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YouTube and Spotify Are Not Launching Vision Pro Apps Either

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Mark Gurman and Ashley Carman, reporting for Bloomberg (Gurman has been killing it this week on the Vision Pro apps beat — he’s breaking all of these stories):

Google’s YouTube and Spotify Technology SA, the world’s most popular video and music services, are joining Netflix Inc. in steering clear of Apple Inc.’s upcoming mixed-reality headset.

YouTube said in a statement Thursday that it isn’t planning to launch a new app for the Apple Vision Pro, nor will it allow its longstanding iPad application to work on the device — at least, for now. YouTube, like Netflix, is recommending that customers use a web browser if they want to see its content: “YouTube users will be able to use YouTube in Safari on the Vision Pro at launch.”

Spotify also isn’t currently planning a new app for visionOS — the Vision Pro’s operating system — and doesn’t expect to enable its iPad app to run on the device when it launches, according to a person familiar with matter. But the music service will still likely work from a web browser.

Spotify’s fuck-you to Apple I don’t find surprising, given the longstanding animosity between them. But YouTube is a surprise to me, and it’s a sign of how profoundly different the relationship is between Google and Apple today from the pre-Android era. In 2007, before third-party apps were even supported on iOS, YouTube was a built-in app on the original iPhone. (Apple designed and made the app; Google provided the back-end APIs and, obviously, the content.) Then-Google-CEO (and then-Apple-board-member!) Eric Schmidt was invited on stage by Steve Jobs to demo the YouTube app and sing the praises of both the iPhone and the Apple-Google partnership. That Apple-made Google-supported YouTube app was still a built-in default app on iOS when the iPad launched in 2010.

So for both the original iPhone and iPad, YouTube was part of the system software. For Vision Pro, there’s no app at all, not even the iPad app.

Regarding Netflix’s pass on Vision Pro, a little birdie informed me that until this week, the Netflix iPad app was available for those with access to Vision Pro hardware, and it worked just fine. This birdie still has the Netflix iPad app installed on their Vision Pro. Perhaps people at Netflix would disagree with just how well it worked — I don’t know — but I get the strong impression that the decision was political/strategic/spiteful, not technical. Entertainment is not the sole purpose of Vision Pro, but it’s a major one — and surely the primary one for many buyers — and it’s launching without the two biggest video entertainment apps in the world. Apple expected Netflix’s iPad app to be there on launch day.

This isn’t a dealbreaker — watching Netflix through Safari should be OK (albeit without offline downloads, a huge factor for using Vision Pro on airplanes), and many people think of YouTube as a website, not an app. But there’s no way around it: this is a bad look for Apple, not for Netflix or Google. The buck stops with Tim Cook on this. He should have been on the horn with Ted Sarandos and Sundar Pichai and worked this out. It’s his company that’s launching a $3,500 headset.

It’s also worth pointing out that these corporate pissing matches are reciprocal. They work in both directions. I doubt we’ll see any calls for Netflix, YouTube, or Spotify to be investigated by antitrust regulators over their refusal to allow their iPad apps to run on Vision Pro. But imagine if Netflix and Spotify wanted to be on Vision Pro on launch day and Apple refused, to leave more room in the spotlight for Apple TV+ and Apple Music. Or what happens if the Vision platform becomes a huge hit, and only then do Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify submit native apps — and Apple turns them down, on the grounds of “Where were you when we needed you?” People would lose their shit. We might even get a testy tweet from Elizabeth Warren.

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trekkie
151 days ago
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Good because you can use plugins on the browser and block a lot of crap YouTube forces with an app.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Elon Seems To Think The Cruelest Thing He Can Do To People… Is To Pretend They Want To Associate With Him

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Let’s start this post out by noting that a key reason Elon Musk said he was getting rid of the legacy Twitter verification system was that it was arbitrary and unfair and created a “lords and peasants” scenario. Keep that in mind, because you’re going to want to remember that by the end of this article.

Anyway… what a weird few days on Twitter. Late last week, Twitter finally got around to doing the thing Elon Musk had promised would happen at several earlier dates (including a firm deadline promised at the beginning of April): remove the “blue checkmarks” from those who were legacy verified accounts.

As we’ve detailed over and over again, Elon’s nonsensical decision to combine Twitter Blue and Twitter “verification” (loosely speaking) never made any sense. It misunderstands the point of verification as well as undermines the value of Twitter Blue. It’s kind of self-defeating, and basically most people recognize this. It’s why he’s struggled to get most people to sign up for it.

As part of the great removal, Musk seemed to think that maybe it would push those legacy verified accounts to pay up. That, well, didn’t happen. Travis Brown, a researcher who’s been the most thorough in tracking all of this and had created a database of the over 400,000 legacy verified accounts, noted that as the blue checks were removed… a net total of 28 new Twitter Blue accounts were created.

28.

Yes. Just 28. That’s net total, meaning that somewhat more than 28 people who had been legacy verified signed up, but a bunch of people also canceled their Twitter Blue account, so when you net it out, it was plus 28. Which is… nothing.

Again, as we’ve pointed out repeatedly, there are all sorts of things that Elon Musk could have done to make Twitter Blue worth subscribing to. But, instead, he focused on the “blue check” as if that was valuable. It was never valuable. And by changing it from a verified to a “this mfer paid for Elon’s Twitter” badge, he actually devalued it massively.

Either way, this resulted in a pretty stupid Twitter war, in which some people started pushing a kinda silly “Block the Blue” campaign, urging Twitter users to block anyone with the blue checkmark. And then Elon supporters with the blue checkmark went on an equally silly campaign to yell at people for not giving a billionaire $8. Frankly, neither side looked particularly good in all of this.

But, into that mix came chaos in the form of (of course) Elon Musk.

First, a few people noticed that a few celebrities who had very, very publicly stated that they would not pay for Twitter Blue were showing up as having paid “and verified” by their phone number. This included LeBron James and Stephen King among others. Elon admitted in a response to King that he had gifted him a Twitter Blue account:

Musk separately admitted that he was “paying for a few personally” to give them a Twitter Blue account, though he later said it was just LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner — all three of whom had very publicly stated they had no interest in paying.

This made me wonder if he was opening himself up to yet another lawsuit. Given how much Elon has basically turned paying for Twitter Blue into an “endorsement” of the new Twitter and Elon himself, putting that label on the accounts of people who have not paid for it and don’t seem to want it could violate a number of laws, including the Lanham Act’s prohibition on false endorsement as well as a variety of publicity rights claims.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of publicity rights claims, because they are commonly used by the rich and powerful to silence speech. The original point of publicity rights laws was to stop false endorsement claims, whereby a commercial entity was using the implied association of a famous person to act as a promotion or endorsement of the commercial entity or its products.

Which, uh, seems to be exactly what Musk was doing in paying for Blue for some celebrities.

Separately, there are a bunch of questions about how this might violate EU data protection laws, but we’ll wait and see how the EU handles that.

Of course, then things got stupider. Remember the deal with Elon Musk: it can always get stupider.

As that “Block the Blue” campaign started getting more attention (and even started trending on Twitter), Musk gave the ringleaders of the campaign Twitter Blue. Yes, you read that right. Musk gave the people who were telling everyone to block anyone with a blue checkmark… a blue checkmark. And then admitted it by joking about how he was a troll.

Of course… as Twitter user Mobute noted, this is Musk admitting that the trolliest insult he can think of is to say someone is associated with him and his company:

Seems… kinda… like a self own?

Anyway, a few hours later, people started noticing that a ton of other accounts of famous people also started showing up with Twitter Blue despite not paying for it, nor wanting it. Some people said that it was being given to anyone with over 1 million followers, though there were some other accounts with fewer that got it and said they didn’t want it, like Terry Pratchett.

Still, it seemed that most accounts suddenly getting Blue without paying, requesting, or verifying their phone numbers had a million or more followers. And this included a large number of dead celebrities, where Twitter claims (if you click on their blue checkmark) that they paid and verified their phone number, which is pretty hard to do when you’re dead. There were lots of people who fell into this camp, including Chadwick Boseman, Norm MacDonald, Michael Jackson, and the aforementioned Terry Pratchett.

Oh, and Jamal Khashoggi, who was somewhat famously murdered by the Saudi government. I get the feeling he did not, in fact, confirm his phone number.

There have been questions about the publicity rights of dead people, and I’m a strong believer in the idea that publicity rights go away after death. But, you know, it’s still a bad look.

The end result though, is bizarre. Even as Musk is claiming that “everyone has to pay the same” that’s clearly no longer true:

He’s literally handing them out for free (1) based on levels of fame via follower counts (2) if he just decides to arbitrarily or (3) to troll people.

Which, you know, his site, he can do whatever the fuck he wants, but remember what I said up top? His entire reason for going down this path was to get rid of the arbitrary check mark system that created a “lords and peasants” setup where people deemed notable by Twitter got a check mark, and he was bring back “power to the people.”

But… as seems to keep happening, Elon Musk brings back a system he decried as stupid, but brings it back in a much stupider, and much worse, manner. So now there’s still an arbitrary lords and peasants system, but rather than one where at least someone is trying to determine if a person is notable and needs to be verified, it’s now an arbitrary cut-off on followers, or if Elon thinks it’s funny. Which seems way more arbitrary and stupid than the old system.

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trekkie
423 days ago
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It wouldn't surprise me as the reason the deceased people still have twitter blue is they haven't logged in, so the check for it hasn't recent to remove the checkbox. Sounds like something the incompetent programmer that Elon likes would do.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Why Toyota Isn't All-In On EVs

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During Toyota's annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week, which was called "Playing to Win," CEO Akio Toyoda explained why the company isn't all-in on electric vehicles. CNBC reports: Toyoda last week simply stated what he would like his legacy to be: "I love cars." Despite criticism from some investors and environmental groups, Toyoda this past week doubled down on his strategy to continue investing in a range of electrified vehicles as opposed to competitors such as Volkswagen and General Motors, which have said they are going all-in on all-electric vehicles. The plans could arguably cement Toyoda's "I love cars" legacy or tarnish it, depending on how quickly drivers adopt electric vehicles. "For me, playing to win also means doing things differently. Doing things that others may question, but that we believe will put us in the winner's circle the longest," he said [...]. Toyoda, who described Toyota as a large department store, said the company's goal "remains the same, pleasing the widest possible range of customers with the widest possible range of powertrains." Those powertrains will include hybrids and plug-in hybrids like the Prius, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like the Mirai and 15 all-electric battery models by 2025. Toyoda reiterated that he does not believe all-electric vehicles will be adopted as quickly as policy regulators and competitors think, due to a variety of reasons. He cited lack of infrastructure, pricing and how customers' choices vary region to region as examples of possible roadblocks. He believes it will be "difficult" to fulfill recent regulations that call for banning traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035, like California and New York have said they will adopt. "Just like the free autonomous cars that we are all supposed to be driving by now, EVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than media would like us to believe," Toyoda said in a recording of the remarks to dealers shown to reporters. "In the meantime, you have many options for customers." Toyoda also believes there will be "tremendous shortages" of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to 10 years, leading to production and supply chain problems. Toyota's goal is carbon neutrality by 2050, and not just through all-electric vehicles. Some have questioned the environmental impact of EVs when factoring in raw material mining and overall vehicle production. Since the Prius launched in 1997, Toyota says it has sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide. The company says those sales have avoided 160 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent to the impact of 5.5 million all-electric battery vehicles. "Toyota can produce eight 40-mile plug-in hybrids for every one 320-mile battery electric vehicle and save up to eight times the carbon emitted into the atmosphere," according to prepared remarks for Toyoda provided to media. Toyoda also said the company has no plans to overhaul its franchised dealership network as it invests in electrified vehicles, like some competitors have announced. "I know you are anxious about the future. I know you are worried about how this business will change. While I can't predict the future, I can promise you this: You, me, us, this business, this franchised model is not going anywhere. It's staying just as it is," he told dealers to resounding applause.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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trekkie
626 days ago
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Boy for someone who 'loves cars' they make some of the most boring but reliable vehicles out there.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Broadcom plans a “rapid transition” to subscription revenue for VMware

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A Broadcom sign outside one of its offices.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan )

Broadcom announced last week that it was seeking to drop $61 billion in cash and stock to acquire VMware. We still don't know exactly what changes Broadcom plans to make to VMware's products or business model once the acquisition completes. Still, Broadcom Software Group President Tom Krause made it clear in Broadcom's earnings call last week: an emphasis on software subscriptions.

As reported by The Register, Broadcom plans a "rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions" for VMware's products, replacing discrete buy-once-use-forever versions, though "rapid" in this case will still apparently take several years. Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said that the company wants to keep VMware's current customers happy and take advantage of VMware's existing sales team and relationships.

Subscription-based software has some benefits, including continual updates to patch security flaws and ensure compatibility with new operating system updates—virtualization software that requires low-level hardware access gets broken more often by new OS updates than most other apps. But a move toward more subscription-based software licensing could still be unwelcome news for individuals and businesses who prefer to pay for individual upgrades as they want or need them, rather than continuously for as long as they need the software.

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trekkie
749 days ago
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if you work for VMware, cash out now, because you'll get cashed out later.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
kazriko
749 days ago
Gotta chase that ARR. I think that pretty much puts an end to me thinking about bothering with vSphere.
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zipcube
751 days ago
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ugh
Dallas, Texas

Apple shakes down WordPress, forces it to add in-app purchases so Apple can collect its 30% extortion fee

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I don’t even know what to say anymore at this point. A bugfix update for the WordPress iOS application – which allows you to manage your WordPress website but does not sell anything – was blocked by Apple because WordPress.com separately also sells domain names and hosting packags, and Apple wants its 30% extortion fee, forcing the developer of this open source app to add the ability to buy WordPress domains and hosting.

Is Apple seriously asking for WordPress owner Automattic to share a cut of all its domain name revenue? How would it even know which customers used the app? Was this all a mistake?

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Mullenweg tells The Verge he’s not going to fight it — he will add brand-new in-app purchases for WordPress.com’s paid tiers, which include domain names, within 30 days. Apple has agreed to allow Automattic to update the app while it waits. (The last update was issued yesterday.)

In other words, Apple won: the richest company in the world just successfully forced an app developer to monetize an app so it could make more money. It’s just the latest example of Apple’s fervent attempts to guard its cash cow resulting in a decision that doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t live up to Apple’s ethos (real or imagined) of putting the customer experience ahead of all else.

It’s like Apple is purposefully laying out a breadcrumb trail for antitrust investigators.

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trekkie
1398 days ago
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Every other vendor does this yet when Apple is successful people loose their fucking minds.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Who Buys Big SUVs?

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Aaron Gordon, writing for Vice on the return of the Hummer:

And that portrait is largely the result of one consultant who worked for Chrysler, Ford, and GM during the SUV boom: Clotaire Rapaille. Rapaille, a French emigree, believed the SUV appealed—at the time to mostly upper-middle class suburbanites—to a fundamental subconscious animalistic state, our “reptilian desire for survival,” as relayed by Bradsher. (“We don’t believe what people say,” the website for Rapaille’s consulting firm declares. Instead, they use “a unique blend of biology, cultural anthropology and psychology to discover the hidden cultural forces that pre-organize the way people behave towards a product, service or concept”). Americans were afraid, Rapaille found through his exhaustive market research, and they were mostly afraid of crime even though crime was actually falling and at near-record lows. As Bradsher wrote, “People buy SUVs, he tells auto executives, because they are trying to look as menacing as possible to allay their fears of crime and other violence.” They, quite literally, bought SUVs to run over “gang members” with, Rapaille found.

Perhaps this sounds farfetched, but the auto industry’s own studies agreed with this general portrait of SUV buyers. Bradsher described that portrait, comprised of marketing reports from the major automakers, as follows:

Who has been buying SUVs since automakers turned them into family vehicles? They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities.

I recently rented a Chevy Tahoe because we needed the storage capacity for a day trip. I can’t believe anyone chooses to drive these things daily. It’s like driving a car inside a car, no feel for the road at all.

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kazriko
1579 days ago
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"As Bradsher wrote, “People buy SUVs, he tells auto executives, because they are trying to look as menacing as possible to allay their fears of crime and other violence.” They, quite literally, bought SUVs to run over “gang members” with, Rapaille found." Yeah, right, and all of Freud's patients actually did want to sleep with their mothers.

If I were getting an SUV, it'd be entirely for the towing capacity and cargo capacity. Otherwise I'd just get a van. Of course, right now I have two cars instead.
Colorado Plateau
trekkie
1579 days ago
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Six family members, we buy big SUVs to go anywhere. Minivans are cool and all if you don't need to bring stuff with you with that many people.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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ktgeek
1596 days ago
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we recently bought a SUV because we needed towing capacity for our camper. I find myself liking it much more than I thought I would... we went SUV over pickup because for the times we do need it for daily driving, we wanted more comfort and space. If I could get the towing capacity I need in something that wasn't a land barge, I'd be all for it, but that's not how it works right now.
Bartlett, IL
tingham
1596 days ago
I've been driving a tacoma for years (mountain bikes, camping, always having "friends") and when my wife wanted out of the minivan we put her in a 4 runner because it's the same frame. Even the Sequoia is too big.
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