iOS 11 drops tomorrow, the 19th


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Statement at Apple website: iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to amazing possibilities for augmented reality in games and apps. With iOS 11, iPhone and iPad are the most powerful, personal, and intelligent devices they’ve ever been.

Here in MDT, typically will drop at 11AM. The tvOS update should be rolling out, as well…though I’m still waiting for my fave reseller to get the 4K Gen 5 Apple TV.

There’s an Obvious Way to Hack Your Voice-Controlled Buddy

❝ Siri and Alexa can hear more than you can—and that’s a problem.

You may have thought that you’d be able to hear any rogue attempts to control your increasingly powerful voice assistant. But it turns out that the hardware and algorithms used to control devices like Amazon’s Echo speaker or Apple’s Siri can actually hear commands issued via ultrasound, which is above the range of human hearing.

❝ Researchers at Zhejiang University in China have shown that they can encode commands in high frequency sound that are still recognized by voice assistants. They take a regular human voice and use it to modulate an ultrasound signal—much like the way music can be encoded onto radio waves. Turns out, the mic on devices like an iPhone or Amazon Echo speaker can still detect the sound, and their signal-processing software also picks up the voice signals encoded on the wave.

❝ The researchers say that they have been able to activate Siri to initiate a FaceTime call on an iPhone, command Google Now to switch a phone to airplane mode, and even control the navigation system of an Audi. The same trick also works on Cortana and Alexa, too.

So, erm, those of us who have decided to cover the camera on our computing devices whenever we’re doing something we want kept private had better find easy and portable methods of keeping our devices from eavesdropping on us as well. Something simpler than carrying around a pillow.

Thanks, @SmartAlix

Autonomous car actually has driver dressed as a car seat — WTF?

❝ A gray van was recently seen cruising the streets of suburban, Washington, D.C. — without a driver.

But this wasn’t one of those self-driving cars that Google and car companies have been testing. This was … something else.

❝ The unmarked van first appeared in a video on ARLnow.com, an Arlington, Virginia, news site. In the video pedestrians comment on the van, clearly realizing something is up.

That’s when a local reporter decided to dig deeper. WRC TV’s Adam Tuss and his photographer followed the van for 20 minutes, even after he says the van tried to lose them.

❝ Tuss finally caught up with the 2017 Ford Transit Connect and peered through its windows, only to find a person inside…But instead of sitting in the car’s seat, the person was the seat. The driver was dressed in a car-seat costume.

RTFA for [contradictory] explanations.

Scream for your lives!


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The Tingler is a 1959 horror-thriller film produced and directed by William Castle…starring Vincent Price, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln, Philip Coolidge, and Judith Evelyn.

The film tells the story of a scientist who discovers a parasite in human beings, called a “Tingler”, which feeds on fear. The creature earned its name by making the spine of its host “tingle” when the host is frightened…Castle used gimmicks to sell the film. The Tingler remains most well known for a gimmick called “Percepto!”, vibrating devices in some theater chairs which activated with the onscreen action.

Har!