Tag Archives: apple

Steve Wozniak announces tech education platform Woz U

Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s three original founders, has launched a new training initiative designed to get people ready for “high-paying technology” jobs.

The Woz U digital institute is initially launching as an online-only affair and promises to deliver a “new approach” to education for tech industry jobs. For now, the curriculum focuses on training for computer support specialists and software developers (.Net, JavaScript, Ruby, Java, and Python), but it will later expand into other facets of the STEM realm, including cybersecurity, mobile apps, and data science.

“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” explained Wozniak in a press release. “People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can’t do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how.”

Woz U may be confined to the online world for now, but plans are afoot to open brick-and-mortar campuses in more than 30 cities across the U.S. and globally.

Talent shortage

Online education and recruitment platforms have emerged as big business in recent times, with an anticipated “global workforce crisis” looming. According to research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which looked at “workforce supply-and-demand dynamics” across 25 major economies through the year 2030, there will be major labor shortages in some regions and surpluses in others. This imbalance has opened the doors to a number of initiatives that seek to plug shortages in the domestic U.S. market by scouting overseas.

Mark Zuckerberg-backed Andela, for example, announced a $40 million raise earlier this week to connect tech firms with Africa’s best software developers.

Woz U is ultimately designed to train people and get them working as quickly as possible, joining the dots between a company’s hiring efforts and people willing to put in the effort to get trained — or retrained — for tech roles. For now, the platform constitutes a mobile app that features an aptitude test and matches people with the technology career “best suited for them,” according to the institute.

The business will expand to multiple platforms over time, including Woz U Enterprise for technology companies seeking to recruit and train directly though a subscription-based curriculum or on-site programs. There will also be a K-12 Woz U Education facet aimed at school districts to encourage young people to pursue a career in the tech industry.

Later, there will be a Woz U Academy that promises one-on-one instruction, and the Woz U Accelerator program scheduled for 2019 will help hone students’ skills.

Source:

https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/13/apple-cofounder-steve-wozniak-launches-woz-u/

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Tim Cook says the tech ‘doesn’t exist’ for Apple to make good augmented reality glasses

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking up augmented reality for the past year, but don’t take that to mean that Apple will launch a dedicated AR product anytime soon. In an interview with The Independent, Cook said that currently “the technology itself doesn’t exist” to make augmented reality glasses “in a quality way.” And Apple, he said, won’t ship an AR product unless it can deliver “a great experience.”

Cook identified two problems with current AR devices. Their field of view and the quality of their displays, he said, aren’t there yet. “Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with,” Cook told The Independent. “Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.”

He’s not wrong. Current augmented reality headsets all leave something to be desired. Microsoft’s HoloLens works, but it has a limited field of view and requires a large headset. Meta’s is less expensive but similarly huge. And Google Glass (which doesn’t even totally count as augmented reality) flopped badly immediately upon release.

But even if Apple doesn’t plan on diving into dedicated AR hardware, it already made an enormous play for the augmented reality market this year — perhaps doing more than any company to date. With the release of iOS 11 last month, recent iPhones were granted the ability to perform all kinds of AR tricks using something Apple calls ARKit. It lets developers make augmented reality games and makes it easy for camera apps to implement augmented reality stickers.

That means Apple is in an early position to be at the center of a possible boom in augmented reality experiences. Cook seems to believe as much. He compared the introduction of AR features to the introduction of the App Store. “Now you couldn’t imagine your life without apps,” he said. “AR is like that. It will be that dramatic.”

Even if it won’t happen right away, there are already signs that Apple is exploring dedicated AR hardware. The company has a patent application that envisions augmented reality glasses, and Apple reportedly has a team of over 1,000 people working on AR. In typical Apple fashion, Cook told The Independent that Apple has no interest in rushing into the market just to get a head start. “We don’t give a rat’s about being first,” he said. “We want to be the best.”

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/11/16458944/apple-ar-glasses-tech-doesnt-exist-says-tim-cook

Here’s the crucial lesson Steve Jobs taught Apple’s Jony Ive about focus

Jony Ive, the chief design officer at Apple, is the man Apple CEO Steve Jobs once called his “spiritual partner at Apple,” and on Friday, he talked with The New Yorker‘s David Remnick about the creative process and focus Jobs instilled in him for the magazine’s TechFest.

How to stay focused like Steve Jobs

The partnership between Ive and Jobs famously led to the ubiquitous aesthetically-pleasing designs of Apple products — including the iMac, MacBook, iPod, iPhone, and iPad — that millions of us hold in our hands and use every day. Remnick compared the synergy that led to these innovations as “Lennon-McCartney” breakthroughs. Ive said that when he and Jobs were clicking on all cylinders they were able to communicate their ideas in an “almost pre-verbal way.”

Jobs and Ive were not just business partners, but also close friends who ate lunch and vacationed together. And as friends and business partners, Jobs gave Ive blunt advice: If Ive wanted to work at his best, he would need to stay focused at all costs.

“I remember sort of early on when we were working, and he was saying that, ‘Jony, you have to understand there are measures of focus, and one of them is how often you say no,’” Ive said Jobs told him.

The power of refusal

Jobs believed in the power of refusal so much that he would ask Ive to tell him how many times Ive had said “no” during the day.

It was an “incredibly patronizing deal,” Ive admits, but he also acknowledges that this kind of tunnel-vision focus works.

“The art of focus is even if it is something you care passionately about, focus means ignoring it, putting it to the side. And often, it’s at real cost. And [Jobs] was remarkable at that,” Ive said.  “It takes so much effort and is exhausting to sustain, but all of the good things we’ve done have required that sort of focus.”

Setting your focus

To organize your life, you’ll need to prioritize what matters to you and clear away the clutter.

You may need to make big sacrifices to achieve this level of Steve Jobs-focus, but your reward may be having an idea as a great as an iPhone.

Source:

https://www.theladders.com/p/28464/career-advice-steve-jobs-jony-ive-apple

Apple starts collecting browsing data in Safari using its differential privacy tech

Today’s public release of macOS High Sierra brings with it some key updates to Safari — including the ability to disable cross-site cookie tracking and turn off autoplaying ads. Arriving alongside those features is a less publicized new addition to Apple’s proprietary browser: data collection. The company is using its newly implemented differential privacy technology to gather information from user habits that will help it identify problematic websites.

This form of data collection is the first of its kind for Safari, aimed at identifying sites that use excessive power and crash the browser by monopolizing too much memory. Apple is also documenting the popularity of these problematic domains, in order to prioritize which sites it addresses first.

Differential privacy is a method for collecting large swaths of information without grabbing any personally identifying data in the process, so none of the information can be traced back to the user. The concept dates back to academic research, algorithmically obscuring user data, while bulk collecting information, in order to identify larger trends.

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As SVP Craig Federighi put it in a WWDC keynote, “[O]ne of the important tools in making software more intelligent is to spot patterns in how multiple users are using their devices.”

Apple has already used differential privacy for some relatively low-level applications, including predictive text in keyboards, emoji usage and search predictions. As such, the technology is already part of the company’s Device Analytics program.

 

It’s an opt-in box that you can choose to tick, depending on whether you want to send that information to Apple, much like you would with the company’s crash reporting. As such, Apple won’t be prompting users with an additional sign up or notification marking the new data collection in Safari.

Source:

Apple starts collecting browsing data in Safari using its differential privacy tech

This Simple Change on the Apple iPhone Could Save Countless Lives on the Road

There’s nothing quite like “borrowing” an idea from someone else in the tech world. It’s all about how you implement the idea, how you make sure the idea is still general enough that it is not outright theft, and then how your user base reacts to the change.

That’s what makes a new feature on the iPhone, called Do Not Disturb While Driving, so interesting. It’s something Android users have enjoyed (or been annoyed by) for a while. On the iPhone, it means your phone is basically locked. When you use the mode and pick up your phone, you’ll see a screen that says your phone is disabled.

When you get a message or receive a phone call, the iPhone can then send a message back that you’re driving. To enable the feature on any iPhone that runs iOS 11, just head to Settings and enable the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. You can set it to activate automatically when the iPhone senses you are driving or manually when you decide to use it. (A chip inside the phone can sense movement that could only be a car.)

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Over the last week, I’ve use the feature many times. Well, to be more specific–I’ve stopped after driving to sit idle in a parking lot or the curb and picked up my phone, only to realize that it was impossible for me to check for a text or glance at my iTunes playlist.

You can go through a few settings to disable it of course, but it’s really a reminder to stay safe, remain vigilant, and keep your attention on the road. And here’s the amazing part. It worked. I refrained from glancing at the phone, even though it was safe to do so, and I decided to just wait until I was out of the vehicle entirely.

We know distracted driving is an issue, because accidents and fatalities on the road have risen slightly in the last year or two. It’s a problem because your brain goes into a strange blackout mode where all you see is the screen and nothing else–no pedestrians, no other cars, no roadside objects. It’s a good thing the brain does this, because it allows us to focus. It’s a bad thing when you are driving 70 miles-per-hour in heavy traffic.

For Android users, the feature has been available since last year at least. I recall using it with a Google Pixel phone connected using Android Auto to several makes and models, including a nice sports sedan with a lot of horsepower. The feature also blocks messages and calls. There’s no way to prove Apple noticed this feature and added it, but the Pixel essentially does the same thing–sensing the car is moving and blocking calls.

You can use a custom message on the Phone to send back to people to let them know you are driving, and you can select whether all calls are blocked or just those not in your contacts or favorites. Anyone can use a trigger word (“urgent”) to contact you even if you are Do Not Disturb mode.

Source:

https://www.inc.com/john-brandon/this-simple-change-on-apple-iphone-could-save-countless-lives-on-road.html

Here’s the new Apple Watch software

In Apple’s big product show today in Cupertino at the new Steve Jobs Theater, Apple COO Jeff Williams unveiled Watch OS 4, which is largely focused on health and fitness. The new OS features a redesigned workout app, high intensity interval training, enhanced swim tracking smart activity coaching, GymKit to pair with machines at the gym, a revamped heart rate monitor and new music experience.

With Watch OS 4, you’ll be able to see your heart rate right on your watch face. And when you launch the app, you’ll see your resting heart rate and recovery heart rate, which tells you how quickly your heart rate drops after a workout.

watchOS-2-nightstand-mode

When you’re not active, your Apple Watch will be able to notify you if your heart rate is elevated. The new OS can also detect arrhythmias.

With OS 4, person-to-person payments will be possible via ApplePay. which means you can send and request money right from the Messages app on your watch. The new software will be available to everyone on September 19.

Source:

Here’s the new Apple Watch software

Apple and Amazon reportedly pursuing James Bond film rights

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter claims that Apple and Amazon are vying for the distribution rights for the next Bond films, right alongside current leading bidder Warner Bros. This represents a potentially huge change in the way Hollywood distributes movies, of course, and puts Amazon and Apple in the same competitive bucket as Sony, Universal and Fox, all of which have been talking to MGM following the expiration of its distribution deal with Sony after Spectre‘s 2015 release.

THR’s sources say that both Amazon and Apple are offering as much, if not more than the traditional studios for the Bond rights. It claims Apple’s new film and TV executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are leading the charge on the company’s behalf, and that the tech giant might be looking to strike an ever broader deal, including potential TV rights.

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Apple was said to be investing $1 billion in original content initiatives next year, but the Bond franchise rights could be worth as much as $2 billion to $5 billion, per the report. It could set up the creation of a broader cinematic universe behind the character, similar to those being established by Disney for Marvel’s superheroes and the Star Wars saga.

 

This could still very easily result in no deal, or a different arrangement that sees film rights to go a traditional studio and TV or other content development licensing agreements struck with the tech companies int he running. Still, it’s an interesting window into what direction we might see streaming services take as they compete for creative real estate and audience eyeballs.

Source:

Apple and Amazon reportedly pursuing James Bond franchise rights

IPhone 8 face scanner will unlock the phone almost instantly

The 3-D face sensor on the iPhone 8 will allow a user to unlock the device in “a few hundred milliseconds,” or almost instantly, Bloomberg said.

Apple’s iPhone 8, expected to launch this fall, isn’t the first phone to use this sort of feature. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 also features a face scanner that quickly unlocks the phone. It also packs an iris scanner, which Samsung has said is more secure. Samsung’s technology, however, can be tricked with a photo.

iphone-8-concept-embedded-fingerprint-reader

The iPhone 8 is said to be full of new features ranging from an edge-to-edge OLED display that’s more colorful and brighter than previous screens, wireless charging and more. It’s expected to launch in September in limited quantities.

 

Source:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/iphone-8-face-scanner-will-unlock-the-phone-almost-instantly-says-report.html

Read Apple CEO’s email denouncing white supremacism in Charlottesville

Apple will make $2 million of donations to civil rights groups working to fight white supremacism such as that on display in Charlottesville, and it will furthermore match employee donations to similar causes on a two-for-one basis. There will soon also be an option added to iTunes for Apple users to contribute to supporting one of Apple’s chosen organizations, the Southern Poverty Law Center. In an apparently related move, Apple Pay has ceased accepting payments on websites selling white supremacist and Nazi gear.

The email in full:

Team,

Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.

We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.

In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.

Best,

Tim

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/16/16160292/tim-cook-apple-ceo-email-charlottesvile-nazis