Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Apple Inc

Will Congress Pass New Regulation on Big Tech? Time May Be Running Out.

Technology
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are readying a major push on bills aimed at restraining the power of the country’s biggest tech companies, as they see the window of opportunity closing quickly ahead of the midterm elections.In a significant step forward, a Senate committee on Thursday voted to advance a bill that would prohibit companies like Amazon, Apple and Google from promoting their own products over those of competitors. Many House lawmakers are pressing a suite of antitrust bills that would make it easier to break up tech giants. And some are making last-ditch efforts to pass bills meant to strengthen privacy, protect children online, curb misinformation, restrain targeted advertising and regulate artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies.Most of the proposals before Congress are long ...

Regulators aim to rewrite rules for big mergers.

Technology
WASHINGTON — Top federal antitrust officials on Tuesday announced a review of how they approve mergers and acquisitions, in a broad effort to strengthen enforcement and clamp down on a surge of corporate consolidation, particularly in high tech.Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, and Jonathan Kanter, head of antitrust at the Justice Department, said they wanted to rewrite the merger guidelines created a dozen years ago because they didn’t directly address the unique problems raised by the tech industry.The review will focus on how the merger review process is applied to free services, such as those from Google and Facebook. Often, price increases are a key measure for anticompetitive conduct, but that standard doesn’t apply to advertising-based business models that offer free...
What Does Apple’s $3 Trillion Valuation Mean?

What Does Apple’s $3 Trillion Valuation Mean?

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.$3,000,000,000,000.That was (briefly) the total value of Apple’s stock on Monday. It was worth a piddly $2.93 trillion as of Wednesday morning — still a bonkers number that no company has reached before.The milestone is a useful moment to dig into the identity of Apple and the rest of America’s technology titans. Big Tech companies are smart at making products and even smarter at making money. That is a big reason Apple is worth so much.What is Apple’s superpower? With clever tweaks and desirable new products, it has extended the life of its iPhone empire well beyond when it might have declined. What should have been Apple’s weakness — its dependence on the iPhone, at a time when smartphones are no longer ...

Election Falsehoods Surged on Podcasts Before Capitol Riots, Researchers Find

Technology
Weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck outlined his prediction for how Election Day would unfold: President Donald J. Trump would be winning that night, but his lead would erode as dubious mail-in ballots arrived, giving Joseph R. Biden Jr. an unlikely edge.“No one will believe the outcome because they’ve changed the way we’re electing a president this time,” he said.None of the predictions of widespread voter fraud came true. But podcasters frequently advanced the false belief that the election was illegitimate, first as a trickle before the election and then as a tsunami in the weeks leading up to the violent attack at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to new research.Researchers at the Brookings Institution reviewed transcripts of nearl...
Apple Becomes First Company to Hit $3 Trillion Market Value

Apple Becomes First Company to Hit $3 Trillion Market Value

Technology
Combine Walmart, Disney, Netflix, Nike, Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, IBM and Ford.Apple is still worth more.Apple, the computer company that started in a California garage in 1976, is now worth $3 trillion. It became the first publicly traded company to ever reach the figure on Monday, when its stock briefly eclipsed $182.86 a share before closing at $182.01.Apple’s value is even more remarkable considering how rapid its recent ascent has been. In August 2018, Apple became the first American company ever to be worth $1 trillion, an achievement that took 42 years. It surged past $2 trillion two years later. Its next trillion took just 16 months and 15 days.Such a valuation would have been unfathomable a few years ago. Now it s...
Are Apple AirTags Being Used to Track People and Steal Cars?

Are Apple AirTags Being Used to Track People and Steal Cars?

Technology
On a Sunday night in September, Ashley Estrada was at a friend’s home in Los Angeles when she received a strange notification on her iPhone: “AirTag Detected Near You.”An AirTag is a 1.26-inch disc with location-tracking capabilities that Apple started selling earlier this year as a way “to keep track of your stuff.” Ms. Estrada, 24, didn’t own one, nor did the friends she was with. The notification on her phone said the AirTag had first been spotted with her four hours earlier. A map of the AirTag’s history showed the zigzag path Ms. Estrada had driven across the city while running errands.“I felt so violated,” she said. “I just felt like, who’s tracking me? What was their intent with me? It was scary.”Ms. Estrada is not alone in her experience. In recent months, people have posted on Tik...

Big Tech Journeys Into the Virtual Reality Reaches of the Metaverse

Technology
“We were giving away the hardware but making money on the data,” he said. “For every dollar of hardware, we were making three dollars on software and data sales.”This is why companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Meta are exploring similar technologies. For some, they might be a way of selling software and services. For others, they might be a way of selling ads, Dr. Bautista said.But experts say perfecting this technology could take a decade — if not more. Some augmented reality glasses are as small and light as ordinary eyewear, but they do not yet offer the computing power needed to generate the convincing but unobtrusive images that everyday use would require.“It sometimes feels like ‘10 years’ is code for ‘I have no idea,’” said Dr. Balram, who is developing augmented reality gla...
About 20 Apple Stores Are Now Closed as the Omicron Variant Surges.

About 20 Apple Stores Are Now Closed as the Omicron Variant Surges.

Technology
Apple said on Monday that about 20 of its retail stores were closed because of a wave of Covid-19 cases among employees that had left the stores unsafe and understaffed.A handful of stores in Washington State also closed because of storms, the company said.Some of the stores had been closed as a precautionary measure to protect employees and customers from being infected; others were closed because not enough healthy employees were available to remain open. “We regularly monitor conditions, and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” Amy Bessette, an Apple spokeswoman, said in a statement, adding that workers were tested regularly.Apple employees have been increasingly frustrated with their work environment as the Omicron variant has fueled...

The Year in Tech Empires

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.Big Tech got bigger-er and stronger in 2021. The empires of technology also appeared more vulnerable than ever to the forces of regulation, competition, a complicated public mood and perhaps hubris.Yup, this is a contradiction. But this stronger-but-weaker phenomenon for Big Tech is likely to continue in 2022.Behind this trend is the same question I keep asking in this newsletter: Are American technology superpowers including Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook invincible in a way that prior generations of corporate titans were not?First, here’s a glimpse at ways that Big Tech reached the stratosphere in 2021. Apple, already the world’s most valuable business, is close to reaching an unimaginable...
Apple Pushes Return to Office Date Back to T.B.D.

Apple Pushes Return to Office Date Back to T.B.D.

Technology
Apple, which had already delayed its employees’ return to physical offices from September to October to January to February, has a new timeline: to be determined.Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, told employees in a message viewed by The New York Times on Wednesday that the company was delaying a return to hybrid work “to a date yet to be determined.”He said the decision was made because of the surge of the coronavirus around the world, fueled by the contagious Omicron variant. Mr. Cook also said the company would provide an additional $1,000 to each employee to help furnish home offices.The company confirmed the postponement but declined to comment further.The news came on the heels of Apple’s temporarily closing three retail stores, in Miami, Annapolis, Md., and Ottawa, amid a spike of ...