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  BGR Show All 
HBO’s first House of the Dragon trailer is epic and you need to watch it
A woman with long blond hair admires the Iron Throne

When Game of Thrones on HBO wrapped up in 2019, we all knew that prequels, sequels, and spinoffs were inevitable. Very few shows have ever dominated our conversations the way Game of Thrones did throughout its run. There was no way HBO was going to abandon its franchise, even after the subpar final season. After a few false starts, HBO revealed that House of the Dragon would be its first official spinoff, and earlier this month, the network finally shared a teaser trailer for the show.

If you want to catch up on or rewatch Game of Thrones, you can sign up for HBO Max here.

Sign up for HBO Max now to see all the hottest new movies the same day they hit theaters

Price: Sign Up Now!
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Continue reading...

The post HBO’s first House of the Dragon trailer is epic and you need to watch it appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

HBO’s first House of the Dragon trailer is epic and you need to watch it originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 15:27:54 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Breakthrough brain implant lets blind woman see shapes
Brain Implant Blind Woman

New research from a group of scientists has showcased how a team of researchers came together to create artificial vision for a 58-year-old blind woman, allowing her to see simple shapes. According to the report, the group was able to use penetrating electrodes to create the shapes the woman experienced. In a sense, the brain implant allowed the blind woman to "see" simple shapes.

By placing an array on the visual cortex, scientists say they were able to stimulate the neurons around it to create artificial vision for a blind volunteer. They were then able to record the experience using the array as well as a pair of eyeglasses equipped with a miniature video camera.

Brain implant creates artificial vision for blind woman

A human brain with electrodes

Scientists from the University Miguel Hernández in Spain, the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, and the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah carried out the work. According to an article published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Professor Eduardo Fernández, MD, Ph.D., from Miguel Hernández University of Elche, wrote that the penetrating electrodes were created using an intracortical 96-channel microelectrode array situated in the volunteer’s occipital cortex.

The electrodes in the brain implant then stimulated the brain, causing the blind woman to experience artificial vision in the form of white points of light called phosphenes. Those points then created the images the woman experienced.

“These results are very exciting because they demonstrate both safety and efficacy and could help to achieve a long-held dream of many scientists, which is the transfer information from the outside world directly to the visual cortex of blind individuals, thereby restoring a rudimentary form of sight,” Prof. Eduardo Fernández wrote in the article (via Neuroscience).

Building Forward

human brain scan
An illustration is shown of what the human brain looks like inside the skull. Image source: SciePro/Adobe

The reports say the results of this experiment are encouraging. At the moment there do not appear to have been any negative effects on the volunteer’s brain. However, Fernández noted that there are several unanswered questions and problems to solve.

The group plans to conduct further experiments. Professor R.A. Normann, a co-author of the study, noted the overall goal is to give blind people more mobility. According to the reports, scientists plan to use more sophisticated systems next time. This should allow for more complex visual images.

If successful, brain implants like this could allow blind women and men to identify other people, doorways, cars, and more. It would, essentially, help create more independence for the user, as well as increase their safety. This also isn't the only scientific breakthrough surrounding vision for the blind. Five years ago, a bionic eye implant allowed a blind man to see again for the first time in 40 years.

The post Breakthrough brain implant lets blind woman see shapes appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

Breakthrough brain implant lets blind woman see shapes originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 14:28:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Nokia BH-805 noise cancelling earbuds review

Nokia noise cancelling earbuds

Active noise-cancelling technology is a big selling point for headphones these days. Trying to get rid of the noise around you and achieve audio bliss is something that many users want. It still is something that many manufacturers are trying to find.

If you are someone who travels a lot and hates hearing what people around you are talking about, you need to get rid of the noise. If you have kids and need a brief moment of silence while they are watching a show, you can get rid of that noise (it's not really noise though).

Over-the-ear headphones can handle this technology well. We've seen it in countless headphones and some of them are really great. But wireless earbuds are a different level of convenience. I tested out one of the newer options on the market, the Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds, to see how the technology holds up. HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, created them to enter the active noise-cancelling realm.


Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Price: $149.99
Buy Now

Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds design

The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds in their case. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

These earbuds come with three different tip size, which should help them fit a wider variety of ears. While they won't fit every set of ears, they will stay in, as long as you identify which one is the correct one for you. I used the large ones for a while before realizing the medium was a better fit. The silicone tips go inside your ear hole to keep the earbud from falling out.

The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds have small stems, which is where touch controls are found. It does take a little while to memorize which controls are which. There are some that control the volume and some that allow you to open up either Siri or Google Assistant. You can also work with the ambient mode and active noise-cancelling mode. While the touch controls are reactive most of the time, you must take your time in pressing or holding them for them to actually respond.

They are IPX4 water-resistant and dust-resistant. I wore these when I went for a run and it was raining that day and between the sweat and rain, there was no problem with them working. They do slide around in your ears, even if you have the proper tips. So you should probably opt for a different pair of sports headphones if you're looking for workout ones. They are offered in two different colors: Charcoal and Polar Sea.

Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds features and battery

Nokia earbuds in an ear. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

Connecting your earbuds is very simple. They are built with Bluetooth connectivity and will LED indicator light in the back of each earbud will flash orange and white alternatively when they are ready to pair. After the initial pairing, the earbud announces that it is on by saying "Hello" and then will announce it is connected by saying "Connected". Just by opening the case, your earbuds will pair after the initial time.

As we mentioned, the controls are on the stem of the earbuds. You can toggle between the two modes without much problem. One thing that you may notice is, if you are adjusting the earbuds in your ear, you more or less have to touch the main part of the earbud, rather than the stem. If you touch the stem, you will set off one of the controls. You can play or pause music, lower or raise the volume, and fast forward or rewind. You can also answer and hang up a phone call. Choosing to use the voice assistant is another control.

Battery life

These true wireless headphones come with a charging case that is larger than an Apple AirPods case. But it is not too big that it is cumbersome to keep in your pocket or purse. It comes with a USB-C charging cord, but you have to have your own charging block. This lasts for up to five hours on a single charge without the charging case.

The case shows you how much battery level is left, as there are lights on the case that gauge the life. If you are using it in full ANC mode, it will last for shorter than that. So for incredibly long flights, the battery won't last as long as you may want it. You'll need to take a break and charge it up. It will go for 20 hours if the charging case is charged up.

Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds sound quality

Because the earbuds enter your ear and basically fill up your ear canal, you will get decent sound quality. It isn't the clearest you'll ever hear, but for regular use, it is totally acceptable. The bass is solid but if you are looking for heavy bass, these may not reach the levels you want. You won't be blown away by the sound, but if you're don't consider your ear finely-tuned, these will be just fine.

The Nokia earbuds case. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

If you place your finger on one of the stems and hold it for a few seconds, you can toggle between ambient mode and noise-cancelling mode. This makes your ability to switch simple and it takes almost no time. You will actually hear the noise-cancelling mode kick into effect if you're in a room that isn't too noisy, as the sound is sucked out around you.

The noise-cancelling mode eliminates noise up to 25 dB. That is similar to hearing protectors and earplugs. While this won't drown out all of the noise you're hearing, it does do a decent job of giving you more bliss. You do notice a difference when you make the switch from ambient mode to the noise-cancelling mode or "ANC" mode as the earbuds tell you.

Conclusions

The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds will help you get rid of some of the noise around you. While it isn't as effective as putting on over-the-ear headphones, it can drown out some noise to give you some more peace and quiet. The sound quality isn't bad and can deliver easy, day-to-day, listening that you won't complain about. While they aren't the most comfortable, as they are rather invasive in your ears, you do have to make sure they fit in your ears. They are in the middle of the price range of earbuds with noise-cancelling technology at $149.99.

The competition


New Beats Studio Buds – True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds – Compatible with Apple & Androi…

New Beats Studio Buds – True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds – Compatible with Apple & Androi…

Price: $149.95
Buy Now

There are a few options at this same price point. You may be able to find better For a similar price point, you can choose the Beats Studio Buds. These will give you better battery life and are less obvious in your ears if that matters to you. You can also take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.

Should I buy the Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds?

Yes. While they aren't the best for sound quality and the controls take some getting used to, you do notice a difference when switching to the noise-cancelling mode. If you're just looking to not overhear someone's conversation on the bus and don't want to pay a ton to do so, these will suit you.


Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Price: $149.99
Buy Now

The post Nokia BH-805 noise cancelling earbuds review appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

Nokia BH-805 noise cancelling earbuds review originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 13:29:07 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


This streaming service adding 24 new live TV channels for free
Redbox Live TV interface showing a video

There are now so many streaming services on the market that you may not even be aware of them all. For example, did you know that video rental company Redbox has a streaming service?

Well, it does! The movie rental company also offers a ton of free movies and shows on demand. Plus, Redbox streams a bunch of free live TV channels.

Redbox is one of many companies that has jumped on the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) train. And this week, the company announced that it will add more than 20 new FAST channels to its lineup. The additions will include local news, horror movies, kids shows, and more.

Continue reading...

The post This streaming service adding 24 new live TV channels for free appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

This streaming service adding 24 new live TV channels for free originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 12:30:18 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


This is how desperate retailers are getting because of the supply chain crisis
supply chain issues

The next time you're at your local grocery store or a nearby location of a department store giant, take a close look at the shelves. If you've paid attention at all to news headlines over the past week or so, you'll no doubt have come across coverage of supply chain issues that are manifesting themselves in part in the form of empty store shelves. But it's not just empty store shelves resulting from the US supply chain meltdown that includes clogged ports as well as goods sitting unshipped. Retailers are also getting creative (or desperate, depending on who you ask) -- to the point that some shoppers say they've noticed tactics like stores using single rows of products to fill shelves.

To give the illusion, in other words, of abundance.

Continue reading...

The post This is how desperate retailers are getting because of the supply chain crisis appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

This is how desperate retailers are getting because of the supply chain crisis originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 11:31:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday

Best Outdoor TV Deals

If you're looking for the best outdoor TV deals around ahead of Black Friday, look no further than Amazon. You've undoubtedly done your research at this point. So you know that Furrion is one of the best brands out there when it comes to outdoor TVs. Furrion's Aurora lineup is wonderfully bright, and they're of course all weatherproof for outdoor mounting.

Now, you have a chance to see what all the fuss is about and save some money in the process. That's because Furrion Aurora Full Shade Outdoor TVs and Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Outdoor TVs are on sale with deep discounts at Amazon. This big sale only lasts until the end of the day on August 8th, however, so you'll need to hurry if you want to save.


Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1,699.96
Buy Now

Furrion Aurora 4K TVs for full shade or partial sun

It doesn't matter if you check Amazon, other retailers, or dedicated television review sites. When you do, you'll see that Furrion outdoor TV reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Of that, there is no question. But it wasn't until Furrion sent me one that I truly appreciated how impressive these outdoor TVs really are. And now that Amazon is running these great outdoor TV deals, you can appreciate them too.

The company's Aurora televisions are all characterized by a few important things. First and foremost, Furrion outdoor TVs have high-quality display panels with dazzling brightness. An average TV like the one you have in your living room generally has a brightness rating of between 250 and 300 nits.

Meanwhile, Furrion's outdoor televisions are rated at between 350 and 700 nits, depending on the model you choose. Then, on top of that, Furrion Aurora TVs have a special anti-glare coating and automatic brightness control. That way, the screen is clear and bright as lighting conditions change throughout the day.

Long story short, these stunning televisions offer the ideal outdoor viewing experience.

I have a sunroom in the back of my home with big windows that face south. I put a TV back there when I first moved in, but it was impossible to watch during the day. The glare is a nightmare to deal with for pretty much the entire day until the sun sets each evening.

I decided to give up and move that TV to the basement. To be frank, it hadn't even dawned on me to try an outdoor TV until Furrion reached out. Within minutes of setting up the Partial Sun Outdoor TV the company sent, I knew what all the fuss was about. Despite being hit with direct sunlight for much of the day, this TV is clear and bright.

Amazon's best outdoor TV deals

This should go without saying, but Furrion TVs are weatherproof. They are IP54-rated for resistance against rain, snow, UV rays, dirt, humidity, and even salt. I wouldn't recommend mounting one with no covering at all, but you could if you wanted to. Generally, people position these TVs under an awning or roof of some kind. Or, if you have a bright sunroom like I do, Furrion Aurora TVs are perfect. TV deals

Furrion Aurora Full Shade Outdoor TVs and Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Outdoor TVs are fantastic. If you have the need for an outdoor TV, you should definitely add Furrion to your shortlist. In fact, you might want to just skip the suspense and pick up a Furrion model with these TV deals now.

For a limited time until August 8th, all of Furrion's hottest models are on sale at Amazon with deep discounts. You'll save a minimum of $100 on the smaller models, which means the entry-level price is now $999. Larger models have deeper discounts, so you can save up to $500!

These Amazon outdoor TV deals are only around for another few days. That means it's your last chance to save, so don't miss out.


Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV deals

The Aurora series is split up into two different categories, including Full Shade and Partial Sun. If you plan to install your outdoor TV in a spot that never sees any direct sunlight, you want one of the Full Shade models listed here.

49-Inch


Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 49-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 49-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1,299.99
You Save: $100.00 (7%)
Buy Now

55-Inch


Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1,699.96
Buy Now

65-Inch


Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 65-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Full Shade Series 65-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1899.99
You Save: $450.00 (19%)
Buy Now


Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV deals

The best outdoor TV deals of the season also extend to Furrion's Partial Sun lineup. These ultra-bright TVs have stunning picture quality that's still visible in partial sunlight.

43-Inch


Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 43-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 43-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1,299.96
Buy Now

49-Inch


Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 49-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 49-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1519.99
You Save: $200.00 (11%)
Buy Now

55-Inch


Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 55-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $1804.99
Buy Now

65-Inch


Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 65-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 65-Inch Weatherproof 4K Outdoor TV

Price: $2184.96
You Save: $300.00 (12%)
Buy Now


Go here to see this month's best cheap deals online!

The post Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 10:32:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


AirPods Pro 2 leaked images show likely design changes
AirPods Pro 2 with an audio waveform from the device on a black background

During its MacBook event last week, Apple unveiled the AirPods 3, confirming all rumors that said the cheaper AirPods will get a redesign.

The third-gen AirPods looks a lot like the AirPods Pro, although it’s not quite a replica. The AirPods 3 are about as tall as the AirPods Pro, as they have a smaller stem. But the AirPods 3 case isn’t as wide as the AirPods Pro, as they don’t come with user-replaceable tips.

Apple didn’t also unveil the highly anticipated AirPods Pro 2 model at the show, but it gave the more expensive earphones a small upgrade. That’s MagSafe wireless charging, which means the case comes with built-in magnets.

Apple will likely unveil the AirPods Pro 2 earphones in 2022. At least that’s what all rumors have claimed for the better part of the year. The new Pro will also get its own redesign, according to some reports. But a purported AirPods Pro 2 case leak indicates that only minimal design changes might be in order.

Continue reading...

The post AirPods Pro 2 leaked images show likely design changes appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
  3. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet

AirPods Pro 2 leaked images show likely design changes originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 09:53:33 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out
Costco Soup

While some food recalls are implemented out of an abundance of caution, which is the FDA's way of saying that they're erring on the side of safety, other recalls arise out of a very real danger to the public. A recent food recall involving Costco soup falls into the latter category.

Earlier this week, the FDA announced the recall of thousands of packages of Ivar’s Kettle Classic Clam Chowder With Uncured Bacon. The soup is sold exclusively at Costco. The recall was issued because there's a possibility some packages may contain hard and sharpened pieces of plastic. The only silver lining amidst this bizarre story is that the plastic pieces are opaque, which is to say you'll be able to spot them.

Today's Top Deal


Amazon just kicked off a massive new sale — see all the best deals right here!

Amazon just kicked off a massive new sale — see all the best deals right here!

Price: See Today's Deals!
Buy Now

Continue reading...

The post If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out appeared first on BGR.

Today's Top Deals

  1. Stunning outdoor TVs up to $500 off at Amazon ahead of Black Friday
  2. Friday’s deals: Samsung Galaxy phones, Chromebooks, $60 smartwatch, $75 air fryer, more
  3. Surprise! Amazon early Black Friday deals are live right now

Trending Right Now:

  1. USDA issues urgent meat recall, so throw it away if you have any
  2. Let’s go, Brandon: The backstory of this Joe Biden meme that’s all over the Internet
  3. Surprise stimulus checks are coming in 14 states – see if you get one

If you bought this soup at Costco, there’s an FDA recall so throw it out originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 23 Oct 2021 at 09:12:46 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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  TechNewsWorld Show All 
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Amazon Celebrates SMB Sellers' Successes, Introduces New Tools at Virtual Event
Amazon heralded its shifting strategies to help sellers expand with new tools during its two-day Accelerate Seller Conference this week. The e-commerce giant announced its growing success with American small and medium-sized businesses empowerment this year, its glowing Sellers Report, and the results of its unique CRM tools for SMBs.

New Cyber Theft Group Uses Revitalized Tricks To Target Online Merchants
A new fraud ring called Proxy Phantom is using sophisticated credential stuffing attack methods to take over customer accounts for U.S.-based e-commerce merchants. The latest research from digital trust and safety firm Sift demonstrates fraudsters' relentless innovation and reinforces retailers' need to double down on fraud protection as the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches.

The Rise of Digital Ad Taxes Could Impact Online Marketplaces
For years, affiliate marketers, social media companies, online marketplace platforms, and search engines alike have enjoyed the seemingly ubiquitous tax-free landscape from their digital activities afforded to them by the United States' Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998. However, that could all be changing soon.

The Global Information Network
Let's start a new meme/hashtag/acronym: Global Information Network, or GIN. I know there's double entendre here, but we're entitled to have a modicum of fun in life, no? I've been writing about the coming of an information utility for a while, but even my visions don't match what we're watching unfold.

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  News Show All 
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  Latest news Show All 
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Facebook's misinformation and violence problems are worse in India

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's leaks suggest its problems with extremism are particularly dire in some areas. Documents Haugen provided to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other outlets suggest Facebook is aware it fostered severe misinformation and violence in India. The social network apparently didn't have nearly enough resources to deal with the spread of harmful material in the populous country, and didn't respond with enough action when tensions flared.

A case study from early 2021 indicated that much of the harmful content from groups like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal wasn't flagged on Facebook or WhatsApp due to the lack of technical know-how needed to spot content written in Bengali and Hindi. At the same time, Facebook reportedly declined to mark the RSS for removal due to "political sensitivities," and Bajrang Dal (linked to Prime Minister Modi's party) hadn't been touched despite an internal Facebook call to take down its material. The company had a white list for politicians exempt from fact-checking.

Facebook was struggling to fight hate speech as recently as five months ago, according to the leaked data. And like an earlier test in the US, the research showed just how quickly Facebook's recommendation engine suggested toxic content. A dummy account following Facebook's recommendations for three weeks was subjected to a "near constant barrage" of divisive nationalism, misinformation and violence.

As with earlier scoops, Facebook said the leaks didn't tell the whole story. Spokesman Andy Stone argued the data was incomplete and didn't account for third-party fact checkers used heavily outside the US. He added that Facebook had invested heavily in hate speech detection technology in languages like Bengali and Hindi, and that the company was continuing to improve that tech.

The social media firm followed this by posting a lengthier defense of its practices. It argued that it had an "industry-leading process" for reviewing and prioritizing countries with a high risk of violence every six months. It noted that teams considered long-term issues and history alongside current events and dependence on its apps. The company added it was engaging with local communities, improving technology and continuously "refining" policies.

The response didn't directly address some of the concerns, however. India is Facebook's largest individual market, with 340 million people using its services, but 87 percent of Facebook's misinformation budget is focused on the US. Even with third-party fact checkers at work, that suggests India isn't getting a proportionate amount of attention. Facebook also didn't follow up on worries it was tip-toeing around certain people and groups beyond a previous statement that it enforced its policies without consideration for position or association. In other words, it's not clear Facebook's problems with misinformation and violence will improve in the near future.


Saudi Arabia won't reach net zero emissions until 2060

Saudi Arabia is making a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment, although the timeframe won't please critics. Reutersreports Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman now expect Saudi Arabia to achieve net zero emissions by 2060. That's behind the 2050 target for the EU, United Arab Emirates, US and other countries.

The kingdom hoped to reach net zero through a circular carbon economy program while trying to bolster the "security and stability" of the world's oil markets. While the princes said Saudi Arabia would more than double CO2 emissions reductions by 2030, they maintained that the country needed time to "properly" conduct a transition.

The Crown Prince said there was a chance Saudi Arabia would hit its target before 2060, and state oil producer Saudi Aramco hopes to reach net zero by 2050. However, the country has been moving relatively slowly. It only opened its first renewable energy plant in April, and its first wind farm in August. It's still planning its first hydrogen fuel plant.

The conservative schedule isn't surprising. Although Saudi Arabia has been diversifying its economy, oil and gas represent about 50 percent of the country's gross domestic product and 70 percent of its exports. Aggressive emissions reductions could affect the kingdom's core business.

That dependence might also create problems, however. The UK and some US states are among those banning sales of new combustion engine passenger vehicles within the next 10 to 15 years, and others might not be far behind. Oil exporters like Saudi Arabia may have to adjust their emissions targets if electric vehicle sales grow quicker than expected.


Facebook sues programmer who allegedly scraped data for 178 million users

Facebook is taking legal action in response to another large-scale data heist. According to The Record, the social network has sued Ukraine national Alexander Solonchenko for allegedly scraping data for more than 178 million users. Solonchenko reportedly exploited Messenger's contact import feature by using an automated tool that mimicked Android devices. He fed Facebook millions of phone numbers and gathered data whenever the site returned info on accounts with phone numbers.

The attacker supposedly conducted the campaign between January 2018 and September 2019 (when Facebook shut down the importer), and started selling it on a black market forum in December 2020. Facebook tracked Solonchenko down after he used his forum username and contact details for email and job boards. The man has also scraped data from other targets, Facebook said, including a major Ukranian bank.

In its complaint, Facebook asked for undefined damages as well as bans preventing Solonchenko from accessing Facebook or selling its scraped data.

This isn't the largest such incident. Hackers scraped data for 533 million users through the same feature. However, this illustrates Facebook's determination to crack down on data scraping — it's willing to pursue attackers in civil court in hopes of discouraging similar data raiding campaigns.


Eero will upgrade mesh WiFi routers to support the Matter smart home standard

Eero will soon extend its mesh WiFi routers' smart home support to more universal formats. Company chief Nick Weaver told guests at a Verge event that all Eero routers with Thread support will receive an upgrade to the Matter smart home standard. Your 2017-era network could play nicely with smart devices from across the tech industry, to put it another way.

Weaver further hinted Eero was considering routers with cellular data backups, although he didn't commit to any plans. He wasn't worried about the rise of 5G home internet, noting that people were primarily moving to gigabit (wired) internet "in droves."

It wouldn't be a completely unexpected move when Amazon is upgrading most Echo speakers to support Matter. Eero is practically expected to follow along as an Amazon-owned company, and Ring has started building Eero routers into its alarm systems. Still, the update path may be particularly welcome if you were worried you might have to buy current-gen routers just to give Matter a try.


NASA plans to launch Artemis I Moon mission in February 2022

You'll have to wait a while longer for NASA's Artemis I mission. Space.comnotes NASA now expects to launch the uncrewed Artemis I flight test in February 2022, with the liftoff window opening as soon as February 12th. The Orion capsule has been stacked on top of the Space Launch System rocket, and blastoff is now mainly contingent on testing.

That testing could take a while, however. The space agency plans tests for interfaces, engineering, communications and the countdown system. The most important test is effectively the "Wet Dress Rehearsal," when the Artemis I crew will try loading and unloading the propellants several weeks before launch. NASA won't set a firm launch date until after a successful rehearsal, so you won't get definitive timing for a long while.

Artemis I will send an Orion capsule with a sensor-equipped "moonikin" around the Moon (plus organ- and bone-like "phantoms") to study acceleration, radiation and vibration during the journey. Artemis II will carry a human crew. NASA hoped to land people on the Moon in 2024, although budgetary concerns and the fight over lander contracts have cast doubt on that target.

A successful Artemis I mission would nonetheless represent an important milestone. It would demonstrate the viability of both Orion and SLS. More importantly, humans would take one step closer to venturing beyond Earth's orbit for the first time in decades.


ICYMI: Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 still needs some work

This week, we’ve got a handful of reviews across several categories. Devindra Hardawar reviewed AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 and determined that its lackluster performance and features made the GPU hard to praise, particularly when chip shortages have forced skyrocketing prices. Nicole Lee carried the Facebook Portal Go around her house and found its features don’t entirely outweigh the flaws. I tracked my twin’s daily habits with the Talli one-touch tracker and liked it more than I thought I would, plus Cherlynn Low found that she wasn’t totally sold on Microsoft’s latest Surface Duo 2 folding smartphone.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is still struggling

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 stands almost closed, with the logo on its back facing the camera.
David Imel for Engadget

Cherlynn Low admits right away that the Surface Duo 2 is a frustrating device, despite upgrades to the cameras, software and performance. At $1,500, it remains a pricey and niche foldable phone. The newest version offers a combined 8.3-inch screen and it runs Android 11. Cherlynn says the hardware is attractive with an impressively thin profile and a sleek silhouette. The unique 1,892 x 1,344 resolution produced some odd aspect ratios, but overall, apps expanded to cover the whole screen when the automatic-span setting was enabled.

While Cherlynn liked the 90Hz refresh rate, the lovely AMOLED panels and the video quality, she was disappointed that the Duo 2 didn’t have any functionality when closed since, unlike competing smartphones, it doesn’t have an external screen. She also experienced occasional software issues: the system periodically required repeated taps to register, and the UI was finicky with swipe-based navigation. But she was most let down by the camera, which disables the rear shooters depending on the position of the phone. In the end, she could only recommend the device to those who really need a dual-screen phone and have $1,500 to spare.

AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 shouldn’t be your first pick

AMD Radeon RX 6600
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

In his review of the Radeon RX 6600, Devindra Hardawar wonders who this GPU is for. Although the card has speedy 1080p load performance, its ray tracing was lackluster at best, its upscaling abilities are limited and it has fewer features than competing cards from NVIDIA. This makes it difficult to recommend, particularly because there’s no way to estimate how much the card will cost due to the global chip shortage and ballooning prices.

During testing, Devindra found the RX 6600 to be a capable gaming card. It reached 120FPS in Destiny 2 with maxed out graphics, but stumbled when he pushed the game to 1440p. Similarly, during the Hitman 3 benchmark, the GPU reached a respectable 138fps in 1080p, but again faltered once Devindra pushed it to 1440p. He says the RX 6600 could be an upgrade for some because of its Smart Access Memory, which allows your CPU to directly address your video card's RAM. Otherwise, he says the GPU can only compete if the market stabilizes and the price drops below $300.

The Portal Go brings Facebook video chat all over your house

Facebook Portal Go
Nicole Lee/Engadget

Nicole Lee approves of the design updates made to Facebook’s Portal Go, which now features a grey fabric enclosure and rounded corners. The improvements make the Go easy to prop up on a lap or hold while you walk around the house. Part tablet and part smart display, the Go touts smart camera tracking via the 12-megapixel wide-angle lens that uses AI-powered technology to automatically pan and zoom to keep you in frame. This makes it easier to get several people in the picture on a call, and it works in third-party apps as well.

Nicole says she was impressed by the video capabilities of the 10.1-inch display, which has the same 1,280 x 800 resolution as previous Portal devices. She was particularly pleased by the adaptive lighting features like Night Mode, which reduces the amount of blue light in the evening. It also provides decent audio thanks to its two full-range speakers and subwoofer, so it can double as a portable speaker in a pinch. Nicole also managed to squeeze a little over six hours out of the battery — more than the company’s claims of five. Despite this, she says the Go is your best choice only if Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are your primary video call services.

Talli’s one-touch tracker makes it easy to log kids habits

Talli Baby One Touch Tracker
Talli Baby

Although I like the app I use to track my twins' daily habits, I was curious about Talli’s dedicated hardware. A sleek box with eight buttons , the Talli is intended to help busy parents track their kids' stats with a single button press. I have to admit: I found it a lot more useful than I thought I would. Being able to push a button to log a medication or a bottle without having to open my phone, launch an app and enter in details was a welcome relief.

The Talli tracker also pairs with an app that records and graphs your child’s daily activities. The app is standalone, meaning you don't have to buy the physical tracker to use it, and there's no subscription required in order to access features or data. If you get the device, it runs on AA batteries and can be left freestanding or be wall mounted. I’ll admit I had a challenging time trying to find the exact right location for the Talli. Grabbing it often resulted in an accidental button press, but that didn’t diminish its usefulness. It can also work alongside an Alexa skill enabling parents to log events by saying “Alexa, tell Talli Baby that Sam had a bottle.” At $99, it’s a bit pricey for a single-function device, but if you’re looking to establish a routine of recording your baby’s habits, it can make things more convenient.


Hitting the Books: The genetic fluke that enabled us to drink milk

It may not contain our recommended daily allowance of Vitamin R but milk — or "cow juice" as it's known on the streets — is among the oldest known animal products repurposed for human consumption. Milk has been a staple of our diets since the 9th century BC but it wasn't until a fortuitous mutation to the human genome that we were able to properly digest that delicious bovine-based beverage. In her latest book, Life as We Made It: How 50,000 Years of Human Innovation Refined — and Redefined — Nature, author Beth Shapiro takes readers on a journey of scientific discovery, explaining how symbiotic relationships between humans and the environment around us have changed — but not always for the better.

Life as we made it by Beth Shapiro
Basic Books

Excerpted from Life as We Made It: How 50,000 Years of Human Innovation Refined—and Redefined—Nature by Beth Shapiro. Copyright © 2021. Available from Basic Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


The first archaeological evidence that people were dairying dates to around 8,500 years ago — 2,000 years after cattle domestication. In Anatolia (present-day eastern Turkey), which is pretty far from the original center of cattle domestication, archaeologists recovered milk fat residues from ceramic pots, indicating that people were processing milk by heating it up. Similar analyses of milk fat proteins in ceramics record the spread of dairying into Europe, which appears to have happened simultaneously with the spread of domestic cattle.

It’s not surprising that people began dairying soon after cattle domestication. Milk is the primary source of sugar, fat, vitamins, and protein for newborn mammals, and as such is evolved expressly to be nutritious. It would not have taken much imagination for a cattle herder to deduce that a cow’s milk would be just as good for him and his family as it was for her calf. The only challenge would have been digesting it—without the lactase persistence mutation, that is.

Because lactase persistence allows people to take advantage of calories from lactose, it also makes sense that the spread of the lactase persistence mutation and the spread of dairying would be tightly linked. If the mutation arose near the start of dairying or was already present in a population that acquired dairying technology, the mutation would have given those who had it an advantage over those who did not. Those with the mutation would, with access to additional resources from milk, more efficiently convert animal protein into more people, and the mutation would increase in frequency.

Curiously, though, ancient DNA has not found the lactase persistence mutation in the genomes of early dairy farmers, and the mutation is at its lowest European frequency today in the precise part of the world where dairying began. The first dairy farmers were not, it seems, drinking milk. Instead, they were processing milk by cooking or fermenting it, making cheeses and sour yogurts to remove the offending indigestible sugars.

If people can consume dairy products without the lactase persistence mutation, there must be some other explanation as to why the mutation is so prevalent today. And lactase persistence is remarkably prevalent. Nearly a third of us have lactase persistence, and at least five different mutations have evolved—all on the same stretch of intron 13 of the MCM6 gene—that make people lactase persistent. In each case, these mutations have gone to high frequency in the populations in which they evolved, indicating that they provide an enormous evolutionary advantage. Is being able to drink milk (in addition to eating cheese and yogurt) sufficient to explain why these mutations have been so important?

The most straightforward hypothesis is that, yes, the benefit of lactase persistence is tied to lactose, the sugar that represents about 30 percent of the calories in milk. Only those who can digest lactose have access to these calories, which may have been crucial calories during famines, droughts, and disease. Milk may also have provided an important source of clean water, which also may have been limited during periods of hardship.

Another hypothesis is that milk drinking provided access to calcium and vitamin D in addition to lactose, the complement of which aids calcium absorption. This might benefit particular populations with limited access to sunlight, as ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure is necessary to stimulate the body’s production of vitamin D. However, while this might explain the high frequency of lactase persistence in places like northern Europe, it cannot explain why populations in relatively sunny climates, such as parts of Africa and the Middle East, also have high frequencies of lactase persistence.

Neither this hypothesis nor the more straightforward hypothesis linked to lactase can explain why lactase persistence is at such low frequency in parts of Central Asia and Mongolia where herding, pastoralism, and dairying have been practiced for millennia. For now, the jury is still out as to why lactase persistence has reached such high frequencies in so many different parts of the world, and why it remains at low frequencies in some regions where dairying is economically and culturally important.

Ancient DNA has shed some light on when and where the lactase persistence mutation arose and spread in Europe. None of the remains from pre-Neolithic archaeological sites—economies that relied on hunting and gathering—have the lactase persistence mutation. None of the ancient Europeans from early farming populations in southern and central Europe (people believed to be descended from farmers spreading into Europe from Anatolia) had the lactase persistence mutation. Instead, the oldest evidence of the lactase persistence mutation in Europe is from a 4,350-year-old individual from central Europe. Around that same time, the mutation is found in a single individual from what is now Sweden and at two sites in northern Spain. While these data are sparse, the timing is coincident with another major cultural upheaval in Europe: the arrival of Asian pastoralists of the Yamnaya culture. Perhaps the Yamnaya brought with them not only horses, wheels, and a new language, but an improved ability to digest milk.

The mystery of lactase persistence in humans highlights the complicated interaction among genes, environment, and culture. The initial increase in frequency of a lactase persistence mutation, regardless of in whom it first arose, may have happened by chance. When the Yamnaya arrived in Europe, for example, they brought disease—specifically plague—that devastated native European populations. When populations are small, genes can drift quickly to higher frequency regardless of what benefit they might provide. If the lactase persistence mutation was already present when plague appeared and populations crashed, the mutation’s initial increase may have happened surreptitiously. When populations recovered, dairying was already widespread and the benefit to those with the mutation would have been immediate. By domesticating cattle and developing dairying technologies, our ancestors created an environment that changed the course of our own evolution.

We continue to live and evolve in this human-constructed niche. In 2018, our global community produced 830 million metric tons (more than 21 billion US gallons) of milk, 82 percent of which was from cattle. The rest comes from a long list of other species that people domesticated within the last 10,000 years. Sheep and goats, which together make up around 3 percent of global milk production, were first farmed for their milk in Europe around the same time as cattle dairying began. Buffaloes were domesticated in the Indus Valley 4,500 years ago and are today the second largest producer of milk next to cattle, producing around 14 percent of the global supply. Camels, which were domesticated in Central Asia 5,000 years ago, produce around 0.3 percent of the world’s milk supply. People also consume milk from horses, which were first milked by people of the Botai culture 5,500 years ago; yaks, which were domesticated in Tibet 4,500 years ago; donkeys, which were domesticated in Arabia or East Africa 6,000 years ago; and reindeer, which are still in the process of being domesticated. But those are just the most common dairy products. Dairy products from more exotic species—moose, elk, red deer, alpacas, llamas—can be purchased and consumed today, and rumor has it that Top Chef ’s Edward Lee is working out how to make pig milk ricotta, should one want to try such a thing.


T-Mobile postpones Sprint 3G shutdown to March 31st, 2022

T-Mobile will wait a while longer to shut down Sprint's 3G network. The Vergereports T-Mobile has delayed the CDMA network shutdown from January 1st, 2022 to March 31st of that year. The carrier pinned the delay on "partners" who hadn't "followed through" on helping their customers transition to newer network technology.

This would supposedly give partners "every opportunity" to fulfill their obligations. "There should be no more room for excuses," T-Mobile said.

The explanation appears to be a not-so-subtle attempt to pin the blame on Dish. The satellite TV provider bought Boost Mobile from T-Mobile in July 2020 and planned to use Sprint's legacy network until it could move Boost customers to its 5G service. Dish argued this didn't give it enough time to migrate its customers, and accused T-Mobile of anti-competitive behavior meant to push Boost exiles to T-Mobile.

This may be a response to both Dish's original accusation and the ensuing fallout. The Justice Department told Dish and T-Mobile in July that it had serious concerns about the Sprint network shutdown, asking the two companies to do whatever was necessary to lessen the blow. The delay might address those worries and reduce the chances of more serious government scrutiny.

A delayed shutdown still isn't ideal. T-Mobile expects to shutter Sprint's LTE network on June 30th, 2022. This leaves a three-month window where Boost customers might have LTE access, but nothing else. While you'll probably have made a decision by the March cutoff if you're a customer, this won't be a very gradual shift for some users — they'll have just a short period of limited Boost service before they have to embrace 5G.


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EFF Board of Directors Removes 76-Year-Old John Gilmore
76-year-old John Gilmore co-founded the EFF in 1990, and in the 31 years since he's "provided leadership and guidance on many of the most important digital rights issues we advocate for today," the EFF said in a statement Friday.

After Open Source Community Outcry, Microsoft Reverses Controversial<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Change
"Microsoft is reversing a decision to remove a key feature from its upcoming .NET 6 release, after a public outcry from the open source community," reports the Verge. "Microsoft angered the .NET open source community earlier t

Aggressive US Marketers are Bringing Police Surveillance Tools to the Masses
"License plate readers are rapidly reshaping private security in American neighborhoods," reports the Washington Post, as aggressively-marketed $2,500-a-year "safety-as-a-service" packages "spread to cover practically everywhere a

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Astronomers Find Nascent Exploding Star, 'Rosetta Stone' of All Supernovas
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Starting Nov. 1, Facebook-owned WhatsApp will drop support for Android smartphones running systems older than Android 4.1, according to its website.

     

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Watch Apple’s ‘Unleashed’ event live right here

apple october event

Apple is set to announce new hardware today. The company is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.

Rumor has it that the company is set to announce some new Macs. Over the past year, Apple has updated its entry-level computers with new custom-designed M1 chips. And now, the company could bring its own chips to higher-end computers, such as a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a new Mac Mini and a 27-inch iMac.

Apple could use this opportunity to redesign its laptops from the ground up with new display technologies, a new array of ports and a new form factor in general. But that’s not all. Apple has also been working on an updated version of its entry-level AirPods.

You can watch the livestream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.

If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.

And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you livestream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Source: Tech crunch


China Could Be Exploiting Internet Security Process to Steal Data, Cyber Experts Warn

Gaming keyboard-chinese hacking group

To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but may not actually be, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption is still the preferred method of protecting digital data and Protection of computers - in some cases, the same digital certificates used for internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said. 

Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver's license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Exploitation and Cyber ??Warfare. 

"Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and the encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text," Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But "fake certificates" or invalid certificates can tamper with any data. 

Sense of security, "said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber ??Risk LLC said digital certificates are generally issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries However, there are opportunities for a communist entity, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other "hideous people" who appear trustworthy but are not, he said.

"If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it," said Duren. "But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who shouldn't be trusted. Duren said he would never trust." a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of a number of companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies. 

Jenkinson said that Chinese certification bodies make up a small portion of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.

prince a member of chinese hacking group
Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who declined to give his real name, uses his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images).

 In 2015, certificates from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency overseeing domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies opposed CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, CNNIC certificates were banned because they had "back doors". 

A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] could literally take administrative access and send data back to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have also blocked the Chinese certification authorities WoSign and their subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not been deterred and has long-term gambling, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm. 

Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certification authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect secure, he said. "But in 2019, CIP Chinese discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years," Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery by researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm. 

Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability and offered, "They are either incredibly accommodating or complicit," he said, noting that the company's customers include government agencies.This multi-billion dollar company's failure to fix this problem means hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company's lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said. 

Companies or customers who use the company's services could be held for ransom, they have their intellectual advantages


A Sinister Six Movie Should Copy Spider-Man: No Way Home & Bring In Miles

Sony’s upcoming Sinister Six movie should take some inspiration from Spider-Man: No Way Home and introduce a new version of Miles Morales. Sony has had plans for a Sinister Six film since The Amazing Spider-Man film franchise was in progress. The second film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, ended with a clear setup for the villain team, with the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) and The Gentleman (Gustav Fiers) equipping allies (and possibly members) of Oscorp with advanced weapons and devices. The plans, unfortunately, never came to fruition, but Sony’s new villain-focused Spider-Man universe, which began with 2018’s Venom, has led to new plans for the iconic team.

Miles Morales - whose comic debut was in 2011’s alternate universe Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man - is his reality’s second web-slinger, taking Peter Parker’s place after his apparent death in a final confrontation with the Green Goblin. Miles and his stories were well-received, quickly growing in popularity among readers, and he made his cinematic debut in 2018’s animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As the star of numerous comics, an animated film, and a recent video game, it won’t be long before Miles has his long-awaited live-action debut.


With Sinister Six reportedly being the endgame of Sony’s Spider-Man films, it’s reasonable to assume that the movie will be a crowd-pleasing epic with more than one payoff. Sony will reportedly work alongside Marvel Studios to tie their film in with the MCU, meaning that Tom Holland’s classic Peter Parker Spider-Man may face off against the six villains. Although Spider-Man was often on his own against the six in the comics, the film can easily justify introducing a second Spider-Man to even the odds and give viewers a live-action Miles Morales simultaneously.

Not only is Sony and Marvel Studious working together on the Sinister Six film, but the multiverse will be unleashed in the upcoming No Way Home. While the Miles Morales who appears in the Sony film could be their iteration, he might alternatively be from the MCU, creating a new kind of character dynamic for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who’s typically mentored by characters like Iron Man or Doctor Strange.

The Sinister Six’s villain roster can be comprised of characters from multiple realities as well. In addition to introducing the first live-action iteration of Miles Morales, the film can bring back actors like Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Willem Dafoe for yet another performance. With No Way Home bringing the iconic villains back, Sony could take advantage of their fan-favorite status, adding to the already crowd-pleasing introduction of Miles.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Man movie to use the multiverse for crossovers. In addition to bringing back characters from bygone film eras, they’ve also allowed for interaction with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. If Sony intends to make the Sinister Six film their franchise’s endgame, they’d make it an even more effective grand finale by bringing in Miles Morales.


How Supergirl Revamped Superman IV's Story And Made It Work

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Supergirl season 6, episode 15, "Hope For Tomorrow."

The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" enhanced the story of the Superman movie Superman 4: The Quest For Peace in every respect. The final movie to star Christopher Reeve as Kal-El of Krypton, Superman 4 is widely considered to be the worst of the classic Superman films. Given that, it would be all but impossible for Supergirl to revamp The Quest For Peace and not improve it, but the episode "Hope For Tomorrow" successfully addressed nearly every common complaint about the movie.

The central storyline of the second half of Supergirl season 6 found Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) competing with the exiled 5th Dimensional Princess Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of seven magical totems, tied to the seven cosmic forces of Hope, Love, Courage, Humanity, Dreams, Destiny and Truth. Each totem required its wielder to pass a test proving their mastery of each force. The Test of Hope in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" proved particularly difficult, as it required the victor to "inspire a hope that burns longer and brighter than the sun." While this might ordinarily have been an easy task for Supergirl, this test came at a time when nuclear war seemed imminent between the nations of Kaznia and Corto Maltese and hope was in short supply.


The story of Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, was likewise based around the fear of nuclear war and Superman acting to end the threat after receiving a letter from a concerned boy. Sadly, the movie did so poorly it sunk any chance of a Superman 5. While the story of Superman 4 made a noble effort to tackle a serious issue, the film suffered from budget cuts and editing issues that eliminated most of the film's more thoughtful moments in favor of recycled flight scenes and nonsensical padding. The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" takes most of the story elements from Superman IV and builds upon the base concepts to create something far better.

Roughly halfway through the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) asked the same question as the worried boy in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace; why can't Supergirl just take away all the nuclear weapons and throw them into the sun? Kara gave the same basic answer as Superman in the movie, saying that she was "forbidden from interfering in human history." However, Kara further explained to her friend Lena Luthor that human nations needed to be free to determine their own destinies without some all-powerful alien imposing their beliefs on them. Kara also pointed out that even if she could get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world, it wouldn't solve the conflicts that lead to war. (Ironically, Kara did wind up having to throw several nuclear missiles into the sun before the episode's end.)

This point was driven home by another scene, in which the United States diplomat overseeing the peace talks between Kaznia and Corto Maltese asked J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) to use his telepathic powers to make the leaders of the two delegations sign a peace treaty. The Martian Manhunter refused, saying that while he was glad to use his powers to pacify the two leaders after Nxyly used the Totem of Courage to make them afraid of looking weak during the negotiations, he refused to directly control their actions. Both of the Supergirl scenes did a far better job of showing why heroes have a responsibility not to use their powers than every speech Superman made regarding that point in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace.

The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" featured a subplot that centered around Esme, a foster child adopted by Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly Olsen/Guardian (Azie Tesfai), and the Super Friends' efforts to help the young girl get acclimated to her new home. A victim of an abusive situation in her previous foster home, Esme was shy and fearful of being sent back to the group home she had been in. Restoring Esme's hope in the future went beyond being a test of Supergirl's ability to inspire hope and became a test for the whole team, as well as a central part of the theme of "Hope For Tomorrow." By contrast, despite being the inspiration of Superman's effort to bring an end to nuclear war in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, the boy who wrote to Superman disappeared from the movie after Superman took him to the United Nations to hear him speak.


Originally set up as a romantic interest for Kara Danvers in Supergirl season 5, reporter William Dey (Staz Nair) has been one of the more divisive characters created for the Arrowverse, with many fans finding the character annoying and wondering what purpose he served after he and Kara agreed to be just friends in Supergirl season 6. Comparisons could be drawn between William Dey and Lacy Warfield (Mariel Hemingway) whose only purpose in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace was acting as a hostage and pushing an unconvincing love triangle between herself, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. However, the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" redeemed William, who was far from a passive figure after being taken captive by Nyxly. Indeed, it was William's quick thinking that enabled the Super Friends to take the Totem of Courage away from Nyxly.

While Superman 4: The Quest For Peace saw legendary actor Gene Hackman return as Lex Luthor, his role in the film was far from extensive. Apart from creating the monstrous Nuclear Man, Luthor had surprisingly little to do with the action of the film and most of his scenes were comedic non-sequiturs. By contrast,  the Arrowerse Lex Luthor does not appear on camera in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," but nevertheless had a major impact on the episode's final scene.

As "Hope For Tomorrow" came to a close, Supergirl elected to throw the Totem of Hope into the sun, knowing that Nxyly needed all seven totems as part of her scheme to defeat Supergirl and the Super Friends. Shortly after Nxyly learned what Supergirl had done, a box fell through a portal in front of her. The box contained a watch and a note from a secret admirer telling her not to "lose hope." When Nyxly put on the watch, it formed one of Lex Luthor's trademark armored Lexo-Skeletons around her, revealing the identity of her mysterious new ally in a clever fashion. It was certainly more subtle than most of Gene Hackman's scenes trolling Superman in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace. This, coupled with the other connections throughout the episode, highlight how Supergirl was able to successfully revitalize the failed film's story arc.


The Flash Trailer Confirms Batman Will Have A Bigger Role Than We Thought

The latest The Flash trailer suggests that Michael Keaton's Batman has a bigger role in the film than many initially assumed. Ezra Miller makes his DCEU return as the Scarlet Speedster after starring in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash's first trailer was released at DC FanDome 2021, offering a sneak peek at what to expect from the standalone flick.

It's no secret that The Flash was in production limbo for quite some time with a few director changes. But, the movie finally kicked into production in 2021 and is currently filming. Specific plot details are still scant at the moment, although a few pertinent details have been confirmed. That includes the return of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and the introduction of Sasha Calle as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El. Barry Allen is also joined by two Batman variations: the first one being Ben Affleck's and the other one being Michael Keaton's. Obviously there's a lot of excitement surrounding their involvement, but there's heightened anticipation about Keaton's Batman iteration simply because this is the first time he will reprise the superhero role in two decades.


Considering the fact that it's the Flash's solo outing, it was initially unclear how involved Keaton would be in the film. Set photos revealed him back as the Bruce Wayne persona, and the actor's personal interviews confirmed that he's indeed wearing the cape and the cowl again. Still, with very little known about the movie's plot, there were questions about the extent of his appearance. Some argued that it wouldn't be anything more than an extended cameo, with the primary focus on Barry Allen instead. This makes sense since he is the movie's headlining character. However, The Flash's trailer suggests that Batman's role in the film is going to be more prominent than initially perceived; much of the trailer focuses on him, including both versions of the Flash visiting Tim Burton's Wayne Manor and then, his Batcave. It even ends with the tease of the 1989 Batmobile reveal.

Interestingly, despite all the references to Keaton's Caped Crusader, the hero doesn't properly appear in The Flash trailer. Instead, there's only a shot of his iconic cowl looking outside the Batcave. But, the fact that he provides the narration for the majority of the trailer further indicates the extent of his appearance. At one point, it seems like the two Barry Allens and Supergirl recruit him for a mission, and it's safe to say that he at least considers joining his fellow DC heroes in the movie. It's worth noting that The Flash appears to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline from the comics. Barry's time-traveling likely fractured space-time which has had ripple effects in other universes, including that of Supergirl and Keaton's Batman. The voice-over dialog is Bruce Wayne making sense of everything that's happening.

The question now is, how does Affleck's Batman fit into all of this? Based on what's known about The Flash production, the actor didn't start to film his scenes until the middle of principal photography. Some theories suggest that Affleck's Batman dies in the movie, and that it could serve as motivation for Barry's time travel. Furthermore, many are also curious if Affleck's version of the hero will cross paths with Keaton's Caped Crusader. Fans will likely have to wait for the movie's debut to find out.


How Bulletproof Is Pattinson's Batsuit In The Batman?

Robert Pattinson’s Batman takes multiple bullets to the chest in the latest trailer for The Batman, indicating how bulletproof his version of the Batsuit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superlative fighting skills, a genius-level intellect, and state-of-the-art gadgetry. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a Batsuit made of bulletproof material. Not all the Dark Knight's costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?

In his first comic book appearances, Batman wore no armor, using a simple, lightweight, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance instead. One of the earliest uses of an armored Batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book in 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survives a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor underneath the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored Batsuits, offering significant protection against gunshots; partially inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.


In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit is put to the test multiple times. While fighting a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot point-blank with a handgun, but he shrugs this off rather quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks towards a group of assault rifle-toting assailants, who pepper him with gunfire. Batman walks through the hail of bullets mostly unimpeded before counterattacking. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more gunfire than most versions of the Dark Knight.

While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a highly durable suit that could take direct gunshots. However, as shown multiple times in Batman and Batman Returns, while the suit kept gunfire from proving immediately lethal, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him winded on some occasions. Pattinson’s gear provides more protection, allowing him to remain in fighting condition even when shot numerous times.

Christian Bale’s first Batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunshots, though Lucious Fox explicitly advised against taking direct hits. While protective, the suit proved to be too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified` suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, though it was even more vulnerable to gunfire, which Bruce learned firsthand when facing off against Two-Face.

The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit provided similar levels of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck's Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to take gunshots to the head at point-blank range with little impediment. The suit has some vulnerable points, as evidenced by an assailant’s knife puncturing the suit near the shoulder, but this may have been a lightly-armored area for the sake of articulation. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s Batsuit in The Batman, is fully bulletproof, protecting Batman from gun-toting enemies.


What Katey Sagal Has Done Since Sons of Anarchy Ended

Katey Sagal played one of the most important characters in Sons of Anarchy, but what has she done since the show came to an end? In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and all the drama in their daily lives in the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The series premiered on FX in 2008 and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy got positive reviews throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the themes it addressed (such as corruption and racism) and the performances of the main cast.

Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John “JT” Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). Reading his father’s ideas and seeing how different the club was, among other events, send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. Sons of Anarchy also introduced the audience to Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother and the matriarch of the club, who even though wasn’t a member of it, had a lot of influence in it and the town in general, but she was also a very dangerous woman.


Katey Sagal’s role as Gemma in Sons of Anarchy was one of the most praised elements of the series, and she was one of the few characters from the first season who made it to the final one, though not to the series finale, as she was killed by Jax in the second last episode. Gemma Teller has become one of Sagal’s most memorable roles, but it definitely isn’t her most famous one, as she has played a variety of characters before and after Sons of Anarchy. Prior to living in Charming, Sagal did a lot of voice work in film, such as in Recess: School’s Out (playing Mrs. Flo Spinelli) and the Futurama movies, voicing Turanga Leela. In TV, she became known for playing Peggy Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children from 1987 to 1997, and other notable roles include Edna Hyde in That 70’s Show and Cate S. Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

While working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal continued doing voice work, most notably in Futurama, and once the show came to an end, she explored other genres in TV. Sagal played Annora of the Alders in The Bastard Executioner, Penny’s mother in one episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Lanie Schultz in This Is Us. Sagal reprised her role as Gemma in one episode of Mayans M.C, the spinoff series of Sons of Anarchy, and after that, she went on to play Dr. Ingrid Jones in Shameless, Louise Goldufski in The Conners, Teresa Williams in Grand Hotel, and Eleanor Hale in Dead to Me. Her most recent work is in the legal comedy-drama Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, and in which she plays the lead role of Annie “Rebel” Bello. On the big screen, she played Lee Ann in There’s Always Woodstock, Katherine Junk in Pitch Perfect 2, and Louise Pazienza in Bleed for This.

In addition to an incredible acting career that has covered almost every genre, Katey Sagal has a musical career and released her first solo album in 1994, and she also contributed with at least one song per season in Sons of Anarchy. Katey Sagal is a woman of many talents, and while many will always remember her as Gemma Teller-Morrow, it’s definitely worth checking out her other works in both film and TV.


Pokémon Unite: Best Pikachu Build (Tips, Items, & Moves)

Using a combination of moves and items, players can maximize Pikachu's build in Pokémon Unite. Players will need to fight both wild Pokémon and those on the opposing team to score points and win. As an Attacker Pokémon, a well-built Pikachu can work great for an offensive, ranged strategy.

With 5-on-5 matches between trainers, and wild Pokémon in each stage, a well-rounded, carefully built team will be vital for success. Players just getting started in Pokémon Unite may need to test different skills in order to find the best build. Having a strong offensive Pokémon will help players knock out their opponents and collect their Aeos energy to score points. As Pikachu gains experience, more moves will become available, and it can become a powerful fighter.


Each Pokémon in the game, such as Pikachu or Gengar, has an ideal build. Pikachu is a Ranged Attacker class in Pokémon Unite, so it can deal high damage but has low endurance. Focusing on moves and items that maximize damage and utilize Pikachu's stun abilities will create the best build for this character. Players can also equip items that compliment or increase Pikachu's strengths and damage output.

There are two ways for players to obtain Pikachu in Pokémon Unite: they can either choose it as their first Pokémon upon completing the tutorial or purchase it from the Unite Battle Committee. Pikachu costs 6000 Aeos coins or 345 Aeos gems. Once obtained and leveled up, players can focus on using the right moves and items to capitalize on Pikachu's offensive potential. Pokémon can have two moves active and three items equipped at a time. The best options for Pikachu appear below.

Pikachu's Best Moveset

  • Thunderbolt: Charge and shoot a bolt of lightning that stuns and damages opponents in the area. Upgrade Thunderbolt to increase the damage dealt.
  • Electro Ball: Throw an electric orb that damages and stuns enemies in the area of effect. Missing HP will increase damage to opponents. Electro Ball can be upgraded to increase damage.

Best Held Items for Pikachu

  • Wise Glasses: Increase Special Attack
  • Choice Specs: Increase the damage of moves
  • Buddy Barrier: When using the Unite move, Pikachu and the nearby ally with the lowest HP will gain a shield
  • AlternativeFloat Stone: Increase movement speed when Pikachu isn't in combat

Best Battle Items for Pikachu

  • X-Attack: Boost the damage of attacks and special attacks
  • AlternativePotion: Restore a Pokémon's health.

Using a strong combination of moves and items will help players gather Aeos energy and score points. While using Pikachu, players should focus on dealing as much damage as possible while being aware of their health loss. Since Pikachu is also a Ranged Pokémon, it's recommended that players keep their distance when possible to avoid being knocked out. Pikachu can stay near a Defender Pokémon for extra protection and stun enemies that come within range.


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