Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Like Quality Sound? Don’t Buy Into Bluetooth.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Convenience is key, but quality is nice. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • Convenience is key, but quality is nice.

There has been a lot of hype over tech juggernaut Apple’s new iterations to the iPhone 7—primarily over the introduction of packaged in Bluetooth headphones and the removal of the headphone jack which will not allow wired headphones to be used unless you have an adapter.

Many see it as a step forward, others see it as a disadvantage. This bold decision by Apple is a step towards evolution in the tech world. However, also points us in a less desirable direction: loss of sound quality.

Bluetooth headphones are nothing new. They have been in on the market for a while now with prices ranging from fairly affordable to fairly expensive. But if you are looking to get the best quality sound from your iPhone or MP3 player, Bluetooth headphones are not the way to go.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Apple's iPhone 7: Has it Gone Too Far?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 3:30 PM

When I was younger my mother always told me, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Now, at that time, I don't think my mother was referring to a cellular device. But, as time has progressed, that definitely seems to be the only Apple people care about these days.

On Sept. 7 the heavily anticipated iPhone 7 was finally announced. But, like many high profile electronic releases it did not come without making some noise. Since the iPhone's release in 2007, the company has done nothing but take the world on a journey of innovation, whether good or bad is up to the eye of the beholder. 

At this point the question can even be raised if Apple is solely innovating just to continuously innovate, and also if the consumer is actually cognizant of these changes being made. 

Yes, everyone is aware of new things such as the water resistant capabilities, and the loss of the headphone jack, but other than that are people truly aware of all the differences? 

Take these unsuspecting people on Jimmy Kimmel. They had absolutely no idea that the phone they received back was the exact same phone they had in their hands before. In the video they spoke about supposed innovations that in reality were not even true. They were even willing to pay $50 for the "new iPhone 7" just because of a name. 

Over the years, Apple has built such a strong brand that even though people are aware that the changes are not noticeable or a necessity, they will still purchase a new device. 

Are you guilty of falling victim to the Apple name game or do you think it has gone too far? 

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Enjoy a Classic Pokéfilm at the Loft's Pokémon Party

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

While Pokémon Go hasn't even been out a month yet, the franchise has been around for years, together both the new app and the original games and movies have a large fan base. Tucson is no exception. 

It's hard to go almost anywhere without seeing someone with their head buried in their phone trying to find the nearest Pokémon. 

Tucson businesses have picked up on this offering specials for those playing or simply using their many poke stops and a few lures to their advantage. 

While you can go to parks round Tucson or even attend Reid Park Zoo's Pokémon Go Safari Nights every Saturday to hunt, you can also party with other Pokémon trainers at the Loft. 

On Wednesday, Aug. 3 the Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) is hosting a Pokémon party for all those with Pokémon fever. 

Serving as both a PokéStop and a gym, the Loft is hosting a Pokémon-themed Cosplay costume on stage and showing the classic 2002 Pokémon theatrical release, Pokémon Heroes: The Movie!

Regular admission prices apply. Tickets and more information can be found on the Loft website.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dear Pokemon Go Trainers: Stop Looking for Pikachu Long Enough to Appreciate Where You Are

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Pokémon Go has exploded since its release last week, bringing millions to the streets to catch 'em all. 

The game has become the top grossing app in the app store and caused some adventures: A few trainers have been mugged, one found a dead body and other gamers just can't believe how much they're exercising

On the UA campus many students (dare I say hundreds?) can be found roaming the mall and University Boulevard, staring into their phones and searching for Pokémon. The app, which layers gameplay onto the physical world, has become a cultural phenomenon.

That's all fine and good, but there are a few places everyone should agree to put away their Pokéballs—for instance, every memorial in existence. 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has asked visitors to stop catching Pokémon on their premises, out of respect for the memorial. 
“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told the Washington Post. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.” While the game has inadvertently caused many people to exercise as they hunt for eevee, pidgey and rattata, the game has also caused many people to forget their surroundings. 
Similar reports have come from the 9/11 Memorial and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

To all the trainers out there: The search for Pikachu may be important, but don't let it cause you to forget about the rest of the world.

In fact, take some time to explore the parts of Tucson you're following Pokémon to without your phone in hand.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Creating an Army of Killer Robots Might Not Be Such a Hot Idea

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM


Former Pentagon analyst and Army Ranger Paul Scharre has penned a report warning that creating "autonomous weapons"—or, in more common parlance, killer robots—has a lot of downsides, including the "potential for catastrophic accidents."

The New York Times sums it up:

A new report written by a former Pentagon official who helped establish United States policy on autonomous weapons argues that such weapons could be uncontrollable in real-world environments where they are subject to design failure as well as hacking, spoofing and manipulation by adversaries.

In recent years, low-cost sensors and new artificial intelligence technologies have made it increasingly practical to design weapons systems that make killing decisions without human intervention. The specter of so-called killer robots has touched off an international protest movement and a debate within the United Nations about limiting the development and deployment of such systems.
Did we learn nothing from Terminator? Robocop? Avengers: Age of Ultron? On the other hand, new robot overlords might be a better alternative than President Donald J. Trump.

Friday, February 12, 2016

TED Talk Day at the UA

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 4:15 PM

click image A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016. - INNOVATE UA
  • Innovate UA
  • A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016.

The Innovate UA program is hosting the first ever TEDxUofALive event, a live-cast of the 2016 TED conference in Vancouver, Canada this week.

The University of Arizona has been issued a licence to broadcast the live talks on Wednesday Feb. 17 across the UA campus.

"What I have noticed about campus, and our culture in general, is that innovation is heavily dominated by technology," said Justin Williams of Innovate UA. "What TED does that is really great, is it's intentionally multidisciplinary so it pulls from fields, in our case, what would be all across campus."

Speakers at the TED conference are separated into sessions. The whole day of events is free but seating is limited so be sure to reserve your spot at the sessions that interest you!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Fun New App: Confessions of a Kitty Collecting Addict

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

A screenshot of cartoon cats in the Japanese game app called Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector.  The app was created by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. - NATALIA NAVARRO
  • Natalia Navarro
  • A screenshot of cartoon cats in the Japanese game app called Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector. The app was created by Hit-Point Co., Ltd.

Whether you're a fan of cats or a general fan of adorable animations, I have a game for you.

Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector is a Japanese cat game that has been sweeping through our iPhones in the cutest and most relaxing way. The app, rated number 104 on the Apple App Store free top charts, has become a main focus for many blogs, as well as my own daily life.

Think you might enjoy putting out virtual food and toys and waiting for virtual cats to arrive in your virtual yard? I definitely do.

First, you have to set up your yard. Then tiny cats, all with a different preset names, interests, and personalities will begin to visit, leaving fish treats as a reward for your kindness. You can then use those fish treats to buy more goodies for them. If you are lucky (and generous), a rare and limited-edition cat may visit you.

I am not too embarrassed to say that I've spent days saving up for the highest quality animated food and cat accouterments. Only the best for my (digital) kitty cats!

But be warned: this could happen to you. If you need help succeeding in this a cat-eat-cat world, visit

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

High-Tech Scouts: Data Mining the NCAA Field

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Ahead of the UA's game against Xavier in the Sweet 16 at 7:17 p.m. tonight, the UA News Service tells the story of Synergy Sports Technologies, which compiles extraordinarily precise highlight reels so that coaches can get a look at their opponents' strengths and weaknesses:

With Synergy's services, teams are able to go back and watch footage of any game, and they are supplied with a plethora of statistics both basic and advanced. Coaches have the potential to view what their team did in every possible situation.

Here's how specific it can get: If the UA coaching staff wants to examine all of the team’s possessions with less than 4 seconds on the shot clock, or any of T.J. McConnell’s steals, or all of the times the team scored off of an inbound pass, it’s no problem. For most people, that would mean hours of tedious video editing, but Synergy clients can have matching video clips in a matter of seconds.

"Synergy probably has the biggest database of college basketball video anywhere," Mossman said. "The way it works is: We grab the video via satellite or we have the teams upload it if the game isn't televised, and then we take that video and we cut it, edit it, record the stats and then — most importantly — catalog and index it in an organized and efficient way.

"Let's do a basic example. Take your point guard, T.J. McConnell. He's had 71 turnovers over the course of the season. So in our system, you can go in and go to his cumulative stats page. If you click on his turnovers, it will compile a list of every one of those turnovers linked immediately with the live video clips."

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Butterfly Magic is a fully immersive experience that surrounds you with rare butterflies, tropical plants and orchids… More

@ Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 1-May 31, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

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