The Zeitgeist
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The Zeitgeist

Sept. 10-Sept. 16: Apple and ESPN Take The Spotlight, For Different Reasons

Apple announces some new stuff for you to buy, including not one but two iPhones, and ESPN shoots itself in the foot.

Welcome to the Zeitgeist Chronicle. Every week we catch you up on the past week’s most interesting pop culture and news events. Sometimes it’ll be what everybody’s talking about, other times it may be something we’d like to bring attention to. The goal of this is keep you informed enough to be able to have a conversation about any of these current events. This week:

Fall Is Coming, Which Means New Apple Stuff

Here’s everything Apple announced, along with some quick thoughts:

  1. 4K Apple TV

Apple’s updated streaming box gets 4K support to match Google and Roku’s streaming boxes. Apple’s take on the streaming box is still the only one that comes with internal storage, hence a heftier price tag, but internal storage seems a bit extra for devices that are made for streaming. That’s the price you pay if you want to be in Apple’s ecosystem, I guess.

2. Apple Watch, Series 3

Do you know anybody who owns an Apple Watch? I don’t. It seems a little extra, in the sense that you’d only get it if you have extra money to spend. This iteration does have one big feature, though: cellular. This means that it can be fully used without an iPhone, and that you can now talk to your wrist. It’s probably still useful for stealing baseball team signals, too.

3. AirPower Wireless Charging

Wireless charging is here. Except it’s been here for a while now, because Apple didn’t invent it. It’s not as cool as you might think, too, because it still requires you to place your device on a charging mat/pad (too bad the name “iPad” is taken). The true benefit is not having to buy Apple’s cheap (but expensive) cables, although the charging mat probably costs more than several of those cables combined. Black Mirror did it first BTW.

4. iPhone 8 / 8 Plus

The next Apple “slightly better than last year’s version” iPhone features an incrementally better processor chip, bigger capacity options, improved speakers, a better display, wireless charging support, and the 8 Plus comes with two 12MP cameras, because the only thing better than one of something is two of them. If you’ve been keeping track, you may notice that the iPhone 7 was the only iPhone without an “S” model, so one could argue the 8/8 Plus are more or less equivalent to what the 7s/7s Plus would’ve been.

5. iPhone X (Pronounced: “iPhone Ten”)

Leave it to Apple to come out with an iPhone so expensive (we’re talking four digits) that it makes their main iPhones seem inexpensive in comparison. This special (10th anniversary) iPhone has gotten rid of one of Apple’s biggest “innovations”: the home button. It’s all screen, which really just means there’s more surface area for you to crack when you inevitably drop your phone.

The iPhone X also introduces biometrics, as the only way to unlock this button-less phone is to point it to your face, let the camera shoot about 30,000 infrared dots at your face, and hope it recognizes you as the owner of the phone. The ethics and implications of this is already being debated, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, and it’s not even more secure. But hey, at least you get “animojis.” Black Mirror predicted that too, BTW.

White House Calls For ESPN Employee Firing

On September 11th, ESPN anchor Jemele Hill sent out a series of tweets regarding Donald Trump’s bigotry that really weren’t that hyperbolic. ESPN, however, felt compelled — most likely an overreaction stemming from their fear of being perceived as an increasingly liberal and anti-conservative entity — to issue a statement distancing themselves from Hill’s tweets.

ESPN’s statement only gave the story more life, however, and it would be the second time in less than 30 days that ESPN overreacted to something and found themselves in the very position they were trying to avoid. This one, however, reached the White House, after a reporter asked Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Hill’s comments and Sanders called it a “fireable offence.” Trump would later ask for an apology from Hill.

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