Pixel 6 and 6 Pro; New Mac & Apple Watch Rumors; Square Buys Afterpay; Zoom- $85 Million Settlement-Zoombombing, etc

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were unveiled today…although it’s more a preview than a full announcement. Theverge.com reports that Google is powering them with a new system on a chip (like in Apple’s new mobile gear). It’s named the Tensor SoC. The SoC is Google-designed, but they didn’t say who was producing it for them. A couple of tech reporters who were invited to get a peek at the new phones, and they are reportedly pretty competitive with Apple and Samsung, which will be refreshing….particularly the fit and finish. The Pro model will have a 6.7 inch screen, while the 6 will use a 6.4 inch display. The Pro model has a 4X folding telephoto lens. No date for the actual release yet, nor for more specs…but expect Google to tease more features as they get close to releasing the handsets. 

A raft of new numbers that appears in the Eurasian Economic Commission database indicate imminent new devices from Apple. According to macrumors.com, there are 6 new Apple Watch identifiers…which are highly likely to be the new Watch Series 7 models. There are two new Mac numbers, which are most likely the expected 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros with the Apple ‘M’ chip silicon inside. The Watches should launch mid-September along with the new iPhone 13 models, while the MacBooks likely won’t bow until probably November, due to the ongoing chip shortage that is effecting everything that relies on electronics at this point. As we reported previously, the shortage should ease for cars, which have older chips, by year’s end, but won’t ease for other devices until the middle of next year. 

Over the weekend, Square made a deal to pick up Afterpay Ltd for $29 billion. Reuters.com notes that it is the biggest buyout of an Australian firm. Afterpay shook up consumer credit by charging merchants for the chance to offer small point-of-sale loans when shoppers repay in interest-free installments, avoiding credit checks. A negative side of the payment system…by avoiding credit checks and laws, the transactions are more exposed to fraud. Afterpay and Square point to the fact that the transactions involved are generally much smaller that a lot of credit card charges, or the likes of car loans or other big ticket items bought on time.

Zoom is forking out a chunk of cash in settlement over their lousy security and privacy early on. Engadget.com reports that they have agreed to pay out $85 million. The suit over ‘zoombombing’ and violation of privacy. The preliminary settlement also requires tougher security measures, such as warning about participants with third-party apps and offering special privacy-oriented training to Zoom staff. The cost could have been higher, but Judge Lucy Koh said Zoom was protected to a great degree by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 


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