Mitchel Broussard

Mitchel is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. Southern Louisiana-born, he lives off of bad TV, good books, and great video games. Despite a few close calls, he has yet to forget the face of his father.



Apple Music Rolling Out 'Friends Mix' Highlighting Songs Your Friends Listened To Each Week

Apple Music appears to be rolling out an all-new weekly playlist called "Friends Mix" to a few subscribers today. According to Reddit user Reesyy, the new curated playlist will be filled with songs that your Apple Music friends are listening to. In order to keep track of which friend listened to each song, the playlist will include a profile picture on the songs as well. Friends Mix will update on Monday every week and include 25 tracks in each update, similar to the other Apple Music weekly playlists. Image via Redditor Reesyy Friends Mix is making new use out of the social features that Apple debuted in iOS 11 last year, which lets users build their own Apple Music profiles and show friends the playlists and albums that they're listening to. This information is then displayed on a playlist or album's information page and within the "Friends Are Listening To" section in For You, and now it'll also be used to fill up the new Friends Mix. Friends Mix is joining Favorites Mix (which updates on Tuesdays), New Music Mix (Fridays), and Chill Mix (Sundays) as the fourth Apple Music weekly playlist. Apple originally launched versions of New Music Mix and Favorites Mix in the iOS 10 public beta in September 2016, followed by Chill mix in June 2017, so it's been well over a year since we've seen a new weekly playlist debut. Like the other playlists, you'll be able to find Friends Mix sitting atop the "For You" tab in Apple Music. It's unclear on which version of iOS Apple is rolling out the playlist, but the poster on Reddit does reference being on the iOS 12 public

Deals: AirPods for $135.99 and Anker's New 20% Off Back-To-School Sale

AirPods have been discounted again this week, with Rakuten seller Altatac selling Apple's wireless headphones for $135.99 when using the sitewide discount code SAVE15. Altatac is a highly-rated seller on the retailer's website, and the AirPods are in new condition. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Once you sign into your Rakuten account, head over to Altatac's page for the AirPods, add them to your cart, enter your shipping information, and place the code SAVE15 into the discount code box during the payment stage. AirPods were on sale for $144.99 at Amazon and Adorama last week, so today's sale is about $10 cheaper and the best for a new pair available online. On Amazon, popular accessory company Anker has launched a big back-to-school sale on a variety of iPhone cases, portable chargers, cables, and more. We've rounded up every item in Anker's sale on Amazon in the list below, and to gain access to the savings enter the discount code ANKERBTS during checkout. The Anker back-to-school sale will last through Sunday, August 12, and each item has been discounted by 20 percent: Cases iPhone X Soft TPU Touch Case (Black) - $4.79, down from $5.99 iPhone X Soft TPU Touch Case (White) - $5.59, down from $6.99 iPhone X Shield Case - $5.59, down from $6.99 Portable Batteries PowerCore+ mini 3350 with Lightning Cable - $18.39, down from $22.99 PowerCore Fusion Battery/Charger 2-in-1 (White) - $23.99, down from $29.99 PowerCor

MoviePass Reveals $9.95/Month Plan for 3 Films, Ditching Peak Pricing and No Longer Limiting Major Movies

MoviePass is restructuring its subscription model once again, today announcing that it will not be raising prices for its subscribers and instead return to its traditional $9.95/month price tag while limiting how often users can go to the movies every month. Effective August 15, subscribers will transition to the new model upon their renewal and from then on be able to see three movies every month at $9.95. The move follows negative responses that the company received after it announced its intention to raise the base subscription price to $14.95/month just last week. These users will also gain access to up to a $5.00 discount on any additional movie tickets purchased after they see their three allotted movies in any given month. "We are now creating a framework to provide the vast majority of subscribers with what they want most – low cost, value, variety, and broad availability – and to bring some moderation to the small number of subscribers who imposed undue cost on the system by viewing a disproportionately large number of movies," said MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe. "We believe this new plan is a way for us to move forward with stability and continue to revitalize an entrenched industry and return moviegoing to everyone’s financial reach.” MoviePass has had a turbulent summer, beginning with the introduction of Peak Pricing in July, rolling out Ticket Verification to all users, and restricting major film releases from its subscribers for the first two weeks of release. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal today, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe confirmed that all of

Apple Plans Revamped India Strategy With Official Stores, Year-Long iPhone Deals, and Improved Apps

Apple's ongoing struggles in India have been scrutinized repeatedly over the past few years, and today a new report by Bloomberg has looked into Apple's plan to stay afloat in what's considered the world's "fastest-growing smartphone market." In an effort to revamp the company's presence in India, Apple CEO Tim Cook is believed to be working behind-the-scenes to "remold Apple's failing India strategy," according to both current and former Apple employees. This plan was kicked off when Apple executive Michel Coulomb began overseeing the company's India strategy at the end of 2017. According to the new report, this strategy includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians." This last point particularly includes a "revamped" version of Apple Maps that is aimed to launch by 2020. On the point of services, earlier this year Indian iPhone users discussed Apple's poor performance in this area and one user specifically called Apple Maps "a joke" in the country. While some services like Apple Music were favorably received, others like Siri were identified as low points for Indian customers, as the assistant "often struggles" with local accents and does not understand "many words of Indian origination." For retail, the official Apple stores are said to open in 2019 and eventually include locations in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. While the Indian

Microsoft Joins Movies Anywhere, Syncing Movies Purchased on Xbox/Windows With iTunes

Microsoft today announced that it is joining Disney's expanded Movies Anywhere service, allowing customers who purchase films on Xbox and Windows 10 to link their content to Movies Anywhere (via The Verge). Thanks to the new addition, this means that any supported movie you purchase through Microsoft Movies & TV will now also be available on other linked Movies Anywhere accounts, including iTunes. Digital retailers supporting the service now include iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, Google Play, FandangoNOW, and Microsoft Movies & TV. Movies Anywhere supports films from Disney, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros., meaning that most of the latest releases can be found on the service. If the films you purchase come from these studios, and you have your Microsoft and iTunes accounts connected to Movies Anywhere, you'll be able to sync purchases between the two platforms. Microsoft Movies & TV now supports Movies Anywhere! Purchase Movies Anywhere eligible films from Microsoft Movies & TV and watch on supported platforms: Xbox, Windows, iOS, Android, and streaming devices. Sync your accounts to access your entire Movies Anywhere library on Microsoft Movies & TV, no matter where you purchased. As a bonus for syncing your Microsoft Movies and TV account with Movies Anywhere, the companies are gifting X-Men: Days of Future Past to its customers for a limited time. Head to Microsoft's FAQ page for more information on how to link the two accounts. Disney originally expanded Movies Anywhere from "Disney Movies Anywhere" last October, growing the

Apple Supplier TSMC Recovering From 'Debilitating' Computer Virus [Updated x2]

Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is in recovery from a "debilitating" computer virus that hit many of its fabrication tools this past Friday evening. The company says that 80 percent of the affected tools have been restored, but it's now on a path to warn its customers -- potentially including Apple -- of delayed shipments and reduced revenue due to the virus (via Bloomberg). TSMC builds chips for Apple's iPhone, and in late July a report from DigiTimes stated that the supplier had begun commercial production of chips manufactured using its advanced 7-nanometer process, including Apple's A12 processor for the 2018 iPhones. Now TSMC says many of its customers can expect shipment delays, although it didn't specify which customers would be affected. The supplier says that "no confidential information" was compromised during the virus attack and as of Sunday most of its customers had been notified. TSMC believes the virus came from a "misoperation" during the software installation process for a new tool that then spread through its computer network, and one analyst thinks "all of TSMC's 12-inch wafer fabrication plants" were infected. Mark Li, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said he thinks all of TSMC’s 12-inch wafer fabrication plants had been infected and that many customers had been affected, though the impact will be “very limited” because the company can make up for the losses during the busiest holiday quarter. TSMC makes Apple chips in its 12-inch fabrication plants. “Long-term, TSMC’s trustworthy image is somewhat

Deals: HomePod for $299.99, iPhone SE Free With AT&T Next, and New MacRumors Exclusive RAVPower Sale

Well-known accessory company RAVPower has launched a new series of promo codes this week, available exclusively to MacRumors readers. This crop of codes includes savings on fast wireless charging mats, portable chargers, and car chargers, all of which we've listed below. If you find something you like be sure to make your purchase before the codes expire in one month, on Sunday, September 2 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Note: It appears that Amazon will occasionally default the seller option to a third-party and not Sunvalley Brands (RAVPower's parent company). To ensure that the codes work, double check that the displayed seller is Sunvalley Brands, and if it isn't then click the "Used & New" button at the top of the product page, find Sunvalley Brands, and then click Add to Cart. 40W Dual USB Car Charger - $10.49 with code RUMORSVC7, down from $13.99 10,000 mAh Portable Solar Charger - $19.99 with code RUMORS10K, down from $29.99 Fast Wireless Charger with HyperAir - $21.99 with code RUMORS134, down from $29.99 16,750 mah Portable Charger - $21.99 with code RUMORSPB010, down from $34.99 20,000 mAh USB Battery Pack - $26.99 with code RUMORSPB006, down from $39.99 25,000 mAh Portable Solar Charger - $39.99 with code RUMORS25K, down from $52.99 26,800 mAh USB-C Portable Charger - $45.99 with code RUMORSPB067, down from $58.99 In other deals, Costco today kicked off a notable sale for its

Disney Facing 'Resistance' From Turner in Effort to Get TV Rights of 'Star Wars' Films for Streaming Service

It's been nearly one year since Disney announced that it will pull all of its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service in late 2019, including both TV shows and movies from Marvel and Star Wars. This week, however, Bloomberg reports that the company is facing troubles with the TV rights to the Star Wars film franchise, dating back to a deal it made with Turner Broadcasting in 2016. Under that agreement, Turner gained the linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to five of the six Star Wars films released between 1977 and 2005 (The Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith), as well as the new films that began releasing in 2015 (as of now including The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story). With these rights, which also includes A New Hope rights inked in a deal with 20th Century Fox, Turner has been airing the Star Wars movies on networks like TNT and TBS, and its deal with Disney grants it the ability to keep doing so until 2024. Now that Disney is planning its own dedicated streaming service, however, the company wants these rights back so it can be the sole location for users to find and stream the entire Star Wars canon. To do so, Disney has made a "preliminary inquiry" about regaining the rights, but has "met resistance" from Turner, according to people familiar with the matter. Turner would reportedly want financial considerations and programming to replace the Star Wars films it would lose, but the talks have yet to advance. If Disney doesn't get the rights back, its

iOS Concept Reimagines Siri With Non-Intrusive UI, Contextual Awareness, and More

Kévin Eugène, a web developer and UI/UX designer, this week shared a new iOS concept that he calls "iOS Mogi," with the aim of improving the look and functionality of Apple's AI assistant Siri (via Reddit). As Eugène explains in his Medium post on iOS Mogi, his goal was "not to create new commands" or completely re-build Siri, but to display the voice assistant "in a different way" that is "more useful to the user." This led to iOS Mogi's main concept: Siri as a drop-down notification banner that Eugène describes as "parallel help." The non-intrusive banner doesn't take up the whole screen as Siri does today, allowing the assistant to perform contextually aware tasks in the background while the user does something else. As with all concepts, it's important to remember that Eugène's designs in no way indicate what we'll see with Siri in a future version of iOS. Images and GIFs via Kévin Eugène on Medium In Eugène's main example, he asks Siri to "Show me pictures of Japan" while texting a friend in Messages, and then he swipes down on the notification, scrolls until he finds the ones he wants to send and taps to select them all. Thanks to the contextual awareness of Siri in iOS Mogi, this drop-down notification also has a blue Messages "send" button, which Eugène taps to send all the photos directly to his contact. iOS Mogi also includes a multitasking feature where it's possible to ask Siri to open pages from an app while performing tasks in another app. Eugène gives the example of writing an email and asking Siri to open a conversation from Messages in a

Deals: Best Buy's Apple Watch Flash Sale and B&H Photo's Back-to-School Savings on MacBook Pro and More

A new one-day-only flash sale has opened up at Best Buy, with nearly 30 models of the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) marked down by up to $250. Sale prices begin at $299.00 for the 38mm Aluminum models and $329.00 for the 42mm Aluminum models, but there are also savings on Stainless Steel and Ceramic versions of the 2017 Apple Watch. With this sale, Best Buy is offering the best prices online for the GPS + Cellular models of the Apple Watch Series 3, with the entry level Aluminum cases coming in $100 cheaper than rivals like B&H Photo and Walmart. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Below we've listed a few of the discounted models, but be sure to head over to Best Buy's Daily Deals page to see the full list of Apple Watches on sale and make your purchase before the day ends. 38mm Space Gray Aluminum, Black Sport Loop - $299.00, down from $399.00 42mm Space Gray Aluminum, Midnight Fog Nike Sport Loop - $329.00, down from $429.00 38mm Space Black Stainless Steel, Black Sport Band - $449.00, down from $599.00 42mm Stainless Steel, Soft White Sport Band - $499.00, down from $649.00 38mm White Ceramic, Soft White/Pebble Sport Band - $1,049.00, down from $1,299.00 42mm Gray Ceramic, Gray/Black Sport Band - $1,099.00, down from $1,349.00 Additionally, B&H Photo this week launched a new sale focused on back-to-school savings available to students getting ready for the new school year. The sale extends across numerous

Mimeo Photos Releases Themes, Book Sizes, and Templates 'Identical' to Apple Photo Books as Apple's Service Ends

In July it was discovered that Apple is planning to discontinue its physical Photo Books printing service on September 30, 2018. With Apple's first-party option disappearing, users will be left to create and buy physical books from third-party companies, and now one such company -- Mimeo Photos -- has announced the release of "identical" formats, templates, and book sizes that Apple Photo Books currently offers its users. This means that those users who opted for Apple's printing service in the past will now be able to transition to Mimeo Photos and its macOS extension to find all of the features that they're used to. Specifically, in Mimeo Photos the company says customers will now find design themes, product sets, templates, book sizes, materials, and print quality that is all "the same" as Apple's Photo Books service. "This is a real opportunity for us to expand our successes as a prominent Apple Photos extension since the beginning," said John Delbridge, CEO, Mimeo. "We are really excited to see an increase in demand from countries like Australia and Japan in addition to our strong US customer base." The company points out that in addition to the same Apple themes, book formats, and other materials now found within the extension, Mimeo Photos also offers a few other features for designing and creating physical photo books, cards, and calendars. Users can crop and move photos easily with in-depth transformation tools; write personalized texts in numerous fonts, colors, and sizes; add colors into pages with various background options; and choose from a "large

Facebook and Instagram Reveal Tools for Managing Your Time, Setting Reminders, and Limiting Notifications

Earlier in the summer, Facebook and Instagram each promised that users would soon be able to access a suite of digital health tools to help them manage their time on the social networks and promote healthier habits. Today, the companies revealed these tools in a press release and confirmed they will be rolling out to all mobile app users "soon." The tools will be found within the settings page on both iOS apps -- on Instagram it'll be called "Your Activity" and on Facebook it'll be called "Your Time on Facebook." At the top of the page, the activity dashboard will highlight your daily average time for each app on the device you have it installed on, and below that will be a bar graph detailing exactly how long you spent per day in each app over the last week. We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community. We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring. Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them. Below that is "Manage Your Time" section with a few features that focus on customizing push notifications. One is a "set daily reminder" option, which is an alert that notifies you when you've reached the amount of time you want to spend on Facebook or Instagram for that day. The other is for "notification settings," where you can

Twelve South Launches 'AirSnap' Leather Carrying Case for AirPods

Twelve South today revealed its latest Apple accessory called the "AirSnap," which is a case made for AirPods and aimed at making the wireless headphones easier to keep handy thanks to an attached metal clip. AirSnap is made from full-grain leather and helps to protect both the AirPods and AirPods case while on-the-go. The bottom of the case has a cutout so that you don't have to remove the AirPods from the AirSnap to charge them. Twelve South says one of the main features of AirSnap is the carabiner style metal clip: AirSnap features a carabiner style clip allowing you to attach this little case to a backpack, purse, keychain or anything else that goes wherever your AirPods need to go. By connecting AirSnap to your bag, you’ll know both your AirPods and Charging Case will be with you. The black carabiner also swivels, making it easy to grab or put your AirPods away. Those interested can purchase AirSnap from TwelveSouth's website for $29.99 in Deep Teal and Black, and a Cognac version is available to pre-order and should ship the week of August 6. The AirSnap follows the launch of Twelve South's last product, which was also designed for AirPods, called "AirFly." That accessory acts as an adapter so that you can use AirPods (or any Bluetooth headphones) where only wired headphone jacks are available, like on a plane, at the gym, or with the Nintendo

Deals: AirPods for $144.99, 4K iTunes Movies Sale, and Latest Anker Discount Codes

Apple's AirPods are seeing a rare and notable discount today at two retailers, with the wireless earphone accessory marked down to $144.99 at both Amazon and Adorama. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Straight discounts on AirPods don't come around very often and these are all-time-low prices for the accessory at both retailers, although they have been slightly cheaper for those using sitewide discount codes at places like eBay. So if you have been waiting for a price drop on AirPods, head over to Amazon or Adorama and place your order soon. We've also got a new collection of Anker discounts to highlight today: True-Wireless Earphones Soundcore Liberty Lite - $64.99 with code SDCLBT66, down from $79.99 (exp. 8/5) PowerWave 7.5 Pad, 7.5W Fast Wireless Charger - $31.99 with code POWERAAA, down from $39.99 (exp. 8/5) SoundBuds Slim+ Wireless Headphones - $21.99 with code SDBUDS01, down from $29.99 (exp. 8/7) PowerLine+ Lightning Cable (6ft, Red) with Pouch - $12.74 with code ANKER229, down from $16.99 (exp. 8/14) Roav Bluetooth Receiver - $15.99 with code ROAVB288, down from $22.99 (exp. 8/14) As it does every Tuesday, Apple today updated the iTunes Movies store with a new crop of film releases and discounts to help boost your iTunes Movies library. There are a few notable discounts on recent 4K releases, as well as many Disney films marked down by $5-$10, which you can check out below: Ready Player One (4K) - $12.99,

MoviePass Will Increase Price of Standard Plan to $14.95/Month in August

One day after MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe announced that subscribers will not be allowed to see select major movies like "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg," the company today announced a price hike for subscribers to its standard plan. The price of this $9.95/month tier will increase to $14.95/month "within the next 30 days," according to a press release shared today. This increase comes just under one year since MoviePass first began making headlines by dropping its subscription price to $9.95/month, allowing users to see one movie per day and saving money for those who visit the theater often. Now, following ongoing stock price drops, a new "Peak Pricing" feature, and a recent service blackout caused by a sudden lack of money, MoviePass is struggling to stay afloat. Today's press release also reiterates on the company's plan to limit availability of "First Run Movies" that open on 1,000+ screens (which is typically any major studio release) during their first two weeks, "unless made available on a promotional basis." This refers to films that MoviePass partly owns under its subsidiary MoviePass Ventures, gaining revenue through box office ticket sales on movies like "American Animals" and "Gotti." According to the company, its goal is to "enhance discovery" and "drive attendance" to smaller independent films like these, and as such has decided to limit ticket availability for "blockbuster" films. MoviePass also admits that it will save money by restricting its subscribers from being able to see movies like "Mission: Impossible Fallout" and "The Meg." In an effort

Deals: Sprint's iPhone 8 Flash Sale, Nike's Apple Watch Discounts, and Last Call for Exclusive RAVPower Codes

Sprint today announced a new promotion for customers adding a new line of service over the next few days, this time focusing on the iPhone 8. Under the new offer, new and existing customers who add a new line can get the 64GB iPhone 8 for $8 per month with Sprint Flex. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The flash sale will kick off tomorrow, July 31, and run through Thursday, August 9, available on Sprint's website and through over-the-phone orders. Sprint's announcement also follows the reveal of its new "Unlimited Plus" and "Unlimited Basic" smartphone plans earlier in the month. "Sprint’s Flash Sale is delivering a fast, simple and convenient online shopping experience, something we know consumers crave," said Dow Draper, Sprint chief commercial officer. "This is the first time Sprint has offered iPhone 8 at the unbelievably low price of only $8 a month with Sprint Flex. Now is the perfect time to become a customer because Sprint has the network built for unlimited at the best price. Don’t wait; iPhone 8 for $8 a month will only be available until Aug. 9." There are a few other deals going on today, starting off with savings on App Store and iTunes gift cards exclusively for Costco members. Those with a member account can get the $100 iTunes e-gift card for $84.49 and the $25 iTunes e-gift card for $21.49, coming just under the usual 15 percent discounts the cards see at other retailers. On eBay, customers have the

Apple Pay Predicted to Account for Half of Mobile Wallet Users by 2020

Juniper Research today published new data outlining predictions for mobile payments processing over the next five years, placing Apple Pay at the forefront in the market ahead of rivals like Samsung and Google. The study looked at Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and other "OEM Pay" (official equipment manufacturer) wallets. In total, OEM Pay users will reach 450 million globally by 2020, and the researchers predict that Apple Pay will account for 1 in 2 of these OEM Pay users at that time. This growth will cause OEM Pay wallets to reach $300 billion in transactions by 2020, representing 15 percent of total contactless in-store transactions within two years. While Juniper Research included newcomers to the mobile payments market like Fitbit Pay and Huawei Pay, they admit that these will likely not grow much and mobile wallets will continue to see leaders in Apple, Samsung, and Google. Research author Nitin Bhas explained: “We believe that growth over the next 5 years will continue to be dominated by offerings from the major OEM players. Additionally, we now have the likes of Huawei Pay and Fitbit Pay launching in several markets; this is now included in Juniper’s contactless forecasts”. Although mobile wallets will continue to grow, the research shared today also looked at the overall market of contactless payments, which will still see dominance from contactless card payments made using physical credit and debit cards. In-store contactless payments will reach $2 trillion by 2020, making up 15 percent of the total point of sale transactions and driven by

HomeKit-Compatible Ecobee Thermostat Trialing 'Peak Relief' Money Saving Feature

Smart thermostat company Ecobee has become the focus of a new profile shared online today by CNET, and alongside that article the company has revealed a new money saving feature for select Ecobee users called "Peak Relief." This feature was created to help users save on energy bills by automatically cutting down on heating and cooling when energy rates are higher, and then using more when rates are lower. For those in the test, Ecobee says Peak Relief can help customers save an extra 10 percent on heating and cooling bills. Adding in the up to 23 percent of savings that Ecobee already claims from normal use, the company now aims to save customers as much as 33 percent on monthly heating and cooling bills. Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard mentioned that the feature was developed over a year and a half and uses artificial intelligence and indoor/outdoor temperature readings to customize settings for each home. This is then combined with time-of-use rates from a utilities provider, which charge customers different prices depending on the time of day versus standard flat rates that go up as users consume more energy. CNET explains that Peak Relief requires time-of-use utility rates, and while these rates have the potential to cut-down costs it can be difficult to keep track of the higher demand periods, which is where Ecobee's new feature comes in: Time-of-use has the potential to save customers money and help utilities avoid spikes in demand. But, many customers have a hard time keeping track of varying time-of-use rates, resulting in less energy savings for utilities

Shareholders Approve Disney's $71.3B Acquisition of Fox as Deal Enters Final Stages

One week after Comcast officially bowed out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets by ceding to Disney, shareholders of both Fox and Disney have today approved Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition offer for Fox (via The Wall Street Journal). At two separate gatherings this morning in Manhattan, both company's shareholders were said to have "voiced their support" for the acquisition in brief meetings that lasted less than 15 minutes. There are still a few hurdles before Disney officially acquires 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, mostly related to approval from overseas entities. Specifically, Disney is waiting for the European Union and China to grant approval for the acquisition, as well as "more than a dozen" other international territories. Still, with the United States Justice Department approving the acquisition last month (with one condition for Disney) and now the shareholders voting to approve, it's believed Disney's acquisition of Fox will be done by early 2019. News of Disney's interest in Fox dates back to last December when Disney initially announced its bid to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion in stock. Comcast entered with its own $65 million cash offer for Fox's assets, leading to Disney's increased $71.3 billion cash and stock bid in June. At the time that it bowed out of the running for Fox, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney and its CEO Bob Iger and commended the Murdoch family and Fox "for creating such a desirable and respected company." Disney's plans for Fox line up with its intent to launch a

Amazon Testing Collaborative Shopping List Feature on iOS App and Website

Amazon has begun testing a small but useful new feature across its iOS app and mobile/desktop websites, allowing users to invite friends and family members to collaborate on a shopping list together. Amazon customers have long been asking for such a feature, and it seems like a small set of them have been selected to test it out ahead of a potential wider launch in the future (via Android Police). On iOS, after you open the Amazon app and navigate to one of your wish lists, you'll see a new prompt that says "Invite others to add or remove list items." If you tap this, you'll get the usual iOS sharing sheet with options like AirDrop, Message, E-Mail, and simply copying a URL to share with someone. Once the recipient gets the list invite, Amazon will open up in a browser (both mobile and desktop appear to work), and your list will now effectively appear as one of their own in their Amazon account. They'll be able to view it, add items to it, remove items, edit quantity, and edit comments. Collaborative lists will be designated as such at the top of the list near its name with two user icons and a "Shared" banner. Once multiple members are sharing a list, a new conversation icon will appear on the right of the list's page and act as a hub for users to send messages and discuss items on the list. Above this is an ellipsis icon that lets the list's original owner manage members and remove any they don't want to be able to access the list anymore. It appears that a few of these features are missing for some users at the time of writing, likely due to the feature