On Getting to the Bottom of Google Duplex

· · Link

Diagram for Google Duplex

This, from John Gruber:

But everything about the way Google announced this — the curious details of the calls released so far, the fact that no one in the media has been allowed to see an actual call happen live — makes me suspect that for one or more reasons, the current state of Duplex is less than what Sundar Pichai implied on stage.

This was my thought from the get-go, and John Gruber does a great job of walking through the reasons. He also explains that he’s not bagging on Google’s ability to get to a true human-sounding AI that can book our appointments, and I agree with him there, too. There’s simply a lot that doesn’t add up about the Google Duplex demo and the information about that demo that’s come to light. It’s a good read I recommend.

A Key Organizer that Pairs with Your iPhone for Tracking: $39.99

· · TMO Deals

KeySmart Pro with Tile Smart Location

We have a deal on the KeySmart Pro with Tile Smart Location. The KeySmart Pro is a key organizer that works a lot like pocket knife. Unfold your key, use it, fold it back up, no mess. This model has an embedded Tile Smart Location device that pairs with your iPhone via the Tile app. That means you never need to wonder, “Where’d I put my keys.” It will even play a sound for you. It’s $39.99 through us, 33% off retail.

These iOS Ringtones Use the Maximum Potential of Your Speakers

· · Cool Stuff Found

Reddit user u/ILIJAC recently made a post about how he created special iOS ringtones. Mr. Cvetkovski is a sound designer and wanted ringtones that used the full potential of the iPhone X. He did this by testing the frequency range of the iPhone X speakers, and designed the ringtones with a specific EQ and limiter. By using pink noise, he figured out the frequencies in which the speakers sound distorted, and leveled them. Then he boosted the other frequencies where the loudness level is greater. This results in ringtones that are clean and at the maximum safe level the iPhone X allows. All of Mr. Cvetkovski’s ringtones are free to download here.

[iOS 11: How to Install the iPhone X Ringtone on Your iPhone]

These iOS Ringtones Use the Maximum Potential of Your Speakers

Here's How to Watch Mark Zuckerberg's EU Privacy Hearing Live

· · Cool Stuff Found

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going before the European Parliament today to answer questions about the social network’s privacy policies. The event will be streamed live on the interent from the EP website, which means everyone can watch and see how it compares to the recent U.S. Congressional hearings where he also testified. The live stream starts at 12:20 PM eastern time.

Here’s How to Watch Mark Zuckerberg’s EU Privacy Hearing Live

Intels Warns of Spectre Variant 4 Chip Vulnerability

· · News

iMac with monsters

Intel has a new report out describing what the chip maker is calling a Spectre-like vulnerability dubbed Variant 4 that exploits the CPU’s speculative execution mechanism so hackers can potentially get at sensitive information on your computer.

Amazon in Talks for The Expanse Season 4

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The Expanse

The internet pretty much had a meltdown when SyFy announced about two weeks ago there wouldn’t be a season 4 for The Expanse. Now Amazon is stepping up and is negotiating to keep the show alive through Amazon Prime. Amazon already has the rights to stream the first three seasons, so adding first-run rights for season 4 makes sense. The Hollywood Reporter makes it sound like the deal is practically a done deal, and hopefully they’re right. After all, we need to know what the protomolecule is up to.

How to Restore from a Time Machine Snapshot

· · Quick Tip

Time Machine now saves what are called local snapshots on your Mac’s internal drive; these can be used to restore files when your backup drive isn’t available or even to roll back your entire system. In today’s Quick Tip, we’ll talk about how to take advantage of them!

TMO Background Mode Interview with Founder, CEO of StaceyHankeInc, Stacey Hanke

· · Background Mode Podcast

Stacey Hanke on Background Mode.

Stacey Hanke is the CEO and founder of StaceyHankeInc. She specializes in training business leaders in leadership, body language habits and how to choose words wisely. Her clients include those in finance, health care, government and the military. She’s the author of Influence Redefined – Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday. She’s also co-author of Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A To Z To Influence Others To Take Action. I asked Stacey to be on the show because of her expertise in leadership and influence. These days, there is much discussion about the proper exercise of leadership as well as how executives (and authors) trigger people into taking action. Stacey and I chatted abut how her upbringing and how a very special mentor prepared her to become an acknowledged expert in leadership.

goTenna Lets You Send Secure Messages and GPS Coords without Service: $155

· · TMO Deals

Two goTenna Devices

We have a deal on an interesting device called goTenna. It’s essentially your own private network for sending encrypted messages and GPS coordinates to friends, with no local service required. You pair it with your iPhone or Android device, and then use the goTenna app to send messages to your goTenna friends. Check out the video. Our deal is on two goTennas for $155, 13% off retail.