Apple job postings give further credence to electric car rumors

The company’s Special Project Group posted more than 300 jobs for electrical engineers, road safety specialists, and those with automotive experience in 2020.

Image: Conner Forrest/TechRepublic

Apple’s long-rumored electric car, codenamed Project Titan, appears to be continuing to ramp up, with analytics firm GlobalData finding that the company posted over 300 jobs in 2020 “including key roles that indicate working on battery power management, road safety and car experience.”

All of the 300+ jobs in question were posted by Apple’s Special Projects Group (SPG), which GlobalData describes as “a way through which the company works on innovative projects that can be scaled in the future.” 

“GlobalData’s Job Analytics database shows that Apple made specific job postings that closely relate to developing proprietary software and battery technology. Additionally, with the recruitment of ex-Tesla employees over the past few years, Apple is in a better place than ever to know the best step forward for its ambitious electric cars project,” said Ajay Thalluri, a business fundamentals analyst with the firm.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

A sample of postings, all of which are for positions in the SPG, include:

  • Senior power systems
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2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e review: More power, more range, more tech

The optional M Sport pack adds these 21-inch wheels.


Emme Hall/Roadshow

A plug-in hybrid is the perfect vehicle for someone who wants a little EV goodness, but isn’t ready to make the fully electric commitment. Maybe you want electric power for around-town commuting and errand-running, but you need the convenience and added range of a gas engine for longer drives. If that sounds like you and luxury SUVs are your thing, allow me to introduce you to the BMW X5 xDrive45e.

Like

  • 30 miles of all-electric range
  • Nicely appointed cabin

Don’t Like

  • Cargo space falls behind competition
  • Two-row seating only

The new 45e is an upgraded version of the xDrive40e BMW previously offered. It offers more range than before — as much as 30 miles thanks to a 24-kilowatt-hour battery — while packing a more powerful punch, as well. Where the 40e had a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the 45e gets a 3.0-liter turbo I6. Total output is rated at a healthy 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque — big increases over the 308 hp and 332 lb-ft from the older 40e PHEV. Power gets down to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There are six drive

Read More View More 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e review: More power, more range, more tech

Recovery Rebate Credit: How to claim missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return

If the IRS ends up owing you money from the first or second stimulus check, you can still claim it this year.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you still haven’t received your second stimulus check, your next option is to claim the stimulus money you’re owed from the second and first economic impact payments next month when you file your 2020 tax return.

While you wait, you can start gathering all your tax paperwork needed. But before you do, you should first confirm your payment status online through the IRS. If the free service says your payment made the deadline and is in transit to your mailbox, you can then track it through the USPS. If you can’t figure out the confusing messages the IRS tool is telling you, if it appears there’s been an error of some sort, or if you seem to be missing money for your dependents, it may be time to turn to the IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit on your upcoming taxes.

You won’t be sent a separate check if you claim your money on your taxes. It would, however, either increase the size of your total tax refund or lower

Read More View More Recovery Rebate Credit: How to claim missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return

How to buy, return, or repair an Apple product amid Apple Store closures

What do you do if your local Apple Store is closed or booked up for appointments? Luckily, Apple provides multiple ways to achieve your goals. Some might be faster than others.

Your local Apple Store has traditionally been an ideal spot for buying, browsing, requesting support, or getting repairs on any Apple product. But with the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, many stores have closed or are limiting their interaction with the public. That leaves buyers and users in a conundrum.

SEE: 10 MacOS tune-up tricks for your Mac (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Maybe you need technical service or repairs on an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple product. Perhaps you’re considering an Apple Watch or other product that you want to physically see and try on. Maybe you need to return an item purchased at an Apple Store before the return deadline is up. How can you handle any of these tasks if your nearest stores aren’t accessible?

How to search for Apple Stores

First, check the status of your closest stores. Apple’s US retail store website helps you search for your local stores by state and city. At the Apple Store List site, you can browse for stores

Read More View More How to buy, return, or repair an Apple product amid Apple Store closures

2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 review: A rough-and-tumble midsize truck

Not everyone loves the Colorado ZR2’s updated grille, but it’s certainly more aggressive than before.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Chevrolet Colorado is an oldie but a goodie. Yeah, this midsize truck feels outdated, but despite a few deficits here and there it remains a solid option in a segment rife with less-than-stellar competitors. If you need enhanced off-road capability or the open-bed hauling convenience only a pickup truck can offer, but don’t want or need a full-size rig, this Chevy is a decent choice.

Like

  • Manageable dimensions
  • Decent performance
  • Off-road hardware

Don’t Like

  • Full-size pickup fuel economy
  • V6 could be smoother
  • Annoying rock rails

To keep things fresh, the Colorado received a few enhancements for 2021. Mainline models gain a reworked — and arguably more handsome — front end, an 8-inch infotainment screen is standard on the LT trim and higher and 17-inch wheels are now included at no extra charge. The off-road-ready ZR2 model features similar improvements, though its face is noticeably more aggressive, looking somewhat like the boxy Silverado 1500’s prow, for better or worse. Finally, three new exterior colors are available across the range including Cherry Red Tintcoat, which is what you see here.

What sets the ZR2

Read More View More 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 review: A rough-and-tumble midsize truck

$1.9T stimulus proposal: Biden pushes for a third check, $400 unemployment money, more

The Biden administration plant to hit the ground running on COVID-19 relief and economic recovery.


Sarah Tew/CNET

With President Joe Biden now officially in the White House, Washington can start to turn its attention from the second stimulus check to a third round of payments as part of a $1.9 trillion proposal to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

In his American Rescue Plan, Biden is proposing a third round of stimulus checks, funding for a nationwide COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort and more. Not waiting for Congress to act, on his first day in office, Biden signed a collection of executive orders shortly after being sworn in.

Working to win Congressional support for a larger proposal is a key goal for his administration: Biden has repeatedly referred to December’s bill — and the $600 stimulus checks that came with it — as a “down payment” on more aid this year. However, it will be up to the new Congress to negotiate, craft and ultimately pass Biden’s relief package, or a version of it. Here’s what Biden wants.

A $1,400 third stimulus payment, not $2,000

The IRS has hit the deadline on Jan. 15 to

Read More View More $1.9T stimulus proposal: Biden pushes for a third check, $400 unemployment money, more