Go Nord with OnePlus



OnePlus have officially announced the OnePlus Nord product line today but details still remain remarkably thin on the ground. To start with, Nord is the name of a product range and not a specific device, though again OnePlus have confirmed that a new device will be launched shortly in Europe and India. Will this be a OnePlus Nord One?

Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus, said, “Launching the OnePlus Nord product line marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus. The ‘Never Settle’ spirit is centered around sharing the best technology and products with the world, but it is also about challenging ourselves and going beyond our comfort zone. We are immensely proud of our flagship products and will continue to create more tech-leading flagships for our users. Now we are excited to share the OnePlus experience with even more users around the world through this new product line.

OnePlus have been using Instagram this time round with a series of short documentaries on their journey to the new Nord product line. The first one was released today and pretty much suggests the phone was brought to market in only six months and will be priced below US$500. That’s a good bit cheaper than the recent 8 and 8 Pro models.

And if you simply have to have the OnePlus Nord first, you can (try to) pre-order the phone for a deposit of GB£20 at 1000 CEST on 1st July. For that £20, you’ll get some goodies and a code to pre-order the phone. At this point, no details on price or spec other than sub-$500. Nothing, zero, nada, but you’ll need to get in quick as there’s only 100 of the phones up for pre-sale.

With luck, we’ll find out more about the Nord over the next few days.


Amazon Pays out $500 Million #1457



Amazon is paying out $500 million to those at Amazon most at risk for Covid. This is after they dropped the $2.00 hour extra in wages in June. Second show with the shorter show intro. So far feels pretty good and lets me get into the show faster.

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Moon Toilet Contest #1456



Win $35,000 by designing the new Moon Toilet. NASA is having a contest for design ideas for a new lunar toilet. The 1/6 gravity is potentially a bigger issue than a microgravity toilet. It seems strange to me but they need some help. A new intro today for the show to get us into the content sooner expect some more show changes going forward.

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OnePlus Expands Product Range But It’s More Than Cheaper Phones



After much speculation in recent months about a new lower-priced phone with monikers such as 8 Lite, Z and Nord, OnePlus has confirmed a new two part business strategy to take the company forwards, including more affordable smartphones.

Firstly, OnePlus is intending to expand into new product categories. While existing products such as the OnePlus TV and the Bullets earphones are mentioned, there’s no confirmed market area. Presumably it will be some aspect of consumer electronics (and personally I’d love it to be a decent tablet device) but we’ll just have to wait and see. What OnePlus does usually gets done well.

Secondly, CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the price tag on recent phones was getting too high and that there needed to be affordable devices. The CEO was at pains to point out that this isn’t about going back to OnePlus’ roots, as the roots are in flagship smartphones, so this is a new product line altogether (although we mustn’t completely forget the OnePlus X). In order to get the product right, availability will initially only be in Europe and India. Once refined and production is scaled up, the smartphones will be offered in other territories.

Anyone who has any eye on the smartphone market will know that Huawei and Xiaomi have been putting out some pretty decent lower priced phones so it’s natural that OnePlus wants some of the market. For every person wanting to put $1000 into a flagship, there must be ten people want to spend a few hundred dollars.

Pete Lau said, “We’ve come a long way in the last 6 years, and now is the right time for us to bring you something new. I am really looking forward to this new beginning for OnePlus, and I hope you are too.

And in typical OnePlus fashion, the new phone is being teased via an account on Instagram called @onepluslitezthing. The release date is being hinted as July with a message in Morse code .— ..- .-.. -.– with more clues to come.


Apple WWDC Announcements #1455



Apple WWDC dominated the news today on everything Apple that is being announced with the big move to their ARM processor brings up memories of when they switched to Intel chips and was the time I got my first Macbook Pro. Sorry for missing last Thursdays show details on the podcast. You will notice I am also going to try and have a quicker intro. Work in progress.

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Nextdoor Removed the “Forward to Police” Feature



Nextdoor has removed the “Forward to Police” feature. The site, which people often use to get help finding a lost pet, is removing the feature as part of their anti-racism work. Obviously, people will still be able to use their phone to call the police if they are in danger or if they want to report a crime.

We have made the decision to remove the Forward to Police feature from Nextdoor. As part of our anti-racism work and our efforts to make Nextdoor a place where all neighbors feel welcome, we have been examining all aspects of our product. After speaking with members and public agency partners, it is clear that the Forward to Police feature does not meet the needs of our members and only a small percentage of law enforcement agencies choose to use the tool.

Previous to this change, Nextdoor stated that law enforcement agencies have had an additional feature that they can enable called “Forward to Police”, which allows a neighbor on Nextdoor to forward their safety post or urgent alert to local law enforcement. Nextdoor has now removed that feature.

Bloomberg CityLab reported that Nextdoor’s Forward to Police feature was introduced in 2016. It was added because police officers cannot view private neighborhood groups. The feature offered police departments a way to field neighborhood complaints directly without monitoring every post like a blotter. CityLab reported that “dozens of” police “departments across the country had signed up” for the Forward to Police feature.

The Root posted an article titled: “The Racist Nextdoor”, written by Michael Harriot. It provides plenty of examples of racism on Nextdoor. The article includes information posted on Nextdoor from people who described the racist things their neighbor’s posted on their local Nextdoor.

It is good that Nextdoor has removed their Forward to Police feature. There is plenty of evidence that racist people were using that feature as a means to harass and abuse people who aren’t white (including children). Allowing racist people to forward their complaints to police departments through Nextdoor is dangerous for the person that is being reported.

The removal of the feature means those who want to contact their local police department will have to do it themselves, by phone, where they may be asked for their names. Perhaps removing people’s ability to write racist things on Nextdoor anonymously,and then get the police involved through Nextdoor, will make neighborhoods safer.


Apple is Closing Some Retail Stores Again



When Apple started slowly reopening its retail stores in May of this year, it stated that it would take the preventative step of closing stores again should local conditions warrant. Since then, some states have had spikes of COVID-19 cases. As such, Apple is re-closing some of its stores again.

9To5Mac reported that Apple is temporarily closing 11 of its stores in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona, out of an abundance of caution.

Those who were paying attention when Apple announced their approach to reopening stores in May won’t be surprised to see Apple closing stores in areas where spikes of COVID-19 cases are happening. Part of Apple’s post about it said:

Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores. We look at every available piece of data – including local cases, near and long-term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into – and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.

According to Bloomberg the Apple stores being closed are Waterside Shops and Coconut Point in Florida, Southpark and Northlake Mall in North Carolina, Haywood Mall in South Carolina, and Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arrowhead, SanTan Village, Scottsdale Quarter and La Encantada in Arizona.

People who live near those Apple stores will be able to pick up device repairs at the stores this weekend. Bloomberg reported that Apple has not provided a timeline for reopening.

This could have been avoided if people had followed the directions given by the CDC to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, to stay at least six feet apart from other people, and to wear a mask. All of those methods help to stop the spread of COVID-19.