Apple Seeds tvOS 12 Developer Beta 4

· · Product News

tvOS 12 beta

tvOS 12 includes new features like Dolby Atmos audio support, the ability to auto-fill passwords from user’s iPhones, and Zero Sign-on for cable TV services. Zero Sign-on lets Apple TV detect which cable service you have and automatically sign in and download apps for available channels.

US House Finally gets a Republican to Back Net Neutrality

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Protesters marching to protect net neutrality

Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) says he’s ready to take action and restore net neutrality protection. The rules were overturned and ultimately expired on June 11th, opening the door for ISPs to control internet traffic passing through their networks as they see fit. Coffman says the bill he’s introducing will create an “internet constitution.” Reuters reports,

The bill would ensure “no throttling, no blocking, no paid prioritization and oversight of interconnection” rules between internet providers and backbone transit providers, his office said in a statement.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been hell bent on removing any restriction and regulations protecting net neutrality. With one GOP member breaking ranks and supporting net neutrality maybe, just maybe, we’ll see more follow suit.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Amateur Astronomer Mike Weasner

· · Background Mode Podcast

Mike Weasner on Background Mode.

Mike Weasner is a noted amateur astronomer, known for his book on the Meade ETX telescopes, early iPhone astrophotography and work with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) in Arizona. Very early in life, Mike fell in love with astronomy, and that led to a B.S. in astrophysics. Via ROTC, Mike later joined the United States Air Force, where he served as a fighter pilot (A-7D), instructor (T-38), and a manager in the Air Force’s Space Shuttle Program Office. After his USAF duty, Mike spent 23 years as a program manager with TRW/Northrop Grumman. We chatted about his Air Force days and some interesting flight experiences. In the second segment, we talked about the construction of his observatory, evolution of his telescopes, astrophotography of asteroids, supernovae patrol and his work with the IDA.

This Chat App Combines Multiple Chat Services Into One

· · Cool Stuff Found

There’s an app called One Chat for Mac and iPad that combines multiple chat services into one. The chat app supports WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Twitter, and more. It auto-locks when you’re away, and you can use a password or Touch ID to lock it. You can schedule messages to send to friends, generate “Auto Smart GIFs), customize notifications, and a whole lot more. It also supports file transfer, so you can send and receive photos, videos, DOC, TXT, PDFs, with drag-and-drop support. It costs US$17.99, and you can buy multiple copies in case you have a business.

Phone Calls Are Dead. Is Voice Chat the Future?

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Not many people like to make and take phone calls nowadays. But David Pierce writes that sending text messages removes the humanity from communication. Is voice chat the future instead?

In the swing from calls to texts, we lost the warmth and humanity that made the phone work in the first place. I’m not pining for the days of the loudly spinning rotary phone, though. Better ways to actually talk to people already exist. A few companies are building tools that improve upon what didn’t work about phone calls, making them less disruptive and more productive.

At the same time, a new type of chat is sitting right under our noses. It’s called voice messaging, and it deserves a place alongside text and video as core parts of how we chat in the digital age.

A Cashless Society is a Discriminatory Society

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Tim Cook wants to see a cashless society, but Gene Marks writes that it’s an inherently discriminatory system. Not accepting cash excludes service to people (usually poor people) who may be unable to get a credit or debit card. But a new bill would make it illegal for restaurants to refuse paper money.

However, one city in the US is resisting that trend: Washington DC. In the nation’s capital cash is still king, and a new bill introduced this week wants to keep it that way. The Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act of 2018 would make it illegal for restaurants and retailers not to accept cash or charge a different price to customers depending on the type of payment they use.