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Gadgets

Michigan extends additional food assistance for 350K through November


Michigan has extended its expansion of food assistance for 350,000 families through November as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Michigan has provided additional food assistance since March – and now it is being extended for November with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

“MDHHS remains committed to helping families who continue to struggle to put food on the table as a result of the pandemic,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Providing nutritious food is vitally important during these difficult times just as protecting residents from the virus is.”

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by Nov. 30, with payments beginning for some households on Nov. 21. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.

Nearly 1.5 million people in Michigan receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program

Households eligible for Food Assistance Program benefits will receive additional benefits in November to bring all current SNAP cases to the maximum monthly allowance for that group size. This change only applies to customers not currently receiving the maximum benefit amount. The 350,000 households that receive increased benefits represent more than 50 percent of the more than 682,000 Michigan households that received food assistance in September. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit.

The federal government is providing additional funding to states for food assistance under House Resolution 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check their benefits balance on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or calling a consumer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914. They can ask questions about the additional benefits by calling or emailing their caseworker.

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Spanish and Arabic service is available. If you are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.

Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.



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How to

How to switch an old Windows laptop to Linux


By the federal government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP) count in October 2020, 3.2 percent of computer users still are on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft no longer supports it for free. If you have an older system but are worried that it won’t support Windows 10 — or if you simply don’t want to deal with Windows anymore — I have a suggestion: Switch to desktop Linux.

Desktop Linux can run on your Windows 7 (and older) laptops and desktops. Machines that would bend and break under the load of Windows 10 will run like a charm. And today’s desktop Linux distributions are as easy to use as Windows or macOS.

And if you’re worried about being able to run Windows applications — don’t. For instance, you can run the free Office Online, which comes with limited versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Linux. Teams now runs on Linux. Skype has long been available on Linux. And Microsoft’s exporting its new Edge web browser to Linux. The full Office 365 suite will be coming to Linux soon — it’s only a matter of when.

For all your other desktop software needs, there’s usually a free, open-source program that can do just as good a job. Gimp, for example, instead of Photoshop. Or Thunderbird for email instead of Outlook. For a full-fledged office suite, I highly recommend LibreOffice.

You can run many native Windows programs on Linux using Wine. This can be hard to set up, but its commercial brother, CodeWeaver’s Crossover Linux, makes it easy to set up many proprietary programs, including games.

If that doesn’t work for your office’s Windows-only programs, you can always keep running Windows 7, with a lot less danger, on a virtual machine (VM) on Linux. For this job, I recommend Oracle’s great free VirtualBox VM program.

Which Linux?

There are hundreds of Linux desktop distributions (known as distros) out there. The best-known include such distros as Debian, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. But for our purposes, I’m going to tell you how to install Linux Mint.

Mint’s default Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like Windows 7.

Besides being my personal desktop Linux favorite, it works well for Windows users. That’s because Mint’s default Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like Windows 7’s Aero interface. Sure, there’s a learning curve, but I found it easier to pick up than Windows 10’s desktop.

Another advantage, which Mint shares with other Linux distros, is it runs on low-power hardware. You can run Mint on any of your Windows 7 PCs. All Linux Mint needs to run is an x86 processor, 1GB of RAM (you’ll be happier with 2GB or 4GB), 15GB of disk space, a graphics card that works at 1024 x 768 resolution, and a CD/DVD drive or USB port. That’s it. Heck, you can run Mint on pretty much any Windows XP PC, if you have one around.

Mint, like the other Linux desktops, is totally free. It won’t cost you a penny.

But what if you don’t like it? That’s not a worry either. You can try Mint, and if it’s not your cup of tea, you just reboot back to Windows, and you’re done. No harm, no foul.

So let’s get started. First, I’ll show you how to try Mint out, then how to install it on your machine.

Try Mint out

Download Mint

First, download the Mint ISO file. This is an image of the Mint operating system which you can use to run or install the operating system. It’s about 1.8 GB, so it may take a while to download.

First, download Linux Mint.

First, download Linux Mint.

You’re given a choice of desktops. For your first Linux desktop, I recommend going with the popular Cinnamon desktop. Once you know more about Linux, and if you want to explore, you can try one of the others.

Burn the Mint ISO file to a DVD or USB drive

You’re going to need an ISO burner program. I recommend freeware programs ImgBurn for DVDs or LinuxLive USB Creator for USB drives. Other good choices are Yumi for Windows or UNetbootin.

You’re going to need an ISO burner program such as Linux Live USB Creator

You’re going to need an ISO burner program such as Linux Live USB Creator
Screenshot: Linux Live USB Creator

Once you’ve installed the burner program on your Windows system along with the Linux Mint ISO file, use that to burn the image to a USB drive. Note: while you can install Mint on older systems using a DVD, it’s really slow. And if you need to use a DVD, first check your newly burned disc for errors.

When you create a USB drive, you’ll be given the option to set it up with persistent storage. With this option, you can allocate up to half of your storage for a persistent overlay file. This lets you store new programs, files, settings, or whatever, just if that overlay file was a mini-hard drive. This way, you can kick Mint’s tires without installing a thing or changing anything on your PC. If you don’t like it, you’ll have lost nothing but some time.

Another handy thing about this method is that if it turns out you like Mint, you can use the USB drive as a handy pocket computer. Besides Mint, you can also use it to store your own programs, files, and desktop setup. This way, you’ve got Mint with you wherever you go and you can easily use any public computer safely with your own operating system and program.

Set up your PC for an alternative bootup

Now you’re going to reboot your system, but stop the boot-up process before Windows comes up so you can get to your PC’s UEFI or BIOS settings. How you do this depends on your system.

The best thing is to do a Google search for your specific PC or laptop brand and “UEFI” (or, with older PCs, your computer brand and “BIOS”). For example, with Dell PCs, you tap the F2 key to enter system setup; with HP, you tap on the Escape key once a second; and on Lenovo systems, you tap (Fn+) F2 or (Fn+) F1 key five to 10 times after the power-on button is pressed to get to system setup.

Once you get to the BIOS or UEFI, look for a menu choice labeled “Boot,” “Boot Options,” or “Boot Order.” If you don’t see anything with the word “boot” in it, check other menu choices, such as “Advanced Options,” “Advanced BIOS Features,” or “Other Options.” Once you find it, set the boot order so that, instead of booting from the hard drive first, you boot from either the optical drive or from a USB drive.

Boot up Linux Mint

After your PC is set to boot from an alternative drive, insert your DVD or USB drive, reboot, and select “Start Linux Mint” from the first menu. In a minute or so, you’ll be running Linux Mint.

You can run Mint from an external USB drive.

You can run Mint from an external USB drive.

Give Mint a try

Take a few days if you like. Windows is still there. Anytime you reboot without the drive, it will go right back to Windows.

Like what you see? Then let’s install Mint on your PC.

Install Linux Mint

Like any serious upgrade, start with making a complete backup of your Windows system. Installing Linux shouldn’t hurt your Windows setup in the least, but I don’t believe in taking chances.

It used to be that installing Linux on Windows PCs that were loaded with UEFI and Secure Boot (a standard that makes sure you only boot approved software) was a major pain. These days it’s a non-issue. But if for some reason, you can’t install Mint with Secure Boot running on your PC, you can always turn off Secure Boot. There are many ways to switch Secure Boot off. All involve going to the UEFI control panel during the boot process and turning it off.

Now, let’s get on with the actual installation.

Make sure your PC is plugged in

This may sound elementary, but installing an operating system will give your computer a real workout, and the last thing you want is to run out of battery power in the middle of installing Linux Mint. You’ll also need an internet connection (the faster the better) and at least 8GB of free disk space.

Set up a partition for Linux Mint from Windows

To make sure you have enough space, you may want to head back into Windows, log in as the administrator, and use its disk manager to shrink the main C: disk partition to make room for a Linux partition. You can get by with as little as 15GBs but I prefer to give Linux at least 100 GBs. Then I reboot into Linux.

Use the Windows disk manager to make sure you have at least 15GB (more is better) for your Linux partition.

Use the Windows disk manager to make sure you have at least 15GB (more is better) for your Linux partition.

Boot into Linux

Once you have the Mint display up, one of your icon choices on the left will be to install Mint. Double-click it, and you’ll be on your way.

Name your system, your user ID, and set up your password

On your setup journey, you’ll be asked to choose a keyboard layout, give your system a name, pick out a username for yourself, and come up with a password. You can also choose to encrypt your home directory to keep files relatively safe from prying eyes.

Most of these decisions are simple. The one critical option can be how to partition your hard drive. This can be a real pain. But since we’ve done that in Windows earlier, you don’t need to worry about it here. In this case, pick the first option on the Installation Type menu that reads: “Install Linux Mint alongside them.”

That done, you’ll see a screen like the one below.

Select your Linux partition.

Select your Linux partition.

Next, you must choose which file system to use for Linux. The most popular choice is Ext 4. You also have to pick a mount point, the root directory Linux will start from. Here, I suggest you do as I do and select the common “/” for your mount point.

Set up a system snapshot

Mint 20’s setup menu enables you to set up a system snapshot with Timeshift. This way, if something goes wrong, you can restore your system files and get back a working system. I highly recommend doing this. While you’re at it, set up a regular Timeshift schedule. I set mine up on a weekly schedule.

Check for additional drivers

Next, check to see if your computer needs any additional drivers. To do this, open the applications menu, search for “Driver Manager,” and run the program. This will examine your system and search for any new or missing hardware drivers — usually, these are for graphic cards or Wi-Fi chipsets. It’s a good idea to do this even if you have a completely vanilla, generic laptop. If Driver Manager finds an appropriate update, just go ahead and install it.

You can also install proprietary multimedia codecs such as drivers to watch videos. I recommend you do this as well.

Update Mint to the latest version

You should also set it to update your system to the latest version of Mint. Unlike Windows, when you update Mint, you’re updating not just your operating system but all of your installed programs. This includes your web browser, office suite, and any other programs you’ve installed with Mint’s easy-to-use Software Manager.

To get your system current, click on the menu bar’s shield icon. By default, you’ll find the menu bar on the bottom of the screen, with the shield update icon on the right. Once clicked, it will ask you for your password and ask if you really want to update your system. Enter your password, say yes, and after it updates, you’ll be ready to put your new up-to-date Mint system to work.

The setup routine also offers to let you look at system settings and find new programs with the Software Manager, but since you’re probably a new user, you can skip those for now.

Reset your computer to boot from your main drive

Finally, go back to the beginning and reset your system to boot from your hard drive. Then, the next time you boot up, you’ll be given a choice as to which operating system you want to boot from. No matter which one you pick, you’ll get a few seconds to switch to the other operating system.

And, that’s it. You’re ready to go. I’ve installed Linux hundreds of times, and it takes me about an hour from starting my download (the blessings of a 400Mbps internet connection) to go from a Windows PC to running Mint on my computer. If you’ve never done it before, allow yourself several hours for the job, just in case.

I run Windows, multiple Linux distros, and macOS. But I spend almost all of my desktop time on Linux Mint. You may not fall in love with Linux as quickly as I did when I switched from Windows 3.1 in 1993, but if you give it a chance, I think you’ll find you’ll like Linux nearly as much as I do.



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How to

How to preorder Apple’s HomePod mini


Apple announced its second smart speaker to date, the HomePod mini, during its hardware event in October. The device is now available for order for $99. Apple also opened up orders for the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max, and we’ve laid out all the best preorder deals for both phones in a separate article.

The HomePod mini is a smaller version of the original HomePod. It features a spherical design with one speaker, and retains the mesh fabric exterior and a small LED display on the top of the device. You can also pair two HomePod minis to use in a stereo configuration.

We’ll be reviewing the HomePod mini soon, but if you are interested in placing an order ahead of time, we compiled a list of retailers that currently have product listings available for the HomePod mini.

You can buy the device directly from Apple’s website. If you are looking to buy from a retail store, right now, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Target all have the HomePod mini for purchase. Each retailer has both color options, space gray and white, available.


HomePod mini

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A smaller version of the HomePod mini that retains the mesh fabric exterior along with a smaller display on the top of the device for just $99.



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How to

iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max: How to buy


October saw the iPhone 12 line’s reveal, along with the release of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. The other two phones in the lineup, the 12 mini and the 12 Pro Max, which are the smallest and biggest models, respectively, are now available for preorder. Apple has also opened preorders for the HomePod mini, which costs $99; we’ve detailed how to order that device in a separate article.

If you are looking to upgrade your phone and grab the latest iPhone, it can be overwhelming. If you want to compare each iPhone 12 family, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg wrote an in-depth article detailing key differences between each model.

Below, we tell you where you can order the latest iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max and what deals you can get from each retailer.

iPhone 12 mini

Where to buy the iPhone 12 mini

  • You can order the iPhone 12 mini directly through Apple’s website, starting at $699 if you activate it on a carrier plan. If you have an iPhone 11 Pro Max, you can get up to $500 in credit toward your purchase thanks to Apple’s trade-in program.
  • AT&T has a promotion that includes $700 off the iPhone 12 line; this includes the iPhone 12 mini, which would be free for new and existing customers. To receive this offer, customers will need to purchase the device on a 30-month AT&T installment plan (the carrier will issue a monthly credit). You must also subscribe to an AT&T unlimited plan and trade in a phone that is both in good condition and valued at $95 or more.
  • T-Mobile is offering a similar deal on the iPhone 12 mini, allowing customers to get the phone for free with an eligible trade-in and new phone line. T-Mobile and Sprint legacy customers who have been with the carrier for more than five years can get a $200 rebate on any new iPhone when they trade in an active iPhone on an eligible plan.
  • Verizon is offering the iPhone 12 mini for $699, or $29.16 per month for 24 months, or for as low as $12 a month if you trade in select phones, including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. New customers can get the iPhone 12 mini for free if they switch from another carrier. Or, they can get the iPhone 12 mini for free when adding a new unlimited plan and buying an iPhone 12 or 12 mini.
  • Best Buy is offering the iPhone 12 mini starting at $699, or $29.16 a month for 24 months if you choose Verizon or Sprint, or $23.34 a month for 30 months with AT&T if you activate the phone today. Best Buy is offering the iPhone 12 for free with eligible trade-ins. New Sprint customers can get the phone for $630, or $28.33 a month for 24 months.
  • You can buy the iPhone 12 mini at Target, but the only carrier it’s currently offering is AT&T.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Where to buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • You can order the iPhone 12 Pro Max directly through Apple’s website, starting at $1,099. If you have an iPhone 11 Pro Max, you can get up to $500 in credit toward your purchase thanks to Apple’s trade-in program.
  • AT&T is offering the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $399, or $13.30 a month for 30 months. Customers looking to get this deal will need to purchase the device on a 30-month AT&T installment plan (the carrier will issue a monthly credit, so if you pay it off early you won’t get the full discount). They must subscribe to an AT&T unlimited plan and trade in a phone that is both in good condition and valued at $95 or more.
  • T-Mobile customers can get two iPhone 12 Pro Max phones with two new lines of unlimited 5G data for $100 a month with an eligible trade-in. T-Mobile and Sprint legacy customers who have been with the carrier for more than five years can get a $200 rebate on any new iPhone when they trade in an active iPhone on an eligible plan.
  • Verizon is offering the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,099, or $36.66 per month for 30 months, or $45.83 per month for 24 months. New customers can get the iPhone 12 Pro Max for free if they switch from another carrier. Or, they can get the iPhone 12 mini for free when adding a new unlimited plan and buying an 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max.
  • Best Buy is offering the iPhone 12 Pro Max starting at $1,099, or $45.83 a month for 24 months with Verizon and Sprint; if you want AT&T as your carrier, you can get the phone for $36.67 a month for 30 months. New Sprint customers can get the phone for $1,000, or $43.74 a month for 24 months. Best Buy is offering the iPhone 12 for free with eligible trade-ins.
  • You can buy the iPhone 12 Max at Target, but the only carrier it’s currently offering is AT&T.



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Future

US stock futures slip as global rally stumbles


Global stocks wobbled and China’s currency weakened as a tight US election set investors on edge amid growing prospects of a protracted and fraught battle to decide the next American president.

US stock futures for the blue-chip S&P 500 and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite both fell 0.5 per cent in Asian trading on Friday, as both presidential candidates claimed they were ahead in the vote count.

Asia equity markets struggled for direction with Japan’s Topix index rising 0.8 per cent, mainland China’s CSI 300 virtually unchanged and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipping 0.2 per cent.

China’s onshore-traded renminbi dropped 0.5 per cent against the dollar to Rmb6.6319. The currency has been one of the most sensitive to the US election results and in recent weeks has been boosted by hopes of a victory for Mr Biden, the Democratic challenger, and a potential easing in tensions between Beijing and Washington.

“We have no doubt that when the count is over Senator [Kamala] Harris and I will be declared the winners,” Mr Biden said in a speech on Thursday, although he stopped short of declaring victory.

Mr Trump, whose initial lead has shrunk in some battleground states, repeated unverified claims of voter fraud. “If you count legal votes, I easily win,” he said.

On Thursday, Wall Street’s Nasdaq gained 2.6 per cent while the S&P 500 rose 1.9 per cent, with both benchmarks on track for their best week since April.

The performance gap between the two indices has widened in favour of the tech-focused Nasdaq, as expectations that Democrats could take control of the Senate have faded. That could reduce the likelihood that any win for Mr Biden would translate into a tough new regulatory regime for groups such as Facebook and Google.

The prospect of Republicans holding on to the Senate has also raised doubts over the likelihood of substantial fiscal stimulus to help cushion the coronavirus pandemic’s blow to the US economy.



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Gadgets

Douglas Co. Board increases COVID assistance, lessens restrictions


OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, the Douglas County Board’s Health and Human Services Committee met to discuss new efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 before the year is over.

The county received $4 million in CARES Act money for utility assistance and $10 million in rental assistance but so far, has given out just over half of that money.

Starting Tuesday, the county will raise the cap on utility assistance from $750 a month to $1200 a month in order to meet the needs of families and spend the funds before 2021.

The county also announced it will accept self-attestation on portions of rental or utility assistance applications which should speed up the application process and make it easier for people to apply. The county says this is crucial in planning for 2021 when federal money hasn’t yet been secured for the county.

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News

Black Ops Cold War progression: Prestige system combined with Warzone & MW


Activision has announced how Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone will officially integrate with the progression & other systems.

As first announced on October 29, the integration will happen in December with the first season of post launch content for Black Ops Cold War.

The first season of content begins on December 10 on all platforms, per Activision.

This blog post shared by the company reveals new details on how Progression, Battle Pass, Store Content, XP Leveling, Ranking, and so much more will work between Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Black Ops Cold War.

Now, more information on this process has been revealed by the company in a new blog post.

Here’s what you need to know:

Starting November 13th with the launch of Black Ops Cold War, and continuing on December 10th with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season One and beyond, Warzone players will begin seeing new Black Ops Cold War content coming to all modes of the Call of Duty Battle Royale experience. This is only the beginning: Like every off-the-books clandestine operation, expect to uncover more secrets, and experience memorable moments as the Cold War heats up across Verdansk (and beyond) in the months and seasons ahead.

Warzone Integration

Initial Briefing: Warzone will support both Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® and the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which launches November 13th.

How does all of this content work together, and what lies ahead for Call of Duty: Warzone? The following information showcases the many ways you’ll be able to share content, level up, utilize weaponry and equipment, and interact across all three titles WarzoneBlack Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare.

Prepare for initial intel on:

  • Player Progression: How your player levels and item unlocks are shared.
  • Weapon Progression: How weapons are leveled up and attachments are unlocked across the games.
  • Operator Selection: How Operators from both franchises interact in the Verdansk combat zone.
  • Battle Pass Integration: How this system synchronizes across the games.
  • Store Access: How to purchase additional in-game content, and where it is accessible.

In addition, there is a huge amount of free content coming to Black Ops Cold War, including maps, weapons, modes, and more, making Season One the start of the biggest series of ongoing post-launch free content drops in Black Ops history!

Player Progression

Initial Briefing: Worlds have collided! For the first time in Call of Duty history, Season One brings universal and synchronized player progression that works between Black Ops Cold WarModern Warfare, and WarzoneBlack Ops Cold War progression builds on a familiar and similar path to Modern Warfare while incorporating an innovative Prestige system, giving you more challenges and earnable content.

Additional Intel: On November 13thBlack Ops Cold War is set to launch with an updated player progression system. Players will begin by completing Military Ranks, a traditional leveling journey to unlock functional gameplay items. Once completed, Black Ops Cold War players will enter an updated and improved Season Leveling that begins at game launch with the Pre-Season, and which becomes synchronized with all three games at the beginning of Season One on December 10th.

At the launch of Season One in December, the path to gaining XP and leveling up will be shared across all three Call of Duty titles: Black Ops Cold WarModern Warfare and Warzone.This Progression system is both familiar and innovative, allowing you to level up in all three titles no matter which game you play.

Player Progression Begins: Military Ranks and Modes

·      Check the Barracks Menu of each title for a new change: Your Enlisted Ranks (Level 1-55) are now known as Military Ranks. These will be fully synchronized between all three games (beginning at launch for Black Ops Cold War players, and in Season One for Modern Warfare and Warzone players).

·      This universal progression system means that you can level up (and obtain XP) no matter which of the titles you are playing!

·      Progress in the usual manner by playing Multiplayer modes, completing Challenges (in either Black Ops Cold War or Modern Warfare) and Warzone matches.

·      In addition, Black Ops Cold War Zombies shares this same progression too, so you’ll be able to level up no matter how you play!

Player Progression Reset

·      To synchronize player progression across all three games, your initial (Military) rank will be reset within Modern Warfare and Warzone at the start of Black Ops Cold War Season One. This reset is synchronized to your current progression level in Black Ops Cold War when Season One begins.

·      Don’t worry, only your XP is reset; everything you’ve previously unlocked remains available (like Weapons, Perks and Killstreaks in Modern Warfare for example).

Player Progression Continues: The Seasonal Prestige Leveling

·      Your seasonal Officer Progression is now known as Season Levels, which incorporates a Seasonal Prestige leveling system. These are fully synchronized between all three games.

·      As you begin Season Leveling, expect an updated interface to this leveling system.

·      Seasonal Progression has been updated with aspects of the traditional Prestige system, allowing players to unlock and use rewards, including some incredibly cool legacy player identity items from the world of Black Ops!

·      Leveling in Black Ops Cold WarWarzone or Modern Warfare all count toward your Season Leveling and Prestige Level.

·      The preferred way to Prestige is by playing Black Ops Cold War, thanks to challenges focused on Black Ops Cold War gameplay, XP events and other advantages planned throughout the Seasons.

·      Remember that a large proportion of this content is earnable or simply free, just by playing one or all of the three games.

·      Get the full deep dive into the Black Ops Cold War Prestige System, including details on Seasonal Prestige Levels, Prestige Master requirements, Season Challenges, and more tomorrow (11/6) over at the Treyarch Blog.

Weapon Progression*

Initial Briefing: At the start of Season One expect every weapon from Modern Warfare and new weapons from Black Ops Cold War to be accessible in Warzone, including Blueprints and camo variants. Mix and level up weapons both in Warzone and the game the weapon originated from.

Welcome to the largest weapons arsenal ever seen in Call of Duty!

Additional Intel: Every weapon you’ve unlocked in Modern Warfare, as well as every weapon you’re going to unlock in Black Ops Cold War, is planned to continue to be available in Warzone. This includes Modern Warfare Primary and Secondary weapons (including Blueprint variants). The current plan is for Warzone to also include all Primary and Secondary weapons available throughout the lifespan of Black Ops Cold War, including launch and Season weapons, as well as every single Weapon Blueprint. Naturally, this includes the assortment of free weapons you received during every Season of Modern Warfare, just for playing the game.

Note that your Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War weaponry will be shared with Warzone. We don’t currently have plans to remove any weapons from Warzone. You will not be able to use your Modern Warfare weapons in Black Ops Cold War, and vice versa.

In the Warzone Weapons menu, look for visible Black Ops and Modern Warfare logos on every weapon’s menu tile so you can immediately tell where your armament originated. When you earn or unlock a new weapon in Black Ops Cold War, it immediately appears for use in Warzone.

In short: You’re going to need a bigger Gunsmith table.

Today was a good day to bring two AKs into Verdansk: One from Modern Warfare and one from Black Ops Cold War.

Warzone shares weapon progression with both Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare.

·      Choose an available weapon from Black Ops Cold War or Modern Warfare and use it in Warzone.

·      All XP and leveling counts both in Warzone and the game from which the weapon originated.

·      Work to unlock weapons and attachments for any weapon you like in either game by playing that game or Warzone.

·      What about base weapons that exist in Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare? Expect to be able to access available base weapons separately, with each game’s specific logo indicating the series it is available in, as well as the weapon’s level progression.

·      At the start of Season One, Modern Warfare’s Perks, Lethal Equipment, Tactical Equipment, Field Upgrades, and specific Killstreaks will remain in Warzone.

·      Modern Warfare players can rest easy; current plans are that any Modern Warfare weapons you’ve progressed, along with any unlocks (like the Damascus or Obsidian camos) are retained.

Operator Selection*

Initial Briefing: At launch, take any Operator you’ve unlocked from Modern Warfare or Black Ops Cold War into Verdansk, including any earnable and unlockable skins.

Additional Intel: With the advent of Black Ops Cold War Operators entering Warzone on November 13, expect an Operator select screen with more choices than ever before relating to who you’ll take on your next mission into Verdansk. As expected, Operator access is on a per title basis:

Woods and Garcia, ready for the drop. Take any unlocked Operator from Black Ops Cold War or Modern Warfare and enter Verdansk.

·      Plans are for Operators from Modern Warfare, including all purchased and earned Skins, Quips, and Finishing Moves, to continue to be available in Warzone.

·      All Operators from Black Ops Cold War, along with free, earned and purchased elements, are planned to be accessible once you unlock them in a variety of ways both in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

·      Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare Operators that you obtain are intended to be available to play both in Warzone and the title from which they originate.

·      There is only one exception, the indomitable Marine Corps Master Sergeant Frank Woods is accessible in all three games, though the only skin available in Modern Warfare is the one available if you purchase a digital pre-order of Black Ops Cold War, and that skin is only available in Modern Warfare and WarzoneClick here for more information.

·      Purchase Black Ops Cold War and gain access to a number of new Cold War-era operatives, as well as new earnable and unlockable skins for them, which you can use in Warzone too.

Battle Pass Integration*

Initial Briefing: The Battle Pass system continues, with Season One coming loaded with brand new content for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. Progress through the Battle Pass system by playing any of the three games. Battle Pass content you unlock is shown in-game, no matter which game you’re playing.

 Additional Intel: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone will share post-launch seasonal content through the Battle Pass system (including free tiers of content) and the Store.

·      Warzone Battle Pass system content and store purchases will continue to be available in Warzone. There are currently no plans to remove Warzone content.

·      Modern Warfare Battle Pass content earned and store purchases are planned to continue to be available in Modern Warfare and Warzone. While we continue to optimize for platforms and disk space, we plan to retain all Modern Warfare content for continued use in Warzone at least through the initial Black Ops Cold War seasons of content.

·      For Season One, expect a multitude of fresh and exciting Battle Pass items you can access both in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

·      While Season One Battle Pass content is accessible in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, players will still be able to progress the Battle Pass by playing Modern Warfare.

·      Battle Pass content you unlock will be visible no matter which game you’re playing.

Store Access*

Initial Briefing: A vast majority of content purchased in Black Ops Cold War can be used in that game as well as Warzone.

Additional Intel: From the start of Season One, players will be able to access the in-game store, and use their COD Points to purchase a wide variety of cosmetic bundles. Each title’s in-game store will be carefully curated to feature content available to play in that game. Items also available to be played in Warzone will be clearly labeled.

·      Black Ops Cold War Store: Purchase content to utilize in Black Ops Cold War. Nearly all content from Black Ops Cold War is usable in Warzone but all items will be clearly labeled.

·      Warzone Store: This store offers a mixture of content from both Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare games, nearly all of which can be utilized in Warzone and the game for which it was designed. All items will be clearly labeled.

·      Modern Warfare Store: Purchase content to utilize in Modern Warfare. Most content from Modern Warfare is usable in Warzone but all items will be clearly labeled.

Additional Intel

Initial Briefing: Cross-Play. Cross-Progression. Cross-Generation. Cross-Title Access**

Additional Intel: Experience the next generation of global combat as one community, regardless of the platform or console generation you play Black Ops Cold WarWarzone, or Modern Warfare on, as detailed in this blog post.

Cross-Title Access: No matter what game you are playing – or the platform you’re playing it on – access and invite your friends to join you. Cross-Title Invites allow you to invite your friends who are playing Modern Warfare or Warzone to join you in Black Ops Cold War, and vice versa, with the party leader navigating to the title everyone wishes to play. The result is more flexibility and ease in gathering your friends for a Multiplayer match, Zombies experience (in Black Ops Cold War), or drop into Verdansk.

A Note on Content Compatibility*

As the Black Ops Cold War Seasons progress and the Warzone story unfolds, be certain that our teams are working diligently to ensure all of this content is accessible. There are no current plans to remove content from Warzone but to ensure the best possible player experience, there may be occasions where content is delayed, or becomes temporarily or permanently inaccessible.

We can’t wait for you to play Black Ops Cold War content in both the main game and Warzone, along with all the Modern Warfare content you accrued along the way!

Stay frosty and execute the mission.

SOURCE: Call of Duty



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Reviews

Save Me [Peacock] Review: Season 2 of Lennie James Drama is Excellent


As the series switches to Peacock, Lennie James continues his incredible twin achievements as both an observant writer and unforgettable performer.

17 months go by in between the first two seasons of “Save Me.” When the camera ducks inside The Palm Tree, the local pub frequented by so many in the series’ ensemble, most of the patrons are living their lives much the same way as they did before the events of the show’s first season. “Save Me,” which aired its opening episodes stateside on Starz before landing at its current home on Peacock, began with the disappearance of Jody, the 13-year-old daughter of Nelly (Lennie James) and Claire (Suranne Jones).

At the opening of Season 2 (stylized in the opening credits as “Save Me Too”), Jody is still missing. Nelly, much like Claire and her husband Barry, have settled into a state of perpetual anxiety, even if they’re able to mask that sadness to their respective partners.

Even with the potential arrival of a new baby among the Palm Tree faithful, there’s still a lingering tension that comes by Jody’s continued absence. Even though Nelly has found some sense of refuge in a stable relationship with Zita (Camilla Beeput), the smiles are momentary, the sense of purpose still unfulfilled.

There’s a tricky tonal balance at the heart of “Save Me,” which blends elements of a family drama, a detective series, and even a dash of a workplace comedy thrown in for good measure. All of those are handled here with the same agility found in Season 1, and these new episodes also benefit from a new perspective. Grace (Olivia Gray), the teenager who Nelly managed to free from an underage trafficking ring at the close of the first season, becomes a key part of the show’s core. After examining the kind of secondary trauma visited on all those affected by Jody’s looming absence, “Save Me Too” gives Grace a chance to explore what the first season could not.

“Save Me” allows these characters to acknowledge the weight of their grief and regret without the show being consumed by it. This certainly isn’t an easy show to watch at times, but it finds a reality in the degrees of peril that they all face that doesn’t rely on exploitation. The first two episodes of Season 2 play out in a fractured timeline that, if not consciously mirroring the disjointed sense of reality that both Grace and Jody have been subjected to, still shows how everyone involved in this is trying to process the past.

SAVE ME TOO -- Episode 201 -- Pictured: Lesley Manville as Jennifer Charles -- (Photo by: Justin Downing/Sky UK Limited/Peacock)

“Save Me Too”

Justin Downing/Sky UK Limited/Peacock

The ensemble work on “Save Me” is so strong that it’s sometimes possible to overlook that James is giving a miraculous performance, at once some of the richest and most effortless work being done anywhere on TV. At least part of that comes from his having written a majority of the series to this point, inhabiting the minds of his scene partners’ characters long before the cameras roll. So much more comes from his sense of timing. When Nelly’s rage is simmering under the surface, James knows just how much to let that anger peek through before either tamping it down or indulging it. In Nelly, “Save Me” is anchored by a man who is charming and haunted, gentle and dangerous, understanding and impulsive. James inhabits each side of those divides with astonishing vulnerability.

That same economic understanding of how to get across complicated emotions in a short amount of time is also evident in how even more intertwined everyone in this story becomes. Nelly doesn’t just interact with a couple of mates as he’s pursuing dangling leads to Jody’s whereabouts. Beginning with  bartender and Nelly’s landlady Stace (Susan Lynch) and continuing through his old flames and current confidants, the breadth of Nelly’s interactions gives the impression that he understands how much this single thing in his life has affected everyone in this web. In turn, “Save Me” strengthens the idea of how much Nelly’s ongoing search has a community at its back.

The most notable addition to Season 2 is Lesley Manville, who enters seamlessly as the wife of a man charged with facilitating the same ring that preyed on Grace. Without trying to make their pain equal, “Save Me” considers how different people can cope with a new ugly reality in their own way, either with bewilderment or denial or a renewed desire for justice. For some, it’s an odd combination of the three. Manville plays Jennifer’s stricken helplessness and eventual resolve in a way that doesn’t overpower the delicate chemistry the rest of the ensemble patiently built over the first six episodes.

Keeping everything calibrated is even harder in Season 2, with Nelly imagining Jody around different corners, Claire struggling with how much she should try to move forward, and even a shocking act of violence. Any one of those strands (or the way that they’re represented visually) has the potential to crowd out the patient character work being done in other areas. “Save Me” keeps all these fraught elements level, letting each new development flow organically from the last. The narrative tightness of the story is never at odds with its diligent pacing. That combination allows each player in this expanding world to feel like they belong.

The final chapter of “Save Me Too” is both a logical endpoint and a pathway to continuing. It’s a constant strength of this show that it’s filled with the kind of moments where other series would be content to bow out. Tidy bows and conclusions could easily abound, but “Save Me” relishes the opportunity to show these individuals in the moments after these kinds of stories usually end. If the opportunity arises to continue, it will certainly be a welcome one. If not, “Save Me” will stand as a special kind of drama that cut through crime story expectations to find the truths buried underneath.

Grade: A-

“Save Me” Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Peacock. Episode 1 of Season 2 is available to all subscribers, with the remainder of episodes available to Peacock Premium members.

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How to

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors: How to buy


AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 line of desktop processors are available now. These are the first chips from the company that include its next-gen Zen 3 architecture.

Replacing last year’s Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 desktop chips the new 5000 series still uses AMD’s 7nm process but offers a 19 percent increase in instructions per cycle. The Ryzen 5000’s flagship chipset includes four different processors: Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X, and its flagship the Ryzen 9 5950X.

If you are waiting for the new graphics cards AMD recently announced, you’ll have to wait a bit longer before you can order one. The Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 will go on sale on November 18th for $649 and $579, respectively. While the Radeon RX 6900 XT will go on sale on December 8th for $999.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current PC, this might be a CPU worth researching. Here are a few places where you can buy a new Ryzen 5000 line.

Amazon

Best Buy

B&H Photo

Micro Center (in-store only)



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Future

US tech stocks set for further gains as election shakes up market


Big US tech shares were set to rally and the dollar weakened as results of the election so far reshaped investors’ outlook for the path of the American economy and interest rates.

Futures tracking the Nasdaq 100 index jumped 2.5 per cent, signalling a further advance after the index that is weighted towards the biggest US tech groups soared 4.4 per cent on Wednesday. S&P 500 futures climbed 1.9 per cent while long-term Treasury prices advanced.

Shares in Facebook, which rose more than 8 per cent on Wednesday, added a further 2.5 per cent in pre-market trading, with Apple, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet also rising.

The dollar index, which measures the buck’s performance against six trading partners’ currencies, fell almost 0.9 per cent.

This marked a continuation of a trend that began when election results began rolling in on Tuesday evening. A stronger-than-expected performance by Donald Trump in the presidential race and fading expectations Joe Biden’s Democrats will turn over the Senate upended Wall Street expectations of a “blue wave” that could have ushered in $2tn of economic stimulus.

Investors viewed this forecast spending spree as a long-awaited catalyst for a repricing of assets across the world, with a rebound in US growth supporting higher inflation and bond yields and a stronger dollar.

“Coming into this election, you had a market that was itching to rotate out of tech and low-yielding government bonds,” said Johanna Kyrklund, chief investment officer of Schroders. “But now it’s looking like more of the same.”

With the presidential race now too tight to call and expectations building for a divided Congress, investors on Thursday were repositioning their portfolios to reflect expectations of slower growth and more stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve.

“You go back to the old playbook of growth stocks that will outperform,” said Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has soared almost 30 per cent this year, compared with a 6.6 per cent gain for the more evenly-balanced S&P 500.

Meanwhile, investors continued buying longer-term US government debt, pushing yields lower. The 10-year yield was recently down 0.02 percentage points at 0.75 per cent, having jumped above 0.9 per cent on Tuesday before polls closed in some key states. Some eurozone bonds also rallied, with the yield on Italy’s five-year bond turning negative for the first time.

Fixed-income investors were also expected to pay close attention to a Federal Reserve monetary policy statement due to be released on Thursday afternoon in Washington.

Market expectations for volatility have cooled even as the presidential race in several battleground states remained tight and many political analysts expect several days or potentially weeks of uncertainty.

“The market is assuming it [the result] will not be contested or we would be on the back heels,” Mr Timmer said.

Eric Stein, chief investment officer for fixed income at Eaton Vance, added that investors were “looking through” the period of uncertainty.

“The market appears to be saying it could get messy, but it isn’t something that will be as material of a risk as people were worried about before,” he said.

Additional reporting by Hudson Lockett and Thomas Hale



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