Apple reportedly adding voice activation to new AirPods this year, water resistance next

Apple’s release plans for new AirPods models have been divulged in a Bloomberg report this morning. The Cupertino company is said to be planning to refresh the AirPods, first released in late 2016, with a new model this year, whose highlight changes will be an improved wireless chip and the ability to activate Siri voice commands just by saying “Hey Siri.” Presently, you have to tap on one of the wireless earbuds to make that happen. Beyond 2018, Bloomberg goes on to suggest that Apple will make the AirPods water-resistant in a 2019 update.

In the world of headphones, popular models can go years without being updated, but in the world of Apple, fast and regular iteration is the more expected cadence. So it’s not a surprise to see Apple…

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The new Blu Vivo X has four cameras and costs $249 for a limited time

Today, budget Android phone maker Blu announced its latest flagship handset, the Blu Vivo X. The device’s standout feature is that it has not two or even three, but four cameras. The Blu Vivo X continues the trend of lower-end phones featuring four cameras, with a dual front-facing one for taking selfies and a more powerful dual rear-facing system for standard mobile photography. Blu explains the logic in the press release: “When it comes to cameras, two is better than one, and four is better than two.”

The phone has a six-inch screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 1440 x 720 resolution. The front of the phone is made of curved Gorilla Glass, with a 20-megapixel camera and a 8-megapixel camera to help create a bokeh, or blurred…

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Ford president leaves the company over ‘inappropriate behavior’

Ford Motor Company President Raj Nair is leaving the company “effective immediately” after an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior. “Certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct,” the company writes in a statement. No further specifics were given about which parts of the company’s code of conduct were violated.

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair had been with the company for 31 years, and in 2017 was named to the position of president of North American…

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Blame air currents for the East Coast’s warm spell, and also climate change

The US East Coast has been unusually hot this week, breaking temperature records from Boston to Washington, DC. But what’s causing this sudden warm spell?

The answer has to do with the air currents in the atmosphere, according to Mark Chenard, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center in College Mark, Maryland. Most of the time, winds in the atmosphere flow from west to east; this is called “zonal flow” and it’s responsible for our everyday weather. But every once in a while, the winds start flowing north to south, creating a pattern called “amplified flow.”

“Cold air from north comes down south, and warm air from the south goes north,” he says. So, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico is floating upward toward those of us in the…

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Former Google employee files lawsuit alleging the company fired him over pro-diversity posts

A former Google engineer is suing the company for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination, according to court documents filed today. Tim Chevalier, a software developer and former site-reliability engineer at Google, claims that Google fired him when he responded with internal posts and memes to racist and sexist encounters within the company and the general response to the now-infamous James Damore memo. News of Chevalier’s lawsuit was reported earlier today by Gizmodo.

Chevalier said in a statement to The Verge, “It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers.” Chevalier, who is also disabled and transgender, alleges…

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