Remember the weather app which Apple bought earlier this year? As of August 1, the app is no longer available for Android users. Apple acquired the popular weather app Dark Sky and confirmed it will shut down the Android and Wear OS apps in July. Later on, they decided to postpone the deadline to August 1, and now Android users will see it inactive.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Meanwhile, Dark Sky, through its post here, said the service for existing users and subscribers will continue until August 1, at which point the app will be shut down. Subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.
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Apple keeps Dark Sky exclusively for iOS
“Our API service for existing customers is not changing today, but we will no longer accept new signups. The API will continue to function through the end of 2021,” Adam Grossman, co-founder, Dark Sky had said. Dark Sky’s Android app has been downloaded more than a million times. While Google offers its own built-in weather system, the third-party app was popular with Android users for its extensive set of features.
Now, we expect Apple to integrate Dark Sky into iOS, which they always do when buying a technology company. Earlier this year, Apple reportedly acquired a startup called Mobeewave. This company is known to convert iPhone into card payment terminals.
Hulu will stream Black-ish episode Disney controversially shelved in 2018
In November 2017, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote an episode of his Emmy-award winning ABC comedy titled “Please, Baby, Please” that tackled racism in America, ranging from the Charlottesville protests to kneeling in the NFL. Just a week before it was set to air in 2018, Disney shelved it. Now, the episode will finally see the light of day on Disney’s general entertainment streaming service, Hulu.
“We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future,” Barris wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. ‘Please, Baby, Please’ didn’t make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly…until now.”
The episode is available to stream on Hulu right now, but it’s unclear if Disney has plans to air the episode on ABC. The network could use new programming, and there is interest in the Black-ish episode following the company’s controversial decision to shelve it. Originally, the network’s primary concerns were “related to comments that characters made about President Donald Trump, not to the football storyline,” according to Variety. The episode arrives in wake of mass protests around the world fighting racism and injustice.
“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together,” Barris wrote in his statement.
The episode focuses on Anthony Anderson’s Dre telling his son Devante a story about the first year of mankind on Earth, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Combining allegorical storytelling and very real news clips, including kneeling NFL players and protesters, allows Barris and his team to address the anxiety much of the country faced on year into Trump’s presidency, the creator told THR back in 2018.
Both Disney executives and Barris’ team were on board with the episode — a high profile production that cost more than $3 million and had talent like Spike Lee attached. Then, a week before the episode were set to air, executives all the way up to then-CEO Bob Iger reportedly expressed concerns over alienating audiences, with Iger speaking to Barris about the “political sensitivities of being a broadcast network in 2018.”
Also worth noting: Disney was in the middle of trying to acquire 21st Century Fox. Angering a Republican-led Department of Justice while trying to make a deal is something Disney executives apparently wanted to avoid, according to THR.
The network suggested Barris and his team make edits to the episode, but “it wasn’t as easy as a nip here or a tuck there, and the sheer tonnage of anti-Trump material rippling through the episode ultimately made the exercise futile,” according to the Reporter. Instead, both sides scrapped it. Barris would go on to leave the ABC family and sign an overall deal with Netflix worth $100 million.
Now, the episode will live on Hulu for the time being. Disney’s general entertainment streaming service surpassed 35 million subscribers in June.
Tim Cook is now a billionaire, but not the Jeff Bezos kind
A new analysis by Bloomberg finds that the net worth of Apple CEO Tim Cook has passed the $1 billion mark, officially making him a billionaire. It’s certainly an impressive number, but assuming it’s just over $1 billion, he’s got a long way to go before he catches up to the other CEOs on the Bloomberg Billionaires list. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, tops the list at $187 billion, followed by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates at $121 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at $102 billion. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is only No. 10 on the list, but even he is well ahead of Cook at $68.7 billion.
Yes, these are obscene amounts of money, and it’s difficult to comprehend how wealthy Bezos is (especially during a pandemic with a 10 percent unemployment rate and evaporating economic relief). Who cares? It’s a bunch of rich guys getting richer, right? Well, these are the guys — and the list is overwhelmingly men; the first woman on the list is Alice Walton at No. 16, with $57.1 billion — who run the world’s most valuable companies and influence our lives in myriad ways. As reporter Kashmir Hill has documented, it’s nearly impossible to completely extricate oneself from the economy that Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple have built.
Cook is a bit of an unusual case among the three comma club, though, because he didn’t found Apple, and it’s rare for any non-founder CEO to become a billionaire. But Cook arguably built Apple into the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, beating out Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company just this July. Cook worked his way up through the company and rebuilt its supply chain using “just-in-time” manufacturing principles, like reducing inventory, after Steve Jobs hired him away from Compaq to be Apple’s COO. By most accounts, Cook has taken a more measured, cautious approach than his predecessor, but Apple’s revenue and profit have both more than doubled since he became CEO.
How that legacy of Apple-building will hold up over time isn’t clear; at the moment, Apple and other companies with big manufacturing operations and customer bases in China are trying to determine how President Trump’s ban on some Chinese companies will affect them. But Apple is rolling right along for the time being; its recent third quarter earnings showed it’s thriving amid the pandemic that has gutted many other companies. In its third quarter, Apple had $59.7 billion in revenue, an 11 percent bump from a year ago. And it’s approaching a market cap of $2 trillion.
Uber and Lyft ordered by California judge to classify drivers as employees
A California judge ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees in a stunning preliminary injunction issued Monday afternoon. The injunction is stayed for 10 days, however, giving Uber and Lyft an opportunity to appeal the decision. Uber said it planned to file an immediate emergency appeal to block the ruling from going into effect.
Uber and Lyft are under increasing pressure to fundamentally alter their business models in California, the state where both companies were founded and ultimately prospered. At issue is the classification of ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft say drivers prefer the flexibility of working as freelancers, while labor unions and elected officials contend this deprives them of traditional benefits like health insurance and workers’ compensation.
In May, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, sued the companies, arguing that their drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they should be employees under the state’s AB5 law that went into effect on January 1st. Becerra later filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that could compel the ride-hailing companies to classify drivers as employees immediately. AB5, which was signed into law last September, enshrines the so-called “ABC test” to determine if someone is a contractor or an employee.
“It’s this simple,” California Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman wrote in his ruling, “Defendants’ drivers do not perform work that is ‘outside the usual course’ of their business. Defendants’ insistence that their businesses are ‘multi-sided platforms’ rather than transportation companies is flatly inconsistent with the statutory provisions that govern their businesses as transportation network companies, which are defined as companies that ‘engage in the transportation of persons by motor vehicle for compensation.’”
He added, “It also flies in the face of economic reality and common sense.”
Drivers’ groups hailed the ruling as forward progress in their fight to upend Uber and Lyft.
“Today’s ruling affirms what California drivers have long known to be true: workers like me have rights and Uber and Lyft must respect those rights,” Mike Robinson, a Lyft driver and member of the Mobile Workers Alliance, a group of Southern California drivers, said in a statement.
But Uber maintains this ruling will result in fewer jobs during a global pandemic that is putting strain on the state’s economic conditions.
“The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law,” an Uber spokesperson said. “When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression.”
A Lyft spokesperson agreed. “Drivers do not want to be employees, full stop,” the spokesperson said. “We’ll immediately appeal this ruling and continue to fight for their independence. Ultimately, we believe this issue will be decided by California voters and that they will side with drivers.”
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