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IOS 13 HANDS-ON: DARK MODE, APPLE MAPS, REMINDERS, AND MORE

IOS 13 HANDS-ON: DARK MODE, APPLE MAPS, REMINDERS, AND MORE

Apple’s iOS 13 is here — or rather, the public beta for iOS 13 has arrived, giving the masses their first chance to take Apple’s latest operating system for a spin. This year, Apple is splitting off its mobile software into two parts: iOS, for the iPhone (and the iPod touch if you still have one), and a new version called iPadOS, for the iPad, which you can check out first impressions of here. Now, anyone can install this beta starting today, but if you don’t want to risk your phone, here are some first impressions of all the top new features. Dark mode! It’s here! It makes things dark! Or rather, it makes the overall OS and Apple’s preinstalled apps dark since third-party apps aren’t getting updated yet with the new Dark Mode API that will let them flip, too. In addition to apps getting proper black backgrounds (which should help OLED battery life a bit, at least in theory), the dark theme applies to the glass textures for the dock and notifications, too.
FDA Begins Evaluating Cannabis Scientifically

FDA Begins Evaluating Cannabis Scientifically

The Food and Drug Administration says it knows there’s demand for cannabis products, but says it's taking a “science-based” approach to determine their safety and efficacy as it considers how to handle their legality. The FDA recently opened a public docket on cannabis and cannabis-infused products and held its first-ever hearings as it starts the process of figuring out if, and what, it will regulate in the cannabis space. In a message posted on the FDA website, the agency signaled an open-mindedness to the potentially beneficial effects of cannabis and cannabis-derived substances. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the principal ingredient in one FDA-approved drug, seizure drug Epidiolex, already. But the agency urged the public to understand its interest in analyzing evidence.
Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars Entertainment for about $8.5 billion

Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars Entertainment for about $8.5 billion

Eldorado Resorts has agreed to buy Caesars Entertainment for about $8.5 billion in cash and stock, as it looks to build scale to take on competition from larger companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts. The deal comes more than three months after Caesars agreed to give billionaire investor Carl Icahn three board seats to his representatives and a say on the selection of its next chief executive officer. Icahn, who has been pressing for a sale of Caesars, held a 14.75% stake in the company as of March 31, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported on Sunday that Eldorado had clinched a deal with Caesars. Eldorado’s offer of $13.01 per share represents a premium of about 30% to Caesar’s closing price on Friday. Shares of Caesars were up about 15% before the opening bell, while Eldorado was down about 5%. Caesars, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, operates casinos with the Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands.
Beats fills chief marketing officer vacancy with former Electronic Arts VP

Beats fills chief marketing officer vacancy with former Electronic Arts VP

After a few notable marketing leadership departures, Beats has announced its new CMO pick: Chris Thorne. The new top marketer at Beats joins the Apple-owned headphones company with experience from EA, The Honest Company, and Forward. The company highlights that the new CMO joins after the major launch of its new Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones. Beats says Thorne, who reports directly to Beats President Luke Wood, will start in his new role at the company immediately. Since 2017, Chris Thorne lead growth for a firm called Forward that connects doctors with advanced medical technology to improve patient healthcare. He spent two years prior at Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company after five years at Electronic Arts.
Maine’s Cannabis Stores Will (Finally!) Open in 2020

Maine’s Cannabis Stores Will (Finally!) Open in 2020

Cannabis sales are coming to Maine—nearly three years after state voters passed a legalization law back in 2016. Legislators in Augusta on Thursday finally approved a legal framework that will allow the state’s long-delayed retail cannabis stores to open. Gov. Janet Mills is expected to sign the measure, which would allow the first stores to come online in early spring 2020. Since 2016, cannabis has been legal to possess but not to purchase in Maine. The yearslong holdup has been largely thanks to former Gov. Paul LePage, an ardent legalization opponent who did all he could to slow-walk the implementation of the voter initiative. Mills, LePage’s successor who took office earlier this year, has vowed to move ahead with a legal, regulated, taxed cannabis market.
CVS just laid out a big reason why health companies are worried about Amazon

CVS just laid out a big reason why health companies are worried about Amazon

When word spread that Amazon would move into health care in 2017, health-care executives had a ready answer: We are not afraid. “I honestly don’t believe that Amazon will be interested in the near future in the next few years in this market,” Walgreens’ CEO Stefano Pessina told investors in an earnings call in July 2017. “I think we have a lot of capabilities and a value proposition that can compete effectively in the market,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said back in August. But recent legal actions tell a different story. In April, CVS filed a lawsuit against John Lavin, a former senior vice president in charge of CVS Caremark’s retail pharmacy network, after Lavin told the company he was leaving to take a job at Amazon’s pharmacy arm, PillPack. The judge this week ruled in CVS’ favor, preventing Lavin from taking immediate employment at PillPack.
UI researchers to demonstrate virtual-reality headsets to Congress

UI researchers to demonstrate virtual-reality headsets to Congress

Researchers with UI Health Care and the Veterans Administration will demonstrate their virtual-reality headset to Congress today. Michael Wall, a University of Iowa professor of neuro-ophthalmology, will demonstrate to Congress the creation of a virtual-reality headset that will allow access to testing for people with degenerative eye conditions. The Veteran’s Administration gave a grant to the research project four years ago, Wall said. The device will improve veterans’ lives by making visual testing and monitoring available in many different venues, such as waiting rooms, outreach clinics, and in patient’s homes, according to a press release from the VA.
The Senate will hold a hearing next month on Facebook’s Libra currency

The Senate will hold a hearing next month on Facebook’s Libra currency

On Wednesday, the Senate Banking Committee announced it will be holding a hearing next month to question witnesses over Facebook’s new cryptocurrency initiative, Libra. The hearing, entitled “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations,” is set for July 16th at 10AM ET. The plans come shortly after Facebook formally announced its new cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, Libra. Facebook’s plan was met with harsh criticism from lawmakers, as well as calls for investigation into the potential consumer risks. It’s unclear who all will be testifying, but sources tell The Verge David Marcus, co-creator of Libra and Calibra lead, will be in attendance.
Terrifying video of a Texas woman's kidnapping was captured by a Ring video doorbell, and it helped police arrest the suspect

Terrifying video of a Texas woman's kidnapping was captured by a Ring video doorbell, and it helped police arrest the suspect

After her kidnapping was caught on camera by an Amazon Ring security monitor, the man accused of a Texas woman's abduction has been arrested. A 31-second video of the kidnapping — which we first saw on KVUE, an ABC affiliate in Austin, Texas — shows the woman frantically knocking on a neighbor's door at 9:25 p.m. on Tuesday. Then, she backs up against the door as a man approaches. She says, "Stop, please, no, no, no, no," as the man says, "Get over here, get into the car," and drags her away.
Existing-home sales rebound in May, as housing market green shoots appear

Existing-home sales rebound in May, as housing market green shoots appear

The numbers: Existing-home sales were at a 5.34 million seasonally adjusted annual pace in May, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Sales of previously-owned homes were 2.5% higher than in April, but 1.1% lower than the selling pace a year ago. The MarketWatch consensus forecast was for a 5.28 million annual rate. What happened: The median selling price in May was $277,700, a 4.8% annual increase and the 87th straight month of annual price increases. The Northeast, where sales have been socked by high prices and the loss of the ability to deduct property taxes from federal returns, saw a 4.7% jump in sales in May. In the Midwest, sales were up 3.4%. In both the South and the West, sales ticked up 1.8%.
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