Homemade Robot Masters iPhone Game and Voice Dictation

A new video by YouTube user Junya Sakamoto posted over the weekend shows off a homemade robot, created by Sakamoto, that masters the trickiest stages of popular mobile game Puzzles and Dragons (via Kotaku). The four minute video uploaded to Sakamoto’s self-titled YouTube channel details the initial creation and design of the robot to the final, tangible realization of the iPhone game-beating device.

Puzzles and Dragons requires users to match colored orbs to defeat monsters, with patterns that get increasingly tricky the further the game progresses. Connected to a laptop, the robot analyzes and predicts the best moves possible in the current level, resulting in high-scoring combos that would be extremely difficult for the game’s players to naturally achieve.

In an earlier video (the first of only two on Sakamoto’s channel), the robot’s creator uses an attached microphone to dictate commands to the device and navigate the iPhone without touching it. Using only voice, the robot unlocks the iPhone, transcribes a note, and even plays a piano app.

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Homemade Robot Masters iPhone Game and Voice Dictation

Norway to Force Accused Criminal to Unlock His Phone via Fingerprint

Norwegian police will force a 27-year-old man accused of drug possession to unlock his mobile phone via fingerprint, according to local website Bergensavisen [Google Translate]. The police believe the confiscated smartphone may contain evidence about where he obtained the illegal substance.

The man, who reportedly admitted he was culpable, has refused to unlock his phone for police since being charged, but the Nordhordland District Court’s recent verdict allows Norwegian police to force the accused’s thumb on to his fingerprint-secured phone. Local police will also analyze his phone call and data history.

The brand of the phone is not disclosed in the report, but if it is an iPhone, it is not clear if Norwegian police are aware that Touch ID requires a passcode as supplemental verification after 48 hours of disuse, a restart, or three failed fingerprint entry attempts. The accused was arrested on January 25, so it may be impossible for authorities to unlock an iPhone with Touch ID without taking additional measures.

In the U.S., a Virginia court ruled that fingerprints, unlike passwords and passcodes, are not protected by the Fifth Amendment. In his ruling, Judge Steven C. Frucci opined that „giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key,“ which is permitted under federal law.

Correction: The source article does not explicitly state that the device in question is an iPhone, and this article has been updated to reflect that.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Tim Cook Talks iPhone Sales, Apple TV, Campus 2, and More at Employee Town Hall Meeting

Following Apple’s first quarter earnings report, Apple executives hosted a Town Hall meeting with Apple employees to answer questions and to divulge a few details about the company’s future plans. 9to5Mac has shared highlights of what was covered at the event. While much of what was said was reiterating information that was shared during the earnings call, there are a few tidbits worth noting.

When it comes to the iPhone and the rumor that Apple has perhaps reached „peak iPhone,“ Cook said the device is the „greatest business of the future“ with growth potential in key emerging markets like India and China. He said Apple does not need to launch a less expensive device with pared-down features to entice buyers in these markets, as research suggests people will spend more for a better experience. These comments relate directly to the upcoming „iPhone 5se,“ which some rumors have suggested will be positioned as a less powerful, lower-end device, though not a cheap one by general smartphone standards.

On the Apple TV and tvOS, Cook said the two products point towards a „bright“ future for Apple, but he didn’t mention how Apple might expand its presence in the living room going forward. tvOS is Apple’s way of giving content providers the tools to offer streaming television solutions to customers after having failed to launch its own streaming service due to difficulties with negotiations. The most recent TV-related rumors suggest Apple is exploring the possibility of original content, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon.

Cook also reportedly expressed excitement over future products coming from the company’s software, services, and hardware divisions. In the next few months, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, new bands for the Apple Watch, and perhaps new Retina MacBooks and Retina MacBook Pros. Later in the year, Apple is also expected to introduce the highly-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

He also teased „far off“ hardware products coming beyond 2016, perhaps hinting at the company’s work on the Apple Car or its exploration of virtual and augmented reality. Recent rumors suggest Apple is prototyping virtual reality headsets similar to the Oculus Rift.

The last bit of interesting information was on Apple Campus 2, the company’s second „spaceship“ campus that’s under development in Cupertino. Construction appears to be on track to be finished at the end of 2016, as Cook says the first employees will move into the campus by the end of January 2017. He also said the new underground auditorium will allow Apple to hold events on its grounds instead of at venues in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area.

The meeting also included more mundane information on upcoming time-off benefits for Apple employees, flagging iPad sales, new solutions for retaining employee talent, and Apple’s supply chain, which can be read at 9to5Mac.

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Tim Cook Talks iPhone Sales, Apple TV, Campus 2, and More at Employee Town Hall Meeting

March Event Could See Launch of iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 and New Apple Watch Bands

Apple is rumored to be planning to host a March event to unveil new products, but exact details on what will be shown off at the event have been in flux. An early December rumor from 9to5Mac suggested Apple would use the event to unveil a second-generation Apple Watch, but a report from TechCrunch indicated that rumor was false – no Apple Watch 2 is in the works for an early 2016 launch.

Instead, TechCrunch shared information indicating something smaller but still watch-related could be introduced in March, perhaps a minor update to add a FaceTime camera or new bands and partnerships similar to Apple’s collaboration with Hermès. In a new report on what may come out at the March event, 9to5Mac backtracks on earlier claims of an Apple Watch 2 and instead agrees with TechCrunch, pointing towards a new Apple Watch lineup with new bands but no hardware changes.

At its September 2015 event, Apple introduced its Hermès partnership and debuted new colors for several Apple Watch bands, and we may see the same kind of update at the March event. New colors for existing bands and bands in new materials may be in the works. Apple is also planning to release watchOS 2.2 at or shortly after the event.

Apple’s March event may also see the debut of the rumored 4-inch iPhone, now thought to be called the „iPhone 5se“ to reflect its position as a successor to the iPhone 5s. The device is said to have an iPhone 5s-style exterior with iPhone 6-style curved cover. Internally, it will feature an A8 or A9 processor, NFC support for Apple Pay, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and while it won’t have 3D Touch, it will be capable of taking Live Photos.

Previous rumors have suggested we could also see the next-generation iPad Air at the March event, as it is said to be debuting in the spring of 2016.

Though no Apple Watch 2 update is planned for early 2016, a second-generation update is undoubtedly in the works. It’s possible Apple could be planning to release a new Apple Watch in the fall months alongside the iPhone 7.

Apple’s plans for a March event remain tentative, and should products not be ready for release, there’s a possibility that it could be canceled in favor of an online-only unveiling and announcement for the 4-inch iPhone and new Apple Watch bands.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, Apple Watch, watchOS 2, iPhone 5se (2016), iPhone 6c
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March Event Could See Launch of iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 and New Apple Watch Bands

Apple will unveil 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’ in March

Speculation regarding a new 4-inch iPhone coming out of Cupertino has run rampant the past few months with rumors claiming the device will look like an tiny iPhone 6, but a new report claims the device will actually look more like a special edition iPhone 5s. Apple plans to upgrade the existing iPhone 5s that […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple will unveil 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’ in March

Concepts, Lifeline, and other awesome apps of the week

It’s a lazy winter’s Sunday, which means it’s the perfect day of the week to try out a few of the hottest new apps currently hitting Apple’s various App Stores. But which ones to sample? Whether you’re looking for a great Apple TV media player, an engrossing text-based game for your Apple Watch, or a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Concepts, Lifeline, and other awesome apps of the week