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In the last few weeks I've written rants here and here about Apples advertising plans. In reporting by MacRumors “Developers, customers, and critics of Apple have all voiced disapproval of the company's plans to expand its ads footprint in the App Store. Reports also suggest Apple plans to introduce ads in Apple Maps and Apple TV+.”

“A new report has revealed internal disagreement within Apple, causing some employees who work on the company's ads business to raise concerns that showing more ads to iPhone users ruins the premium experience that's been long offered to its customers.”

Koni17: “These revenue driven decisions are slowly destroying the differentiators that made iOS competitive in comparison to Android. What used to be a deciding factor for going with iOS (fewer ads and tracking, more security, etc.) is becoming a moot point. The Apple employees can only voice their concerns for so long until revenue hungry management overrules them. Sad to see Apple going in this direction.”

#Apple #iPhone #News #Opinion

Casey Newton, on Platformer Musk discusses putting all of Twitter behind a paywall

But all of that could be a prelude to the biggest change of all: charging most or all users a subscription fee to use Twitter.

The other day, I wrote that “I’m not a big fan of social media platforms. I’ve only had one account. Twitter! And Over the years my relationship with the platform has been on again off again. Today I'm on Twitter with a very narrow use case. I use it to market my blog and posts. I follow app developers of apps that I use to keep up with the latest information about their apps. And last for breaking news. That’s it! So, how will Twitter change for me? Probably not that much, but we’ll see?”

So, after saying all that, would I pay a subscription for Twitter? If the subscription is 99 cents, I'm in. If the subscription is $1.99, maybe. Anything over that, no. Of course, that's assuming the platform doesn't totally go to shit.

#Rumor #Opinion #News

A few days ago I went off on a rant about Apple showing more ads in the App Store. In reporting by MacRumors Apple plans to expand live tv advertising for the Major League Soccer deal.

Apple is now talking with advertising partners and MLS sponsors about ads that will air during the soccer games and related shows.

All three streaming tiers will have ads, including the dedicated package, paid TV+ subscriptions, and the free TV app.

Bloomberg says that ads for live TV are part of Apple’s aggressive push into advertising. Apple recently added new ads to the App Store Today tab and to individual app pages, a move that has been unpopular with developers due to some of the ad types Apple has opted to show. ​ […]

Apple is also working on a plan to add search ads to the Apple Maps app on iPhone starting next year, with these ads showing up alongside user searches for things like “gas” or “coffee.” Bloomberg says that Apple is also exploring ads for other apps and services.

MacRumors, last week, also reported that the Weather App will have an Apple News Section in iOS 16.2. This is nothing more than an ad for Apple News.

With the iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, Apple is enhancing the Weather app through the integration of an Apple News section. Located below the 10-day forecast on iPhone, the ‌Apple News‌ module surfaces relevant regional news stories.

What the fuck! I specifically bought into Apple's ecosystem because it was a company that wasn't driven by ads. It was all about privacy and quality. Soon Apple will be no better than Google and Android. Just saying.​

Apple Is an Ad Company Now – Wired

Cusumano of MIT says Apple’s greatest challenge may be balancing its previous reputation for privacy against the data grab that digital ad businesses create. “Apple is a carefully manicured walled garden, not this advertisement-intense ecosystem like Google,” he says. Preserving that distinction while also growing ad revenue could be tricky. “Apple users are very loyal and forgiving,” says Kesler. “But if they push this to match their forecasts, I’ll be wondering whether users can overlook it.”

#Apple #iPhone #News #Opinion

It’s a done deal. Elon the shit-poster is now the owner of Twitter.

I’m not a big fan of social media platforms. I’ve only had one account. Twitter! And Over the years my relationship with the platform has been on again off again. Today I'm on Twitter with a very narrow use case. I use it to market my blog and posts. I follow app developers of apps that I use to keep with the latest information about their apps. And last for breaking news. That’s it! So, how will Twitter change for me? Probably not that much, but we’ll see?

Nick Heer “Unlikeable as I find Musk’s public personality, weasel words, and many of his projects, I am cautiously hopeful private ownership will permit the company to right itself. Given the track record of its new owner, I am not expecting many of his proposed massive changes to materialized.” It appears that Elon won’t want to fuck it up too much in light of the financial pressure that he is under.

The New York Times

But he will face pressure from the banks that lent him $12.5 billion for the deal to begin repaying his debt. The cost of repaying those loans could run as high as $1 billion a year, financial analysts said.

“He has less public pressure, but he has a lot of private pressure from the banks to make the payments,” Mr. Quinn said of Mr. Musk. “Like almost every other private-equity take-private, he’s going to need a manager who is very focused on operations, being lean and being able to pay the bills on a day-to-day basis.”

Mr. Musk also took about $7.1 billion from equity investors to push the deal through. He may also face pressure from those investors, who might expect him to take Twitter public again at some point so that they can recoup their investment.

Elon Musk said in a note Thursday that Twitter must be “warm and welcoming to all” and not a “free-for-all hellscape” in order for it to reach its full potential.

Well, welcome to hell, Elon.

#News #Opinion

Wall Street Journal

Meta initially set a goal of reaching 500,000 monthly active users for Horizon Worlds by the end of this year, but in recent weeks revised that figure to 280,000. The current tally is less than 200,000, the documents show.

Most visitors to Horizon generally don’t return to the app after the first month, and the user base has steadily declined since the spring, according to the documents, which include internal memos from employees.

By comparison, Meta’s social-media products, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, together attract more than 3.5 billion average monthly users—a figure equivalent to almost half the world’s population. Horizon is currently reaching less than the population of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Horizon is designed to be a sprawling collection of interactive virtual spaces, or worlds, in which users appearing as avatars can shop, party and work. Yet there are rarely any girls in the Hot Girl Summer Rooftop Pool Party, and in Murder Village there is often no one to kill. Even the company’s showcase worlds, such as Questy’s, a virtual arcade featured in a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year, are mostly barren of users.

According to internal statistics, only 9% of worlds built by creators are ever visited by at least 50 people. Most are never visited at all.

Does anyone actually fucking care about the metaverse? I sure as hell don’t!

#Linked #News #Facebook

New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration moved today to make hearing aids available over the counter and without a prescription to adults, a long-sought wish of consumers frustrated by expensive exams and devices.

As soon as mid-October, people with mild to moderate hearing loss should be able to buy hearing aids online and in retail stores, without being required to see a doctor for an exam to get a prescription.

The F.D.A. cited studies estimating that about 30 million Americans experience hearing loss, but only about one-fifth of them get help. The changes could upend the market, which is dominated by a relatively small number of manufacturers, and make it a broader field with less costly, and perhaps, more innovative designs. Current costs for hearing aids, which tend to include visits with an audiologist, range from about $1,400 at Costco to roughly $4,700 elsewhere.

This is exciting news for those of us who are hearing impaired. My last hearing aids even after insurance still cost over $2,000.

The Wall Street Journal has already reported that Apple is considering getting into the hearing aid business. I’m excited to see what Apple will be doing in the OTC hearing aid market. Apple might be my next set of hearing aids?

As a side note, did you know that you can already use your AirPods as hearing aids?

#News #Linked #Apple