A Tesla Model S burst into flames out of nowhere

A surveillance camera captured a parked Tesla Model S suddenly burst into flames in Shanghai. The incident is certainly strange since the car was not on, or even charging. Tesla says it is looking into the incident, but as of now there is no need for alarm.  

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Free music streaming is coming to Google and Amazon

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For Amazon Music Unlimited, a free version of the service will first launch in America. It can be used on the Echo smart speakers, which means songs can be voice-activated. Google’s free service will be through YouTube Music. Read more…

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Tim Cook says 'we don't want people using their phone all the time.' That's total BS.

Grandpa might not know best.
Grandpa might not know best.
Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

With his spectacles and kindly smile, Tim Cook is just one of those guys who sounds like he means well. Maybe he does — but he also means business.

Cook spoke at the Time 100 Summit in New York City on Tuesday. The Apple CEO covered a range of topics, including regulations, political donations, and a somewhat clumsily dodged question about President Donald Trump. Cook also stressed how Apple really is different from other tech companies: namely, in its approach to privacy, and screen time.

“We don’t want people using their phones all the time,” Cook said. “This has never been an objective for us.”

In the talk, Cook claimed that Apple’s goal was not to stretch the amount of time people spend looking at their Apple devices. He bemoaned the “thousands” of notifications he gets, and pointed out that every moment you spend looking at your screen is time you don’t spend looking into the face of another human being. 

“Apple has never wanted to maximize user time,” Cook said. “We’re not motivated to do that from a business point of view, and we’re certainly not from a values point of view.”

This is, quite frankly, pretty dang rich. Apple invented the device and ecosystem that delivers all those notifications Cook dislikes so much. And that system makes Apple money. A lot of money. The company increasingly depends on app purchases and in-app payments. In 2018, Apple’s services revenue grew 24 percent from 2017, up to $37.2 billion.

That slice of the pie is only likely to grow. In March, Apple held its first event dedicated to its services business, instead of devices. At the event, it announced new subscription gaming, entertainment, and news programs, which all depend — guess what — on consumers spending more time looking at their screens. 

Analysts predict, with increasing competition in the hardware space, the future of Apple lies in services. In other words, its bottom line is more dependent than ever on keeping you engaged with the content on your screen. One source even told Bloomberg that revenue from Apple’s new gaming service, Arcade, might even be determined by “divid[ing] up the revenue between developers based on how much time users spend playing their games.”

Even if Cook says he wants the time you spend on your device to be meaningful and empowering, that’s still time you spend on your screen. And, as Cook himself said, that’s time spent away from engaging with other people.

When Apple first unveiled Screen Time, the reporting feature that tells users how much time they spend on their phones, I wondered whether it should be up to the people who created the problem of screen addiction to attempt to find a solution. Now, Apple is attempting to pass that buck to the apps (like Facebook) that enable “mindless scrolling,” as Cook called out in his Time 100 speech. Apple didn’t create the problem after all, according to Cook.

This is a public relations spin that’s hard to swallow. Cook insists that screen addiction comes from the apps, not the screen itself. But considering Apple’s own push into services, as well as the fact that the iPhone delivers those addictive apps, Cook’s claims ring hollow. 

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Microsoft Paint won't be banished to oblivion—for now

Click. Click. Click.
Click. Click. Click.
Image: James Murray / Shutterstock

One of technology’s last truly innocent creations just got an 11th hour reprieve. 

Microsoft Paint, the 33-year old program released with the first version of Windows back in 1985, is not being banished to the oblivion of the Windows Store after all — news that is sure to warm the cockles of many an elderly digital Seurat’s heart. 

The program was added to Microsoft’s “deprecated” list back in 2017, and in the summer of that year Microsoft insisted that MS Paint would always be available for download in the Windows Store. However, unbundling it from Windows appeared to many like step one in a two-step process of removing it from life support. 

Well, MS Paint will live to ride another day. Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager at Microsoft, confirmed the news via Twitter on April 22. 

“Yes, MSPaint will be included in [latest Windows update] 1903,” he wrote. “It’ll remain included in Windows 10 for now.”

The question as to why Microsoft decided to do us all this solid remains unresolved. We reached out to the company, but received no response as of press time. Perhaps a lot of people still use it to make screenshots?

Regardless, there are a couple of important caveats in LeBlanc’s statement. Namely, the idea of “for now.” This clearly suggests that the days of painstakingly creating devastating visual owns of your dumb friends pixel by pixel are numbered. Because, and let’s be real here, very few people are going to trek their way over to the Windows Store to download this thing when it’s ultimately unbundled from some future version of the operating system. 

But hey, that’s something for future generations to worry about. Now excuse me while I go spend the rest of my day lost in the eyes of this pixelated kitten

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Samsung's Foldable Phone Disaster

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