Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

Arlo Cameras Get HomeKit Support

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Arlo Pro 2

Smart camera firm Arlo has added HomeKit support to some of its products, DigitalTrends reported. Interestingly, the top-of-the line Arlo Ultra 4K was not amongst the cameras that got the update.

Unfortunately for buyers of the company’s top-of-the-line cameras, the new connectivity to HomeKit only applies to select Arlo cameras, specifically the popular Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 systems. Owners of the VMB5000 model and the corresponding Arlo Ultra 4K will have to wait a bit longer to add their smart cameras to Apple’s smart home ecosystem. On the bright side, the firmware update reduces the need for Apple HomeKit users to use the Arlo app or its corresponding remote control. The select models of Arlo smart cameras will appear in the directory of other HomeKit accessories in a user’s Home app and can also be controlled using Apple’s digital assistant, Siri, via an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch,or Mac computer.

Amazon Scout Autonomous Delivery Arrives in Irvine, California

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Amazon Scout

Amazon expanded its Amazon Scout autonomous delivery service. eDelivery reported that the company started testing the service in Irvine, southern California Wednesday. It initially tested the service back in January 2019, in Snohomish County, Washington.

A small number of the cooler-sized robots will begin delivering from today (7 August) in Irvine, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in daylight hours from Monday to Friday . They will follow pre-set delivery routes while accompanied by an Amazon employee. They travel at a walking pace, with the ability to avoid obstacles in their path… Customers in the area order as they normally would via the site or app and can choose from the same delivery options including same-day, one-day and two-day shipping for Prime members.

Understanding Apple's Record Stock Repurchase

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Logo

Apple quietly conducted a record buyback of stock in the second quarter of 2019. It totaled $24 billion. AppleInsider analyzed the move.

It appears clear that Apple expects its share price to grow much higher in the future. So rather than carefully timing its repurchases to only occur when the stock price hits its lowest levels, Apple continues to buy shares back nearly as fast as it can all the time, even as the stock price jumps up and down as it continues to increment higher. Since 2012, Apple has now funded a total of $271.3 billion in stock buybacks. Most of these shares were repurchased at what would today be an incredible discount. While analysts have occasionally picked out a given trough in Apple’s stock price and declared that its buybacks were a huge mistake, it’s hard to imagine in hindsight how Apple could have better invested $271 billion of its past iPhone profits.

 

Apple Bug Bounty Program Coming This Month

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple is reportedly set to launch a Mac bug bounty program before the end of August. Forbes also reported it handed out special iPhones to top hackers.

The iPhones will be given to the rock star hackers that participate in the Cupertino company’s invitation-only bug bounty program, where participants disclose bugs in Apple products in return for monetary rewards. The payments can go as high as $200,000, as announced at the 2016 Black Hat conference. What makes these iPhones special? One source with knowledge of the Apple announcement said they would essentially be “dev devices.” Think of them as iPhones that allow the user to do a lot more than they could on a traditionally locked-down iPhone. For instance, it should be possible to probe pieces of the Apple operating system that aren’t easily accessible on a commercial iPhone. In particular, the special devices could allow hackers to stop the processor and inspect memory for vulnerabilities. This would allow them to see what happens at the code level when they attempt an attack on iOS code.

 

Monzo Bank Stored My PIN Incorrectly

· Charlotte Henry · Analysis

Monzo Bank

UK digtial bank Monzo confessed it stored some users’ PINs, including Charlotte’s, wrongly, in an incident that is damaging to customer trust.

Huawei Asks Who Owns it. Move Backfires Spectacularly.

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Huawei tweeted last week asking followers to give their opinion on who owns them. The Next Web reported that the final replies were probably not quite what the company wanted, with many claiming it is run by the government.

This seems like a risky move for a $100+ billion company that’s just had a major scandal, but maybe Huawei is just giving up on traditional sterile PR maneuvers and is actually reaching out to get the public’s perspective… Basically, it’s almost impossible to verify Huawei‘s ownership, but the real issue has also always been about who controls the company — #WhoRunsHuawei. The weirdest thing about Huawei‘s poll, however, is that the whole drama surrounding its ties to the Chinese government has pretty much died down in the press. There are still some political complications, but the US is easing up on Huawei, and countries like the UK have said there’s no technical reason to leave the company out of 5G infrastructure.

Spotify Results Show Full Extent of Its Podcast Purchasing

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Spotify in a big pile of money

Spotify was amongst the tech firms that revealed their financial results last week. After a deep dive into the numbers, Music Business Week found that that the streaming service spent a total of $375 million in cash on podcast companies so far in 2019. The deals are valued at $404 million. They demonstrated just how seriously Spotify wants to challenge Apple in the podcast game, and they company might not be finished yet.

Spotify has previously confirmed that, in February, it spent approximately €300m ($343m) on two US-based ‘cast firms: distribution software company Anchor, and independent content producer Gimlet Media. Now we know exactly how much Spotify spent on these two firms, in addition to true crime podcast maker Parcast (trading as Los Angeles-based Cutler Media LLC) which it bought in April. The upshot: if Spotify sticks to its previously-announced plan of spending between $400m and $500m on acquisitions this year, it has about $100m left in the tank.

Castbox Launches Live Audio Streaming Feature

· Charlotte Henry · Product News

CastBox Livecast

Castbox launched a new audio-streaming feature called Livecast that will allow podcasters to broadcast and interact with listeners live.

2020 iPhones Will All Reportedly Support 5G

· Charlotte Henry · News

All three models of iPhones coming in 2020 will have 5G connectivity, according to a new note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Oppo's 'Waterfall' Display Goes Around the Sides of a Smartphone. It Might Not be Such a Great Idea.

· Charlotte Henry · Link

oppo Waterfall

Oppo revealed a new ‘Waterfall’ display Monday. It had 88-degree curved edges and the display extended nearly the whole way around the side of a smartphone. The Next Web took a look.

While the waterfall screen looks cool, Oppo will have figure out ways to prevent accidental taps and swipes, which seem inevitable given the nearly wraparound screen…At this point, it’s hard to say whether there’s any sense in such displays. They might seem more ‘immersive,’ but content that shows up on the sides will be hard to see and interact with. This might just be a passing fad – but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Tim Cook Responds to Shooting Near Apple HQ

· Charlotte Henry · News

Tim cook

Tim Cook expressed his sorrow after a shooting incident at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, not far from Apple’s headquarters.

$3 Million Prize for Teenage Fortnite World Champion

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Fortnite and controller

An American teenager became Fortnite world champion Wednesday. 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf scooped the $3 million prize at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, BBC News reported. It was the biggest prize pot in the history of e-sports. A total of 40 million players tried to qualify online for the tournament.

Mr. Giersdorf, known online as Bugha, stood laughing and shaking his head as the crowd erupted when his name was announced. He told the BBC he wants to save most of his prize. “All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” he said. The final game was described by the commentators as a “ridiculous victory lap” as the winner played with a smile on his face whilst beating his rivals.The event is seen as a major moment in e-sports, which is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry in 2019. However, its record for the biggest prize pool is already set to be broken by another event called The International, taking place in August. The Fortnite finals saw 100 players battling on giant computer screens.

Apple Taking Control of its 5G Destiny with Intel Modem Business Purchase

· Charlotte Henry · Link

5G graphic (mesh)

Apple and Intel announced Thursday that the iPhone will acquire the chipmaker’s smartphone modem business. Wired looked into the $1 billion deal. One analyst explained that it highlighted how Apple is slowly taking control of its 5G future with the purchase.

The modems in Apple devices have been an exception to the company’s usual tight integration. Competitors such as Samsung and Huawei build their phones around chips that bundle the main processor and modem circuitry. That offers cost and space savings. In Apple’s devices the custom processor and externally sourced modems have been separate components. Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, says buying Intel’s modem unit will allow Apple to make integrated processors and modems of its own. As with Apple’s other chip programs, that should provide cost savings and opportunities to create unique new features. “Apple has long wanted to control its platform completely,” he says.