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Execs from four tech giants were called before the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday. The Senate questioned Meta, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter on safety, privacy, misinformation, and more.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was also seen in the building, but he did not appear before the committee …

Congress managed to drag in a relatively fresh set of product-focused executives this time around, including TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, who testified for the first time before lawmakers, and longtime Meta executive Chris Cox. The hearing was convened to explore social media’s impact on national security broadly and touched on topics ranging from domestic extremism and misinformation to CSAM and China.

Committee Chair Sen. Gary Peters pressed each company to disclose the number of employees they have working full-time on trust and safety and each company in turn refused to answer — even though they received the question prior to the hearing. Twitter General Manager of Consumer and Revenue Jay Sullivan chipped in the only numerical response, noting that the company has 2,200 people working on trust and safety “across Twitter,” though it wasn’t clear if those employees also did other kinds of work […]

Though the executives pointed to the total number of workers who touch trust and safety, none made the meaningful distinction between external contract content moderators and employees working full-time on those issues.

One key concern was that moderation efforts are even worse when it comes to languages other than English.

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) steered the content moderation conversation in another important direction, questioning Meta Chief Product Officer Chris Cox about the safety efforts outside of the English language.

“[In] your testimony you state that you have over 40,000 people working on trust and safety issues. How many of those people focus on non English language content and how many of them focus on non U.S. users?” Padilla asked.

Cox didn’t provide an answer, nor did the three other companies when asked the same question.

TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas was particularly evasive when it came to the question of the company’s links to the Chinese government.

 Pappas immediately fell into step with her peers, evading straightforward questions, offering partial answers and even refusing at one point to admit TikTok’s well-documented connections to China. When Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) pressed Pappas on where TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance is based, she dodged the question awkwardly by claiming the company is distributed and doesn’t have a headquarters at all […]

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) also drilled into TikTok’s relationship with the Chinese government. “Are there members of the Chinese Communist Party employed by TikTok or ByteDance, or no?” Hawley asked.

Pappas avoided answering directly but eventually landed on the answer that no one making “strategic decisions” at the company has ties to the Chinese government.

It’s clear that the companies believe that they are free to pick and choose the questions they answer, even on issues impacting on election interference and national security.

Apple CEO Tim Cook did not appear before the committee but, interestingly, was seen in the building on the day of the hearings.

Photo: Andy Feliciotti/Unsplash

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Cook did get drawn on Facebook, dismissing Facebook’s aggressive stance against Apple’s approach to privacy and tracking. 

Cook said he was “shocked that there’s been a pushback to this degree” from Facebook, said he was “appalled” by silent data hoovering by online companies, and with Swisher pushing on some angles, Cook eventually said “Yeah, Kara, I’m not focused on Facebook.” 

Aside from that, ground was covered on two other spaces.

On AR:

Here’s the transcript of this interesting part, a quite revealing quote:

Tim Cook: Well, I can’t talk about anything that may or may not be in the pipeline. But in terms of AR, the promise of AR is that you and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear. And your audience would also benefit from this, too, I think. And so when I think about that in different fields, whether it’s health, whether it’s education, whether it’s gaming, whether it’s retail, I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future.

Swisher: But it’s a critically important part of Apple’s future?

Cook: It is.

On cars:

Ok some interesting hints here — once again let’s go with the transcript here because there’s good back and forth, and each sentence here tells us something:

Kara Swisher: Mm-hmm. Last question on innovation, self-driving cars. One of the companies you acquired is Drive AI, a self-driving startup. Apple is testing autonomous vehicles. It was, reportedly. Last year, Elon Musk said he offered to sell Tesla to Apple for 1/10 its value. And he said you wouldn’t even take a meeting with him.

Tim Cook: You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built. I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead, but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space. So I have great appreciation for them. In terms of the work that we’re doing there, obviously, I’m going to be a little coy on that. The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does. We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I’m not saying that one will not.

Swisher: Would it be in the form of a car or the technology within a car?

Cook: Yeah, I’m not going to answer that question.

Swisher: I think it has to be a car. You can’t just do the tech — you’re not going to let — you’re not Google.

Cook: We love to integrate hardware, software, and services, and find the intersection points of those because we think that’s where the magic occurs. And so that’s what we love to do. And we love to own the primary technology that’s around that.


Cook stepping up to a podcast probably isn’t exactly his favorite thing to do in a week, so exploring the reasons he would do it are interesting. 

Certainly, the podcast dives into the Facebook issue a lot, along with the App Store and Epic case as well, and Cook felt the need to be on the front-foot with it again telling us how we should think about the issue.

And as for the Apple Car, there are hints. 

There’s nothing unusual about Cook declining to detail plans for Apple’s automotive play, but the hints there are pretty strongly towards a whole car, not just software. Hardware, software, and services together plays into Apple’s own ecosystem ambitions.

And the quote around autonomy in regards to Tesla being a “core technology” reveals a lot, too.


⚰️ RIP LG: Remembering the six best LG phones ever made(Android Authority).

🕹 Lenovo Legion 2 Pro’s new cooling system leaks in latest live shots. Pretty weird, but gaming phones are allowed to be weird I guess? (Android Authority).

🔎 Google’s latest acquisition could lead to spatial audio for the Pixel Buds (Engadget).

🤔 A portless phone with wired charging might be on the horizon (Android Authority).

🔋 Samsung’s new India-focused Galaxy F12 packs a 90Hz display and 6,000mAh battery at a low price (Android Authority).

🍎 The long-awaited next Apple TV may support 4K 120Hz gaming, implying HDMI 2.1 support (Engadget).

📺 The major streaming services are starting to run out of shows with limited filming over the past year, and the pre-COVID cupboard looking thin: the number of originals Netflix released so far in ’21 is down 12% year-on-year (Bloomberg).

👍 Over a decade on, and millions in legal fees, Supreme Court rules 6-2 for Google over Oracle in Java API legal war — and the ruling expands fair use in APIs moving forward (The Register).

⛔ Yahoo Answers will be shut down forever on May 4th, has sadly become overrun with far-right strangeness but it was once a key part of the internet. I guess now Quora has all the good and bad questions? (The Verge).

🐧 Hipmunk’s founders launch Flight Penguin to bring back Hipmunk-style flight search: $10/m is steep, though (TechCrunch).

🎮 Someone made a giant, playable, TV-sized Nintendo Switch — and is donating it to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital (YouTube).

🌠 NASA asteroid-sampling spacecraft will go look at ‘the mess it made’ (CNET).

🚁 NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has survived its first Martian night alone (Space).

Chart Tuesday

Apple continues to grow its Apple Watch dominance in the smartwatch market, despite a host of cheap and often cheerful competitors now on the market. But it’s not cheap and cheerful that’s growing, which surprised me:

The data, via Counterpoint Research at Statista, show a market shift towards more expensive watches, “with premium vendors like Apple, Samsung and Garmin helping to shore up the high end”.

“2023’s biggest segment ($101-$200) shrank by 7% pts, while the more premium $300-plus segments grew by 8% pts”

Anecdotally, I’ve heard more than a few people picking up a device to fight the COVID 15, or the weight put on while stuck at home!

All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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Woz On Patent War Fallout, Tim Cook, Post

Steve Wozniak, who with his friend Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computer on April 1, 1976 , always has interesting things to say about his company, competition and the technology industry at large. In an interview yesterday, the outspoken gadget lover expressed concern over patent wars.

He argued that patent-related litigation often blocks off start-ups and young thinkers because big boys make sure they own it all.

He also isn’t convinced that we’ll stop using computers in the post-PC world and said it’s too early to judge Tim Cook as Steve Jobs has stamped his mark on products that are three years in the queue…

Wozniak, 61, gave an interview to The Australian Financial Review yesterday. He opined it’s too early to judge Tim Cook who was named the CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs announced his resignation on August 24, 2011.

It is hard to judge yet because Apple products still look like they did under Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has stamped his mark on products that are three years in the queue. I want to see the special touches [under Cook], not just an iteration to the iPad 3.

Although we are moving towards a very mobile world, I think there is going to be room for PCs for quite a long time still. For some work like audio or visual editing you need the complete machine and [a] larger screen. The mobile device is great for most of the things we do with our computer – but not everything.

The Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg confronted Steve Jobs with the same question at the D conference in 2010, to which Steve replied that he definitely sees tablets taking over more complex stuff, such as content creation, video editing and more.

Software and hardware evolve, Steve remarked, adding that “time takes care of a lot of this stuff”.

Speaking of patent wars, Woz reminded everyone that big companies such as Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo! were all started by new thinkers with bold new ideas who didn’t have to cope with patent lawyers as today’s start-ups do:

I care so much about the young person that has some technical knowledge and wants to start their own busines […] Now, with this big patent situation, there are certain categories that are heavily blocked off because the big companies make sure they own it all. 

Wozniak is the original architect of the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. He is currently chief scientist for storage startup Fusion-io.

Wozniak and Jobs got their first taste of patent litigation back in 1977, when they realized RCA had already patented the design which translates letters into dots that could be put on a screen. They had to license that design for use in the 1977 Apple II system:

Only a huge company with vast sums of money could have afforded to do the research when they did, because you couldn’t make an affordable product that used that technology at the time. […] We actually wound up paying them two bucks for every computer we shipped just for that simple idea… That sort of thing is going to crop up over and over – very simple ideas that the big companies with big money are going to own, and the small guy who starts up is going to have to pay.

On Apple’s total control of its destiny:

The retail process is owned by Apple, the application is owned by Apple, the operating system is owned by Apple and the hardware is Apple’s. Apple has managed to create this entire world that all the products fit in to. There is no other company in the world that has these benefits. […] For example, HP is a big, successful company with so many different departments making servers, PCs and printers, but they are stuck with an operating system that isn’t under their control. For HP to build up the entire structure that Apple has would take them so long that Apple has a huge lead on everybody

I couldn’t agree more about this patent situation stifling innovation, even if it’s easy to overlook that Apple would have never become the consumer electronics powerhouse it is today if it weren’t for their unique patented technologies and solutions that set apart their products from the legions of me-too copycats.

I just wish they get over with this Android patent war so we can all move on and talk new products and ideas instead litigation.

Perhaps that’s the very thing Tim Cook needs to make right in order to win Steve Wozniak’s approval?

Tim Cook Slams Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From Paris Climate Pact In Company

Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook was among a handful of influential executives urging President Trump to remain in the Paris climate accord. Despite pleas from Cook and others, however, President Trump today announced that the United States will withdraw from the pact, marking a blow to climate change efforts.

In wake of Trump’s announcement, Tim Cook has sent an email to Apple staff reiterating the company’s stance on climate change and slamming the president’s decision…

In the email, obtained by Axios, Cook acknowledges that he spoke with President Trump earlier this week in an attempt to persuade him to remain in the Paris climate pact, but to no avail.

I know many of you share my disappointment with the White House’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn’t enough.

Cook explains that Apple will continue its own efforts to protect the environment, as they are good for both the planet and Apple’s business. Furthermore, Cook says that Apple will continue working towards a closed-loop supply chain and to stop mining the earth altogether, an effort first announced earlier this year.

The email sends the message loud and clear that climate change is real and is a principle held dear to Apple’s core values. Tim Cook reiterates that Apple operates with the idea of leaving the world better than it was found.

Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us.

This isn’t the first time Cook has used an internal email to address a policy from the Trump Administration. Following Trump’s immigration ban earlier this year, Cook sent an email declaring the policy something Apple did not support.

The full text of the email, obtained by Axios, can be read below.


I know many of you share my disappointment with the White House’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn’t enough.

Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment. We power nearly all of our operations with renewable energy, which we believe is an example of something that’s good for our planet and makes good business sense as well.

We will keep working toward the ambitious goals of a closed-loop supply chain, and to eventually stop mining new materials altogether. Of course, we’re going to keep working with our suppliers to help them do more to power their businesses with clean energy. And we will keep challenging ourselves to do even more. Knowing the good work that we and countless others around the world are doing, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our planet’s future.

Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us.

Your work is as important today as it has ever been. Thank you for your commitment to making a difference every single day.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news!

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30 Best Trendy Tiktok Mashups On Youtube To Keep Yourself Occupied

There has been no global unifier that’s been as effective as the TikTok app. More or less away from the kind of vitriol that is spewed on Facebook, Twitter, and now even Instagram, TikTok is where we go looking for those chill 15-second videos. While it’s certainly a process that makes our eyes glaze over sometimes from the vast array of content that bombards our screen, it’s not restricted to the TikTok app alone, cue the conception of TikTok mashups.

As is to be expected, good content trickles everywhere and begins to gain traction in a way that is native to that app. This is probably why TikTok mashups have become a major thing on YouTube.

Related: Can you get Free Tiktok Likes?

The beauty of TikTok lies in its variety of genres and the limitless scope for execution with the only restriction of keeping things under fifteen seconds. So when you venture on TikTok, you get to see just about anything you’re to find with videos ranging from funny pet ones to quick Tabitha Brown recipes. Some of the major sellers on TikTok are those dance challenges that tend to go crazy viral, many of which you might even be familiar with which include crazy popular Doja Cat “So So” dance, the “Blinding Lights” challenge, “The Renegade” challenge, and more.

Related: What is the 369 manifestation method on TikTok?

What is a TikTok mashup?

While not all of the music or content that’s on TikTok becomes a challenge, there are tons that gain enough traction to become popular or recognizable. TikTok mashups are basically five to ten-minute videos of this kind of viral music and occasionally pranks or other types of content collected in a single YouTube video. The entire time of the video is split into 15-second short music clips that are used as part of TikTok for dance challenges or are simply become popular.

If you’re thinking that a clean video has anything to do with the editing then you’ve guessed incorrectly. A clean TikTok mashup actually has more to do with the nature of the content that’s present in the mashup. So whenever you see *Clean* in the video title, the video is basically approved as being safe for viewing by children and young teens.

Even on TikTok, there’s content that’s not exactly kid-friendly and potentially NSFW. From songs filled with swears to pranks that are super nasty, there is content that a parent will not approve or content for which the viewer is simply too young. Mashup videos that have content like this come with the *Not Clean* disclaimer to ensure that you are given a fair warning to steer clear of it if you’re not ready.

10 Best Clean TikTok Mashups

Whether TikTok is banned or not, at least you will be able to find engaging videos on YouTube as compilations and mashups because we can be sure that at least YouTube is not going anywhere for now. Here are the 10 best Clean TikTok Mashups:

Something that will make you laugh.

Or maybe some vicarious TikTok living through YouTube with songs from much older TikTok trends

How about one with all your favorite songs from the recent past?

Or these funny ex-vines that went on to become viral TikToks

In case you want to relive the Renegade dance challenge again.

Some really good Blinding Lights one as well…

Or something mouth-watering and delicious.

Maybe check out these super funny ones from the UK.

Old is forever gold.

And as the name suggests, iconic TikToks for viners.

10 Best Not Clean TikTok mashups

This popular trend that’s worth reminiscing.

Or some good viral music from the year that’s not ending.

Or this one that will tickle your funny bone.

This brilliant masterstroke that’s another level of artistry.

How about a try not to laugh challenge?

Or something to cure your boredom.

Or this interesting challenge or maybe..a social experiment?

Maybe this one that captures an empowering movement.

Or this one to fill the empty void within.

And finally, thirty minutes of pure Tik-Tok

10 Best TikTok mashups for August 2023

Generally great TikTok videos that you missed.

Music that’s made August lit.

And of course, Cardi’s WAP has turned into a challenge.

Of course, this list would be incomplete without some dance mashups.

And some funny ones.

We all love a good Glow Up Transformation mashup too!

Some body-positivity because we all need a reminder of being happy as we are.

This EDM one is pretty rad too.

And make-up ones that are really brilliant and we can’t get over them.

Finally, this interesting one….

There is a lot of looming worry regarding the TikTok ban and how it’s going to affect TikTokers who are dependent on the app to make a decent living. While we certainly hope that the ban is not implemented, it’s still a major reassurance for someone who purely enjoys TikTok for viewing purposes to know that access to great content is still possible on platforms like YouTube.

We hope you liked these mashups! Take care and stay safe.


Fedora 13 Beta: The Seen And (Troubling) Unseen

While Ubuntu has always emphasized usability, Fedora’s focus has been innovation. Now in current beta, Fedora 13 (codenamed Goddard) is no exception.

However, at first Fedora 13 may seem to lack many innovations unique to the distribution as opposed to its component applications. In fact, with many of the improvements and innovations either working behind the scenes or available only if you are specifically aware of them, many of Fedora 13’s enhancements risk being invisible to the average user or even administrator.

Mostly, the invisibility hardly matters, since users still benefit regardless of their awareness. But in one or two cases I suspect that what is unseen may cause some user alarm.

As with most Fedora releases, the Fedora 13 beta is available in a variety of media and spins. However, you should note that, for the beta, the live media are available only as DVD images. The download page promises that CD images will be available for the final release, although the release notes with the beta suggest that the live CD will be replaced by a live USB image instead.

Either way, considering how distributions have increasingly strained to fit on to a CD — for instance, by replacing chúng tôi with AbiWord as part of the default install, and omitting The GIMP — the signs are that the days of the Live CD are drawing to a close.

Another change in Fedora installation is a query about storage devices. According to the release notes, this query is designed for systems with multiple hard drives, exterior drives, or any of the other emerging modern options, and helps to ensure that only the drive targeted for installation is partitioned or formatted. However, why this problem suddenly needs to be addressed is uncertain, and the main result will likely be to confuse users. And telling them that, if they don’t understand the question, they probably want a particular option only gives them one more thing to worry about.

Still another option is to create filesystems using the Btrfs format, which is set up to take a snapshot of the existing system every time new packages are installed. However, this option is frankly experimental, and available only if you start the installers with the option btrfs. Otherwise, the format is unavailable during partitioning. Nor is Btrfs available in the version of GNU parted or GParted that ships with the beta, which means that resizing is impossible if you use the format.

If you are upgrading or are a strictly desktop user, you can easily overlook many of the improvements in the Fedora 13 beta. For instance, Yum, Fedora’s package installer, will automatically select the appropriate language packs when you install an application like chúng tôi Similarly, when you plugin a new printer, Fedora 13 automatically offers to install the appropriate printer driver.

This time, too, KDE, which users on the distro mailing list often complain that Fedora neglects, comes in for its share of attention. For those who want the latest in sound systems, the beta includes improvements in Pulse Audio integration for KDE. In addition, PolicyKit, Fedora’s privilege control tool now has an updated Qt interface for KDE.

Other features of the Fedora infrastructure continue to improve. Experimental 3-D Nouveau drivers are now available for NVidia, while improvements in webcam drivers and virtualization, especially for KVM and Xen continue to multiply. Probably, few users will directly notice such improvements, beyond the fact that their regular tasks have become faster, more stable or more efficient.

The stars — or, at least, the desktops — have aligned reasonably well for Fedora 13. The final release will include GNOME 3.30 and KDE 4.4, both of which are full of new features in their own right. Fedora was less lucky with Xfce, which has delayed the release of its upcoming 4.8 too long for Fedora 13 to ship with it, but is also available in spins of many other interfaces, including LXDE and Moblin.

In contrast, the new applications that are unique to Fedora rather than to the latest desktops are relatively rare. One change is the replacement of gThumb with Shotwell, a lightweight but serviceable image manager that compares favorably in ease of use with F-Spot, but falls far short of KDE’s digiKam, the premier image manager on the modern desktop.

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