⚡️ Apple's radioactive launch day

PLUS: SEC cracks down on... Stoner Cats?

Welcome, Tech enthusiasts.

Apple’s major iPhone 15 release event was the talk of the tech world this week.

But a radioactive (!) problem may have put a damper on the launch party. Let’s dive in…

In today’s tech rundown:

  • ☢️ France halts iPhone 12 sales over radiation

  • 🌎 Meta's Horizon Worlds goes multi-platform

  • 😾 SEC charges 'Stoner Cats' NFTs as securities

  • 🛠️ 8 new products and 7 quick stories

Read time: 3 minutes

TODAY’S HEADLINES

APPLE

Image source: Midjourney

The Rundown: France's radiation watchdog (ANFR) just ordered Apple to halt iPhone 12 sales in the country due to reported excessive radioactive emission levels when held near the body.

Details:

  • ANFR said the iPhone 12 exceeded limb SAR limits of 4W/kg, which measures radiation exposure when held in your hand or pocket.

  • Apple must find a software fix or face recalls — though they plan to contest the results as the phone passed other regulators' tests.

  • The statement notably came on the same day Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 at its Wanderlust event.

Our thoughts: Nothing puts a damper on a major new product release like a bit of radiation! While the older model is being phased out and Apple is appealing the ruling, radioactivity isn’t on anyone’s short-list of features for their mobile device.

META

Image source: Meta

The Rundown: Meta is finally bringing its massive social VR platform Horizon Worlds to mobile and web browsers in early access after being exclusive to its VR headsets.

Key points:

  • Only one mini-game, Super Rumble, is playable on mobile/web at the start — with more worlds rolling out over the next months.

  • This is Meta's first step in its vision for the metaverse to be available across devices (not just VR).

  • Meta is finally fulfilling promises of a web/mobile version of Horizon Worlds that has been delayed over a year.

Why it matters: Meta is wise to meet users on existing platforms if it wants mass metaverse adoption (though the term ‘metaverse’ might need a rebrand after a down year). But the ultimate vision likely still depends on future VR growth.

NON-FUNGIBLE TOKENS

Image source: Stoner Cats

The Rundown: The SEC accused the creators of the animated series "Stoner Cats" — including actress Mila Kunis — of illegally selling $8M in unregistered securities through NFTs.

Key points:

  • 10,000 NFTs were sold for $800 each to fund the crypto-themed show, with the SEC calling it a securities offering requiring registration.

  • Stoner Cats agreed to cease sales and pay a $1M fine — despite two SEC commissioners dissenting, arguing it stifles artists.

  • The notice follows the SEC charging other major crypto figures and an NFT project last month.

Why it matters: While the crypto and NFT industries are undoubtedly rife with scams and issues, regulating new tech with century-old laws remains a crude match — and unclear guidelines continue to strangle builders and creators.

NEW PRODUCTS

💻 Albato 3.0- Easily integrate your applications into automated workflows using an intuitive builder (link)

🤝 Commented- Simplify your product team’s workflow and eliminate live meeting fatigue (link)

🧑‍💼 FirstHR- Unite all HR processes from hiring to firing in one interface (link)

🐦 TweetHunter- All-in-one Twitter growth tool to create content using AI, build an audience, and schedule posts (link)

📹 Pictory- Automatically create short, branded videos from long-form content (link)

💬 Chatbase- Create a ChatGPT-like chatbot widget for your website (link)

💌 HoppyCoppy- Generate better emails and newsletters in seconds with AI (link)

🦾 Browse- Train a robot in 2 minutes to extract and monitor data from any website (link)

Browse the most popular tools ever featured with our tool database.

SNIPPETS

TikTok and Billboard launched the weekly "TikTok Billboard Top 50" chart to track the most popular songs on TikTok in the U.S.

Google has agreed to a $93 million settlement with California over deceptive location data practices.

Caesars Entertainment reported a cyberattack compromising vast customer data, with implications ongoing and following a recent breach at MGM Resorts.

Renault-backed Verkor has raised $2.1 billion to accelerate its Dunkirk gigafactory construction for EV batteries.

Alphabet is reducing its global recruiting team but will maintain most of its staff for crucial roles, marking its second round of layoffs this year after a 6% workforce cut in January.

Disney is reportedly discussing the sale of its ABC network and local TV stations, with potential buyers including Nexstar Media Group and Entertainment Studios' CEO, Byron Allen.

Cruise, backed by General Motors, unveiled a wheelchair-accessible robotaxi, aiming to serve disabled passengers by next year.

THAT’S A WRAP

If you have anything interesting to share, please reach out to us by sending us a DM on Twitter: @rowancheung & @therundowntech

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