APFS, Shutdown, Messages, and Notifications – Mac Geek Gab Podcast 720

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

A Boeing 720 with APFS, Shutdown, Messages, And notifications

Every time your two favorite geeks get together, something interesting happens: everyone learns at least five (5!) new things. This week’s topics include two very specific features of APFS (a pro and a con), noise-canceling headphones for travel, a solution to drives not appearing on your Desktop, some Cool Stuff Found, and much, much more. Press play or download and enjoy!

AI Mania. Can We Keep Up?

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AI concept

New payment systems abound. Artificial Intelligence mania continues. AIs interrogating other AIs and probing their minds. AIs doing cancer diagnosis. And mostly right but sometimes wrong. Facial recognition bites back. Can we keep up?  It’s all in Particle Debris page 2.

Watch This Robot Hand Learn How to Manipulate a Block

· · Cool Stuff Found

OpenAI robot hand

Check out this video from OpenAI of a robot hand learning how to manipulate a block. This an incredibly difficult task, and the level of difficulty is one of the many reasons Apple needs humans assembling iPhones. OpenAI used machine learning and virtual simulations for the robot to spend 100 years of trial and error to learn what you’ll see in the video (TechnologyReview has more details). Those virtual lessons were then used by the real-world robot hand, and it’s pretty darned cool. Check it out.

TMO Background Mode Special Edition Chat with Kelly Guimont: TV Mysteries

· · Background Mode Podcast

Kelly Guimont on Background Mode.

Kelly Guimont is a Contributing Editor for The Mac Observer and Social Media Manager for Smile Software. She first appeared here in December, 2015 to tell her career story and has returned several times for interesting technical discussions. In this special edition, we chat about our favorite movie or two, and how, for some movies, the music has become a thing in itself, the soundtrack of our lives. Then we delved into the legendary BBC/CBC mysteries: Foyle’s War, Murdoch Mysteries, Shetland, Death in Paradise, and Broadchurch. For most of these mysteries, we look at their celebration of place that becomes an integral part of the show. Join us as we explore together what makes these shows so cool.


This Smart Mask Can Alter Your Mind and Make You Horny

· · Cool Stuff Found

MIT has developed a smart mask that can alter your mind. It can make you horny or anxious by listening to your own breathing via feedback mechanisms. The device, called Masque, was created by artist and recent graduate of MIT Media Lab Xin Liu. In Ms. Liu’s thesis, she describes how Masque “caused wearers to feel more stressed and more sexually aroused, despite no registered change in their physiology.” She worked with industrial designer Hongxin Zhang to create it. It hides the electronics inside of its curved frame, with a temperature sensor placed underneath the wearer’s nose. Who knows? Maybe some day in the future you’ll find the Masque in your local sex shop.

This Smart Mask Can Alter Your Mind and Make You Horny

Ways That Apple Could Improve the Phone App

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u/beyondthetech recently posted in the Apple subreddit about ways to improve the Phone app. I think it’s an interesting list, and it could improve the iPhone experience.

I certainly believe that these changes are not too difficult to implement, and I’ve been asking Apple for years to make this happen. Maybe CallKit and Do Not Disturb were their first implementations to my request, but honestly, they’re still both very basic and very naive. With everything else in iOS getting more robust and more smart, Apple needs to really take a fresh look at this area and address it much better this time around in time for iOS 12’s release, or at least in a 12.1 release, if they are already time-constrained.

Cyber Warfare Has Three Aspects, Including Cognition

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Cyber warfare has three aspects: physical, informational, and cognitive. So writes Richard Forno for The Conversation. It seems to me that cognition would be a subset of informational warfare, instead of being a separate dimension. Cyber tools can be used to target your thoughts and perceptions of reality, and we’re seeing this virtually in real time.

However, I believe this isn’t a new form of war at all: Rather, it is the same old strategies taking advantage of the latest available technologies. Just as online marketing companies use sponsored content and search engine manipulation to distribute biased information to the public, governments are using internet-based tools to pursue their agendas. In other words, they’re hacking a different kind of system through social engineering on a grand scale.

There's an Original Mac on Display at Microsoft's Headquarters

· · Cool Stuff Found

There’s an original Mac on display at Microsoft’s headquarters commemorating the fact that Microsoft Office was released first for Apple’s computer platform, and not the PC. That’s pretty cool because the company could’ve easily chosen to not recognize that bit of history and most people would’ve been none the wiser. Apple played a significant role in Microsoft’s early growth, so seeing a Mac with Office installer floppy discs, as Business Insider notes, next to Bill Gates’ original business card is great. You can check out the ancient Mac at Microsoft’s visitor center in Redmond, Washington.

There’s an Original Mac on Display at Microsoft’s Headquarters

Senator Wyden Wants US Government to Stop Using Adobe Flash

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Adobe ending all Flash support in 2020

Flash is dead and any remaining support for the former king of online multimedia officially ends in 2020, so Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is urging U.S. government agencies to drop the platform. In a letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology he said,

While Flash will continue to exist past this point, it will no longer receive necessary technical support, significantly magnifying its existing cybersecurity deficiencies.

Considering the ridiculously long list of security flaws in Flash, ditching the platform is something the government should’ve done long ago.