Siri’s Not Dead Yet, Jony Ive Comes Out of Hibernation, and More of the Biggest Tech News

Siri’s Not Dead Yet, Jony Ive Comes Out of Hibernation, and More of the Biggest Tech News

The sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s is for hangouts and hangovers. That is unless you work at Apple. For the folks in Cupertino, this week was all about trying to get the Apple Watch unbanned and scrambling to find a new lead designer for the iPhone.

A lot of news happened in tech this week while you weren’t looking and we’ve rounded up the biggest headlines for you to catch up on before 2024 brings fresh new horrors. Click through to check out the latest moves in tech and cheers to new beginnings. —Rhett Jones

Siri Will Stop Being an Idiot in 2024. Your Life Will Never Be the Same.

Image: Apple/Getty

I want to love Siri. I really do. Every day, I walk around with a little robot that lives in my pocket and responds to simple commands. It is a full-blown miracle, the kind of thing our ancestors could only dream of. The problem is Siri’s an idiot. My digital assistant and others like it from Google and Amazon are close to useless for anything more sophisticated than checking the weather. In 2024, that’s going to change. Thanks to AI, Siri is about to get a whole lot smarter, and in small but meaningful ways, that will change your life. – Thomas Germain Read More

Amazon Will Inject Ads Into Prime Video Starting Jan. 29th

Photo: T. Schneider (Shutterstock)

The last major ad-free streaming service is going away. Starting Jan. 29th, Amazon users will start seeing advertisements appear on movies and TV shows for Prime Video, according to an email sent to subscribers on Tuesday. To keep Prime Video ad-free, you’ll need to pay an additional $US3 a month, on top of the $US139 a year members already pay for Amazon Prime. – Maxwell Zeff Read More

Sorry Elon: Chinese Company Overtakes Tesla as Most Popular Electric Carmaker

Photo: kovop / (Shutterstock)

2023 was a bad year for Elon Musk. Even before his antisemitic tirade, the billionaire’s mounting failures at X/Twitter took Musk from media darling to a near-laughing stock. His bid to take SpaceX pubic is faltering after its satellite internet business Starlink brought in just $US1.4 billion of the $US12 billion Musk projected. Now it seems Tesla is falling behind. According to Bloomberg, a Chinese automaker called BYD Co. is about to pass Tesla as the world’s most popular manufacturer of electric cars. – Thomas Germain Read More

Burger King Giving Discounts If Facial Recognition Thinks You’re Hungover

Screenshot: Gizmodo / YouTube

The Brazilian wing of Burger King announced a surveillance technology marketing stunt this week called the “Hangover Whopper,” celebrating the booze-filled days between Christmas and New Year’s with facial recognition. All you have to do is hold your bleary-eyed visage up to a camera, and the company says its face-scanning software will judge how hungover you look and hand out a corresponding coupon. Welcome to the future: a boring dystopia where the most nightmarish technology is just another cutesy promotional tool. – Thomas Germain Read More

Zack Snyder’s Sci-Fi Epic Rebel Moon Scores Big for Netflix

Sofia Boutella as Kora and Michiel Huisman as Gunnar in Rebel Moon.
Photo: Chris Strother/Netflix

Zack Snyder is used to topping the box office, but his latest release has conquered a different playing field. While 2021’s Army of the Dead had a limited theatrical release before its arrival on Netflix, his newest, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, went straight to the streamer, and seems to be reaping the rewards of that decision. – Cheryl Eddy Read More

OpenAI Pissed Off Developers by Phasing Out Plugins for GPTs

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

Sam Altman needs developers to build useful tools with ChatGPT, but his company is pissing them off right now. Just before Christmas weekend, OpenAI emailed plugin developers, people building practical tools with ChatGPT, asking them to turn their work into GPTs. – Maxwell Zeff Read More

Jony Ive Poaches Lead iPhone Designer to Work on OpenAI Hardware Device

Photo: Paul Harris (Getty Images)

Tang Tan, Apple’s lead designer for the iPhone and Apple Watch, is stepping down to join Jony Ive’s hardware firm LoveFrom, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman on Wednesday. Tan is the latest Apple designer to join Ive, which is assembling an Avengers-like team with Sam Altman to create the next era of hardware devices running on OpenAI’s cutting-edge software. – Maxwell Zeff Read More

Researchers Uncover the ‘Most Sophisticated’ iPhone Exploit Ever

Photo: Hadrian (Shutterstock)

What happens when you hack a cybersecurity researcher? Kaspersky, a Moscow-based security firm, presented new details regarding zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple products on Wednesday. Kaspersky researchers are calling this the most sophisticated attack they’ve ever seen, exposing a previously unknown hardware feature. The attack has been front of mind for Kaspersky researchers because it’s been used against them for the last four years. – Maxwell Zeff Read More

Where to Stream All the Golden Globe Nominees for Best Picture

Barbie, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Suzume
Image: Warner Bros., Sony, Crunchyroll

The Golden Globe Awards will be handed out January 7 on CBS (the Oscars, meanwhile, aren’t until March 10), so if you’re taking advantage of holiday downtime to catch up on your awards-season viewing, here’s a handy guide to where you can stream the nominees. Not every title is available for home viewing, but most are available for digital rental or purchase, with a few already on subscription streaming services. – Cheryl Eddy Read More

2023 Was the Year of the Handheld Console, and 2024 Will Be Better for It

Pick your poison, as there’s no shortage of handheld devices that were released in 2023.
Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Andrew Liszewski / Gizmodo

This past year was a tipping point for the games industry. There have been some amazing, trend-setting releases alongside devastating industry turmoil, including mass layoffs, studio closures, and ballooning development costs. There’s a sense of foreboding entering into 2024, but there’s at least one thing we can glean from the chaos of 2023. The handheld console proved to be the hottest and best way to play games on the go or at home. The new portable paradigm has the ability to save the games industry from heartbreak, so long as the major publishers and console makers buy-in. – Kyle Barr Read More

Biden Won’t Save The Apple Watch

Apple has been in a running battle with medical device maker Masimo over its blood oxygen-sensing technology.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

The White House has left Apple without hope of federal intervention to keep the current-gen Apple Watch on store shelves. The Biden administration has officially declined to veto restrictions on the company’s wearables due to an ongoing patent dispute, despite the Cupertino tech giant’s pleas. So much for the season of giving. – Kyle Barr Read More

AI Might Finally Make Windows 11 Usable

Don’t get too excited. This is just a concept from Dell showing how Windows Copilot could work in the future, if Microsoft decides to go that direction.
Gif: Dell

The lonely “Windows” button on most modern keyboards is an old joke turned into a bore. The key is a lonely, barren island sitting between “alt” and “ctrl” that’s long proved more of a nuisance for a wayward finger that strays a little too far southwest than it is a usable function. While some might find the key good for accessing the Start menu, it’s emblematic of how Microsoft has failed at making Windows UI comprehensive for most users. Now, Microsoft and PC makers will start asking a new question: would you want to press an alternative, AI “Copilot” key if it actually makes Windows’ interface functional? – Kyle Barr Read More

Now’s the Time to Buy the Apple Watch Series 9 Before It Gets Banned Again

If you’ve been jonesing for a new Apple Watch, you’ll have at least the next few weeks to get one.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Everybody seems to have taken a bite out of Apple as of late, but the company was finally offered a lifeline on Wednesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals granted a stay of the ongoing Apple Watch import ban. This will last for at least the next week or so as Apple continues its appeal of the Internal Trade Commission’s sales ban. – Kyle Barr Read More

Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 Review: Scary Good ANC and a Battery That Refuses to Die

Image: Dua Rashid

The outside world is loud. Sometimes too loud. If you commute, you know this all too well. A good pair of active noise-canceling headphones is exactly what you need to enjoy a little peace and quiet, even on the noisiest train. Shure’s Aonic 50 has good ANC; you could even argue it’s too good. – Dua Rashid Read More

Speed, Power, and Quality — VIZIO Delivers Great Home Entertainment

Graphic: Mike Fazioli

Sit back and think about your ideal home entertainment experience. It would be full of great streaming content from TV series to movies, organized in a way that’s easy to navigate. It would be powered by a fast, reliable, and lag-free connection. And — we did say ideal — it would have a robust amount of free content options. – The Inventory Staff for Vizio Read More

Ayaneo Mini PC Hands-On: A Fist-Sized Macintosh-Like That’s as Cute as It Is Mundane

Taking the Ayaneo Mini PC AM01 on the road for the Christmas break proved more than enough for my daily writing and computing tasks.
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

Normally, I wouldn’t care what my mini PC looks like. Why would I? It’s just the box I stick next to my monitor for on-the-go computing needs. It doesn’t need all the flashing lights and LEDs of an ultimate gaming rig, it just needs to function. At least, that’s how I originally felt about your average NUC. Then I unboxed Ayaneo’s Mini PC AM01 for the first time, and I couldn’t help but wonder why I thought other manufacturers could get away with the same old, same old for so long. – Kyle Barr Read More

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