Now Playing
K99.1FM
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
K99.1FM

technology

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >

Opinion: The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back

The worst thing that ever happened to ESPN was the success of PTI.

>> READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog

Shortly after Pardon The Interruption debuted in October 2001, the network set about trying to replicate it on every other show on the network.

That has proven to be a disaster because nobody in Bristol gets the debate isn’t what makes that show great, it’s the debaters.

Tony Kornheiser and Michal Wilbon, not just colleagues but friends who genuinely seem to love arguing with each other about things they’ve actually put some thought into, have a unique rapport that can’t be copied easily.

And yet more than 15 years later, the people running ESPN continue to try in vain.

Collateral damage in this war against people who want good content has been mounting for years, and Wednesday was one of the worst as the company parted ways with a bunch of people who actually do good work and produce things worth consuming (mostly for their website) in an effort to offset financial losses wrought by spending more than they can afford on the rights to broadcast live sports.

If you wondered if the product on ESPN was ever going to get better, the answer is now clear.

For the most part, it appears ESPN kept the carnival barkers while cutting many of the people who actually gather the information people like Stephen A. Smith hyperventilate about.

>> Read more trending news

There’s a theory out there that mixing in too many liberal political messages has hurt the network’s bottom line, but I’m not sure I buy that. Of course, I don’t watch it enough to know just how liberal those messages are. It could be true. It’s probably at least a small factor.

I can’t imagine skewing in one direction politically helps, and I believe the whole stick to sports thing is actually good advice most of the time.

Not that everyone isn’t entitled to their opinion and encouraged to share it whenever they want, but there are a lot of sports fans who really don’t want political commentary in their sports.

And that’s a very fair request, at least 99 percent of the time. There are plenty of sources for news, politics and whatever else, but ESPN has the market cornered on live sports. So feel free to be obstinate, but don’t be surprised if there are consequences. 

Responding to consumer demand is important in any business, but ESPN hasn’t made a habit of that lately.

As often as they take a former athlete off the street and throw him or her into the studio – or worse yet, onto a broadcast – with no experience and much to learn about how to actually express themselves in an informative and entertaining manner, it’s clear ESPN doesn’t care about the quality of what it puts out there.

So at this point I assume if ESPN is having ratings problems (they are), it’s mostly because their product sucks.

I assume they’re cutting people from their website because it doesn’t generate much revenue in the grand scheme of things. The people who have run the network so poorly probably also figure whatever money the web does bring in can probably be maintained mostly by posting viral clips from their terrible sports opinion shows anyway.

Maybe I’m making a lot of assumptions for someone who gave up on ESPN long ago, but actually watching ESPN didn’t used to be essential in appreciating it.

I grew up without cable, but I knew all about SportsCenter.

There was no Twitter to make the catchphrases of Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Stuart Scott, et al, go viral as they might today, but ESPN became a cultural icon in the 1990s anyway.

That was, oddly enough, because they presented sports in a fun and entertaining way. 

A lot of the good stuff was still there when I finally got cable in 2001 (dorm livin’, baby!), but it didn’t last long.

Within about three years, I quit watching for the most part (aside from live events and PTI), and nothing since has indicated I’m missing much. Certainly social media gives few endorsements, and neither have I found the few snippets I catch here and there appealing.

That’s why I keep coming to the same conclusion.

ESPN is dead and never coming back. Today is just one of the sadder reminders. 

Uber plans to take ride-sharing off the ground

The Uber Elevate Summit is live in Dallas this week through Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

Uber Elevate describes its mission as “fast-forwarding to the future of on-demand, urban air transportation.” 

Uber is working to take its successful ride-sharing services airborne.

The Uber Elevate Summit is offering information and working to bring awareness to the benefits of flying taxis, with car manufacturers, lawmakers and venture capitalists presenting research and preliminary plans for how to get the next phase of Uber off the ground.

The multibillion-dollar company is already detailing its aircraft capabilities – basically, quiet and capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) – and has worked up a drawing of theoretical landing pads in Dallas

Dallas-Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter is on the short list for its first batch of possible air taxi manufacturers, and given its large-scale production capabilities and experience building the type of aircraft that Uber would like, Uber Elevate could be calling Texas home.

Here’s a video of one of Uber Elevate’s other development partners demonstrating its concept of electric-VTOL aircraft:

Government hurdles could be the biggest roadblocks to Uber Elevate taking off, but executives are hoping to begin large-scale production by 2023.

Read more at Uber, and see the full Uber Elevate Summit schedule and speakers here.

FaceApp transforms selfies via neural network

For better or for worse, a lot of us have gotten used to selfie face filters in apps such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger that can add silly extremes to our photos and videos, such as sticking a unicorn horn on our head or turning us into superheroes. But FaceApp, an increasingly popular app that debuted in February for iOS and Android, is different; depending on the photo, it can convincingly and quickly show what a person might look like years from now, as a child or even as the opposite gender.

>> Read more trending news

Leaving aside all questions about gender politics and, for the age filter, whether it’s actually a good idea to take a peek into the future that may be too accurate, the technology sounds interesting. As with the Prisma app, it apparently uses an online network to quickly apply artificial intelligence to a photo filter.

The app has already gotten some criticism for how it handles darker faces and there are concerns that its ability to turn frowns into smiles make it a natural for spreading fake, out-of-context photos. But its eerily uncanny technology means it’s not likely to go away anytime soon. Here are some examples:

Google launches 10,000-person study to predict how and when people get sick

Verily Life Science — a Google life sciences company owned by Alphabet — is finally kicking off the massive study it first announced three years ago.

» RELATED: The hottest features from the new Google Earth mobile, desktop launch this week 

In partnership with both Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine, the landmark study, part of its Project Baseline, aims to collect health data from 10,000 participants over the course of at least four years, the company announced in a news release Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Baseline’s official website describes the project as “a quest to collect comprehensive health data and use it as a map and compass, pointing the way to disease prevention.”

Using physical and biochemical traits of the study population, researchers hope to better understand how people get sick, when they get sick and identify any additional risk factors and biomarkers leading up to disease, including diseases related to both cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“The Project Baseline study is the first step on our journey to comprehensively map human health,” Verily Chief Medical Officer Jessica Mega said.

With the help of experts at Duke, Stanford and other collaborators, the project also seeks to develop new technologies to better access and understand health data, Mega said. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Over the next few months, Project Baseline will begin enrolling its 10,000 American adult participants at Duke and Stanford’s committed study sites.
  • Once a year for at least four years, at the study sites, researchers will record participants’ blood samples, genetic data, images from chest X-rays and from the electrocardiogram. Also assessed: tears, saliva, stool samples and a psychological assessment.
  • If participants are willing to share, researchers will also gather additional data including electronic health records, insurance claims, phone calls, texts, social media activity and more.
  • Participants will go home with a sleep sensor and wristwatch/health monitor and wear the watch during the day, wile placing the sleep sensor under their mattress at night. The sensor and watch will measure participants’ heart rate, sweat and steps — but he or she will only see the time when wearing it. 
  • Throughout the study, participants will receive compensation and perks, regular updates and early insights into discoveries, certain test results to share with their doctors and access to Baseline’s community, events.
  • After four years (or longer, if the participants are interested in continuing), researchers will use the health data from the annual visits and watch to understand how people progress from healthy to ill.

» RELATED: Google honors Ghanaian business woman with doodle 

Past studies that have focused on understanding patterns, causes and effects in a study population — at least in cardiovascular disease research — have seen huge strides, according to American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.

While Verily has also been busy with other projects, such as developing smart contact lenses and reducing the use of glucose monitors for people with diabetes, Project Baseline is the company’s first serious public test.

“I hope that 20 years from now, 30, 50 years from now … people will say ‘wow this really led to a transformation of human health,’” Sam Gambhir, one of the study’s lead investigators, said.

More about Project Baseline here.

New features in Google Earth mobile, desktop launch this week

Just in time for Earth Day 2017, tech giant Google debuted a brand-new version of its virtual explorer program, Google Earth, packed with a multitude of exciting new features.

“We want to open up different lenses for you to see the world and learn a bit about how it all fits together; to open your mind with new stories while giving you a new perspective on the locations and experiences you cherish,” Google product manager Gopal Shah wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Here’s what you can expect from the new version:

Voyager: Interactive, informative and fun guided tours

The new Voyager feature allows you to go on interactive guided tours with the help of “some of the world’s leading storytellers, scientists and nonprofits,” Shah wrote.

For example, you can use the feature to go on a tour of Tanzania’s Gombe National Park and learn about chimpanzee research and conservation efforts from Jane Goodall herself.

Or you can journey to Earth’s major habitats -- islands, mountains, deserts, jungles and more -- to learn about the wildlife in each with guidance from experts at BBC Earth.

You can even make a stop in Mexico to meet one of Sesame Street’s “Girl Muppets Around the World”, Lola, and learn about modern Mayan cultures or see what traditional homes from cultures around the world look like in a special Voyager story called “This is Home.”

Shah said Voyager includes more than 50 immersive stories with more added on a weekly basis.

“I’m feeling lucky” button: See where the world takes you with the click of a button

The new “I’m feeling lucky” Google Earth button could throw you into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, the Zao Hot Spring in Japan or one of the other 20,000 curated places around the globe.

At any given place, you can open a Knowledge Card and view images, learn about the history and more.

3D button: See any place from any angle

A new 3D button appears in the corner wherever you (virtually) are, so you can take in drone’s-eye views of the the world’s marvels.

For example, Shah wrote, you may choose to uncover the awe-inspiring architecture of the Château de Chambord in France’s Loire Valley or perhaps plunge into the depths of the Grand Canyon’s geological layers.

Postcards: Share the beauty you stumble upon with loved ones

This new feature allows you to share your favorite Google Earth finds with family and friends. Share a Postcard and your loved ones will be able to click on the link and immerse themselves too.

Shah said the new Google Earth is now available on the web in your Chrome browser.

This week, it will roll out on Android devices and will be available on iOS and other browsers in the “near future.”

Here's how to watch NASA's first live 360-degree video of a rocket launch

NASA and United Launch Alliance will broadcast the first 360-degree view of a rocket launch live Tuesday as a cargo payload heads to the International Space Station.

>> Read more trending news

The launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is scheduled for 11:11 a.m. EDT with a 30-minute window. The broadcast begins at 11 a.m. EDT.

To see the launch live, go to NASA’s YouTube channel and use your mouse to manipulate the view.

>> Click here to watch the livestream on YouTube

“While virtual reality and 360 technology have been increasing in popularity, live 360 technology is a brand-new capability that has recently emerged,” NASA said in a statement. “Recognizing the exciting possibilities opened by applying this new technology to spaceflight, NASA, ULA and Orbital ATK seized this opportunity to virtually place the public at the base of the rocket during launch.”

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft will be loaded with 7,600 pounds of research, supplies and hardware for the space station. It will launch on ULA’s Atlas V rocket.

What are the differences between Nokia 2000, 2017?

Some consider it the workhorse of the cellphone world, and it is making a comeback of sorts. 

The Nokia 3310 will be hitting store shelves soon after being announced earlier this year.

And while the original and the new versions look similar, the 2017 model has a few bells and whistles that the original didn’t.

>> Read more trending news

The new version is lighter, but longer and wider than the original. That’s because the phone isn’t as thick as the 2000 model, Forbes reported.

Buttons are more rounded also. 

The standard bluish-gray color isn’t the only option. You can get factory red, yellow, blue and gray. But other covers from non-Nokia companies are expected.

The screen will be a full-color LCD, not black and white, and will measure nearly a full inch bigger, Forbes reported.

The 2017 Nokia 3310 will have a camera, but nothing like the iPhone or Android versions. It will have a basic 2MP rear camera. It will have a flash and basic video options. There is no front-facing lens.

There will be limited 2G connectivity and no WiFi, Forbes reported.

As for cost, the phone will be much more affordable than the current high-tech options. It will have a price tag of about $52.

The phones will be for sale between the end of April or the beginning of May. The bad news is there are no plans to sell them in the US or Canada due to the fact that the countries no longer use 2G, Forbes reported.

Instagram stories more popular than Snapchat

Instagram debuted its stories feature in August, and many social media users immediately noticed the stark similarities between the platform’s new feature and Snapchat, an app that focuses on allowing users to send temporary videos.

Now, eight months later, Instagram’s ‘Snapchat clone’ is more popular than Snapchat itself. 

>> Read more trending news

According to Instagram, more than 200 million people use the platform’s stories feature each day. That’s up 50 million users since January.

Fourth-quarter records for 2016 showed Snapchat as having about 158 million daily users.

Snapchat turned down a $3 billion buyout deal from Facebook, which owns Instagram, in 2013. Since then, Facebook has rolled out its own version of video-sharing developments on its platforms, including Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Instagram rolled out new “selfie stickers” and geostickers, reminiscent of Snapchat’s geofilters, on Thursday. 

 

Ford designs baby crib that mimics soothing car ride

Many parents have noticed how an evening car ride will lull a fussy baby to sleep. Automaker Ford has designed a crib that mimics that experience, in the safety of a family's home. 

>> Read more trending news

The Max Motor Dreams crib was conceived as part of an ad campaign for Ford's Max line of cars, according to CNN. The crib simulates a car ride's gentle rocking movement, emits white noise that sounds like a car engine and is lined with lights that turn on and off, which mimic streetlights during a nighttime ride. 

The Max Motor Dreams crib was designed in Spain and is a single pilot project at the moment, Ford said in a press release. However, due to the overwhelming interest, Ford is considering a full-scale production.

Twitter revamps 140-character limit for replies

Does that long Twitter name prevent you from answering a tweet fully? No more, Twitter has freed up some character space. The handles in replies no longer count toward the 140-character limit on tweets, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

To make that happen, the handles — a person's Twitter name preceded by the @ sign — are being removed from reply tweets. When you reply to people on Twitter, the handle will be displayed above the tweet in small text. You must click to see the names of any additional people included in the conversation. Usernames in original, non-reply tweets still count toward the character limit, CNN reported.

"In our tests of this new experience, we found that people engage more with conversations on Twitter," product manager Sasank Reddy said in a blog post announcing the change.

Now the company is rolling out this new twist to all of its 319 million active users, CNN reported. It will show up on Twitter.com as well as in the iOS and Android apps.

In September, Twitter announced that quoted tweets and attached media would not count toward the 140-character cap, CNN reported.

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >