Apple’s Emergency SOS feature has led to a lot of accidental 911 calls

Apple devices at its Elk Grove refurbishing center have been accidentally calling 911, flooding emergency dispatchers with unsolicited calls. According to CBS Sacramento, dispatchers for the Elk Grove Police have received an average of 20 calls per day and a total of over 1,600 calls since October. Sacramento County Sheriff Department Communication Center says it too has received these calls, claiming 47 of them have come since January 1.

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Roundabout Spiralling onto PS4 and PS Vita with Cross-Buy

Roundabout is a crazy, silly, stupid game. Complete with full motion video cutscenes, horrific cheeseball acting, ridiculous arcade game and equally absurd background music, this effort is a child only a mother could love.

And by “mother,” we mean specific slice of gamer with a love for all things wacky. Good thing I fall into that category.

Roundabout is already on Steam for $14.99, and it sports overwhelmingly positive reviews from that community. Now it’s bound for the PlayStation family with PS4 and PS Vita releases. Even better, the game falls into the Cross-Buy club and will be available on both systems for a single purchase.

Fancy that.

There’s a PlayStation announcement trailer at the head of this post, complete with all the cheese you can handle. If this sort of goofy seems like something you can love, give it a shot. Roundabout is genuinely fun.

 

Apple and Barclays Launch a Visa Rewards Card with Apple Store Credit

Apple and Barclays are teaming up again for a new Visa rewards cards. Unlike previous cards that offered iTunes rewards, this one will help you pay for Apple Store purchases while also adding Chip-and-PIN support and new financing options.

Once you apply for a card you should hear back almost instantly from Barclays, and if you’re approved you’ll receive it in the mail within 7-10 business days. From there you can use it like any other credit card, though you’ll get the most rewards when you shop with Apple.

Each dollar you spend at the Apple Store either online or in person will earn you three points, while money spent at a restaurant earns two points per dollar, and other purchases come to one point per dollar spent. Once you rack up 2,500 points you’ll get a $25 Apple Store gift card.

The other advantage to Apple’s Visa rewards card is that you won’t have to pay any interest as long as you cover all your purchases in time. With the new card you’ll have six months to cover purchases under $498, 12 months if you spend between $499 and $998, and 18 months if you spend $999 and over.

If you’re interested, hit the Apple link below to apply now, or check out Barclay’s site for even more information on the new rewards card.

SOURCE APPLE, BARCLAYS

Astronauts Deal With Some Tough After Effects When Returning to Earth

Acclimating to Earth’s gravity, after months on the ISS, is an arduous journey. It’s not like simply recovering from a hard workout; you can’t sleep it off. In fact, long-term affects when returning home include shrinking muscle mass, decreased bone density and chronic vision issues—you even have to do things like relearn how to talk.

For someone like Chris Hadfield, who recently returned to Earth as part of the Expedition 35 crew, physical rehabilitation will last a few months.

“Right after I landed, I could feel the weight of my lips and tongue and I had to change how I was talking,” Hadfield said. “I hadn’t realized that I learned to talk with a weightless tongue.”

During Hadfield’s rehabilitation, NASA will begin recording data to help astronauts better cope with trips to space. Hadfield’s mission lasted five months—twelve month-long missions are currently being planned for 2015. Over the course of two months, Hadfield will endure simple balance tests, MRIs and optical coherence tomography checks.

To give you an idea of how difficult it is to assimilate to conditions on Earth, Hadfield had to wear a special G-suit just so blood pressure would go to his head. He can’t drive for 21 days, and the first few days after returning he had to sit down in the shower. Not the most glamourous of returns after being away for five months, but certainly a small price to pay as NASA continues to learn about the relationship between man and space.

 SPACE.COM

Netflix Changes Public API, Makes it Harder to See When Content Expires

Netflix has an ebb and flow that’s constantly purging and adding content. We saw it happen recently, and we’ll continue to see it throughout the months and years. When content is taken down, you used to be able to check sites such as Instantwatcher.com and see the exact date a movie like Big Daddy was no longer available. I say “used to” because Netflix changed its public API on Monday, making it much more difficult to see when something will expire.

Netflix explained the changes are a result of the often inaccurate API in the first place. But even though you won’t be able to check expiration dates through third-parties, Netflix still makes the information readily available in a movie or TV show’s title page. It’s not as convenient as seeing a nice curated list of what is and isn’t available, so the changes will likely miff a few people who relied on InstantWatcher and other third-party sites.

 NETFLIX  YAHOO

Samsung Runs Successful 5G Test, Projects Rollout by 2020

Samsung has crossed a major threshold in its work on 5G mobile technology, and while it’ll be some time before we can purchase it, this definitely means that development is on the right path.

According to a report from Yonhap News, Samsung has successfully tested a version of 5G cellular technology and experienced download speeds of 1Gbps on the 28 Gigahertz band . Before you go running to your carrier store to trade in your LTE-enabled phone, know that we’re still quite a ways off from this being available to consumers.

The technology is still in its infancy and it took 64 antenna elements to make it work. This leads to why Samsung said it will be 2020 before it can offer the technology to consumers.

While this is a major milestone in the eventual rollout of 5G, Samsung won’t be going it alone. Both the Chinese government and the European Union are said to be putting considerable funds into the development of the future technology with hopes of increasing the speeds everyone enjoys on their mobile devices.

Of course the idea that within seven or so years we will have access to 1Gbps speeds on our phones and tablets – and whatever other devices may arise – is mind boggling as various companies in the United States are just now rolling this out to homes.

 YONHAP NEWS

NASA Confirms the International Space Station is Leaking Coolant

Astronauts on Thursday noticed frozen ammonia flakes leaking from the International Space Station, though NASA said the issue poses no immediate threat to the crew. A lot can—and apparently will—go wrong when you’re thousands of miles from Earth, especially with such complicated systems involved. The coolant, which is used to cool down the ISS’s power systems on its right solar array panels, first began leaking back in 2007. But the issue was finally fixed—or so they thought—back in 2012.

“It is in the same area, but we don’t know whether it’s the same leak,” NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries of the Johnson Space Center in Houston said. Right now the issue hasn’t had a negative affect, but if left unfixed, the station could lose its ability to cool whichever solar array is leaking. Mission Control predicts the leaking loop to shut down within 24 hours should no action be taken. Potential fixes are currently being discussed.

One possible move could be to move the station’s robotic arm over to the station’s port truss. The first leak back in 2007 was traced back to Port 6 truss, NBCNews said. Interestingly, space station commander Chris Hadfield, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut, said the rate of the leak varies “depending on the orientation of the station to the sun.”

While the crew is in no imminent danger, three members—Chris Hadfield, Tom Marschburn and Roman Romanenko—are planned to depart the ISS on Monday, May 13. That leaves only three members onboard to address the problem. However, three new members are expected to launch to the ISS on May 28.

More information will be provided to the crew soon, hopefully pinpointing the leak’s exact origin.

 NBCNEWS

Minecraft for Xbox 360 Getting Physical Retail Edition

Minecraft has been selling like absolute gangbusters on the Xbox 360. It’s brought in millions for Microsoft, 4J Studios and Mojang.

In it’s current form, though, it’s only available as a digital download. However, that’s going to change at the end of April as Minecraft is getting a physical retail edition.

The news comes by way of PlayXBLA, the official Xbox LIVE Arcade blog. Here’s the skinny on what the retail version is:

This version of “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” will contain all the same features and content included in the current version, as well as the new additions coming soon in the ninth title update to the game.

The post goes on to indicate that the retail version will sell for $19.99, and it will be available in the US on April 30th, 2013.

Whether you’re a collector or you’ve never connected your Xbox 360 to the internet (those people exist, I promise), this version of Minecraft seems pretty neat.

 PLAYXBLA

Another iOS 6.1 Passcode Exploit Exposed

Not only have researchers discovered yet another iOS 6.1 passcode exploit, but they’ve found a way to dump a device’s data, too. After the lockscreen is bypassed, researchers say the vulnerable device can be plugged into a computer via USB and access data like voicemails, pictures, contacts, etc. The trick is actually similar to the previous one but, as the video shows, there are a few more hoops to jump through.

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AT&T CEO on Botched T-Mobile Deal: “We Didn’t Execute Well”

AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile in 2011 but the deal was ultimately denied by the FCC and the DoJ. AT&T USA CEO Randall Stepenson recently sat down with the Dean of the University of Colorado law school where he discussed the deal and hinted that, perhaps, it was AT&T’s fault that the government ultimately decided not to approve it.

“I wouldn’t say it was a bad decision,” Stephenson said. “But it was a decision that didn’t go the way I wanted. We didn’t execute well.” Stephenson didn’t dive much deeper than that, but AT&T decided to pull its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom after it was made pretty clear that the FCC would not approve the deal.

Sprint and several other U.S. carriers were in staunch opposition of the acquisition and feared it would give AT&T too much control over the market, cut jobs and more. AT&T always maintained that it would create jobs and would be good for the U.S wireless market.