FCC chairman Ajit Pai has announced that he’s leaving the commission as of January 20th, 2021, the same day that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. It’s not a major surprise, as such appointees often resign as a new administration takes over; former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler left his position when the Trump administration took over back in 2017. Of course, Pai will always be remembered for his infamous decision to strip net neutrality protections that were put in place under the Obama presidency.
We weren’t necessarily expecting 2016’s beloved first-person shooter Doom to show up on the Nintendo Switch, but turns out id Software and Panic Button knew what they were doing. The whole experience worked well, no mean feat given that Doom was designed with the PS4 and Xbox One in mind.
It’s only been a few months since the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, but it sounds legal battles are on the horizon. According to The Wall Street Journal, both federal and state antitrust authorities will be filing new lawsuits against Google and Facebook. This would mark the first time that Facebook has been sued by the government on antitrust grounds.
Jabra’s Elite 85t earbuds do a lot of things right well, but we also ran into some troubles with some annoying (and sometimes painful) popping sounds when switching between noise cancelling and ambient modes. Fortunately, Jabra has just released a firmware update for the Elite 85t that promises to fix these issues. The latest firmware update is available through Jabra’s Sound+ app, and it has a few other fixes worth mentioning, as well.
One of the most common potential scenarios involving autonomous cars is using them as driverless taxis; both Uber and Lyft have made self-driving cars a big part of their future strategies. The possibility of hopping into a ride without a driver just got a little closer, at least in California — as spotted by The Verge, California approved two new autonomous driving programs last week that let companies charge fares for autonomous rides. The two new programs are the “Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program” and the “Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program,” both of which allow approved participants to offer “passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles.”
It’s not a stretch to say that Microsoft’s Windows is one of the most ubiquitous and well-known pieces of software the world has ever seen. Windows 1.0 was released on November 20th, 1985, though, chances are most of you don’t have fond memories of it.
It’s taken years, but Google today has announced that RCS messaging is now available globally — anyone with an Android phone using Google’s Messages app can take advantage of the feature. If you don’t recall, RCS stands for Rich Communications Services and is a major upgrade to the basic SMS features phones have had for years. RCS features include improved video and photo quality, seeing when chats are read, sending and receiving messages over WiFI, improved group chat capabilities and sending reactions to messages.
Apple’s new M1-powered Macs appear to meet the company’s audacious speed claims, but there are still some drawbacks compared to Intel Macs. One thing that’s getting lost in the transition to M1 is Boot Camp, a tool that allowed you to install and run Windows on a separate partition of your Mac’s hard drive. Obviously, there’s no version of Windows that can run on the M1 chip, so Boot Camp is off the table for now.
The service started out as enhancements to Dropbox’s shared folders, but 2.0 is a standalone product that the company says is focused on project management and collaboration.
If you’ve paid any attention to Spotify lately, you’ll know the company is pushing much of its considerable might behind podcasts. Today’s update is quite a bit more modest than acquiring huge podcast producers like The Ringer or Gimlet Media, but it should still be useful if Spotify is your podcast player of choice. Now you can with Your Episodes.
Apple’s HomePod was a bit of a tough sell when it launched in 2018. The $350 speaker (now selling for $300) was far more expensive than the Amazon Echo or Google Home, and Siri was less capable and intelligent than Alexa or Google Assistant. One thing was undeniable, though: the HomePod sounded excellent.
Earlier this year, when we were all getting accustomed to not going anywhere, Sonos waded into original content for the first time with Sonos Radio. The free, ad-supported service aggregated tens of thousands of terrestrial radio stations and presented it along side Sonos-curated streaming stations, exclusive artist-curated content and a flagship, ad-free Apple Music 1-style channel. As the name suggests, Sonos Radio HD will stream its original stations in lossless 16-bit/44.1 kHz lossless quality, a massive upgrade over the current 128kbps streams.
Just four months after Apple announced that it would transition the Mac to run on its own custom chips, the company is unveiling its first computers with Apple Silicon. To the surprise of few, Apple is starting with laptops — the company is showing off updated versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro running on the new M1 processor. Apple says it’ll have 2.8X faster performance compared to the existing model, and the M1’s eight-core GPU is 5X faster.
It’s fair to say that Uber’s business was challenged in a huge way by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Unsurprisingly, gross revenue from its “mobility” group dropped significantly compared to a year ago — $2.9 billion in mobility revenue represented a 53 percent year-over-year decline. Total revenue for the company across all its segments declined 18 percent year-over-year — a significant drop, but it’s undeniable that Uber Eats kept that loss from being much more significant.
In advance of the 2020 US presidential election, Facebook said it would temporarily ban political, electoral and “social issue” advertisement starting on November 4th, the day after the election.
When Apple unveiled the HomePod mini last month, the company showed off a long-awaited feature: the ability to use it with third-party music services. And as of now, Pandora is the first third-party music app to work with Apple’s existing HomePod as well as the upcoming HomePod mini.
Apple has already held two virtual events this fall, but the company isn’t done yet. Next Tuesday, November 10th, the company will be holding an event appropriately called “One More Thing.”
In a somewhat surprising move, Apple is letting Xbox users sign up for the service directly in the Apple TV app, and there’s also the standard one week free trial as well.
Despite growing users last quarter, revenue took a big hit as advertisers pulled back their budgets in a big way. That trend reversed itself this time — Twitter’s quarterly revenue was $936 million, up 14 percent year-over-year.
In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft has two new Xbox consoles being released in just a few weeks, the Series X and Series S. We’ve already taken a close look at the more powerful Xbox Series X, but if you want to see a video of the new console in action, including the redesigned UI and a number of other new features, Microsoft has you covered. The company has just shared an extensive walk-through of what it’s like starting up the Xbox Series S or Series X for the first time, highlighting how fast the two consoles are.