AppleMagazine #469


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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
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‘sesame street’ launches a podcast to help educate kids

What has more letters than the alphabet? That’s easy: The post office. That joke — sponsored by the letter A — is a highlight of the first original podcast from “Sesame Street,” featuring music, interactive games and Muppets galore. “The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley & Friends” is an offering on Audible that gives some screen-free educational entertainment to kids who may be having spotty school lessons during the coronavirus pandemic. “We think it’s so important to have this other medium besides screens for playful, fun, engaging episodes that are also curriculum driven and really address the important educational needs for young children,” said Jennifer Schiffman Sanders, the director of content, education and research for Sesame Workshop. The podcast is led by 6-year-old, exuberant Foley, “the sound-maker monster.” She’s joined by her sidekick, Mikee…

a desk of their own to ease remote learning for kids in need

As remote schooling surged during the pandemic, parents across the country realized that many kids didn’t have desks at home. So they got busy building, collecting and donating them, giving hundreds or thousands of students workspaces to call their own and helping them get through long days of virtual learning. For Mitch Couch in the Central California town of Lemoore, inspiration struck when his 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son kept taking over the kitchen table for their remote lessons. He made desks for them, and thought: Why not provide others’ children with individual learning areas they could decorate with stickers and paint? The desks he made were kid-size, simple and inexpensive, fashioned from plywood with a hutch for workbooks and papers. But they did the trick. “I was like, you know what, I built…

how google evolved from ‘cuddly’ startup to antitrust target

In Google’s infancy, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin reviled Microsoft as a technological bully that ruthlessly abused its dominance of the personal computer software market to choke off competition that could spawn better products. Their disdain for Microsoft spurred Google to adopt “Don’t Be Evil” as a corporate motto that remained its moral compass during its transition from a free-wheeling startup to a publicly traded company suddenly accountable to shareholders. That pledge is now a distant memory as Google confronts an existential threat similar to what Microsoft once faced. Like Microsoft was 22 years ago, Google is in the crosshairs of a Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of wielding the immense power of its internet search engine as a weapon that has bludgeoned competition and thwarted innovation to the detriment of the…

gm to run robot cars in san francisco without human backups

General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit says it will pull the human backup drivers from its vehicles in San Francisco by the end of the year. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement that the company got a permit from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to let the cars travel on their own. The move follows last week’s announcement from Waymo that it would open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public in the Phoenix area in vehicles without human drivers. Waymo, a unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., is hoping to eventually expand the service into California, where it already has a permit to run without human backups. Cruise has reached the point where it’s confident that it can safely operate without humans in the cars, spokesman Ray Wert said. There’s no…

homepod mini: huge computational audio in a little package

HomePod was introduced to much fanfare in 2018, but it was a smaller, more affordable smart device that consumers were crying out for. Two years later, Apple has finally delivered, unveiling the all-new HomePod mini that unlocks exciting possibilities for Siri and the Apple ecosystem. Echo Dot and Nest Mini watch out: there’s a new smart speaker kid on the block! INTRODUCING HOMEPOD MINI At Apple’s Special Event this October, watched by millions of consumers and tech critics around the world, Tim Cook decided that the company should lead not with the introduction of the all-new 5G iPhone 12 range, but an altogether different device. The HomePod mini has been rumored for a number of years, designed to help Apple better compete with the likes of Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo…

an electric hummer? battery-powered trucks head to showrooms

Seven auto companies have plans to roll out new battery-powered pickup trucks over the next two years, aiming to cash in on a popular and lucrative market for expensive vehicles. General Motors is among them, and this week its GMC brand introduced a new electric Hummer pickup, with a high-end version due in showrooms sometime in the fall of next year. The Hummer will be joined by crosstown rival Ford’s electric F-150, Tesla’s Cybertruck and pickups from four startup companies. All intend to start producing them between June of next year and the end of 2022. Prices announced thus far show they range from roughly $40,000 for a base Cybertruck to a loaded off-road Hummer “Edition 1” that will start at more than $112,000. GM, Ford, Tesla, Bollinger Motors, Nikola, Rivian and Lordstown Motors…