Trump plays down chances of quick breakthrough, North Koreans bring letter

NEW YORK/ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday played down the chances of a quick breakthrough in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms as a delegation from Pyongyang headed to meet him, carrying a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un which suggested a proposed summit may be back on.

Mueller probe spent $4.5 million from October to March: Justice Department

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election spent $4.5 million between October last year and March 2018, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.

‘Progress’ in talks with North Korea: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday he was confident talks with North Korean officials were moving in the right direction toward a summit and that a North Korean envoy will travel to Washington to deliver a personal letter from leader Kim Jong Un to President Donald Trump.

I would happily ditch the selfie camera for a full-screen phone

Once a month or so, I’m reminded that my phone has a front-facing camera when I accidentally hit the toggle button, only to be greeted with a closeup image of my own, dumb face.

Honestly, I can’t remember the the last time I used the thing — not intentionally, at least. I tried scrolling through my camera roll to locate the precise moment in which I felt compelled to take a selfie, but ultimately ended up getting tired of the exercise, giving up some time around May of last year.

I have no use for the front-facing camera. I don’t know, maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Every time I see another phone with another notch or hear stories about companies frantically pushing for some workaround, I quietly wonder what it would be like to live in a world where that wasn’t an issue, because there was no camera getting in the way of that precious screen real estate.

I realize for most mainstream manufacturers, this is probably just a pipe dream. Too many companies have invested too much in the technology to make it appear unnecessary. In recent years, the device has taken on an importance beyond the selfie, including, most notably, the big push by Apple, Samsung and countless Android manufacturers to add face unlock.

There are the proprietary apps like FaceTime and Animoji and a powerful lobby of third-party social media companies that rely on the inclusion of as many cameras as humanly possible on a mobile device. I suppose I fall out of that target demographic. I don’t Snapchat or FaceTime, and when the Google app changed from Hangouts to Meet and I suddenly saw video of myself staring back, again, total freak-out.

Perhaps it’s best left to some smaller manufacturer looking to distinguish themselves from a million other Android manufacturers. Someone out there could be the first to go truly full screen, without a silly gimmick like the Vivo’s pop-up, or whatever eight million patents Essential has filed over the past couple of years. Full screen, without the inherent vanity of that unblinking eye staring back at you.

I’m not saying its enough for one company to get me to switch over, but it’s 2018 and 90 percent of smartphones look virtually identical. Why not at least give the consumer the ability to opt out, at least until phone manufacturers solve the notch?  

Sixteen contenders to face off in final of U.S. spelling bee

OXON HILL, Md. (Reuters) – Coolly acing such obscure words as “staphylinid,” “amphipneustic” and “synecphonesis,” 16 young contestants made it to the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday after five hours of tense competition.

Five Useful Mac Apps Worth Checking Out – May 2018

Apps designed for the Mac often don’t receive as much attention as apps for iOS devices, so we’ve launched a monthly series that highlights useful, interesting Mac apps that are worth checking out.

This month’s app selection, outlined in the video and the post below, includes apps for managing and backing up your iPhone, transferring music between services, watching Netflix, keeping track of quick notes, and more. Many of the apps we’ve included this month were chosen by our forum members.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

  • Stamp (Free) – Stamp is an app that lets you transfer playlists and music tracks from one streaming service to another. So if you’re an Apple Music user and want to switch to Spotify, Stamp is the app to use. Stamp is free, but if you want to make unlimited song and playlist transfers, you’ll need to shell out $9.99.
  • iMazing ($40) – iMazing is an iTunes alternative that’s designed to allow you to manage the content on your iOS device. It lets you transfer files, photos, books, apps, and music to and from your iOS device or a new device, plus you can use it to create backups of all your content, archiving data like messages, contacts, books, and more.
  • Power Menu ($9.99) – Power Menu is a Finder extension that’s customizable and able to add various actions to the right click menu and toolbar within Finder. Using Power Menu, you can create shortcuts for moving and copying files, creating new documents, editing with specific apps, sending via email, and more.
  • Thought Train (Free) – Thought Train is a simple free (pay-what-you-want) app that’s meant to replace sticky notes. Thought Train lives in your Mac’s menu bar and lets you enter quick reminders of things that you need to get done or thoughts you want to keep track of. Your entries can be set to scroll across the menu bar.
  • Friendly for Netflix (Free) – Friendly for Netflix is a free app that’s designed to provide you with an alternative to the web browser for watching Netflix TV shows and movies on your Mac. It features trailers so you can preview shows, picture-in-picture functionality for watching a show while using another app, and Rotten Tomatoes ratings for every movie.

Do you have favorite must-have Mac apps that we haven’t highlighted yet? Let us know what they are in the comments and we might feature them in a future video. Many of this month’s picks came from our forum members.

For more of our Mac app picks, make sure to check out our lists from February, March, and April.

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