Apple’s next big launch event will take place on September 15th

Elva Mankin

That threw the usual timetable into disarray and led to a handful of off-the-mark guesses, which are unavoidable even now. Persistent rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 series won’t actually be unveiled until some time in October, so it’s possible this event could exclusively be about devices like the iPad and Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the event’s tagline — “Time Flies” — indicates that the Apple Watch will be the show’s major player.

Update (9/8, 12:02PM): Bloomberg’s Mike Gurman, who correctly predicted a launch event would be announced today, strongly suggests that Apple won’t unveil any iPhones next week:

That updated version of the Apple Watch — the Series 6 — that’s said to pack a larger battery, no Force Touch, and all of the improvements available in watchOS 7. If we’re lucky, we’ll also get our first glimpse at a new low-cost Apple Watch, which the company has allegedly

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Why Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Represents a Big Piracy Risk Around the World

Elva Mankin

Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic “Tenet” is charting a new course for blockbusters during the pandemic by opening in foreign territories before it lands in the U.S.

However, many of the factors that make “Tenet” the milestone film in the cinema industry’s post-coronavirus road to recovery are simultaneously elements that expose it to piracy. That runs the risk that a thriller that thrives on keeping its twists under wraps will have its secrets exposed before domestic audiences have a chance to watch it.

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“In some ways ‘Tenet’ is a perfect storm for piracy, in that it has raised expectations, both about the film itself and the cinema experience,” one anti-piracy veteran said, speaking to Variety on condition of anonymity. “Also, it has limited availability and suffers from a staggered release.”

The film’s uneven worldwide release pattern — launching in some international territories on Aug. 26 before coming to

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The algorithms that make big decisions about your life

Elva Mankin

student protesting
student protesting

Thousands of students in England are angry about the controversial use of an algorithm to determine this year’s GCSE and A-level results.

They were unable to sit exams because of lockdown, so the algorithm used data about schools’ results in previous years to determine grades.

It meant about 40% of this year’s A-level results came out lower than predicted, which has a huge impact on what students are able to do next. GCSE results are due out on Thursday.

There are many examples of algorithms making big decisions about our lives, without us necessarily knowing how or when they do it.

Here’s a look at some of them.

Social media

In many ways, social-media platforms are simply giant algorithms.

Phone with Facebook logo in pocket
Phone with Facebook logo in pocket

At their heart, they work out what you’re interested in and then give you more of it – using as many data points

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Questions being raised after Kodak’s stock has a big moment

Elva Mankin

Eastman Kodak’s potentially lucrative deal to help the U.S. government make more generic drugs domestically is threatening to turn into a regulatory headache for the fallen photography giant.

Kodak’s depressed stock price surged last week before the company announced its plans to work with the President Donald Trump’s administration in exchange for a $765 million loan. That prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren to send a Monday letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether insider trading laws have been broken.

The SEC is now in the early stages of a probe, according to a report published Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The SEC declined to comment on the report.

Kodak said Tuesday that the Rochester, New York, company intends to cooperate with any potential inquiries, without saying whether it has been contacted by the SEC.

The company’s stock soared

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How Big Tech Surged in the Coronavirus Era

Elva Mankin

The U.S. economy’s free fall may be nauseating for some sectors, but for the four tech giants that posted earnings results on Thursday, the past three months have been more like a thrill ride.

The day after taking tough questions from the House Judiciary Committee on whether they’ve become too powerful, chief executive officers from Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook revealed that their influence is only growing.

These captains of tech industry posted a collective $28 billion in profits and added $214 billion in market value, a gobsmacking set of figures even in the best of times. But it stands out against a doom-filled backdrop of a U.S. economy that shrank 33 percent, while fears stretch worldwide across other businesses — from Main Street mom-and-pops to the arbiters of global luxury — that are dancing on the knife’s edge of real or potential extinction.

That may be stunning, but

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Girding for grilling, Big Tech CEOs stress American roots, values

Elva Mankin

Washington (AFP) – Big Tech’s top executives underscored their firms’ American roots and values Wednesday as they faced a grilling in Congress over their extraordinary economic power and influence.

The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google offered an upbeat assessment of the tech landscape as they prepared for an onslaught of criticism at a House of Representatives hearing expected to be a rare political spectacle.

The hearing comes amid rising concerns over Big Tech dominance, which has become even more pronounced during the coronavirus pandemic as they leverage online platforms for needed goods and services.

The unprecedented joint appearance — remotely by video — before the House Judiciary Committee features Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google and its parent firm Alphabet.

The hearing is part of a probe into the competitive market landscape and antitrust law, but questioning

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Biased Big Tech algorithms limit our lives and choices. Stop the online discrimination.

Elva Mankin

The leaders of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have some serious explaining to do about bias and discrimination when they appear Wednesday at an antitrust hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. 

The abuse of trust by the platform-based companies we rely on most has largely flown under the radar as a global pandemic heightens and highlights fissures in our society. But our data and our choices continue to be manipulated in problematic ways — often by algorithms that subtly introduce bias into the prices we pay and the information and options made available to us. It is essential that we hold our digital gatekeepers accountable. 

The algorithms at issue have a veritable fire hose of our data at their disposal, and they aren’t the neutral equations we might assume them to be. They are the product of humans, and because of that they have a tendency to perpetuate human biases.

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Spotlight on 4 Big Tech CEOs testifying in competition probe

Elva Mankin

WASHINGTON (AP) — They command corporations with gold-plated brands, millions or even billions of customers, and a combined value greater than the entire German economy. One of them is the world’s richest individual; another is the fourth-ranked billionaire. Their industry has transformed society, linked people around the globe, mined and commercialized users’ personal data, and infuriated critics on both the left and right over speech.

Now Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook of Apple will answer for their companies’ practices before Congress for the first time as a group. Summoned for a House hearing, they’ll raise a hand (remotely) and swear to tell the truth, in the manner of tycoons of Wall Street or the tobacco industry in earlier high-octane televised shamings. It will be Bezos’ first-ever appearance before Congress.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust is capping its yearlong investigation of Big

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Jeff Bezos will be an open target when he’s questioned by Congress for the first time. These are the big flash points to watch for.

Elva Mankin

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

  • Amazon CEO will testify before a congressional antitrust committee for the first time on Wednesday, alongside Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg. 

  • While experts told Business Insider they expect the questioning to mostly pertain to matters of competition, Bezos will likely be grilled on everything from how Amazon treats third-party sellers to the company’s approach to acquisitions. 

  • The hearing may come at a challenging time for Bezos, who recently added $13 billion to his net worth in a single day as the coronavirus still surges in parts of the US, contributing to widespread job losses. 

  • Bezos will need to downplay Amazon’s size and power in favor of highlighting the benefit the company provides to small businesses and the communities it operates in. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

He’s appeared in a Star Trek movie, built a $42 million, 10,000-year clock in

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Antitrust fever rises as Big Tech CEOs set to testify

Elva Mankin

Washington (AFP) – Antitrust fever hits a peak in Washington this week with lawmakers set to grill top executives of four of the biggest US technology firms in what promises to be a rare political spectacle for the digital era.

The showdown Wednesday in the House of Representatives comes amid rising concerns over Big Tech dominance, which has become even more pronounced during the coronavirus pandemic.

The unprecedented joint appearance in the House Judiciary Committee will include chief executives Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google and its parent firm Alphabet. All will testify remotely.

The hearing is part of a probe into “online platforms and market power,” taking place as US federal agencies and states conduct their own investigations.

“This is the Super Bowl of antitrust,” said Avery Gardiner, an antitrust expert at the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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