TIME technology

Exclusive: Apple Puts Focus on Its Customers in New iPhone Campaign

New international ad campaign highlights photos shot on iPhone

Apple is turning the spotlight on its users in a new international ad campaign that will see photos taken “by real people” displayed on billboards across the world.

The switch in tactic – a first for a brand that traditionally favors product shots over more traditional photography – will highlight the iPhone’s increasingly prevalent role in photography, both among amateurs and professionals, and is inspired by the popular use of the #iphoneonly hashtag on Instagram.

In recent years, Apple’s popular phone has become one of the most used cameras in the world, with various models topping Flickr’s Camera charts since early 2011.

The new ads, which will be displayed on billboards, bus stops and train stations, will remain minimalistic, featuring a photograph, with the words: Shot on iPhone.

To coincide with the worldwide outdoor and print campaign, Apple has also unveiled a new online gallery of images shots by 77 photographers in 70 cities across 24 countries.

Some of the photographers featured are among Instagram’s most popular users from Pei Keitron to Austin Mann and Cole Rise. “[The campaign] was a slightly mysterious process,” says Rise. “An ‘un-named’ company had reached out to my photography rep looking for exceptional examples of photos taken on an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. I spent a few days rummaging through the archives of photos taken on a variety of recent trips across the Northwest, selecting the 15 or so that told the best story. Learning that this company was in fact Apple was both a pleasant surprise and incredible honor, having carried every iPhone model since launch.”

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

Josh Raab is a contributor to TIME Lightbox. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter

TIME technology

Why This Company Wants to Stop You From Buying an iPhone

Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images Ericsson logo at the Ericsson headquarters in Stockholm's suburb of Kista on November 7, 2012.

A fight between heavyweights

Ericsson AB has asked US regulators to block all domestic sales of Apple products as part of an escalating patent dispute between the two tech giants.

The request came as Ericsson filed seven separate lawsuits against Apple, alleging that Apple’s highly popular devices infringed on upwards of 41 patents, Bloomberg News reports.

Apple suspended royalty payments to Ericsson in January, after the two companies failed to renew an agreement over licensing fees. Apple accused Ericsson of “abusive” pricing that attempted to skim profits off of unrelated innovations. Ericsson has countered that its licensing terms did not “extract more than the value we put on the table.”

Read more at Bloomberg News.

TIME technology

The Other Reason Cable Companies Are Sad Today

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler arrives at FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington
Yuri Gripas—Reuters Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler arrives at a FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington on Feb. 26, 2015.

The Federal Communication Commission earned a lot of ink today for its historic vote approving the strongest possible new net neutrality rules, a move that the cable and telecom industry has described as disastrous.

But just before that much-publicized vote was another, quieter one—one that has to do with municipal broadband rules. With that vote, the FCC approved two Southern cities’ petition to extend their publicly funded Internet services to nearby areas. The cable and telecom industry isn’t so happy about that move, either.

Like the 3-2 vote on the new net neutrality rules, FCC’s decision on municipal broadband was strongly opposed by industry groups, which have spent millions lobbying for the opposite result, and ended up breaking down on party lines—with three Democrats in favor and two Republicans against.

At first glance, what’s a stake here is relatively minute. The FCC’s decision merely grants Chattanooga, Tennesee, and Wilson, North Carolina, permission to extend their publicly funded broadband service to regions outside their city limits, where private sector Internet service providers don’t provide high-speed coverage.

But advocates and critics say it’s actually much bigger than that.

Organizations in favor of the FCC’s vote say it sets a powerful precedent for other cities that want to offer publicly-funded broadband networks to their citizens, but can’t because of state laws banning local governments from building or owning broadband services.

“[A]llowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come,” wrote Christopher Mitchell, the Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in a press release.

Meanwhile, organizations opposed to the FCC’s vote say it’s an effort to unlawfully expand the agency’s authority, since it attempts to preempt state laws. Lawrence J. Spiwak, the president of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, says it’s a pointless battle, since the issue has already been litigated at the Supreme Court.

A 2004 case, Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, held that the FCC “lacks authority to preempt state laws that restrict or prohibit municipal broadband deployment,” Spiwak wrote.

Both of today’s big FCC decisions have been celebrated by public interest advocates and slammed by industry groups. But it’s not the end of line of either decision. Both the new net neutrality rules and the expansion of municipal broadband are expected to be challenged in court before the year is out.

TIME politics

FCC Votes ‘Yes’ on Strongest Net-Neutrality Rules

Net-neutrality advocates quite literally danced in the snowy streets Thursday outside the Federal Communications Commission in Washington just before the agency voted to approve the strongest ever rules on Net neutrality.

The vote marks the culmination of a yearlong struggle that pitted grassroots Internet advocates and Silicon Valley tech giants against the titans of the telecom industry.

The FCC’s vote is considered a historic victory for so-called open-Internet advocates, and a major blow to big Internet service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, which will now be subject to stronger regulations.

Crucially, the FCC’s new rules were designed to give the agency explicit legal authority to regulate broadband-Internet providers by reclassifying broadband under Title II of the federal Communications Act.

Because of a weedy legal issue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found in January 2014 that the FCC did not have authority to regulate broadband, and therefore threw out the FCC’s previous rules on Net neutrality, which were passed in 2010. The court recommended that the FCC reclassify broadband under Title II in order to establish its regulatory authority. Mobile-phone companies and public utilities are also classified under Title II.

The ISPs strongly opposed the Title II reclassification. They argue that the move will destroy innovation and investment in the nation’s digital infrastructure by imposing burdensome regulations on the industry. For example, under Title II, the FCC technically has the power to dictate how much ISPs can charge customers for online access.

The FCC has vowed it won’t regulate broadband as strongly as it could and that it will not control broadband prices. The new rules include a line guaranteeing that the FCC will not regulate “unbundling, tariffs, or other forms of rate regulation.”

Many Net-neutrality advocates, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, who did not immediately support Title II reclassification, have announced their support for the move recently. Clinton said at a conference on Tuesday that the move is the only plausible option available to the agency, which needs to establish its legal authority in order to regulate broadband at all.

Earlier this week, Republicans on Capitol Hill said they would not actively oppose the FCC’s new Net-neutrality rules, since any new bill would be nearly impossible to get through Congress without Democratic support. But Verizon, AT&T and their trade group, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, aren’t giving up quite yet. They are expected to sue the FCC again this year in an effort to have the rules thrown out.

The stakes in this battle are high. Net neutrality, the concept that an Internet-service provider can’t block, slow or otherwise hamper users’ access to any online site, has an immediate impact on nearly every business and individual in the country.

One of the biggest sources of controversy has been over what’s known as paid-prioritization agreements or Internet fast lanes. Open-Internet advocates and Silicon Valley tech firms, such as Google, Amazon and eBay, lobbied hard that any new Net-neutrality rules should explicitly forbid ISPs from collecting payment from web companies for delivering their content to Internet users more quickly or in higher quality in paid fast lanes. A record-breaking 4 million people wrote to the FCC last year to comment on its proposed Net-neutrality rules. The majority of commenters supported a version of Net neutrality that prohibited fast lanes.

The ISPs, meanwhile, have argued that paid-prioritization agreements should be allowed, and that the notion was not at all at odds with the concept of “Net neutrality.” (Comcast, for example, has spent millions of dollars on advertisements saying it is in favor of neutrality rules. But its definition of Net neutrality allows for paid-prioritization agreements.) The FCC’s new Net-neutrality rules, passed today, bar paid-prioritization agreements.

The FCC’s 3-2 vote Thursday broke down on party lines. Both Republican commissioners opposed the rules; all three Democrats, including chairman Tom Wheeler, who has close ties with the telecom industry, voted in favor of it. When the vote was announced, the room exploded in cheers.

Read next: The Other Reason Cable Companies Are Sad Today

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME technology

Grumpy Cat Grounded By Blizzard

"Grumpy Guide To Life: Observations From Grumpy Cat" Book Event At Indigo
George Pimentel—WireImage Grumpy Cat attends the "Grumpy Guide To Life: Observations From Grumpy Cat" Book Event on Aug. 9, 2014 in Toronto.

A mischievous plan by net neutrality advocates to hire an airplane to tow a banner-sized image of Grumpy Cat past Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia on Thursday morning has been thwarted by a snowstorm.

The fly-by was originally timed to happen just after the Federal Communications Commission votes on rules safeguarding net neutrality.

The banner would have featured Grumpy Cat, whose look of withering contempt has become a popular meme for Internet lovers, next to the words: “Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet. Public wins. Team Cable loses. #SorryNotSorry.”

The three net neutrality advocacy groups behind the hijinks—Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and Free Press—perhaps chose the plane’s intended flight path to thumb their noses at Comcast, the nation’s largest broadband Internet provider, which has spent millions this year attempting to stop the FCC from passing the version of net neutrality rules it is considering today.

The Flight of the Grumpy Cat has been tentatively rescheduled for tomorrow.

TIME technology

The Days of Escaping Your iPhone Are Over

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone Facebook
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

David Wolpe is the Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

With iPhones and Facebook and Twitter, constant communication demands are changing how we live—and not always for the better

In theory, governmental spying threatens our privacy. But what we have done to ourselves vastly outweighs, in our daily consciousness, any outside surveillance. We are not the generation of whom much is asked; we are the generation of whom little is asked, but it is asked all the time.

When I was a junior in college, I spent the year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I wrote my parents letters and once a week, we tried (not always successfully) to connect through long distance calls. I am sure they worried about me, but their worry was constrained by genuine distance; there was no way to be in touch, so they assumed I was fine.

Constant connection, increases, rather than reduces, worry. Each moment we do not hear from someone forms an imagined pageant of slights or horrors or blameworthy thoughtlessness. Increasingly, we treat each other like those parents who have their children on leashes in malls: space is not measured in how far one is able to go but in how soon one is pulled back. Each “ding” is a tug on the leash. Ask, ask, ask.

You can try to put an “out of office” message on your email, but there are still phones and texts and Facebook messages. Even if you turn them off, they lie in wait beside you, silently accumulating obligations and accusations and invitations. Powered down, my iPhone still beats like Poe’s telltale heart, and it is almost as unsettling.

Like all great cultural changes, this ever-present technology nudges human consciousness. You can turn off your devices but you cannot turn off the knowledge that they are receiving the world’s importunities. The tug of anxious fear, almost a whisper really, that you feel when someone says, “can I ask you something?” is now the constant accompaniment of your day. Like the God of the Bible, Twitter (“what’s happening?”) and Facebook (“write something”) are always requiring something of you.

The first loose boulder in the avalanche was voicemail. You could no longer miss a call. That beeping red light was the initial “gotcha” sign. And now the afterlife of a message has stretched into eternity.

Social history has a systolic/diastolic motion. We get what we crave and create the opposite. People tired of living in villages, where everyone knew everyone’s business and where there was no privacy or space. So, we built large, anonymous cities with ample rooms and deliberate neglect of others. Finding that such space parched our souls, we began to devise technological ways to bring us closer, from texting to tinder. Now, back in the virtual village, we are too close, and long for the space that we had just two decades ago, before we took a racing dive into the pixel sea.

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote in the early 19th century that people are like porcupines. They feel cold, so they huddle together for warmth. But when they get too close, they prick one another with their quills and move apart. Then they grow cold and draw close again.

Yes, technology is wonderful. I tweet, I Facebook, I look at my phone with the regularity of a hummingbird dipping into honeysuckle. Spending a few hours without checking in feels like a grand anthropological experiment, not like normal life. But we all feel the porcupine quill of constant contact, the irritant of ever presence, and long to escape, if only for a moment. Escape is not in the offing: smart watches are heading for our wrists and internet contact lenses for our eyes. So, let us give philosophy’s greatest pessimist, Schopenhauer, his final say: “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” The world is too much with us; none of us is alone anymore.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

How Facebook Is Helping Suicidal People

Facebook will offer suicide prevention resources to users posting troubling messages

Facebook is going to give timelier help to users who post updates suggesting thoughts of suicide, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to a Facebook post written by Product Manager Rob Boyle and Safety Specialist Nicole Staubli, a trained team will review reports of posts that appear to be suicidal and if necessary send the poster notifications with suicide prevention resources, such as a connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline.

The Facebook support posts are expected to look something like this:


They also will contact the person reporting the posts, providing them with options to call or message the potentially suicidal friend, or to also seek the advice of a trained professional.

The new approach is an update on a clunkier system, implemented in 2011, that required users to upload links and screenshots to the official Facebook suicide prevention page.

For the project, Facebook worked with suicide prevention organizations Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org.

The company was clear that the update was not a replacement for local emergency services.

TIME Bizarre

Here’s What Happens When You Set an iPhone 6 on Fire

"It looks beautiful," he says of the finished product

The tech blogger “Techrax”— known on YouTube for boiling an iPhone 6 in Coca-Cola and baking one inside a turkey — has released a new video of himself igniting an iPhone 6 with an acetylene torch (typically used to cut or wield metal).

“So yeah, this thing is pretty much done,” he says in the clip. “You can still press the home button, buttons still work. It won’t power on though.”

After opening up the phone to explore the extent of the damage to its insides, he proceeds to smash it repeatedly over a cinder block until the inner pieces fall out and only the exterior of the phone is left.

“It looks beautiful,” he says of the mutilated phone. “It is a sculpture, indeed.”

TIME technology

Blind Grandfather Gets Bionic Eye and Sees Wife for First Time in 10 Years

While it's still hard to see the details of people's faces, it's possible to make out forms and shapes

A 68-year-old Minnesota man was able to see his wife for the first time in a decade last week after becoming the fifteenth person in the country to receive a “bionic eye” implant.

Allen Zderad’s career as a chemist ended 20 years ago when his sight began to fail as a result of a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, according to a statement from the Mayo Clinic.

Raymond Iezzi Jr., a Mayo Clinic researcher and ophthalmologist, was researching the “Second Sight Argus II” retinal prosthesis system when he encountered Zderad and decided the grandfather of ten would be a good…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: February 23

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. The propaganda war against ISIS doesn’t tell us anything about the real fight.

By Paul Waldman in the Week

2. Programs supporting women-owned small businesses will boost the economy.

By Claudia Viek at the American Sustainable Business Council

3. System-wide disruption — including a new medical school admissions test — is remaking medical education.

By Melinda Beck in Wall Street Journal

4. Prison reform could unleash resourcefulness and hustle currently behind bars. The tech sector should get on board.

By Baratunde Thurston in Fast Company

5. The first power plant powered by ocean waves is officially online.

By Kaleigh Rogers in Motherboard from Vice

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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