⚡️ The Weekly Download #35: Your Mobile Provider is Selling Your Data

Highlights include significant fines for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Also, get ready for new reveals at Apple’s upcoming event.

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❓Do you know how much money Google pays Apple to put their search engine on every iPhone? 

Hint: it’s a lot.

In 2022, Google shelled out $20 billion to Apple to secure its spot as the default search engine on Safari; back in 2020, these payments accounted for a significant 17.5% of Apple’s operating income.

📰 This week in tech 📰

Apple Event – May 7 – here’s what to expect

Apple is scheduled to host a product announcement event on May 7 at 9 am ET, named "Let loose". What are they launching? – Bloomberg

  • 📱 Focus on iPads: The event will primarily feature new iPads and accessories.

  • 🛠️ Product Speculations: Rumors and leaks suggest that the new iPad Pro models (11-inch and 12.9-inch) might feature OLED displays, improving contrast and color richness.

  • 🔄 Unusual Timing: Hosting this event just before the WWDC is unusual for Apple, so hopefully, it’s something big.

Apple's "Let Loose" event seems less about loosening up and more about tightening its grip on the market, potentially overshadowing Microsoft's AI ambitions with flashy new iPads. 🍏💼👀

The FCC has fined AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon nearly $200 million collectively for illegally sharing customers' location data - The Verge

  • 🚫 Unauthorized Data Access: Carriers sold access to customer location data to "aggregators," who then sold it to third-party location-based service providers without customer consent.

  • 📢 Carrier Responses: AT&T and Verizon plan to appeal based on incorrect facts and legal grounds. T-Mobile did not comment on record.

  • 📜 Legal Actions: Both AT&T and Verizon claimed that they took immediate actions when data misuse was discovered.

Is the FCC's $200 million slap on the wrist for playing fast and loose with location data the wake-up call the industry needs? Probably not, but it’s a good place to start.

Image: WSJ

There’s been quite a buzz surrounding AI gadgets. Never one to shy away from a good fight, The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern pits them together in one review: WSJ

  • 📱 Devices tested include Humane AI Pin ($699), Rabbit R1 ($199), and Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses ($299).

  • 🤖 The AI assistants use cameras, microphones, and large language models to assist, but are still error-prone and slow.

  • 🗣️ Humane pin offered live Mandarin translation, but Rabbit was slow and Meta glasses only translate text, not speech.

  • 😎 Meta Ray-Bans stand out for reliable AI, hands-free photo/video capture, and breaking smartphone screen addiction.

QuickTechie: AI gadgets promise to kick smartphones to the curb, but who's ready to replace screen addiction with yelling at a high-tech brooch


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Alright folks, this is where I wrap it up. As always, my door is always open. Reply to this email and say hi. Always happy to talk shop.


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