brings critical

Heat wave brings ‘critical risks’ of wildfires to California – USA TODAY

Published 4:15 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2020 | Updated 10:57 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2020


California firefighters use flamethrowers in the San Gabriel Mountains to back burn terrain in the path of the Bobcat fire.


SAN FRANCISCO — California residents, who recently caught a breather from the unhealthy air quality produced by a spate of wildfires this month, are now holding their breath hoping those conditions don’t return.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for nearly all of Northern California as a heat wave hitting the Western states combines with gusty, dry winds to heighten the risk of wildfires in a region already pummeled by the rash of blazes.

A pair of new fires broke out Sunday, including the fast-moving Zogg Fire that had burned through 7,000 acres in less than five hours near Redding in Northern California, according to Cal Fire.

The Glass Fire, which sparked early in the day in Napa Valley wine country north of San Francisco, had consumed more than 2,500 acres by evening.

Glass Fire: Never wait til the last second to evacuate. This video is from Deputy Matt Macomber, one of several deputies currently evacuating parts of Napa County.

— Napa County Sheriff’s Office (@NapaSheriff) September 27, 2020

The weather service said both Northern and Southern California would be exposed to “critical risks for fire weather’’ on Sunday and Monday, but AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossio said that, because of stronger winds, the former is in the most danger.

The state’s biggest utility, PG&E, said it planned to cut off power to 89,000 customers through Monday morning, mostly in the Northern and Central Sierra but also extending to parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, as a preventive measure to avoid igniting fires. The number of affected customers was later reduced to 65,000.

Timelapse video: Zogg Fire burns near Redding, California

Northern California is also the location of the enormous August Complex Fire, which continues to burn about 130 miles north of San Francisco. The largest wildfire in state history has charred more than 873,000 acres and was a major contributor to the dangerous air quality state residents were exposed to for days about three weeks ago and the apocalyptic skies over the Bay Area on Sept. 9.

Rossio said conditions this week won’t reach that level, but air quality “likely will be very poor, especially given this offshore flow. It will probably make things pretty bad for Sacramento, San Francisco.’’

Neither the August Complex nor the Creek Fire, which has incinerated more than 302,000 acres of a forest 60 miles northeast of Fresno, is yet 50% contained. So they continue to spew smoke and foul up the air in their surroundings and, depending on the wind, even hundreds of miles away.

People with respiratory ailments are especially susceptible to that harmful air, said John Watson, a research professor of air quality science at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada.

Widespread: Aerial footage shows smoke and flames from wildfire rise into night sky in California

“The adverse health effects from the polluted days are typically short-lived unless they aggravate an already underlying condition such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease),’’ said Watson, who advised checking the air quality index, minimizing outdoors activities in poor conditions and using air-conditioning units in the recirculate setting to filter the indoor air.

Air-conditioners and fans figure to get a workout this week in California, where cities including Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno and San Jose are expected to reach or approach triple-digit temperatures.

The heat doesn’t by itself set off fires, but with forest vegetation increasingly dry after months without rain, all it takes is a spark.

“When you increase the temperature, you’re also decreasing the dew point and thereby decreasing the relative humidity,’’ Rossio said. “Basically, you’re creating a tinderbox.’’


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brings TuneTrack

TuneTrack app brings Spotify widget to your iOS 14 home screen – 9to5Mac

As we’ve been rounding up all week, a variety of third-party apps have rolled out powerful iOS 14 home screen widgets. Spotify itself has not updated its iOS app with support for widgets, but there is a third-party app available that brings Spotify widgets to your iOS 14 home screen.

One of the tentpole features of iOS 14 is support for home screen widgets. A variety of Apple applications support home screen widgets, including the Apple Music app. The Music app widget is available in three sizes, allowing you to easily see recently played songs, albums, and playlists on your home screen.

Since iOS 14 was released on Wednesday, many Spotify users have been calling on the company to add home screen widgets to its iOS application. Thus far, Spotify has not released an app update with home screen widgets, but the third-party app TuneTrack aims to solve that problem.

Whether or not Spotify has any plans to add its own first-party widget to iOS 14 remains to be seen, but the company does not have the best history when it comes to quickly adopting new iOS and Apple Watch features.

How to add a Spotify widget to your iOS 14 home screen

TuneTrack is a third-party app that integrates with Apple Music, Spotify, and The app is described as a way to easily track your music habits, make custom playlists, and more. Over the last several days, however, TuneTrack has exploded in popularity because of its Spotify home screen widget for iOS 14 users.

TuneTrack is a free download from the App Store. Once you have the app installed, you can open it and sign in with Spotify account. After you sign in with your Spotify account, head back to your iOS 14 home screen, long-press to enter jiggle mode, then tap the “+” in the upper-right corner.

Look through the list of applications you have installed with widget support until you find TuneTrack. From there, you can easily add the TuneTrack Spotify widget to your iOS 14 home screen and place it whoever you’d like. The Spotify Now Playing widget will update every five minutes, or you can force an update in the TuneTrack app in the Settings menu.

And finally, TuneTrack also offers an Apple Music Now Playing widget, so if you don’t like the default Apple option, you can give TuneTrack’s a try as well.

Find more third-party apps with iOS 14 features such as home screen widgets, App Clips, and more in our full roundup.

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brings Starbucks

Starbucks brings back Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier than ever – CNN

New York (CNN Business)If it feels like pumpkin spice season begins earlier every year, you’re right. Beginning Tuesday, Starbucks will begin selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes across the United States and Canada, marking the drink’s earliest release ever.

Also returning is Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, an iced-drink topped with pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice that Starbucks launched in 2019. The two fall-themed drinks are in addition to two seasonal pumpkin-flavored bakery items: a pumpkin scone and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. Last year’s fall menu launched on August 27.
The PSL, as it’s often referred to, has been a popular item on Starbucks’ menu for nearly two decades sparking joy and excitement among its loyal fan base. Starbucks has sold more than 400 million PSLs since the drink’s introduction in 2003.
Although the drink hit Starbucks’ menu earlier than previous years, Dunkin’ already beat its competition to the punch. Dunkin’ made its fall lineup available earlier than ever before, too, rolling it out on August 19. This year, Dunkin’ added its own PSL for the first time, which is available hot or cold. Maple and pumpkin-flavored sweet treats are also new on its menu.
These seasonal items build hype and awareness for brands in the competitive fast-food space. Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin’ (DNKN) are betting the items will boost sales and attract customers, many of whom are in new routines during the pandemic. Both chains recently reported weak earnings as people ditched their commute in favor of working from home.
Both brands reported deep declines in revenue and visits, because people aren’t stopping by as much in the mornings. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson previously said the “disruption to the weekday morning routines, notably commuting to work and school, is a headwind.” Dunkin’ said its sales have shifted from early morning to midday with people buying non-coffee drinks and snacks.
— Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the launch date for PSL

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brings Guys'

‘Fall Guys’ brings mini-game battle royale to PS4 and Steam on August 4th – Engadget

If you want a battle royale-like experience but want something more family-friendly than Call of Duty or Fortnite, you won’t have to wait much longer. Mediatonic and Devolver have announced that Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will be available on PS4 and Steam on August 4th. It’s not quite as ambitious as originally intended, with ‘only’ 60 players per round instead of 100, but it still appears every bit as frantic.

The title revolves around a collection of mini-games where only one player can emerge victorious, such as obstacle courses with falling fruit. While it’s relatively non-violent (unless you count being smacked by fruit as violent), much of the tension of a battle royale game remains — you’re still fighting to be the last one standing. In that sense, this might be viable for anyone who wants a large-scale party game but still has a vicious competitive streak.

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brings Razer

Razer brings its updated keyboard to the newest Blade 15 – The Verge

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Razer has announced its new Blade 15 Studio Edition, a high-powered, high-priced laptop for creative professionals. Razer calls it “a mobile workstation tailored to meet the needs of every type of creator from audio engineer to VFX artist.”

There are a couple of spec bumps to note, but the feature that I’m most excited about is the updated keyboard layout.

A source of grief for some Blade owners over the past year has been Razer’s keyboard layouts. Specifically, Blades have been notorious for squeezing the up directional key to the left of the shift key. This may sound like a small design choice, but Verge reviewer Cameron Faulkner found himself accidentally hitting the arrow when he meant to hit shift or question mark all the time when testing last year’s Blade Pro 17.

Fortunately, Razer has heard our prayers and is bringing a new layout to some Blade releases this year. The Blade 15 Studio is one recipient; it includes an extended shift key with all four arrow keys below. You can see how much better it looks in the render below.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition keyboard

There’s RGB backlighting, too.
Image: Razer

The Blade also has a new chip that might excite power users: the eight-core Core i7-10875H. That’s the same processor that’s in the creator-focused Gigabyte Aero 15 I tested a few weeks ago. That machine got excellent results in both gaming and productivity work.

Like last year’s iteration, the new Blade also includes Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition graphics card with 16GB of RAM (GDDR6). Also borrowed from last year’s model is a 15.6-inch 4K OLED touch display with a response time of just 1ms, which Razer says covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space. And it’s a nice-looking machine, with slim 4.99mm bezels and a compact aluminum chassis that’s just 0.7 inches thick.

You can purchase configurations now starting at $4,299.

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