Secret’s anonymous sharing app is now a publishing platform

As TechCrunch notes, IO shares more with blogging platforms like Medium than it does with social apps like Twitter or Instagram. And, in Byttow’s words, IO is meant to address, “the downsides of current social media products.” Specifically, Byttow and his other startup Bold hope to achieve “authentic publishing” by allowing people to post either anonymously, with a pseudonym or with their real names.

IO itself is sort of a stripped-down blogging platform or a minimalist writing app. There’s nothing on the page but a white text box with optional space for a byline and a title. There are also options to pipe in some ambient background noise or to turn on a Hemingway App-style editing assistant to help clean up your prose. Behind the scenes, IO also supports markdown, images and exporting, but Byttow wrote on Product Hunt that the editor is still very much a work in progress with more improvements on the way. For now, once you hit that Publish button, you’ll get a short, sharable URL to show off your work — anonymously or otherwise.

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Sources: Bogut has bruise, out at least 10 days

Dec 6, 2016

An MRI exam revealed only a minor bone bruise ‎in the right knee of Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

Sources told ESPN that Bogut, in the best-case scenario, will be able to return to the court in 10 days to two weeks after a collision under the basket in Monday night’s loss to Charlotte that looked far more ominous in real time.

Bogut was injured when Roy Hibbert fell into his leg after Mavs swingman Justin Anderson drove to the basket in the final minute of the first quarter. Bogut immediately clutched his right knee and, after getting on his feet moments later, limped straight to the locker room.

The Mavericks have not yet formally announced results of Bogut’s MRI, but coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged after Tuesday’s practice that Bogut will miss at least the next three games “and probably longer.”

Bogut is a 12-year veteran whom the Mavs acquired in a trade from the Golden State Warriors that created salary-cap space for Kevin Durant this summer. He is averaging 3.8 points, a team-high 10.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season.

ESPN staff writer Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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Watch yet another truck get stuck under the ‘Canopener Bridge’

It happened again on Tuesday. Yet another truck driver saw the low-clearance warning signs on Durham, North Carolina’s infamous “Canopener Bridge” and decided, “You know what? I think my truck can squeeze under that!”

Spoiler: it could not.

The crash was No. 112 since Jürgen Henn started monitoring the action with two cameras trained on the bridge, posting videos and reports of the unlucky drivers to his site, named for the bridge’s height.

“The crashes like the last one, where the truck is just a tad too tall and it gets wedged under the crash beam, I find interesting because I often see trucks driving under the bridge that juuuust fit,” Henn said. “They do trigger the warning sign, but they just slip under the bridge anyway. Heck, the truck that got stuck (Tuesday) might have made it had it been fully loaded and heavier. Those trucks are a good reminder of all the close calls in our life that we don’t even notice, where we just slip by disaster, and we don’t even know it.”

Henn, who works for Duke University in an office right by the bridge, details the history of the 100-year-old train trestle on his site. He estimates that a truck is visibly damaged trying to squeeze under it about once a month, despite numerous warning signs, including one that flashes lights when a too-tall truck approaches.

“The drivers are often inexperienced — just a guy who rented a truck to move some stuff,” Henn says. “But many also drive for a living and are likely to lose their jobs after such an incident. I estimate it’s roughly a 50/50 split between rentals and company trucks.”

Thankfully, Henn says he’s never seen any serious injuries from the accidents, although he does note seeing one unbuckled driver hit his head on the windshield. “But he seemed OK afterwards,” Henn said.

The stuck box truck of this week was nothing compared with some of the crashes, which often peel open the roof of a truck in a way that gave the bridge its “Canopener Bridge” nickname. Back in January, Crash No. 103 did just that.

“I think this one is impressive, because it’s such a clean slice and he leaves such a nice present,” Henn said. He’s not kidding about a “present,” as he often helps clean up crash debris, and even gives certain artfully twisted pieces a name and sells them online. “I even have some pieces that are signed by the driver,” Henn said.

Henn’s been filming for seven years, and it’s easy to happily get lost in his video archive, if that’s your thing, watching such films as, “Camper tries to sneak up on the 11-foot-8 bridge,” “Nighttime crash damages forklift on truck (audio only)” and “Rental truck hits the bridge and everyone helps clean up.”

Response to the project has been positive, with dozens of readers commenting on the videos and on Henn’s site. Many suggest ways to change the bridge or the signage, though it seems some drivers would risk the close call even if someone personally knocked on their windshield with a warning.

“People seem to find this project entertaining and many are very supportive,” Henn said. “There are quite a few fans of the site among local police and the DOT (Department of Transportation) folks who installed the warning signs. Quite a few driving instructors use the footage from my site as instructional material.”

Sometimes, even those involved in the accidents respond.

“One driver actually knew about the site and commented on it when I spoke with him after the crash,” Henn said. “‘He said something like, ‘Oh boy, I’ll be on YouTube, won’t I?'”

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Windows 10 preview lets Cortana play music, turn off your PC

If you request a song or genre without specifying the app, it’ll remember the last one you used and play it from that. It also lets you find a track name from any music app by saying, “hey Cortana, what song is playing?” Finally, when you say, “hey Cortana,” from an unlocked PC that’s been idle for over 10 seconds, the app will load in a new full-screen mode, showing information like the weather.

The update also includes support for 19 more games in full-screen mode with the Windows Game Bar (including Battlefield 1, Fallout 4 and Dark Souls III). You’ll also get new Windows Ink features, additional Edge extensions, a new Windows Defender dashboard, updated Narrator features, more Windows Update options and new rendering tech for Universal Windows (UWP) apps. In other words, it’s a pretty big update — check the Windows Blog for more information, or, if you’re on the Insider track, you can now get it directly. As usual, beware of the release’s beta nature and the bugs that entails.

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What’s that smell? Mavs’ season sinks to new low

3:24 AM ET

DALLAS — It’s certainly fitting that Poo-Pouri, a toilet bowl deodorizer, was the promotional sponsor for Wednesday night’s game at the American Airlines Center. Unfortunately, there is no spritz that can get rid of the stench of this Dallas Mavericks’ season.

What has been by far the worst season of the modern Mavs era, as defined by Dirk Nowitzki‘s 19-year tenure, reached a new low point. There is no polite way to describe the debacle of a proud franchise being blown out on its home court by a perennial lottery team, as was the case when the Sacramento Kings rolled to a 120-89 rout of the Mavs.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who was so frustrated that he took technical fouls for calling extra timeouts twice in the fourth quarter, didn’t put much effort into describing the loss at all. His postgame news conference lasted less than a minute, as he opted not to take any questions.

“This was a very, very disappointing performance,” Carlisle said. “It starts with me. I’ve got to do a better job getting these guys ready to play, getting them ready to compete. The second half was inexcusable: The way we played, just the way we performed all around — everything from how we competed, decision-making.

“Shot-making comes and goes, but the competitive spirit has got to be there. We’re going to do better.”

Maybe Carlisle used a little harsher language during the postgame team meeting, which lasted about 35 minutes after the media was ushered out of the Mavs’ locker room a lot earlier than usual.

The Mavs can meet all they want, but it won’t fix the franchise’s biggest problems. Mavs management might argue that it’s health — and it’s certainly hard to win with Nowitzki (Achilles tendon), Andrew Bogut (knee) and J.J. Barea (calf) wearing sport coats — but that’s ignoring an issue that has prevented the franchise from winning a playoff series in the past five seasons.

Dallas probably will need a couple of summers to address their glaring lack of talent, which is rooted in the franchise’s draft failures over the past decade.

Dallas has drafted one bonafide NBA player over the last 10 years, and they gave away Jae Crowder in the disastrous Rajon Rondo trade. Justin Anderson, last year’s first-round pick, has a chance to be the second. But Anderson has struggled this season after a promising finishing to his rookie year, getting passed on the depth chart by undrafted rookie Dorian Finney-Smith.

The Mavs will keep swinging for the fences in free agency. One of their likely future targets put on a pretty good show for the supposed sellout crowd at the American Airlines Center, as Kings center DeMarcus Cousins produced a 24-point, 14-rebound, 7-assist, 3-block line against the Mavs’ backup big men.

There is reason to believe the Mavs might have a shot at Cousins when he hits the free agency market in the summer of 2018. He can talk all he wants about how much he loves Sacramento, but nobody outside of California’s capital city actually believes he wants to sign another contract with the Kings.

The Mavs made a pretty transparent attempt to butter up Boogie by bringing his younger brother, Jaleel, to training camp and signing him to the D-League Texas Legends. They also have a good relationship with Cousins’ agent, Dan Fegan, although that didn’t pay off when they recruited his previous clients Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.

If the Mavs are going to convince Cousins or any other proven star to come to Dallas, they’ll have to provide proof that the franchise has a potentially bright future. That means acquiring young talent is a must.

Harrison Barnes falls in that category as a 24-year-old bright spot, proving he can be a primary offensive option after the Mavs signed him to a max contract that many questioned this summer. (Barnes’ five-bucket, six-turnover night against the Kings was a rare stinker for him this season.)

But Barnes isn’t nearly enough, as evidenced by the Mavs’ misery this season. Dallas desperately needs to draft a star — and that’s why being so bad now should be good for the franchise in the long run. Unless the Mavs manage to screw things up by salvaging this season, they’ll have a high pick in a lottery that experts consider loaded with top-end talent.

Fresh talent is the NBA’s best deodorizer. Just hold your noses for the rest of the season, Mavs fans.

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​VR beyond your budget? Microsoft-Intel pact aims to help

Intel's Alloy headset, unveiled earlier this year, aims to offer VR without ungainly cables hooked up to a PC.Enlarge Image

Intel’s Alloy headset, unveiled earlier this year, aims to offer VR without ungainly cables hooked up to a PC.

Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Ever eager to keep you buying PCs, Microsoft and Intel are cooperating to bring virtual reality to the masses.

Today’s more advanced virtual reality setups, like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive, require a high-powered PC with enough graphics horsepower to generate a convincing artificial 3D game for you to play or world to explore. There’s progress to pare back the hardware requirements, but Microsoft and Intel are going farther with a project called Evo.

Project Evo’s goal is to bring VR and related immersive technology to midrange laptops with the workable but unspectacular graphics performance of built-in Intel graphics. It’s geared to handle VR and related augmented reality and mixed reality technology that blends computer-generated imagery with the real world.

Years of shrinking PC sales have punished Intel and Microsoft as we all chose to spend our money on tablets and phones powered by Google and Apple software. With Evo, though, the Wintel allies have a chance to reclaim some of the tech excitement the mobile revolution has stolen away.

Indeed, it’s no coincidence the companies chose the Project Evo name: Evolution is famously unforgiving for entities that can’t keep up with competitive challenges.

The project is “a deep collaboration with Microsoft to further push the boundaries of personal computing,” Navin Shenoy, general manager of Intel’s PC group, said in a statement. Microsoft and Intel will cooperate to ensure VR and mixed reality can fully exploit the power of Intel’s sixth-generation “Skylake” Core processors and newer seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” models and their built-in graphics hardware.

It’s also designed to improve other areas where mobile devices could struggle to keep up, like artificial intelligence and very detailed big-screen 4K graphics. Evo-class PCs will need at least 8GB of memory, USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 graphics port and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connections.

With Evo, Microsoft clearly hopes to extend to the VR realm some of the clout it earned with app developers supporting its Windows software. Attracting software titles is key to commercial success.

“We’ve unified the platform,” said Alex Kipman, the Microsoft fellow who’s led development of the company’s HoloLens device for mixed reality. As evidence, he pointed to partnerships with Dell, Acer, Asus and China’s 3Glasses that should bear fruit in 2017.

Intel and Microsoft announced the project at Microsoft’s WinHEC conference in China, where the company details how its software will get along with new hardware initiatives.

HTC’s Vive, Sony’s PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift all are already on the market, though, and use different software foundations. That’s a pain for developers, many of whom have chosen programming tools from Unity Technologies that make it easier to span many devices.

And when it comes to low-cost VR, cheaper PCs still can’t match the prices of phone-based headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View. Intel and Microsoft have their work cut out for them.

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