Friday, March 2
Apple announces hiring of Sony TV’s Angélica Guerra as Head of Latin American Programming: Guerra oversaw Sony Picture Television’s production business across Latin America, including Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. She will report to Morgan Wandell, Apple’s head of international creative development.
Commentary: Apple has poached several Sony executives, including Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who run the company’s new Worldwide Video Programming division. Apple has already placed orders for over 10 original series with well-known actors and producers such as Jennifer Aniston and Steven Spielberg.
Apple hasn’t revealed how it plans to distribute its original content, but it will soon. The company could launch a streaming service like Netflix, or it could release the series through its TV app or iTunes. In the past, episodes of Apple’s “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” and “Planet of the Apps” were exclusive to Apple Music.
Microsoft releases Soundscape: The app for iPhone uses 3D audio technology to enhance a person’s surroundings, helping people with blindness or low vision to explore unfamiliar areas. An audio beacon can be placed on a point of interest, which users hear as they move around.
Soundscape provides information about your surroundings with synthesized binaural audio, creating the effect of 3D sound. It can run in the background in conjunction with navigation or other applications to provide you with additional context about the environment. Your phone, in hand or in pocket, tracks movement using location and activity sensors, and lets you move toward a self-set audio beacon.
Commentary: This is a great example of how technology can improve accessibility. Microsoft still encourages users with vision loss to continue to place their basic awareness of their surroundings and mobility skills as a priority.
California Highway Patrol to use decoy buses in hopes of catching Apple and Google shuttle attackers: A $10,000 reward is also being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible.
Commentary: Unmarked coach buses have been attacked by pellet guns at least 20 times recently while transporting Apple and Google employees along the Interstate 280, between San Francisco and the South Bay, where each company is headquartered. Hopefully these efforts will help catch the perpetrators.
Apple has stopped signing iOS 11.2.5: It is no longer possible to downgrade an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to software versions older than the latest iOS 11.2.6 update, which fixed a system crashing bug related to a Telugu character.
WiseWear plans to sue Apple over illegal restraint of trade: The technology startup filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday. The company blames part of its demise on Apple, which made changes that prevented the Reserve Strap charging band from working with the Apple Watch’s diagnostic port.
Commentary: WiseWear acquired the original company behind the Reserve Strap last year, well after orders were suspended due to the changes in watchOS, so it’s hard to see them having a strong case should they proceed.
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