The Major-Expansion Edition Thursday, December 13, 2018

Apple Plans Major US Expansion Including A New $1 Billion Campus In Austin, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

Apple has announced a major expansion that will see it open a new campus in North Austin and open new offices in Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles as it bids to increase its workforce in the U.S. The firm said it intends also to significantly expand its presence in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years.

The Austin campus alone will cost the company $1 billion, but Apple said that the 133-acre space will generate an initial 5,000 jobs across a broad range of roles with the potential to add 10,000 more. The company claims to have 6,200 employees in Austin — its largest enclave outside of Cupertino — and it said that the addition of these new roles will make it the largest private employer in the city.

Apple Now Has Dozens Of Doctors On Staff, Showing It's Serious About Health Tech, by Christina Farr, CNBC

Apple has dozens of medical doctors working across its various teams, say two people familiar with the company's hiring, showing how serious it is about health tech.

The hires could help Apple win over doctors — potentially its harshest critics — as it seeks to develop and integrate health technologies into the Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone. It also suggests that Apple will build applications that can help people with serious medical problems, and not just cater to the "worried well," as many have speculated.

Apple’s ‘Netflix For Magazines’ Getting A Chilly Reception, by Gerry Smith, Bloomberg

The tech giant is preparing to relaunch Texture, an app it agreed to buy in March that offers unlimited access to about 200 magazines. The company plans to make it a premium product within Apple News, which curates articles and comes preinstalled on iPhones, according to people familiar with the matter. A new version could be unveiled as soon as this coming spring, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.


But some executives fear Texture could end up doing more harm than good. Their concern is Apple could steal their current subscribers, who would save money by reading articles on Texture instead. At $9.99 a month, Texture would be cheaper than an unlimited digital subscription to the New York Times -- after introductory prices expire.


Carrot Weather Gets Major Update With New Weather Source Options, Apple Watch Complications, Much More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The highly popular Carrot Weather iOS app has received a big update today that brings new data sources like The Weather Channel and AccuWeather, integration with personal weather stations like Netatmo, a new recent searches feature, new Apple Watch complications, and much more.

Djay 3.0 Debuts As A Free, Universal App With A Subscription Option For Pro Features, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The free version of the app allows users to mix songs using two onscreen turntables in what Algoriddim calls Classic Mode. A second mode called Automix uses an AI engine to create smooth, beat-matched transitions from one song to the next.

BOOST↑UP Wireless Charging Dock Is A Great Charger For Up To Three Gadgets, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

You can wirelessly charge an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously — and even juice up a third device using the additional USB-A port. I’m using it with an iPhone Xs Max and Apple Watch Series 4 — with the extra USB-A port occasionally used to juice up my iPad Pro.


Waterfall, by Andreas Zwinkau

I believe we build software at the complexity frontier our tooling and education allows. This implies that we are unable specify programs in enough detail and in advance. And if you do it roughly and afterwards, it will not match the code.

Now give a bit more respect to the greybeards. They knew this already decades ago and most of them probably identified DODs Waterfall as the accident it was right from the start.


A Touch Of Touch, by Nick Heer

I’ve long been a staunch defender of 3D Touch — I use its features all the time, and it now feels strange to me when an iPhone does not have it. I would rather see continued investment on that front to establish consist guidelines for its use, and make it a more obvious part of the system. But if 3D Touch is truly on its way out, it should be a clean kill across the board. A piecemeal approach with a similar-but-not-quite-the-same feature on just one product is a confusing distraction.

Almost Everyone Involved In Facial Recognition Tech Sees Problems With It, by Dina Bass, Los Angeles Times

An unusual consensus emerged recently among artificial intelligence researchers, activists, lawmakers and many of the largest technology companies: Facial recognition software breeds bias, risks fueling mass surveillance and should be regulated. Deciding on effective controls and acting on them will be a lot harder.

This week, the Algorithmic Justice League and the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law Center unveiled the Safe Face Pledge, which asks companies not to provide facial AI for autonomous weapons or to law enforcement unless explicit laws are debated and passed to allow it. Last week, Microsoft Corp. said the software carries significant risks and proposed rules to combat the threat. Research group AI Now, which includes AI researchers from Google and other companies, issued a similar call.

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I don't see why Apple need to pursue newspapers to join Texture. Magazines and newspapers seems like incompatible businesses that require different monetary models.


Thanks for reading.