Geek

How to create a station in the Podcasts app on Mac

iDownloadBlog - 14 min 7 sec ago
Ready to enjoy your favorite podcasts while you’re working on your computer? Here’s how to create a station of your favorites in the Podcasts app on Mac.

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Categories: Geek

Apple Pay overtakes Starbucks as the most popular mobile payment platform in the US

9to5Mac - 1 hour 14 min ago

Starbucks has long held the title of the most popular mobile payment platform in the United States. New data from eMarketer now shows that Apple Pay has surpassed Starbucks in the US as adoption of Apple’s platform continues to grow.

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'Hyperstealth' Invisibility Cloak Developed For Military Use

Slashdot - 1 hour 14 min ago
Freshly Exhumed shares a report from Futurism: Canada's Hyperstealth Biotechnology already manufactures camouflage uniforms for militaries across the globe. But now, the company has patented a new "Quantum Stealth" material that disguises a military's soldiers -- or even its tanks, aircraft, and ships -- by making anything behind it seem invisible. Earlier in October, Hyperstealth filed a patent for the material, which doesn't require a power source and is both paper-thin and inexpensive -- all traits that could make it appealing for use on the battlefield. Alongside the news of the patent application, Hyperstealth released more than 100-minutes worth of footage describing and demonstrating the material.

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SpaceX Plans To Start Offering Starlink Broadband Services In 2020

Slashdot - 4 hours 14 min ago
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the goal is to complete six to eight Starlink launches to get sufficient coverage to start offering the service to consumers in 2020. SpaceNews reports: SpaceX is confident it can start offering broadband service in the United States via its Starlink constellation in mid-2020, the company's president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22. Getting there will require the company to launch six to eight batches of satellites, Shotwell told reporters during a media roundtable. SpaceX also has to finish the design and engineering of the user terminals, which is not a minor challenge, Shotwell acknowledged. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has a Starlink terminal at his house and he used it to send a tweet early on Oct. 22. "Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite," he tweeted to his 29 million followers. "Whoa, it worked!!" Shotwell said SpaceX will need to complete six to eight Starlink launches -- including the one that already took place in May -- to ensure continuous service in upper and lower latitude bands. "We need 24 launches to get global coverage," she said. "Every launch after that gives you more capacity." SpaceX wants to offer the service to the U.S. government but is now focused on how it will serve the consumer market. Many of the details of how the service will be rolled out remain to be worked out, she said. When possible it will be offered directly to consumers following Musk's Tesla model for selling cars. In many countries the company will be required to partner with local telecom firms to offer the service. Last week, the company requested the International Telecommunication Union to approve spectrum for 30,000 Starlink satellites that would be in addition to the 12,000 already approved by the U.S. FCC.

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Facebook To Face $35 Billion Class-Action Lawsuit Over Misuse of Facial Recognition Data

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 23:30
A federal court has reportedly said that Facebook will have to face a class-action lawsuit for allegedly misusing users' facial recognition data in Illinois. The lawsuit could cost the company up to $35 billion. Firstpost reports: Facebook has been trying to avoid the lawsuit for a few years now. The lawsuit began in 2015 when Illinois users accused Facebook of violating that state's Biometric Information Privacy Act in collecting biometric data. The U.S. court, however, has denied Facebook's request for an en banc hearing before the full slate of ninth circuit judges that could have halted the case. Now the case will go to trial unless the Supreme Court intercedes. Facebook allegedly accomplished the said misuse of facial recognition data through its 'Tag Suggestions' feature, which allowed users to recognize their Facebook friends from previously uploaded photos. The suit alleges that Illinois citizens didn't consent to having their uploaded photos scanned with facial recognition and weren't informed of how long the data would be saved when the mapping started in 2011. According to the report, Facebook could face $1,000 to $5,000 in penalties per user for 7 million people, which could sum to a maximum of $35 billion.

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Chrome 78 Arrives With New APIs, Dark Mode Improvements On Android and iOS

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 21:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Chrome 78 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The release includes the CSS Properties and Values API, Native File System API, new Origin Trials, and dark mode improvements on Android and iOS. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome's built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome. With over 1 billion users, Chrome is both a browser and a major platform that web developers must consider. In fact, with Chrome's regular additions and changes, developers often have to stay on top of everything available -- as well as what has been deprecated or removed. Chrome 78, for example, removes the XSS Auditor due to privacy concerns. Chrome 78 implements the CSS Properties and Values API to let developers register variables as full custom properties. There's a new Native File System API that lets developers build web apps that interact with files on the user's local device. Chrome 78 adds to the Original Trials introduced in Chrome 77, such as Signed Exchanges and SMS Receiver API. "The former allow a distributor to provide content signed by a publisher," reports VentureBeat. "The latter allows websites to access SMS messages that are delivered to the user's phone." Other features that are rolling out gradually include the ability to be able to highlight and right-click a phone number link in Chrome and forward the call to their Android device. "Some users might also see an option to share their clipboard content between their computers and Android devices," adds VentureBeat. "Chrome is also getting Google Drive integration. From Chrome's address bar, you will be able to search for Google Drive files that you have access to."

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An Interview With Former Purism CTO Zlatan Todoric Hints At Chaos At Purism

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 21:20
mpol writes: Phoronix published an interview with former Purism CTO Zlatan Todoric who left Purism in September 2018. The story hints quite strongly at chaotic situations over at Purism. He started at the company in 2015, when it was a small outfit, and steered it into the bigger company that it is now. To him the smartphone development for the Librem 5 was a mistake and way too early. He has high hopes for the Pinephone, who according to him are doing things right. The first "Aspen" batch of the Purism Librem 5 are supposed to be shipping, though seemingly only people related to Purism are showing off their devices.

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When will Apple release iOS 13.2 to the public?

9to5Mac - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:57

Following the releases of iOS 13 and iOS 13.1, Apple is currently beta testing iOS 13.2. The update is currently available in developer beta and public beta, but what about a general release?

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A Face-Scanning Algorithm Increasingly Decides Whether You Deserve the Job

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:50
Shmoodling shares a report from The Washington Post: Designed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue, the system uses candidates' computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before ranking them against other applicants based on an automatically generated "employability" score. HireVue's "AI-driven assessments" have become so pervasive in some industries, including hospitality and finance, that universities make special efforts to train students on how to look and speak for best results. More than 100 employers now use the system, including Hilton, Unilever and Goldman Sachs, and more than a million job seekers have been analyzed. But some AI researchers argue the system is digital snake oil -- an unfounded blend of superficial measurements and arbitrary number-crunching, unrooted in scientific fact. Analyzing a human being like this, they argue, could end up penalizing nonnative speakers, visibly nervous interviewees or anyone else who doesn't fit the model for look and speech. The system, they argue, will assume a critical role in helping decide a person's career. But they doubt it even knows what it's looking for: Just what does the perfect employee look and sound like, anyway? "It's a profoundly disturbing development that we have proprietary technology that claims to differentiate between a productive worker and a worker who isn't fit, based on their facial movements, their tone of voice, their mannerisms," said Meredith Whittaker, a co-founder of the AI Now Institute, a research center in New York. "It's pseudoscience. It's a license to discriminate," she added. "And the people whose lives and opportunities are literally being shaped by these systems don't have any chance to weigh in."

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Verizon's 5G Network Can Only Cover 'Certain Seating Areas' In a Basketball Stadium

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechSpot: 5G wireless technology is the next big thing in the mobile industry, and ISPs are pushing it quite heavily. Unfortunately for Verizon, the company's efforts to promote its implementation of 5G have not been perfect lately. The ISP announced that its 5G network would be available in three NBA arenas (with seven more planned to receive it) in the coming months -- however, even in that relatively small area, the 5G coverage is not strong enough to support the entire arena. According to Ars Technica, the network will only cover "certain seating areas." NFL stadiums are in a similar boat -- Verizon is bringing 5G to those arenas, too, but only select seats will have access. Of course, the average football stadium is considerably bigger than most basketball stadiums, so that's a bit more understandable. Verizon's 5G coverage will first extend to three NBA arenas -- Chase Center in San Francisco, Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Arena, and the Pepsi Center In Denver -- and then to seven more by the end of the 2019-2020 basketball season.

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Universal Audio launches new Thunderbolt 3-enabled Apollo Twin X and Apollo x4 desktop audio interfaces

9to5Mac - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:54

Today Universal Audio took the wraps off of two new Thunderbolt 3 desktop audio interfaces, which are ideal for Mac audio creatives. Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin X features two high quality Unison-enabled microphone preamps and is available in either a duo or quad core real time UAD plugin-processing configuration. The more substantial Apollo x4 brings four Unison-enabled preamps to your desktop and comes with quad core real time UAD processing, which makes it perfect for tracking larger projects.

We previously did a review of the smaller UA Arrow, a single-core bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 audio interface that’s ideal for traveling and/or working on smaller projects that don’t demand as many preamps or plugin-in overhead. The Apollo Twin X and Apollo x4 are significant steps up from the UA Arrow, but bring the same vast library of plugins to the table that makes these interfaces so beloved among Mac users. more…

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Japanese Hotel Chain Sorry That Hackers May Have Watched Guests Through Bedside Robots

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:30
Japanese hotel chain HIS Group has apologized for ignoring warnings that its in-room robots were hackable to allow pervs to remotely view video footage from the devices. The Register reports: The Henn na Hotel is staffed by robots: guests can be checked in by humanoid or dinosaur reception bots before proceeding to their room. Facial recognition tech will let customers into their room and then a bedside robot will assist with other requirements. However several weeks ago a security researcher revealed on Twitter that he had warned HIS Group in July about the bed-bots being easily accessible, noting they sported "unsigned code" allowing a user to tap an NFC tag to the back of robot's head and allow access via the streaming app of their choice. Having heard nothing, the researcher made the hack public on October 13. The vulnerability allows guests to gain access to cameras and microphones in the robot remotely so they could watch and listen to anyone in the room in the future. The hotel is one of a chain of 10 in Japan which use a variety of robots instead of meat-based staff. So far the reference is only to Tapia robots at one hotel, although it is not clear if the rest of the chain uses different devices. The HIS Group tweeted: "We apologize for any uneasiness caused," according to the Tokyo Reporter. The paper was told that the company had decided the risks of unauthorized access were low, however, the robots have now been updated.

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Mozilla releases Firefox 70 with social tracking protection, dramatic macOS performance gains, more

9to5Mac - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:23

Mozilla today has released Firefox 70 to the public. The update brings new privacy protections, dramatic performance improvements on macOS, and more. For Mozilla, the big focus is on privacy improvements and blocking trackers.

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Company Offers To Pay You $130,000 To Put Your Face On a Robot

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:50
A British engineering and manufacturing firm called Geomiq has put out a call for people interested in being the face of a new "state-of-the-art humanoid" it's developing with an unnamed company. The lucky winner with the "kind and friendly" face that the company is looking for will receive $130,000. CNET reports: "The company is searching for a 'kind and friendly' face to be the literal face of the robot once it goes into production," Geomiq says in a blog post about the project. "This will entail the selected person's face being reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide." The robot line has been in the works for five years, Geomiq says, and will result in a companion for seniors. The blog post doesn't share age or gender parameters, only asking people who want to license their face to submit a photo via email for the chance at about $130,000. Candidates who make it to the "next phase" will apparently get full details on the project. The secrecy, Geomiq says, is due to a non-disclosure agreement it's signed with the robot's designer and investors.

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Daily Deals: $7 MFi Lightning cable, $35 Sony DualShock 4 wireless controller, and more

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:17
Welcome to our Daily Deals column, where we round up the best tech deals from around the web. Here you'll find discounts on everything from Apple products to accessories, video games and much more. But you better hurry, these prices won't be around forever!

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Categories: Geek

Study Casts Doubt On Value of WHO's 'Gaming Disorder' Diagnoses

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Since the World Health Organization proposed new diagnoses for "hazardous gaming" and "gaming disorder" last year, there's been an ongoing scientific debate about which way the causation for these issues really goes. Does an excessive or addictive relationship with gaming actually cause psychological problems, or are people with existing psychological problems simply more likely to have an unhealthy relationship with gaming? A recent study by Oxford's Internet Institute, published in the open access journal Clinical Psychological Science, lends some support to the latter explanation. But it also highlights just how many of the game industry's most devoted players may also be driven by some unmet psychological needs. To study how so-called "dysfunctional gaming" relates to psychological needs and behaviors, the Oxford researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,004 UK adolescents and their caregivers. They asked the caregivers to evaluate their adolescents' levels of "psychosocial functioning:" how well the adolescents are able to internalize or externalize problems in their lives as evidenced by their behavior. [...] Of the 1,004 adolescents surveyed, 525 said they played online games daily for an average of about three hours per day. Among that group, over 55% showed at least one of the nine indicators for Internet Gaming Disorder, and even 23% showed at least three indicators. Those reported "dysregulated gaming" effects showed a significant positive correlation with the amount of time spent playing, as well as a significant negative correlation with the reported psychosocial evaluations from caregivers. In other words, those with "dysregulated" gaming habits were more likely to spend more time playing each day and less likely to be able to handle problems in their lives in a healthy way. Crucially, though, the measured effect of the dysregulated gaming variable in the study "accounted for a practically insignificant share of variability in key outcomes... as compared with the role played by basic psychological needs," as the study authors write. "This evidence suggests that having information about the extent to which an adolescent's video-game play is dysregulated provides no practically useful incremental information when viewed in light caregivers' assessments of emotional, behavioral, peer, or conduct difficulties." "So while so-called adolescent 'problem gamers' are more likely to show behavioral problems, that fact in and of itself is much less important in predicting those problems than other measures of whether those adolescents' psychological needs are being met," reports Ars Technica. "That suggests that both dysregulated gaming and psychosocial behavior problems are both potential signs of more fundamental underlying psychological frustrations rather than excessive gaming causing problems in and of itself."

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iTunes movie deals: 4K HDR bundles under $20, Halloween hits under $10, and classic films under $5

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 17:35
Apple on Tuesday updated its iTunes Store with new discounts on movies and other media. Among the deals are 4K HDR bundles for under $20, Halloween favorites like Us and Candyman for under $10, and classic films like The Usual Suspects and American Psycho for under $5. Check out our full roundup below!

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Categories: Geek

US Senators Want Social Media Users To Be Able To Take Their Data With Them

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 17:35
Three U.S. lawmakers active in tech issues introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require social networks like Facebook to allow users to pack up their data and go elsewhere, they said in a statement. From a report: The senators, Republican Josh Hawley and Democrats Mark Warner and Richard Blumenthal, offered the bill at a time when there is growing concern that Facebook, along with Alphabet's Google, have become so powerful that smaller rivals are unable to lure away their users. The bill currently does not have a counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives, which it will need to become law. The bill would require communications platforms with more than 100 million monthly active members -- Facebook has more than two billion -- to allow its users to easily move, or port, their data to another network, Warner's office said in a statement. Under the bill the companies would be required to maintain an interface to facilitate interoperability. Or users would be allowed to choose another company to manage a user's account settings, content, and online interactions, the statement said.

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Quantum Supremacy From Google? Not So Fast, Says IBM.

Slashdot - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:55
IBM is disputing the much-vaunted claim that Google has hit a new milestone. From a report: A month ago, news broke that Google had reportedly achieved "quantum supremacy": it had gotten a quantum computer to run a calculation that would take a classical computer an unfeasibly long time. While the calculation itself -- essentially, a very specific technique for outputting random numbers -- is about as useful as the Wright brothers' 12-second first flight, it would be a milestone of similar significance, marking the dawn of an entirely new era of computing. But in a blog post published this week, IBM disputes Google's claim. The task that Google says might take the world's fastest classical supercomputer 10,000 years can actually, says IBM, be done in just days. As John Preskill, the CalTech physicist who coined the term "quantum supremacy," wrote in an article for Quanta magazine, Google specifically chose a very narrow task that a quantum computer would be good at and a classical computer is bad at. "This quantum computation has very little structure, which makes it harder for the classical computer to keep up, but also means that the answer is not very informative," he wrote. Google's research paper hasn't been published, but a draft was leaked online last month. In it, researchers say they got a machine with 53 quantum bits, or qubits, to do the calculation in 200 seconds. They also estimated that it would take the world's most powerful supercomputer, the Summit machine at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 10,000 years to repeat it with equal "fidelity," or the same level of uncertainty as the inherently uncertain quantum system.

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How to use the ‘Remind when messaging’ feature on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

9to5Mac - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:44

Along with the other changes Reminders received with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina, there’s a useful new way to get a nudge about a reminder you’ve set when using the Messages app. Follow along for how to use the “Remind when messaging” feature on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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