Newsreel week 52/2023: 📱 Siri GPT on the iPhone ⌚ Apple Watch sales continue 💡 smart insulin 🤖 OpenAI and Microsoft sued


Unfortunately we didn't manage a podcast or YouTube video this week, because we had to take a short Christmas break. However, we have still put together a newsreel for you with the latest news from the last week.

These include, for example, the temporary lifting of the Apple Watch sales ban, the new antitrust law in Japan, which is intended to force Apple to sideload, and the new developments with Beeper Mini.

It is also about compulsory filters for adult content that are to be installed in operating systems and a copyright lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. The federal administration is launching a tender for iPhones and iPads and there is a lot more news that we have picked out for you. You can find all reports with the source and summary below.

Now we wish you and your loved ones a happy new year. We'll probably say goodbye in 2023 and won't see/hear each other again until 2024!

Lynne, Johannes and Jens


Note: The summaries here were created using ChatGPT. However, we read about it and found no errors in the texts.

Japan wants to force Apple to sideload following the EU model

  • Japan is planning antitrust legislation against Apple and Google to enable app sideloading and alternative payment methods.
  • Goal: Reduce market dominance in app stores, payments, search engines, browsers and operating systems.
  • Planned measures: Enabling alternative app stores and sideloading on iPhones and iPads.
  • Possible penalties: Up to 6% of revenue from “problematic activities”.
  • Japanese legislation is similar to the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA), which will force sideloading at Apple from March 2024.
  • The law is scheduled to be passed in the Japanese parliament in 2024.



Apple Watch sales stop temporarily suspended

  • Legal dispute between Apple and Masimo over patent infringement on Apple Watch.
  • US Trade Commission bans sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.
  • The appeal court provisionally suspended the ban until January 10, 2024.
  • Apple Watch revenue: $17 billion annually; Total Apple revenue in 2023: $383,3 billion.
  • Masimo shares fell as much as 6,3% after the ban was suspended.
  • Apple stopped online sales on December 21st; Retail sales ended on Christmas Eve.
  • Apple plans software update to alleviate patent issues, decision expected on January 12th.



AliveCor is happy about the Apple Watch sales stop

  • AliveCor praises the ITC's ban on sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US.
  • AliveCor accuses Apple of patent infringement regarding ECG technology in the Apple Watch.
  • AliveCor presented an Apple Watch band with an ECG sensor in 2015, and Apple introduced its own ECG technology in 2018.
  • AliveCor filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, criticizing access restrictions for third-party apps to heart data from the Apple Watch.
  • ITC ruled in favor of AliveCor's patent claims, but without banning sales of Apple Watch.



Apple launches partnerships with major publishing houses to train AI

  • Goal: Using news content to train generative AI systems.
  • Publishers addressed: Condé Nast, NBC News, IAC (including Vogue, Wired, The New Yorker).
  • Proposed deals: At least $50 million for news archive licensing.
  • Some publishers reacted cautiously to Apple's offer.
  • Apple internally tests “AppleGPT” and plans AI features for iOS 18.
  • Apple wants to integrate generative AI features into its app offerings, possibly including Apple News.



The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement

  • Accusation: Millions of Times articles used to develop the large language models of ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot
  • Claim: Models can reproduce Times content verbatim, summarize and imitate their expressive style
  • Impact: Damage to relationships with readers and loss of revenue (subscriptions, royalties, advertising)
  • Warning: Threat to quality journalism by making it harder to protect and monetize content
  • Issue: Use of Times content without permission or payment to develop substitute products
  • Financial aspect: Publishing the models is very lucrative for Microsoft and OpenAI
  • Failed Negotiations: Times tried for months to negotiate fair value for use of its content
  • OpenAI Statement: Respects rights of content creators, strives for constructive conversations
  • The lawsuit demands billions of dollars in damages, a ban on the use of Times content to train the models, and the removal of Times content from the data sets
  • Reaction from other media: Some block OpenAI's web crawlers, others like Axel Springer enter into agreements with OpenAI



Countries are again calling for compulsory filters to protect minors

  • Reform of the State Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media: Countries are calling for compulsory filters in all operating systems
  • Main requirement: Install filters against adult content at a basic level on PCs, laptops and smartphones
  • Planned 6th Media Amendment State Treaty: Amendment to the Youth Media Protection State Treaty (JMStV) proposed
  • New paragraph 12 JMStV: Operating system providers should ensure child protection devices that are easy to activate and adapt
  • Current paragraph 5 JMStV: Age rating for content that could impair the development of children and young people
  • Extended Paragraph 12: Apps should have age levels that can be read by the operating system
  • Extended Paragraph 5c JMStV: Telemedia providers must indicate age ratings on websites and subpages
  • IT and media associations as well as the voluntary self-regulation of multimedia service providers (FSM) have concerns about the draft
  • Criticism of the labeling requirement for unproblematic content and potential conflicts with higher-level specifications
  • Similar proposals were already resisted in the summer of 2021
  • Suggested filtering measures could lead to a “deceptive feeling of security” and make parental education more difficult.



Federal administration relies on iPhones and iPads because of high security standards

  • Federal administration invests in iPhones and iPads
  • Total budget: up to 774 million euros
  • Date of tender opening: December 19th
  • Three segments of the investment package: hardware, accessories, AppleCare OS support
  • Budget for hardware, setup, administration: up to 500 million euros
  • Budget for accessory products: 270 million euros
  • Start of the framework agreements: April 2024
  • Planned purchase: a total of 300.000 iPhones and iPads
  • No purchase of Macs in this tender package
  • Security classification by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI): iOS and iPadOS classified as secure enough for classified information at the lowest level “For official use only” (VS-NfD).
  • Collaboration between BSI and Apple, particularly for the Indigo configuration profile
  •  “iOS Native Devices in Government Operations” = Indigo configuration profile → Management of devices via Mobile Device Management (MDM) with customized default settings and increased security measures.



Beeper Mini wants to jailbreak old iPhones so that Beeper works again

  • Beeper Mini: iMessage for Android app
  • New attempt to integrate Apple's blue bubbles
  • Beeper Mini recognizes iMessage conversations and converts them for Android users
  • Android users used to be able to register their phone numbers with Beeper Mini, but Apple blocked this
  • Beeper Mini now only works with Apple ID email addresses
  • Android users need a Mac with Beeper Cloud to generate iMessage registration data
  • Latest development: Beeper suggests using an old iPhone for iMessage registration on Android
  • The iPhone must be jailbroken and kept connected to power and Wi-Fi at all times
  • If users don't have an old iPhone to jailbreak, Beeper offers an iPhone rental option
  • Service will start in the new year if there is enough interest
  • Apple plans to adopt RCS next year to bring many iMessage features to Android users
  • Beeper Mini originally launched with a reverse-engineered version of iMessage
  • Apple considers Beeper Mini a security risk and does not allow the use of iMessage



Company Hyperloop One closes the doors or tubes

  • Hyperloop One closes: High-speed train company suspends operations
  • Based on an idea by Elon Musk, previously supported by Richard Branson
  • The company will close later this month
  • Hyperloop One aimed to drastically reduce travel times
  • Using magnetic levitation (maglev) technology in a vacuum tube to reduce friction and air resistance
  • Planned cruise speed: 700 mph (1,127 km/h)
  • Promise of greener, high-speed transportation
  • Prototypes built in the Nevada desert, but project stalled
  • Experts expressed doubts about the technical challenges
  • It would require the construction of huge tubes in the landscape and within cities
  • Problem with curves: tubes should be straight
  • The first successful passenger flight with Hyperloop technology took place in 2020: Pod reached 107 mph (172 km/h) on a 500-meter-long test track
  • Strategy change in 2022: Focus on freight transport instead of passenger transport
  • Announcing over 100 job losses in 2022, followed by more layoffs
  • Richard Branson retired at the end of the year and Virgin support was withdrawn
  • Company experienced scandals: former director imprisoned in Russia for embezzlement, an investor left the company after allegations of sexual misconduct



An injection of “smart” insulin regulates blood sugar for a week

  • Studies on animals show that the material works similarly to the body's own system
  • Designed for Type I diabetes patients who need to inject insulin several times a day
  • Research at Zhejiang University in China
  • No human studies, so far only tests on animals: mice and mini pigs
  • Single subcutaneous injection regulated blood glucose levels in diabetic mice and minipigs for one week
  • Smart Insulin is based on insulin modified with gluconic acid, which forms a compound with a polymer
  • Glucose-responsible release: binding of glucose to the insulin-polymer complex
  • Insulin release depends on glucose presence: low release between meals, higher release after meals
  • Tests involved five mice and three mini-pigs, one of the pigs received a lower dose
  • Long-term regulation of blood sugar and no significant immune response was found in the animals
  • Limitations of the study: Small number of animals and possible differences in transferability to humans
  • More research needed before the Smart Insulin system can be tested in human studies



Amazon plays advertising in Prime Video if you stop paying

  • Commercials launch on Prime Video in the US at the end of January 2024
  • Ability for US users to opt out of additional advertising for $2,99 ​​per month
  • In Germany, there have so far been no corresponding reports about advertising on Prime Video
  • Possible delay in the introduction of advertising in Germany compared to the USA
  • Tendency towards direct and indirect price increases in the streaming sector
  • Price for Amazon Prime unchanged in 2024: 8,99 euros per month or 89,90 euros per year
  • Prime membership includes benefits such as free shipping, exclusive special offers, online storage and access to media offerings such as Prime Video and Amazon Music



iPhone chief designer now works on AI devices for Jony Ive and Sam Altman

  • Tang Tan, former Apple design chief, will work on AI devices with Jony Ive and Sam Altman
  • Tan joins Ive's design firm LoveFrom and will work on a new AI hardware project
  • The project will start in February, after Tan's departure from Apple
  • Goal: Develop devices with the latest AI capabilities
  • Jony Ive left Apple in 2019 to found LoveFrom
  • LoveFrom already has clients such as Airbnb Inc., Ferrari NV and Moncler SpA
  • Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, plans to deliver the software base for the project
  • Development of the project is still at an early stage
  • Concept phase includes devices for the home
  • OpenAI refers questions to LoveFrom that do not comment
  • With Tan, Apple is losing another important designer from the Jony Ive era



Apple wants to run language models locally without the Internet

  • Apple plans to run advanced language models, similar to ChatGPT, directly on iPhones - without connecting to the Internet
  • Goal: Improve Siri's functionality and intelligence
  • Apple research team describes technical implementation in a paper
  • Technology uses iPhone flash memory to store AI data
  • Use of special optimization techniques and efficient code management
  • “Windowing” and “Row-Column-Bundling” as data processing techniques
  • AI models can match up to twice the iPhone's available storage capacity
  • Speed ​​increase on standard processors (CPUs) by 4x to 5x and on graphics processing units (GPUs) by 20x to 25x
  • Potential impact: More complex request processing and more precise responses from Siri
  • Privacy and security challenges



New Apple patent turns AirPod Case into a Vision Pro and Apple TV remote control

  • Apple develops new AirPods charging case with “Touch UI” interface
  • Patent for the charging case allows you to control sound, change songs and more without an iPhone
  • Planned compatibility with Apple Vision Pro and TVs, particularly useful for AR applications and movie lovers
  • PatentlyApple reports on specific use cases with the Apple Vision Pro, which is due to be released early next year
  • Ability to adjust volume, control EQ and use custom widgets to change sound profile directly on the charging case
  • Implementation of capacitive touch detection for individual control options
  • Possible applications: Changing individual sound settings when watching TV without disturbing other viewers
  • Attractive for accessibility because users with specific hearing needs can make individual settings



Vision Pro: 500.000 units next year despite high price?

  • Apple announced the “Vision Pro” virtual reality/augmented reality headset at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference.
  • The Vision Pro has been in development for over five years and is expected to be available in early 2024 at a price of $3.500.
  • The headset has many external cameras and two 4K screens.
  • Despite the high price, Apple plans to sell 500.000 units of the Vision Pro next year. (Comparison: 240 million iPhones in 2022)
  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a sales forecast based on information from supplier circles.
  • Apple is aiming to launch the Vision Pro in late January or early February 2024, with mass production currently underway and deliveries to Apple Stores scheduled for early January.
  • Customers and analysts are discussing potential uses for the headset in everyday life, especially in view of the high purchase price.



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