Stuart Breckenridge

Vlogger Received Rocks and Bricks Instead of the Canon DSLR He Ordered

Michael Zhang, for Petapixel:

A popular YouTube personality with over 780,000 subscribers has caused a stir by claiming that he ordered a $6,000 DSLR from Amazon but received a camera box filled with rocks instead. And when he was sent a replacement from Amazon, the second box was filled with bricks.

Chaseontwowheels, a motorcycle vlogger, documented his experience in the 12-minute video above. He says that he originally ordered a $6,000 Canon 1D X Mark II from Amazon — it’s unclear whether the order was sold directly by Amazon or was placed with a 3rd party — and received a legitimate camera box filled with heavy rocks instead (you can watch his original rant here).

I was recently very close to ordering a new Nikon DSLR from Amazon (US) but decided against it because I was concerned about Fulfilled by Amazon seller ratings and damage in transit. I can’t imagine how angry I would have been if I had ordered the camera and received rocks and bricks.


Trump Proposes Arming of Teachers

David Smith, The Guardian:

Donald Trump has said he will consider a proposal to arm school teachers in an attempt to prevent mass shootings, a move certain to prove fiercely divisive.

[…]

Referring to Aaron Feis, a football coach who used his body as a shield to protect a student during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, the president continued: “If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy – that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect.

“But if he had a firearm, he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot him, and that would have been the end of it. This would only obviously be for people who are very adept at handling a gun. It’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun free zone.”

Guns in schools is not the solution to school shootings. As other countries have proven, the solution is fewer guns.


HomePod Leaves Prominent Marks on Certain Surfaces

John Chase, Wirecutter:

We quickly discovered through testing that the HomePod leaves prominent white rings on unprotected wood, a potentially disastrous problem for owners of fine furniture. While Apple insists these marks are easily wiped away, it’s still something to consider.

Apple’s HomePod support document:

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.

It’s not as disastorous as it’s being made out to be by Wirecutter. Just put a cloth under it.

Updated 2018-02-16: This also happens with the Sonos One.


Siri on HomePod Correctly Answered 52.3% of Queries in New AI Test

Mitchel Broussard, Macrumors:

In a new test shared today by Loup Ventures, Apple’s HomePod was put through its paces in categories including Siri, sound quality, and ease of use. For Siri, Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster reported that while the AI assistant understood 99.4 percent of queries asked of it, it answered only 52.3 percent of them correctly. Loup Ventures tested three separate HomePods and asked 782 queries total.

It’s been almost eight years since Apple purchased Siri but it doesn’t feel like there has been eight years of progress. In the above test almost 1 in 2 questions couldn’t be answered correctly! While I’m not sure what questions were asked, below are some examples from my testing:

  • Birthdays: If you have a someone’s birthday recorded in the Contacts app, ask Siri how old that person will be on their next birthday. Siri will respond with said person’s current age. This is Siri working out the age based on data held locally within an Apple app — there is no way this should fail.
  • Localisation: Asking Siri what the next matches are in the Premier League gives two results for the same match. The text states Leicester City vs Stoke City, while the team crests are in the reverse order. This makes no sense as one is Home vs Away while the other is Away vs Home.
    • An additional minor gripe: why am I also told which U.S. TV channel is broadcasting the game? Siri could use my location (Singapore) and language preferences (English, U.K.) to determine this information to be completely unnecessary.
    Siri Localisation Fail

Siri needs some serious improvements.


Delaying iOS Updates Through Mobile Device Management

In the latest iOS 11.3 beta1, Apple has introduced a new Mobile Device Management feature:

Delay the ability to see and install iOS updates for up to 90 days.

Other than giving companies the ability to delay updates in order to ensure compatibility with their own apps, I don’t see a good reason for this. The improved security of each iOS update is, to my mind, more important.

  1. A developer subscription is required to view the release notes. ↩︎