Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

NASA Conducts First All-Woman Spacewalk

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

I’ve been gripped by the livestream of Jessica Meir and Christina Koch conducting the first-ever all-woman spacewalk. The historic event generated such interest that NASA made a host of details publicly available. More than it would do for another such mission. It contains information about this walk and explains what went wrong last time NASA tried to conduct an all-woman spacewalk. It also gives details of how to follow online.

Here's How To Wear Your Apple Watch

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Ever had some weird readings from your Apple Watch, or even wondered if you’re wearing right? Well, don’t worry, AppleInsider found information from Apple on exactly how it wants you to wear the device.

While much of the Apple Watch’s fitness capabilities comes through having internals such as an accelerometer to measure movement or provide fall detection, it also has an array of sensors on the back. If you’ve ever seen someone wearing an Apple Watch too loosely, you’ve seen a bright green light coming from the back. This is the optical heart sensor, which uses photoplethysmography to calculate your heart rate. That back of the Watch, though, must be kept in contact with your skin for that optical and an electrical heart rate sensor to work. The Taptic Engine expects you to be wearing it snugly, and the Wrist Detect feature has to have that skin contact. Apple even provides a diagram recommending the right fit.

The Numbers Behind Apple's Controversial Approach to China

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple’s approach to China has stoked a lot of controversy in recent days. Wired looked at the numbers that may be driving the company’s policy. You may agree with the conclusions. You may disagree. But the article provides some important context to what is going on.

Last week, China temporarily suspended ties with the NBA after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted – and quickly deleted – his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, forcing the NBA to publicly apologise for the move. That same week, Blizzard controversially banned a Hearthstone tournament player after he made a political statement in support of Hong Kong protesters during a post-tournament interview. But more significant are the actions of Apple. The company has removed two apps from its App Store after receiving widespread criticism from Chinese state media. One of these was the app for news website Quartz, which has extensively covered the Hong Kong protests; the other was the HKmap.live app after authorities claimed that protesters were using the app to target and attack the police. These moves by Apple are part of a wider pattern of behaviour by the company to appease China, which has become one of its most important markets. And a closer look at the numbers reveals just how important China has become to the Cupertino-based firm – and how far it’s willing to go to keep the world’s most-populous onside.

Apple Could Still Learn From Google, Even if The Pixel 4 Event Was Terrible

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Google launched its latest smartphones, the Pixel 4, the other day. Its event did not quite capture the imagination in the way Apple’s iPhone events do. However, argues Rene Ritchie at iMore, Apple could still learn a thing or two from Google.

It was like watching Game of Thrones Season 8, offering them more episodes, begging them for more episodes, and just watching them mic drop and end it.. like that. Anyway. The products and technology that did manage to somehow sneak out on stage was so good, that it almost makes up for the obvious lack of planning and organization that went into the event, and the extreme disrespect shown the audience, both live and streaming. Almost.

For All Mankind Stars Given New iPhone 11s

· Charlotte Henry · Link

For All Mankind cast premiere

It seems that being in “a billion pockets,” as Oprah put it, is not the only perk of media stars working with Apple. The stars of For All Mankind were all given iPhone 11s ahead of the premiereVariety reported.

Apple’s clean-cut aesthetics for the big premiere weren’t surprising for the multinational company and perhaps even less surprising was how generous the company has been with granting the cast and crew access to their latest technology. The entire cast even received new iPhone 11s from Apple ahead of the premiere. “[Apple has] been so supportive. They come and do set visits and they’re excited to see us. They gave us all free iPhones. That is a perk,” star Krys Marshall told Variety on the carpet. “We all got the 11 yesterday. It’s nice. But aside from the free phones, they have just been fabulous, really encouraging. They believe in us.”

UK Drops Plans for Controversial 'Porn Blocker'

· Charlotte Henry · Link

The UK Government has dropped controversial plans for a ‘porn blocker’ law, BBC News reported. It was going to introduce stringent age verification checks intended to stop under-18s viewing porn online.

It said the policy, which was initially set to launch in April 2018, would “not be commencing” after repeated delays, and fears it would not work. The so-called porn blocker would have forced commercial porn providers to verify users’ ages, or face a UK ban. Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said other measures would be deployed to achieve the same objectives. The government first mooted the idea of a porn blocker in 2015, with the aim of stopping youngsters “stumbling across” inappropriate content.

Apple Hit with iPhone Throttling Class Action Suit

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple logo and iPhone 6

Another day, another lawsuit against Apple. The latest class action lawsuit, brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accused Apple of a variety of offenses, including iPhone throttling, AppleInsider reported.

Among the causes of action laid out by plaintiffs are counts of trespass to chattels, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), violation of California’s Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, unfair business practices and false advertisement. Plaintiffs allege Apple harmed owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus units by implementing an iOS feature that, under certain conditions, temporarily throttles an iPhone’s processor during instances of heavy load.

 

A Technique to Help AI Understand Video Better

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

AI technology is improving at an amazing rate. However, video is still a significant challenge. Wired reported on a development that may improve things, whilst also using less processing power.

A group from MIT and IBM developed an algorithm capable of accurately recognizing actions in videos while consuming a small fraction of the processing power previously required, potentially changing the economics of applying AI to large amounts of video. The method adapts an AI approach used to process still images to give it a crude concept of passing time. The work is a step towards having AI recognize what’s happening in video, perhaps helping to tame the vast amounts now being generated. On YouTube alone, over 500 hours of video were uploaded every minute during May 2019. Companies would like to use AI to automatically generate detailed descriptions of videos, letting users discover clips that haven’t been annotated. And, of course, they would love to sell ads based on what’s happening in a video.

Elizabeth Warren is Not Going to Take Any More Big Donations From Tech

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Elizabeth Warren announced Tuesday that she is not going to accept any more big campaign donations from execs at big tech firms. The contender to be the Democratic-presidential nominee said all contributions over $200 will be rejected, Fast Company reported.

The senator from Massachusetts announced on her website today that she will turn away “contributions over $200 from executives at big tech companies, big banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds.” As CNBC notes, the pledge expands on an earlier promise from Warren, a leading contender in the Democratic presidential primaries, not to accept large contributions from execs at pharmaceutical and fossil fuel companies. Few Democrats in the 2020 presidential race have catered to workers at Apple, Google, Facebook, and the like. A Fast Company analysis in September found that more workers at large tech companies donated to the campaigns of President Donald Trump and businessman Andrew Yang than to Joe Biden’s campaign. (Despite this, Biden raised more money from Big Tech in total.) Warren has specifically campaigned to “Break Up Big Tech” and even put that slogan on a billboard in San Francisco.

Patent Suggests Radar System in Bodywork of Apple's Self-Driving Car

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Car with Apple logo

Apple’s much speculated upon self-driving car might have a radar system hidden within the bodywork. That’s according to a patent granted Tuesday and uncovered by AppleInsider.

In Apple’s design, it suggests the use of antennas to transmit a radar beam towards a portion of a field of view, along with a vertical antenna array to receive the bounced-back signal. The receive antenna array can consist of multiple antenna elements grouped into sub-arrays, with each sub-array used to receive scatter signals reflected back at it from a smaller subsection of the field of view. Circuitry is then used to combine the received scatter signals from the antenna array into a combined scatter signal, which is then digitized. A second horizontal receive array performs a similar job, again with sub-arrays and the same process. A signal processor is then used to process the scatter signals from both vertical and horizontal arrays, and to correlate the data from each to give effectively a 3D radar layout.

Coach Lasso is Back... on Apple TV+

· Charlotte Henry · News

Coach Lasso, having being fired by Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and been an NBC pundit, is now getting his own show on Apple TV+.