Tag: takes

09
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Devialet, the speaker company backed by Jay-Z, takes on Apple with $299 wireless earbuds



a close up of a device: Devialet's Gemini wireless earbuds. Devialet


© Devialet
Devialet’s Gemini wireless earbuds. Devialet

  • Audio company Devialet is branching out from high-end speakers and launching earbuds to rival Apple’s AirPods Pro.
  • Devialet’s Gemini wireless earbuds cost $299 in the US and will be available to pre-order from October 10.
  • CEO Franck Lebouchard talked up Gemini’s active noise cancellation and said the earbuds had been in the works for two years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

High-end speaker company Devialet is taking on Apple with its first pair of wireless earbuds, the £279/$299 Devialet Gemini.

Devialet is best-known for making pricey speakers targeted at audiophiles, winning plaudits for its classic, $2,000 Phantom speakers. The company’s backers include Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, which produces the iPhone, as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

This is the first time the company is venturing into headphones, with an eye to a broader audience.

The Devialet Gemini earbuds are about $50 pricier than Apple’s AirPods Pro, which come in at £249/$249.

Devialet says Gemini’s features will include:

  • Devialet’s high-quality audio engineering
  • 8 hours of battery life in each charge, or six with active noise cancellation enabled
  • Dust and water resistance
  • Bluetooth support
  • A charge case, with replaceable battery, and wireless Qi charging or via USB-C
  • Active noise cancellation comes with “transparency” mode that allows you to hear more background noise



Devialet


© Devialet
Devialet

The earbuds will be available to pre-order online from October 10. They’ll be available to buy directly in the US from partners like Best Buy and Amazon from November 25. According to Devialet’s site, the company isn’t committing to a shipping time, only guaranteeing it will ship by or before December 15 or else issue a refund. In the UK, Devialet Gemini will also be available through retailers such as Harrods and Selfridges.

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08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Microsoft takes a jab at Apple, Google with new app store principles

microsoft-logo-laptop-3802

Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft announced 10 new app store principles in a blog post Thursday, needling Apple and Google’s policies in the process. The new principles are intended to promote choice, fairness and innovation for software developers on Windows 10.

“Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.” the first principle reads.

“Windows 10 is an open platform. Unlike some other popular digital platforms, developers are free to choose how they distribute their apps,” the tech giant wrote, alluding to Apple and Google.

Those companies are embroiled in a legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic over fees they charge in their respective app stores.

Earlier this month, lawmakers from the US House of Representatives accused Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple of “abuses of monopoly power” and called for restructuring of the companies. Politicians also took issue with Apple’s “gatekeeper power” over its App Store.

Source Article

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Microsoft takes aim at Apple with new app store principles

The Washington-based tech giant, and longtime competitor to Apple, is part of a growing list of companies advocating for new policies that would upend the way Apple does business. The coalition, which includes Epic, maker of video game Fortnite, and Spotify, a music streaming service, laid out a set of app store principles it thinks Apple and other companies should follow.

Microsoft’s support for the coalition comes two days after a congressional committee released a 450-page report that blasted Apple and other technology companies for anticompetitive practices. The majority of the criticism for Apple revolved around the way it treats developers and competitors on the App Store. Microsoft is the only tech giant that was not investigated by the committee for antitrust concerns.

Apple has said its App Store does not have a monopoly, citing competition with Google’s Android operating system, and denies that it engages in anticompetitive practices.

In the blog post, Microsoft announced its own 10 principles, which closely resemble the coalition’s. Microsoft said, for instance, that it would charge developers “reasonable fees that reflect the competition we face from other app stores on Windows.” Apple has come under criticism from companies such as Epic and Spotify for charging companies a 30 percent commission on sales made on the App Store or on digital goods sold within apps.

“The innovation that drives the app economy also needs healthy and vibrant digital platforms,” Microsoft’s blog post said. “We know that regulators and policymakers are reviewing these issues and considering legal reforms to promote competition and innovation in digital markets,” the company wrote, adding that the sets of principles could serve as “productive examples.”

The news of Microsoft’s support was welcomed by the coalition’s members, which also include smaller companies such as Tile, the maker of Bluetooth tracking tags, and

07
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Supreme Court takes on Google vs. Oracle: The biggest software development case ever

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will finally hold oral arguments in Google v. Oracle on Oct. 7, 2020. This case will decide, without exaggeration, the future of software development and billions of dollars.

Seriously. 

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states, “allowing copyright on APIs is a terrible idea for computer science.” That’s because almost all modern software depends on open APIs. When your web browser works with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft — any complex site really — it communicates through APIs. When your smartphone shows you the weather, directions to your doctor’s office, or a video, it uses APIs to bridge the gap between services and servers and your devices. 

That’s the theory. Developers see the reality of the threat. Hannu Valtonen, chief product officer at Aiven said: 

It’s clear that an Oracle win would not be in the best interest for the software community as a whole. For startups like ours, an Oracle win would change the ability to be compatible with third-party applications and partners, as companies would have to create entirely new, but similar, APIs rather than use what already exists in the market. It would also make the current competition between tech giants much more cutthroat, as companies could potentially block the use of an API without payment and become “gatekeepers,” therefore fracturing the software environment. From an end-user standpoint, many organizations investing in software understand the need for neutral platform partners that promote successful and open innovation. An Oracle win could change this significantly, setting the software industry back a decade.”

And, it goes on and on. 

Oracle argued Google had infringed Oracle’s copyright, by copying the “structure, sequence, and organization” of 37 Java APIs into Android. Google replied that an API is like

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook takes tougher stance against QAnon content

facebook-logo-phone-4611

Facebook is cracking down on QAnon.


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook said Tuesday that it’ll take down Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that falsely alleges there’s a “deep state” plot against President Donald Trump, even if posts don’t contain violent content.

The social network’s tougher stance comes after Facebook said in August that it would remove these QAnon accounts, pages and groups when they discussed potential violence, and would limit the reach of users tied to the movement.

Facebook said it’s taking strong action against QAnon content because it’s seen posts that included different forms of harm, such as false claims that certain groups started the west coast wildfires. Misinformation about the wildfires diverted the attention of local officials fighting the fires.

“Additionally, QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another. We aim to combat this more effectively with this update that strengthens and expands our enforcement against the conspiracy theory movement,” Facebook said.

The social network said it removed more than 1,500 QAnon pages and groups that contained discussions of potential violence. The company also pulled down over 6,500 pages and groups tied to more than 300 militarized social movements.

At the same time, Facebook has been criticized by advocacy groups and politicians for not acting quickly enough to curb the spread of QAnon content. Some lawmakers praised Facebook for taking a tougher stance against QAnon but said they’d keep an eye on how the policy gets implemented. 

“Ultimately the real test will be whether Facebook actually takes measures to enforce these new policies — we’ve seen