Even if this holiday season means spending less time with family and friends than we’re used to, you can still get judged for your decisions thanks to an AI that has been programmed to dislike your taste in music. The “How bad is your Spotify” bot ingests listening data and spits out personalized dismissive insults.
While your results may vary, it told a member of the team that “your Spotify was please-read-my-manuscript-60-dollar-white-tshirt-local-talk-radio-bumper-sticker-bitch bad.” Oh, and Cyberpunk 2077 got another patch.
-- Richard Lawler
Expensive headphones with untapped potential
The good news, according to Billy Steele: Apple’s over-ear headphones bring solid battery life, excellent sound and noise-cancelling performance that nearly matches the best Bose and Sony have to offer. However, a $550 price and an oddly designed case might put some people off.
If Apple can bring spatial audio to Apple TV and add a high-res option to Apple Music (or even support Dolby Atmos Music on other services), the $550 price tag will be easier to swallow. For most people though, more affordable flagship models from Bose and Sony will suffice.
Roll that beautiful bean footage.
Taking a victory lap around the test flight that wrapped up quite a year for SpaceX, the company posted a longer video of its Starship SN8 high-altitude test flight. Its high speed impact and explosion is just a footnote, as this two-minute video marvels at the spectacle of a 12-story-tall vehicle executing a controlled fall and landing flip maneuver.
Smart, small and clumsy.
Sony’s $1,800 A7C is a slightly smarter version of the popular full-frame A7 III in the smaller body of the crop-sensor A6600. It has very similar image quality, shooting speeds and video specs as the A7 III, but uses Sony’s latest AI smarts to improve autofocus tracking. According to Steve Dent, “it’s a good choice for hybrid shooters that lean to the photo side who want a lightweight, modestly priced full-frame camera.”
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Now you can snag the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 with 8GB of RAM and a spacious 512GB SSD (space grey only) for $1,399 — $100 off its normal price. This isn’t the lowest we’ve seen the new MacBook Pro — the 256GB model was discounted to $1,200 earlier this month — but it’s certainly a good deal for beefier storage.