Why everyone’s upset about AirPods Pro, and Tim Cook’s favorite shower tech, this week on The CultCast

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CulCast 424
Finally, you too can shower like Tim Cook. We'll tell you how.
Photo: YSR50

This week on The CultCast: It’s not your imagination — Apple changed AirPods Pro and made them worse! We’ll tell you what’s going on. Plus: A new report says Apple caved to FBI pressure to keep your iCloud backups less safe. And stay tuned to hear about about Tim Cook’s favorite new … shower tech? Rub-a-dub-dub, my friends.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast, and use offer code CultCast at checkout for 10% off your first purchase.

2018 interview with Tim Cook suggests Apple was working on iCloud backup encryption

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2018 interview with Tim Cook suggests Apple was working on iCloud backup encryption
Apple is embroiled in a new privacy-centered controversy.
Photo: Apple

Yesterday, news broke about how Apple allegedly scrapped plans to let users fully encrypt backups of their devices using iCloud. This was supposedly because the FBI complained that encryption would make future investigations more difficult.

Apple did not comment on Reuters’ story. But a previous interview with CEO Tim Cook, published by German-language newspaper Der Spiegel, suggests this is something Apple may, in fact, have been working on.

Cook and Trump schedule breakfast date in Davos

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Trump’s China deal may stop Apple hiking prices of iPhones and iPads
Cook has been one of the few Silicon Valley CEOs who still meet with Trump.
Photo: White House

President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook are taking their awkward bromance to Davos.

Cook is reportedly slated to attend breakfast with Trump this Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Trump, who used his opening speech at the international gathering to slam climate change activists, also will be briefed by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty during the breakfast meeting.

Now you can shower like Tim Cook without getting soaked

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nebia
Nebia is bringing Apple-like innovation to the shower.
Photo: Nebia

Nebia, the eco-friendly shower head company adored by Apple CEO Tim Cook, unveiled a new version of its shower system today. Unlike the previous two generations, this one is priced to sell.

The new Nebia shower head is smaller and cheaper than previous models. Nebia launched a Kickstarter for it today, revealing the price has dropped from $499 to just $160. Now almost every home can get a Silicon Valley-style shower.

Check out the new shower head in action:

Tim Cook calls for global overhaul of corporate taxes

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Tim Cook delivers the goods at Apple's iPhone 11 event.
Cook says worldwide corporate tax reform is "desperately" needed and that Euroepan privacy regulation needs tightening.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook called for worldwide corporate tax reform Monday, saying the tech giant “desperately” wants the system to be fair.

Speaking in Ireland at an awards event, Cook said he thinks “logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled. I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system.”

FBI cracks iPhone Pro 11, raising doubts about demand for Apple backdoor

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Apple Store employee fired after stealing personal photo from customers' iPhone
Why is the FBI demanding Apple help to create a ‘backdoor’ to unlock iPhones when it has GrayKey? That's a good question.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Revelations that the FBI has access to a tool that can unlock data on secure iPhones are raising questions as to why the agency is demanding Apple help to create a “backdoor” to recover data on the iPhones of a Florida shooting suspect.

Here’s what Tim Cook sends to Apple employees after 5 years of service

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Here's what Tim Cook sends to Apple employees after 5 years of service
But who signs Tim Cook's certificates?
Photo: Lemont Washington

What do you get when you’ve been at Apple for five years — aside from a (hopefully nice) paycheck and the knowledge that you’re valued enough by the world’s biggest tech company that they want to keep you around for half a decade?

The answer: A nifty five years plaque you can hang up on your wall, signed by none other than CEO Tim Cook.

Trump calls for Apple to ‘step up’ and unseal iPhones used by ‘killers, drug dealers’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook talked Mac Pro with President Trump
President Trump called on Apple to cooperate and unlock two iPhones belonging to a gunman who killed three in Florida in December.
Photo: White House

President Donald Trump called on Tuesday for Apple to “step up to the plate” and “help our great country” by unlocking the iPhones used by a Saudi aviation student that killed three people at a Florida Navy base in December.

Apple denies AG Barr’s calls of no help to unlock Pensacola killer’s iPhones

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Tim Cook & Apple stand behind its stance that iPhone encryption is "vital to protecting our country and our users' data."

Apple denied late Monday that it has not cooperated with U.S. federal authorities to help unlock a pair of iPhone’s believed to have belonged to a Saudi aviation student that killed three people at a Florida Navy base in December, saying it always works with law enforcement in their investigations and directly contradicting claims by the U.S. Attorney General that it had not given “substantive assistance.”

Ireland will award Tim Cook for 40 years of Apple investment

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Tim Cook talks diversity, sustainability, and coming out as gay
Cook’s award shelf is quickly running out of room.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to receive a Special Recognition Award for the company’s 40 years of investment in Ireland, the IDA confirmed to Cult of Mac.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will present Cook with the accolade on January 20 in Dublin. It may be met with criticism from some as Apple continues to pay back €13 billion in unpaid Irish taxes.