Steve Wozniak: Apple Isn’t “Changing the World” Any More

Steve Wozniak – who, alongside Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple – thinks that his former company is not the one he and Jobs set up, is no longer “changing the world” like it once was, and that the Apple Watch merely a vanity item.

During an AMA on reddit, Wozniak – affectionately known as ‘Woz’ – was asked how he thought Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, was doing in the role. While Woz was complimentary about Cook’s support for both employees and customers of Apple, he criticised its current business model for following trends, rather than setting (or, as some may accuse the company, ‘stealing’) them:

Woz wrote:

“Tim Cook is acknowledging the employees of Apple and the customers of Apple as real people. He is continuing a strong tradition that Steve Jobs was known for of making good products that help people do things they want to do in their life, and not taking the company into roads of, “Oh, we’ll make all our money like by knowing you and advertising to you.” We’ll make good products. And you know, I started out as a hardware product guy, so I’m glad to see that.

I worry a little bit about – I mean I love my Apple Watch, but – it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1100 based on how important you think you are as a person. The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot. So it might be moving, but you’ve got to follow, you know. You’ve got to follow the paths of where the markets are.

Everything else, I’m very approving of Tim Cook, because every time we have a new iOS update, I’m very happy that it’s doing things that really affect people. Like transferring calls from my phone to my computer, etc. I really love even the Airplay, and all that. So, I love the software, and I love the hardware, and nothing’s letting me down. So I approve very strongly of Tim Cook and the new Apple. I dearly miss Steve Jobs too, but, that’s all.”

Woz says he’s very supportive of Apple in its fight against the FBI, though, and believes that backdoors in encrypted systems are too much of a risk, writing, “if some code gets written in an Apple product that lets people in, bad people are going to find their way to it, very likely.”

Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo.

AMD Radeon reddit AMA Highlights – Polaris on 14nm

With the reddit AMA now behind us, we can share with you some of the answers that we felt were the highlight of the question period. As expected, AMD was a bit light on details and specifics about Polaris but there were a number of important and new pieces of information.

The biggest news is that Polaris will be using the 14nm LPP FinFET process from GlobalFoundries, not a mix of 14nm LPP and 16nm FinFET+ from TSMC as previous leaked. This means Nvidia and AMD will no longer be sharing a process node for their CPUs. It also means that AMD’s GPU and CPU lineups will now be using the same process, simplifying things for APUs. Furthermore, the Taiwan earthquake that hit TSMC won’t impact Polaris yields and timeline as well. Polaris is also confirmed once again for a mid-2016 launch. Polaris will also bring Display Port 1.3 support as well.

Another confirmation is the move that AMD started in 2014 with a big annual driver release with major feature additions spaced out with point releases for specific fixes and optimizations. Those hoping that RTG would speed up driver updates to implement more features faster will be disappointed. For hardware, Fiji Gemini has already debuted for B2B customers and shipped to them but consumer launch is still waiting for HMD VR, a mistake in my mind.

Other tidbits include the fact that the LiquidVR SDK has support Affinity Multi-GPU which will allow a dedicated GPU for each eye in VR. VR is also expected to make use of TrueAudio, something that PC has shunned but consoles have picked up a bit on. There are also 25 million active daily users for AMD’s Gaming Evolved application.

Finally, AMD revealed that the optimal tessellation amount for GCN is 8-16x. Beyond that, there will be a heavy performance hit for no real gain in visual fidelity *cough* HairWorks/GameWorks. VSR or virtual super resolution is also performance free with GCN. There will be more Polaris details as we get closer to launch so stay tuned.

AMD Radeon AMA to Happen Thursday March 3rd

Stanard practice in the technology world is for established firms to keep everything super secret till the day they launch. AMD however, is bucking the trend and will be hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit in just a day, on Thursday Mach 3rd. The AMA will happen between 10 AM and 5 PM US Central time and will be focused on the GPU side of things or Radeon Technologies Group (RTG).

AMD Robert from RTG will be the main host and there will likely be some big secrets to be unveiled that day. Given that AMD is confident enough to start talking more about their upcoming Polaris GPUs hopefully means the launch will be imminent as some leaks as suggested. Major expected topics include Vulkan, FreeSync, GPUOpen, Polaris, Fury X2, VR and DirectX 12 as expected. The conversation will likely coalesce around Polaris though as that is the upcoming GCN architecture.

Unfortunately for CPU lovers, questions about Zen are banned and will not be answered as it is still a super secret. We will be following the AMA closely on Thursday and will bring any new juicy details AMD reveals as they happen. Here’s hoping FuryX2 finally gets off the ground.

Payday 2 Black Market Updated “Working as we Intended” Says Producer

Payday 2’s Crimefest update implemented microtransactions and dramatically altered the game’s reception on Steam. Previously, the development team made assurances that microtranactions wouldn’t appear in Payday 2, and it seems they have had a change of heart. This has caused outrage throughout the incredibly passionate Payday 2 community and resulted in a fractured user-base. The game’s producer tried to alleviate people’s concerns during an AMA on Reddit. However, he spoke quite disparagingly about the game’s incensed fanbase and said:

“We understand that there is a lot of fury, anger and disappointment with us adding this. From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended. Going forward, we hope we can convince the parts of the community that resist this change that this was the right decision to do to ensure the stability of OVERKILL as an independent developer and the future growth of PAYDAY 2.”

This is a diplomatic way of saying the update has been a financial success and they’re not overly concerned with the negative reception. Therefore, this is quite an eye-opening response and bound to upset many of the game’s community. On another note, the developer has to be extraordinarily careful to look at the long-term perspective. If they annoy the player base too much, they will leave and result in a dwindling online community. Only time will tell how this pans out, but the developer’s current attitude is far from ideal.

Professor Stephen Hawking is Scared of AI “Incompetence”

Professor Stephen Hawking has been very vocal about the dangers of artificial intelligence – once warning that it could destroy humanity – and now the theoretical physicist has clarified the root of his fears. During a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Professor Hawking, in response to a teacher bored of having “The Terminator Conversation” with students, said, “The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence.”

Hawking, however, also warned of intelligent robots that are too efficient, adding, “A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.” So, unless we can find a middle-ground between under- and over-competence, we’re screwed, according to the eminent scientist.

“You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants,” Hawking said. “Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.”

Hawking even posed his own question to reddit users, asking people if they are afraid of being made obsolete by AI. “Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment[1] , where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?” he asked. He later answers his own question, stating, “So far, the trend seems to be toward [machine owners controlling the economy], with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

The sentiment was summed up effectively by reddit user beeegoood, who lamented, “Oh man, that’s depressing.”

Image courtesy of The Washington Post.

John McAfee Calls McAfee Antivirus “One of the Worst Products on the ****** Planet”

WARNING: This article references materials that contain explicit Language

We all have (or should be using) an antivirus program (or several for some people). For some people its Norton, a company which seems interested in putting a faraday cage in your trousers, or maybe even Avast, who recently revealed that the android “factory reset” fails to wipe all your saved personal information. Either way the creators of this software and their software ranges from “divine saviors of computers” to “the embodiment of a technological devil”. One of the more well-known programs is McAfee, however, it would seem its creator (who has not been involved with the software for many years) feels his program falls into the latter category.

Speaking on his official “I am John McAfee AMA” on Reddit, McAfee was talking about the video he released two years ago in which he helped guide people on how to uninstall the software, if you are interested in the video then please read our article about it here or check out the video below. Warning, NSFW language and themes throughout.

In his AMA (ask me anything), mcafee-ama posted stating:

“…. Also McAfee is one of the worst products on the ****** planet”
Original post can be found here: (Warning: explicit langauge)

John McAfee is not one to shy away from the spotlight, mostly for the wrong reasons, ranging from being arrested for charges of being drunk and in the possession of a firearm, to speaking out and asking Google users to “wise up” when it comes to their privacy and confidentiality.

McAfee certainly doesn’t live a calm life, so what will he do next?

Image courtesy of The Independent

Slight Chaos Within Reddit Inner Circles Following Staff Departure

Reddit is an immensely popular social media site that one has to handle with care, it is very easy to get addicted and spend hours on end on the site. There is however some trouble steering from within after the sudden departure of a significant staff member.

Victoria Taylor was Reddit’s director of talent, and she has now been dismissed from the company. In response to this, moderators are setting subreddits to private, including /r/Books, /r/Science, /r/Music and /r/Tech. These are all currently blocked from access.

Victoria Taylor was the coordinator of Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) where many celebrities already took part and hosted question and answer sessions. The reasons behind the departure are currently unknown as both Reddit and Taylor are keeping a tight lit on the situation and aren’t commenting on the matter.

“We have not gone private because our team has chosen to keep the subreddit open for our readers, but instead stating our disapproval of how events have been handled currently as well as the past,” a statement said on the Science subreddit.

There were several AMAs scheduled that all have been put on hold or cancelled now due to the subreddits all being private. Co-founder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian told Reddit that he would be dealing with AMA requests for now and that the AMAs would continue to thrive even after Victoria Taylor’s departure.

Thank You TechRadar for providing us with this information

Deus Ex Creator Laments Half-Life Game Cancellation

Deus Ex creator Warren Spector recently took part in a reddit AMA, during which he discussed a cancelled Half-Life game that his Junction Point Studio was working on, which was to feature what Spector describes as the “magnetic gun”, which may have rivalled the gravity gun as Half-Life’s coolest weapon.

In his AMA answer, Spector describes to Valve bailed Junction Point out of a difficult financial position by giving the company the opportunity to work on the sadly cancelled Half-Life episode:

“Junction Point had a project cancelled (we can talk about that, too, if you want). There was no money. Basically, Valve came in like a white knight and offered us some work on a Half Life episode set in a part of the Half Life universe that hadn’t been explored deeply. In addition, just because my team couldn’t just do anything the easy way, we decided to add a new tool to the Half Life universe – the magnet gun. We came up with some COOL stuff to do with the magnet gun. Valve decided to move in another direction but I still wish they’d do something with the magnet gun. It was fun.”

Spector was also complimentary regarding Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Eidos Montreal sequel to his 2000 classic Deus Ex, saying the game – which he had no hand in, apart from creating its predecessor – had him hooked:

“What did I think of DX:HR? Well, for starters, I don’t finish a lot of games and I finished DX:HR. That’ll tell you something. When I DID finish it, I kinda sat back and thought, “Wow, I just had a Deus Ex experience.” It sounded like DX and felt like DX. It was pretty cool.

The Eidos Montreal guys made some design decisions I wouldn’t have made, but overall, I was really pleased.

Now, having said that, my one regret is that the movie deal I had back in 2000 never made it to the screen and now there’s no chance it ever will, ’cause DX, the original, is kind of old news.”

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Snowden Regrets Not Leaking Sooner

On Monday, whistleblower Edward Snowden held an AMA (As Me Anything) on reddit, during which he revealed that he wished he’d leaked details of the NSA’s spying programs sooner. When asked what his regrets regarding the last few years spent in exile in Russia were, Snowden replied:

“Had I come forward a little sooner, these programs would have been a little less entrenched, and those abusing them would have felt a little less familiar with and accustomed to the exercise of those powers. This is something we see in almost every sector of government, not just in the national security space, but it’s very important:

Once you grant the government some new power or authority, it becomes exponentially more difficult to roll it back.”

Snowden was celebrating the Oscar win of the documentary about him, Citizenfour, and held the AMA in conjunction with its director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Source: Gigaom

Exploding Kittens Kickstarter Ends, Raising $8.7 Million

Card game Exploding Kittens asked for $10,000 on Kickstarter. Thirty days later, the Kickstarter funding period ended, raising in excess of $8.7 million, with over 200,000 backers. The project had already become the most backed Kickstarter ever last month, at which point it has raised $4 million from over 100,000 backers, but managed to double both its money and its backers in less than a month.

Exploding Kittens is pitched as a humorous take on Russian Roulette, with players drawing cards until a player ends up with the exploding kitten card, with which they lose the game.

The creators of the game spoke about its surprise success during a reddit AMA. They revealed that, rather than making them millionaires, the vast amount of money raised means that they’ve sold a lot of games which need to be produced and shipped. Co-creator Elan Lee wrote, “We don’t have a retail plan yet. We made a promise to more than 200,000 people to ship them this game. That’s our highest priority right now.”

Exploding Kittens is expected to ship in July this year.

Source: Mashable

Julian Assange is Hosting a Reddit AMA Right Now!

We don’t normally share up this kind of thing, but this could be one of the most important things you read all day. The founder of WikiLeaks is currently answering peoples questions over on Reddit via an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

AMAs on Reddit are no stranger to awesome guests, with everything from rock starts to President Obama having spent some time there to share their insights and answer questions of regular folk such as myself. However, a public conversation with someone in such a unique position as Mr Assange is a rare opportunity and one that I suspect will make for a good read, even if you don’t have anything to ask him.

Having been in the news countless times in the last few years for leaking massive amounts of government information such as info on the Iraq war, spying and a heck of a lot more that would take forever to list here, you’ve got a lot of great reasons to read this thread and you may even learn a few things while you’re there.

Head on over to the AMA now while it is still going, but don’t worry if you miss your chance for a question because there will certainly been some great replies to read (and there already is).

View the full AMA right here.

 

Sony-branded VR Headset Confirmed In Reddit AMA Session

In a Reddit AMA session, it looks like president of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley, has confirmed that a Sony VR headset really does exists. He was asked during the session if support for the Oculus Rift will be available when it comes out, however he did even more than just reply. He hinted about a Sony-branded VR headset, which is supposed to be a competitor to Oculus Rift now, though the Oculus Rift was mainly developed and targeted the PC market.

“Hearing good things about 2 competitors… one of which actually comes from Sony. So I’m thinking this is real and we may have our Snowcrash after all.” Smedley replied during the AMA session.

There were some vague news about a Sony VR headset rumored a while back, but the rumors were vague and everybody was more interested in the Oculus Rift rather than any other alternative tech or brand making similar products. But the words now come from Sony’s SOE, a higher-up in the company which should know more solid news on this matter and a person who can further unfold the subject even more.

Since there is not a lot to go on, having just confirmed the existence of such a device in the works, we can only speculate on its looks and performance, which couldn’t be too different from the Oculus Rift. There is much more digging to do on this subject, but given the authenticity, at least we know this will not be in vain.

Thank you TeakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown

Google Services Go Down For 50 Minutes? What Next, The Internet?

Today, Google’s Gmail and Google+ services has been down for roughly 50 minutes. Reports from Europe, Canada, India, United States and other countries confirm that it was a worldwide phenomenon which affected a lot of users, including companies, from big to small.

Whoever tried to access Gmail or Google+ would be greeted with an “Error 500” code, which indicated a temporary problem but not the cause. The 500 code error in browsers represents the service is temporarily out-of-order and points primarily to the server or servers in use. The Google+ outage also has reportedly affected some YouTube comments working on the new system by not loading them when viewing YouTube videos.

Attempting to access the Gmail box through an external client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, or even from your mobile phone, both through POP and IMAP did not help as well. Also, it is said that Google’s Site Reliability Engineering team was also performing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit when the issue started to occur, not exactly the right time to do something like this it seems. We all know what happened next.

Google named it as a “disruption” in its Gmail services and promised to fix it as soon as possible. Well, the services went online for a brief period after the issues started to appear, but went down again, only to start going back online 50 minutes later. Currently, not all services are fully functional worldwide and nobody knows exactly when they will be. You can check the services’ status on Google’s Apps Status Dashboard here. Google officials did not release any more information regarding what caused the outage, and most likely will never comment on the exact cause of the problems.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of