Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Tech: Netflix reportedly had an internal debate after its testing favored ‘Grace and Frankie’...

Netflix didn’t originally include Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie” season 2 images because tests reportedly showed users didn’t respond well to her.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix tests showed that users were more likely to click on images for “Grace and Frankie” that didn’t include actress Jane Fonda.
This prompted a debate between its content and tech teams, the Journal reported.
Netflix’s algorithm reportedly put the streaming giant between a rock and a hard place when it came to its original series, “Grace and Frankie.”
The show stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women who find out their husbands are having an affair with one another. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources close to the discussions, Netflix’s tech side found that users were more likely to click on promotion for the show that didn’t include Fonda.
The Journal reported that this finding prompted an internal debate within the company between Netflix’s content team, which didn’t want to anger Fonda and argued that it could be a violation of her contract, and its tech team, which stressed the importance of the data.
Netflix ultimately decided to include images of Fonda, according to the Journal, but it shows how Netflix’s Hollywood side and its Silicon Valley side can come into conflict as the streamer leans more into original shows and movies that include top talent.
“We’ve been honored to have a groundbreaking collaboration with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin that is going on six seasons,” Netflix said in a statement to Business Insider. “While we always test various creative images for every show on our service, both Jane and Lily have been part of our promotion of the show from the beginning.”
“Grace and Frankie” returns in 2019 for its fifth season.

Tech: The inside story behind the Marvel movie you were never supposed to see

There’s a feature-length “Fantastic Four” movie that never got released. A Marvel executive reportedly destroyed all the prints.
Marvel comic book, “The Fantastic Four,” was adapted into a movie in 1993 with a $1 million budget, but was never officially released.
German producer, Bernd Eichinger, failed to get Hollywood backing, but he risked losing his rights to the comic if he didn’t start production by the end of 1992.
In the video above, legendary “King of the B-Movies” Roger Corman, who worked on the film, tells one of the most bizarre Hollywood tales you’ll ever hear.
In 1993, a German producer teamed up with legendary “King of the B-Movies” Roger Corman to produce a low-budget, feature-length adaptation of the popular Marvel comic book “The Fantastic Four.” The movie was never officially released. Producer Bernd Eichinger owned the film rights to the comic, but a clause in his contract stated that he would lose the rights if he didn’t go into production on a “Fantastic Four” movie by December 31, 1992. Up to that point, Eichinger had failed to convince a Hollywood studio to commit to a big-budget version of the story. The producer crafted a clever way to hold onto the rights so that he could later make a big-budget version of “The Fantastic Four.” He called on Roger Corman, a legendary producer famous for his ability to crank out movies with low budgets and short schedules. It turns out that Eichinger never had any intention of releasing this low-budget version of the comic — a fact that he withheld for the movie’s cast and crew. After Corman announced plans to release the film theatrically, Eichinger paid Corman $1 million to stand down, and all available prints were reportedly destroyed by then-Marvel chief Avi Arad. Arad didn’t respond to our request for a comment for this story. Thanks to bootlegged copies that surfaced online, the unreleased “Fantastic Four” movie has become a cult classic.In 2017, Business Insider sat down with Corman at his office in Los Angeles to talk about his most recent project, ” target=”_blank”Death Race 2050,” a sequel to the cult hit “Death Race 2000,” which Corman produced in 1975. We also talked to the director of “The Fantastic Four,” Oley Sassone. Corman and Sassone give an enlightening account of one of the most bizarre Hollywood tales you’ll ever hear.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on March 18, 2017.

Tech: New satellite photos of California’s wildfires show the furious, deadly evolution of the...

NASA and commercial satellites are photographing the Camp, Hill, and Woolsey wildfires from space. New satellite images show the unfolding disasters.
California is still burning.
As of Monday, three major wildfires — the Camp, Hill, and Woolsey fires — have killed dozens of people and scorched hundreds of thousands of acres of forests and infrastructure.
Firefighters are struggling to contain the biggest blazes.
The Camp Fire, which is located north of Sacramento, quickly burned the entire town of Paradise to the ground. It’s now California’s most destructive wildfire in terms of structures destroyed, and is one of the state’s deadliest blazes ever. Parts of the beach community Malibu went up in flames in the Woolsey Fire, sending Hollywood actors and actresses running for safety.
So far, these two rapidly evolving disasters has left at least 31 people dead, some of whom were killed while trying to escape in cars.
Satellites owned by NASA and commercial companies such as DigitalGlobe are recording images of the fires from space. These photos provide an incredible view of how large and intense the fires are, and how quickly they’ve grown.
Here are some of the best satellite pictures of the fires so far.
As of Monday, California was dealing with three major wildfires. The Camp Fire is located about 80 miles north of Sacramento, while the Woolsey Fire and smaller Hill Fire are outside Los Angeles.
Source: Business Insider
On Thursday, dry, warm winds — including gusts of about 50 mph — blew through northern California. Climate change is drying out more vegetation in the region, increasing the risk that spreading embers will grow into larger blazes.
Source: Business Insider
The gusts helped spread the Camp Fire. As of Monday, that fast-burning blaze had burned more than 6,400 homes, making it the most destructive wildfire in California history.
Sources: Business Insider, CalFire
The Camp Fire grew at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute. This breakneck expansion pushed the blaze into the town of Paradise, which had a population of about 27,000.
Sources: Insider, Forbes, US Census Bureau
DigitalGlobe took this regional photo on Friday using its WorldView-3 satellite. By recording infrared light, the satellite’s view can penetrate thick smoke and detect fires.
Healthy vegetation is shown in blue, active fires glow, and scorched areas look yellow-green and yellow-orange. The town of Paradise is in flames to the left in this picture.
Here’s a close-up view of Paradise as seen from space in September.
This WorldView-3 image shows the same view of Paradise on Friday, in flames.
The entire town was leveled in a day, and the fire has killed at least 29 people. This makes the Camp Fire as deadly as the Griffith Park Fire of 1933, which was previously considered California’s deadliest wildfire ever.
Sources: Business Insider, LA Times
As the Camp Fire raged, the Hill and Woolsey fires also grew, You can see those fires outside of Los Angeles in this satellite image from Saturday.
All three wildfires covered most of California in a haze of smoke over the weekend.
As of Monday morning, the Woolsey Fire had scorched about 92,000 acres of land. This view shows the Malibu area on Sunday.
Source: CalFire
WorldView-3’s infrared camera peered through the smoke in the mountains to show this view of the fires on the same day.
Here’s Point Dume in Malibu in February 2018 — before the Woolsey Fire.
By Sunday, the wildfire had torn through canyons in the beach community, burning homes and killing two people in a car. The blaze sent many celebrities fleeing and torched some of their houses.
Sources: Insider (1, 2)
As of Monday morning, the Woolsey Fire was about 20% contained and the Camp Fire was about 25% contained. The Hill Fire was about 80% contained.

Tech: Teleology finally takeover Nigeria’s fourth-largest telecoms company, 9mobile

Teleology appoints new directors to run Nigeria’s fourth-largest telecoms company, 9mobile. Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, has finally approved the takeover of 9mobile by a new investor, Teleology Holdings.Teleology has appointed Nasiru Ado Bayero (Chairman), Stephane Beuvelet (Acting Managing Director) and 5 new directors to run Nigeria’s fourth-largest telecoms company, 9mobile.This comes after the company was finally taken over by Teleology Holdings Limited.Mohammed Edewor, the company’s spokesperson said Teleology “is pleased to announce the constitution of a new Board of Directors”, following “the successful completion of the tenure of the former Board appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in fulfilment of the consequential transfer of final ownership to the new investors, Teleology Nigeria Limited”.“We thank all out-going members of the Board for helping to shepherd 9mobile through the critical transition phase it has passed through since July 2017 and wish them the very best in their future assignments.“For us, the composition of the new Board of Directors is another significant milestone, and this follows the issuance of final approval of no objection by the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the effect that the technical and financial bids Teleology submitted for 9mobile met and satisfied all the regulatory requirements.“This is indeed the dawn of a new era in the evolution of the 9mobile brand in the Nigerian market”.Teleology, an investment firm led by the former MTN Nigeria chief, Adrian Wood, emerged as the preferred bidder in February 2018, following a bid process arranged by Barclays Africa, after a debt default forced Etisalat out of the country.

Tech: The death toll from California’s fires has risen to 31, with thousands of...

Dangerous wildfires are raging California. The Camp Fire has charred 113,000 acres, the Hill Fire burned 4,500, and the Woolsey Fire scorched 91,500.
The death toll from the California wildfires had risen to 31. Six more bodies were recovered on Sunday, the Butte County sheriff said.
The Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed at least 29 people, making it one of the deadliest fires in the state’s history. Authorities said it was 25% contained Monday morning.
The Woolsey and Hill Fires are burning on the outskirts of LA, and Woolsey alone has burned more than 140 square miles.
The flames are being fueled by dry, hot conditions and strong winds.
California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that officials there say there’s almost no need for the term “wildfire season” anymore.
Three dangerous wildfires are still raging in California: the Camp Fire in northern California has become one of the two deadliest in state history, and the Woolsey and Hill fires are destroying homes and businesses around LA.
The total death toll from the three fires is up to 31, and it’s expected to rise, officials told reporters on Sunday.
The Camp Fire is responsible for most of the fatalities: It has claimed at least 29 lives as it burned through more than 176 square miles of land. The flames have moved at a breakneck pace since the fire started Thursday morning. The blaze quickly charred the entire town of Paradise, which was home to 27,000 people. More than 6,700 homes and 260 businesses have been destroyed so far, making the Camp Fire the most destructive wildfire in California history in terms of structures lost.
The flames spread so fast — at a pace of 80 football fields per minute — that at least six people burned to death in their cars, the Butte County Sheriff’s Department said. Over the weekend, the ground was still too hot for rescue dogs to circulate, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Further south, in areas around Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire killed two people in a car, forced over 275,000 from their homes, and destroyed 180 structures. It has burned at least 143 square miles of land, and was 20% contained Monday morning. The smaller Hill Fire charred over 7 square miles and was 75% contained on Monday. Both the Woolsey and Hill Fires encircled the town of Thousand Oaks, where residents were already reeling from a deadly mass shooting in which 12 people were murdered.
“If you were affected by the Woolsey or Hill fires, the Thousand Oaks mass shooting, or both, you can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 for emotional support and resources,” the LA County website reads.
Already this year, 7,578 fires have burned across California, fueled by hot, dry conditions and aggressive winds.
The Camp Fire has killed at least 29 people
The Camp Fire started about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. Fire officials told the Associated Press on Sunday that 228 people were still unaccounted for. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county is working with anthropologists from California State University at Chico to help identify bone fragments among ash in the area.
According to the Butte County sheriff’s office, five of the people whose deaths have been confirmed were found near Edgewood Lane in Paradise, California, in or near “vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire.” The sheriff’s office was not yet able to identify those victims because of their burn injuries.
“The fire was so close I could feel it in my car through rolled up windows,” Rita Miller, who fled Paradise with her disabled mother told the Associated Press.
Other residents ran from the fire on foot, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The flames have been fueled by hot, dry conditions and spread by California’s Santa Ana winds. Cal Fire issued red-flag warnings around the state on Sunday, which means that conditions are dry and windy enough to create what the firefighting agency calls “extreme fire behavior.”
California Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County on Thursday and sent a letter to President Donald Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asking for federal assistance.
Smoke from that fire is blanketing wide swaths of Northern California in a gray haze. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the air throughout much of the San Francisco Bay Area is “unhealthy” to breathe.
Federal air monitors have suggested that older adults, children, teens, and people with heart and lung conditions should limit their time outside because of the high number of dangerously small pollutants in the air. Some people have donned masks to protect their lungs.
The Hill and Woolsey fires have burned 150 square miles in Ventura and LA counties
The Woolsey Fire claimed its first two victims on Friday. Two burned bodies were found in a “long, narrow” Malibu driveway near Mulholland Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The flames from the Woolsey Fire have also threatened the homes of celebrities such as the Kardashian sisters and left a burned shell where Gerard Butler’s home once stood. At least 275,000 other people have evacuated. As of Monday morning, Cal Fire estimated more than 370 structures had been destroyed.
As the Woolsey Fire grew on Friday, the LA County fire department wrote on Twitter: “Imminent threat! Malibu lakes residents must leave area immediately.”
LA County Sheriff’s Deputies were knocking on doors there, telling everyone in the star-studded beach town to get out.
Firefighters are racing to keep flames from charring people’s homes, but as the LA Fire Department’s Eric Scott pointed out on Twitter, some houses are better protected than others, since green vegetation can help keep flames back.
The nearby Hill Fire is much smaller — it has burned 4,500 acres burned in Ventura County. Mandatory evacuation orders are still in place for people at the Point Mugu Naval Base and California State University Channel Islands, among other areas.
You can view the full evacuation orders as well as shelter and donation information on the Ventura County Emergency Information site and the LA County Woolsey Fire site.
Read More: Why wildfire season is getting longer and stronger
On Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the two fires broke out, acting Gov. Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. President Trump approved some federal assistance for the California fires on Friday, but then threatening via Twitter over the weekend that there may be “no more Fed payments!” unless California forests are better managed.
The federal government oversees 40% of California land.
Wildfire “season,” in California used to run from late summer through the fall, since autumn’s Santa Ana winds help blow flames around.
But as the planet heats up, unseasonably high temperatures and drought conditions are becoming more common. So fire officials in the state are succumbing to the idea that fires may not be limited to any specific season anymore.
Bryan Logan and Kelly McLaughlin contributed reporting.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Tech: Apple is getting crushed after analysts predict that iPhone unit sales will shrink...

iPhone sales are projected to shrink next year. At the same time, Apple will stop disclosing iPhone unit sales.
Apple shares are sliding on Monday after a series of bad data points for iPhone demand.
JP Morgan analysts said that iPhone unit sales could decline on an annual basis in both 2018 and 2019.
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cut his forecast for iPhone XR shipments from 100 million to 70 million.
Apple said earlier this month that it will no longer provide iPhone sales figures to investors.
Apple is down more than 4% on Monday after a slew of analyst reports suggested that iPhone unit sales could drop year-over-year as soon as the first quarter of 2019.
These reports come shortly after Apple announced that it would no longer provide iPhone unit sales, one of the key signals that analysts use to evaluate Apple’s business. Apple also provided lukewarm guideance for the all-important holiday quarter.
The driver of the projected sales slump is that Apple’s new $749 phone, the lower-end iPhone XR, might not be the hot seller that Apple had hoped, and the company may be cutting orders for the device. Nikkei reported earlier this month that Foxconn had cut as many as 15 production lines for the device.
Now, that’s being backed up by new reports by analysts from JP Morgan and TF International Securities.
“We now forecast modest y/y declines in iPhone shipments for both calendar 2018 and 2019 on account of a weaker macro backdrop in emerging market,” Samik Chatterjee and other JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note distributed to clients on Monday, blaming the weak iPhone shipments on weak consumer confidence in emerging markets.
“Led by the softer backdrop in the [emerging markets], the better than expected response to the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS MAX (the higher-end phones) is unable to entirely offset the more tepid than expected consumer response to iPhone XR (launched recently),” the analysts continued, downgrading their price target for Apple stock to $266 from $270.
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had similar observations in a note released on Monday.
“We have reduced our iPhone XR shipment estimation from 100mn units to 70mn during the new product lifecycle, Kuo wrote, citing reduced Chinese consumer confidence stemming from the trade war, high prices, and competition from Huawei. However, Apple’s less expensive older phones may get a sales boost from the weak iPhone XR.
“The legacy iPhone models forecast is likely to increase significantly thanks to more affordable prices; the total iPhone shipments in 1Q19 are likely to see a YoY decline,” Kuo continued, citing Career and Nissha Printing as two suppliers that might be affected by Apple’s cuts.
Another data point potentially contributing to Apple’s slide: Lumentum, a key supplier for parts that power facial recognition systems, said that a large customer had cut its orders by 30% — and Apple is its top customer.
These data points come as fears that there is weak demand for Apple’s products in emerging markets including China, partly driven by a strong dollar making iPhones more expensive.
The slide may also reflect fears that Apple knows that iPhone unit sales are going to go negative in the short-term, which is why it decided to stop reporting unit sales. Apple said that it prefered to focus on the company’s transition to a services company, with regular recurring revenue.
“We believe these challenges are largely cyclical and investors should pay greater attention to the transformation to services, where Apple was able to report quarterly record revenue of $10 bn in [the most recent quarter] despite a regulatory challenge in China,” the JP Morgan analysts write.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was directly asked about this possibility during Apple’s most recent conference call.
“Some people may fear that this now means that the iPhone units are going to start going negative year over year because it’s easier to talk about great things and not show the details of things that aren’t so great,” Citi analyst Jim Suva said during the conference call.
Apple CEO Tim Cook responded:
“Jim, let me just add a couple things to that for color. Our installed base is growing at double digit, and that’s probably a much more significant metric for us from an ecosystem point of view and the customer loyalty, et cetera. The second thing is this is a little bit like if you go to the market and you push your cart up to the cashier and she says, or he says how many units you have in there? It doesn’t matter a lot how many units there are in there in terms of the overall value of what’s in the cart.”
Apple stock is down over 10% since it said it would no longer disclose hardware unit sales on November 1 — and these reports suggest that it may be a while before the company has another unit growth spurt.

Tech: A Lime executive insisted it has ‘the safest product’ even though the company...

Lime recalled 2,000 scooters after reports that some caught fire in at least three cities, but Caen Contee says the startup has “the safest product.”
Lime executive Caen Contee has insisted the scooter startup has “the safest product” despite the firm issuing two product recalls this month.
People reported handlebars falling off scooters and the vehicles catching light.
Contee said the firm went through several hardware iterations to improve the product and was transparent about what it offered.
Lime is one of several fast-growing startups racing rivals — and the law — to establish dominance in the scooter market.
One of the executive on Lime’s founding team has insisted that the billion-dollar scooter startup has “the safest product” — despite the firm issuing its second scooter recall in a month.
Caen Contee, vice president of global expansion and marketing told Business Insider at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon last week that the company designs its scooters in the US and then outsources the production to different companies.
“One of the reasons we’ve done customized devices and learnt so fast is to create what is the safest product, to create something that really does from day one… [serve] that trust [that] we’re always here, we’re always learning and always creating something better,” he said.
On October 31, Lime had recalled 2,000 Ninebot scooters after “unconfirmed” reports that some caught fire in at least three cities.
Now the company has recalled an unknown number of scooters made by Chinese manufacturer Okai after users across multiple cities reported that the handlebars had fallen off. Users on social media in Portland, Denver and Baltimore in the US reported problems, as well as in Paris.
Contee, who spoke to Business Insider before the reports of broken handlebars emerged, said scooter hardware was “nascent” but said the firm was innovating on the way Lime’s software made the vehicles safer. He pointed to the fact that Lime’s scooters have a capped speed limit in certain places at night, and that in Prague scooters aren’t permitted in “high pedestrian” areas.
Read more: Lime issues its second scooter recall in less than a month
Contee suggested Lime’s users were loyal because the company learns from its mistakes.
“Ultimately when you’re trying to move in this space where it’s so nascent, where no one has created a vehicle for this particular use… if you haven’t made a core competency of being able to learn and take that feedback and iterate on hardware, then what can be done in six months of learning and [with] a different fleet type creates a loyalty you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
When Business Insider asked Contee how he might reassure would-be scooter riders alarmed by the flimsiness of the devices, he said the firm had been transparent in what it’s created.
Still, Lime’s terms of service state baldly: “You agree that neither Lime nor the Released Persons are liable for any injury or death suffered by You while using the Services, whether or not You are wearing a helmet at the time of injury.”
Scooter startups are worth billions, but there are lots of questions about the law and safety
Lime has clocked 20 million in the 18 months since its launched, and is worth $1.1 billion after raising $335 million from high-profile backers including Uber and Alphabet. Its biggest rivals include Bird, another US startup worth millions in backing, Europe’s Taxify, and a host of smaller regional firms.
All of the firms are racing to lure as many users onto their apps as possible, and to offer different types of new city transport, with Lime also offering electric bikes and electric cars.
But regulation and safety are proving thorny problems for companies that are taking a leaf out of the Uber playbook and perhaps prioritizing speedy expansion over compliance.
A US man died in September after falling off a Lime scooter and not wearing a helmet, while a class-action filed in the US in October accuses both Lime and Bird of “gross negligence.”
Meanwhile, scooter startups have struggled to expand to Europe’s biggest market, London, because their vehicles don’t meet local regulatory standards. Business Insider revealed in August that both firms were hoping to see changes in UK law that would permit scooters on London roads.
Contee said Lime was “pro-regulation” and that the firm hoped to convince London’s transport regulator, Transport for London, that it had created the best product.
The firm will introduce electric bikes to the UK, then plans to expand to other vehicles in time. “We will work to create relationships based on that, and we will work over time to add vehicles.

Tech: A top Apple executive unwittingly provided a perfect explanation for why the iPad...

For the past couple of years, Apple has been pushing the idea that the iPad, particularly the iPad Pro, can replace your computer or laptop. But in a Wired interview, Apple SVP Craig Federighi
Apple’s SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi gave an interesting answer to Wired when asked if we’ll ever see a Mac computer with a touchscreen.
“We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do,” Federighi said.
Federighi’s statement unwittingly explains why the iPad is not a good replacement for a laptop or desktop computer.
Craig Federighi is in charge of two of Apple’s flagship software products, iOS and MacOS. In many ways, he is the face of Apple’s software.
Back in June, Federighi was also the star of Apple’s WWDC keynote, which was 130 minutes long; Federighi spoke for roughly half the time, presenting for a whopping 55 minutes.
After that keynote, Wired’s Lauren Goode asked Federighi about some of Apple’s plans mentioned during the presentation. And then this happened (emphasis ours):
When addressing my question about whether iOS apps moving to macOS is a natural precursor to touchscreen Macs, Federighi told me he’s “not into touchscreens” on PCs and doesn’t anticipate he ever will be. “We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do,” he said.
What’s curious here is that while Federighi is attempting to denounce touchscreen PCs by saying that “lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do,” he’s unwittingly explaining why the iPad is not a great replacement for laptop or desktop computers.
Even though Federighi is clearly talking about Mac computers in that quote, you could basically replace “using a Mac” with “doing work” and the phrase still makes sense, since you’re often using a Mac or PC to do work.
Apple wants you to do work on an iPad and iPad Pro, but doing that requires “lifting your arm up to poke a screen,” as Federighi puts it. Even with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard thrown in, your main input mode still requires touching the screen.
In recent years, Apple has pushed the idea of using an iPad for more than just passive activities like reading or watching videos. Apple added a ton of productivity-focused features for the iPad in iOS 11, including multi-tasking, a dock, a file system, and drag and drop — very laptop-y features. And if you didn’t think the iPad sounded enough like a work machine after that, consider Apple’s two iPad Pro models, with their fast chips and support of unique work tools that only work with iPads, like the $180 Smart Keyboard and $130 Apple Pencil.
And then of course, who could forget Apple’s “What’s A Computer?” ad for the iPad?
Maybe you didn’t see the ad. It features a young girl drawing on her iPad, texting on her iPad, taking pictures with her iPad, reading comics on her iPad — you know, kid stuff. At the end of the ad, a friendly neighbor sees the young girl on the grass, with her iPad propped up by a Smart Cover, and mistakes it for a laptop. She says, “Whatcha doing on your computer?” And the little girl says, “What’s a computer?”
Even if Apple doesn’t say the exact words, it’s very clear the company doesn’t want you to think of the iPad as just a big, pretty screen. They want you to know the iPad can also do work — real work. It also costs about as much as a laptop — the new iPad Pro models can cost even more than a MacBook Pro.
Except, Federighi himself says that “lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do.”
Maybe both parties are right. Maybe the iPad can do real work, but it does get fatiguing after awhile. If only Apple let the iPad support mice and trackpads, it could be a true laptop replacement; for now, buying an iPad to do work means you’re going to be lifting your arm to touch that screen a lot.

Tech: The $580 OnePlus 6T that’s as good as smartphones that cost twice as...

OnePlus will come in “Thunder Purple,” but it won’t be available for the cheapest model.
OnePlus is releasing a new “Thunder Purple” color option for the OnePlus 6T smartphone on November 15.
The purple color option will only be available in the $580 model of the OnePlus 6T, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
OnePlus announced on Monday that it’ll be releasing the “Thunder Purple” color option of the OnePlus 6T on November 15.
The Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T has a matte glass finish and will only be available with the $580 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage configuration. The cheaper $550 model, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, only comes in the Mirror Black option with a glossy glass finish.
There shouldn’t be too much of a difference between the 6GB and 8GB RAM options, but heavy smartphone users may notice. RAM allows the phone to more easily keep recently opened apps running in the background so that they don’t close when you move on to another app. When an app is closed because a phone has used up its available RAM, it usually takes longer to re-open that app when you return to it. Having more RAM makes the phone’s performance feel faster, as it can keep more apps running in the background, and it opens apps right where you left off when you return to it rather than re-opening them.
Despite being purple, the Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T won’t be available at T-Mobile stores, where OnePlus has an exclusive carrier deal. The purple phone will only be available to buy from OnePlus’ website. Otherwise, the Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T will work on T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon’s network like the other OnePlus 6T models.
The OnePlus 6T is also available in a $630 model that comes in the matte Midnight Black color option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Tech: YouTube is pushing back against a new EU copyright law, which it says...

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki voiced her opposition to new EU copyright legislation in a Financial Times op-ed.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki voiced her opposition to new EU copyright legislation in a Financial Times op-ed.
Specifically she took aim at the draft directive’s article 13, which would force online platforms to censor content that breaches copyright.
Wojcicki says article 13 is an unrealistic way of policing copyright, and would deny European users access to lots of videos on YouTube.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times on Monday arguing against tough new online copyright laws the European Parliament is trying to push through.
Wojcicki specifically takes issue with article 13 of the EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which would force platforms like YouTube or Reddit to monitor for content that breaches copyright and take it down, or else face financial penalties. When it was first drafted, article 13 became famous as some thought it might pose an existential threat to memes.
Article 13 is part of legislation which was initially blocked in July, but the European Parliament backed the amended legislation in September. It still faces a final vote in early 2019.
In her article Wojcicki claims that enforcement of Article 13 would bankrupt YouTube’s “creator economy,” and asks that policymakers re-examine how best to protect copyright.
“While we support the goals of article 13, the European Parliament’s current proposal will create unintended consequences that will have a profound impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people,” she writes.
She says that enforcement of the law is unrealistic because it doesn’t take into account that sometimes people dispute copyright ownership. She uses the music video for “Despacito” — which has now amassed over 5 billion views since it was uploaded in January 2017 — as an example.
“This video contains multiple copyrights, ranging from sound recording to publishing rights. Although YouTube has agreements with multiple entities to license and pay for the video, some of the rights holders remain unknown. That uncertainty means we might have to block videos like this to avoid liability under article 13,” she says.
She argues that European users would miss out on videos which YouTube would be forced to censor for fear of financial risk.
Business Insider has contacted the European Parliament for comment.
You can also read Wojcicki’s article in this blog post.

Tech: Netflix’s unwillingness to bend on demands killed its chances to get major Oscar...

Netflix is taking its first major leap into exclusive theatrical releases of its original movies with Oscar contender, “Roma.” However, movie theaters like Alamo Drafthouse are pushing back.
The popular Alamo Drafthouse chain will not be showing Netflix’s “Roma.”
The Oscar contender will be one of the first original Netflix movies to have an exclusive theatrical run before it streams.
After weeks of negotiations between Netflix and Drafthouse to show the movie at its Brooklyn, New York location, the theater chain finally felt the streaming giant put too many “restrictions and guidelines” on them, a source close to the negotiations told Business Insider.
The movie will instead be shown at New York City’s IFC Center, and is locking other locations to show the movie across the country.
Netflix wants to keep its powerhouse directors happy going into Oscar season, but one of the first theatrical runs for its original movies with a big name helmer has hit a snag.
Alamo Drafthouse, one of the most prominent independently owned movie chains in the US, will not be showing Netflix’s Oscar contender, “Roma,” a source close to negotiations between the chain and streaming giant told Business Insider. A source close to Netflix confirmed that Alamo Drafthouse had passed on the movie.
At the end of October, Netflix began to dramatically change course on how it released Oscar-contending movies. Reports surfaced that for the first time Netflix would stop its “day-and-date” model — in which the movie premieres in theaters and on Netflix the same day — and give exclusive theatrical runs of around 1-3 weeks for not just Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” but two other of its anticipated movies, the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” and Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box” starring Sandra Bullock.
Alamo Drafthouse was one of the reported chains in the mix to show “Roma.” But Netflix’s terms on how the movie would be released, and how often, led to the popular chain passing on the anticipated title, according to the source.
While “Buster Scruggs” and “Bird Box” are reportedly getting around one-week runs at select theaters before they are available to stream on Netflix, the company wants to pull out all the stops for “Roma,” which out of the three has the best chance to win Oscars in the major categories, including best picture.
Along with around a 3-4 week run for the movie, Netflix is specifically looking for theaters that can show the movie with Dolby Atmos sound or in 70mm.
As even four weeks is shorter than the traditional 90-day window that the major chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark want movies to be shown in theaters, Netflix knows it cannot go to them. That leaves the streaming giant to depend on the mid-level chains and independently owned arthouses.
Alamo Drafthouse and Netflix had been in discussions for weeks about showing “Roma,” specifically at the chain’s Brooklyn, New York location, which could show the movie in 70mm. It’s one of the only theaters in the city that can pull that off.
Netflix was stringent on its terms, according to the source, which included that “Roma” have a full four-week run with all the screenings show in 70mm. The company also planned to four-wall the theaters, meaning Netflix would be renting the theater from Drafthouse. (It plans to do this at all the locations where the movies will be played.) This is an unconventional move in the industry, where typically the movie theater splits the box office with the distributor.
Though Drafthouse was willing to show “Roma” at its Brooklyn location, it does not four-wall. Also, the 70mm projector at the location is in its biggest auditorium, meaning that for four weeks the movie would take up its prime space, with Drafthouse unable to schedule in any other titles. That’s a tough ask in a time of year when every weekend a new big movie is about to hit theaters.
“Just way too many restrictions and guidelines,” the source told Business Insider.
“Roma” will now be screened in New York at Manhattan’s IFC Center beginning November 21, IFC confirmed to Business Insider. That theater does not have capabilities to show the movie in 70mm.
Alamo Drafthouse is not the only theater, outside of the majors, to pass on the Netflix offer. Business Insider has reached out to multiple arthouses that said they eventually passed on showing “Roma” due to the terms of Netflix. These include some that would have gotten the movie following its exclusive theatrical run, after the movie began streaming on Netflix December 14.
“Terms are not too high, but higher than it should be for a movie that’s streaming at the same time,” one theater owner told Business Insider.
Other theaters told Business Insider they would love to show the movie but don’t have a venue that can accommodate Netflix’s terms.
“It’s complicated by Netflix’s insistence that theaters have Dolby Atmos, an extremely expensive sound system that very few theaters can afford,” another theater owner said.

Tech: What you need to know in advertising today

Everything that you need to know in advertising today, from marketers’ reactions to Vice Media to Amazon’s competition with Roku in streaming video. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday, Vice Media’s revenue is expected to be flat relative to last year, at $600 to $650 million. The report also outlined the company’s dip in Comscore traffic and challenges growing its advertising business, which relies on selling advertisers sponsored content that mimics editorial articles.
In short, living up to its eye-popping $5.7 billion valuation is proving to be a challenge for Vice. On Thursday, Disney, which is one of Vice’s biggest backers, said it had taken a $157 million write-down on its original $400 million investment, equivalent to a 40% decline.
Click here to read about what marketers are saying about Vice Media.
In other news:
‘His comments are illogical’: Analysts say Disney CEO Bob Iger’s plan to raise Hulu prices is out of step with customer demand. On Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday, CEO Bob Iger said he saw “price elasticity” around Hulu with Live TV, the company’s digital-TV bundle. Analysts don’t agree.
Amazon’s got its eyes set on yet another market — and one high-flying upstart should be worried. In the broader streaming-video market, Amazon is emerging as the chief rival to Roku, according to a note from Morgan Stanley.
Facebook just launched a standalone video app called Lasso and it’s basically the exact same thing as TikTok. Lasso is a social video app that caps posts to 15 seconds and lets creators add their favorite songs to play in the background.
‘We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world’: Victoria’s Secret fires back at critics who say it excludes plus-size shoppers. The brand has frequently come under fire for excluding plus-size customers from its ad campaigns and only featuring rail-thin models.
SAP is buying Utah-based startup Qualtrics for $8 billion — days before it’s scheduled to IPO. Qualtrics is a Utah-based startup that helps companies gather feedback and refine their products.
Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon has agreed to purchase Fortune magazine for $150 million in cash, reports the Wall Street Journal. After selling Time to Salesforce cofounder Marc Benioff in September, Meredith still has Money and Sports Illustrated up for sale.

Tech: Konga’s acquisition reveals how innovation and startups suffer under economies with weak infrastructure

Konga’s acquisition shows how entrepreneurs face an uphill task trying to push startups in economic environments where grave infrastructural gaps exist. Konga’s acquisition shows how entrepreneurs face an uphill task trying to push startups in economic environments where grave infrastructural gaps exist.Before understanding Konga’s decline, it is important to first appreciate that the business, despite being a little too ambitious in a difficult market, was no less a viable project from a business perspective.Konga did not prove its model in a few cities before bullishly rolling out across Nigeria in its effort to win market share.On the 3rd of February 2018, there was a collective sigh of sadness around Nigeria as Konga, West Africa’s largest e-commerce platform was acquired by Zinox Group—a local ICT conglomerate.The sigh was not for the acquisition itself, which in fact has kept Konga from completely going under, but for the fact that five years after its founder, Simdul Shagaya birthed the business, what seemed like a disruptive player in Nigeria’s business ecosystem had slowly tapered off. By 2014, two years after the company’s establishment, Simdul earned himself a place on the Forbes list of “10 Most Powerful Men in Africa.” Such was his foresight and such was the respect accorded to the idea of Konga.Entrepreneurs face an uphill task trying to push startups in economic environments where grave infrastructural gaps exist. While innovators in the private sector can inspire economic growth through FDIs, they cannot replace the role of the government in creating infrastructure for innovation to thrive.For one to understand how it all started to go wrong for Konga, this is a good starting point. Here was a solid innovation with a lot of promise, but which, following a few years of boom, began to stutter under the weight of economic shocks and infrastructural deficits. Before understanding Konga’s decline, it is important to first appreciate that the business, despite being a little too ambitious in a difficult market, was no less a viable project from a business perspective. At the time of Konga’s inception, e-commerce sales raked in over $2 trillion globally, and the sector was projected to grow to $4.48 trillion by 2021.In Nigeria, 18 million people were using smartphones, 91.6 million of them were on the Internet, and over 16 million of them had Facebook accounts. What is more, Nigeria was Africa’s biggest market. In other words, for Konga, the numbers looked good.Also Read:  Econet is shutting down Kwese TV as we know it, proving just how hard it is to build a pay-TV platform in AfricaIt was no surprise that Konga was able to secure about $130 million from two venture capital firms, one of which was Omidyar Network, a global funder which have also invested in other Nigerian startups like BudgIT, Andela, and Flutterwave. So why did Konga stutter after what seemed like a bright start? Did it try to expand too fast? Patrick Okigbo III, a Nigerian business analyst, says that this was where the cracks emerged. Konga did not prove its model in a few cities before bullishly rolling out across Nigeria in its effort to win market share.The company amassed huge operational costs by setting up warehouses across Nigeria to be able to serve its customers, it built its own order-fulfilment infrastructure against a background of a highly price-sensitive mass-market.If there was ever a chance that the company would survive the pilling overhead cost and break even, it was denied such a fighting chance by Nigeria’s low economic tide which began in the fourth quarter of 2015. Collapsed oil prices in a rentier state like Nigeria meant that the economy took a sharp decline, squeezing household income, and inevitably the decline of many businesses—of which Konga itself was not left out.In a price sensitive industry which it operates in, not only did people’s spending habits become restricted but they would feel comfortable shopping in places where prices were not fixed in order to strike a bargain.Also Read: There are about 207 private equity firms in Sub-Saharan Africa and this is how they’re investingYet an even more insidious though unspoken challenge was security. Often when infrastructure is discussed, transport, telecom, ICT, are the first to come to mind, yet without security, businesses lose money in Nigeria.For example, the March 2017 killing of the deliveryman of Jumia, a rival e-commerce business in Rivers State must have partly accounted for the closure of the Pay-on-Delivery (PoD) option, added to complaints by sellers who were worried that people returned goods without reasonable justifications.Konga would also retrench 60% of its workforce soon afterwards in order to minimise its operational cost. At any rate, whatever problems the removal of PoD must have stopped, it would have nonetheless wiped out a sizeable percentage of its customer base as a good number of people are either not too literate to handle card transactions or are still too wary of the risks.The point has to be reiterated, however, that there is no substitute to providing basic and decent infrastructure, if entrepreneurs and businesses where to thrive anywhere.In the absence of a decent nationwide infrastructure, Konga had expanded its operations to capture a larger market share as quick as possible. In doing so, it tried to play the role of a business and a government at the same time. It could have survived on a leaner business model if Nigeria had an efficient postal service system which businesses like Amazon and Ebay leverage on in Europe and America and other advanced economies. Instead, with the comatose state of the Nigerian Postal Service, Konga had to go out of its way to build its own postal infrastructure known as KOS.They also had to build a warehouse to keep the goods between time of arrival and delivery to final destination. In the end, their operations became overstretched and untenable.The story of Konga is a reminder that without a strong infrastructure base, every startup suffers. And every innovator finds themselves ascending a high, if not unclimbable mountain.Obinwanne Okeke is the chairman and CEO of Invictus Group of Companies, a conglomerate involved in agriculture, construction, oil and gas, real estate, renewable energy, and telecoms.

Tech: Samsung’s foldable phone might arrive in March for a whopping $1,770

Citing industry sources, South Korean news agency Yonhap News says the phone will be released with the 5G edition of the Galaxy S10.
Samsung will reportedly release its foldable smartphone in March, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap news.
Yonhap reports that the name of the phone would be, “Galaxy F,” a name which has been rumoured for the device before.
It also says that “industry watchers” guess the phone will cost $1,770.
Samsung is reportedly getting ready to release its highly anticipated foldable phone in March 2019 for over $1,700, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.
The book-like folding display was first unveiled by Samsung a week ago. While the display was dubbed “Infinity Flex,” Samsung didn’t reveal the name for the phone itself. Yonhap’s report says it will be named the “Galaxy F,” which was already rumoured to a potential name for the device along with “Galaxy X.”
Read more: Take a look at this video of Samsung’s new foldable smartphone in action
Citing industry sources, Yonhap says Samsung will launch the folding phone alongside the 5G edition of its Galaxy S10 phone.
It also says that “industry watchers” estimate the phone’s sale price at around 2 million won, equivalent to $1,770. The CEO of Samsung DJ Koh reportedly said last week that Samsung will ship at least 1 million of the devices.
The reports are still largely speculative, and Business Insider has contacted Samsung for comment.

Tech: The world’s biggest tech investor will target a $21 billion IPO in December

The IPO is set at 2.4 trillion yen, roughly $21 billion dollars, making it one of the biggest IPOs ever.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is launching an initial public offering (IPO) of its mobile division in December.
The IPO is set at 2.4 trillion yen, roughly $21 billion, making it one of the biggest floats ever.
SoftBank is known for its investments in tech, many of which are done through its Saudi-backed Vision Fund.
SoftBank has been granted approval for an initial public offering of its telecoms division at 2.4 trillion yen ($21.04 billion), a filing showed on Monday.
A new entity called SoftBank Corp will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 19, and the price will be set on December 10.
The company is selling 1.6 billion SoftBank Corp shares at 1,500 yen each, with the parent company holding on to a 66.5 % stake. An anonymous source told Reuters that more than 80% of the shares will be offered to domestic retail investors.
The IPO is already being reported as one of the “biggest IPOs ever.” SoftBank is famous as an investor in tech, with its $98 billion Vision Fund injecting huge amounts of capital into companies such as Uber and WeWork.
The float will give SoftBank an additional injection of cash as chief executive Masayoshi Son looks to power more tech deals.
Read more: SoftBank’s Saudi-backed Vision Fund is raising another $4 billion
SoftBank’s shares took a big hit in October due to its ties to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
In November SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son decried Khashoggi’s murder but defended the Vision Fund, roughly half of which is backed with money from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.