Gurman: ‘Apple Is Planning a New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini’

Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, writing for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. will release a new low-cost laptop and a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac mini desktop later this year, ending a drought of Mac computers that has limited sales of the company’s longest-running line of devices, according to people familiar with the plans. The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution “Retina” version that Apple uses on other products, the people said.
I don’t understand this. How can it look similar to the current MacBook Air if the display “will remain about 13 inches” and the bezels are smaller? If the bezels are smaller and the display is “about 13 inches” then the machine will be significantly smaller. If the machine is about the same size and the bezels Continue reading "Gurman: ‘Apple Is Planning a New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini’"

PepsiCo to Buy SodaStream for $3.2 Billion

CNBC:
Beverage and snack giant PepsiCo announced plans Monday to acquire at-home carbonated drink maker SodaStream for $3.2 billion. Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo agreed to pay $144 per share in cash for SodaStream’s outstanding stock, a 32 percent premium to its 30-day volume weighted average price.
I really hope Pepsi doesn’t screw SodaStream up.

UpHabit

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Google Employees Are Organizing to Protest ‘Dragonfly’

One last piece in today’s Dragonfly trifecta, this one from Carolin O’Donovan for BuzzFeed:
Google employees are demanding greater transparency from their employer and confronting management with their ethical concerns about a project named Dragonfly, a controversial censored search app for the Chinese market. Employees are circulating a list of demands for the company in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News (posted in full, below), calling for an ethics review structure with rank-and-file employee representatives, the appointment of ombudspeople, and an ethical assessment of Google projects including Dragonfly and Maven, Google’s contract with the Pentagon to build AI-assisted drone technology. “Many of us believe that Dragonfly poses a threat to freedom of expression and political dissent globally, and violates our AI principles,” two employees wrote in an email distributing the demand list.
I do see their point: Google’s current stance on China does give the company a certain moral high Continue reading "Google Employees Are Organizing to Protest ‘Dragonfly’"

‘Dragonfly’

Ryan Gallagher, writing this week:
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is the owner of what is reportedly one of the world’s fastest motor yachts. The luxurious 240-foot boat (pictured below) is worth $80 million and has nine cabins and space for 18 guests and 16 crew. It has an open-air cinema, a bar, and a jacuzzi on the sundeck, which can be converted into a dance floor. But that is all less interesting to me than the boat’s name: Dragonfly. As I reported for The Intercept earlier this month, Google has since spring 2017 been working on a secretive project to launch a censored search engine in China. And the internal code-name for the China project is… Dragonfly. I’ll explain why this small detail is very curious. Back in 2006, Google launched a censored search engine in China. But four years later, in March 2010, it pulled the service out of Continue reading "‘Dragonfly’"

Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China

Ryan Gallagher, reporting earlier this month for The Intercept:
Documents seen by The Intercept, marked “Google confidential,” say that Google’s Chinese search app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by the Great Firewall. When a person carries out a search, banned websites will be removed from the first page of results, and a disclaimer will be displayed stating that “some results may have been removed due to statutory requirements.” Examples cited in the documents of websites that will be subject to the censorship include those of British news broadcaster BBC and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The search app will also “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, the documents state. The censorship will apply across the platform: Google’s image search, automatic spell check and suggested search features will incorporate the blacklists, meaning that they will not Continue reading "Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China"