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 shown off by Google Tango phones, allows you a much more intuitive method for doing it. Having the phone actually aware of the three-dimensional space in its view allows for precise measurements, which can be represented with a neat hologram of a measuring tape. Apple’s advantage in the contest for doing this best is simple: while Google Tango demands special hardware, ARKit requires only that you have a recent iOS device. At WWDC earlier this month, Craig Federighi described ARKit as “the largest AR platform in the world,” and he was right.
This isn’t just about raw engineering brilliance. Google and Microsoft can easily go toe-to-toe with Apple in that realm. This is about design, and making a sophisticated technology approachable to everyday people. It seems Apple still understands this better than their competitors.
In 2016, Microsoft introduced its approach to augmented reality with their big, fat headset, the HoloLens. They demonstrated how you could play Minecraft in your living room, stacking virtual blocks in real space. This demo reminded me that despite the departure of Steve Ballmer and their new-found love of hardware in their Surface devices, this is the same company that came to multi-touch market with a $10,000 table. Some things never change.
The ARKit demo apps in the story quoted above might look cute or trivial, but as Clay Christiansen said, the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a toy.
Sure, a phone screen isn’t as immersive as an AR headset, but this is just the first step and one with a much lower barrier to entry than a big headset.
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, painful, and lonely. Software engineers, on the other hand, are some of the best-paid, hardest-to-hire employees in the modern economy. The variety that Seltz-Axmacher employs—specialists in AI and machine learning—are even better paid and even harder to hire. Google has been known to pay its self-driving car engineers millions or even tens of millions. Starsky’s coders don’t make that much, but the point remains: In its cabs, side by side, are representatives of some of the most and least promising careers in America.
Self-driving tractor trailers are replacing truck drivers, but truck driving is an under-paid, unappealing job. In this respect, it’s a perfect place for AI, but it doesn’t address the 3.5 million Americans who drive trucks for a living and need income.
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 retirement for the August 26 boxing match against Conor McGregor, the brightest star mixed martial arts has ever seen.
McGregor is the highest-paid Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete ever, but the leap he is about to make is an extraordinary one. He says he’ll go from his comparatively low estimated paydays to over $100 million in one night.
And then, according to UFC President Dana White, he’ll come back to the UFC for a lightweight title defense in December, where he will presumably go back to making $3 million guaranteed for his fights. From $100 million to $3 million, for the same amount of work.
Sure he will.
One hundred million dollars. McGregor is already a winner, even in the event Mayweather defensive-boxes his way to a win.
I’m not sure if McGregor has anything left to prove. The disproportionally large number of naysayers grows exponentially before every one of his fights. He beat Chad Mendez. He beat Jose Aldo. He beat Nate Diaz in UFC 202 (after initially losing to Diaz in UFC 196). He beat Eddie Alvarez.
I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.
Samsung has released a preview of their AI assistant ‘Bixby’ to beta testers:
First things first. If you registered to be a beta tester, make sure you’re running the current version of Bixby by going to its “about” screen. Download any updates that appear there. I also had to clear the data and cache for Bixby apps in my S8+’s settings screen before Bixby Voice appeared. Once it does, you’ll get a tutorial that involves teaching you how to trigger the voice feature and then teaching it to recognize your voice.
This already sounds like a great user experience. Clearing cache, tutorials. Bixby sounds even more beta than Siri was went Apple launched it.
Even the essential task of text messaging someone is surprisingly hard to pull off. For one, you’ve got to use Samsung’s Messages app as your default SMS app. And if you don’t word things exactly right, it won’t happen. “Text mom and ask ‘how are you’” sent me to a Google search. “Send a text to mom and ask ‘how are you’” worked — but still necessitated a few taps to fire off the message. What’s the point of voice, then? Google Assistant nailed it with a single attempt.
One more nugget:
Compared directly against Google Assistant, Bixby Voice is in for some embarrassing showdowns. Until things get better, a lot of people will be asking “What’s the point?” I’m not really sure Bixby Voice saves you much in the way of time since it often runs through the same menus and screens you would with your finger when performing tasks.
Haha. Good luck with this, Samsung.
What I love most about this is that Samsung phones run on Android and Google already has Google Assistant which is way more advanced than Bixby, but Samsung wants to differentiate themselves from the sea of other Android phone manufacturers.
I suppose in that respect they’ve accomplished their mission.
Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.
Mr. Kalanick’s exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential.
Shareholder revolt. Sheesh. So dramatic.
Now that the Chief Douchebag is out, I’m curious if they’ll be replacing him with a less douchey one.
Brian X. Chen isn’t sold:
Here’s the problem: The Smart Keyboard is thin and the keys do not click well or feel as satisfying to type on as the keyboards on a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air; after a long period of typing, the Smart Keyboard felt flimsy. The keyboard for the 10.5-inch model is still small and cramped compared with a MacBook keyboard.
So a tablet isn’t a laptop. Shocking.
The other issue is ergonomics. Using the touch screen in combination with the Apple keyboard can be a pain on the wrist.
Say, for example, you are using the keyboard to scroll through an email or website: If you want to open a link, you have to lift your hand away from the keyboard and tap the link. Or say you want to adjust the screen brightness or hit pause on a music track while typing: Both actions require reaching up and touching the screen. These keyboard-to-touch-screen reps get tiring.
My goodness. You have to actually lift your frail, nerdy hand off the keyboard. That has to be exhausting.
This is where we’re at in the modern world. This is what it looks like when your only problem in life is deciding what mobile devices you want to spend $800 of your dollars on.
I acknowledge I am part of this group too (shit, I’m a guy complaining about a guy complaining about a piece of tech) and if you’re reading this post, so are you, but let’s just not forget Mr. Chen was the same dude who erroneously claimed the Japanese hated the iPhone in a 2009 story his editor had to write a lengthy apology and explanation on.
I don’t trust Chen any further than I can throw him.
I love this.
A Quora member explains the discrepancy between the Bible saying the Earth was created in a day and science saying the Earth was formed over millions of years (actually billions).
Spoiler: the Bible is wrong.
David Bonderman, an Uber board member and partner at private equity firm TPG, resigned from the board of the ride-hailing company after he made a disparaging remark about women at an Uber meeting on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day at an Uber staff meeting to discuss the company’s culture, Arianna Huffington, another board member, talked about how one woman on a board often leads to more women joining a board.
“Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking,” Mr. Bonderman responded.
The bullshit coming out of Uber doesn’t stop.
That being said, what Bonderman said wasn’t that bad. I’ve been out at a bar with other guy friends and said way worse, and all in good humor. On the other side, I’ve heard women say equally sexist — and equally funny — comments when they’re out having a good time.
The main point to take from this is context matters. The context is everything.
I’ve listened to Howard Stern play ‘Anal Ring Toss’ on his satellite radio show one day, and the next day see him talk to little kids on America’s Got Talent.
There’s a time and a place for everything. Uber executives don’t seem to understand this.
As if there weren’t enough scandals at Uber already, here are just a few headlines from the past week:
Regardless of where something bad is happening in a company or who is involved, you have to look at the leadership for clues on what the fuck is going on. Company culture is established at the top and cascades down to the rest of the company. It’s never the other way around.
These are a few bullet points from an email Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent out to his staff on rules for a company party:
Do not throw large kegs off of tall buildings. Please talk to Ryan McKillen and Amos Barreto for specific insights on this topic.
Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic “YES! I will have sex with you” AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML
What a classy guy, that Travis Kalanick.
If you see your CEO conducting himself or herself in a particular way, you’re more inclined to pick up on their behavior in the things you do inside (and many times outside) the company. This idea applies to anyone in a position of power, be it a CEO, a parent, or the President of the United States: they set the tone for how things are conducted, how people are expected to interact with each other, and what is valued.
When Donald Trump calls well-respected news organizations “fake news”, whines on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning like a spoiled 13-year-old girl, and is constantly caught contradicting himself, it gives people permission (incentive?) to act the same way.
That old superhero saying, “with great power comes great responsibility” might feel tired, but it’s true.
The important thing to understand is the values, or lack of values, in the leadership of your country or company might not reflect your own values.
As citizens of a country like the U.S. you have the power to vote for who you think has values that align with your own (this ain’t always easy). When you work for company you potentially have the option to take actions to have a leader removed, or find employment with another company.
Words that are also hexadecimal color codes.
It’s nerdy, so they took some nerdy liberties, like using ‘3’ in place of ‘E’ and ‘7’ in place of ‘T’.
via Designer News
White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pushed for a withdrawal, which probably can’t actually be finalized until near the end of Trump’s term.
The Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency was an advocate for pulling out of The Paris Agreement.
This is a fucked up TV show we’re all in, not real life, right?
Mr. Trump’s aides, especially his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, have long implored the president to cut down on his tweeting, especially about the Russia investigations. But Mr. McGahn is not perceived as a peer by Mr. Trump, unlike Mr. Kasowitz, whom the president respects for building a successful business. White House aides hope that Mr. Kasowitz, who has advised Mr. Trump for years, can get through to the president — and that if Mr. Kasowitz leads a vigorous public defense, the president may not feel the need to do it himself.
Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he can tame his Twitter impulses, at least temporarily. As he traveled through the Middle East and Europe last month, he went nine days without attacking, scorning, complaining or contradicting his own staff.
He demonstrated he could “temporarily” tame his Twitter impulses.
What the fuck does that mean? He went nine days without throwing a temper tantrum so he gets a cookie after dinner?
This man is president of the United States, not a 13-year-old on Snapchat.
He is not fit to be president.