Google: "Don't Be Evil, Unless We Can Make Money"

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Google is working with authoritarian China to build a censored version of its search engine, completely sh*tting on its old motto “Don’t Be Evil.” With dollar signs in its eyes, Google (and Apple mind you) can’t resist the siren call of dystopia:

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

The planned move represents a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search engine in the country.

Should Apple Ban Alex Jones From its Platforms?

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Facebook and Spotify have recently removed some content from Alex Jones from their platforms. In my opinion I think Apple should be next. Recode reports on Spotify’s move:

Infowars founder Alex Jones is getting another slap on the wrist from a major tech company: Spotify, the music streaming service that also streams podcasts, has removed multiple episode of “The Alex Jones Show” for violating the company’s policies around hate speech.

Before I get emails from readers accusing me of political bias (it happened recently) let me give you my take. Regardless of whether Alex Jones is considered alt-right, conservative, or whatever you want to call him, this shouldn’t be a political issue. People from all political sides should support compassion for others, as well as support evidence-based discourse. Alex Jones isn’t compassionate, and many of the things he says aren’t based on evidence.

You'll Never Look at a U.S. Map the Same

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Bloomberg has one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in a long time. They called it, “Here’s How America Uses Its Land,” but it’s much more than that. They took data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and broke it up into a series of different views that gave me, at least, radically better perspective on how this country’s land is used. The screenshot I included in this Cool Stuff Found is just one of those views, BTW. They also did a great job of using modern CSS to let you scroll through all the info. Here are some spoilers: cows use more land than people; forest land has been growing since 2007; and a little factoid I find disturbing: “since 2008 the amount of land owned by the 100 largest private landowners has grown from 28 million acres to 40 million, an area larger than the state of Florida.” Check it out!

You’ll Never Look at a U.S. Map the Same

Donut County Game Available for Pre-Order Today

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Donut County game, a story-based physics puzzle game about a mysterious hole in the ground developed by Ben Esposito, will be launching on PlayStation 4, Steam, GOG and the App Store for iOS and Mac on August 28. Published by Annapurna Interactive, the publisher behind critically acclaimed titles What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa and Florence, Donut County is currently available to pre-order on today on the iOS App Store and Mac App Store. In the game you explore negative space by giving players control over a hole in the ground, and combine objects in the hole for surprising effects, solve puzzles by launching them back out, and ruin everyoneʼs day by devouring everything in sight. App Store: Donut County – US$4.99 | Mac App Store: Donut County – US$12.99

Donut County Game Available for Pre-Order Today

Cupertino Shelves Employee Head Tax, Wants Apple to Help Fund Hyperloop Instead

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Futurama high speed people mover tube

Apple’s resistance to Cupertino’s proposed “head tax” on employees paid off because the city backed down from putting it to a vote in November. Mayor Darcy Paul says the city wants more input from businesses before revisiting the tax. Now he wants Apple to help fund a hyperloop line in Cupertino. From the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

[Mayor Paul] said he believes there’s a strong possibility that Silicon Valley tech companies like Apple would ‘heavily subsidize’ construction of a cutting-edge transportation solution in their own back yard and that no new tax should be imposed until that possibility is fleshed out.

Apparently Paul thinks Elon Musk’s hyperloop concept—a sealed tube that transports people at high speed—is the way to bring in more tax revenue.

Japan Display Inc Shows off Futuristic Technology

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Japan Display Inc., a Japanese manufacturer known for producing iPhone screens, unveiled some futuristic technology at a recent event.

The presentation, perhaps unintentionally, highlighted the company’s challenges in reducing its reliance on screens for mobile phones, which account for 80 percent of revenue. Samsung Electronics Co. and Sharp Corp. earlier this week reported earnings that took a hit from sluggish global smartphone sales and JDI is due to report first-quarter results on Aug. 8. In addition, Apple is shifting to next-generation organic light-emitting diode displays, which JDI doesn’t produce in mass quantities.

I love me some futurism, and it’s good to see Japan Display start to branch out now that we seem to be in peak smartphone.

How to Improve Your Black and White Photography

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The Phoblographer shared some tips to improve your black and white photography. The world of monochrome is a fun journey, and as a black and white photographer myself, it’s always good to get tips and tricks. There are nine tips to help you get started:

  1. Plan to shoot black and white before you take the shot
  2. Look for the abstract
  3. Shoot in RAW or use color filters
  4. Use long exposures
  5. Dodge and Burn
  6. Understand how light is affected
  7. Use HDR
  8. Emphasize mood
  9. Subvert Expectation (take black and white photos of things you would expect to be in color)

There’s more to it and just taking color away, and you can read the article and watch the video to learn more.

CNET Predicts New iPhone Announcement Coming on September 12

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Latest iPhone 8 leaks back up full screen design without a physical Home button

CNET looked at Apple’s track record over the past few years to pick the most likely date for the new iPhone announcement and came up with Wednesday, September 12th. That takes into account the days of the week and time in September Apple usually chooses for its iPhone events. Next, they looked at prior announcement proximity to Labor Day. They say,

For the last six years, Apple held its iPhone announcements on either a Tuesday or Wednesday, and usually no later than the second full week of September…For 2018, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 3. So, if Apple follows its recent pattern, the company would announce its new iPhones the following Tuesday or Wednesday: September 11 and September 12.

Considering the negative connotations that go along with September 11th in the United States, that leaves the 12th. Since first deliveries follow about a week and a half later, that means we’ll have new iPhones in our hands on September 21st.