Sir Apfelot newsreel week 12, 2024

Oh, Friday again. Then it's high time for a new edition of the Sir Apfelot newsreel. This time I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 12 of 2024. Among other things, these messages are included: BahnCard 25 and 50 will soon only be digital and printable, Apple dealer Gravis has to give up, AI labeling requirement on YouTube, China is preparing moon missions, Neuralink user reports on his experiences in a video, problems with macOS 14.4, iPhone should get Google's Gemini AI, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 12 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: BahnCard 25 and 50 only digital, end for Apple dealer Gravis, China's moon mission, Nvidia Blackwell AI platform, Neuralink patient in the video, news to the iPhone 17, and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 12 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: BahnCard 25 and 50 only digital, end for Apple dealer Gravis, China's moon mission, Nvidia Blackwell AI platform, Neuralink patient in the video, news to the iPhone 17, and more!

From June 9th, only the BahnCard 100 will be available as a card

From June 9, 2024, Deutsche Bahn will no longer issue plastic cards for BahnCard 25 and BahnCard 50 bookings. Only the BahnCard 100 will then still be available as a physical card. Anyone who books a BahnCard 25 or 50 can use it digitally via the DB Navigator app, as a PDF document or as a printed document. Printing out in the travel center should also be possible. The Tagesschau provides further information as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the change at this point .

The end for the German Apple retailer Gravis

Gravis Computervertriebsgesellschaft mbH, founded in 1986 and specializing in the sales and support of Apple devices, has to close its branches. The company, which belongs to Freenet AG, is being wound up because it has proven to be no longer profitable over a longer period of time.

However, general operations should be maintained until the end. That will too in the FAQ about the situation clear, in which z. B. Repairs and other services continue to be described as feasible. It is also said that services such as insurance or subscriptions to partner companies are not affected by the Gravis closure.

YouTube introduces labeling requirements for AI content

In the future, video content that was created or modified with generative AI should be marked accordingly when uploaded to YouTube. Such a step was already announced in November 2023, but now its concrete implementation is being explained by Google.

Digitally used faces or voices (so-called deepfakes), recordings of real places and events adapted by AI, as well as completely AI-generated but realistic-looking scenes should be subject to labeling. A detailed description and screenshots of the upload window and video display for users Is there ... here.

China sends satellite into orbit for lunar communication

China has planned about 100 rocket launches this year, some of them as part of the mission called Chang'e-6. This will be used to explore the side of the moon facing away from Earth. Since communication with the probes that are supposed to collect samples from the lunar surface is difficult, the Queqiao-2 relay satellite will serve as an intermediate station.

China is the first country to land on the far side of the moon (in 2019). There is currently a race with the USA to land another moon landing with astronauts. However, the rocket pieces that fall to earth, or more precisely to neighboring countries, as a result of China's space travel offer more potential for conflict (Which).

Nvidia unveils Blackwell platform for extreme AI performance

Nvidia is a chip manufacturer that has become known primarily for its graphics cards, but recently also for its powerful AI computing units. This week the company presented its new platform called “Blackwell”, which is based, among other things, on the B200 chip. This offers 208 billion transistors for AI models (especially text AIs with LLMs) with trillions of parameters.

The Blackwell platform is said to cost up to 25 times less and, at the same time, consume less electricity than its predecessor. Compared to the Hopper architecture, there would be a 2,5x performance increase. Further details about Nvidia Blackwell and its individual features can be found on the product page and in the press release on this.

Neuralink: First implant user can use chess app (and more).

After news of the first successful implantation of Neuralink hardware into a human's brain, which was previously only transmitted in text form, there is now also video documentation of the progress. The 29-year-old patient, who has been paralyzed from the shoulders down for several years, appears to be back at home and doing well. The video shared on the X platform (formerly Twitter) shows him using the brain-computer interface transplanted by Neuralink to operate a chess app on his laptop. But other usage examples are also mentioned, such as playing Civilization VI for several hours (Which).

Reports of problems with macOS 14.4

After Apple released the Mac update to macOS 14.4 around two weeks ago, reports of bugs associated with this Sonoma version are now increasing. In addition to local problems, for example with connected hardware, there are also iCloud bugs.

In addition to connection problems with USB hubs and monitors with USB connectivity, sudden termination of Java processes, errors in printer drivers, and problems with certain third-party software, the disappearance of file versions stored via iCloud is among the various problems in macOS 14.4.

According to several reports, documents from iCloud are only available in the last saved version, but not in the previous versions (more about that here) available. For documents edited remotely, all previous stages are lost. A workaround is said to be disabling the “Optimize Mac Storage” feature in the Mac’s iCloud settings (sources: 1, 2, 3). 

Apple faces legal dispute over stalking use of AirTags

Approximately three dozen people harmed by the use of AirTags filed a class action lawsuit against Apple in San Francisco, California. This alleged that Apple was complicit in the use of its products for stalking and surveillance due to negligence. Not all of the individual lawsuits, but only three, were upheld.

District Judge Vince Chhabria found a sufficient presentation of the allegations in the three cases. In the three cases there are said to have been problems with the AirTag security functions, which ultimately led to damage. The verdicts are still pending. For those interested, Bloomberg notes that this is the case: Hughes v. Apple, Inc., 3:22-cv-07668, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco) (Which).

No own AI? Apple is said to want to implement Google's “Gemini” in iOS!

In the last few weeks and months there have been repeated reports of impressive AI developments from Apple - for example Ferret (language model), MGIE (text-based image editing) and Keyframer (2D animation). These have fueled hopes that Apple will catch up to the competition with its own innovations in the area of ​​generative AI and implement them in iOS 18 and macOS 15.

However, new news on the subject shows that Apple is said to be in talks with Google to use the search engine giant's AI technologies, known as "Gemini", in iOS 18. There are also said to have been discussions with OpenAI, it is shown with reference to insiders. It is not yet certain which AI provider a deal will ultimately be concluded with to equip the iPhone (Which).

The display of the iPhone 17 should be more scratch-resistant and reflect less light

With the iPhone 12, the “Ceramic Shield” was introduced in 2020, which, as a glazing on the iPhone display, has since been intended to better protect it against scratches and impacts. However, the next generation of stable display glass is already in development. With the iPhone 17, the display will be equipped with even more scratch-resistant glass in 2025. This should also reflect much less light than its predecessors and therefore be easier to use in bright environments and outdoors (Which).

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