How To

Can Popping a Wheelie Land You in Jail?

Can Popping a Wheelie Land You in Jail?

You’re riding down the open road on your Ducati and that feeling overcomes you. You want to open the throttle and pop a wheelie. There’s no reason for it, except maybe it makes you feel a little like Evel Knievel. And you’ll look cool, even if nobody’s around to see it. But what if there was? Could you get in trouble for popping that wheelie?

Even if the word “wheelie” never appears in your state’s riding and driving laws, you likely could get ticketed and fined if you’re caught performing this maneuver on the open road. That’s because in general, police officers are given a certain amount of discretion to cite people for dangerous behavior. (More on that in a moment.)

You pull off a wheelie — when the front wheel of a motorcycle lifts off the ground — by revving the throttle when the clutch is slipping. In most cases, riders perform them deliberately and publicly to show off. However, throttle and clutch control are different on every bike, so it’s possible to pop a wheelie accidentally, especially if you’re an inexperienced biker, or riding a bike that’s more powerful than what you’re used to. It’s unlikely that the cops will buy this as a defense, though.

But when it comes to official regulations banning wheelies, only a few states currently have laws on the books. But laws change all the time. Illinois passed a law banning wheelies Jan. 1, 2013. The first offense is a small fine of $100; the second and third offenses have much steeper penalties ($1,500 and $2,500) plus up to six months and a year in jail, respectively. The Illinois law also bans other stunts, such as standing on the motorcycle, sitting anywhere other than on the seat and riding hands-free. Maine is another state that has an anti-wheelie law on the books.

Some states also refer to wheelies as “stunting.” While a motorcyclist might insist they’re perfectly safe performing a wheelie, much of the driving public may disagree. At the very least, it’s extremely distracting to other motorists and leaves the biker unable to brake or swerve around road hazards.

It’s difficult to come up with an exhaustive list of laws, since the language varies from state to state. However, in most remaining states, it is not explicitly illegal to perform a wheelie, though that does not mean that it’s legal. If a police officer sees a bike rider lift his front wheel off the ground, that officer has the discretion to pull him over for negligent or reckless driving, just like if he was driving recklessly in a car.

In general, your best bet is to avoid performing stunts like wheelies on public roads, whether or not the stunt in question is specifically banned by law.

Published at Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:48:47 +0000

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IBM Just Unveiled Its Own Bespoke Typeface

IBM Just Unveiled Its Own Bespoke Typeface

Back in 1961, technology giant IBM launched an innovative electric typewriter called the Selectric, which was incredibly cool for its time, and not just because it had a sleek, boxy curvilinear design that was available in a variety of colors. Inside, the Selectric replaced the traditional mechanical type bars and movable cartridges with a golf ball-shaped element that spun to imprint various letters and characters on paper. And the ball was replaceable, which enabled typists to easily change typefaces by pulling it out and popping in a different one.

That was the start of an age in which ordinary people could experiment with expressing themselves through typefaces, something we now take for granted thanks to personal computers. Today, Microsoft Word 2016 offers the choice of nearly 190, according to one user who laboriously transcribed this list from the drop-down box.

Oddly, though, IBM itself stuck for years to using a commonplace typeface called Helvetica Neue, instead of creating a custom-designed typeface of the sort that companies — from GE to Apple to Google — often use these days as part of their branding. (Here’s a recent article from marketing and advertising industry publication Campaign US on the bespoke typeface phenomenon.)

But now, IBM is joining the corporate bespoke typeface club as well. After a two-year development process involving a team of designers, IBM recently unveiled its new corporate typeface, IBM Plex, which it says “should be used by IBMers for all typographical situations” from here on out. Moreover, IBM is making the typeface available as open-source, so that font fanciers everywhere can download it.

Already, IBM Plex has garnered a positive review from news website Quartz, which called it “a graceful hybrid of blocky, engineered shapes with natural gestures from handwriting.” But besides being distinctively stylish, Co.Design reports that IBM Plex is designed to be legible and easily readable in long, dense digital documents, even on a small mobile phone screen.

From IBM, here’s a video on the creation of IBM Plex and the thinking behind it.

Published at Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:30:03 +0000

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How to Access AirDrop on iOS 11 Control Center

How to Access AirDrop on iOS 11 Control Center

Using AirDrop in iOS 11 Control Center

You might be wondering where AirDrop went in iOS 11 Control Center, and you’re probably not alone. AirDrop allows for rapid wireless transfer of pictures and files between iOS devices or Macs, and is one of the more convenient features available on the Apple platforms. Many users quickly enable and access AirDrop through Control Center on their iPhone or iPad, but with iOS 11 you may have noticed that AirDrop is no longer in Control Center… at least initially. While it may be hidden now, enabling AirDrop is still possible from Control Center for iOS 11 on iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and all other iPhone models, as well as cellular iPad devices. Once you learn how to access it you’ll discover toggling AirDrop from Control Center is otherwise just as easy to enable or disable as before.


Note that while AirDrop is hidden in Control Center on iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 11, AirDrop is always visible in the Control Center of non-cellular iPad with iOS 11. This has led some users to think AirDrop is no longer supported or possible on their iPhone models, but it it is, it’s just hidden behind another setting now. Why is AirDrop hidden? Most likely that is because of space constraints on the smaller iPhone screen. Thus, this tip applies mostly to iPhone, cellular iPad models, and iPod Touch users, since AirDrop is easier to find on iPad Control Center.

How to Access AirDrop in Control Center for iOS 11

For iPhone, cellular iPad, and iPod Touch, here’s how you can access and enable or disable AirDrop from Control Center:

  1. Swipe to open Control Center on the iPhone as usual
  2. Hard press (3D Touch)* on the networking square of Control Center, this is where you see the buttons for Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular
  3. Hard press the networking section of Control Center to access AirDrop in iOS 11

  4. An expanded networking control panel will appear on screen in Control Center, revealing AirDrop
  5. Now tap the AirDrop button
  6. Tap on the AirDrop button in expanded Control Center of iOS 11

  7. Choose your AirDrop setting as usual:
    • Receiving Off – turns off AirDrop receiving on the iPhone
    • Contacts only – enables AirDrop only for people on your Contacts list
    • Everyone – turns on AirDrop receiving from anyone within proximity of AirDrop

    Choose your AirDrop setting in iOS 11 Control Center

  8. Swipe out of Control Center as usual with your new AirDrop setting in place

* The 3D Touch is necessary for iPhone models that support the pressure sensitive touching on screen, whereas models without 3D Touch will require a long press to access the networking Control Center options instead.

That’s it, now you can use AirDrop as you normally would.

There are many ways to use AirDrop to send and receive files, in between iOS devices, AirDrop from Mac to iOS, and iOS to Mac. It’s probably the easiest way to send and receive files between other users on an Apple device.

The above approach applies to iPad cellular models as well, but note that with non-cellular iPad devices the AirDrop setting is always visible because the cellular toggle isn’t there in Control Center.

AirDrop visible in Control Center for iPad in iOS 11

How to Enable or Disable AirDrop in iOS 11 via Settings

If using 3D Touch or a long press on the networking section of Control Center is too cumbersome, then recall that you can always enable or disable AirDrop from the Settings app of iOS as well, and this applies to all devices, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iOS
  2. Tap on “General” then go to “AirDrop”
  3. Choose your AirDrop setting:
    • Receiving Off
    • Contacts Only
    • Everyone
  4. Exit Settings with the AirDrop preference set

Whether you toggle AirDrop from Settings or Control Center does not matter, the end result is the same and it’s either enabled or disabled.

That should help to answer some of the questions out there about using and accessing AirDrop in iOS 11. Perhaps in future versions of iOS users will have a choice to have a dedicated AirDrop toggle immediately available in Control Center, like it used to be in prior versions of the system software. In the meantime, just remember to hard-press the networking square of Control Center to find AirDrop settings.

AirDrop is a great feature for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, you can find more AirDrop tips here if interested.

Published at Sat, 18 Nov 2017 19:34:29 +0000

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Download iOS 11.1.2 Update with Bug Fixes for iPhone X [IPSW Links]

Download iOS 11.1.2 Update with Bug Fixes for iPhone X [IPSW Links]

iOS 11.1.2 Update

Apple has released iOS 11.1.2 for iPhone and iPad users. The small point release software update appears to primarily focus on solving two particular issues with iPhone X, including a problem where the iPhone X screen becomes unresponsive in cold weather, and with distorted video capture on iPhone X.

Despite the software update release notes primarily mentioning iPhone X, iOS 11.1.2 is available for other devices as well. You can find IPSW download links below, along with the release notes of the update.

Update to iOS 11.1.2

The easiest way to update to iOS 11.1.2 is through the Software Update mechanism on the iPhone or iPad. Always backup an iPhone or iPad before installing any system software update.

  1. Open the “Settings” app and go to “General” and then to Software Update”
  2. When iOS 11.1.2 appears, choose to “Download and Install”

iOS 11.1.2 software update

The update is about 32mb for iPad devices, and 60mb for iPhone X.

You can also update an iOS device by connecting the iPhone or iPad to a computer running a modern version of iTunes, and then choosing to install the software update when it becomes visible in iTunes.

iOS 11.1.2 IPSW Firmware Direct Download Links

Users can choose to download IPSW firmware files for their devices and update manually through iTunes if interested. This is generally considered more advanced, but you can learn about using IPSW files here if need be.

iOS 11.1.2 Release Notes

Notes accompanying the download for iOS 11.1.2 are as follows:

iOS 11.1.2 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update:

-Fixes an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop

– Addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Presumably the software update includes bug fixes or security enhancements for other devices as well, otherwise it’s a bit of a mystery why iPhone X specific updates would arrive for iPad users and other iPhone models too.

Published at Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:55:33 +0000

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How to Force Restart iPhone X

How to Force Restart iPhone X

How to Force Reboot iPhone X

If you need to force restart an iPhone X you will need to learn a new method, because Apple has changed how you force reboot iPhone X compared to prior iPhone models. This is partially because the iPhone X no longer has a Home button, so the longstanding method of forced rebooting is no longer possible with iPhone X.

Now with iPhone X, you will force restart the device by using a series of button presses instead. This tutorial will detail exactly how you can initiate a forced restart, sometimes called a hard reboot, of iPhone X.


The sequence is a little strange at first mostly because it’s different, breaking the habit you may have developed with force rebooting earlier iOS devices, but once you get the hang of it you will be able to force restart iPhone X almost as quickly as you could earlier devices. You’ll also need to be sure you press the buttons in the proper order as described, otherwise the iPhone X will not force restart.

How to Force Reboot iPhone X

You must press the buttons in sequential order for iPhone X to force restart, the first two buttons are pressed and then released, and the final button is held until the force reboot occurs. Here’s how it works:

  1. Press Volume Up, then release
  2. Press Volume Down, then release
  3. Press and hold the Power / Lock button on the right side of iPhone X
  4. Continue to hold the Power / Lock / Side button until the  Apple logo appears on screen of iPhone X

How to force restart iPhone X in three steps

It may feel like it takes a while to see the  Apple logo appear on screen, but once you do see it you will know you have successfully forced the iPhone X to restart.

Remember, you must follow the proper order of pressing the buttons to force reboot iPhone X, if it fails then just start over and try again.

If you try and press the buttons concurrently you’ll likely either take a screenshot on iPhone X or initiate the Emergency Calling feature, neither of which you are likely trying to do if you simply want to force the iPhone to restart. The proper way is: Up, Down, hold Power.

This is yet another evolving change in the iOS world, but it turns out that force restarting iPhone X with the new button sequence is actually also how you force reboot an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, though it is different from force restarting iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which is also different from forcibly rebooting iPhone 6s, 6, 5, 4, and iPad models with clickable Home buttons. With the steps changing on several occasions, perhaps we’ll see another change with forced restarts on iOS devices down the road, time will tell.

Force restarting iPhone X

Oh and by the way, you can also preform a regular reboot of iPhone X by simply turning it off and back on again. You can do that with the Power/Volume button press, or with the method that works on all modern iOS versions by turning off the iPhone or iPad via Settings, without using the Power button and then simply turning it back on again.

Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:41:45 +0000

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Virtual Reality Helps Distract Kids from Painful Medical Procedures

Virtual Reality Helps Distract Kids from Painful Medical Procedures

Tell a child they need to undergo another painful medical procedure, and you’ll probably have a kid who’s racked with fear and anxiety. Tell that same child they’ll have a chance to zap flying cheeseburgers in outer space while their doctor works on them, and they might feel a little different.

That night-and-day difference in how kids respond to the pricks and prodding of their doctors is the reason for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford’s groundbreaking use of virtual reality technology. As one of the first hospitals in the country to implement distraction-based VR therapy in every patient unit, Packard Children’s lets kids participate in fun and relaxing immersive experiences that can significantly reduce their anxiety — and even their pain.

Experts have already found virtual reality has a major impact on kids’ stress levels. “VR is often so unfamiliar that it is instantly engaging and incredibly distracting,” Veronica Tuss, a child life specialist with the hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Department, told Stanford Medicine News Center. “If I’m preparing a child for their very first IV, and they share with me that they don’t want to see what’s happening procedurally, I know I need a distraction that is visually engaging. With VR, an often-intimidating setting suddenly becomes this really cool thing or place that they get to explore. It can minimize the experience of getting the IV to the point that we may actually turn a negative experience into a positive one.”

This isn’t the first time Packard Children’s has introduced innovative methods to ease patients’ worries. In 2015, Sam Rodriguez, M.D., and Thomas Caruso, M.D., the co-founders of Packard Children’s Childhood Anxiety Reduction through Innovation and Technology (CHARIOT) program, which is leading the VR rollout, introduced the Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theater (BERT). The system projects videos on a large screen attached to patients’ gurneys so they can watch movies and music videos all the way to the operating room. Pretty cool stuff.

And in early 2017, CHARIOT launched an interactive video game called Sevo the Dragon, which projects on the BERT screen and gamifies the administration of anesthesia, so the tiniest patients have something fun to do while breathing medicine through a mask.

Caruso and Rodriguez are currently collaborating with Silicon Valley-based software engineers to create original VR content that’s specifically tailored to pediatric patients. Spaceburgers, the duo’s first game, was developed in collaboration with Juno VR, and it allows the kids to listen to relaxing music as they fly through outer space and zap objects.

Researchers are now investigating how much of an impact VR actually has on pain and anxiety levels during certain procedures, and so far, the results are promising. Kids who are engaged with VR tend to be more cooperative, less fearful and experience less pain during procedures like blood draws.

VR distraction therapy is being used for kids at Packard Children’s as young as age 6 in specific areas like the emergency department, but the tool will be rolled out to all of the hospital’s acute care floor units and Stanford Children’s Health’s ambulatory surgery clinics by the end of 2017, and it will even make a debut in the labor and delivery unit.

“Children shouldn’t grow up being afraid to go to the doctor to have a shot, but certain experiences can cause phobias that last into adulthood. Needle phobia is a common example of that, and it’s the primary reason adults avoid important immunizations like flu shots,” Caruso told Stanford Medicine News Center. “Now, when patients get a shot while they are wearing VR goggles, they are reporting only limited levels of pain, if any.”

Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:53:15 +0000

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What Will Replace the Smartphone?

What Will Replace the Smartphone?

Today, nearly eight in 10 Americans own a smartphone, and we’ve become accustomed to using them for everything from listening to music, taking pictures, reading news and posting on social media to shopping and making financial transactions. For many people, smartphones have taken the place of once common everyday implements like tape measures, flashlights and wristwatches.

Smartphones have transformed everyday life so much that it’s easy to forget that they only became popular a little more than 10 years ago. That’s when Apple released the iPhone, which combined mobile internet access and computing power with a multi-touch screen interface, making it possible to do pretty much everything by tapping, flicking and pinching with your thumb and forefinger. A recent survey found that smartphone users now spend about five hours a day using their devices, which is why it’s tough to walk down a crowded sidewalk in any major city without bumping into someone fixated upon his or her smartphone screen.

But with technological progress moving at broadband speed these days, it’s strange to think that the smartphone as we know it has a limited life expectancy. A 2015 survey of smartphone users across the world by Swedish communications technology and services company Ericsson found that one in two expected that the smartphone would become obsolete by 2020.

Which leads to the big question: What’s going to replace the smartphone? Prognosticators predict that advances in technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and wearable electronics will spawn a new generation of devices that could change our everyday existence even more than the smartphone did.

“The transition we’re about to experience is that we’re going to go from accessing the internet to living in the internet,” explains Jack Uldrich, a futurist, author and speaker who helps businesspeople figure out how to understand and benefit from emerging trends.

We don’t yet have a suitably zeitgeist-y name for those gadgets, but it’s a pretty safe bet that they won’t be palm-sized rectangles with glass screens — or any screen at all, for that matter. And they may not even be a single gadget. Brad Berens, chief strategy officer for the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, predicts that the smartphone will give way to personal area networks — clusters of tiny gadgets concealed in beads in a necklace, or built into eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Such devices will use VR and AR to project information into our field of vision, eliminating the need for a screen. And just as we control apps on today’s smartphones by moving our fingers, we’ll be able to manipulate our next-generation personal area networks through voice commands or by gesturing in the air — perhaps with the help of haptic technology that simulates the sensory feedback of touching actual objects. Typing may not ever become a completely extinct skill, but it may someday become as rare as, say, someone who writes in elegant longhand with a fountain pen.

“Just as I can’t type as fast as my kids, they won’t be able to do the haptic gestures of the future as fast as the kindergarteners of today eventually will be able to do,” Uldrich says.

Next Generation Intelligent Assistants

But increasingly, we won’t have to input as much information as we once did, because next-generation intelligent assistants — imagine a vastly more intuitive version of Siri, Alexa or Cortana — will learn to figure out what we want to know or do, sometimes before we realize it ourselves. Uldrich predicts that in the near future, our personal gadgetry will study our eye movements in order to make predictions. “If we stare at something for two seconds, it will tell that we need more information about it,” he says.

Berens envisions that the intelligent assistants of the future continually will whisper in our ears and project messages that only we can see. That might help us in a lot of ways — if we encounter a person and can’t recall his or her name, for example, “It’s John Smith” may flash before our eyes to remind us.

It’s also conceivable that our future devices’ intelligent assistants eventually may interact with other intelligent assistants, possibly taking the place of some of our interaction with actual people. That’s a prospect that Berens finds both interesting and disturbing.

“We’ve already seen people using digital technologies to avoid directly interacting with some people while interacting more with other people,” he says. “On the bus or subway, people play with their phones or deal with far-flung people via social media rather than chat with the person next to them. Teenagers prefer texting to talking on the phone. Dating apps like Tinder make it easier to meet people without the awkward need to gather up your courage to approach a stranger.”

“Some of this is good, but it also means that people can increasingly live in their own little worlds, inside what author Eli Pariser has dubbed ‘filter bubbles,’ where you don’t need to recognize that there are other points of view about things,” Berens says.

But next-generation personal communication devices may also change us in other ways that we haven’t yet envisioned. As with the smartphone, we’ll have to start using them to find out.

Published at Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:22:07 +0000

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Why Does My Tire Pressure Light Come on When It's Cold?

Why Does My Tire Pressure Light Come on When It's Cold?

If your car is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), you’ve probably faced the dreaded “low tire pressure” warning light (usually a picture of a horseshoe with an exclamation point in the middle!) Often, drivers see a sudden uptick in notifications when the weather turns chilly. This annoying and often ill-timed occurrence may have you wondering, what gives? And do I need to go fill up my tires?

“For every 10-degree drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases 1-2 PSI,” emails Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. PSI stands for pounds per square inch, and is a common unit for measuring pressure. “Cold shrinks – warm expands, basically.  It’s typical at this time of year for motorists to get TPMS warnings and then get worried about their tires.” In this case, what’s shrinking is the volume of the air, thanks to the cold weather. Thus, less air equals less well-filled tires.

Just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean it’s one you should ignore. “Often people will see this [light] in the morning when it’s coldest. If the temperature warms, the light could turn off but it’s likely that tires will still be a few PSI underinflated,” White adds.

The TPMS constantly checks air pressure via small sensors inside of the tire’s air stems, explains Jason Lancaster, auto expert and founder of the site AccurateAutoAdvice.These systems, although well-intentioned, are not always totally accurate, and can be off by as much as 2 PSI, he says via email.

But though it can be tempting to ignore that blinking light and go on your merry way, he advises against it. “When you see the tire pressure warning, the best thing to do is a quick tire pressure check,” he says, noting that digital tire gauges are much more accurate than those found at many gas stations. “If your gauge says you’ve got 32 PSI in every tire (or you’re within 1 PSI of that number), you can ignore the light. Having said that, it’s foolish to ignore the light if you haven’t checked the tire pressure. You might very well have a tire with a hole in it, so it’s always smart to check.”

If you add air and the problem persists, go to a mechanic or tire shop for recalibration. And check your tires monthly to maximize tire health and spot problems early. The best time to do this is in the morning or when your vehicle hasn’t been driven in several hours. The tires should be “cold” to give the most accurate reading. Not sure how to check tire pressure? Visit the DMV’s step-by-step guide.

If you want to prevent the light’s appearance in the first place, Lancaster says there are a couple of things you can do:

  • You can overinflate your tires by 2 or 3 PSI, for instance, to 35 PSI, instead of the recommended 32 PSI. “The downside to overinflation like this is that your tires will wear a little faster — and your car will ride a little rougher — but the difference is negligible. Personally, this is my solution to this problem,” he says.
  • You can also inflate your tires with nitrogen instead of regular old air. “Nitrogen doesn’t expand or contract as readily as normal air, and the nitrogen machines also ‘dry’ the nitrogen so there’s no water vapor inside the tire. It’s the water vapor that causes the big pressure drops,” Lancaster says. “Most tire shops offer nitrogen inflation during install, so you have to opt for it at the time you buy.”

Published at Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:59:00 +0000

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