Want to check out Destiny‘s strike missions and raids but haven’t shelled out for a PlayStation Plus membership yet? Well, perhaps you can rally a few similarly-leveled buddies this weekend and give The Devil’s Lair or Vault of Glass a shot on PlayStation 4 — even if they’re in Europe. Starting this Friday at 3:01 a.m. Eastern / 12:01 a.m. Pacific, you’ll have a chance at taking out Sepiks Prime with a little help from your friends in developer Bungie’s latest shooter, gratis. Sony’s PlayStation Network has grown by leaps and bounds since the PS3 days, and the outfit wants to show it off. If Destiny isn’t your game, as Joystiq writes, you can take any multiplayer title online until the free promotion ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. We hear that Battlefield 4 is finally working, too, but if you aren’t into the whole pew-pew thing, there’s always FIFA 15. Regardless of what you play, there’s almost never a bad reason to spend a weekend on the couch enjoying the great indoors.
Source: PlayStation Blog
When Hermann von Helmholtz designed what was essentially the world’s first electric keyboard, he didn’t do out of a need to lay down crunchy riffs on the shores of the Rhine. What he needed was a way to generate tones and mix timbres in a bid to better understand the musicality and substance of vowel sounds. He ultimately came up with a series of electrically activated tuning forks hooked up to brass resonators, and now you can try to own one of your every own… assuming you’ve got between at least $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket. This particular unit — hewn of wood and keys whittled from African ivory — wasn’t made by Helmholtz himself, but it is one of the few remaining examples of such 19th century tech still in existence. To hear auction broker Bonhams tell the tale, there’s just one other floating around the United States (another seems to be in safe hands at the University of Toronto). Intrigued? The Helmholtz synthesizer will go up for auction in New York come late October along with a slew of other scientific curios from back in the day.
Us humans are normally good at making quick judgments about neighborhoods. We can figure out whether we’re safe, or if we’re likely to find a certain store. Computers haven’t had such an easy time of it, but that’s changing now that MIT researchers have created a deep learning algorithm that sizes up neighborhoods roughly as well as humans. The code correlates what it sees in millions of Google Street View images with crime rates and points of interest; it can tell what a sketchy part of town looks like, or what you’re likely to see near a McDonald’s (taxis and police vans, apparently).
Once a computer teaches itself using the algorithm, it’s surprisingly effective. While humans are still quicker at finding their way to a given location, machines are better at gauging how close they are based on individual photos. You sadly won’t see this technology used in the real world any time soon, since it’s just a proof of concept at this stage. However, it’s already good enough that MIT’s team believes it could help navigation apps steer you around crime-ridden areas, or give retailers a sense of where to set up shop. Eventually, you may not have to set foot in an unfamiliar neighborhood before you get a feel for what it has to offer.
The FBI has been in talks with Apple and Google about the way the technology companies are marketing the privacy features in their smartphones, according to FBI Director James Comey (via The Huffington Post). Comey says that he is concerned that the two companies are “marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”
Comey’s remarks come following both privacy changes introduced with iOS 8 and a new privacy site that Apple introduced last week, explaining that the company has altered the way encryption works in iOS 8. Apple no longer stores the encryption keys for devices in iOS 8, making it impossible for it to unlock content on devices under police request.
“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access your data,” reads its new privacy site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”
Shortly after Apple announced the encryption changes to iOS 8, Google announced that the next generation of Android, set to be released next month, will also encrypt data by default, providing the same encryption protections to its smartphones that a passcode provides to iPhones.
According to Comey, though he understands the need for privacy, he believes government access to electronic devices is necessary in some cases.
“I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the content of anyone’s closet or their smart phone,” he said. “The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened — even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order — to me does not make any sense.”
He goes on to say that one day, it may matter “a great, great deal” that the government be able to infiltrate “a kidnapper’s or a terrorist or a criminal’s device.” His goal, he says, is to have a “good conversation” in the country “before that day comes.”
The exact nature of the talks between FBI officials and Apple and Google remains unknown, with Comey only stating that the discussion has been over the “marketing of their devices.”
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
At just under two years since its last update, the Mac mini seems to have become the forgotten part of Apple’s Mac lineup, with a number of fans of the small desktop waiting for any word of a potential update.
As they typically are with Mac products, rumors and leaks regarding the Mac mini’s future have been relatively rare, with essentially nothing having appeared on the radar since a reference to a “Mid 2014″ Mac mini surfaced on an Apple support page as a likely error several months ago.
MacRumors has now received word that Apple is planning a Mac mini update possibly launching next month alongside new iPad models and presumably OS X Yosemite. While we have been unable to obtain corroborating information of an imminent update, the mere possibility of an update as soon as next month is likely to be welcome news to Mac mini fans. The single source has provided no additional details on what to expect in terms of a next-generation Mac mini, but has provided accurate information in the past.
The timing of such an update would be a bit odd, as it is unclear what processors Apple would use in these machines. Next-generation Broadwell processors from Intel appropriate for the Mac mini are not scheduled to arrive until early next year, and the current Haswell processors are no longer cutting edge as Intel has been forced to prolong their shelf life due to continued delays with Broadwell.
Still, the Mac mini is not generally intended to be a workhorse machine with the fastest processors (although they are popular as servers), so Apple may be willing to launch the updated models with Haswell refresh processors released earlier this year. The Mac mini typically uses the some of the same processors as the MacBook Pro except shifted several months later, meaning that an updated Mac mini released next month could use some of the processors from the late July MacBook Pro update.
Apple has recently added the Mac Pro to the refurbished section of its online store, giving customers the opportunity to purchase the professional-level desktop at a 15 percent discount compared to a brand-new machine for the first time since the computer’s December 2013 release.
There are several different configurations available, ranging in price from $2,549 for the 3.7GHz quad-core machine with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage to $7,479 for the 2.7Ghz 12-core machine with 32GB RAM and 1TB storage. All available refurbished Mac Pro models ship within 3 to 5 business days.
All of Apple’s refurbished products, the Mac Pro included, have been thoroughly tested for reliability and come with the same one-year warranty offered with standard products.
Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro made waves when it was released, due to its radically redesigned cylindrical form factor and the fact that the machine is the first to be assembled in the United States. It features Ivy Bridge E processors, dual GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, and fast PCI Express-based flash storage.
Apple has commented on the ongoing complaints about the iPhone 6 Plus bending in user pockets, telling CNBC that the new iPhones include steel/titanium inserts to reinforce stress locations and that they use the “strongest glass in the industry.”
The company went on to say that only nine customers had complained about bent iPhones, suggesting the issue is not as widespread as it has appeared in the media. It also stated that both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have met or exceeded testing for strength and durability, and that bending in the iPhone 6 Plus during normal use is “extremely rare.”
Reports of the iPhone 6 Plus’s weakness to bending first began trickling in on Monday, after several MacRumors forum members shared images of devices that had bent while in a pocket. The bending issue went viral after a YouTuber posted a video of the iPhone 6 Plus warping out of shape when bent in his hands, which caused significant damage near the device’s volume buttons.
Given the media attention the bending received, it was difficult to tell how many users were truly affected by iPhone 6 Plus bending during real world usage. Though Apple kept quiet on the issue until today, the company has been directing its support staff to replace affected phones under warranty following a visual inspection.
Regular selfie vids just won’t cut it anymore. We live in the age of Hyperlapse after all, and now Instagram is offering the high-speed option for that front-facing cam. With a new update to its standalone iOS app, the filter-driven outfit allows you to employ its time-lapse tool to document those vacation selfie moments and more. All you have to do is tap the appropriate icon on the app’s home screen to toggle between cameras before capturing the footage and beaming it to Instagram, Facebook or your phone’s library. The new version is live in the iTunes App Store now, so have at it.
Much has changed since the Federal Aviation Administration decided to start testing drones in the US for the first time. Part of that is due to the growing interest in UAVs over recent months, not only from hobbyists, but also from major technology companies including Amazon, Facebook and Google. There’s certainly potential for a great deal of congestion in the skies in the near future, but the FAA doesn’t believe its upcoming NextGen control system is ready to handle all the forecasted traffic from commercial drones — not yet, at least. “We didn’t understand the magnitude to which (drones) would be an oncoming tidal wave, something that must be dealt with, and quickly,” FAA Assistant Administrator Ed Bolton told the Associated Press.
When the administration began designing NextGen back in 2003, which is said to have cost upward of $5 billion so far, drones weren’t kept in mind, and it could take years for it to have a working and, most importantly, safe system in place that can monitor and control manned and unmanned aircraft alike. As a member of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association puts it, “It’s becoming painfully apparent that in order to get (drones) in there, there is going to have to be fair amount of accommodation, at least in the beginning.”
That said, things could pan out better for delivery drones, such as Amazon’s Prime Air, since the FAA doesn’t exactly consider those “real” and expects them to fly at altitudes lower than 400 feet — NASA’s already working with the administration on building a separate control system for these. What the FAA is really worried about are UAVs that can fly above 18,000 feet, particularly because they do so at slower speeds than airliners that typically use those lanes and, since they’re not controlled by an onboard pilot, there’s cause for concern that the person on the ground perhaps won’t have the ability to avoid a possible accident.
[Image credit: Flickr/Asitimes]
Via: The Verge
Source: Associated Press
By now, you’ve likely heard a thing or two about the new iPhones’ flexibility, and Apple has offered a word on the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Cupertino-based outfit only received nine complaints of bent devices and that the damage occurring due to regular use is “extremely rare.” It also maintains that both the new iPhone 6 and its larger sibling went through durability testing to insure they’d stand up to daily use. Of course, the interwebs have been littered with videos of folks purposely trying to flex their mobile wares in far from “normal” conditions. Unfortunately, there’s no word on if tight trousers are in fact to blame.