Sir Apfelot newsreel week 6, 2024

The weekend is just around the corner again, there will be another Sir Apfelot newsreel. This time I have summarized for you the Apple and tech news that caught my eye during calendar week 6 of 2024. Below are the following reports: Netflix with problems of its own making, boss scam causes $24 million in damage with AI help, updates for iPhone and Mac fix copy and paste problems, Swift Student Challenge 2024 has started, overseas -Vision Pro prices go through the roof, new content for Apple TV+, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 6 of 2024 there are, among other things, these reports: Netflix sees pirated copies as an increasing competitive market, Chef-Masche 2.0, updates fix copy & paste problems on iPhone and Mac, Swift Student Challenge 2024, new TV+ content, and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 6 of 2024 there are, among other things, these reports: Netflix sees pirated copies as an increasing competitive market, Chef-Masche 2.0, updates fix copy & paste problems on iPhone and Mac, Swift Student Challenge 2024, new TV+ content, and more!

Netflix calls the increasing online piracy a danger

Anyone who operates as a public company in the USA must file an annual report with the United States Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC), more precisely the Form 10-K. It's not just about the company's financial situation, but also about the assessment of the market and your own business ability. You can view Netflix's report for the 2023 fiscal year here as PDF look at. In addition to a lot of other information in the 84-page document, you will find the information that Netflix sees itself in competition with other offers, including and above all “piracy services”, i.e. pirated copies.

"[...] Piracy services are subject to rapid global growth, and our efforts to prevent that growth may be insufficient“, it says at one point. My opinion is: Netflix is ​​helping the pirated copy market to flourish again. By aggressively cracking down on password sharing and increasing prices, the company is pushing users to use cheaper or, better yet, free alternatives. The mistakes of the music and film industry in the 2000s are repeated here when they did not want to admit that they had to accommodate customers instead of just demanding penalties against piracy. So Netflix is ​​creating its own problems (at least to some extent).

Boss scam 2.0 – video conference with AI clones brings in 24 million euros in loot

We already covered the topic of “boss scam” almost five years ago: Boss scam costs millions - email fraudsters pose as superiors. In short, criminals exploit the gullibility of employees to pose as their superiors and demand sensitive information or money.

A case is now being reported in which almost 24 million euros were stolen through a video conference full of AI clones. An employee of an international company in Hong Kong fell for the perfidious trick. He made 15 transfers, costing the employer around HK$200 million. Apparently stolen videos of the participants were used and accompanied by AI voices - so contrary to initial assumptions, it may not have been deepfakes that were shown (Which).

Google renames Bard Gemini and offers “Ultra” subscription for $19,99 per month

Google has renamed its chatbot. The LLM option previously called Bard is now called Gemini. This is intended to unite the chatbot with the Gemini language model developed by Google DeepMind. The renaming is also accompanied by a division of the offer: a simple, free version and a paid “Ultra” version. 

The latter is made available with better logical understanding and better performance on complex tasks (such as coding) for $19,99 per month. Not only does Google want to compete more with OpenAI and ChatGPT, but it also wants to be able to recoup the previous expenses for AI development. According to the last earnings call, the next editions are already planned for 2024, which should exceed those from 2023 (Which).

iOS 17.3.1 and macOS 14.3.1 – Copy & Paste error fix is ​​here!

I have to admit, when I read about the updates to iOS 17.3.1 and macOS 14.3.1 this morning, I was quite happy. Because it is reported that these fix a copy & paste error, which I have already observed myself. The colleagues from iFun and iPhone-Ticker probably came across it in Photoshop when they wanted to insert copied text.

I had the problem in Affinity Photo. There I wanted an app icon, which I had copied from the app's information overview, insert. That didn't work at all and instead the text that had previously been copied somewhere else was pasted. Although there was a workaround, but it was still annoying. If you have similar copy-paste problems, you can now install updates to combat them (sources: 1, 2).

Upgrading to iOS 17 is adopted more slowly than upgrading to iOS 16

Let's stay briefly with Apple's current mobile operating systems called iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. Apple has published an interesting insight into them. App store interactions on February 4, 2024 measured how many devices were running iOS / iPadOS 17, iOS / iPadOS 16 and earlier versions. This shows that the iPhone operating system is being adopted more slowly. On the iPad, however, there seem to be faster upgrades.

While iOS 17 is installed on 76% of iPhones from the last four years, in the same period last year it was already 81% of iPhones from the last few years iOS 16 had installed. When it comes to all iPhones, including older devices, iOS 17 was 66%, while iOS 16 was 72% in the same period last year. For iPads from the last four years, the share with iPadOS 17 was 61%, while last year it was only 53% with iPadOS 16. For all iPads, the values ​​were 53% (iPadOS 17, February 2024) and 50% (iPadOS 16, February 2023) - sources: 1, 2, 3.

Swift Student Challenge 2024: Apple is now accepting applications

How already shown in November, the Swift Student Challenge 2024 will start earlier than in recent years. At that time, the programming competition was announced for February, which has now come. And that's why it's found on the corresponding developer page from Apple the hint: "Applications are now open through February 25, 2024."

A total of 350 submitted projects will be honored, of which 50 will be highlighted as “Distinguished Winners”. They are recognized if they demonstrate excellence in innovation, creativity, social impact and/or inclusivity. Further details about the additional prizes for the “Distinguished Winners” are available on this Apple site.

News about the Apple Vision Pro: test reports, teardowns and expensive second-hand offers

Since last Friday, the Apple Vision Pro can officially be purchased and used in the USA. The pre-ordered units also arrived last weekend. Since then, there has been a flood of information for anyone wanting to get to grips with Apple's new hardware. In addition to various Test reports on YouTube and the teardown from iFixit (Part 1, Part 2), there is also news about resale efforts outside the US. These come with hefty prices.

The standard 256GB model, which costs $3.499 in the US, was spotted on Japan's online marketplace Mercari for the equivalent of $5.400. In China, an offer was found on Taobao for the equivalent of $5.000, and in Singapore you can buy a Vision Pro on Lazada for the equivalent of $6.300. The offer from the technology importer Mong Kok in Hong Kong seems almost cheap at the equivalent of $4.580. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says Apple is likely eyeing the overseas market to gauge demand as the Vision Pro expands (Which).

More posts about Vision Pro from this week:

Apple is introducing lots of new content for Apple TV+

With a bit of a delay, Apple presented its new TV+ content for 2024. These include new series, new films and new series seasons. Numerous new offers are shown in the associated trailers on YouTube. The already well-known films “Napoleon” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” are included. Some of the new series also look great. Personally, I'm definitely looking forward to "The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin", because Noel Fielding (known from The Great British BakeOff, The IT Crowd, Taskmaster, etc.) is starring there along with other cool actors.

Here is the list of new content for Apple TV+ in 2024:

  • The New Look
  • Sugar
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Masters of the air
  • The Big Door Prize Season 2
  • Loot Season 2
  • Franklin
  • Napoleon
  • Lady in the Lake
  • Presumed Innocent
  • Constellation
  • Manhunt
  • The Dynasty: New England Patriots
  • Dark Matter
  • Palm Royale
  • The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin
  • The Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy Season 2
  • Land of Women
  • And even more

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