Tag: Quietly

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Why Apple Quietly Discontinued urBeats3 Headphones

KEY POINTS

  • Apple has released the new Beats Flex wireless headphones
  • It has quietly discontinued the older urBeats3 headphones
  • The new device is cheaper than the older one

Apple has announced its newest and cheapest wireless earbuds yet and quietly discontinued a pair of wired earphones that it has been selling for quite some time now.

Cupertino tech giant Apple launched the new Beats Flex, a pair of wireless earbuds that aren’t truly wireless like the AirPods. At $50, the new device takes its place as the company’s cheapest offering for those who want a pair of wireless earphones for less than $100.

The new Beats Flex replaces the urBeats3, which was previously sold for $60. The older audio accessory, which was available in Lightning and 3.5mm versions, has been quietly discontinued and is no longer offered in Apple’s stores.

Those who try to go to the website previously used for the urBeats3 will be redirected to the webpage for the new Beats Flex. The older device’s discontinuation means that Beats no longer offers cheap wired headphones. Those who prefer to use such audio accessories can still buy the wired Beats EP headphones at $130 or the Apple-branded EarPods at $19.

Meanwhile, the new Beats Flex is largely similar to the Beats X wireless headphones in terms of design. It has a wire connecting the left and right earbuds, which can also be magnetically attached to one another when not in use and hung on the user’s neck.

Apple Beats Flex Apple’s new Beats Flex wireless headphones Photo: Apple

Apple said the new Beats Flex features an advanced acoustic platform that boasts custom layered drivers. This allows the device to produce “accurate bass and ultra-low distortion” when listening to music. It also features one-tap Audio Sharing that allows it to sync with other

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

In the shadow of TikTok, China’s apps quietly hoover up downloads

While SHEIN has its origins in China it is one of the biggest shopping apps in the United States, SHAREit has been banned in India despite being massively popular elsewhere, and Likee is chasing TikTok — but desperate to avoid a similar fate.

China’s app makers are having to be agile in a world where key markets have turned hostile to their country’s tech. 

They are either going under the radar in territories where the war over privacy, security and geopolitics rages — or are moving to friendlier markets to win millions of downloads.

Experts say that could signal an unstoppable rise for China’s smart and responsive tech, depending on the long-term damage that security and diplomatic squabbles may bring to the Made in China brand.

For now, the strategies of Chinese-owned platforms — quick reflexes to their customer base and aggressive social media marketing — are winning fans in unexpected places.

Fast-fashion online retailer SHEIN has deployed a legion of influencers and celebrities in the US, including singers Rita Ora and Katy Perry, to soar up the app store rankings.

The platform also advertised a Perry-curated range of affordable tees, dresses and accessories to coincide with her album launch this year.

The company now boasts one of the top five free shopping apps on Apple’s app store in the US, Australia and France, according to US-based research agency Sensor Tower.

“Many of their global users will actually be unaware that they are dealing with a Chinese company,” Hong Kong-based retail analyst Philip Wiggenraad said of such apps.

In a February post on WeChat to recruit suppliers, SHEIN said it had operations spanning more than 200 countries, with 2019 sales exceeding 20 billion yuan ($2.96 billion).

– Catch me if you can –

Even TikTok, battered by an ownership dispute

12
Oct
2020
Posted in website

Serena Williams’ VC firm quietly removed Coinbase from its website

  • Serena Williams invested in Coinbase in 2018 through her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. But the cryptocurrency startup is no longer included on the investments page of the firm’s website.
  • Coinbase is entangled in controversy after CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a memo telling employees to leave their politics and social causes at the door. At least 60 employees have quit in the aftermath.
  • It’s possible that Serena Ventures has divested her stake in Coinbase, and that’s why it pulled the startup from its website. The VC firm did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Serena Williams is keen on investing in startups changing the world for the better.

That strategy explains her earlier investment in Coinbase, a company on a mission to “bring economic freedom to people all over” through an app that allows casual consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

But a battle at Coinbase on the role of employee activism at work may have her tiptoeing away from the startup.

Serena Ventures, the investment firm started by Williams, has quietly removed Coinbase from the investments page on its website, even though it backed the cryptocurrency startup that’s now entangled in political controversy.

In September, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong publicly posted a memo describing how the company should take a hands-off approach to politics and social causes, and instead stay focused on the company mission. The directive was viewed by some as a “cultural reset” after employees pressured the startup to issue a statement on the Black Lives Matter movement in June, and the company’s stonewalling led some to quit and others to do a virtual walkout.

serena ventures old investments page

The Serena Ventures website included Coinbase on its investments page as recently as July 2020.

The Wayback Machine/Serena Ventures


serena ventures investments

A screenshot

30
Sep
2020
Posted in website

The Trump Campaign Is Quietly Disappearing Brad Parscale From Their Website

President Donald Trump’s campaign still won’t clarify the status of its erstwhile campaign manager Brad Parscale, who was taken into custody by police outside of his Florida home over the weekend. But the campaign is quietly purging its website of Parscale’s visage.

Since Tuesday, the campaign has removed a video of Parscale from the homepage of its “Army for Trump” election monitoring operation. It also deleted a page on the main campaign website featuring a video of Parscale and Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and senior campaign adviser. The video of their discussion, billed as a Q&A on the state of the campaign, has also been removed from YouTube. Those deletions were first flagged on Twitter by the writer Jeryl Bier.

One Trump campaign page discussing the event with Lara Trump remained online as of Wednesday morning. After The Daily Beast flagged it in a comment request sent to the campaign, that page was removed as well.

The campaign did not respond to that comment request, which sought to clarify Parscale’s role with the Trump reelect and determine whether he remains an employee or consultant. He was Trump’s campaign manager until July, when he was replaced by former White House political director Bill Stepien. Parscale remained in a senior role for the campaign.

The apparent effort to scrub Parscale from campaign web properties comes in the wake of a police incident outside his home on Sunday. According to the police report, Parscale’s wife called authorities to report that he was threatening to commit suicide, had loaded a firearm in front of her, and had physically assaulted her during a prior domestic dispute.

Body camera footage showed police tackling and handcuffing Parscale as they detained him under a Florida law that allows authorities to involuntarily commit someone who is believed to