The Morning After: Wednesday, April 5th 2017

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The only speaker your living room needs
Sonos Playbase review

As with most everything Sonos does, the Playbase is both excellent and expensive, according to Nathan Ingraham. It might not be for everyone, but the combination of top-notch sound quality, versatility and simple setup makes it an extremely compelling speaker for the living room.


The next one will be a ‘complete rethink.’
Apple is sorry about the Mac Pro

The last new Mac Pro was announced back in 2013, and not much has changed much since. The iconic shiny object proved a difficult fit for its pro users, and as a consequence, Apple is apparently fundamentally rethinking its top-end computer series and everything that comes with it. You won’t see any of these products for a while, however. That’s because Apple’s engineering team is apparently still working to design a system that can easily and efficiently be upgraded — the biggest issue many had with the current Mac Pro.


In other Mac news…Apple is making an iMac with pros in mind

When you think “pro desktop,” you probably don’t think of the iMac. You can get one with a pro-quality display and a high-end (consumer) processor that will do the job for many tasks, but you probably wouldn’t buy one for massive 3D modeling or video projects. Apple would like to change your mind soon.The company’s Phil Schiller has promised that there will be iMac configurations made “specifically with the pro customer in mind” later in 2017. And, before you ask: no, this doesn’t mean a touchscreen.


It starts on Thursday, but it’s going to take months to complete.
How BioWare will fix ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

The internet’s reaction to Mass Effect: Andromeda has been pretty negative. Whether the game’s pitiful user ratings on review sites are actually representative of what most players think is a question for another day, but it’s fair to say that the game had more than a few technical issues at launch. Animation glitches, framerate drops and other bugs have marred the launch, as have general complaints about gameplay oddities. Things got so bad that BioWare promised an update last week and a patch arrives this Thursday that “addresses technical fixes” like crashes and improves performance, and also adds further tweaks to gameplay and in-game systems.


We’ll finally know what Project Scorpio has under the hood.Microsoft will unveil the next Xbox’s specs on Thursday

Microsoft’s mid-generation successor to the Xbox One, known as Project Scorpio, was in no shape to try beating Sony’s PS4 Pro to market, but it’s rumored to be a far more powerful system. Just how much beefier has been confined to rumor and isolated reports, but soon we’ll have the official word on Scorpio’s technical guts ahead of its planned full reveal at E3 2017. Microsoft plans to announce the full specs this coming Thursday.


Keep your helipad clear.DARPA tests out an electric X-Plane

In the future, DARPA figures planes with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability will fly further and faster than current hover-capable aircraft. The agency just announced some progress on that front, with the completion of tests on a sub-scale version of its XV-24A. While the plan is to put a hybrid turboshaft engine and generators in the full-size 12,000-pound plane, this unmanned 322-pound demonstrator tested out its design with 24 electric motors aboard.


TNF just doesn’t have the same ring to it
Amazon picks up streaming for Thursday night NFL games

While the NFL will continue to broadcast Thursday night football games on its NFL Network, CBS and NBC, its partner for streaming will change this fall. The league has sold internet rights to Amazon for a reported $50 million, well above the $10 million Twitter paid last year after a bidding war including that also included YouTube and Facebook. While Twitter streamed the games for free via its apps and website, Amazon plans to make them available on the internet just for Prime subscribers.

But wait, there’s more…

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