YouTube to Tackle Misinformation with Crowdsourced Notes

YouTube is experimenting with a feature that allows viewers to add contextual “Notes” under videos, similar to what X does with its Community Notes. The Google-owned company says the intent is to provide clarity around things like “when a song is meant to be a parody,” when newly reviewed products are available for purchase, or “when older footage is mistakenly portrayed as a current event.” However, the timing preceding a pivotal U.S. presidential election and facing concerns about deepfakes and  misinformation is no doubt intentional. The pilot will initially be available on mobile in the United States. Continue reading YouTube to Tackle Misinformation with Crowdsourced Notes

Nokia Makes the First-Ever 3D Spatial Audio Cell Phone Call

Nokia made what it claims is “the world’s first immersive voice and audio call” using cell phones, made possible by the new 3GPP Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec that lets consumers hear 3D spatial sound in real-time. The codec — which Nokia participated in crafting — is a major leap from today’s standard monophonic smartphone voice call experience and is part of the upcoming 5G Advanced standard. The innovation paves the way towards enhanced immersive spatial communications, extended reality and metaverse applications, says Nokia, explaining that it works across “any connected device,” including smartphones, tablets and PCs. Continue reading Nokia Makes the First-Ever 3D Spatial Audio Cell Phone Call

WWDC: Apple Intelligence Brings AI to iPhone, iPad and Mac

Apple has entered into a deal with OpenAI to deliver GTP-4o to its devices, which beginning this fall will feature Apple Intelligence, or “AI.” Announced during this week’s WWDC 2024, Apple Intelligence is “deeply integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia,” according to the company. The new AI features will be available to users of the iPhone 15 Pro, or any devices powered by M1 or newer chips “to understand and create language and images, take action across apps, and draw from personal context to simplify and accelerate everyday tasks.” Continue reading WWDC: Apple Intelligence Brings AI to iPhone, iPad and Mac

Microsoft Unveils 3 New Xbox Consoles for Holiday Shoppers

Microsoft has three new Xbox consoles slated for the holiday shopping season, including an all-digital Xbox Series X model in Robot White. This $450 discless iteration has up to 4K resolution, 1TB of SDDS storage and the same performance as the Carbon Black Series X introduced last year. A white Xbox Series S with disc drive is also coming, for $350, “for players who wanted more storage without the full power of Series X.” For power users, a 2TB Galaxy Black Xbox Series X Special Edition that offers “the same speed, performance and features of Xbox Series X” is priced at $600. Continue reading Microsoft Unveils 3 New Xbox Consoles for Holiday Shoppers

Lux Brings Cinematic Tools to iPhone Shooters with Kino App

Lux, the company behind the popular photography app Halide, is releasing an iPhone video app called Kino that makes it easy to add professional cinematic looks using only a smartphone. Kino’s Instant Grade feature lets users apply from a selection of color grade presets with a few simple taps. It can also apply cinematic motion blur using AutoMotion, adjusting the crisp images the iPhone tries to capture by default to “the dreamlike feeling of a motion picture.” Designed for professionals, but straightforward enough for amateurs to use, Kino supports external hard drives and iCloud backup. Continue reading Lux Brings Cinematic Tools to iPhone Shooters with Kino App

T-Mobile Plans to Buy Most of U.S. Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal

T-Mobile has agreed to buy most of U.S. Cellular in a deal worth about $4.4 billion that would bring the self-proclaimed “un-carrier” more than 4 million new customers as well as its retail stores and about 30 percent of U.S. Cellular’s wireless spectrum. U.S. Cellular would hang on to 70 percent of its spectrum and towers and lease much of it back to T-Mobile, which was already leasing its infrastructure. T-Mobile says it plans to use the added spectrum to improve its service in rural areas, which constitute the bulk of U.S. Cellular’s footprint. Continue reading T-Mobile Plans to Buy Most of U.S. Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal

Study Finds Many Consumers Seeking Multi-Service Bundles

Bundling is back. Following the cord-cutting that led to a decline in content subscriptions, consumers now indicate they want multi-service deals, with discounts and choice as to what type of content is included. A new study from Hub Entertainment Research indicates that traditional SVODs have declined overall in household usage while areas such as gaming, music, podcasts and social media have increased. “TV is no longer the center of the entertainment universe,” the study suggests, noting premium video only accounts for about 6.3 percent of consumers’ total entertainment sources. Continue reading Study Finds Many Consumers Seeking Multi-Service Bundles

Microsoft Will Introduce Web-Based Xbox Mobile Game Store

Microsoft Xbox President Sarah Bond announced the company plans to launch a web-based mobile game store in July, creating a new rival for Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Speaking at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, Bond said the web venue was selected so a single store could serve all users in all countries, “independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores.” Initially the focus will be on Microsoft games, opening later to other publishers. “This web-based store is the first step in our journey to building a trusted app store with its roots in gaming,” Microsoft said in a post-even statement. Continue reading Microsoft Will Introduce Web-Based Xbox Mobile Game Store

Netflix Teams with Roblox in Creation of ‘Digital Theme Park’

Netflix announced it is launching a “digital theme park” in early access on the Roblox online gaming platform. Web-based universe “Netflix Nextworld” will feature mini-games, easter eggs, watch parties, user-generated content and more “in 3D interactive spaces” based on characters and content from popular Netflix franchises such as “Stranger Things,” “One Piece,” “Cobra Kai” and the “Rebel Moon” movies. There will also be an activity based on the upcoming animated series, “Jurassic World: Chaos Theory.” Users will be able to collect objects and wearables from the shows and movies to post in their Fan Pods, which can be shared online with friends. Continue reading Netflix Teams with Roblox in Creation of ‘Digital Theme Park’

Apple Brings Tandem OLEDs to New M4-Powered iPad Pros

New iPad Pros with OLED displays and the thinnest design ever, powered by Apple’s new M4 chip topped the news out of Cupertino’s “Let Loose” launch event, where redesigned iPad Airs were unveiled in 11‑inch and 13‑inch M2 configurations. The switch to OLED is a major change for Apple, which used mini-LED on the most recent models. And it’s not just garden variety OLED, but tandem OLED, combining two OLED displays for very high contrast with deep blacks and 1,600 nit peak brightness. The Ultra Retina XDR visuals are enabled by the M4 and its new display engine. Continue reading Apple Brings Tandem OLEDs to New M4-Powered iPad Pros

Samsung Chip Rebound Sends Q1 Net Profit Up 400 Percent

Samsung Electronics grew net profit by more than 400 percent in Q1, to $4.91 billion, on revenue of about $52.3 billion, a nearly 13 percent increase year-over-year. The results were credited mainly to higher memory chip prices resulting from AI demand buoying the company’s semiconductor business. Solid performance in smartphones — with the launch of its Galaxy S24 series, the first to pack AI-optimized chips — supported the stellar performance. It was a dramatic rebound from 2023, when post-COVID economic fallout drove Samsung to a 15-year profit low and semiconductor losses of almost $11 billion. Continue reading Samsung Chip Rebound Sends Q1 Net Profit Up 400 Percent

Apple’s Revenue Is Impacted by Pressure from Chinese Rivals

Apple revealed its largest quarterly decline in iPhone sales since the July-September period in 2020 during the pandemic, placing additional pressure on the tech giant to step up its artificial intelligence efforts. Apple iPhone sales for January-March dropped 10 percent year-over-year, as its top product faced increased competition from Huawei in China, Apple’s third-largest market. Apple’s quarterly revenue decreased 4 percent from the same period last year to $90.8 billion, marking the fifth dip in the past six quarters for the company. Apple’s $23.64 billion profit for the quarter represents a 2 percent reduction from last year. Still, Apple shares rose in after-market trading. Continue reading Apple’s Revenue Is Impacted by Pressure from Chinese Rivals

Internet Regulation: FCC Votes to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to reinstate net neutrality rules on Thursday, returning to the Obama-era approach of establishing a level playing field for online platforms, regardless of size. The commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, the equivalent of a public utility, which means it can be regulated like power and water. However, the FCC qualified that while it would be treating the Internet as an essential service, it will exercise its authority “in a narrowly tailored fashion.” Continue reading Internet Regulation: FCC Votes to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

Meta Opens Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Meta Platforms has rebranded its Quest VR operating system Horizon OS and is opening the platform to third parties. While licensing terms have not been publicly disclosed, Asus and Lenovo have said they’re going to be designing hardware using the system. Microsoft and Qualcomm are also in round one of the companies on the inside track as Meta positions Horizon OS along the lines of a universal VR standard, not unlike Microsoft’s Windows OS for computers. All four companies have already been working with Meta on VR for Quest or its predecessor, Oculus. Continue reading Meta Opens Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Comcast Offers Prepaid Month-to-Month Phone and Internet

The Comcast NOW suite of low-cost prepaid Wi-Fi and streaming TV service is gaining Internet and mobile products that consumers can purchase month-to-month. NOW Mobile proffers unlimited 5G data, talk and text, with access to more than 23 million Wi-Fi hotspots, for $25 per line. NOW Internet offers “more reliability than fixed wireless options” starting at $30 per month for 100 Mbps, or $45 per month for 200 Mbps. Each tier includes unlimited data and an Xfinity 5G gateway. The packages join NOW TV and NOW WiFi Pass in Comcast’s prepaid portfolio. Continue reading Comcast Offers Prepaid Month-to-Month Phone and Internet