Jun 18

Amazon's Phone is a Price Gun -

Amazon’s FireFly technology recognizes 100 million objects (read: products). And there’s a dedicated button to activate it on every Amazon Fire Phone:

Using Firefly, a button on the side of the Fire Phone will instruct the camera to recognize a phone number, a book, a DVD, a URL, a QR code, and more. Additionally, Firefly will be able to listen for music (like Shazam) and identify a song that’s playing in the ambient noise around you. Amazon said that iHeartRadio, a popular app developed by Clear Channel, is already integrated with this function and will let you build a playlist based on an artist you hear and like.

Firefly can also identify TV shows down to the episode you’re watching, as well as art pieces (identifying art based on an image was something this writer desperately desired while failing an art history class in high school).

Basically the Fire Phone can identify anything in the physical world which you can purchase at Amazon.

On Yo -

Writing a short story where two people meet at a bar, flirt, and drunkenly exchange Yo names. They then Spend their lives Yo’ing each other, fruitlessly trying to reconnect.

A tale our time deserves

Google sees you as a user, Amazon sees you as a consumer, Microsoft sees you as an employee (though they’re trying to change that).

Apple sees you as a person, but one at leisure who doesn’t want to be using a computer in the first place.

Jun 17

Favorite Google Doodle.

Favorite Google Doodle.

Jun 13

A New Xbox Ad Is Turning on Consoles By Accident -

"Xbox On."

Jun 12

Jun 11

Sixers to move headquarters to Camden -

What not to say in your new hometown:

The new center, according to the development authority, would have a $76 million economic impact on Camden over 35 years.

But at least one person at the morning meeting questioned whether it would have any real effect on the city’s residents.

Kelly Francis, president of the Camden County branch of the NAACP, asked O’Neil whether there would be any entry-level jobs at the complex.

"We need a shooting guard," O’Neil jokingly responded.

Camden, one of the poorest cities in the nation, has an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent, and although the Sixers are required to provide 250 jobs there to maintain the tax breaks, O’Neil said 200 of them are already filled.

The 76er’s and their received $82 million in tax credits from the state of New Jersey.

Camden was recently in the news for ousting Flint, MI from the top spot in the FBI’s ranking of most violent cities.

But good thing they ousted Sterling!

An Explainer Regarding Apple's MAC Address Updates -

There’s lots of handwringing going on. Hoping to bring some context to this news and why it’s an important change:

So Apple was faced with a challenge: their users’ devices were being logged without their knowledge, without their consent, all while using a hardware-based identifier. Apple’s adherence to standard network practices – broadcasting MAC addresses to WiFi hubs – created an environment where this situation could occur. So Apple made moves to change that standard practice.

Starting in iOS 8, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches will broadcast random MAC addresses. In Apple’s words, “The MAC address for WiFi scans may not always be the device’s (universal) address.” Companies that log MAC addresses won’t be able to connect individual visits to a single device. They’ll know someone is there, but not where else they’ve gone. >

Some have suggested that this move is a play to get more people using Apple’s own iBeacon API. This may be true. But iBeacons are much more user friendly. To see a company’s iBeacons, users must install an associated application and grant it the appropriate location permissions. Applications that use iBeacons are opt-in and users are always able to opt-out by managing their location permissions in their device settings.

Read the rest here.

Jun 09

Springtime in Tiananmen Square, 1989

“As Feynman’s friend Murray Gell-Mann said at Feynman’s memorial service, Feynman “surrounded himself with a cloud of myth, and he spent a great deal of time and energy generating anecdotes about himself.”” — Feynman and the Bomb