Blue Adds Professional Voice Effects with Yeti X Pro USB Mic

· · Cool Stuff Found

Blue launched a new version of the Yeti microphone, the Yeti X, shown below. The device is being targeted at gaming, streaming and podcasting, but the signature new feature is VO!CE Software, which gives creators and streamers professional voice effects and presets at the touch of a button. Internally, it features a four-capsule condenser microphone array, and it offers high-res LED metering. The presets and effects mentioned above are controlled through a a multi-function smart knob. It ships in October for $169.99.

Amazon Music HD Adds Tracks for Audiophiles

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Amazon Music HD is a new service that provides high quality streaming for audiophiles. New subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited get a three month free trial.

This 90-day free trial offer is a limited time offer. This offer applies only to the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan and the Amazon Music HD Family Plan and is available only to new subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited. After the 90-day trial, your subscription to the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan or the Amazon Music HD Family Plan, as applicable, will automatically continue at the monthly price of $14.99 ($12.99 for Prime members) plus applicable tax (if you selected the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan) or $19.99 plus applicable tax (if you selected the Amazon Music HD Family Plan) until you cancel.

Amazon Tweaked Algorithm to Push Its Own Products

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Amazon changed the way its search algorithm works. According to an exclusive report by the Wall Street Journal,  changed products that are more profitable for the online retailer.

Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that are more profitable for the company. The adjustment, which the world’s biggest online retailer hasn’t publicized, followed a years long battle between executives who run Amazon’s retail businesses in Seattle and the company’s search team, dubbed A9, in Palo Alto, Calif., which opposed the move, the people said. Any tweak to Amazon’s search system has broad implications because the giant’s rankings can make or break a product. The site’s search bar is the most common way for U.S. shoppers to find items online, and most purchases stem from the first page of search results, according to marketing analytics firm Jumpshot.

Why Apple's EU Tax Case Matters

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EU wants €13 billion for back Apple taxes

Apple’s appeal against the EU’s demand for €13 billion in taxes allegedly owed from its Irish business will be heard in the coming days. The Irish Times had a really good explainer on Friday explaining why the case is so important.

Apple has always insisted that it is absolutely not true that it did not pay all the taxes due. Apple says it is committed to respecting all tax laws as they stand, and that it pays huge amounts of tax on its profits – some $37 billion to the US treasury alone in respect of its international operations. It is now, the company boasts, the world’s and Ireland’s largest taxpayer. And the 6,000 workers it employs in Ireland pay a huge part of the State’s income tax, it notes

ImageNet Roulette Shows How ML Classifies You

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ImageNet Roulette is part of an art and technology exhibit called Training Humans. Upload a photo and the algorithm will give you a classification. Some of the labels are funny, others are racist.

ImageNet Roulette is meant in part to demonstrate how various kinds of politics propagate through technical systems, often without the creators of those systems even being aware of them.

We did not make the underlying training data responsible for these classifications. We imported the categories and training images from a popular data set called ImageNet, which was created at Princeton and Stanford University and which is a standard benchmark used in image classification and object detection.

I uploaded a photo of me and the label I received was “beard.” Accurate.

How Apple Arcade Became Tempting For a Hardcore Android User

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Apple and Google are soon to expand their rivalry into the realm of gaming services. Apple Arcade and Google Stadia are both compelling products. However, Apple Arcade seems to be getting interest from some unlikely people. On CNet, hardcore Android user Shelby Brown explained why she is paying attention to Apple’s offering.

Stadia still feels like it’s aimed solely at console gamers. On Twitter, Stadia business development manager Ray Bautista touted that the service offers 4K gameplay, no patches, no updates, no installs, no downloads and no console. But, the average person, a casual gamer or a family looking for a game to play on a Friday night probably isn’t too concerned about frames per second. While Stadia still has games to add, Apple Arcade has established itself as a lifestyle gaming service from day one.

The Most Memorable Apple Ads Over the Years 1984-2019

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Apple ad campaign: Here's to the crazy ones.

Business Insider has collected in one place all the most memorable Apple ads over the years.

  • We looked at the ads that have aired in the years since [1984] and highlighted the most memorable one each year, from dancing iPod silhouettes to the “Get a Mac” ad campaign.

This trip down memory lane is great to mull over as we’ve watched Apple grow and change.

Journalist & TMO Contributor Charlotte Henry (#2) - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Charlotte Henry on Background Mode

Charlotte is a London-based technical journalist. A self described media junkie, she writes about Apple—and now for the Mac Observer as well. She has also written for City A.M. (London’s daily business tabloid,) Computer Business Review, and the Independent on Sunday. Her new book is: Not Buying It.

In this special edition of BGM, Charlotte chats about her reactions to Apple’s September 10 iPhone event. She noted how Apple is in a new balancing act, promoting hardware to sell services—and vice versa. Charlotte told me about how pleased she is with the new iPad and plans to buy one. Then we took a closer look at the value proposition comparing the iPhone Xr to the iPhone 11. Charlotte also filled us in on her experience watching the event in the Apple London flagship store.

Netflix Buys Streaming Rights to Seinfeld Starting 2021

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Netflix has bought global streaming rights for Seinfeld. It will begin in 2021, when Hulu’s contract for streaming it expires.

This is the first time Seinfeld will be available on Netflix and the first time that all 180 episodes will be on one service globally and in 4K. Seinfeldmade its streaming debut with the Hulu deal. Internationally, it is streaming on Amazon in a number of territories; that will all be consolidated on Netflix under the new deal.

I watched a couple of reruns of Seinfeld on TV when I was younger, and I never got into it. Maybe I’ll give it another go on Netflix.

HP Printers Send a Ton of Data Analytics Back Home

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Software engineer Robert Heaton found disturbing evidence that HP printers request a lot of analytics permissions to send back to the company.

In summary, HP wants its printer to collect all kinds of data that a reasonable person would never expect it to. This includes metadata about your devices, as well as information about all the documents that you print, including timestamps, number of pages, and the application doing the printing (HP state that they do stop short of looking at the contents of your documents).