If Game Of Thrones Houses Were Tech Companies Or Something

We get it, HBO’s Game of Thrones ended with a distinct dragon-lady-bad note. Ham-fisted symbolism and rationalizing plot points that don’t make sense aside, we still have undying admiration for the world-building of George RR Martin. Straight up, we love the world of Westeros and with our love of technology and an editor’s deadline looming, we thought this was a great idea. 

So in recognition of the world of Westeros and the larger Planetos* (*NOT the last few seasons of the show, geezuskrist) and in preparation for next year’s release of Winds of Winter (yeah, right) we’d like to share this stupid ongoing-nerd-tastic-debate in our office break room.

So we give you: If Game of Thrones houses were tech companies, the Game of Tech Thrones

Microsoft – House Lannister

House words: Hear me roar 

House motto: A Lannister always pays his debts (except when they don’t)

House sigil: Golden lion on a field of crimson

Good or bad, Microsoft is big enough and rich enough to attack any endeavor the tech-world throws at it. Just like Lan the Clever somehow finagle Casterly Rock, Bill Gates somehow finagled an operating system from Xerox (just like Steve Jobs) and has been enjoying sitting on the gold mine that is the most dominant consumer operating system in the world. They also have a AAA bond rating, just to round this metaphor out here. 

Twitter – House Stark 

House words: Winter is coming

House motto: Kings of the Norf!

House sigil: A running grey direwolf on an ice-white field

For anyone or entity with Twitter, it’s only a matter of time till something or some tweet sets off an onslaught of harsh attacks onto your account. It’s known as the catch Twitter2. You have to have a Twitter account, but you’ll inevitably get embroiled in a Twitter-avalanche burying you in metaphorical snow. Winter is always coming for you twitterers, it’s not a warning, it’s a battle cry. Be like the Starks and the dumpster fire of Twitter and just embrace the cold. 

Google – House Martell 

House words: Unbowed, unbent, unbroken

House mottos: It’s always sunny in sunspear

House sigil: A gold spear piercing a red sun on an orange field

While other houses were forced under Targaryan rule, house Martell joined through marriage. Google could have just stuck to search ads and still be one of the richest companies in the world, but like the Dornish they chose to participate in the Game of Tech Thrones. And also like the Dornish, they have a master plan that is somewhat convoluted and the execution is questionable. You have Quintyn in Essos who may or may not be dragon BBQ (#QuintynLives), the Brave Companions in Westeros who may or may not be double agents for/against the Lannisters, and Oberon who may or may not have an open casket (probably not). We’re sure Google and the Dornish have a master plan cooking, sometimes it’s just hard to see what the hell it is. 

Apple – Targaryens 

House words: Fire and Blood

House motto: The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire

House sigil: A three-headed red dragon breathing flames on a black field

Once the mighty rulers of Westeros (the consumer tech industry), the Targarians (Apple) were unseated from their throne and banished across the narrow sea. But just as they once rose to power with fire and blood on the backs of their 3 dragons (stealing Xerox’s UI, superior marketing, and Steve Jobs), they have returned to prominence with a vengeance with 3 new dragons (services revenue, Apple Silicon, & the ghost of Steve Jobs).

Mozilla/Firefox – House Tully 

House words: Family, duty, honor

House motto: A river runs through it

House sigil: A leaping silver trout on a field of blue and mud red

Mozilla, it could be argued (look, I’m doing so right now), is perhaps the only major web player that isn’t explicitly trying to wring its users for every cent and usable/sellable datapoint. From its open-sourced beginnings to its non-profit Mozilla organization, like house Tully, Firefox hasn’t lost sight of some of the high-minded foundations of the internet. And while we have nothing but admiration for them for that, we don’t see house Tully or Firefox as the likely winner of the Game of Tech Thrones.   

Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp – House Tyrell 

House words: Growing strong

House motto: Green is the new black

House sigil: A golden rose, on a green field

Just like the rich farmlands of Reach is for Westeros, Facebook is the breadbasket for advertisers. Sure Google has the search ads on lock, but if you’re looking for juicy intrusive data points to sculpt ads around, Facebook is the place. With the #1 and #2 social network, it’s hard to match the bounty of unscrupulous data collection from the Zuckster and co. The Reach feeds people’s bellies, Facebook feeds people’s neuroticism – both needs we all have. 

Amazon/Twitch – Greyjoy 

House words: We do not sow

House motto: Wet hair, don’t care 

House sigil: A golden Kraken on a black field

Money, please!!!!!!?!! Combine where you spend all your money with where you watch all your videos with where you give subs to streamers for being good or cute at begging – and you have the odd marriage of Amazon and Twitch. From Amazon’s monopolistic and tax-avoiding tactics to the sick sad world of Twitch-simping, they do not sow but they sure as heck do reap. 

YouTube – House Baratheon

House words: Ours is the fury

House motto: BRING ME THE BREASTPLATE STRETCHER

House sigil: A black-crowned stag on a gold field

Visit the comment section of a YouTube video on a controversial topic (or non-controversial topic) and witness the fury. Basic things like whether the earth is flat or a sphere become comment shitstorms of epic proportions. If you ever need to get riled up, go to the news section on YouTube and read the comments for 20 minutes. By the end of that, you’ll be so amped up and angry at the stupidity of people you’ll be ready to swim all the way to Sothoryos just to get away from them.

Netflix – House Arryn

House words: Higher than honor

House motto: I can fly twice as high

House sigil: A sky-blue falcon soaring against a white moon on a sky-blue field

Sure, this works – they both sit atop mountains looking down on everyone else. With house Arryn it’s a literal mountain, with Netflix it’s a metaphorical mountain made up of money and development deals that come out of vending machines. At this point, if you’re still reading, we’ve underestimated your attention span and willingness to read these specious parallels. Let’s face it, you’re just a nerd who is into consumer tech and loves the creative world of George RR Martin. That’s cool because we are too! 

AR/VR Project T288 & Why It Will Shape Apple the Next Decade

Virtual reality and augmented reality is a technology that truly has the potential to change our lives across a range of scenarios. It can be transformative in how we consume media, but also in how we conduct day-to-day tasks in the workplace and at home. Because of this potential, Apple’s absence from the VR market is puzzling.

Major tech rivals like Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google, and others are already in full swing behind their own VR/AR hardware and software. So, where is Apple, the great innovator of the tech world? Well, I will get to that because the idea of Apple as an innovator is not necessarily true. But first, why has Apple been so silent in the world of virtual reality and why is 2021 set to be a breakthrough year for the company?

Apple Has Been Missing From the VR Realm

On the surface and certainly in terms of consumer products, Apple has been conspicuous by its absence as other companies have taken the lead in VR. However, those that say Apple has done nothing in for the development of VR and AR technologies are incorrect.

Sure, the company has not produced a VR headset or even a platform for the tech. However, behind the scenes, Apple has been working furiously on the development of its virtual reality products and services. In fact, the company is arguably more advanced than some rivals who are already on the market.

We will have to wait to see if the company’s all-in approach to research and development will translate to market-busting hardware and software. The signs, or more accurately the rumors, are good. Apple is said to be operating a covert research unit behind closed doors with the sole purpose of creating VR products and platforms.

Known as Project T288, the research unit has hundreds of employees working on both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality projects. After years of operating behind the scenes, Project T288 is ready to break into the mainstream. Reports suggest Apple is targeting 2021 as the year it makes its entrance into the mixed reality market.

Before continuing, it’s probably better to describe the fundamental difference between virtual reality and augmented reality:

  • Virtual Reality (VR): Devices and content for VR place the user/player within a completely virtual world. All visual and audio information is digital and virtual.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): With AR technology, you can see virtual elements blended with a real-world environment.

Apple As An Innovator

For fans of Apple, the company readying itself for a push in the mixed reality space is excellent news. Indeed, the idea of Apple arriving late to a party but becoming the star guest is not uncommon. One of the misconceptions about the Cupertino company is that it is a great innovator in the hardware space.

Let’s be clear, over its 45-year history Apple has innovated as much as any other tech giant. However, the concept of Apple as a hardware inventor is not accurate. Instead, what Apple has been amazing at doing is taking a nascent hardware idea, refining it, finding ways to make it usable, and selling it in a package that drives the masses to frenzy.

The iPod was not the first MP3 player, but it became the most famous digital music player ever. The iPhone was not the first smartphone, but it shaped our understanding of the hardware and defined the movement. The iPad was not the first tablet but it showed how a touch screen device could replace a laptop for casual users.

So, when Apple enters the VR/AR space, it won’t be as an inventor. Instead, I fully expect the company to deliver products that help to define how VR and AR will be for the next decade. I expect a game-changing group of products and platforms. I expect Apple to show the true potential of this technology in a way no other company has.

That is what Apple is really special at doing.

Products

So, what are the products Apple will reportedly release? Notable leaker Jon Prosser says Project T288 will release a set of augmented reality glasses, known as “Apple Glass.”

Apple Glass will be the company’s entry into the AR realm. Reportedly costing $499, the AR headset is said to be extremely ergonomic and look like regular glasses. This may be a major breakthrough, allowing wearable AR to blend in with regular fashion choices. Importantly, Apple Glass will also be available in a variant for prescriptions.

Prosser suggests Apple Glass will look like Ray Ban’s ever-popular Wayfarer sunglasses. Apple is said to be working with touch, voice, and head gestures to control the product.

Considering Apple’s history for turning general consumers onto a new tech idea, it’s exciting to see what the company develops in the AR space.

Apple Watch Series 6: Cool AF or WTF?

Is the Apple Watch the hardest tech product in the world to review? The answer is yes, and with the Apple Watch Series 6, the difficulty is amplified because there has been no major leap forward. Instead, think of this as Apple Watch Series 5.1. With this new wearable, Apple takes its incremental approach to device upgrades to the extreme, and for some users, there’s no point buying the Apple Watch Series 6.

Before getting to the features we’re excited by and those that are a joke, let’s be clear on one thing. With the Series 6, there is no doubt that Apple remains at the top of the smartwatch/fitness wearable pile. Certainly, if you own an iPhone the watch is a stunning accessory that will expand your phone’s functionality to your wrist.

Still, how much longer can Apple keep getting away with upgrading devices on such a basic level? It has become laughable that the company can move through product generations while barely changing how the device looks.

Look at the upcoming iPhone 12, which seems like it will have mostly the same design language debuted on the iPhone X three years ago. No Apple product is a worse offender than the Watch. So, looking at the Apple Watch Series 6, here’s what’s new this year.

Design – WTF! But Cool AF

As noted, the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 are all but identical. In fact, you could trace the design lineage of the new wearable right back to the first-ever Apple Watch from 2015. Sure, there have been refinements and size changes along the way, but the basic concept remains the same. So, in 2020, the Series 6 looks like last year’s model, which looked like the year before, and so on.

For many users, that may be ok. The smartwatch is again available in 40mm and 44mm variations, while materials available are titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum. Yes, Apple has ditched the ceramic model from a year ago.

What Apple is selling as the big design change is hilarious. According to the company, new color options equate to a newly designed product. It’s laughable that Apple is billing this as the all-new Watch based on some additional hues. As for those colors, they are PRODUCT RED and blue, and yes, they look nice.

Additionally, the Apple Watch, in the tradition of Apple, feels premium and looks sleek. But let’s not pretend this brand-new expensive tech product is rocking a revolutionary design.

Display – Cool AF!

Screen technology is an area where incremental upgrades can make a difference. Thanks to the ongoing development of display tech, the quality of the panel on the Apple Watch Series 6 is notable.

One of the most interesting aspects of the display is it is the same as the Series 5 in terms of hardware. That means we get the same 368 x 448 panel that remains the runaway leader in the wearable market. It’s crisp, clear, and responsive. It also gets the same 1000 nits brightness as last year’s model, making the Apple Watch still the best smartwatch for outdoor use.

What’s different here is an “always-on” mode. As the name suggests, this feature means the screen remains on if you want it to. It also provides 2.5 higher brightness despite producing the same nits. If you thought the previous generation Apple Watches were good in sunlight, wait until you get eyes on with the Series 6.

Performance and Battery – WTF!

Yeah, I get it, this is probably harsh. However, what Apple tries to do each year is dazzle us with numbers regarding device performance. In fairness, the company is not alone because this is a tiresome practice used by most tech companies.

You see, by telling customers something is X percent faster than before, people automatically think “cool, a faster device”. What companies don’t tell you is that these extra gains are mostly unnoticeable in day-to-day use. To see the better performance, you’ll need to benchmark the device. Who from the casual consumer-base cares about benchmarks? No-one, that’s who.

So, Apple’s promise of 20% better performance courtesy of the S5 processor on the Watch Series 6 is nice on paper, but meaningless in application.

Battery life remains a constant WTF! The Apple Watch Series 6 is rated for 18-hour battery life, which is just not good enough. People want to be able to wear their watch for more than half a day. Apple sweetens the deal by boosting charging times by 20%, meaning a full charge takes 1.5 hours. But come on, 18 hours… really?

This battery life is embarrassing in an era where rivals like Samsung are looking to boost battery life on their wearables to multiple days.

 

Health – WTF!

Do you know what is the biggest new feature Apple is pushing for the Watch Series 6? Take a minute to think about it, I’ll wait.

Did you get it? I thought not. That’s because it is an oxygen sensor. I have read reviews that say this is the star of the show. Really? With the new monitor, users can track their oxygen saturation (SpO2) on the Apple Watch. If you’re unfamiliar with SpO2, it is the percentage of oxygen that is carried through blood cells.

The closer to 100% the better, while the Series 6 will only measure between 70% and 100%. Honestly, if it is reading as going under 70%, you’re probably in trouble anyway.

Look, this is a cutting-edge feature for a wearable, but I’m sorry, this is not a breakthrough fitness tool. Unless you plan to climb Kilimanjaro or are particularly granular about your body’s response to exercise, the oxygen sensor is a toy and nothing more.

If you doubt that, think how many times in your life you’ve asked yourself this, “I wonder what my current oxygen levels are?” Admit it, you’ve never asked that.

Verdict – Almost WTF!

Time to put the cards on the table. I have been dismissive of the Apple Watch Series 6 in this article, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad device. In fact, it is an awesome wearable in the same way all previous Watch generations have been. The problem is, I currently have a Series 5 on my wrist.

For anybody who bought last year’s generation, upgrading to the Series 6 is a waste of time and money. None of the new features are must-haves, unless you really love red or blue, or you demand the latest and greatest tech. I repeat, if you already have the Series 5, ignore the Series 6 and wait for the next model in 2021.

If you do not have last year’s Apple Watch Series 5, then the Series 6 becomes an easier sell. If you have an iPhone and want a wearable, it is simply a no brainer. Apple’s device remains the best smartwatch on the market, and by some distance. 

Apple’s New iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus & Apple Watch 2 Unveiled Today – Live Stream Here

Apple fans? The time has finally come. Apple is unveiling their new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2. This September 2016 launch comes as one of the biggest events on the technology calendar for this year.

The event which has already begun has already showed us new developments that we will all be able to take advantage of including Pokémon go on our Apple Watch, a “swim proof” Apple Watch 2, and a Super Mario game being added to the app store.

Leading up to the release, it has been rumored that the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will have no headphone jacks for wireless or Lightning port headphones, a pressure sensitive home button, dual-camera lens for the iPhone 7 Plus, and a faster processor with a new chip – the A10.

You can watch the live stream below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFn2dmG9IyU[/youtube]

Apple Looking To Cast Reality TV Show Called ‘Planet of the Apps’

Recently, Apple announced that they will be casting their own reality show called ‘Planet of the Apps’. According to their announcement, the show aims to strengthen their original content offerings. In the show we will see different up-and-coming developers and their creations being featured.

Some of the things they will find themselves doing include being inspired by others in the field, selling their apps to venture capitalists for funding, and dealing with problems such as scale, distribution and marketing. Overall, the reality show will give the participates the opportunity to experience working in The Valley without having to actually go through establishing a business for themselves.

Throughout the show, the developers will offer “hands-on guidance from some of the most influential experts in the tech community.”

The mentors of the show are actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, musician and Intel’s Director of Creative Innovation Will.iam, and VaynerMedia (and speaker at TNW’s ‘Momentum‘ conference) Gary Vaynerchuk. It was also recently confirmed that actress and owner of The Honesty Company, Jessica Alba, will also be a mentor on the program.

It is scheduled to air on Apple Music. The date has yet to be revealed.

10 Times Apple’s ‘Siri’ Gave A Better Answer Than Your Friend Ever Would

While virtual personal assistants might also be getting smarter, they seem to be getting a little too smart as some times they will provide you with a somewhat witty answer. Earlier, the internet went haywire when they discovered that how the Apple iPhone and iPad virtual assistant called Siri answered the question “what is 0 ÷ 0?”. Here’s the chance to hear what the reply was if you missed it. It said: “Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.”

In a quest to show us how fun Siri can be, Business Insider collected some of the best Siri responses to date to share them with us. You can check out some of them below.

 

1. “Siri I’m Sad”

 

2. “Siri Will You Talk Dirty To Me”

 

3. “What is the meaning of life?”

 

4. “OK Google”

 

5. “Can You Dance?”

 

6. “Siri, Tell Me A Story”

 

7. “Siri, What Is Inception About?”

 

8. “Siri, Do You Have A Boyfriend?”

 

9. “What Cellphone Is The Best?”

 

10. “What Does The Fox Say?”

iPhone 6 Remains Indestructible Under “Extreme Tests”

It’s not everyday that you wake up to someone attempting to deliberately destroy a phone without reaping the rewards.  Many of us have destroyed gadgets with ease either accidentally or intentionally. However, some will testify that the Nokia 3310 is a different “breed” altogether with its resistance earning it the moniker “the invincible” but can the iPhone 6 enjoy such fame?  Popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee got hold of what appeared to be the screen and front plate of the forth coming iPhone 6 and subjected it to variety of extreme stress tests. The new screen which appears on the upcoming phone is made from scratch resistant sapphire glass. It simply means that your typical everyday mishandling of the phone will not do.

 

In a video posted on Marques’ Channel he apparently stood on the screen, bent it and stabbed it with keys. The results were astonishing with not one single scratch found in sight. Whilst many are sceptical about the actual legitimacy of the supposed iPhone 6 screen which appeared in the YouTuber’s video he provided only one short explanation “It’s 2014, everything leaks”, apparently they do.

 

It is worth noting that while the screen was able to withstand all the disaster, the smart phone as a complete assembly may not be so fortunate. The additional components and reduced flexibility will only increase its vulnerability. The iPhone 6 is scheduled for unveiling on September 19 with sales expected to begin a week later.

“Loch Ness Monster” Found Using Apple’s Siri Technology

The Loch Ness Moster is a legendary creature supposedly occupying the waters off the coast of Scotland for centuries. In fact, the Loch Ness Monster is thought to be discovered in the 6th century and its popularity rose significantly  in the earlier part of the 20th century.

There has never been any conclusive evidence to suggests the creature  exists and as such it as been written off as a “myth” by the scientific community. However, all that looks to change or at least stir up a debate as a group of Loch Ness enthusiasts claimed they saw the creature via satellite images courtesy of Apple Maps.

Members of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club believe they have the most damning evidence yet to prove that “Nessie” exists after mulling over the image for the past six months.

 

The exuberant spotters beaming with excitement stated that the creature in the low resolution image has to be “Nessie”.

“We’ve been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is,” said Gary Campbell, president of the club, to the Daily Mail. “It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here.”

 

 

Campbell told ABC News that the group submitted the image to Scottish Canals, the government that manages the country’s inland waterways.  The agency was not able to confirm the creature’s existence.

Nobody has been able to explain what it is,” Campbell told ABC. “It’s pretty large, so it’s not a seal or an otter. It’s also not a whale or basking shark as some people claim, because they wouldn’t go in fresh water.”

Mike West of metabunk.org, a site devoted to investigating and debunking mysteries of this nature believes that the image is a boat wake and insists the lack of clarity stems from the low contrasts found in the Apple Maps image.

It seems even with technology centuries after the creature was allegedly sighted that we are no closer to confirming its existence.

 

Top 10 Ways Steve Jobs Changed The World

Science and technology were quite distant from the consumer before Steve Jobs came into play. The guy co-founded Apple Inc. and brought more than just a name to the table. Apple has been able to change the direction of world more than once. He truly brought the technology to the doorstep of people and his death has left a hole that we might not be able to fill in decades. We have compiled a list of top 10 changes that he brought to this world and improved our lives!

10. Apple Inc.

In 1997, Steve Jobs rebuilt Apple with the purpose of leaving technology beasts behind in the race. Apple has a new HQ which has been built on- are you ready- a 2.8 million square foot area which houses 300,000 feet worth research facilities and an auditorium that can provide sitting for 1,000 people, a decent power plant and underground parking. The idea was to build the best office building in the world.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ6B_NFWNnc[/youtube]

 

9. Apple Stores

The idea of Apple store had to face quite a bit of criticism at first in the days when it was introduced and restricted to Tyson’s corner. However, within a decade, three hundred and forty five stores have been opened and this is something what other companies now opt to do as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLTNfIaL5YI[/youtube]

 

8. The Mac OS X

Welcome to the operating system that challenged both Windows and Linux, big players of the game. Jobs wanted the Mac OSX to be simpler and safer than what the users had available for them previously and most of the software was inspired from Steve’s work at NeXT.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcFD_Gj7yKA[/youtube]

iPhone 5 Black Diamond Edition Now Available For $15 Million

Today we bring to you the world’s most expensive iPhone! An England based luxury goods company, Stuart Hughes, has produced the most elegant and expensive iPhone by topping it up with world’s finest diamonds and gold. This eye catching iPhone features a spotless 26-carat black deep cut diamond. Only the ultra rich people can afford this dream as the phone is embedded with 600 flawless white diamonds. The expensively dressed solid gold housing catches the viewers attention. At the back of this high class iPhone, the Apple logo is made with gold and 53 smoothly ingrained diamonds.

The front carries a 26-carat black diamond on the home button. All these luxuries bring a huge price tag of $15 Million along with them. The phone is currently on sale at company’s official website. Since its not affordable for most of the people so those who still want to enjoy this golden iPhone can buy 24 carat gold iPhone 5 cases for a starting price of $4,000 and rose gold version casing for $5,300.