Sir Apfelot newsreel week 16, 2023

Another week is going by and that is of course the right occasion to produce a Sir Apfelot newsreel. Today it's about the Apple and tech news that particularly caught my eye in calendar week 16 of the year 2023. Among other things, these messages are included: "Silent mode" for the Corona warning app, scanning of private chats and cloud storage, louder dialogues on Prime Video, Netflix advertising subscription with full HD resolution, free open source competition for ChatGPT, new design for watchOS, fields of application for the Apple MR headset, and more.

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In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 16 of the year 2023 there are, among other things, the following messages: Off for the Corona warning app, scan of private communication and data, Prime Video with louder dialogues, IKEA products as AR models on Google, open Source competition for ChatGPT, new Apple devices, and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 16 of the year 2023 there are, among other things, the following messages: Off for the Corona warning app, scan of private communication and data, Prime Video with louder dialogues, IKEA products as AR models on Google, open Source competition for ChatGPT, new Apple devices, and more!

Temporary end for the Corona warning app

After almost three years, it was published in June 2020 and has since been expanded several times Corona warning app temporarily put on hold. Im updating FAQ of the app offer says: "From June 1, 2023, the Corona-Warn-App will be put into a rest mode. It will be possible up to and including April 30, 2023 to warn other users of an increased risk of infection using the Corona-Warn-App.So if you continue to use the app to get information about risky encounters, you can only do so until the end of the month. What will still be possible afterwards: keep your own contact diary and use vaccination certificates via the app.

Interior Minister wants private emails and cloud storage to be scanned

Chats, e-mails, cloud storage and more should be able to be scanned according to the will of the Federal Ministry of the Interior under Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). This is intended to implement an EU regulation on combating child abuse. However, this also means that the consenting federal government is breaking the coalition agreement. It says, among other things: "We reject general monitoring obligations, measures to scan private communication and an identification obligation.In addition to individual politicians, the break with this maxim has been criticized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), among others. You can find all the background information, details on the corresponding draft laws and statements by individual actors in this summary from netzpolitik.org. 

Prime Video ensures louder conversations with "Dialogue Boost".

When streaming individual in-house productions on Amazon's Prime Video, there is now the option of making character dialogue louder, regardless of ambient and background noise and the music played. To do this, the language selection is selected and then one of three dialogue boost options is set under "Audio": Low, Medium or High. I got the notice of this new audio feature for streaming Prime Video content in one this week Articles found by iFun. In addition to people who are hard of hearing, those who watch films and series in the original soundtrack and want to hear the dialogue in the foreign language more clearly are also named as a target group.

Instead of the IKEA Place app: Google displays 10.000+ IKEA products via AR

IKEA Place is a practical iPhone app with which you can place numerous IKEA products virtually in your own home or office using augmented reality (AR). This way you can try out whether the furniture fits in terms of space and style. However, the iOS app does not include all of the cabinets, tables, chairs, beds, pictures, shelves and other IKEA offerings. From now on, that doesn't matter anymore, because the AR function of the Google app has now been expanded to include over 10.000 IKEA offers. The function for iPhones and Android smartphones became known years ago, e.g. B. animals could be placed via AR. Now she also helps with furnishing your own four walls. (Which)

Netflix informs: Promotional subscription later this month with 1080p and two devices

In a document intended for shareholders, Netflix not only shows the development of the streaming offer and the figures behind it for the first quarter of 2023. There is also interesting information about the advertising-based subscription, which can be booked for EUR 4,99. It says in detail in the PDF file: "So this month we'll upgrade the feature set of our ads plan to include 1080p versus 720p video quality and two concurrent streams in all 12 ads markets.In April, the streaming quality should be increased from HD to Full HD and simultaneous streaming on two different devices should be possible.

StableLM as a free, open-source alternative to ChatGPT

If you want to create images using artificial intelligence, you can already access a free open source solution with Stable Diffusion and expand it with individual models. Suitable Mac apps are available here: Create AI art locally - Apps for stable diffusion and other deep learning models. As with the creation of images, there is now also a development in text creation towards free alternatives to paid offers such as ChatGPT. The top dog among the text AIs still has the greatest possible uses (GPT-3 has a training set of 175 billion parameters), but it faces competition from StableLM, among others. Due to the up to 7 billion parameters of the alpha version (here at GitHub) already has a good basis. Further improvements could soon result in real ChatGPT competition. (Which)

Earth Day: Apple advertises its own production and products

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 22nd, is "Earth Day". This is actually a day when you should think about your own influence on the environment, climate and Co. - or maybe about measures that you can take to guide certain (economic, political and social) processes in the right direction. But of course it's difficult when companies also want to use this day and the week before to show that they are "green" on the road. Emission reduction here, recycling there. And Apple also agrees with one press release in which the climate targets of the iPhone manufacturer are repeated and of course their own great products are praised. So then it's better to consume instead of doing without for the planet.

watchOS 10 should get a completely new home screen

Speaking of new products from Apple: For these, June will start the WWDC23 new operating systems introduced. A major user interface update is expected for watchOS 10 on the Apple Watch. In the future, the home screen should show an app overview in a grid layout. Similar to iOS on the iPhone, apps should be arranged in columns and rows and collected in folders. MacRumors reports that in one go Post and refers to one Tweet by the anonymous leak account @analyst941. In both sources you can find an image of what the new layout of the Apple Watch home screen could look like.

Commentary on Apple's fight against sideloading on the iPhone

I have an interesting one at 9to5Mac this week Comment read about Apple's efforts against sideloading on the iPhone. The headline already says that these were pointless at best, harmful at worst. Because of political regulations, Apple will be forced to open iOS, iPadOS and Co. to alternative app stores and app downloads from the web. It is argued that clandestinely introducing sideloading would have been better than constantly repeating the possible dangers of opening. But I think that at least a certain sensitization was achieved. The danger may not be as great as Apple always claims, but there could still be an increased risk of malware.

Why the Apple MR Headset? Sports, Games, iPad Apps and Fitness Says Bloomberg!

Apple is venturing into a whole new market with its mixed reality headset for VR and AR, but at the same time wants to expand it so much that it can compete with that of the iPhone. However, Apple must first explain to potential buyers why they should want to buy the headset. Mark Gurman thinks in one Articles of the business magazine Bloomberg that Apple will focus on sports, games and fitness. But cooperation with other users should also be an element of possible use. The xrOS operating system should be provided with iPad apps so that all possible tools are available right from the start.

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8 comments on "Sir Apfelot newsreel week 16, 2023"

  1. dr Joseph Volny

    I don't understand why you guys don't address this issue with OS 13.1 Ventura:
    A search in the preview does not find any umlauts ä, ö, ü.
    If you search in the preview app in a document, regardless of whether it is a pdf, word or image file, for a word that contains umlauts, it will not be found. It doesn't matter whether the PDF already contains OCR text or whether the PDF consists of pure images and the text is recognized by Apple's Live Text.
    Even if you select a word that contains umlauts in the text, then copy it and then paste it into the search field, it will not be found.
    The index search via the Finder, which should also show documents that contain the searched word, does not show corresponding files. In addition, files located in paths that contain umlauts cannot be opened in the Finder.
    This problem does not occur in iPhone (iOS 16.1) and iPad.
    As I am still under warranty on my MacBook Apple M1, support put me through to Apple Ireland. In a 90-minute conversation, he reinstalled Ventura 13.1 on my MacBook, but that didn't help either.
    When I complained to the MacStore in 1010 Vienna, I was informed that the umlaut problem is known and cannot be solved because it is a bug that could only be fixed with a new OS upgrade.
    The error does not occur in English-language versions because they do not recognize umlauts.
    This is very annoying for me, because the Finder gives me only limited access to my extensive customer database, as long as a file does not contain the first name Günter, for example, or a path does not contain the word Austria...

    1. Hello Mr. Volny! I haven't even noticed that. I'll test it myself. But, if it's the way Apple Support says, then I don't currently know how to circumvent the problem.

    2. I just tested the problem. Under Ventura, the Finder will find a folder called Apples. In a PDF, on the other hand, things are different. Strangely, the search in the Safari browser finds the umlauts in the PDF. However, if you download the PDF and open it with a double-click, only terms without umlauts will be found. In itself an absurdity with an operating system, which is offered internationally.
      In the past I would have said: "Typical Microsoft", but of course that doesn't fit here. Overall, the MacOS has quite a few errors and weaknesses in contrast to what you read when you look over from the Windows world. Unfortunately, the very exaggerated cheering messages outweigh this. I really hope Apple brings the maintenance release that's often talked about. It's the same with Apple as with Microsoft: stop for a moment, no or hardly any new features, but bug fixes.

      1. I believe the problem comes from indexing in the spotlight index. You would have to create a new index with another software. So something like Devon Think should be able to find the PDFs.

        1. Thank you for your commitment!!
          For the time being, I'll manage by renaming all documents with umlauts (e.g. ü to ue). If I get them displayed anyway (!).
          And in the same context, I also have a comfort problem, because I work with muCommander and am used to opening my documents (pdf, xls, docx, jpg, etc.) by clicking on them. This no longer works under Ventura if the file name or a path above it contains an umlaut...
          Regarding your reference to the Spotlight Index: I rescanned my documents there. But that doesn't change anything either, and I'm now looking for a security lock that doesn't allow my Unicode fonts in the library, but I don't know if I'm on the right track there.
          A second question on this occasion: I am working with the current version of GraphicConverter 12 that I bought from the MacStore.
          I was previously able to open files with the JPG extension by clicking in the Finder (or muCommander), but the setting "Always open jpg with..." no longer works either). This is cumbersome because I have to redefine such files in the converter each time or drag them into the app to edit them. A new Ventura bug?
          Please excuse me for being such a nuisance.

          1. Hello, Josef! No reader is a nuisance here. Any question is welcome. What was meant with the spotlight index was that the indexing process had a bug. Apparently Apple itself admitted that, but I don't expect the problem to be fixed until the next system. I wish you every success!

            Regarding muCommander: I can't say whether you're on the right track with the Unicode character sets. I don't use the program either and unfortunately I can't help you how to solve it.

            I think the GraphicConverter thing is more of an “individual” thing. Changing the default program for opening jpg files works for me. You can create a new user in the system, install GraphicConverter there and see if the new user still has the problem.

  2. Thank you for the interesting weekly news.

    I don't understand the preliminary end for the Corona-Warn-App. First, millions of euros are said to be invested and then it is de facto switched off. Why not just let the warning app keep running? Incomprehensible.

    To scan private emails. A difficult subject. On the one hand there is something like postal secrecy, on the other hand the Internet is increasingly becoming a legal vacuum. Would you like to scan my e-mails and my cloud storage? In my opinion, the main problem with scanning is how to deal with false positive results.

    Regarding ChatGPT: I have used this several times. Above all, when looking for information about script programming via Z-Shell, there were some good hits that I couldn't find with a "normal" search. That's why the Edge browser is back on my Mac.

    I'm already looking forward to the new home screen of the Apple Watch. The current representation is artistically interesting, but rather confusing. Especially folders would improve the overview considerably.

    Also, if sideloading comes along, I won't use it. The App Store certainly offers increased security, not XNUMX%, but still. Sideloading opens the door to malware. I would rather rely on alternative, reputable app stores.

    1. Hello Timewalkers! Thank you for your extensive feedback. We are very pleased that you have found some exciting topics. And I share your opinion on all points. 😊
      With the Corona-Warn-App it is certainly the case that the running costs for the infrastructure are quite high. That's why it's now being put into hibernation, since it's no longer urgently needed. But I have hope that things can be revived at some point when the next pandemic comes. But hopefully that will be a long time coming...

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