AppleMagazine #477


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Ivan Castilho de Almeida
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pop culture in (ugh) 2020, from the bizarre to the sublime

And now, for our annual look at the year in pop culture…. Oh, wait. This was 2020. The year everything stopped cold. Well, not really. Truth is, people turned to culture of all kinds in 2020 — highbrow and lowbrow — to satisfy varied and sometimes conflicting needs: Distraction, inspiration, consolation, escapism, hope. And those needs evolved: If we began lockdown in March by addictively binge-watching the darkly bizarre “Tiger King,” by early winter we were transfixed by a different sort of animal: the graceful octopod of “My Octopus Teacher,” extending her tentacles to make connections that seemed achingly poignant in a time when mere hugs between humans are taboo. And while live entertainment was tragically curtailed due to the raging pandemic, performers often found their own stages, in endlessly creative ways.…

oracle says it will move hq from silicon valley to texas

Tech giant Oracle Corp. said it will move its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas, and let many employees choose their office locations and decide whether to work from home. The business software maker said it will keep major hubs at its current home in Redwood City, California, and other locations. “We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The move comes the same week that Tesla founder Elon Musk announced that he has moved to Austin. Musk had criticized California officials for restrictions designed to limit the coronavirus pandemic. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott quickly boasted about Oracle’s decision. “Oracle just announced they have moved their headquarters to Austin,” Abbott tweeted. “Texas is…

apple’s app stores open new privacy window for customers

Apple has begun spelling out what kinds of personal information is being collected by the digital services displayed in its app stores for iPhones and other products made by the trendsetting company. Starting Monday, the additional disclosures will begin to appear in apps made for iPads, Mac computers and Apple’s TV streaming device, as well as its biggest moneymaker, the iPhone. Apple announced the changes were coming six months ago as part of an effort to help its customers gain a better understanding of how apps monitor their habits, tastes and whereabouts. In many instances, the data scooped up by apps is used to sell ads targeted at a particular person’s interest and location, especially if their services are being offered for free. The increased transparency about the collection and handling of personal…

gmail, youtube down briefly as google suffers brief outage

Google users in the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world were briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos or get to their online documents during an outage this Monday. Tens of thousands of complaints popped up around 7 a.m. Eastern along the East Coast of the U.S. The vast majority of those people, about 90%, could not log in, according to the site Downdetector. The inability to sign in prevented users accessing other platforms through Google, including mobile video games. The disruption was an early jolt on the East Coast for parents who were waking children up for school. Millions of students are relying on Google for online instruction during the pandemic, including platforms like Google Docs. The problem appeared to cleared up just before 8 a.m. “The problem…

amazon’s zoox unveils autonomous electric vehicle

An autonomous vehicle company acquired this year by Amazon has unveiled a four-person “robo-taxi,” a compact, multidirectional vehicle designed for dense, urban environments. The carriage-style interior of the vehicle produced by Zoox Inc. has two benches that face each other. There is no steering wheel. It measures just under 12 feet long, about a foot shorter than a standard Mini Cooper. It is among the first vehicles with bidirectional capabilities and four-wheel steering, allowing for better maneuverability. It has a top speed of 75 miles per hour. The vehicle is being tested in the company’s base of Foster City, California, as well as Las Vegas and San Francisco, Zoox said. Zoox, based Foster City in Silicon Valley, was founded in 2014 and acquired by Amazon in June. It operates as an independent subsidiary at…

wrapped up: the best gifts for apple lovers this christmas

It’s hard to go wrong with a gift from Apple. Whether you’re looking to treat your daughter to the latest iPad, your husband to a new Apple Watch, or get grandma set up with a HomePod mini, Apple’s ever-expanding ecosystem means there’s something for everyone. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together an exclusive gift guide jam-packed with Apple goodies… CELEBRATE WITH THE STARS OF THE SHOW Let’s face it: 2020 has been a challenging year for us all. The COVID-19 pandemic has cost us more than 1.5 million lives worldwide, wreaked havoc to the global economy, and put a temporary stop to socializing, retail, and hospitality. It’s no surprise to learn, therefore, that a fifth of Americans say they are planning to spend more this Christmas than any other…