Apple takes heat over Saudi app that tracks women

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Saudi government app
A Saudi man can use a government app to restrict the travel of his wife or daughter.
Screenshot: iTunes

A U.S. senator is asking Apple and Google to pull an app in Saudi Arabia that men use to track and restrict the movements of women.

Sen. Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google boss Sundar Pichai asking them to “immediately remove” the app Absher, from their app stores.

Google CEO has to tell Congressman who makes the iPhone

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Google hearing 2
The iPhone: not made by Google.
Photo: C-Span

This year’s Facebook congressional hearing highlighted just how little many lawmakers know about the technology which dominates our lives.

That seemingly didn’t change during yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. At one point in proceedings 69-year-old Republican Congressman Steve King expressed his disappointment to Pichai that his 7-year-old daughter had been shown a photo of her grandfather with some unflattering language on her iPhone.

“Congressman, the iPhone is made by a different company,” Pichai said.

Tim Cook takes high road after Trump’s transgender military ban

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook and Donald Trump don't agree on much.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

U.S. President Donald Trump revealed today on Twitter that he is reversing former President Barack Obama’s decision to allow transgender men and women to serve in the military. And he’s already drawing tons of fire from Silicon Valley.

Apple CEO took to Trump’s favorite social network to blast the decision saying it’s discrimination. Other tech icons are joining his side too with their voices of descent for the president’s actions.

Tim Cook spotted dining with Google CEO

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Does this mean the thermonuclear war is over?
Does this mean the thermonuclear war is over?
Photo: Amit Pradhan

Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to be open to a friendlier relationship with Google than Steve Jobs ever was. Cook got spotted dining with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at one of the top Vietnamese restaurants in Silicon Valley this week. What the two powerful tech leaders were discussing is still a mystery, though.

Here’s another angle:

The future is AI, and Google just showed Apple how it’s done

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Under CEO Sundar Pichai, Google is betting big on AI.
Under CEO Sundar Pichai, Google is betting big on AI.
Photo: Google

After decades of showing us the best ways to interact with computers, Apple is lagging on the UI of the future — voice controls powered by smart, conversational AI.

Google, on the other hand, is placing artificial intelligence, in the form of Google Assistant, at the center of its new Pixel smartphones and Google Home smart speaker.

Cupertino’s mastery of the user interface is legendary: Macs, iPods and iPhones made the GUI, the mouse, the scroll wheel and multitouch mainstream. But Apple needs to get into the AI conversation if it’s serious about securing a place in our gabby future.

Apple employees agree: Tim Cook is fabulous!

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LOVELOUD
96 percent of Apple employees approve of Tim Cook.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook’s approval rating among Apple employees continues to be one of the best for CEOs in the U.S. according to a new survey from Glassdoor.

Cook moved up two spots this year in the site’s annual Employee Choice awards, becoming the eighth-highest-rated CEO in terms of approval ratings from anonymous employees. Other notable tech CEOs included in the top 10 include Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Marc Benioff.

Here’s the full rankings:

YouTube is now showing virtual reality video

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youtube-is-now-showing-virtual-reality-video-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201511YouTube-VR-gif
You can now enjoy YouTube videos like never before. Photo: Google
You can now enjoy YouTube videos like never before. Photo: Google

It’s time to dust off that virtual reality headset that you’ve hardly used since the day it arrived, because the biggest video platform on the planet now supports VR video. Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced that YouTube has begun offering its first VR video, which can be enjoyed with Google Cardboard.

Google now a subsidiary of a new company: Alphabet

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google-now-a-subsidiary-of-a-new-company-alphabet-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201508alphabet-jpg
Larry Page announced a whole new company, Alphabet, and it now owns Google.
Photo: Alphabet
alphabet
Larry Page announced a whole new company, Alphabet, and it now owns Google. Photo: Alphabet

Google just dropped a bombshell announcement that the operating structure of the company is getting seriously shaken up. To start, co-founder Larry Page broke the news of Alphabet: a new holding company which Google will operate under moving forward. Page will operate as the CEO with Sergey Brin as President effective immediately.

Google boss says innovation is key to iOS search deal

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Could Apple really dump Google search? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Could Apple really dump Google search? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Ever since Apple replaced Google Maps with its own solution there have been rumors that Google Search might be next on the chopping block. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has called the Safari search deal one of the premiere search deals in the world, and that her company would be more than happy to take over.

Google’s VP of products, Sundar Pichai, doesn’t sound worried about Google losing its spot anytime soon though. In an interview with Forbes, Pichai touched on his company’s complicated search relationship with Apple, saying the best way to avoid getting sidelined is to keep adding innovative features.