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September 15, 2017

The Morning After: Friday, September 15th 2017

by John_A

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Did you get your iThing pre-order in? The Apple Store is open and selling most of the items just announced — but not the iPhone X. Of course, there’s at least one other good reason to wait, and we’ll find out more about it in a couple of weeks.

It’s promising better storage, speed, photos and more.
Google’s next Pixel smartphones arrive October 4th


As rumors suggest, Google’s turn at the smartphone churn is set for October 4th. A search-box-centered teaser video is promising a phone that works better and doesn’t slow down — we’re assuming it’ll lean heavily on the company’s new version of Android, then. We’ll be there to report all about it.

The grand finale.
Follow Cassini’s final moments before it plunges into Saturn


As you read this, the Cassini spacecraft may be sending back its final images from Saturn. After thirteen years of operation, its grand finale includes a plunge into the planet’s atmosphere, sending back data and pictures until it’s destroyed. NASA predicts it will lose contact with the spacecraft around 7:55 AM ET, so recap Cassini’s most exciting discoveries, then tune into a NASA TV live stream starting around 7 AM ET.

The demo iPhone X locked up because it tried authenticating faces before the show.
Apple says too many faces ruined its Face ID stage demo


When Apple OS chief Craig Federighi tried to demo Face ID on stage during Cupertino’s annual iPhone event, it didn’t quite work as he expected. “Your passcode is required to enable Face ID” popped up, eliciting a nervous chuckle from Craig and forcing him to switch to the spare demo phone. While people were quick to say that Face ID failed its first test, the hiccup apparently happened not because iPhone X’s star feature didn’t work, but because it worked too well. Sure it did.

Senator Al Franken has written Tim Cook a letter with his concerns.
Apple questioned about Face ID security by the US Senate

In related news, there’s a lot of us concerned about privacy and security of Apple’s Face ID feature. Edward Snowden, for instance, thinks it normalizes face scanning, sayings it’s “a tech certain to be abused.” Now, US Senator Al Franken is pressing the tech titan for answers, penning a letter addressed to Apple chief Tim Cook with a list of questions concerning the technology’s “eventual uses that may not be contemplated by” its customers.

Are you going my way?
Hyperloop One is closer to deciding its first planned route


One of the ways that Hyperloop One is working out which routes it wants to build is through its Global Challenge program. It is, essentially, an X-Factor style competition in which candidate cities and states can audition for the prize of getting to buy their own high-speed travel systems. Now, the company has announced which regions are in the running to be the first to get their own Hyperloop route. There are ten winners across five countries, and each proposal was judged by a panel of experts in infrastructure, transport and technology. Now, each one will be examined in extreme detail as Hyperloop One works out the best place to break ground on its first full-bodied line.

‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ and the power of in-app payments
What we’re playing: ‘Mario + Rabbids,’ ‘Overwatch’ and ‘Splatoon 2’


It’s a Nintendo-heavy edition of what we’re playing, with an Overwatch side. But while most of us are playing too much Switch, Aaron Souppouris battles with Nintendo’s iOS game, Fire Emblem Heroes. And spends money. Too much, arguably.

Facebook allowed advertisers to target anti-Semites

The social network’s ad algorithm definitely needs a lot more work.

As further proof that the Facebook ad network needs a lot of work, ProPublica has discovered that it allowed advertisers to target anti-Semites. When you buy ads on Facebook, the system prompts you to add targeted categories, which are real keywords or phrases people use on their profiles. Well, ProPublica has proven that the ad network recognizes anti-Semitic sentiments from users’ profiles as valid ad categories, including “Jew hater,” “How to burn Jews,” “Nazi party,” “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “German Schutzstaffel.” Since the network’s algorithm handles ad purchases from start to finish with no human input, ProPublica was able to get the anti-Semitic ads it purchased for its investigation approved within 15 minutes.

But wait, there’s more…

  • AT&T’s buy-one-get-one-free deal on the iPhone 8 has a big caveat
  • Blizzard claims dealing with player toxicity is slowing ‘Overwatch’ updates
  • How Electroloom’s clothes-printing revolution died
  • MoviePass is struggling to keep up with all its new members
Read more from News

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