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LanceList - Issue #117

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Apple in front of SCOTUS; Facebook Portal+ Review; Black Mirror is Real; Mars Insight Landing
 

LanceList

November 26 · Issue #117 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Apple in front of SCOTUS; Facebook Portal+ Review; Black Mirror is Real; Mars Insight Landing

Clicks
Apple goes to court. Today’s the day the Supreme court decides if Apple App Store customers can sue Apple. The gripe? Apple’s sole control of iOS app access is allowing Apple to control and unfairly jack up prices. IMHO, the customers are, in this case, wrong on many counts, but if the SCOTUS decides to let the case move forward, it could mean not only potential damages for Apple but a fundamental change in how iOS apps are managed and distributed.
Supreme Court to rule if customers can sue Apple claiming App Store is illegal monopoly Supreme Court to rule if customers can sue Apple claiming App Store is illegal monopoly
Inside Facebook Portal+. I know, Inside Facebook Portal+. The idea of Facebook, a company that’s currently short on trust, putting a camera and giant screen in your home sounds way too creepy, but what if we just judge the device on the merits of its ability to more deeply connect us with far-flung friends and family? Yes, Portal+ is huge (there is a smaller, 10.1-inch Portal), and is a bit short on versatility, but it has some pretty remarkable smart camera technology and really is like a Portal into Grandma’s home. Read my full review and decide if you want to take Facebook Messenger to the next level. TLDR
Facebook Portal+ is the Video Calling Elephant in the Room Facebook Portal+ is the Video Calling Elephant in the Room
Social Score. Black Mirror, a Netflix anthology, often shines an unflattering light on our growing obsession with technology. Perhaps no episode did it more effectively than “Nose Dive,” which starred Bryce Dallas Howard as a young woman obsessed with growing and maintaining her social score, which was totally controlled by the whims of others. It seems like the Chinese government might also be a fan. It’s planning on rolling out its own societal social ranking as early as 2020 and has already beta tested it in some municipalities, where people with bad scores, the Blacklisted, appear on billboards throughout the city. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
That Black Mirror episode with the social ratings? It’s happening IRL – Naked Security That Black Mirror episode with the social ratings? It’s happening IRL – Naked Security
In sight of Mars. Today is a big day for Mars research. The InSight Mars Lander, which launched earlier this year is set to touch down on the red planet at 3 PM ET. This isn’t like SpaceX’s Falcon boosters which land over and over again on their platforms. Mars landing is risky (many spacecrafts fail), so there will be minutes of nail-biting as Insight makes its final descent. If all goes well, Insight will land and dig down into the planet’s surface to learn more about what makes one planet more suitable for life than another. I plan on tracking the landing with my own special watch kit.
NASA's InSight Mars Lander Reaches Mars Today! Here's What to Expect NASA's InSight Mars Lander Reaches Mars Today! Here's What to Expect
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Podcast Update: 33 Million Miles to Mars is on hiatus. Let me know if you want to help me revive it! You can listen to past episodes here.
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