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HomePod white ring issue confirmed by Apple [Update]

Apple’s HomePod may auto-tune itself to suit wherever it’s placed in a room, but there’s a physical reason why you should still be careful about where you put the smart speaker. The Siri-powered music player is one of Apple’s more cohesive designs of late, smaller than you might expect from photos, and clad in a textured – but acoustically transparent – fabric sheath.

However, it seems there are still some issues that Apple didn’t see fit to warn us about. HomePod sits on a silicone foot – indeed, the base is the only place you’ll actually find the Apple logo – but if you lift it up to look at it you might find there’s an ugly ring left behind on whatever furniture it was placed on. That, unfortunately, is what several owners are now discovering.

The Wirecutter spotted the issue, as did Pocket-lint, and Apple confirmed that it is, indeed, a known tendency of the HomePod. It depends on what the surface is it’s placed on, of course, with certain types of wood being problematic. After a period on a wooden side table, for example, or an oiled butcher-block countertop, white circular rings were found.

It’s worth noting that, in our own testing with HomePod in a number of places and on a range of different surfaces, we’ve not observed any issues with left-behind rings. That includes painted shelves, tile, glass, and sealed wood. All the same, it may give you pause as you consider not only the sound quality of a particular location, but whether HomePod might not play entirely nicely with the furniture there too.

It’s unclear at this stage what the exact problem is. Other devices – indeed, other Apple devices – have silicone feet, but don’t struggle with the same issue of leaving a mark. It could well be a chemistry issue with Apple’s supplier of the HomePod’s base, and thus something the company could correct on the production line.

Certainly, it’s not sufficient to dampen our enthusiasm for HomePod as a musical speaker. Siri’s performance still leaves us a little less impressed, at least when you roam outside controlling Apple Music by voice, as we noted in our HomePod review. All the same, it’s another thing to bear in mind as you decide where to situate your smart speaker.

Update: Apple has a new support document with guidance on where best to put HomePod, how to clean and maintain it, and other details. It specifically refers to the white mark issue, which Apple says “is not unusual” for silicone bases:

“It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.” Apple

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This Week In Apple: Wwdc Keynote, Ios 14, Imac And Homepod Rumors, And More


This week in Apple news we heard a lot about new software for many of the Apple products available today. That’s because this week was the kick-off of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), so we learned about new features coming to the next generations of Apple’s operating systems.

While this week was dominated by WWDC, there were other things happening in the world of Apple. In other Apple news, we heard about a new iMac coming very soon, Apple giving a bit more power to developers with products on the App Store, new info related to a possible new HomePod, and more!

See the Apple news roundup below for all the latest.

The top Apple news stories of the past week:

All sorts of announcements at WWDC: The WWDC 2023 keynote happened on Monday. During that event, Apple announced so many new features for its various operating systems that it took nearly 3,000 words for us to cover it all. You can read our full summary here.

iOS 14 gets lots of Android features: The upcoming version of iOS 14 will incorporate many new features — well, new to iPhone users, anyway. Android users are already used to most of them, including home screen widgets, changing default apps, the App Library, picture-in-picture mode, and more.

New iMac on the way, but with Intel processor: According to frequent Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, we can expect a new iMac at the end of this year with an all-new design. The design is likely to be very reminiscent of the iPad Pro design. However, the iMac will likely not come with the just-announced Apple silicon and instead come with an Intel chipset.

iPhone 12 series might not have a charger in the box: Although we are very, very skeptical of this rumor, analysts at Barclays have suggested that at least some of the upcoming phones in the iPhone 12 series will ship without headphones or a charger in the box. Instead, there will only be a Lightning-to-USB cable. We are totally on board with the no-headphones bit, but no charger? We don’t buy it.

Apple offering more tools for developers to fight back: With the recent high-profile news related to Apple’s handling of email app Hey, it appears the bad PR is changing the company’s tune. Now, Apple will give more power to developers to challenge App Store guidelines as well as air their grievances over what some call a monopolistic enterprise.

More fuel added to the new HomePod fire: Apple still hasn’t introduced a follow-up to its lone smart speaker, the HomePod. However, it is now inviting some people to test new HomePod software. Usually, HomePod software is tested internally, so this is an interesting development that could suggest a new addition to the HomePod line is on the way.

iOS 14 exposes TikTok’s access to clipboards: Thanks to a new privacy feature in iOS 14 that alerts users when apps access their clipboard contents, we now know that TikTok has been accessing users’ clipboards for a long time. TikTok claims this was to prevent spammy behavior, although it very quickly removed access after getting caught.

Apple begins re-closing US stores, because viruses don’t just stop: Over the past few weeks, Apple had started re-opening many of its US-based stores, even with all the data pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic being far from over. Now, Apple is re-closing some of the stores it just re-opened, including many of the Florida and Texas locations.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Pricing And Fuel Economy Confirmed

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback pricing and fuel economy confirmed

Toyota has confirmed pricing and fuel economy numbers for the new 2023 Corolla Hatchback, and there’s generally good news all round. The first of the 12th generation Corolla range to hit the market, it replaces the 2023 Corolla iM – previously known as the Scion iM – with more power and more economy.

Indeed, the step up over the old iM is considerable, with the 2023 Corolla Hatchback besting its predecessor by several points – depending on where you’re driving – whether you opt for the six-speed manual transmission or the CVT. The 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE MT does 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. In contrast, the old Corolla iM manual did 27 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.

As for the CVT, the new 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE CVT does 32 mpg in the city, 42 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. The XSE CVT version of the new car gets 30 mpg, 38 mpg, and 33 mpg respectively. Meanwhile, the old iM CVT did 28 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. EPA figures for the XSE MT are yet to be confirmed.

It’s an impressive showing, considering the new Dynamic Force 2.0-liter engine pushes power to 168 hp and torque to 151 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 31 hp and 25 lb-ft. more than the old 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mustered. As we found when we drove both transmissions last month, the new Corolla Hatchback is eons ahead in driving enthusiasm, too.

In the CVT, that’s in no small part down to Toyota’s use of a mechanical first gear. That helps avoid some of the rubber-banding feel that continuously-variable transmissions can suffer from, with lag between when you put your foot down on the gas and when the drivetrain actually starts delivering power to the wheels. It’s not to say the manual gearbox has been left out of the fun, mind. That gets a new “Intelligent Manual Transmission” mode, which switches on rev-matching among the things.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the price has risen slightly over the old iM. The 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE MT starts at $19,990 (plus $920 destination), while the SE CVT starts from $21,090. That’s between $1k and $1.5k more than the previous hatchback, though it’s worth noting that you get far more tech as standard in the new car.

The 2023 Corolla Hatchback XSE MT will be $22,990, meanwhile, and the XSE CVT from $24,090. Again, count an extra $920 destination on top of all those numbers.

As for options, the adaptive front lighting system – which uses extra, angled lamps to illuminate around corners when you turn – will be a $415 extra on the XSE trim. The SE Preferred Package, with Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, app suite support, Toyota Connected Services, and blind-spot monitoring will be $1,400. The XSE Preferred Package, which steps up to Entune 3.0 Premium Audio with an 800W JBL 8-speaker system, Toyota Connected Services, navigation, and Qi wireless charging for your phone will be $1,600.

Finally, Blizzard Pearl premium paint will be $395 regardless of trim. Sales kick off when the 2023 Corolla Hatchback arrives in dealerships this summer.

Terriers Hailed For White Mountains River Rescue

Terriers Hailed for White Mountains River Rescue Kilachand Honors College students revive man with CPR

Abriana Tasillo (CAS’15) (clockwise from left), Forrest Rosenblum (CAS’15), Molly Tobin (SAR’15), and Declan Bowman (ENG’15) rescued and revived an unconscious man from a New Hampshire river. Photos by Cydney Scott

It was supposed to be the perfect weekend—four BU friends from the Kilachand Honors College road-tripping from Boston to the White Mountains on “a last hoorah” campout before the start of the fall semester. The forecast called for sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-70s.

Molly Tobin (SAR’15) was thinking: “I feel like this is the safest trip I’ll ever be on,” considering one of her companions, Declan Bowman (ENG’15), is an outdoorsy handyman and another, Abriana Tasillo (CAS’15), an EMT. “I felt good about this, like nothing was going to go wrong.”

But it did. Just hours after setting up camp earlier this month at the Ammonoosuc Campground in Twin Mountain, N.H., the four found themselves involved in a rescue that would leave them shaken, but heroes in the eyes of many.

“We just happened to be the right people at the right place at the right time,” Bowman said last week, sitting in the George Sherman Union with his three friends as they spoke about their experience. “We just did what we could, and that was enough.”

Tobin, Bowman, Tasillo, and the fourth camper, Forrest Rosenblum (CAS’15), felt like a swim after their nearly three-hour drive from Boston. So after setting up camp, they hopped back in Tasillo’s car for the short trip to the historic Mount Washington Hotel. From there, they walked about 20 minutes to the Upper Falls of the Ammonoosuc River, a popular swimming and cliff-diving spot swollen from recent rains and notorious locally—the BU students later discovered—for swimming tragedies.

The friends stripped to their suits and jumped into the water. While some people were swimming in deep pools downriver from the rocky rapids, others climbed the bordering cliffs to jump into the frothy water below. On one of the taller rocks, Bowman met Freddy Poisson, a 6-foot-3-inch, 300-pound cliff jumper, from Haverhill, Mass. Sensing the BU junior’s hesitation about jumping, Poisson reassured him, saying, “I’ve jumped off a hundred times,” just before taking his 101st plunge. Feeling more confident, Bowman followed suit soon afterwards.

Less than an hour later, the four friends were drying off in the sun downriver from the cliff jumpers when they heard screams and saw people pointing. They crossed the stream to get a better look. Another swimmer told them that a man had jumped into the turbulent white waters to save a drowning teenager, but—after pushing the boy to safety on a nearby rock—had been sucked underwater.

Several minutes had passed when Bowman spotted “something in the water that shouldn’t be in the water.” It was Poisson, almost completely submerged and floating in the stream nearby. He waded in, grabbed hold of him, and started yanking him towards the shore. The rest of his friends and other bystanders followed, and they pulled Poisson out of the river.

Poisson’s face was blue, foam trailed from his mouth and nose, and his eyes were dilated and foggy. Tasillo, a BU EMT who was certified in CPR three years ago, knew the signs weren’t good: “My first thought was that he was dead,” she said. One bystander dropped beside Poisson to start chest compressions, but Tasillo stopped him—she first needed to check for a pulse and breathing. Neither were present, so they started CPR. Still nothing.

Tobin said it was at that point that her friend became “super in charge in a really good way.” Tasillo yelled for someone to call 9-1-1 and for everyone to get out of the river (some people were still swimming) as she took over the chest compressions and directed Poisson’s girlfriend to give him breaths. More minutes passed, and then Poisson’s chest rose and fell ever so slightly. He was alive.

Turning him on his side, Tasillo monitored his breath and his pulse and “kind of yelled at him for about 10 minutes” to ensure he remained conscious. The small crowd around the rescue team started clapping and cheered each time they heard him speak.

“‘I can’t breathe,’” Tasillo remembered Poisson saying. “Which is great news” she said, “because if anyone can tell you he can’t breathe, then he’s fine.”

Officials from New Hampshire Fish and Game arrived soon thereafter, followed 15 minutes later by paramedics, who attended to Poisson. Once officials had interviewed the BU students, they packed up and returned to their campsite to “decompress and move on,” Rosenblum said. They stuck with their original plan to stay through Monday morning, and even hiked Mount Monroe on Sunday. “We weren’t going to leave,” Tobin said. “We had already paid for our campsite.”

But the incident lingered in their minds. “It was just weird,” Bowman said. “I had never seen someone who was basically dead.”

“It all happened so fast it was hard to believe,” said Tobin, who wondered at the time, “Am I about to watch someone die?”

Once she returned home, Tasillo found several phone messages from reporters. One of them had been in touch with Poisson and wanted to pass along his contact information. She called him, and after a few awkward moments introducing herself, learned that although he was sore from broken ribs (a common result of CPR), he was tremendously grateful for her help.

The whole conversation, Tasillo said, felt bizarre. As an EMT, she’s used to meeting people at their worst moments, releasing them to emergency room staff, and never seeing them again. “It was the first time I had a patient talk to me about what I did for them,” she said. It was also the first time she’d ever performed CPR on a real person.

Together for the first time since their trip, the four friends recounted their story in fits and starts, laughing occasionally as they shared details. Tobin recalled that Bowman and Tasillo were last minute add-ons to the trip, committing just two days before they left, leaving them all to wonder silently what might have happened if they hadn’t gone.

“I was just really proud of my friends,” said Rosenblum.

Tobin, nodding: “I would second that.”

Interested in becoming an EMT or being certified in CPR? Visit FitRec for more information about Emergency Medical Service classes, including those for BU students, the general public, and current EMTs.

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Kindle Book Won’T Download Issue

Blessed with the kindle editions, there is no need to carry your heavy books while you travel. You can enjoy your kindle version anywhere.

Yes, of course, you cannot relish the smell of your newly bought book, but you can easily access it in minutes and can choose from innumerable options!

When you lose interest to read a book you have the option to change it with the wink of an eye wherever you are.

But sometimes due to some technical glitches, you may encounter the kindle book won’t download issue and this can be annoying while searching for some of your long-awaited favorites.

In this article, I am going to discuss the possible ways to address the issue. 

In order to sort out the reason why you cannot download the kindle edition, first make sure that you have a proper Wi-Fi connection.

Often due to poor connectional issues, you cannot operate this downloading function.

Next, you can give your Kindle device and the app a fresh restart and solve the problem at once.

Otherwise, you can open amazon settings and go to the Manage Your Content and Devices option and choose to send those from the account manually.

In case you cannot solve the kindle book won’t download the issue in any other ways, contact your customer care service and seek help from the customer care unit. Now let us discuss the fixes in detail. 

Sometimes you may have a poor network connection for which you may face book won’t download on the kindle app issue. For this, here, I recommend you to check whether the Wi-Fi is properly connected.

You can go for disconnecting and then again connecting back to the Kindle and check whether the issue gets addressed this way.

Wait patiently till the procedure gets completed and you are required not to perform any other activity in between as this may harm your system.  After you finish the process, try to download your Kindle edition. 

In case your Kindle device is kept on for a long time, you may face issues while downloading your Kindle edition.

Many users have fixed this problem simply by giving their kindle device a fresh restart.

Although this step may sound to be remarkably easy yes this has helped a lot!

Press the power button and hold it for 40-50 seconds and then wait till the kindle gets turned off and then reboot itself. Now after you are done, check whether your kindle download error got solved. 

If you cannot solve the kindle book won’t open issue with any other method, you can try to use the Manage Your Content and Devices option.

You can easily find this option in your amazon’s settings and send those from the account manually.

Locate your version from the Settings that you are unable to download and then move on to Actions.

After that choose the Deliver To A Device option.

When you are troubled with the kindle download error, it is better to delete and then re-download your book. This way you can easily check the issue.

For re-downloading your kindle edition, you will have to go back to the Amazon account you use. You will find all of your books here. Now send back the book you failed to download. 

Here you will be able to find out the orders that you have made, and you can also re-download the same.

You have another option to download it to your computer and then transfer it to the Kindle edition. 

Sometimes it might happen that after selection of your book you have placed order and chosen some method to pay.

You have chances that the method you have selected to pay may not be valid or applicable and this is preventing it from getting synced or downloaded.

In this case you will have to visit Manage Your Content and Devices section and from there open the Settings option.

Now, from the given options, choose payment settings and then move on to the Edit Payment Method option. 

If no solution has helped you to check the kindle book won’t open problem, contact with the representatives from Amazon.

You can easily find the customer care service and from the help desk, speak to the concerned person and resolve your issue.

Also Read: Kindle App For Windows 10: Unable To Connect Error Solved

So, I hope this article has helped you with some feasible solutions to solve the annoying Kindle book won’t download issue.

You can also shoot us a mail at your convenience. We are always eager to hear from you.

White House Pledges Cloud Computing Approach To Federal It

McLEAN, Va. — In perhaps its most dramatic move yet toward reshaping the federal IT apparatus, the Obama administration on Friday announced a multipronged strategy to improve efficiencies and eliminate waste from the government’s sprawling technology operations, including a mandate for all agencies to embrace cloud computing.

Speaking here at an event hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Jeffrey Zients, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), described a “cloud-first” policy that Obama plans to incorporate in the fiscal 2012 budget, directing IT managers across the federal government to look to lightweight, distributed IP-based systems ahead of building their own technologies in-house.

“Government agencies too often rely on proprietary, custom IT solutions. We need to fundamentally shift this mindset from building custom systems to adopting lighter technologies and shared solutions,” Zients said.

“What this means is that going forward, when evaluating options for new IT development, OMB will require that agencies default to cloud-based solutions whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists.”

The cloud computing initiative means that agencies will be asked to consider Web-based applications in areas like productivity and collaboration, but it also calls for a hard look at infrastructure. The administration has conducted a review of federal IT installations, and tallied more than 2,000 data centers across the country, many of which operate well below their peak capacity.

“The reason we’re really, really focused on cloud computing is because it also allows us to bring in new ideas, new energy, new ways of solving some really, really difficult problems when it comes to information technology,” Federal CIO Vivek Kundra said in a question-and-answer session following Zients’ talk. “With the default policy towards cloud, what that really moves is behavior toward where agencies are going to provision IT rather than build wherever possible, especially when it comes to commodity IT.”

Zients announced a goal of trimming the number of federal data centers by 40 percent by 2023, with more detailed plans for phasing out and consolidating specific locations to come in March.

Zients had been serving as acting director of OMB until the White House secured Senate confirmation of Jacob Lew yesterday afternoon to replace Peter Orszag as permanent head of the agency. He also serves the nation’s first chief performance officer, and said this morning that remaking the hulking federal IT infrastructure is atop Obama’s agenda for streamlining the internal workings of government.

“Too often, IT projects run over budget, behind schedule, or fail to deliver their promise of functionality,” Zients said. “Fixing IT is central to everything we’re trying to do across government. IT is our top priority.”

The White House has taken a number of steps toward IT reform, including the launch of chúng tôi an online portal for commercial vendors to showcase their cloud-based technologies for government IT buyers. The administration’s tech team has also set up an online dashboard to track the spending and progress of IT deployments across the government, with the aim of generating more detailed reporting data to identify and either rehabilitate or terminate underperforming projects.

But the administration went a step further today, rolling out a set of policy changes that address every stage of the IT cycle, including budgeting, procurement and management.

“The way we currently budget and acquire IT is broken,” he said. “All of you know three years is forever in technology.”

Of course, reforming the rules of bedrock bureaucratic functions like appropriations and procurement is not an overnight process, and Zients pledged that the administration would work with Congress as it looks to set up pilot programs across the agencies to craft a swifter IT acquisition cycle. But within existing rules are flexibilities that can also speed the process, he said, announcing the administration’s initiative to recruit and train experts in the acquisition process to help the agencies better keep pace with the rapid evolution of commercial IT products.

Zients described the private-sector “productivity boom” that stemmed from the development of information technology over the last few decades, lamenting that the federal government began to fall behind in the 1980s, and has slipped steadily since.

“We can no longer accept a government that performs less effectively and less efficiently than the private sector,” he said. “When you look inside a typical government operation, you’re struck by the absence of many of the systems, processes and tools that we all take for granted in the private sector.”

In that spirit, another administration objective is to drive closer collaboration with industry, which will include a “myth-busting” campaign to educate agency managers about the extent to which they are permitted to consult with members of the private sector before they veer into impropriety. Zients explained that many government managers have become so “risk averse” that they err, excessively, on the side of caution, consciously avoiding contact with business community for fear of breaking a rule.

Other elements of the White House reform push include efforts to streamline the overlapping and often duplicative layers of governance and oversight, replacing them with reconstituted investment review boards to evaluate the merit and progress of federal IT projects.

Additionally, Zients outlined a new initiative at the Office of Personnel Management that will aim to “professionalize” federal program managers, charting out a distinct career path for the stewards of government IT projects.

Taken together, the administration’s announcements come as a response to the concern that federal IT has fallen hopelessly behind the private sector, both by measure of the types of technology in use and the methods by which projects are planned, implemented and managed.

“These reforms will enable us to move away from the grand design, boil-the-ocean approaches of the past to the agile, modular approaches that have transformed the success rate of IT projects in the private sector, by breaking projects into manageable chunks then demanding the functionality every few quarters, not every few years,” Zients said.

Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.

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