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Here’s how to tell your fortune with autocorrect

The future is now where we don’t have to visit a seedy fortune teller to get the scoop. Maybe.


One reason I love reading Leigh Alexander: She always manages to find a connection between the ethereal parts of our culture and technology at large.

In one of her latest pieces on Motherboard, Alexander draws relations between our smartphone keyboard’s predictive text feature and how that could be used to tell the future. The article, titled Who Needs a Tarot Reading When We Have Predictive Keyboards? (so true) is a larger look at what our phones know about us and how that keyboard data could be used to essentially predict the future. That’s kind of how Tarot works, too!

Your phone’s knowledge base about language is generally shaped in part by collective use and ongoing updates to a shared database, and partially by what it learns from you in particular. No two users will necessarily have the same experience of autocorrect or predictive text, which means the system is simultaneously personal and universal. That’s also one of the traits that makes tarot such a valuable tool to contemplate one’s goals and choices: the system is universal, where each card generally has a particular meaning, but that meaning depends entirely on the context in which the card appears, the interpretation of the person who reads it, and the personal prompt from the querent.

Fascinating, right? Alexander continues on to make the case for how auto-predict has ostensibly become “a new form of traditional folk divination,” as a source puts it in the article.

Before you dive through the piece, I thought it would be fun to share our own fortunes from GBoard, or whatever other keyboard app you’re currently using.

This year, I will be gone for a while and I will be in touch with me.

Alexander suggests typing out a phrase like “This year, I will,” or “My 2017 will be” and then tapping on the words that show up as it make sense for the sentence. Mine were a bit too personal to share, and almost a bit too revealing, but I’m not surprised considering what the keyboard app has witnessed me type. (I bare my heart through text messages to my closest friends — Gboard stores all that!) Here’s one I didn’t mind sharing, though:


What’s your fortune? Share it in the comments!


When is Android Wear 2.0 coming to my smartwatch?

Google is getting ready to roll out Android Wear 2.0 to smartwatches.

Google has released three major updates to Android Wear in the past two years. In this next version, you can expect a Material Design-themed overhaul, standalone apps, as well as improvements to watch faces, messaging, and fitness, and more. But if you’re just interested in learning when exactly your existing wearable will get Android Wear 2.0, here’s everything you need to know.

Android Wear 2.0: Release date

Google announced last spring that its wearables OS would soon get a massive update, in the form of Android Wear 2.0. The company later ended up pushing back the release date to an unspecified time. Now, thanks to an email to developers as well as a confirmation from a usually reliable leaker, we know the software update should launch on 9 February and continue to roll out into March.

  • READ: Best smartwatches to look forward to in 2017

The product manager of Android Wear told The Verge in December that Google will launch its own pair of smartwatches in 2017. They will be flagship Android Wear 2.0 watches as well as the first devices to launch with the update. According to reports, Google’s watches – Watch Style and Watch Sport – will be made by LG and should begin selling the day after Android Wear 2.0 launches.

  • READ: Are these Google’s upcoming Android Wear watches?

Following the launch of the new devices, existing Android Wear watches will get the Android Wear 2.0 update. Unfortunately, not all existing Android Wear watches will be compatible, but Google said most of the recent models should update. Also, some features like Android Pay will require specific hardware, including NFC radios.

Android Wear 2.0: Asus

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Asus ZenWatch 2
  • Asus ZenWatch 3

Android Wear 2.0: Fossil

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Fossil Q Wander
  • Fossil Q Marshal
  • Fossil Q Founder

Android Wear 2.0: Casio

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Casio Smart Outdoor Watch

Android Wear 2.0: Huawei

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Huawei Watch
  • Huawei Watch Ladies

Android Wear 2.0: LG

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
  • LG Watch Urbane
  • LG G Watch R

Android Wear 2.0: Michael Kors

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
  • Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch

Android Wear 2.0: Moto

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Moto 360 Gen 2
  • Moto 360 Sport

Android Wear 2.0: Nixon

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Nixon Mission

Android Wear 2.0: Polar

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Polar M600

Android Wear 2.0: Tag

Google has confirmed the following watches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 this year:

  • Tag Heuer Connected

Super Bowl 51 will stream for free on Fox Sports Go

The Super Bowl has been streaming for awhile now, but watching the commercials (arguably the best part) has been hit or miss in the past. Remember when all that streamed was the game? Yep, that was pretty terrible. This year, however, Fox Sports has a new plan in place: showing local commercials from some 170 affiliate stations, in addition to the national commercials.

You’ll be able to watch the big game via the Fox Sports Go app or on the Fox Sports Go website come February 5th, and best of all it’ll be free. That’s right, no need for a pay-tv login this time. More than that, you’ll be able to watch via Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Xbox One in addition to Android, Fire tablets, iOS devices and Windows. Even if you’re without a cable subscription or a means of watching over-the-air TV, you’ll still be able to catch gems like the one below.

Via: Deadline

Source: Fox Sports


FTC sues Qualcomm over anti-competitive practices

The U.S. is the latest country to target Qualcomm over anti-competitive behavior. The FTC announced this afternoon that it was suing the company over monopolistic tactics around its baseband processor business — the hardware that smartphones and tablets rely on for network connectivity. In particular, the FTC claims Qualcomm “engaged in exclusionary conduct that taxes its competitors’ baseband processor sales, reduces competitors’ ability and incentive to innovate, and raises prices paid by consumers for cell phones and tablets,” according to a court filing.

The lawsuit comes after South Korea charged Qualcomm $854 million for its patent licensing practices, and China fined it $954 million after an antitrust probe of its own. The FTC found that Qualcomm threatened the supply of baseband processors to customers that didn’t agree to its patent licensing terms. The company reportedly pushes a licensing “tax” on companies when they purchase baseband processors might by competing firms.

Additionally, Qualcomm also refuses to license its patents to competitors, which goes against its commitment to “FRAND” (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing tactics. And, perhaps most damning, Qualcomm also offered reduced royalty fees to Apple in exchange for using its baseband processors exclusively.

At this point, Qualcomm’s chips can be found in the vast majority of mobile devices. Its Snapdragon SoCs (system-on-chips) power most high-end Android phones. Moving forward, it aims to be just about everywhere, including the IoT and connected car business.

Source: FTC


Obama pardons Stuxnet leak source James Cartwright

Chelsea Manning isn’t the only source of online leaks to get a new lease on life. President Obama has pardoned General James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI when it investigated leaks that revealed details of Stuxnet, the US-backed malware that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program. He had denied slipping out classified details to two New York Times reporters (including book author David Sanger) in a 2012 interview with the Bureau, only to be caught out later on. He had been facing up to 5 years in prison and was due to be sentenced the same day as the pardon.

At the moment, it’s not certain why Cartwright is receiving the pardon. He was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from his nomination in 2007 through to his retirement from Marine Corps service in 2011, but he wasn’t Obama’s golden boy. Cartwright was denied the top Chairman spot in 2011 in part because of questions surrounding his staff management practices, including an alleged (though never punished) “unduly familiar relationship” with a female Captain.

One theory is that the outgoing White House administration wants to put a lid on discussion of Stuxnet. The Washington Post claimed that the investigation into Cartwright ran aground when officials realized they might have to confirm details of the malware in order to secure a conviction. That would have been particularly problematic at the time, when the US was negotiating the eventual Iranian nuclear shutdown agreement — did it really want to admit to a cyberattack at such a critical moment? We wouldn’t rule out any motivations at this point, but the guilty plea and pardon might spare the government from disclosing secrets.

Via: Charlie Savage (Twitter)

Source: White House


Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars’ moves to Netflix this year

Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is jumping from Sony’s Crackle streaming service to one that people actually watch: Netflix. Late this year, the show will debut with 24 new episodes according to Variety. What’s more, 59 back episodes of the Emmy nominated show will arrive on the streaming service as well, and there are plans for another new run of episodes for next year.

If you’re more a fan of Seinfeld’s stand-up work there’s even more good news. Following the multi-million dollar deals Netflix signed with Chris Rock and (presumably) Dave Chappelle, Seinfeld will film two new specials that will be exclusive to the service. Not too shabby for a guy who made us all laugh about “nothing.” Of course, if you want to watch the eponymous show that made Seinfeld a household name, you still need a Hulu subscription.

Source: Variety


‘The Flame in the Flood’ arrives today on PlayStation 4

When it was released last year, The Flame in the Flood garnered a lot of attention for its big name developers and unique take on the wilderness survival genre. Today, PlayStation 4 players who have been missing out the experience will finally get to take a trip up the game’s fictionalized Mississippi river and through a dystopic version of the American South.

Announced last month, the PS4 version was ported by Curve Digital and arrives as The Flame in the Flood: Complete Edition, which includes Director Commentary from game studio Molasses Flood’s “team of AAA refugees,” a new dynamic theme, new system avatars and a few gameplay tweaks just for Sony’s console. The studio’s experienced talent have some of the biggest titles in gaming under their collective belts — including BioShock Infinite, Halo and Rock Band — but The Flame in the Flood stands apart with its indie game ethos, crafting system and fast-moving exploration of a completely realized post-apocalyptic world. It doesn’t hurt that Chuck Ragan’s lively alt-country soundtrack was one of 2016’s best either.

The Flame in the Flood runs a reasonable $14.99 on PS4, but players will get a couple bucks off for the launch. And, of course, it’s still available for PC and Xbox One as well.

Source: PlayStation Store


Verizon prevents Galaxy Note 7 holdouts from making calls

When Verizon rolled out an update that disabled charging on remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices, that was all she wrote for the fire-prone smartphone, right? Apparently not. The carrier informs Fortune that there are still “thousands” of people still using the Note 7 on its network, and that it’s taking some extreme measures to make those users reconsider their ways. Most notably, it’s going to reroute their calls — anything that isn’t an emergency call will go straight to Verizon customer service. Big Red also says it may bill Note 7 owners for the price of the phone, which could cut especially deep when those who’ve already returned their phones actually received money back.

Those affected will certainly know that something’s up. Owners are reporting that they’ve received text messages telling them that their phone will stop working in late January (the dates vary), and that they’ll be charged if they don’t return the phone within as little as 5 days. It’s not certain that Verizon can charge customers under US recall rules, but the provider appears bent on trying.

It’s not immediately clear how these owners managed to evade the charging update. We’ve reached out to Verizon to see if it can elaborate on what’s happening, and you can look below for its current statement acknowledging the holdouts. However, not all Note 7 users are keeping their devices out of stubbornness. Verizon is asking users to return the phones in their original boxes, but that’s not always an option — the carrier may be leaving some customers no choice but to pay for the phone even if they do take it in. While there are certainly people who outright refuse to turn in their handsets (we’ve seen a few hoping to spoof phone IDs), you can’t paint all of them with the same broad brush.

“In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase. The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them.”

Source: Fortune


Chris Lattner Says Opportunity to Work on Tesla’s Ambitious Self-Driving Efforts Was ‘Irresistible’

Earlier this month, Swift creator Chris Lattner announced he will be stepping down as director of Apple’s Development Tools department to lead Tesla’s Autopilot engineering team as VP of Autopilot Software.

Lattner did not explain the reason for the move, but he later denied a report claiming he “felt constrained” due to Apple’s culture of secrecy. So, we decided to reach out to him to learn about his true motivations.

As it turns out, Lattner told MacRumors the answer is actually very simple: he is ready to move on to something new.

I’ve been writing code for more than 30 years, and 16 of those years have been in the developer tools space. I love it, but I am ready to move on to something else. Autopilot is clearly incredibly important to the world because of its ability to save people’s lives (and increase convenience). It is also a very, very hard technology problem and my experience building large scale software and team building is useful. Of course, I’ve also been a huge Tesla fan for some time.

He added it was “a very difficult decision,” but noted the opportunity to work with Tesla’s Autopilot team was “irresistible.”

This was a very difficult decision, because I care deeply about the technology and people at Apple and because I could see myself staying there for many more years. In the end though, the opportunity to dive into a completely new area and work with the amazing Tesla Autopilot team was irresistible.

At Tesla, Lattner will help the company achieve one of its biggest goals: fully self-driving vehicles. As of October 2016, Tesla said all vehicles produced in its factory, including the Model 3, have the hardware needed for “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver,” and it’s now only a matter of time before the technology is enabled.


All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, the car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination or just home if nothing is on the calendar. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed. When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you.

Tesla Autopilot is semi-autonomous in its current state for tasks such as steering and parking. Tesla’s second-generation hardware suite has eight cameras that provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar allow for detection of objects, even through heavy rain, fog, dust, and the car ahead.

Tesla remains committed to enabling full self-driving capabilities by the end of the year, but the process of gaining regulatory approval, which Tesla said may vary widely by jurisdiction, will presumably be a long and challenging process. Once approved, however, the technology will truly change cars forever, and it’s easy to imagine why Lattner would want to be part of that change.

At Apple, he led a group of about 200 people responsible for Swift, Xcode, Swift Playgrounds, Instruments, CPU and GPU compilers, and low-level tools, among other things. These tools are used both within Apple and by third-party developers targeting the iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS software platforms.

Lattner was hired at Apple in 2005 to bring his LLVM Compiler Infrastructure to production quality for use in its products. He then started working on the Swift programming language in 2010, and it became a key focus of the Development Tools team in 2013. Swift was ultimately introduced at WWDC 2014.

Swift now has a large community of developers contributing to it since it became open source in late 2015, so Lattner is in a good position to pursue a new opportunity without jeopardizing future development of the language. His duties will shift to Ted Kremenek, who had already been overseeing Swift for some time.

Lattner said Ted has been “one of the quiet but incredible masterminds” behind Swift, which has an “incredible future ahead of it.”

Tags: Swift, Tesla
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iOS 10.2’s New ‘TV’ App Doesn’t Work With Some Videos Ripped From DVDs

In iOS 10.2, released on December 12, Apple introduced the new “TV” app, which serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and help users discover new TV and movie content.

In the United States, the TV app replaces the standard “Videos” app and serves as a television hub on iOS devices, but it appears the new app doesn’t work well with content that’s been ripped from DVDs.

According to an ongoing discussion on Apple’s Support Communities that dates back to December, some customers who have videos ripped from DVDs are no longer able to view them in the TV app. The same videos previously worked fine in the now-replaced Videos app. A user who is having issues describes the problem:

Prior to iOS 10.2 I was able to view video I had ripped on the Videos app in iOS. The process I used was to rip the video and then import them into iTunes. Then I synced my iPhone with iTunes and my movies were download and viewed using the Videos app.

iOS 10.2 no longer includes the Video app and the new TV app will not allow me to watch these ripped videos. Does someone have a solution or am I simply missing something?

Other iPhone users have been unable to sync home videos and other content to their devices with the current version of iTunes, receiving a message that movies or TV shows can’t be synced because the Videos app is not installed.

Some users have been able to get around the problem with already-transferred videos by using the TV widget on their iOS devices, which apparently causes the TV app to display the ripped videos after the widget is activated. Others can get the ripped videos to play by setting the videos to be “Home Videos.”

That the widget allows some users to access their videos suggests this is perhaps a bug that will be resolved in a future update, but it is not entirely clear what’s going on with the TV app and content acquired outside of the iTunes Stores.

Affected users who want to get non-Apple video content onto their iOS devices will need to use a third-party solution like Infuse or VLC.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
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