This week, the tech industry focused its attention on new hardware, as everyone tuned in to Apple’s live-streamed “Wanderlust” event, an annual showcase of new products. Led by CEO Tim Cook, the event marked the unveiling of not only the newest iteration of the iPhone but also two new editions of the Apple Watch.
Over at Spotify, the streaming service showed off its own new in-app ‘Showcase’ feature, a way for artists to purchase paid promotions for their music. MGM Resorts, meanwhile, has fallen victim to cyberattacks. The international hospitality chain has been experiencing blackouts at multiple properties due to a hacker, a crime the FBI is now investigating.
Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.
MGM Resorts Faced a Fourth Day of Outages as a Result of Cyberattacks
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International hospitality franchise MGM has been plagued with outages as a result of cybersecurity attacks. The chain has been targeted by a ransomware group called Scattered Spider, who came forward to take responsibility for the attacks themselves. As a result, MGM locations globally have experienced outages targeting electronic room keys, slot machines, ATMs and even the computers used to check in guests.
Right now, it’s unclear if Scattered Spider has demanded a ransom to put an end to the attacks. In a statement, MGM said that the “investigation is ongoing, and we are working diligently to evaluate the scope and nature of the issue.” The FBI is also conducting its own investigation on the matter.
Apple Unveiled the iPhone 15
Apple’s highly-anticipated iPhone 15 has entered the scene. The device was shown off at the company’s annual “Wanderlust” event, where they previewed the new hardware arriving in the coming months. The phone comes in four different models: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are designed to be durable and revamped with improved efficiency thanks to the A16 Bionic chip. The chip also powers the Dynamic Island feature and both models now include a USB‑C connector.
As for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the pricier but higher-end options, Apple has developed a new “Action” button that users can use to seamlessly trigger certain functions, such as snapping a photo or turning on the flashlight. Those phones use the A17 Pro, a 3-nanometer chip designed for better graphics and streaming capabilities.
Apple Also Revealed the Apple Watch Series 9 With a New Silicon Chip
Along with the iPhone, Apple gave viewers a look at the Apple Watch Series 9. Powered by the new S9 silicon chip, the watch has 60% more transistors and is 30% faster than its predecessor, according to the company.
Most of the changes made to the watch over the Series 8 are internal. One of the new features coming to the device allows wearers to utilize Precision Finding to locate their iPhone or computer. Another tool called Double Tap tracks movement and blood flow so that when its wearer taps their thumb and index finger together, they can trigger functions such as answering a call or turning off an alarm.
As for the exterior, not much has changed, save for developers redesigning the interface and giving users the option to turn it both brighter and darker.
Spotify Artists Can Now Pay To Be Recommended in Your Feed
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Spotify is offering artists a new way to advertise their music with “Showcase.” Billed as a campaign tool Showcase essentially allows artists or their teams to purchase paid sponsorships that will then appear on the Home tab as recommended music.
Artists can opt to target a specific audience – ranging from those who have streamed their music several times before to total newcomers – and can advertise music releases both new and old. The streamer says that users who see a Showcase in their Home feed are six times more likely to stream the release.
Campaigns start at $100 USD, though artists must already have 1,000 followers and have the US listed as their billing country.
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