Welcome to your Thursday morning. Want more Instagram likes? Russia has a vending machine for that. Want to stream Ferris Bueller's Day Off for free, through a tenuous branding exercise with a pizza chain? I think we know the answer. Chicka chicka.
Executive Editor Dana Wollman left WWDC on Monday with an iMac. The bad news is that it's not the iMac Pro. Sorry, but our review of the space-gray machine with the 18-core processor and $4,999 price tag will have to wait until December. Dana already has some thoughts on the refreshed 21.5-inch system, however, which brings a slew of under-the-hood upgrades.
At its WWDC 2017 keynote on Monday, Apple showed off the fruits of its AI research labors. We saw a Siri assistant that's smart enough to interpret your intentions, an updated Metal 2 graphics suite designed for machine learning and a Photos app that can do everything its Google rival does -- without an internet connection. Being at the front of the AI pack is a new position for Apple to find itself in. Despite setting off the AI assistant arms race when it introduced Siri in 2010, Apple has long lagged behind its competitors in this field. It's amazing, however, what a year of intense R&D can do.
Since the dawn of the internet, people have sought artificial ways to look more popular online. In exchange for a small sum, various dodgy-looking websites have long promised to boost your ego by selling you fake followers. Now, one Russian company is taking that concept offline, allowing you to improve your social standing by buying likes at a vending machine -- all for mere pocket change.
Some of the biggest third-party Kodi streaming add-ons are no longer available. ZemTV and Phoenix have recently closed following a lawsuit from US satellite broadcaster Dish Network, with others following suit. The add-ons, which offer on-demand and live streamed content free of charge, are accused of direct copyright infringement of various TV channels. It's thought that while the Dish lawsuit is currently focused on other streaming add-ons, developers like Cosmix are distancing themselves (full list here) from any potential legal action due to the costs involved. Many Kodi developers consider themselves hobbyists and administer add-ons in their free time for no financial reward.
At its WWDC keynote, Apple announced VR support in OS X, along with an external GPU dock for Mac developers. External GPUs already work right now in macOS Sierra without huge issues. However, Apple's new High Sierra OS brings full support for GPU docks in its graphics API. Coupled with NVIDIA's commitment to release graphics drivers for macOS and it's suddenly going to be a lot easier for Apple users to boost the power of their machines. Immediately after the announcement, one Engadget editor remarked that adding an external GPU would be "dope if you're buying a MacBook Air or a low-powered machine" -- you'd have an ultraportable that you plug into a dock for VR and high-end gaming. That dream isn't realistic though. Let's take a look at what a GPU does and why adding one to an underpowered machine won't make it VR ready.
Elon Musk stopped by his company's annual shareholder meeting and brought along our first glimpse of its next consumer vehicle, the Model Y. It's not due until 2019, but it will build on the Model 3 platform in the same way that the Model X did with the Model S. Speaking of the Model 3, if you're getting one at launch then don't expect to have many options -- Musk says you'll be able to choose color and wheels, but not much else, as Tesla tries to limit complexity to speed up production.
Now, when an Affiliate streamer is playing a game that Twitch sells (remember how Amazon owns Twitch?), they can get paid when viewers use a link on their page to buy the game or in-game items. Their cut is five percent, which comes out to $3 on a $60 purchase, so it's going to take quite a few game and loot box sales before they start adding up.
It could very well be the 'largest AR platform in the world.'
Apple is finally getting serious about augmented reality. ARKit, the company's first-ever stab at an augmented reality platform, will be baked into iOS 11, and Senior Vice President Craig Federighi had the audacity to say onstage that this would be "largest AR platform in the world." Even though it's late to the party, Apple's ARKit is a historically classic Apple move. Much like how it did with smartphones and MP3 players, the company waited to see how the rest of the tech industry dealt with augmented reality before coming in to offer a simpler and much more mainstream solution.
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