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Only a fool would dare interrupt Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini from opening a door

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It was only a mere week ago that the world got to see what Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog has been up to. Not only did it make a new friend, it also learned how to open doors for said friend. How sweet.

A followup video posted today by the SoftBank-owned company, however, reveals a grave mistake by one of its creators. The video, titled “Testing Robustness,” shows a human attempting to get in the way of SpotMini’s door opening routine. He first halts the robot with a hockey stick, pushing its new arm attachment away from the door. When that didn’t work, he holds the door against the robot to prevent it from successfully pulling it open. SpotMini persists, which results in the man pulling the robot from behind and dragging it backward (breaking a small piece of its back along the way.)

After the man lets go, SpotMini marches on and completes its task. What SpotMini desires, SpotMini gets.

Boston Dynamics helpfully explains in the description of the video that “this testing does not irritate or harm the robot,” which, okay, sure — chant whatever you need to convince yourself you are not totally first on SpotMini’s kill list.

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ireuben
92 days ago
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This is how it happens: 1. Learning algorithm to efficiently open doors 2. Human keeps preventing opening the door 3. KILL ALL HUMANS!
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You Don’t Hear So Much About the iPhone 7 Headphone Jack Anymore

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Benedict Evans on Twitter:

Highest-ever iPhone sales. Reminder: technologist complaints about Apple products are generally a good counter-indicator for consumer demand.

Timothy Buck:

Yep. The uproar over headphone jack was ridiculous. Clearly the market didn’t care.

It feels like ancient history already, but there were reviews of the iPhone 7 that spent more time on the removal of the headphone jack than anything else.

Also worth pointing out that the severe delay in shipping AirPods didn’t hurt sales of the iPhone 7. (Or if it did, not enough to keep it from breaking the record.)

Update: NPR’s headline on Apple’s earnings: “Even Without A Headphone Jack, iPhone 7 Boosts Apple’s Sales”.

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ireuben
476 days ago
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Well, I bought an iPhone 7, and pretty much every day I'm pissed it doesn't have a headphone jack. I use ear buds on macbook, and used to swap them quickly to iphone for a call (while still charging) but now it's an annoying cable dance every time (unhook from charger, and either dig around for adaptor or lightening ear buds). If some other company made iOS devices I'd be all over it.
internetionals
476 days ago
I think the problem is that the lightning headphones are effectively iOS device only. If iOS devices used USB 3C like the macbook and the headphone worked with both, than it would make the whole transitions more "meh, this also works".
ireuben
475 days ago
Totally. If it had been a "USB-C everywhere" push, and I could use the same headphones (and chargers!) for all my devices, I'd be much more onboard with the whole switch. Also a big forward thinking move for the whole industry. But lighting only for IPhone *and* still headphone jack on new MBP seems very odd.
ireuben
475 days ago
ANd I've been really disappointed with bluetooth audio. Got some latest/greatest $300 sennheiser headphones, and they are decent for listening to music, but as soon as I use them for video conf (gotomeeting) or any other 2-way audio, they sound horrid. The cheapo little wired headphones sound soooo much better.
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Four-Year-Old Reddit Thread on the Then-New MacBook Pros

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More déjà vu: they’re way too to expensive, graphic cards are weak, maximum RAM configuration isn’t high enough, and they’re clearly not designed for pros.

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ireuben
561 days ago
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But they were also RIGHT about the 13" model then (no GPU, only 8GB memory). Not very "pro".
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