SCOUT Wireless 5,000mAh Portable Charger: $34 with Coupon Code

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the SCOUT Wireless 5,000mAh Portable Charger, a Qi charger that also has three different built-in charging cables, all in a compact form factor. Those cables include USB-C, USB-A (regular USB), and a Lightning cable. That means you can use it on your new iPad Pro and your iPhone X/S/R/Max, too. It’s $39.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings it down to $34 at checkout. Here’s a promo video with a closer look:

GameClub: A Direct Challenger to Apple Arcade on iOS

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Game subscription service GameClub is set to launch at a similar time to Apple Arcade, putting the two in direct competition. GameClub is though going to focus on bundling old games, reported FastCompany.

GameClub, a startup with $2.5 million in seed funding, plans to launch its own subscription service around the same time. But instead of funding new games, like Apple is doing, GameClub is bundling up old games from the dawn of the App Store, many of which have become unplayable on newer iPhones and iPads. GameClub is also working on an Android version of its service, which presumably won’t face competition from Apple. The goal, CEO Dan Sherman says, is to bring back the kinds of mobile games that have become less viable in a market dominated by ads and in-app purchases.

News+: Personalize Siri and Search

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In the June issue of MacFormat magazine we find out how to personalize Siri and Search by changing certain settings. It’s on page 52 (it’s a PDF).

Siri takes repetition, the time of day and your location into account for its suggestions. As well as the Lock screen, suggestions can appear in iOS’s search results and in iOS’s Look Up feature. You may want to stop info from some apps leaking out onto the Lock screen in particular, so we’ll show you how.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Several Years Ago Snapchat Employees Accessed User Data

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Several Snapchat employees accessed user data, anonymous sources say. Phone numbers, saved Snaps, and more were up for grabs.

…internal tools that allowed Snap employees at the time to access user data, including in some cases location information, their own saved Snaps and personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses. Snaps are photos or videos that, if not saved, typically disappear after being received (or after 24 hours if posted to a user’s Story).

Because of course they f*cking did.

GitHub Sponsors Lets You Pay Your Favorite Open Source Contributors

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GitHub Sponsors is a way to support the developers who build open source software. It’s currently in beta.

As a thank you for these valuable contributions, GitHub Sponsors charges zero platform fees when you support the work of other developers. We’ll also cover payment processing fees for the first 12 months of the program to celebrate the launch. 100% percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.

I love this idea. GitHub is one of the only open source “app stores” we have that isn’t tied to Android or Linux.


SpaceX Launches 60 Internet Satellites

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Space X Falcon 9

It’s been an exciting week for Elon Musk. First, a leaked email showed Tesla was on course to beat its Q4 2018 record in Q2 2019. On Friday, BBC News reported, his SpaceX company launched 60 internet satellites. It is the start of the firm’s rollout of its orbiting broadband program.

A Falcon-9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida late on Thursday, packed with 60 satellites capable of giving users on the ground high-speed connections to the internet. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s firm aims eventually to loft nearly 12,000 spacecraft for its “Starlink” network. SpaceX is one of several commercial outfits with permission to fly an internet mega-constellation. Others include the UK-based start-up OneWeb, which began its roll-out in February with six operational spacecraft.

IGTV Now Supporting Landscape Video

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IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video platform, is going to support landscape videos, The Verge reported. Previously only portrait videos could be uploaded. The change means YouTube content can be crossposted to the service.

“We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators,” the company says in a blog post. “In many ways, opening IGTV to more than just vertical videos is similar to when we opened Instagram to more than just square photos in 2015. It enabled creativity to flourish and engagement to rise — and we believe the same will happen again with IGTV”….The creators using the app seem to be pleased, but they also noted that they haven’t been able to monetize their content yet 

In The Persistence of Chaos, Buy Six Notorious Computer Viruses For $1 Million

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A computer infested with six of the word’s most infamous viruses is being sold as an art piece called ‘The Persistence of Chaos.’ The auction has topped US$1 million.

Bidding for a laptop infected with six of the world’s most famous computer viruses—WannaCry, BlackEnergy, ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig and DarkTequila—has topped more than $1.1 million at auction. The art project, titled “The Persistence of Chaos,” is a collaboration between Chinese internet artist Guo O Dong, and Deep Instinct, a cybersecurity firm based in New York. Those six viruses have caused billions of dollars in damage worldwide.

Samsung Discussing Supplying MacBook Pro and iPad Pro OLED Screens

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Samsung is reportedly being lined to up to supply OLED screen for 16-inch MacBook Pros and iPads. AppleInsider reported that negotiations are taking place. Samsung is also said to have sent samples for a 2020, foldable, iPhone.

According to sources of TheElec, Apple is “considering adoption of OLED displays in its high-end Pro models of notebook and tablet PC product lines.” Specifically, Apple is tipped to introduce a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an OLED display, while the 11-inch iPad Pro will switch from LCD to OLED. Samsung has been tipped as a supplier of the OLED panels, but it is apparently negotiating supply of the components using a Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) method of production, one that offers a number of benefits.

Windscribe VPN 2-Year Pro Subscription: $44.25 with Coupon Code

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal for you on a two year pro subscription to Windscribe VPN. It works with iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. The Canadian company features a strict no-logging policy and anonymous sign-up that doesn’t even require an email address. The pro subscription comes with unlimited downloads, unlimited data, and unlimited connections. A two year subscription is $59 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND25 brings it to down to $44.25 at checkout.

Amazon Developing Device that Can Read Human Emotions

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Amazon is working on a device designed to read human emotions, Bloomberg News reported.  The product is being developed by the people that brought us the Fire phone and Echo smart speaker, as well as the team behind the Alexa voice software.

Designed to work with a smartphone app, the device has microphones paired with software that can discern the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of his or her voice, according to the documents and a person familiar with the program. Eventually the technology could be able to advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others, the documents show. It’s unclear how far along the project is, or if it will ever become a commercial device. Amazon gives teams wide latitude to experiment with products, some of which will never come to market

Charge 4 Devices at Once with This Fast Charging Wireless Pad: $59.50

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the iPM Wireless Charging Docks with Removable Charging Pad. This device allows you to charge four devices at once with its integrated wireless charging pad. You can use it with smartwatches, smartphones, wireless headsets, or an Apple Pencil. The iPM Wireless Charging Docks with Removable Charging Pad is $69.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings it down to $59.50 at checkout.

Microsoft President Should Replace Mark Zuckerberg, Says Ex-Facebook Exec

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Facebook’s former security chief told the Collision Conference Tuesday that Mark Zuckerberg should stand down as CEO. CNBC reported that Alex Stamos suggested Microsoft President Brad Smith as a replacement.

“There’s a legit argument that he has too much power,” said Stamos, who left the company in 2018, at the Collision Conference in Toronto. “He needs to give up some of that power. If I was him, I would go hire a new CEO for the company.” Stamos even offered a specific suggestion: Microsoft President Brad Smith. Facebook and Zuckerberg have been embroiled in controversy since the lead up to the last presidential election, when the platform was inundated with fake news and became a haven for bullying and harassment. Stamos knows something about the issues plaguing the company — he was among the first people at Facebook to discover Russians were using the social network to interfere with the 2016 election.

All London Underground Users Are Going To be Tracked Via Wifi

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Transport for London (TfL) is going to start tracking every user on the London Underground using Wifi. They will do it using a system of beacons, Wired reported.

The system will use Wi-Fi beacons that are already present in 260 TfL-managed tube stations. As well as serving up internet access, the beacons will log the unique hardware addresses – or MAC addresses – of every device they sniff out, whether those devices are connected to Wi-Fi or not. The same technology is already in use in many shopping malls, museums and other public spaces, which use the data for similar purposes. TfL’s use of Wi-Fi data is particularly interesting, however, because of its sheer scale. The 2016 trial collected 509 million pieces of data from 5.6m mobile devices on 42m journeys. Until now, all TfL has known about your journey is where you tapped in and out, if you were using an Oyster Card or contactless payments. Wi-Fi can fill in the gaps. Transport planners will be able to see exactly which route between two stations was taken by customers, and how they move around each station.

League of Legends Coming to iOS, Unlikely in 2019

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Popular game League of Legends is coming to iOS and Android, but it’s unlikely it will appear in 2019.

One of the sources said Tencent and Riot have been working on a mobile version of “League of Legends” for more than a year, although a separate source said it was unlikely to be launched in 2019.

The sources declined to be identified as details of the project were confidential. A spokesman for Tencent declined to comment. Representatives for Riot did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

WWDC 2019 Media Invites Arrive, Featuring Unicorns

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WWDC Unicorn invite

With just 12 days to go until WWDC 2019, media invites to the keynote have started to arrive. Rather pleasingly, this year they involve an Animoji unicorn, AppleIsider reported. WWDC 2019 will take place between June 3 and 7 in San Jose.

Invitations to the media started to arrive on Wednesday, 12 days before the start of the conference. The invitation specifically advises the person is “invited to the keynote address at our annual Worldwide Developers Conference.” The media invites follow a similar design as those who applied for the ticket lottery in March, featuring an Animoji head with items exploding out from above, drawn in a neon light style. Whereas previous header images featured the robot, skull, alien, and monkey, the latest version uses the unicorn, again with the item-explosion motif.

UN Report Says Making Siri Voice Female by Default is Sexist

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A report from the United Nations says that making virtual assistants like Siri have female voices by default is sexist.

As voice-powered technology reaches into communities that do not currently subscribe to Western gender stereotypes, including indigenous communities, the feminization of digital assistants may help gender biases to take hold and spread. Because Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and Siri are all female exclusively or female by default in most markets, women assume the role of digital attendant…

I think it’s a fair point.

Apple AR Hiring Increases to 33 Positions Since Last Year

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Last May Apple had one AR job position open. It gradually increased to five by the end of 2018. Now, Apple AR hiring has increased to 33 open positions.

The hiring upswing is a clear sign that the Cupertino tech giant is looking to make AR a major part of its mobile iOS devices moving forward…Of the current 33 openings, the extreme majority — 30 — are located at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

Are AIs Being Designed to Harm Us?

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AI concept

The question we must always have for the high tech giants is embedded in this essay at the Internet Health Report:

“Are you going to harm humanity and, specifically, historically marginalized populations, or are you going to sort of get your act together and make some significant structural changes to ensure that what you create is safe and not harmful?”

Given the demonstrated proclivity of many high tech companies to, without adult supervision, create technologies that callously  enrich them at our great expense, the above is a great question to ask. Every day. Of every technology.

New Backlight Service Program Addresses ‘Flexgate’ Problem

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MacBook Pro (2018)

Some 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro displays suffered problems with the backlight, and Apple will repair them under a new Backlight Service Program.

Apple will repair affected devices, which includes machines sold between October 2016 and February 2018, for free. Eligible models are listed below:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

No other MacBook Pro models are included in the repair program at this time.