What did Barack Obama say at his secret sports speech in front of hundreds of people?

Attendees at Barack Obama’s speech at the Sloan Sports Analytics ConferenceBarack Obama spoke in front of several hundred people yesterday at a sports conference.

We don’t know what he said.

That’s because Obama’s session at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was off the record — conference organizers prevented attendees from tweeting, livestreaming or reporting on any part of Obama’s appearance during or after the event.

The penalty for breaking the rules, per Sloan: You couldn’t come back to Sloan.

Sloan is a conference dedicated to the Moneyball wing of sports business and fandom. It’s the kind of place you can go to see Nate Silver chatting with Steve Ballmer.

It makes sense that Sloan would want Obama to come and discuss “a wide range of subjects… from his most memorable moments in the White House, to his post-presidency plans,” along with Kraft Analytics CEO Jessica Gelman and Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

But I can’t fathom why that talk would be off-the-record. I’ve asked a Sloan rep for comment; a rep for ESPN, which is the lead sponsor for the event, declined to comment.

It looks like Reporters For Sports Outlets You’ve Heard Of complied with Sloan’s rules, which isn’t surprising. Complying with rules of the events you attend is the kind of thing you do when you’re a Reporter For Sports Outlets You’ve Heard Of.

ESPN had a pre-write of Obama’s appearance (and obliquely referenced the off the record part in the headline, and spelled it out in the last graph), but nothing else. And if there was any coverage at all from Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report or my Vox Media colleagues at SB Nation, I missed it. Ditto for the bad boys at Deadspin and Barstool Sports. (Barstool does not like Obama’s portrait, though).

Still: It’s 2018. There’s no such thing as an off-the-record event, especially not one held in the United States, in front of hundreds of people with internet-connected phones, right?

Maaaaybe. Here’s a post from Justin McMahon, whose bio describes him as a student at UNC Chapel Hill and the CEO of Daily Insider, a fantasy sports site.

I’m not sure Justin was actually at the Sloan event, though some of his preceding tweets were about other Sloan speakers. I’ve asked him for more information.

And here are a couple from someone who controls the Twitter account for Women in Sports Tech, whose Twitter stream suggests they were also at the event:

@Simon_pouliot’s timeline has three tweets. This is one of them.

Alanna Astion’s bio says she’s getting a masters at UMass in sport management. This is one of the two Sloan tweets she published today:

And… that’s it?

All those people? Nothing else? Really?

If I’ve missed something, please let me know. And if you attended and want to share something confidentially, that would also be great. My email is on my bio page.

(UPDATE: Heard from one bold attendee who passed along this assessment of Obama’s comments: “It was the kind of stuff that you would say at a high school graduation. I don’t know why it would have to be off the record.” Thank you, bold attendee! Happy to hear from others.)

But to recap:

  • Anyone can go to one of Donald Trump’s private golf clubs and come away with photos of the The President of the United States watching TV, or discussing his North Korea strategy.
  • The last President of the United States spoke at a public forum yesterday where he may have discussed: the importance of playing team sports; his support for diversity in sports, and the need for reform in college sports.
  • But we don’t know that for sure, because there was a surprisingly effective media blackout.

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Obliviate is a new app from MakeUseOf that lets you send self-destructing messages. It’s great for sharing secret messages with friends that you don’t want sticking around on their phone, among other use cases. Download: obliviate for Android and iOS. The app lets you set a timer between 5 and 180 seconds for how long your messages will last. Once the recipient opens it, the message will disappear after a set time. And if you change your mind, you can immediately obliviate messages and bypass the timer. Best of all, the obliviate is free and has no ads; never will….

Read the full article: Obliviate Sends Secret, Self-Destructing Messages to Anyone

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Did Apple Just Confirm Its Secret iPhone Design Plans for 2018?

While mid-February is not a particularly exciting time to be in the market for a new iPhone, the current slate of rumors swirling around the 2018 iPhone season suggests it’s poised to represent one of Apple’s most impressive lineups ever.

It’s expected to include at least three all-new iPhones which will look very similar to the current iPhone X — a revamped 5.8-inch OLED model, a larger 6.5-inch OLED model currently known as iPhone X Plus, and a middle-of-the-road, 6.1-inch iPhone model boasting an LCD display and Face ID tech.

We also learned courtesy of famed KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, that Apple plans to discontinue its iPhone X as we know it, though the model is expected to be replaced with a similarly-styled 5.8-inch iPhone featuring next-generation components.

Apple’s Admission?

Another fresh bit of Apple news which broke earlier this week, courtesy of 9to5mac, is that Cupertino plans to instate a new requirement — effective April, 2018 — that all new apps submitted to the App Store include native support for the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch Super Retina display.

“Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK included in Xcode 9 or later,” the company said in an email to developers this week, adding that, “All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X.”

Decree or Confirmation

Considering the current slate of iPhone rumors, it’s not illogical to reason that Apple’s new app submission requirements are its way of ‘setting the stage’ for a new generation of iPhone models built around thin-bezeled displays, lacking Touch ID, and incorporating advanced Face ID in its place.

While it’s purely speculation at this point, Apple’s decision to mandate that all apps be compatible with iPhone X could be conveyed as an indicator that its upcoming iPhone models will in fact be styled like the iPhone X — complete with the notch and all.

To that end, BGR noted: “By requiring developers to support the 5.8-inch iPhone X Super Retina display, Apple is practically making sure that all apps going forward will look good on all-screen iPhones that are notched.”

As we encourage you, time and time again, consider this rumor with a grain of salt until further notice, too — though it’s already looking like 2018 will feature lots of Face ID, doesn’t it?

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Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX’s Secret Falcon Heavy Payload

Secret Payload

Last week, the world watched as SpaceX launched their Falcon Heavy rocket with a Tesla Roadster stowed aboard. However, the rocket also carried something else, and while SpaceX’s secret Falcon Heavy payload may not have generated the same headlines as the Roadster, it could have even bigger implications for humanity’s future in space.

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Inside of the Roadster, SpaceX hid an Arch (pronounced “ark”). The tiny, disc-shaped object is one of the longest-lasting storage devices ever built. It’s expected to withstand millions to billions of years in the harsh conditions of space (or potentially even on the surface of a cosmic object or distant planet).

The Arch isn’t just durable, though. It’s also able to store enormous quantities of data for extended periods of time. Each crystal disc, which looks like a throwback to the “mini-discs” of the early 2000s, can theoretically hold up to 360 terabytes of data. The longevity of the Arch is due to the technology used to inscribe the data and the medium: 5D optical storage in quartz.

Preserving Humanity

SpaceX’s secret Falcon Heavy payload is known as Arch 1.2, and it contains Issac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, a sci-fi series that discusses the preservation of humankind — a relevant topic.

Eventually, the disc’s developers at the Arch Mission Foundation plan to add to the collection to create what they’re calling the “Solar Library.” As co-founder Nova Spivack wrote in a post on Medium, “This is only the first step of an epic human project to curate, encode, and distribute our data across the solar system and beyond.”

Ultimately, the nonprofit group hopes their small quartz crystal discs could “preserve and disseminate humanity’s knowledge across time and space, for the benefit of future generations,” according to Spivack.

They already have plans to launch discs to support early colonists on Mars, and eventually, they hope to connect the Arch Libraries in an enormous, decentralized network that will allow for data sharing and storage throughout the solar system. This is certainly a moonshot, but if humans become a multi-planetary species, we’ll need such a system in place.

The post Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX’s Secret Falcon Heavy Payload appeared first on Futurism.

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