FIFA has reportedly decided to end its licensing contract with EA Sports, according to the New York Times. The outlet reported that negotiations reached a stoppage after the soccer company requested that the gamer double its licensing fee of $150 million USD per year to $1 billion USD every four years. Additionally, EA has registered a trademark for “EA Sports F.C.,” which will seemingly take the place of its FIFA partnership should the contract be terminated.
Instagram announced it is currently testing a new tool that will make it easier for creators to connect with sponsors. Previewed at its Creator Week event earlier this year, affiliate shops and dedicated “partnership” inboxes are currently being trialed, in a bid to help creators monetize their content.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he will launch his own social media platform, TRUTH Social, according to a press release by Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG). Trump’s new social network is set to launch a beta version in November, which will be available to invited guests only. Its national rollout is expected in the first quarter of 2022, the press release said.
According to reports, Beats is now gearing up to launch a new in-ear audio option. Leaked via internal iOS 15.1 RC files, the “Beats Fit Pro” earbuds are said to be performance focussed earphones in line with the qualities and features found in the Beats Studio Buds released earlier this year.
Facebook is preparing for a rebrand to better reflect its focus on developing the metaverse, The Verge reported on Tuesday. According to The Verge, CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to reveal the name change at the company’s upcoming Connect conference on October 28. The changes would also likely reflect the Facebook app’s place among the company’s wider tech ecosystem, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.
During Apple‘s Unleashed event on Monday, the tech giant officially unveiled its third generation of AirPods. The latest update arrives with an all-new design, equipped with a new low distortion driver that delivers powerful bass and clear high frequencies. The listening device supports spatial audio, which provides a three-dimensional immersive listening experience for both surround-sound music and videos. By combining the power of the H1 chip with a new acoustic system, the new AirPods utilize computational audio to produce high-quality sound with Adaptive EQ.
Apple on Monday unveiled a completely redesigned MacBook Pro lineup alongside two new chip options at its Unleashed event in Cupertino, California. The new MacBook Pro comes in 14-inch or 16-inch models and can be further customized with either the new M1 Pro or M1 Max chip. The computer’s hardware has been updated to include a Liquid Retina XDR display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, better audio systems, and a broader range of ports including three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and an improved headphone jack for better connectivity.
Apple has now extended its free repair service for the AirPods Pro from two years to three. The repair program was first introduced a year after the earbuds were originally released in 2019, just as its warranty expired, and offered free repairs or replacements for those experiencing issues with either static or the Active Noise Cancellation feature. More specifically, Apple says that you’ll be eligible if you experience “crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone” or “Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise.”
Apple is reportedly looking into ways to expand the health features on AirPods, including offering body temperature readings and hearing checks. People familiar with the plans told The Wall Street Journal that the proposed features aren’t expected by next year or may never be rolled out to consumers. Documents reviewed by the WSJ show that Apple is already developing AirPods prototypes that can take a user’s temperature from inside the ear, similar to a thermometer.
With the relaxation of national lockdown levels many South African holiday seekers will be hitting the road for the festive season. Jaguar Land Rover is offering some appetizing deals for drivers of its vehicles ahead of any planned road trips. Any Jaguar or Land Rover driver in South Africa is welcome to schedule complimentary vehicle safety checks and premium valet services at any dealer nationwide. This service is available for all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, whether they are within their valid Care Plan and warranty periods or not. Customers can contact any dealer at their convenience to schedule their free safety checks between 11 October and 31 December 2021.
Apple will host an event, titled Unleashed, at its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California on October 18. Little is known about the event beyond the space-themed invite showing the Apple logo traveling at hyperspeed. Given that Apple has already introduced the new iPhone 13 lineup, Watch Series 7, iPad mini and iPad, iMac, Airtags, and Apple TV 4K at events earlier this year, updates to the MacBook lineup and AirPods are anticipated. The event will stream live on Apple.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
Instagram is set to introduce a new feature that will encourage teenagers to take a break from the social media platform. Nick Clegg, Facebook VP of global affairs, stated during CNN’s State of the Union, “We’re going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that a teenagers is looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well being, we will nudge them to look at other content.” He added that the new measure will be “called ‘take a break,’ where we will be prompting teens to just simply take a break from using Instagram.”
Elon Musk‘s SpaceX is now reportedly worth $100 billion USD, making it the second-most valuable privately held company. Musk’s aerospace company has surpassed the $100 billion USD mark due to a sale of existing stock, according to CNBC. The agreement made between new and existing investors allowed SpaceX to sell up to $755 million USD in stock from insiders priced at $560 USD a share, which increased the company’s value to $100.3 billion USD. The new value is solely based on the secondary sale of existing shares and entails no new capital.
Facebook has given users some insight into the global outage. On October 4, Facebook, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp, temporarily shuttered around the world, marking the platform’s biggest outage since 2008. Now, Facebook has shared a bit more information about the shutdown in a post on its engineering blog.
Mark Zuckerberg appears to have lost over $6 billion USD on Monday, according to Bloomberg‘s Billionaire Index, after Facebook experienced a global outage that also took out Instagram and WhatsApp for several hours. According to Bloomberg, the company’s stock fell by nearly 5% on Monday after a massive selloff, pushing Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $121.6 billion USD. According to the Index, this puts Zuckerberg below Microsoft‘s Bill Gates, LVMH‘s Bernard Arnault, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Tesla‘s Elon Musk.
Netflix has announced the acquisition of its first video game studio, as the streaming giant bids to expand its entertainment empire with a push into the lucrative gaming sector. Netflix said that the acquisition of Night School Studio, which is best known for its supernatural mystery graphic adventure game Oxenfree, is in line with the "storytelling" mantra that has defined the streaming service's strategy. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.
TikTok has reached over 1 billion monthly active users according to a recent announcement from the social platform. Officially launched in August 2018, the app has seen astronomical growth in recent years, so much so that the number of active users has increased by 45% since July 2020, when it had a reported 689 million users.
Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to address concerns that have been raised about the vulnerability of younger users. The announcement follows an investigative series by The Wall Street Journal which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety. Yet the development of Instagram for a younger audience was met with broader opposition almost immediately.
Apple announced on Tuesday that it will soon be bringing COVID-19 vaccination cards to the Apple Wallet. The tech company rolled out a number of new features with its iOS 15 update, including upgrades to the Wallet app that will soon allow it to support driver’s licenses and digital keys. iOS 15 will also allow users to download and store verifiable health records, including COVID-19 vaccinations and test results, in the Health app, and users can choose to share this information with third parties that may require proof of vaccination, including airlines, event venues and other businesses.
Netflix has officially launched its first-of-its-kind free streaming plan in Kenya. According to reports, the tier offers approximately one-fourth of the titles available for paid subscribers and is currently only available on Android phones. Unlike the paid tiers, however, subscribers do not have the option to download titles or cast the app on TVs.