The Public Access Weekly: Everybody knows

This week, in lieu of an opening paragraph we have some warm and fuzzy GIFs:

And now, as promised last week, on to the Public Access stats from last month!

  • 455 posts went live on Public Access in October — That handily beats Septembers numbers (326) and is more than double August’s tally (217). It also sets a new record for the most Public Access posts ever for the sixth month running! Y’all are literally knocking it out of the park here.
  • 132 total Public Access members wrote and published stories, including 54 new members. Welcome to all those new members!
  • The Public Access member with the most posts published in October is Jagadeesh Dk with a total of 19 articles published. Second place is a tie between Lisa Rachel and Dimitar Najdenov who each published 17; Karthik Krishnan rounds up third with 15 posts published.

The top 10 most read Public Access posts for August (not counting the Public Access Weekly posts) were:

  1. Why Startups Are More Efficient at Product Development than Large Corporations by Karthik Krishnan
  2. Since 2012, The Netflix Library Has Been Cut in Half by Rob Toledo
  3. Where does Samsung go from here? by Matt Porter
  4. Teaching Computers to Understand Language by Karthik Krishnan
  5. Why Kindle 5 is Still My Favorite Gadget by Victor Iryniuk
  6. 3 Companies Using Technology to Disrupt the Music Industry by Brian Horvath
  7. Nokia says it can deliver internet 2,000 times faster than Verizon Fios by Chris Brantner
  8. Chinese company threatens to fire anyone who buys iPhone 7 by Andre Smith
  9. The Role of Social Media in Government by Jeff Klein
  10. Why Boeing will beat Elon Musk in the Race to Mars by Lindsey Patterson

That’s the good news. The bad news is I also had to remove roughly 45 articles, ban four members and change 6 members author status for violating our posted rules and guidelines. So if you are a Public Access member, go here to read the rules. Learn them, love them, live them because we are enforcing them.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Joshua Thompson’s first article for Public Access examines the connection between Apple’s recently announced MacBook Touch Bar and ideas that were kicked around Microsoft’s applied sciences division years ago.

Another first-time poster, Oliver McAteer, ponders whether or not Amazon’s attempt to handle its problems with extremely shady reviews will prove to be a successful fix by highlighting services that claim to identify fake reviews, discussing the role that incentivized reviews play in the service and the steps the company has taken so far.

If you still haven’t changed your Yahoo password, reading Troy Lambert’s article on data breaches and corporate responsibility may motivate you to do so — Lambert discusses a few high profile 2016 cyber attacks, the resulting fall out for consumers and corporations alike and what consumers have a right to expect when it comes to their online data.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

This was obviously a big week in United States politics, with Mark Zuckerberg taking the time to chime in about the role Facebook may (or may not) have had on influencing the election. Do you think social media sites like Facebook played a role in this years political processes? If so, how? And, bonus question, is that a good thing or not?

Sean Buckley reviews the NES Classic Edition, making me nostalgic for the days when I would spend hours racing through Super Mario levels. Buckley says the throw-back console encompasses both the best and worst of retro gaming — his qualms largely center around unnecessarily short controller cables. If you’re a retro gaming fan, tell us what your favorite video game nostalgia trip is: Galaga? Double Dragon? Oregon Trail? Alternatively, weigh in on whether or not retro gaming love is ruining the industry.

Aaron Souppouris calls RunGunJumpGun a “damn-near perfect mobile game” with intelligent level design. What makes a ‘perfect’ mobile game? Which mobile game have you been really impressed by (or addicted to), and why?
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The iOS Portrait Mode update is live in public beta

Apple just launched iOS 10 last week, but it’s already working full throttle on the next update. Today, Apple made iOS 10.1 available in its public beta program, just one day after launching it for developers. The latest update adds Portrait Mode to the iPhone 7 Plus, allowing owners to take professional-looking photos that artfully blur out the background to better focus on the main object. Portrait Mode requires two photos to create a depth map, which is one reason it’s limited to the iPhone 7 Plus — only the Plus has a dual-camera system.

With iOS 10, Apple opened up the iPhone ecosystem, allowing third-party developers to create programs that work in iMessage and other previously closed apps. This is at odds with the hardware side of things: Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, effectively walling off the devices from the broader tech world.

Source: MacRumors

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The Public Access Weekly: Spiders in space

Next week is going to be a big, big deal with an Apple event and a Sony event on Sept.7th which is going to make for a pretty brutal four-day work week around here. While we’re busy prepping for that, don’t miss all the #IFA2016 action from our editors on the ground.

This week, meanwhile, has been huge for Public Access. HUGE. Not only was August our very best month ever, with over 200 articles posted, but a Public Access story hit the front page of Reddit yesterday which… Yeah, is kind of a big deal.

There’s nothing I love more than seeing your stories published, shared, and commented on; watching a Public Access writer get some love from ye ol’ internets makes me so proud of all the work y’all do to make this page what it is. Everyone take Monday off to celebrate!

And now, onto stats for the month of August — our biggest month yet!

  • 210 posts went live on Public Access in August. Two. Hundred. Ten! That surpasses July’s post count of 174 and slays June’s 125 posts. It also makes the third month in a row that Public Access has beaten its own numbers which is truly awesome.
  • 82 total Public Access members wrote and published stories, including 35 new members. Welcome new members!
  • The Public Access member with the most posts published in August is a tie between Dianna Labrien (for the fourth month in a row!) and Ryan Kh who each posted 11 articles. They’re followed closely by Jimmy Rohampton with 9 posts, and Kevin Nouse and Pritom Das who are tied for third with 8 posts each.

The top 10 most read Public Access posts for August (not counting the Public Access Weekly posts) were:

  1. Ticwatch 2 vs Apple Watch by Jerry Li
  2. The Dark Web Comes to “Normal” People by Dianna Labrien
  3. Is Dubai trying to make the next Silicon Valley? by Pritom Das
  4. 5 Ways Tech Can Give Us Superpowers by Cormac Reynolds
  5. The Art of Avoiding Identity Theft and Scams At The Olympics by Dave Cox
  6. Ticwatch 2: The New Gold Standard by Jerry Li
  7. How Do Non-Pokemon Go Players Avoid the Mania? by Solomon Wiesen
  8. Taping Over Your Laptop Camera – Paranoia or a Smart Move? by Michael Harris
  9. TZUUM Joins Pokemon Go as the Next Augmented Reality App! by Pritom Das
  10. 3 Cooking Technologies That Will Change the Way You Cook by Hey I’m Joe, also known as the Sous Vide Wizard

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Samsung initiated a pretty significant recall of Galaxy Note 7 handsets after 35 reported cases of battery explosions. Although only a small number overall, the company is still taking the matter very seriously. Read on to find details on how to exchange your handset, and which retailers are offering full refunds.

Our own Chris Velasco got some hands-on time with Android 7.0 Nougat and found it sugary, chewy and satisfying. Wait. That’s not right…. He reported it was useful, elegant and fast enough to earn a score of 92. Android users are eagerly rubbing their hands together awaiting this one.

Are you looking to dive into a wormhole of details about Apple, taxes, and EU law? Then you are really going to enjoy this article about the tax deal Apple reportedly made with Ireland that has the EU calling foul — and calling for the company to repay the $ 14.5 billion tax break. Don’t miss the conversation happening below the story where commenters are weighing in with additional details.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

Apple’s next major event is happening Wednesday, September 7th with the rumor mill speculating about a disappearing headphone jack and camera upgrades. What do you think Apple will announce/release next week? The expected iPhone 7 sans headphone jack? A secret deal to develop a car with Tesla? Alien lifeforms? VR? Place your bets and share your conspiracy theories!

Our first look at the Asus Zenwatch 3 had commenters up in arms immediately debating the merits of having a round smartwatch vs a square one. Which shape of smartwatch makes the most sense? Which do you prefer and why? And would the shape of a smartwatch prevent you from buying it?

Along with a big event, Apple will be rolling out some new app policies starting September 7th – the company has stated it will start removing apps that crash on launch and contacting developers whose apps do not meet guidelines. With millions of apps available, this spring cleaning sounds like a good idea. In order to help them out, we’re asking you: What is the worst app you’ve ever used? Tell us why you downloaded it, what made it such a crappy experience and what (if anything) you found to take its place.
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The Public Access Weekly: Get schwifty

Howdy out there Public Access Weekly fans! Anyone out there catching that Perseid meteor shower? I’m going to make an attempt to escape from the perpetual San Francisco summer fog to try and catch a glimpse this weekend, fingers crossed. Other than that… I got nothing. It’s been a pretty average week around here so let’s just get started, shall we?

A big heads up/reminder for all you savvy commenters out there – if you flag your comment with “Correction Needed” for anything you notice factually wrong in an article, or “Technical Issue” for things that are breaking on the site, we will see it quicker and be able to fix it faster! Is this your job? Heck no. But look, we’re not perfect and we appreciate the help.

For all you Public Access contributors out there, keep an eye out for a new landing page to greet you on Monday. We’re working on a big, comprehensive guide that will feature a slew of tips and tricks on everything from linking and images to how to write like an Engadget editor, but in the meantime this landing page will be a quick reminder of the rules and guidelines for Public Access members. And if you have any questions about Public Access or contributing, now is the time to chime in!

Looking for something to read? Check out:

We’re doing a podcast again! After a two year hiatus, we’re bringing it back with a slew of new ways to listen (iTunes, Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, SoundCloud). You can even watch the magic happen, if you’re so inclined, by clicking the YouTube link in the story.

The rumors about the next iPhone are starting to come in, with Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman claiming the headphone jack is done-for while the body of the next handset will largely remain the same as the iPhone 6/6S. Don’t miss the discussion about the potential camera upgrades in the comments — some salient points are being made.

Facebook and Adblock Plus are fighting, with Facebook throwing down the gauntlet first by announcing plans to restrict software that removes advertising and Adblock Plus responding with a workaround. One thing is for sure: It ain’t over till it’s over, and with Facebook rolling out code that works around the workaround, this is far from over.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

First Evernote announced it was limiting the free version of its service, now Hulu is ditching its ad-supported free tier in favor of teaming up with Yahoo for a “Yahoo View” option. Folks were pretty quick to give up Evernote for other free services, but a lot of folks seem to feel differently about Hulu. The question to you is: How much technology do we deserve for free? What are you willing to pay for various streaming services and softwares? And what will be the result of companies increasingly trying to monetize their services?

Jessica Conditt wrote about the day-one patch for No Man’s Land, stating that the process of releasing a patch on a game’s release is “the new normal.” Commenters were quick to begin the debate on whether day-one patches were acceptable or just the result of lazy companies releasing incomplete products. Here’s you chance to join in: Are day-one patches A-OK or are they unacceptable, and why?

This week Buzzfeed published an extensive look at Twitter and how the social media company handles harassment and trolls (or rather, how it doesn’t…). While Twitter has denied many of the claims made within the article, the question here is: How do you handle harassment on Twitter? What about other social media sites? And what should Twitter’s actions be to protect its users while championing the free speech the site was founded upon?

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