The Morning After: iOS 17 offers better protection for unsolicited images

Plus, Twitter revenue nosedive and cheaper Xbox storage.

SOPA Images via Getty Images

Receiving an unsolicited image is an unpleasant experience at the best of times, and one that technology has made all too common. At WWDC, Apple announced iOS 17 will use an on-device machine learning model to scan both images and videos for nudity. When detected, you’ll get a pop-up, telling you the system thinks the file may be inappropriate.

I wonder how much of this is a response to the practice of AirDropping inappropriate images to an unsuspecting person’s phone. One notable incident from 2022 saw a person removed from a flight after they had shared an image of themselves with other passengers. That AirDrop images have visible previews, too, currently makes it harder for people to avoid catching an eyeful.

– Dan Cooper

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Apple bought the AR company behind the tech in Nintendo’s ‘Mario Kart’ ride

Mira also had several military contracts.

Image of riders wearing AR headsets on the Mario Kart-themed ride at Nintendo's theme park.
Universal Studios / Nintendo

Apple has bought Mira, the company that built the AR headsets used in Super Nintendo World’s Mario Kart-themed ride. It had previously built its own smartphone-based headset, which we tried in 2017. Back then, it garnered some praise despite its low price and low tech. As well as the Mario headsets, the startup was also supplying heads-up display gear for the US military. It’s not clear when the deal happened, or if any of Mira’s technology went into the Vision Pro. But it’s likely, if it hasn’t already, Apple will be quietly scooping up plenty of small AR and VR startups in the coming years.

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Twitter's ad sales have reportedly dropped by 59 percent since last year

Advertisers are nervous about the content Twitter is happy to host.

Twitter has reportedly seen ad revenue fall by 59 percent in the last year as brands flee the platform. After Elon Musk bought the company to remake it in his own image, advertisers have backed off due to the surge in hate speech and adult content. In 2021, under the old regime, Twitter cleared annual revenue of $5.1 billion, while the first year of Musk’s tenure is expected to make just $3 billion. Maybe, just maybe, gutting the moderation and ad-sales staff of a platform reliant on moderation and ad-sales wasn’t the smartest business move.

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Western Digital's first Xbox Series X/S storage cards start at $80

No more are users locked into Seagate’s storage options.

Image of Western Digital's new WD Black storage cards for the Xbox Series X and S
Western Digital

If you wanted to expand the storage of your Xbox Series X or S, you had the choice of any manufacturer you wanted, so long as it was Seagate. Now, however, Western Digital has launched its own range of expansion cards to boost the size of your local library. The WD Black C50 starts at $80 for a 500GB model, with a 1TB card costing $150, a fair bump cheaper than Seagate’s offerings. Not to mention it’s just nice to have a choice.

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Chinese startup says its new EV battery doesn’t lose range in the cold

It says the Phoenix cell has a top range of 621 miles.

EVs have countless benefits over their gas-powered rivals, but battery degradation in low temperatures isn’t one of them. It’s an issue Chinese company Greater Bay Technology says it’s now fixed, claiming its new Phoenix battery can reach ideal temperature in six minutes. It added Phoenix has a potential range of 1,000km (621 miles) and will be in a new EV made by (Chinese manufacturer) Aion at some point next year. If true, this could be the quantum leap that will see EVs trounce the competition once and for all.

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