Apple Orchard Road in Singapore Officially Opens to the Public

by News on May 27, 2017, no comments

By Mitchel Broussard

Apple today officially opened up its first retail location in Southeast Asia, Apple Orchard Road in Singapore, to the public at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store marks the newest addition to Apple’s next-generation retail rollout, following similar design principles and community-focused values seen at Apple Union Square in New York and Apple Dubai Mall.

So honored to spend some time this morning with Apple’s head of retail @AngelaAhrendts at Apple Orchard Road. She’s a rock star!! pic.twitter.com/E2E8dZxYS8

— MuttonsInTheMorning (@muttons) May 27, 2017

As the first Apple retail store in Southeast Asia, Apple Orchard Road has received a lot of attention over the past few weeks leading up to its grand opening. Reports began to ramp up in early May when Apple put up a mural in front of the store that displayed large “Apple Loves Singapore” artwork in various places. Upon closer inspection, the details of the artwork represented different “Creative Pros” who will now help run Apple Orchard Road’s “Today at Apple” programs.

After the opening date was announced, Apple removed the barricades from the storefront, unveiling the design of the inside of the store for the first time. Earlier this week, the Cupertino company then allowed members of the press to visit the store and take pictures of its next-generation design, which included a curved staircase inspired by Apple Park and an upstairs “town hall” gathering space for Today at Apple sessions.

Apple Orchard Road is the newest step in the company’s plan to eschew more traditional retail establishment principals where the only purpose is to visit the store to buy something, and encourage customers to be inspired by the products through Today at Apple. When the company announced the new sessions would begin expanding worldwide in May, Apple senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, said that Today at Apple was catalyzed by Apple’s “desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve.”


Ultimately, Ahrendts hopes that the next generation refers to Apple as a meeting spot similar to the communal nature of a place like Starbucks. “Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks,'” Ahrendts said. “And you know, I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, “Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?”‘”

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Read more here:: MacRumors

      

BMW’s new bike produces zero emissions, and is absolutely gorgeous

by News on May 26, 2017, no comments

By Mike Wehner

bmw concept link

BMW has been showing off its vision for the future of mobility for a while now, revealing numerous concept vehicles that are both extremely futuristic and somewhat insane. The company’s newest reveal, called the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, is an all-electric two-wheeler that looks like it would be more at home in Akira than on today’s city streets.

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Bloomberg: Apple is prepping a dedicated AI processor

by News on May 26, 2017, no comments

By Alan F.

According to a source familiar with Apple’s plans, the company is designing an artificial intelligence-focused chip that would concentrate on functions that would normally requite human intelligence. This includes facial and speech recognition. Apple feels pressured to regain the advantage it once had in this space when it surprised everyone with the inclusion of personal assistant Siri. That took place on October 4th, 2011 with the release of the Apple iPhone 4s.. Since then, not only have companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft caught up with Apple’s technology, many are well ahead.

Apple …

Read more here:: PhoneArena

      

Now you can design Google Photo Books on iOS or Android

by News on May 26, 2017, no comments

Among the many things Google announced at I/O 2017 last week, one of them was the ability for people to create and order physical albums with Google Photos. The only problem with that, however, is you could only use it through a desktop browser. Than…

Read more here:: Engadget

      

A Bad Broadband Market Begs for Net Neutrality Protections

by News on May 26, 2017, no comments

By kate

Anyone who has spent hours on the phone with their cable company can tell you that in the broadband market, the customer is not always right.

When it comes to Internet access wired into your home, the major ISPs like Comcast, Charter, and Verizon don’t have to play nice because they know that most customers aren’t able to switch to another provider.

Thanks to policies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as some careful planning by the major ISPs, there is no meaningful competition in the broadband market in most parts of the country. Instead, consumers are stuck with government-backed monopolistic ISPs that can get away with anti-consumer business practices.

Luckily, the FCC has laid down some basic net neutrality protections to keep ISPs from completely controlling what you can do online. The basic idea behind those protections is that your ISP shouldn’t be able to block or slow your access to certain websites or online services. Under the bright-line rules passed by the FCC in 2015, ISPs can’t provide faster or slower access to certain websites and services based on whether those sites and services are willing to pay.

These rules keep the Internet open so that consumers can go where they want online, including to new websites and services that don’t have the deep pockets to pay for fast lanes to reach users.

But those rules are under threat after the new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai started a process earlier this month to roll back the protections approved in 2015. Write to the FCC and tell the agency not to undo the net neutrality rules currently in place.

Those advocating for Pai’s rollback often accuse the FCC of overreaching in 2015 and applying unnecessary regulation on the broadband market. But that argument ignores the unique lack of competition in the broadband market.

According to the FCC’s 2016 data, 51 percent of Americans have access to only one provider of high-speed Internet access. That means slightly more than half of the country has no other option for high-speed Internet if they don’t like something their ISP doing. Only 38 percent of Americans have access to more than one ISP. The remaining 10 percent doesn’t have access to a high-speed Internet at all. The map below shows which parts of the country have access to two or more options for broadband, based on the FCC’s data.

The areas highlighted on this map have two or more high-speed Internet providers, according to the FCC’s 2016 data

Even in places where there are multiple high-speed Internet providers, the markets are often carefully carved up so that there’s little to no overlap between competitors. Data from 2014—the year that the government stopped updating its National Broadband Map, which marked which ISPs operate where—and earlier clearly shows that ISPs have monopoly or duopoly control over wide swaths of the country.

While there are some naturally occurring reasons for the concentration in the broadband market (it’s expensive and time-consuming to lay the initial groundwork for a broadband network, so incumbents automatically have a big advantage over newcomers to a market), intervention by the federal government has made it worse.

As we wrote in a brief the last time the FCC was sued over its net neutrality rules, the large incumbent ISPs received subsidies to build their networks in the first place and those ISPs get to access phone companies infrastructure at preferential rates set by the government. “Today’s … market is inseparable from the government policies that enabled, and continue to enable, its existence,” we said.

On top of that, state governments often work to protect those incumbents. Several states have laws on the books that create barriers for local governments who want to build broadband infrastructure to give their residents more ISP options.

Even if you’re lucky enough to have more than one option for high-speed Internet providers where you live, it is usually an expensive hassle to switch ISPs. You often have to go through the time-consuming process of cancelling your account and returning equipment as well as early-termination and equipment rental feels, as then-FCC-Chairman Tom Wheeler pointed out in 2014.

All of this adds up to the fact that most Americans are stuck with their ISP, meaning ISPs have no incentive to respect their customers’ wishes, including when it comes to net neutrality and treating online content equally. That’s why the FCC shouldn’t roll back its open Internet rules. Tell the FCC to keep its clear, bright-line net neutrality protections in place.

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Apple ‘Neural Engine’ chip could power AI on iPhones

by News on May 26, 2017, no comments

Apple’s focused on increasing the speed of every new mobile processor generation, most recently pairing its quad core A10 Fusion chips with its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models last September. But to keep its devices competitive, Apple is building a second…

Read more here:: Engadget