Today in Tech News Digest, Apple teases new products, Brazil gets an Internet Bill of Rights, the OnePlus One turns heads, Xiaomi plans international expansion, Google Street View becomes a time machine, Amazon launches Prime Pantry, Apple ups its recycling efforts, and Conversnitch is the creepiest light bulb ever created.
Apple Teases Brand New Products
Think you are having a bad day? In 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800. Now it’s worth $58,065,210,000.
— Relatable (@Iifepost) April 24, 2014
Apple has reported its financial results for Q2, 2014. TechCrunch has all the details, but suffice to say Apple is rich and getting richer all the time. The Q and A session that followed the earnings call was actually a lot more interesting than the raw figures.
Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested the company is working on great things that he is “proud of and excited about.” However, Apple is not not quite ready to “pull the string on the curtain.” This implies innovation is still happening behind the scenes at Apple, but the company will not be bullied into launching products before they’re ready.
Cook further explained, “We care about every detail. When you care about every detail and about getting everything right, it takes a long time. We didn’t ship the first MP3 player, nor the first smartphone, nor the first tablet … But it matters more for us to get it right than to be first.” With that in mind, the iWatch had better blow our minds on arrival.
Brazil Introduces Internet Bill Of Rights
Brazil’s Congress passed a bill guaranteeing Internet privacy. American Kid: Mommy, what’s privacy? Mom: Shh! They’ll hear you!
— VeryFunnyLady.com (@LeighannLord) April 23, 2014
Brazil has introduced an Internet Bill of Rights which enshrines notions of net neutrality, privacy, and free speech into law. The legislation isn’t quite as liberal as advocates for an open Internet hoped for, but this is still a monumental first step in ensuring Brazilian citizens get a fair deal when it comes to the Internet. Will the rest of the world follow?
OnePlus One Debuts, Turns Heads
The OnePlus One, the first (non-limited edition) smartphone to be powered by CyanogenMod, has been unveiled. With a striking design, solid specs, and a price tag of $299, the OnePlus One has certainly turned heads, but we won’t know whether the reality lives up to the hyperbole until the device starts shipping in May.
Xiaomi Plans International Expansion
— Xiaomi (@xiaomi) April 22, 2014
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has unveiled plans to expand into 10 new countries. Xiaomi is looking to build on success in its native China by selling phones in India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, and Mexico, amongst others. In order to facilitate this expansion, Xiaomi has also relaunched its website at Mi.com, a domain which reportedly cost the company over half a million dollars to procure.
Google Unveils Street View Time Machine
Google has added a new feature to Street View which essentially means Google Maps becomes a virtual time machine. Rather than removing the old imagery when new panoramas are captured, Google is keeping the images from past years in place. This means users can compare how their neighborhoods look now with how they looked in the past. Which could be depressing or gratifying depending on the desirability of your neighborhood.
Amazon Launches Prime Pantry Initiative
Amazon has launched another new service aimed at undermining bricks-and-mortar stores. This one is called Prime Pantry, which sees the online retailer offering to ship up to 45 pounds (20.4 kgs) of groceries for a flat fee of $6. Prime Pantry is only available to Amazon Prime members living in the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. At least for now.
Apple Recycles Everything, Everywhere
Apple has massively expanded its recycling program. Every Apple Store around the world will now accept Apple products for recycling, with those able to be sold on as used entitling the owner to a gift card. The rest will be dismantled, and their raw materials reused in other products.
Conversnitch Spies On You, Tweets Results
And finally, Conversnitch is surely the creepiest light bulb that has ever been created. Artists Kyle McDonald and Brian House built the device which listens into conversations and posts short snippets to Twitter.
The idea behind Conversnitch is to remind us all of the real threats posed by government surveillance, which, thanks to Edward Snowden, we know is much more widespread than previously imagined. The Conversnitch Twitter feed certainly makes for interesting reading.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr