Live now: We’re liveblogging Apple’s education event

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Notes from Chicago, in real time.

Apple is putting on one of its big product-unveiling events today in Chicago — right now — focused on the education market, and Recode is there. (Here’s what to expect, and some options for watching live.)

The goal of this post is to create a clean, simple, lo-fi record of what Apple announces, in chronological order, with light commentary. The Verge liveblog here will have photos. Refresh this page for the latest.

10am CT: Apple kicked things off with a video of kids playing and talking about changing the world. “We’ve always believed that people with passion can change the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook says, noting that was on display this past weekend as kids led gun-control marches across the country. “We are deeply inspired” by those students, Cook said.

10:03 Today’s event is about technology, and Apple will be talking about that. He talks about Apple’s history in the education market, “and we’ve never stopped working on it.”

Updating live. Please refresh for the latest.

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Four times people cried ‘aliens’ — and four times they were wrong

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<em>The mummified remains of a fetus that was either stillborn or died shortly after birth. </em>Discovered in Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2003, this tiny, 6-inch-long mummy, with its pointed head and atypical number of ribs, stoked theories that aliens have visited Earth. Scientists have had genetic proof that the remains are human since 2013, and a new genetic analysis reveals that mutations in genes related to growth might explain the mummy’s atypical bones.

The results, which have been making headlines, are a reminder that the truth may well be out there — but it isn’t aliens. A series of discoveries this past year make it clear that, sadly, it never is.

Sad but true

Scientists have struggled to explain why this mummy, known as Ata, is the size of a fetus and yet has bones as developed as those of a six- to eight-year-old child,…

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The shady data-gathering tactics used by Cambridge Analytica were an open secret to online marketers. I know, because I was one

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The recently revealed Facebook data “breach” that allowed Cambridge Analytica to get access to millions of users’ worth of Facebook data has been greeted as a shocking scandal. Reporters and readers have been surprised to learn about the ability to gather personal data on the friends of people who install a Facebook app, the conversion of a personality quiz into a source of political data, the idea that you can target marketing messages based on individual psychographic profiles, and the surreptitious collection of data under the guise of academic research, later used for political purposes. But there is one group of people who are mostly unsurprised by these revelations: the market researchers and digital marketers who have known about…

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Tumblr confirms 84 Russian accounts were used to spread disinformation

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It's not just Facebook or Twitter that were co-opted during the 2016 election. Just a month after accusations from researchers and Buzzfeed, Tumblr confirmed today that it uncovered 84 user accounts linked to the Russian government and its Internet R…
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Here are all the new Spring 2018 Apple Watch bands that were just unveiled

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Apple Watch Bands 2018

One of the best things about the Apple Watch is that you can transform its appearance to match your lifestyle and fashion thanks to an ever-growing collection of Watch bands. Apple keeps launching new Watch bands that you can add to your collection, including a few straps that certainly deserve your attention. In fact, of all the Watch bands in Apple’s Spring 2018 collection that debuted on Wednesday morning, there’s at least one that stands out: The Nike Sports Loop.

Nike’s Apple Watch band was never available as a standalone purchase, but Apple is finally letting Watch owners buy the sport accessory by itself. The Nike Sport Loop comes in a variety of colors, including Black/Pure Platinum, Bright Crimson/Black, Cargo Khaki, Midnight Fog and Pearl Pink.

On top of that, Apple added a bunch of first-party bands to its Spring collection, which will be available for purchase online and in stores later this month.

The new models come in “vibrant colors and unique designs,” across Watch band families. The Spring collection brings new additions to the company’s collection of Woven Nylon brands, as well as new colors for the Apple Watch Hermes series, which look absolutely gorgeous. The Hermes straps are also the most expensive of the bunch.

Here are all the new Watch band models, and their prices:

Apple Watch

  • Sport Band in Denim Blue, Lemonade and Red Raspberry ($ 49)
  • Woven Nylon in Black Stripe, Blue Stripe, Gray Stripe and Pink Stripe ($ 49)
  • Sport Loop in Flash Light, Hot Pink, Marine Green and Tahoe Blue ($ 49)
  • Classic Buckle in Spring Yellow, Electric Blue and Soft Pink ($ 149)

Apple Watch Nike+

  • Nike Sport in Barely Rose/Pearl Pink, Black/White and Cargo Khaki/Black ($ 49)
  • Nike Sport Loop in Black/Pure Platinum, Bright Crimson/Black, Cargo Khaki, Midnight Fog and Pearl Pink ($ 49)

Apple Watch Hermes

  • 38mm Double Tour in Indigo with rouge H polished edge and rouge H contrasted loop ($ 489)
  • 38mm Double Tour in Blanc with rouge H polished edge and rouge H contrasted loop ($ 489)
  • 42mm Single Tour Rallye in Indigo with rouge H polished edge and rouge H contrasted loop ($ 439)
  • 42mm Single Tour Rallye in Blanc with rouge H polished edge and rouge H contrasted loop ($ 439)

If those prices are a bit too rich for your blood, don’t worry — Amazon still has about a million different options for affordable Apple Watch bands on its site.

Apple – BGR

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We’re live from GDC 2018!

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Another day, another tech conference. Now that SXSW is behind us, it's time for GDC 2018. We've arrived in San Francisco to cover the latest edition of the Game Developers Conference, where you can expect to see plenty of new indie titles, AR and VR…
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Logitech adds what gaming speakers were missing: synchronized lights

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Logitech G's latest PC speakers aren't just focused on sounding good — they can also create a light show around your desk. The company's new G560 speakers come equipped with four RGB LED lighting zones, which can display around 16.8 million colors….
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Sony on why it dropped the headphone jack: the other kids were doing it

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Sony dropped the headphone jack from the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Here’s their rational: Why did you remove the headphone jack on XZ2 and XZ2 Compact? This is part of the shift to our new Ambient Flow design language. In order to create the beautiful seamless design, our designers needed to remove the headphone jack. Plus, we’re aware of the major market trend toward wireless headphones over wired headphones. Now, we don’t mean to sound bitter, but this paints Sony as a trend follower, not a trend setter. To be fair, the HTC U11 and U11+ don’t have headphones jack either and…

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I said the Galaxy S9 should’ve copied the iPhone X notch, and holy crap were Android fanboys triggered

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Galaxy S9 Vs iPhone X Display Notch

In an article published on Monday, I shared some renders made by a graphic designer that showed us what the new Galaxy S9 would look like if Samsung had copied Apple’s iPhone X display design. In my opinion, a notched display design like the iPhone X would make Samsung’s new flagship look even better than it already does.

The Galaxy S9 display could extend almost all the way to the bottom of the phone like it does on the iPhone X thanks to Apple’s nifty method of hiding the display controller, and the top corners would extend just as far. Then the ear speaker, front-facing camera, and sensors could reside in the centrally located notch at the top of the screen. This is a design that remains controversial — people either love it or hate it. Personally, I like the design a lot, and as I wrote, I think it would improve the look of Samsung’s Galaxy S9 by allowing Samsung to cover more of the phone’s front side with screen.

It was a rather simple little article that I thought was innocuous. But holy moly, Android fanboys were triggered.

Shortly after that article was published, I began receiving dozens of emails from whiny Android fanboys. OK wait, calm down. I’m not suggesting all Android fans are whiny, and I’m not suggesting that Apple fanboys are not whiny. In fact, Apple fanboys are often even more whiny. All I’m saying is that these particular Android fanboys were ugly-crying into my inbox. I stopped checking Twitter long ago, but I’m sure my mentions and DMs were just as colorful.

Now, I didn’t read all of the emails I received yesterday. I get somewhere between 300 and 500 emails on a normal day without fanboy rage, so I never have time to read all my emails. The ones I did read, however, can be split into two main groups.

The larger group shared the opinion that I am a fool because Apple’s notched iPhone X display design is ugly. Had Samsung used the same design on the Galaxy S9, they argued, it too would have been ugly. This is obviously a very valid opinion that is no more or less valid than my own. The notch is divisive, and it’ll continue to be controversial for the foreseeable future.

Some of the people who emailed me accused me of being a liar. Similar to far-right conservatives and far-left liberals, they’re so convinced that their opinion is the only one, they simply cannot comprehend any sane, intelligent person disagreeing. A few people even cited an earlier article I wrote, in which I basically called the iPhone X’s notch an abomination. It is absolutely true that I hated the look of Apple’s notched display design in photos before the phone was released. Sadly, these emailers must have missed all the articles like this one where I changed my mind and ate crow once I actually began using the iPhone X.

Wait, what? Opinions can change!?!

Of course, that’s neither here nor there. Android fanboys are entitled to their opinions just like everyone else, and if they hate the notch, then so be it. Of course, they had better get used to it since so many Android phone makers are copying the design. In fact, Apple’s iPhone X display design is being copied by so many Android phone makers that Google is actually building notch support into the next version of Android.

And that brings us to the second group of whiny emails I received. This group was far smaller than the first, but it was far angrier as well. According to this group, a Galaxy S9 with a notch wouldn’t be copying Apple at all. Instead, it’s actually Apple that’s the copycat.

Yes, we’ve all seen this song and dance plenty of times before.

These cute folks have managed to convinced themselves that all this hubbub over notched displays isn’t because of Apple and the iPhone X. Instead, all these companies out there embracing the concept of a notch are doing so because of another company. A true trailblazer and pioneer: Essential.

Hey, come on. Stop laughing. Let’s at least hear them out!

Long, long before Apple had the idea to release a smartphone with a notch cut out of the screen, Essential released the PH-1 with a notch at the top for the front-facing camera. Apple’s designers saw this, the story goes, and rushed to copy the design for the iPhone X. You see, Apple is a follower when it comes to design, not a leader. And all these other Android vendors out there that have released phones that look exactly like the iPhone X are actually copying Essential, not Apple. Get it?

Of course, we all know that this is absolutely ridiculous. Essential unveiled the PH-1 in mid-2017, long after Apple began developing the iPhone X. In fact, the iPhone X was so far along at that point that dummy models featuring the final iPhone X design —  notch and all — had already been leaking for months.

But the Essential PH-1 was released in August, and August comes before November, so Essential clearly did it first. The logic is unassailable.

Let’s take a quick look at the designs to refresh our memories.

Essential’s notch

Apple’s notch

Every other copycat Android vendor’s notches

They all look just like the Essential phone, right!?

Look, no one is arguing that Apple was the first smartphone maker on the planet to release a smartphone with a chunk sliced out of the screen. But “first” is often meaningless in this industry. Apple is a trend-setter, and the entire industry has been chasing Apple’s iPhone designs for a decade now.

Was Apple the first smartphone maker to release a phone with a big touchscreen and no physical keyboard? Nope, definitely not. But once Apple did it, every other big vendor copied the new design and companies like BlackBerry and Nokia that initially refused to were destroyed. Was the iPhone the first smartphone on the planet to feature a fingerprint sensor? Of course not, but Apple did it better than any company that came before it, and then the entire market rushed to follow Apple’s lead. Now, fingerprint authentication is on almost every smartphone out there. It’s not because Motorola put a fingerprint scanner on some crappy phone no one bought, it’s because Apple introduced Touch ID on the iPhone 5s.

In the end, of course, none of this really matters. Pick the phone that’s right for you and enjoy it. And as for smartphone designs, liking a display that is almost bezel-less aside from a notch at the top isn’t right or wrong, it’s a matter of preference. Personally, I think the Galaxy S9 would look better with almost no bezel at the bottom and a notch at the top. Many of the hundreds of thousands of people who read that article yesterday agree with me. Others do not. You know what — who cares either was? Time marches on.

You know what, though? People who refuse to embrace the notch are going to see their options severely limited for a while, until vendors find a good way to hide cameras, speakers, and sensors under display panels. Dozens of little Android companies have copied Apple’s notch, and now big companies like Huawei, Asus, and even LG are stealing the design. With Android P fully embracing notch support, haters are going to have a rough couple of years ahead of them.

Apple – BGR

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