Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook hasn’t felt ‘any meaningful impact’ in its usage or business in the wake of its privacy scandal

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Translation: Facebook will be fine.

People are really unhappy with Facebook and revelations that the company hasn’t been protecting user data the way it should. People just are’t unhappy enough to actually leave Facebook. At least that’s what CEO Mark Zuckerberg says.

During a conference call with reporters today, when Recode asked Zuckerberg if the backlash from the Cambridge Analytica fallout — including a #DeleteFacebook hashtag that has circulated online over the last few weeks — had hurt Facebook’s business or usage at all, he seemed to downplay concerns of a material shift.

“I don’t think there’s been any meaningful impact that we’ve observed,” he said. “But, look, it’s not good … It still speaks to people feeling like this was a massive breach of trust and that we have a lot of work to do to repair that.”

The idea that Facebook can go through this kind of backlash without a notable dent to its business is a testament to how big the service has become, and how consumers may not actually be as angry with the company around its privacy policies as it appears on the surface.

Still, investors have been concerned. Facebook stock is down more than 15 percent since the Cambridge Analytica drama came to light almost three weeks ago. The company is scheduled to report its first-quarter financial results on April 25.

Recode – All

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Report: The iPhone X hasn’t spurred an iPhone ‘supercycle’ after all

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iPhone X 2018

Ahead of the iPhone X launch, many analysts and tech observers were of the mind that Apple’s next-gen iPhone would usher in supercycle of iPhone upgrades. And with good reason, the iPhone X marked the first major redesign to the iPhone form factor since the iPhone 6 release back in 2014. The reality, though, is that the iPhone X hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype, at least from a sales perspective.

Though Tim Cook recently mentioned that the iPhone X has been the company’s most popular iPhone model since its release last November, cumulative sales have reportedly been a tad below expectations. With this in mind, Goldman Sachs recently cut its estimate for overall iPhone sales during the current March quarter and the upcoming June quarter.

As detailed by CNBC, analysts at Goldman Sachs now anticipate that iPhone sales during the March quarter will check in at 53 million units. For the upcoming June quarter, Goldman Sachs is projecting iPhone sales to fall somewhere in the range of 40 million. As a point of reference, iPhone sales during the March 2017 quarter checked in at 50.7 million units while iPhone sales during the June 2017 quarter checked in at 41 million units.

The Wall Street analysts said that it has reduced its iPhone shipment forecast by 2.5 percent to 217.3 million units for Apple’s fiscal year which ends on September 30, 2018. It also cut its iPhone shipment expectations for fiscal 2019 and 2020 by 4 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.

The investment bank also revised downwards the rate at which it expects people to replace their devices, even in China. Despite declining replacement rates, Goldman said the number of people with iPhones will continue to grow and currently stands at 631 million units.

As to why the iPhone X hasn’t been selling as well as some were anticipating, a recent survey revealed that many prospective buyers found the $ 999 price tag a bit too high. On a related note, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani believes that Apple will adjust its pricing accordingly when it reveals its next-gen iPhone lineup later this year. Specifically, Daryanani anticipates that a second-gen iPhone X may retail for $ 899 while the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone with an edgeless LCD display will be priced in the $ 699 range.

Apple – BGR

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Quick Takes: Fitbit Executive Says He Hasn’t Met Anyone Passionate About Owning an Apple Watch

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Thursday, March 15

1. Fitbit’s financial chief knocks the Apple Watch: “I have yet to meet anyone who owns an Apple Watch who’s passionate about the product,” said Fitbit’s chief financial officer Bill Zerella. “If you don’t have an Apple phone, you’re not buying an Apple Watch… 80% of the world is Android, not Apple.”

Apple Watch Series 3 and Fitbit’s new Versa smartwatch

Commentary: Not only is the Apple Watch the world’s most popular smartwatch, but it’s the best-selling wearable, ahead of Fitbit. Apple Watch also has a customer satisfaction rate well above 90 percent.

2. iHeartMedia has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection: The company operates Apple Music rival iHeartRadio, which provides free streaming of thousands of live radio stations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The move will allow the company to restructure more than $20 billion in debt.

Commentary: iHeartMedia’s day-to-day operations of its businesses are not expected to be dramatically affected, according to reports, so iHeartRadio should remain available for at least the foreseeable future.

3. What the HomePod should become: MacStories‘ Ryan Christoffel argues that the HomePod isn’t a bad product today, but could evolve into a great one by becoming a true hub for all Apple-centric needs.

If Siri knew all things about your Apple devices and services, and could interact with them all, then HomePod would be the perfect vehicle to tap into that power. You could ask Siri on the HomePod to:

– Check your iPhone’s battery charge.
– Play an audiobook.
– Add a show to your Up Next queue.
– Download a specific app to your iPhone.
– Pause or resume Apple TV playback.
– List upcoming birthdays for your contacts.
– Provide a delivery status on your Apple Store order.
– Put all your devices in Do Not Disturb mode.
– Play a specific movie or show on the Apple TV.
– Or on the bedroom TV, or the iPad, or iPhone.
– Locate your iPhone or iPad.
– Each device could play a ding if it’s nearby, and if not, HomePod could offer to load a map on your nearest device.
– Make a phone call.
– Switch your AirPods to the Apple TV.
– Set an Apple Store support appointment.
– Open an app on a certain device.
– Put a screensaver on the TV.

None of these things can currently be done by HomePod, but I think they would all be reasonable to expect from an upgraded Siri. None of these would infringe on the company’s user privacy stance, because the data at play in these requests is already available to Apple.

Commentary: While the HomePod has received rave reviews about how it sounds, the consensus is that the speaker isn’t as smart as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. Being able to complete these tasks would be a huge step forward.

4. Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus responds to claim that Siri was a “disaster” when it first launched on iPhone 4s: “This statement, wholly false, was made by the architect and head of the biggest launch disaster in Apple history, Apple Maps. In reality Siri worked great at launch but, like any new platform under unexpectedly massive load, required scaling adjustments and 24 hour workdays.”

Commentary: “After launch, Siri was a disaster,” said former Apple executive Richard Williamson, who was reportedly fired in 2012 following the botched launch of Apple Maps. “It was slow, when it worked at all. The software was riddled with serious bugs. Those problems lie entirely with the original Siri team, certainly not me.”

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

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Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power

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Two Congressional acts focused on nuclear power seem poised to land on the president’s desk sometime soon, potentially jump-starting an industry that has of late struggled in the United States and around the world.

The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), which passed in the Senate on March 7, will provide private companies the license to work with national laboratories on new nuclear reactor designs. Because a similar bill has already passed in the House, MIT Technology Review estimates it won’t be long before this bill moves to the White House.

“NEICA will help the U.S. get the most out of our world-class R&D infrastructure and our talented pool of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Josh Freed, Vice President of the Clean Energy Program at think Tank Third Way, in a statement. “We need the private and public sectors working together if we are to bring these important low-carbon technologies to market. This bill will move us a big step closer.”

During the same week, the Senate energy committee also passed Advanced Nuclear Energy Technologies Act, which directs the Secretary of Energy to coordinate at least four demonstration projects for advanced nuclear reactors over the next decade. This bill still needs to pass the full Senate.

Before the bills are fully implemented, they both must be approved by the House and signed by the president. Yet if they are, the U.S. could take a very different direction in clean energy policy than the rest of the world.

In the aftermath of nuclear accidents like that at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011, nuclear power has continued to fall in favor. According to the Energy Information Association, the U.S. currently has 61 nuclear power plants in operation, though plants are closing up shop all over the country.

These Are The Worst Nuclear Disasters in History (Infographic)
Click to View Full Infographic

Nuclear has become wildly unpopular in Japan over the last seven years, despite previous plans for the country to lean heavily on nuclear to reduce its emissions. In Europe, Vox reports that Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland are all shuttering their facilities; however, Sweden has found it difficult to do the same in the face of difficulties meeting their energy needs with wind and solar power.

Indeed, though there are still huge questions remaining about the high costs and safety risks of nuclear energy, the fact remains that nuclear is one of the few proven emissions-free sources of power that run rain or shine, wind or no wind. Bills like NEICA could be invaluable in compelling research on how to use nuclear power more safely, exploring smaller plants and technology like molten salt reactors that run on alternatives to uranium.

In the face of global climate change, there’s no question that clean energy is the future. While solar and wind power are growing fast, it may behoove us to revisit all of our options.

The post Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power appeared first on Futurism.


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Apple reportedly still hasn’t given up on its 100% fullscreen iPhone dream

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A new report out of Korea suggests that Apple’s next iPhone X update will feature a smaller TrueDepth camera resulting in a smaller notch, too, with 2019 models potentially removing the notch entirely…. Read the rest of this post here

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Nintendo says Switch play time data hasn’t been deleted

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Last week, Switch users began to notice that their activity log data had reset and play time from before March 3rd had been deleted. A number of Redditors reported the loss of play time data while a few of us here at Engadget noticed the reset as wel…
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ESA hasn’t received an invite to discuss video games with Trump

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Yesterday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that President Trump was planning to meet with "members of the video game industry" to discuss violence in video games and how it might play into the spat of school violence that has plague…
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Opinion: Nokia hasn’t been healthy for Withings, Apple should consider HealthKit hardware

Nokia’s ownership of Withings has been incredibly messy. After buying Withings in mid-2016, Nokia sued Apple over unrelated patents which resulted in Withings digital health products being pulled from the Apple Store.

While that dispute has since been resolved, Nokia now says it is reviewing its digital health business altogether. The result could be positive or negative for Withings customers depending on where ownership lands.

As a Withings customer myself, my hope is that Apple buys the digital health product business from Nokia — if only to do the bare minimum to maintain hardware that works with Apple HealthKit.