iOS 17 Getting Mood Tracker, AI Health Coach Next Year; Microsoft Beats Market Predictions; Google Revenues; Chrome Getting Universal Cam & Mic Toggles

More leaks about Apple’s upcoming iOS 17 which should be previewed at World Wide Developers Conference in June. reports that the system will be getting several new health-related features, as well as a mood tracker. Oh, great…now your iPhone will probably get a lock screen color changing display like a mood ring! Joking aside, the Health app is getting ported to the iPad for the first time, which will be cool. You could get more metrics on your screen on the iPad than on the phone’s app. A journaling app is also coming, as previously reported. Interestingly, an AI based health coach is on the drawing board, but that looks like it will be out in 2024, not in the upcoming version of iOS. The elusive blood pressure monitoring and non-invasive blood glucose monitoring are still a ways away. 

Microsoft beat market expectations, hauling in $52.9 billion in their third quarter. The stock jumped 4% on the news. According to, Redmond had a 7% increase in revenue over last year. Continued growth in the cloud powered the gains. Gains are good, but 18 months ago, Microsoft had a 20% increase, so as they are looking good compared to some other tech companies, their huge gains are history for the time being. A lot of the easing is due to the worldwide slowdown in PC shipments…that caused a 28% decrease in Windows income for Microsoft. 

Alphabet announced earnings for first quarter, and revenues were up 3% from the same quarter a year ago, but lower than the final quarter of 2022. Cloud revenue was up, but YouTube revenue was down from $6.87 billion to $6.69 billion. Other revenues…that’s the Play Store, and non-ad YouTube revenues were up from $6.82 billion a year ago to $7.41 billion the first 3 months of 2023. 

With hybrid work, we are all still doing plenty of Zoom and Teams calls. Ever keep checking to make sure that mic is off, or need to turn off the cam? Chrome is riding to your rescue. reports that ChromeOS is getting universal mic and camera toggles, so you can avoid some of what we’ve all seen in memes and posts…half naked roommates or naked kids in the background, or the need to suddenly mute when commotion is going on at home. Not only are there new settings to turn off the mic and cam, but if an app tries to access either when you log in, a prompt will pop up and let you know the mic and or cam are on or off. It’s always good to affirmatively turn that cam on, not let the app do it the minute you log in.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 


Spotify Still Growing But Still Losing $; Microsoft to Unbundle Teams; Galaxy Z Fold Coming Early; Google Authenticator Now Syncs 2FA Codes on Different Devices

Spotify continues to be the 800 lb. gorilla of streaming, as it continues to gain users for the platform…but despite layoffs the first of the year, it is losing money. reports that the company bled away a quarter billion dollars first quarter, even after the reduction in staff. On the plus side, Spotify has 515 million active monthly users, which is a 22% increase from the previous year…their largest ever first quarter increase. The number of folks that pay to subscribe is up 15%, but attempts to expand into new types of audio hasn’t really helped the bottom line. The company projects that in this quarter, they will grow to 530 million users, with premium paid subscribers increasing to 217 million. 

Microsoft is expected to stop bundling Teams with the Office productivity suite. This is being reported by Financial Times, and it appears to be aimed at evading a European Union antitrust investigation. The Times says companies will eventually be able to buy Office with or without Teams installed, but how that will work is not clear yet. Microsoft is in talks with EU regulators right now. In 2020, remote work platform Slack, which is now part of Salesforce, complained to the EU about the bundling of Teams with Office. Microsoft hasn’t had to wrangle with the Europeans over restraint of trade since 2009, and seems to be keen on avoiding litigation and big fines. Stay tuned. 

On the word that a Pixel Fold phone may be imminent, Samsung is considering launching the Galaxy Z Fold 5 early, Instead of waiting until August for their next Unpacked event, Samsung may move it into July. According to, Samsung expects the Pixel Fold to pretty well go head to head with the Z Fold in specs and design…not to mention price, which has been rumored to be $1799…right in the wheelhouse of the Z Fold. The Pixel appears in leaks to have a rather chunky hinge, and Samsung may have a leg up with a new hinge design that allows a thinner phone. The hinge is also expected to be more durable, and give the phone more water resistance and the Z Fold should sport wider displays, too. 

A lot of folks have been using Google Authenticator form their phones, just like lots of folks use Microsoft’s Authenticator. A problem has been, if your phone got lost or stolen, you were basically screwed. Now, reports that you will be able to back up and sync your one-time 2FA codes to your Google account via the cloud. That means you can access those same codes from a different device signed in with your Google account…especially if your primary device is unavailable. The updated apps are available now for both Android and iOS.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.

Twitter Blue Drama & Shenanigans; Supreme Court Will Decide if Officials Can Block on Social Media; Netflix Still Rules Very Fragmented Video Market; More on Apple AR Headset

After taking away thousands of legacy blue checkmarks on April 20th, Twitter has restored a number of them for accounts with large numbers of followers…even if they didn’t pay for Twitter Blue. This Blue check change has become a huge disaster for Elon Musk. Over the weekend, a number of dead celebrities have showed up with accounts after someone paid Twitter $8, and claimed to be the dead celeb. Accounts showed up with blue checks for Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Bourdain, Paul Walker, Barbara Walters, Bob Saget, Kirstie Alley, and Michael Jackson…among others.

The Supreme Court has taken up a case on free speech and social media. According to, the High Court will look at whether or not a public official can block their critics on social media. The case is an appeal of one from a couple school board members in Southern California. A lower court had ruled that they couldn’t block school parents on Facebook and Twitter when the parents were critical of the board members. Also rolled into the appeal is a case from a Michigan city official who blocked a citizen complaining about a local government’s COVID-19 response. It will be interesting to see the fusty old court wrangle with free speech as it applies on social media. 

The TV and video streaming market is quite fragmented at this point, but Netflix remains king of the hill for streaming. says Netflix accounts for between 7-8% of viewing every month, based on Nielsen research. No one else is close, except YouTube with a bit over 4%. In fact, Netflix has more watch time than Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max combined. Netflix also has the most shows in the top 10, followed by Disney. 

More details about Apple’s mixed reality headset we think will be unveiled at WWDC in June. reports that it will have a MagSafe connector that will run to a battery pack which is about the size as an iPhone MagSafe one. The pack will go in a pocket or clip to your belt, and give about 2 hours of run time for the headset. Apple obviously expects people to carry an extra battery pack or two…so you can fork over more money to them if you want to use the thing for longer. The MagSafe cable is not removable from the battery pack, and it plugs into the headset and locks in with a turn. No change in one thing…it’s still expected to cost around three grand.

I’m Clark Reid and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

Tesla Q1 Down & So is Elon’s Giant Rocket; Microsoft Drops Twitter from Ad Platform; Google Employees Called Bard ‘Pathological Liar’; 15 Inch MacBook Air-No M2 Pro Chip

Another terrible, very bad week for Elon Musk. Tesla reported net income for the first quarter yesterday of $2.51 billion. That’s down 24% from first quarter of 2022. notes that the EV maker has repeatedly dropped prices on its four models, the Model S, Model X, Model Y, and Model 3 in the US, Europe, and China. That’s boosted sales, with revenue up 24% over last year…but at the expense of profit margins. Meanwhile, this morning, SpaceX’s enormous Starship exploded 4 minutes after liftoff. “Starship just experienced what we call a rapid, unscheduled disassembly,” said John Insprucker, SpaceX’s principal integration engineer. Talk about double-talk…he could have cut to the chase…the sucker blew up!

Microsoft has dropped Twitter from its ad platform. According to, Redmond will no longer support Twitter starting April 25…just 5 days from now. From that date, users will no longer be able to access their Twitter account through its Digital Marketing Center’s social media management tool, according to Microsoft. Users will also no longer be able to schedule, create, or manage tweets or tweet drafts. In addition, users won’t be able to view their past tweets and engagement on the Microsoft Advertising platform. In true form, Elon Musk is threatening to sue.

After Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, Google has been in high gear, rolling out the first tools of its Bard artificial intelligence chatbot in the next few weeks for search. says some employees have complained in internal messages that the system is a ‘pathological liar’ and have begged Google not to launch it. A Bloomberg report about this was based on talking to some 18 current and former Google employees. one employee noted how Bard would frequently give users dangerous advice, whether on topics like how to land a plane or scuba diving. Another said, “Bard is worse than useless: please do not launch.” Bloomberg says the company even “overruled a risk evaluation” submitted by an internal safety team saying the system was not ready for general use. Caveat emptor…let the buyer beware…and you ARE the buyer…you pay to use Google with troves of your data!

Well connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now says the upcoming 15 inch MacBook Air will have 2 different M2 chips available…but neither will be the Pro chip. reports that the M3 chip should be going into production in the second half of this year, followed by the M3 Pro and M3 Max versions. The 15 inch Air will just get an M2 chip with a couple varieties available…but really only more cores in one. This will pretty much be the same setup as the 13 inch MacBook Air. the bigger Air is expected this summer, and will probably be previewed at WWDC in June.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.

Europe Moves To Boost Chip Production; Meta-More Layoffs; Netflix Still Cracking Down on Account Sharing + Kills Mail Biz; FTC Warning- AI Tech Will Increase Fraud

The European union has agreed to a $50 billion dollar plan to boost production of semiconductor chips there. reports that the production will generate chips for everything from phones to cars to refrigerators. The EU plans to double their market share from 10% to 20% of the semiconductor market by 2030. This, coupled with the plants being built in the US that should come online next year should reduce both the US and Europe’s dependence on China for the essential components. 

Netflix is still angling to ding users for account sharing, but now it looks like the extra fee won’t hit US users until the 2nd quarter. According to, Netflix has already imposed fees in 4 countries. They estimate there are over 100 million non-paying households mooching off friends or family. The fee hasn’t been set in stone yet, but the video streamer wants the skaters to at least pay something. In other news, Netflix will shut down its DVD rental business in September. I know, who knew people were still getting DVDs mailed to them? Netflix started with shipping DVDs about 25 years ago with the first DVD shipped a copy of Beetlejuice on March 10th, 1998. Netflix says it has shipped over 5.2 DVDs. The company says the most popular movie they ever shipped is The Blind Side. 

As announced earlier, Meta is continuing with another round of layoffs today. says that in this stage, there could be another 4,000 employees that get chopped. The total for this group of cuts is supposed to be around 10,000 if Meta is to be believed. When the platform fired 11,000 back in November that was supposed to be all at the time…then Zuck announced these additional layoffs last month. This group is supposed to be mainly tech departments, with the next round in may to be primarily from the business portion of the company. Meta had about 86,000 employees at the end of 2022.

This week, a photograph won a contest, and the person that submitted it refused the prize, announcing that it had been made by artificial intelligence,. We also know that voices can be duplicated, and have talked here about deepfakes…where some creep uses the tech to put someone’s face on another body. Well hold on to your wallets! reports that the FTC is warning that AI tech like ChatGPT will be used to ‘turbocharge’ fraud. The FTC is already staffing up and putting in new tech to track fraud, and in February they launched a new Office of Technology to support blocking or tracking down fraudsters. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

Alaska Air Dumping Kiosks for iPads; Today only 6 EVs Qualify for Full Federal Tax Credits; Google May Unveil Pixel Fold and 7a May 10th; Samsung Looks at Switching from Google to Bing

Alaska Airlines is going to remove its airport kiosks, in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and LA and replace them with iPad based stations…claiming it will get passengers through airport lobbies in 5 minutes or less. reports that the iPad self-serve stations will let fliers scan their boarding passes quickly to print out bag tags, instead of entering a confirmation code or the like. Also, they plan to move to automated bag drops that use facial recognition to identify passengers, streamlining the bag-drop process…which means each station won’t be staffed by Alaska agents. That part seems iffy…it may end up with one agent covering 4 or 5 stations like the self-check outs at retail stores that often hang up or don’t work right. Right now, about 70% of passengers check in ahead of getting to the airport, and most use mobile boarding passes on their smartphones. 

As of today, only a handful of EVs qualify for the full $7500 federal tax credit. According to, those are Cadillac Lyriq, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Bolt EUV, some Tesla Model 3 versions, some Tesla Model Y versions and Ford F-150 Lightning. This is due to strict new guidelines relating to EV batteries and to cutting out China as an approved trading partner. There are some other models that may qualify for a half tax credit of $3750, but if you want the full tax break, now you know what you will need to buy when moving to an EV. 

Rumors point to Google rolling out their Pixel Fold phone at the I/O developer conference coming up on May 10th. says that the phone may be available for preorder from the Google Store that day. It may be a long waiting period…right now the release date to the public is supposed to be June 27th. The Pixel Fold will run $1799. Also coming at the developer conference…the Pixel 7a, the more affordable Pixel phone. Those should be showing up in stores within the next 2 weeks or so. 

On the subject of Google, there is apparently a degree of shock and panic as word has gotten out that Samsung is thinking about dumping Google as their search engine in favor of Bing and ChatGPT. notes that it would be a huge blow to Google to lose one of Android’s biggest manufacturers. This is why Google has rushed ahead to release Magi, their own AI powered search engine tool…the first wave of features will be out in May, as we reported here earlier. With the carrot dangling from Magi, the Samsung and Google search contract “is under negotiation, and Samsung could stick with Google.” Samsung did use Bing as their only search engine way back in 2010, but after a couple years, Samsung switched back to Google. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

AI Coming to Google Search Soon; Elon Must Plays Both Sides-Founds New AI Co; Sega Close to Buying Angry Birds Maker; Apple Launches High Yield Apple Savings Account

After Microsoft added artificial intelligence to its Bing search engine, Google went into high gear. reports that the Alphabet owned search giant was already well into developing their own AI, called Magi, and now will be releasing the first stage of their AI search features ‘imminently.’ As if to show how nervous Google is about getting left behind…their CEO Sundar Pichai did a long interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes last night. Magi will allow Search to “answer questions about software coding and write code based on a user’s request,” which Google has the technology for with PaLM. Users will have the ability to ask follow-up questions, while it would feature ads under generated results. Google presently has a team of 160 working full time on the AI project. Look for the first wave of features in May, with another by fall.

After joining in with other tech leaders calling for putting the brakes on artificial intelligence until some guard rails are set up, we find out that Elon Musk has started a new company called X.AI. According to it was just incorporated last month in Nevada. There had been rumors that Musk was planning to get into generative AI…strengthened when he recently bought thousands of graphic processing units. So while Elon has been openly opposed to OpenAI, a company he co-founded in 2015 but left in 2018, he’s apparently gearing up to be a competitor. 

Game maker Sega is apparently close to closing a deal to by Rovio Entertainment, the makers of the Angry Birds mobile games for a billion dollars. says the deal could be finalized this week. Sega has outbid an Israeli game company that had tried to purchase Rovio for $750 million. Talks with that company, Playtika, ended in January. 

It was announced with some fanfare last year, and now Apple has gone live with its so-called high-yield savings account…called, shockingly, Apple Savings. The account is available to Apple Card users, who can route Daily Cash rewards from using the Apple Card into a 4.15% savings account. Apple says that the 4.15% APY rate is “more than 10 times the national average.” The company also says that Apple Savings has “no fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balance requirements.” The savings account is administered by Goldman Sachs, the same firm as the Apple Card. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

Spotify Bows iPhone Lock Screen Widget; No Apple AR Glasses Until 2026 or ’27; Amazon Responsible for Over Half Serious US Warehouse Injuries; Hypersonic Hydrogen Jet in the Works

For those of you who use Spotify…and that’s a heck of a lot of you…here’s a handy new feature. Spotify has announced that they are rolling out a new iPhone Lock Screen widget for phones running iOS16 or later. reports that the widget will allow opening the Spotify app right from the Lock Screen, saving some time and hassle. This should be particularly helpful when you are on the go…. in the car or hiking, cycling. Spotify is also now supporting Apple Live Activities, which puts music controls at the bottom of your Lock Screen when you are actively using the app. 

While we all wait for the reveal of the Apple Mixed Reality headset soon…very probably at WWDC in June…it looks like the Apple Glasses have been pushed back a bit more. Now, according to, it will be 2026 or ’27. That’s the latest from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. A key is so-called ‘metalens’ technology. The tech uses nanostructure to focus light. The glasses rocking the tech would display content over the real world. In other words, as you walk down the street, and look at a restaurant, you could see the menu hovering in front of you while still seeing the real world as well. An earlier report had mixed reality contacts coming out in 2030, but it looks like that has been pushed further out or shelved for now.  

We all love us those Amazon boxes that land on our porch or at our door. Everyone knows Amazon has a giant workforce in warehouses all over the country (and world, for that matter), so it’s not exactly a surprise that over half the ‘serious’ US warehouse accidents happen at Amazon facilities. says the number was 53% last year, based on data collected by OSHA. This is after Jeff Bezos said 2 years ago the company would spend some $300 million to improve workplace safety. Actually, they have improved….down to 6.9 injuries per 100 workers in 2022 from 7.9 the previous year and 9 per 100 the year before that. They still have a ways to go. Racking up over half the injuries when Amazon has 36% of all warehouse workers. 

Imagine flying from New York to London in 90 minutes! A Swiss startup called Destinus is working on it. reports they are developing a prototype hydrogen-powered aircraft that can fly at over 3700 miles per hour! the craft would use hydrogen fueled air-breathing turbojet engines for takeoff and landing, and a separate ramjet engine to make the hypersonic speeds. This has been experimented with by the military for years…often called a ‘scramjet.’ The first model will carry 25 passengers, and be ready by the end of the decade. After that, Destinus plans a 100 passenger model. Liquid hydrogen is 4 times lighter than jet fuel, but cost much more. The cool thing is that the thrust coming out of the engines is water vapor…much more environmentally friendly than even jet fuel. A small plane has already flown, we may hear about the 25 passenger model in the next year.

I’m Clark Reid and you’re ‘Tecnhified’ for now.

Twitter “No Longer Exists”; Google Pixel Fold; iPhone 15 Won’t Get Solid State Buttons; GM Spends $50 Million on Lithium

The name may still show up on the app, but Twitter as a company no longer exists, as Elon Musk has merged it into his X Corporation. notes that the word really got out when employees…those still working at the platform…got notice that they would be eligible for stock in X Corp, not Twitter. Neither Musk nor his attorney had comments, but Elon did Tweet out simply ‘X’ after word leaked out. Musk wants to make a so-called ‘everything’ app rather like China’s WeChat, where people can send payments, shop, message each other, all on one platform. Musk still claims Twitter…or X…or whatever it becomes, will be worth $250 billion. It looks like Musk will be trying to bring all his companies….Twitter, Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company under the X Corp holding company…not unlike what Alphabet is to Google and the rest, or Meta is to Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp.

There are breadcrumbs that seem to point to Google cooking up a Pixel Fold phone, which could complement the Pixel 7. According to, details are sketchy, but we do know there have been several experimental models, with code names ranging from Passport to Logbook, to Jumbojack. One rumor has Google wanting to differentiate their device from Samsung’s Fold and Flip by branding it something like Pixel Notepad. What we do know is the form factor seems to be similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold. It seems unlikely right now that it will be out in the next 6 months.

It may be a letdown, or might be a ‘so what’ for you, but it looks like Apple has shelved their plans for solid state buttons on the upcoming iPhone 15 models. reports that Cupertino has apparently run into what are being termed ‘unresolved technical issues. I’m sure you are as crushed as I am not to be getting solid state buttons that work with haptic feedback, but we will all manage to pull through somehow! Apple may go to a single long rocker switch instead of two separate volume buttons at this point, since that’s the setup they had for the solid state buttons, and many manufacturers are already making cases, and the like for the new models. 

General Motors is leading a $50 million investment into lithium extraction and refining at startup Energy X. says the General is set on locking in all the lithium it will need to build battery packs for the increasing number of electric vehicles it will be making in the next several years. EnergyX mining operations are in North and South America, so GM avoids any issues with China shutting off or throttling lithium supplies. GM will not be getting 100% of EnergyX lithium, but the amount…as well as other investors…haven’t been released yet. EnergyX is based in Austin, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

I’m Clark Reid and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.

Substack Launches Twitter-Like Notes; Carbon Robotics Laser Weed Zapper; 15 Inch MacBook Air May Drop Soon; Google Beefing Up Pixel Call Screen with AI

Twitter has been doing what it can to block people promoting Substack on their platform, but has eased a bit after a big outcry. Now, Substack strikes back with its Twitter-like Notes just days after Twitter first throttled Substack links. reports that Notes may become a worthy Twitter alternative for some…particularly for Substack writers who have already built an audience on that platform and are angling for a new place to post after Twitter marked Substack links as unsafe. Notes will appear in their own separate tab, so will be separate from the full newsletters you can read in the Inbox tab or the threads you can read in the Chat tab. There is no character limit on Notes, and each post can have up to 6 images, but so far no video. Some writers are already moving from regular Substack publication to the Notes feature, but now that Twitter has backed off the throttling, expect most to still cross-promote on Twitter.

It’s something everyone with land lusts for…an AI powered, industrial laser to zap weeds…eliminating poisons and weed-pulling. According to, Carbon Robotics just raised $30 million dollars to expand their production of weed-zapping machines powered by artificial intelligence and computer vision tech. If this sounds too pricy for your yard, you’re right…but farmers love them. The device is pulled behind a tractor, and so far has been used to kill some 500 million weeds that have poked up amongst some 40 different crops. Carbon plans deliveries of the weed zapper to 17 US states, and 3 Canadian provinces…and with the fresh cash, plans to expand to Europe. The LaserWeeder uses 30 industrial lasers with tracking cameras to kill up to 200,000 weeds an hour. Being able to grow clean crops without plastering on expensive and unhealthy herbicide (which is often heard as HERBicide in some rural areas) should be a boon to agriculture. Also…think of when they shrink it down to fit in a lawnmower or weed whacker!

The MacBook Air may be about to get a bigger, 15 inch screen model…and soon. says that display analyst Ross Young claims we may see the bigger MacBook Air by the end of this month or in early May. He says that production for the screens began in February. The screen size is specifically 15.5 inches…right in-between the 14 inch MacBook Pro and the 15 inch MacBook Pro. It is expected to have the same design as the M2 MacBook Air, but its unclear what chip will power it. Probably an M2, since the M3 chip isn’t expected to be in production until later this year. It is entirely possible that the bigger Air announcement could slip into June and get announced at WWDC.

One of the biggest irritants of the modern, always-on world…unwanted calls. Texts, too, but this is about calls. reports that Google is working on adding AI to its Pixel Call Screen. In a podcast with group product manager Jonathan Eccles, he said Google wants to “solve bigger and more important problems” around “unwanted calls,” from spam to robocalling. The goal is a “future where you should never ever, ever be annoyed at the thought of your phone ringing. The search giant may even be ready to add such a feature with the launch of the Pixel 8 this fall. If so, let’s hope it is something that can be quickly added or cloned by every Android maker and Apple for the iPhone too. If enough junk calls can be screened out, maybe ring tones will become a thing again….or not!

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.