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Ina Fried, reporting for Axios:

The most high-stakes legal battle in tech just got even juicer. In court documents, Qualcomm says new evidence shows Apple made improper use of its modem technology to help Qualcomm rival Intel develop a more competitive alternative. […]

In the new filings, Qualcomm says that, at Apple’s request, it allowed the iPhone maker deep access to its software and tools, but with strict limits on how those products could be used. Rather than just use it to improve the performance and functioning of Qualcomm chips, the company alleges that Apple used it to understand how the modem works and to help Intel improve their chips.

That’s a serious accusation. They’re accusing Apple of theft.

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4 hours ago by rufous
HODINKEE Radio: Episode 12: Apple And The Future Of Watchmaking
There are two parts to this episode of the Hodinkee Radio podcast. First, a roundtable discussion with Ben Clymer, Jack Forster, and Stephen Pulvirent. Then, an interview between Pulvirent and yours truly. Both parts, of course, focus on Apple Watch Series 4 and where Apple fits in the world of watchmaking.

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5 hours ago by rufous
Instagram’s CEO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson has the take of the day on Instagram, in the wake of last night’s news that co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are leaving:

Controlling one’s own destiny, though, takes more than product or popularity. It takes money, which is to say it takes building a company, working business model and all. That is why I mark April 9, 2012, as the day yesterday became inevitable. Letting Facebook build the business may have made Systrom and Krieger rich and freed them to focus on product, but it made Zuckerberg the true CEO, and always, inevitably, CEOs call the shots.

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7 hours ago by rufous
Instagram’s Co-Founders to Step Down From Company - The New York Times
Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram, have resigned and plan to leave the company in coming weeks, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. The exits add to the challenges facing Instagram’s parent company, Facebook.

Mr. Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, and Mr. Krieger, the chief technical officer, notified Instagram’s leadership team and Facebook on Monday of their decision to leave, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Systrom has guided Instagram’s design and experience all along. This isn’t one of those cases where these two had mentally checked out long ago and are now just making it official — it’s a big deal for Instagram. Interesting, too, that they’re leaving together.

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21 hours ago by rufous
The Talk Show ✪: Ep. 230, With Special Guest Nilay Patel
Nilay Patel returns to the show to talk about the iPhone XS and XS Max.

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Hullo Pillow: Your favorite pillow, guaranteed.

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yesterday by rufous
iPhone XS Camera Review: Zanzibar — Austin Mann
Austin Mann:

Most of the time my expectations for camera upgrades on “S” years aren’t so high, but after shooting with the iPhone XS for a week, I can confidently say it’s a huge camera upgrade. There’s a lot of little improvements, but Smart HDR definitely takes the cake. This is a feature and technology that improves virtually everything you capture with your iPhone camera. I think you’ll be really thrilled when you experience the results yourself.

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yesterday by rufous
AirPower referenced in iPhone XS packaging, iOS 12.1 code shows continuing development | 9to5Mac
Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9to5Mac:

However, new evidence from the iPhone XS and iOS 12.1 suggests that, while it may be delayed, development of AirPower continues. Looking into iOS 12.1, we noticed that the component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated, which means that Apple is still actively working on the project.

Furthermore, a picture of the “getting started guide” that comes packaged with the iPhone XS clearly mentions AirPower. “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger,” it reads. The image was shared on Twitter by Gavin Stephens.

If Apple was planning on cancelling the project altogether, then it would definitely not be mentioning it in the packaging of the brand new devices.

This is good news. Makes me wonder though, if AirPower is going to debut this year, when? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to announce it on stage at an October event for new MacBooks and iPads, because neither of those products will charge inductively. But I guess they could do it alongside the promised new AirPods case.

My other thought: maybe Apple has no plans to talk about AirPower on stage at any event, and they’re just going to release it for sale when it’s ready. They might not want to talk about it because they don’t want to acknowledge — or ignore — the fact that it’s so late.

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yesterday by rufous
By a Captain, He’s No Captain - Commentary Magazine
Frederic Raphael, who co-wrote the screenplay for Eyes Wide Shut, responding to Nathan Abrams new book on Kubrick:

While conning Abrams’s volume, I discovered, not greatly to my chagrin, that I am the sole villain of the piece. Abrams calls me “self-serving” and “unreliable” in my accounts of my working and personal relationship with Stanley. He insinuates that I had less to do with Eyes Wide Shut than I pretend and that Stanley regretted my involvement. It is hard for him to deny (but convenient to omit) that, after trying for some 30 years to get a succession of writers to “crack” how to do Schnitzler’s Traumnovelle, Kubrick greeted my first draft with “I’m absolutely thrilled.” A source whose anonymity I respect told me that he had never seen Stanley so happy since the day he received his first royalty check (for $5 million) for 2001. No matter.

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yesterday by rufous
Colin Kaepernick is Nike's $6 billion man - CBS News
Kate Gibson, writing for CBS MoneyWatch:

The heat Nike has taken over its controversial advertising campaign featuring former NFL start Colin Kaepernick seems to have had another effect: burnishing the iconic brand’s appeal to investors.

Nike shares have surged 36 percent on the year, making the company the top performer on the Dow’s index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The run-up includes a nearly 5 percent increase since Nike’s Labor Day announcement that Kaepernick would be featured in its campaign, adding nearly $6 billion to the company’s market value.

The stock continues to hover near an all-time high, which it reached in mid-September only weeks after some Nike customers publicly burned their shoes to express their displeasure at the new ad.

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yesterday by rufous
Apple and Salesforce partner to help redefine customer experiences on iOS - Apple
Apple Newsroom:

Apple and Salesforce today announced a strategic partnership that brings together the number one customer relationship management platform and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, enabling powerful new mobile apps for business. Working with Apple, Salesforce is redesigning its app to embrace the native mobile platform with exclusive new features on iOS. The companies will also provide tools and resources for millions of Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS, and a new iOS app development course on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, web-based learning platform.

I don’t really know what this means, to be honest, but I do remember being deeply skeptical back in 2008 when Apple announced a bunch of “enterprise” related features for the then-new iPhone 3G. “Apple” and “enterprise” were just words that didn’t go together — until they did. Back then Microsoft, IBM, and Intel more or less ruled the enterprise market unchallenged. Apple has inexorably grown into this market as mobile has taken over the device landscape.

See also: This Reuters interview with Tim Cook and Marc Benioff indicates that a large part of this partnership is about Siri integration, which is also interesting.

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yesterday by rufous
No Sex Please, We’re Apple: iPhone Giant Seeks TV Success on Its Own Terms - WSJ
Tripp Mickle and Joe Flint, reporting for the WSJ:

Tim Cook sat down more than a year ago to watch Apple Inc.’s first scripted drama, “Vital Signs,” and was troubled by what he saw. The show, a dark, semi-biographical tale of hip hop artist Dr. Dre, featured characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion and drawn guns.

It’s too violent, Mr. Cook told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine, said people familiar with Apple’s entertainment plans. Apple can’t show this. […]

Apple’s entertainment team must walk a line few in Hollywood would consider. Since Mr. Cook spiked “Vital Signs,” Apple has made clear, say producers and agents, that it wants high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.

I’ve been curious about exactly this point ever since Apple began this. What’s the difference, though, between R-rated original content produced by Apple and R-rated content produced by others that Apple sells in the iTunes Store? Mickle and Flint point out that even Disney is producing raunchy movies like the Deadpool series.

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3 days ago by rufous
iPhone XS / iPhone X Comparison | Flickr
As promised, here’s a selection of photos and videos taken with iPhone XS and iPhone X side-by-side. The low-light video clips are just amazing.

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4 days ago by rufous
James Bond 25: Cary Joji Fukunaga to Direct New 007 Film – Variety
Henry Chu, reporting for Variety:

Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct the new James Bond film, the producers announced Thursday. The 25th Bond installment will begin filming in London, at Pinewood Studios, on March 4, 2019, with a worldwide release on Feb. 14, 2020, a few months after its original target date.

Fukunaga, who won acclaim for 2015 war film “Beasts of No Nation,” replaces Danny Boyle, who exited the project last month over creative differences with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and returning star Daniel Craig. Fukunaga will be the Bond franchise’s first American director. […]

Fukunaga won an Emmy in 2014 for helming the entire first season (eight episodes) of “True Detective” and giving the crime series a cinematic look. More recently, he directed multiple episodes of Netflix’s “Maniac,” a new half-hour comedy show starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill.

I’m usually not an OMG guy but I just used “OMG” when I texted this news to a friend. I’m just floored by this. Season 1 of True Detective is one of my very favorite cinematic achievements of the decade, right up there with Mad Men, The Tree of Life, and Django Unchained. I’ll add Inception to make it a top 5 list.

Without spoiling anything from True Detective, can you imagine a Bond scene as intense and gritty as the six-minute-long tracking shot scene from episode 4? Fukunaga is exactly what the Bond franchise needs after the all-style/no-sense Skyfall/Spectre duology from Sam Mendes.

(And I’m glad to see EON break their heretofore unwritten rule that Americans couldn’t direct Bond movies. Steven Spielberg wanted to — and because EON turned him down, he and George Lucas turned the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom into a Bond movie opening.)

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5 days ago by rufous
Jon M. Chu Shot This Short Film Entirely on an iPhone XS Max | WIRED
Wired:

To test the new hardware, we gave an iPhone XS Max to the film director Jon M. Chu. The Crazy Rich Asians director shot a short film for Wired, and the results are truly special.

“I had literally zero equipment,” says Chu. “I see a lot of samples of iPhone videos, and sometimes they use different lenses or professional lights. I didn’t have any of that.”

Chu shot the film — a view into dancer Luigi Rosado’s rehearsal space, titled Somewhere — in 4K using the iPhone’s native camera app. It was all shot handheld using the phone’s default stabilizing system. And while he edited the video on a computer, Chu didn’t apply any color correction or any post-production tricks. What you’re seeing is the default output of the iPhone’s camera.

Chu is, of course, a masterful filmmaker. He could make a great movie with an iPhone 3GS. But it’s fascinating to see the potential of the XS camera. This is just a gorgeous fucking film. And it doesn’t just show off the image quality and slow motion capabilities — it really shows off the stabilization. When you watch the tracking shot at the end keep in mind he wasn’t using a gimbal — it was truly handheld.

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5 days ago by rufous
Just Because: How Apple's Awesome Motion Watch Faces Are Made
Stephen Pulvirent, Hodinkee:

Apple isn’t exactly a company known for offering frequent peeks behind the proverbial curtain. Having just reviewed the new Apple Watch Series 4, getting to see how Apple made the incredible “motion faces” (the vapor, fire/water, etc.) feels like an extra treat. Getting this kind of perspective though shows just how dedicated the team over there is to nailing the details — Apple took something that seems relatively basic at first and pursued it to its logical conclusion, giving us something awesome in the process.

“We probably could have done this digitally, but we actually shot all of this practically in a studio” says Alan Dye, Apple Vice President of User Interface Design, of the motion faces. “What I love about the fact that we did this is that it’s just so indicative of how the design team works. It was really about bringing together some of our various talents to create these faces. There are of course art directors, and color experts, and graphic designers, but also model makers who helped build these structures that we would eventually, you know, set on fire.”

I saw some of this footage last week after the Apple event. So cool. I love that they built molds in the shape of the new Series 4 displays. I could watch an hour of this footage.

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5 days ago by rufous
Lawmaker: US Senate, staff targeted by state-backed hackers
Frank Bajak and Raphael Satter

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said in a Wednesday letter to Senate leaders that his office discovered that “at least one major technology company” has warned an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal email accounts were “targeted by foreign government hackers.” Similar methods were employed by Russian military agents who leaked the contents of private email inboxes to influence the 2016 elections.

Wyden did not specify the timing of the notifications, but a Senate staffer said they occurred “in the last few weeks or months.” The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Wyden did not specify the timing of the notifications, but a Senate staffer said they occurred “in the last few weeks or months.” The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

But the senator said the Office of the Sergeant at Arms , which oversees Senate security, informed legislators and staffers that it has no authority to help secure personal, rather than official, accounts.

I’m going to guess the “major technology company” is Google, simply because Gmail is the leading email provider. If you ever wonder why Ron Wyden seems almost amazingly well-informed on very technical computer security matters, keep in mind that [Christopher Soghoian][cs] is on his staff as a senior advisor.

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5 days ago by rufous
Daring Fireball: The iPhones XS
In my iPhone XS review yesterday, I incorrectly stated that the “f-stop” editing for Portrait Mode shots could only be done on an iPhone XS. I was wrong, but it wasn’t too dumb of a mistake. Go read my update, and if you read my review early yesterday, make sure you saw footnote 5.

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6 days ago by rufous
Ex White House Photographer Pete Souza releases the first pictures taken using Apple's iPhone XS  | Daily Mail Online
The Daily Mail:

Former White House Photographer Pete Souza has released the first images taken using the new phone, showing off its new camera capabilities. He took these shots exclusively for Dailymail.com around Washington DC, and any editing was done on the phone using Apple’s tools.

“Smart phones have turned everyone into a photographer but they haven’t necessarily turned everyone into a ‘good’ photographer,” he told Dailymail.com. “At the same time, the smart phone has also turned everyone into a visual journalist giving us at times an eyewitness account from breaking news events.”

Inspiring images. (Via Shawn King at The Loop.)

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8 days ago by rufous
Twitter
My favorite new feature today, of course, is the ability to show website favicons in Safari tabs — a feature now available in Safari 12 and iOS 12. They’re off by default, but the way they work on Mac, iPad, and iPhone is just perfect.

I heard from a lot of DF readers earlier this year who said they use Chrome instead of Safari just for favicons in tabs — if you’re in that boat, I highly encourage you to give Safari a try. Your MacBook battery will thank you for it.

I probably should’ve used a finally in the headline for this item.

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8 days ago by rufous

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