Apple’s Latest iOS 12 Feature Will Save Lives by Pushing Your Location to 911

Apple has spent much of its promotional push behind iOS 12 so far focused on features that range from silently useful, like Safari’s new privacy powers, to off-puttingly quirky, like animoji tongue-tracking. But on Monday the company detailed an upcoming iPhone upgrade with real-world consequences: It will communicate your exact location to 911 operators when you call, saving valuable time when every second matters.

To do so, Apple has partnered with RapidSOS, a startup that focuses on upgrading the byzantine backends of the nation’s roughly 6,500 emergency call centers. The move won’t improve every call to 911 overnight, but it’s as big a step as anyone has taken so far to fix a problem decades in the making.

Location, Location, Location

To understand the impact of the Apple and RapidSOS solution, it helps to know the roots of the problem. For that, you need to go back to the advent of the emergency call system, which dates back to the late 1960s.

It seems reasonable to spare you the full history [...]  read more

Dark Horse’s ‘Stranger Things’ comics chronicle Will’s journey

While we saw what happened in Hawkins after Will Byers disappeared to the Upside Down in season one, we never found out what happened to Will himself. But that’s going to change with the release of these comics — a four-issue miniseries will give us a look into Will’s experience and what went on while he was trapped in the Upside Down.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced that a handful of books were on the way including a behind-the-scenes companion book, a gift book and a series prequel that will give readers a look at Eleven’s mother Terry and her connection to the MKUltra program. Last week, Telltale also revealed that it was working on a game based on Stranger Things.

Stranger things #1 will be available September 26th.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

‘Gaming disorder’ is officially recognized by the World Health Organization

Honestly, “gaming disorder” sounds like a phrase tossed around by irritated parents and significant others. After much back and forth, however, the term was just granted validity, as the World Health Organization opted to include it in the latest edition of its Internal Classification of Diseases.

The volume, out this week, diagnoses the newly minted disorder with three key telltale signs:

  1. Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  2. Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
  3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences

I can hear the collective sound of many of my friends gulping at the sound of eerily familiar symptoms. Of course, the disorder has been criticized from a number of corners, including health professionals who have written it off as being overly broad and subjective. And, of course, the potential impact greatly differs from person to person and game to game.

The effects as specified above share common ground with other similar addictive activities defined by the WHO, including gambling disorder:

“Disorders due to addictive behaviours are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated [...]  read more

Sitting down? Turns out Oculus Rift owners like to play seated, too

With so many virtual reality (VR) headset makers investing in controllers and room-scale tracking, you would think gamers are taking to their feet, moving around to get the full breadth of the VR experience. 

Surprisingly, that’s not exactly the case.

According to Jason Rubin, VP of content at Oculus, many Oculus Rift owners prefer to play sitting down. 

Speaking at E3 2018 last week, Rubin said many gamers are actually requesting a “seated play” mode for Oculus Rift games

“When we started working in VR, we assumed everybody would be standing, everybody would be doing those things,” Rubin said, as reported by Upload VR. “It turns out a lot of people – perfectly healthy people – would like at the end of a hard day of work, or whatever they’re doing, to just sit down. But they appreciate the immersion of VR and everything else.”

Rubin called the number of people who play Oculus Rift games sitting down “a significant percentage.”

This [...]  read more

Bet money on yourself with Proveit, the 1-vs-1 trivia app

Pick a category, wager a few dollars and double your money in 60 seconds if you’re smarter and faster than your opponent. Proveit offers a fresh take on trivia and game show apps by letting you win or lose cash on quick 10-question, multiple choice quizzes. Sick of waiting to battle a million people on HQ for a chance at a fraction of the jackpot? Play one-on-one anytime you want or enter into scheduled tournaments with $1,000 or more in prize money, while Proveit takes around 10 percent to 15 percent of the stakes.

“I’d play Jeopardy all the time with my family and wondered ‘why can’t I do this for money?’ ” says co-founder Prem Thomas.

Remarkably, it’s all legal. The Proveit team spent two years getting approved as “skill-based gaming” that exempts it from some laws that have hindered fantasy sports betting apps. And for those at risk of addiction, Proveit offers players and their loved ones a way to cut them off.

 [...]  read more

Amazon faces pressure to stop selling facial recognition to police

Both groups are worried that Amazon is handing governments surveillance power they could easily use to violate civil rights, particularly for minorities and immigrants. They could use it to track and intimidate protesters, for instance. And for the shareholders, there’s an added financial incentive to leave the business behind. They’re concerned the technology could “raise substantial risks” for Amazon, hurting its stock price by casting a negative light on Amazon’s business.

Amazon hasn’t addressed these newer campaigns, but its previous response was to dismiss the concerns as fearmongering. “Quality of life would be much worse today if we outlawed new technology because some people could choose to abuse [it],” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed in May, imagining a scenario where society banned computers.

The argument doesn’t really hold water, though. Rekognition is designed for situations where abuse is trivially easy, and there [...]  read more