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Castro 3, Gemini Photos, Pocket Run Pool and other apps of the week | Cult of Mac

This week we take lots of photos with the new manual camera app Obscura 2, delete them again with the duplicate and junk-finding app, Gemini Photo, and waste a bit of our lives playing Pocket Run Pool.

CMO playbook: How Pinterest uses data to create great customer experiences | ZDNet

Every marketer needs to understand how data and analytics can help create the right experiences for customers. A top practitioner from Pinterest shares his secrets for making investment decisions and driving positive outcomes for business and consumer users. This is a must-read for Chief Marketing Officers.

How Autodesk’s assistant Ava attempts to avoid uncanny valley

As Google’s Duplex made clear a week ago, the uncanny valley can have consequences. That was true before AI, and it’s a notion tested on a regular basis now that intelligent machines ha…

Pornhub Gets Into VPNs With VPNhub

You can download the free VPN service on iOS or Android, but to get the full features, you'll have to pay up: $11.99 a month, or $6.25 a month if you pay for a year.

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Amazon Memorial Day smart home deals

From cameras to smart plugs and a handful of Amazon Echo products, the deals are in full swing for the long holiday weekend. Here's the rundown on how to get the most bang for your buck:

See what's inside this insane $51M townhouse

That's it, folks. Thanks for checking out the Kips Bay Decorator Showcase. As I said, the townhouse is on sale for $51 million. To be clear, all the decorators remove everything from their rooms after the showcase is done so you'll have to bring your own designers in. Of course, if you jump in now with an offer you might be able to make a deal and buy it as is.

The OnePlus 6 could have been nearly perfect if only...

We strongly recommend the OnePlus 6 as an elusive Goldilocks phone , that's no question. It has a good camera with portrait mode, the fastest processor, up-to-date Android and a beautiful design. But there are ways that the OnePlus 6 could be a better phone. Whether OnePlus could afford to keep its pedigree as a lower-cost Android brand is a different question entirely.

WWDC 2018: 9 features I want to see in iOS 12 | ZDNet

With iOS 12 set to make its initial debut in early June, here are some features I want to see added.

Solo's big cameo: Everything we know about the character

Maul's return to the live-action movies makes Solo the second Star Wars movie to fully acknowledge characters who've had a life in the Star Wars animated shows, following Rogue One's use of Saw Gerrera, first seen in The Clone Wars, and a cameo by the droid Chopper from Rebels.

iPhone beats Samsung in court, but Apple has to pay you $50

But, you may get a chance at vindication. If you paid $79 to replace your iPhone battery last year, then Apple owes you 50 bucks. Apple is finally taking responsibility for intentionally slowing down the performance of older phones in order to keep up with declining battery life, and refunding customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement before Apple slashed those rates to $29.

Guess who comes back in Solo?

I don't really care what happens next with Han or Lando, but I can't wait to see where they take Qi'ra's character. She proved herself quite the combatant and a potential female Sith (if indeed that's what's she's in training to be) isn't something we've seen on the big screen before. Also, it's just so exciting to have Darth Maul back on the big screen. His fight with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace is still one of my favorite lightsaber battles ever. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to find out what happens next.

Top 5: Office suites for business users

This is a fork of the old OpenOffice, and like its ancestor, it's free and open source. It's great on the desktop for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It still sports the old menu and toolbar interface which some folks miss in Microsoft Office these days. It has file format compatibility with iWork and legacy office suites like AppleWorks and ClarisWorks.

Apple to issue $50 credit for some iPhone battery replacements | ZDNet

For those customers who paid full price for a new battery, it looks like you'll get some of that money back. Apple announced this week that it would begin issuing $50 credits to those who paid full price and qualify for the $29 battery replacement program.

Google's city built 'from the internet up'

Sidewalk Labs promises to transform the disused waterfront area into a bustling mini metropolis, one built "from the internet up", although there is no timetable for when the city will actually be built.

The perfect component for audiophiles who love headphones and speakers equally

The Phonitor X's sound is very tightly controlled, which is best exemplified by the sound of the bass on my favorite reggae albums, starting with Augustus Pablo's King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown. Man, I've heard this music countless times, but here with the Phonitor X, Robby Shakespeare's bass is so much more present and alive. Every note is clean and deep; it's a very visceral presentation. Pablo's band is a monster rhythm machine -- the grooves are irresistible.

Acer gaming desktops run from stealthy Predator to compact Nitro

Joining the desktop, Acer released some new inexpensive (presumably) gaming monitors for the Nitro line. The VGO comes in 22-, 24- and 27-inch models, in HD, QHD or 4K and up to 144Hz for the lower resolutions.

The FBI wants you to reboot your router NOW to help destroy a botnet

How would pressing a button on your router help, though? According to the FBI, rebooting your router will destroy the part of the malware that can do nasty things like spy on your activities, while leaving the install package intact. And when that install package phones home to download the nasty part, the FBI will be able to trace that -- because the US government says it's seized a critical domain that the Russian hackers were allegedly using.

Cloud computing sticker shock is now a monthly occurrence at many companies | ZDNet

On the outset, the low-hanging fruit of cloud migration was the purported cost savings seen through switching from a front-loaded licensing model to a month-by-month subscription approach, which certainly looked good on balance sheets from a CapEx perspective. Now, however, as cloud catches on across enterprises, taking up the work of many business functions, many chief financial officers as well as CIOs are gasping at the unexpected expenses seen in their monthly bills.

Amazon proves the smart home is as halfwitted as we are | ZDNet

"Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'Alexa.' Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a 'send message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right'. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely," an Amazon spokesman told me.

Where the tech jobs are -- and will be in the future | ZDNet

Overall, IT will add more than four million "well-paying" jobs through 2027, the report said. Well paying is defined as a mean salary above the average of all other jobs. Some IT roles will be niche and have only a few positions, while others will have high demand and lots of new positions. Some of these roles will remain hard to fill in the coming years.

Monsanto closes first startup deal in Brazil | ZDNet

"Buyers currently contact farmers by telephone to trade grain. This process takes a lot of time and money. At Grão Direto, buyers and sellers with greater potential to do business are connected through the system and can directly negotiate their prices, delivery conditions, deadlines and any other important aspects for closing. The negotiation can be securely done through the system," says Alexandre Borges, founder at Grão Direto.

The Best Virtualization Software of 2018

Also consider the depth of integration that you want between the virtual guest system and the actual host system. All virtualization apps offer varying degrees of cross-system integration. The champ in the integration sweepstakes is Parallels Desktop, which can optionally make all the files and folders that you have on your actual Mac desktop also appear on a virtual Windows desktop running under Parallels. You may or may not want this level of integration—I always turn it off because it adds to clutter and distraction—but you'll almost certainly want the ability to drag and drop files between the host and guest system and to copy text in the host and paste it in the guest, or the reverse. All the full-scale virtualization apps offer these features. WINE-based software like Wineskin Winery lets you share text via the clipboard, and lets you share folders between the OS X or Linux host and the guest Windows app. But setup can be tricky, and it uses an interface that looks like something out of Windows 95.

How to install the GNOME Desktop on Ubuntu Server

If you make use of Ubuntu Server in your data center, chances are you're working with a terminal-only interface. That's great for those who know the command line well. However, what if you want to work with Ubuntu Server, but prefer a GUI interface? Fortunately, installing the GNOME Desktop Environment on Ubuntu server is not difficult. The only caveat to this installation is that you're not (out of the box) really gaining anything in the way of administration tool GUIs. However, you will have a browser at your fingertips and the ability to install available GUI tools from within GNOME Software. For some administrators, especially those new to Linux, this could certainly be a boon to learning the platform. It would also enable you to use graphical tools for tasks like backups and even make the job of sharing out folders (through Samba) much easier.


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​How Verizon is using AR to up the ante on FiOS technician training | ZDNet

While AR and virtual reality are technologies in flux, the big lesson from Verizon's deployment is that content matters more than the technology. Yes, Verizon is using Oculus for training, but the primary effort revolves around 360-degree video and using AR to deliver content to technicians in the field.

Vermont passes first-of-its-kind law to clamp down on data brokers

Data brokers who trade your info behind the scenes will have to watch their step if they're doing business in Vermont. The state has enacted a first-of-its-kind law that both requires brokers to meet certain standards and punishes them if they fall short. They'll have to register in the state, maintain a "comprehensive" security program (including encryption for all sensitive data) and report any breaches. They'll face legal action if they break any of these terms or use data for illegal purposes, such as racial discrimination.

Beer brewing made simple with the Picobrew Pico Model C

Once the PicoPak is in place, slide it into the main body of your Picobrew Pico Model C. You can use the display to connect your Pico to the internet. The Model C will read a tag on the PicoPak and automatically know what it's brewing, adapting its settings accordingly.

HTC U12 Plus, Tab Active2, and new Chromebooks (MobileTechRoundup show #434) | ZDNet

HTC announced the new U12 Plus and it's fantastic. Acer also revealed four new Chromebooks, one that Kevin thinks challenges the Pixelbook. Samsung released an enterprise-focused tablet too.

Why summer is hell for people who wear glasses

At what point do you take your sunglasses off and put your regular glasses on? How long must you spend inside to justify the switch? Do you switch to your regular glasses if it gets cloudy, or do you just keep the sunglasses on in case it gets sunny again? When you're waiting in line at the ATM or whatever, do you look like an asshole with sunglasses on or do you root through your bag for your regular glasses, even though you're only going to be inside for five minutes? Do you have enough room in your bag for all those glasses? What if you don't have a bag? Do you dare wear Transitions? These are all questions we must contend with.

Alien languages might not be that different from human languages

"Chomsky has often said that if a Martian visited Earth, it would think we all speak dialects of the same language, because all terrestrial languages share a common underlying structure," said Douglas Vakoch, president of METI (short for Messaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), which organized a daylong Language in the Cosmos workshop at ISDC. "But if aliens have language, would it be similar to ours? That's the big question."

28 Mainframes and Supercomputers, From the Beginning Till Today. | The CPU Shack Museum

If from the very beginning of the market of supercomputers dominated Americans companies, then from the beginning of the 90s of the last century Japanese manufacturers began to join the competition. One such manufacturer was Fujitsu, which in 1993 created its vector parallel supercomputer called the Numerical Wind Tunnel in cooperation with the Japan National Aerospace Laboratory. In the Linpack test, it showed a performance of 124.2 GFLOPS. It was based on 140 vector processors with a clock frequency of 105 MHz produced by Fujitsu itself using GaAs technology (Gallium Arsenide, vs Silicon). In the following year, their number was increased to 166 processors. The total RAM was 44.5 GB or 256 MB per node. The total system power consumption was 498 kW. The cooling system was two-cascaded, first cooled chips with microcircuits, and the second – brought heat outside the building.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home

Amazon and Google have been going back and forth in a battle for smart speaker supremacy. As a result, both smart speakers are great, but which one is better?

About ZFS Performance

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you likely know I like the ZFS filesystem a lot. ZFS has many very interesting features, but I am a bit tired of hearing negative statements on ZFS performance. It feels a bit like people are telling me “Why do you use InnoDB? I have read that MyISAM is faster.” I found the comparison of InnoDB vs. MyISAM quite interesting, and I’ll use it in this post.

Jeff Bezos details his moon colony ambitions

Your logo and branded vulnerability aren't helping: How to disclose better | ZDNet

You might ask how any marketer can do this, or should do this, and how can she or he do it quickly? One thing they can do is create a good relationship with the technical leadership in her or his organizations. Another idea is to create an ethics review or standards board (or process, if you're a smaller organization) to ensure adherence to coordinated disclosure. At my current company, while we don't (yet) have a formal review board, my team has worked closely with our intelligence team to reduce harm through our marketing, as well as educate the marketing team on how to spot content where the benefits do not outweigh the risk of publicizing it. My team also:

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says ‘caretakers’ run Apple after Chiat/Day split

“Congratulations, Chiat/Day. Seriously. Congratulations on seven years of consistently outstanding work. You helped build Apple and were an integral part of the marketing team. You took risks, sometimes failed, never compromised. The personal computer industry is now being handed over from the ‘builders’ to the ‘caretakers;’ that is, from the individuals who created and grew a multi-billion dollar American industry to those who will maintain the industry as it is and work to achieve marginal future growth.

34 Mapping the Segregation of Metro Atlanta’s Amenities | Hacker News

I own a home in Atlanta and I've noticed this too, but I think this article misses a bigger point: Crime. If you're a corporation, or business owner, it seems obvious you'd want your business in a lower crime area. The city wants you to build in neglected areas because the hope is commerce brings higher incomes, which may result in safer streets, etc. Which begs the question: Who should take the lead in this, the businesses, or the government? I think it's asking a lot to ask/demand businesses take the risk first, before the government has done a better job of reducing crime, poverty, and improving infrastructure. reply

OnePlus 6 review

On its own the screen appears bright and vibrant, providing a pleasing level of detail. Slide it alongside a Galaxy S9 and you’ll see the screen on the OnePlus 6 isn’t quite as good - there’s no HDR support here either - but when you consider the price tag of this phone it’s not really an issue.

HTC U12 Plus announcement and first impressions: No notch, big sound, and elegant HTC design | ZDNet

HTC continues to release Android smartphones and the new U12 Plus skips the notch to focus on what HTC does right. It's a phone that can compete with the best and launches at a price a bit less than the Galaxy S9 Plus.

How to secure the Windows local Administrator password with LAPS

To combat this in a safe, secure manner, Microsoft developed LAPS as a means of administering the Administrator account password stored on each computer by leveraging Active Directory and Group Policy to force a randomized password to be created for each device and written to an attribute stored in the computer object's AD account. For added security, the randomized password is automatically changed after a specified length of time.

The next wave of digital assistants: How AI will democratize helpers for the elite | ZDNet

It doesn't matter what it is. The digital assistant is just like having that assistant. That used to be reserved for the elite. They had their one assistant. Now everyone ... It's going to be ubiquitous. It will actually I think, democratize across the entire population the ability to have an assistant help you with your life. To me, that's exciting. I really wanted Warren and I want him now.

Technology that changed us: The 1970s, from Pong to Apollo | ZDNet

That's where we're going to start our list. In this 50-year retrospective, we're not just looking at technology year by year, we're looking at technologies that had an impact on us, paved the way for the future, and changed us, in ways good and bad.

How AI and robots are about to augment and accelerate human beings | ZDNet

While a lot of fear is centered around the coming of AI and robots, they are also going to have a massively positive impact on a lot of people.

​Apple privacy update: Now it's easier to download all the data it has about you | ZDNet

Apple users can select the data they would like to download from a list, and the company will prepare a copy for you -- a process that may take up to seven days. Apple said it will use the time to verify that it's a genuine request in order to ensure the security of your data.

Bitcoin backlash as ‘miners’ suck up electricity, stress power grids in Central Washington

In a normal year, demand for electric power in Chelan County grows by perhaps 4 megawatts ­­— enough for around 2,250 homes — as new residents arrive and as businesses start or expand. But since January 2017, as Bitcoin enthusiasts bid up the price of the currency, eager miners have requested a staggering 210 megawatts for mines they want to build in Chelan County. That’s nearly as much as the county and its 73,000 residents were already using. And because it is a public utility, the PUD staff is obligated to consider every request.

Amazon leads $12M investment in India-based digital insurance startup Acko

Acko was one of the first insurers to go all in on digital — certainly at its scale — and Dua said over the past year he has heard of new challengers lining up funding, whilst traditional insurers are taking aim at online by breaking out new business units. In his eyes, Acko has a head start on other digital-only outfits — in terms of timing and funding — while he believes traditional players typical struggle with tech talent and have their eyes on legacy businesses which bring in the bulk of their revenue.

The GDPR privacy law happened, and all I got were these lousy emails

Just because no one is reading though a privacy policy, doesn't mean there isn't any real change, experts say. Even if only a small handful of people are reading it, they would be able to highlight all the issues that come with it, said Jeffrey Sanchez, the security and privacy managing director at consulting firm Protiviti.

Pornography and the butterfly effect

It is also, more interestingly, a tale of the emergent properties of free content. For instance: there is so much free porn that it had to be taxonomized; this, in turn, trained users to focus on and search for particular categories and keywords; this, in turn, forced the industry to adapt to those keywords. Ronson finds a director (Mike Quasar, the find of the show) working on a movie called Stepdaughter Cheerleader Orgy 2. “I guess the first one left a lot of unanswered questions,” Quasar cracks, but in fact it’s called that because titles have become strings of keywords. Ronson discovers that because porn viewers search for either “teen” or “MILF,” performers in between those ages, i.e. women aged between 24 and 29, find themselves effectively shut out of the industry for those years.

How Google Hangouts users can take advantage of Hangouts Meet

Andy Wolber explains how to manage the transition between Hangouts and Hangouts Meet.

Stylish Headphones for Every User

The Audeze EL-8 Open Back headphones get just about everything right, from exceptional audio performance to a sophisticated design. Wood veneer, a striking vented grille, and a unique, floating headband design earn Audeze points for style and originality. While many stylish headphone designs vaguely recall the interiors of luxury cars, these were actually built in partnership with Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW. Pro tip: If you don’t want to leak sound, lose the vents and opt for the closed version, which also looks amazing.

Best turntables you can buy, from affordable to absolute insanity

The  Thorens TD 190-2 is a fully automatic design. Most turntables with high-end aspirations are manual in operation, meaning you have to lift the arm from its rest, put the stylus (needle) in the groove, lift the stylus at the end of the record side, and return the arm to its rest, then turn off the platter motor. So compared with playing a file or a CD, LP playback can seem like a lot of work. The TD 190-2 does all that stuff automatically. So even if you have unsteady hands or are visually impaired, you can play records with the TD 190-2 with ease.

12 things you didn't know you could do with Command Hooks

To keep the basket from resting at a downward angle, it may be necessary to bend the ends of the hooks in. I also added several layers of double-sided foam tape to the bottom edge of the basket to give it some additional support and hold it up higher. You can throw lightweight toiletries, makeup or other small objects in this basket for safekeeping.

The Best Features in Android P

Every new version of Android gets a code name in alphabetical order, and in honor of a dessert food of some kind. Kit-Kat, Oreos, Honeycombs, and Jelly Beans have all had their turn. Google normally doesn't announce the name of the OS until much closer to launch. Here's the thing: We always knew that Android O was going to be Oreo. There is no universe in which this was not a dead certainty.

51 The 10 Best Geeky Original Movies on Netflix
52 San Francisco is losing its mind over electric scooters. Here’s why
53 Microsoft Philippines: 2018 Events | ZDNet
54 Elon Musk says you won’t be able to order the $35K Model 3 anytime soon
55 To fix Silicon Valley’s diversity problem, we need to focus on companies’ DNA
56 GitHub gives us a glimpse into the collaborative future of work
58 Should Mark Zuckerberg be fired? Security professionals have their say | ZDNet
59 Twitter
60 This Is What It’s Like To Not Own A Smartphone In 2018
61 Diesel power and batteries in the bush feature at mobile blackspot sites | ZDNet
62 Why crowd-based capitalism is now rapidly outpacing industrial capitalism | ZDNet
63 Predictive algorithms are infiltrating schools — here’s why that’s a good thing
64 Apple rejects Steam Link app on iOS
65 Digital transformation and the CIO: Everything you need to know today | ZDNet
66 Confluent brings fully-managed Kafka to the Google Cloud Platform | ZDNet
67 Here's how improv can make your business better
68 Alexa's latest creepy move: recording a couple's private conversation and sharing it | ZDNet
69 Nvidia researchers create AI, deep-learning system to enable robots to learn from human demonstration | ZDNet
70 PassProtect tells you if your password has been pwned | ZDNet
71 Google, Facebook hit with serious GDPR complaints: Others will be soon | ZDNet
72 Human in the loop: Machine learning and AI for the people | ZDNet
73 Microsoft: Here's why Windows Defender AV isn't ranked higher in new antivirus tests | ZDNet
75 Ben Heck's 'Oregon Trail' portable game teardown
76 How to print to a local network printer from a Chromebook
77 Why Your Health Insurer Doesn’t Care About Your Big Bills — ProPublica
78 Maryland residents post frightening videos of flash flooding after heavy rain
79 NASA's Hubble telescope delivers new space stunners
80 Spotify seriously needs to add a blocking feature
81 The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure
82 The Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running
83 Browsing porn in incognito mode isn't nearly as private as you think | Dylan Curran
84 How to use macOS with only a keyboard
85 Best Buy offers unlimited Geek Squad support for $200 a year
86 Real-life 'Spider-Man' who climbed building to save child to meet with French president
87 The Best Graduation Gift Ideas for Tech-Savvy Students
88 How to encrypt a USB flash drive with VeraCrypt
89 How Voxels Became ‘The Next Big Thing’ – 80Level – Medium
90 New Regulations Bring 3-Hour Supersonic Flights to London a Step Closer to Reality
91 A lot of people are actually naming their kids after Marvel characters
92 4 tips for delivering more business value with short-term big data projects
93 The Best Desktop Computers of 2018
94 How to install SpiderOak One on Ubuntu and use it from the command line
95 The role of race in police contact among homeless youth
96 A Slower Speed of Light