Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘apple

Yankee Clinch

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Happy Friday.

Apple iOS 13 is now available for download.  I’ve been using an earlier beta for a few weeks, and while some have said it was buggy, I’ve certainly been digging the dark mode.

Apple’s also including some new (but some may say, annoying) privacy friendly features, like periodic pop-ups to remind you how many times an app has tracked your location (that could get interesting). 

You can also now give an app location access just once, and Bluetooth access now requires consent.  This is starting to sound like verbiage from the Fair Credit Reporting Act (but kudos on the privacy-friendly moves).

On a related front, ZDNet is reporting that 47% of organizations now have cyber insurance (up from 34% in 2017). And 57% of large firms with revenues over $1B have it compared with 35% of those with under $100M. The more they stand to lose, the more insurance they have@

Okay, I can’t let Friday PM slide home without a shout-out to the New York Yankees for clinching the AL East for the first time since 2012. Both they and the Houston Astros have 100 win seasons to date (and it’s the second time in a year that that’s happened for the Yankees). 

Remember, every game is game 7!

Written by turbotodd

September 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Investitech

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It’s Friday the 13th. And the U.S. investigatory knives have come out for Big Tech in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As The New York Times reports, a House committee investigating Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google over possible antitrust violations today sent the four companies detailed requests for documents, emails and other communications.

According to the report, investigators are seeking information on the companies’ businesses, acquisitions and conduct in digital markets including internet search, advertising and e-commerce.

The Times report suggests the House documents indicate congressional staff have “done considerable homework on the companies under scrutiny,” with one request to Google naming 14 senior executives and asking for their communications on a series of company moves that included Google’s purchase of DoubleClick in 2008 and AdMob in 2011.

Similarly, with Facebook, the House is asking for extensive internal information about its acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Both companies were, at the time of their acquisition, “potentially emerging competitors” until Facebook bought them.

The House inquiry joins several other investigations into big tech, including the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Written by turbotodd

September 13, 2019 at 10:48 am

Apple’s New Razor Blades

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On today’s Apple marketing-fest, Tim Cook made a big change in the order of business we’ve come to expect of their product launches: He led with the razor blades instead of the razors.

Specifically, he led with Apple’s new gaming subscription service (Apple Arcade, $4.99 monthly, available Sept 19th, 150 countries, 100 new games added to the launch catalog) and its new filmed content subscription service (AppleTV+ content streaming service with first shows arriving Nov 1, over 100 countries at launch, also $4.99/month).

That alone was a statement of strategic focus moving forward. The razors are important, but the razor blades are where the new growth comes from.

So what about the hardware?

About what you’d expect. The Apple iPhone Pro probably stood out most (I don’t need a new Watch, iPad, yadda yadda yadda), if only because the speeds and feeds looked absolutely bionic. Who doesn’t want three cameras to cover all angles and motion of your Friday night beer pong contest?

And slow-motion selfies — don’t forggettt thosseee slowwww mo-shunnnnn selff-eeeeeees.

Today’s launch may have been all about the razor blades. But if you ask me, it’s been a very long time since Apple launched a new and must have razor.

Written by turbotodd

September 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Posted in 2019, apple, apple watch, iPhone

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Game of Phones

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Today many eyes will be turned to Cupertino for Apple’s fall launch event.  But one of Apple’s original iPhone telco providers is where the heat is actually getting turned up.

Hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, and is raising questions about the company’s M&A strategy and operational execution. In a letter to the company, Elliott has called for new board members and an assessment as to the capabilities of the existing leadership team, including CEO Randall Stephenson.

According to a report from CNBC, Elliott cited “the company’s history of questionable acquisition decisions, including buying DirecTV and Time Warner…In all, AT&T has spent about $200 billion in recent years on acquisitions.”

DirecTV’s price was $67B, Time Warner $104B, and T-Mobile slipped through Stephenson’s finger even as he has tried to pivot the company towards both a wireless and media company. 

But millions of subscribers have left DirecTV since the deal close in 2015, and as for the Time Warner deal outcome, it’s probably too soon to tell. For a good signal, I would suggest keeping an eye on the quality of the emerging HBO lineup, the TV canary in the proverbial wireless coalmine. 

Written by turbotodd

September 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

Posted in 2019, apple, att, smartphones

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AI Time

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Happy Monday. Reminder that tomorrow’s the big autumn Apple launch event. Keynote starts at 10 a.m. PDT tomorrow and is expected to introduce a range of new products, as well as release info for the company’s various OSes. Oh, and expect a launch date for the Apple Arcade.

Meanwhile, if you’re an AI professor, life has never been so good. A U of Rochester study was conducted that found 153 AI professors in N. American universities left their posts for industry over the past 15 years, with an additional 68 working there while retaining part-time professorial duties.

This has led to graduating students being less likely to build new AI companies, and when they did, attracting smaller amounts of funding. The study argues this AI brain drain could hamper innovation and growth across the economy. Who else is going to teach those self-driving cars to rear-end unsuspecting human drivers??!

A NY Times opinion piece suggests there are larger problems looming on the AI front…namely, that current AI systems don’t grasp basic concepts like time, space and causality. Example they use, via a simple Google search: “Did George Washington own a computer?” None of Google’s first 10 search results gave the correct answer.

I guess asking about the cherry tree is a non starter.

Written by turbotodd

September 9, 2019 at 9:54 am

The New iPhone’s (Almost) Here!

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If you don’t get the headline, go back and watch Steve Martin’s “The Jerk.”  It’ll make you smile on a long Labor (free) Day holiday.

But the new iPhones are apparently almost here. Or at least almost announced.

Tuesday, September 10, 10 AM, Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park Campus in Cupertino.

Macrumors writes the following could be on offer: 

  • Three iPhones, two OLED models in 5.8 and 6.5 inches and on LCD that’s 6.1, and all with camera improvements.
  • 3D Touch goes, haptic feedback makes a resurgence…bilateral wireless charging, bigger batteries, new AMX co-processor and A13 chip.

Likely see a new Apple Watch, new iPad Pros, new 10.2-inch iPad, and a high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Me, I’m still doing well with my dual phone strategy, an iPhone 7+ and a 2008 Nokia E71 that keeps me off-the-grid and that I use mainly for phone calls and texts (which if you’re moving around can admittedly drop the signal). But for $20/month, you can’t beat it (sorry, no data).

My take on the new Apple lineup: The iPhone XR is going to start looking like a fantastic next-gen iPhone for those who don’t aspire to the new 11s. (The retail price of the low-end XR is still $750 on the Apple website, a deal compared to the higher-end Xs and, I would imagine, the 11s). 

Written by turbotodd

August 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in 2019, apple, iPhone

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No More Android Dessert

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Bloomberg’s jumped all over Apple’s upcoming new hardware: Pro iPhones, New iPads, a larger MacBook Pro.

Details: a refreshed iPad Pro with upgraded cameras, fasters chips. An entry level iPad with a bigger screen; new Apple Watch revs; first revamp to MBP in 3 years. Updates to AirPods and HomePod. Also Apple TV+ video and Apple Arcade gaming subscription service.

Could be a very long fall keynote.

If you’re an Android, however, no more desserts for you. The Keyword blog announced that the desserts were confusing to worldwide audiences. That’s right, no more gingerbreads, no more eclairs, no more donuts.

The next rev of the Goog’s mobile OS is simply: “Android 10.” Our Lord in AI Heaven, please don’t let Deep Mind have come up with that name.

And back to Chimerica, if you were looking to get in on some Alibaba IPO action, the Chinese-based firm has delayed its Hong Kong listing. And NO, not because the traders couldn’t get to the subway. But YES, because the unrest didn’t exactly present a convenient time for a massive and important stock float.

Check back with your broker in early October.

Written by turbotodd

August 22, 2019 at 9:59 am

Posted in 2019, alibaba, apple, china

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