Sir Apfelot newsreel week 11, 2024

Before we all enjoy the spring-like start to the weekend, let's take a look at what has happened in the technology world over the last few days. Because today there is another Sir Apfelot newsreel. This time I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 11 of 2024. Included are, among others, these reports: Federal Network Agency obliges providers to provide minimum internet coverage, European Parliament passes AI law, TikTok could be banned in the USA, Apple buys up AI company, Apple Vision Pro will soon come to Germany and other countries around the world, TV+ could get an ad-supported subscription, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 11 of 2024 you will find, among other things, these reports: Federal Network Agency obliges minimum supply, European Parliament passes AI laws, TikTok could be banned in the USA, Apple buys up AI company, Vision Pro soon in Germany , and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 11 of 2024 you will find, among other things, these reports: Federal Network Agency obliges minimum supply, European Parliament passes AI laws, TikTok could be banned in the USA, Apple buys up AI company, Vision Pro soon in Germany , and more!

Federal Network Agency obliges Internet providers to provide individual supplies

The Federal Network Agency announced at the beginning of the week that it had obliged Internet providers active in Germany to comply with minimum services for an individual household. After a complaint from the relevant consumer, coverage with at least 10 Mbit/s download and 1,7 Mbit/s upload as well as a maximum of 150 ms latency was initially put out to tender.

Since no provider wanted to take care of it voluntarily, the task became mandatory. After reviewing all options, a provider was selected who must now provide the service at an affordable price (approx. €30 per month). Around 130 similar cases are also available for review. Source: press release.

Physical Intelligence wants to build a “brain” for robots

The startup “Physical Intelligence,” which was founded just this year by a team of robotics and AI experts, has set itself a major corporate goal: the creation of a universal AI model that will enable robots to carry out a wide variety of tasks.

The software should be written for all possible types of robots and also for other devices in order to make them fit for a wide variety of areas of application. One example is large language models (LLM), which can allow chatbots to respond to all sorts of topics. One wants to bring this ability into the physical world (Which). Matching: Generative AI – and then? Humanoid robots are the next big thing!

Artificial Intelligence Act: European Parliament adopts AI rules

The law on artificial intelligence, the text of which was already agreed in the European Parliament in December 2023, was passed this week. There were 523 yes votes, 46 no votes and 49 abstentions.

Der laut press report from the EU Parliament, the new rules aim to “To protect fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law as well as ecological sustainability from high-risk AI systems. At the same time, they should stimulate innovation and ensure that the EU takes a leading role in this area. The regulation sets out certain obligations for AI systems, depending on the respective potential risks and impacts."

In addition to chatbots and other generative AI, the focus is primarily on facial and emotion recognition, law enforcement, AI transparency, labeling of AI content, promoting the use of AI, etc.

TikTok could be banned in the US if ByteDance doesn't sell

This week, the US House of Representatives approved legislation that could ban the TikTok app from Apple and Google's app stores - at least within the US. The law is based on the fact that the Chinese government could have influence on the TikTok offering and can demand data from US citizens from the operating company ByteDance. 

If the law is also successful in the US Senate, ByteDance would have to sell TikTok to a company outside of China in order to continue to be offered in the US. US President Biden has already pledged to sign the bill if it passes the Senate (sources: 1, 2).

Did you know that another political threat on TikTok is right-wing extremists? Look here:

TikTok Photos: ByteDance could be planning an Instagram competitor

Let's stay briefly with the short video offer called TikTok. In the code of a current Android APK for the TikTok app, in addition to the mention of a “TikTok Photos” app, a matching icon was also found. This suggests that ByteDance could be planning an Instagram competitor.

This would then be accessible through a sharing function or other links from the previous TikTok app. But of course they also work as an individual offer. The APK code also states that TikTok Photos will be released soon. It remains to be seen whether the hype of the short video platform will also be transferred to the photo platform (Which).

DMA impact: Brave Browser is used more often on iPhones

After implementing the rules from the EU's Digital Markets Act through the update to iOS 17.4 on the Apple iPhone, higher usage figures for the Brave web browser were recorded on corresponding devices. Brave itself provides information about this and shows corresponding diagrams.

The otherwise between 7.000 and 8.000 daily installations increased to up to 11.000 daily installations after the iOS update (Which). This is probably due to the fact that Safari shows a selection of possible standard browsers when you open it for the first time after the iOS update. You can find out more about this here: From iOS 17.4 – Safari asks for the default browser.

Apple buys DarwinAI to expand its own AI functions

Apple has once again bought a smaller company in order to benefit from its expertise and previous developments. This time, DarwinAI was acquired to help Apple catch up in the generative AI space. Co-founder and AI researcher Alexander Wong was also named director of Apple's AI division (Which).

Apple is expected to unveil various AI features for macOS 24, iOS 15 and its other operating systems at WWDC18 in June. In addition to system functions, there may also be new apps for text, image and video creation. The new systems will then be publicly available in autumn 2024.

New functions and areas of application for the Apple Vision Pro

Apple announced in its US newsroom that the Apple Vision Pro offers new learning and training opportunities for medical staff. But health and wellness applications for private use are also possible under visionOS. Various apps are presented, such as myMako, CyranoHealth, Fundamental Surgery, CollaboratOR 3D, Complete HeartX and Insight Heart (Which).

There was also news this week that the Apple Vision Pro was used in surgery for the first time - during spinal surgery at a private clinic in London. The data displayed through the Vision Pro is said to have helped the new nurse who wore it keep an eye on vital signs while assisting in selecting the correct instruments. The operating physician said the new technique helped the nurse, despite her limited experience, be as helpful as someone with 10 years of experience (Which).

Apple Vision Pro is probably coming to Germany (and other countries) soon

By examining a visionOS beta, MacRumors has discovered that 12 new language settings will soon be added to the virtual keyboard of Apple's VR glasses. This suggests that it could soon no longer only be offered in the USA, but also in other countries around the world.

In addition to German, the new language settings also include English (Canada), English (UK), English (Australia), English (Japan), English (Singapore), French (Canada), French (France), Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese. In addition to the countries mentioned or directly associated with the languages, Taiwan and Hong Kong could also be among the new markets (Which).

Now also Apple TV+ – cheap subscription with advertising is to be prepared

After other streaming providers such as Netflix, Disney+ and, most recently, Prime Video, have expanded their offerings to include advertising-supported subscriptions (or, in Amazon's case, completely converted them into them), Apple now seems to be following suit. The rumor about a TV+ subscription with advertising comes from the employment of Joseph Cady.

He worked in advertising at NBCUniversal for 14 years. He is said to be working with Winston Crawford, Apple's head of global advertising space sales. When and in what form a new or converted TV+ subscription will come and how intrusive the advertising will be remains to be seen (Which).

Apple informs about new developments of the Restore Fund

Apple announced in its newsroom this week that the so-called Restore Fund will be further expanded. Among other things, the suppliers TSMC and Murata were obliged to participate in “nature-based projects for CO₂ reduction”. TSMC is expected to invest up to $50 million; According to Apple, Murata will invest up to $30 million.

The focus of the collaboration is primarily on clearing cleared forests. In addition to this update, there is also a story in the Apple newsroom that deals with a project in the Atlantic Ocean. You can view the long report including images look here. To the newsroom with all reports and updates it goes here.

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