BGR 9 April 2018

Every single Apple building around the world now runs on 100% renewable energy

Apple for quite some time has shown an arguably unrivaled commitment among tech companies towards the environment. With that in mind, Apple earlier today announced that every single Apple structure runs on 100% renewable energy, from Apple's brand new spaceship campus down to the company's data centers and chain of retail stores. In effect, Apple is setting a new bar for environmental responsibility. Incidentally, the fact that Apple reached the 100% mark this year isn't all that surprising given that Apple last year noted that 96% of its facilities were running on renewable energy. Word of the achievement came via a press release alongside a Fast Company interview with Apple executive Lisa Jackson. "We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone," Tim Cook explained. "We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it." And in an effort to increase environmental responsibility across the industry and down the supply chain, Apple also notes that 23 of its suppliers now intend to operate on 100% renewable energy. As for some of the renewable energy projects Apple has been working on, the company lists the following examples: Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy. Over 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions. Apple recently announced plans to build a 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one. In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019. In Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totaling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation. In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year — enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes. Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina, is supported by projects that generate 244 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year, which is equivalent to the energy used by 17,906 North Carolina homes. In Singapore, where land is scarce, Apple adapted and built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops. Apple is currently constructing two new data centers in Denmark that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one. Apple's full press release can be viewed over here.

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AT&T exec called broadcasters ‘shortsighted whores’ for selling to streaming services

The ongoing legal battle between AT&T and the Department of Justice over whether AT&T can acquire Time Warner is giving us a unique insight into the minds of cable companies. Most notably, what we've all long suspected -- that cable companies are slow to embrace streaming because they don't want to lose their cash cow -- is being repeatedly confirmed. The LA Times reports that during last week's testimony, the DoJ brought up an email sent by Daniel York, current CCO of the AT&T Entertainment Group and a former top exec at DirecTV. In an email to his boss, York said "content providers generally are shortsighted whores" for dealing with streaming services, particularly Dish Network's Sling TV. The email will likely come as a blow to AT&T's whole argument, which is that it won't abuse its ownership of Time Warner's content to unfairly advantage its own distribution services. AT&T has repeatedly said that it would just be common sense for it to sell Time Warner programming to as many services as possible, but as the email shows, York didn't think a few years ago that selling programming to as many places as possible was the right financial move. The current problem facing cable companies is that subscribers are ditching cable for streaming services, and those streaming services make far less money than cable bundles. Most of the streaming services cost around $35-40, which industry execs have said is right around the break-even point for those services. The average cable bundle, on the other hand, runs $105, and most of that is profit. Therefore, the legacy cable companies have a huge incentive to keep milking their cable cash cow, and their best weapon to do that is exclusive programming that you can't get on streaming services.

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The kitchen gadget that cooks perfect eggs in minutes is back on sale for $20 on Amazon

If you buy only one kitchen gadget for your home this year, it should be this incredible Crock-Pot Express Crock multi-use slow cooker. But if you get two kitchen gadgets, the second one should definitely be the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker. This fantastic device cooks perfect eggs every time, and it works with a bunch of different styles including omelettes. It’s on sale right now on Amazon for less than $20, and it’s easily worth twice as much. Definitely check it out. Here are some more details from the product page: SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is the ORIGINAL (and most trusted) egg cooker on the market, for perfect eggs, your way, EVERY TIME, we guarantee it! QUICK + EASY: Short on time? Simply choose your preferred eggs and set the timer. The auto-shut off function prevents overcooking, and the buzzer will alert you when your eggs are ready. Its so simple, even your kids can use it VERSATILE: This is the PERFECT appliance for picky eaters, large families, or those who have busy schedules. Hard boiled eggs, soft boiled eggs, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, individual omelets, and all within minutes of the push start button - it couldn’t be easier! COMPACT + LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighing 1lb, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is your MUST-HAVE for that first apartment, smaller kitchen, college dorm life, or camper/RV traveling. Plus, its sleek design and trendy color options will accent any kitchen space (bonus all included accessories fit inside, taking up even LESS space) INCLUDES: Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty and includes a poaching tray, omelet tray, 6 egg holder tray, measuring cup, recipe book and recipe database access (all non-electric parts are dishwasher safe)

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Leaked render shows LG is going all-in on the notch

Over the last two weeks, most of the details have leaked about LG's upcoming flagship phone. We've learned that it will have a dedicated button for LG's AI (because that worked SO well for Samsung and Bixby!), and that it will be the worst-named phone launched in 2018. But up until now, the big thing missing was a clear picture of the entire design of the device. Thanks to a leaked press render from Android Headlines, we can now see that LG is embracing both the chin and the notch for a very unorthodox design. As you can see in the image, the LG G7 ThinQ -- yes, that's the actual name -- has the same kind of notch up top as Apple made popular with the iPhone X. Despite its small size, it's said to house the earpiece speakerphone and front-facing camera, which lets the screen reach up to the top of the phone with two ears. Unfortunately, LG has had to keep a chin along the bottom of the phone, despite killing the physical home button and moving the fingerprint sensor to the back. From what we understand, that's a necessary design decision owing to the wiring for the screen and touch-sensitive panel, one that Apple only managed to avoid by using an expensive screen design that no other manufacturer has wanted to copy. We also get a look at all the colors LG's phone will come in. According to Android Headlines, they're called “Aurora Black,” “Platinum Grey,” “Moroccan Blue,” “Moroccan Blue (Matte),” and “Raspberry Rose.” Black will definitely be available at launch, with other colors depending on region and carrier. Name aside, the G7 ThinQ looks like it could be an excellent alternative to the Galaxy S9 or even the iPhone X. TechRadar‘s images show a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Hopefully, that means the G7 ThinQ will have performance on par with the Galaxy S9, but it might be able to escape the punitively high $800 pricetag that some carriers are selling it for in the US. TechRadar also saw preliminary AnTuTu benchmarking scores that show the LG G7 beasting Samsung’s new Galaxy S9. With a score of 252,473, the G7 would be bested only by Sony’s Xperia XZ2. Of course, by the time the phone actually comes out, OnePlus’s new OnePlus 6 should be in stores, and it’s confirmed to have the same processor but even more RAM.

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Porsche CEO suggests all Porsche models will be fully electric by 2030

Spurred by the success and accolades Tesla enjoyed with the Model S, Porsche a few years ago realized that it had no choice but to embrace the EV revolution. With that said, Porsche in 2015 announced the Mission E, a forthcoming electric sports car with impressive specs that will likely go on sale in 2019. What's more, Porsche is putting its money where it's mouth is as the company a few months back announced that it was going to double its EV-related research and development to about $7.4 billion by 2022. Beyond the Mission E, there's no question that Porsche today fully appreciates how electric cars stand poised to change the way we travel. To this point, the company earlier today published a new interview with Oliver Blume where the Porsche CEO touched on a number of topics pertaining to the proliferation of electric cars on the road. One of the more interesting tidbits of the interview involves Blume effectively stating that all Porsche cars may be fully electric by 2030. When asked when the last Porsche with a combustion engine might be released, Blume responded: I would venture to predict that, by 2030, the sportiest Porsche will have an electric drive. Who knows – maybe by then even our iconic sports car, the 911, will be electric. Of course, Blume made a point of noting that Porsche will not be making any rash decisions as the transition to electric cars may be slow and steady. It would be absurd to think that we could do without the combustion engine completely in the foreseeable future. But, equally, we cannot miss the opportunity to invest heavily in electromobility. Before we leave petrol or diesel behind, the next decade will see an increase in the parallel use of combustion engines and alternative drives. A clear trend is developing, and we will deliver. I am not going to do anything hasty, however. Blume's full interview touches on a number of broad and interesting topics and can be read in its entirety over here.  

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Privacy groups complain that YouTube is illegally collecting children’s data

With concerns over online privacy reaching a fever pitch in recent weeks, 20 consumer advocacy groups on Monday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claiming YouTube violates child privacy laws by collecting and using the data of young children who visit the website. Specifically, the groups believe that the Google subsidiary is failing to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires the company to obtain verifiable consent and give notice before collecting data on anyone 13 years old or younger. "Google has been continually growing its child-directed service in the United States and all over the world without any kind of acknowledgment of this law and its responsibilities,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “It’s living in a world of online fiction and denied that it’s serving children." While YouTube's terms of service explicitly state that the site is not for children under the age of 13, and asks users to confirm that they are older than 13 when signing up for an account, anyone can watch videos on YouTube as long as they aren't age-gated. In the complaint, the advocacy groups cites a 2017 which shows that 80% of children between the ages of 6-12 use YouTube on a daily basis. The groups are concerned that YouTube is illegally collecting data on those children, and wants the FTC to investigate the claim and penalize the site if so. ”We will read the complaint thoroughly and evaluate if there are things we can do to improve,” YouTube said told the New York Times in an statement. “Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children.” As the groups point out though, the YouTube Kids app has been a subject of controversy itself after bizarre, disturbing videos were found within the algorithmically selected kid-friendly videos. YouTube has since acknowledged the issue and, according to a BuzzFeed report, is working on a fully human-curated version of the app.

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This sketchy rumor about the 2019 iPhone’s new feature actually makes some sense

iPhone rumors that make the rounds months before a new iPhone launch have to be taken with a grain of salt, so any 2019 iPhone rumors should be taken even less seriously. But Apple's vault of secrets has become way less secure in recent years, which is why we can't dismiss a new rumor from the Economic Daily News out of hand. According to the report, at least one of Apple's iPhone models in 2019 will feature a triple-lens rear camera, much like the one that Huawei featured on its P20 Pro earlier this year. The 2019 camera will supposedly feature 12-megapixel 6P lenses with up to 5x zoom (though it doesn't specify optical, digital or hybrid zoom). Considering the current-gen iPhone features 2x optical zoom, there's a good chance this is in reference to optical zoom. There will be countless rumors between now and 2019 with similar suppositions, but Apple prides itself on delivering some of the best smartphone cameras on the market every year. If triple-lens cameras are the next innovation worth exploring, it would be more surprising to learn than Apple was not at least looking into slapping another lens on its flagship phone, especially with the reactions to Huawei's P20 Pro being as positive as they are. The question is whether the triple-lens camera is a priority for Apple as it enters a new generation with the iPhone X and its successors. The second iPhone X this fall is not expected to be a major departure from 2017's model, so how far will Apple being willing to push next year's flagship? Will the 2019 iPhone feature three lenses? Will Apple include the in-display fingerprint sensor that has begun to make its way out to market? It will be nearly two years before we know for sure, but the 2018 iPhone this fall will provide plenty of hints.

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HP’s new Chromebook just became the iPad’s biggest competitor

Apple's iPads have always enjoyed a lack of real competition from other tablets. Although Android tablets have been around for years, no manufacturer has ever cracked a software and hardware integration to really challenge Apple, and the result has been complete iPad dominance of the high-end tablet market. Android tablets aren't getting any better, but Google has worked out an alternative strategy: Make its Chrome operating system more touch-friendly, give it the capability to run Android apps, and then stick it in a more mobile form factor. The logical conclusion of these changes was just unveiled by HP, and if the initial specs are anything to go by, the iPad Pro could be in trouble. The Chromebook x2 is a 12.9-inch tablet/laptop hybrid that comes from the same school of design as Microsoft's Surface Book. That means you get a touchscreen tablet that contains all the vital components needed to make the computer function, and a sturdy keyboard dock that should feel more like a laptop, and less like the snap-on keyboard for the iPad Pro. The latter part is actually important, because I find one of the most infuriating things about souped-up tablets is using them to write on the go. Keyboard attachments work great when you're sitting at a desk, but try to use it on your lap or an airplane tray table, and you'll understand that there's a lot to like about the traditional clamshell laptop. Inside, the HP Chromebook x2 has all the right specs to run the low-resource Chrome OS: Kaby Lake Intel Core m3 processor, a base 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an unusually nice 2400x1600 screen. There's also two USB-C ports, a microSD port, headphone jack, and cameras front and back. The $600 price is certainly high for a Chromebook, but it compares very favourably to the big iPad Pro or any thin-and-light Windows laptop. It'll be in stores in June.

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It sure looks like we’re getting three new iPhones this year

For the entirety of Steve Jobs' stewardship of the iPhone program, Apple never released more than one phone per year. A single device should always be able to strike the right balance of features and price, so Jobs's theory went, and introducing more than one phone is a sure way to clutter the lineup. But with Jobs firmly in the company's rear-view mirror, the iPhone lineup has been growing at speed. First came the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, and just three years later, Apple released the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X within the same quarter. According to yet another analyst report, that three-phone trend is going to keep going strong in 2018. RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani has penned another note suggesting that Apple will release three iPhones in 2018, all at the same time. There will be a follow-up to the iPhone X (maybe the iPhone X2?) a bigger iPhone X Plus, and some kind of cheaper plus-sized iPhone with a 6.1-inch LCD screen. Of those three, Daryanani expects the LCD iPhone to sell the best, accounting for around half of all iPhone production. "We think the new LCD iPhone (iPhone 9?) will be featured with a 6.1” full screen, and possibly with 3D sensing," Daryanani writes. "Based on our channel checks, we believe the new features should drive iPhone 9 sell-through, provided pricing is reasonable. Additionally, we think there is potential for a larger-capacity battery as new features are added to iPhones." In a previous note, Daryanani suggests that the iPhone 9 would cost around $650 or $700, in line with the current iPhone 8. It's a price cut of sorts however, as Apple has never sold a big-screen iPhone for less than $749. The normal-sized iPhone X2 would also get a price cut compared to the current iPhone X, and end up around $899, making it more competitive with the Galaxy S9 ($800 at most carriers). The other big takeaway from the note is that iPhone X demand has been well under what Apple's suppliers expected. "Based on our channel checks with suppliers, we believe current production expectation for new iPhones is ~80-90M units for second half calendar 2018, which is below suppliers’ expectation of ~100-120M units for iPhone 8/X in early 2017," Daryanani writes. "However, we would note compared to the very optimistic expectation for iPhone 8/X sell-through, supply chain partners now have a more subdued expectation. "

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Amazon has a $60 home security camera you can remotely pan and tilt with the smartphone app

Companies like Nest and Netgear are among the big names in the wireless home security camera market, but there’s another brand you won’t soon forget after you check out this killer dome camera on Amazon. The YI Dome Camera steams 1080p HD video to your iPhone or Android phone just like any other security cam, and it has all the basic features you would expect like motion detection, two-way audio, and night vision. But this Yi camera can do something no Nest Cam can: it can pan and tilt all around the room using controls right in the mobile app. Oh, and it costs $50 on Amazon instead of $200 like the Nest Cam! Here are some bullet points from the product page: 1080p High-definition, 112° wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360° coverage. Advanced night vision with 8 built-in 940nm infrared LED beads extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch dark with no light pollution, so your baby or pet will not be disturbed by LED glare. Responsive and advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter for a clear 2-way Audio experience. Intercom Mode: one party to talk and listen at a time or Hands-free Mode: both parties talk and listen freely for maximum flexibility. Receive real-time Activity Alerts while you're out. 10-sec motion tracking records and centers the moving object. Bookmark your favorite positions (up to 8) and return to them at the tap of a button. Select Auto-Cruise to survey the area 360° horizontally or cruise your bookmarks, suitable for large areas that need a quick scan (and tracks moving objects). YI Dome integrates with your YI Home family in one simple interface. User-friendly and intuitive app to customize your settings: activity alerts, auto-cruise, bookmarks, camera sharing, customize schedules, and more. Supports connectivity to a large number of devices with the same app/account for maximum convenience. Available for iOS and Android. Supports YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from a SD card, ensure all your videos are safe and protected. We provide the most efficient compression and the highest protection of data, so you can be sure that your footage is secure. Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity to access your camera with YI Home App on mobile device, and YI Home App on PC* at anytime, anywhere. Built-in support for 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz (5Ghz currently not supported) Wi-Fi band. *PC App is for viewing only

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