Big Tech Companies


Apple will probably launch two new iPads soon


Rejoice, iPad lovers: New Apple-branded tablets may be coming soon.

New entries in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, discovered by French blog Consomac and noticed by 9to5Mac, indicate Apple is preparing launch two new iPad models. 

The filing contains no info about the new iPads except the model identifiers, A1893 and A1954. So what does this information tell us?

Well, judging by previous findings of this type, it’s quite likely that we’ll see these new iPads soon, perhaps as soon as next month. This is hardly unusual; for example, Apple launched the $329, 9.7-inch iPad in March last year. Read more…

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Extremely rich dude Tim Cook just doesn’t understand the need for money


Money, who needs it?

Not extremely rich dude and Apple CEO Tim Cook, apparently. 

Sure, Cook’s estimated net worth is around $666 million, but, as he explained while waxing philosophic during Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on Feb. 13, that doesn’t mean he likes the stuff in its current form. 

“I’m hoping to be alive to see the elimination of money,” he reportedly told those gathered at Apple Park

Which, hell yeah, fuck money. And we’re right there with you, Tim! Let’s distribute goods and services to those in need, regardless of their ability to… oh, what’s that? That’s not what you meant? Read more…

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We’re all about this ’80s-style instructional video for Apple’s Siri


It may not be perfect, but we’ve certainly come a long way to get to a voice-activated assistant like Apple’s Siri.

It’d be difficult to imagine how Siri would work with the technology the 1980s, but if it did, this mock instructional video by YouTube channel Squirrel Monkey does a great job of hypothesizing how it’d all come together.

The wait time to hear what “Michael Jackson’s newest album” is really something, though. Read more…

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Airbnb banned in parts of Detroit, and even the mayor’s confused


Even Detroit’s mayor seems baffled how one line in a 216-page zoning packet can ban Airbnb rentals in certain Detroit neighborhoods.

The ban in the city’s amended zoning ordinance went into effect this week, preventing homeowners in zones R1 and R2 from having “paid overnight guests” in homes. That means no Airbnb hosting at homes in those areas, which cover a large swath of the residential part of the city. The language in the amendment seems to imply that apartments, lofts, and building developments are spared from the ban.

The zoning ordinance amendment passed through the city council last year as part of a larger revamp. The planning commission proposed 27 code amendments, including this quick line about prohibited uses of home occupations in R1 and R2 for short-term rentals. But no one really noticed it until now. Not even the mayor, who approved it.  Read more…

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Facebook is testing comment downvoting


Hating on dumb Facebook comments may be on the verge of getting a whole lot easier. 

Ever the innovator, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have found a way to transfer all the bickering in your feed into something much more orderly. Specifically, downvotes. 

On Thursday, various people took to Twitter to voice their surprise at a new feature spotted on the sprawling social media platform. One that, with just a click, allows you to downvote comments you don’t like. 

This has long been a feature on sites like Reddit, but Zuckerberg has always been adamant about refusing to add a “dislike” button to his service.  Read more…

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There’s another iPhone X bug and it sounds like a huge pain


Apple is dealing with another iPhone bug.

The company is “looking into” reports that a bug is affecting the iPhone X’s ability to receive phone calls, according to the Financial Times.

The bug delays incoming calls from appearing on the iPhone X’s display properly. Instead, users hear their phone ringing but they don’t see the caller ID information or the buttons to answer the call. 

It’s not clear how widespread the issue is, but it’s proved to be a huge annoyance to those with affected devices. It appears to have been affecting iPhone X users since at least December, according to posts on Apple’s support forums. Apple says it’s looking into the issue, but in the meantime, it looks like some users have been able to temporarily fix the issue by reinstalling iOS using iTunesRead more…

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Tech companies have endured a PR nightmare, not that the business world cares


Tech companies, once a shining beacon of American innovation and optimism about the future of technology, have endured a brutal run of press in the past couple years. 

Not that it’s making much of a difference, at least in the business world. 

Fortune magazine has released its list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” and, as expected, it’s a who’s who of mega-giants that dominate our every day life.

Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the top 10:

  1. Apple

  2. Amazon

  3. Alphabet

  4. Berkshire Hathaway

  5. Starbucks

  6. Walt Disney

  7. Microsoft

  8. Southwest Airlines

  9. FedEx

  10. JPMorgan Chase Read more…

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Two Apple investors want the company to study limiting children’s iPhone use


Kids and smartphones has always been a sensitive topic, but now a two Apple investors are calling on the tech giant to actually do something about it. 

According to a story from the Wall Street Journal, Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System sent a letter to Apple asking the iPhone maker to “develop new software tools that would help parents control and limit phone use more easily and to study the impact of overuse on mental health.”

The two groups control about $2 billion in Apple stock, which is a small chunk given the company’s market value is over $900 billion.  Read more…

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The secret workforce that does the tedious work of the online economy


It’s the end of the month, and you’re furiously uploading receipts to submit to your employer for reimbursement. It’s been a busy few weeks — too many Lyft trips to count — so you have a lot to expense. Thankfully, the online reporting platform you use employs some kind of fancy schmancy AI to automatically detect how much you spent and where you spent it, changing emailed and crumpled paper receipts into digital reports with ease. 

Or, so you think, anyway. But like the famed 18th century Mechanical Turk that wowed people around the world with its seeming ability to play chess, things aren’t exactly what they seem. Your boss, it turns out, might not be the only one seeing your expense reports.  Read more…

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Uber reveals 1.2 million customers affected by hack in one country alone


Uber’s once secret data breach affected 57 million customers globally, but it’s only recently we’ve seen how the hack is affecting specific markets.

In Australia, the company’s local arm revealed 1.2 million customers were affected by the data breach, as per a report by the Australian Financial Review

An Uber spokesperson confirmed the number to Mashable. The number was given to the Australian Privacy Commissioner, and was “an approximate figure because the app does not always record the country code where a customer lives,” according to the newspaper. Read more…

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1999 ’60 Minutes’ interview shows Amazon before it was the mega-company you know now


Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world, surprisingly buff, and working toward putting millions of people into space.

But back in July 1999, he was just a lowly billionaire working out of a dingy Seattle office on, then still an oddity.

A 60 Minutes segment entitled “Nerd of the Amazon” provides a window back into that era, when Bezos just seemed like a dorky founder who still drove a Honda Accord. 

The origin story of Amazon is now widely-known. Bezos left a well-paying Wall Street job with no destination in mind. He chose Seattle on the way, along with the notion that he would sell books online. Read more…

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Black Friday raised Jeff Bezos’ net worth to $100 billion


Jeff Bezo$ made out like Scrooge McDuck on Black Friday after rising Amazon share prices lifted his personal fortune to more than $100 billion. 

That’s billion, with a “b.” His 78.9 million shares of Amazon got a boost thanks to investor optimism over Black Friday sales. Basically, your desire to buy cheap stuff from your couch made the richest man in America even richer. 

Now, that $100 billion estimate only comes from Bloomberg; Forbes still has him at $99.6 billion. Either way, he is worth around 1.7 million times the median household income in the United States. Read more…

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Apple is offering gift cards worth up to $150 on Black Friday


The award for the least surprising Black Friday event this year goes to Apple.

The company launched its Black Friday page early on Friday, offering gift cards worth up to $150 with select purchases of Apple gadgets.

If you buy an Apple Watch Series 1, you’ll get a $25 Apple Gift Card. Purchasing an iPhone SE, 6s or 7 will get you a gift card worth up to $50. Buying an iPad Pro, iPad or iPad mini 4 will net you a gift card worth up to $100. And finally, if you get a new Mac — including the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro, you’ll get a gift card worth up to $150.  Read more…

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How three underdog cities are fighting for Amazon HQ2


Chad Emerson, president and CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc., knows that the odds are stacked against the city of Huntsville, Alabama being selected as home of Amazon’s proposed second headquarters — but he takes a page from the city’s space race past when explaining why he believes anything is possible. 

“The rockets and the rocketeers were all based here and that was called a ‘moon shot,'” Emerson told me. “A lot of people questioned whether it was possible or practical. Here in Huntsville, we didn’t question whether it was possible or practical, we just set to innovate and make it happen.” Read more…

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Apple faces government investigation over patent infringement complaint


A federal regulator announced an investigation into Apple on Tuesday over claims that elements of the tech giant’s products violate another company’s patents, Reuters reported.

The U.S. International Trade Commission launched the probe after a software company called Aqua Connect and one of its subsidiaries filed a complaint last month. 

The agency, which presides over trade in and out of the United States, has the power to block imports of Apple’s products if it decides the company is breaking the law.

Aqua Connect’s case hinges on Apple’s AirPlay technology — the feature that allows audio and video to be streamed across different Apple devices. Aqua Connect sells software that allows Macs to be accessed remotely, and it claims Apple ripped it off after ending its working relationship with the company six years ago. Read more…

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‘Fake news’ isn’t just a U.S. problem — it’s everywhere


Before the election, few Americans had heard of “fake news.” 

Now, they’re all too aware: of the Russia-linked Facebook accounts that reached 126 million people, the deranged PizzaGate conspiracy, and the teens in Macedonia spreading lies to make an easy buck

If you thought this was just an American problem, you’re wrong. In at least 17 other countries, fake news “played an important role” in recent elections, according to a new report from democracy watchdog Freedom House. 

In a deeply divided Kenya, false reports labeled with CNN and BBC logos spread across Facebook and WhatsApp leading up to the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Nicolas Maduro’s power grab in Venezuela involved the government spreading false footage and lies about protesters on social media. And Facebook suspended 30,000 fake accounts only 10 days before the French presidential election. Read more…

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The iPhone X might have a little green problem


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Apple built a tax home on an island you’ve probably never heard of


An island nestled between France and the United Kingdom is reportedly connected to an important part of one of the most powerful tech corporations on the planet.

Jersey rests in the English Channel, closer to France than the U.K., and, according to information obtained by the German media outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung, distributed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and published by The New York Times, it has been the tax home to subsidiaries of Apple that help the company limit what it pays in corporate taxes.

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Slack went down, and naturally workers ran to Twitter to vent about it


UPDATE: Nov. 1, 2017, 1:36 p.m. AEDT Slack is up and running again, so go back to work.

Slack went down, and workers were left scrambling.

The popular workplace collaboration client suffered “connectivity issues” late Tuesday afternoon (PDT), affecting access to the service worldwide.

Slack responded to tweets about the outage on Twitter, and on its status page — which had also been working intermittently — it said they were “actively investigating” the problem.

We’re sincerely sorry for the service disruption you’re seeing at the moment. We’re working on it with top priority:

— Slack (@SlackHQ) October 31, 2017 Read more…

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