BostonDynamics's Atlas Robot Can Now Use Parkour Tactics (to Hunt Us Down)

· · Cool Stuff Found

I both love and am terrified by the astounding work BostonDynamics is doing with its future masters-of-us-all. The company has a new video our showing its Atlas robot on a parkour outing, something they will no doubt find useful when they turn on us at some point in the not-too-distant future. OK, I mostly kid, but seriously: watching this video is both amazing and weirdly creepy (and scary). The way Atlas uses its arms to balance and help lift itself…it’s so human-like. BostonDynamics, by the by, is the company that makes dogbots that can open doors, another ability they will no doubt find useful.

Plucky Google Reaches for the Golden Ring With Call Screen

· · Link

Google's CallScreen service

You have to hand it to Google. The company has a certain spirit of AI inventiveness, even if the result isn’t always iron-clad consumer ready.  In this case, it’s the recently announced Call Screen service for Pixel phones that puts an AI between the Pixel user and the telemarketers & robocalls.  Read about it in the link below. This may not do amazing things for Pixel sales, and it may still have kinks to work out, but it sets a bar and whets our appetite for what Apple could do when it’s in top gear. Alas, Siri, cannot do this. Yet.

AmpliTube Adds Ampeg Collection 2 with 3 Amps and Cabinet Models for iOS

· · Cool Stuff Found

IK Multimedia announced a new collection of models for AmpliTube called Ampeg Collection 2 for iOS. It includes three new Ampeg amp and cabinet models: SVT-VR amp – A vintage reissue of an early 1970s “Blue-Line” SVT head; SVT-810 AV cab – The classic Ampeg seen on stages worldwide; V-4B amp – a 100W All-Tube Bass Head;  SVT-212 AV cab – 2×12″ custom Eminence® LF drivers and a 1″ compression driver with 3-way level control; HERITAGE B-15N amp – with the circuit paths of both a 1964 and 1966 B-15; B-15N 115 cab – with the double-baffle design of the B-15 Heritage cabinet
. All the models are licensed, and the collection can be downloaded within AmpliTube for $14.99. It requires version 4.6 of the AmpliTube or AmpliTube CS apps for iPhone and iPad, and is available now.

AmpliTube Adds Ampeg Collection 2 with 3 Amps and Cabinet Models for iOS

Why Do Many Fantasy Books Feature Academia?

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Jason Kehe writes about an interesting trope in fantasy books: wizard schools. Specifically, orphans who go to wizard school, meet friends along the way, and finally defeat a villain.

Authors change; the story stays the same. In the darkness a child is born. The child suffers, but he has mysterious power. Posthaste, destiny leads the child to the same place it herds all the courageous orphan-protagonists of speculative fiction: a storied and exclusive institution of magical learning, where he unnerves the faculty, demonstrates arrogance, and forms lasting friendships on his way to vanquishing evil.

Ancestry Sites Can Potentially Expose Your Identity

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Researchers have determined that ancestry sites could potentially expose anyone’s identity.

Much like the Golden State investigators, the team found they could trace back someone’s identity in the database with relative ease by using these distant relatives and other demographic but not overly specific information, such as the target’s age or possible state residence.

Well isn’t that just a bucket of awesome.

6-in-1 USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro: $39.99

· · TMO Deals

6-in-1 USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro

Check out today’s deal on a 6-in-1 USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro. It features 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB-A 3.0 ports, a SD port, and a Micro SD port. It supports 5K video out through USB-C, and it supports 2016 and 2017 USB-C MacBook Pro models. It’s $39.99 through us.

Turn Your iPad into a Second Display for Your Mac with Luna Display

· · Cool Stuff Found

Luna Display was introduced as a Kickstarter a year ago, and now it’s available for everyone. The Luna Display is a dongle that connects to your Mac via USB-C or Mini DisplayPort and turns your iPad into a wireless second display. Since it’s a hardware linkup instead of software it uses your Mac’s own graphics acceleration for improved performance. I’ve been testing one with my MacBook Pro and iPad pro for a while it’s pretty impressive. Getting a dual display setup without having to carry any extra gear when I’m travelling is awesome. You can get Luna Display at the Luna website for US$79.99.

Turn Your iPad into a Second Display for Your Mac with Luna Display

Apple Hoping to Drive Original Content Interest with Free Shows

· · Link

Original TV shows coming to Apple Music in 2017

Insider sources tell CNBC Apple will let anyone with an Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad watch its original streaming shows for free. They’ll be available through the TV app, which also groups together other subscription channels. From the report:

The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription “channels,” which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz.

My guess is that the insiders are partially right. I think Apple will offer an episode or two from each show for free. Watching full seasons will require a paid subscription of some sort. That could be an Apple Music subscription, or a new package Apple will create for its TV shows.

How To Choose a VPN for iPhone

· · Deep Dive

Screenshot of VPN app for iPhone in App Store

Are you looking to boost your iPhone’s security by using a VPN? VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have been around for decades now and you may have heard of them already. They help everyone, from individuals to big businesses, protect their security and privacy and have gone on to become an essential part of the cybersecurity system for many.