Spotify is launching a series of audiobooks, recordings of works of classic literature available in the public domain

Streaming giant Spotify is extending its foray into audiobooks, dropping nine new public-domain classics narrated by celebrities including Hilary Swank and Forest Whitaker.

The platform known best for its music has used podcasts to drive growth since 2019, and recently began bolstering its audiobook selection.

A Spotify spokesperson told AFP the launch is part of “tests in an effort to improve our .”

“Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning,” the spokesperson for the Swedish company said, without elaborating.

In May 2020 Spotify released an audio version of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first volume in the beloved series.

Daniel Radcliffe—who played the bespectacled wizard on film—was among the celebrities who read chapters.

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Despite temporary Covid-related economic setbacks, small business owners across the nation are hopeful for a speedy rebound.

Despite nearly two-thirds of entrepreneurs admitting to SCORE that 2020 didn’t produce company profits, 55% remain optimistic that they’ll be able to grow their businesses in 2021.

Yet growth doesn’t come without careful planning, especially for C-suite executives working on a tight budget.



Expanding Sales on a Budget

Scaling up on the heels of a pandemic may sound tricky. However, it’s doable—and doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, sales leaders from organizations of all sizes can take a few cost-effective steps to get a larger industry share without risking fiscal security. And if your goal is to gain traction, you’ll want to consider adding at least a few to your operations.

1.

Playing Nintendo’s Animal Crossing was a lockdown diversion for many people last year

You’re stuck in lockdown but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit a tropical island, a space station or have games night with your friends—certain video games have filled the need of the world’s confined for a bit of distraction, adventure and socialising and achieved unexpected success during the pandemic.

Animal Crossing

No adversaries or competition in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” which came out in March for Nintendo’s Switch console. Instead players explore an island, collecting fruit and making tools and furniture, trading with others, as the seasons slowly change.

This version of the certainly hit the spot with players hungry for a bit of light-hearted diversion. It powered to the top of the sales charts in the United States in March 2020, and was among top sellers in other countries as well. It was the number

In this file photo taken on September 30, 2020 a Boeing 737 MAX airliner piloted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Steve Dickson taxis for a two-hour evaluation flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington

Canadian airline Westjet on Friday cancelled a flight just prior to take-off after a warning light went off in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The 737 MAX had only been allowed by Canada to fly in its airspace days earlier, after Boeing addressed and improved on the MAX in the aftermath of two that had led to it being grounded worldwide for almost two years.

WestJet Flight 658 from Calgary to Toronto left the gate with passengers on board, but was forced to turn around, a company spokeswoman told AFP in an email.

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system

Loon, an Alphabet project aiming to provide wireless internet via high-flying balloons, is being closed down

Google parent company Alphabet announced Friday it was shutting down “Loon”, a high-profile project aiming to deliver wireless internet via flying balloons in the stratosphere, because it is not commercially viable.

The idea behind Loon was to build a network of balloons to expand to underserved areas and disaster zones and was initially part of an Alphabet “moonshot factory” known as X, which aims to create projects to disrupt new sectors.

In a blog, X’s Astro Teller announced the decision, adding: “Sadly, despite the team’s groundbreaking technical achievements over the last 9 years… the road to has proven much longer and riskier than hoped.”

Loon was deployed to provide internet in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017, as well as after a major earthquake in Peru.

Last year it

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Tech giant Apple is reportedly developing a virtual reality headset, leading toward the potential release of augmented reality glasses for consumers.

According to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, the headset will serve largely as a VR device similar to Sony’s PlayStation VR and Oculus but offer limited AR features.

The report says the headset will serve as a “high-end, niche product that will prepare outside developers and consumers for its eventual, more mainstream AR glasses.”

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

The headset would be the first new product type from the company since it released the Apple Watch in 2015.

Virtual reality was lauded during the last decade as companies such as Oculus and HTC introduced headsets, but waned in the devices over concerns with pricing and usability, as many headsets required staying tethered to a computer.

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