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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Siri Now Works Without an Internet Connection – Here’s How to Use It

Siri, the Apple digital assistant, now processes audio on-device by default in iOS 15, the mobile operating system released earlier in the week.
Processing audio inputs on the device makes using Siri more private, Apple says.
Offline Siri is only available on iPhones and iPads with the Apple A12 Bionic chip or later and this includes the iPhone XS, SR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 smartphones including Pro and Max …

Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Air Travel Boom is a Bust

Air travel was expected to be this summer’s comeback kid.  As the pandemic seemingly eased, travelers spent $6 billion on domestic flights in June, a record amount.
“Summer travel spending will be record-breaking,” one travel magazine’s headline stated.
But that was June and it was not to be: The Delta variant, originally known as the India variant or B.1.167.2, brought a quick halt to any such increases.
Instead, July domestic flight bookings fell …

Hotel Review: Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

Coordinating the opening of a hotel is a big deal no matter when it happens, but doing so in the midst of a raging pandemic is not only an achievement worthy of note but one fraught with some degree of peril.
The managers of the Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City did just that and the hotel, located in the East Market development opened its doors to guests in August of …

United Airlines Adds 150 New Flights to ‘Warm Weather’ Destinations to Winter Schedule

United Airlines Adds 150 New Flights to ‘Warm Weather’ Destinations to Winter Schedule

United Airlines announced the addition of almost 150 new flights to what it termed “warm-weather cities” come winter.
The additions are part of the airline’s preparations for a return to normalcy in air travel.
“United has prepared for the return of air travel for more than a year, matching its flying schedule and aircraft availability to demand by maintaining close coordination between its network planning teams and the airline’s operating groups,” it …

Review and Test Drive: The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Vehicle Offers Fahrvergnügen for the EV Era

There will be a time when it will no longer be necessary to write the words “Electric Vehicle” after a model name in the headline of a car review, but that time has not yet arrived. However, if more cars such as Volkswagen’s entertaining ID.4 come to market, we may soon need to use a retronym in headlines for those cars powered by internal-combustion engines.
Many people don’t really know what to …

U.S. May Pioneer Supersonic Passenger Aircraft Second Time Around

The United States, which was a bystander in the first wave of supersonic travel that started in the 1970s, may be a pioneer as the second wave of supersonic transport starts to take flight.
The order by a U.S. airline for 50 new supersonic aircraft may put the country at the forefront of flying at twice the speed of sound, after having passed on the opportunity the first time around.
The carrier, …

Theater Review: ‘Persou’ at Cell Theatre Celebrates the Rites of Spring

Spring is here, which means it’s time to head into the Temple of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus.  If that’s not an option due to distance or pandemic travel restrictions, to the Cell Theatre, where the temple has been recreated. This is “Persou,” the immersive festival to celebrate the season, created by Ellpetha Tsivicos and Camilo Quiroz-Vasquez.
The appearance of “Persou” – which takes place largely indoors with live actors – not …