Sunday, November 28News That Matters

Tag: Mobile Applications

The Car Key of the Future (Is Still in Your Pocket)

The Car Key of the Future (Is Still in Your Pocket)

Business
Years ago, the engineers for the Porsches that raced at Le Mans determined that locating the ignition to the left of the steering wheel saved time on the race start. Drivers of other cars had to use their right hands to first start the engine and then to engage first gear. At Porsche, the left hand turned the key and the right engaged the gear shift simultaneously: Most of today’s Porsches place the ignition switch on the left.Updated Nov. 26, 2021, 4:37 p.m. ETSeveral vehicle operating functions have already been outsourced to smartphones. For example, an app for some BMWs can remotely start the auto; it will run for 15 minutes, heating or cooling the cabin, before automatically shutting off. But some type of hardware — a wireless fob, round or square, with tiny buttons to open and c...

Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s Head, Agrees to Testify Before Congress

Technology
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has agreed for the first time to testify before Congress, as bipartisan anger mounts over harms to young people from the app.Mr. Mosseri is expected to appear before a Senate panel during the week of Dec. 6 as part of a series of hearings on protecting children online, said Senator Richard Blumenthal, who will lead the hearing.Mr. Mosseri’s appearance follows hearings this year with Antigone Davis, the global head of safety for Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, and with Frances Haugen, a former employee turned whistle-blower. Ms. Haugen’s revelations about the social networking company, particularly those about Facebook and Instagram’s research into its effects on some teenagers and young girls, have spurred criticism, inquiries from p...

The Best Tech Gifts That Aren’t Gadgets

Technology
My favorite holiday tech gift doesn’t require batteries or software updates. It’s not even a gadget, though it was made with technology.Can you guess what it is?A few years ago, my wife experimented with her iPad and a digital stylus to make digital illustrations. Using Procreate, a drawing app, she loaded a photo of our beloved corgi, Max, as a reference to trace over before embellishing the image with a polka-dot bow tie and a cartoonishly long tongue. I liked it so much that I picked a background color that would complement our home and uploaded the illustration to the app Keepsake, a printing service that assembles your images in a nice frame before delivering it to your door.A large, framed portrait of Max now hangs as a centerpiece in our living room in all its two-dimensional glory....

Judge denies Apple’s request to delay App Store changes.

Technology
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that Apple could not delay making changes to its App Store, a move that could soon allow app developers to directly communicate with customers about ways to pay for services outside Apple’s ecosystem.Calling Apple’s request for a delay “fundamentally flawed,” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California warned in her ruling that the company’s strict App Store rules were building toward “antitrust conduct.”The judge wrote that she would not let Apple punt on making changes to the App Store, where many developers are barred from directing customers elsewhere. She wrote that Apple was enforcing that rule “to harm competition” while it collected fees on developers’ sales.Apple has been trying to blunt Judge Gonzale...

Facebook Faces New Antitrust Lawsuit

Technology
SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, downloaded a popular new app, Phhhoto, on Aug. 8, 2014, and took a selfie. Other Facebook executives and product managers soon followed suit. The social network then made overtures to integrate Phhhoto.But the interest of Facebook’s top executives in Phhhoto was just a show, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday in the Eastern District of New York by the start-up, which is now defunct. Instead, Facebook simply wanted to squash the competition, according to the suit, which accused the company of antitrust violations.In the suit, Phhhoto’s founders — Champ Bennett, Omar Elsayed and Russell Armand — claim that after Mr. Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives downloaded their app and approached them about a partnership, no deal ...

The Metaverse Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Escape Hatch

Technology
But the most interesting question, to my mind, is: Why is Mr. Zuckerberg doing this? After all, it’s not a prelude to a huge corporate reorganization or a sign of a chief executive who wants to give himself an easier job, as was the case when Google renamed itself Alphabet in 2015 and Larry Page handed over day-to-day control of Google to Sundar Pichai. And even though some have speculated that the Meta rebranding is meant to distract from Facebook’s most recent round of scandals, it’s bizarre to think that announcing a radical plan to reinvent the digital world would make critics less skeptical of the company’s motives.To understand why Mr. Zuckerberg is going all in, it helps to understand that a successful metaverse pivot could help solve at least four big, thorny problems Facebook face...

Facebook Changes Corporate Name to Meta

Business
In 2015, Google restructured itself under a new parent company, Alphabet, dividing itself into separate smaller companies to better differentiate its internet search business from the moonshot bets it was making in other areas. In 2011, Netflix announced plans to cleave its video business into two parts, briefly renaming the DVD-by-mail arm of the company as Qwikster. After The Verge reported last week that Facebook might change its name, social media also erupted with less desirable comparisons. Some recalled how Philip Morris, the tobacco giant, rebranded itself to Altria Group in 2001 after years of reputational damage over the health costs and effects of cigarettes on the American public.Nicholas Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global policy and communications, has rejected the com...

Facebook Profits Jump 17 Percent

Technology
Facebook said on Monday that revenue rose 35 percent to $29 billion in the three months ending in September compared with the same period last year, while profit rose 17 percent to $9.2 billion, a sign of the social network’s financial strength as it faces a public relations crisis over troubling disclosures made by a former employee.Advertising revenue, which is responsible for the vast majority of Facebook’s income, rose 33 percent to $28.3 billion. “Other” revenue, which consists largely of sales of Facebook’s virtual-reality Oculus hardware, rose 195 percent to $734 million.Some 3.6 billion people now use one of Facebook’s apps every month, up 12 percent from a year earlier.“We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founde...
YouTube, Snap and TikTok executives take their turn answering to Washington.

YouTube, Snap and TikTok executives take their turn answering to Washington.

Technology
Lawmakers on Tuesday grilled executives from YouTube, Snap and TikTok about mounting concerns that their platforms can harm children and teenagers.A bipartisan group of senators expressed concerns that the companies’ software steered young people toward inappropriate posts, mishandled consumer data and did not do enough to spot dangerous content on their platforms. Lawmakers repeatedly said their staff had been able to find harmful content — including posts related to self-harm and pornography — inside the companies’ products, sometimes while logged in as a teenager.Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, opened the hearing by accusing the companies of drawing young people further and further into their products.“Everything that you do is to add users, especially kids, and kee...

Google Pixel 6 Review: Playing Catch-Up With the iPhone

Technology
For half a decade, Google, the maker of Android, the world’s most widely used phone software, has had a dream to make a best-selling phone that rivals the gold standard, the iPhone.Google’s Pixel phones have consistently received positive reviews but sell tepidly because of a major weakness: They have relied on off-the-shelf parts from other companies. As a result, they have felt sluggish compared with devices made by Apple, which tightly controls the quality of its iPhones by doing design in-house.With the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which cost $600 and $900 and will be available on Thursday, Google believes it now has phones that level the playing field.These are the company’s first phones to include Tensor, its own computing processor, similar to how Apple designed the silicon that pow...