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LanceList - Issue #39

Apple Card, Terrifying Running Robot, RoboCaller Slap-Down, Russian Ads


May 11 · Issue #39 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Apple Card, Terrifying Running Robot, RoboCaller Slap-Down, Russian Ads

Plastic. You’ve got an Apple phone, an Apple Computer, an Apple tablet, and Apple watch and, soon, an Apple Credit Card. The California tech giant is reportedly taking the big leap into physical payment systems (with the help of Goldman Sachs) to boost visibility of its Apple Pay mobile payment system (the one you use through your iPhone and Apple Watch). It’s a smart move since, in the world of retail payments (in North America, at least), mobile wallet technology accounts for just 13% of all transactions. Credit Cards? 53%. Before you make room in your wallet, know that Apple has yet to confirm and, it probably won’t be a real thing until 2019.
Goldman Sachs, Apple Pair On Credit Card |
Terminator. It’s both thrilling and terrifying to watch the latest Boston Dynamic’s Atlas Robot run across uneven ground without benefit of a tether or human guide. In the latest BD video, the robot is just sprinting across a vast lawn, only pausing to vault over a fallen log. I have a lot of questions about this bot. Like how much battery life it has and why BD has never built one with a face.
The Atlas robot is running -- the better to chase Elon Musk down - CNET
The other kind of robot. Here’s some news to warm your heart: A robocaller just got slapped with $120M fine for duping people into buying time-shares. The bad news is that this ruling will do little to stem the tide of robocalls, which are powered by easy-to-use software and a desire for your hard-earned cash. I got a few of these calls a day. How about you?
Robocaller hit with record $120 million fine - CBS News
Dog whistle. According to researchers, there are sounds that only your smart home speaker can hear. Some California researchers figured out how to embed commands for Amazon’s Echo in music. So, you hear the tunes while Alexa hears the skillfully hidden command. This has not been tried in the wild, but it does raise concerns about how much control we have over these always-listening devices.
Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t. - The New York Times
Played. If you want to know all the ways Russia manipulated us through social media during the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, check out the 3,500 ads Congress just released to the public. The manipulation is subtle, extended, insidious, and not always what you think it would be. 
Facebook ads by Russians to fool U.S. voters released by Congress
P.S. When your favorite adult animated series gets renewed for, like, forever.
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