Anticipation and Joy: Abusing Autonomous Cars For Fun

· · Particle Debris

Autonomous car concept

We tend to think of robots and AI agents as potentially threatening. But when they’re specifically charged with protecting the human passengers in autonomous cars, there could be some serious shenanigans by aggressive drivers. Even abuse. What if one of those autonomous cars, in turn, does something unexpected? John looks at a mind-numbing scenario.

Apple and IBM Partnership: Macs, iOS and Watson Are The Glue

· · Particle Debris

IBM's Watson supercomputer

IBM and Apple have been partnering with each other for some time now. The action continues with Macs finding great favor within IBM. Also, education initiatives continue. Finally, IBM’s Watson has to be giving Apple some big ideas. This has the signs of becoming one of the most productive partnerships ever, amongst former rivals, in the tech industry.

Apple Will Likely Let the 2013 Mac Pro Quietly Die

· · Editorial

There was a time when Apple was into powerful headless Macs for technical professionals. Those who wanted their own multiple displays and great expandability. Lately, Apple seems to have lost interest in that market and focussed on mobility. There is a smattering of hopeful signs, but John Martellaro thinks the Mac Pro is headed for the annals of Apple history.

Did You Get the (i)Message? Tapback, Digital Touch, Apps, and More

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Turn your phone sideways to handwrite a message.

When Dr. Mac sent his daughter an iMessage with iOS 10’s whizzy new stickers, full-screen effects, and animated GIFs, he was shocked when she replied: “Haha! I didn’t even know you could do all that.” He thinks it’s likely some of you in reader-land have yet to discover the joys of the iOS 10 Messages app. So in this week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves (Episode #197 if you’re counting) the good doctor offers up a short primer on the interesting new features in Messages.

Apple Reportedly Scales Back 'Titan' Apple Car Project For Now

· · The Back Page

Apple Car has been Bob Mansfielded, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Apple has reassigned employees and is focusing solely on developing an autonomous software system. Furthermore, the company’s executive team has imposed a deadline of the end of 2017 to determine the viability of that system. But, Apple Car isn’t necessarily dead, and Bryan Chaffin explains why.

What Will We Do When Siri Picks Our Pocket?

· · Particle Debris

Hal9000 eye

A major problem with Artificial Intelligence (AI) development is that a time might come when AI’s are able to learn and teach themselves faster than humans can manage them. Recently, President Obama suggested AI’s that aren’t properly constrained and regulated could be unleashed on unsuspecting citizens and severely disadvantage them. Figuring out when to step in will be the great 21st century challenge for governments.

Technical Professionals Are Hanging on, Hoping For The Best from Apple

· · Editorial

Soon, we think, there will be fall Apple event that launches new Macs. The nature of this event and the kinds of Macs that Apple updates and those that are left to quietly die will tell us a lot about where Apple is heading with technical professionals. Many of those former Apple customers have already switched to Linux. Those who remain are dismayed and are not very hopeful.  Some readers weigh in.

Yo Samsung: Give It Up, Bro

· · Editorial

Samsung ArtPC Pulse

Samsung…Samsung. Yo, dudes. We gotta talk, like, for reals. Listen and Ima give it to you straight. You have a problem, Samsung. And it’s time for some change.

USB Kill: The $55 Gadget That Will Fry Most Devices

· · Editorial

USB Kill 2.0 Insides

There’s a device out there called USB Kill 2.0 that can fry an electronic device with a USB port. While it looks like an every day USB flash drive, rather than memory, these devices have capacitors that can store up juice being transmitted over the USB bus and then discharge at once. The result is a high-voltage attack on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or other device that can fry the electronics.

Artificial Intelligence Research, Unintended Consequences and Sex

· · Particle Debris

AI Agent

Research into Artificial Intelligence will evolve into many more applications than asking Amazon’s Echo how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon. Or driving an autonomous car. As the technology expands in its capabilities and applications, we’ll be confronted with massive social change. How will Apple, for example, both serve us and meet competitive challenges?

The Most Important Reason to Upgrade to macOS Sierra: Security

· · Editorial

Cyber security graphic.

When Apple launches a new version of one of its OSes, say, macOS Sierra, the first thing users think about is the features. If they’re a bit more methodical, they’ll look at their mission critical apps and monitor for updates from those developers. But, above all, a decision to not upgrade (or do it soon) must be balanced against the security updates folded into the new version.  John explains.

macOS Sierra and App Compatibility

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

macOS Sierra website

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus walks us through some of the compatibility issues some people (including him) are experiencing with Apple’s newest macOS Sierra. Keyboard wackiness, scanner issues, and other software problems are out there.

Apple TV is Too App-Focused

· · Editorial

A view of the Apple TV home screen with apps

Lately I’ve found myself gravitating away from using the Apple TV to watch content, and it’s due entirely to the device’s user interface: Apps get higher billing than they deserve. An app-centric interface makes perfect sense on the iPhone where there are so many things I might do. On the Apple TV, though, it’s safe to make the assumption that I’m launching the device to consume content. I just want my home screen to be a list of that content, thank you very much.

Evidence is Mounting: Apple Will Convert the Macs to ARM CPUs

· · Particle Debris

RIP Intel Inside

The time since most of the Macs have been updated can now be described as geologic. Is that because Apple doesn’t care about the Macs? Or, more likely, could we be in for another major architectural change? Evidence is mounting that Apple will abandon Intel and take the Mac lineup to ARM. John looks at the evidence and makes the case.