Author Archives: Mike

“Bixby, get back in the kitchen and make me a goddamn sandwich!”

Samsung adds and swiftly removes sexist Bixby descriptor tags: Samsung’s new voice assistant Bixby has finally arrived, and unfortunately, it was accompanied by sexist descriptions for its male and female voice options. Under “language and speaking style” in the Bixby menu, as several have pointed out on Twitter, the female voice was accompanied by descriptive […]

Android sounds like a dream.

Android 7.1+ has a “Panic Detection” Mode that Detects Frantic Back Button Presses: While many readers of Android-centric websites such as our own are less likely to come across situations where a rogue application compromises their system, the same may not be true for the general population. Nearly every week we hear from various security […]

Tough Old Jew from the Bronx

Actor Carl Reiner — at 95 years old — just wrote an op-ed in The New York Times directed at Justice Anthony Kennedy: I would like to start with congratulatory wishes on your forthcoming 81st birthday. As someone who has almost a decade and a half on you, I can tell you this: It may well […]

The Not-So-Essential Phone

The new phone from the creator of Android didn’t ship when he said it would: The new phone from Android creator Andy Rubin appears to be delayed. When he announced the Essential smartphone at Recode’s Code Conference in May, Rubin said it would start shipping within 30 days, The Verge reported. The company also started […]

HomePod – More Than a Speaker + Siri

Over in the r/apple subreddit, u/Arve highlights an interesting thread in the r/audiophile subreddit concerning what’s under the hood in Apple’s new Siri-enabled HomePod: There is one comment from that thread I’d like to highlight: They’re using some form of dynamic modeling, and likely also current sensing that allows them to have a p-p excursion […]

“the gloves do fit, but you can’t do shit”

Eugene Wei explains the recent scandals in the news — Silicon Valley sexual harassment incidents, Bill Cobsy rape charges, everything Donald Trump does — in the context of common knowledge and “distributed truth”: We need look no further than the highest office in the land to see that common knowledge often isn’t enough. When the […]

Humans, Still Animals

The first sentence of the first paragraph from the front page of the Sunday New York Times: Men and women still don’t seem to have figured out how to work or socialize together. Hey! We’re humans. Animals pretending to be professionals. We fancy ourselves logical beings not affected by our hormones and emotions. The front […]

“Relief for the Rich Act”

In his op-ed piece, Understanding Republican Cruelty, Paul Krugman explains the redistribution of wealth going on with Republican health legislation: More than 40 percent of the Senate bill’s tax cuts would go to people with annual incomes over $1 million — but even these lucky few would see their after-tax income rise only by a […]

The Elusive Laptop Replacement

iOS 11 on an iPad Pro still won’t replace your laptop: The complex gestures we see in iOS 11 will only get more tricky in the future as Apple continues to build them out instead of supporting a mouse. If Apple does want the iPad Pro to be considered as laptop contender, then it will […]

“the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a toy”

Apple’s AR is closer to reality than Google’s: Looking at this distance-measuring app, it seems so simple and obvious. Of course your super-powered, multi-core phone should be smart enough to measure out basic distances, and there have indeed been many wonky apps trying to do that in the past. But measuring with AR, as already […]

Training Your Replacement

These Truckers Work Alongside the Coders Trying to Eliminate Their Jobs: Economically speaking—that is, in the most brutal terms—truckers are disposable. Almost anyone can become a professional driver with a month or so of training, and most don’t stick around for long; median pay is about $40,000 per year, and the work is often unhealthy, […]

I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.

Over at the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter on the likelihood of Conor McGregor returning to the UFC after his boxing match on August 26th against Floyd Mayweather: On Wednesday, the impossible dream, the flight of fancy, the ridiculous notion became reality: Floyd Mayweather, owner of all sporting pay-per-view records of note, will exit a two-year […]