Making the Case against Google AMP

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

Google AMP logo

Have you heard of Google AMP? That stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it’s a way of making webpages so that they load faster and display more efficiently on mobile devices. Oh, and it puts your website under Google’s control. Polemic Digital has an explanarant (that’s part explanation, part rant) on AMP making the case not to adopt it. It’s an interesting read, and here’s a taste:

AMP allows Google to basically take over hosting the web as well. The Google AMP Cache will serve AMP pages instead of a website’s own hosting environment, and also allow Google to perform their own optimisations to further enhance user experience.

As a side benefit, it also allows Google full control over content monetisation. No more rogue ad networks, no more malicious ads, all monetisation approved and regulated by Google. If anything happens that falls outside of the AMP standard’s restrictions, the page in question simply becomes AMP-invalid and is ejected from the AMP cache – and subsequently from Google’s results. At that point the page might as well not exist any more.

Retro Gaming Console with 600+ Classic Games: $49.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Retro Entertainment Console

We have a deal on the Retro Entertainment Console, a gaming console with 600 classic games built in. It has a modern HDMI port for connecting to your TV, and it’s $49.99 through us. Check out some of the game: Super Mario Bros, Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Turtles, RoboCop 2, DigDug 2, PacMan & PacMan 3, Tetris & Tetris 2, BomberMan, Galaga, Ghostbusters, FIFA 2006, 1942, Alladdin 3, Battleship, Championship Bowling, Donkey Kong Classics, Harry Potter, Lucky Ball, Mickey Mouse, Ms. Pacman, PongPong, Transformers, Space Invaders, Star Fighter, Toy Story, Jurassic Park

How to Delete Your Private Data from Apple's Servers

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

Reaching for Apple Security

Apple’s got a relatively new way that you can scrub your data from their servers, which includes all of your iTunes purchases, your iCloud info, and so on, and Melissa Holt will show you how.

Attention Mark Watney Fans. Earn a Cool $1M From NASA

· John Martellaro · Link

All you scientists and Mark Watney (The Martian) fans: need some pocket change? “Looking to turn carbon from the planet Mars into useful compounds such as sugar, NASA is offering up to a cool $1 million to anyone who can solve how to accomplish such a process.” Sure beats potatoes, grown the Watney way. What a sweet challenge.

Brydge 12.9 Aluminum Keyboard Series II for iPad Offers More Enhancements

· John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

Brydge 12.9 Keyboard for iPad Pro

There’s been a seismic shift with iPads. At one time, physical keyboards were frowned upon. But nowadays, iPad keyboards are in. And much appreciated by road warriors. John reviews the latest keyboard offering from Brydge.

Anyone Can Now Buy The Logitech Crayon Stylus

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Aside from the Apple Pencil, the Logitech Crayon stylus is the only third-party stylus officially approved by Apple. The stylus was announced at Apple’s iPad education event earlier this year. At launch, the Logitech Crayon stylus was sold only to schools. Now however, anyone can buy one. Logitech announced today it will sell the Crayon through its website, as well as Apple Stores. For education customers the price was US$49.99, but for the general public the price has been increased to US$69.99. There’s a caveat though: The stylus is only compatible with the education iPad (sixth-gen), not the iPad Pro or older models. The Crayon charges with a built-in Lightning port and a single charge lasts about seven hours.

Year 5 Update Comes to Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Game

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

In the Hogwarts Mystery game, you go on an adventure set in the wizarding world, years before Harry Potter received his Hogwarts letter. Explore never-before-seen rooms of Hogwarts Castle and investigate ancient mysteries. Learn powerful magic and knowledge from Professors Dumbledore, Snape, and more. Duel against your rivals and forge alliances with new friends to help you on your adventures. As part of WBIE’s Portkey Games label, this game puts you at the center of an all-new story in the wizarding world. The new update, called the Year 5 update, adds characters, places, and new adventures. Year Five is a pivotal year for any student at Hogwarts, with the O.W.L. exams looming, new professors to navigate, and for some, a prefect badge on their robes,” said Amanda Heaton, Executive Producer at Jam City.

Year 5 Update Comes to Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Game

Firefox 62 Introduces Automatic Dark Mode and More

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

The latest update to the browser—Firefox 62—brings automatic Dark Mode on macOS. When you turn on Dark Mode in macOS Mojave, Firefox will now automatically enable its dark theme. The update also sets “the groundwork for future releases that will help people feel safe online.” The company announced last week that the browser would eventually block third-party ad trackers and remove cookies from websites by default. Another component of today’s update are variable fonts. These let you create typography with a single file. For example, if you had the Arial font, there would be a separate file for Arial Bold, Arial Italic, etc. Now it’s included in one file, and websites with a lot of text that switch to this will load with less data than before.

Re/code Covers Social Media Congressional Hearings

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Peter Kafka of Re/code has great coverage of social media Congressional hearings on Wednesday. In attendance were Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CTO Cheryl Sandburg. The senior vice president Google wanted to send wasn’t high-ranking enough for the Senate committee that conducted the hearing. Here’s a snippet:

Sheryl did fine. Jack did quite well, all things considered. Google’s empty chair took a beating. And internet trolls showed up in real life to show what internet trolling looks like in real life.

And that’s pretty much all you need to know about what happened when Silicon Valley came to D.C. today.

Except that Re/code really has a lot more, and I found it a very interesting read.

1000X Zoom 1080p Microscope Camera: $38.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

1000X Zoom 1080p Microscope Camera

Our friends at Stack Commerce put together another microscope deal for us. We ran a deal earlier for a device that clips on to your iPhone or iPad, but today we have a different approach in the 1000X Zoom 1080p Microscope Camera. As the name suggests, it magnifies objects up to 1000 times their original size, and it does so using a dynamic image sensor and 8 super-bright white LED lights to create crisp, detailed images. Get your science on for $38.99 through our deal.

Apple Wants to Hire a 'Senior System Neuroscientist'

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Neural Net Concept Art

This scientist would be, “building transformative neurotechnology,” and dollars to donuts says it’s related to Apple’s ongoing neural net projects.

Facebook's Assault on Democracy Foretells AI Future

· John Martellaro · Editorial

AI problem solving

Everyone assumes that the full technological panoply of AI will be judiciously monitored, regulated and contained for the public good. Right. Just like Facebook handled outsider misinformation.

How to Prevent Apple Store Thefts

· John Martellaro · Link

Apple Store at Park Meadows

Just the other day, the TMO staff was wondering about the recent spate of Apple Store thefts and how to stop them. It turns out that San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya noted that two stores in S.F. have been immune so far. From Cult of Mac: “His theory about why they’ve escaped the Apple crime spree? Because both have uniformed officers stationed there.”  Interesting details here.

Apple/Amazon Trillions, 5 Eyes Magic, iPhone Battery Replacement Reminder - ACM 478

· Bryan Chaffin & Jim Tanous · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Amazon was briefly the second company—after Apple—to be valued at US$1 trillion. Bryan Chaffin is joined by Jim Tanous to discuss what makes the two companies, and their valuations, different. They also examine the recent 5 Eyes statement attacking encryption, and then remind everyone to take advantage of Apple’s iPhone batter replacement program while they can.