6 display settings you should be using in Windows 10

Windows 10 Creators Update added two display settings that make sitting in front of your laptop or PC a more pleasant experience. I’ll cover these two new display settings along with some old standbys so you can get Windows 10 ($92.99 at Amazon.com) looking its best.

1. Use the night light at night

Staring at an unnaturally blue screen at night can shift your body’s natural clock and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Your phone likely has a way to switch to warmer colors at night, and now Windows does, too. Creators Update added a setting to lower the blue light of your PC. Head to Settings > System > Display (or just right-click on your desktop and choose Display settings) and click Night light settings. You can use a slider to choose how warm you want your display’s color temperature to get a night and schedule night-light mode to come on at sunset or manually set hours. You’ll also find a new Night light button in the Action Center to toggle the setting on and off.

Image result for 6 display settings you should be using in Windows 10

 

2. Fix old apps with high DPI scaling

It’s a bummer to upgrade to a 4K display only to find that some of your apps look blurry, because the developer has yet to update them to run on a screen with so many pixels. Creators Update adds a way for you to override DPI settings so individual apps can scale properly (read: crisply) on high-resolution displays. For apps that look less than crisp on a high-resolution display, right-click on the app and choose Properties. Click on the Compatibility tab and check the box for Override high DPI scaling behavior and then choose System (Enhanced) from the pull-down menu.

If you are having trouble reading text, recognizing icons and navigating apps because your high-resolution display makes everything look so tiny, then you need to check out Windows 10’s scaling options. On the Display settings back is an option for Scale and layout. Windows will recommend a percentage but you can play around with the offerings to find the right balance between legibility and screen real estate.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

4. Use your display’s native resolution

You should make every effort to use your display’s native resolution, which Windows calls the recommended resolution. It’s the highest resolution offered. If you select a lower resolution, then your screen image will look blurry. At its native resolution, each pixel on your LCD display is directly mapped to a pixel in the image sent by your PC’s graphics produce a sharp image. When those pixels don’t line up, things get blurry. Try to adjust the size of text and icons and so on by using the scaling option in tip 3 before you lower your screen resolution from the recommended setting.

5. Do a little color calibration

Windows has a built-in color calibration tool that’s hiding out in the Control Panel. Just search for color calibration and select Calibrate color display. You’ll be stepped through a number of display tests to adjust gamma, brightness, contrast and color balance. The tool helpfully shows you examples prior to each test image so you know what to look for to get the best results.

color-calibration
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Google Sheets Can Now Make Charts on Request Using Machine Learning

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The updates are already available on Android and iOS
  • Explore feature was added to the app last year
  • Update adds support for spreadsheet shortcuts to the Web version

Google Sheets is already a useful productivity tool but the search giant has now updated it to add some more machine learning features. While users could already ask questions from Sheets to get data-related responses using Explore feature, machine learning now allows the app to create charts demanded by the users.

With the latest update, if users cannot see a chart that they need for their project or presentation, they can simply ask the app to create it for them. “Instead of manually building charts, ask Explore to do it by typing in ‘histogram of 2017 customer ratings’ or ‘bar chart for ice cream sales’. Less time spent building charts means more time acting on new insights,” the search giant said in its blog post.

google sheet story2 Google Sheets Story 2

Notably, users could already ask Google Sheets queries like “what is the distribution of products sold?” or “what are average sales on Sundays?” to get responses from the Explore feature, which was added last year.

Further, the giant has made it easier to keep your tables updated as users can now copy and paste data from Sheets to Docs or Slides and tap the “update” button to sync their data.

Apart from these updates, Google has also added the support for spreadsheet shortcuts to the web version of the app. The latest update is already available on both Android and iOS and can be downloaded through Google Play store or the App Store respectively.

Using Plugins to Fatten Your Bass Tones

Direct In boxes have proven to be one of the key innovations in the relatively short history of recording bass guitar.

Using a DI is a great way to get a full, dry bass tone that can be improved and boosted in all sorts of ways for all sorts of styles. Especially now that amp modeling technology is so excellent, bassists rarely long for the days when hauling an SVT to the studio was a must.

Producers and listeners alike can agree that there’s nothing more satisfying than devastatingly fat bass tone, and these days software makes that easier than ever to achieve with nothing more than a humble DI bass track.

Sure, with nothing but that clean tone sitting in your DAW, it may seem impossible to get the gurgling, thick, sub–tinged bass tone you so sorely desire. But we’ve compiled a list of five essential types of plugins to make both your bass guitar and synth bass tones jump to life and thump your subwoofers.


Automation

The first hurdle in your journey to earth–shaking low end comes in the form of levelling out uneven attack.

A volume automation plugin will do the trick, balancing the levels of individual notes without coloring the recording or changing the attack profile of your notes. It tends to work best before a compressor.

Waves Bass Rider

The Waves Bass Rider is by far the best volume automation plugin for bass. It’s optimized for low frequencies and envelopes characteristics of bass instruments to even out your bass dynamics. The Bass Rider will even filter out unwanted background noise.

In addition to Waves’ offering, the Crysonic’s NewB V4 has a very solid reputation and the MeldaProduction MAudioVolume will get the job done, too.

When using an automation plugin, start out by matching its target level to the average level of your bass input for the most transparent response. For crunchier applications, set a higher target level to add higher overall gain and loudness. But beware that it’s always easier to add the dirt you need later in the signal chain than it is trying to wrestle with an already dirty tone.

The detect setting decides how reactive the rider is to your instrument’s attack, sustain, and release, helping to adjust the gain for each individual note with nuance. Sensitivity controls the severity of the effect’s reactiveness. Response determines how quickly the effect releases.

In general, you want to set slower times for slower passages and faster times for when a lot of note attacks happen in quick succession.

The ace up the Bass Rider’s sleeve is the ignore section, which is great for reducing ambient noise.

The controls are straightforward here. Turning the artifacts dial up knob will reduce unwanted noise (e.g. buzzes, pops, or string noise) that may be otherwise amplified by the effect. The spill function is designed to reduce mic bleed or background sound.

The range faders set the minimum and maximum of the effect’s automatic gain change. Generally, I like to set mine to –6 to +6 and adjust to taste. The rider fader gives you a visual representation of the effect in action and doesn’t respond to tweaking. The output controls the overall level that the effect sends out and should be set close to 0db.


Compressor/Limiter

Compression is a key part of smoothing and coloring your bass tone. While the rider will handle your bass leveling, a compressor will shape your attack transients.

Compressors narrow a signal’s amplitude band, reducing levels that surpass a certain volume threshold while raising quieter sounds closer to that threshold. The lower a compressor’s threshold setting, the more heavily the audio will be treated.

A compressor’s ratio determines the amount of gain reduction applied to inputs above the threshold. For example, if a compressor’s ratio is 5:1 and an input signal is 5db above the threshold, the remaining signal will be 1db above the threshold. A high ratio will also contribute to a heavier treatment.

Many compressors will give you programmable attack and release times that determine how quickly the compressor engages and disengages.

Klanghelm MJUC Jr.

One great free plugin is the Klanghelm MJUC Jr., based loosely on the variable–mu tube compressors of the 1960s. The MJUC Jr. has a nice color and body to it, which makes it a perfect bass compressor.

The MJUC Jr.’s incredibly easy–to–use interface features three selectable parameters: compress, make–up, and a time constant switch.

The compress dial sets the amount of compression applied to the signal, the make–up determines the output gain, and the time constant selector gives the option to set the compressor’s attack and release to either fast (for largely preserving attack transients), slow (for smoothing out those transients), or auto–attack.

You’ll immediately start to notice a more consistent, evenly rounded bass tone. If your bass track starts to sound squashed and lifeless, try backing down on the compress knob until you hear more of your bass track’s dynamics come into play.


Low Frequency Enhancer

A low frequency enhancer essentially bulks up both a bass note’s fundamental frequency and its harmonics. This functionality makes it easy to get richer and more powerful low–end without increasing actual loudness.

As far as I’m concerned, Waves’ RBass is the best plugin for maximizing your bass tone. Other solid low frequency enhancers include Waves’ MaxxBass and PSP’s MixBass. But RBass really wins on how intuitive it is to set up.

Waves RBass

Set the frequency to the key that your song is in and dial in the desired intensity of the effect. Here, the intensity fader controls how many harmonics above the bass tone are added to the input signal. The center level meter visualizes the added harmonics.

You can also choose to remove the fundamental frequency by clicking the in button above the intensity meter, and doing so will add clarity to otherwise muddy tones.

After you have your desired low–end response, set the output fader to around –3dB and tweak accordingly. You’ll instantly notice that the plugin adds butter and punch to your low frequencies and instant weight to your drums and samples.

Be aware that if you have an excellent bass tone already, RBass may be of little help to you. RBass is great for enhancing, but why enhance something that’s already great? Low frequency enhancement is not a utility effect like compression, but rather an ornamental effect like reverb.

Since RBass creates new harmonics for your bass tracks, this plugin works especially well before a midrange equalizer.


Midrange EQ

Bass clarity and definition is made in the midrange. The truth is that a lot of the perceived heft actually occurs between 150 and 350Hz. You want to find an equalizer with both attenuation and boost controls to tame your mids before pushing your signal into an amp simulator.

By far, my favorite plugin in this class is Kuassa EVE–MP5 because of exactly how it handles midrange frequencies.

Kuassa EVE–MP5

Based on the legendary Pultec MEQ–5 and EQP1A equalizers, the midrange section of this plugin features two peak filters, the first from 200Hz to 1kHz, the second from 1.5 to 5kHz. There’s also a dip filter from 200Hz to 7kHz, giving you complete control to churn out everything from chewy mids to sleek sub bass.

The result will be a richer and more focused bass sound, without adding mud to your mix. Additionally, the EVE–MP5’s low boost and high boost EQs work absolute wonders both as drum and mastering EQs.


Amp Simulator

The final step after you’ve set your midrange EQ is to add punch and zip to your final track. Adding an amp simulator at the end of your chain will give your bass tone a consistent dynamic feel by evenly saturating your signal path.

There are a handful of superb plugins to add convincing analog saturation. IK Multimedia’s Amplitube MAX is a supremely useful tool for both its powerful guitar and bass amp modeling.

I firmly believe that everyone only needs two amp simulators, each based on the most iconic bass amps: the SVT–CL and the B–15R, both of which can be found in IK Multimedia’s Ampeg SVX Pack.

For a middier, rock–fueled snarl, select the SVT–CL plugin based on the Ampeg head of the same name. With a 3–band equalizer and mid–frequency selector, the SVT Classic is the ideal choice to get the definitive rock bass sound when paired with Amplitube’s SVT-810E, an 8×10 Ampeg “Fridge” cab simulator.

IK Multimedia Ampeg SVX Pack

Dial in the amp settings to taste, and you’ll bring massive stadium tones into your home studio sessions in no time.

The B–15R is a faithful recreation of Ampeg’s famous B-15N — a Motown mainstay. Best known for its warm response and sultry tube saturation, the B–15N is and has been the industry standard for soul, funk, and jazz bass since its debut in the mid–1960s.

Simply slap the B–15R plugin at the end of your chain and tweak its 3–band equalizer to your desired fatness. You can also choose to run the amp simulator at 100w for more clean headroom or at 60w for more warm tube saturation.

With this unstoppable combination of plugins, you’ll be well on your way to heavy, articulate bass tones in no time. Think we missed one? Let us know in the comments.

IRCTC Offers Rs. 50 Cashback on Tickets Bought Using New mVisa Payment Method

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Users can link their visa debit, credit or prepaid account to mVisa app
  • IRCTC will give Rs. 50 cashback to consumers using mVisa to book tickets
  • Consumers can book tickets through mVisa scan & pay on the IRCTC website

Rail travellers using IRCTC can now book train tickets by mVisa payment method that allows them to scan a QR code and pay through smartphones. Users can securely link their visa debit, credit, or prepaid account to the mVisa application on their smartphones and make their travel bookings by simply scanning their mVisa QR code on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.

IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, is offering a promotion offer until September 4 that will give Rs. 50 cashback to consumers booking their tickets through mVisa scan and pay on the IRCTC website.

IRCTC Offers Rs. 50 Cashback on Tickets Bought Using New mVisa Payment Method

“The key to our success as India’s largest e-commerce organisation has been our ability to embrace new technologies that help us drive consumer engagement across our platform,” IRCTC CMD AK Manocha said on Tuesday. “Considering the phenomenal penetration of smartphones in India, moving to a mobile based payment solution such as mVisa was thus a natural choice for IRCTC,” he added.

 

The mVisa payment solution on IRCTC can potentially empower millions of consumers spread across Indian cities, towns and villages, to make payments using just their smartphones from the comfort of their homes.

India is currently one of the major smartphone markets in the world, with over a billion smartphones expected to be sold in the next five years. The increasing popularity and adoption of mobile devices presents a huge opportunity for the growth of mobile-based digital commerce.

Molecular Black Hole Created Using World's Most Powerful Laser

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Scientists created a molecular black hole consisting of heavy atoms
  • It was done with the help of a strong X-ray laser beam
  • Unlike the real black hole, molecular version lets electrons out again

Scientists, using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, have successfully created a molecular black hole consisting of heavy atoms that suck electrons from their neighbours.

Researchers from Kansas State University in the US successfully used short pulses of ultra-intense high-energy X-rays to produce a detailed picture of how X-ray radiation interacts with molecules.

This was the first time this kind of extreme light has been used to break up molecules, and it may help understand the damages from X-ray radiation when it is used to take an X-ray picture, researchers said.

Molecular Black Hole Created Using World's Most Powerful Laser

The team shot iodomethane (CH3I) and iodobenzene (C6H5I) molecules with a powerful X-ray beam.

“As this powerful X-ray light hits a molecule, the heaviest atom, the iodine, absorbs a few hundred times more X-rays than all the other atoms,” said Artem Rudenko, assistant professor at Kansas State University.

“Then, most of its electrons are stripped away, creating a large positive charge on the iodine,” Rudenko said.

“The X-ray laser is the most powerful in the world with an intensity of 100 quadrillion kilowatts per square centimetre,” Rudenko said.

 

The positive charge that was created steadily pulls electrons from the other atoms in the molecule, which fills the created vacancies like a short-lived black hole, researchers said.

Unlike the real black hole, the molecular version lets the electrons out again. They are stripped away in a few femtoseconds.

“The cycle repeats itself until the molecule explodes” said Daniel Rolles assistant professor at Kansas State University.

“In total, 54 of iodomethane’s 62 electrons were ejected in this experiment, far more than we anticipated based on earlier studies using less intense X-rays. In addition, the larger molecule, iodobenzene, loses even more electrons,” he said.

Ultra-intense X-rays give a new and efficient tool to image biological particles, such as proteins and viruses, with high resolution, researchers said.

“Based on our findings, we can predict what will happen in larger systems,” Rolles said.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cadj8hWApE8?ecver=2]

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAxfMpriAU?ecver=2]

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.