Geek

Global Telcos Join Alphabet, SoftBank's Flying Cellphone Antenna Lobbying Effort

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 15:01
Alphabet and SoftBank's attempts to launch flying cellphone antennas high into the atmosphere have received backing from global telcos, energizing lobbying efforts aimed at driving regulatory approval for the emerging technology. From a report: Loon, which was spun out of Google parent Alphabet's business incubator, and HAPSMobile, a unit of SoftBank Group's domestic telco, plan to deliver high speed internet to remote areas by flying network equipment at high altitudes. Lobbying efforts by the two firms, which formed an alliance last year, are being joined by companies including aerospace firm Airbus, network vendors Nokia and Ericsson and telcos China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Bharti Airtel.

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Categories: Geek

Daily Deals: save big on Samsung devices, eero mesh Wi-Fi routers, and much more

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 14:42

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!
Categories: Geek

Best Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C displays for MacBooks and iPad Pro in 2020

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 14:34

We’re into 2020 and USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 display options are growing. It’s great to see Apple’s Pro Display XDR on the market but it’s likely not the best fit for the majority of users with a starting price of $5,000 without a stand. Let’s take a look at some of the best USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 displays available for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iPad Pro in the $400-$1,300 range.

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The post Best Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C displays for MacBooks and iPad Pro in 2020 appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

The CIA Won't Admit It Uses Slack

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 14:21
Given its traditional missions, which include subverting democracy around the world and providing U.S. leaders with unreliable intelligence analysis, it's understandable that the Central Intelligence Agency would be among our less transparent federal agencies. From a report: Now, though, it's gripping even more tightly to inconsequential information about what it gets up to than the ultra-secretive National Security Agency -- and for no evident reason. Last year, VICE filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for any Slack domains in use by the CIA. The NSA, responding to a similar request, admitted that it had records responsive to the request -- that the agency uses the demonic chat app, in other words -- but said it couldn't release them because they were a state secret. Recently, the CIA replied to our request by saying this: "CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or nonexistence of such records is itself currently and properly classified." In its response to our request, the CIA cited broad provisions in federal law that allow it to keep all sorts of information from the public by claiming it has to do with "intelligence sources and methods," which can mean anything from the identity of a spy in a foreign leader's inner circle to the podcasts a random bureaucrat listens to while driving to work. The agency is within its rights to do this, but it's just another in a long list of examples of why federal classification laws should be changed to give more weight to the public's right to get answers to even stupid questions relative to the right of public employees to keep what they do and how they do it entirely secret.

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Categories: Geek

Defeated Chess Champ Garry Kasparov Has Made Peace With AI

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:41
Last week, Garry Kasparov, perhaps the greatest chess player in history, returned to the scene of his famous IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeat -- the ballroom of a New York hotel -- for a debate with AI experts organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He met with WIRED senior writer Will Knight there to discuss chess, AI, and a strategy for staying a step ahead of machines. From the report: WIRED: What was it like to return to the venue where you lost to Deep Blue? Garry Kasparov: I've made my peace with it. At the end of the day, the match was not a curse but a blessing, because I was a part of something very important. Twenty-two years ago, I would have thought differently. But things happen. We all make mistakes. We lose. What's important is how we deal with our mistakes, with negative experience. 1997 was an unpleasant experience, but it helped me understand the future of human-machine collaboration. We thought we were unbeatable, at chess, Go, shogi. All these games, they have been gradually pushed to the side [by increasingly powerful AI programs]. But it doesn't mean that life is over. We have to find out how we can turn it to our advantage. I always say I was the first knowledge worker whose job was threatened by a machine. But that helps me to communicate a message back to the public. Because, you know, nobody can suspect me of being pro-computers. What message do you want to give people about the impact of AI? I think it's important that people recognize the element of inevitability. When I hear outcry that AI is rushing in and destroying our lives, that it's so fast, I say no, no, it's too slow. Every technology destroys jobs before creating jobs. When you look at the statistics, only 4 percent of jobs in the US require human creativity. That means 96 percent of jobs, I call them zombie jobs. They're dead, they just don't know it. For several decades we have been training people to act like computers, and now we are complaining that these jobs are in danger. Of course they are. We have to look for opportunities to create jobs that will emphasize our strengths. Technology is the main reason why so many of us are still alive to complain about technology. It's a coin with two sides. I think it's important that, instead of complaining, we look at how we can move forward faster. When these jobs start disappearing, we need new industries, we need to build foundations that will help. Maybe it's universal basic income, but we need to create a financial cushion for those who are left behind. Right now it's a very defensive reaction, whether it comes from the general public or from big CEOs who are looking at AI and saying it can improve the bottom line but it's a black box. I think it's we still struggling to understand how AI will fit in. Further reading: Fast-and-Loose Culture of Esports is Upending Once Staid World of Chess; and Kramnik and AlphaZero: How To Rethink Chess.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Navigate your Mac faster with handy Dock icon shortcuts

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:30

Launchpad Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

You can get where you need to go faster on Mac with handy Dock icon shortcuts. This list will help you know which shortcuts are available for quick access.
Categories: Geek

Video: two amazing ways to use your iPad with a computer or as a desktop workstation

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:14

We detail how to use your iPad as a standalone second display for your Mac or with an external monitor to enjoy your favorite apps on a bigger screen.
Categories: Geek

Make your AirPods case look like a classic Game Boy thanks to Elago

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:04

Elago has launched an AirPods Case cover for the first- and second-generation AirPods case that looks like a classic Game Boy.
Categories: Geek

Google To Put a Muzzle on Android Apps Accessing Location Data in the Background

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:01
Google has announced this week plans to crack down on Android apps that abuse the OS permissions system and request access to user geo-location data when the app is not in use. From a report: Starting with May, the OS maker plans to show warnings in the Play Store backend to all Android app developers about the need to update their apps. Going forward, Android apps will have to request access to location data based on the way they need this information. Google plans to review each app on a case-by-case basis and remove apps from the Play Store if they request access to location data and that's not immediately used inside the app. Google plans to review its own apps as well, the company said in a blog post this week. The goal of this major rule change is to crack down on apps that may be secretly harvesting location data while they are not in use. This type of data is called "background location data" and most app makers often sell it to analytics firms and online advertisers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Siri on iOS 13.4 can take you to back to the Home screen

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 12:43

Siri Listening iPhone Desk

If you have iOS 13.4, you can go back to the Home screen handsfree by uttering a simple Siri voice command.
Categories: Geek

OneHandWizard 2 makes one-handed usage of massive iPhones easier

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 12:30

If you have trouble using your massive iPhone with just one hand, then this new jailbreak tweak could help.
Categories: Geek

9to5Mac Daily: February 21, 2020 – AirPods Pro Lite rumors, more 

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 12:25

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Sponsored by MacStadium: Get 50% off your first two months of a Mac mini subscription now w/ code 9TO5MAC, or get started with MacStadium’s new Orka private cloud. 


https://9to5mac.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/02/9to5Mac-Daily-02-21-2020.mp3

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The post 9to5Mac Daily: February 21, 2020 – AirPods Pro Lite rumors, more  appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

iOS 13.4 lets your iPhone listen for Hey Siri even when faced down or covered

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 12:21

With a flip of a new switch in iOS 13.4, you can tell your iPhone to always listen for the "Hey Siri" hot word, even when it's facing down or its front has been covered.
Categories: Geek

Why the Earth's Wobble Means Your Zodiac Sign Isn't What You Think

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 12:20
As the planet spins on its axis, it teeters back and forth like a child's top, and after millennia of staggering along its path around the sun, it no longer aligns with the constellations of the zodiac on the dates that were established in ancient times. From a report: Because of that, Leo ain't what he used to be -- and neither are Aries, Taurus, Gemini or any of the rest. In astronomical terms, the wobble is known as precession, and it's caused by gravity tugging on the Earth's distended midriff. "The Earth bulges at the equator, and the gravitational pull of the sun and Moon together act on that bulge," said James B. Kaler, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over a period of roughly 26,000 years, the planet's wobble traces a full circle, gradually making the stars appear to shift to the east by about one degree over the span of a human life. "It sounds slow," Dr. Kaler said, "but it changes the polestar." The polestar appears directly above the North Pole and marks due north. Today, Polaris, which is sometimes called the North Star, is located at the tip of the Little Dipper's handle and is the Earth's polestar. A few thousand years from now, Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, will occupy that position. The creeping discrepancy in the alignment of the Earth, sun and constellations was first noticed by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who lived from 190 B.C. to 120 B.C., and is considered the founder of trigonometry.

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Categories: Geek

Save big on prev-gen. iPads and Macs in today’s best deals, plus ecobee3 bundles, more

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:55

Save big on previous-generation Macs, iPads, and more in today’s best deals. Plus markdowns on ecobee HomeKit thermostats and CarPlay receivers. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

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The post Save big on prev-gen. iPads and Macs in today’s best deals, plus ecobee3 bundles, more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Chrome Deploys Deep-Linking Tech in Latest Browser Build Despite Privacy Concerns

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:41
Google has implemented a browser capability in Chrome called ScrollToTextFragment that enables deep links to web documents, but it has done so despite unresolved privacy concerns and lack of support from other browser makers. From a report: Via Twitter on Tuesday, Peter Snyder, privacy researcher at privacy-focused browser maker Brave Software, observed that ScrollToTextFragment shipped earlier this month in Chrome 80 unflagged, meaning it's active, despite privacy issues that have been raised. "Imposing privacy and security leaks to existing sites (many of which will never be updated) REALLY should be a 'don't break the web,' never-cross redline," he wrote. "This spec does that." The debate over the feature percolated last year on mailing lists and in GitHub issues posts and picked up in October when the team working on Chrome's Blink engine declared their intent to implement the specification. The feature rollout serves to illustrate that the consensus-based web standards process doesn't do much to constrain the technology Google deploys.

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Categories: Geek

watchOS 6.2 lets Apple Watch apps authenticate users via web-based logins like OAuth

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:33

Popular web-based logins such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others can now be used in Apple Watch apps to simplify account creation and sign-in.
Categories: Geek

Apple Maps ‘Look Around’ feature now available in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:11

The "Look Around" feature in Apple Maps, which provides a 3D street level view, is now available in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
Categories: Geek

Apple Maps ‘Street View’ Look Around feature comes to Boston, D.C., and Philadelphia

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:11

Apple Maps gained the Look Around street view feature last fall along with iOS 13 but it was launched in limited cities. Now the handy option has rolled out to Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

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Categories: Geek

Google Is Letting People Find Invites To Some Private WhatsApp Groups

Slashdot - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 11:02
Google is indexing invite links to WhatsApp group chats whose administrators may want to be private. This means with a simple search, random people can discover and join a wide range of WhatsApp group chats. From a report: "Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are," Jordan Wildon, a multimedia journalist for German outlet Deutsche Welle, tweeted on Friday. Using particular Google searches, people can discover links to the chats, Wildon explained. App reverse-engineer Jane Wong added in a tweet that Google has around 470,000 results for a simple search of "chat.whatsapp.com," part of the URL that makes up invites to WhatsApp groups. Motherboard used a number of specific Google searches to find invite links to WhatsApp groups. Some of the groups appear to not be overly sensitive or for a particular audience. Many of the links on Google lead to groups for sharing porn. But others appear to be catered to specific groups. Motherboard entered one WhatsApp group chat that described itself as being for NGOs accredited by the United Nations. After joining, Motherboard was able to see a list of all 48 participants and their phone numbers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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