Processor is a compendium of what is happening in the world of consumer technology, with an incisive analysis (or perhaps just jokes) by Dieter Bohn. Sign up for the newsletter here and watch the Processors video series on YouTube.
Over the weekend, the US Customs and Border Patrol was gleefully praised for seizing counterfeit AirPods. Only they weren’t really knockoffs, they were the new OnePlus Buds. Which, yes, does look like some kind of knockoff AirPods. But they are also a real product from a real company that actually makes things (although if you want to argue that OnePlus is simply Pontiac for Oppo’s Chevy, I’ll listen). Everyone laughed. Except CBP didn’t laugh. The CBP doubled down and said no, it didn’t make a mistake and that the OnePlus Buds did count as counterfeits and the CPB, in fact, has the legal authority to seize them. It smells like retconning, but however it might also be true that CPB can do that (Catch the buds, I mean. Probably retcon-free, in America today). After the titanic news from Oracle and TikTok and Nividia and Arm, the OnePlus Buds saga was the little escape I needed until I realized that it is also a synecdoche of the globalized conflict between the US, China and the strange state of intellectual property. law. Ah good. We’ll see it after Apple’s keynote address today, which is just one of several major tech events taking place this week. I hope you can join us on our live blog.
┏ Google to launch Pixel 5, new Chromecast, and smart speaker on September 30. Surprise! The Google event will not have many surprises. You’ve already teased the Pixel 5, Pixel 4A 5G, and the upcoming Nest Speaker that looks lazy in pillow form. You haven’t talked much about Chromecast, but we also know it: it’s going to switch to Android TV and it’s codenamed “Sabrina.”┏ LG Wing’s rotating display offers a new twist on the dual-screen smartphone. I… love this. I mean it’s ridiculous and the chances of good software support for the second screen experience are slim. I could go on and on about why this is bullshit – but it’s also bullshit! Phones can be a bit fancy! I mean, this not only has a second screen that the first screen rotates to reveal, but it has also brought back the pop-up selfie camera. LG’s product engineers sat in a room and asked how many moving parts a smartphone could pack and the answer was not a number, but simply “yes.”┏ LG also teased a vertical slider version of a phone, what: yes again. Go away, LG, be crazy.┏ AMD reveals its Radeon RX 6000 GPU design on Twitter and in Fortnite.┏ Apple’s iPhone 12 Line Will Not Have High-Refresh 120Hz Displays, Says Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. I can already foresee the year of shit this will cause, so let me tell you this. It is not a deal breaker, but it is disappointing. I have long said that any phone that costs a thousand dollars or more should have a high refresh rate screen and the iPhone that does not have one is a mistake. It’s not the most important specification of a phone, but it makes a measurable difference.┏ Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 Is Fully Leaked Through Official Promotional Videos.
┏ Anchor says it is cracking down on stolen podcasts. Ashley Carman with the inside story on how Anchor is trying to fix an issue that he really should have tackled earlier.
The copycats, Mignano says, found a solution in Anchor’s detection system. “This is definitely a new type of attack for Anchor,” he says. The people who uploaded these copycat shows downloaded the audio from another source, manually reloaded it to Anchor, and filled in the metadata, essentially making it look like a new podcast.
┏ Zipline and Walmart to launch drone deliveries of health and wellness products. Kim Lyons:
The program is for on-demand deliveries of health and wellness products and will begin in a trial early next year near Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Zipline’s launch and launch system allows for on-demand delivery in less than an hour, and operating from a Walmart store, it can serve a 50-mile radius.
┏ Verizon Acquires Tracfone in Deal Worth Over $ 6 Billion.
┏ Xbox Series S plays Xbox One S versions of Xbox One games. So to review: The Xbox Series S can play enhanced versions of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, but it is the Xbox One S versions, not the Xbox One X versions, even though the Xbox Series S is more brand new and in some ways more powerful than the Xbox One X, which means that if you want the best Xbox One X gaming experience you need the Xbox Series X. Xbox I’m having a lot of fun joking that there are too many Xbox details to keep a record. But the truth is, I’m very interested to see if Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate approach works. The idea is that you shouldn’t have to worry too much about what Xbox you have when you want to play a game, it will only play Xbox games. You only have to worry when deciding which Xbox to buy next. In a previous newsletter, I complained about hiding the true cost of consoles behind the monthly payments; I will always complain about that kind of thing. But as long as Microsoft is aware of the total costs, monthly fees seem like a very good idea. I could even find one myself.┏ Xbox Series X and S: everything you need to know about the next generation of Xbox. This new generation of consoles is much more complicated than “better graphics, better games.” Jon Porter has written the complete guide on the upcoming Xbox:
Microsoft’s new consoles give you a lot more freedom in how you play their new games, but depending on where you choose to play them, you won’t get exactly the same experience. The Xbox Series X is a much more powerful machine than the S Series or the current Xbox One, for example, which will have a huge impact on performance.
More by the verge
┏ Noxious gas discovery on Venus could be a sign of life. Read this important story (and watch the video) from Loren Grush about an incredibly intriguing discovery:
Finding even a small amount of phosphine on Venus is attractive because of how the gas is produced here on Earth. Either it is artificially manufactured by humans, into products such as fumigants or biological weapons, or it is a natural by-product of life. Phosphine can be found in swamps and marshes, where it is believed to be produced by microbes. It can also be found in the entrails of animals or in the feces they leave behind. Above all, it is a gas that is almost exclusively associated with life on Earth, raising the possibility that it is a sign of microbes floating in Venusian clouds.
┏ Oracle’s TikTok deal achieves nothing. Russell Brandom nails it. This is theater. All that sound and fury, meaning nothing.┏ Google announced one of the biggest green promises in technology yet. Justine Calma also notes that Microsoft has set a slightly more aggressive target than Google. Keep up good.
Google has been carbon neutral every year since 2007, which means that it offsets the emissions it generates from burning fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy projects or other initiatives that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. But relying on offsets doesn’t stop the company from using fossil fuels. Google released 4.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018 alone, roughly the amount that more than 1 million passenger vehicles could produce in a year.
┏ Arm’s $ 40 billion acquisition of Nvidia is about removing AI from the cloud. You can always trust James Vincent to come up with a Promethean metaphor:
The big idea is that the AI, like some ancient god, is finally coming down from the clouds to walk among the people. Machine learning algorithms used to rely on data centers for computing, with artificial intelligence tools and applications sending information over the Internet to these remote servers for processing. But while high-quality chips are still needed for cutting-edge research and applications, many machine learning tools are now light enough to run on the device without connecting to the internet. The benefits of this are simple: you get faster processing, greater security, and lower power consumption.
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