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LanceList - Issue #24

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Zuck Opens Up, Apple Opens Up, Bugs Open Up
 

LanceList

April 6 · Issue #24 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Zuck Opens Up, Apple Opens Up, Bugs Open Up

“I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” Benjamin Franklin
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Zuckerberg opens up. On Wednesday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held an almost unprecedented one-hour-plus news conference with a handful of eager tech and business journalists (it was a conference call). Sure, he started with a very rote state of the Facebook Union and an update on what Facebook had learned about the Cambridge Analytica data security leak, including the fact that it’s much worse than we thought, but he also took a whole bunch of unfiltered questions. At times terse and maybe a little combative, most of Zuckerberg’s responses came in the form of an apology. He also made it clear that the challenges Facebook now faces will not be solved in three or six months, but he also believes the social media giant will have turned a corner by the end of this year. You can read the full press conference after the link. It’ll help you prepare for his April 11 testimony before Congress.
Hard Questions: Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg on Protecting People’s Information | Facebook Newsroom
Apple opens up. It’s been almost exactly a year since Apple invited me  and a small group of tech journalists to Cupertino to make a tough admission: they’d messed up on the Mac Pro (the Macintosh computer of choice for high-end development and design professionals). At the time, they told me we could expect a do over system in 2018, but with Apple’s eagerly-anticipated World Wide Developers Conference coming up in June, Apple apparently realized they’d need to deliver an update soon. The company spoke to TechCrunch this week about why the Mac Pro won’t ship until 2019 and how much project workflow will impact its design. While I’m sure there are some Apple fans who are upset about the delay, there are probably a bunch of companies who appreciate the heads up. This is a good read.
Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows
Opening up bug-engineering. The lowly cockroach will survive us all because, to be honest, it’s better engineered. What other creature can scale a wall by running headfirst into it? Scientists were so intrigued by this feat, which they discovered by filming cockroaches in super-slow-motion, that  they built a robot that that works the same way. It plows into the wall and, instead of bouncing off it, uses that kinetic energy to send the robot scrambling up. Researchers don’t just do this stuff for fun (well, I’m guessing it is fun). They think the cockroach approach could lead to more agile, autonomous robots that don’t need special programming to figure out how to climb up a real-world wall.
Crash-test cockroaches inspire wall-climbing robot
Opening minds. First, we had computers that could respond to typed queries. Then we had smartphones that responded to our voices. Now we have technology that can literally read our minds. A new bizarre-looking headset can, according to the researchers who developed it at MIT, identify words and numbers you’re thinking about, simply by reading signals from the face and jaw muscles. You read that right. Even if you don’t say the words, your face does some sort of consistent dance that can be read by the “AlterEgo” device. 
AlterEgo mind-reading headset that gives you 'superpowers'
Ready or not. Caught the techno-nostalgia-infused fest, Ready, Player One this week. It’s based on Ernest Cline’s best-selling book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The movie was fine, but, well, this review by my son, Dan, pretty much sums up my thoughts, as well. 
All Out of Coins: A Ready Player One Review – Dan Ulanoff – Medium
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