Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]

Pandora Wants to Fix Podcast Discoverability with its Genome Project

· · Cool Stuff Found

Finding podcasts you’ll like is still mostly a word of mouth process and Pandora wants to change that. The streaming music service is working on what it calls the podcast genome project to help find shows you’ll like and enjoy, much like it already did for music. Pandora CEO Roger Lynch told The Verge, “We’re building for podcasts what we did for music, which is the podcast genome. So that we can present to you, as a Pandora listener, a personalized experience that will delight you just like we do with music.” Considering how poor podcast discoverability is right now, there’s a good chance anything Pandora comes up with will be better. You can check out more of Lynch’s comments on The Verge’s Converge podcast.

Pandora Wants to Fix Podcast Discoverability with its Genome Project

New MacBook Pro Problems Move from Throttling to Buzzing Speakers

· · Link

Touch Bar MacBook Pro with bug

Apple addressed the processor throttling issue in the 2018 Touch Bar MacBook Pro, so now engineers can move on to the next problem: crackling speakers. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models seem to suffer a problem where buzzing or crackling sounds randomly happen when audio is playing on the laptop’s built-in speakers. From TNW:

It’s unclear at this time what’s causing the issue, although a source familiar with the matter tells TNW the company is aware of the issue, and looking into it. Finding the cause, though, could be troublesome. User reports, so far, are all over the map.

It could be a hardware problem, or it could be software. Regardless, it seems like Apple’s headaches with the new MacBook Pro models aren’t over yet. And all I got with my 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pro was a defective keyboard design.

LEGO Reveals Overwatch Team Up with Teaser Website

· · Cool Stuff Found

Here’s a partnership I didn’t see coming: LEGO and Overwatch. Turns out that’s exactly what happened, and some time soon-ish we’ll be seeing Overwatch-themed LEGO kits on store shelves. Overwatch is a popular first-person shooter game, so it’ll be interesting to see exactly what path this takes. LEGO kits are pretty much a given, but it could also include a LEGO-themed Overwatch TV show, too. There isn’t any word on when we’ll see any products, but the fact that there’s a teaser webpage now tells me it’ll likely be late this year or early 2019.

LEGO Reveals Overwatch Team Up with Teaser Website

Comcast Security Flaw Exposed Addresses, Social Security Numbers for 26.5M Customers

· · Link

Comcast Xfinity logo with freaked out bug

A design flaw in Comcast’s online payment portal exposed partial home addresses and social security numbers for 26.5 million customers. The flaw displayed the first number and street name for addresses, and the last four digits in social security numbers. Buzzfeed broke the news, and Comcast quickly patched the flaw. Comcast says no one exploited the flaw, and they had it patched within hours of learning about it. Still, the fact that nearly anyone had access to the information is pretty creepy.

Anki Unveils Vector Home Robot with AI Learning

· · Cool Stuff Found

Anki’s Cozmo is a fun fist-size robot for education and play, and now the company is taking its compact robots to the next level with Vector. Unlike Cozmo, Vector doesn’t need your smartphone to supplement its brain, and it uses artificial intelligence to learn. It’s also designed to be more of an assistant and can learn names and faces, as well as link to the internet to find answers to your questions. The idea is to make Vector your companion instead of just a robot toy. There’s a Kickstarter so you can get a Vector for US$199.99 on October 9th, and it’ll be available to the general public for $249.99 on October 12th.

Apple: Infowars App Can Stay on App Store

· · Link

Alex Jones Infowars

Apple removed the Infowars podcasts from its iTunes listings citing hate speech violations, but is letting the Infowars Official app stay on its iPhone and iPad App Store. Why remove the podcasts, but not the app, since they all offer the same content? Even though the podcasts violate Apple’s guidelines, the app doesn’t. In a statement to Buzzfeed, Apple said,

We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all. We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously.

The problem here is that Apple’s App Store guidelines aren’t clear on this point, and they’re apparently different than the iTunes Store guidelines for podcasts. It’s confusing for content creators and consumers. Apple is well within its rights to block podcasts and apps for any reason, even if they’re arbitrary. I’d prefer, however, if Apple’s guidelines were clear and consistently enforced.

Apple Lands Min Jin Lee's Pachinko for TV Series

· · Link

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee coming to Apple television lineup

Apple’s latest addition to its original television lineup is a series based on Min Jin Lee’s best selling book Pachinko. The book chronicles the lives of a Korean that immigrated to the U.S., and Apple signed it into what Hollywood Reporter calls “a sizable script-to-series commitment.” HR adds,

Soo Hugh (who oversaw on season one of AMC’s The Terror) will pen the script for Apple as well as executive produce and serve as showrunner on the likely series. Pachinko hails from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res, which is behind Apple’s upcoming Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston morning show drama and was the tech giant’s entry into the scripted space. Author Lee will also be credited as an executive producer on the Apple take.

I love how Apple is bringing diversity to its original TV show programming and is turning its back on the old-school white male-dominated television world.

Ariana Grande Tweets About Being on Carpool Karaoke

· · Cool Stuff Found

Ariana Grande tweets about Carpool Karaoke

Ariana Grande and Carpool Karaoke fans can rejoice because she just finished spending the day in the car with James Cordoe. Grande tweeted about how much fun she had and said she can’t wait for everyone to see what they recorded. She didn’t say if they recorded a segment for the Late Late Show, or if this was for Apple’s Carpool Karaoke series. I’m guessing it’s the former, which means we’ll get to see it pretty soon.