🔋 Good morning! Last night Elon Musk announced the fourth Tesla Gigafactory is coming to my backyard: “We’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area,” Musk announced at an awards ceremony, surprising many, with a later tweet saying "GIGA BERLIN!" Mind you, German media reported the location of Gruenheide for the Factory site, which is about an hour’s drive from Berlin, and er, actually in a different state.
Otherwise, we’re waiting for the Motorola Razr to be launched later today!
One last thing before the newsletter proper: don’t forget this newsletter is ours, together. To get your tech-loving friends, family, or colleagues involved, please forward this email to them so they can be part of the conversation. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here.
Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro dropping today
The leading reporter on Apple, Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, dropped info that Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is set to be announced today: “It’s this week,” he said at first, adding that he expected Apple to brief reviewers yesterday, and later today, review embargoes are expected to lift. Those briefings were reported by 9to5Mac as being in Apple’s “luxury loft mansion in New York City this week.”
Like the AirPods Pro "launch" from just over two weeks ago, it’s expected Apple’s announcement will happen something like this:
- First, an announcement on Apple Newsroom including pricing, availability.
- Shortly thereafter, early hands-on, and day one first looks will drop from the techfluencers.
- Real reviews will happen over the course of the next week or two.
- The new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have a bigger screen - of course! - but there are also indications it will be in either same body as the 15-inch MacBook Pro, or a body only a little bigger.
- Gurman tweeted that the display is "less than 4% larger than the current 15.4 inch MacBrook Pro."
- It may just be reduced bezels, for an 'all-screen' device.
- So what is new? There are indications of a revamped keyboard to finally move beyond the cursed butterfly keyboards of Macs from recent years, plus the possibility of a higher resolution display, new speakers, new TouchBar keyboard, and more, per Gurman.
- We won’t see any of Apple’s own processors currently in development used in the device, sticking with Intel CPUs.
- From Bloomberg’s exact wording: “The 16-inch MacBook Pro will replace the current 15-inch model, which starts at $2,399,” and “the new laptop will cost about the same.”
- That wording suggests the 15-inch model will be eliminated, so we'll see what plays out and if the size change causes the third-party accessories markets to be forced to quickly spin up new size bags, decals, and so on, to fit the new device.
🏥 After yesterday’s news, regulators have stepped: Google's patient data project 'Nightingale' with Ascension is under investigation, as regulators check if the project is HIPAA compliant (WSJ, $)
💱 Facebook Pay: Facebook has rebranded its payments system and given it a launch, saying it is a “convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.” (About Facebook). Hmm. This might be bigger in the developing world, where Facebook is a surrogate “web” for a lot of people, but in the US, Facebook is late and not exactly who you might want to process your payments. I liked Sam Biddle’s tweet a lot.
📷 Because also at Facebook, this bug just happened: While scrolling in the Facebook app, people discovered their iPhone camera activated in background (CNET). A bug fix is in the works.
👓 Apple thinks glasses will replace smartphones: What it means for you (Android Authority).
🤔 The Disney+ launch went about how you’d expect for a new service with bugs and capacity issues (Variety). As Adam Doud mentioned on the DGiT Daily podcast yesterday, that wasn’t exactly surprising or overly negative but at the same time, Disney had soft-launched in the Netherlands back in September to test things out.
🙅♂️ Google reportedly fires staffer in media leak crackdown (The Verge).
💻 Politico’s founder is launching a tech site: Protocol. Here’s why. (Vanity Fair).
📺 Verizon’s new set-top box is possibly the worst option out there for streaming, doesn’t support Netflix because of course not (The Verge).
🎵 “Three years ago, Mark Zuckerberg tried to buy the Chinese company that became the basis of TikTok. Now he's demonizing it to make the case against regulating Facebook” (BuzzFeed).
🛫 The case against Boeing: A grieving family has become devoted to proving that Boeing put profit over safety (New Yorker). A tragic long read.
🔊 One of my professional online crushes, Martin SFP Bryant, has a great new podcast called Making Sense of VC, which is aimed at helping people understand venture capital, starting from scratch (anchor.fm).
🥼 The science is extremely clear: You need to prioritize sleep - a new video series from Wired.
🤔 What is something perfectly legal that feels illegal? (r/askreddit). This one happened to me at IKEA the other week: “Having something of yours in your pocket while in a store that also sells that thing.”
Good news! Remember that the internet agreed that the Sonic in the live-action Sonic The Hedgehog movie, after the first reveal, was creepy and terrible?
- Good news! Six months after that first unfortunate, weird experience, Sonic has been re-cut!
- Paramount Pictures released a new trailer that just about completely satisfied the internet, and the internet reacted with a victory lap (Kotaku).
- Here’s a comparison of old and new:
- Watch the new trailer here.
- The movie seems like it’s still going to be bad, true.
- But at least it’ll be bad for its storyline, not the nightmare Sonic that was previously presented to us.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.