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16
Aug

Protests supporting fired Google employee have been postponed


The multi-city Google protests organized by alt-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec have been called off for now. Posobiec began planning the protests after James Damore was fired by Google for circulating his ridiculous, nonsensical anti-diversity memo and the marches scheduled in multiple cities across the country were said to be demonstrations in support of free speech. “Google is a monopoly, and its abusing its power to silence dissent and manipulate election results. Their company YouTube is censoring and silencing dissenting voices by creating ‘ghettos’ for videos questioning the dominant narrative,” said Posobiec on Medium. “The firing of James Damore for calling out Google’s Echo Chamber of Ideology is only further proof of Google’s insidious anti-free speech agenda.”

Peaceful March on Google Postponed Due to Alt Left Terrorist Threats https://t.co/Hpp5mdfhpT pic.twitter.com/PDUUO8CVYS

— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 16, 2017

But in an early morning tweet and a post on the protest’s website, Posobiec announced that the marches have been postponed due to “credible Alt Left terrorist threats for the safety of our citizen participants.” This is something Posobiec has been going on about on Twitter for the last few days, usually referring to the protests as a peaceful march on Google, strong emphasis on the “peaceful.” He points to the tiny code of conduct he created for the event as evidence of the peacefulness of the protests and seems outraged that others have (supposedly) threatened that peace. However, throwing around the word peaceful, doesn’t make something so, and a code of conduct isn’t going to ensure it either.

Plus, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if these “credible threats” don’t actually exist. Posobiec was active in spreading the PizzaGate and Seth Rich conspiracy narratives, so his credibility isn’t exactly up to snuff. The real explanation for the postponements could be a lack of engagement with the events. Facebook events for marches in Pittsburgh, Boulder and Austin, for example had just five, one and three confirmed attendees, respectively.

Posobiec appears to be holding out hope that people will jump on board though. In his post about the postponement he said, “We hope to hold our peaceful march in a few weeks’ time.”

Via: Recode

Source: March on Google

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16
Aug

Shonin’s wearable Streamcam simplifies personal security


In times like these, you learn to keep yourself safe with what you have on hand. Whether that’s broadcasting to Facebook Live, Periscope or Instagram, people have been using their phones to capture video for the world to see. The problem is that uploading live video takes a serious toll on your handset’s battery. That’s where Shonin’s Streamcam comes in. Billed as a wearable security camera — not a life-logging device — the gizmo has a swath of features designed to help keep you safe without draining your phone’s battery.

We’re talking IP67 waterproof construction (like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus), automatic cloud backup and a simple one-touch recording system. The Streamcam is available in LTE and WiFi flavors, and will record encrypted 1080p video to an included, and expandable, 8Gb SD card. An available clip-on battery pack will double the camera’s shooting time, too. It’s worth noting that base battery life isn’t listed anywhere on the pitch page, however. Shonin promises direct broadcasts to Facebook, YouTube and “many other destinations” as well.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the Streamcam won’t begin shipping until next February. That’s the nature of Kickstarter projects. Given that Shonin’s cofounder Sameer Hasan was behind the Kobu e-reader, maybe any worries about this device actually coming to market are unfounded.

The Kickstarter campaign has already raised $116,642 of its initial $30,000 target. If the $150,000 stretch goal is hit, the team promises to add software-based image stabilization. Currently, two early bird backing tiers have yet to sell out. $169 will get you a WiFi model, and $10 more will upgrade you to a LTE-equipped camera.

The price goes up from there, but unlike other campaigns there aren’t any crazy things like dinner with the design team. Instead, Shonin is keeping everything focused on the product itself, opting for hardware bundles instead. Refreshing, no?

Source: Kickstarter

16
Aug

Google Docs version tracking makes collaboration easier


Since adopting the G Suite moniker in September, Google has been steadily beefing up Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Whereas, in the past its updates have targeted select sets of users (like one-tap citations for researchers) its latest crop of tools are all-encompassing. And, they’re all about tracking changes on collaborative docs — even from mobile devices.

Google seems to be fond of rebrands, because starting today “revision history” is dubbed “version history.” This is the place where you can track your team’s changes. The new title also brings with it the ability to assign custom names to versions of a doc, sheet, or slide. That way you can keep on top of things by maintaining a historical record of your squad’s progress. It can also be used to indicate that a doc is actually final (as in completed).

If you’re someone that likes to review documents on the go, Google has you covered. Now, you can suggest edits to a doc from an iPhone or Android handset, and an iPad. Just click the three dots menu at the bottom right of your screen, turn on the “suggest changes” toggle, and input your thoughts in the new “suggestion mode.”

Docs is also receiving a couple of quick-action prompts, including a new preview option that scrubs out comments and suggested edits to show a clean version of your draft. Or, you can skip the review stage altogether by instantly accepting or rejecting all changes. Both options can be accessed via the tools drop-down menu.

Rounding out the updates are a bunch of new templates and add-ons for businesses. And, G Suite is also integrating Google Cloud Search (which uses machine learning to find relevant info from across Google’s productivity apps) for business and enterprise customers.

Source: Google Blog

16
Aug

Google adds allergy forecast info to mobile search results


One antihistamine or two? Google is making sure hay fever sufferers can answer that question in double quick time, thanks to the new addition of pollen measurements in search results. Plug an allergy- or pollen-related query into your Android smartphone and search results will now include a simple breakdown of current and predicted pollen levels. The new type of rich card result is populated by data from The Weather Channel, and as always, you can get more detailed info by tapping on the card itself.

Search within the Google app and you’ll also be prompted to turn on notifications. Your phone will hit you with a reminder if the pollen count is creeping particularly high in your area so you can dash to the nearest store and grab a pocket-pack of tissues before you start streaming from every facial orifice.

Source: Google

16
Aug

T-Mobile boosts coverage with the first 600MHz LTE network


That cellular equipment you see above may not look like much, but don’t dismiss it too quickly — it could be crucial to the future of wireless data. T-Mobile has switched on the world’s first 600MHz LTE sites in Cheynne, Wyoming, promising less congested networks (and thus higher real-world speeds) and better coverage, especially indoors and in those rural areas where range is vital. It’s a modest start, but the carrier promises more 600MHz sites in 10 additional states before the year is over. The tricky part is getting a device that can take advantage of it… you’ll have to wait a while for that.

The network notes that both LG and Samsung expect to ship 600MHz-ready phones sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017. While there’s no mention of which phones are in line, the timing suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 and V30 may be first in line. Whatever shows up, this could still leave you waiting a while before you can find out whether or not 600MHz is as helpful as T-Mobile makes it out to be. That’s especially true if you live elsewhere in the world, where 600MHz wireless is a long-term dream at best.

It’s potentially a coup for T-Mobile. While the 700MHz LTE you see across big carriers today isn’t exactly crude, it doesn’t perform quite as well as the 600MHz band. And T-Mobile’s huge number of 600MHz licenses gives it plenty of headroom, whether it’s for additional customers or future 5G rollouts. This isn’t to say that rivals like AT&T or Verizon are necessarily in trouble. It’s just that T-Mobile might have an ace up its sleeve.

Source: T-Mobile Newsroom

16
Aug

Google Home voice calling starts rolling out today


Google Home is getting a big upgrade today: The smart speaker can now place voice calls, no cellphone needed. This feature was first announced back at Google I/O in May, but it’s now ready to roll out to users in the US and Canada. It’s yet another feature that helps keep the Home competitive with Amazon’s Echo family, which added calling back in May. We haven’t gotten to try it out yet, but it sounds like it should be pretty straightforward to get your Home working as a speakerphone. But there are a few things you’ll want to know before you give it a shot.

For starters, voice calling on Google Home supports multiple users, so anyone in your household who has set up the device to recognize her particular voice will be able to make calls directly from her personal contact list. Basically, that means if you and a roommate both ask Home to call your mom, it’ll use your contacts to find and call the right parent.

Speaking of contacts, you’ll need a Google account with a well-maintained contact list for this to be useful. If you’re an Android user, this probably won’t be an issue. But if you’re using iOS and have also had a Gmail account for a long time, it’s entirely possible your contacts list is long, unorganized and unruly. Fortunately, Google has made managing your contacts online much, much easier in recent years: The current web contacts interface for your Google account is simple and clean. And if you have a master list stored somewhere else, you should be able to export it and then import it into your Google account without much trouble.

As Google said when this feature was first announced, Home doesn’t actually use your cellphone to place a call. Obviously, most everyone with a Google Home will also have a smartphone of some sort, but if your phone breaks or is otherwise unavailable, that won’t stop you from from making calls through your smart speaker. Unfortunately, that means the people you call won’t see your familiar phone number pop up when you ring them from Google Home. Instead, they’ll see “unknown caller” or “no caller ID” — not the best thing to pop up, given the growing annoyance of robo-callers. The good news is that Google will let you link your personal phone number to Google Home by the end of the year, so at least this will be a temporary problem. That said, if you use Google Voice or Project Fi, you can link those numbers up now rather than waiting until the end of the year.

Aside from these details, calling should be pretty straightforward: Just say “Hey, Google, call …” and name a contact. You can also ask Home to call local businesses using natural language like “call the nearest coffee shop.” All domestic calls are free, but you won’t be able to make international calls or dial up “premium rate” numbers unless you have a Project Fi or Google Voice account. In that case, you’ll get charged the same rate you’d pay through those services.

If you want to give Google Home calling a shot, just ask your speaker today — but there’s no guarantee it’ll work yet. As with many Google products, this is a gradual rollout over the next week. If you don’t feel like waiting, it might be worth giving the Google Home Preview Program a shot. You’ll get early access to new features, though there might be a few bugs along the way. But with something like voice calling that Google is officially announcing, things should work without a hitch. If you’re not feeling brave, you might have to be a little patient.

16
Aug

Microsoft Research uses AI to help drones soar like eagles


Microsoft is looking to the skies for its next round of AI inspiration. Specifically, Redmond’s Research division is using the birds that capture columns of warm air to glide around without expending much energy to guide its work. So far, it’s been able to keep a 16.5 foot, 12.5 pound sailplane in the air thanks in part to algorithms that aid the craft in finding and using the thermals.

“Birds do this seamlessly, and all they’re doing is harnessing nature.” principal researcher Ashish Kapoor says. “And they do it with a peanut-sized brain.” AI doesn’t have a brain, per se, so it has to not only assess air temperature, but then predict where the next thermal might be and then catch it. For this test, though, the craft had a motor and someone on the ground with a remote control serving as backup in case the craft’s smarts failed.

The ultimate goal is to keep the craft in the air indefinitely with solar or wind power, and, perhaps serve as autonomous floating cell towers. Kind of like what Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Tether-antenna.

More than that, Microsoft is looking at the complex AI at play here as a proving ground for applications where algorithms need to make split-second decisions — like self-driving vehicles.

Source: Microsoft Research

16
Aug

iFixit Launches New iPhone 7/7Plus Fix Kits for At-Home Battery Replacements and Screen Repairs


iFixit today released a collection of all-new Fix Kits for iPhone 7 devices that guide users through replacing batteries, cracked screens, and even the front and rear camera modules and sensors on an iPhone.

The new battery Fix Kits for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus join previous kits already available for iPhones as far back as the iPhone 4s. iFixit said that these battery replacement kits help bring a dead iPhone back to life, and include all the usual tools needed for the replacement process: a collection of screwdrivers, tweezers, iFixit’s own Opening Tool and Opening Pick, and more. Battery Fix Kits start at $44.95 for the iPhone 7 and increase to $49.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus (pictured below).

The cracked screen Fix Kits are newly available for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as well, and include parts and tools for users to replace a broken iPhone 7 screen on their own. Contents include a custom driver, steel bits, opening tools, tweezers, and a replacement screen backed by iFixit’s lifetime guarantee, but users will have to transfer their old display’s home button assembly to retain Touch ID functions. Cracked screen Fix Kits cost $134.95 for the iPhone 7 and rise to $164.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

There are also new iPhone 7 repair components in the Small Parts Kits section, aimed at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’s Lightning Connector, front camera and sensors, and rear camera. The small parts Fix Kits vary more drastically in price, with an iPhone 7 front camera and sensor cable kit costing $34.95, and an iPhone 7 Plus Dual Rear Camera kit priced at $84.95.

While each Fix Kit has a guide for users to follow, iFixit has also published a few How To videos on its YouTube channel, including an iPhone 7-specific playlist, to make following along to some of the repair kits even easier.

Depending on the issue at hand, and the iPhone model, out-of-warranty repairs directly from Apple can cost as much as $349 for an iPhone 7 Plus. Similar to iFixit’s recent battery replacement Fix Kits for MacBook Pro devices, users have a chance to save money if they try out iFixit’s guided replacement kits, as long as they are also up for the challenge of an at-home repair.

Tag: iFixit
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16
Aug

Apple Watch Series 3 Unlikely to Support Direct Phone Calls, but VoIP Calling a Possibility


The third-generation Apple Watch, set to launch this fall with LTE support for the first time, is unlikely to support phone calls, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note shared this morning.

According to Kuo, while a voice service that replaces the iPhone’s calling functionality is “feasible,” he believes Apple must first work on improving the “user experience of data transmission.” As a result, he says the Apple Watch “probably” won’t support traditional phone calls “this year.”

The watch could, however, support VoIP services like FaceTime and Skype, as FaceTime audio calling is already supported on current Apple Watch models.

This has two benefits: (1) negotiations with mobile operators will be more simple and the chances of cooperation with mobile operators will improve; and (2) 3G connectivity can be scrapped, simplifying the antenna design and facilitating internal design. However, we think there is a chance that users may use LTE Apple Watch to access VoIP services, such as FaceTime and Skype.

Kuo also says that based on a lack of internal space, the LTE Apple Watch is likely to use an eSIM instead of a physical SIM slot, with the device set up to share the same phone number with an iPhone. He warns that LTE connectivity in the Apple Watch could be limited to specific countries and markets as not all mobile operators support that particular business model.

Rumors have already suggested that the major carriers in the United States, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will support and sell the upcoming LTE Apple Watch.

Though Apple is currently embroiled in an ongoing patent dispute with Qualcomm, Kuo believes Apple will use Qualcomm chips in the Apple Watch because Qualcomm’s technology is superior to Intel’s with smaller chips that consume less power.

Finally, Kuo predicts Apple has no intention of developing an Android app for the Apple Watch at this time, given that it would be difficult to have the same deep integration between Apple Watch and an Android phone that’s possible with the Apple Watch and iPhone.

The third-generation Apple Watch is expected to be introduced in September alongside new iPhones. LTE connectivity is expected to be the main selling point for the device, and while there were some rumors pointing towards major design changes, Kuo has previously said there will be no “obvious change” to the form factor.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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16
Aug

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Budget and expense tracking

Where did your money go? Try this easy and simple expense tracker and never be left wondering again.

Available on:

iOS

Millimeter

Millimeter Pro is a easy-to-use and helpful measurement tool for your iPhone. It uses your touchscreen as a ruler or tape measure to make quick measurements.

Available on:

iOS

Textkraft

Textkraft Pocket for iPhone and Apple Watch is a professional writing app and document reader with many specialities.

Available on:

iOS

Todokit

Organize tasks by project, priority, and urgency. Then, track your progress for each task and check your past achievements.

Available on:

iOS

Toast

Toast is the powerful photo editing tool to make beautiful and stylish photos. There are no in-app purchases — everything is included in the app.

Available on:

iOS

Moody

How were you feeling last week? What was your mood last September? It’s usually hard to remember your mood, but Moody is here to help you.

Available on:

iOS




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