Sony's Special 40th Anniversary Edition Walkman Does Everything But Play Cassettes

Sony
Sony

The Sony Walkman is turning 40 this year, and while Sony has come a long way since the 1970s, it's not forgetting the product that helped make it famous. Earlier this year, the company celebrated the invention with a retrospective exhibition in Tokyo. Now, as Gizmodo reports, they're releasing a new version of the original Walkman for 2019.

Sony’s NW-A100TPS shares the same design as the 1979 cassette player, but the major difference is that this one doesn't play cassette tapes. Instead, the 16GB device plays music through Wi-Fi and Android apps. And the 3.6-inch strip of glass on the front isn't a window panel: It's actually a tiny touchscreen you can use to control your tunes. While you're listening to music, the screensaver shows an animation of a cassette tape in motion just like you'd see in an old-school Walkman.

The gadget has at least one retro feature leftover from the Walkman's reign—or from three years ago. There's still a headphone jack, so you can hook it up to your over-the-ear headphones and rock out on the go like it's the 1980s. Though if you feel the wire isn't worth the nostalgia, the music player also connects to Bluetooth.

Getting modern technology with a vintage vibe will cost you. Starting in December, Sony will sell the NW-A100TPS for $599 in Australia and €440/£400 in Europe. That comes out to somewhere between $400 and $500, which is multiple times the original $150 price tag from 1979. There's no word yet on when or if the device will be available to American consumers.

This isn't the first time the Walkman has made a modern (and expensive) comeback. In 2016, Sony sold a gold-plated Walkman MP3 player for $3680.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Stuck in a Never-Ending Group Chat? Here's How to Stop It

grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images
grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images

The more contacts on your phone, the more likely you will be periodically pulled into the dreaded group chat—a meandering, pestering chain of communication on apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that keeps your cell in a constant state of alert. While some group chats start out informative, they can quickly devolve in utter banality. (One warning sign: a funny nickname for the chat.) How can one free themselves from this chorus and get on with their lives?

David Nield at Gizmodo recently broke down the steps you can take to pull yourself free, though it depends on which chat app you’re using. If it’s WhatsApp, for example, you can go to Settings, Account, Privacy, Groups, and then set who can add you to a group chat. That way, only people in your inner circle can loop you in. If someone who isn't on your approved list adds you to a chat, you'll get a direct message inviting you to join, which you can accept or ignore. If you’re already in group chat hell, WhatsApp will allow you to mute notifications by tapping on the Menu button and selecting Mute Notifications.

Facebook Messenger doesn’t allow you to pre-emptively opt out, but you can exit existing group chats by tapping “i” inside the thread and selecting “Leave Group” in Android or tapping the chat thread and clicking “Leave Group” in iOS.

The same is true of Apple’s iMessenger—you can’t insulate yourself from chats. Once it starts, though, you can leave by tapping the top of the conversation, selecting “i,” and selecting either Hide Alerts (which mutes the chat) or Leave This Conversation. If people in the chat are using SMS, the messages will still come through, however. They have to be either muted or removed from your phone and life entirely.

For tips on how to deal with group chat pain on Twitter and other platforms, head over to Gizmodo.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Veterans Can Now Access Their Health Records Through Apple’s Health App

SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images
SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images

Apple’s iOS Health app is great for more than just checking how many steps you took during a lengthy walk in the park—it also stores health records from Johns Hopkins, Quest Diagnostics, Allscripts, and more than 400 other healthcare organizations.

Now, Fortune reports that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has joined that list, making it easier than ever for military veterans who receive healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration to access all of their health records, including medications, immunizations, lab results, and other information. In the press release, Apple explains that the app will automatically update the records, so all veterans need to do is log into their providers’s patient portals through the Health app for a “single, integrated snapshot of their health profile whenever they want, quickly, and privately.”

apple VA health app screenshot
Apple

Though the official announcement coincides nicely with Veterans Day on Monday, the change itself has been in the works for several months—the VA released the new feature to certain patients over the summer.

According to its website, the Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country, servicing more than 9 million patients across 1255 healthcare facilities. With such an expansive network, any successful attempt to streamline processes and improve the flow of information—especially when it comes to sensitive, personal data—has the potential to be a major game-changer for veterans.

apple VA health app screenshot
Apple

“Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in the press release. “By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their healthcare is in good hands.”

Wondering what you can do to help veterans? Here are 11 honorable ideas.

[h/t Fortune]

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