Sir Apfelot newsreel week 13, 2024

In addition to the Announcement of the WWDC24 period There were a few more interesting headlines this week. And so a new edition of the Sir Apfelot newsreel came about. This time I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 13 of 2024. Among other things, these reports include: Gigaset bankruptcy causes unusable smart home devices, consumer advice center takes action against Temu, Canva buys Affinity Suite, major update for Apple maps possible, rumor about the Apple Pencil for the Vision Pro, ban of parts pairing, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 13 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: Unusable Gigaset devices for the smart home, Affinity programs sold to Canva, proceedings against Temu, rumors about the Apple Vision Pro Pencil, ban on parts pairing and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 13 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: Unusable Gigaset devices for the smart home, Affinity programs sold to Canva, proceedings against Temu, rumors about the Apple Vision Pro Pencil, ban on parts pairing and more!

Gigaset only partially sold, end for smart home division

Gigaset filed for bankruptcy two months ago and has since been trying to sell its various business divisions. Now it was announced this week that both the care and smart home areas will be discontinued without replacement. This means that the servers for the corresponding cloud services also go offline.

For users of Gigaset smart home products, this means from today that the sensors and devices integrated into the home can no longer be used (networked). In the appropriate one Entry This data is given in bullet points:

  • Cloud services will be discontinued on March 29, 2024.
  • Apps and connected sensors/devices will no longer be usable.
  • Camera service packages end on March 29, 2024.
  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to return your devices.
  • The local alarm of the Gigaset Smoke smoke detector continues to function without restriction.

Anyone who wants to obtain compensation for devices that have been purchased and have now become useless can find a form for the “Declaration of claims in insolvency proceedings” as a PDF download on the linked Gigaset website. A simple return is therefore not possible; you have to go into insolvency proceedings.

Consumer advice center warns Temu for several violations

The Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) has issued a warning to the online marketplace Temu due to misleading discount programs, manipulative designs and violations of the EU's Digital Services Act. As in the corresponding press release As can be read, Temu has not yet issued a cease and desist declaration regarding the criticized points. The vzbv will therefore next decide on a lawsuit against the online marketplace.

The following are listed as points for which Temu was warned:

  • Temu offers discounts of, for example, 70 percent on the products it offers. No further information about the reference prices will be provided.
  • Temu advertises that the CO2-Footprint is reduced when consumers do not have their goods delivered to their home, but to a pickup point near them. The products have already traveled long distances before delivery.
  • While ordering, the online marketplace displays numerous instructions such as “Hurry up! Over 126 people have this item in their shopping cart” and “Over 54 users have repeatedly purchased! Why not 2 at once…”. Manipulative designs, so-called dark patterns, have been banned since February 17, 2024 according to the EU's Digital Services Act.
  • From vzbv's perspective, the online marketplace provides inadequate information about how the authenticity of product reviews is guaranteed. However, providers are obliged to provide information about this.
  • In addition, from the vzbv's perspective, information about the identity of product providers is missing on the platform.

If you don't know Temu yet or have only heard your kids and grandchildren talk about it, then take a look at our extensive article on the topic: Temu – bargain hunting and criminal records. In a nutshell: Don't buy from Temu!

Old and new technology world: Startup Tennr wants to combine AI with fax communication

The startup company Tennr wants to bring together two technologies that at first glance don't really belong together: artificial intelligence and fax. The AI ​​model to be developed should be able to capture and analyze core information from faxed documents in order to speed up processing.

It is said that faxes (in the USA) are still an essential part of communication, especially in the healthcare sector. In a first round of investment, Tennr has already raised $18 million. The use of AI should, among other things, enable faster appointment allocation and automatic querying of information missing from the fax (Which).

AI is expected to increase electricity consumption in the UK by 10% within 500 years

According to John Pettigrew, managing director of National Grid Plc., electricity consumption in the UK is expected to rise to six times current levels in ten years. The reason he cites is the expected power consumption of data centers, which would be needed for booming technology areas - such as for widely used AI. 

This forecast not only involves the question of electricity generation, but also tasks to prepare the electricity network for the additional sales. It is not just the UK electricity network that is affected by the technical innovations and future consumption factors. Increasing electricity consumption will also bring corresponding challenges in many other countries (Which).

Canva purchases affinity programs from Serif

Canva, the image editing and design platform that has grown steadily in recent years, has bought the popular Adobe alternatives in the Affinity Suite. That was this week officially announced by Serif. This expands the Canva offering to include Affinity Photo (photo and image editing as well as graphic creation), Affinity Designer (design software) and Affinity Publisher (app for desktop publishing).

The company Canva describes its offerings as solutions for “visual communication”. The purchase of the Affinity program is just the latest of several acquisitions of European graphics providers - alongside Pixabay, Pexels, Smartmockups, Kaleido and Flourish. Canva opened its first European headquarters in 2023.

Affinity programs will continue to be offered with individual licenses

The takeover of app offerings always brings with it the risk that the new owners will change the sales model or push through other negative changes. This should not be the case with the Affinity apps that are now part of Canva. By means of one further press release After the takeover announcement, a list of four promises was published:

  1. Fair prices: Unlimited licenses are always offered and Affinity should always be offered fairly and affordably.
  2. Accelerated development: Affinity should remain in its current form. However, Canva wants to accelerate the introduction of new functions.
  3. Usable for everyone: The Affinity apps will soon be offered free of charge to schools and registered non-profit organizations.
  4. Community involvement: The feedback and ideas from users should continue to be used to shape the future of Affinity offerings.

Let's hope that Canva doesn't accidentally forget any of the four points at some point...

European Commission opens DMA proceedings against Apple, Google and Meta

Shortly after the Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force, the European Commission is already taking action against non-compliance by Apple, Google and Meta. As explained, this is just the first of five investigations launched this week. These are intended to show that the DMA is being taken seriously and that Big Tech companies should do the same. 

The announced procedure examines, for example, the App Store rules of Apple and Google as well as the subscription fees of the meta platforms Facebook and Instagram. Penalties can be up to 10% of global sales; for repeated violations up to 20%. More information on the topic can be found in the official press release. It is likely that there will be more news like this in the future. There is hardly any scope for corporations to circumvent the DMA. 

Apple maps are to be expanded to include individual routes and altitude display

Apple's operating system codes, which are already available, indicate that a few practical changes will be incorporated into future versions of the map app. On the one hand, this should involve the individual adaptation of routes so that the preferred route between start and destination can be used and navigated instead of the automatically suggested route.

On the other hand, the altitude displays that were previously only available on the Apple Watch will also be available on the iPhone and Mac. However, it is assumed that both innovations will first be tested in the USA before the global release (Which). In Germany they could then become available with a later update to iOS 18.x. As always with such rumors, we have to wait and see for details.

New Apple Pencil could be compatible with the Vision Pro

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a Pencil model that can be used not (only) with the iPad, but also and above all with the “Vision Pro” VR glasses. The Apple Pencil for the Vision Pro could usefully expand the input options of the VR glasses. In addition to the virtual keyboard, a Bluetooth keyboard and Siri, the stylus could also help with writing.

But drawings and 3D creations could also be realized with a vision pencil. Various assessments of the topic suggest that the Pencil could be used on any flat surface to draw and write on a virtual screen (as well as in Freeform and similar apps) (Which).

US state of Oregon bans parts pairing from January 1, 2025

From the beginning of next year, it will no longer be officially permitted in the US state of Oregon to pair device components using so-called “parts pairing”. This means that individual hardware components of devices may no longer only function in an ID combination provided by the manufacturer, but must be freely interchangeable.

At Apple in particular, this should lead to an adjustment of individual part combinations, as previously certain parts cannot simply be removed from one device to function as a spare part in another. The ban on “parts pairing” enforces a stricter right to repair and simplifies repairs by users and independent workshops.

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2 comments on "Sir Apfelot newsreel week 13, 2024"

    1. I was just wondering about the “Especially in the healthcare sector, faxes (in the USA) are still an essential part of communication”. I thought we in Germany were the kings of faxes. 😂

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