Virtual Shopping; Apple AR Headset; US Back With Top Supercomputer; Microsoft New Identity Management ToolsPosted: May 31, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
There’s plenty hype about the supposed infinite potential of the metaverse and AR/VR technology as tools for future online marketplaces, but there has also been a decline in revenue for several ecommerce companies in recent years. A new report from Productsup has surveyed consumers’ tastes and expectations when it comes to digital hybrid shopping experiences. According to Venturebeat.com, for many companies looking to boost sales in the digital marketplace, the results illustrate an uphill battle:—60% of shoppers have zero interest in buying virtual goods whatsoever. With revenue from the metaverse expected to reach $800 billion in 2024, though, many companies will continue to ramp up their virtual shopping offerings.
Apple is unlikely to announce its rumored mixed reality headset or its new AR/VR operating system at next week’s WWDC with mass production of the device still some ways off, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a pair of tweets on Tuesday, Kuo said he expected Apple’s headset to launch in 2023, and that announcing it too early would see Apple’s competitors “immediately kick off copycat projects” and release rival products before Apple’s headset hits the shelves. Macrumors.com reports that Kuo’s thoughts echo the most recent report by Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman in which he played down expectations that Apple would make a “full-blown announcement” of its headset at WWDC. One fresh report from a more sketchy source has Apple starting production in the 2nd half of this year.
It’s a constant cat and mouse game, but the United States is on top of the supercomputing world in the Top500 ranking of the most powerful systems again. Engadget.com says the Frontier system from Oak Ridge National Laboratory running on AMD EPYC CPUs took first place from last year’s champ, Japan’s ARM A64X Fugaku system. It’s still in the integration and testing process at the ORNL in Tennessee, but will eventually be operated by the US Air Force and US Department of Energy. Frontier, powered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Cray EX platform, was the top machine by a wide margin, too. It’s the first (known) true exascale system, hitting a peak 1.1 exaflops on the Linmark benchmark. Fugaku, meanwhile, managed less than half that at 442 petaflops, which was still enough to keep it in first place for the previous two years.
Microsoft has announced the launch of Entra, a new product family of identity and access management solutions. The family includes existing tools like Azure AD alongside two new product categories; Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and Decentralized Identity. According to Venturebeat.com, for users, the Entra product family is designed to protect access to any app or resource by enabling security teams to discover and manage permissions in multicloud environments so they can secure digital identities from end-to-end. With more providers maturing their approach to identity management and security, Microsoft is aiming to differentiate itself from other vendors by building an end-to-end solution to identity protection across employees, partners, and customers. Entra Permissions Management provides security teams with a solution to detect unused and excessive permissions, so they can more effectively enforce the principle of least privilege and maintain a top-down view of identities across all cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud platform. Verified ID, is available in early August and will enable users to decide what information they share, when, who they share it with, and provide them with the ability to revoke access when necessary.
Smartphone Sales Soften; DuckDuckGo is Just Semi-Private; Apple WWDC OS RumorsPosted: May 30, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
A new report from South Korea’s Maeil Business News has Samsung, the world’s leading smartphone maker, ramping production down by 30 million units for 2022. The news comes as sales are further hampered by the conflict in Ukraine. In March, the company followed fellow tech giants Microsoft and Apple by suspending sales in Russia. Apple, too, has been feeling the pain. Recent Bloomberg reports noted that the iPhone maker is throttling plans to manufacture an additional 20 million phones in 2022. Bloomberg reports that smartphone sales in China are down about 30%.
The one browser famous for protecting your privacy apparently has quietly sold you out. DuckDuckGo has touted their browser for years as the one that doesn’t track your every move and sell that information to others. So much for that. According to thenextweb.com, DuckDuckGo still blocks Facebook and Google trackers, but apparently makes an exception for some of Microsoft’s. The supposedly privacy conscious browser has been letting Bing and LinkedIn get your data. They blame it on their search syndication agreement with Microsoft.
Some little nuggets from Mark Gurman ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week. Macrumors.com says the analyst sees an enhanced Lock Screen with iOS 16, as well as improved multitasking for iPadOS 16. MacOS 13 will pick up redesigned apps. The iOS Lock Screen will get wallpapers with widget-like capabilities. It won’t get always on, but Apple has apparently built in support for that in future OS editions and phones. The iPad will see major changes in windowing and multitasking….which it can certainly use! For all of the OS versions, the Messages app will get “more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.” Not to be left out, Watch OS 9 will allegedly include “significant improvements to watchOS that affect day-to-day operating and navigation,” alongside refreshes for existing Apple Watch faces and a new Low Power Mode.
Zoom Up 16% Q1; Microsoft Will Support 3rd Party Win 11 Widgets; TikTok Launching Live Creator Subscriptions; Tesla Superchargers in EU Now For AllPosted: May 24, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Zoom hasn’t taken a powder since a lot of people have headed back to the office. The service is up 16% first quarter, according to CNBC, beating all guidance nicely. The company is projecting 9.2% growth in the 2nd quarter. Zoom expects to haul in revenue somewhere between $4.53 and $4.55 billion this year.
Microsoft has announced it will support third party Windows 11 widgets, with those becoming available later this year. Theverge.com reports that the announcement came at the Build developer conference. Right now, Microsoft offers its own widgets, but the selection is pretty miserly. You can use their Outlook or To Do Widgets, but pretty well all the rest are web—powered ones that give you the weather, entertainment news, or regular news feeds. Widgets up to now have been stashed in a dedicated panel up to now, but should be available on the desktop soon.
TikTok is gunning for Twitch, YouTube, and others with a launch this week of TikTok LIVE subscriptions. The subs will allow creators to generate recurring revenue payments from their top fans. TechCrunch.com says the program will launch in beta testing May 26th, and initially will just be available to a select group of creators by invitation only. It has been rumored that this was coming since the 1st of the year. In addition to normal subscriber benefits, subscribers will be able to control the cams on the creators’ livestreams. Badges will also update the longer one is subscribed…giving OG subscribers a hat tip. Prices are rumored to be similar to Twitch’s pricing (which starts at $4.99 a month, with Twitch taking a 30-50% cut. It should be noted that Bloomberg says Twitch may be going to adjust its take.)
Tesla has turned on its Supercharger network in Europe after a test run that started in the Netherlands. According to electrek.co, Tesla crows that it is ‘largest 150 kW+ public fast-charging network’ in the EU. It’s a hard claim to confirm, but it is likely true that Tesla is already offering more fast-chargers with a capacity of 150 kW or more for all EVs than any other charging network operator. Ionity has 417 charging stations deployed in Europe, about twice as many as Tesla Supercharger stations in the pilot program for all EVs, but Ionity is averaging only 4.1 chargers per station for a total of 1738 fast-charger stations. Tesla has only a bit over 200 stations, but averages about 9 chargers per station, which should put them (barely) above Ionity.
DC AG Sues Zuck-Cambridge Analytica; iPhone Front Cam Upgrade Will Cost Apple 3X More; UK Fines Clearview AI; Hyundai Building EV & Batt Plants in GeorgiaPosted: May 23, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
The District of Columbia’s Attorney General has sued Mark Zuckerberg. Engadget.com says the AG claims in the action that Zuck had a direct hand in making the decisions that led to the huge data breach involving Cambridge Analytica. AG Ken Racine claims that Zuckerberg “contributed to Facebook’s lax oversight of user data and implementation of misleading privacy agreements.” That, according to the suit, allowed consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to acquire personal data on more than 70 million Americans, including more than 340,000 DC residents. The company allegedly used the data to help sway voters in the 2016 presidential election through political ad targeting. He had already sued Facebook (now Meta) over the issue in 2018…that case is still proceeding.
We had previously reported that the iPhone 14 models will feature a more expensive, ‘high end’ front facing (selfie) cam. Now, we have an idea how much more expensive. According to macrumors.com, the autofocus cam will from LG Innotek of South Korea, in addition to those acquired from Sharp. Apparently the new selfie cam will run Apple 3 times the cost of the ones in prior iPhone models. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the better selfie cams will be in all iPhone 14 models. It will mean a better depth of field effect of Portrait mode for selfies (why didn’t they do that before?) The Autofocus will enhance FaceTime and Zoom calls. For the camera nerds, it will feature a wider f /1.9 aperture. The present cams have fixed focus and a smaller f /2.2 aperture.
The United Kingdom’s data protection watchdog has taken a $10 million bite out of Clearview AI for privacy breaches. Techcrunchl.com reports that the watchdog has also issued an enforcement notice, demanding that the controversial facial recognition firm stop obtaining and using personal data of UK residents that is publicly available on the internet. Clearview has a database of over 20 billion facial images they obtained by scraping data from the internet…a lot of it from social media platforms. They have AI based software that they sell to governments and law enforcement that uses the data to fight crime…but in a number of instances, it has been mis-used against political rivals and the media in some countries. Taking the data is a breach of privacy laws in a number of countries.
Hyundai is building plants in Savannah, Georgia…both for EV production and batteries. The car factory will be their first EV only plant in the US. According to theverge.com, the Korean car maker will drop $5.5 billion of the facilities, but will also get another billion in investment from its suppliers. The car plant is expected to be cranking out EVs by 2025, and they expect to build 300,000 units per year there. The factory will employ 8100.
Twitter Will Enforce Musk Merger; Disney+ Pay Tier Coming; Apple Considers External ePaper Display; Ecobee Bows New Smart ThermostatsPosted: May 18, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
In a report by CNN on the ongoing Twitter-Elon Musk deal, analyst Dan Ives said there is a “60%+ chance from our view Musk ultimately walks from the deal and pays the breakup fee.” The Twitter board seems pretty intent on holding Musk to the deal. On Tuesday morning, hours after Musk tweeted that “this deal cannot move forward” until his purported spam bot concerns are cleared up, the company filed its proxy statement for Musk’s takeover and said it wants to close the deal “as promptly as practicable.A statement from the board said “The Board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.” With the word enforce, it sounds like Twitter may be going to court to make the deal happen, or make Musk pay the billion dollar break up fee. With the damage to Twitter’s stock price, and top execs bailing through this soap opera, how will Twitter continue? It may be needing a ‘white knight,’ to swoop in and take over. Techdirt’s Mike Masonick guesses such a white knight might be Microsoft. Many analysts think Musk is just angling for a lower price, or will walk after coughing up the billion dollar fee.
Everybody’s doing it in streaming it seems, and the House of Mouse is about to join the party. According to theverge.com, when Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan goes live later this year, it will reportedly run ads for four minutes on movies or shows that last an hour or less. Not only that, but Disney will be cutting out ads that may have adult themes, such as anything related to alcohol or politics — AND they won’t accept any ads if they’re from an entertainment competitor either! In line with their family-friendly reputation, Disney plans on removing ads from all shows if it’s used by a kids’ profile as well. So far, there aren’t any details on how much the cheaper option will cost — Disney Plus currently costs $7.99 / month without ads. A best guess is $3.99 or $4.99 a month. Disney says it added 7.9 million new subscribers last quarter, growing its subscriber base to about 44 million people in the US and Canada.
This seems like such an un-Apple -like feature, but it’s being reported by Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most accurate Apple analysts. Apparently, on the folding device Apple is testing (probably not an iPhone, but more like a folding iPad), “Apple is testing E Ink’s Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for future foldable device’s cover screen & tablet-like applications,” Kuo reported on Twitter earlier today. “The color EPD has the potential to become a mainstream solution for foldable devices’ must-have cover/second screen thanks to its excellent power-saving.” Techcrunch.com notes that one of E Ink’s most well-know and biggest selling points is power saving. It has really only worked for e-readers up to now, but recent generations of E Ink’s electronic paper have added color and sped up the notoriously slow refresh rate and responsiveness. As with all these sort of rumors involving Apple, we note that they test out plenty of things that never make it into a final device.
Ecobee is launching two new smart thermostats, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced and Smart Thermostat Premium. According to androidcentral.com, both have built-in radar for more accurate motion and occupancy detection. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium also comes with a built-in air quality monitor and a SmartSensor in the box. The radar allows the thermostats to detect people through walls and behind objects, unlike the ones with infrared tech. They also both feature a virtual assistant built right in — either Alexa or Siri — with a speaker and mic. That new sensor can detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and relative humidity of the room. It also comes with a SmartSensor in the box so you can place it somewhere else in the house to help the thermostat better balance out heat and air conditioning levels for the whole home. The $199 and $250.
Musk Twitter Deal Shaky; Hacker Can Unlock & Start Teslas; Microsoft-Significant Salary Increases; John Deere Snags Algorithm Startup for AI TractorsPosted: May 17, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Elon Musk’s feet must be about as cold as the North Pole at this point regarding his agreement to buy Twitter. Most investors do their due diligence about a company before making an offer, let alone the board accepting it and hammering out a deal. Reuters reports that Musk is raging about Twitter estimating in a filing earlier this month that fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily users, or mDAUs, were fake or spam accounts. Musk says it is more like 20%, and he is demanding that Twitter prove otherwise before moving forward. The problem is, that legally, it is up to Musk to prove or disprove that….NOT Twitter’s. His vaunted net worth…based mainly on Tesla stock, has dropped by about $44 billion since he announced the Twitter buy. It is looking more and more like he is heading for the exit…and will have to cough up the $1 billion break up fee to Twitter.
Keyless entry is great, but a lot of us know that your key fob can be cloned if a hacker is nearby and can pick up the signal, and run it through his computer and equipment. Now, Tesla’s cool keyless entry system has reportedly been hacked. According to bloomberg.com, a hacker has demonstrated that he can unlock a Model 3 or Model Y, jump in the car and drive away. The technique is pretty much the same as with other cars which do use key fobs. By redirecting communications between a car owner’s mobile phone, or key fob, and the car, outsiders can fool the entry system into thinking the owner is located physically near the vehicle.
As is the case with other tech companies, Microsoft is starting to take proactive measures against competitors stealing top employees. Geekwire.com says Redmond plans to nearly double their global budget for merit-based salary increases for employees at the senior director level and below. The bumps in pay will be stock based, and will amount to at least 25% for those employees, which Microsoft refers to as ‘level 67’ and below. This means people who are not at the general manager, vp, or other higher ranking corporate levels, but folks under those lofty pay grades. Last year, Microsoft showed a $6.1 billion stock comp expense, which was about 10% of its annual profit.
John Deere, which has already been plowing automated driving tech since before any car maker, and has showed off its automated tractors, has taken another step towards better AI for their equipment with the pickup of AI startup Light. Thenextweb.com reports that the state of the art software package from Light will not only accelerate development and deployment of Deere’s AI tech, but will literally help the machinery to move faster safely without human intervention. The tech uses a computer vision approach to self-driving that allows the AI to ‘see’ the area around the way people do. It even allows for depth perception like the human eye. This should give farm operators who get the latest Deere equipment to work the fields and harvest much more efficiently without needing to actually be out there driving the tractor.
Netflix-LIVE Streaming; Apple AirPods & Batteries Getting USB-C; Uber Eats Trialing Autonomous Robotic Deliveries; McLaren Will Race Formula EPosted: May 16, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Last week, we reported that Netflix is probably going to get their cheaper, ad-supported tier by 4th quarter of this year, and plans to crack down on password sharing. Now, according to bgr.com, the streaming giant is looking at another major change. Netflix may be diving into LIVE streaming! They would probably start with unscripted reality shows and comedy specials. No word on whether they are willing to pay the huge fees to live stream to the biggest potential live audience of all…live sports…but don’t be surprised if that happens.
It appears that Apple will be going all the way into USB-C, with the word that they will probably switch to that in the 2023 iPhones. Macrumors.com reports that an investor note from famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also has Apple going with USB-C for their MagSafe battery packs, AirPods, and other accessories. No more paying through the nose for the pricey and fragile Apple cords when your Lightening connector cord frays near the end. As we reported earlier concerning the iPhones, this is all being driven by the EU, which is requiring it…and thereby dragging Apple into the ecosystem already occupied by everyone else. MacBooks, MacBook Pros, Mac desktops, and iPads have already switched over to USB-C.
We have heard rumblings for the last few years, and even seen some little robots tooling down sidewalks in videos, delivering groceries or food. Now, Uber Eats has announced that they are trialing a couple of autonomous delivery pilots in L.A. According to techcrunch.com, they will partner with Serve Robotics, a sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle tech firm. You may either feel its exciting or creepy that your Uber Eats order might be arriving in a self-driving car, and then tool over to your front door in a little delivery robot! For the Uber Eats trial, Serve will be handling shorter trips in West Hollywood. Motional will do longer distance deliveries in Santa Monica.
Mercedes-Benz is bowing out of Formula E…the electric vehicle formula competition, but never fear…McLaren Racing is jumping in to that rarified racing circuit. Arstechnica.com reports that McLaren, which already races EVs in Extreme E and the IndyCar series, will be a formidable competitor. The Mercedes connection? McLaren is taking over the Mercedes-EQ operation. It will be based in England, along with the Mercedes-AMG F1 team. As with other manufacturers, Mercedes has noted that their exit is due to the inability to convert the racing tech to tech useable in their car lines. McLaren hasn’t said what they will be powering their entries with, but one rumor has it that they may turn to Magneti Marelli.
iPhone 15 Getting USB-C; Tesla Recalls 130,000; Sony Xperia 1 IV Telephoto; Galaxy Z Fold 4 Ultra RumorPosted: May 11, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Only because the European Union is pretty well making them, but at last Apple will switch from Lightning to USB-C on iPhones in 2023. Macrumors.com reports that the word is coming from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says the launch will come in mid 2023. Apple already uses USB-C on MacBook Pros, iPads, and basically the rest of their line. The switch will improve transfer speeds and also charging speeds (for those who don’t charge wirelessly. Previously, it had been thought that Apple would hold out until they could drop the port entirely, and just use their wireless MagSafe system to charge and transfer files.
On another Apple note, it’s time to say bye to the venerable iPod. Apple will sell off the remaining Touches at $199, and that’s it. Hardly anyone buys the things now, as your Phone can do everything an iPod Touch can and more. Some 22 years ago, it was an amazing device, though..which at one time threw off 35% of Apple’s revenue. Bye, old friend (you probably have one in a drawer somewhere.) If you have an original with the click wheel…those are bringing several hundred online right now.
It’s a drag when your touchscreen blacks out…I know, it happened to me on my present ride a few years ago. It was irritating to have the music drop and guidance gone until the thing rebooted, but the manufacturer replaced it under warranty, so all was well. Now, according to theverge.com, Tesla is recalling 130,000 cars due to the CPU in the infotainment systems overheating during fast charging, and the screens going blank. Tesla is pushing out an over the air update. Cars include 2022 Model 3 and Model Y, and 2021 and 2022 Model X and Model S. In some cases, the screens have just lagged, and not faded to black entirely. As noted by NHTSA, this issue could prevent drivers from using their backup cam, shifting using the touchscreen, as well as from adjusting the speed of their windshield wipers (some Tesla models adjust windshield wiper speeds automatically and only house manual speed controls in the central touchscreen).
Sony is going big(ger) on cameras for its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 IV. Engadget.com says they will rock what they term the “world’s first true optical 85-125mm zoom lens,” along with true 4K at 120fps, livestreaming and external monitor capabilities and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform chip. It will be a periscope type zoom lens, as Huawei has had for several years, and the lenses will use Zeiss optics. Not many people in the US have Sony phones, but note that Apple gets a lot of their camera hardware from Sony, and Apple is rumored to be getting a periscope physical telephoto zoom NEXT year…so Sony will have the feature in their phones exclusively for a year before Apple gets the tech. The Xperia has a 6.5 inch screen, and numerous other features. It’s out September 1st, with the eye-watering price of $1600. Preorders are open today for a limited time.
Meanwhile, over at Samsung, a leak shows off the design of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. 9to5google.com reports that there is no radical change, but the camera module is different….instead of a big square or rectangular protrusion, only the actual lenses will stick out of the casing on the back of the phone….like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It will be bit thicker than the Fold 3, but Samsung has managed to reduce the weight of this foldable phone to less than an iPhone 13 Pro. That will make a notable difference for when you are holding it for a while…like if you are shooting a video. Expect the Galaxy Z Fold 4 in August, barring any surprise issues.
Netflix Ads By Year’s End; TikTok New ‘Friends’ Tab; Trading Halted Then Started for Crypto Tokens; Testing Car With No Brake PadsPosted: May 10, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Netflix is apparently wasting no time. That ad-supported, cheaper subscription is apparently going to drop by 4th quarter of this year. The New York Times reports that word of it came out in a note to employees. Also in the note_ Netflix intends to start cracking down on password sharing. That had also been rumored, and it’s apparently true. The platform is making the changes due to losing some 200,000 subscribers the first quarter of this year. Right now, the most popular subscription plan is $15.49 a month.
TikTok is replacing the ‘Discover’ tab with a ‘Friends’ tab in the menu at the bottom of the app. According to TechCrunch.com, the platform hasn’t said how soon the rolling change will be pushed out to everyone. The change was announced in a Tweet: “As we continue to celebrate community and creativity, we’re bringing a Friends Tab to more people over the coming weeks, which will allow you to easily find and enjoy content from people you’re connected with, so you can choose even more ways to be entertained on TikTok.”
As cryptocurrencies continue to take a dive or ‘correct,’ in the trading euphemism, Binance had to suspend withdrawals of LUNA and UST after both crashed Tuesday morning. CoinDesk says trading was resumed after a brief stoppage, which Binance claimed was necessary doe to ‘network slowness and congestion.’ UST was at 70 cents at that time…it recovered later to 90 cents. LUNA’s reserves dipped down by 85% from the prior day, while UST was down 41%. These investments aren’t US Treasury Bonds, folks….just put in what money you could literally burn.
With all the attention on EVs and batteries, a French carmaker is testing out brakes without pads. It doesn’t get the headlines, but dust from brake pads produces over 20% of freeway pollution. According to thenextweb.com, the concept car is made by DS Automobiles, the luxury arm of Citroen. The braking system utilizes only electric regenerative brakes. The car uses two electric motors to stop the car with up to 600kW of power. If everything tests out, we could see cars move to this, and eliminate that 20% of pollution on freeways from brake pad dust.
Tesla Investor Concern re Musk Buying Twitter; Instagram Testing NFTs; BMW’s Shipping Without CarPlay or Android Auto; EU May Start New Big Tech Regulation Spring 2023Posted: May 9, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
As Elon Musk plows ahead in his deal to buy Twitter, Tesla shareholders continue to fret and worry about his distraction from his primary business…and the one which actually makes money. The New York Times notes that Tesla stock is down 24% since the announcement of the Twitter buy. The Times goes on to report “Even if he’s able to finance it, it just is not a sensible deal from a financial perspective,” said Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Mr. Musk has demonstrated that he can build two large, successful companies at once: After some stumbles, Tesla sells far more electric vehicles than any competitor, and SpaceX is a leading rocket company. And he may be able to make Twitter more popular and profitable. The Twitter deal does directly involve the EV company, as Musk is borrowing $6.25 billion against his Tesla stock.
Investors have pointed out that it is hard to find another deal where someone has gotten such a big margin loan to help buy another company. The margin loan to buy Twitter could become a destabilizing force if Tesla’s stock value were to plunge. A steep decline might prompt the banks to sell their stock collateral to recoup the money they lent Mr. Musk, which could in turn set off even more selling across the market. The terms of Mr. Musk’s margin loan stated that he must pay off the entire debt if Tesla stock falls more than 40 percent from its price on the day of the loan. With much more competition now in the EV market, Tesla has to face not being nearly the only game in town selling electric vehicles.
NFTs seem to be like a zombie…something that just won’t die. Even with sales of the digital ‘collectables’ down 92% since last September, more companies and platforms seem determined to keep rolling them out. According to TechCrunch.com, this time its Instagram. The Meta-owned platform is testing NFTs from select creators, starting this week. At launch, the supported blockchains for showcasing NFTs on Instagram are Ethereum and Polygon, with support for Flow and Solana coming soon. The third-party wallets compatible for use will include Rainbow, Trust Wallet and MetaMask.Buyers will be able to share their NFTs in their main Feed, Stories, or in messages. I can barely contain my excitement!
The issue…and story…that just won’t die. That would be the chip shortage. Now, engadget.com says BMW is temporarily shipping cars without the support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Due to the shortage, they have moved the cars out with a chip that doesn’t fully support those platforms. BMW says they hope to be able to give the cars the ability to use CarPlay and Android Auto via an over the air update by ‘the end of June at the latest.’ BMW is not remotely the only maker to grapple with shortages. Tesla delivered some cars without USB ports, and Ford had to send some out without rear Climate Control. BMW’s solution is at least better than what Mercedes did with a similar shortage…they sent cars out without chips at all…so owners had to come into the dealerships to have them installed later.
The EU looks to start enforcing the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the Spring of 2023. Theverge.com reports that this antitrust legislation brings a new set of rules to check the power of Big Tech. The European Union warns that they will be prepared to act against any violations made by “gatekeepers” — a classification that includes Meta, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon — as soon as the laws come into force. The DMA actually needs final approval from the Council and Parliament. The Act will affect any company that owns a social platform or app and has a market cap of $82 million or more. What will it mean for big tech companies? When passed, the DMA will likely disrupt the business models used by the world’s tech behemoths. For one, it could require Apple to start allowing users to download apps from outside the App Store. It could also require WhatsApp and iMessage to become interoperable with smaller platforms, a policy that may make it harder for WhatsApp to maintain end-to-end encryption.