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Ben Lovejoy


Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two technothriller novels , a romcom novel, and an SF novella series.

He is old enough to have owned the original Macintosh. He currently owns an M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air 11, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone 13 Pro Max (256GB), Dell Ultrawide 49-inch monitor, an Apple Watch (Series 4 WiFi) and multiple HomePods – he suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He’s known for his op-ed and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review:

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Connect with Ben Lovejoy

Apple teaching an AI system to make sense of app screens – could power advanced Siri

Ferret-UI could power advanced Siri | Concept image of Siri logo in thought bubble

An Apple research paper describes how the company has been developing Ferret-UI, a generative AI system specifically designed to be able to make sense of app screens.

The paper is somewhat vague about the potential applications of this – likely deliberately so – but the most exciting possibility would be to power a much more advanced Siri

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Jony Ive AI device could get $1B funding from Laurene Powell Jobs

Jony Ive AI device | Blue cube image

We first heard last year that former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman were working on some kind of AI hardware project. It was later reported that Tang Tan, Apple’s chief iPhone and Apple Watch designer, was also joining the project.

A report now suggests that the pair are now seeking a billion dollars in funding, and are in talks with Steve Jobs’ widow, founder and president of the Emerson Collective, Laurene Powell Jobs …

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Apple could get its wish for a federal privacy law by the end of this year

Federal privacy law could pass this year | Privacy Please sign

The need for a federal privacy law has long been clear to most, but making it actually happen has been another matter. However, a compromise could potentially see it introduced by the end of the year.

Apple has been calling for Congress to pass a GDPR-style privacy law since at least 2018, but little progress has been made since then. All that may be about to change, however …

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Spotify AI Playlist joins AI DJ, to create playlists from text prompts

Spotify AI DJ now supports text prompts

Spotify’s AI DJ feature launched more than a year ago now, but users had little control over it. A new AI Playlist feature changes that for beta uses, as you can now create playlists from ChatGPT-style text prompts.

Spotify recommends specifying a combination of genres, moods, artists, and decades – but you can also try off-the-wall things like “beats to battle a zombie apocalypse” …

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EU investigating Apple’s response to Spotify complaint [U]

Apple under 4th DMA non-compliance investigation | Apple Park campus

The European Union is investigating Apple’s response to a Spotify complaint, to determine whether the anti-steering changes made by the Cupertino company are sufficient to comply.

Update: GamesFray had suggested that this amounted to a fourth DMA non-compliance investigation into Apple, but it’s now my understanding that they have misinterpreted remarks made by a regulatory risk company …

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TikTok national security briefing | Eye looking through a hole in a wall

TikTok national security briefing may have had ‘interesting’ source

A classified TikTok national security briefing given to senators may have been in part based on claims made by a fired member of staff who is now making further … interesting claims.

The former staffer says that his firing was instigated by the US attorney general, and that the FBI and CIA shared his personal information with foreign governments …

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Apple chip production largely back on track thanks to advanced building designs

Apple chip production largely back on track | Stock image of modern buildings

Apple chip production is largely back on track following the major earthquake in Taiwan, thanks in part due to “world-class seismic mitigation measures” in TSMC’s plants.

Some plants were temporarily evacuated to ensure the safety of employees, and there was some damage – the worst of which appears to have been to the company’s most advanced plant, using the 2nm process expected to be used for the iPhone 17 Pro chips …

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An Apple Robot is less likely to happen than an Apple Car

An Apple Robot is unlikely | Figure 01 shown

With Apple now having dragged its decade-long car project to the trash can, the company is reportedly now working on another skunk-works project: an Apple Robot.

Both self-driving cars and home robots have a lot in common. They have long been a science-fiction dream, and nobody has come anywhere close to realizing that dream. But a truly useful and capable domestic robot is an even bigger challenge than an autonomous car …

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X blue checkmarks being forced on journalists who don’t want them

X blue checkmarks held in an artificial white hand

Ah, the saga of X’s blue checkmarks! Originally a sign that someone was who they claimed to be, and later sold so that cryptocurrency scammers could see their posts boosted, the company is now coming full circle with some journalists.

Elon Musk last week announced his latest policy on the now-discredited blue-and-white pixels, and some of those on the receiving end aren’t happy about it …

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Vision Pro-assisted surgery notches up another first; likely to become commonplace

Vision Pro-assisted surgery | Surgeon and x-ray of reverse shoulder replacement

We’ve already seen at least two examples of a Vision Pro headset assisting with surgery, and another first has now been notched up in Florida.

Vision Pro was used to provide “touch-free access to the surgical setup, inventory, and procedural guides from within the sterile field of the operating room” during a shoulder replacement – specifically, a reverse one …

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Installing a third-party app store takes a dozen ‘irritating and scary’ screens

Installing a third-party app store | Programmable calculator and physics notes

Installing a third-party app store is now possible for iPhone owners in the EU – but it’s not exactly a quick-and-easy process.

It seems a safe bet that this is a deliberate move on Apple’s part to deter people from doing it – something which is likely to land the company in court on antitrust charges …

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EU may require Apple to let iPhone owners delete the Photos app

EU may let us delete the Photos app

A remark by EU competition head Margrethe Vestager has suggested that Apple may be required to let iPhone owners delete the Photos app.

While this possibility hasn’t previously been raised, Vestager mentioned in a brief speech that this was one of the things Apple had failed to do in its DMA response – and it would obviously involve a massive change to the way iOS works …

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Jon Stewart interviews FTC head Lina Khan, says Apple wouldn’t let him do it

Jon Stewart interviews FTC head Linda Kahn | The Daily Show promo image

Jon Stewart interviewed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) head Lina Khan yesterday, saying that he’d wanted to do it while his show was hosted on Apple TV+, but the company wouldn’t allow it.

The revelation comes after one of the (many and varied!) complaints in the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit was that Apple was controlling content and impacting on free speech …

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Apple Pencil for Vision Pro seemingly supported by patent application

Apple Pencil for Vision Pro (existing model shown, boxed)

A recent report suggested we might be seeing some form of Apple Pencil for Vision Pro, and that idea appears to be supported by an Apple patent application published this week.

The lack of a physical surface to press against means that things like drawing and handwriting can be tougher in a virtual environment, and Apple describes a couple of interesting solutions to this …

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Apple looking to adopt what may be the next big thing in chip development: glass substrates

Intel glass substrates

A new supply-chain report suggests that Apple is seeking to be an early player in what some believe will be the next big thing in chip development: printed circuit boards (PCBs) made from glass substrates.

While that might not sound exciting, it offers the prospect of an entirely new way of mounting and packaging chips, which could offer much better thermal performance, allowing processors to run at maximum power for longer periods …

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Reddit share value rose 86%, but sales by CEO and COO saw reversal [U]

Reddit share value | Fun logo variants shown

Redditors who took advantage of their privileged access to stock ahead of the IPO have seen Reddit share value rocket from $34 to $59.80 by yesterday’s close – an 86% increase.

Update: Subsequent share sales by the company’s CEO and COO – coupled to a report describing the stock as “grossly overvalued” – saw the price fall to $49.32, below the closing price on the day of the IPO …

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Shooting spatial video? A $3 iPhone app offers better resolution than Apple’s app

Shooting spatial video (kid's birthday party shown)

If you’re shooting spatial video on your iPhone 15 Pro – and there can be good reasons for doing so, even if you don’t own a Vision Pro – then you may want to invest in a $3 iPhone app.

While Apple’s native camera app only shoots spatial video in 1080p at 30fps, Spatialify lets you record in 4K at the same frame rate …

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