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Updated: 14 min 46 sec ago

‘Pokémon GO’ Rolls Out Daily Adventure Incense and Special Raid Event Day

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 21:50

Trainers! A new featured known as Daily Adventure Incense has arrived in Pokémon GO. Trainers around the globe will be able to active this Daily Incense to find Pokémon not generally found in the wild, even if they live in rural areas.

Daily Adventure Incense is currently rolling out to Pokémon GO players throughout the week. Everyday, users will receive one free Daily Adventure Incense. Once activated, users will have fifteen minutes to explore and find Pokémon not frequently seen in the wild.

‘Pokémon GO’ Unveils New Daily Adventure Incense

Right now, there is a Special Research challenge users must begin before receiving Daily Adventure Incense (Note, Niantic says you must complete the Research, but starting it will give you access to the Incense). Additionally, users can not use regular Incense or the Mystery Box while the Daily Adventure Incense is active, or vice versa.

Users can use the Daily Adventure Incense the same way they use regular Incense. Simply locate the Daily Adventure Incense in your Item Bag. Once selected, swipe up on the Incense. A blue fog will surround your avatar as well as any Pokémon lured by the new incense.

For players low on items, the new Daily Adventure Incense will also supply 30 Pokéballs to players that have thirty Pokéballs or fewer.

It is worth noting that trainers must be moving to take full advantage of the incense.

Furthermore, Pokémon GO will track all the ‘Mon caught during this time, and the game will present a recap showing all the Pokémon caught during this time. Users can save this recap and share it on various social media outlets.

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As a surprise, some users may encounter the Galarian birds while using the Daily Adventure Incense. Galarian Zapdos, Moltres and Articuno are available through the Daily Adventure Incense. However, be warned that finding them is rare, and catching them is even rarer. According to reports from u/HQna on Reddit, the Galarian birds have a 0.3% catch rate, and a 90% flee rate.

For those that tried to catch the legendary dogs roaming around during the Johto event, expect the same level of difficulty. Essentially, actually catching the Galarian birds will be some massive bragging rights.

Special Raid Day Featuring Hisuian Braviary

In other Pokémon GO news, a special raid day has been announced for Sunday, July 31, 2022. From 11 a.m. local time to 2 p.m. local time, trainers will be able to raid for Hisuian Braviary.

In addition to Braviary being in raids (difficulty currently unknown), select bonuses will also be active during this time. The shiny form of Hisuian Braviary will also be released during this time, and trainers will have a massive 1/10 chance to get the shiny bird.

For this Raid challenge, bonuses include:

  • Increased chance to receive Rare Candy XL from in-person Raid Battles.
  • Receive up to five free Raid Passes from spinning Gym Photo Discs during the event and up to two hours afterward.
  • 50% more XP for winning Raid Battles.

With the Hisuian event starting today, this is certainly exciting news for players.

In terms of Hisuian Braviary, it is currently unknown if players will be able to evolve any Rufflets they may currently have into Hisuian Braviary during this event. Given the nature of the event, this seems unlikely. However, trainers should be sure to raid during this time, as Hisuian Braviary may likely be a one-time event (or, it is likely to stay exclusive to raids).

High level players will likely be able to solo Braviary, as it is not as powerful as other raid bosses. However, this also remains to be seen.

The new Daily Adventure Incense is massive news for Pokémon GO players. Requiring the player to move while the Incense is active means players finally have an excuse to start moving for the game again. The new Incense will also be incredibly helpful for those that live in more rural areas.

Are you excited for the Daily Adventure Incense? Do you plan on playing during the Hisuian Braviary Raid event? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for ‘Bad Sisters’ Arriving in August

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:47

Today Apple TV+ has unveiled the trailer for the new dark comedy Bad Sisters, arriving from award-winning creator and star Sharon Horgan.

The new Apple Original series will premiere globally on Friday, Aug. 19 exclusively through Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for ‘Bad Sisters’

The new dark comedy murder series Bad Sisters arrives from Emmy Award nominee and BAFTA Award-winning creator and star Horgan. The ten episode series will feature a global debut with the first two episodes Aug. 19, with one new episode following weekly every Friday through Oct. 14.

In a press release, Apple TV+ stated,

The tight-knit Garvey sisters have always looked out for each other. When their brother-in-law winds up dead, his life insurers launch an investigation to prove malicious intent — and set their sights on the sisters, all of whom had ample reason to kill him. In addition to Horgan, the Bad Sisters ensemble cast is led by Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene and Eve Hewson as the Garvey sisters. Claes Bang, Brian Gleeson, Daryl McCormack, Assaad Bouab and newcomer Saise Quinn round out the ensemble cast.

Bad Sisters arrives in thanks to Horgan’s first-look deal with Apple TV+. This will be the first series arriving from that deal, and production is through her Merman production company. Additionally, Horgan also serves as writer and executive producer, alongside Brett Baer and Dave Finkel.

The series is an adaptation from a Belgian version of the series, known as Clan. The Belgian series is a creation by Malin-Sarah Gozin. For the Merman production company, Horgan, Faye Dorn and Clelia Mountford serve as executive producers. For Caviar, Gozin, Bert Hamelinck and Michael Sagol serve as executive producers.

Additionally, along with Horgan, Baer and Finkel, the series is also written by Karen Cogan, Ailbhe Keogan, Daniel Cullen, Perrie Balthazar and Paul Howard. For directors, Dearbhla Walsh, Josephine Bornebusch and Rebecca Gatward serve as directors. Walsh also serves as an executive producer. Bad Sister is a production by Merman Television and ABC Signature, which is a part of Disney Television Studios.

For Bad Sisters, the Apple TV+ trailer looks rather promising. Part murder-mystery, part dark comedy, the trailer is reminiscent of a combination of Bridesmaids and the Kevin Hart-vehicle Death at a Funeral. The humor should likely appease comedy fans, whereas the mystery oh who killed the step-brother should keep mystery and suspense fans glued to their seats.

Lastly, Apple TV+ is having an incredible week in terms of new content. San Diego Comic-Con saw Apple TV+ announcing new seasons for Mythic Quest, For All Mankind, and the third and final season of See. Furthermore, the San-Francisco drama Surface will make its debut this week.

Are you looking forward to Bad Sisters? What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? Let us know in the comments.

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Portugal Law School Professor Files Class Action Suit Against Apple for Excessive App Commission Rate

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:44

A law school professor from Portugal hit Apple with yet another class action suit complaint. The complaint alleges that Apple’s collection of 30% app marketplace commission is “excessive and anticompetitive.”

Portugal Law Professor Files Class Action Suit Against Apple

Professor Fabrizio Esposito, represented by Hausfeld law firm, filed the claims with the Portuguese Competition Court. The class action suit seeks damages amounting up to 100 million euros ($101.5 million). The claims also include Google. In the complaints, Hausfeld alleges that Apple and Google have “systematically acted in contravention of competition law.” Both companies have been overcharging Portuguese customers, according to the lawsuit.

By filing the complaint, Professor Esposito seeks to act as a class representative for Portuguese Apple App Store users. Currently, up to 2.9 million users have been partaking of apps from the Portuguese App Store.

Apple Charges 30% ‘Excessive and Anticompetitive’ Commission

As mentioned, the class action suit claims that the 30% commission Apple charges developers is anticompetitive and raises prices for consumers. It also alleges that if Apple did not impose technical and contractual restrictions, the company wouldn’t be able to charge developers the commission.

Hausfeld partner attorney Lesley Hannah said, “This is the latest in a series of claims and regulatory investigations against the technology giants, who are accused of breaching competition law by charging 30% commission on all purchases of apps, in-app content and subscriptions, generating massive and rising profits.”

Hausfeld Global Co-Chair Anthony Maton also said:

Alongside its European bases, Hausfeld has always partnered with outstanding local firms to bring its extensive litigation experience and expertise to an ever-widening number of European jurisdictions to assist consumers and businesses harmed by corporate anti-competitive behaviour. Our latest collaboration sees us collaborating on collective claims in Portugal where we are well placed to support class representatives to defend the interests of Portuguese consumers and businesses against, in this case, Apple and Google.

Professor Esposito is seeking compensation for any person who has purchased an app or digital content, services or subscriptions within an app in the Portuguese Apple App Store. Luckily for customers, they don’t have to take any actions. App Store customers who have partaken any content from the App Store will be included in the lawsuit. Once the case favors the complainant and granted with compensation, customers will be notified. Additionally, they can also file for compensation.

That being said, Portugal became the fifth country that brought class action suit against Apple and Google. The other four countries included the U.S., U.K., Netherlands and Australia.

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Developers Get Fourth Beta of iOS and iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS Ventura and More

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:32

Three weeks following the third build, Apple has released its fourth beta versions of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS Ventura and more. The first public beta came out July 11, and a new seed for that program may come in the next few days.

With Release of Fourth iOS 16 Developer Beta, Testing Is Progressing Nicely

Tuesday, some headlines emerged concerned that a fourth developer beta hadn’t yet arrived. The wait for the new build was longer than any previous version of the operating system since iOS 6 and iOS 7. Both of those, back in 2012 and 2013, had a 21-day wait between the third and fourth beta releases.

Even so, I’d say the development schedule is coming along nicely. Sure, iOS 16 DB 4 may be a few hours later than with previous versions, but there’s some great advances that may have needed that extra time. Not only that, but Apple is still suffering the effects of COVID-19 to at least some extent.

Some of the new features and improvements we’re already seeing in the latest operating systems include a revamped, customizable Lock Screen on iOS 16 and enhancements to Focus mode. Apple has also baked new capabilities into Dictation, turned on an ability to edit and unsend messages and emails, along with the ability to schedule emails within the Mail app.

New, Fourth Developer Betas of Other Operating Systems Arrive, Too

Alongside the new builds of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, Apple has issued fourth developer betas of its other operating systems. There’s a fresh developer build for macOS 13 Ventura, tvOS 16 for the Apple TV and watchOS 9. A fourth beta of HomePod Software Version 16 beta is also available to developers.

We are in the process of installing and testing the latest beta releases. As changes and other notable details come up, we’ll certainly let you know here and through our YouTube channel. You can already see a number of the new features in action there, with more to come.

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Twitter Client Aviary 2 Brings Completely Reworked App to Users

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:06

In 2020, developer Shihab Mehboob released the first version of Aviary, a Twitter client for macOS, iOS and watchOS. During this time, the app has seen numerous updates and several new features.

Now, Mehboob is releasing the second version of Aviary, which has been completely reworked from the ground up. Of course, it still includes versions for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Twitter Client Aviary 2 Now Available in the App Store

The original Aviary brought a host of unique features. For example, Aviary features a completely customizable interface featuring haptic feedback. Additionally, the iPad version also takes advantage of larger screens, and even features PencilKit support, allowing users to make drawings and tweet them directly from the app.

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For Aviary 2, Mahboob included even more unique features within the App. Likely the most useful new features is the ability to share tweets as images. This allows users to easily publish them to image- or video-only platforms such as Instagram or TikTok without the need to take a screenshot. Additionally, users can also customize these images by changing the layout, font, size, background and more.

Another new features allows the option to set a delay time as to when tweets are actually published. Acting as a means to “Undo Tweets”, the delay can be anywhere from five second to a full minute. This allows users to potentially rethink what they want to say, or perhaps not say it at all.

Aviary 2 also features new widgets, which allows users to see new tweets directly from the iPhone and iPad Home Screen. Additionally, Aviary 2 also provides powerful filters based on words, hashtags, users, Twitter apps and clients, media, quoted content, retweets and more. For the iPad, users can also add more columns for information, should they choose to.

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Lastly, in terms of new features, Aviary 2 also provides a Picture-in-Picture window that floats over other apps. This allows users to watch certain tweets as they work on other projects. The redone Aviary also supports Twitter hashtags, Siri Shortcuts, biometric lock, polls, lists, trends, hidden replies, dark mode, custom icons, Safari extension and push notifications.

There is also a new business model arriving with Aviary 2. While the first was a one-time purchase, Aviary 2 is switching to a subscription model. Currently the monthly subscription goes for $1.99 and $15.49 annually. Users may also purchase a lifetime license for $49.99.

Aviary 2 is currently available on the Apple App Store. Users can use the app on all supported devices through iCloud.

Are you excited for Aviary 2? Any new features you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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Senate Won’t Vote on Big Tech Antitrust Bills Before Recess

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 19:28

Last week, a Democratic caucus from the House of Representatives called on the Senate to vote on two Big Tech antitrust bills before it recesses for August. Claiming he doesn’t think the bills would pass yet, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told donors recently he won’t call for a vote just yet.

Legislation That Could Seriously Impact Apple

The two pieces of legislation would affect Big Tech in general. One, however, could have a much more serious impact on how Apple manages the App Store on iPhone and iPad. The Open App Markets Act would require major changes to Apple’s business model, forcing it to allow third-party software marketplaces.

As just about everyone knows, the only way to add software to the iPhone and iPad is via Apple’s App Store. Google’s Android, by default, has similar limitations but allows users to bypass those in the operating system settings. Under iOS and iPadOS, however, there’s no way to use a third-party app store short of jailbreaking your device.

The Open App Markets Act could change all of that. Mobile device manufacturers would have to allow for third-party software marketplaces, something many claim would threaten the iPhone’s security.

Schumer Says Big Tech Antitrust Bills Don’t Have Required Votes

Schumer told a roomful of his constituents and donors Tuesday night that he doesn’t think there are enough votes to pass one of the bills. The American Choice and Innovation Online Act (ACIOA), which would stop tech companies from favoring their own apps over third-party choices, is iffy, the senator said.

For the bills to pass, each would need 60 votes. Even though Schumer agrees the bills are a “high priority,” he’s not sure ACIOA would pass. Democrats make up 48 of the seats in the Senate. There are 50 Republicans and 2 independents in the other seats.

Other Democrats disagree with Schumer’s concerns. Both bills have bipartisan support, they say. Furthermore, many opinion polls show strong public support for the legislation. With midterm elections approaching, most observers believe senators will want to be seen voting in favor of the bills.

Amy Klobuchar, the legislation’s lead Democratic sponsor in the Senate, insisted the bill has enough Senate support despite lobbying and TV ads criticizing it.

We have growing momentum and the support to pass the bill despite the fact that the companies have spent an atrocious amount of money on lobbyists and TV ads spreading false information.

The Senate will recess beginning Aug. 5. It reconvenes Sept. 6, but Senators are likely to become more focused on midterm campaigns by then than actually doing their jobs.

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Spotify Discontinues the Short-Lived Car Thing Accessory

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 19:10

During its second quarter earnings release, Spotify has announced that it is discontinuing Car Thing, an in-vehicle device used for controlling music. The device only saw an official release earlier this year.

Currently, the Spotify Car Thing is still for sale, though with a massive discount.

Spotify Discontinues Car Thing, Offers Remaining Stock at Discount

During the company announcement of its second quarterly earnings, Spotify did see a 19% increase in monthly active users, with a total now close to 433 million total users. Originally, the company projected that its exit from Russia as well as a service outage would see the company grow with only 14 million new users this quarter. The company brought in 19 million.

However, the company missed on gross margins, which Spotify believes was “negatively impacted” by the decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing. According to TechCrunch, Spotify took a $31.4 million charge through the Car Thing business line.

The goal of Spotify’s Car Thing exploration was to better understand in-car listening, and bring audio to a wider range of users and vehicles, a spokesperson told TechCrunch. Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units. Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has unlocked helpful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio.

So Long, Car Thing

Seeing an official launch in April, Spotify’s Car Thing will still receive support for devices that have been sold to the public. However, it seems like this is the end of the line for Spotify and its move into hardware.

For Spotify, while it beat its own estimates for sales and earnings, the company still runs without making a profit. Concerning the quarter, the company reported a net loss of $197 million on sales of $2.9 billion.

Concerning Car Thing, it is an unfortunate day indeed. As a personal user of Car Thing, I thought it was an excellent device for using the streaming service in your vehicle, especially if you drive a vehicle that lacks Bluetooth. Personally, all it needed was GPS support, and the device would be a perfect match for almost any vehicle.

While it is highly unlikely that Spotify will continue to update the device, hopefully the support promised by Spotify will bring some improvements.

For those interested, you can still purchase Car Thing for $49.99, which is a heavy discount from the original $89.99 price tag. Featuring voice control and four different ways to mount the device, the price discount may make the device more advantageous than before.

Are you a Spotify Car Thing user? How do you feel about Spotify discontinuing the Car Thing? Let us know in the comments.

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Volvo OTA Update Brings Back Apple CarPlay Support

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 17:09

Thanks to an upcoming over-the-air (OTA) update, drivers of newer Volvo automobiles will soon have Apple CarPlay support. The auto maker uses the Android Automotive operating system for its in-car infotainment system. Previously, Volvo’s implementation of Android Automation wouldn’t support Apple CarPlay.

Volvo’s Switch to Android Automotive

Bear in mind, Android Automotive isn’t the same thing as Android Auto. The latter is an app requiring a connected smartphone to operate. Android Automotive, on the other hand, is a full-fledged version of Google’s Android operating system that runs on the vehicle’s center console display.

Volvo first introduced Android Automotive with its Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge models by 2020. Gradually, the auto maker rolled out the operating system to more models. As of now, all Volvo models feature Android Automotive, but Apple CarPlay support has been conspicuously missing.

Update Rolling Out OTA to Bring Apple CarPlay to All Volvo Cars

On July 25, Volvo announced it was beginning to roll out Apple CarPlay support to its vehicles in 14 new markets. The carmaker has been issuing similar OTA updates since early 2021 to make “ownership easier and more flexible.” Volvo expects the update to deploy out to more than 200,000 vehicles in the coming months.

The latest OTA update brings Apple CarPlay support to Volvo vehicles for the first time since adopting Android Automotive. Volvo owners with iPhone devices will be able to plug in their smartphones and have the CarPlay experience overlaid on the Android Automotive-powered infotainment system.

Unfortunately, this experience is wired-only, at least for now. The update doesn’t allow for wireless Apple CarPlay, so you’ll need to use a USB-to-Lightning cable to integrate your iPhone.

We can expect even deeper Apple CarPlay integration with Volvo in the future. When the Cupertino-based tech giant unveiled its next generation of CarPlay, Volvo was listed as one of the automakers committed to the new experience.

The upcoming CarPlay experience will tie even deeper into your vehicle, even going so far as to control the radio or climate control system. Using vehicle data from the instrument cluster, CarPlay should gain the ability to display your car’s speed, fuel level, temperature and more.

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Apple Brompton Road Store Becomes First Retail Store in UK with Dedicated Pick Up Area

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 16:02

Apple shared a preview of flagship store on Brompton Road in London. The store is scheduled to open on July 28. The Apple Brompton Store will be the first store in the U.K. to have a dedicated pick-up area. Customers can pick up the Apple products they’ve ordered from Apple’s online store.

Apple Brompton Road Store Opens to the Public

Located in Knightsbridge neighborhood, the Apple Brompton Road store is just a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park. The store features design inspirations drawn from local flora and cultural diversity. Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People said, “the store’s focus on creativity gives our incredible team members the perfect space to share their passion and expertise with Londoners and visitors from around the world.”

During its opening on July 28, the Apple Brompton Road store will launch “United Vision,” an augmented reality experience to honor the creative works of London poet and painter, William Blake. The purpose-built app demonstrates the possibilities of creativity by reimagining the works of William Blake. The app was developed using Apple technology for the Getty Museum. To create the experience, Tin Nguyen and Ed Cutting used Apple’s M1 Ultra chip. It also features a poetic soundtrack by Grammy Award-winning record producer Just Blaze. Customers can view “United Visions” in-store as well as online.

Store’s Opening Weekend Festivities

During the store’s opening weekend, there will also be a panel discussion on the creation of “United Visions,” with Nguyen, Cutting and Just Blaze. London artist Nina Nesbitt will also give a special performance and Spatial Audio listening session.

For fitness enthusiasts, Apple Fitness+ trainers Cory Wharton-Malcolm, Jamie-Ray Hartshorne, Kim Ngo and Jonelle Lewis will join Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies for an in-store Q&A. This will be followed by a 3-kilometer walk and 5-kilometer run in Hyde Park. Finally, Apple Creative Pros will host live illustration sessions.

After the opening sessions, Apple Brompton Road Store will host ongoing Brompton series. These will be held on the last Thursday of every month and will last until October. The series will include inspirational and informative talks as well as music workshops.

Apple also gave a detailed description of the whole store. For the full details, you may check out the press release.

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Senate to Vote on Boosting US Chip Manufacturing Before August Recess

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 22:40

Lawmakers have cleared one of the biggest hurdles to increasing U.S. chip manufacturing and competitiveness with China. Despite a legislative filibuster, the Senate will vote on an important bill to provide funding for U.S. chip production before its August recess.

Helping US Chip Manufacturing Compete With China

The bill in question, dubbed “CHIPS-plus,” promises to provide roughly $52 billion in funding. These monies would be offered to U.S. companies manufacturing semiconductors and computer chips with domestic resources. It would also provide a tax credit for investments in such chip production.

In fact, the legislation has been stymied by lawmakers for months. The Senate actually stripped down what they originally envisioned. That’s what they’ll vote on by the end of July. During a meeting at the White House, President Joe Biden praised the coming vote. “America invented the semiconductor,” Biden said. “It’s time to bring it home.”

The bill’s supporters call it vital for U.S. economic and national security interests. The world is increasingly dependent on tech advances, and semiconductors are key to those. With most chips manufactured in China, there’s plenty to worry about there.

In fact, national security advisor Jake Sullivan calls America’s reliance on overseas semiconductor producers “flat-out dangerous.” He points out that any disruption in U.S. manufacturers’ chip supply “would be catastrophic.”

Breaking a Legislative Filibuster to Allow a Final Vote

Senators were to hold a cloture vote Monday, to end the legislative filibuster delaying the bill’s final vote. Strong thunderstorms affected travel plans, so legislators postponed the cloture vote until Tuesday morning. Once the votes were tallied, it passed 64 to 32 to end the filibuster.

Next, it goes before the Senate for a full, final vote. Expected to pass, the legislation will then move to the House of Representatives. The bill’s supporters hope Congress will pass it before the August recess, which begins August 5.

Once passed, it goes to President Biden’s desk for signature. Given his vocal stance on its importance, he should ink that signature pretty quickly.

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Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for Third and Final Season of ‘See’

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 21:33

It was a big weekend for San Diego Comic-Con and Apple TV+, as the streaming service unveiled the trailer for the third and final season of See, starring Jason Momoa.

The eight-episode final of the post-apocalyptic drama premieres Friday, Aug. 26 on Apple TV+.

Third and Final Season of ‘See’ Comes to Apple TV+

During the “Storytellers of Apple TV+” panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Apple TV+ as well as See showrunner and executive producer Jonathan Tropper unveiled the trailer for the third and final season. The first episode premieres Friday, Aug. 26, followed by one new episode weekly every Friday.

In a press release, Apple TV+ stated,

See is set in a brutal and primitive future, hundreds of years after humankind has lost the ability to see. In season three, almost a year has passed since Baba Voss (Momoa) defeated his nemesis brother Edo and bid farewell to his family to live remotely in the forest. But when a Trivantian scientist develops a new and devastating form of sighted weaponry that threatens the future of humanity, Baba returns to Paya in order to protect his tribe once more.

Starring alongside Momoa in the final season of See is Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Hilmar, Christian Camargo, Archie Madekwe, Nesta Cooper, Tom Mison, Olivia Cheng, Eden Epstein, Michael Raymond-James, David Hewlett and Trieste Kelly Dunn.

Additionally, See also features cast and crew who are blind or have low vision. The series has received honors for inclusivity and representation concerning the visually impaired. Since the premiere, See has received the Ruderman Family Foundation Seal of Authentic Representation in 2020.

The series was also recognized with an NAACP Image Award nomination for star Alfre Woodard in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Category.

‘See’ Keeps it Inclusive

During the San Diego Comic-Con panel, showrunner and executive producer Tropper spoke about the role the visually impaired have on the series, Tropper spoke highly of Joe Strechay, an executive producer who helped with designs and other ideas concerning the visually impaired.

When we would design a set or write a sequence, we would first sit down with Joe and say ‘Walk us through this’. How would this work? How would a city full of blind people work? How would they have built roads? There was a lot of spending time with Joe and getting his feedback.

See features executive producers Steven Knight, Francis Lawrence, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Jim Rowe, Jennifer Yale, Anders Engström and Tropper. The series is a production by Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content.

Following the final season of See, Momoa will star in yet another Apple Original Series, this time known as Chief of War. The series stars Momoa, who also writes and executive produces. The series is also co-created by Thomas Pa’a Sibbett. Chief of War follows the story of the unification and colonization of Hawaii from the an indigenous point of view.

For Apple TV+, with announcements for both Mythic Quest and For All Mankind also making waves at San Diego Comic-Con, there’s a lot in store for the streaming service.

Are you looking forward to the final season of See? What are you watching on Apple TV+? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple TV+ and ‘Mythic Quest’ Crew Share Teaser for Season 3, Announce Fall Premiere

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 20:46

Apple TV+ has officially announced that the workplace comedy Mythic Quest will receive a season three premiere in the fall. The streaming service also debuted a first-look teaser at San Diego Comic-Con.

Created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Megan Ganz, Mythic Quest will have a 10-episode third season arriving this fall on Apple TV+.

‘Mythic Quest’ Shares Season 3 Teaser at Comic-Con

During a special Mythic Quest panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Apple TV+ as well as the cast and creators confirmed that the series will return this fall. Additionally, the crew also shared a first-look teaser for the third season.

For the panel, co-creator, executive producer and star Rob McElhenney joined co-creator and executive producer Megan Ganz, executive producer and star David Hornsby, as well as stars Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, Ashly Burch, Imani Hakim and Jessie Ennis for a conversation on the series. Featuring moderation of the panel by Craig Mazin, the crew provided a glimpse into what fans can expect in the third season.

During the Comic-Con panel, McElhenney was more than happy to share news with fans. For this season, Hornsby, Prudi and Burch will all find themselves directing for the first time. Additionally, the Mythic Quest team also confirmed that there will be another flashback episode in season three.

“It’s a bit of an origin story about Poppy and Ian,” said Ganz. “Do comic book people like origin stories?”

Furthermore, according to the Apple TV+ press release,

In season three, as Ian and Poppy navigate the gaming world and their partnership at the newly formed GrimPop Studios, Dana is forced to play mediator to her bosses’ incessant bickering. Back at Mythic Quest, David settles into his new role as the boss where he truly finds himself in charge for the first time with Jo returning as his assistant — more loyal and militant than ever; and Carol attempts to figure out where she fits in after a new promotion. At Berkeley, Rachel struggles to balance her morals with capitalism, while a post-prison Brad tries to return to society as a reformed man.

For Mythic Quest, the series was picked up for a third and fourth season despite only airing for two seasons. Mythic Quest joins a small amount of Apple TV+ series to enter into a fourth season. This is due to Apple TV+ still being rather young, having only arrived in 2019.

Unfortunately, F. Murray Abraham will not return for Season Three of Mythic Quest.

Concerning other shows entering their fourth season, For All Mankind also saw an announcement and panel during San Diego Comic-con.

Are you looking forward to Season Four of Mythic Quest? What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? Let us know in the comments.

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Anti-Spying Tool SpyBuster Arrives to iOS Thanks to Ukrainian Developer MacPaw

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 19:50

Ukrainian developer MacPaw has officialy released an iOS version of their anti-spying tool SpyBuster. The app is designed to locate apps that originate from or connect to servers in Russia or Belarus.

SpyBuster from MacPaw is a means to help users identify and remove unwanted connections on a users’s iPhone.

SpyBuster Delivers Anti-Spying Privacy to iOS

Back in 2016, Russia adopted legislation that requires telecom providers to store private user data. This data includes all voice calls, images and text messages going back six months. Telecom providers must all store metadata, such as sender and recipient information, sending time and location for 3 years.

Additionally, the Yarovaya Law allows FSB and other Russian law enforcement agencies almost unlimited access to any user data stored on Russian servers without the need for a court order. Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, a Microsoft Digital Defense Report states that 53% of all cyber attacks between July 2020 and June 2021 originated in Russia.

In a statement MacPaw said,

Our iPhones store some of the most sensitive information about our lives. Imagine if your digital persona ended up in the wrong hands? Knowing where personal data is going and who has access to it can be crucial to digital safety. And since our whole lives can be stored on our iPhones, SpyBuster for iOS became a priority for the MacPaw team.

How SpyBuster Works

SpyBuster works in two ways. The app scans your device for installed apps with known connections to Russia or Belarus, while also monitoring if data is being sent to Russia or Belarussian servers while the app is in use.

SpyBuster works by first scanning for threats. When a user launches SpyBuster on their iPhone, the app scans for executable code and resources within applications in search for evidence of unwanted relations.

SpyBusterScanningAppsInTextJuly2022

When SpyBuster finishes its scan, users will see a list of apps that might be undesirable on your device. Users can tap on each app to view a detailed reason for suspicion. Users are also given instructions on how to delete the app from their iPhone.

Furthermore, users are also able to adjust the detection level between ‘Min’ and ‘Max’ within SpyBuster. For example, users can have the app look for simple things, such as ‘ru’ appearing in the landing page address on the app’s AppStore page. Users can also look for things less obvious, such as the app only coming in two languages, one being Russian.

SpyBuster is currently available for any iPhone running iOS 14 or later. Users can download SpyBuster from MacPaw’s official website or directly from the App Store.

Additionally, SpyBuster is also available for macOS, and as a Chrome extension. MacPaw is also responsible for CleanMyMac X, which also features SpyBuster’s Static Analysis functionality.

Do you plan on installing SpyBuster on your iPhone? Have you tried out CleanMyMac X? Let us know in the comments.

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Wales Man Hopes to Recover 8,000 Bitcoins Using Robot Dogs

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 19:36

Somewhere in Wales, a hard drive containing 8,000 bitcoins is buried in a landfill. The man who accidentally threw that hard drive away has a master plan to get the bitcoin back, but it will require a pair of $75,000 robot dogs and city council approval where the landfill is located.

In the Oops of a Lifetime, Man Throws Away 8,000 Bitcoins

James Howells, of Newport, Wales, had two identical hard drives. One of them was blank, but he was using the other as cold storage for 8,000 bitcoins. In 2013, Howells accidentally threw the wrong hard drive out with the trash.

That hard drive ended up in the local landfill near Newport, Wales. Howells has made multiple attempts to get permission to search for the drive. He’s been rejected at every turn, but now he has an $11 million business plan he hopes Newport City Council officials will approve.

It’s a high-tech treasure hunt in which Howells will use a pair of robot dogs, human sorters and an AI-powered machine to identify hard drives on a conveyor belt.

Using Spot, the Boston Dynamics Robot Dog, to Find Missing Bitcoin

Howells mined the bitcoin in 2009, and then sat on it. A common enough practice, since the theory is that bitcoin will only appreciate in value over the long run. Of course, now that the hard drive containing the bitcoin is buried in a landfill, the former IT worker desperately wants to recover it.

His plan calls for using a pair of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dogs to help in the effort. Spot first came available in June 2020, at $74,500 per unit. Since then, the robot dog has helped perform scans for construction projects, herd sheep, and even patrol parks in Singapore to enforce social distancing.

In Howells plan, he’ll use the robots as security and roaming CCTV cameras. They’ll also scan the ground, searching for the missing hard drive. He’s budgeting for two of the dogs, so he can keep one on patrol at all times while the other charges its battery.

Venture Capitalists and Expert Advisors Work to Recover Missing Cryptocurrency

Howells isn’t just planning all of this on his own education and experience. Nor his own bankroll, since the project could run as much as $11 million and take up to three years. He’s worked with expert advisors to come up with a plan he hopes will be convincing to the Newport City Council in Wales.

The treasure hunter is also working with two venture capitalists to fund the venture. After all, even though the missing bitcoin is worth $168 million as of this writing, there’s no absolute guarantee the plan will work.

The next hurdle may be the most difficult. A Newport City Council spokesperson made it clear to Insider that the man’s chances of approval are slim.

His proposals pose significant ecological risk, which we cannot accept and indeed are prevented from considering by the terms of our permit.

To put all of this into perspective, the task is quite literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The most extensive option would involve scouring through 110,000 tons of garbage over the course of three years. Even a scaled down version of the plan would take 18 months and cost $6 million.

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[U] Remotion Delivers a New Way to SharePlay Spotify

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 18:48

A company using Spotify has announced a new macOS-only client called Remotion. Similar to Apple SharePlay, which allows users to stream media while in a FaceTime call, Remotion shares Spotify media while in an audio/video call.

Update: Updated to reflect Remotion is an app built to use Spotify, it is not developed by Spotify, rather, their own separate company.

Even better, Remotion works without a Spotify Premium account.

Spotify Brings Remotion to macOS Users

Remotion is able to control your Spotify app locally. According to the developers, Remotion features superior audio quality, the ability to work with your playlists and control the volume of music and calls.

Users can create a Remotion Room and gather friends or coworkers to share a Spotify listening experience. To make things more interesting, Spotify has also introduced a feature that doesn’t require pausing the music just to talk. Remotion features live audio ducking, meaning that the volume will automatically lower whenever someone talks. Users can also pause the music if need be.

In a statement, Remotion developers stated,

We started with voice chat (and camera or screenshare if you want). But the devil was in the details: How do you prevent music from echoing when people aren’t muted? Can people hear each other over music? The answer was deceptively simple: Fade the music when people talk. After a ton of iteration, headphones are optional, muting is optional. And it kind of sounds like everyone’s famous—or giving GPS driving directions—your choice.

Remotion does not require a premium Spotify account. However, those that don’t pay for Spotify will still hear ads. After the ad, users are synced back to the conversation.

Furthermore, Remotion is currently free while still in beta. It is not entirely clear how much the app will cost once it is out of beta.

In terms of Spotify, the company has been trying to expand past being more than a streaming service for quite sometime. Way back in April 2021, the company introduced its first hardware product, known as Car Thing. The device seemed like a response to many in-car UIs, and while it could still use a couple of features (such as GPS support), Car Things does provide users with an excellent Spotify experience.

Now, Remotion seems like an answer to Zoom and FaceTime. However, the audio ducking featured within Remotion could be a game changer in video conferencing. Additionally, the developers state that the default settings suggest that you should turn your camera off and just focus on listening to the music.

You can check out Remotion here.

Are you going to try Remotion? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple and Other Tech Companies Are Buying Gold Illegally Mined in Brazil

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 18:35

Major tech companies including Apple are reportedly buying gold illegally mined from Brazilian indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest. Reports say that these companies used the illegally mined gold in the manufacturing of electronic devices.

Tech Giants Used Gold Illegally Mined from Amazon Rainforest

According to the local Brazilian newspaper Repórter Brasil, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft used gold illegally mined from Brazilian indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest. Both Apple and Microsoft used the gold for manufacturing smartphones and computers, while Amazon and Google used it for servers.

The report cited documents confirming the purchase of gold from the Chimet and Marsam refineries between 2020 and 2021. The report said that Brazilian Federal Police have been investigating both refineries for illegal extraction of natural resources. Authorities also charged the refineries with environmental damage.

Brazil Prohibits Extraction of Natural Resources from Indigenous Lands

Brazil prohibits the extraction of natural resources on indigenous lands since it causes deforestation of the Amazon forest. It also contaminates Brazilian rivers with mercury. Additionally, illegal mining of natural resources can finance organized crime. Armed attacks against indigenous people who oppose the illegal extraction of natural resources have grown considerably in recent years. So, the government prohibits this activity, but illegal mining companies still manage to evade the law. These companies continue to extract gold illegally mined from indigenous lands and sell it to companies abroad.

Apple Says It Stopped Buying Gold to Use in the Manufacturing Process

The two previously mentioned Brazilian refineries are currently under investigation. However, since both companies were previously certified in the United States and Europe, their illegal activities continue. Meanwhile, tech companies who reportedly bought gold from the refineries argue that they’ve used only clean materials in their manufacturing process.

When asked for comment about the issue, Apple responded by saying that it had already stopped buying gold from Marsam. However, the company did not mention Chimet. Ironically, Apple has a strong stand on protecting the environment. In a document submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it “works to protect the environment and to safeguard the well-being of the millions of people touched by our supply chain from the mining level to the facilities where products are assembled.

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Apple Veterans Square Project Shows Its Commitment to Fight Housing Crisis in California

Tue, 07/26/2022 - 17:44

Apple announced the recent opening of Veterans Square, a 30-unit housing facility in California. Said facility aims to combat the housing crisis in California by providing housing for veterans and other deserving individuals.

Apple Veterans Square Provides Housing for Veterans and Deserving Individuals

In a press release, Apple said that it partnered with others to build Veterans Square to provide housing for veterans and “individuals who have been identified as having the greatest need for housing.” The housing project opened in March with funding from multiple donors, including Apple. The company said that the project formed part of its $2.7 billion commitment to fight the housing crisis in California.

The Veterans Square building came into fruition through Apple’s partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a community development financial institution (CDFI). The institution provided funding to support 10 affordable housing projects across the Bay Area. These include projects in San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and beyond.

Apple’s Commitment to Other Housing Projects

Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities said, “We’re incredibly proud to see families and neighbors moving into new homes as a result of our partnership with affordable housing organizations across California.” She also noted Apple’s commitment to finding real solutions that can help communities thrive. The different housing-related projects represent tangible progress to make the company’s promise a reality.

Aside from Veterans Square, Apple also teamed up with California Housing Finance Agency in providing mortgage and down payment assistance to low and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. The Cupertino-based company has launched an affordable housing investment program that unlocked funding for 2,000 units across the state.

Destination: Home works to end homelessness in Silicon Valley, and Apple’s support has helped the nonprofit expand its Homelessness Prevention System, which has provided financial and rental assistance to more than 20,000 families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple’s support has also helped Destination: Home fund nearly 1,700 units of supportive and extremely low-income housing in the Bay Area, and extend Wi-Fi to several housing communities.

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Apple Settles Koss Wireless Headphone Patent Case Out of Court

Mon, 07/25/2022 - 23:40

In a 2020 lawsuit, audio accessory maker Koss accused Apple of patent infringement. The company alleged it had invented wireless headphones in general, and true wireless in-ear models in particular. Just days ahead of the scheduled court hearing, Apple has settled the wireless headphone patent case with Koss out of court.

Koss Claims to Have Invented Underlying Technology Behind Wireless Headphones

In its initial filing, Koss claimed it was the original inventor of the underlying technology behind wireless headphones. It made five specific claims related to patents Apple supposedly infringed upon with its Beats headphones and AirPods products.

One of these patents generally describes wireless earphones using “a transceiver circuit for receiving streaming audio from … a digital audio player or a computer, over a wireless network.”

Many wireless headphones can be described as operating in this manner, including Beats headphones and AirPods. Koss has sued other competitors, including Bose and Skullcandy, under the same argument.

Koss asked for royalties from the sale of AirPods and Beats products, but Apple insisted the patents were invalid. Therefore, Apple argued, its products did not infringe on Koss’s intellectual property.

Apple Chooses to Settle Koss Wireless Headphone Patent Lawsuit Out of Court

The hearing for the case was to begin Monday, July 25, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Just days prior, though, the companies filed with the Waco, Texas federal court that they had settled “all matters in controversy between them.”

The Cupertino-based tech giant hasn’t released any details surrounding the settlement. Koss Corp, based out of Milwaukee, Wisc., could not be reached for comment.

Given the announced settlement, U.S. District Judge Alan Albright dismissed the case with prejudice the same day as the filing. The “with prejudice” addendum means neither party can refile the patent infrigenement lawsuit.

Koss’s lawsuits against Bose and Skullcandy are still pending in other courts. They may choose to settle out of court as well, or could pursue a similar defense that the patents are invalid and unenforceable.

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Season Four of ‘For All Mankind’ Cleared for Landing on Apple TV+

Mon, 07/25/2022 - 21:57

Apple TV+ has officially announced the season four renewal for For All Mankind. The critically acclaimed space drama arrives from Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award winner Ronald D. Moore and Emmy Award nominees Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpart.

For All Mankind is set to begin production on season four next month.

Season 4 of ‘For All Mankind’ Landing on Apple TV+

This news arrives as part of For All Mankinds panel at San Diego Comic-Con, featuring series stars Joel Kinsman, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour, Sonya Walger, Krys Marshall, Cynthy Wu, Casey Johnson, Coral Peña, Wrenn Schmidt and Edi Gathegi. Executive producers Moore, Nedivi, Wolpert and Maril Davis also made appearances.

An Apple TV+ press release states:

Described by critics as “one of the best shows currently on TV,” For All Mankind explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended. The series presents an aspirational world where NASA astronauts, engineers and their families find themselves in the center of extraordinary events seen through the prism of an alternate history timeline — a world in which the USSR beats the US to the moon.

Currently streaming on Apple TV+, the third season of For All Mankind takes viewers into the early 90s, featuring a race to the planetary frontier of Mars. As the planet becomes the a prize for both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, a new entrant into the Space Race has a lot to prove and even more at stake.

In season three, the characters of For All Mankind will find themselves facing new challenges as their ambitions grow conflicting. Loyalties will be put to the test, all of which boil int a climatic season finale.

Season Four at San Diego Comic-Con

Concerning the fourth season, showrunners have confirmed that season 4 will see another decade-jump, this time to the 2000s. From there, the show will enter an an alternate reality of the 21st century.

Season four of For All Mankind will likely see a release sometime in 2023.

Additionally, Apple is also hosting several panels at Comic-Con. This includes sneak peeks at the upcoming seasons of Foundation, Mythic Quest and SEE. Furthermore, there was also a panel for the Emmy Nominated Severance, and even a special offsite event for attendees to experience.

Lastly, season four of For All Mankind also marks yet another season reaching the season four milestone for Apple TV+. With the streaming service still being relatively young, a series hitting four seasons is still somewhat rare.

Are you looking forward to season four of For All Mankind? What are you watching on Apple TV+? Let us know in the comments.

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Steven Spielberg Makes His Music Video Directorial Debut Using an iPhone

Mon, 07/25/2022 - 21:16

Over the weekend, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg made his music video directorial debut using only an iPhone. Not only that, but Spielberg also did the entire thing in one-take.

The video is for Marcus Mumford (of Mumford and Sons) and his latest single “Cannibal”. The video was shot in a New York school gymnasium and features a single 3-minute take. Not only was the video directed by Spielberg, but he also exclusively used an iPhone.

Music Video Directed by Spielberg, Shot on iPhone

Additionally, Spielberg’s wife, Kate Capshaw, acts as producer, art director and dolly grip (IE, pulling Spielberg around in an office chair). On Twitter, Mumford shared several pictures from the filming of the video.

The video itself has a great DIY charm showing just how capable the iPhone camera is at capturing video. Another nice aspect about Spielberg choosing this route is that it continues to show that anyone is capable of producing solid videos simply using an iPhone. Of course, having decades of experience in directing and videography also helps.

While Spielberg may now be the most prolific director to shoot using an iPhone, he is far from the first. Apple continuously posts new videos to its YouTube page showing the power of the iPhone camera. For example, Oscar nominee Jason Reitman directed a short film with his father, Ivan Reitman, called Saving Simon. The film was shot using an iPhone 13 Pro.

Additionally, other notable acts have used an iPhone to record music videos. Most notably, rapper Lil Yachty has a Lyrical Lemonade video for his song “Yae Energy”. Featuring Cole Bennett as director, the video was also shot using the flagship Apple device.

It’s great to see big name directors using more simple methods to shoot their videos, as it likely provides inspiration to smaller videographers hoping to make their name known. A DIY approach to music creation and video editing truly shows what can be created with relatively accessible devices.

As the iPhone 14 will likely see release this fall, it will be fascinating to see how directors utilize the updated cameras in the device.

What’s your favorite film or music video shot with an iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

 

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