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Posts posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. A robot with many hands using digital devices at workplace

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images / Benj Edwards)

    On Tuesday, Google announced the launch of its Duet AI assistant across its Workspace apps, including Docs, Gmail, Drive, Slides, and more. First announced in May at Google I/O, Duet has been in testing for some time, but it is now available to paid Google Workspace business users (what Google calls its suite of cloud productivity apps) for $30 a month in addition to regular Workspace fees.

    Duet is not just one thing—instead, it's a blanket brand name for a multitude of different AI capabilities and probably should have been called "Google Kitchen Sink." It likely represents several distinct AI systems behind the scenes. For example, in Gmail, Duet can summarize a conversation thread across emails, use the content of an email to write a brief or draft an email based on a topic. In Docs, it can write content such as a customer proposal or a story. In Slides, it can generate custom visuals using an image synthesis model. In Sheets, it can help format existing spreadsheets or create a custom spreadsheet structure suited to a particular task, such as a project tracker.

    An example of Google Duet in action (one of many), provided by Google.

    An example of Google Duet in action (one of many), provided by Google. (credit: Google)

    Some of Duet's applications feel like confusion in branding. In Google Meet, Google says that Duet AI can "ensure you look and sound your best with studio look, studio lighting, and studio sound," including "dynamic tiles" and "face detection"—functions that feel far removed from typical generative AI capabilities—as well as automatically translated captions. It can also reportedly capture notes and video, sending a summary to attendees in the meeting. In fact, using Duet's "attend for me" feature, Google says that "Duet AI will be able to join the meeting on your behalf" and send you a recap later.

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  2. iFixit staff taking apart Taylor ice cream machine

    Enlarge / The McDonald's ice cream machine is a relatively simple machine. It has a compressor, a motor, churning and agitating elements, and a series of circuit boards that keep service contracts flowing. (credit: iFixit / YouTube)

    McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream machines are regularly broken, and it’s not just your perception. When repair vendor and advocate iFixit was filming a video about the topic, it checked tracking map McBroken and found that 34 percent of the machines in the state of New York were reported inoperable. As I write this, the nationwide number of broken machines is just above 14 percent.

    To improve the nation’s semi-frozen milk fat infrastructure, iFixit has done two things. One, as first reported by 404 Media, is to join with interest group Public Knowledge to petition the Copyright Office for an exemption allowing people to fix commercial equipment, such as McDonald’s ice cream machines and other industrial kitchen equipment, without fear of reprisal under Section 1201 of the DMCA.

    The other is to obtain one of the Taylor ice cream machines used by McDonald’s franchises, tear it down, and marvel at how it could be so unreliable.

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  3. An Apple logo in the style of swirling sands with the compound word

    Enlarge / You can start speculating about the meaning behind the invite image now, if you're into that sort of thing. (credit: Apple)

    As previously rumored, Apple plans to reveal the next iteration of the iPhone and the Apple Watch on September 12 in a livestream. The company confirmed the date with invitations sent out to members of the press this morning.

    The invitation named the date, included (as usual) a cryptic image, specified that the event would be broadcast from Apple Park, and included the word "Wonderlust" as a teaser.

    While it does say the event would be broadcast from Apple Park, it's worth noting that since 2020 Apple has actually streamed a video that was prerecorded before the day of the event rather than doing a stage presentation. Insiders so far have said that will continue this year.

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  4. Oppo's newest flip phone is the Oppo Find N3 Flip, a 6,799 yuan (~$932) foldable debuting in China but heading to the rest of the world soon. The Find N3 Flip will be taking on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr, and while both of those phones have tried to power up with a big front screen, the N3 Flip's front display is basically the same size as last year. Oppo is making up for that with a pretty big spec sheet, though.

    This is a normal-size phone, with a 6.8-inch, 2520×1080, 120 Hz inner OLED display, and the whole thing folds in half, becoming a smaller, 16.45-mm-thick square. When closed up, you can casually poke around on the tiny 3.26-inch front screen. The fun bit of this design is that the front 720×382, 60 Hz OLED looks just like a mini phone, and you'll have a few proprietary mini apps to play with, like a media player, a notification view, a weather app, a fitness app, plus a few more. The front screen is not as big as Oppo's competitors because you'll be getting a big, round camera bump, featuring three sensors, a 50 MP main camera, 48 MP ultra-wide, and a 32 MP 2x telephoto camera.

    The SoC is a Mediatek Dimensity 9200, which means it features a 4 nm SoC with one 3.05 GHz Arm Cortex X3 core, three 2.85 GHz Cortex A715 cores, and four Cortex A510 cores, plus an Arm Mali-G715 Immortalis MP11 GPU. It also comes with 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, a side-fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi 7 support, and NFC.

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  5. HELLMODE-1692995706.jpeg

    Jeff Rosenstock makes anthems. It’s what he does. When he declared, “You don’t own me!” on a quirky Bomb The Music Industry! cut in 2005, he made it an anthem. Throughout his career as a Long Island punk hero, ska lifer, and dynamic solo artist, he’s recorded dozens of songs meant to get you moving and shouting. So many videos exist of him moving and shouting — and climbing onto amplifiers to belt out mid-show saxophone solos — that even if you’re not in the crowd, you still want to follow his lead.

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  6. Alexa Viscius

    Former Arcade Fire member Will Butler will soon release a new album with his backing band Sister Squares, aptly titled Will Butler + Sister Squares. The singles — “Willows,” “Arrow Of Time,” and especially “Long Grass” — have been good. One more advance track dropped today, and it’s keeping the quality level high. “Stop Talking” is the sort of burbling synth-rock track that feels like it could soundtrack a tense montage on The Americans. Not to be reductive, but it sounds a lot like Reflektor-era Arcade Fire too (in a good way).

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  7. thumbnail_image002-1693325074.jpg

    A new Tirzah album is coming! Soon! Next week the elliptical English pop experimentalist will release a new LP, her first since 2021’s unsettlingly intimate Colourgrade. Tirzah announced the project in a social media post today alongside a batch of North American tour dates for October. On Instagram, she wrote, “booked a couple of nights in different spaces for those of you who can make it + sharing the record next week.” Check out her tour dates below.

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  8. unnamed-2023-08-29T113614.699-1693323428

    The droll and zippy LA indie rockers Cheekface have a new single out today. “Plastic” finds Greg Katz once again musing on our modern condition, including an exchange with bassist Mandy Tannen about sorted recycling and some chatter about customer service and restaurant buffets. “This song is about being an implacable people pleaser and the miracle of 3D printing,” Katz says. “Originally, when me and Mandy wrote it, it had a lot more bongos in it. But cooler heads prevailed, for better or worse.” Listen below.

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  9. Crime-In-Stereo-Crime-And-Trance-1693322

    Let’s see how many times I accidentally type “Crime In Stereogum” while I’m working on this post. Long Island’s Crime In Stereo started in 2002, and they released four albums of soaring, searching melodic hardcore before breaking up in 2010. But Crime In Stereo have never really broken up. They’ve been getting back together to play occasional live shows ever since 2012; they just haven’t been an active band. That’s about to change, since Crime In Stereo are about to release their first new album in 13 years.

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  10. Samia-Reinterpretation-Hovvdy-V1-1693258

    Back in June, Samia announced a single release series Honey Reimagined featuring artists (Maya Hawke, Hovvdy, Ruston Kelly, and Blondshell, to name a few) covering songs from Honey, which originally came out in January of this year. We’ve already heard Hawke’s cover of “Honey” and Blondshell’s take on “Charm You,” and now we get to hear Hovvdy reimagining “To Me It Was.”

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  11. Amanda-Palmer-The-Last-Day-Of-Our-Acquai

    Last month, the great Sinéad O’Connor died at the way-too-young age of 56. I’m sure a lot of people have been binging O’Connor’s music hard since her passing, and I am definitely one of those people. Since Sinéad’s loss, the song that’s been hitting me hardest is “The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance,” a gut-twisting breakup ballad from her 1990 album I Do Not What What I Haven’t Want. Sinéad wrote and sang deeper song than that, but the way she sings that song is just unbelievable. (This live performance? Jesus fucking Christ.) After Sinéad’s death, a few brave artists have tried covering her songs — a seriously tall order. Now, the very brave Amanda Palmer has taken on “The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance” with some friends, making some big changes but honoring the power of the original.

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  12.  Kate Green/Getty Images

    In recent days an old Facebook comment from the Irish experimental pop singer Róisín Murphy has been making the rounds online. In the comment, under a post about the comedian and anti-transgender activist Graham Linehan, Murphy criticized the use of puberty blockers on children. “Please don’t call me a terf, please don’t keep using that word against women,” Murphy wrote. “I beg you! but puberty blockers ARE FUCKED, absolutely desolate, big Pharma laughing all the way to the bank. Little mixed up kids are vulnerable and need to be protected, that’s just true.” In the six days since a screenshot of the comment was posted on Twitter, it has generated a lot of negative feedback from Murphy’s progressive fan base, many of whom have viewed it as a betrayal of her previous support for the LGBTQ+ community. Now Murphy has shared a statement responding to the controversy.

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  13. Seannie Bryan

    Great Grandpa singer Al Menne has been rolling out their debut solo album Freak Accident this summer. Early singles “Kill Me” and “Grandma’s Garden” portended a softer, more folk-pop-oriented sound than heard from Menne’s band, and today’s haunted, whispery ballad “Beth” takes that a step farther by basically sounding like a Phoebe Bridgers song. That makes sense because Bridgers’ pal Christian Lee Hutson plays guitar on the track. Jodi’s Nico Levine is in there on pedal steel too, lending just the right amount of gorgeous shading to the song’s minimal canvas.

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  14. Elyza Reinhart

    Earlier this year, Baltimore hardcore legends Trapped Under Ice made a grand return, playing a series of shows that culminated with a monster headlining set at LA’s Sound And Fury fest. Now, frontman Justice Tripp has returned to his other gig as the leader of the shape-shifting Angel Du$t, a band that switches up sounds at will. Tripp has had to put together a whole new Angel Du$t lineup, since most of his former bandmates are busy touring the world in Turnstile, and now the group’s new album Brand New Soul is almost ready to come out. We’ve posted the early tracks “Very Aggressive,” “Love Slam,” “Space Jam,” and “Racecar.” Now, they’ve dropped one last song before the LP’s release.

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  15. Andrew Strasser & Shawn Lovejoy / Joe Perri

    Last week, the extremely busy synth wizard Daniel Lopatin, otherwise known as Oneohtrix Point Never, announced the impending release of his new album Again. It’s his follow-up to 2020’s Magic Oneohtrix Point Never. Lopatin was already a big deal before that album. Since then, he’s produced for the Weeknd and Soccer Mommy, done musical-director duties at the Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, and scored the ultra-trippy Panos Cosmatos episode of Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities. At this point, Lopatin must be one of the most prominent experimental synth artists in history. When he announced his new album, he didn’t share any of the music. Today, however, we get to hear the first single.

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