Apple unveils M2 Pro and M2 Max: next-generation chips for next-level workflows





Apple unveils MacBook Pro featuring M2 Pro and M2 Max





Apple Fitness+ unveils new offerings for the new year





Apple TV+ unveils trailer for final season of ‘Servant’







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Premiering from January 13, 2023, the fourth season of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Servant” sees the conclusion of one of the first Apple TV+ dramas.

The first episode of this last season will debut on Friday, January 13, 2023, with the series finale on March 17, 2023. Described by Apple as an “epic and emotional conclusion,” the season is the “final chapter of the Turner story.”

“Leanne’s war with the Church of Lesser Saints heightens, threatening Spruce Street, the city of Philadelphia, and beyond,” says Apple in a statement. “Meanwhile, the shattered Turner family must not only confront the increasing threat of Leanne, but the certain reality that Dorothy is waking up.”

“As the Turner family brownstone continues to crumble,” it continued, “questions are finally answered: who is Leanne Grayson and who is the child in their home?”

“Servant” was one of the first shows to air on Apple TV+, premiering on November 28, 2019. It’s also been the subject of a protracted lawsuit, which accuses the show’s creators of plagiarism.



Apple unveils trailer for Will Smith movie ‘Emancipation’







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Ahead of its December theatrical and streaming premiere, an almost three-minute trailer for “Emancipation” has been released by Apple TV+.

“Emancipation” — written by Bill Collage and directed by Antoine Fuqua — stars Smith as a man who escapes from slavery in the 1800s.

Apple calls it a “triumphant story” of Peter (Smith) who has to rely “on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom.”

“Emancipation” is seen as Apple’s next Oscar contender, following “CODA”, but it has had a troubled production. COVID halted filming, then producers moved shooting away from Georgia over the state’s voting laws, and then it was the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Finally, star Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Academy Awards and that appeared to mean Apple TV+ would delay release. The film industry believed Apple would want to put some distance between the film and the Oscars event, although director Antoine Fuqua says this was never the case.

“Emancipation” will be released in theatres on December 2, 2022, before then streaming on Apple TV+ from December 9.



White House unveils application form for Biden’s student debt relief


The application that officials previewed for reporters contains only a handful of questions that seek basic information about borrowers: name, social security number, date of birth, phone number and email address.

Borrowers are required to check a box that “certifies under penalty of perjury” that they meet the income threshold for the debt relief program. The relief is available to borrowers whose adjusted gross income in 2020 or 2021 was less than $125,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples filing taxes jointly.

A senior administration official said that the application process will contain “strict fraud prevention measures” that are “risk-based.”

The Education Department plans to require certain borrowers whom it determines are more likely to exceed the income threshold to submit additional evidence proving that they are eligible for the program. Those borrowers will have to submit the required documentation, such as their tax returns or proof they didn’t have to file taxes, before receiving the relief, the official said.

Officials declined to detail how the administration would determine which borrowers would be selected for that additional layer of verification. An official said only that it would be based on “known characteristics” of borrowers. They similarly declined to provide any estimate of how many borrowers are expected to face that extra scrutiny.

“We’re confident that these measures — combined with clear communication about eligibility requirements to public — will result in a simple, straightforward process that allows eligible borrowers to obtain relief and ensures ineligible borrowers do not,” the official told reporters.

The White House released the new details as the Biden administration is defending the debt relief program against a slew of legal challenges from Republican officials and conservative groups. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Missouri is set to hear arguments on whether to grant a request by GOP attorneys general to halt the program, which they argue is an illegal abuse of executive authority.

Biden administration officials on Tuesday did not offer any new information about precisely when the Education Department would begin accepting applications. But they said they were committed to allowing borrowers to begin applying this month.

“We will make the form available in October,” a senior administration official said.



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Waterfield unveils new carryable ‘Shield Case’ for Apple’s Mac Studio




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WaterField Designs has unveiled a new carrying case for the recently debuted Mac Studio, allowing users to transport the desktop computer in a more protected fashion.

Although not technically a portable machine, the Mac Studio has a relatively small form factor compared to other desktops. WaterField has run with the Mac Studio’s size for its latest Apple accessory.

The Mac Studio Shield Case is a sleek carrying solution that cushions the Mac in impact-resistant padding and a plush lining. On the exterior is leather and ballistic nylon, or waxed canvas in some variants.

Credit: WaterField Designs

Credit: WaterField Designs

On the bottom of the case is a layer of high-grade neoprene that provides additional protection when the case is set down. Other construction details include waterproof YKK zippers, a plush-lined front pocket for peripherals or accessories, a sturdy leather handle, and metal D-rings for an optional strap.

WaterField says that its Shield Case is meant for users transporting the Mac Studio from home to office, station to station, or office to field.

Credit: WaterField Designs

Credit: WaterField Designs

The WaterField Mac Studio Shield Case retails for $129 and is expected to ship April 8.

Apple’s Mac Studio starts at $1,999 and provides more power than its more expensive Mac Pro counterpart — at least, until that device is refreshed. It’s available to order now and officially launches on Friday, March 18.



Apple unveils M1 Ultra, the world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer