AppleMagazine #439

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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
26 号


china lifting last controls in province at outbreak’s center

Trains carrying factory employees back to work after two months in locked-down cities rolled out of Hubei province, the center of China’s virus outbreak, as the government on Wednesday began lifting the last of the controls that confined tens of millions of people to their homes. Roadblocks on bridges and at expressway gates opened, allowing trucks and cars through for the first time in two months. Residents of Wuhan, the provincial capital where the coronavirus emerged in December, are allowed out of the city but cannot leave Hubei until April 8. Restrictions that barred tens of millions of people from leaving other cities in Hubei since late February as China fought to contain the outbreak were lifted Wednesday. As the United States and European countries tighten their own controls, China’s ruling Communist Party…

virus spurs unexpected test for us schools: online learning

The coronavirus shutdowns have launched an unplanned, unprecedented experiment with online education at schools across the U.S., and the nation’s largest school system plunged in Monday as New York City asked over 1.1 million students to log in and learn. After a whirlwind week of planning, students — those who could — signed in to Google classrooms and Zoom video conferences for virtual versions of everything from high-school English discussions to kindergarten gym classes. City officials were still trying to get laptops to hundreds of thousands of students in need. Parents grappled with how much to expect of their schools, their kids and themselves. Emily James was pleased to see the vast majority of her ninth-grade English students showed up for class by video, some using smartphones or borrowed laptops. “They were…

no family, fanfare for nasa astronaut launching next month

A NASA astronaut who’s about to leave the planet for six months will blast off without any family or fanfare because of the coronavirus. Chris Cassidy said Thursday that he won’t have any guests at his April 9 launch from Kazakhstan. He expects to say goodbye in Russia to his wife on Friday, three weeks earlier than planned. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, she’s going back home to Houston. One of his three children, meanwhile, is trying to get back to the U.S. from New Zealand. There will be a smaller team than usual at the launch pad, too. “It really is going to be strange,” Cassidy told The Associated Press from cosmonaut headquarters in Star City, Russia. He said he’s already in quarantine ahead of his launch to the International Space Station. “The things…

8 european spacecraft put in hibernation amid virus lockdown

The European Space Agency said that it is putting eight of its spacecraft into hibernation as it scales down operations during the coronavirus outbreak. The agency said it is further reducing the already limited number of staff working on site at its mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. As a result, the instruments and data collection on some space probes are being temporarily stopped. They include the Cluster mission, consisting of four probes launched in 2000 to investigate Earth’s magnetic environment and how it is affected by solar wind; the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter launched in 2016 to investigate the red planet’s atmosphere; Mars Express, launched in 2003 and which has been capturing images of the surface of Mars; and the Solar Orbiter mission launched last month to observe the sun. The eight spacecraft…

softbank to buy back $41 billion in assets to trim debt

The Japanese technology and telecoms company SoftBank said it plans to buy back up to 4.5 trillion yen ($41 billion) of its assets as it seeks to trim its gigantic debt burden. The company’s founder, Masayoshi Son, said the move reflected “the firm and unwavering confidence we have in our business.” Tokyo-based SoftBank will buy up to 2 trillion yen ($18.1 billion) of its shares, Son said in a statement. Earlier, SoftBank announced a 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) share repurchase. Acting at a time when the coronavirus outbreak has ramped up uncertainty for many industries, the company said it will spend the remaining 2.5 trillion yen on debt redemptions, bond buybacks and increasing its cash reserves. The company said it believes its shares are undervalued by 73% to their “intrinsic value.” SoftBank Group Corp.’s…

the new ipad pro: leveling up the tablet experience

With Apple pulling the plug on its March Special Event over coronavirus fears, where it planned to show off new iPads and MacBooks, the company decided to launch its biggest update to the iPad in a press release. But don’t be fooled by the lack of fanfare: the launch puts the “Pro” back into the tablet, creating a next-level experience ideal for professionals. ENHANCING THE 2018 MODEL When Apple overhauled the iPad Pro in 2018, the company made it clear that it was placing a new focus on its professional users. For too long, Apple had been targeting its everyday consumer market with iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks, and though innovations did allow the company to stay one step ahead of the competition, professionals had to choose between a Mac or a competitor…