Finding a PlayStation 5 Is About to Get Easier

If you still haven’t been able to get your paws on a PlayStation 5 (and you are not alone) then get ready to join the party. Sony says it is ramping up production of the console, which has been notoriously difficult to obtain since its release in late 2020 because of lingering supply chain issues.

On a call with investors this week, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said the materials shortages that were keeping PS5s off of shelves were “improving” and that Sony is planning “heavy further increases” in production.

According to a Reuters report of the call, Ryan says Sony hopes to produce 18 million consoles in 2022, compared to 11.5 in 2021. That’s a 57 percent jump.

The news comes as some cities in China institute  [...]  read more

Apple’s Mixed-Reality Glasses Enter Our Actual Reality

Goodbye iPod, hello Eyes Pod. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has demonstrated a new Apple-made VR headset to its board. Such a product has been rumored for a while and has reportedly been in development at Apple since 2015. We don’t yet know what it looks like or much about its features. It could be weeks, months, or even a couple years before an Apple headset surfaces, but the takeaway is that the device does indeed seem to exist.

The dip into virtual-reality hardware has been controversial within the company, with pushback and disagreements between Apple brass, including former Apple design chief Jony Ive. The upcoming headset uses both virtual-reality and augmented-reality tech, and while Apple is also expected to announce a pair of AR-only glasses someday, they’re not as far along.

When the headset does come out, it’s likely to shake up the wearable VR ecosystem. Today that space is largely dominated by Meta’s Oculus goggles. Meta [...]  read more

An EU Law Could Let US Prosecutors Scan Phones for Abortion Texts

The drive to protect children online will soon collide with an equal and opposing political force: the criminalization of abortion. In a country where many states will soon treat fetuses as children, the surveillance tools targeted at protecting kids will be exploited to target abortion. And one of the biggest threats to reproductive freedom will unintentionally come from its staunch defenders in the European Union.

Last week the EU unveiled draft [...]  read more

Your iPhone Is Vulnerable to a Malware Attack Even When It’s Off

When you turn off an iPhone, it doesn’t fully power down. Chips inside the device continue to run in a low-power mode that makes it possible to locate lost or stolen devices using the Find My feature or use credit cards and car keys after the battery dies. Now researchers have devised a way to abuse this always-on mechanism to run malware that remains active even when an iPhone appears to be powered down.

It turns out that the iPhone’s Bluetooth chip—which is key to making features like Find My work—has no mechanism for digitally signing or even encrypting the firmware it runs. Academics at Germany’s Technical University of Darmstadt figured out how to exploit this lack of hardening to run malicious firmware that allows the attacker to track the phone’s location or run new features when the device is turned off.

This video provides a high overview of some of the ways an attack can work.

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The research is the first—or at least among the first—to study the risk [...]  read more

Apple Together Brings Corporate Workers Into the Union Effort

Earlier this year, former Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett received a distraught DM from an Apple retail employee at New York’s Grand Central Station. The employee had been working with a union to organize her store, but the partnership dissolved. Adrift, she messaged Scarlett to vent. The employee knew Scarlett as a founder of #AppleToo, a campaign that emerged last summer to shed light on alleged workplace discrimination and harassment. Scarlett was an outspoken worker’s rights advocate, and she knew just who to call.

Scarlett had recently met an organizer with Workers United at a rally for the unionizing employees at Starbucks, where she used to work. “I was like, wait a minute. You’re in New York. Workers United started in New York. I have a connection.” She made an introduction, and the Grand Central campaign was revived. In April, they went public with their organizing drive, dubbing themselves Fruit Stand Workers United.

The campaign is one of several [...]  read more

A World Without iPods

Wow, my 401(k) is really taking a beating. Glad I put all that money into Bitcoin! Uhhhhh …

The Plain View

Weeks after introducing the iPhone in January 2007, Steve Jobs visited New York City to show his creation to top editors at a couple of publications. I hosted him for a lunch at Newsweek, and my bosses were dazzled by a hands-on demo of the new device, months before its release. While chatting with Jobs before he took off, I shared a thought with him: Wouldn’t it be cool to have an iPhone without the phone? I mentioned this because, at several points throughout his presentation, he’d explained why certain features were constrained by the security and connectivity needs of the mobile carrier.

It wouldn’t work, he told me, rather dismissively.

Later that year, however, we saw the iPod Touch—an iPhone without the phone, complete with iOS, a touch screen, and, of course, a music player, among many other available apps. It was one of countless 180s that Jobs executed [...]  read more

Apple Mail Now Blocks Email Tracking. Here’s What That Means

Nothing makes you more paranoid about privacy than working in a marketing department. Trust me on this. For example, did you know that marketers track every time you open an email newsletter—and where you were when you did it?

Apple caused a small panic among marketers in September 2021 by effectively making this tracking impossible in the default Mail app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I, personally, switched to Apple Mail as soon as the feature was announced. You might feel the same way, but marketers feel as though they’ve lost a useful tool.

“If I start a conversation with somebody and they’re not responding to me, I’m going to stop talking to them at some point,” says Simon Poulton, vice president of digital intelligence at marketing agency Wpromote. “But if someone is nodding along, I’m going to keep talking.”

Tracking email opens, to Poulton, is a way for marketers to see who is, and isn’t, listening—and adjust [...]  read more

Apple Has Lost Its Soul. But Who Cares?

When Jobs died, the big question surrounding Cook was whether he could nurture a product as groundbreaking as the iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad. In the 2010’s the company tried and failed to produce an autonomous electric car (an effort it has reportedly revived). But after a decade of Cook’s accomplishments becoming the stuff of CEO legend, holding him to that standard seems wrongheaded. His management of the iPhone franchise has been the envy of every tech company.

And Apple did have new products in that decade. Ive himself was the impetus for the aforementioned Apple Watch, even though his original focus on ultra-luxury was misguided. (Apple’s course-correction to emphasize the device’s fitness features proved a winning formula.) AirPods, another wearable, added one more beloved notch to Apple’s expanding belt. Even so, in the 2010’s Apple’s biggest new driver of revenue was its growing services business, effectively milking customers of its hardware [...]  read more

Don’t Call Tony Fadell an Asshole—He Prefers ‘Mission Driven’

That touches on another distinction you make, between what you call a “caring CEO” and a micromanager. Where do you draw the line?

You micromanage on key specific things. Being a great leader is choosing those battles, not fighting all of them. Make sure it’s mission-driven.

In the chapter about quitting, you advocate leaving when things aren’t going well. You quit Apple three times.

The third time was the real one.

But you did quit twice before that, retracting your resignations when Jobs addressed your concerns. Aren’t you pitching a tactical form of workplace drama to get what you want?

If you’ve tried everything, and you really care about what you do, quitting is the only thing left to do. You have to go, “I am not going to sit here and do what I feel is wrong. Am I going to come in and be pissed every day about this? What’s bad for my health is going to be bad for the team. I’m leaving.”

After you quit Apple, you started Nest. You [...]  read more

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