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Apple iOS 12 update will include precise location data if you call 911

When you’re in a tight spot

You’re in trouble, and all you’ve got is your mobile phone. Who ya gonna call? 9-1-1 of course, but since you’re on foot, or in a car or otherwise mobile, you’ll need to spend precious time telling the dispatcher where exactly you are – if you even KNOW where you are.

Apple says that the iOS 12 update due later this year will include tech that will closely pinpoint your location for emergency services — while maintaining your privacy. 911 systems are still largely skewed to showing where is call is coming from when it’s placed from a landline – remember those? But 4 out of 5 911 calls now come from cell phones, and operators sometimes can’t tell where the call is coming from. Apple says the inclusion of technology from the RapidSOS company will exceed the mobile phone location accuracy 9-1-1 centers are mandated to have implemented by 2021, and likely by the end of this year when the update rolls out.

More video on the grid

Microsoft’s latest shopping spree continues with the acquisition of Flipgrid, a video discussion platform that you’re probably familiar with if you have kids, as it’s used widely in school systems around the world. It’s sort of like YouTube, if YouTube would let you post comments on videos as… videos.

The platform is mainly used to teach students (and likely a lot of teachers) how to create quality video content. Flipgrid had been a paid service, but Microsoft says it will now be free and subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund. Generous, sure, but it’s also a business maneuver as Microsoft works to get Windows PCs and the Windows OS back in front of students and teachers, who have migrated to Chromebooks and the Google Chrome OS over the past several years. Redmond says Flipgrid will retain its current staff and leadership but that with their substantial resources, they will work to grow the platform beyond the current 20 million users.

Old wheels, new tunes

Got an older car or truck that maybe has a CD player or even a tape deck in it, and you’d like to upgrade to something a bit more modern? DT Audio and Video reviewer Ryan Waniata just hooked up with Pioneer to reskin the audio system in his trusty Honda CRV, without breaking the bank or shredding the interior.

He went from the stock – and ancient – stereo to a flashy Pioneer NEX touchscreen head unit (including a backup camera), and then replaced the stock speakers something more musical, including adding small tweeters in the doors and a slim, low-profile sub behind the seats that brings just enough punch without shaking the lugnuts off. Check out the story at the link just above.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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