Sir Apfelot newsreel week 14, 2024

Next to the Update the iWork apps to version 14.0 There were more interesting headlines from the world of technology this week! So look forward to a well-filled Sir Apfelot newsreel. In this issue I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 14 of 2024. Included are, among others, these reports: Schleswig-Holstein is switching to open source software, solar system registration is becoming easier, ChatGPT can be used without a login, Apple's ReALM system for better voice assistance, the first betas of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 - and a lot more!

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 14 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: Open source in Schleswig-Holstein, easier registration of solar systems, ChatGPT can be used without a login, ReALM AI for extensive Siri use, design rumor for iOS 18, and counting!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 14 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: Open source in Schleswig-Holstein, easier registration of solar systems, ChatGPT can be used without a login, ReALM AI for extensive Siri use, design rumor for iOS 18, and counting!

The state administration of Schleswig-Holstein relies on sovereign IT

With the keywords “Independent, sustainable, safeA press release from the state of Schleswig-Holstein was opened this week, announcing the switch to open-source software in the state administration. Instead of Windows or macOS, Linux should be used, instead of Microsoft Office or Apple iWork, communication will be via LibreOffice, and online storage can be found in the Nextcloud. Instead of Outlook or Mail Managed emails via Thunderbird.

Digitization Minister Dirk Schrödter, among others, is quoted as describing how the open-source software is intended to help keep data safe and protected. “The future of government is cloudified, automated, algorithmized and data-driven“, it also says. Therefore, there must be no risks due to possible data leaks or other problems caused by provider groups. This includes the development of an open source telephony solution to replace Telekom Flexport. The much more detailed press release can be found with this link.

Registering balcony power plants more easily: Faster entry into the MaStR

Anyone who wants to register solar systems or their plug-in solutions (so-called balcony power plants) in the market master data register (MaStR) can look forward to a slimmed-down registration process since April 1, 2024. As the Federal Network Agency reports, less data now has to be provided. In addition, the user guide was on the website https://www.marktstammdatenregister.de/MaStR simplified. Further de-bureaucratization is expected in the future.

"People should be able to participate in the energy transition as easily as possible. Balcony power plants can now be registered quickly and unbureaucratically. In the future, operators will only have to enter five details about their balcony power plant in addition to their personal details. Previously there were around 20 entries. These simplifications represent a significant reduction in bureaucracy during registration“, says Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency. The entire press release you can find here.

Amazon Go: Supermarket concept with human “AI” is being revised

After taking over the “Whole Foods” supermarkets in the USA, Amazon introduced its own store concept: Amazon Go. Thanks to the “Just Walk Out” AI, which was supposed to rely on high-resolution camera recordings and various sensors, customers could simply walk into the store, take the desired goods from the shelves and leave the store again. Billing should be done automatically without barcode scans and cashiers. But as it turned out, the “AI” did not work independently, but was supported by around 1.000 people in India. They viewed recordings and marked purchases.

By the way, this is not uncommon in the AI ​​world. In recent years, companies like Facebook, x.ai and Builder.ai have also offered alleged AI services that are kept running in the background by the work of real people. Amazon now wants to redesign its own supermarket chain and equip it with smart shopping carts on which you can scan the selected products yourself. The official justification for this is that it would give customers a better overview of the selected products and the prices they have to pay. One thing that could easily be overlooked with the “Just Walk Out” model (sources: 1, 2).

ChatGPT use without an account will be gradually made possible

Besides new developments in image editing with DALL-E and video creation with Sora OpenAI announced this week that access to the free ChatGPT model (currently with GPT 3.5) will also be possible without an account in the future.

Access is then very easy without logging in https://chat.openai.com/. If you continue to see a login request on the page, this is because the innovation is only being introduced gradually. Whether and when it applies to all countries, regions and users remains to be seen. To the official OpenAI announcement it goes this way.

ReALM: Apple's Siri AI is said to be better than GPT 4

Apple research has resulted in a new AI system that is supposed to be able to understand and process both screen content and voice commands. This system, called ReALM (Reference Resolution as Language Modeling), is intended to enable more natural interaction with a voice assistant, i.e. Siri. The corresponding paper with the scientific considerations is available here as a PDF.

The ReALM system is intended, among other things, to solve the problem of reference naming that is not precisely named (e.g. when a screen element is referred to as “it” instead of an exact name or description). Thanks to the specific fine-tuning, Apple's model is even said to outperform OpenAI's GPT 4. However, the weaknesses lie in distinguishing between similar content, such as several images on the display (sources: 1, 2, 3).

iOS / iPadOS 17.5 betas: Sideloading, Podcasts widget, battery health and Pencil

Apple is the first Beta versions The operating system updates iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 have been released for developers. Some possible innovations and changes emerge from these. This makes web downloading of iOS apps possible in the EU, but the color adjustment of the podcast widget depending on playback is also included again.

For the iPad, the battery health display could be expanded in the settings, similar to the iPhone and Mac. The code also suggests that a new Apple Pencil (version 4) with a new input option, a pressure gesture, could soon be released. For more security, iOS 17.5 should contain new messages about trackers detected nearby - apparently an implementation the joint efforts of Apple and Google (Sources: 1, 2).

New design: Will iOS 18 be based on visionOS?

On June 10, 2024, Apple will unveil the operating systems planned for the fall, including iOS 18 for iPhone. Because then it starts WWDC24. In advance, the English-language site MacRumors has now received a graphic that is supposed to show the new design of the camera app on the iPhone.

This shows that the design innovations expected for iOS 18 could be based on the visionOS operating system of Apple's VR glasses. This means there could be more semi-transparent surfaces and glass-like buttons. We'll know more in just over two months (Which).

AltStore: Alternative iOS app marketplace accepts Patreon payments

A two-man team consisting of Riley Testut (development) and Shane Gill (business) has released the open-source app marketplace “AltStore”, which will be used in the EU on the Apple iPhone. A Mac or PC is required to install on the iPhone. 

But that's not the only important information about the offer. In addition to the traditional methods, developers can also specify their Patreon page as a payment option. By the way, anyone who supports the AltStore team via Patreon can already test the beta for AltStore 2.0. All information on the topic is available here https://altstore.io/. 

What was left of the car: Apple should develop house robots

As recently became known, Apple has developed after ten years his project for an autonomous driving car was scrapped. Sensors, systems and automation systems developed for this purpose could find a new area of ​​application within the users' four walls - as smart home robots.

In addition to an automatically moving display for the desk and other surfaces, work is also being done on a robot that will be able to move around in apartments, even if they are cluttered. It is still unclear exactly what tasks he is supposed to fulfill. Likewise, it is not yet really clear whether the research this time will lead to products that will actually end up on the market (sources: 1, 2).

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