Last year, YouPorn Foresights used AI to predict what the most popular search terms would be in porn. This year the company did something similar. The data science and machine learning teams trained a recurrent neural network to look at the current most popular performer names, and have now created what science has predicted that the next generation of stars will call themselves. There are 69 names, both male and female, and the results are hilarious. As you would expect from AI, the names sound weird and goofy. My favorite names from the list are Man Master, Al Gorr (obviously my future kid), Summer Sax, and Paris Buttomina. It’s a safe-for-work list that you can check out here.
The iMac is 20 years old, and it’s the computer that started Apple down the path to become the first company with a trillion dollar market cap. Then interim CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iMac on stage in May 1998, and the all-in-one computer shipped on August 15th. That computer shipped with a 233 MHz G3 processor, Mac OS 8.1, a 4 GB hard drive, and was the first Mac with USB. Check out Steve unveiling the original Bondi Blue iMac.
This is from 2016, but I just found it. It’s an article at Futurism about a Sony patent for a contact lens than can record video. Think Google Glass, but imperceptible to strangers. Unless the stranger is a Terminator. I don’t recall seeing anything about this since, and, of course, a patent is always easier than profitable mass production. But it does suggest enormous possibilities. I’ll keep an eye on this technology.
A rogue planet is a planet that’s not in orbit around any star. It’s by itself, in orbit around the galactic center. It may have formed around a star and perhaps some severe gravitational perturbation ejected it into the space between stars. In any case, only a few are known. In this discovery, a very large one was detected via its radio emissions. Fascinating.
Most of have heard about the big asteroid (6 miles long) that smacked the Earth 66 million years ago and created a nuclear winter that killed the dinosaurs. It’s pretty accepted, though it remains a theory. Well…maybe not. Professor Gerta Keller is leading the charge gathering mounting evidence that the timeline doesn’t match up. According to her, the Chicxulub asteroid hit 200,000 years before the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. And what she thinks did it is the same thing blamed for other extinction events, massive volcano eruptions that lasted—in this case—60,000 years. There in a part of India called the Deccan Traps today, though we don’t know what the dinosaurs called them. Those eruptions do line up with the extinction event nicely. Apparently, all this evidence is causing quite the hubbub in academia, and The Atlantic has a very long and detailed story about the whole thing. It’s fascinating. The image included is from the Deccan Traps.
There’s a watch that wants to help curb ocean plastic pollution. Awake Watch’s mission is to prove that there is a smarter and more sustainable way to consume goods. It wants to show that it can create objects with innovative design and very high quality, while still limiting its environmental impact as much as possible. And give people the opportunity to make a difference. The fabric the company uses for the strap is made from plastic waste, which has been collected from South East Asian seas and Japan. It turns the plastic into pellets, and then into nylon yarn. It creates the straps directly from rolls of this material, which is made using no chemical dyes, and is certified by the Global Recycled Standard label. The leather straps are made by a French company that uses Italian leather tanned in a vegetable tanning process. The Kickstarter was fully funded in an hour. To get a watch, rewards start at US$229.
I love money. Wait, I don’t mean “money,” because of course, yeah money—w00t! I mean currency and coins. Fun fact: my favorite coin is a 1853-O Seated Liberty quarter with arrows and rays. Anyhoo…the Greenback is iconic, and the U.S. likes it that way. It helps makes the U.S. dollar the de facto global currency, and it’s a big reason it has looked largely the same for roughly a century. Paper made with rag cloth, the whole green thing, dead presidents. But other countries have been doing a lot with plastic and holograms and such in their own efforts to combat counterfeiting. Enter Belarusian artist Andrey Avgust (via The Next Web). Mr. Avgust did a project completely re-imagining U.S. currency using state of the art technologies. Specifically, he conceptualized layered polymers, with each layer of the plastic adding something to the overall bill. He also turned them sideways (the $10 bill would still be in landscape mode). I’m not advocating a change to U.S. currency, but his work is gorgeous, and his concept art is just amazing. Check it out.
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.
I have two little nuggets for you. The first is that Microsoft has an undersea data center its experimenting with called Project Natick. The second is that they now have a webcam—two webcams, actually—for you to get a gander at the operation, as well as all the oceanic wildlife also checking it out. How they don’t call those cams Finding Clippy is beyond me, so I just took care of it for them. UR WELCOME. In any event, this whole thing is a giant experiment to see if Microsoft can save money by using the chilly ocean waters off the coast of Scotland to cool a data center. And yeah, my kneejerk reaction is that this will help heat the oceans, and don’t we want to avoid that? Plus, you know, the law of unintended consequences, but whatevs. They didn’t ask me, and they do have proper scientists working on this, so maybe it’s just an awesome idea. It’s certainly outside the box thinking. I found this, BTW, from a piece on The Verge that is full of cheezeball puns that had me snorting out loud in my office.
I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. Let’s start with the bad news: blue light (such as light from our devices) can accelerate macular degeneration in our eyes, something that can cause blindness over time. The good news, or at least better news, is that a group of scientists have discovered how that process works. They told The Guardian UK, “Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop.” To me, this emphasizes the importance of shifting our displays red at night. I use the f.lux app on my Mac, and Apple has a similar feature baked into iOS. In addition to theoretically helping me sleep, seems it could be good for my eyes, too. There are more details about the scientists’ experiments in the full article, and it’s an interesting read.
Roku is bringing its free TV service—The Roku Channel—to the web and select Samsung smart TVs. It’s an ad-supported service that will offer movies and TV shows. In addition Roku is updating the navigation on its devices to include a new featured called Featured Free. It will point people to free content from The Roku Channel, and other apps too like ABC, The CW, CW Seed, Fox, Freeform, Pluto TV, Sony Crackle, Tubi and more. The Roku Channel first launched last year in September. Movies include those from Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Brothers. Other partners include American Classics, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark and YuYu.
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.
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 announced on Wednesday it has added Japanese and Simplified Chinese subtitles to its WWDC 2018 videos. The company said these subtitles are now available on all session videos, in addition to the English subtitles that were already available. to access them, click or tap the speech bubble in the lower left-hand corner of the videos, as shown in the screenshot. These sessions are the same ones developers attended at Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference, and allow the hundreds of thousands of macOS and iOS developers who can’t attend to still benefit.
Couch Potato app is the world’s first sit-tracker, a one of a kind app that measures and celebrates your inactivity. The more you sit, the more your couch potato will grow. Once the app is downloaded, all you have to do is relax. The tracker will monitor how much time you don’t move. At the end of each day, you’ll get a couch potato score. The longer you sit, the better you do. All you have to do is download the app, authorize movement tracking, and lounge around all day. The more you couch, the more levels you advance. Unlock and redeem rewards along the way. App Store: Couch Potato – Free
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.
that was the best day ever @JKCorden thank you so much to you and your incredible crew and band and writers ! sm fun. can’t wait for y’all to seeeee what we been up to.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 8, 2018
Apple has a new spot out that demonstrates the modern fight over who gets to pay for dinner (if you’re friends are awesome). It’s s short commercial that illustrates the ease with which one can pass money back and forth with your friends and family using Apple Pay Cash in iMessage. The spot’s called Just Text Them the Money, and it’s a scenario most of us have played out.
Christian Selig, creator of popular Reddit client Apollo, took to Reddit yesterday. He’s asking for animal shelter donations to support his local shelter.
Our local animal shelter (SPCA, similar to ASPCA in the states but Canadian) is overflowing with kittens thanks to kitten season (warm weather means kittens breed a lot) and running low on food so I wanted to make a donation but figured the Apple/Reddit community is a great generous bunch so I wanted to use that to maybe raise some more money for the shelter, so 100% of Apollo’s proceeds today are going to the shelter to get them food and supplies!
Apollo is free to download, and there’s an in-app purchase for the Pro version. If you’re already a Pro member, you can make use of the Tip Jar in the app settings.
Think of GoCube as a smart Rubik’s Cube. It’s a three-dimensional speed-cube, equipped with sensors to track and measure activity (even when disconnected) and an inertial measurement unit to track the cube’s position. It consumes low power via its rechargeable battery and connects through Bluetooth 5.0 to the GoCube app. The app provides a real-time display of the cube, analyzes movement, and enables fun interactive tutorials so anyone can learn and enjoy cubing. As users work through the tutorials, they develop their problem solving skills and grow their understanding of cube logic. It teaches players to solve a classic puzzle, sharpen their skills and compete with cubers around the world. Various pre-packaged games and options are available to play with friends in person and online. GoCube is now available for US$69 on Kickstarter.
Hold on to your photon torpedos, kids, because Patrick Stewart will be starring in a new Star Trek series as Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart broke the news at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas over the weekend, and what we know so far is it takes place 20 years after the last Star Trek: The Next Generation movie. The series in the early development stages, so Stewart doesn’t even know if Picard will still be a starship captain, or doing something entirely different. Like Star Trek: Discovery, the Picard-based series will be on the CBS All Access subscription service. A launch date hasn’t been announced yet.
Make it so! @SirPatStew will be returning to his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new @cbsallaccess #StarTrek series that tells the story of the next chapter in Picard’s life‼️ pic.twitter.com/T5qQJ4gzU0
— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) August 4, 2018