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.
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.
The streaming TV business is a hard business to break into. Customers have enormous choice in an overloaded market. Money is tight. Apple knows that.
Genius has partnered with Apple Music to introduce Genius lyrics into the app. Apple Music is also the official music player on its website.
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.
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.
The 2018 National Book Awards list is out, and you can find them in Apple Books. They are split into four categories.
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.
You can now get Apple Pay cashback with Discover debit cards. Get 1% back on qualifying purchases.
John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on how Apple will promote its streaming TV content and follow up on yesterday’s subscription TV overload discussion. They also look at competition in the artificial intelligence space with Google’s new Call Screen feature.
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.
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.
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.
Apple is beefing up its custom chip team by acquiring 300 processor designers and several patents from Dialog Semiconductor.
CVS finally caved and is now accepting Apply Pay at its retail stores.
We’ve got a neat Photos trick for you in this Quick Tip—we’ll go over how to import items directly into any of your albums, without having to do that as a separate step. This works whether you’re importing from Finder or from your iPhone!
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.
Uber drivers held a 24-hour strike in major UK cities, but did it have any effect?
The days of only writing software that resides on a major platform like PCs and Macs are coming to a close. Now, every major tech company wants to sell you its own brand of hardware.
In this episode, Bryan Chaffin ask if Apple’s rumored next iPad Pro is the Mac replacement long predicted. They also discuss what went wrong with Apple TV gaming, and the pros and cons and cons and cons of iPhone driver’s licenses. They sneak some Anki Vector love in there, too.