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The Morning After: Tesla begins selling Cyberquads for kids

Alexa’s listening to your washing machine, and the Polestar 3 excites.

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Daniel Cooper
December 3rd, 2021
In this article: themorningafter, gear, newsletter
Cyberquad
Tesla

Tesla is selling a scaled down kiddie version of its Cyberquad ATV for the scions of EV owners around the world. For the uninitiated, when Tesla announced its beefy, alien-looking Cybertruck, it also promised a similar-looking ATV would debut alongside. While both the truck and ATV remain in the works, you can get your kids a unit that’ll impress everyone at the next off-road meet you go to. Packing a lithium-ion battery with a reported 15 miles of range and a 10MPH top speed, the kiddie Cyberquad will set you back $1,900, but bear in mind orders are not guaranteed to reach you before the holidays.

— Dan Cooper

Alexa can now tell you if your washing machine stops or water is running

The smart-home gizmo gets some quality-of-life additions.

Today’s edition of “intrusive or useful” features Alexa, after Amazon updated its Custom Sound Detection with new features. Long story short, while you could manually train Alexa to keep its microphones listening for water running or a beeping washing machine, now it’ll do that automatically. That means your phone will let you know if someone’s been a bit lax at the taps or needs to go change over the laundry. Another big addition is the ability for Alexa to refill prescriptions via Amazon Pharmacy, all from the comfort of wherever your Alexa is currently parked.

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Apple reportedly warned suppliers of slowing demand for iPhones

The chip shortage and a desire for something newer is reportedly to blame.

Image of the iPhones 13
David Imel for Engadget

Apple has reportedly told suppliers to expect a smaller number of iPhone 13 orders across the next year. Apparently, demand for the new handset has begun to dip ahead of the holiday season, due to both the chip crisis and rumors of the iPhone 14. Apple had previously cut its initial orders by 10 million, but had told suppliers at the time that it'd order more when materials were less constrained. That is, however, reportedly no longer the case, but we’re sure Apple will — as per usual — still report mega profits when it publishes its quarterly reports.

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Polestar offers an early camouflaged glimpse at its electric SUV

It’ll be the first model made in the US, too.

Preview image of the Polestar 3 with camo.
Polestar

Polestar has offered-up an early look at the Polestar 3, the company’s first US-made SUV, due to launch at some point in 2022. The camouflage-covered whip promises to be more environmentally friendly (but, you know, it’s still a SUV) and full of even more tech. Gadgets and gizmos we’re likely to see include new LiDAR sensors paired with NVIDIA's computing tech, for hands-free highway driving. Naturally, details will continue to be drip-fed over the coming months, but it certainly looks the part, doesn’t it?

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Rocket Lab details its reusable Neutron launch vehicle

You’ll get serious ‘You Only Live Twice’ vibes from this.

Image of the new Rocket Lab launch vehicle.
Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is showing off its next-generation Neutron vehicle, a fully reusable satellite launch platform. The company has focused on maintaining the light weight and ease of re-use, despite the larger size, with a new carbon composite body. And, unlike conventional rockets, the first stage carries the second stage to the heavens inside its body. Once aloft, the first stage opens its faring — described as a Hungry (Hungry) Hippo mouth — to send the second stage on its way.

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The most-used emoji in 2021 are mostly unchanged from 2019

Although I’m not sure we’re all using the same emojis in the very same way.

Today, I learned the Unicode Consortium describes the cry-laughing emoji as Tears of Joy. And not, as I had thought, That Sense of Ennui Felt When Things Go Wrong In The Most Stupidly Ironic Way Possible. However you describe it, the tears-down-your cheek image is the world’s most used emoji and has been since 2019. In fact, while much of the world has changed since 2019, the way we use little images to convey our emotions has not. Especially if you’re sharing with the world how you’ve messed something up in the most stupidly ironic way possible.

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