The Morning After: The verdict on Apple’s second-generation HomePod

The Morning After: The verdict on Apple’s second-generation HomePod

Apple’s first HomePod in 2018 was late in the smart speaker game. Sure, it sounded good, but it lacked a lot of the core features of its rivals. Again, with its $299 second-generation HomePod, the company delivers great sound quality, but this time expanded smart home tools show that Apple has learned from that first attempt.

The new HomePod can easily be paired with HomeKit and Matter accessories and has temperature and humidity sensors. You can use this data to create automated triggers for other smart home devices. Even without a compatible smart thermostat, you can successfully trigger a smart plug, once the HomePod senses a certain temperature.

HomePod’s most notable new feature isn’t even ready yet. Sound recognition can listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and notify your other Apple devices. Unfortunately, it won’t arrive in an update until later this spring. Check out our full HomePod review here.

– Matt Smith

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The Greatest Stories You Could Have Missed That was fast.

A few days ago, voice AI startup ElevenLabs launched a beta version of its platform, which can create entirely new synthetic voices for text-to-speech audio or to clone someone’s voice. Well, it only took a few days for the internet to create a mess. The company sees “an increasing number of cases of voice cloning misuse”. Motherboard found 4chan posts with clips containing generated voices that sound like celebrities reading or saying something questionable. One clip, for example, reportedly featured a voice that sounded like Emma Watson reading part of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Users have also posted voice clips that feature homophobic, transphobic, violent, and racist sentiments. It’s not entirely clear if all of the clips used ElevenLab’s technology, but a post with a large collection of voice files on 4chan included a link to the startup’s platform. The company is currently collecting feedback on how to prevent users from abusing its technology. He can even ditch his Voice Lab tool altogether and ask users to submit voice cloning requests which he can check manually.

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Respawn says it will use the additional six weeks to polish the game.


Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment have announced the postponement of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to April 28. The game was previously supposed to arrive on March 17. “In order for the team to hit the Respawn quality bar, give it the time it needs, and achieve the level of polish our fans deserve, we’ve added six crucial weeks to our release schedule – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will be now launching globally on April 28,” Respawn posted on Twitter. The studio said it will use the extra time to fix bugs and polish the game to improve performance, stability, and player experience.

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Rolls directly on the tongue.

Paramount Global combines two of its services. It will join Showtime at Paramount’s Premium tier+ later this year. The combined offer will be known as Paramount+ With Showtime. Showtime’s linear television network will be rebranded under the same name in the United States. As part of the move, some original Paramount+ programming will air on the cable network — so maybe more people will finally recognize the brilliance of The Good Fight — which is also getting a spin-off pilot. (The Good Fight itself was already a spin-off.) While this decision may be disappointing for those only interested in Showtime content and not sold on Paramount+, this decision makes sense. a business point of view. There is a wave of consolidation in the media industry, including in streaming, where HBO Max and Discovery+ will combine in the coming months.

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A report by UK clean energy think tank Ember predicts the gap will widen.

Energy produced from solar and wind power would have overtaken natural gas in the EU for the first time last year. The data comes from UK clean energy think tank Ember and predicts the gap is widening. Solar and wind energy hit a record high of 22% of EU electricity consumption in 2022. Meanwhile, Ember predicts fossil fuel generation will drop 20% this year, with gas decreasing the faster. The clean energy industry has received unwanted help. This change stems from the reduced reliance on gas and coal after Russia invaded Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has ordered a halt to natural gas exports to the EU in retaliation for Western sanctions.

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