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Love Is on the Air SED alum blends sass and sex on the radio

Neely Steinberg, cohost of The Dating Marketplace with Nic and Neely, says the goal of her show is to make issues of love and romance “informative, engaging, and playful.” Photo by Stephanie O’Neill Photography

It’s that day again—Valentine’s Day. Anticipated or reviled, it’s a day of expectation and disappointment, likely to elicit mixed emotions in even the most diehard of romantics.

No drowning in one’s sorrows here.

Steinberg has always loved talk radio; she says she realized there was a need for a show like hers after looking around and finding no local radio show devoted to the subject, despite its being such a critical part of everyone’s lives. The goal of her new show, she says, is to take issues of love and romance and make them “informative, engaging, and playful.”

That she does. The show is funny, intimate, and irreverent, a bit like catching up with an old friend. And like an old friend, Steinberg is happy to speak the unvarnished truth.

“What are your motives?” she asks the audience during a recent broadcast. “If you’re having sex to try to get the guy to like you and want to be with you, if that’s the case, it’s not gonna work.”

You go girl.

“I think young women today get a lot of confusing messages about sexuality and empowerment.” Steinberg says. “I want them to be honest with themselves about what feels good and right to them. It’s so easy to be dishonest with yourself and be influenced by pop culture and the media and your peers instead of listening to your own true desires.”

Steinberg believes that dating on today’s college campuses is challenging. Technology is a double-edged sword, leading people to be more connected, but often making them feel less connected. Drinking and the no-strings-attached culture of hooking up can lead to poor self-image and an inability to create intimacy, she says.

Steinberg speaks from the heart, acknowledging that in college she was part of the hook-up scene, because she didn’t know how else to make connections with a guy. “When I graduated, I had no real understanding of what intimacy with a man was all about,” she says. “I think this carried through into my postcollege life for many years.”

After graduating from BU, Steinberg took her new love of writing and began freelancing, filing pieces for the Boston Phoenix, Boston magazine, and the Boston Globe magazine, among others. Time and again, she found herself drawn to topics about dating and relationships. In 2009 she launched a radio talk show called The Love Hangover. A year later, she retired that program and teamed up with Johnson to create The Dating Marketplace.

Johnson, she says, is her perfect counterbalance: “She is married; I’m single. She comes from a very emotional, wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve kind of place; I’m a bit more logical, cautious, and analytical.”

Together they bring a mix of personal experience, humor, and information to the broadcast. Not satisfied filling their show with mindless chitchat (OK, there’s a little of that) both Steinberg and Johnson come well prepared, armed with quotes, studies, statistics, and yes, plenty of opinions. They can veer from the outrageous (six sex dolls, really?) to issues of empowerment, trust, and emotional health. Any topic can be a springboard for discussing men, women, and their relationship health. During a recent broadcast, the talking point was the message conveyed by Ashton Kutcher’s latest film, the romantic comedy No Strings Attached, whose lead character, played by Natalie Portman, wants sex without emotional attachment. Needless to say, Steinberg was not impressed.

“Movies like this have a tremendous effect on women and their ideas of relationships,” she says. “These types of movies can definitely poison us.”

Ultimately, Steinberg believes, romance shouldn’t be a matter of just the heart or the head, but the two working together. And despite her own “fair share of heartbreak,” the radio host says, she’s still a fan of Valentine’s Day. “Why not?” she says. “I’m always hopeful, no matter how many setbacks I’ve had in the romance department.”

The Dating Marketplace with Nic and Neely airs Sunday nights from 8 to 9 p.m. on Boston’s UNRegular Radio.

Laura Davidson can be reached at [email protected].

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Sonic Frontiers How To Beat Spring Is In The Air

Sonic Frontiers How to Beat Spring is in the Air

Beat those bees in Sonic Frontiers!

Sonic Frontiers is here and making many fans’ dreams come true. That said, the mission ‘Spring is in the Air’ is causing some folks trouble.

Read on to discover the secret to this quest.

Sonic Frontiers – How to Beat Spring is in the Air

The mission description here is poor, only telling you to ‘get rid of the weeds.’ Most players would probably focus on the six giant flowers being indicated, but that’s the wrong approach.

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The weeds the game is talking about are that grass that looks no different from any other grass in the game.

You need to ignore the flower completely. If you make a Cycloop, ensure that it’s focused on the areas of grass you’ve not touched yet, rather than the six flowers. These flowers can attract the bees in the area to distract them, but honestly, if you’re fast enough, you don’t need to bother.

Why Aren’t I Making Points Anymore?

If you’re doing this challenge and wondering why you’re not earning points for making Cycloops anymore, then it’s probably because you’re retreading old ground.

Remember, the point is to clear all of the weeds growing in the grass. If you’re not earning any points as the timer counts down, try moving somewhere else you’ve not already cleared, though it can be visually hard to tell.

READ MORE: Sonic Frontiers System Requirements

Another important tactic is using a big Cycloop instead of many small ones. Casting a wider net is the best option if you’re struggling to find the small area you’ve not already done.

Other Mini-Game Problems in Sonic Frontiers

Spring is in the Air isn’t the only mission that can be tough to figure out at times. There are numerous mini-games and side-quests that can get a bit confusing for people.

To help you out, we’ve listed some of the most commonly misunderstood quests you’ll find in Sonic Frontiers:

Torch in Floor

If you come across one of these things (pictured above) create a cycloop around it. This will activate it and usually generate a glowing ball above it. Your goal then, is to attack the ball in the right direction so it goes through the hoop. Simple.

Flower Ring

If you’ve come across a challenge that didn’t have a solution, you’ve probably discover a flower ring. These challenges can be hard to spot because the flowers sort of blend-in with the grass.

Luckily, the solution is simple. Create a cycloop big enough for all of the flowers and you’ll complete this challenge easily.

Ancient Hourglass

These are mostly self-explanatory. Simply attack the hourglass, and you’ll be given a time-limited challenge, such as pressing a red triangle pad, or finding 4 glowing orbs.

Make sure you have max rings before you start and these are mostly simple because the challenge straight up shows you where you need to go in most cases.

Sonic Frontiers How to Beat Spring is in the Air FAQs

How many GB is Sonic Frontiers?

You’ll need around 30 GB of free space on your drive to install Sonic Frontiers.

What engine is Sonic Frontiers?

Sonic Frontiers uses the Hedgehog 2 Engine developed by Sonic Team.

Huawei Matebook 13 Review: Huawei Takes On The Macbook Air

Our Verdict

It may sound obvious to compare the MateBook 13 to the MacBook Air, but it’s hard not to. With such similar designs there’s little to tell the laptops apart on aesthetics, but as soon as you look at the internals Huawei’s laptop pulls sharply ahead. The only real compromises are on webcam quality and battery life, though the latter could be a dealbreaker for anyone considering switching from Apple.

Huawei’s MateBook X and MateBook X Pro are some of the best looking laptops on the market, but they each came with a few compromises – and hefty price tags. That’s all the more reason to to be excited about the MateBook 13, which brings the same style at a friendlier price.

Announced at CES 2023, the MateBook 13 looks an awful lot like the X and X Pro – with a few compromises, to be fair – but shaves a few hundred off the price, turning it into a competitive rival to the likes of the MacBook Air or the new Dell XPS 13 and potentially one of the best laptops of 2023.

Price and availability

The MateBook 13 is out now, and comes in two models – with specs varying slightly between regions. In the UK, the base model is £899 (available from Amazon or Currys) and comes with a Core i5 processor and 256GB of storage. The higher end model – the one we were given to review – costs £1099 (from Amazon, Currys, Very, Argos, or AO) and includes a faster i7 processor and double the storage, 512GB. Both models have the same 8GB RAM and integrated Intel graphics.

Specs in the US are almost the same. The base model is the same – a Core i5 processor and 256GB storage, though it comes in a silver finish – and will cost you $999 (from Amazon, B&H, or Newegg), but the pricier version is a little different. In addition to the i7 processor and 512GB storage, the US model includes an Nvidia MX150 graphics card for $1299 (from Amazon, B&H, or Newegg).

Considering that the MacBook Air starts from £1,199/$1,199 for a model with less storage than Huawei’s, while the XPS 13 starts from £999/$899 for an i3 processor, that pricing is already seriously competitive, and anyone looking for a compact, portable laptop around that price point should at least be considering the MateBook 13.

Apple-ish aesthetics

If you’ve seen any of Huawei’s recent laptops then the MateBook 13 will appear immediately familiar. There’s the same grey finish (with silver on the cheaper American model), with minimal bezels, an expansive touchpad, and all-metal construction.

It will probably also appear familiar if you’ve seen Apple’s latest MacBook and MacBook Air, and it’d be hard not to admit that Huawei’s designers owe a debt to Apple’s. That’s partly what will fuel the inevitable comparisons to the new Air, and the MateBook comes out surprisingly well.

The 13in, 2160 x 1440 touchscreen display is in the same 3:2 aspect ratio Huawei’s favoured for a few years. It’s a squarer, boxier format than you might be used to, which results in a lot of letter-boxing when you watch movies or TV, but leaves you with plenty of vertical screen real estate when you’re working or browsing the web. That makes it ideal as a work device, if less optimal for curling up in bed with Netflix.

The keyboard is pretty lovely, with comfortable key spacing and a really responsive, short action. These are very low-profile keys, which might take a little getting used to for some, but undeniably easy to type on. The trackpad is a bit less appealing – the size is great, but there’s a very slight stickiness to it, with just a bit too much drag for my liking. It feels slightly wrong to me, in a way that’s hard to pin down, and I’d recommend trying to check the laptop out in person if you can to make sure it won’t bother you.

You also get a fingerprint reader built into the power button, so you can turn the device on and unlock it with just one touch. It gets a bit confused sometimes when waking the laptop up from sleep – press the button when you mean to just read your fingerprint and you might end up accidentally putting it back to sleep – but once you get the hang of it it does tend to be fairly responsive.

At 1.3kg it’s not super lightweight, and this is clearly where the corners were cut to keep that price down – it’s not heavy, but it’s got a bit more heft than it looks like it should. For comparison, it’s the same weight as the larger MateBook X Pro – which has a 13.9in display and a bigger battery to justify the size – though in fairness it’s still only fractionally heavier than its Apple rival.

Undercutting the competition

Specs are surprisingly impressive for the price, and this is where the MateBook 13 really pulls away from its Apple and Dell equivalents. The fact that the base £899/$999 model packs an i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is undeniably competitive.

The premium model is arguably even better value, especially in the US. In the UK you’re looking at £200 extra for the i7 and double storage, while in the US it’s an extra $300, but that also gets you the MX150 graphics card. That makes the MateBook 13 one of the cheapest ultrabooks with a discrete GPU you can find. The only real downside here is the RAM – 8GB isn’t bad, but it lags behind the rest of the specs, and may put off anyone hoping to use it for proper video or photo editing on the go.

The webcam is also a bit of a letdown. Megapixels aren’t everything, but a 1Mp camera is, well, not good. That’s the sort of compromise I’d be perfectly happy to make because I never really use my webcam much anyway, but for anyone regularly using their laptop for video calls it’s likely to feel like a real limitation.

Battery life is also a bit of a concern. I use the original MateBook X as my daily laptop, and there are a lot of things I love about it, but battery life ain’t one of them. The MateBook 13 has a similar capacity, and it shows – it lasted nine hours in our continuous video playback test, two hours less than the XPS 13. In daily usage, I’ve probably been getting 5-6 hours from it – not terrible, but it’s undeniably lagging behind the competition. At least the fact that it uses USB-C for charging means it’s easy to top up anywhere, and will work with any USB-C PD battery pack.


It may sound a bit obvious to compare the MateBook 13 to the MacBook Air, but it’s hard not to. With such similar designs there’s little to tell the laptops apart on aesthetics, and as soon as you look at the internals Huawei’s laptop pulls sharply ahead.

The base model offers double the storage of Apple’s for £300/$200 less, while the more expensive one manages to include a faster processor, double the storage, and a discrete GPU in the US, and still comes out cheaper than Apple’s £1,399/$1,399 SKU.

The only real compromises are on webcam picture quality and battery life, though the latter could be a dealbreaker for anyone seriously considering switching from San Cupertino.

Specs Huawei MateBook 13: Specs

Windows 10

13-inch 3:2 (2160 x 1440) touchscreen display

8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5 or i7 processor

Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Nvidia GeForce MX150 (US-only)


256GB or 512GB SSD

41.8 WHr battery (built-in)

2x USB-C 3.1

1x 3.5mm headphone jack

1MP webcam

Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard

Windows Hello fingerprint reader

14.9mm x 286mm x 211mm


What I Love About Teaching

There’s a lot I love about being a teacher. Teaching is one of those rare professions that keeps your brain young, allowing you to continue your own journey as a student and a lifelong learner. We as educators speak often about creating lifelong learners, but if we aren’t buying into it ourselves, then our students don’t stand a chance.

Michelle Pfeiffer once said that being an actor allows her, with every new character, to learn something new, immersing herself in a distinct universe with each project. Being a teacher is that and so much more.

Keeping It Real

Each school year brings new people into your life. Each unit and lesson brings new perspectives. Each failure, when looked at formatively, can help you solve new problems. Each success, when used reflectively, can be even greater the next time.

Sharing oneself, thinking aloud, and being honest about what’s working and what isn’t is not about making the environment “softer.” It’s about creating a classroom in which students are at their best in attitude and character. It’s about classroom management being better because students want to be there, learning from a teacher who is also willing to learn from them. “The one who does the teaching is the one who’s doing the learning,” as they say.

Teaching is a job that encourages your own growth because to do it well requires your own continuous education. Some might say that’s a bad thing, but growth is about facing your demons — or just your imps — and dueling yourself for greater knowledge.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I believe true growth as a person can happen only by challenging yourself with situations that are not familiar to you. Throwing yourself into a job in which you can encounter people of different ethnicities and religions and with different philosophies, learning styles, and backgrounds can only cause you to grow as a person, and public education provides that environment.

And you never know how that will eventually translate. For some, it will mean a growth in empathy. For others, the fact that your brain learns something new every day becomes a means to fight old age. Remember those nuns from Wales featured in Time magazine a few years back? This group of long-lived nuns had theories about their own longevity as it related to their active brain activities. Learning, they believed, kept Alzheimer’s at bay and helped their minds stay intact even while their bodies aged.

Whatever your beliefs are, the fact is that a good teacher continues to be a student. This could mean you continue to be a student in a graduate class, or you could simply be a student of your own school community.

In my ten years of teaching, I learned more from other teachers, my students, and their parents than I learned from any class in my teacher-credential program. (True, that’s not difficult to do — but that’s another post.) In turn, when they saw my own enthusiasm for learning, students were more inclined to learn from me. And that’s how my own happiness and growth has translated into the success of my students.

What impact has a passion for lifelong learning had on your teaching? Please share your thoughts.

Ten Ways Ipad Air 2 Is Better Than Ipad Mini 3

Deciding between the original iPad mini and the iPad 4 was tedious due to a feature gap stemming from the notable hardware differences between the two. On the other hand, the choice between the iPad mini with Retina display (or the iPad mini 2, as it’s now called) was a no-brainer. Both came outfitted with essentially the same hardware— from the sensors to the A7/M7 chips to the cameras — so the decision came down to picking your preferred screen size.

Here are ten iPad Air 2 features that the iPad mini 3 lacks which make the bigger model a better buy and arguably the right device to boost your tablet computing.

1. Fully laminated Retina display

The iPad Air 2, the first Apple tablet with the fully laminated display. We’re talking about the same process technology Apple uses in iPhone manufacturing, which makes the images appear as if they were painted directly on the glass. By combining the three separate screen layers — the cover glass, touch sensor and LCD — into one, optical bonding doesn’t just eliminate the gaps between the layers, but gets rid of the internal reflectance caused by those gaps. In turn, you’ll enjoy richer colors, better contrast and sharper, more vivid images overall on the iPad Air 2.

2. Antireflective screen coating

With a custom-designed antireflective coating, the iPad Air 2 reduces glare by a whopping 56 percent, making it “the least reflective tablet in the world”. The new mini doesn’t have it, meaning its 7.9-inch Retina screen just isn’t as clear and readable in different kinds of environments as the iPad Air 2’s 9.7-inch panel is.

3. Thinner profile

At just 6.1 millimeters, the iPad Air 2 is the thinnest iPad yet. By comparison, the iPad mini 3 is the iPad Air-7.5 millimeters thick. You may not care about thinness at all, but many people do and the 1.4 millimeter difference is definitely visible to the naked eye.

4. A8X processor

With a billion more transistors and faster architecture, the iPad Air 2’s new A8X processor delivers a 40 percent gain in compute performance and more than double the graphics performance (2.5 times faster, to be precise) versus the A7 chip ticking inside the iPad mini 3 (and the previous iPad Air). Your apps and games will run a lot smoother on the iPad Air 2 and iOS 8 will be more responsive and fluid on it compared to the iPad mini 3. And thanks to the A8X, the iPad Air 2’s cameras have enhanced face detection and better noise reduction.

5. M8 motion coprocessor

The iPad mini 3 still contains the last year’s M7 motion coprocessor whereas its bigger sibling packs in the latest M8 chip that debuted last month on the new iPhones. Whereas the M7 continuously measures data from the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope sensors without taxing the main processor, the M8 adds support for a new barometer sensor. And because it continuously calibrates all five sensors — barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS and compass — the M8 helps improve power efficiency.

6. Better iSight and FaceTime HD cameras

Moreover, its front-facing camera is virtually unchanged, as opposed to the iPad Air 2’s FaceTime HD shooter with an improved sensor for crisper video calls, even in low light. In short, you’ll take better selfies on the iPad Air 2.

7. Burst mode

The iPad mini 3 does’t support Burst camera mode because that feature requires the A8X processor, which the mini doesn’t have. Compared this to the iPad Air 2, which lets you fire off ten photos per second, with the software automatically detecting smiles and blinks to pick the best shot.

8. Slow-mo video capture

The iPad Air 2 can shoot dramatic slow-motion videos at 120 frames per second, a feature not found on the new mini. In fact, the iPad Air 2 is the first iPad with Burst mode support.

9. Three times faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi 10. Barometer sensor

An all-new barometer, exclusive to the iPad Air 2 and new iPhones, senses air pressure to provide relative elevation that can be fed to iOS 8’s Motion app. You just can’t do that on the iPad mini 3 without using a specialized accessory compatible with Apple’s HealthKit.

It would be premature to say that Apple has deliberately underpowered the iPad mini 3 in order to push undecided shoppers toward a pricier iPad Air 2. If you ask me, engineering teams have been spread thin and may not have had enough time to pack all of the new features into a smaller device yet.

Apple will continue to sell both previous versions of the iPad mini and the original iPad Air at reduced prices starting at $249 and $399, respectively.

Speaking or prices, 16/64/128GB iPad Air 2 models are $499/$599/$699 while the iPad mini 3 will run you $399/$499/$599 for the same 16/64/128GB storage tiers.

Add an extra $130 for 4G LTE cellular connectivity.

Are you disappointed that the latest iPad mini doesn’t keep up with the iPad Air 2 hardware-wise? Do the aforementioned goodies justify the iPad Air 2’s higher price tag, do you think?

And finally, are the aforementioned hardware features worth an extra $100?

For more in tech specs wars, check out Jeff’s quick and dirty iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air comparison.

Do We Love Our Smartphones Too Much?

If it hadn’t been so crazy expensive to use Google Maps on my Apple iPhone 3GS while I was in the UK, I might never have met Elizabeth. I probably wouldn’t have made it to that charming inn/pub high up on the hill, either. And my trip would have been a bit less rewarding as a result.

We do all sorts of things with our smartphones–until we take them overseas. That’s because rates for data roaming (and voice calls) can add up faster than a heavy lunch at Harrod’s food court.

Let me give you just one example.

How Quickly Can You Burn 20MB?

Before leaving home, I signed up for AT&T’s $25-per-month global data roaming package, which includes up to 20MB of data usage.

I could have opted for other plans, such as one offering 50MB of data for $60 per month, but I was on a budget. To save money, I’d decided to use my Samsung 120 netbook for e-mail, Web surfing, and VoIP calls in my hotel room. I’d also bought a cheap GSM mobile phone and SIM card to avoid AT&T’s $0.99-$1.29-per-minute international voice roaming charges. I planned to use the iPhone only to find my location on Google Maps and get directions when lost.

Folks, how quickly do you think you’d burn up 20MB of data using Google Maps on an iPhone? I suspected it might take two or three days of moderate use. But I was surprised that in just one afternoon of extremely limited Google Maps use–to get and then follow directions from my current location to a museum–I’d eaten up 19MB of data. I had 1 MB of my budgeted amount left–and this was just the second day of a three-week trip.

So I had a few options. I could use Google Maps on my iPhone whenever I was unsure where to go (which was often)–and end up spending hundreds of dollars in data roaming charges. I could try to find my way with the Nuvi, which wouldn’t cause me to incur charges but would exact an emotional toll. Or I could revert back to what I used to do: Carry a map, rely on my own deductive logic, and in the spirit of one of my favorite playwrights, depend upon the kindness of strangers.

Getting Around Like a Local

Before long, however, I’d learned to live without the blue dot. I was hopping onto the Tube and climbing aboard red double-decker buses with growing assuredness. I was learning how to move about London like a Londoner.

Would any of this had happened if the Google Maps blue dot had been a direct path to red ink? I suspect not. And frankly, I’m grateful for that, for being forced by economic necessity to abandon my iPhone, to give up some control, to see where life–rather than a blue electronic dot–might lead me.

Mobile Computing News, Reviews, & Tips

Finally, MMS Comes to iPhone: AT&T says it will make multimedia messaging service (MMS) available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS beginning September 25. MMS has been available for years on most other mobile phones and smartphones.

Third Android in the U.S.: The HTC Hero ($180 with a two-year contract) will be the third Android OS smartphone in the U.S. when it debuts October 11 on the Sprint network. The Hero features a 3.2-inch multitouch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and zippy 528-MHz Qualcomm processor.

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