Vignette App Lets You Update Your Contact Photos Privately

· · Cool Stuff Found

Vignette app allows you to change all those ugly grey circles with initials into actual photographs. By searching Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Gravatar—no login required—Vignette will attempt to pair your contacts with their profile pictures on social media. After amassing all these images, using Vignette’s easy to use interface, you can select which avatar you’d like to use, or none at all. Once you’re all set, Vignette will write those updates to your contacts database on your phone. That means in Messages, Phone, and all of your other apps, you see beautiful images instead of ugly initials. Vignette is free to try, but in order to save the updates to your contact list, you will need to buy the one-time in-app purchase. Vignette app runs entirely on your phone; your contacts stay on your device and are never transmitted *anywhere*. Privacy is a critical factor to Vignette; your trust is important and will not be squandered. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Vignette App Lets You Update Your Contact Photos Privately

UN Report Says Making Siri Voice Female by Default is Sexist

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A report from the United Nations says that making virtual assistants like Siri have female voices by default is sexist.

As voice-powered technology reaches into communities that do not currently subscribe to Western gender stereotypes, including indigenous communities, the feminization of digital assistants may help gender biases to take hold and spread. Because Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and Siri are all female exclusively or female by default in most markets, women assume the role of digital attendant…

I think it’s a fair point.

Apple AR Hiring Increases to 33 Positions Since Last Year

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Last May Apple had one AR job position open. It gradually increased to five by the end of 2018. Now, Apple AR hiring has increased to 33 open positions.

The hiring upswing is a clear sign that the Cupertino tech giant is looking to make AR a major part of its mobile iOS devices moving forward…Of the current 33 openings, the extreme majority — 30 — are located at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

Are AIs Being Designed to Harm Us?

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AI concept

The question we must always have for the high tech giants is embedded in this essay at the Internet Health Report:

“Are you going to harm humanity and, specifically, historically marginalized populations, or are you going to sort of get your act together and make some significant structural changes to ensure that what you create is safe and not harmful?”

Given the demonstrated proclivity of many high tech companies to, without adult supervision, create technologies that callously  enrich them at our great expense, the above is a great question to ask. Every day. Of every technology.

New Backlight Service Program Addresses ‘Flexgate’ Problem

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MacBook Pro (2018)

Some 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro displays suffered problems with the backlight, and Apple will repair them under a new Backlight Service Program.

Apple will repair affected devices, which includes machines sold between October 2016 and February 2018, for free. Eligible models are listed below:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

No other MacBook Pro models are included in the repair program at this time.

2018 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air Added to Keyboard Service Program

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The new 8-core MacBook Pro brings with it an updated version of the butterfly keyboard. Additionally, the 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are being added to Apple’s Keyboard Service Program.

Apple has updated its official Keyboard Service Program support page with the 2018 and 2019 MacBooks. If you’ve been having issues with your 2018 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air keyboard or any MacBook notebook with a butterfly keyboard, get in touch with Apple Support to get the repair process started. Keep in mind you’ll likely be without your machine for a least a day, if not longer.

Federico Viticci’s iPad Manifesto Covering Seven Years

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I’m a big fan of MacStories and today Federico released what he calls an iPad manifesto. He writes about his experience using the iPad as his main computing device over seven years.

Seven years after I started (slowly) replacing my MacBook Air with an iPad, my life is different, but one principle still holds true: I never want to find myself forced to work on a computer that’s only effective at home, that can’t be held in my hands, or that can’t be customized for different setups. For this reason, the iPad Pro is the best computer for the kind of lifestyle I want.

Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones: $153 with Coupon Code

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones have on-device controls, and they’re made from leather, aluminum, polymer and steel. They have up to 19 hours of playback time, and they also come with a 1.2 m audio cable with 3.5 mm mini-jack as an alternative to wireless connectivity. They’re $179.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings the price down to $153 at checkout.

Amazon and Apple Deal Devastated Third-Party Resellers

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Back in November, Apple and Amazon cut a deal that allowed new and refurbished Apple products via the online retailer. The move was good for the two firms but, The Verge reported, a disaster for those already selling Apple products through the Amazon Marketplace. The deal meant they were banned from doing so, putting severe pressure on a number of businesses.

Companies that want to sell Apple products through Amazon now have to meet one of two requirements. The first is to purchase at least $2.5 million worth of refurbished inventory every 90 days from Apple itself or through a retailer with more than $5 billion in annual sales, like a wireless carrier or big-box retailers like Target or Walmart. The second is to reach out directly to Apple to become an authorized reseller. Apple has yet to make its reseller requirements known to the public, but to become an Apple-authorized provider of repairs requires a physical retail space for customers to enter. By cutting this deal, Apple and Amazon benefit while knocking out millions of dollars worth of business for small sellers.

U.S. Relaxes Huawei Restrictions to Avoid Customer Disruption

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huawei logo

The U.S relaxed restrictions on Huawei to avoid disruption to customers of the telecoms sector, Reuters reported. It is the latest development in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. goods last week, a major escalation in the trade war between the world’s two top economies, saying the firm was involved in activities contrary to national security. The two countries increased import tariffs on each other’s goods over the past two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations. On Monday, the Commerce Department granted Huawei a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to maintain existing telecoms networks and provide software updates to Huawei smartphones, a move intended to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei time to make other arrangements.

Snapchat Gender-Swap Filter Bringing Comfort to Some Struggling With Gender Identity

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Lots of users have been having fun with the new gender altering filters on Snapchat. However, the Associated Press reported that the filters also provide comfort and support to some trans people exploring their gender identity.

“My gender’s not a costume,” says Bailey Coffman, a 31-year-old transgender woman from New York. “This story that I feel is very real. I lost a lot to be who I am, and I fought really hard for the body that I’m in….Some argue that the filter, which Snapchat calls a “lens,” could be a therapeutic tool that leads to self-discovery and even helps ease the transition of people struggling with gender identity once they see who they could become…