Amazon’s 2019 Transparency Report Shows Slight Decline in Government Requests

Amazon’s 2019 transparency report says it received 1,841 subpoenas, 440 search warrants, and 114 other court orders in the second half of 2019.

We previously reported on how Amazon’s transparency reports have purposefully become more vague over the years rather than clearer — bucking the industry trend. At just three pages, the company spends most of it explaining how it responds to each kind of legal demand rather than expanding on the numbers themselves.

Two other notable findings: Apple was the only other company to report a decline in government requests. And Amazon’s Ring surveillance product hasn’t released a transparency report.

Reasons to Make Disney+ Your Favorite Streaming Service

As more and more streaming services come out, we are all picking our favorite. For Christine Chan at iMore, it’s Disney+, for the combination of nostalgia and original content.

Ever since Disney+ came out, I’ve been watching my favorite childhood classics, like The Little Mermaid (though I bought the 30th anniversary Blu-ray last year), and catching up on everything else that I hadn’t seen as I was growing up, like Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty (yes, yes, I know, shame on me). With Disney+, I’m able to relive my happy childhood memories with those animated classics, and sometimes, that’s all you need when the rest of the world can be a bit depressing.

There's no New Content on Apple TV+. Again.

I’ve generally been supportive of Apple TV+. I’ve even got on board with the weekly rollout of big shows, instead of having everything there for binge-watching. That strategy comes with one caveat though – new content needs to appear (almost) every week. However, as Cult of Mac noted, for the second week in a row there is nothing new today.

By comparison, this week Netflix debuted seven new series including Next In Fashion, Ragnarok, BoJack Horseman season six, and more. Disney+, meanwhile, got new episodes of Diary of a Future President, Marvel Hero Project, exclusive short Lamp Life, and the 2019 Lion King remake. As I’ve written before, I’m a big fan of Apple TV+ as far as quality goes. The service hasn’t had a miss yet — and it’s had quite a few hits. To me, Little America, Servant, and The Morning Show are all standouts. But even shows I wasn’t immediately won over by, such as See, are solid entertainment.

Rupert Murdoch Now Has a Challenger to Apple News

News Corp, the firm led by Rupert Murdoch, launched in beta its equivalent of Apple News this week. Knewz promises to provide content “from the widest variety of sources, free of filter bubbles and narrow-minded nonsense,” Variety reported.

The company’s new Knewz.com site — a text-heavy agglomeration that has already drawn critiques of its cluttered design — officially launched Thursday as a “beta” test. The site, patterned after other aggregators like Google News, Apple News and Drudge Report, compiles headlines and links for publications across a broad range of political leanings, from Fox News and Newsmax to Daily Kos and Mother Jones. In announcing the launch of Knewz.com, News Corp said readers will be presented news “from the widest variety of sources, free of filter bubbles and narrow-minded nonsense.” Knewz.com is currently sourcing headlines from more than 400 publishers. News Corp said it expects to expand the roster during beta testing.

This Clip-On Lens Adds Anamorphic, 8mm Wide-Angle, Fisheye to 360° Lens to Your iPhone: $79.99

We have a deal on FusionLens, a clip-on lens that enables an iPhone to capture anamorphic, wide-angle, fisheye and 360° panoramic images. I’m linking to the deal for a FusionLens 2.0 for iPhone 11, but the deal listing also has options for iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone Xs and Xs Max. It’s $79.99 through us.


PETA Wants to Replace Punxsutawney Phil With AI

Animal rights group PETA wants to replace famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil with an animatronic AI.

The way the group sees it, not only would an AI be better at estimating when the winter will end, but it would also attract an entirely new generation of visitors to the western Pennsylvanian town. “Today’s young people are born into a world of terabytes, and to them, watching a nocturnal rodent being pulled from a fake hole isn’t even worthy of a text message,” Newkirk said. “Ignoring the nation’s fast-changing demographics might well prove the end of Groundhog Day.”