Siri c-founder and Apple AI exec Tom Gruber gave a TED talk that's now available online. The presentation is on humanistic AI, which is how we can improve as machine learning improves. He argues that AI can augment our capabilities and memory for better lives.
Via 9 to 5 Mac
iOS 11 beta has lock feature to disable TouchID
Apple is adding an easy way to quickly disable Touch ID in iOS 11. A new setting, designed to automate emergency services calls, lets iPhone users tap the power button quickly five times to call 911. This doesn't automatically dial the emergency services by default, but it brings up the option to and also temporarily disables Touch ID until you enter a passcode.
We'll have to see if this makes it to the final release, but I like this feature. Currently TouchID can become disabled after too many failed attempts, if the phone as been restarted, or not unlocked for an extended period of time. This feature will allow owners to lock the device on command. Once liked, it would seem the device's data will be secured.
Report: Apple prepping $1 billion for TV content
Apple is reportedly about to make a big play for original content.
The Wall Street Journal:
Combined with the company's marketing clout and global reach, the step immediately makes Apple a considerable competitor in a crowded market where both new and traditional media players are vying to acquire original shows. Apple's budget is about half what Time Warner Inc.'s HBO spent on content last year and on par with estimates of what Amazon.com Inc. spent in 2013, the year after it announced its move into original programming.
For persecutive, this is about 1/6 of what Netflix is believed to be spending on original content and about 1/4 of what Amazon is investing. For an initial push, however, that should be a sizable amount on new programming. Likely, both Netflix and Amazon have higher costs as returning programs should be more expensive.
ESPN Apple TV app now shows up to four games at once
A new version of the ESPN App for Apple TV's tvOS, available Wednesday, includes a feature called MultiCast that provides the ability to view up to four simultaneous live streams at once. On any given day, ESPN users can choose from 30 or more live events airing across its networks.
That's cool. This seems like ideal for college football Saturdays when ESPN is broadcasting multiple games at once.
The ESPN app requires a cable subscription and authentication through a supported provider.
Patents and table saw safety
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering making a safety device mandatory for construction/woodworking table saws. This is interesting case I think in how brilliant technology and patents can work against each other. The inventor started his own line of saws and have fought power tool makers to force them to license his product for a significant premium.
"You commissioners have the power to take one of the most dangerous products ever available to consumers and make it vastly safer," Gass said at the public hearing. "And yet, here we are over 14 years later after this petition was initially filed, still engaged in a glacial process with an uncertain end. There's no time left to waste."
While inventors should be compensated, at the same time it seems disingenuous to demand regulations mandating his product in the name of safety all the while fighting those not willing to pay your terms. If safety is your mission, then I feel the licensing terms should be attractive enough to be widely adopted.
On the flip side, if consumers want to buy his product, they can.
Anyway, the technology is pretty cool and has a demonstration involving a hotdog. In the video below the demo starts around 2:30.
He put an inexpensive little sensing device inside it. And if the saw nicks a finger, within 3/1000ths of a second, it fires a brake that stops the blade. Gass demonstrates this in an epic video using a hot dog in place of a finger. The blade looks like it just vanishes into the table.
Dropbox adds two-step verification with app
Starting today, you can also use the Dropbox mobile app to verify your identity. When you're signing in, you can have a notification sent to the Dropbox app on your phone, and simply tap a button to finish the process, rather than receiving a text message with a code to enter.
Mobile prompts are especially helpful as a backup when you don't have cell signal, but do have Wi-Fi (for example, on a plane where you can't receive security codes by text message).
This should make it a little easy for all users to utilize two-step verification. Going to the app is probably no easier than using a third-party authenticator app, however, not everyone bothers to set that up and maintain it.
Twelve South announces new BookBook for MacBooks
Twelve South's BookBook is leather case that resembles a vintage book. That company announced BookBook Vol 2 for Apple's latest MacBook laptops. The new versions are designed to house Apple's USB-C MacBooks, which includes the 12-inch MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 15-inch MacBook pro.
The refreshed design features a design that 42-percent slimmer, a crush resistant spine, and a new hidden portfolio.
The Book Book Vol 2 is available now in three different sizes and all sell for $79.99.
Another iPhone 8 dummy shows black design
Yesterday I noted a video showing off what's expected to be the design of the next iPhone. It was a white model that I didn't really appeal to me. 9 to 5 Mac notes a clip of what appears to be a black version of that phone.
This one I like much better. My issue was the white bezel around the screen didn't look right to me. Sort of like it had a cheap case. The black bezel looks much better. Check it out.
Purported iPhone 8 model
Michael Kukielka (DetroitBorg) has a video showing a model of how the iPhone 8 is expected to look. The model was provided by Sonny Dickson, who in the past few years have proven to have reliable sources within Apple's supply chain. The model is reportedly being used by case makers to prep products for the next iPhone's launch.
I haven't paid much attention to all the renderings and rumors, but where getting into the final lap of the product cycle and this is a great demo. My first impression is I'm not that crazy about the look. I think the white bezel makes it look strange to me. Sort of like it has a cheap case on the phone. If there's model with a black bezel, I'll probably like that better. I don't like the iPhones with white faces because it's to me it's distracting and a stark contrast from the display. I prefer the more matte look.
We shall see...
Disney planning streaming service for TV, movies
Disney is reportedly pulling its content off of Netflix to launch its own competing streaming service. The service will offer Disney branded content for movies and TV, including Pixar Studio releases.
The Magic Kingdom is launching its own streaming service for its central Disney and Pixar brands and another for live sports. That would allow it to bypass the cable companies it relies on -- and Netflix -- to charge consumers directly for access to its popular movies and sporting events.
The Disney service is expected not to lunch until 2019. In addition, Disney-owned ESPN franchise is still building its own streaming app. ESPN is expected to expand its streaming offering next year, although will likely not compete directly with cable. This likely means the service will continue to require a cable/dish subscription and not be offered as a stand-alone. If, ESPN continues to lose cable subscribers, it seems poised to begin offering services directly to customers.