b3podcast-logoFacebook censors iconic Vietnam war photo, Note 7 recall now official, iPhone 7 sold out, there’s porn hiding in iOS10, 1080ti specs leak, Steam makes adjustments to player reviews, Playstation 4.00 update, Gaia Space telescope plots a billion stars, Uber’s self-driving taxis have hit the streets, Adblock Plus Now Sells Ads, the Snowden movie directed by Oliver Stone, and Paralympians who ran faster than Olympic Gold Medalists, and much, much more.

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Show Notes

 

 

Social

Twitter finally bringing longer tweets – http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/12/12891562/twitter-tweets-140-characters-expand-photos

Facebook Censors Iconic Vietnam War Photo – http://motherboard.vice.com/read/you-need-to-care-about-facebook-censoring-an-iconic-vietnam-war-photo?trk_source=popular

  • Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of 9 year-old, Kim Phuc, fleeing from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War in 1972.
  • Photo taken by Nick Ut.
  • Image instrumental in exposing to the rest of the world what was happening in Vietnam, galvanizing opposition to the war.
  • Facebook decided the image breached the social network’s terms of service “any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed.”  They then banned the user for 24 hours (Tom Egeland, a Norwegian Writer who wrote a piece analyzing photographs of warfare) who published said photograph.  
  • Facebook then ordered a Norwegian national newspaper “Aftenposten,” who covered the incident, to also remove the photograph from its Facebook page. Furthermore, Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, shared the image to shed light on the Facebook censorship.  
  • Facebook has said it’s too hard to distinguish between one of the most notable photographs of the 20th century and child pornography.
  • Update:  Facebook has allowed the image to be reposted. https://twitter.com/MikeIsaac/status/774296075045736448

 

Mobile

Note 7 recall now official with CPSC – http://www.greenbot.com/article/3119205/android/official-recall-for-exploding-galaxy-note-7-phones-coming-samsung-and-us-confirm.html

 

Unofficial Pixel XL render – http://www.phonearena.com/news/Unofficial-Google-Pixel-XL-render-shows-us-what-the-phones-face-might-look-like_id85444?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+phonearena%2FySoL+%28Phone+Arena+-+Latest+News%29

  • It’s… a slab of rectangular glass.

 

iPhone pretty much sold out – incredibly limited stock for walkins – https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/14/apples-iphone-7-will-be-super-limited-in-stores-and-all-jet-black-models-are-sold-out/

  • Is this a new thing – the end of the “iPhone lines” queuing up outside apple?

 

Xiaomi can silently install anything on your phone via a backdoor – http://thehackernews.com/2016/09/xiaomi-android-backdoor.html

  • Researcher and Computer Science student, Thijs Broenink, discovered AnalyticsCore.apk, that runs 24×7 in the background and reappeared even if you delete it.
  • app checks for a new update from the company’s official server every 24 hours.
  • the app sends device identification information with it, including phone’s IMEI, Model, MAC address, Nonce, Package name as well as signature.
  • If there is an updated app available on the server with the filename “Analytics.apk,” it will automatically get downloaded and installed in the background without user interaction.
  • Broenink found that there is no validation at all to check which APK is getting installed to user’s phone, which means there is a way for hackers to exploit this loophole.
  • Ironically, the device connects and receive updates over HTTP connection, exposing the whole process to Man-in-the-Middle attacks.
  • As a temporary workaround, Xiaomi users can block all connections to Xiaomi related domains using a firewall app.
  • No one from Xiaomi team has yet commented on its forum about the question raised by Broenink. We’ll update the story as soon as we heard from the company.

 

Qualcomm introduces Clear Sight Dual Camera Tech – https://www.yahoo.com/tech/qualcomm-introduces-clear-sight-dual-camera-tech-132022806.html

  • Dual Camera technology for smartphones, Intended to mimic how the human eye functions.
  • Works with Qualcomm’s Spectra image signal processor within its Snapdragon 820 and 821 mobile processors.  
  • Uses two types of cameras, both having the same focal length and sensor.  One has color filter removed, offering better contrast and low-light functioning.
  • Qualcomm has not released details on when Clear Sight will be available.

 

There’s actual hardcore porn hiding in iOS 10 – http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/theres-actual-hardcore-porn-hiding-in-ios-10-nsfw-1786670537?utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

  • Using Apple’s new GIF search, when typing the word “butt,” it would lead you to an unsettling My Little Pony animated GIF.  Apple has already corrected this since it was discovered.
  • Apple is using search powered by Bing to pull GIFs from a variety of sources.  
  • Only censorship method at the moment is blocking potentially problematic words like “boobs” and “penis”….and “butt”
  • Even typing the word “huge” brought up porn.
    • Apple has now blocked the word “huge”

Gaming

1080ti specs leak – https://www.techpowerup.com/225849/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-ti-specifications-leaked-inbound-for-holiday-2016

  • 16 nm GP102 silicon
  • 3,328 CUDA cores
  • 208 TMUs
  • 96 ROPs
  • 12 GB GDDR5 memory
  • 384-bit GDDR5 memory interface
  • 1503 MHz core, 1623 MHz GPU Boost
  • 8 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory
  • 384 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 250W TDP

For comparison’s sake, 1080 specs

  • 8GB GDDR5X memory
  • 2560 CUDA cores
  • 1607MHz base clock speed
  • 320GB/s memory bandwidth

Nvidia GTX 970 GPU Class Action Settlement – https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/344334-nvidia-gtx-970-graphics-card-class-action-settlement/

  • If you bought a GTX 970 within the last two years, then Nvidia has agreed to pay $30 for each 970 GPU purchased.
  • The class action settlement resolves allegations that the graphics card manufacturer falsely advertised the storage capabilities and operating performance of its GeForce GTX 970 GPU.
  • Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the GTX 970 was misrepresented as being able to “(1) operate with a full 4 gigabytes of video random access memory, (2) have 64 render output processors, and (3) have an L2 cache capacity of 2megabytes, or omitted material facts to the contrary.”
  • Plaintiffs claimed that instead of 4 GB of video random access memory, the graphics card operated on 3.5 GB with a separate .5 GB spillover.
  • In addition, the lawsuits alleged that instead of the 56 render output processors that the GTX 970 advertised, the actual device contained 64 ROPs.
  • The settlement includes 15 class action lawsuits that were consolidated in Northern California, as well as one pending action in San Diego.
  • Nvidia denied the allegations but agreed to the terms of the settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation. The Court has not sided with either party.
  • Class Members who wish to object or exclude themselves from the terms of the settlement must do so by Nov. 8, 2016.

Resident Evil 7 Tape-2 “The Bakers” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8m2YJaidbc

Update Bioshock Games to HD for free – http://www.kitguru.net/gaming/jon-martindale/you-can-update-your-bioshock-games-to-hd-for-free/

  • Updated versions will automatically show up in steam.  
  • If you own the games on other platforms, like physical disc or Games for Windows, you have to provide 2K with proof of purchase or use your GFWL key to activate the games on steam.
  • Doesn’t look like console games are included in the free update?!?

Battlefield 4 Expansion Packs now free “on all platforms” until September 19  – https://twitter.com/BFBulletin/status/776084369572302848

Ubisoft Club – Get “The Crew” for free. – https://club.ubisoft.com/en-us/ubi30

  • Must use UPlay.
  • Celebrating Ubisoft’s 30th birthday.  Every month, a new game will be revealed and free to download.  

Steam Makes Big Adjustments to Player Reviews – https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/09/13/steam-review-filtering-affects-kickstarter-games/ & https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/09/15/steam-user-reviews/

  • Player reviews don’t include reviews from people who got the game by a steam key, rather than buying directly from Steam.  Valve says to prevent score inflation from devs giving out free keys.   
  • Discounts Reviews from players who backed Kickstarters or bought the game direct from devs.  
  • “An analysis of games across Steam shows that at least 160 titles have a substantially greater percentage of positive reviews by users that activated the product with a cd key, compared to customers that purchased the game directly on Steam. There are, of course, legitimate reasons why this could be true for a game: Some games have strong audiences off Steam, and some games have passionate early adopters or Kickstarter backers that are much more invested in the game.
  • “But in many cases, the abuse is clear and obvious, such as duplicated and/or generated reviews in large batches, or reviews from accounts linked to the developer. In those cases, we’ve now taken action by banning the false reviews and will be ending business relationships with developers that continue violating our rules.
  • “While helpful users in the community have been valuable in reporting instances of abuse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect when this is happening, which reviews from Steam Keys are legitimate, and which are artificially influenced.”
  • Swen Viincke, founder of Larian (ran Kickstarters for Divinity Original Sin and its sequel) Quote.
    • Well, these are your most loyal fans and so you’re cutting them away from the sampling pool. That doesn’t really feel fair. We have 42K backers whose opinion will be hidden behind a filter and not be accounted for in the score. If we sell say 500K units (which would be a success for a top-down turn-based RPG), that’s almost 10% of our audience. I don’t know what the statistical significance will be – it doesn’t seem to have made a big difference for Divinity:Original Sin 1 – but I can imagine that in the early days, when the opinions of early adopters are important, it might hurt us that the adopters with the strongest interest in the game won’t be heard, at least not in a way that matters. And since initial opinions often seem to set the trend, that feels like a loss for us. But as I said, I do understand why they’re doing it. A score only matters if you can trust it and I can imagine there was a lot of abuse and manipulation going on.

 

  • Then a quote from Bard Wardell, founder and CEO of Stardock:
    • I really like the changes. It’s been one of the worst kept secrets that some studios were gaming the review system by handing out copies to super fans so that they could launch with 99% review scores. What will be interesting is when people start to notice those who were doing this.
    • The Steam review system is still very punishing to certain types of games. Particularly games with high hardware requirements as most PC gamers think their 5 year old machine is still state of the art and won’t accept that a game plays slowly on it. That could be solved if reviews by players who were refunded weren’t included in the rating. But overall, the Steam review system is still the best system currently available in my opinion.
  • Biggest Changes in Userscore with New Steam Scoring System – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s_T4WYWf-tBtA8Oqg79J7fDe3ulOc6DgJl6ByhYMnD0/edit#gid=0

 

Playstation 4 – 4.00 Update – http://www.gamezone.com/news/ps4-system-software-update-4-00-shingen-rolling-out-tomorrow-bring-ps4-pro-support-and-more-details-here-3443430

  • Add folders and library organization.  
  • Access quick menu without leaving your game.  
  • Enhanced Music Selection
    • Allow you to discover, play, and control spotify without needing to open an app.
    • Ability to play, pause, skip, shuffle, repeat, and save songs.
    • Discover recommended playlists for the game you’re playing and view saved Spotify playlists.
  • PS4 Pro Support.
    • 1080p streaming for remote play on PC/Mac and compatible Xperia devices.
    • 1080p streaming for Share Play.
    • 1080p 30/60 fps live broadcasting on YouTube.
    • 1080p 30 fps live broadcasting on Twitch.

 

HBO and Cinemax coming to PS Vue. – http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/09/15/hbo-and-cinemax-coming-to-ps-vue-hbo-now-launching-soon-on-ps4-ps3/

 

Final Fantasy XV PS4 Bundle – http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/09/13/limited-deluxe-edition-final-fantasy-xv-ps4-bundle-launching-november-29/

  • Limited Edition.  
  • 1 TB HD.  Large illustration on front of the system.  Includes exclusive steelbook, new dualshock with graphic, and Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV Movie Blu-ray, and multiple pieces of DLC.  
  • Available exclusively at Gamestop for $449 USD.  
  • FFXV launches November 29, 2016.
  • Why not on the Playstation 4 Pro?!?

 

Sony finally unveils first Ultra HD Blu-ray Player – http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/sony-announces-ubp-x1000es-4k-uhd-blu-ray-player-es-series-receivers/

  • Rivals like Samsung and Philips have already launched Ultra Blu-ray players.
  • UBP-x1000ES handles UHD Blu-ray Disc playback and streams 4K content along with HDR.
  • Dedicated picture mode specifically for HDR as well as upscaling that is claimed to bring 1080p content up to near-4K resolution at 60p.  

MISC

Gaia Space Telescope Plots a Billion Stars – http://sci.esa.int/gaia/58209-gaia-s-first-sky-map/ &

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37355154 & http://sci.esa.int/gaia/58210-gaia-data-release-1/

  • ESA’s (European Space Agency) mission is to compile the most detailed three-dimensional map ever made of our Milky Way Galaxy.  It’s been 1000 days since launch.
  • Astronomers released first set of data recording the precise position and brightness of over a billion stars.
  • Available in 1920 x 1200, 3840 x 2400, 1920 x 979, 3840 x 1958, 7680 x 3916, and 15360 x 7831 (80.7 MB PNG)
  • Annotated Version – http://sci.esa.int/gaia/58281-gaia-s-first-sky-map-annotated/
  • A number of artefacts are also visible on the image. These curved features and darker stripes are not of astronomical origin but rather reflect Gaia’s scanning procedure. As this map is based on observations performed during the mission’s first year, the survey is not yet uniform across the sky.   These artefacts will gradually disappear as more data are gathered during the five-year mission.

 

Uber’s Self-Driving Taxis Have Hit the Streets – http://futurism.com/breaking-ubers-self-driving-taxis-have-hit-the-streets/

  • Started September 14, 2016 in Pittsburgh.  
  • Requires a person to monitor progress and ensure that there are no issues.
  • Users can’t purposefully reserve self-driving car, but any who ride in it get their trip for free.
  • Touch-screen is located in the backseat to give passengers trip details.  There is also a liquid-cooled computer recording trip and map data in the trunk.
  • Uber plans to install self-driving kits into existing vehicles rather than build fully autonomous cars from group up.  (Uber acquired Otto, a company that works on retrofitting heavy-duty freight haulers on the highway in order to turn them into self-driving trucks). Otto has LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor technology that detects infrared emissions to help monitor speed.

 

Amazon Prime members now get exlusive Audible content for free – http://www.aftvnews.com/amazon-prime-members-now-get-exclusive-audible-content-for-free/

  • Audible Channels normally costs $4.95 a month.  
    • Collection of original programs, comedies, lectures, news, and articles that is consistently refreshed.
    • Also includes rotating selection of more than 50 premium audiobooks that you can listen to for free.  All are arranged in categories.

 

Adblock Plus Now Sells Ads – http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/13/12890050/adblock-plus-now-sells-ads

  • Replace bad ads with good ones that are not too ugly or intrusive.  
  • They want to use an ad marketplace, which will allow blogs and other website operators to pick out so called “acceptable” ads for their pages.  These “acceptable ads” will run in place of whatever ads the site would normally run.
  • “It allows you to treat the two different ecosystems completely differently and monetize each one,” says Ben Williams, Adblock Plus’ operations and communications director. “And crucially, monetize the ad blockers on on their own terms.”
  • Marketplace just launched in beta is suppose to launch in full later this year.  
  • Publishers will get to keep 80% of all ad revenue from marketplace ads, with the remaining 20% being divided between various other parties involved with serving the ads.  Adblock Plus will receive 6% of total revenue.
  • Williams says he can see why publishers might be unhappy with this arrangement at first, but he says the Acceptable Ads program is meant to solve a problem that would exist no matter what. “Ad blocking would have happened with or without us,” says Williams. “What we were able to do is try and reverse the spread of 100 percent black-and-white ad blocking, blocking everything … Acceptable ads was a pivot toward what we think is better.”

 

Mad Max: Fury Road Without Visual Effects – http://io9.gizmodo.com/you-may-never-see-a-better-video-than-mad-max-fury-roa-1786534726

  • Came out in 2015.  

Snowden Movie officially Premieres September 16th.  – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowden_(film)

  • Directed by Oliver Stone.  Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt –
  • ACLU to Launch Campaign Asking Obama to pardon Edward Snowden – http://motherboard.vice.com/read/edward-snowden-presidential-pardon-campaign
    • “I think Oliver will do more for Snowden in two hours than his lawyers have been able to do in three years,” Ben Wizner, Snowden’s lawyer and director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told me after a screening of the film at the Brooklyn Public Library.
    • “We are going to be doing both a mass signature campaign around the world and trying to get prominent individuals and organizations to join our call to President Obama to pardon Snowden before he leaves office,” he said, adding that more information would be available after a press conference Wednesday.

 

Paralympians Who Ran Faster than Olympic Gold Medalists – http://aplus.com/a/paralympics-athletes-mens-1500m-t13-final-faster-olympics

  • Men’s 1500-meter T13 final on Monday evening – Top 4 athletes all ran faster than Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz Jr.’s winning time of 3:50:00.
    • Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka came in first place, setting a Paralympic world record with his time of 3:48:29. Ethiopia’s Tamiru Demisse took silver in 3:48.49, Henry Kirwa of Kenya took bronze in 3:49.59, and Baka’s brother, Fouad Baka, came in fourth place with 3.49.84 — still precious milliseconds ahead of Centrowitz’s time.
    • B3 is a medical based Paralympic classification for blind sport. Competitors in this classification have partial sight, with visual acuity from 2/60 to 6/60. It is used by a number of blind sports including para-alpine skiing, para-Nordic skiing, blind cricket, blind golf, five-a-side football, goalball and judo. Some other sports, including adaptive rowing, athletics and swimming, have equivalents to this class.
    • Equipment utilized by competitors in this class may differ from sport to sport, and may include sighted guides, guide rails, beeping balls and clapsticks.. Some sports specifically do not allow a guide, whereas cycling and skiing require one.
    • This classification has parallels in other sports. For athletics, the class is T13;[10][11] and equivalent for swimming is S13.[12]

 

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About Author

Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets and mobile technology since 2008 and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors and playing guitar and drums. I'm always up for a good conversation so feel free to drop me a line on any of my social accounts or via email.