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Sep 6, 2016

Bits | The Business of Technology - September 6, 2016: IPhone Season Is Here, but These Days, Surprises Are Rare

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


The New York Times


The New York Times
The iPhone’s headphone jack is rumored to be on the way out.
The iPhone’s headphone jack is rumored to be on the way out. Richard Drew/Associated Press
It’s September, which means (drumroll) it’s iPhone time.
For many years now, Apple has unveiled its newest iPhone models each September. This year, the event is taking place on Wednesday in San Francisco, prompting the usual frothing at the mouth from fans about what the device will look like and what updated features it might have.
Yet what will be shown will not really be a surprise. An ecosystem of Apple rumormongers, which stretches globally and pounces on any scrap of information, has been trotting out bits and pieces of what to expect for almost a year. Those hints and clues — sometimes flimsy, sometimes accurate — are then amplified by tech sites and social media. Often, the rumors are picked up by mainstream media. Then all of it is fed to a public that is hungry to know if they should buy an iPhone now or resist until a new one is released.
David Streitfeld dissected that chain of events for the iPhone that is set to be revealed on Wednesday, tracing how information about the device leaked to a Japanese website last year and then spread. The upshot is to expect an iPhone that is thinner and has improved cameras, and that has no headphone jack, among other updates.
Interest in iPhones may be helped this year by stumbles from a rival. Last week, Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, said it had to recall its Galaxy Note 7 model because of flaws in the battery cell that could result in fires, write Paul Mozur and Su-Hyun Lee. The timing could not have been better for Apple.
Pui-Wing Tam
 
Related
Will the New Apple iPhone Have a Headphone Jack? Rumormongers Say It Won’t
By DAVID STREITFELD
Apple is expected to unveil the latest model on Wednesday, but if it is indeed missing this basic feature, devotees may be left disenchanted.

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So few homes are on the market that buyers are getting more aggressive and innovative in approaching owners who haven’t officially decided to sell.
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Does the Messaging Service Telegram Take Privacy Too Far?
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Telegram, favored by the Islamic State because of its formidable privacy controls, is a source of consternation for antiterrorism investigators.
Employees at Chemayi, a car repair services company with an office in Dream Town, a start-up incubator in Hangzhou, China.
Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom
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The Chinese government is lavishing benefits like free rent and cash handouts on homegrown start-ups in an effort to move beyond the factory floor.
Itineraries
The lobby of The Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park, N.J. When occupancy rates are high, hotels prefer that guests book directly to avoid paying a fee to an online travel agency.
With Occupancy High, Hotels Seek to Avoid Online Booking Services
By HARRIET EDLESON
To attract guests from services like Expedia and Travelocity, hotels offer discounts if travelers book through the hotel’s site.
A Saildrone boat being carried back to its hangar in Alameda, Calif. The self-sailing vessel can gather research data much more cheaply than ships with crews.
No Sailors Needed: Robot Sailboats Scour the Oceans for Data
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Richard Jenkins created Saildrone’s autonomous boats to assess fish populations, study the oceans and more, but his grander vision concerns climate change.
Peter Coles, an economist who left Harvard Business School to go to Airbnb, calls Silicon Valley “an absolute candy store for economists.”
Goodbye, Ivory Tower. Hello, Silicon Valley Candy Store.
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The promise of big data and big paychecks is drawing some of academia’s top economists to study consumer behavior for tech companies like Airbnb, Amazon and Uber.
Tatonia Snowden, an Uber driver in New York. An analysis showed that many new drivers appeared to have an income goal in mind and stopped driving when they were near it for the day.
How Uber Drivers Decide How Long to Work
By NOAM SCHEIBER
Many new drivers quit early on days when their hourly wage is high but work longer when it is low, the opposite of what economic rationality would seem to dictate.


Personal Technology
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If you have to manage meetings in different parts of the world, you can make Google Calendar show two or more time zones at once in your browser.