Apple says HomePod’s white stains ‘not unusual,’ suggests placing on ‘different surface’

Apple HomePod review

Apple has responded to numerous reports that the HomePod can stain some wooden surfaces with a resounding ‘meh.’ In an updated support article, Apple confirmed that the HomePod’s silicone base can “diffuse oils” into certain wooden surfaces, but it says that it’s “not unusual” for this to happen with speakers, and suggests that users put it somewhere else.

In other words, you’re placing it wrong.

“It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces,” the company said in an updated support article for the HomePod. “The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.”

The problem only exists on wood surfaces that are treated with an oil or wax finish, since those finishes are still somewhat permeable to water. The HomePod shouldn’t leave a mark on surfaces with a polyurethane finish. Oil and wax finishes are more common on food-contact surfaces, like kitchen counters or cutting boards, and wax finishes are common on antique furniture or items made from exotic hardwoods.

While it’s true that other things with silicone bases may stain wood furniture (allegedly the Echo Dot suffers from a similar issue), the real question is why Apple decided to use silicone in the first place. Speakers and audio equipment most commonly use rubber bumpers to isolate vibration, and those can happily sit on any wooden surface for years without leeching oil into the finish.

Apple – BGR

Chrome will show all HTTP sites as ‘not secure’ later this year

For years, HTTPS was regarded as only necessary for sites handling critical information, like bank portals. The movement for all sites to use HTTPS has gained traction over the past few years, partially thanks to the availability of free SSL/TLS certificates from Let’s Encrypt, and partially thanks to browsers encouraging sites to switch. Starting with version 68, Chrome will start marking all HTTP sites as ‘Not Secure.’

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, especially since Chrome already marks HTTP pages with text fields as insecure when you enter any information.

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Chrome will show all HTTP sites as ‘not secure’ later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google’s Lunar XPrize Is Over. Spaceflight Innovation, However, Is Not.

Moonshot, Shot Down

The time has finally come: Google is pulling the plug on its decade-long lunar spacecraft competition, the Google Lunar XPrize (GLXP).

Back in 2007, Google decided that humans should once again have a presence on the Moon. To spur innovation toward that goal, the company set up a $ 30 million prize, to be rewarded to the first private company to build a lunar rover, launch and land it on the moon, travel at least 500 meters, and transmit photos and videos of its journey on the Moon’s surface back to Earth. The rules have proven deceptively simple, as everything required before any launch proved much too difficult for contestants.

The lunar XPrize was originally set with a deadline of 2012, but was then extended to 2015, and once again to 2017. The most recent extension, in August, brought the deadline to March of 2018. Four teams are close to completion, but none will be ready to launch by the latest deadline. A spokesperson from Google told CNBC that the company “does not have plans at this time to extend the deadline again.”

A Moon Too Far

The four teams that came closest to lunar glory are SpaceIL, a startup out of Isreal; TeamIndus, from India; Moon Express, from the US; and Synergy Moon, an international coalition of space exploration technologists. Various obstacles still stand in the way of launches, such as running out of money and the inability to agree on launch dates, as well as simply not being ready. 

The Race for a Moon Base: Who Will Build the First Lunar Colony?
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A few of the teams have launch contracts already, such as Moon Express, who is planning to still launch with Rocket Lab, a spaceflight company that just conducted its first successful test mission.

Yet just as we pointed out with SpaceX’s affinity with learning from its failures, the lack of a winner emerging does not mean that all this effort was in vain. The innovation on display by all of the teams involved likely has done more than we can know at this juncture for the future of space travel. The work will continue; the major breakthroughs of tomorrow could very well have begun with this competition.

The post Google’s Lunar XPrize Is Over. Spaceflight Innovation, However, Is Not. appeared first on Futurism.

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FBI director reignites ‘not so clean cut’ encryption debate

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More than a year after the last high-profile showdown between the FBI and Silicon Valley over widespread encryption, recently-installed FBI Director Christopher Wray again signaled that his agency will continue to fight for access.
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Make Magazine founder apologizes after accusing Chinese maker of being ‘not a real person’


Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine has been forced to issue a public apology after falsely accusing popular Chinese maker Naomi “Real Sexy Cyborg” Wu of not being a person, but rather a “persona” created by “several or many people.” Naomi Wu is an engineer, designer, educator, and a prolific YouTuber. Her videos are unique, as they provide an accessible English-language insight into the Chinese technology world. On YouTube, she boasts almost 140,000 subscribers, with a total view count of nearly 14 million. She also has a large following on Twitter, with over 30,000 followers. Dougherty’s since-deleted Tweet read “I…

This story continues at The Next Web
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