Today in Big Tech — December 8, 2020

45 years ago today, Paul Terrell opened one of the world’s first retail computer stores — The Byte Shop — most famously known for ordering the first 50 computers from Apple in 1976. Today, the $2 trillion company makes everything from chips to headphones.

Apple announces $549 AirPods Max noise-canceling headphones, coming December 15th by Chris Welch

“Apple has brought over a number of features that first debuted in the AirPods line, like adaptive EQ, transparency mode, spatial audio, and audio sharing. There’s even an element from the Apple Watch — the Digital Crown — that has made its way to these headphones. Apple says it ‘offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.’ There’s also a separate ‘noise control’ button for switching between noise-canceling and transparency modes.”

Microsoft did it better with the Surface Headphones. But, both products are limited at launch by their poor voice assistants. Apple’s will sell like hotcakes.

Huawei / Megvii Uyghur Alarms by IPVM Team

“The document, marked ‘confidential’ was hosted publicly on Huawei’s own European website. Huawei deleted it shortly after IPVM reached out for comment. We worked with The Washington Post who reported — ‘Huawei tested AI software that could recognize Uighur minorities and alert police, report says.’”

Despite everything that has happened in 2020, Huawei does not get a pass. Despite the fact that there is no direct evidence of China controlling the company, Huawei does not get a pass. One can hope that this news ensures Huawei does not get a pass.

China bans 105 apps including TripAdvisor by the BBC

“The majority of apps in the latest crackdown from Beijing are domestic ones, with authorities saying the ban was in response to content the public ‘deemed offensive.’ It is unclear why TripAdvisor has been banned. The BBC has contacted the firm for a comment but has not yet received a response.”

The splintering of the internet continues. TikTok and TripAdvisor will not be the last casualties.

Google is opening Fuchsia OS development to the public by Kyle Bradshaw

“More importantly for both interested developers and the general public, Google now has a public roadmap for Fuchsia’s development. On it, we can see the projects that the Fuchsia team is actively undertaking, such as a revamp of the “components” system.”

Don’t expect Fuchsia to replace Android and Chrome OS. It’s an experiment, until it’s not.

NextMind ships its real-time brain computer interface Dev Kit for $399 by Emil Protalinski

“The device translates brain signals into digital commands, allowing you to control computers, AR/VR headsets, and IoT devices (lights, TVs, music, games, and so on) with your visual attention.”

This is just as cool as when I tried the prototype last year. And it just as desperately needs a killer use case. Hence the Dev Kit.

Executive Editor @VentureBeat Formerly @TheNextWeb @ZDNet @CNET @TechSpot @ArsTechnica