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ZOAKS Weekly Summary from the Latest News #1–1

Week 1, Jan 2021

“Scientific career is to serve the people. ” — Tolstoy
“The pursuit of truth is more valuable than the possession of truth.”
Albert Einstein

1. Apple launches limited-edition AirPods Pro to celebrate Chinese New Year

● To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Apple has introduced a limited-edition pair of AirPods Pro available in multiple Asian countries, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia. This coming new year is the Year of the Ox, and Apple has created an adorable new emoji character to celebrate.

● These limited-edition AirPods Pro are available for the same price as any other pair of AirPods Pro. For example, in mainland China they are RMB 1,999 and in Hong Kong HK 1,999. Apple also has a two-units-per-order limit. These are shipping immediately.

2. Apple Reportedly Reached Agreement to Support Paris Metro Navigo Cards in Wallet

● Apple has reached an agreement to bring support for the Paris Metro system’s Smart Navigo cards to Wallet, allowing users to roam Parisian public transport with just an iPhone or Apple Watch, according to a Le Parisien report.

● From February, users will apparently be able to add a Smart Navigo card to Apple Wallet, enabling an ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch to facilitate travel throughout the city. Users will also be able to pre-pay for metro tickets with ‌Apple Pay‌, including a weekly or monthly pass, and add it to their Navigo card in Wallet. It is also said to support Apple’s Express Transit Mode.

3. Apple keeps bringing in Tesla execs for Apple Car

● Apple’s quest for an autonomous vehicle started in 2014 but was allegedly downshifted several years to making underlying autonomous driving technology to be licensed to other companies. That’s changed, and Apple tasked engineers with designing the interior, exterior and drive system.

● Apple CEO Tim Cook described self-driving cars as “the mother of all AI projects” back in 2017. Apple’s plan to make a self-driving vehicle is back on track. Apple hired former Tesla executive Stuart Bowers at the end of 2020. Previously, he was in charge of Tesla’s Autopilot Software Team. But the Apple Car won‘t be out for five to seven more years.

4. As WhatsApp deepens integration with Facebook, here are two alternatives for iOS

● WhatsApp will soon start sharing your data with Facebook and many people are searching for WhatsApp alternatives with deeper focuses on privacy and security. Here are two recommendations.

● Signal has seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the last year as people have turned to new platforms for encrypted communication. The app supports group text and audio messages, as well as audio and video calls. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. Signal uses end-to-end encryption for messaging, based on the Signal Protocol, and also doesn’t log metadata about messages or users. The App Privacy label on the App Store indicates that Signal does not collect any data that is linked to users.

● Telegram provides a cross-platform solution for messaging with end-to-end encryption that is also completely free to use. In fact, Telegram actually claims to be more secure than WhatsApp because of its use of the MTProto protocol. The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are never kept in the same place as the data they protect.