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Netflix to End Support for Older Apple TV Models, Requires Upgrade for Continued Service

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Netflix to End Support for Older Apple TV Models

Netflix has announced that it will cease support for older Apple TV models, specifically the second and third generations, effective July 31. This move will require users who own these older devices to upgrade if they wish to continue enjoying Netflix content through their Apple TV boxes.

The streaming giant is making this change to ensure subscribers receive the best possible viewing experience, which is becoming increasingly difficult with the dated hardware of these older models. Both models launched over a decade ago, cannot support newer video codecs that improve streaming quality and efficiency.

This phase-out is a common trend in the tech industry as companies aim to optimize their services on more modern and capable devices. However, it also raises concerns about electronic waste, as discontinuing support for older devices can accelerate their journey to becoming obsolete and potentially ending up in landfills.

For those affected by this update, there’s a silver lining. The latest Apple TV 4K model, which offers significantly enhanced performance and supports the latest codecs, is currently on sale. The 64GB model is available at a reduced price of $90, down from its regular price of $130. This deal presents an opportune moment for users to upgrade to a more future-proof version of Apple TV.

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Report Says Apple Secures Partnership with OpenAI for AI Integration in Its Products

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Apple Secures Partnership with OpenAI

In a significant technological collaboration, Apple has finalized a partnership with OpenAI to integrate advanced artificial intelligence into its products, according to a report from The Information. This strategic alliance aims to leverage OpenAI’s cutting-edge generative AI technology, potentially transforming the functionality and capabilities of Apple’s software ecosystem.

The deal, confirmed through discussions with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, marks a pivotal development for both companies. It could potentially generate billions of dollars for OpenAI if successfully implemented. This partnership has not gone without contention; notable figures like Apple’s head of machine learning, John Giannandrea, have expressed skepticism towards incorporating significant language model-driven AI, like chatbots, into Apple’s offerings. Additionally, concerns have been raised by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella regarding the implications of this deal on OpenAI’s existing commitments to Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI for technology integration across its products.

Despite initial resistance, using OpenAI’s AI could extend beyond chatbot functions. Apple has explored various applications, such as enhancing Siri’s capabilities to handle queries outside its standard operational scope using OpenAI’s technology. Notably, Apple intends to maintain transparency in its use of third-party AI technologies, ensuring users know when answers are derived from external sources like OpenAI.

The collaboration also highlights the ongoing negotiations between Apple and other tech giants like Google, suggesting that Apple may offer users a choice of AI providers, similar to how it allows selection between different search engines or default browsers.

This partnership not only bolsters Sam Altman’s standing within OpenAI following previous challenges to his leadership but also signals potential structural changes within OpenAI. OpenAI operates under a unique model with a for-profit arm tied to a nonprofit organization. Discussions are underway to restructure OpenAI into a traditional for-profit entity or a benefit corporation (B-Corp), allowing it to pursue broader goals beyond mere profit generation.

As Apple gears up for its Worldwide Developers Conference, where AI is expected to be a central theme, this partnership could be crucial in defining the future trajectory of AI integration within consumer technology.

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Sony Unveils 2024 Bravia TV Lineup with Enhanced Features and Simplified Naming

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Sony Unveils 2024 Bravia TV Lineup

Sony has launched its 2024 collection of Bravia TVs, introducing enhanced technological features and a simplified naming strategy to ease customer experience. The new lineup includes several models, ranging from basic 4K LED TVs to advanced mini LED and OLED options, each tailored to different viewing preferences and budgets.

The entry-level Bravia 3, starting at $600, offers a standard 4K LED display with dynamic HDR and upscaling technology, capable of a 60Hz refresh rate. Available in sizes from 43 to 85 inches, this model is designed to consume 8% less power than its predecessor, making it an eco-friendlier choice for the cost-conscious consumer.

Progressing to the higher end, the Bravia 7, priced between $1,900 and $3,500, steps up with mini LED technology and an impressive 790% increase in dimming zones over last year’s model. This enhancement sharpens the contrast and precision of the display, supported by Sony’s Backlight Master Drive local dimming algorithm. The Bravia 7 also introduces a specific calibration mode optimized for Prime Video content, reflecting the growing trend of TVs tailored to streaming platforms.

For those preferring the pinnacle of color and contrast, the Bravia 8 offers Sony’s latest OLED technology, ensuring the deepest blacks and vibrant colors. This model is significantly slimmer than its predecessors, boasting a 31% reduction in thickness, which complements its sleek, minimal bezel design. The OLED lineup is available from $2,000 for the 55-inch model to $3,900 for the 75-inch version.

The flagship Bravia 9, ranging from $3,300 to $5,500, builds on the Bravia 7’s features with even greater enhancements. It claims a 50% increase in brightness and a 325% boost in dimming zones compared to last year’s X95L model, aiming to replicate the quality of a mastering monitor. Additionally, it incorporates new beam tweeters for superior audio and offers a 20% reduction in energy use.

With these updates, Sony aims to cater to a broad audience also sets a new standard in the television industry, offering a range of products that promise to enhance any home entertainment system.

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TikTok Introduces TikTok Notes, a Photo-Sharing App Experiment in Australia and Canada

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TikTok Introduces TikTok Notes

TikTok is venturing into new territory with the introduction of TikTok Notes, a photo-sharing application that mirrors the traditional Instagram experience. Currently, in a trial phase in Australia and Canada, this new platform represents TikTok’s broader strategy to diversify its offerings and secure its user base against potential regulatory challenges in the United States.

“TikTok Notes is designed as a dedicated space for photo and text content, enriching the ways our community shares and connects,” TikTok announced on the social media platform X. The app encourages users to document life’s moments, from daily snapshots to creative expressions, in a format that emphasizes photo content over video.

The layout of TikTok Notes will be familiar to social media enthusiasts, featuring a dual-feed system similar to TikTok’s structure. Users will navigate through a “For You” feed for recommended content and a “Following” feed to keep up with users they are interested in. The posts, comprising single images or photo carousels accompanied by detailed captions, are reminiscent of the early days of Instagram before its shift towards video-centric content.

This development comes amid persistent rumors and hints found within TikTok’s code by reverse engineering experts. The move to launch a photo-centric app could be seen as a strategic hedge against the potential legal and regulatory battles TikTok faces in the U.S., offering a fallback that could help retain its audience should complications arise with its main platform.

Moreover, the timing of TikTok Notes’ introduction could not be more poignant. Many Instagram users have expressed dissatisfaction with recent changes to their platform’s reach and visibility. Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, has been active in addressing these concerns but has yet to quell the growing discontent among creators. This new app from TikTok might just offer those disaffected Instagram users a new home for their photo content, leveraging the current climate of frustration to draw users to its burgeoning service.

As TikTok continues to innovate and expand its ecosystem, TikTok Notes represents just the latest in its creative outreach efforts. While currently limited to Australia and Canada, the global TikTok community is keenly watching for signs of a broader rollout, particularly in markets like the United States, where the app’s future remains uncertain amidst ongoing debates over digital security and platform governance.

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