Sir Apfelot newsreel week 7, 2024

You can now end your search for the right reading material to start your weekend. Because here is the new edition of the Sir Apfelot newsreel. This time I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 7 of 2024. Among other things, these reports include: Prime Video with even more purchase functions, study highlights online hate and its consequences, Microsoft is investing 3,2 billion euros in German AI centers, OpenAI is working with the military, moon missions with commercial Participation, customs collected by Vision Pro, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 7 of 2024 there are, among others, these reports: those about online hate, Microsoft with AI centers in Germany, OpenAI and the military, moon missions, Vision Pro and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 7 of 2024 there are, among others, these reports: those about online hate, Microsoft with AI centers in Germany, OpenAI and the military, moon missions, Vision Pro and more!

Amazon Prime Video: €2,99 additional fee now also for other functions

The most recently introduced on Amazon's streaming service Prime Video advertisements are not the only innovations that you should buy yourself out of with an additional €2,99 per month. As has now been announced, in addition to the freedom from advertising, other advantages of Prime Video have also been transferred to the additional subscription: Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and watching with others using the “Watch Party” feature. These additional changes were not announced in advance and were introduced more or less secretly. The whole thing amounts to a price increase realized around the corner, which is why the consumer protection center has filed a lawsuit (sources: 1, 2).

“Loud hate – quiet withdrawal”: Study on hate messages on the Internet

The competence network against online hate published a study carried out by pollytix strategic research GmbH entitled “Loud hate – quiet retreat”. On 81 pages (or 43 PDF pages), according to its own statements, “the most comprehensive survey on the perception, impact and consequences of online hate in Germany since 2019” shows a quite negative development. This is not only shown by the 89% of those surveyed who say they have noticed an increase in hate on the Internet. The number of people who have already experienced hate online and are therefore withdrawing from certain areas or at least withholding their own opinions is also significant.

71% do not agree with the Wutbürger statement “Some hate messages finally say what needs to be said.” What is interesting here is the breakdown of the answers according to voting intention - a picture emerges from the B90/Greens (88% disagree) to the AfD (47% agree). Overall, 76% also stated that they were worried that online hate would increase violence in everyday life. Among those already affected it was as high as 82%. Because of online hate, 55% of all respondents are participating less in online discussions; among those already affected it is 70%. You can find these and other results graphically prepared in the PDF linked above.

Microsoft wants to invest 3,2 billion euros in the German AI infrastructure

In order to boost AI implementation in Europe, Microsoft wants to invest a total of 3,2 billion euros in German data centers over a two-year period. Brad Smith, President of the Microsoft Group, announced this at a press conference in Berlin, at which Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz was also present.

“German companies are integrating AI technologies very quickly,” he said. And: “We are expanding our data processing centers in the region.” Microsoft expects to gain an AI advantage in Europe through its collaboration with OpenAI and through the planned data centers and cloud offerings. The new facilities are to be built in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. The investments include the training of workers (Which).

Protests against OpenAI's collaboration with the military

While Microsoft imagines a flourishing AI future, there is a demonstration in front of the headquarters of its partner OpenAI. At least around 30 people could be seen in front of the building in San Francisco on Monday. Among other things, they called for AI development and the offering of AI tools to be paused in order to explore the possible dangers. In addition to this more general demand, it was also about secretly changing OpenAI's company principles. The clear rejection of providing one's own AI for military and warfare was deleted from it.

At the same time, there is criticism that at the start of OpenAI, CEO Sam Altman gave the board the opportunity to fire him if he made wrong decisions. This was even tried once. But Altman returned to the company five days later and has continued to run it unmolested ever since. In combination with the cooperation that has now started with the US Defense Department, this is not a particularly reassuring development. For the time being, only open source cybersecurity software and software to prevent veteran suicide are to be developed. But it remains to be seen whether it will stay that way (Which).

US moon mission launched: private transport, including government cargo

Not only has the USA not been able to carry out a NASA moon landing since 1972, some of the attempted landings of space probes and similar equipment since then have also failed. Most recently, it was Astrobotic Technology Inc., which sent a spacecraft towards the moon in January 2024, but was unable to land on the Earth's satellite due to a propulsion error. A new attempt now comes from the company Intuitive Machines Inc. Its transport capsule “Nova-C” took off yesterday on a SpaceX rocket and is scheduled to land on February 22, 2024. There are six NASA and five private-sector cargoes on board.

The mission is part of a NASA initiative to promote the commercial development and deployment of lunar probes and lunar companions. The goal is, among other things, to transport NASA equipment and materials without the US agency having to build the corresponding rockets, transport capsules and the like itself. The tender in which Intuitive Machines Inc. was awarded the contract took place in 2019. In addition to the advertised logistics task, the company also has its own plans: the development of its own lunar technology and the establishment of a satellite network in lunar orbit (sources: 1, 2).

Kimi App: Alleged eye test delivered illegal streams

There are always reports of programs that can cheat their way past Apple's App Store controls. You then end up in the software department store that is actually considered safe, but in doing so you violate the relevant guidelines and possibly also the law. This was recently the case with an app called “Kimi”.

According to the app description in the store, this should help users check their eyesight and identify possible eye weaknesses with an eye test. After downloading, the app instead contained films and series that could be streamed for free (and illegally). After a rush of downloads, Apple deleted the app from the store without comment (Which).

Import of the Apple Vision Pro: Customs with initial determinations

The Apple Vision Pro has been available in the US for two weeks now. And even though it can only be operated in English so far and can only be equipped with apps using a US Apple ID, it is already very popular outside the USA. How already shown last week, there are high purchase prices on various online platforms, from Japan to China to Singapore. And the Vision Pro is also brought to Germany, sometimes personally via a flight connection.

But if you want to leave the airport exit without having to declare customs when you return, you can say goodbye to the new spatial computer. Because the import sales tax of 660 euros exceeds the exemption limit of 430 euros. At BER Airport alone, eight undeclared import attempts were recorded in the first week of Vision Pro availability. The device will be retained until the individual case is closed; the waiting time until publication can be a good 12 months. So it's better to wait for Apple's new hardware to officially go on sale in Germany (source: 1, 2).

The ideal shape of the Vision Pro is not expected until the fourth generation

The Vision Pro research team says that the device will only reach its “ideal shape” with its fourth generation. Since this is a completely new product range that can still handle a lot of user feedback, this is not surprising. However, from the fourth generation of devices onwards, there should not only be better wearing comfort for all-day use. The goals set by the vision team for the device should only then be fully realizable.

In the run-up to the Vision Pro presentation, there were repeated rumors that the team behind it didn't think the time was right yet. However, the board is said to have put pressure on the device to be brought onto the market or scrapped. It remains to be seen whether the Apple Vision Pro Gen. 4 will solve all the bugs, the weight problem and the short battery life. Looking back, the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch also needed a few revisions to become what they were supposed to be (sources: 1, 2).

Even more Sir Apfelot for you!

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

2 comments on "Sir Apfelot newsreel week 7, 2024"

  1. What Amazon is currently doing with Prime is quite impressive. Given the fact that Amazon significantly increased prices some time ago, this is of course an outrage. Given the fact that the competition unfortunately isn't much better, I'll probably stick with Amazon Prime for the time being. Unfortunately, linear television is not an alternative either, as the public television program, for example, is completely contaminated with crime dramas. On private broadcasting, advertising is rampant like a cancer. It's not fun to watch a movie either. To be honest, I'm surprised where the companies get all their advertising customers from. Is advertising really still successful if the advertising is already pouring out of customers' ears?

    1. Hello Timewalkers! I do not know as well. For me, sometimes it's a reason not to buy something if they advertise annoyingly. And I haven’t watched “normal” television in a long time. This is unbearable. So only streaming services and YouTube remain.

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.