AppleMagazine #476


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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
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apple to tighten app privacy, remove apps that don’t comply

Apple is stepping up privacy for app users, forcing developers to be more transparent about data collection and warning they could be removed if they don’t comply with a new anti-tracking measure, a company executive and regulators said this week. The U.S. tech giant said it’s set to roll out the anti-tracking feature next year and warned it could kick apps off its widely used App Store if they don’t obey its requirements. Called App Tracking Transparency, it will require apps to clearly ask for users’ permission before tracking them. It was due to be launched this year but was delayed to allow developers more time to make changes. “Its aim is to empower our users to decide when or if they want to allow an app to track them in a…

google ai researcher’s exit sparks ethics, bias concerns

Prominent artificial intelligence scholar Timnit Gebru helped improve Google’s public image as a company that elevates Black computer scientists and questions harmful uses of AI technology. But internally, Gebru, a leader in the field of AI ethics, was not shy about voicing doubts about those commitments — until she was pushed out of the company this week in a dispute over a research paper examining the societal dangers of an emerging branch of AI. Gebru announced on Twitter she was fired. Google told employees she resigned. More than 1,200 Google employees have signed on to an open letter calling the incident “unprecedented research censorship” and faulting the company for racism and defensiveness. The furor over Gebru’s abrupt departure is the latest incident raising questions about whether Google has strayed so far away from…

aurora to buy uber’s self-driving vehicles arm

Uber is selling off its autonomous vehicles development arm to Aurora as the ride-hailing company slims down after its revenues were pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic. Aurora will acquire the employees and technology behind Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in an equity transaction, the companies said. Uber will invest $400 million into Aurora, and Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Aurora’s board of directors, the companies said. After the transaction, Aurora will be worth $10 billion and Uber will hold 26% stake in the company, said Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora, in an interview. “Our first product will be in trucking and freight, but we look forward to taking this great team that we have and accelerating that while continuing working on light vehicles and ride-haling, and we’ll ultimately see our vehicles deploying on the…

another judge blocks trump’s tiktok ban; app still in limbo

A federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban TikTok, the latest legal defeat for the administration as it tries to wrest the popular app from its Chinese owners. The Trump administration had tried to ban the short-form video app from smartphone app stores in the U.S. and cut it off from vital technical services. TikTok sued, arguing such actions would violate free speech and due process rights. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said in a ruling that the Commerce Department “likely overstepped” its use of presidential emergency powers “and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives.” Nichols is the second federal judge to fully block the Trump administration’s economic sanctions against the app as the court cases proceed. The…

airpods max: all the sound tech you can get

Apple may not have hosted an all-bells, all-whistles event to show off its new headphones, but it didn’t need to: the company’s letting the sound speak for itself. After a year of speculation, Apple lifted the lid on AirPods Max online, with its $549 over-ear headphones offering breathtaking high-fidelity audio combined with the magic of AirPods. Designed for professional musicians and audiophiles, Apple’s ready to claim the headphone crown. THE ULTIMATE PERSONAL LISTENING EXPERIENCE Since the introduction of AirPods back in December 2016, Apple’s wearable technology division has exploded in popularity, and recent analysis suggests that the Cupertino company managed to ship more than $9 billion worth of AirPods and AirPods Pro in 2019. That’s without mentioning the continued brand power of its Beats headphones range, which cost the company a cool…

twilio ceo discusses why pandemic lifted tech to new heights

Twilio has emerged as a technological backbone for thousands of companies during the pandemic. Its users rely on its digital tools to connect with customers through mobile apps, call centers and messaging services as the shift to online commerce and curbside pickup accelerates. The San Francisco company ended September with 208,000 customers, a 21% increase from the same time last year, while its revenue surged 52%. Despite its rapid growth, Twilio still hasn’t proven it can be profitable. The 12-year-old company has amassed nearly $1 billion in losses since it was co-founded by its CEO, Jeff Lawson, a software programmer who got the idea for Twilio while helping Amazon build its now-massive web services division. Investors clearly believe Twilio has established itself as a vital service. The company’s stock price has tripled…