Tag: General

From: BGR - Latest iPhone 8 parts leak points to exciting new feature

Amidst a slew of iPhone 8 leaks coming down the pipeline, the latest leak involves a purported photo of the top portion of the iPhone 8’s front glass. The photo (via Slashleaks) seemingly corroborates previous reports suggesting that Apple with the iPhone 8 will introduce a brand new facial recognition feature that can be used to unlock a device and perhaps to even authenticate secure transactions. Indeed, Apple earlier this year acquired an Israeli start-up called Realface with incredibly advanced and secure facial recognition software.

The leaked photo is below and, as you can tell, there are three additional circular cutouts that are not present on the iPhone 7. While admittedly speculative, it stands to reason that these cutouts are for additional camera modules Apple plans to incorporate to support a new facial recognition feature.

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple’s plans for facial recognition may extend far beyond user identification. Specifically, there has been speculation that the front-facing cameras on the iPhone 8 may be used for gaming purposes insofar that users will be able to superimpose photos of their own head onto playable characters. To this point, recall that Apple in 2015 acquired Faceshift, a company with expertise in real-time motion capture. In fact, Faceshift’s technology was used during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

A video showcasing Faceshift’s capabilities can be seen below.


Incidentally, the leaked iPhone 8 part above seems to jibe with other leaks we’ve seen, as evidenced by the rendering below. The two flaps in the upper left and right-hand corners will seemingly be used to display status icons like signal strength and Wi-Fi and, thanks to the deep blacks offered by OLED, will simply go dark when a user is playing a game or watching a movie.

From: BGR - Science says porn is making men impotent

Before the days of the internet, porn was actually pretty tough to find. You had to visit a shady adult toy shop or, if you had absolutely no shame, buy explicit magazines from a bookstore or news stand. Today, every type of fetish is no more than a few clicks away, and new research is drawing a troubling connection between young men with erectile dysfunction and the increasing prevalence of internet porn. 

A study of over 300 men between the ages of 20 and 40 who visited a San Diego urology clinic for treatment of impotence were surveyed about their sexual habits, including their consumption of internet porn. When the researchers crunch the numbers, they found a link between excessive porn watching and erectile dysfunction, suggesting that regular viewers of web porn are more likely to experience performance issues when having sex with an actual human partner.

“Tolerance could explain the sexual dysfunction, and can explain our finding that associated preferences for pornography over partnered sex with statistically significantly higher sexual dysfunction in men,” says Dr. Matthew Christman, urologist and lead researcher on the study.

The science behind why excessive porn watching can potentially cause impotence is very similar to other types of addiction. Essentially, the viewer builds up a “tolerance” to the mental stimulation in the same way a drug addict needs more and more of their vice to achieve the same feeling over time, men who binge on porn might find an actual sexual encounter to be far less exciting than they would normally.

From: BGR - Donald Trump blasts Colbert as a ‘no-talent guy’ over Vladimir Putin joke

Stephen Colbert has been going after Donald Trump pretty hard in recent weeks. Just a few short days after Colbert garnered headlines for describing Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin in explicit terms, Colbert was at it again yesterday, this time poking fun at the bizarre and controversial circumstances surrounding Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

“Comey found out he was fired during a meeting when a television in the background flashed the news,” Colbert said. “Now that’s certainly on-brand because firing people on TV is Trump’s qualification for being President.”

“Of course, that wasn’t the end of it,” Colbert continued. Colbert next highlighted a letter Trump wrote to Comey which reads in part:

While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

“Did you catch that?” Colbert said. “He’s saying, this is not about the Russian investigation, in a letter firing Comey for the Russian investigation. That is clever. That’s like carving your alibi on the murder weapon.


All in all, Colbert went in hard against Trump for a solid 10+ minutes during last night’s taping.

Trump, though, never one to back down from a confrontation, recently blasted Colbert during an interview with TIMEcalling the Second City-trained comedian a “no-talent guy” and “filthy.” Trump’s remarks were specifically made in reference to Colbert’s remarks regarding Trump and Putin.

Trump’s full thoughts on Colbert read:

You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him. The guy was dying. By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. … But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high—highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.

And to think, we have all this drama to digest and we’re just about 120 days into Trump’s Presidency.

From: BGR - Robots can teach new skills to other robots, which is in no way terrifying

All those movies about robots taking over the world and destroying mankind put some terrifying thoughts into our minds. What if that’ll actually happen in the near future? After all, thanks to the fast advancements in AI and robotics, we’ll see smarter and smarter robots, and droids come out soon. And what if those robots will be able to teach each other new tricks?

Truth be told, we’re not in any Terminator or Matrix kind of danger, but MIT’s CSAIL was able to come up with a way to allow robots to teach skills to other robots.

MIT explained that its endeavor aims to improve the way robots can learn to perform tasks. Rather than being programmed to do specific actions, or learning from visual demonstrations, robots could use a different type of learning experience.

Called C-LEARN, the system unites the two techniques, allowing non-coders to teach new skills to armies of robots. Once a robot has acquired a new task after one single demo from a human, it can transfer it to a new machine by simply demoing it to that new robot. The best part about it is that the two robots don’t need to be similar, as long as each machine can perform the same actions required for a certain task.

CSAIL researchers used a smaller robot called Optimus that’s similar to the 400-pound humanoid robot Atlas that was designed to dispose of bombs for the project.

Optimus was able to learn the skills that Atlas knows by simply looking at them. These skills include opening doors, transporting objects and extracting objects from containers.

In the future, the technology might be used to teach robots out in the field to adapt to a variety of outside factors when performing certain actions, without requiring the presence of a coder to adapt the software that enables a certain skill, like picking up an object. All they’d need is a one-time demo of the new action that needs to be performed.

A video showing the technology follows below, while MIT’s full explanation of its C-LEARN system is available at this link.

From: BGR - Watch: Family with two young children booted off of Delta flight for the dumbest of reasons

Et tu, Delta? A new viral video making the rounds shows a family with two young children being kicked off of a Delta flight due to a strictly enforced airline policy regarding who is allowed to fly under a purchased ticket.

You see, back in the day, if you purchased an airline ticket you were free to give it away to a friend if you couldn’t make the flight, or even sell it if you so chose. Over the past few decades, though, security considerations prompted airlines to clamp down on such behavior. And let’s be honest, it’s primarily a way for airlines to squeeze even more money out of prospective passengers who are forced to purchase tickets directly or even shell out cash for pricier refundable tickets.

Which brings us to the viral video of the hour. The man featured in the video below is told that him, his wife, and his two children — aged 1 and 2 — need to get off of the plane. The reason? The name attached to the younger child’s seat belonged to the man’s 18-year old son who happened to get on a different flight earlier in the day.

The man in question is flummoxed and refuses to budge, repeating time and time again that he purchased the seats and that he can use them how he wants. It’s not an unreasonable argument, especially given that a small child is at the center of the controversy. With not an even an iota of common sense on display from Delta personnel on the plane, the man at one point is informed that if he and his family doesn’t budge, they will all spend the night in jail. What’s more, the man is flippantly told that once they depart the plane, they are on their own, which is to say there’s no talk about getting them on another flight or even giving them a refund.


The video description reads:

Here is a video of Delta airlines booting myself, my wife and my 2 children ages 1 and 2 off delta flight 2222 April 23 from Maui to LAX. They oversold the flight and asked us to give up a seat we purchased for my older son that my younger son was sitting in. You will hear them lie to me numerous times to get my son out of the seat.The end result was we were all kicked off the flight. They then filled our 4 seats with 4 customers that had tickets but no seats. They oversold the flight.

Not only that, but the family was kicked off of the plane at midnight, forcing them to find a hotel room at the last minute. And adding insult to injury, they were forced to purchase new tickets.

Now to be fair, the airline protocol at play here is well-established, with most airlines opting to play hardball when it comes to changing a name on a purchased ticket or transferring a purchased ticket to another party. Still, one would like to think that airlines could exhibit even a bit of common sense in these types of situations.

The best comment we’ve seen on the ordeal — if you’re in the mood for a good laugh — reads: “Also, now knowing Delta kicks babies off their flights kinda makes me want to fly Delta. They could change their slogan to “We love to fly in peace and quiet, and it shows” and see a huge boost in ticket sales.”

From: BGR - Nintendo can’t keep up with Switch demand, even using airplanes

Rather than using the more affordable sea freight to ship its Switch console during the first month of sales, Nintendo was forced to revert to more expensive air shipping, a new report reveals.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo switched back to shipping its consoles by sea in April, which explains why it still can’t meet the huge demand for the Switch. Not that shipping it via air was a better solution, as Switch shortages were experienced in various markets ever since the Switch went on sale in early March.

“We carried some of the Switches by plane in March to serve our customers more promptly,” a Nintendo spokesperson said, without revealing what markets were serviced by air. Analysts speculate that the Switch console was delivered by aircraft to the US and Europe.

“Air is a big profit-squeezer because it could cost additional ¥5,000 per unit,” or about $45, Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said. Even so, future use of airfreight might be possible as interest in the console remains high, the analyst explained.

Meanwhile, the Switch is selling out in hours, not days, GameStop told Forbes late last week, just as it was getting ready for the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launch.

The Journal notes that Nintendo sold 2.74 million Switch consoles in the first month, even though it planned to sell some 2 million units during the period.

Clearly, Nintendo has a lot more Switch shipping to do.

From: BGR - Hey Apple fans, you’re all sheeple 🐑🐑🐑

Before you ask me to step outside to settle this like men, you should know that I’m apparently a form of “sheeple” too. In fact, nobody is safe. And it’s not Samsung this time around that’s saying it in some sort of clever anti-iPhone ad. No, this time around it’s an English dictionary.

Sheeple is an informal word for “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced,” or “people likened to sheep.” That’s how Merriam-Webster explains it online. So far, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s use it in a sentence:

James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock.

Nothing wrong there either. But here’s the next sample sentence Merriam-Webster uses to describe sheeple:

Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for.

So there you have it, Apple fans. That’s where Apple customers are likened to sheeple. And it’s a dictionary that says it, so apparently it must be true. There’s a name attached to the quote, mind you: Doug Criss. The Register, which first spotted it, says that Criss used this particular line on CNN back in 2015.

From: BGR - New iOS 11 details revealed in interview with Apple exec

With WWDC just about five weeks away, iOS 11 is still something of a mystery. This is particularly unusual given that upcoming iOS features often have a tendency to leak out in the weeks and months ahead of Apple’s annual developer conference.

Helping illuminate what iOS 11 might have in store for us, a new Bloomberg profile on Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine reveals that the next iteration of iOS will feature a completely revamped Music app with a more concerted focus on video. Hardly a surprise, Apple hasn’t exactly been shy about its plan to augment Apple Music with a collection of music-oriented programming.

“A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists,” Iovine explained. “I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans.”

“We have the freedom,” Iovine continued, “because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good.”

The report further details Apple’s plan to expand its stable of shows beyond Carpool Karaoke and the Dr. Dre biopic Vital Signs. By the time 2017 comes to a close, the report relays that Apple Music will house upwards of 10 original series, including a documentary on Bad Boy Records founder Puff Daddy and another on Cash Money Records. Another potential vehicle in the works involves a sequel to R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet.

Even more tantalizing, though, is what Apple may be planning outside the realm of music.

Eventually he plans to go beyond music and has discussed possible ideas with his friend Brian Grazer, producer of Empire and Genius, and director J.J. Abrams. “Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head,” he says. The service, with more than 20 million subscribers, is the second most popular after Spotify, with more than 50 million premium members.

As for other iOS 11 features rumored to be on the horizon, we’ve seen reports that Siri will see a massive overhaul and will see tighter integration with any number of other iOS apps and services, including Messages and iCloud. Additionally, with reports that the iPhone 8 will include advanced 3D cameras, it’s also been rumored that iOS 11 will feature exciting new augmented reality features, a concept of which can be viewed below.

From: BGR - Netflix is headed where it has never gone before

Netflix is currently available in nearly 200 countries across the globe, but the streaming giant has historically never been able to break into China. With upwards of 1.3 billion people, China is an incredibly important market for Netflix to tap into, especially amidst some analyst concerns regarding the company’s ability to drastically increase revenue growth once its subscriber count plateaus.

As for Netflix’s conspicuous absence in China, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explained last year: “In China, you need specific permission from the government to be able to operate, so we’re continuing to work on that and we’re very patient. I think we’re going to be a success there, but it’s going to take some time.”

Earlier this week, Netflix announced that it had finally managed to break into China, though not as a subscription service. As our sister-site Variety recently reported, Netflix recently inked a licensing deal with iQIYI, a massive streaming platform in the country with more than 500 million users. Interestingly enough, iQIYI is a subsidiary of Baidu.

So while a licensing content deal wasn’t likely Netflix’s favored way to get into China, the company views it as a step in the right direction.

Speaking on the matter, Netflix VP of content acquisition Robert Roy explained:

China is an important market for obvious reasons; it’s also a challenging market for obvious reasons. Right now what we will do is look to license content into China. We closed a deal with iQiyi, which is exciting.”

For us, it does a couple of things. It gets our content distribution into the territory and builds awareness of the Netflix brand and Netflix content.

As for the vitality of Netflix’s entire business, the company recently said that it finally surpassed the 100 million subscriber threshold. And with the stock currently trading at an all-time high, investors clearly believe Netflix has a lot of room left for growth.

From: Smashing Magazine - Web Development Reading List #179: Firefox 53, The Top Web Browsers, And Vue.js Authentication



Bots and Artificial Intelligence are probably the most hyped concepts right now. And while some people praise the existing technologies, others claim they don’t fear AI at all, citing examples where it fails horribly. Examples of Facebook or Amazon advertising (both claim to use machine learning) that don’t match our interests at all are quite common today.

Web Development Reading List 179

But what happens if we look at autonomous cars, trains or planes that have the very same machine learning technologies in place? How about the military using AI for its actions? While we’re still experimenting with these capable technologies, we also need to consider the possible consequences, the responsibilities that we have as developers and how all of this might affect the people the technology is being served to.

The post Web Development Reading List #179: Firefox 53, The Top Web Browsers, And Vue.js Authentication appeared first on Smashing Magazine.