Collaborating Authors

Apple avoids the AI trap at WWDC


There are, roughly speaking, two Silicon Valleys. One resembles the kind of pickup soccer game, usually with very young kids or drunk adults, where every player clusters in a panic around the ball. In 2023, this ball is generative AI, and the cluster began when everyone saw those eye-popping adoption numbers on OpenAI's ChatGPT product. Investors decided AI was hot, rewarded stocks accordingly, and hundreds of tech companies -- including most of the big guys -- began to chase the money. And then there's the second Silicon Valley, which is composed of ... Apple, pretty much.

WWDC 2023: Vision Pro, iOS 17 and everything else Apple announced today


To say that Apple's WWDC 2023 keynote was packed would be an understatement. The company introduced the Vision Pro, its first foray into mixed reality headsets, as well as a 15-inch MacBook Air. There was also an updated Mac Studio and Mac Pro, both of which use the equally new M2 Ultra chip. As you'd expect Apple announced significant upgrades to all its software platforms. It's safe to say the Vision Pro was Apple's marquee device at WWDC.

Former MS state senator's plane had autopilot issues in leadup to near-vertical fatal crash

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on A small plane had mechanical problems with its autopilot system before it crashed in Arkansas last month and killed a former Mississippi state senator who was flying it, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board. Johnny Morgan, 76, of Oxford, Mississippi, served in the Mississippi Senate from 1984 to 1992. He was the only person aboard the twin-engine Beech King Air E-90 plane when it crashed May 17 in a wooded area in northwestern Arkansas, south of Fayetteville.

Meet your digital persona: Apple's Vision Pro users to get real-time animated avatars


Apple has finally thrown its hat into the VR ring with the announcement of the Apple Vision Pro. This VR headset is designed to not only deliver more immersive entertainment experiences but also boost productivity with virtual desktop apps as well as the newly announced digital Persona. With the front camera on the Vision Pro headset, a user will be able to scan their face in order to create an almost 1:1 virtual reconstruction -- aka Persona -- of their likeness. Not only will this avatar be more visually accurate, but it will also be animated in real-time to match your mouth and hand movements for more natural-looking conversations. The Digital Persona can be integrated with the FaceTime app for VisionOS to make collaboration with non-VR-using teammates smoother.

Microsoft bosses to meet Jeremy Hunt amid row over proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Microsoft bosses are slated to meet with Jeremy Hunt this week as Britain attempts to stop the company from purchasing the publisher of Call of Duty. The tech firm launched a bid to acquire video game Activision Blizzard, but British antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55billion ($69billion) purchase. If Microsoft moves forward with the purchase, gamers in the UK would be unable to purchase or download any titles from the Activision catalogue, including COD, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, has arranged to meet with the Chancellor this week to discuss the proposal, as well as the'potential of AI' and the'need for thoughtful regulation of it', a spokesperson told Bloomberg. Analysts predict the Government and Microsoft will reach an agreement before'extreme measures', like prohibiting access to Activision games, take place.

Apple Vision Pro first look: A glimpse at the spatial computing future


Apple isn't letting us try on its Vision Pro mixed reality headset just yet, but I was able to briefly glimpse the hardware after fighting through the crowds at WWDC. And, well, it looks like yet another headset -- almost like a souped up version of the Meta Quest Pro. But even with just a short glance, it's clear that the Vision Pro is pure Apple: It's like seeing the iPod compared to the clunky MP3 players of its era, or the iPhone next to a BlackBerry. The Vision Pro is Apple's bold entry into the world of spatial computing, and it seems like the company has learned a lot from the VR and AR headsets before it. The front of the device features an OLED screen that can display your eyes, making you more connected to the people in the real world.

Scientists develop self-healing skin for 'Terminator robots' that realigns to restore function

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new Terminator-like skin that self-heals could give rise to killer robots. Scientists at Stanford University have developed synthetic skin made of silicone and polypropylene glycol materials that stretch like human skin without tearing, while magnetic properties allow the skin to self-align. When warmed, both polymers soften and flow, solidifying as they cool. When heated to just 158 degrees Fahrenheit, the self-alignment and healing happen in about 24 hours. The team said the skin could lead to'reconfigurable soft robots that can change shape and sense their deformation on demand,' ultimately transforming warfare.

Indiana Jones 5 gets slammed in reviews - but a new study says poor scores can mean big box office

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Professional movie critics aren't enjoying'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,' the hotly anticipated, and allegedly final, adventure for Harrison Ford as the whip-cracking archeologist. Pre-release reviews for the picture have lead to a'rotten' 50 percent score at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 46 reviews. And the aggregation site Metacritic gives the new Indy a score of 52/100, based on 24 reviews. But those failing grades could mean that'Indy 5' is shaping up to be a runaway summer sensation -- according to researchers at University of California Davis. Pre-release reviews for'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' have lead to a'rotten' score of 50% at Rotten Tomatoes and a 52/100 at Metacritic.

Apple's Optic ID will let you log in to the Vision Pro headset with your eyes


Apple's Vision Pro headset will introduce a new approach to security in the company's products: your eyes. The mixed reality device will use a previously rumored Optic ID system that studies your irises through invisible LED light exposures, and compares it against your enrolled eye data to sign you in. You can use it as a password replacement and to make purchases in the App Store or using Apple Pay. The company stresses that your eye data is encrypted and isolated in the headset's Secure Enclave. It never leaves the device and isn't available to apps.

Apple previews new accessibility features, including a way to clone your voice


Apple gave a look at its latest accessibility updates during its annual WWDC on Monday, including new voice and and assistive tech features. Initially previewed for Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May, the WWDC announcement confirmed that the new features will launch with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. For iOS users with cognitive disabilities, Apple's new Assistive Access features lets people customize apps with high contrast buttons and large text labels to meet their individual needs. Apple also added Live Speech and Personal Voice for people who are unable to speak, have trouble speaking or may lose their voice over time. With Live Speech, you can type what you want to say and have it spoken out loud to others on a phone or FaceTime call or jot down commonly used phrases to select during conversation to avoid any delay that comes with typing out in the moment. Personal Voice creates a voice that sounds like you by recording 15 minutes of random phrases.