Experiment: Go Without an iPhone For a Week. Apple Watch Only

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iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3

Could you do it? Give up your iPhone and depend on just an Apple Watch? “Loup Ventures went phoneless last week. That is, some of the Loup team turned off our iPhones for a full week and only used Apple Watches for connectivity. It was freeing. And frustrating.”  There’s a lot of substance in this report, including a discussion of the “Eisenhower matrix” a “four-quadrant graph … meant to help people analyze where they’re spending time.” Fascinating stuff.

Scanmarker Air, a Wireless OCR Pen Scanner for $89

· · TMO Deals

Scanmarker Air Wireless OCR Pen Scanner

Check out today’s deal of the day on Scanmarker Air. It’s a wireless OCR pen scanner, meaning a scanner you hold in your hands, and it does optical character recognition. This device can scan one line per second, and it can also translate text in 40 different languages. The Scanmarker Air is $89 through our deal.

Humans are Slowly Killing the World's Biggest Organism Pando

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Pando is the world’s biggest organism. It’s a forest made up of genetically identical aspen trees numbering 47,000. Scientists think it’s anywhere between 80,000 and 1 million years old. And humans are slowly killing it.

“People are at the center of that failure,” Paul Rogers, an ecologist Utah State University who co-authored the paper, told Earther. Nearby ranchers have allowed their cattle to roam and snacked voraciously on young stems, and as human populations have grown in the area, deer hunting has decreased for safety reasons. But thriving deer populations wreck havoc on young aspen stems. For the past 40 years, it appears the root system has not been able to reproduce fast enough to keep up with the decimation.


Discord Prevents Users From Suing the Company

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Chat app Discord recently updated its terms of service to prevent users from suing the company.

In a section of the terms of service titled “Dispute Resolution,” Discord asserts that “most disputes can be resolved without resorting to arbitration.” Any Discord user wishing to raise issue with the company must now provide “notice of the dispute,” which includes “a brief, written description of the dispute, the relief requested and the contact information of the party giving it.”

The policy goes into effect on Oct. 23. Those wishing to opt out will have 30 days to send a notice to Discord.

Why do I have a dark feeling that Discord will announce a data breach within the next six months? If that happens, users can’t sue Discord for mishandling their data.

Did Apple Seize This Man's Mac Batteries?

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Louis Rossman, a computer repair technician in New York City, recently made a YouTube video accusing Apple of using U.S. Customs to seize his shipment of Mac batteries.

“Make no mistake. I am not an Apple customer I do not take to being ripped off nicely. I don’t care if I have to spend $50,000 in legal fees, to get back my $1000 worth of batteries. This is principle. Apple, you are not going to get away with this. And don’t think I don’t notice the timing on this stuff,” explains an angry Rossmann.

I think the situation is a little odd. I watched the video, which you can find here. It sounds like Mr. Rossman got the batteries from China. He doesn’t outright say they aren’t counterfeits, he just implies it. But if they are counterfeits, then U.S. Customs is just upholding the law. If the batteries are genuine, he should explicitly state that.

Weird Al Yankovic and Andy Samberg on Apple Music Carpool Karaoke

· · Cool Stuff Found

Weird Al Yankovick and Andy Samberg are doing an episode of Apple Music’s Carpool Karaoke, and the trailer looks like a lot of fun. Andy Samberg is being joined by his The Lonely Island partners, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. I’m guessing just about everyone knows who Weird Al is, and many will be familiar with Andy Samberg, but it was The Lonely Island trio who produced Lazy Sunday, Natalie’s Rap, I’m on a Boat, and many more popular SNL Digital Shorts. This Carpool Karaoke episode looks suitably zany, with a mix of straight songs and parody bits. I’m looking forward to it!

Apple Highlights 18 Top Apps that Support Siri Shortcuts (with Links)

· · Cool Stuff Found

Apple published a press release touting 18 top apps that support Siri Shortcuts. There’s little specific about each app, but we put together links to each one of them so you can more easily check them out. The apps: The Weather Channel, CARROT, Dark Sky, CitymapperTransit, Evernote, Day One, Fantastical, Trello, Omnifocus 3, ThingsLose It!, Yazio, WaterminderMyTherapyStreaks10% Happier, and Headspace.

Apple Highlights 18 Top Apps that Support Siri Shortcuts (with Links)

Avoid Google Data Collection By Not Using Two Services

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Leonid Bershidsky writes how you can avoid Google data collection by not using the company’s two biggest tools: Search and Chrome.

Ditching Chrome and Search, however, is an easy way to reduce the amount of information Google gets, essentially without users’ informed consent despite its pro forma compliance with European regulations.

Google says it uses the data collection of Chrome and Search to subsidize other products. Well, if the company is willing to charge phone manufacturers for those products, why not end users? Putting a price on the Google apps, against a promise of no data collection, would quickly show which of them are viable.

I really think Google should offer a paid tier for all of its services. And have the paid tier be free of advertising and data collection. Otherwise it’s eventually going to get regulated into the dirt like Microsoft in the 90s.