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Apple is offering a free month of iCloud storage instead of just giving everybody a useable amount

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

It’s a common enough problem for iOS users: you’re backing up your phone’s pictures, when suddenly, that dreaded pop-up message appears: “You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up your iPhone.”

But don’t worry, Apple is here to help. It’s offering a free month of iCloud storage to customers who have run out of room on their paltry free 5GB plan, as noted by AppleInsider. And by “help,” I mean “shamelessly trying to trick you into paying more money for storage, thus boosting Apple’s services revenue and improving its quarterly earnings numbers.”

Apple only needs to offer this trial because it doesn’t offer enough storage to consumers to begin with
You don’t need me to explain how obvious this ploy is. Much like any free trial,…

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US space startup Rocket Lab sets new date for first commercial launch

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

US spaceflight startup Rocket Lab has scheduled new dates for its first commercial rocket launch — a mission dubbed “It’s Business Time.” The company plans to launch its small rocket, the Electron, sometime between June 23rd and July 6th. The rocket will take off from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launchpad and carry five small satellites to orbit for customers, kicking off a busy year of commercial operations for the launch provider.

Rocket Lab originally hoped to do this mission back in April, but the company had to postpone after it noticed some strange behavior with the rocket. After propping up the Electron on the launchpad and filling it with fuel, the engineering team found that a critical motor responsible for controlling the pumps…

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Facebook, Google face first GDPR complaints over ‘forced consent’

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

After two years coming down the pipe at tech giants, Europe’s new privacy framework, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is now being applied — and long time Facebook privacy critic, Max Schrems, has wasted no time in filing four complaints relating to (certain) companies’ ‘take it or leave it’ stance when it comes to consent.

The complaints have been filed on behalf of (unnamed) individual users — with one filed against Facebook; one against Facebook-owned Instagram; one against Facebook-owned WhatsApp; and one against Google’s Android.

Schrems argues that the companies are using a strategy of “forced consent” to continue processing the individuals’ personal data — when in fact the law requires that users be given a free choice unless a consent is strictly necessary for provision of the service. (And, well, Facebook claims its core product is social networking — rather than farming people’s personal data for ad targeting.)

“It’s simple: Anything strictly necessary for a ..

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Rover’s epic raise, Uber’s Q1 results and a trio of IPOs

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was fun for a few reasons. First, it was our own Connie Loizos’s first time leading, and it was our very first regular episode that included us recording remotely. I mention that as Matthew Lynley and I were in different places, meaning that we had a bump or two to smooth out. Your patience is more than appreciated.

Happily, we didn’t have to adventure alone, as Jonathan Abrams of Founders Den was on hand to help us cart through the news.

Up first: A huge round for Rover, bringing even more money into the dog- and pet-focused space. As you’ll surely recall, this is not the first time that a tectonic sum has been disbursed into the pet-care vertical. Hell, Rover’s $155 million in new capital, while impressive, still can’t touch Wag’s epic $300 million infusion that happened earlier in the cycle.

While we were on the subject, another SoftBank-back..

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Spotify is reportedly rethinking its ‘hateful conduct’ policy

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

Spotify caused a stir when it unveiled its “hateful conduct” policy earlier this month. Now, a few weeks later, it’s reportedly already rethinking the tact, after pushback from artists and inside the company itself.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the streaming service has been in discussions to reinstate at least one of the artists it singled out when it announced a policy that would pull artists from editorial-curated playlists for actions outside of music.

“We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values,” the company wrote on May 10. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

In particular, Spotify seemingly went out of its way to single out R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion. The latter had bee..

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Tesla settles with vehicle owners over delayed Autopilot updates

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

Tesla settled a class action lawsuit this week with owners of its Model S sedans and Model X SUVs who alleged the company’s semi-autonomous driver assist system was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.” As part of the deal, Tesla has agreed to partially reimburse people who bought vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot over the long delays in rolling out its promised features.

The deal, which was filed in San Jose federal court late Thursday, still has to be approved by US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman. It was being closely watched by legal and auto analysts, as it was the only class action lawsuit against Tesla over its sophisticated and controversial Autopilot system.

“essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous”
In a…

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Spotify to walk back its policy on hateful content

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

Earlier this month, Swedish streaming giant Spotify announced, to much applause, that it would be introducing a policy on “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct.” The company left the policy intentionally vague, which allowed Spotify to remove artists from its playlists at will. “When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service,” the company’s PR team wrote in a statement at the time. They added that R. Kelly — who, over the course of his career, has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct — would be among those affected. Today, following a backlash from artists and label executives, Bloomberg reports that Spotify has…

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Major US news websites are going down in Europe as GDPR goes into effect

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

The European Union’s new GDPR privacy rules came into effect today, but it seems that some organizations didn’t meet the deadline to comply with the changes. A handful of websites, including those of major news providers, went down in the EU, and they posted notes to readers about the new regulations.

Most notably, Tronc, the publishing company that owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and other newspapers, has shut down its entire roster of websites for European users. When a visitor navigates to one of those sites, they’re now met with a note explaining that “our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.”

“We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options…

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Pioneer debuts three new wireless CarPlay systems

May 25, 2018 Alex 0

Pioneer is partnering with JVC Kenwood to offer three in-dash receiver models for your car that support CarPlay and Android Auto. Pioneer says that the units — the AVIC-W8400NEX, -W6400NEX, and -W4400NEX — are the first in-dash receivers to support FLAC files without the need to convert, and they’re the first that can connect wirelessly or over USB to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as reported by Engadget.

The AVIC-W8400NEX flagship has a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, while the AVIC-W6400NEX has a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, and the AVH-W4400NEX has a 7-inch display with resistive touch capabilities. The receivers support both Google Assistant and Siri and can operate wirelessly via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or wired through a…

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