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What Do We Know About The iPhone 12?

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In the world of smartphones, the big news today is that the iPhone 12 likely will not come with an accompanying pair of EarPods, according to a report by 9to5Mac. With that in mind, this is a great time to take a look at what we do know about Apple’s upcoming model.

Lew from Unbox Therapy has a great analysis of the rumors swirling around the iPhone 12 (watch the entire video below). In his video, Lew notes that the form factor of the iPhone 12 is something of a throwback, abandoning the curvature of recent models for a boxier feel. This makes sense given that that is also the shape of the iPhone SE, Apple’s latest release. One of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone SE is the screen to body ratio, a problem that the iPhone 12 addresses with a screen that covers almost the entire phone. Unlike the iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 has the modern camera technology Apple debuted in the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

When trying to visualize the iPhone 12, Lew offers a useful heuristic: “If you were able to shrink an iPad Pro to a phone format…you would be holding on to an iPhone 12.” Though the box-shaped design may sacrifice some comfort in the hand, it offers a more minimalist design and more confidence in your grip.

Lew is known to be of two minds when it comes to Apple, at different times vilifying its lack of creativity and finding value in its unity. That certainly renders his closing comments of note: He suggests that at a $649 price point, this may be the model that finally brings iPhone holdouts into the fold.

WATCH The Entire Unbox Therapy Video:

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Moxie The ‘Social Support’ Robot Is Super Creepy

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Embodied/YouTube

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article reporting on new robots specifically designed to entertain children during the pandemic. Specifically, it talked about two companies, whose offerings are on the complete opposite spectrum in terms of price.

On the low end, you have Purrble, a lovable looking stuffed animal “with a heartbeat.” In a video on their website, the creators of Purrble talk a lot of child psychology mumbo-jumbo to the effect that Purrbles help kids control their emotions and regulate their behaviors. This might well be true, but it does not take away from the fact that Purrbles are really the latest in a long line of “life-like” toys from the Cabbage Patch Kids to Hatchimals. Even their name is reminiscent of the Furby. At $50, it is relatively fairly priced for a child’s toy, and its attempt to sell itself as a “social support” device is relatively harmless.

Then there is Moxie. Moxie retails at $1500. The introductory video that Embodied, the company that makes Moxie, has on its website is straight-up one of the most dystopian things I’ve seen in my life:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Moxie is “a robot recommended for kids ages 5 to 10 that speaks in a childlike voice, remembers what it learns from prior conversations, and provides what eerily resembles human empathy.” My initial thought upon seeing Moxie in action was to the “Black Mirror “episode “Ashley Too,” in which a Moxie-like robot for teens is voiced by Miley Cyrus. Check out this clip:

See what I mean?

In a sendup of prescription drug ads that are legally required to quickly disclaim their antidepressants may lead to suicidal intentions, the “Black Mirror” faux ad for the Ashley Too notes “Ashley Too may perpetuate loneliness. Not to be used as an authentic companion.”

Should the same be said about Moxie?

This same thought occurred to Julie Jargon, the Journal reporter, who poses the question: “Is there a possibility that these new robots could end up being too effective, causing kids to prefer robots to people?”

This question was waved away by Embodied’s CEO, who noted that Moxie shuts down automatically if a child tries to use it for more than two hours a day.

But what does “shuts down automatically” mean? Does that mean that Moxie can’t be turned on again until some probationary period has elapsed? Or is it like a hot tub, which for safety reasons has to shut off after 20 minutes, but which everyone just turns on again anyway? Furthermore, two hours is a long time! Surely it is the job of a parent to come up with productive and educational ways to occupy their children and not outsource the work to some tech nerds.

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Why Is The iPhone 12 So Small?

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YouTube/Unbox therapy

In many ways, Apple is the Ford Motor Company of our times. Like Henry Ford with the automobile, Steve Jobs did not invent the cell phone, but he standardized it and popularized it in such a way that ended up dominating both the marketplace and public imagination. And I can think of no better exemplar of the old Ford saw “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black” than the iPhone, which changes year after year with little apparent consideration given to consumer desires. The main difference between 20th century Ford and 21st century Apple is that the former actually employed Americans to make its products (though not for lack of trying to offshore, as evidenced by industrialist’s failed attempt to move some operations to “Fordlandia” in the heart of Brazil).

Apple is changing things up on us again, whether we like it or not. After years of trying to convince us that what we needed were bigger, sleeker smartphones, Apple is returning to its roots with the iPhone 12. Unbox Therapy got its hands on a model of the next version of the iPhone, and it looks like an iPhone 4. Yes, it has some major improvements, including the larger screen-to-body ratio we’ve all become accustomed to, but the box-shaped form factor is back.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments:

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With The Nebula Capsule, Movie Night Has Never Been Easier

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Amazon

For years, my family owned a DBPower projector. We’ve long been fans of outdoor movie nights, especially during the summertime, and for better or for worse, we relied on DBPower to get the job done.

Sadly, it was mostly for worse. I was the one responsible for getting the movie queued up and ready to go, and it was an absolute nightmare. I would have to start the setup process nearly two hours before it was due to get dark; that’s how long it would take to get the machine to function.

At the end of the day, the DBPower projector did always function, but it would take several reboots, several times plugging it and unplugging it (both from the wall and from the HDMI source computer) and a lot of smashing buttons on the remote that rarely worked. Then when it was finally up and running (often still without sound), the picture quality was very poor. And don’t even get me started on adjusting the distance.

When it became clear that there would be few pleasures allowed this summer save the ones you can create in your own backyard, I realized it was time for an upgrade. I decided to invest in the Nebula Capsule, made by Anker. Nearly $200 pricier than DBPower’s models, the Nebula Capsule is worth every penny. It is by far the simplest projector system I have ever used.

One of the biggest selling point of the Nebula Capsule is its size. Most projectors on Amazon are shaped like DBPower’s: big and bulky, about the size of a VCR (remember those?). The Nebula Capsule, as it boasts in its product description, is the size of a soda can. You could easily carry the thing around in your pocket if you had somewhere to go.

Turns out, you actually might want to! The Nebula Capsule maintains a 4-hour charge, so you can take it with you and use it without it even being plugged in. The picture is clear and easy to adjust, whether you need to fit it to a movie screen or your bedroom ceiling.

Where the Nebula Capsule falters is in accessing content. The device very easily connects via HDMI, USB and even AirPlay to your laptop or smartphone. That’s how I’ve been using it, and I’ve been very content. However, it does claim to give you access to streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube without having to plug anything in. Turns out it is not so straightforward. True, the first time you turn on your Nebula Capsule you will see those apps on the display. But you have to download the Capsule app on your smartphone to log into them, and even that is liable to yield an error message. Save yourself the effort by using a cable instead.

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