Newsreel KW 48/2023 and Podcast #035: 🎉 Happy Birthday ChatGPT 🎂 Vision Pro 2 📸 Bluetooth security vulnerability 🔓 Genius Emoji 🧠💡

Newsreel Podcast

In today's podcast episode we have a real firework of topics for you. We start with a look back at a year of ChatGPT – yes, AI can celebrate its birthday too! Then we'll look at what's up at Apple: from the affordable Vision Pro 2 to Robert De Niro's unusual confrontation with the tech giant.

Sam Altman is yo-yoing with his CEO position at OpenAI and the US Senate wants to know whether the big tech bosses are also thinking about the children. Oh, and a 10-year-old is challenging Apple to redesign the nerd face emoji – because, why not? Make yourself comfortable because this episode is going to be entertaining again.

At this point you will also find all the show notes, sources and comments that we have put together for the individual topics below.Our Apple podcast has finally made it to Apple Podcasts.

Note: The summaries here were created using ChatGPT, but in our podcast we talk without artificial intelligence. So if you would like background information and good entertainment about the news, then please listen to us!

And unfortunately I can't blame ChatGPT for errors in the summary. Unfortunately it had to be done quickly and I hope he didn't write any nonsense.

One year of ChatGPT: Revolution in AI and software development

On November 30, 2023, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of ChatGPT, a milestone considered a revolution in artificial intelligence and software development. This remarkable year has profoundly changed the way we solve problems and shape our career paths. ChatGPT has not only opened new doors for innovative solutions, but has also expanded and redefined the professional horizons of many people.


Apple Vision Pro 2: Affordable successor in planning

Apple is working on the launch of the Vision Pro 2, the successor to the renowned Apple Vision Pro, a project that reflects Tim Cook's ambition to further develop Steve Jobs' legacy. The focus is on spatial computing and mixed reality. While the current Vision Pro is available for $3499 (excluding taxes), the Vision Pro 2 is expected to be significantly cheaper. The planned price reduction will be achieved through various measures, including simplifying product complexity by reducing some functions, improving yields in component manufacturing and more efficient, cost-effective production processes. The expected price for the Vision Pro 2 is said to be between $1500 and $2500. This information comes from supply chain reports, including from DigiTimes.


Apple Vision Pro: Optimistic sales forecasts despite uncertainties

Despite some uncertainties, optimistic sales forecasts are made for the Apple Vision Pro, which is scheduled to be launched in 2024. An exact launch date is still unclear, but it is not expected before March 2024. The initial availability of the product will likely be limited. Still, Apple plans to initially ship 400.000 units and is targeting 2024 million units by 1. In the long term, a total of 2025 million units are expected to be sold by 10, even if there are doubts about the feasibility of these ambitious goals. The Vision Pro's production cost is estimated at around $1.700, with around 60% of the components coming from China.


Robert De Niro's speech at the Gotham Awards: confrontation with Apple

There was a notable confrontation at the Gotham Awards in New York when Robert De Niro presented the award to Martin Scorsese for the Apple TV+ film “Killers of the Flower Moon.” This film, which explores themes of trust, betrayal and racism in an Indian tribe surrounding an oil field, provided the framework for De Niro's speech. In his speech, De Niro incorporated politically motivated comments and criticized the depiction of North American settlement, while also alluding to John Wayne. De Niro claimed that key parts of his speech had been censored by Apple and read the relevant sections from his phone. His criticism also included attacks on Donald Trump, whom he accused of lying 30.000 times during his time in office. De Niro's reaction to the situation was also critical: he refused to thank him and was critical of the organizers and Apple.


Apple Card: New directions with Brazilian fintech company?

Apple may be exploring new avenues with Brazilian fintech firm Pismo after the partnership with Goldman Sachs forged in 2019 to launch the Apple Card came to an end. The move is underpinned by Apple's recent job posting for a software engineer at Apple Processing LLC, who will specialize in payment solutions and work on key components for future Apple Pay products. Pismo, a card issuing company recently acquired by Visa, is known for its modern, cloud-based banking and payment structures. The future of Apple Card could be uncertain, with the possibility of Pismo taking over management. There are also talks of the Apple Card program being acquired by other financial players such as American Express and Synchrony Financial. At the same time, Apple is working on developing its own financial solutions to reduce its dependence on banks.


Sam Altman on his firing and return as CEO of OpenAI

An unusual event occurred at OpenAI: CEO Sam Altman was fired and rehired just a day later. Altman was initially upset and hurt by his dismissal, but expressed willingness to return to OpenAI. Altman remains tight-lipped about the reasons for his short-term dismissal. Despite this confusion, he remains true to the core goal of OpenAI, the further development of general artificial intelligence (AGI). Altman emphasizes that he does not want to return to the board, but would rather concentrate on his tasks within the company. In response to questions about Q*, he was vague and mentioned that there are rapid developments in this area, but avoided further comment. From this experience, Altman learned an important lesson: He recognized that OpenAI works without his leadership and praised the company's leadership team.


US Senate summons CEOs of major tech companies to talk about child safety online

There will be a major hearing in the US Senate on January 31, 2024, where CEOs from major tech companies will speak about child safety online. Participants included Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, Linda Yaccarino of X (formerly Twitter), Shou Zi Chew of TikTok, Evan Spiegel of Snap, and Jason Citron of Discord. Yaccarino, Spiegel and Citron were subpoenaed after initially refusing to attend the hearing, while Zuckerberg and Chew voluntarily agreed. The meeting was prompted by allegations that companies had failed to protect children online. This led to legal challenges, including lawsuits against Meta and other companies for allegedly misleading them about the safety of their platforms and the addictive nature of children. Senators Durbin and Graham called on tech companies to take responsibility for protecting children. This comes amid new government legislation in several states that includes measures such as parental consent and age verification to ensure child safety.


Evernote significantly limits the functions for free users

Starting December 4th, Evernote is introducing significant restrictions for users of its free version. The new restrictions limit free users to a maximum of 50 notes and one notebook per account. These changes are aimed at encouraging users to switch to paid subscriptions. Users who wish to stay within the new boundaries will have the option to delete content. An alternative is to use Evernote Backup or YARLE. YARLE converts Evernote notes to Markdown format, which can then be imported into many other notebook apps, giving users flexibility in managing their digital notes.


Frore Systems is revolutionizing the cooling of the MacBook Air 15 inch M2 with Airjet Mini

Cooling system developed for chips and notebooks. This advanced system has already been tested in the MacBook Air 15. The technology behind the Airjet Mini is based on piezoelectric elements that replace traditional fans. These elements create rapid oscillations that suck in cold air, push it onto the system-on-chip (SoC), and efficiently expel hot air.

The Airjet Mini is currently in the prototype stage, but has already been implemented in the Zotac Zbox PI430AJ. The advantages of this system include a significantly reduced volume, which is barely audible even under continuous load, as well as improved performance. For example, it maintains the 3,2 GHz clock speed of the M2 SoC for longer and improves performance under continuous load by ensuring that the kernel task does not slow down the CPU.

The Airjet Mini is also efficient when it comes to energy consumption: consumption is only 0,1 watts when idle, and even under load this only increases moderately to around 1 watt. The measured average consumption for three modules is 5 watts. The use of the Airjet Mini makes sense primarily for energy-efficient devices, as it combines effective cooling with low energy consumption.


Google's DeepMind discovers 2,2 million crystal structures - breakthrough in materials science

Google DeepMind researchers have made a remarkable breakthrough in materials science by identifying 2,2 million crystal structures. This discovery has the potential to enable advances in areas ranging from renewable energy to advanced computing. The researchers used an AI tool called GNoME to identify theoretically stable but previously unrealized experimental combinations. This represents enormous progress, as the number of substances discovered is more than 45 times greater than the number of all substances discovered so far in the history of science.

Of these discoveries, 381.000 promising structures will be made available to the scientific community, enabling applications in solar cells, superconductors and other areas. The process involved using machine learning to generate candidate structures and estimate their stability. This discovery represents nearly 800 years of experimental knowledge and opens the door to the development of new materials for versatile applications, including neuromorphic computing.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are already using the results to create new materials, with a success rate of more than 70% in creating new compounds. This groundbreaking discovery could accelerate materials discovery, helping to address global challenges.


EU raises concerns about Amazon's takeover of iRobot

Amazon is aiming to take over iRobot, the manufacturer of well-known vacuum cleaner robots. However, this plan has raised serious concerns from the European Commission. The main fear is that the takeover will bring competitors such as Dreame, Roborock or Ecovacs could be disadvantaged, particularly with regard to their visibility in search results. Although Amazon's original purchase price was $1,4 billion, this amount was revised downwards.

While the British antitrust authority gave the green light to the transaction, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has called for a comprehensive review. The EU's final decision on this acquisition is expected in February 2024. Despite the reduced purchase price per share, iRobot shareholders' support for the deal remains.


Newly discovered Bluetooth vulnerabilities have been threatening devices since 2014

Researchers have discovered two new vulnerabilities in Bluetooth technology that affect devices using Bluetooth versions 4.2 to 5.4. These vulnerabilities pose a threat to all Bluetooth-enabled devices manufactured since late 2014. Of particular concern is the ability for attackers to hijack connections, particularly with Apple devices and features such as AirDrop represents a significant risk.

The type of attacks possible includes six separate exploits that allow hackers to impersonate devices or carry out man-in-the-middle attacks. There is currently no immediate solution in sight, as it is still unclear whether and how manufacturers can fix these vulnerabilities with patches. As a practical precaution, it is recommended not to transmit sensitive data via Bluetooth or AirDrop to minimize the risk of data misuse.


Apple's own 5G modem project may be on the brink of extinction

Apple's goal was to become independent of external providers such as Qualcomm by developing its own cellular modems for iPhones and possibly also for the Apple Watch and Mac. However, due to development problems and delays, Apple's plans for its own 5G modem could now be on the verge of being canceled. These reports follow Apple's acquisition of Intel's modem business to work on developing its own 5G modem.

It is currently uncertain whether the project will actually be discontinued, as Apple has not yet officially commented on it. If the project were actually abandoned, it would represent a setback for Apple's strategy of controlling as many components of its products as possible. Such a development would likely benefit 5G chip providers such as Qualcomm.


Apple contributes less than 5% of Arm's revenue, with no room for negotiation

Apple pays royalties for the use of Arm-based chips in its iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches that represent less than 5% of Arm's annual revenue, specifically less than 30 cents per device. In comparison, Arm's two largest customers, Qualcomm and Mediatek, contribute about twice as much to Arm's revenue. Interestingly, Mediatek chips are often found in smartphones from brands such as Oppo, realme, vivo and Xiaomi.

Despite this low revenue share, Apple is considering the possibility of switching to an alternative technology such as RISC-V in the long term, although such a switch would require around a decade of development work. In terms of negotiating position, Arm is in a difficult position: Although Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son wants to demand higher royalties from Apple, Apple's existing contract limits Arm's room for maneuver until 2028.

Also worth noting is the RISE initiative, which was founded in mid-2023 by major tech companies such as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, Google and Nvidia. This initiative aims to create a software ecosystem around royalty-free RISC-V technology, representing a potential game-changer in the industry.


10-year-old Apple fan calls on Apple to redesign the “Nerd Face” emoji

Teddy, a 10-year-old Apple enthusiast from the UK, has started a petition to redesign the “Nerd Face” emoji. He particularly criticizes the current emoji's conspicuous front teeth as "absolutely terrible for people who wear glasses." To illustrate his vision, Teddy created an alternative design he calls “Genius Emoji.” This new emoji features a smiling face with glasses, but forgoes the controversial “terrible buck teeth.”

Teddy was inspired and supported by his teacher Lisa, who praised his creative efforts. Currently, the petition is primarily known in Teddy's school and hometown, but there are plans to forward it to Apple and launch an online campaign soon. Apple has yet to respond to Teddy's petition, but it will be interesting to see whether and how the company will respond to this charming initiative from a young fan.


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