Is Apple poaching Intel talent from a new hush-hush facility in Oregon?

Apples in the Silicon Forest

What’s Apple up to? That’s the question many are asking here in DT’s hometown of Portland after news surfaced today that the tech giant has a secret lab of sorts here…. somewhere. Several online publications and local newspaper companion site Oregon Live are saying Apple has opened up a hush-hush facility near Intel’s main campus, which is located in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, and they’ve apparently been siphoning off some Intel talent as well. The lab reportedly went active last November and now has about 20 staffers.

There’s been much talk lately about how Apple may be working toward an ARM based touchscreen computer that may run on a new or hybridized version of iOS, and that Cupertino is hoping to have it operational by 2020, just 18 short months away. We’re not totally shocked Apple is poaching Intel talent for its ARM push, and we’re working hard to locate the secret Apple workshop. We’ll let you know if we see Tim Cook or Jony Ive getting donuts down the street for the new crew.

Facing failure

Yesterday we talked about how Motorola might have an iPhone X clone in the works, complete with a notch and other similar features, but today we’re talking about an actual production model, the OnePlus 6, which, again, also looks oddly familiar and features that cute notch on a nearly bezel-less front display. However, the OnePlus 6 also features a facial recognition unlocking feature, and it’s here that you can appreciate the efforts and complexity that went into Apple’s FaceID tech. Why? Because you can unlock the OnePlus 6 using a simple printout of the face of whoever owns the phone. And it doesn’t even have to be in color.

Bearded twitter denizen “Rik” posted this video of a friend using a printout of his face to unlock the phone, and says he did not train the phone to unlock using the printout; he used his actual face. After another person asked if it worked with a greyscale printout, Rik gave it go and says that also unlocked the phone. OnePlus has responded by saying that the facial recognition system on the 6 is for “convenience” but it seems awfully “convenient” for crooks to print out your mug from, say, a social media post, snag your phone and then use it to empty your bank account.

Electric traction

Audi is showing off – and driving – pre-production examples of their first all-electric car, which so far has been dubbed the Audi e-tron Quattro. We’re sure Disney’s lawyers ears just perked up a bit. Copyright lawsuits aside, 250 near-production examples of the electric Quattro have been plying the streets of Geneva ahead of the big auto show there, and DT car guy Ronan Glon cornered an Audi VIP to get some more details. Turns out the official introduction of the car will be in August and it’ll go on sale as a 2019 model.

Despite plying the Audi rep with alcohol and bribery attempts, we couldn’t shake loose any specific specs, but since it has “Quattro” in the name, expect it to have all-wheel drive and compete head-on with Tesla’s offerings and the upcoming Jaguar i-Pace. One cool feature we spotted: The E-Tron doesn’t have any mirrors, it uses side view cameras instead. That’s not legal in the US – yet – despite pushes from Tesla to make it so. Deleting the mirrors on a car greatly improves its aerodynamics, but the wheels of regulatory bodies turn slowly, so here’s hoping the rules change in time for the e-tron’s debut next year.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.