Lust List: Espin electric bike is a nice ride at a budget price [Review]

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Espin Sport electric bike
The Espin electric bike is a fun and functional electric bike at an entry-level price.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Espin Sport electric bike

I love electric bikes, but a lot of them look butt-ugly. Their batteries and motors are strapped to the frame, ruining their lines. Stromer’s bikes, which integrate motor and battery into the frame, are a notable exception. But the latest Stromers cost an eye-watering $7,000 and up.

Enter Espin’s electric bikes, which look like Stromer’s but cost just $1,888, a steal for an eBike this capable and fun. Plus, they are on sale right now for $1,200, which is a killer deal.

Former Apple product design engineer reveals how Apple runs its factories

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Instrumental CEO Anna-Katrina Shedletsky
Anna Katrina Shedletsky is a former Apple product design engineer who is using her experience to build AI that helps companies streamline manufacturing.
Photo: Instrumental

On this week’s Apple Chat (the podcast formerly known as Kahney’s Korner): I talk with former Apple product design engineer Anna-Katrina Shedletsky about her take on modern manufacturing and how AI will revolutionize factories. She introduces us to her new company, Instrumental, which is using machine learning to help manufacturers identify and fix problems on their assembly lines.

Using her hard-earned experience at Apple overseeing the production of the first Apple Watch and several generations of the iPod, Shedletsky says machine learning is coming fast to manufacturing. Amazingly, almost all consumer electronics products are still assembled by hand — including hundreds of millions of iPhones.

But that’s changing. Manufacturing is undergoing a huge sea change with the advance of robotics and AI.

WWDC keynote is proof of Apple’s awesome power and poise

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Tim Cook opening remarks WWDC 2017
Tim Cook presided over one of Apple's busiest presentations in years.
Photo: Apple

Over the last year or so, you could be forgiven for thinking Apple has been dickering about. The company seemed sluggish and slow.

Yeah, there have been a few hardware upgrades, but nothing special, and certainly nothing breakthrough.

And then today! Bam! A jam-packed WWDC keynote with a slew of amazing-looking new hardware and software.

Apple is back, in a big way!

How to make an A+ term paper in PDF Expert

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pdf expert term paper
PDF Expert isn't just a view. It's a great way to create documents, too.
Photo: Readdle

Lust List: These ‘social’ headphones let you share your music [Review]

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Wearhaus Arc Headphones
The Wearhaus Arc headphones are the first 'social' headphones that allow music sharing between headsets.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Wearhaus’ Arc ‘social’ headphones

Wearing headphones tends to cut you off from the world, but Wearhaus’ Arc headphones are more sociable.

The wireless Arc headphones allow multiple headsets to stream audio from the same source. Think silent disco, watching a movie together, or sharing tunes with your BFF.

Sonos Playbase home theater speaker is skinny but can make a noise [Review]

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Sonos Playbase home theater speaker
The new Playbase home theater speaker from Sonos is slim but packs a punch.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Playbase home theater speaker by Sonos

As TVs get flatter, their sound gets worse. Enter Sonos’ latest home theater speaker, the $699 Playbase, a thin and flat home theater/streaming music system designed to sit underneath your TV.

Like the TV above it, the Playbase is thin, but it packs a significant punch. Resembling a pizza box with rounded corners, it features 10 speakers, including a muscular built-in subwoofer, and it can make quite a noise. In fact, it sounds fantastic.

The Playbase is louder and punchier than Sonos’ current home-theater speaker, the Playbar, and a lot more unobtrusive. You don’t really notice it’s there, until it starts shaking the room.

Global elites’ love of iPhone made iOS a prime target of CIA

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The CIA's new headquarters.
The CIA's new headquarters in McLean, Virginia.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although Google’s Android dominates the worldwide smartphone market, the CIA concentrated on Apple’s iOS because of its popularity among global elites, WikiLeaks reports.

The huge trove of leaked CIA documents, codenamed “Vault 7” and released Tuesday by WikiLeaks, reveals that the CIA formed a special unit called the Mobile Development Branch (MDB) to infect smartphones. And within that unit, Apple’s iOS was a prime target.

Lust List: Zens Power Bank is a great little Apple Watch battery [Review]

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Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
The Apple Watch Power Bank by Zens is a handy little battery pack for your timepiece.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Update: The Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens is now available at the Watch Store with free shipping!

Lust List: Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens

Most external batteries for the Apple Watch are BYOC — Bring Your Own Cable — and have bulky winding systems for tucking the cable away.

Not the compact Apple Watch Powerbank from Zens, perhaps the most portable external battery pack on the market.

Apple stock surges on record-breaking Q1 2017 earnings

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AAPL stock chart
Apple's stock surged in after-hours trading after the company announced record-breaking Q1 2017 results.
Photo: Google Finance

Apple’s stock saw a big surge after the company announced record-breaking earnings for Q1 2017.

AAPL was up almost 3 percent in after-hours trading to $124.50. Apple stock has been climbing recently but was depressed in anticipation of today’s results.