Update-Apple Event September 20? Uber & Lyft Set for California Shut Down; Google Pixel Buds Alert for Sirens, Babies, & More

Apple may have had its usual secrecy penetrated a bit today, as a user on Twitter put up a shot of what looks like a scheduled live stream on the Apple iPhone account for September 20th. According to cnet.com, it has already been pulled down. This may be the date for the unveiling of the new iPhones. It is worth noting that the 20th is a Sunday, however. Apple most often holds events on Monday or Tuesday, but with everything virtual in the age of COVID-19, they may figure they can get more eyeballs (and pre-sales) by posting a slick recorded event on a Sunday. Stay tuned, as we say.

They are going to take their ball and go home, starting tonight. Reuters.com reports that both Uber and Lyft are about to shut down ride hailing operations in California in the ongoing dispute over AB5, and classifying drivers as employees. Lyft will shut down tonight at midnight, according to a blog post from the company. Uber had posted Tuesday they they plan to temporarily shut down unless the appeals court intervenes, but didn’t give a specific date and time. Uber Eats is not impacted by the shutdown, and apparently DoorDash and Instacart will be able to continue for now under the contractor model. The 5 companies: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates have dropped $110 million in support of a November ballot measure called Prop. 22 which would set into law what they call their ‘third way’…that would effectively overwrite the state’s gig worker law.

[[ Lyft and Uber were granted an emergency stay by the California Court of Appeals, averting their planned shutdown. The companies will now have until October to convince the court to toss out an order that they classify drivers as employees. In a statement, Lyft hailed the ruling as a victory, but said it would continue to push for a ballot measure that would allow it to continue classifying drivers as independent contractors.]]

As you see people from time to time…less in the age of the pandemic….walking around with those ubiquitous ear buds, and often staring at their phones, instead of where they are going, you have to wonder how more haven’t been run over by oncoming vehicles, or had other lesser mishaps happen to them. Venturebeat.com says Google is now using AI to help alert users of Google Pixel Buds to alert you to the sound of a siren from an emergency vehicle, and even to a baby crying or a dog barking. the buds will play a chip to alert you during music or a conversation. The feature is called Attention Alerts, and it’s an experimental feature being added to Google’s flagship earbuds in a firmware update. Amazon Echo speakers already have the ability to detect sounds that may be important in a home setting, like alarms, breaking glass, or sounds indicating someone is in your home when you’re away.


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