Former Apple VP Scott Forstall Discussed Creativity, Apple TV, and Steve Jobs

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Former Apple software Vice President Scott Forstall has focussed on Broadway productions since leaving Silicon Valley. However, he does occasionally hark back to his time in tech. He did that in an October episode of the Philosophy Talk podcast,  the full video of which was posted on YouTube on Tuesday. The interview, noticed by 9to5Mac, gives a fascinating insight into creativity and working for Steve Jobs.  Mr. Forstall also discussed Apple TV, which he said came from somebody presenting him with the idea of a 10-ft user interface. It “was invented because someone was encouraged to do whatever they wanted for a month,” Mr. Forstall explained.

Changing its Mind, Roku Bans Alex Jones

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Doing the opposite of most major internet companies, Roku decided for a couple of hours it would allow Alex Jones on its platform.

Roku said, “While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel. We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint.”

If Roku was going to cave so quickly it shouldn’t have decided to let Alex Jones on in the first place. At least pretend to put up a fight for a couple more days.

Apple's Services Future. It's Going to Be Different.

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Apple’s growing services business, and its increasing openness to having its software on other people’s hardware, is one of the most fascinating stories in tech at the moment. Tech blogger turned venture capitalist M.G. Siegler has written an excellent summary of the situation on Medium. As he says, the future for the company “is going to be… different.”

Incidentally, it was a pod that really started to change the equation. The iPod. In order to reach a wider audience with that device, Apple had to do something that was seemingly against Steve Jobs’ DNA: make software for Windows. (Ice water! In Hell!) And the slope ultimately proved slippery, albeit in a slow way. Eventually, we got (and then lost) Safari for Windows. And in the more recent era, Apple Music for Android. And Alexa.

How to Understand Apple Watch Heart Rate Data

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Beth Skwarecki wrote a helpful article explaining how to understand Apple Watch heart rate data and what all the numbers mean.

Some major caveats on everything we’re about to say: first, everybody is different, so if your numbers are higher or lower than you’d expect, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with you. There’s a wide range of normal.

Capture Stunningly Smooth 360° 4K Footage with Insta360 ONE 4K Camera for iPhone: $239.99

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Insta360 ONE 4K Action Camera

Check out today’s deal for the Insta360 ONE 4K Action Camera, a 360 degree camera for your iPhone or iPad. It plugs into your Lightning port, though it can also be controlled via Bluetooth for Android, if that’s your thing. It boosts a 24 megapixel camera, and it supports video up to 4K. The promo video below has a good look at the device, and our deal listing has all the specs and details. It’s $239.99 through us.

Nike Launches Line of Self-Adjusting Basketball Shoes

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Nike launched a line of self-adjusting basketball shoes that you can control with your iPhone. They’re based on the company’s FitAdapt technology.

When a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug. The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.

These basketball shoes look slick.

Huawei CEO Said Firm Not a Spy for China

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Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei insisted his company does not spy on behalf of China. In a rare public appearance, reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Ren said: “I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests.” It comes as his daughter, the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, is fighting extradition to the U.S. after being arrested in Canada.

“No law requires any company in China to install mandatory back doors,” Ren Zhengfei said Tuesday. “I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests.” Mr. Ren’s public comments at Huawei’s campus are his first in years and come as the telecom giant faces challenges on multiple fronts.

 

Facebook to Invest $300 Million in Local News Initiatives

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Facebook announced that it will invest $300 million in local news organizations and initiatives over the next three years. It will put $20 of million of this towards its Facebook Accelerator program that helps publishers develop membership and subscription models. It will also invest $6 million for the UK based Community News Project, $5 million to the Pulitzer Center for its “Bringing Stories Home”  initiative, and $2 million for the Report in America initiative that aims to place journalists in local newsrooms. Techcrunch looked at what the money means both for Facebook and the media industry.

As for why Facebook is focusing on local news specifically, Vice President of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown said in a blog post that after examining “what kind of news people want to see on Facebook” and talking to industry partners, “We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support.”

 

Weed Influencers Online are Helping Firms Get Around Advertising Regulations

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Weed firms are using online influencers to get around rules that prohibit the marketing of cannabis, even in U.S. states where the drug is legal. These influencers tend to be young women, who post on Instagram and YouTube, according to a report in Wired. Content can range from confessional videos to product reviews. Even though YouTube said it prohibits content around regulated substances like marijuana and removes the videos when it discovers them, firms marketing the products are benefiting from the influencers’ work.

For marketing agencies and companies selling cannabis products, influencers have been a boon – a creative way to get around regulations, with the added impression of authenticity. Typically, the more people that are looking at your product, or your posts, the better. But as public and legal attitudes to cannabis have shifted, the subcultures immersed in it are being subject to more scrutiny than before.

Verizon Unlimited Customers Get Free Apple Music

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Customers of Verizon Unlimited plans will get free, full Apple Music as a perk. This is for the Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans.

The bonus Apple Music should be launched in the next couple of days, according to the information that we received. Verizon is yet to make the announcement publicly, but the information comes from a source that has proved reliable in the past.

Goodnotes 5 is Out for $7.99

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GoodNotes 5 is a major update to its predecessor GoodNotes 4. It includes many highly requested features, improvements to existing things and some special surprises.

What’s new in GoodNotes 5:

  • New folder system: Create unlimited levels of folders and subfolders
  • Text & handwriting search across all documents
  • Flexible scrolling directions: Horizontal or vertical scrolling
  • Favorites view: Shortcuts to important pages, documents, or folders.
  • QuickNotes: The fastest way to start taking notes
  • Optionally display documents as lists instead of thumbnails
  • Improved ink algorithm: More precise and natural writing experience

And a whole lot more.

Goodnotes 5 is Out for $7.99