I’ve been obsessed with Apple’s attempts to build its own cellular iPhone modem for years, ever since the company snapped up Intel’s smartphone modem business in the aftermath of its surprise legal settlement with Qualcomm. (It’s a long story, but my 2019 writeup has the background). Anyway, the latest news is that Apple is working on an in-house chip that would eventually offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity in one, further reducing its reliance on third-party chip designers. An earlier version of the component without cellular connectivity could be ready by 2025, Bloomberg reports.
On the entertainment side, Disney has released a new trailer for upcoming MCU film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. It’s one of those trailers that — on its face — seems to give away a lot of the movie’s plot, so be warned. I was pretty cold on most of Marvel’s Phase 4 releases, but I remain hopeful that it’ll re-find the magic with the next one.
Finally, in advertising news we have a double whammy from YouTube and Meta. YouTube says that creators on its platform will now be able to make ad revenue from its TikTok clone Shorts, while Meta is rolling out a new ad distribution system in the US over accusations its previous iteration “propagated housing discrimination.”
For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:
Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Tuesday, January 10th, 2023.
Apple’s next custom hardware trick might be its own MicroLED screens
Apple is reportedly working on designing its own in-house MicroLED displays to use in devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The report says that the screens could start showing up on devices as early as next year, following almost five years of planning and development.Read Article >
Currently, Apple uses displays designed and produced by a variety of vendors — the OLED panels for the iPhone 14s are reportedly made by Samsung, LG, and BOE. According to Gurman, Apple will likely still have other companies produce its displays, but they’ll be doing so using Apple’s designs and specifications rather than another firm’s.
Twitter defaults to a For You page now, just like TikTok
Twitter is changing how you move between the algorithmically-driven timeline and the reverse chronological one and making the algorithmic feed the default.Read Article >
In a change rolling out to iOS users first, the company has taken away the star button at the top right that let you switch between two feeds. In its place are two tabs — one labeled “For You” and the other “Following” — and when you open the app, you’ll see the For You tab first.
Parler’s parent company has laid off a majority of its staff
Parlement Technologies, the parent company of “censorship-free” social media platform Parler, has laid off a majority of its staff and most of its chief executives over the last few weeks. The sudden purge of staff has thrown the future of Parler, one of the first conservative alternatives to mainstream platforms, into question.Read Article >
Parlement Technologies began laying off workers in late November, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. These layoffs continued through at least the end of December, when around 75 percent of staffers were let go in total, leaving approximately 20 employees left working at both Parler and the parent-company’s cloud services venture. A majority of the company’s executives, including its chief technology, operations, and marketing officers, have also been laid off, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Samsung confirms February 1st Unpacked, its first in-person event in three years
Mark your calendar: Samsung is hosting its next Galaxy Unpacked on February 1st. The company is officially confirming a date that it kinda accidentally confirmed a few days ago. The event will take place at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco, and although Samsung isn’t saying exactly what will be announced, it’s almost certainly the Galaxy S23 series.Read Article >
The company is also bringing back its preorder reservation incentives for those who are eager to claim a yet-to-be-named device. By putting in a reservation, you’ll get $50 of Samsung store credit if you follow through and preorder one device or $100 when you preorder two devices — that’s all assuming that people are actually able to place preorders, which proved tricky last year. There’s no obligation, thankfully, so you don’t have to purchase one sight unseen.
- The judge who sentenced Elizabeth Holmes explains the reasoning behind his decision.
In November, Judge Edward Davila sentenced Theranos co-founder Elizabeth Holmes to 135 months, or just over 11 years, in prison for defrauding investors.
NPR reporter Bobby Allyn points out that he’s issued his full order explaining the decision (PDF), noting that Holmes was sentenced based on only about 10 percent of the money Theranos actually raised.@BobbyAllyn
The FAA hopes airplanes and 5G can get along by early next year
The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a solution to the long-running dust-up between the airline and cellular industries over 5G rollouts: stricter requirements for radio altimeters in airplanes, which would potentially go into effect early next year (via Bloomberg).Read Article >
The piece of safety equipment, which ties into several systems for most commercial jets, operates using radio frequencies that are similar to the 5G C-band radio waves that Verizon and AT&T have been rolling out after acquiring licenses to use the bands for billions of dollars. C-band is almost critical for 5G to live up to all the hype; it’s what allows carriers to offer incredible speeds without the minuscule range of mmWave.
Jan 10Chevy Corvette E-Ray will have an all-electric ‘Stealth Mode’.
We’ve already seen the upcoming “electrified” 2024 Corvette E-Ray thanks to accidentally leaked images. But now Chevy confirms the presence of an all-electric “Stealth Mode,” which is sure to further infuriate loud exhaust stans. The official reveal won’t come until January 17th, but until then enjoy this short snowy teaser.
- Sapphire Rapids is finally here.
Intel’s long-awaited server chips are shipping today after two years of delays. Three months ago, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told us how shipping Sapphire Rapids was necessary to rebuild Intel’s confidence — and customers’ confidence in Intel. The company told The New York Times a bit more about the delays, though it wouldn’t describe the final fatal flaw that pushed it from 2022 to 2023.
Intel’s new Wi-Fi chip promises a better way to tether your Meta Quest VR headset
Intel and Meta have teamed up on a new way to directly connect your Oculus Quest headset to a gaming PC. If you buy or build a computer with its AX1690 Wi-Fi chip — and unfortunately, just that chip — you should be able to directly connect your headset to the computer instead of relying on your router to do the lifting (via Wi-Fi Now).Read Article >
If you ask me, the Oculus Quest’s coolest feature is that you can tether it to a gaming PC, playing intensive titles like Half-Life: Alyx or Star Wars: Squadrons over Wi-Fi or wired USB-C. But if you’ve ever struggled to configure your router for the best Virtual Desktop or Oculus Air Link experience, like me, this might let you remove it from the equation.
iPhone 16 Pro models could feature under-display Face ID
Apple could finally bring under-display Face ID to the iPhone 16 Pro. According to a report from the Korean outlet The Elec (via MacRumors), the technology used for Face ID will live directly under the screen, blending in with the rest of the display once it’s turned on and revealing only the cutout for the front-facing camera.Read Article >
While rumors about the under-display tech first emerged last year, this never ended up panning out on the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 15 isn’t expected to come with it, either. The Elec’s reporting tracks with predictions from supply chain analyst Ross Young, who tweeted last year that he expects the iPhone 16 Pro to come with under-display Face ID.
Insider trading at Coinbase results in a 10-month prison sentence
What’s been called the first cryptocurrency-related insider trading case has resulted in prison time for one Nikhil Wahi, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.Read Article >
Last summer, Wahi was accused of getting information from his brother, a now-former project manager at Coinbase, and using it to buy coins before they were listed for sale on the popular exchange. This reportedly made him around $892,500 — which he’ll have to pay back according to the terms of his sentencing, in addition to spending 10 months in prison.
There is exactly one game I can confirm RDNA 3 mobile can run
Last week, AMD announced its upcoming Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs and RDNA 3 laptop GPUs, and we got some very brief hands-on time with them. Well, okay — hands-on time is a stretch. I was able to play one specific title on one specific all-AMD system in the company’s demo area at CES 2023 last week. But that does at least confirm that these chips are real and functional in this year’s gaming laptops.Read Article >
The company had a number of upcoming laptops from partners on display at the show, including some of the most anticipated models from Asus and Alienware that we covered over the course of last week. Most of them were running videos that showed off the laptops’ displays but did not clue us in about how the chips inside might perform.
The petite DJI RS 3 Mini could be all you need to stabilize full-frame cameras
DJI has announced the DJI RS 3 Mini, a more compact and lightweight alternative to the larger RS 3 and RS 3 Pro gimbals. Weighing just 1.75 pounds (795g), the RS 3 Mini is the smallest entry to the third-generation Ronin series of stabilizers designed for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Being around half the weight and size of the RS 3 Pro, the RS 3 Mini should be a lot easier to toss into a bag for traveling and allows some users to shoot stabilized video with one hand.Read Article >
It might have mini in the name, but the compact RS 3 Mini can support cameras up to 4.4 pounds in weight, so provided you can lift a little more than six pounds with one arm, you should be able to use this thing in just one hand. DJI has provided a full list of supported configurations on its website, including the Canon EOS R5 equipped with an RF24-70mm F2.8 STM lens, Sony Alpha 7S III with a 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens, and the Fuji X-H2S with an XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 lens. DJI also claims that the RS 3 Mini can stabilize extending zoom lenses without the need to rebalance.
- A decades-old $400 million dollar dog story is getting a Netflix TV show.
This Tiger King-like trailer teases a story about a millionaire dog with Madonna’s old mansion, a personal chef, and maybe a cult.
A shocking, surprising and true story that reads like a fairy tale: Gunther, the German shepherd who inherited $400 million from a mysterious countess.
But here’s a spoiler: Gunther’s Millions is really about a long-running publicity stunt by the owner, Maurizio Mian, with no countess to be found.
Best Buy is now offering free shipping with no purchase minimum
Best Buy is bringing some changes to its rewards program in the new year. Beginning on January 9th, My Best Buy members are eligible to get free shipping with no required minimum purchase. However, My Best Buy members will no longer be eligible to earn rewards points beginning on February 14th, restricting that benefit to Best Buy credit card holders.Read Article >
If you currently have an active My Best Buy account, you can still accrue points on eligible purchases before the new terms and conditions go into effect, and you’ll still be able to redeem any points you’ve accumulated without having to apply for a My Best Buy credit card.
Nothing Phone 1 comes to US via $299 beta program
Nothing is finally giving people in the US a way to purchase its debut smartphone… sort of. After its CEO teased a “US launch” last month, the company has officially announced a new US-focused beta program. Customers can pay Nothing $299 and, in return, receive the black version of the smartphone with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to test. At launch last year, the phone was only officially sold in European and Asian markets.Read Article >
This is far from a full US launch — and not just because the devices are being distributed to test Nothing’s beta Android 13 software. The company’s website cautions that the phone “may not work with all US carriers,” so it sounds like you shouldn’t expect to be able to rely on it for day-to-day usage.
Earth’s ozone layer is on the mend
For decades, the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects life on our planet from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, has taken a beating from common chemicals used in everything from refrigerants to hairspray. But now the holes in the ozone layer are diminishing, thanks to a decades-long global effort to repair it, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed yesterday.Read Article >
Scientists first discovered a gaping hole over the Antarctic in 1985. A couple years later, countries around the world adopted the Montreal Protocol, a global effort to phase out “ozone-depleting substances.” And now, thanks to that work, scientists expect the ozone layer to start looking more like its normal, healthy self in the coming decades. That lowers the risk of skin cancer and cataracts in people, as well as sun damage to plants and crops.
Why Matter mattered at CES
From Central Hall to The Venetian, Matter was the buzzword throughout CES 2023 this year, with most companies even remotely connected to the smart home loudly discussing their Matter plans (although a few were more subdued). The new smart home standard was featured in several keynotes and displayed prominently in smart home device makers’ booths as well as in Google, Amazon, and Samsung’s big, showy displays.Read Article >
More importantly, dozens of companies and manufacturers announced specific plans. Several companies said they would update entire product lines, while others announced new ones, sometimes with actual dates and prices. And Matter controllers have become a major thing, with at least four brand-new ones debuting at CES. Interestingly, nearly all of them have a dual or triple function, helping banish the specter of seemingly pointless white hubs stuck in your router closet.
Meta is further limiting how advertisers can target teens on Facebook and Instagram
Meta is further restricting how advertisers on its platforms target users under 18, the company announced today.Read Article >
Starting next month, the company is removing the ability for advertisers to target kids on Facebook and Instagram by gender, though they’ll still be able to use age and location. In 2021, Meta rolled back ad targeting based on the interests and activity of teen users, a catch-all term for the trove of data the company collects about your internet activity. With this most recent tightening of rules, advertisers will also no longer be able to target teens based on in-app engagement, like Instagram and Facebook pages they follow and like.
- The sky’s no longer the limit for Starlink internet.
Soon, airBaltic will be the first European airline to provide free Starlink internet services across its entire Airbus fleet, according to an announcement from the popular low-cost carrier.
The airline is working with SpaceX to achieve the certifications required as Starlink Aviation is still subject to regulatory approval, and is expecting to begin installing the system sometime in 2023.
Amazon’s opening up Buy with Prime, pulling other US retailers into its ‘free’ shipping subscription
Amazon’s expanding the availability of its “Buy with Prime” button. Starting on January 31st, more online stores in the US can start offering the benefits of a Prime subscription, such as free shipping and next-day deliveries, on their own websites.Read Article >
Of course, customers who actually want to use the feature will have to pay for a Prime membership, which went up from $119 to $139 per year last February. The main difference between ordering on Amazon and ordering through Buy with Prime is that you can’t track your orders on Amazon.com and that you’ll instead have to click the link in your shipment confirmation email to get information about your order’s status.
Kobo Clara 2E review: slow reader
I don’t know what to do during thunderstorms. I’m from Southern California, after all, where we’re accustomed to warm, sunny days, even during the winter. So when the first raindrop fell on the Kobo Clara 2E I was reading while in the park, my bewildered self naturally thought a bird peed on my review unit. Only when the rain really started to pour down did it hit me that I was caught in the middle of a storm outside with no jacket or umbrella to protect me or this $129.99 e-reader. Needless to say, I freaked out and ran.Read Article >
But there was no need to. It turned out the Kobo Clara 2E is better at dealing with rainstorms than this, well, Californian writer. Now back indoors, drenched and frazzled, I nervously clicked the power button hoping I didn’t destroy it. The e-reader powered on and worked like normal, despite spending about twenty minutes outside in a literal storm.
HBO Max offloads European shows to Comcast and Paramount
SkyShowtime, a European streaming service jointly operated by Comcast and Paramount, has swooped in to acquire the exclusive streaming rights to 21 local HBO Max shows across the continent, the streaming service announced today. Rights to the shows became available after HBO Max halted its original programming plans in Europe last year in attempts to save money. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.Read Article >
The 21 shows include three brand-new European series that have completed production but which are yet to air (ID, The Winner, and Warszawianka) as well as preexisting shows like Lust and Kamikaze. Upcoming shows will be branded as “SkyShowtime Originals” when they release. Existing shows were removed from HBO Max as part of last year’s restructuring so they could be licensed out to other platforms. In total, SkyShowtime says the deal covers 168 episodes and over 150 hours of programming, significantly bulking out the nascent streaming service’s library of local content.
Jan 10Some Forza Horizon developers leave Xbox to form new studio.
Maverick Games is a new studio made up of some of the leaders behind Microsoft’s Forza Horizon series. Games Industry reports that the studio is led by Mike Brown, the former creative director on Forza Horizon 5. Other Playground Games veterans have also joined Maverick, who plan to create a AAA open world game. No news on what that game will be or when it arrives, but it will launch on “consoles and PC.”
Servant’s final season gets off to a blistering start
Heading into its fourth and final season, M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Servant has a lot of questions left to answer. In fact, pretty much all of the big ones remain unanswered. The Apple TV Plus series is ostensibly about a young couple losing their child, only to have it miraculously returned to them not long after their new nanny arrives. But after three seasons, the mysteries have only continued to pile up. In addition to those core family secrets, there’s a crumbling house that feels almost cursed, warring religious factions, strange magical powers, and possibly even angels.Read Article >
It’s a lot, and early on in season 4, the show doesn’t seem too bothered with tying up all of the loose ends: it’s more concerned with ratcheting up the tension and making you feel as uncomfortable as ever.