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The straight line from Google Maps to Clearview AI – The Verge



Few apps made by a Big Tech company have improved more over the years than Google Maps. When it launched in 2005, it was a moderately better alternative to AOL’s MapQuest. With the rise of smartphones, it became truly essential to the lives of millions — upending incumbents whose entire business had been selling expensive, subscription-based in-car navigation systems. And with each passing year it improves: offering advice about when to change lanes, rerouting you to avoid traffic, and even telling you which exit to take when climbing out of the New York subway. Today is its 15th birthday.

It’s a happy story in a relatively dark time for consumer tech, so it makes sense that Google would want to celebrate. The company marked the occasion with a lightly refreshed design, including a good-looking new pin-shaped logo. It also sat for a portrait in Wired, where Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai took a victory lap with Lauren Goode and Boone Ashworth:

“Overall, I think computing should work in a way where it’s much more intuitive to the way people live and not the other way around,” Pichai says. “AR and Maps is really in the sweet spot of that, because as humans we’re walking around the world, perceiving a lot, trying to understand a lot.” Pichai says he sees a future in which Maps users are walking around and an AR layer of information is popping up in Maps, showing them vegetarian menu options at nearby restaurants.

That doesn’t mean AR in Google Maps works like magic now—or will in the near future. “We talk about the double-edge sword of AR,” says Alex Komoroske, director of product management at Maps. “If you get it exactly right, it’s extremely intuitive. But if we get it wrong, it is actively confusing. It’s worse than showing nothing.”

People walking around and finding themselves subject to ubiquitous computing — whether they like it or not — is a subject that has been in the news constantly of late, as we debate the rise of for-profit facial recognition and tools like Clearview AI. It’s a story that, to my mind, starts with the rise of Google Maps.


But first, a bit of history.

“Worse than showing nothing” is what Google Maps was accused of a decade ago in Germany, where in the aftermath of the Nazi regime, privacy-conscious Germans objected to the latest feature added to the app in the name of progress: Street View, which took photos of everyone’s homes and allows anyone to browse them at their leisure. In response to criticism, then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously suggested that people angry about the loss of privacy should simply move. (To where?!) Angry Germans sued, but ultimately lost. The courts ruled that, because the photos had been taken from a public road, and people could opt out of having their homes shown, their privacy had not been violated.

Of course, one reason that people object to these massive data-collection schemes is that they almost always gather more data than even their creators intend. Street View cars, for example, connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks as they made their rounds between 2008 and 2010 — and when they did, slurped up “snippets of e-mails, photographs, passwords, chat messages, [and] postings on websites and social networks,” according to a 2012 story in the New York Times.

Google said it had all been a mistake and apologized, and Germany fined just shy of the maximum for a data privacy breach on that scale: a hilarious 145,000 euros. (I am not leaving out any zeroes on accident there.) In the intervening years, like most data privacy scandals, it has been more or less forgotten.

Still, the case feels freshly relevant in light of the past month’s news about Clearview AI. Like Google in 2008, Clearview slurps up public data — in this case, photos of people posted publicly on the internet — to build a for-profit tool without the permission of anyone involved.

In fact, much of the news in the past week has been companies (including Google!) leaping up to insist that Clearview does not have permission to build its Google-for-faces tool, which the company says it sells only to law enforcement. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Venmo have sent similar cease-and-desist letters.

No one seems terribly confident those letters will be effective, though. Last year, another for-profit company that LinkedIn sued for scraping its public content won its case. There are arguably some good reasons about that — the ability to scrape public sites is good for journalists and academics, for example.

Still, for all the reasons Kashmir Hill laid out in her initial profile of Clearview, the implications of a tool that immediately associates any face with a name are chilling to contemplate: stalking, blackmail, targeting protesters and dissidents, and so on. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that the company is selling the technology to authoritarian regimes. (Even Schmidt, who had suggested that people move to avoid his fleet of Street View cars, said Google would never build a facial recognition database.)

The uses and potential misuses of Clearview’s technology strike me as plainly dangerous in a way that Street View never did. Google offered you a view of an address you could have visited yourself, and — critically — allowed homeowners to opt out of the program, blurring the view of their houses. Like other Google Maps features, it was conceived as a tool for helping people get around — not to empower the prison-industrial complex.

Still, for everything Google Maps did right — and I am a highly satisfied customer — it also heralded a new era in networked photography. You cannot make a previously unseen world visible without making it, at least in some ways, less secure. Look at the once-sleepy neighborhoods transformed into clogged wrecks the moment that Google Maps (through its acquisition of Waze) gained visibility into traffic patterns, and began rerouting the world in the name of efficiency. Once again, making something easier to see made a large group of people feel less safe.

On the whole, at least for me, I’d say it has been a good bargain. But as Maps turns 15, it seems worth noting that there’s a straight line from Street View to Clearview. We’re beginning to understand in America what Germans knew a decade ago — that whatever miracles technology can provide must always be weighed against the value of simply being left alone.

The Ratio

Today in news that could affect public perception of the big tech platforms.

Trending up: Google has quietly been conducting a five-year study on how to get employees to eat healthier — and so far, it appears to be working. The strategies include making plates slightly smaller, putting vegetables first in the buffet line, and funding a new curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America focused on making vegetables taste better.


Trump’s re-election campaign plans to spend more than $1 billion to ensure he gets a second term. Helping to spread his message is a vast array of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in US history. Here’s McKay Coppins at The Atlantic:

After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Stories of Russian troll farms and Macedonian fake-news mills loomed in the national imagination. But while these shadowy outside forces preoccupied politicians and journalists, Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.

Every presidential campaign sees its share of spin and misdirection, but this year’s contest promises to be different. In conversations with political strategists and other experts, a dystopian picture of the general election comes into view—one shaped by coordinated bot attacks, Potemkin local-news sites, micro-targeted fearmongering, and anonymous mass texting. Both parties will have these tools at their disposal. But in the hands of a president who lies constantly, who traffics in conspiracy theories, and who readily manipulates the levers of government for his own gain, their potential to wreak havoc is enormous.

Trump is the third president to be impeached, but he’s the first to go through the process in the social media era. This shift changed everything about how Americans understood the developments in the trial. (Cat Zakrzewski / The Washington Post)

Nevada’s Democratic Party is scrambling to figure out a better way to report results, after ditching plans to use an app like the cursed one that upended Iowa’s contest. The Nevada caucus is just about two weeks away. (Emily Glazer and Dustin Volz / The Wall Street Journal)

Vice’s Motherboard published the APK for The App that ruined the Iowa caucus. “Trust and transparency are core to the U.S. electoral process. That’s why Motherboard is publishing the app that malfunctioned in Iowa,” they said. (Jason Koebler / Vice)

Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucus hotline with numerous prank calls while officials were trying to report results. The prank callers included a number of Trump supporters. (Ben Collins, Maura Barrett and Vaughn Hillyard / NBC)

The Congressional investigation into Big Tech is putting pressure on the country’s top two antitrust enforcement agencies — the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice — which have historically been slow to act. Last summer, after Congress announced its probe, both agencies made similar announcements. (Jason Del Rey / Recode)

Child welfare advocates attacked Facebook’s plans to encrypt its messaging apps, saying it would allow child predators to operate with impunity on the company’s platforms. So far, the tech giant isn’t backing down. (Katie Benner and Mike Isaac / The New York Times)

The announcement of a second proposed California privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act, set off a fresh wave of lobbying efforts from privacy advocates and executives at Google and Facebook. Many provisions within the new law are a direct result of these efforts. (Issie Lapowsky / Protocol)

European Union antitrust investigators are ramping up the investigation into Facebook’s data practices. They’re now looking for documents related to how the company allegedly leveraged access to user data to stifle competition. (Sam Schechner, Emily Glazer and Valentina Pop / The Wall Street Journal)


Two more content moderators — these ones working for Facebook through Cognizant — filed a class-action suit against the company on Wednesday. They worked at the Tampa site I profiled for The Verge last year. (Found out today that my piece on the Tampa site is a finalist for a National Magazine Award, by the way!) Here’s Kavitha Surana in the Tampa Bay Times:

The two filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook and Cognizant on Wednesday, alleging the companies made content moderators work under dangerous conditions that caused debilitating physical and psychological harm and did little to help them cope with the traumas they suffered as a result. Jeudy also has filed a discrimination charge against Cognizant with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit says the two companies ignored the very safety standards they helped create. It also alleges that Facebook’s outsourcing relationship with Cognizant is a way for the social media giant to avoid accountability for the mental health issues that result from moderating graphic content on the platform.

A leaked document shows TikTok waited to report a livestreamed suicide on its app in order to get its PR strategy in place. The company’s goal was to make sure the video didn’t go viral. That’s … not terrible. But waiting three hours to call the police sure is. Paulo Victor Ribeiro at The Intercept reports:

In the statement for users, TikTok said that it was “extremely sad about this tragedy” and guaranteed that its top priority was to “foster a secure and positive environment on the application.” The company wrote, “We have measures in place to protect users from misusing the app, including simple mechanisms that allow you to report content that violates our terms of use.” Insofar as these mechanisms exist, however, they had clearly not worked as well as advertised. […]

According to the ByteDance source, TikTok’s chief of operations in Brazil and Latin America advised employees of the Brazilian office not to say anything about what had occurred. “Her orders were clear: ‘Don’t let it go viral,’” the source told me.

Twitter reported $1.01 billion in revenue for last quarter, thanks to strong advertising sales. It’s the first time the company’s revenue has broken the billion-dollar mark. Daily users were up, too, likely because of how good your tweets are. (Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch)

Shoddy coronavirus studies keep going viral on social media. Some are coming from scientists who are rapidly posting findings about the outbreak without properly vetting the claims. Boo! (Stephanie M. Lee / BuzzFeed)

Pornhub hosts hundreds of explicit videos featuring footage of women who were not aware how the content will be used. The website’s solution to stop these videos from spreading is to fingerprint the videos after someone requests that they be taken down. This investigation shows how often this system fails. (Samantha Cole and Emanuel Maiberg / Vice)

And finally…

‘Emoji jacket’ can help cyclists communicate their never-ending rage to drivers

Cycling is dangerous, but emoji are cute. So naturally:

Here comes Ford with a novel solution: an emoji jacket. As part of its “Share the Road” campaign to improve cycling safety, the automaker’s European division designed a cycling jacket with an LED display on the back that lights up with various emoji to convey the cyclist’s mood. A smiley face indicates a happy cyclist, a frowny face a less happy one, and so on. There are also directional symbols for when a cyclist intends to make a turn and a hazard symbol when they may be experiencing a flat tire.

I want one and I don’t even bike!

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The Future of MSP IT Companies



MSPs require tools that enable them to provide a comprehensive managed services experience, which means having one platform with all of the essential productivity, data availability, and security tools combined into an easy-to-use package.

This is one of the many pros of MSPs, as they can offer a one-stop shop for all of your IT needs.

Cybersecurity and emerging technology, including automation, are major trends for MSPs who look forward to the future. In coming research briefs we’ll address these topics more in-depth.

  1. Reliability

Opting for the appropriate managed service provider (MSP) for your business is a critical decision, which has far-reaching effects on daily operations. Finding a partner that is reliable and can meet all of its IT needs is essential to meeting those objectives successfully.


A reliable MSP will conduct an intensive assessment of your company’s infrastructure and processes to fully comprehend your IT requirements, offering services that best suit them for data plans, telecom options, business applications, and hardware needs.

MSPs also provide 24/7 monitoring and support, meaning if a problem does arise it can be handled instantly compared to waiting for assistance from an overburdened in-house tech team. This ensures consistent service, reducing downtime and lost revenue as a result.

  1. Scalability

As an MSP, your goal should be to expand the services you offer and increase revenue – whether that means expanding customer bases or adding innovative technologies.

But it is also essential to bear in mind that not all changes are scalable; some could impede on your business’s efficiency, leading to more expenses than profits – this phenomenon is known as diseconomies of scale, and it could spell doom for your enterprise.

Implementing new software solutions such as Tanium may require upgrading your infrastructure, which takes time and money. Working with an experienced IT partner is highly recommended to ensure that any upgrades made are scalable – they have evaluated many solutions that may work for your business and know which are ideal.

  1. Security

MSP companies can provide businesses with essential cybersecurity services that will assist in maintaining security. MSP companies can assist businesses with software deployment, patch management and configuration control as well as the creation and implementation of an unified threat detection and response platform to detect evolving threats.

An MSP can be an invaluable asset to smaller businesses with limited IT resources, but it must balance client needs against budgetary limitations and the risk of cyber breaches.

Customers should review MSP contracts carefully to ensure they provide adequate security measures, limit attack surface by enforcing multifactor authentication (MFA) on all accounts, and track unexplained failures in authentication. In addition, it’s wise to regularly review and delete MSP accounts when they’re no longer managing infrastructure.

  1. Flexibility

An outstanding MSP provides more than just scalability; they also have the flexibility needed to help clients find solutions tailored specifically to meet business needs and budget constraints, helping to avoid costly organizational downtime.

Working from home and cloud management are driving managed services market growth well past 2020, so MSPs that offer their clients access to tools and support will be well positioned to capitalize on this market shift and remain profitable long term.

An MSP that can offer additional services will also be able to reduce customer churn and boost its revenue per client, such as IT strategy consulting or backup and recovery solutions.

  1. Efficiency

MSPs offer many businesses an efficient and cost-effective method for handling IT. Their services tend to be much cheaper than what it would cost an enterprise to implement and manage on their own, and provide more flexibility and scalability than when the task falls on them alone.

MSPs typically specialize in specific aspects of technology or vendor management, enabling them to provide more effective IT solutions than an in-house team could. A good MSP also serves as a single point of contact and becomes familiar with their client’s business over time.

Outsourcing certain technology functions to a Canadian IT company can also lower overhead costs by freeing up internal employees to focus more on revenue-generating activities, leading to greater productivity and efficiency within a company.


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Apple Releases iOS 17 With StandBy, Live Voicemail, Improved Autocorrect, FaceTime Video Messages and Tons More



Apple today released iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, the latest operating system updates that are designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple’s software updates, ‌iOS 17‌ and ‌iPadOS 17‌ are available for free. ‌iOS 17‌ is compatible with the ‌iPhone‌ XR/‌iPhone‌ XS and later, while ‌iPadOS 17‌ runs on the iPad mini 5 and later, the ‌iPad‌ 6 and later, iPad Air 3 and later, the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and later, all 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models, and the 10.5-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.

Apple’s updated software, which is build 21A329, can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. It can take a few minutes for the updates to propagate to all users due to high demand.

While you download ‌iOS 17‌, make sure to check out our dedicated iOS 17 roundup for a full rundown of all of the features in the update. We’ve highlighted a few of the most notable additions below, but this is a huge update with hundreds of changes.

‌iOS 17‌ expands on last year’s Lock Screen updates with the addition of interactive widgets and StandBy, a new feature that turns the ‌iPhone‌ into a mini home hub when it is charging. You can now see voicemail transcriptions in real time, and leave video messages in FaceTime. ‌FaceTime‌ also now works on the Apple TV with tvOS 17.


With NameDrop, exchanging contacts is as simple as touching two phones together, and Messages has been overhauled with new safety features and updates to the way that stickers work. Autocorrect is better than ever, Spotlight search has been improved, private browsing in Safari is more secure with Face ID lock, and there’s now a mood tracking feature in the Health app.

Passwords can be shared in iCloud Keychain and AirTags can be shared among family members too, plus there are new features for the AirPods Pro. Apple has also added updates to Siri, Mail, Reminders, Notes, Home, and more. Full release notes for the update are below.

iOS 17 brings big updates to Phone, Messages, and FaceTime that give you new ways to express yourself as you communicate. StandBy delivers a new full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to view from a distance when you turn iPhone on its side while charging. AirDrop makes it easier to share and connect with those around you and adds NameDrop for contact sharing. Enhancements to the keyboard make entering text faster and easier than ever before. iOS 17 also includes updates to Widgets, Safari, Music, AirPlay, and more.

– Contact Posters let you customize how you appear on other people’s devices when you call them with a customized poster
– Live Voicemail displays a live transcription as someone leaves a message and allows you to pick up the call

– Stickers iMessage app brings all your stickers into one place including Live Stickers, Memoji, Animoji, emoji stickers, and your third party sticker packs
– Live Stickers can be created by lifting the subject from photos or videos and stylizing them with effects like Shiny, Puffy, Comic, and Outline
– Check In automatically notifies a family member or friend when you arrive at a destination safely and can share helpful information with them in case of a delay
– Audio message transcription is available for audio messages you receive so you can read them in the moment and listen later
– Search improvements help you find messages faster by allowing you to combine search filters such as people, keywords, and content types like photos or links to find exactly what you are looking for
– Swipe to reply to a message inline by swiping to the right on any bubble
– One-time verification code cleanup automatically deletes verification codes from the Messages app after using them with AutoFill in other apps

– Leave a video or audio message to capture exactly what you want to say when someone does not pick up your FaceTime call
– Enjoy FaceTime calls on Apple TV by using your iPhone as a camera (Apple TV 4K 2nd generation and later)
– Reactions layer 3D effects like hearts, balloons, confetti, and more around you in video calls and can be triggered with gestures
– Video effects allow you to adjust the intensity of Studio Lighting and Portrait mode

– Full-screen experience with glanceable information like clocks, photos, and widgets designed to view from a distance when iPhone is on its side and charging in places such as your nightstand, kitchen counter, or desk
– Clocks are available in a variety of styles including Digital, Analog, Solar, Float, and World Clock, with elements you can personalize like the accent color
– Photos automatically shuffle through your best shots or showcase a specific album you choose
– Widgets give you access to information at a distance and appear in Smart Stacks that deliver the right information at the right time
– Night Mode lets clocks, photos, and widgets take on a red tone in low light
– Preferred view per MagSafe charger remembers your preference for each place you charge with MagSafe, whether that’s a clock, photos, or widgets

– Interactive widgets let you take actions, like mark a reminder as complete, directly from the widget by tapping it on the Home Screen, Lock Screen, or in StandBy
– iPhone widgets on Mac enable you to add widgets from your iPhone to your Mac desktop

– NameDrop lets you exchange contact information with someone new by bringing your iPhones close together
– New way to initiate AirDrop allows you to share content or start a SharePlay session over AirDrop by bringing your iPhones close together

– Improved autocorrect accuracy makes typing even easier by leveraging a powerful transformer-based language model (iPhone 12 and later)
– Easier autocorrect editing temporarily underlines corrected words and lets you revert back to what you originally typed with just a tap
– Enhanced sentence corrections can correct more types of grammatical mistakes when you finish sentences (iPhone 12 and later)
– Inline predictive text shows single and multi-word predictions as you type that can be added by tapping space bar (iPhone 12 and later)

Safari and Passwords
– Profiles keep your browsing separate for topics like work and personal, separating your history, cookies, extensions, Tab Groups, and favorites
– Private Browsing enhancements include locking your private browsing windows when you’re not using them, blocking known trackers from loading, and removing identifying tracking from URLs
– Password and passkey sharing lets you create a group of passwords to share with trusted contacts that stays up to date as members of the group make changes
– One-time verification code AutoFill from Mail autofill in Safari so you can log in without leaving the browser

– SharePlay makes it easy for everyone to control and play Apple Music in the car
– Crossfade smoothly transitions between songs by fading out the currently playing song while fading in the next so the music never stops

– Intelligent AirPlay device list makes finding the right AirPlay-compatible TV or speaker even easier by showing your devices in order of relevance, based on your preferences
– Suggested AirPlay device connections are proactively shown to you as a notification to make it even more seamless to connect to your preferred AirPlay devices
– Automatic AirPlay device connections are made between your iPhone and the most relevant AirPlay-compatible device so all you have to do is tap “Play” to begin enjoying your content

– Adaptive Audio delivers a new listening mode that dynamically blends Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency to tailor the noise control experience based on the conditions of your environment (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with firmware version 6A300 or later)
– Personalized Volume adjusts the volume of your media in response to your environment and listening preferences over time (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with firmware version 6A300 or later)
– Conversation Awareness lowers your media volume and enhances the voices of the people in front of the user, all while reducing background noise (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with firmware version 6A300 or later)
– Press to mute and unmute your microphone by pressing the AirPods stem or the Digital Crown on AirPods Max when on a call (AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), or AirPods Max with firmware version 6A300 or later)

– Offline Maps allow you to select an area you want to access, search, and explore rich information for places to download for use when your iPhone doesn’t have a Wi-Fi or cellular signal
– EV routing improvements give you routes based on real-time EV charger availability for supported chargers

– Option to say “Siri” in addition to “Hey Siri” for an even more natural way to make requests
– Back-to-back requests can be issued without needing to reactivate Siri in between commands (iPhone 11 and later)

Visual Look Up
– Expanded domains in Visual Look Up help you discover similar recipes from photos of food, Maps information from photos of storefronts, and the meaning of signs and symbols on things like laundry tags
– Multiple or single subjects can be lifted from the background of photos and videos and placed into apps like Messages
– Visual Look Up in Video helps you learn about objects that appear in paused video frames
– Visual Look Up for subjects in photos enables you to look up information about objects you lift from photos directly from the callout bar

– State of Mind reflection allows you to log your momentary emotion and daily mood, choose what factors are having the biggest impact on you, and describe your feelings
– Interactive charts give you insights into your state of mind, how it has changed over time, and what factors may have influence such as exercise, sleep, and mindful minutes
– Mental health assessments help you understand your current risk for depression and anxiety and if you might benefit from getting support
– Screen Distance leverages the TrueDepth camera that powers Face ID to encourage you to increase the distance you view your device to reduce digital eye strain and can help reduce the risk of myopia in children

– Sensitive Content Warnings can be enabled to prevent users from unexpectedly being shown images containing nudity in Messages, AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, and FaceTime messages
– Expanded Communication Safety protections for children now detect videos containing nudity in addition to photos that children may receive or attempt to send in Messages, AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, FaceTime messages, and the system Photo picker
– Improved sharing permissions give you even more control over what you share with apps, with an embedded photo picker and an add-only Calendar permission
– Link tracking protection removes extra information from links shared in Messages, Mail, and Safari Private Browsing that some websites use in their URLs to track you across other websites, and links still work as expected

– Assistive Access distills apps and experiences to their essential features in Phone and FaceTime, Messages, Camera, Photos, and Music, including large text, visual alternatives, and focused choices to lighten cognitive load
– Live Speech lets you type what you want to say and have it be spoken out loud in phone calls, FaceTime calls, and for in-person conversations
– Personal Voice enables users who are at risk of losing their voice to privately and securely create a voice that sounds like them on iPhone, and use it with Live Speech in phone and FaceTime calls
– Point and Speak in Magnifier Detection Mode uses iPhone to read text out loud on physical objects with small text labels, such as keypads on doors and buttons on appliances

This release also includes other features and improvements:
– Roadside Assistance via satellite lets you contact AAA to help you with vehicle issues when out of Wi-Fi or cellular range (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max)
– Pets in the People album in Photos surfaces individual pets in the album just like friends or family members
– Photos Album widget lets you select a specific album from the Photos app to appear in the widget
– Item sharing in Find My allows you to share an AirTag or Find My network accessory with up to five other people
– Activity History in Home displays a recent history of events for door locks, garage doors, security systems, and contact sensors
– Grid Forecast in Home shows when your electrical grid has cleaner energy sources available (Contiguous US only)
– Grocery Lists in Reminders automatically group related items into sections as you add them
– Inline PDFs and document scans in Notes are presented full-width, making them easy to view and mark them up
– New Memoji stickers in Keyboard include Halo, Smirk, and Peekaboo
– App Shortcuts in Spotlight Top Hit offer you app shortcuts to your next action when you search for an app
– Redesigned Sharing tab in Fitness provides highlights of your friends’ activity like workout streaks and awards
– Email or phone number sign-in lets you sign into your iPhone with any email address or phone number listed in your Apple ID account
– New drawing tools in Freeform include a fountain pen, watercolor brush, ruler and more to create expressive boards
– Crash Detection optimizations (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max)



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Unity Overhauls Controversial Price Hike After Game Developers Revolt



(Bloomberg) — Video-game tool maker Unity Software Inc. said Monday it’s backtracking on major aspects of a controversial new price hike, telling staff in an all-hands meeting that it’s now considering changes including a cap on potential fees.

Unity, which operates and licenses a suite of video-game development tools called the Unity Engine, set off a firestorm last week when it announced plans to charge customers for every new installation of their game after a certain threshold. The decision triggered widespread protests, leading several video-game makers to say they would boycott Unity until the policy is changed.

Under the tentative new plan, Unity will limit fees to 4% of a game’s revenue for customers making over $1 million and said that installations counted toward reaching the threshold won’t be retroactive, according to recording of the meeting reviewed by Bloomberg. Last week, Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello delayed an all-hands meeting on the pricing changes and closed two offices after the company received what it said was a credible death threat.

The company apologized to customers on Sunday and said it would be making changes to the pricing policy.


Marc Whitten, a Unity executive, said the company hasn’t yet announced the latest changes because executives are still running them by partners and don’t want to repeat last week’s communications debacle, which led to several clarifications.

One of the most controversial elements of the policy concerned how Unity would track installations of its software. Although the company first said it would use proprietary tools, Whitten said Monday management will rely on users to self-report the data.

In the meeting, Riccitiello emphasized that the new policy is designed to generate more revenue from the company’s biggest customers and that more than 90% of Unity users won’t be affected. Several employees asked during the meeting how Unity would bounce back from what appeared to be a breach of trust. Executives said the company will have to “show, not tell” and handle future communications more carefully.

“I don’t think there’s any version of this that would have gone down a whole lot differently than what happened,” Riccitiello said. “It is a massively transformational change to our business model.”

But, he acknowledged, “I think we could have done a lot of things a lot better.”


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