Instapaper Relaunched Instapaper Premium



Instapaper announced that they are relaunching Instapaper Premium. They also are bringing Instapaper to European Union users.

In July of 2018, Instapaper announced that they had gone independent after entering into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc.

InstaPaper Premium is a subscription for $2.99/month or $29.99/year that offers the following features:

  • Full-text search for all articles in your account
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-Speech playlists on mobile
  • Speed reading to get through all of your articles up to 3x faster
  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • “Send to Kindle” using a bookmarklet on Instapaper’s mobile apps

If you decide not to subscribe to Instapaper Premium, you will continue with a standard free account without access to Premium features.

In the blog post, Instapaper also announced that they are making Instapaper accessible to EU users.

Additionally, today we are bringing back Instapaper to European Union users. Over the past two months we have taken a number of actions to address the General Data Protection Regulation, and we are happy to announce our return to the European Union.

Instapaper updated their privacy policy to include rights afforded to EU users under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Censorship’s Slippery Slope #1303



Over the past week, censorship has raised its head again and while I will not debate the decisions the companies made. I think it is a good time to re-enforce that freedom of speech in America is still protected. While I may hate what you say, and speak out about it. I also respect that you have the right to say it and understand that words have consequences. Companies have to protect their brands which is their right, the only thing we can ask of these companies is to apply banning and censorship equally across their platforms.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Beta Dates Announced



Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has a beta that is starting on different dates. Playstation 4 owners had an exclusive opportunity to play the beta (which ends Monday, August 6, 2018). There are more betas coming up that you might be able to access.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players will be able to experience the Beta during the second weekend, which will take place from 10am PT Friday, August 10 until 10am PT on Monday, August 13.

To gain access to the console Beta, you will need a Private Beta key that will be provided when pre-ordering the game from select retailers. Players that pre-order digitally through the PlayStation Store or Xbox Store will automatically be registered to participate in the Beta.

There is also an PC Open Beta which will take place from 10am PT Saturday, August 11 until 10am PT Monday, August 13. To access this beta, you will need a Battle.net account. Those who pre-purchase Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 through Battle.net will also get a full extra day – beginning at 10am PT on Friday, August 10 – to play with their friends and community members.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2018.


Walmart’s Alphabot Robots will Collect Groceries



Walmart announced that they are set to launch a new pilot called Alphabot. It uses first-of-its-kind automation to help Walmart associates to fill online grocery orders faster than ever before. In other words, Walmart will use specially made robots to gather up groceries for orders that were placed online.

The Alphabot system was developed by Alert Innovation especially for Walmart. The Alphabot Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) and Automated Each-Picking System (AEPS), in addition to a highly innovative picking workstation, creates the world’s “goods-to-picker” each-picking technology.

Individual Alphabots move through a specially designed warehouse with a bin. They go around and collect the items that are on a Walmart customer’s online shopping list. The Alphabots are under the control of a single Master Control System (MCS).

Each Alphabot will automatically bring items from storage to Walmart associates who will consolidate the items in the order. Human workers will handpick the fresh produce and meats that are part of an individual grocery order.

The Alphabot system is being installed at the Walmart Supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire, as part of that store’s grand opening. Walmart plans to have Alphabot online and running by the end of the year.


Crossposting Tweets to Facebook has been Disabled



People who use both Facebook and Twitter may have noticed that they cannot crosspost their tweets to Facebook anymore. The reason is because crossposting tweets to Facebook has been disabled.

Reuters tweeted a video in which they reported that Twitter users will now be required to copy the URL of any tweet that they want to share on their Facebook news feed. Reuters states that this issue is due to Facebook’s lockdown of its API platform, which was done in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Several websites pointed to a post on the Facebook for Developers website that was published in April. It includes a summary of APIs that were undergoing updates, and states that Facebook will remove older API endpoints that have not been used anymore by apps.

TechCrunch reported: “One of those changes involves Facebook Login, announced back in April. The company said that apps that had been granted permission to publish posts to Facebook as the logged-in user would no longer have that permission. New apps wouldn’t be able to use this feature the day the change was announced.”

On August 1, 2018, Twitter Support tweeted “We’ve learned that Tweets and Retweets will no longer automatically post to connected Facebook accounts due to a recent Facebook update. Don’t worry, you have other ways to share a tweet.”

The Twitter Support tweet included a link to a Twitter post: called “How to share a Tweet”. The post explains how to share a tweet via direct message, and how to share a tweet via SMS or email. This advice is not going to help people who want to be able to automatically crosspost their tweets to Facebook.


Google’s Censored Search Engine for China #1302



What do you think about the revelation that Google is building search engine for China that supports the communist governments censorship rules. I don’t know about you but it irritates me greatly. Along with that a pretty incredible analogy that Facebook has weaponized social media, along with Twitter and instagram. I go on a bit of a rant tonight so hold on to your hats. If this one does not drive some email nothing will.

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Stardew Valley Multiplayer Update is Now Available



Eric Barone, creator of Stardew Valley announced that Stardew Valley 1.3 (Multiplayer Update) is now available. Previously, the game was single-player, only.

This update is a significant change for Stardew Valley…Not only does it include a good amount of new content (new items, events, etc.,) but it also includes the long-awaited addition of co-op multiplayer!

A detailed blog post on the Stardew Valley website points out some of the new content and provides an in-depth look at how multiplayer works. Stardew Valley now supports 4 player co-op. The Co-op version is described as “nearly identical to single-player, but with 1-3 other friends playing together with you to achieve a common goal.”

Any single-player game can be “converted” to a co-op game by having Robin build one or more cabins on your farm. One player serves as the host, and the other 1-3 players connect to the host in order to play. Therefore, the host must be in-game at all times when the group wants to play.

Clicking the Co-op button will bring up a menu that allows you to:

  • Host a new co-op game
  • Re-host an existing co-op game
  • Join a farm (provided that any of your friends are hosting and have a cabin available for you)
  • Re-join a farm (provided that the host is in-game)
  • Join a LAN game (by entering the IP address of the host)
  • Enter an invite code (generated by the host) to join a game (this allows for Steam/GOG crossplay)

In addition to new content being added, and a multiplayer option, the blog post states that console versions of multiplayer are in development and coming soon.


Parents are Paying for Fortnite Tutors



It is not unheard of for parents to pay for tutors to help their child improve their grades or to get a good score on a test. Apparently, some parents are paying for Fortnite tutors. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that parents are paying up to $20 per hour for Fortnite tutors to teach their kids how to beat the game.

Fortnite is extremely popular. It was created by Epic Games. Fortnite is an open-world survival game where players must collect resources and weapons, fight against other players, and try and stay alive for as long as possible. The game became even more popular after Fortnite released its Battle Royale.

Crain’s Detroit Business reported that Tyler Blevins (also known as The Ninja) is a 27-year-old American Twitch streamer and internet personality. He reportedly is making $500,000 a month on Twitch from his subscribers who watch him to play Fortnite Battle Royale (and other games).

Ashland University added Fortnite to its eSports program for the Fall of 2018. They conducted open tryouts for Fortnite players, and offered scholarships in eSports for up to $4,000 based on player skill level and academic requirements.

So, maybe it isn’t so strange for parents to pay people to teach their kids how to be a better Fortnite player after all. There are now some real-life possibilities for talented Fortnite players to turn their skill into a way to pay for college or a career. It isn’t so different from paying a coach to teach your kid to be a better football player.


SIM Hijacking #1301



Did you know that your SIM card in your phone could be hijacked by those looking to steal your identity and all your login credentials? Get the scope herein todays show. I am very happy to be back from Philadelphia where I attended podcast movement and was heavily involved from three sessions to talking to podcasters. Plus frankly staying up way too late on a number of nites. Happy to be back with you.

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EA Introduces Premier with Origin Access



EA has introduced Premier. It is the newest tier of Origin Access subscriptions, and is “coming soon”. There are differences between Basic and Premier.

Premier is a new membership tier that gives you access to the latest and greatest EA games before anyone else. You get access to the full game – yours to play whenever you want, for as long as you’re a Premier member.

EA explained the differences between Basic membership and Premier membership in a blog post. Each is only available on PC. You cannot play games in The Vault or Play First Trials on a Mac.

The current tier of Origin Access is now a Basic membership. If you already have Origin Access, your membership won’t change unless you upgrade. You’ll still get your current benefits for the same price.

Basic membership includes:

  • The same 10% discount in the Origin Store on full games, pre-orders, expansions, FIFA points, and more
  • The chance to try out EA’s new games for up to ten hours, starting five days before launch, with Play First Trials
  • Access to The Vault, a library of games that keeps growing.

You can get Premier when it launches, whether you already have Origin Access and want to upgrade, or you’re ready to join for the first time. At the time I am writing this, Premier has not yet launched.

Premier membership includes:

  • Full, unlimited access to EA games, starting five days before they launch. This means no more limited-time trials. Play the full game starting five days before launch without purchasing it separately, until you cancel your Premier membership.
  • 10% discount in the Origin Store on full games, pre-orders, expansions, FIFA points, and more
  • Access to The Vault, a library of games that keeps growing.

Variety reported Origin Access Premier will include all new PC games from EA. The plan costs $14.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. Origin Access (or Basic Membership) costs $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year.