Facebook is working very hard right now to prove it can be trusted to protect users from malicious fake news, political disinformation, and cyberattacks intended to throw the 2018 midterms. What Facebook is not doing: providing details. Read the rest
The highly secretive Silicon Valley-based data company Palantir is reported to be considering an initial public offering. Read the rest
Apple invited consumer technology reporters to an event scheduled for next Tuesday, October 30, at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House. The late-October event will presumably feature something different from the September iPhone-centered event. Read the rest
Twitter gets well-deserved attention for online harassment, but know who else has a huge problem there? Instagram. Big time. Read the rest
"Access issues" are affecting YouTube this evening.
You're not nuts. Read the rest
Chris Veltri, proprietor of San Francisco's legendary Groove Merchant record shop, posted this astounding artifact to his Instagram wunderkammer of outré culture paper ephemera @collagedropoutsf! It's a poster for a lecture by artificial intelligence pioneer Herbert Simon that took place at UC Berkeley in 1974. The speech was titled "How Man and Computers Understand Language."
Far fucking out.
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Paul Allen, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, philanthropist, science fiction fan, and founder of Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Museum Project), has died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65.
"From technology to science to music to art, I’m inspired by those who’ve blurred the boundaries, who’ve looked at the possibilities, and said, “What if...? In my own work, I’ve tried to anticipate what’s coming over the horizon, to hasten its arrival, and to apply it to people’s lives in a meaningful way." -- Paul Allen
Allen's professional timeline is quite something:
1953: Paul Allen is born January 21, 1953 in Seattle, Washington
1968: While at Lakeside School, Paul meets Bill Gates. A friendship that would later produce one of the world’s most innovative companies, Microsoft.
1969: Attends first rock concert, where he sees Jimi Hendrix at Seattle Center Coliseum
1975: Founds Microsoft
1982: In September, Paul is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nearly eight months later, doctors said he had beaten the disease.
1983: Officially resigns from Microsoft in March
1986: Founds Vulcan Inc. in Seattle as an investment and project management firm with his sister, Jody Allen
1988: Establishes The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
1988: Purchases the Portland Trail Blazers
1988: Rescues Seattle Cinerama from demolition by purchasing and restoring the theater
1990: The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation makes its first grant.
1990: Becomes a billionaire at age 37
1995: Makes his single biggest investment to date by purchasing a 18.5% stake in Dreamworks
1996: Purchases the St. Read the rest
The United States Postal Service (USPS) wants to raise the fees it charges Amazon.com and other internet commerce shippers by 9 to 12 percent. This comes just months after President Donald Trump criticized the USPS, saying it gives Amazon too good of a deal. Read the rest
Is wireless power possible, and did Nikolai Tesla make a tower that could transmit a useful amount of electrical power wirelessly? In this video, the Action Lab Man conducts demonstrations with a Tesla Coil to answer these questions.
Image: Action Lab Read the rest
Control Panel is a fantastic visual blog "in praise of dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs," a companion to the Control Panel group on Flickr.
Read the rest
Currently undergoing clinical trials, the Vibrant capsule is a tiny vibrator inside a capsule that you swallow to relieve constipation. Don't worry though because according to the web site, "the capsule is controlled by an algorithm." Whew. From Vibrant Ltd:
Read the rest
Constipation relief is achieved by the capsule’s vibrations on the large intestinal wall, consequently inducing natural peristaltic activity, generating additional spontaneous bowel movements.
The capsule is activated by a base unit that transfers the data to the capsule.
The capsule operates inside the large intestine and is washed out of the body with the bowel movement. It meets the highest safety standards, using biocompatible materials.
The value of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors dropped about $1.1 billion after the close today. When will he, and the adults around him, learn?
Welp. Friday at Tesla and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should be interesting. Have fun with that, Board of Directors and SEC officers. On Thursday afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, we regret to inform you that Elon Musk is at it again with the crazy tweets. Read the rest
Our Jason Weisberger isn't a huge fan of the Freewrite that he bought a few years back. Others feel differently about the pricey mechanical keyboard and E Ink display-equipped focused writing slab. From the looks of things, enough people dig it that the device's parent company, Astrohaus, felt that it was time to release a more portable version. Enter the Freewrite Traveler.
Weighing in at just under 30 ounces, the Freewrite Traveler is a lightweight E Ink writing machine with a folding display, which'll take up a whole lot less room in a Scrivener's bag than Astrohaus' original typing slab did.
From The Verge:
The Traveler weighs 1.8 pounds compared the original’s four pounds, which can partially be attributed to a change in keyboards. The Freewrite features a full-size mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown keyswitches. The Traveler includes a thinner scissor-switch keyboard, which might be less enticing to some die-hard mechanical keyboard users, but it also had to be swapped out to make the Traveler lighter and thinner. The new device keeps the original 6-inch E Ink display, and it still charges over USB-C. Astrohaus says the Traveler battery should last for around 30 hours. It’ll cost $269 with early bird discounts on Indiegogo, and it will eventually retail for around $599. It comes in one colorway: a white interior and black exterior.
Unfortunately, while the hardware might be a great step forward from a portability standpoint, the Freewrite Traveler still suffers from some of the same needless bullshit that users of its older sibling have been forced to suffer. Read the rest
A new trial will be held in a copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin's hit song 'Stairway to Heaven.' An earlier trial ruled in the band's favor, but an appeals court has now ruled the judge in that trial gave misleading information to jurors. Read the rest
Women-hating MRAs and Incels, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 Truthers, and snuff video fetishists on Reddit got harder to find today. An update of Reddit's “quarantine” policy was announced on Thursday, and by Friday new content disclaimers appeared a number of the sketchier “subreddits,” including four with over 100,000 subscribers each. Read the rest
Facebook says an attack on its network left the personal information of some 50 million users—perhaps you?—exposed to hackers. Who were the hackers, and what did they want? Facebook doesn't know, or won't say. But the company has confirmed that execs Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sanders were among the users affected.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said about Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.
Well. You heard the man. Read the rest
Working as a technology journalist is a privilege that allows me to play with hardware that I could never afford to own. Last week, while I was in Montreal for the opening of Sennheiser's new Canadian office, for example, I was able to spend some quality time with the company's crazy $50,000 made-to-order HE 1 headphones. For a guy that reviews audio hardware for a living, it was a ridiculous treat.
There are times that the privilege of doing what I do extends beyond all of the gear that I get to play with. Among the Sennheiser employees, audio nerds like me, and other folks attending the company's opening day bash was Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. Andreas, an electrical engineer by trade, has been co-CEO along with his brother Daniel of their family's 70-year-old audio company for the past five years.
Here in North America, Sennheiser is mostly known for their professional audio products -- microphones and reference headphones for the rich and musically famous, and conference-call hardware for high falootin' boardrooms. In Europe, Asia and Africa, the German company's footprint in consumer audio is massive. They’re one of the oldest names in audiophile-grade headphones and an early, much-respected maker of audio hardware designed to augment virtual and augmented reality experiences.
They make cool shit.
Once the celebration was over and the caterers had absconded with the all of leftovers, Andreas was good enough to spend a few minutes with me, talking about his company, his family and the notion of legacy. Read the rest