Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

Why Your Kid Loves Being on TikTok

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This week, TikTok got banned in India. Apple removed it from the iOS App Store in the country. However, the video-sharing app remains hugely popular with a young audience worldwide. Bloomberg Businessweek looked at why.

TikTok decides what videos to show by tapping into data, starting with your location. Then, as you start watching, it analyzes the faces, voices, music, or objects in videos you watch the longest. Liking, sharing, or commenting improves TikTok’s algorithm further. Within a day, the app can get to know you so well it feels like it’s reading your mind. That’s why Jade, the Oklahoma teen, mostly sees videos of people dancing, while her mom regularly gets clips of dog tricks.

UK Far-Right Ban Signals Serious Shift by Facebook

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This week, Facebook banned far-right groups in the UK. These included the likes of  Britain First and the English Defence League. At Wired, Matt Reynolds looked at the profound shift by the company this move signalled.

And Facebook says it will go further than just banning these organisations and individuals. It will also go after their followers…This is a dramatic switch for a company that, until a month ago, still talked about itself as a digital “town square” – a space where all voices, including the distasteful and dubious, jostled for attention, free from any interference. It is a seductive ideal that harks back to the early days of the internet and its promise of unfettered freedom of speech.

Apple Hires Lionsgate Veteran Danielle DePalma

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Apple has hired former Lionsgate Executive Vice President Danielle DePalma. She will be a Senior Film and TV Series Marketing executive, leading on promoting Apple’s forthcoming content. Deadline reported that she will report to Head of Video Marketing Chris Van Amburg.

DePalma was a Lionsgate veteran who spent about a decade at the company before leaving in January. At Lionsgate she previously served as SVP digital marketing and VP new media and marketing, overseeing the digital/social media campaigns for such movies as The Hunger Games franchise and Kick-Ass.

Privacy And The Next Phase of Apple vs Facebook

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Facebook and Apple’s approach to privacy has long differentiated the two firms. While that remains the case, things are changing Writer, and recent Background Mode guest, Lance Ulanoff looked at the next phase of the battle between companies.

Facebook hasn’t traditionally cared much for [privacy], for example, while Apple has bent over backwards to market privacy features. But the tide may be shifting, depending on how you interpret some recent product announcements. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently committed himself to “building a privacy-focused” platform, while Apple announced a slate of new services that a different, less scrupulous company might use to harvest user data.

Apple VP Lisa Jackson on Making an iPhone From Recycled Materials

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Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson was recently named one of Business Insider’s 100 people transforming the world of business. The publication has a fascinating interview with the Apple exec, in which she talks about Apple’s aim to make an iPhone from only recycled materials.

Since joining Apple in 2013, Jackson has driven initiatives like Apple’s decision to run on 100% clean energy and the Daisy recycling robot, which it announced in 2018 after debuting its first iPhone-dismantling machine called Liam in 2016. “We’re feeling really good about the fact that we’ve watched this idea go from a pilot stage with Liam to full production stage in Daisy,” Jackson said…Apple’s initiatives under Jackson come as advocacy groups have criticized the company and other large tech firms and accused them of kneecapping efforts to minimize manufacturing waste

AirPods Are Causing Some Awkward Social Situations

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AirPods are hugely popular. Everywhere you turn people have them hanging out of their ears. While they bring a lot of benefits, not least for Apple, Buzzfeed News looked at the awkward social situations the wireless headphones can create.

Unlike traditional headphones, AirPods are the kind of things you can keep in your ears at all times, and many people do. Their sleek design and lack of wires make it easy to forget they’re resting in your head. And their status symbol shine doesn’t exactly scream “take me out.” This may be great for Apple and its bottom line, but it’s making life weird for people interacting with those wearing them. Are they listening to me? Are they listening to music? A podcast? Just hanging? It’s tough to know.

A Trader Woke in the Night and Sold His Qualcomm Postion - He Lost Out on $50,000

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Computer Frustration

Not everyone was rejoicing at the news that Qualcomm and Apple had settled their differences. An Australia-based trader with the handle ‘Arminoxx’ revealed that he had woken up in the night to look after his crying baby. At the same time, he sold some of his position in Qualcomm, trying to limit his expected losses. That was hours before the firms settled. The move cost the trader a $50,000 return, according to MarketWatch.

“I live in Australia, so I am mostly sleeping during U.S. trading hours,” [the trader] said. “However, I woke up at 4 a.m. and decided to put a limit sell order of $0.06 on my options to salvage my losses given that only 2 days are remaining till expiry, and went back to sleep.” Ouch. Arminoxx, in an exercise in self-flagellation, tallied what he would have made had he slept through the night: $50,000 or a 6,000% gain.

Apple Should Be Buying Roku

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Roku Premium Subscriptions

Apple TV+ is on its way, but should the company actually be buying Roku? Tim Beyers on Motley Fool thinks it should. He said it should remake its streaming service as the Roku Channel. It’s certainly an idea…

Now imagine Apple acquiring Roku and making Apple TV+ with its original content a featured channel and selling access as part of the hardware bundle. (“Buy an Apple Roku player and get both Apple TV+ and the Roku Channel, free,” they might say.) Netflix, which has long been available through Roku, could remain on the platform without streaming its data through Apple servers. Everyone wins. Even better, Apple would be putting its service out in the wild — i.e., unbundling the service from the device — just as Roku is getting traction for being the most widely used TV operating system.

AI's Serious Diversity Problem

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AI concept

Diversity, or lack thereof, is a big issue in the tech industry. The problem has particularly serious ramifications in AI. The Verge looked at a new report on the topic, and what the industry can do about it.

Diversity, while a hurdle across the tech industry, presents specific dangers in AI, where potentially biased technology, like facial recognition, can disproportionately affect historically marginalized groups. Tools like a program that scans faces to determine sexuality, introduced in 2017, echo injustices of the past, the researchers write. Rigorous testing is needed. But more than that, the makers of AI tools have to be willing to not build the riskiest projects. “We need to know that these systems are safe as well as fair,” AI Now Institute co-director Kate Crawford says.

Tim Cook is a Better CEO of Apple Than Steve Jobs

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Tim Cook at WWDC 2018

Leander Kahney’s biography of Tim Cook hit stores Tuesday. In a piece for Wired, the author explained why he believes Mr. Cook is a better CEO of Apple than Steve Jobs. The proof, he said, is in the numbers.

Apple is the world’s first trillion-dollar company, a milestone reached under Cook’s watch. Apple reached this landmark valuation on August 2, 2018, when Apple’s stock hit $207.05. By comparison, when Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, Apple’s stock was $50.53 (split adjusted), which valued the company at about two-thirds less: $300 billion. During his tenure, Cook has almost tripled Apple’s revenue. In 2018 Apple earned $265.6 billion, the highest annual revenue in the company’s history.

6th London Apple Store Set for Prestigious Location

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LONDON – Apple could be on its way to one of the most prestigious parts of London. The London Evening Standard reported that a new Apple Store will open in the Knightsbridge area, which is best known for Harrods. If it comes to fruition, the new location will be the firm’s 6th retail outlet in the UK’s capital.

Property sources said the iPhones maker has agreed to open a 20,000 square feet Knightsbridge store between high-end department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols. It is understood to have signed a deal with Chelsfield, the property asset manager overseeing the makeover of The Knightsbridge Estate on behalf of its owner, Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group. Agents CWM and CBRE are retail letting agents on the building.

Tragedy and Mutiny at HQ Trivia

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In May 2018, I reported for TMO on a popular new quiz app.  HQ Trivia raked in users and soared up the App Store chart. Since then, tragedy has struck. CEO Colin Kroll was found dead, aged just 34. Techcrunch reported that current CEO, Mr. Kroll’s co-founder Rus Yusupov, is battling plummeting ratings and a staff mutiny.

By February 2019, HQ’s staff was fed up. Two sources confirm that 20 of the roughly 35 employees signed a letter asking the board to remove Yusupov and establish a new CEO. With HQ’s download rate continuing to sink, they feared he’d run the startup into the ground. One source suggested Yusupov might rather have seen the whole startup come crashing down with the blame placed on the product than have it come to light that he played a large hand in the fall. The tone of the letter, which was never formally delivered but sources believe the board knew of, wasn’t accusatory but a plea for transparency about the company’s future and the staff’s job security.