What’s new in tech
Making the most of Apple’s upgrade
Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 12, is full of useful hidden features, said Romain Dillet in TechCrunch.com. Do you want your spouse or partner to be able to unlock your phone without having to remember a passcode? You can now add a second Face ID, making that person’s face the password. Ever forget to turn off the “Do Not Disturb” mode, which silences audio and visual alerts? IOS 12 solves that problem by letting you set it to automatically deactivate in the morning. And if you like to talk to your phone, you can now set up voice shortcuts for a whole series of actions, such as opening your email and checking for messages from your boss.
California’s net neutrality rules
California is battling to keep net neutrality alive, said Jon Brodkin in ArsTechnica.com. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill this week that will bring back Obama-era internet regulations, making it illegal for internet service providers such as cable and phone companies to slow down or block the delivery of internet traffic to consumers. The Federal Communications Commission repealed national net neutrality rules in December, arguing that they prevent service providers from innovating and allowing, for example, discounts on video streaming on consumers’ phone data plans. Consumer advocates, however, contend that without net neutrality mandates, cable and phone companies will inevitably demand that firms such as Netflix cough up extra fees to reach their customers. The Department of Justice promptly sued California to block the law, arguing that only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce.
Time to cancel MoviePass—again
Just when you thought the MoviePass debacle couldn’t get worse, it did, said Nick Statt in TheVerge.com. The firm hit a “brick wall” this summer after discovering that its business strategy—charging users $9.95 a month to watch one movie a day in theaters—was a massive money loser. The company launched a more limited three-movie-a-month service; customers left in droves. Now it’s introducing a new unlimited plan and is automatically re-enrolling members who dropped the service. The twist? MoviePass’ new service “won’t let you see anything new or remotely popular within the first few weeks of release.” If you ever joined MoviePass, now’s the “time to definitively cancel and get your credit card unlinked from its mobile app for good.”