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Podcast of the Week: Spectacular Failures

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One of my favorite podcasts of 2019 was Spectacular Failures. I discovered it right after it was released, and I couldn’t wait for each episode to be released. My favorite episode was the one where they looked into Toys R Us. I had heard that Toys R Us was actually headed towards profitability, but the private equity firms that owned it shut it down and took plenty of money in the progress.

No amount of nostalgia could save Toys R Us from the private equity firms that owned it.

9to5Mac’s Podcast of the Week is a weekly recommendation of a podcast you should add to your subscription list.

Corporate crookedness. Family feuding. Hilariously half-baked decisions. Host Lauren Ober tackles some of the most spectacular business failures of all time, and what could have been done to avoid them. Some of these stories are shocking. Some are funny. Some are just downright sad. But each one will give you a totally new perspective on big business… and big failure. From American Public Media and the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

They look at a Christian theme park, MoviePass, Trump’s casinos, and more during season one. I’ve not heard anything about season two, but I hope it comes back soon.

Subscribe to Spectacular Failures on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or RSS.

Don’t forget about the great lineup of podcasts on the 9to5 Network.

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Quibi for iPhone updated with AirPlay integration for big-screen viewing

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After a rocky start with its mobile-only approach, Quibi for iOS has been updated today with AirPlay integration. This update was first promised back in March, and it’s now available via the App Store.

With AirPlay support, you can now stream Quibi from your iPhone directly to your AirPlay-enabled TV or set-top box, such as the Apple TV. This is a shift in Quibi’s strategy, which has billed itself as being a mobile-only, short-form video streaming service.

Here are the full release notes for today’s Quibi update — note the company continues to double down on its struggles being caused by the coronavirus pandemic:

With life a little less on-the-go these days, our latest update gives you more flexibility to watch Quibi wherever you have downtime. Now you can share Quibi episodes from your phone to your TV with AirPlay.

Will today’s Quibi update with AirPlay support entice you to give the service a try? If so, the app is available on the App Store with a free 90-day trial. Let us know what you think of this update down in the comments.

Sure we designed Quibi for on-the-go, but these days visiting the family room is like a day trip… so AirPlay support is live for iOS in Quibi 1.3. Working hard on Chromecast too which will be available in June.

— Tom Conrad (@tconrad) May 26, 2020

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AirParrot 3 released with HomePod integration on Windows, improved mirroring latency, more

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AirParrot is a popular utility on Mac and Windows that allows you to wireless mirror your screen or stream media files to other devices. Today, AirParrot 3 has been released for Mac and Windows, bringing performance improvements, HomePod integration, and more.

One of the biggest updates with AirParrot 3 is vastly improved screen mirroring latency. With the update, screen mirroring latency measures under 16 milliseconds at 60 frames per second for “near real-time mirroring,” according to the company.

There are also performance improvements across the board. AirParrot 3 uses “up to 50% less CPU by offloading video processing to the GPU.” This means you can expect strong performance even when sharing streaming video content such as gameplay or YouTube.

There are also two notable enhancements for Windows users — one of which is particularly important for HomePod users:

  • AirParrot 3 brings extended desktop functionality to Windows devices, a highly requested AirParrot feature that was previously only available on Mac.
  • AirParrot 3 adds Apple HomePod streaming from Windows devices, an AirParrot feature that was previously only available for Mac. Wirelessly stream system audio or media files such as MP3 or MP4 audio from a computer to one or more HomePod speakers.

Finally, AirParrot 3 brings support for streaming 4K video as well as new audio and video codecs.

Of course, you can stream and mirror your Mac’s display to Apple TV natively, but AirParrot packs additional features as well as cross-platform support for Windows. You can access AirParrot directly from your menu bar and stream your entire screen, media files, or a specific application to a variety of other platforms, including Apple TV, Chromecast, and more.

Check out the full press release for today’s release of AirParrot 3 below. The app is available now starting at $15.99.

Squirrels LLC Releases AirParrot 3

Big performance boosts, Windows extended desktop, HomePod support highlight new screen mirroring and streaming software

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — May 26, 2020 — Squirrels LLC today released AirParrot 3, a screen mirroring and streaming software boasting less latency, higher frame rates, lower CPU demand and more capabilities than similar AirPlay and Google Cast technology.

Significant performance advancements and new features highlight AirParrot 3, the latest release in the popular AirParrot product line that has sold over one million units to date.

Real-time mirroring

Screen mirroring latency measures under 16 milliseconds at 60 frames per second for near real-time mirroring.

“Latency of 16 milliseconds is imperceptible to the human eye,” Squirrels CEO and co-founder Andrew Gould said. “For comparison, the average human blink takes between 100-400 milliseconds. With AirParrot 3, your screen content is captured, encoded, transmitted, decoded and displayed in a fraction of that time. This is top-tier performance that rivals any screen mirroring technology.”

Less CPU usage

Squirrels senior application developer Stephen Gerstacker noted that AirParrot 3 uses up to 50% less CPU by offloading video processing to the GPU.

“The GPU is much better at video processing,” Gerstacker said. “It can do it faster while using less power, and it leaves the CPU available to do other tasks on your computer. This makes AirParrot 3 viable even for lower-end laptops with weaker CPUs.”

These AirParrot 3 specs enable it to excel where screen mirroring technology traditionally falls short, such as when sharing streaming video content like YouTube videos or gameplay.

Extended desktop

AirParrot 3 brings extended desktop functionality to Windows devices, a highly requested AirParrot feature that was previously only available on Mac.

“Extended desktop allows people to use their TV as an additional computer monitor that’s completely wireless,” Gould said. “This is helpful when people are working from home or when they just want more desktop space. We’re excited that Windows users can enjoy it, too.”

Apple HomePod streaming

AirParrot 3 adds Apple HomePod streaming from Windows devices, an AirParrot feature that was previously only available for Mac. Wirelessly stream system audio or media files such as MP3 or MP4 audio from a computer to one or more HomePod speakers.

Media streaming

AirParrot 3 supports 4K streaming and adds compatibility for a wider range of audio and video codecs. Users can stream media files in 4K with surround sound.

AirParrot 3 is available now for Mac and Windows devices. Pricing starts at $15.99 on the online store.

About AirParrot

AirParrot 3 is a wireless screen mirroring and streaming software for Mac and Windows devices. Mirror and stream videos, audio, presentations and on-screen content to a wide range of AirPlay and Google Cast receivers including Apple TV, Chromecast, Apple HomePod and Reflector.

About Squirrels

Squirrels is a software-development company established in 2012 that specializes in wireless audio and video transmission. Popular Squirrels products include Ditto, AirParrot and Reflector. More information about these products and Squirrels can be found at http://airsquirrels.com.

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[Update: Trump responds] Twitter puts a fake news tag on Trump tweets for the first time

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For the first time, Twitter has added a label to tweets from President Trump. The tweets in question relate to mail-in ballots and the president’s claims that mail-in ballots are fraudulent.

Twitter has applied a label to two of President Trump’s tweets, inviting users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots.” Tapping or clicking on the label takes users to a Twitter Moment that explains:

On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.

The tweet thread in question from President Trump is below — interestingly the label does not seem to appear on web embeds:

There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020

The Washington Post also points out pressure Twitter is facing over other tweets from President Trump:

Twitter’s actions come on a day when Twitter was facing a barrage of criticism over another set of Trump tweets. Earlier on Tuesday the widower of a former staffer to Joe Scarborough asked Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey to delete tweets by President Trump furthering a baseless conspiracy theory about the staffer’s wife’s death.

As for Twitter’s decision to apply a label to the tweets about mail-in ballots, company spokesperson Katie Rosborough said they “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.”

As of right now, President Trump has not responded to the labels applied to his inaccurate tweets about mail-in ballots. [Update: Trump’s response below.]

….Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020

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