Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

50 Attorneys General Launch Google Antitrust Probe

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico launched an antitrust probe into Google Monday. The drive was led by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, CNBC reported. It followed the launched of similar action against Facebook on Friday.

The probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not nvolved in the probe, Paxton said at a press conference. Other attorneys general at the media conference emphasized Google’s dominance in the ad market and use of consumer data. “When there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free, and harms consumers,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican. “Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy information? Is something really free if online ad prices go up based on one company’s control?”

 

FA Player: Watch Every WSL Women's Soccer Game For Free

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

The Women’s Super League (WSL) soccer season kicked-off in front of record breaking crowds in the UK over the weekend. In order to help boost the sport further, UK soccer’s governing body, The Football Association, released an online player broadcasting every WSL game live. It also provides match highlights after the full-time whistle. The FA Player is free and there is no subscription charge. It is available via web and iOS App Store.

FA Player: Watch Every WSL Women’s Soccer Game For Free

The Apple Watch is a Slow Burning Success

· Charlotte Henry · Link

When Tim Cook first showed-off the Apple Watch it was not necessarily clear what it was for. But, said James Titcomb at the Telegraph, it has proved to be a success.

New gadgets rarely come out of the gates fully formed; technology is an iterative process. The problem for Cook was that the company’s previous products had delighted instantly. The appeal of the iPod and iPhone were obvious as soon as they were touched. The Watch, by contrast, has been that rare thing for Apple: a slow burner. Unlike its predecessors, which were close to the finished item when launched, the original Apple Watch felt like a prototype, one that has since developed it out in the open. More recent versions have dramatically improved. Apple has dispensed with any pretence of the Watch being a luxury good, and stopped attempting to squeeze aspects of the iPhone onto its small screen.

Catching an iPhone X...On a Rollercoaster...at 130km/h

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

Having your iPhone fall out your pocket and break is pretty annoying, so it is particularly great if you or someone else catches it before it gets smashed on the ground. Well, that is exactly what Samuel Kempf did. Except he was on a rollercoaster travelling at 130 km/h (via iClarified). He posted the video to YouTube. It had been viewed nearly 5.2 million times at the time of this writing. In the description, Mr. Kempf explained:  “I was in Spain at Port Aventura on shambhala ride and saw the person a few rows ahead drop their IPhone X. long story short I caught it. this roller coaster is moving at over 130kms…was once Europe’s tallest and fastest coaster.. only recently beaten.”

Catching an iPhone X…On a Rollercoaster…at 130km/h

Apple Marunouchi Opens in Tokyo

· Charlotte Henry · News

Apple Store Marunouchi 2

Apple’s latest Tokyo Store, Apple Marunouchi, opened Saturday to large crowds, becoming the company’s biggest retail outlet in Japan.

Google launches open-source differential privacy library

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Google logo

Google released an open-source version of its differential privacy library Friday, TechCrunch reported. The library powers some of the company’s core products.

“Whether you’re a city planner, a small business owner, or a software developer, gaining useful insights from data can help make services work better and answer important questions,” writes Miguel Guevara, a product manager in the company’s Privacy and Data Protection Office. “But, without strong privacy protections, you risk losing the trust of your citizens, customers, and users. Differentially-private data analysis is a principled approach that enables organizations to learn from the majority of their data while simultaneously ensuring that those results do not allow any individual’s data to be distinguished or re-identified.”  As Google notes, the current version of the Apache-licensed C++ library focuses on features that are typically hard to build from scratch and includes many of the standard statistical functions that developers would need (think count, sum, mean, variance, etc.).

Qualcomm 5G Chips Coming to Mid-Priced Phones

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Qualcomm will expand use of its 5G chips into mid-priced phones. Reuters reported the shift from being almost exclusively in top-end phones will happen in 2020.

Qualcomm is already supplying phone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) with chips for 5G wireless data networks, which are expected to be faster than current 4G and LTE networks. But those chips have typically been from the San Diego chip suppliers’ most expensive line, its Snapdragon 8 series. Qualcomm said in remarks prepared for the IFA tech fair in Berlin that it plans to add 5G capabilities to its lower-cost Snapdragon 6 and 7 series devices, which could make 5G phones available at lower prices than the current models, mostly flagship devices priced at a premium. Qualcomm’s 6 and 7 series Snapdragon chips are found in devices from Lenovo Group Ltd’s (0992.HK) Motorola, Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK), Oppo and Vivo that retail in the $300 range.

Activists Ask Jeff Bezos to Buy Amazon Rainforest

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Some creative climate activists approached Jeff Bezos with an investment opportunity this week. They asked the Amazon boss to buy the rainforest that shares his company’s name, which is still on fire. Adweek spoke one of the creative directors behind the project.

According to a creative director who helped spearhead the project, he and another creative came up with the idea a few weeks ago while on a shoot in Spain. As they reflected on the news of the rainforest burning, and 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s weeks-long trek to New York on an emissions-free yacht, they became uncomfortable when steaks were served during lunch since Brazil’s booming agribusiness sector has contributed to the rainforest fires. “We had to go lay in the grass and look at the trees,” he said. “It was in that moment that we were like, ‘What can we do?’”

Netflix Announces New 'Latest' Section

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Netflix logo

Netflix unveiled its new ‘Latest’ section Thursday. It provides a personalized list of forthcoming content, TechCrunch reported.

Netflix had confirmed in August that the Latest section would be available on its streaming app for TVs, including Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and others. But it also had a similar feature available on Android and is testing the feature on iOS, it said at the time. Today, the company confirms the new tab will now be available on many game consoles and Roku, with smart TVs and other devices getting the upgrade in the next couple of months.

Facebook Dating Launches in U.S.

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Facebook dating

Mired in data breaches and privacy scandals Facebook has turned to love. It launched its dating service in the U.S. Thursday The Verge reported.

Facebook says it will suggest matches for you based on preferences you express when you create your profile, along with your interests and Facebook activity. The app, which borrows many design elements from the dating app Hinge, allows you to send a “like” and a corresponding message to any profile you encounter on the service. You won’t see your Facebook friends in the app unless you use its “secret crush” feature, which lets you express interest in up to nine Facebook friends (or Instagram followers). If you both like each other, you’ll get a notification letting you know.

Biggest Apple Store in Japan Opening Saturday

· Charlotte Henry · News

Apple Store Marunouchi 1

The fifth Tokyo Apple Store will open Saturday in the city’s Marunouchi business district. It will be Apple’s biggest store in Japan.

Canceling Difficult Content is a Bad Omen for Apple TV+

· Charlotte Henry · Link

We learned this week that Apple TV+ show Bastards has been scrapped. The show, which starred Richard Gere, is not the first piece of challenging content pulled by Apple. At Cult of Mac, Luke Dormehl made a compelling case as to why this might not be the right approach.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard murmurs about Apple’s family-friendly TV and movie ambitions. Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tim Cook made the call to cancel a semi-autobiographical drama about Dr. Dre… Apple TV+ should arrive this fall at roughly the same time as a bunch of other new streaming services. The biggest of the newcomers, Disney+, will presumably sate many people’s appetite for family-friendly fare. Carving out a niche for Apple TV+ in this crowded environment could mean counter-programming against Disney. Where Disney goes light, Apple could have gone dark. Cupertino’s enormous cash reserves give it the capability to take risks that few others can.