‘Apple Car’ Project Lead Steve Zadesky to Leave Apple

Apple VP of Product Design Steve Zadesky, who was believed to be leading Apple’s electric vehicle development efforts since 2014, has informed colleagues that he will be leaving the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. He remains at Apple for now.

Zadesky, a former Ford engineer, joined Apple in 1999 and worked on the iPod and iPhone during his 16-year career in Cupertino. He is also named on several U.S. patents and documents related to Liquidmetal, a malleable alloy which Apple owns the exclusive rights to.

His impending departure from Apple is said to be for personal reasons, rather than an indication of his performance at the company, and marks a setback for Apple’s electric vehicle plans:

Still, the pending departure marks a setback for one of the most talked-about projects in the technology field. Apple has become the most valuable company in the world making consumer electronics products, but moving into the automotive sector poses big new challenges.

Apple has aggressively recruited engineers and other talent from Tesla, Ford, GM, Samsung, A123 Systems, Nvidia and elsewhere to work on the rumored „Apple Car“ project, which has allegedly been called „Project Titan“ internally. Just days ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even called the „Apple Car“ an „open secret.“

Last year, Apple also had discussions with a secure Bay Area testing facility for connected and autonomous vehicles, and met with the California DMV to review self-driving vehicle regulations. Further speculation arose when Apple registered a trio of auto-related domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto, earlier this month.

Apple’s electric vehicle could be approved for production by 2020, but some employees reportedly believe it „might take several more years“ for the iPhone maker to develop a truly differentiated electric vehicle. The project has encountered some challenges internally due to a lack of clear goals, according to the report.

Related Roundup: Apple Car
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‘Apple Car’ Project Lead Steve Zadesky to Leave Apple

YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

YouTube this morning provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal criticizing T-Mobile’s recently introduced Binge On program and accusing T-Mobile of throttling all video and not just the video of its Binge On partners.

Launched in November, Binge On is a T-Mobile video service that allows T-Mobile subscribers to watch video from content partners without it counting against customer data plans. The catch is that it uses a proprietary data compression algorithm to stream the video in 480p. While Binge On can be disabled, using the feature requires partner video to be watched in 480p, which T-Mobile calls „DVD quality.“

T-Mobile has 24 partners for Binge On, including Netflix, HBO, Sling TV, and more, but YouTube has not signed up to participate. Despite the fact that YouTube is not partnering with T-Mobile, the company says its video streams are still being downgraded to 480p quality, a problem YouTube would like fixed.

YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said T-Mobile is effectively throttling, or degrading, its traffic. „Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,“ a YouTube spokesman said.

The Internet Association also backed up YouTube’s claim, stating that T-Mobile’s Binge On service „appears to involve the throttling of all video traffic, across all data plans, regardless of network congestion.“

T-Mobile did not address YouTube’s complaints when questioned by The Wall Street Journal, instead giving a blanket statement about Binge On. Customers love „free streaming video that never hits their data bucket“ and „the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have.“

The United States Federal Communications Commission is looking into Binge On along with free data services from AT&T and Comcast. While there is no formal inquiry at this time, the FCC has asked the three companies to answer some questions about their free data practices. YouTube’s accusations could further spark the FCC’s interest, especially as some consumer advocates believe that programs like Binge On violate net neutrality rules.

Tags: T-Mobile, YouTube
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YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors

In a recent securities filing, Apple announced that it plans to offer „proxy access“, which allows longtime shareholders or a group of shareholders to nominate a member for its board of directors, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a securities filing, Apple said its board of directors had adopted amended bylaws Monday that allow a shareholder, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, holding 3% of its shares continuously for three years to include board nominees in the company’s annual proxy statement.

The new bylaws allow shareholders to nominate up to 20 percent of Apple’s board of directors. Since Apple has 8 directors, shareholders would be allowed to nominate one director. Proxy access is a recent push by activist investors that seek to make changes on company boards, giving shareholders greater influence on company strategy and the ability to oust directors. Other prominent companies to adopt proxy access include McDonald’s, Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola.

In March at Apple’s most recent annual meeting, a shareholder proposal that asked the Cupertino company to adopt proxy access garnered 39 percent support.
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Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors

Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge due early next year will feature a pressure-sensitive display that functions similarly to 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The next-generation Android-based smartphones will reportedly also feature high-speed USB-C ports that provide up to a full day’s charge in under 30 minutes, and improved cameras that are optimized for low-light photography.

The report claims the Galaxy S7 will look similar to the Galaxy S6, but the rear-facing camera is said to be flush with the back of the device. The handset may also feature a retina scanner for new biometric features involving a user’s eyes.

The Wall Street Journal says the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch in the U.S. in March, possibly around the time Apple introduces the so-called „iPhone 6c“ and next-generation Apple Watch. Samsung is expected to announce the new devices around the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in late February.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge would compete with the rumored „iPhone 7,“ which could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector alongside a faster A10 chip, new Intel LTE modem and possibly thinner design. Apple’s next flagship smartphones will likely be released next September.

Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge
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Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Pro Tip: Easily edit your iPhone videos with Adobe Premiere Clip

You have so much great video footage on your iPhone, but therein lies the problem. The thought of sitting down at a computer to edit any of it seems like a mountain you have no time to climb. Cielo de la Paz is happy to help you reach the summit – rather quickly, too. de […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Pro Tip: Easily edit your iPhone videos with Adobe Premiere Clip