The Slow Death Of Data Overage Charges Is Finally Upon Us

It’s not completely poof bye bye see ya gone as of right now, but considering what Rogers has just announced, it seems fairly safe to start bidding one of the biggest scams going a long farewell.

The company has unveiled three new wireless data options that it’s calling Infinite. They come in 10, 20 and 50 gig monthly versions. Depending on which plan you choose, you’ll get that much data at full speed. Should you go over, rather than being strong-armed or extorted or whatever your description of choice happens to be into purchasing more, you can keep right on truckin’. You’ll be truckin’ in the relatively slow lane at a maximum speed of 256KBPS mind you, but that should still be plenty fast enough to do important things like email or banking.

The plans are currently priced at $75 for 10 gigs, $95 for 20 and $125 for the 50. And in addition to the data, you’ll also get several other useful goodies.

Every Infinite plan includes unlimited Canada-wide calling, as well as unlimited SMS and MMS messaging. In addition, Infinite plans come with call display, call waiting, group calling, enhanced voicemail, as well as 2,500 call forwarding minutes. Infinite plans also include the carrier’s Roam Like Home daily roaming package, and, last but not least, all the data included in an Infinite plan is shareable.

Rogers isn’t doing this out of selflessness, obviously. The government’s push for better competition in the industry certainly has a lot to do with it (it’s better to impose your own solution than to have one legislated upon you), but still, credit where it’s due. This is a pretty nice step toward more affordable, consumer friendly cell service. And it’s a step that could cost Rogers and the others quite a bit of money, at least until they figure out how to ding us for the giant hole in the earnings report.

A Cursing, Screaming Roomba

I’ve never really thought about buying a Roomba. As much as it’s a pain in the ass, there’s still something satisfying about vacuuming your own house. Plus I know if I did get one I’d never bother pulling out furniture to clean behind it ever again, because I am a lazy man. But if ones like this were actually for sale, I would absolutely reconsider this stance.

Screaming Roombas are technology that mankind has dreamed about ever since we could look up at the stars, today I was able to bring that dream to life

If You Were Mindful For A Moment, You Would Never Buy This

I don’t know if these Moment Pebble people have created the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen, because I’ve been around a long time and have seen my share of things both stupid and otherwise and it’s hard to rank them all at this point. But what I do know is that they’ve absolutely given it one hell of a go.

As reported mental health issues are on the rise, the benefits of mindfulness are well documented – but finding time in your busy day to practice mindfulness is challenging for most. The solution? The Moment Pebble.

The Moment Pebble enables you to take 30 second micro moments of mindfulness – any time, anywhere. With a gentle light that beats from within, it guides you through a short breathing exercise that helps you de-stress and re-energise before you continue with your day.

Listen. I don’t want to judge people or anything here, but if you’ve got 70 bucks to toss out on a tiny, rechargeable rock that needs a separately rechargeable base, what could you possibly have to be stressed about in this life? Aside from others finding out how dopey and easily swindled you are, of course. That’s just a given. One that could probably go a long way toward being alleviated by you not buying a $70 rechargeable glowing rock.

Somehow this thing has absolutely obliterated its funding goal, which makes my soul hurt. It hurts so much, in fact, that I think I may need to go take a quick walk and reset. Walks, by the way, are free. I know you know that, but apparently 1,129 people and counting need reminding.

Walking Around With My Head In The Clouds

Is this really something worth celebrating? Human brains could be connected to the internet in ‘next few decades,’ scientists predict

I like thinking. I like not knowing everything and having to figure things out for myself, even if sometimes all that means is Googling a few pages deep. I like discovering things by accident. I like having an imagination. I like entertaining myself. I like having creative, original thoughts. I like having thoughts that belong only to me. I don’t want those thoughts being the subject of the next data breach. I don’t want to have to install firewall and anti-virus in my skull to prevent the compromised brain cloud from harming me. I don’t want to get some kind of wasting disease from the implant they thought was safe. I don’t need technology solving every problem. That doesn’t mean don’t solve any, it just means I’ve been around long enough to understand that for every problem it solves, it creates plenty of new ones. I don’t want us all to be perfect, because what even is that? I don’t want people to no longer have different perspectives, because conversation and debate are healthy, necessary things. To me, being a human of the future means being a little smarter than I was yesterday. If it’s supposed to mean being connected to a 24/7 real-time network and gradually losing my sense of self, you can count me out.

A new research study suggests that human brains could be merged with technology significantly sooner than many expect, perhaps “within decades.”
Known as the “Human Brain/Cloud Interface” (B/CI), researchers at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California have suggested that nanorobots could be implanted into the human body and connect to a network in real-time.
“These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier, and precisely autoposition themselves among, or even within brain cells,” the study’s senior author,  Robert Freitas, Jr., said in a statement. “They would then wirelessly transmit encoded information to and from a cloud-based supercomputer network for real-time brain-state monitoring and data extraction.

The research was published in the scientific journal, Frontiers in Neuroscience.
First proposed by futurist Ray Kurzweil – who has also suggested that computers will be as smart as humans within a decade – the concept of B/CI would potentially allow people to simply think of a question and be answered instantly, as opposed to looking for it in a search engine, similar to how information is received in the popular sci-fi “The Matrix” movie series.
“A human B/CI system mediated by neuralnanorobotics could empower individuals with instantaneous access to all cumulative human knowledge available in the cloud, while significantly improving human learning capacities and intelligence,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Nuno Martins, added in the statement.
Aside from obtaining “direct, instantaneous access to virtually any facet of cumulative human knowledge,” there are other potential applications, the researchers wrote in the study. These include the ability to improve education, intelligence, entertainment, traveling, as well as “other interactive experiences.”

Have A Listen To This Genderless Voice Designed For Digital Assistants

I was pretty skeptical as I read about this supposedly genderless voice. Surely it would have to lean one way or another. But I think maybe they’ve actually done it.

Gun to my head I say it’s a woman, but I’m not going to argue with anyone who says I’m wrong.

The developers started out by recording five distinct voices that do not necessarily fit male or female binaries. They then moved the recordings into a gender-neutral range using voice modulation software.
To test the voice samples, the project Q team conducted a test involving over 4,600 people. Participants were asked to determine whether the voice that they would hear was more male or female.
Based on the answers, the researchers would then tweak the modulation of the voices and tested them again until they were able to create genderless voice.

You might be asking yourself why exactly we need this. According to the developers, the answer is inclusivity.

The team hopes that it could one day build an artificial intelligence (AI) framework for Q so that the genderless voice can be used with digital assistant technologies.

“I think it’s really important to have representation for trans people when it comes to not only AI, but voices in general,” said Ask Stig Kistvad, a trans man who took part in the project by lending his voice. “It’s a new thing in the last three to five years, that trans people are actually represented in popular culture.”
Kistvad said it is only natural for some technology developers to eventually embrace trans people as well.

What my technology sounds like isn’t a thing I’ve ever thought about beyond whether or not the voices are listenable, but I can understand why some folks might. It’s all kind of fascinating.

Does Your Babyhole Need A Babypod?

Hey ladies. What if I told you that for 150 bucks you could buy a little speaker that goes into your vagina so you can play music to your unborn child?

Don’t all line up at once.

For $150, you can purchase your very own “Babypod”, a small speaker that can be plugged into any music-playing device of your choice and inserted into the vagina to gently play your favorite tunes into the womb. It also features earphones that hang out of the vagina so mothers and fathers can listen along too.

“Music [activates] language and communication stimulation centres, inducing a response of vocal movements. Babies learn to talk sticking out their tongues,” the Spanish company claims in a website blurb.
“With Babypod, babies begin to vocalize from the womb.”
It’s a popular belief that a fetus can benefit from listening to music while they’re developing in the womb. Most people achieve this playing some nice classical music on the radio while they’re pregnant, but Babypod claims that’s not enough. They cite research by Institut Marquès, a Spanish gynecological clinic, that claims “the foetus hears only the sounds that come directly from the vagina and barely hears the noises from the outside.”

No, nothing about any of this is weird whatsoever. Not at all.

But it is both award winning (2017 Ig Nobel Prize for Obstetrics) and FDA approved, so there’s that.

Today In Not Freaking Happening: Bring The Phone To Bed With You For Customized Sexy Time Music

I’ve been off the sex market for a very long time. But let me assure you that if I weren’t and if one day I happened to find myself with someone and the conversation went something like “Ok, before we do this I’m just going to set the phone on the bed,” that person is outa here. Yes, even if we’re in her house.

Dude. Seriously. No phones on the bed, even if the reason is kind of creative. It’s creepy.

Besides, if this thing doesn’t have Short Music for Short People, it’s not doing me a whole lot of good anyway.

A musically responsive app that syncs with your sexual rhythm …

It’s simple, download the app, adjust for mattress firmness, select one of the music categories—dance, trance, funk, chill, roots or smooth jazz —choose your song, then place the phone somewhere on your mattress.
Regular New Music releases, designed just how you like it!
Connect it to external bluetooth speakers for great sound!

The music moves with you as you move with your partner
From soft to hard beds we have you covered!
BEDBEATS is the world’s most advanced bedroom music app, using the incredible new capabilities in phones to maximize your together time.

We don’t claim ‘world’s most advanced bedroom music app’ for nothing. BEDBEATS is stocked full of high-quality custom music that ebbs and flows as you move. Finally, a DJ for between the sheets.

You Can Now Get Help From Google’s Disability Support Team Directly Through Be My Eyes

It took a while, but another company has finally joined Microsoft as part of Be My Eyes’ Specialized Help feature. Hey, Google.

We’re pleased to announce that Google is the newest company onboard the Specialized Help platform! Specialized Help enables blind and low-vision users to connect directly with company representatives through a live video connection. Blind and low-vision users can now request assistance from the Google Disability Support team through the Be My Eyes app for questions about assistive tools and accessibility features within Google’s products.
Getting connected to the Google Disability Support team through Be My Eyes is easy. Start by accessing the Specialized Help menu from the Be My Eyes home screen and select Google from the list. From the Google profile, you can make a call directly to the Google Disability Support team. Making a Specialized Help call to Google works just like any other Be My Eyes call, except that you’ll get connected to an official Google representative, who can help you with troubleshooting or other questions on accessibility features within Google’s products or services effectively.
Please note that the Google Specialized Help option should only be used for questions or issues concerning assistive tools or accessibility features within Google’s products or services. You can make calls to Google through Be My Eyes Monday through Friday 8AM-5PM PT. Currently in English only, from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Doug Ford Might Actually Be About To Get Something Right

Province to announce classroom cellphone ban: Canadian Press
None of the kids had them in 1998, which is going to make for a super authentic atmosphere during sex ed class.

This is one of the few times that it’s hard to disagree with Doug Ford on something. You’re a kid. The fate of civilization or the global economy does not rest on somebody being able to send you a poop emoji in the middle of math class. Put the damn phone down and pay attention. Or at the very least find a creative way to be a disruptive pain in the ass like my generation had to.

My only hope is that there will be some flexibility built in for teachers and that none of them are going to get fired because they dared to incorporate phones into a lesson somehow. That’s the sort of stupidity I can’t put past this government.