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watchOS 4.3 beta 3 for Apple Watch developers now available

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:59

Apple has released watchOS 4.3 beta 3 for registered developers to test on Apple Watch. We’ll dig in to the new version and detail changes below.


Categories: Misc

Woman credits FaceTime with saving her life after her sister detected signs of a stroke

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:41

Just a week after the Apple Watch aided a mother and son who were involved in a car accident, FaceTime is being credited with helping save a woman’s life. As reported by the BBC, a woman was on FaceTime with her sister when she suffered from a stroke…


Categories: Misc

What’s the Real Takeaway From Yesterday’s Big Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat Showdown?

Kevin Drum - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:29

A number of people have pointed out to me that the New York Times has a very different take on yesterday’s big diet study:

The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds

A new study, published Tuesday in JAMA…found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year….The research lends strong support to the notion that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose and manage their weight most easily in the long run. It also suggests that health authorities should shift away from telling the public to obsess over calories and instead encourage Americans to avoid processed foods that are made with refined starches and added sugar.

This was not my emphasis. I led with the comparison of low-fat and low-carb diets. Why the difference?

First things first. I didn’t have access to the study itself, which is often reason enough for me not to comment on something. On the other hand, here’s the abstract:

Conclusions and Relevance In this 12-month weight loss diet study, there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet, and neither genotype pattern nor baseline insulin secretion was associated with the dietary effects on weight loss. In the context of these 2 common weight loss diet approaches, neither of the 2 hypothesized predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom.

It sure seems like the main point of the study was to compare low-fat vs. low-carb diets, and to test the insulin secretion theory underlying low-carb diets. In any case, the reason I went ahead and commented even without reading the paper was because had a long, detailed, and seemingly fair-minded description of the study. Here’s one of their charts:

It’s true that the researchers didn’t emphasize calorie counting. They recommended generally healthy eating combined with an emphasis on either low-carb or low-fat diets. The result, however, was that participants ended up consuming about 500 fewer calories per day. That’s a huge amount, and is almost certainly the reason for the weight loss. In fact, I’m surprised the average weight loss wasn’t more. But what underlies this large reduction in calorie consumption? Here’s what the lead author, Christopher Gardner, told

We did not “prescribe” a specific caloric restriction. We focused on reducing foods high in fats or foods high in carbs, and we advised the participants that they needed to find the lowest level of fat or carb intake they could achieve while not feeling hungry….We wanted for them to find a new eating pattern they could maintain without even thinking of it as a “diet”….Table 2 in the paper shows that the participants reported “achieving” a ≈500 calorie deficit, without us prescribing one … and it was fairly consistent through the 12 months. Now, I honestly think they likely exaggerated the caloric restriction. But in fact they did lose >6,500 lbs collectively…So they must have eaten less. I think this is an important area to explore.

That highlighted section has been the advice of nutritionists forever. If you think of something as a “diet,” you’ll eventually fall off the wagon. But if you think of it as making a permanent, sustainable lifestyle change, you’ll…

…well, as near as I can tell, you’ll probably still fall off the wagon eventually. But it will take longer. In any case, there’s exactly zero that’s new here. And the general advice to eat more vegetables and cut back on processed foods, added sugar, and refined grains is likewise of longstanding. My take is that there’s just nothing new in this part of the study. What’s new is comparing low-fat to low-carb diets in a fairly rigorous way, and then checking the insulin secretion theory of the low-carb diet. So that’s what I emphasized.

POSTSCRIPT: There’s still the question of why a low-carb or low-fat diet leads to lower calorie consumption. One theory is that as you get used to it, your hunger decreases and you just naturally eat less. Another theory is that these diets are pretty boring and make eating less attractive. Yet another theory is that carbs and fats are the main sources of calories in American diets, so if you significantly cut back on one or the other you’re almost certain to cut back on calories too. It takes a helluva lot of vegetables to make up for not eating meat or bread, and few people are that crazy for vegetables.

In any case, if you cut back on something with lots of calories, you’re cutting back on calories. As I said yesterday, “As near as I can tell, the bottom line is that if you want to lose weight, eat less.” The big difference between me and the New York Times is that they made this the lead, while I made it my last paragraph.

Categories: Politics

9to5Toys Last Call: 12-inch MacBook from $800, Blue iCE Podcasting Mic $40, AOC 1080p 21-inch Monitor $80, more

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:28

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications. more…

Categories: Misc

Slashdot Asks: What Do People Misunderstand or Underappreciate About Apple?

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:20
In an interview with Fast Company, Apple CEO Tim Cook says people who have not used his company's products miss "how different Apple is versus other technology companies." A person who is just looking at the company's revenues and profits, says Cook, might think that Apple "is good at making money." But he says "that's not who we are. In Cook's view, Apple is: We're a group of people who are trying to change the world for the better, that's who we are. For us, technology is a background thing. We don't want people to have to focus on bits and bytes and feeds and speeds. We don't want people to have to go to multiple [systems] or live with a device that's not integrated. We do the hardware and the software, and some of the key services as well, to provide a whole system. We do that in such a way that we infuse humanity into it. We take our values very seriously, and we want to make sure all of our products reflect those values. There are things like making sure that we're running our [U.S.] operations on 100% renewable energy, because we don't want to leave the earth worse than we found it. We make sure that we treat well all the people who are in our supply chain. We have incredible diversity, not as good as we want, but great diversity, and it's that diversity that yields products like this. What do you think?

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Categories: Misc

New in iOS 11.3: approving family purchases using Face ID

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:19

Among the more than a dozen new features and enhancements coming to your iPhone and iPad as part of this Spring’s release of iOS 11.3 is an expansion of Face ID on iPhone X, which can finally be used to approve family purchases.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

'It's Bullsh*t!': Trump Supporter Refuses To Believe She Unwittingly Worked With Russians

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:19

According to Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians unsealed last Friday, Being Patriotic was a group formed by the Russians to conduct influence campaigns by organizing rallies for Trump. Part of the strategy was to co-opt unwitting and sincere American Trump supporters for these rallies.

A CNN reporter interviewed Florine Gruen Goldfarb as part of a larger report on Russian influence campaigns. Goldfarb was one of the sincere unwitting Americans caught in the Russian effort. When he confronted her with the fact that Being Patriotic was in fact a Russian front group used in their influence campaigns, she would have none of it.

First she denied it, then she called bullshit, and finally, she blamed Hillary Clinton. The transcript is below, but the video is more telling.

I feel some empathy for her. No one wants to find out they were an unwitting tool of a hostile foreign power, especially when they put their heart and soul into their political activism.

Here is the transcript, via the video captioning:

CNN: But what part of this is a coverup? Are you saying that's not true, or what?

FLORINE GRUEN GOLDFARB: Um, the Russians? I don't care if they were involved or not. That's to me is the least important thing

CNN: But they were involved with you. Did you guys know that?

GOLDFARB: They weren't involved with us. Just make sure that you report it correctly that you know --

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Categories: Politics

Netgear ships first HomeKit baby monitor with app-updated Arlo Baby Camera

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:10

Lots of companies promise HomeKit support for existing products then fail to follow through for one reason or another, but Netgear’s Arlo has proven to be an exception to that trend. After promising HomeKit support for its Arlo Baby Camera line, Netgear has released an app update that makes the baby monitor cameras work with Apple HomeKit.


Categories: Misc

Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:03

I see Tamara is all positive this morning so here’s an open thread for people who woke up with kitty litter in their bed because someone (FUCKING THURSTON) decided to bring some treats to bed with him.

Categories: Politics

Meet-Up Proposal – St. Louis, Wednesday, Feb. 28?

Balloon Juice - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:59

Front-paging a comment from peripatetic commentor Steve in the ATL:

Apropos of nothing:

Anyone interested in a St. Louis meet up next Wednesday evening?

Leave a comment if you’re interested. Lurkers, friends and significant or insignificant others always welcome!

Categories: Politics

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I've Only Had Good Years'

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:47
Business Insider: Under CEO Tim Cook's watch, Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iPhones, booked hundreds of billions of dollars in profit, and launched new products like AirPods and Apple Watch. In fact, Cook says, he's never had a bad year as CEO of Apple. "I've only had good years. No, seriously," he said in an interview with Fast Company. "Even when we were idling from a revenue point of view -- it was like $6 billion every year -- those were some incredibly good years because you could begin to feel the pipeline getting better, and you could see it internally. Externally, people couldn't see that," he continued.

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Categories: Misc

Facebook Messenger now lets you easily turn one-on-one video calls into group calls

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:44

Facebook has released an update today to its Messenger platform that makes it easy and seamless to go from a one-on-one audio or video call to a group session.


Categories: Misc

Republicans Are Having Second Thoughts About Abandoning TPP

Kevin Drum - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:43

Yesterday I read that a couple of Republican senators thought Donald Trump should rethink his decision to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade treaty with 11 other nations. But the Washington Post reports today that support for TPP has expanded:

The latest: Half of the Senate GOP is urging Trump to reconsider his year-old decision to yank the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership. In a Friday letter, 25 of them encouraged him to “work aggressively” to renegotiate terms and rejoin the sweeping pact with 11 other Pacific Rim nations that the Obama administration originally organized. The push comes as the final version of the deal was released Wednesday.

Trump himself cracked the door open for this particular appeal when he dangled the possibility of reviving U.S. participation in the agreement during a CNBC interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal,” the president said. “The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP.”

Huh. I wonder what finally prompted so many of them to do this? Pressure from the pharmaceutical and entertainment industries, who benefit quite a bit from TPP? Fear of being left out, as the other 11 countries sign a treaty of their own? Concern that China will fill the vacuum left by the lack of American leadership in the Pacific?

At this point, though, I wonder if the other 11 countries are even interested in talking? The whole point of TPP was the American presence, so they’d probably welcome a second chance at getting that. At the same time, would they be willing to waste time negotiating with Trump? His antics over NAFTA don’t make it seem like a worthwhile use of time. We’ll see.

Categories: Politics

AGR Manet is DOWN, 1519230186

AGR Manet - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:33
Categories: Misc

'Bump Stock' Manufacturer Offers Special 'MAGA' Coupon For President's Day

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:30
'Bump Stock' Manufacturer Offers Special 'MAGA' Coupon For President's Day

The manufacturers of a device which effectively runs semi-automatic weapons into full automatic ones, saw its stock price soar after the Las Vegas shootings which left 58 dead and hundreds injured.

Source: The Guardian

There is a Presidents’ Day sale on bump stocks, the device the Las Vegas shooter put on his rifles. Slide Fire Solutions, a bump stocks manufacturer, is offering 10% off with the coupon code MAGA.

That’s a salute to the campaign slogan of President Donald Trump, who promised to “Make America Great Again”, and who has responded to the deadly massacres in the past five months by continuing to oppose any new gun control laws.

“#HeresToFreedom,” the company wrote in a marketing email announcing the sale.

Before the Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 people dead and hundreds injured, bump stocks were an obscure range device popular with firearms enthusiasts.

Categories: Politics

Watershed Moments

Balloon Juice - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:24

Excellent article over at the Washington Monthly…ignore me and go read it.

But these young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have jolted us out of that script and this is the anthem that keeps playing in my head as I read about the impact they’re having.

So far these young people have done countless interviews, travelled to Tallahassee today to push for more gun laws, will participate in a CNN town hall tomorrow, and are busy planning a nationwide “March For Our Lives” on March 24th.

They are also inspiring others.

If you need a boost, read the whole thing.

Whenever anyone gets down about the political climate around my house, I always come back with a reminder that we’ve been witnessing watershed moments for almost a decade now. And now they are happening at a dizzying rate.

Just a few examples:

Barack Obama for president? Are you kidding me? I thought, no way, this will never happen. Bad Horse kept insisting this WAS happening. Then I heard Obama speak and I was on board. And you know what I did? I changed my registration from independent to Democrat, I volunteered, I knock on doors (I sucked at that btw). I got off my ass for a candidate. I’d never done anything but give $$ before.  As it turns out…so did a whole lot of other people.  And then…then…the most wonderful thing happened, we got tickets for the convention and I stood in a stadium filled with people that I would never expect. And as corny as it sounds, everyone of them was filled with hope and that hope carried Barack Obama to the presidency. Watershed.

Gay Marriage.  When the wave began, I thought, this is not the time, the climate is not going to sustain this. Don’t get me wrong, I was all for it, but now? It didn’t seem possible – maybe because Prop 2 felt so fresh,  a horrible, dark stain on Colorado history (IMO).  Well, I wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was the moment.  State by state, ballot by ballot, court decision by court decision.  Boom! Watershed.

Black Lives Matter:  If it makes you uncomfortable, then it’s working. If Fox and the right wing are turning it into a threat and filled with villains, then you know it’s making a difference. As powerful as BLM has been, I believe we have only seen the beginnings of this wave of change.

There’s been more, but let’s jump ahead to the present, where suddenly we are getting these moments in fast and furious succession.

The Women’s March 2017: So when the rumblings started, this time I was ready. I could feel the righteous anger, the power, the can-do spirit. This time I was not surprised when DC filled with women, children and men in cute pink pussy hats, marching in support of one another and against the groper-in-chief.  What did surprise me? EVERY. WHERE. ELSE. Blue states, purple states, red states all had large marches. A wave was growing and it wasn’t going to stop.

Anti-White Supremacist/Anti-Nazi Counter Marches:  I can’t even believe these have to be – but the moment here is the consequences for these racists who feel safe removing their hoods and coming out in the open. They are learning their beliefs are not normal or acceptable – especially to their employers. bye-bye.

#MeToo Time’s Up: This is so fresh, we are only seeing the tip of what this will accomplish. But the number of powerful men who have had to step down, been fired and publicly shamed…I’m not sure anyone could have seen that coming.  Still in in its infancy, there have been some questionable actions, but I believe as it matures, it will become a place for women to find support as they move into more positions of power, run for office and juggle careers and family.

And let’s not forget Women’s March 2018  – holy cow. It. Happened. Again!

And that brings us to today. And our young people who HAVE. HAD. ENOUGH.

I don’t even know where to begin – I was here for Columbine. I walked around in a fog for several weeks, not knowing what to do to make this stop. I was shouted down by friends and family when I suggested any type of gun regulation. Then it kept happening. Again. And again.

By the time the Sandy Hook massacre took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults and NOTHING happened, that was it, I had lost hope. This was just how we were going to live from now on…sending our children out to be slaughtered in the name of the second amendment.

Well, again (as you can see from many examples from above) I was wrong. And I support these young people, many who will soon have the power of the vote, to facilitate change in anyway they feel is effective. They are going to be vilified and we need to continue to stand with them. March 24, mark it on your calendar. I believe it will be another watershed moment.

We cannot understand the moral Universe. The arc is a long one, and our eyes reach but a little way; we cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; but we can divine it by conscience, and we surely know that it bends toward justice. Justice will not fail, though wickedness appears strong, and has on its side the armies and thrones of power, the riches and the glory of the world, and though poor men crouch down in despair. Justice will not fail and perish out from the world of men, nor will what is really wrong and contrary to God’s real law of justice continually endure. – Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker

Giving us Martin Luther King’s succinct quote:


I know I’ve missed moments above – feel free to castigate me in the comments.

Open thread.

Categories: Politics

'Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won't Destroy Jobs'

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:01
Kai-Fu Lee, the founder and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and president of the Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute, believes that we're not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way. He writes for MIT Technology Review: The rise of China as an AI superpower isn't a big deal just for China. The competition between the US and China has sparked intense advances in AI that will be impossible to stop anywhere. The change will be massive, and not all of it good. Inequality will widen. As my Uber driver in Cambridge has already intuited, AI will displace a large number of jobs, which will cause social discontent. Consider the progress of Google DeepMind's AlphaGo software, which beat the best human players of the board game Go in early 2016. It was subsequently bested by AlphaGo Zero, introduced in 2017, which learned by playing games against itself and within 40 days was superior to all the earlier versions. Now imagine those improvements transferring to areas like customer service, telemarketing, assembly lines, reception desks, truck driving, and other routine blue-collar and white-collar work. It will soon be obvious that half of our job tasks can be done better at almost no cost by AI and robots. This will be the fastest transition humankind has experienced, and we're not ready for it. Not everyone agrees with my view. Some people argue that it will take longer than we think before jobs disappear, since many jobs will be only partially replaced, and companies will try to redeploy those displaced internally. But even if true, that won't stop the inevitable. Others remind us that every technology revolution has created new jobs as it displaced old ones. But it's dangerous to assume this will be the case again.

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Categories: Misc

Smart Home Diary: Adding HomePod, smart(ish) heating and Nanoleaf Rhythm

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:00

I explained in my first HomePod Diary piece that there was one smart home issue we needed to address: while I’m happy to use Siri to control everything from my Apple Watch or iPhone, my partner would often find that she wanted to switch lights on or off while her phone was in another room. We’d partially addressed this with Hue dimmer switches, but wanted more flexibility.

Some kind of smart speaker was the obvious solution to this, and the HomePod would have the advantage of being able to act as a HomeKit hub too.

In my HomePod Diary, I’ve been focusing mostly on music, but I’m also happy to report that the smart speaker has also passed the Steph Test …


Categories: Misc

Tim Cook talks about the culture that led to iPhone X, AirPods, Apple Watch 3 & HomePod

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:59

Juts a day after it named Apple the most innovative company of the year, Fast Company on Wednesday sat down with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss topics like competition, innovation and the culture and approach that led to iPhone X, AirPods, Apple Watch 3 and HomePod.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Final Cut Pro X: Revisiting the Synology NAS, this time with 10GbE

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:47

I’ve used a Synology NAS to store Final Cut Pro X libraries in the past, but the process wasn’t very straightforward at the time, and performance was never good enough to convince me to use it over the long-term. This was especially true as I started to dabble more in 4K workflows.

As we all know, the iMac Pro features built in 10GbE connectivity, which opens up the possibilities when it comes to using a NAS as a Final Cut Pro X storage solution. Final Cut Pro X also received updates in the last year in order to better facilitate working from network attached storage.

Is a 10GbE NAS a viable storage solution for Final Cut Pro X users?


Categories: Misc