact on year-on-year growth caused by currency exchanges, but he also highlights the Mac.

“Second, on Mac, in addition to increasing FX headwinds, we have a very challenging compare against last year, which had the benefit of the launch and associated channel feel of our newly redesigned MacBook Pro with M1,” the financial chief offered. “Therefore, we expect Mac revenue to decline substantially year-over-year during the December quarter.”

The other curious comment is from Cook himself. In a section about retail, Cook thanks Apple employees across the company, and adds color about what’s being sold in the quarter.

In opening statements, Cook addressed the analysts directly.

“As we approach the holiday season, with our product lineup set, I’d like to share my gratitude to our retail AppleCare and channel teams for the work they are doing to support customers.”

Right in the middle of that sentence is the key. Apple is entering the busy shopping season “with our product lineup set.”

Interpreting the leaves

Maestri’s comments paint the fiscal Q1 2023 quarter as being tough for Mac revenue. The reasons offered for his forecast are rooted in known past events and in good educated guesses.

In discussing why, he referred to the high Mac revenue of Q1 2022, brought on by the M1 MacBook Pro launches. This could be a telling element depending on how you view evidence by omission.

Maestri and Cook don’t talk about future product launches, as it is usually left to Apple’s PR team to inform of upcoming events. This hasn’t stopped them from saying another event is on the way or that new Macs are inbound.

The M2 MacBook Air launched during the summer, but 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates to M2 chips seem unlikely before 2022's end.

The M2 MacBook Air launched during the summer, but 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates to M2 chips seem unlikely before 2022’s end.

After all, if there were to be a launch in Q1 2023, for the Q1 2022 to still be better and be worthy enough to reference M1 launches, the Q1 2023 Macs would have to be anticipated as low-sellers in comparison.

No company’s leadership in its right mind would tell investors that the launch of products in the next quarter will be underwhelming. The most likely reason is that there won’t be an event or release of any sort.

And, Cook’s clear “product lineup set” remark practically kills off any other speculation of an event.

If Apple were to have more products to launch, such as new Macs, Cook wouldn’t knowingly say a lineup has been “set,” as that says there’s nothing more to come.

This late in the year and with other commentary in play, it seems like the product catalog has been completely finalized.

Another launch is doubtful

After months of rumors about M2 changes, including adding M2 to the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro and an expected overhaul of the Mac mini, the financial commentary makes it seem very unlikely that there will be another launch in 2022 for Macs.

Sadly, we can’t even stretch things by questioning if a change in chip constitutes a new model for a Mac. Previous refreshes of the Mac line that were simple specification bumps were given at least a press release announcement and have been counted as full model upgrades in the past.

As a more recent example, take the 2022 iPad Pro refresh, which largely consisted of Apple sticking an M2 inside instead of the M1, and adding the Apple Pencil hover feature, while keeping practically everything else static about the models. This relatively simple pair of changes was important enough for Apple to perform a press release launch, and it would be reasonable to expect the same for a Mac or MacBook Pro update in a similar vein.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro benefited from a full product launch.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro benefited from a full product launch.

Further evidence of a late 2022 refresh being unlikely is in the cadence of other Apple Silicon hardware updates. It took Apple a year and a half to go from the M1 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro to the M2 versions of each.

By contrast, the M1 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch counterpart were launched in October 2021, making them just a year old.

Being only a year old isn’t a barrier for Apple’s hardware updates, as in the Touch Bar era of Intel MacBook models, the time between updates repeatedly went down to around a year. So it would generally be possible if components were available.

And components are also a problem, specifically the M2 chips. Apple waited 11 months between introducing the M1 and the faster M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

With M2 landing in June 2022, it seems extremely early in the chip cycle to bring out the Pro and Max versions that would go into updated MacBook Pro models.

All of this firmly puts forward the idea of Apple truly taking a rest from product launches for 2022. This pushes new Macs into early 2023.

Apple can’t lie in earnings reports, lest they fall afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or an assortment of other regulatory bodies internationally. There’s enough wiggle-room in Cook’s statement, that if you squint and look at it just so, Apple rolling out a new MacBook Pro or Mac mini in the same form factor before the end of the year could be construed as an enhancement or other similar legal dodge to avoid SEC ire.

But, it would be new phrasing for Apple. And, Cook and Maestri have been at this long enough to make sure that they don’t say anything that requires a regulatory dance to work around after-the fact.

A better way to avoid that ire is to not have said anything at all about the product lineup during the heavily scripted earnings announcement, going into the holiday season.

But they did. And it wasn’t because they were caught off-guard.

Others can follow Gujarat’s transparent recruitment model: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday praised the “transparent” recruitment model of the Gujarat government and expressed belief that states across the country would study the model of Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) and implement it.

“The recruitment model crafted by Gujarat Lok Seva Aayog (Gujarat Public Service Commission) is well-planned and I believe 100 per cent that this model will be studied by all states as per their need and a good system will be implemented across the country,” PM Modi said congratulating “Bhupendra Patel and his team” in a video message aired at an event held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar where Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel was also present.

In his address in Gujarati, PM Modi also appreciated the portals and mobile applications created by the Gujarat government for recruitment process. The PM’s comments come at a time when the recruitment boards of the state government has been facing severe criticism from political rivals for a number of paper leaks during recruitment exams.

In February 2022, Asit Vora, chairman of Gujarat Subordinate Service Selection Board (GSSSB) had quit after a series of paper leaks in recruitment exams conducted by the Board.

Praising the Online Job Application System (OJAS), Modi said, “Using technology, the Gujarat government has created a digital platform OJAS to recruit class 3 and 4 personnel. The interview process has been done away with. Recruitment process has been made easy and transparent.”

The Prime Minister also praised the “Anubandham”mobile application and web portal of the government and said it has “brought in transparency and easy access”. “This platform has made it easier for those looking for jobs and those who need manpower and skills,” he added.

Appreciating Chief minister Bhupendra Patel for the new Industrial Policy, Modi said, “Today thousands of sons and daughters of the state will get appointment letters and selection letters for jobs in various departments of the state government.” The PM added that more than 5,000 persons were getting these appointment letters as part of Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board.

“Similarly, selection letters were being given to more than 8,000 police sub-inspectors and Lok Rakhshak Dal (LRD) jawans,” PM Modi said adding that the recruitments were in addition to recent 10,000 people who were absorbed in the state government.

“The target set for recruiting 35,000 persons (in Gujarat), has largely been completed,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Patel said, “Naresh Shah is the heading the Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board since 2014 and examinations after he assumed office were conducted transparently.”

Adding that Shah is reluctant to continue in office, the CM said, “He has given in writing that he does not want to continue in the post. There are very few people who will say so… We have asked him to think about it.”

Spotlight on: The Dynamic Island – Discover

Shape-shifting animations. Effervescent effects. And a downright playful name. “I genuinely wasn’t expecting [the Dynamic Island],” says Christian Selig, developer of popular Reddit client Apollo. “That’s what blew me away: It’s just not something that’s been around.”

The feature brings liveliness — and Live Activities — to the status bar on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, transforming notifications, alerts, and activities into a fluid and interactive piece of animation. Whether tracking a delivery, following the game, or checking the status of an upcoming flight, the Dynamic Island helps keep people up to date without distraction.

“(The Dynamic Island is) perfect for us,” says Ryan Jones, developer of the travel-tracking app Flighty. “For travel, which can make you stress about missing something, it offers easy background reassurance.”

We caught up with five developers — including Selig and Jones — to learn how they’re designing and building for Live Activities and the Dynamic Island.

Citymapper: ‘It’s what we’ve been dreaming about for years’

If you’re an app that wants to help people move around a city, it’s hard to overstate the power of live updating in the Dynamic Island. “Live Activities changes everything here,” says Victor Wang, head of product for route-planning app Citymapper. “It’s what we’ve been dreaming about for years, and it’s a big step toward our vision of being a personal assistant in your pocket.”

For Citymapper, the Dynamic Island is less about transit and more about comfort. On iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the app’s signature GO feature — which helpfully lays out the path of your entire journey or commute — uses the Dynamic Island in place of notifications or simply checking the app.

It offers a single live-updating view that communicates key information: how long you’ll have to wait for the next bus, how many more stops until you disembark, and when you need to get off the train or bus (and, by association, your phone). “[The Dynamic Island] will show a countdown so you can understand, ‘OK the bus will be here in 10 minutes — now 5 — now 2,” says Wang. “Our hope is that you’ll feel more comfortable waiting.”

Citymapper’s Dynamic Island shifts based on where you are in your journey, in this case on your train (left), at your stop (center), and walking to your destination (right).

Citymapper’s Dynamic Island shifts based on where you are in your journey, in this case on your train (left), at your stop (center), and walking to your destination (right).

iOS designer Jason Hibbs shares that the Citymapper team initially thought Live Activities would function as an enhanced set of notifications. “But we’re actually able to say not just ‘Turn left,’ but also ‘Here’s how many minutes you have until the bus arrives.’”

Live Activities can help you feel more on top of things.

Victor Wang, Citymapper

Citymapper breaks each trip into four phases: walking to a stop, waiting at a stop, riding, and then walking to your destination. In each phase, Dynamic Island will show a small icon — like a bus, train, or walking person — with a countdown to your next destination or transfer. The team discarded other ideas in pursuit of that simplicity — eschewing, among other things, turn-by-turn directions. “We didn’t want it to get in your way,” says Wang. “The idea is that you can still read or play your game or do whatever you’re doing.”

In short, you can do anything you like — save for worry about your trip. “Live Activities can help you feel more on top of things,” says Wang. “You can plan better and have sufficient confidence for the next step.”

Download Citymapper from the App Store

Apollo for Reddit: ‘It’s kind of hard not to go wild’

When he first learned about the Dynamic Island, Christian Selig pounced. “The way the engineers built the APIs, it’s kind of hard not to go wild,” Selig laughs. “It’s like you write four lines and the widgets are done. It’s pretty magical.”

Ideas for Apollo, his Reddit client, came almost immediately: “Say a new episode comes out, and you’re following a subreddit and reacting with other fans,” Selig says. “The Dynamic Island will auto-refresh and show you new content and comments as they come in.”

Apollo’s Dynamic Island shows new content and comments — like fun Easter eggs in TV shows — as they come in.

Apollo’s Dynamic Island shows new content and comments — like fun Easter eggs in TV shows — as they come in.

If so moved, you could stream the show in one app while tracking new posts on the subreddit through updates in the Dynamic Island. “In compact presentation, you’ll see the current number of comments. When you go to (the expanded presentation), you’ll see high-performing comments — like if someone caught a reference you missed.”

Outside of the Dynamic Island, Apollo’s Live Activities are robust as well: You can keep tabs on what’s trending, follow your Reddit karma, and — this is true — track the actual physical distance you’ve scrolled in Apollo (measured in feet, miles, or by the Eiffel tower). “This has been one of the more fun experiences I’ve had doing iOS development in quite a while,” Selig says, “and it’s a fun job, so that says a lot.”

Download Apollo for Reddit from the App Store

SmartGym: ‘I had to focus on staying out of the way’

SmartGym’s Matt Abras sees the Dynamic Island more as a coach than a static feature: His app is exploring something that displays both your current workout and the rests between each set — so you know when it’s time to get back to work.

“It’s easy to be distracted by your phone during rests, right? A 30- or 45-second break can become a few minutes,” Abras says. “This is way better than getting a notification that says, ‘Hey, rest ended.’”

SmartGym’s Dynamic Island shows the type and duration of your current workout — and prepares you for your next one.

SmartGym’s Dynamic Island shows the type and duration of your current workout — and prepares you for your next one.

Abras went through a number of iterations when designing Live Activities for SmartGym. He’d initially tried using the Dynamic Island to display heart rate and calories during a workout, but it felt superfluous. “In order to track health data, you need Apple Watch, which is already showing that information,” he says. “What’s really important to show at that time? Health metrics? A large countdown? How many sets you’ve done and how many you have left? There’s a lot of potential information.”

What’s really important to show at that time?

Matt Abras, SmartGym

Instead, Abras refocused, using the Dynamic Island to share metrics and reps. “When someone’s working out, they need to do what they need to do without realizing the app is there,” he says. “I had to focus on staying out of the way.”

How did he keep that balance between practicality and invisibility? “It’s all about taste,” he says, with a smile.

Download SmartGym from the App Store

Flighty: ‘We really have to shine when things go awry’

Apps can easily take advantage of the Dynamic Island to quickly spotlight a single nugget of key information. When it came to Flighty, however, Ryan Jones wanted to tackle a slightly more daunting project: showcasing multiple nuggets of information — departure times, gate changes, baggage claim numbers, and the like — that could all change on the fly.

Flighty is at its best when dealing with such “IRROPS” — the industry abbreviation for irregular operations. “We really have to shine when things go awry,” says Jones. But that meant accounting for every thunderstorm, equipment delay, or late plane into Dallas.

“People want different data points [like]… what time is a flight leaving, where is it leaving from, how long until you land,” says Jones. But this information is almost always time-dependent; after your flight departs, for example, you likely won’t need information about your departure gate.

Flighty’s Dynamic Island helps guide your travel every step of the way, from before you board (above) to after you take off (below).

Flighty’s Dynamic Island helps guide your travel every step of the way, from before you board (above) to after you take off (below).

After exploring a few possibilities for the Dynamic Island and Live Activities, Jones and the team decided to make the information within the Dynamic Island — well — dynamic. Before your gate departure, for example, Flighty’s information within the Dynamic Island will operate like a departure sign at a big airport. “That’s our real-world analogy,” Jones says. “Those signs have one line per flight, and that’s a good guiding light — they’ve had 50 years of figuring out what’s important.”

In addition to the unpredictable nature of travel, Jones and team must also account for how every single person will, at some point, lose their connection. “Whenever [someone] takes off, we have to assume that we won’t see them again until they land,” says Jones.

The solve: Once a plane pushes back, Flighty is ready to go offline at any minute. From that point on, the Dynamic Island switches over to flight progress bars and counters; the minimal presentation is a simple circular chart that tracks your flight’s duration.

No matter where someone is in their flight, the Dynamic Island can help them feel confident and comfortable in their travel routine. “That’s a big change from ‘I’ve gotta be listening for notifications all the time,’” Jones says. And it’s one that Flighty welcomes.

Download Flighty from the App Store

Wakeout: ‘Like a healthy work coach’

Workout-anywhere app Wakeout encourages regular breaks during the day — not only for brief bursts of aerobic exercise, but also for pauses to reduce eye strain, grab a sip of water, or simply clear your mind. “It’s all about: How can we help people break up their sedentary moments but stay in their flow states?” says developer Pedro Wunderlich.

Many of these activities take as little as 15 seconds, making the Dynamic Island a reliable resource for helping people using the app. “I want to find the teams behind the Dynamic Island and Live Activities and ask, ‘Were you thinking of us? Is this a love letter?’” he laughs.

Wakeout's Dynamic Island nudges you to exercise and encourages you to focus.

Wakeout’s Dynamic Island nudges you to exercise and encourages you to focus.

Wakeout has long used push notifications, but the ActivityKit framework in iOS 16 gave Wunderlich a new way to help people stay on top of their routines. “Our customers have actually told us they want more notifications, not fewer,” says Wunderlich. “We hear, ‘Wakeout is really helpful, but only if it interrupts me.’ So Live Activities is what our customers have been asking for without knowing it.”

When designing for the Dynamic Island, Wunderlich kept both tiny tasks and longer aerobic breaks in mind. “[It’s] such a great way to maintain a presence and let people know when it’s a good time to hydrate, move, close your eyes for 30 seconds, and do all these healthy little breaks that add up.”

For smaller pauses, Wakeout’s compact presentation in the Dynamic Island shows a countdown along with a small icon (like a water bottle) to remind you about your next task. If that upcoming rest is a brief one and you’re locked into what you’re doing, you can ignore the countdown with no consequence; the alert will simply slip away “like a ship in the night,” says Wunderlich.

It’s all about: How can we help people break up their sedentary routines but stay in their flow states?

Pedro Wunderlich, Wakeout

But if the break is major and there’s a walk, squats, or a set of pushups in your future, the Dynamic Island will spur you to action more insistently. “An actual exercise break — which is Wakeout’s speciality — does stop that timer. Our customers generally do 45-minute focus sessions, so that’s the limit of the sedentary period. After that, we say, ‘OK, it’s time to move your neck, move your shoulders, or stand up.’”

Wunderlich considers the two approaches entirely separate. “The healthy moments are passive; if you don’t pay attention, they dismiss themselves,” he says. “The exercise break is more of a big state change on screen.”

It’s notifications versus interruptions, or reminders versus celebrations. But they all tie back into Wakeout’s goal to keep you firmly on a healthy track throughout your day. “We’re shifting our focus toward healthy work in a more holistic way,” Wunderlich says. “Wakeout has become almost like a healthy work coach.”

Download Wakeout from the App Store

Explore Live Activities and the Dynamic Island

Sony Alpha 7R V initial review: The new autofocus champ

(Pocket-lint) – Sony last updated the Alpha 7R camera in 2019 and – having already updated the A7 and A7S in recent years – it was about time to push out an update to the highest-resolution model. But how exactly do you push further when the A7R already featured a mega 61-megapixel full-frame sensor? 

The manufacturer’s answer – seemingly – is to make it smarter. The A7R Mk5 has landed with the same sensor as before, but with a much smarter autofocus brain and an updated, fully-articulating monitor. We went hands-on with the latest Alpha to see what it was like. 

Our quick take

Sony’s latest ‘R’ series camera cranks things up a notch, adding impossibly smart autofocusing and tracking capabilities to a camera that was already very good. We suspect it’ll become the camera of choice for experienced photographers who do a lot of shooting of moving objects, whether that be cars, animals or athletes. 

With a price tag that’s pretty much bang-on four grand, it’s right at the top end of the consumer camera bracket, and that will price it out of reach for a lot of consumers. However, those who take photography seriously will undoubtedly be tempted, especially if they’re already using an older model Sony Alpha. 

Sony A7R V initial review: Hands on with the new autofocus champion

  • Really smart and fast autofocus
  • High-resolution sensor
  • Shoots up to 8K videos
  • 5-axis stabilisation
  • USB-C Power Delivery charging

  • It’s not cheap
  • You’ll need CFExpress Type A to get the most out of it
  • 8K is cropped


Familiar looks

  • 131.3 x 96.9 x 82.4mm – Magnesium alloy body
  • Dust and moisture resistant – anti-dust system
  • E-mount 
  • Fully articulating LCD touch monitor


Sony’s approach to the full frame market has consistently focused on the idea of creating solid, but compact devices that last even in not ideal conditions. That’s not changed with the new Alpha 7R V. The body is made from magnesium alloy, which is lightweight and sturdy but is also sealed against water and moisture for shooting in inclement weather. The sensor also features an anti-dust system, to ensure that dust isn’t attracted to it. 

Pocket-lintSony A7R V body and design photo 5

One new addition is the LCD monitor that flips out from the side. It can be rotated and angled in almost any direction, making it the most versatile monitor in Sony’s current Alpha lineup. You can flip it out to the side and have it facing you when recording yourself, or flip it down and around so that it’s primed and ready for portrait shots. Plus, it’s not just touch-sensitive, but the user interface has been redesigned so that you can control all of it with a swipe or tap on the touchscreen. 

The touchscreen is joined by the electronic viewfinder which – this time – features a 9.44 million dot display and 120fps refresh at its full resolution, making it a very sharp and smooth EVF. 

You get Sony’s traditional cluster of buttons and dials, most of which live either on the back of the camera, to the right of the viewfinder and monitor, or on the top of the camera. Sony still on insists on having the menu button to the left of the viewfinder, away from all the other buttons you’d use to control that menu, which remains puzzling. 

Pocket-lintSony A7R V body and design photo 11

Otherwise, it feels like a well-proportioned camera, with a good grip around the front and on the back, making it really easy to hold. Although, with a good G Master lens on it, you will feel the weight. 

Living the autofocus dream

  • AI-powered autofocus – dedicated chip
  • Human body, face and eye tracking
  • Animal face and eye tracking
  • Plane, train, car and insect recognition

Sony’s Alpha cameras have offered fantastic autofocus for a few years now, in fact, it’s one of the primary reasons to choose the company’s cameras over the competition. Offering fast and accurate focus with smart features like face and eye detection with real-time tracking has set it apart from other brands. 

For 2022, with the Alpha 7R V, Sony is ramping it up further and has built a processing unit with AI-powered ‘deep learning’ capabilities dedicated to autofocus. 

It can now recognise more than just eyes and faces and can detect entire human bodies, understanding where the head, face and eyes are in relation to the shoulders, hips and knees. Moreover, it can track the entire person in real-time, for both stills and video. 

It’s hard to show a sense of what it’s like to use and we’ve only had a relatively brief session to test it so far, however, it really is impressive seeing it work in the flesh. 

With fast-moving subjects – like the break-dancers in the gallery above – it was able to focus on the dancers’ faces accurately. Even when they weren’t facing us head-on, or when their face was upside down or partially covered, the camera seemed capable of keeping the relevant area in focus, and it does so really quickly, shooting bursts of photos. 

The new AI recognition and focus capabilities also extend to other objects. You get animal tracking and focus, which includes mammals and birds. For the first time, however, you also get insect recognition as well as vehicles like cars, trains and planes. The idea is that you can quickly shoot a burst of photos in autofocus, and keep the desired object pin-sharp in the frame, even if it’s moving quickly. 

Sensor and video capabilities

  • 61MP backside illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 35mm full-frame – 3:2 – 693 PDAF points 
  • 8K video at 24/25p – 4K at 50/60p 
  • 5 axis 8-stop in-body stabilisation

The ‘R’ in A7R stands for ‘Resolution’, because – typically – this is the model with the highest resolution sensor. In fact, the new model uses the same 61-megapixel backside-illuminated Exmor R sensor that was featured in the previous A7R IV. That gives you the ability to crop quite far into the sensor while retaining a pin-sharp image. 

Along with a new Bionz XR image processing engine and an upgraded graphite heatsink for heat dissipation, it’s enabled some pretty high-end video capabilities. You’ll be able to shoot up to 8K resolution at 24/25 frames-per-second and do so for up to 30 minutes continuously. Or – if you like – shoot 4K up to 60 frames-per-second, or shoot a Super35 4K with 6.2K oversampling. 

Pocket-lintSony A7R V body and design photo 4

It is worth noting here that there is a 1.2x crop on the highest resolution 8K shooting, so you won’t get as wide a shot as you can if you use the 4K mode. In stills mode you can shoot up to 10fps bursts with full AF/AE using the mechanical shutter, or 7fps with the electronic shutter. 

To aid the enhanced autofocusing, the latest sensor has both contrast detection and phase detection autofocus, with the latter offering an impressive 693 points of detection, covering almost 80 per cent of the sensor, ensuring you can tap to focus even towards the edges of the frame. Add that to the 5-axis, 8-stop in-body stabilisation, and you should have sharp images, in most light conditions even if your subject is moving. We can’t wait to test it further. 

Ports, battery and charging

  • USB-C with Power Delivery – USB 3.2 up to 10Gbps
  • Bluetooth 5.0 – Wi-Fi built-in
  • 3.5mm ports for headphones and mic
  • Multi-interface shoe – Dual CFExpress Type A slots (UHS-II SD compatible)
  • NP-FZ100 battery – up to around 530 shots 

Just like other high-end full-frame Alpha-series cameras, the A7R V is equipped with all the ports and connection options you could need. There’s a USB-C port that can accept power, so you can use Power Delivery capable adapters to refill the battery quickly, plus it’s USB 3.2 and can handle data transfer rates up to 10Gbps. Wireless transfer and connectivity should be speedy too thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi with 2×2 MiMO. 

Pocket-lintSony A7R V body and design photo 7

You get two memory card slots that are compatible with CFExpress Type A and SD/SDXC (UHS-II). Of course, to get the most out of the camera and its fast burst shooting the CFExpress is the one to use, although that costs considerably more than an SD card. 

You get 3.5 ports for mic input and headphone output, plus the digital multi-interface shoe for connecting hot-shoe accessories to the top of the camera. 

As for the battery, that’s the Sony NP-FZ100 which can handle up to 530 shots on a full charge when using the LCD display or 440 with the viewfinder. You get 150 minutes of continuous video recording on a full charge. 


To recap

Sony’s latest ‘R’ series camera cranks things up a notch, adding impossibly smart autofocusing and tracking capabilities to a camera that was already very good. We suspect it’ll become the camera of choice for experienced photographers who do a lot of shooting of moving objects, whether that be cars, animals or athletes. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.

How to download a backup copy of your Twitter data (or deactivate your account)

A Twitter-logo-shaped cutout in a puzzle-like background.
Enlarge / Whatever happens, it’s nice to know your data options.

Benj Edwards

Big changes are underway at Twitter as we speak—including new leadership—and some people are nervous about what the future might bring for the social network. Things may end up completely fine, but even in tranquil times, it’s good to know how to get a copy of your Twitter data for local safekeeping—or to deactivate your Twitter account if you choose. This puts control of your data in your hands.

Before we start, it’s important to know that the process of getting a copy of your Twitter data can take 24 hours or more. Twitter does this both for safety reasons and ostensibly to give its servers time to gather the detailed data it will send you.

Also, you’ll need an email address or mobile phone number registered to your Twitter account so the site can send you a special confirmation code to complete the process. Once you have the data, you’ll get a local copy of all of your tweets that you can store indefinitely without needing to log in to Twitter.

How to request your Twitter data on desktop or mobile

To get a copy of your Twitter data, you first need to complete a request process. To get started, log in to or open the Twitter app using the account for which you’d like to request an archive.

If you’re on the Twitter website, click “More” in the sidebar, then click “Settings and Support.” On the mobile Twitter app, just tap “Settings and Support” in the sidebar. When that menu expands, click or tap “Settings and Privacy.”

Select "Settings and Privacy."
Enlarge / Select “Settings and Privacy.”

Ars Technica

Under “Settings,” select “Your account,” then click or tap “Download an archive of your data.”

Select "Download an archive of your data."
Enlarge / Select “Download an archive of your data.”

Ars Technica

After verifying your password, Twitter will send a verification code to either your email address or a mobile phone number through a text message, depending on what you choose.

After you get the code, type it into Twitter, and you’ll be back on the “Download an archive of your data” page. Under “Twitter data,” click the “Request archive” button.

Click "Request archive" to submit a request for your Twitter data.
Enlarge / Click “Request archive” to submit a request for your Twitter data.

Ars Technica

Twitter will begin preparing your archive, which can take 24 hours or more to complete.

When the archive is ready, you’ll get a notification via email and/or a pop-up notification in the Twitter app. On the Twitter website or in the app, navigate to “Settings and privacy” > “Your account” > “Download an archive of your data” to download the ZIP file that contains your data.

What’s in the Twitter data you get?

Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file, extract it into a folder on a PC, Mac, or Linux. In that folder, you can open “Your archive.html” in a standard web browser and look through your Twitter data locally, which is now hosted on your computer in that folder.

Once downloaded, you can view your Twitter data locally in a web browser.
Enlarge / Once downloaded, you can view your Twitter data locally in a web browser.

Ars Technica

The Twitter account data you can download arrives as a ZIP file, viewable in a local web browser on a PC or Mac, which includes your tweets and direct messages, account info and history, apps and devices you’ve used, accounts you’ve blocked or muted, and advertising profile information.

A note about direct messages

From our experimentation, we’ve noticed that Twitter direct messages (DMs) will be retained in Twitter’s servers as long as one person in the chat does not delete them. So even if you delete your DM history with a person, the other person you chatted with will still have a copy of your shared DM history. But if both people in the DM chat delete the direct message conversation, it disappears from your Twitter archive (and likely from Twitter’s servers) forever. So if you have sensitive DMs you’d like to erase, ask the other party to delete their DM chat history with you as well.

How to deactivate your Twitter account

If you’ve already downloaded your Twitter data and feel like you’re ready to take the more dramatic step of deactivating or deleting your account, then log in to or open the Twitter app using the account you’d like to deactivate.

Using the sidebar, navigate to “Settings and privacy” > “Your account” > “Deactivate your account.” On that page, you’ll see a few disclaimers about how deactivation works, but they aren’t clear about deletion. Consulting Twitter’s support pages reveals more detail about the process: Deactivation can be reversed for up to 30 days. After that, your Twitter account and all associated data will be permanently deleted.

If you’re ready, click “Deactivate.”

Select "Deactivate" to deactivate your Twitter account.
Enlarge / Select “Deactivate” to deactivate your Twitter account.

Ars Technica

Even after clicking “Deactivate,” you’ll need to enter your Twitter password and go through another confirmation prompt.

When complete, your Twitter account will deactivate, and your tweets will disappear from the website within a few minutes. If you change your mind, log in again within 30 days and your account will reactivate. But if you don’t log in again within 30 days, your account will be deleted forever.

Plugin now required to use most Pantone Colors in Adobe products

Image Credit: Adobe, Pantone

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Pantone now requires designers to use the Pantone Connect plugin if they want to access specific Pantone Colors in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign — and the experience is less than stellar.

Adobe has begun removing Pantone Color books, a set of swatches included in Adobe color libraries. The company announced in July that they would be phasing out the Color Books in software updates released after August 16, 2022.

The change is happening because “Pantone’s licensing with Adobe” has changed, according to the FAQ regarding the subject.

This change will also affect projects that have already been created with “legacy” swatches. If you open a Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign file that uses a removed color, it will be filled with black, and you’ll receive an error directing you to download a plugin to resolve it.

Not all Pantone Color books have been removed — CYMK Coated, CYMK uncoated, and Metallic Coated will remain.

However, If you want the entire library, you’ll need to download Pantone Connect through Adobe Exchange.

Pantone Connect is an Adobe plugin that works with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. It requires you to make a free account with Pantone to use it.

The plugin states that Pantone Connect Basic gives you access to 15,000 colors, search, pick, and measure tools, and gives you the ability to save up to 10 palettes on the web.

For $15 a month, users can upgrade to Pantone Connect Premium, which adds ” a dozen more tools to create smarter, more impactful palettes,” the plugin page reads. “Premium also lets you save and share UNLIMITED palettes for work in all your Adobe design programs.”

There’s a bit of a hangup for Mac users, too — the plugin does not feature any support for M1 Macs. Instead, you’ll have to run an “Intel Emulated” version of the software you want, which you can do via the Creative Cloud app.

The experience is also not very highly rated — the plugin currently has a 1.6 out of 5 on Adobe Exchange. In addition, many users note how the plugin is difficult to use, lacks M1 support, and is often prone to glitching out or crashing.

Some users also note that even after installing Pantone Connect and shelling out for a subscription, old design files still are rendered without the appropriate colors.

Several reviews mention how they have paid for physical color books, only to be forced to pay for digital ones as well.