Tag Archives: tech

Congressman proposes banning bitcoin at House hearing

Burn the coins!
Image: D-Keine/getty

Look, cryptocurrency is complicated. We get it. What with all the different coins, tokens, ICOs, exchanges, scams, protocols, and DApps, it’s borderline impossible for the casual observer to keep it all straight. 

And so, with that in mind, let us now turn to approximately three combined hours of our elected officials rambling on about the blockchain and our decentralized future.

The fun started early Wednesday, when members of the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss the future of the crypto-verse. 

“We should prohibit US persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies.”

“This hearing will shed light on the promise of digital assets and the regulatory challenges facing this new asset class,” committee chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway of Texas (R-Texas) explained. “Our committee has a deep interest in promoting strong markets for commodities of all types, including those emerging through new technology.”

But that wasn’t the only fun to be had today. Later in the afternoon, the House Financial Services Committee met to “examine the extent to which the United States government should consider cryptocurrencies as money and the potential domestic and global uses for cryptocurrencies.”

And what did we learn from this esteemed group? Well, for starters, that bitcoin’s got to go. 

“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies,” Rep. Brad Sherman of (D-Calif.) blasted from the podium. “Mining alone uses electricity which takes away from other needs and-or adds to the carbon footprint. As a store, as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.”

Good ol’ Sherman.

Image: screenshot/house financial services committee 

Did you catch that? Mining uses electricity, and therefore should be banned. 

But not everyone agreed with Sherman. Conaway, in his closing statements, seemed to argue in favor of bitcoin — at least as opposed to more privacy-focused cryptocurrency like Monero or Zcash. 

“As long as the stupid criminals keep using bitcoin, we’ll be great,” he observed when commenting on the pseudonymous nature of bitcoin. 

Hear that, stupid criminals? Stick to bitcoin

Other fun gems include Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) admitting that “there’s a lot of things here that don’t make much sense to me.” And yet, Peterson actually seemed to have some relevant statistics at hand, like the fact that “over 80 percent of the initial coin offerings are scams.” 

Good on you, Peterson. 

Over all, the two hearings painted a picture of our elected officials attempting to wrap their heads around this brave new cryptoworld. And hey, that’s a good thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. 

After all, we can’t all be self-assured teen crypto millionaires

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/18/congressional-cryptocurrency-hearing-ban-bitcoin/

Drone Fails Compilation – Video

We’re quite the fan of compilations here at ViralViralVideos (hence our recurring fail, news bloopers or cute pets compilations), but one about drone fails is pretty new to us. These new gadgets are an amazing piece of modern technology, but we just love them for the footage they produce. Even if that footage is… subpar.

Read more: https://www.viralviralvideos.com/2018/06/19/drone-fails-compilation/

Google Assistant is straight up crushing Siri

Leaving Siri in its dust.
Image: Google screenshot

Siri has some catching up to do. 

As the day-one Google I/O keynote came to a close Tuesday in Mountain View, California, it was clear that the tech giant had left the right impression on the developers in attendance: Specifically, one of awe. Of particular note was the wide range of tasks handled by Google Assistant — tasks that, at present, Apple’s Siri could only dream of (could Siri dream). 

Want Google Assistant to make a phone call for you? Perhaps book a haircut appointment by having an actual conversation with a real human? No problem, that feature was demoed today and will be available to users “as an experiment” in the coming weeks. 

And that’s not the only Assistant-related news that Google announced today. 

“Thanks to our progress in language understanding, you’ll soon be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Google Assistant without repeating ‘Hey Google’ for each follow-up request,” explains a Google press release

And it’s not like this is some Google black magic — Amazon made a similar functionality possible with Alexa. 

Importantly, Apple announced a limited version of this at last year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, but that’s cold comfort when Siri still struggles to understand many requests in the first place. 

Oh yeah, and six new voices are coming. But wait, there’s more. 

Google Assistant will also soon help you navigate within Google Maps “so you can get information while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road,” and, on mobile, will “give you a quick snapshot of your day with suggestions based on location, time of day, and recent interactions.”

These are all real-world applications that people might actually use, and they put Siri to shame. 

I mean, can you imagine Siri making an entire phone call for you? Like, not just dialing a number, but calling a human and having a full conversation with them? No, of course you can’t, because for the most part Siri is useless junk. 

Sure, Siri is really good at super simple stuff like setting your alarm, or unexpectedly dropping profanity, but a punctual foulmouth isn’t going to revolutionize smart assistants. 

Google Assistant, on the other hand, is on its way to doing just that. Maybe that’s why Apple hired John Giannandrea, Google’s top AI exec, earlier this spring.

Either way, Siri continues to lag behind Google Assistant, and today’s keynote emphasized just how wide the gulf between the two assistants really is. 

The ball is in Siri’s court. Now we just have to wait and see if it can figure out what to do with it. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/05/08/google-io-assistant-siri/

Teacher Using Chalkboard to Teach MS Word Draws Praise and Sparks Ire

A Facebook post showing a teacher in Ghana using a chalkboard to show students how to use MS Word has gone viral.

People have been quick to praise the teacher’s spirit and dedication but the post has also sparked ire and disappointment that a teacher trying to teach computers doesn’t even have access to one in the classroom.

Owura Kwadwo teaches ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in Kumasi, Ghana and studied visual arts in school—which has come handy in his teaching profession.

In an interview with Bored Panda, Kwadwo says the viral post has garnered a number of offers for donations of laptops, projectors etc.

“There are many schools facing this same problem,†he told Bored Panda. “I can also help out and give some of the donations to them, so they can also benefit through teaching ICT.â€

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2018/02/ghana-teacher-using-chalkboard-to-teach-ms-word/

Ripple is now the second largest cryptocurrency, behind Bitcoin

Image: Wit Olszewski/shutterstock

After a period of tremendous growth, the banking-oriented cryptocurrency Ripple has overtaken Ethereum and is currently the second largest coin in terms of market cap behind Bitcoin. 

Ripple’s price rose 42.7 percent in the last 24 hours alone according to CoinMarketCap, with its market cap surging to $73.6 billon. 

This is the first time a cryptocurrency has overtaken Ethereum since May 2017, when Ripple quickly surged in price before cooling off at the end of the month.

There’s no clear reason behind Ripple’s most recent price surge. The cryptocurrency’s technology, which is fundamentally different from Bitcoin and is designed for fast and secure global financial transactions, was recently tested by Japanese and South Korean banks. 

Other cryptocurrencies have had a mixed day; Bitcoin hasn’t moved nearly at all in the last 24 hours and is currently trading at $14,402; Ethereum rose 2.8 percent to $733.4; Bitcoin Cash fell 7.9 percent, to $2,393, and Litecoin dropped 4 percent and is currently trading at $241. 

Ripple’s price growth in 2017 has been absolutely insane, even by cryptocurrency standards. You could’ve bought one Ripple for $0.0065 on January 1, whereas the current price is $1.89, a 29,000 percent increase. 

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/29/ripple-overtakes-ethereum/

No, Apple isn’t ‘canceling’ the iPhone X

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

If you’ve been debating whether to buy an iPhone X, you may have just been scared out of your decision.

On Friday, the king of Apple analysts, his majesty Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, predicted Apple will soon be discontinuing the iPhone X, according to a recent AppleInsider report

That’s right: Apple is due to kill off its most expensive iPhone after the summer, right when the next generation of iPhones is due and less than a year after its debut (it didn’t go on sale until Nov. 3).

In his note, Kuo appeared to imply the move was a response to weak demand, particularly in China, where smartphone buyers are said to be more skeptical of the infamous “notch.” He later clarified in a follow-up note that the iPhone X was being put out to pasture early to prevent any potential “cannibalization” of the new iPhone line that’s planned for the fall, according to MacRumors.

Either way, the rumor comes as quite a surprise. Everyone knows Apple releases new iPhone models every year, but it would be unusual if it discontinued a newer model only a year after its launch. The company usually keeps making and selling older iPhones year after year, just at reduced cost. For example, you can buy a brand new iPhone 7 or even an iPhone 6S, directly from Apple today.

When Kuo’s initial prediction made headlines, it was mischaracterized in the blogosphere as Apple “canceling” the iPhone X, as if it were cutting off production immediately and flipping an iPhone X sign on the door of the Apple Store to read “permanently out of stock.” That’s obviously not happening, but it still might make you wonder: Does the premature end of life (if Apple is indeed killing the iPhone X in Sept. — remember, this is technically a supply chain rumor) mean the company has lost confidence in its top-of-the-line iPhone?

So where does the iPhone X fit into the 2018 iPhone line? It doesn’t.

In a word: No. A couple of months back Kuo made what is now considered the best prediction about exactly how the 2018 iPhone lines will shake out in the wake of the iPhone X. Instead of just one phone with an edge-to-edge screen, there would be three. Two “premium” models, a 5.8-inch and larger 6.5-inch design, starting at roughly the iPhone X’s current price point (starts at $999), and a 6.1-inch iPhone with a price closer to the current iPhone 8 Plus ($799).

You can already start to see the problem. If Apple keeps the iPhone X around by, say, knocking $150 off the price, it starts to get a little too close to that new 6.1-inch model. In fact, it would probably put Apple in the awkward position of pricing last year’s phone higher than its newer (but non-premium) iPhones.

That said, why not just keep the iPhone X and not create the 6.1-inch iPhone at all? That answer is easy: It’s too expensive. According to teardowns, the main component that’s driving up the price of the iPhone X (at least from a cost standpoint) is its OLED screen, which costs significantly more than the LCD screens that have adorned every iPhone that preceded it.

The new 6.1-inch iPhone, however, is supposed to use a type of LCD tech rather than OLED, which means it would likely cost a lot less to make. That may mean a lower resolution than the “Super Retina” screen on the iPhone X and other compromises, but in general Apple’s goal with the new model will be to keep costs down. But even after a year in the market, the components of the iPhone X aren’t likely to get a whole hell of a lot cheaper — it’s already by far the most expensive iPhone for Apple to make.

So where does the iPhone X fit into the 2018 iPhone line? It doesn’t. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will fulfill the need for older models with Apple’s most recent chip technology (the iPhone 7 will probably still be around, too). The three new edge-to-edge iPhones will have all the price points covered. There’ll be no role for iPhone X to play. Better to have it leave the party early than overstay its welcome — and become a collector’s item farther into the future.

So, no, the Notch hasn’t ruined everything. And even though Apple may be putting the iPhone X in the ground later this year, it won’t be a funeral. It’s just doing exactly what Tim Cook said it was meant to do: Lay the groundwork for the iPhone for the next 10 years.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/22/iphone-x-discontinued-prediction/

Rivals could take over two years to catch up to the iPhone X, says expert

The iPhone X‘s new TrueDepth camera system is rumored to be causing some production delays, but it could give Apple an important edge over its competitors for years to come. 

Renown analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said Apple’s competitors will likely need at least two and a half years to replicate the TrueDepth camera’s functionality and user experience in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. The system is the key to Apple’s new “Face ID” biometric security technology, Animoji, and several other new features.

Kuo’s bold predictions come shortly after he watched Apple’s official demonstrations of the camera system, which made him believe even more that the competition won’t be able to match it. He previously said that he thought rival phone makers would need one or two years to catch up.

Kuo’s new predictions about the competition come with slightly lower expectations for the iPhone X’s success in the short term. KGI revised its 2017 shipping estimates from 40 million to 30 to 35 million units — but the lower projection was due only to the continuing concerns about the X’s production, not demand. Kuo wrote that he has “full confidence” that the X will be a long-term success. 

Apple stumbled slightly and the public shared a gleeful moment of schadenfreude when exec Craig Federighi struggled to demo FaceID onstage during the X’s coming out party, but the company claimed that the fail was actually the result of the system doing its job to require a passcode after too many unverified unlock attempts. 

Once consumers have a chance to check out the TrueDepth for themselves, we’ll see if it can live up to all the hype. If Apple fans embrace the iPhone X’s facial tracking features and FaceID functionality like they did when Touch ID debuted with the iPhone 5S, competitors face the uphill task of developing their own spin on the tech to catch up. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/02/iphone-x-truedepth-camera-competitors/

How ‘Black Mirror’ kinda predicted this iPhone X feature

We know that Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series Black Mirror is the best, nightmarish commentary for the tech-filled occasions.&nbsp

But rarely has it been very well manifested than during Apple’s announcement of “animojis” &mdash that’s, dynamic 3D emojis that mimic the face.&nbsp

Whenever you smile, frown, or sneer in the iPhone X, the device’s facial recognition technology can scan the face and morph it into animated avatars &mdash such as the fox, the alien, which big stinking pile of poo:&nbsp

Image: Apple

Now, should you compensated focus on Black Mirror’s episode “The Waldo Moment” in the second season finale, you may recall it involves a blue, foul-mouthed bear childrens favourite, Waldo, who comically interviews politicians before spiraling unmanageable.&nbsp

Acknowledging their prophetic forces, Black Mirror’s Twitter account simply tweeted a GIF from the “animoji” demo, using the cheeky inclusion of Waldo:&nbsp

The iPhone X’s new facial recognition hardware tracks over 50 muscle movements inside your brow, oral cavity, lips, jaw, and mouth. When added together, the movement of those different facial expression &mdash like the formation of dimples &mdash provides the phone the facial data it must produce a similarly significant animoji.&nbsp

Even creepier, animojis can talk. Now you can also have your Waldo moment. &nbsp

We still have no idea once the pick up of Black Mirror will premiere, but Netflix has released a couple of images from two approaching installments.&nbsp

Find out more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/13/black-mirror-iphone-x-animojis-waldo-moment/

What I learned from using Snap Spectacles as a marketer, tech geek and a dad

Snapchat Spectacles by Snap Corporation. are displayed inside the organization&#39s pop-up store in New You are able to, U.S., on Monday, 12 ,. 5, 2016.
Image: saul martinez/bloomberg via getty images

Theres nothing cooler than the usual father walking lower the road sporting a sweet set of new shades a minimum of thats things i tell myself. Sure, its unrealistic, unless of course hes putting on Snaps new Spectacles.

In the middle of Snaps financials getting selected apart during its run-as much as an IPO, I received my on the job a set of the headline-generating eyewear. Even though the jurys on how these new accessories have moved the needle on my small awesome father barometer, theyve certainly made an effect about how Im considering social strategy and the way forward for storytelling.

Because the co-founding father of a social media agency, Im pondering the possibilities Spectacles may bring to both our clients, aiding within our make an effort to spark next-level pleasure for his or her customers and fans. But Im also an indisputable tech enthusiast and [awesome] father, so was naturally excited for any new accessory for my assortment of first-run technology in the Palm Pilot to my Apple Watch.

Like a marketer

Ill be honest up front: Ive been endlessly impressed using the advertising campaign for that Spectacles themselves creating a frantic demand one of the tech elite. Individuals from your agency eagerly was consistent with our advertising peers, media reps, not to mention, BuzzFeed. Spectacles continue to develop a massive footprint of buzz for Snap, when compared with its really small distribution.

The Shadowhunters cast used Spectacles to provide fans a glimpse within the live tweeting session throughout the season 2 premiere. Video in the @ShadowhuntersTV Snapchat account, thanks to Freeform.

We has began using Spectacles at live occasions to supply a heads-up experience and were receiving targeted lift by acknowledging that we are while using Specs. Logistically, posting multiple videos inside a sequence is extremely easy. The additional worth of editing, doodling on, and pruning out videos before they publish is essential to producing real-time native creative.

The factor which has me most intrigued, however, may be the new “circular video” format that Spectacles generates for mobile viewing. How you rotate your phone to determine the perimeters truly feels various and innovative. It feels instantly more functional compared to 360 video experience on Facebook or YouTube. Its a game title-changer engaging, approachable, and encourages repeat viewing. Im searching toward creating plenty of circular video soon.

A fascinating aside when i used the Specs, I had been instantly conscious of the possibility problem with inconspicuously putting on a video camera. I traveled to some client’s office with heavy security and, when they inspected my bag and laptop, they did not even question my glasses.

Like a tech geek

Im stoked around the packaging, form and performance. In the tubular container towards the ghost-formed cleaning cloth companion, its just fun. For any “side project,” the Spectacles already feel pretty fundamental to my Snapchat experience. It can make me use Snapchat more. Since providing them with, Ive published nearly every day, instead of once per week (or fewer frequently!). As Snap repositions itself like a platform for everybody not only youthful people these glasses went a lengthy method for me.

I additionally love the singular focus from the glasses which do one easy factor have a 10-second video and instantly throw it for your phone. Not complicated. Not overzealous. Not attempting to take around the globe just providing you with the opportunity to capture a memory how you really go through it.

My only complaint would be that the circular video output simply is effective in Snapchat. It isn’t universal. Sure, I’m able to export a square fisheye video to publish or save elsewhere, however it makes us a little nervous in order to save all recollections in one-use format.

Like a father

I really like the benefit of getting a camcorder ready at any time. If you are a parent or gaurdian, or ever have been in existence young children, you will know they are doing amusing things, however they rarely do them two times, and definitely never slow lower. Its sometimes impossible to capture it on camera.

Yet, using the Specs, I’ve been in a position to film some surprisingly sweet moments with my children. Watching my Spec videos is sort of a home movie of my very own recollections watching them dance, chasing them round the park, and exploring a monument on the vacation all from my perspective. All of these are moments I would have missed basically attempted to leave my phone, find the correct application, and press record. The benefit felt like the very first time I made use of a Switch camera about ten years ago. My children first got it and loved it instantly. Theyve already commandeered my Specs and therefore are shooting videos using their vantage, therefore i obtain the added worth of seeing the planet, literally, through their eyes.

I actually do wish there is a means that i can put on the Specs more, but I’d rather not be among individuals guys who wears shades all day long lengthy, even if they’re leading edge tech. It could humiliate my children. On the other hand, is not that the dad’s job?

Alec McNayr may be the founding father of McBeard, a social internet marketing agency with offices in La, New You are able to and Atlanta.

Find out more: http://mashable.com/2017/02/15/snapchat-spectacles-marketer-dad/