Some Google Stadia is Having Problems

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Google Stadia opened up preorders for its subscription gaming service on June 6th. However, The Verge reported that some so-called ‘Founders’ who pre-ordered the service are having issues getting in.

Though Stadia is now live, many buyers are reporting they haven’t received the most crucial piece of the entire Stadia package: the invite email that opens the door to actually let them in. Many on Stadia’s official Discord server are performing what they’re calling a “code check” to let others know whether their codes have been sent, and whether their devices have actually been shipped. Others are reporting the usernames they wanted are already taken.

Spotify Free Tier Coming to Alexa, Sonos, And Bose Devices

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Spotify’s free tier is coming to Alexa powered devices. It will also work on Sonos and Bose devices, Techcrunch reported. Previously only those with a premium subscription could access their music on such speakers.

In the case of Alexa devices, like Amazon Echo speakers or the Fire TV, users will be able to ask Alexa to play Spotify’s playlist, like “Today’s Top Hits,” or their personalized playlist, “Discover Weekly,” among others. The service can also be set as the default, so you can use commands like “Play my Discover Weekly,” “Like this song,” or “Pause,” and more, without having to say “on Spotify.” Meanwhile, on Sonos and Bose speakers, users can set up Spotify Connect from the Spotify app. This works with Bose smart speakers and soundbars, as well as all Sonos smart speakers, including the new indoor/outdoor speaker Sonos Move and the Symfonisk IKEA WiFi Speaker, integrated with the Sonos Home Sound System.

Humans Place in Suspended Animation for First Time

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Humans have been placed in suspended animation for the first time, in a technique called emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR).

EPR involves rapidly cooling a person to around 10 to 15°C by replacing all of their blood with ice-cold saline. The patient’s brain activity almost completely stops. They are then disconnected from the cooling system and their body – which would otherwise be classified as dead – is moved to the operating theatre.

A surgical team then has 2 hours to fix the person’s injuries before they are warmed up and their heart restarted. Tisherman says he hopes to be able to announce the full results of the trial by the end of 2020.

Years ago I remember reading in Popular Science of experiments like this involving dogs. It’s amazing that it’s moving to the human stage.

‘Settlers of Catan’ Could be Niantic’s Next AR Game

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Niantic has had two popular AR games on its hands in the form of Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. What possibly be next? Maybe Settlers of Catan.

Late last month, the company behind Catan said during a board games conference in Germany that it was working on a “upcoming massively multiplayer location based game” (albeit with no mention of Niantic). Called Catan: World Explorers, they noted that it “transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN”.

BONDIC Pocket 3D Liquid Plastic Welding Kit: $14.99

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We have a deal on a different kind of product today, the Bondic Pocket 3D liquid plastic welding kit. This liquid plastic that only hardens when you apply an included UV light to it, allowing you to cure it only when you want. The company says it’s a four step process: clean, fill, cure and shape to fix almost anything. Check out the promo video below to see it in action. It’s $14.99 through our deal.

Apple's Very Parental App Store Decisions

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When Apple banned 24 vaping apps from the App Store recent, lots of people were happy. The Macalope wasn’t. He explained why in his Macworld column.

For now those who have installed the apps can continue to use them, but in the long term developers have no way to deliver updates that could provide bug fixes or firmware updates. It’s worth pointing out that the canisters that did contain cyanide were counterfeit. The Macalope just checked his local liquor store and we haven’t banned alcohol sales because prison wine blinded some people. He also checked the App Store and we haven’t banned mixology apps, either. But one of the apps Apple banned actually checked canisters to see if they were counterfeit. (Tip o’ the antlers to Ben Thompson’s piece on this subject.) It’s very temping to make lifestyle judgements. We have waged a long war with the tobacco industry (which stands to benefit from banning vaping, by the way), so seeing young people vaping nicotine is concerning. But lots of choices adults make can be concerning.

 

The EU's Battle With Big Tech is Only Just Beginning

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The EU’s executive, the EU Commission, has increasingly turned its attention on Big Tech in recent times. It fined Apple $14.5 billion in 2016, and is looking at alleged competition issues around the Walle App.  At the center of it all is competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The New York Times has a really good profile of her, picked up by Cult of Mac. It shows’ that the EU’s battle with Big Tech is only just beginning.

A New York Times article writes that Vestager “envisions a more aggressive agenda” for moderating the tech industry. It notes that: “Ms. Vestager, a 51-year-old former Danish lawmaker, is doubling down. She has signed on for a rare second five-year term as the head of the European Commission’s antitrust division, and assumed expanded responsibility over digital policy across the 28-nation bloc…” There are few specifics in the article, aside from the overall sense that Vestager is looking to double-down on her moderating of tech companies. The European Commission is already looking into a number of tech giants. This includes the question of whether Apple is abusing its marketplace position with the App Store.

Did Apple Maps Forget Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?

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The upgraded Apple Maps has been slowly rolling out across the United States this year. The team recently added some western and midwestern states to the redesign, including the lower peninsula of Michigan. But I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and don’t see the upgrade. No surprise there, because people often think the U.P. is part of Canada or Wisconsin. There’s even an entire subreddit dedicated to it. Since it looks like Wisconsin hasn’t gotten the upgrade either, I’m assuming Apple is in the latter camp.

In terms of area, this latest expansion is Apple’s largest yet……and it’s the second largest in terms of population. It also has arrived faster than almost all of the others.

Thousands of Disney+ Accounts Hacked and Being Sold Online

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Disney+ logo

Streaming glitches aren’t the only tech problems to have beset Disney+, it seems. ZDNet found that almost immediately thousands of users’ credentials were being sold online.

Two users who spoke with ZDNet on the condition we do not share their names admitted that they reused passwords. However, other users said online that they did not, and had used passwords unique for their Disney+ accounts. This suggests that in some cases hackers gained access to accounts by using email and password combos leaked at other sites, while in other cases the Disney+ credentials might have been obtained from users infected with keylogging or info-stealing malware. The speed at which hackers have mobilized to monetize Disney+ accounts is astounding. Accounts were put up for sale on hacking forums within hours after the service’s launch. As of this article’s writing, hacking forums have been flooded with Disney+ accounts, with ads offering access to thousands of account credentials.

Mimeo Photos Launches Photo Prints for Individual Shots

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I know I just wrote about Mimeo Photos yesterday in a review but they’re already back with a new product. Photo prints lets you print out individual photos as an alternative to making a photo book, card, or calendar.

21 Print sizes available in glossy and matte finishes. Standard, Large Format, and Panoramic options available. Available for delivery to North America. Europe coming soon.

DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption will Serve You HTTPS Sites

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The DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption feature will automatically give you the encrypted HTTPS version of websites as they are available.

It’s available on DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser for Android and iOS, and through the company’s desktop browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. DuckDuckGo is also open sourcing the code behind the feature so other sites and platforms can adopt it as well. First up? Pinterest.

I especially like how they’re open-sourcing it for others to use.

FBI Draft Resolution Calls for End-to-End Encryption Ban

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An FBI draft resolution for Interpol calls for a ban on end-to-end encryption. It’s for Interpol’s 37th Meeting of the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children.

A draft of the resolution viewed by Ars Technica stated that INTERPOL would “strongly urge providers of technology services to allow for lawful access to encrypted data enabled or facilitated by their systems” in the interest of fighting child sexual exploitation. Currently, it is not clear whether Interpol will ultimately issue a statement.

Remember when I mentioned the Four Horses of the Infocalypse? Terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime. Four fears to use as a way to push their agenda. I know it’s a delicate issue. These groups are definitely ones that the majority of society would want to stop. But removing end-to-end encryption for everyone isn’t the way to do that.

Report Twitter Lists With This New Feature

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You can now report Twitter lists with a new feature that the social media company is rolling out. People can create a list of Twitter users and other people can subscribe to it. Certain people have used Lists as a way to harass minorities and/or women, but they can now be reported for abuse.

Similar to reporting an abusive tweet, Twitter users will tap on the three-dot icon next to the List in question, and then choose “Report.” From the next screen, you’ll select “It’s abusive or harmful.” Twitter will also ask for additional information at that point and will send an email confirming receipt of the report along with other recommendations as to how to manage your Twitter experience.

MFi Certified Sleek Canvas Complete Charging Collection: $25.49

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on an MFi certified collection of charging accessories, all with a canvas exterior, even the cable. It includes a 3-foot Lightning connector, a 2.4A power bank, a car charger, and a wall charger. This bundle is $29.99 through deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 brings the price down to $25.49 at checkout.

Microsoft Updates Privacy Terms Following EU Probe

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Microsoft updated the data privacy terms and conditions in its commercial cloud contracts on Monday, Reuters reported. It followed the EU finding that the company did not protect data in line with EU law.

The EDPS, the EU’s data watchdog, opened an investigation in April to assess whether Microsoft’s contracts with the European Commission and other EU institutions met data protection rules. It raised concerns about compliance in October. In a statement on its website addressing the issue, Microsoft said: “We will increase our data protection responsibilities for a subset of processing that Microsoft engages in when we provide enterprise services.” The company, the only major cloud provider to offer such terms in the European Economic Area and beyond, expects to offer the new provisions to public sector and enterprise customers in early 2020.

Tim Cook to Talk with Marc Benioff at Salesforce Conference Tomorrow

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Apple CEO Tim Cook will talk with Salesforce boss Marc Benioff tomorrow at the firm’s Dreamforce conference, MacRumors reported.  It will take place at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Yerba Buena Theater, and will also be live-streamed. It also announced new iOS enterprise apps.

Apple and Salesforce formed a strategic partnership in 2018. Salesforce has since redesigned its customer relationship management app with support for the latest features on iPhone and iPad, including Siri Shortcuts and Face ID. The new Salesforce app is available in the App Store. Salesforce has also announced a Trailhead GO learning app with more than 700 modules covering business and tech skills. Trailhead GO is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Additional features, including support for Dark Mode and Sign in with Apple, are expected to be available later this year.

Twelve South’s AirFly Pro is a Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

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AirFly Pro is a wireless headphone adapter that plugs into a headphone jack to let you use your Bluetooth headphones on devices that don’t support Bluetooth, like the Nintendo Switch.

AirFly Pro works with most popular wireless headphones and earbuds. Even when you pair two sets of headphones with AirFly Pro, you can use any combination of wireless headphone brands. You connect your wireless headphones to this little splitter pretty much the same way you would pair your favorite headphones with any other wireless devices, such as your iPhone.

You can pick one up starting at US$54.99.

This 1,300mAh Portable Charger Fits on Your Keyring: $34

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a neat portable charger designed to fit on your keyring. It has a 1,300mAh capacity and an integrated, retractable Lightning port for when you need that quick, emergency charge. It’s $39.99 through our deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 at checkout brings the price down to $34. I’m linking to the Lightning model, as described, but there are also USB-C and micro USB options in the deal listing, and that coupon code works on them, too.

GitHub Preserves its Code in the Arctic World Archive

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GitHub plans to store all of its open source code in the Arctic World Archive to prepare for possible doomsday scenarios.

The data is stored on reels of film coated with iron oxide powder. It can be read by a computer or — in the event of a global power outage — a human with a magnifying glass. Crucially, this film will last for 1,000 years. Among the first data deposit at the vault is the source code for Android and Linux operations systems, as well as a range of programming languages, web platforms, cryptocurrencies and AI tools. GitHub is planning on having all active public repositories stored by February 2020.

This sounds like a neat project. It also sounds like the Arctic World Archive is “around the corner” from the Doomsday seed vault, another preservation project. Note: The photo I chose for the featured image is of that seed vault.