Author's Archive

Does Siri sound different today? Here’s why

 Did you notice that Siri sounds a little more sprightly today? Apple’s ubiquitous virtual assistant has had a little virtual work done on her virtual vocal cords, and her newly dulcet-ized tones went live today as part of iOS 11. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 19th

Gadgets

Mobile

O-Robotix spruces up its SeaDrone underwater robo-craft

 At last year’s Disrupt SF, SeaDrone made it to the Battlefield finals with its simple, robust, and affordable underwater drone. With a few customers and a year of feedback under their belts, the engineers behind the robo-sub are putting out a version 2.0 with a few improvements. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 19th

Gadgets

WT2 real-time translation earpieces look to crowdfund first run

 This summer the TC team took a brief trip to Shenzhen, where I met Wells Tu, whose company TimeKettle has made an earpiece that translates spoken Chinese to English and vice versa in near real time. Having created a functioning prototype (it isn’t vaporware; we tried it, as you can see above) he and the team are now heading to Kickstarter to raise the money for their first run of the… Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 19th

Gadgets

Red Sox may have used a Fitbit, not an Apple Watch, to snag Yankees signs

 In a major upset for Apple’s smartwatch brand, it appears that it was a Fitbit, not an Apple Watch, that the Red Sox used as a medium for their sign-stealing in a recent ball game. The news comes from “a major league source” speaking to Boston Globe sports reporter Nick Cafardo. It’s unclear at this time whether the source himself or herself is major league or if they… Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 19th

Gadgets

Senator Franken asks Apple for privacy guarantees around Face ID data

 A friendly letter from Senator Al Franken (D-MN) to Apple requests that the latter provide a few more details on the tech behind its Face ID system, which allows users to unlock their iPhone X using facial recognition. It’s very far from a nastygram; the Senator pretty clearly just wants to cover a bit more ground than Apple had time for in its presentation yesterday. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 14th

Gadgets

Mobile

Senator Franken asks Apple for privacy guarantees around Face ID data

 A friendly letter from Senator Al Franken (D-MN) to Apple requests that the latter provide a few more details on the tech behind its Face ID system, which allows users to unlock their iPhone X using facial recognition. It’s very far from a nastygram; the Senator pretty clearly just wants to cover a bit more ground than Apple had time for in its presentation yesterday. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 14th

Gadgets

Mobile

Nintendo offers new Super Mario Odyssey details and demo of Square’s intriguing ‘Project Octopath Traveler’

 Nintendo announced a few items today to hold gamers over until the holiday season — and to appease would-be SNES Classic buyers. It announced a few details of its most anticipated upcoming games and even a demo (remember those?) of a throwback title from Square Enix that caught everyone’s eye way back at the Switch launch event. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 13th

Gadgets

Animoji are dumb and I detest them

 Apple today announced the digital equivalent of a singing telegram, a perversion of the emoji concept that embodies the worst of both the company’s exclusionary philosophy and the worst of CG animals and excreta. Animoji are dumb and I loathe them. Here’s why. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 13th

Gadgets

Mobile

Modular, self-healing robot swarms are definitely a great idea

 Robots are going to have to work together if they want to destroy us, their soft, fallible masters. But the current paradigm of having a Skynet-like (or rather, Zerglike) overmind control a set of semi-autonomous drones is too easy to beat — take out the brain and the rest fail, right? Not if they’re all the brain, which is the idea demonstrated in a wonderful new paper in Nature. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 12th

Gadgets

Zoom, artificial bokeh and other phone camera features now figure in DxOMark’s tests

 Testing cameras is what DxOMark does, but while many DSLRs and mirrorless systems have remained more or less the same for the last decade, one can hardly say the same for mobile phones. Dual lenses, optical zoom and more are now marquee features and as such need special testing setups and scoring benchmarks — which is what DXOMark just added to the mix. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

September 12th

Gadgets
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