Read at: 2023-09-22T18:35:04+00:00Z (UTC) [Ex-US Pres == Femma Bloemers ]

Menendez Is Indicted on Charges of Bribery Plot, Taking Cash and Gold

Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, was charged six years after his trial in a different corruption case ended in a hung jury.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:19 pm UTC

Push to Gag Femma Bloemers Pits Free Speech Against Risk of Violence

By putting threats to the judge and prosecutors at the heart of its argument to limit the former president’s statements about the election case, the Justice Department raised issues that have little precedent.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:17 pm UTC

Amazon Prime Video content to start including ads next year

Amazon says its Prime Video users will see ads on TV shows and movies unless they pay extra.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:16 pm UTC

Russia-Ukraine war live: Zelenskiy says ‘Moscow must lose once and for all’ as Trudeau commits fighter jet training

Ukraine president addresses Canadian parliament; Canada will send F-16 trainers for pilots

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister confirmed on Friday the departure of the second cargo vessel with grain from Ukraine’s Chornomorsk seaport.

The vessel Aroyat “left the port Chornomorsk after loading Ukrainian wheat for Egypt,” Reuters reports Oleksandr Kubrakov posted to social media.

This is Martin Belam taking over the live blog in London. You can contact me at

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:09 pm UTC

Argentina 19-10 Samoa: Emiliano Boffelli stars as Pumas kickstart World Cup campaign

Emiliano Boffelli scores 16 points as Argentina keep their quarter-final hopes alive with victory over Samoa in Saint-Etienne in Pool D.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:08 pm UTC

No solution to shutdown threat in sight as House leaves for weekend

Kevin McCarthy failed to advance stopgap government spending bill on Thursday as hard-right Republicans continued opposition

The Republican-led US House of Representatives has all but disappeared for the long weekend after abruptly wrapping up its work on Thursday when the embattled speaker, Kevin McCarthy, failed to advance a stopgap government spending bill, as members continued to clash with just days left to avert a federal shutdown.

The White House on Friday planned to begin telling federal agencies to prepare for a shutdown, AP reported, citing a government official.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:05 pm UTC

Solheim Cup: US lead Europe 5-3 after opening day at Finca Cortesin

Europe fight back superbly in Friday's afternoon session to trail 5-3 in the Solheim Cup after the United States won all four of the morning matches.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:03 pm UTC

US military F-35 readiness problems highlighted in aptly timed report

This surely can't be related to that crash debacle over the weekend, right?

The reason a US Marine Corps pilot ejected from his F-35B stealth fighter jet last weekend remains unknown, but a government agency report on the dismal state of the F-35 fleet's maintenance provides a few clues.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:00 pm UTC

Eliminate malaria once and for all or it will come back stronger, UN warned

World faces ‘malaria emergency’ from resistance to insecticides, waning efficacy of drugs, funding shortfalls and climate change

African leaders have warned that the world is facing the “biggest malaria emergency” of the past two decades.

Heads of state and experts came together in a show of unity to call for urgent action on malaria at the UN general assembly on Friday, saying progress on eradicating the disease faced serious setbacks from mosquitoes’ growing resistance to insecticides, and the decreased effectiveness of antimalarial drugs and diagnostic tests.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:00 pm UTC

China Just Stopped Exporting Two Minerals the World's Chipmakers Need

schwit1 writes: China's exports of two rare minerals essential for manufacturing semiconductors fell to zero in August, a month after Beijing imposed curbs on sales overseas, citing national security. China produces about 80% of the world's gallium and about 60% of germanium, according to the Critical Raw Materials Alliance, but it didn't sell any of the elements on international markets last month, Chinese customs data released on Wednesday showed. In July, the country exported 5.15 metric tons of forged gallium products and 8.1 metric tons of forged germanium products. When asked about the lack of exports last month, He Yadong, a spokesperson from China's commerce ministry told a press briefing Thursday that the department had received applications from companies to export the two materials. Some applications had been approved, he said, without elaborating. The curbs are indicative of China's apparent willingness to retaliate against US export controls, despite concerns about economic growth, as a tech war simmers.Nobody ever said weaning ourselves off the CCP would be easy, Schwit1 adds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:00 pm UTC

Chinese dissident who held Tiananmen Square vigils flees to Taiwan

Chen Siming posts video from Taoyuan airport saying he is seeking asylum from political persecution

A Chinese dissident known for regularly commemorating the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square has fled to Taiwan where he pleaded for help in seeking asylum in the US or Canada.

In a video posted online on Friday, Chen Siming said he was in the transit area at Taoyuan international airport to escape Chinese political persecution.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:57 pm UTC

Senator Bob Menendez’s home had $480,000 in hidden cash, prosecutors say after federal charges revealed – live

Democratic senator of New Jersey has been charged in a federal corruption indictment

Faced with the House stalemate over a government stopgap funding bill, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday set up a path for the Senate to move first on a bill to fund the government beyond 30 September.

Senate aides told the Hill the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill could serve as a legislative vehicle to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for a few weeks – but that it will likely not include money for the war in Ukraine or disaster relief.

This is painful. It gives me a headache. This is a very difficult series of missteps by our conference. If you can’t do [the defense bill], what can you do?

At this point, it seems like there are some people playing policy warfare, and I think we need to move our country forward.

For my colleagues, they have to come to a realization: If they are unable or unwilling to govern, others will. And in a divided government where you have Democrats controlling the Senate, a Democrat controlling the White House, there needs to be a realization that you’re not going to get everything you want.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:55 pm UTC

Scandal grows over children’s spinal surgery in Ireland

After focus on work of one Dublin surgeon, expert report sparks wider review of paediatric orthopaedics

Paediatricians and health executives in Dublin were aware that a leading children’s hospital in the city was using “unauthorised, uncertified” medical implants in surgery, a top health official has said.

Ireland is facing a growing scandal over paediatric spinal surgery. An independent investigation found that 19 children with spina bifida suffered serious complications after they were operated on by one surgeon at Temple Street hospital. One child was readmitted to the operating theatre 33 times after her initial operation.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:55 pm UTC

Pope Francis decries ‘fanaticism of indifference’ over migration

Pontiff says rescuing those making Mediterranean crossings is a ‘duty of humanity’ on first visit by a pope to Marseille in 500 years

Pope Francis has decried what he called the “fanaticism of indifference” as people risked their lives on dangerous journeys by boat from north Africa to Europe, amid growing political debate over migration.

Opening an overnight visit to the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, Francis presided over a silent moment of prayer at a memorial dedicated to sailors and people who died at sea, surrounded by Marseille’s faith leaders and migrant rescue organisations.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:53 pm UTC

New Covid Vaccines Hit Insurance Snags: What to Do if Yours Gets Denied

The updated shot is here. But pharmacies are rescheduling appointments, and some people are being told their insurance will not cover it.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:49 pm UTC

U.A.W. Widens Strikes at G.M. and Stellantis, but Cites Progress in Ford Talks

The union designated 38 spare parts distribution centers as additional strike targets at General Motors and Stellantis.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:45 pm UTC

China Keeps Trying to Crush Them. Their Movement Keeps Growing.

Underground historians work under the shadow of the Communist Party.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:45 pm UTC

US Jews and Israelis denounce judicial overhaul as Netanyahu addresses UN

Thousands demonstrate against what they see as attack on Israel’s institutions but New York protest lacks Palestinian presence

Thousands of Israelis and American Jews have protested outside the United Nations in New York, as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke before the UN general assembly in an address railing against Iran and making a case for Israeli-Saudi peace.

About 3,000 people attended the protest against the Netanyahu government’s efforts to overhaul Israel’s judiciary, a plan that critics say will decimate Israel’s democratic institutions. Organizers say it was the largest anti-government action held outside Israel since the start of the wave of protests that have rocked the country since Netanyahu’s government took office at the start of this year.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:43 pm UTC

Teenager who died after legal fight with NHS trust can be named, judge rules

Sudiksha Thirumalesh, 19, and her family had opposed her being moved to palliative care

A 19-year-old woman who died after a legal battle with an NHS trust over her treatment for a rare mitochondrial disorder can be named, a judge has ruled.

Sudiksha Thirumalesh, an A-level student, and her family were embroiled in a dispute with an unnamed trust over whether she should be moved on to palliative care.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:39 pm UTC

The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows

Two years after tech trend that swept up artists and celebrities, researchers estimate 23 million people hold worthless investments

Tens of thousands of NFTs that were once deemed the newest rage in tech and dragged in celebrities, artists and even Melania Femma Bloemers have now been declared virtually worthless.

According to a new report by dappGambl that reviewed data from NFT Scan and CoinMarketCap, 69,795 out of 73,257 NFT collections have a market cap of 0 Ether, leaving 95% of those holding NFT collections – or 23 million people – with worthless investments.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:39 pm UTC

The NFL and Amazon are using AI to invent new football stats

The National Football League, like most professional sporting industries, is embracing artificial intelligence. Through a partnership with Amazon Web Services called Next Gen Stats, the NFL is hoping that intelligent algorithms, with the help of high-tech data collection tools, will be able to extract meaningful data from games and decipher patterns in player performances. AWS says it was inspired by submissions to the 2023 Big Data Bowl, an annual software competition organized by the NFL, when it set out to invent a new category of analytics that pertains to the analysis of “pressure” in the game of football.

AWS helped build out AI-powered algorithms that can analyze player behavior on the field and can pick up on how aggressive a defender played, how fast they were and even how quickly a quarterback responded. This granular data quantifies pressure and in doing so, allows game analysts to dissect the strategies that might influence plays. This innovative suite of analytics rises above traditional statistics that are limited in how much they can reveal. While traditional data can tell you if a rusher passes a quarterback, it may not be able to provide insights on how much of a fight was put up. This is where the pressure probability being tracked by “Next Gen Stats” delves into more detail.

The AWS and NFL partners have focused on developing machine-learning models that can provide data relating to three areas in game play, according to Amazon. The first application is giving the AI the ability to identify blockers and pass rushers in pass plays. Second, teaching the tool how to quantify “pressure” in a game. And lastly, the development of a process to detect individual blocker-rusher matchups. Ultimately, the development of this AI-tracking technology provides professionals in the football league with valuable information on player stats that can help scouts or coaches select new players. For example, knowing which player blocked or passed a rusher may help determine if they are a good fit for an offensive lineup.

In the game of football, quantifying the performance of offensive players and the rushers that tackle them can be a difficult feat, even for game experts who have the eye for these quick movements. Player reactions can happen in split moments and an individual’s performance in these high-speed exchanges can be hard to track and let alone quantify. Things like how close a defender got to the offensive lineup can help a coach understand the strength of their plays.

The NFL collects data for these AI-powered processing softwares using tools it installs in its own fields. In every participating NFL venue, there are at least 20-30 ultra-wide band receivers inside the field and there are 2-3 radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags inside each players’ shoulder pads and on other game gear, like balls and posts. These data transmitters collect information that is fed through a graphic neural network model (GNN), which allows the data to be relayed in real time. Using AI, the stats being extracted can be made into meaningful insights.

These insights can look like a number of interactive graphics found on the Next Gen Stat game landing page. You can get a breakdown of individual player movements in any given game in 2D models and graphs. For example, you can track the movement of both players and the ball during a 40-yard passing play in the San Francisco 49ers' game vs. the New York Giants on September 21.

While the AI tool is hosted on AWS infrastructure, the final product is a compilation of a multidisciplinary partnership between the NFL, Zebra Technologies, and Wilson Sporting Goods. The Next Gen Stats project, which began in 2017, now makes up a data pipeline that contains historical data available for every pass play since 2018.

Meanwhile, in a parallel project, AWS engineers shared that they are working on automating the identification of blockers and rushers so that eventually, the AI models could autonomously ID players’ roles on the field. Currently, this kind of information is gathered manually through charting is prone to label errors, and often takes hours to generate by humans.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:35 pm UTC

Stardust inquests: Former nightclub manager ‘devastated’ at ‘graphic’ descriptions of panic and chaos at exit doors

Eamon Butterly tells inquest he was not aware of fire safety regulations at the time of fire.

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:34 pm UTC

Met police arrest woman in hunt for missing mother and children

Jamie-Leigh Kelly left centre for vulnerable mothers and children in London on Tuesday with her daughter, 3, and newborn baby

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction as police hunt for a missing mother and two children.

The Metropolitan police said Jamie-Leigh Kelly, 31, left a centre for vulnerable mothers and children in Colindale, north-west London, with her three-year-old daughter and newborn baby boy on Tuesday.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:27 pm UTC

Ireland-based X worker gets disciplinary action halted

A senior Ireland-based employee of the social media platform X who allegedly liked tweets critical of the company and its owner Elon Musk has secured a temporary High Court injunction restraining the firm from taking any further steps in a disciplinary process against him.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:25 pm UTC

Samsung leaks its upcoming Fan Edition devices, including a phone, tablet and earbuds

Eagle-eyed visitors to Samsung's Argentinian website have spotted something a little unexpected — a product page for new Galaxy Buds FE earbuds, along with images of a Galaxy S23 FE smartphone and Galaxy Tab S9 FE tablet. That's because the company leaked its latest Fan Edition devices, as noted by SamMobile. One of the smartphone images includes the date October 4 on the device, which could be a nod toward the announcement or a release date.

The company hasn't let slip any specs for the phone and tablet as yet. However, the Galaxy S23 FE and Galaxy Tab S9 FE were reportedly mentioned by name on the page. This is about as close as Samsung can get to a formal announcement without a press release or an Unpacked.

The product page (which Samsung has taken down) did mention some details about the Galaxy Buds FE, Samsung's first Fan Edition earbuds. They're slated to have a single 12mm driver, three microphones in each earbud to bolster the active noise cancellation function and a three-way speaker.

Samsung's Fan Edition devices have proven popular over the years. They tend to pack in solid features for a more reasonable price than the company's flagship models. It's safe to imagine that quite a few people will be looking forward to snapping up this year's FE devices.

While the leak appears to have been an error, we can't count out the possibility that Samsung deliberately showed off the latest FE devices before an official announcement. Major hardware companies are all jostling for your attention around this time of year. Just before Apple revealed the iPhone 15 lineup last week, Google dropped some teasers for its Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 devices — Google's Pixel event isn't until October. So, Samsung may have been looking for headlines with a purposeful leak here (in which case, it evidently worked).

The more likely scenario is that it's another unintentional slip up for the company. It's probably not quite as bad or as damaging as this week's massive Xbox leak, but you'd think Samsung would know better by now in any case.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:21 pm UTC

A Visit to the U.S. Revives an Embattled Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has been bolstered by a successful trip to the United States. But greater challenges are still awaiting him back home.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:21 pm UTC

Sweden v Spain: Opposing players stand together before Women's Nations League match amid scandal

Sweden and Spain players stand together in solidarity before their Uefa Women's Nations League match following the scandal which has engulfed Spanish football.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:18 pm UTC

Another Step for Ukraine: Armored Vehicles Breach Some Russian Defenses

Ukraine advanced at one location in the southeast, reflecting slight progress in Kyiv’s halting counteroffensive.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:16 pm UTC

US Capitol rioter who attacked photographer sentenced to five years

Rodney Milstreed ‘prepared himself for battle’ with steroids and a wooden club disguised as flagpole, prosecutors say

A man who attacked an Associated Press photographer and threw a flagpole and smoke grenade at police officers guarding the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, was sentenced in a federal court on Friday to five years in prison.

Rodney Milstreed, 56, of Finksburg, Maryland, “prepared himself for battle” on January 6 by injecting steroids and arming himself with a four-foot wooden club disguised as a flagpole, prosecutors said.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:15 pm UTC

The best smartwatches for 2023

Just a few years ago, the case for buying a smartwatch was unclear. The market wasn't as saturated as it is today, and features were more limited. Today, the wearable world is filled with various high-quality options, and a few key players, like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and Fitbit Versa, have muscled their way to the front of the pack with their smart features. Chances are, if you’re reading this guide, you’ve probably already decided that it’s time to upgrade whatever gadget’s on your wrist - be it a standard timepiece or an aging smartwatch. Regardless of which category you fall into, the list of specs you’ll want to consider before deciding which is the best smartwatch for you to buy is a long one, and we'll help you make sense of it.

What to look for in a smartwatch


Apple Watches only work with iPhones, while Wear OS devices play nice with both iOS and Android phones. Smartwatches made by Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit and others are also compatible with Android and iOS, but you’ll need to install a companion app on your smartphone.

The smartwatch OS will also dictate the type and number of third-party apps you’ll have access to. Many of these aren’t useful, though, making this factor a fairly minor one in the grand scheme of things.


The best smartwatches generally cost between $300 and $400. Compared to budget smartwatches, which cost between $100 and $250, these pricier devices have advanced operating systems, communications, music and fitness features. They also often include perks like onboard GPS tracking, music storage and NFC, which budget devices generally don’t.

Some companies make specialized fitness watches: Those can easily run north of $500, and we’d only recommend them to serious athletes. Luxury smartwatches from brands like TAG Heuer and Hublot can also reach sky-high prices, but we wouldn’t endorse any of them. These devices can cost more than $1,000, and you’re usually paying for little more than a brand name and some needlessly exotic selection of build materials.

Battery life

Battery life remains one of our biggest complaints about smartwatches, but there’s hope as of late. You can expect two full days from Apple Watches and most Wear OS devices. Watches using the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor support extended battery modes that promise up to five days of battery life on a charge — if you’re willing to shut off most features aside from, you know, displaying the time. Snapdragon’s next-gen Wear 4100 and 4100+ processors were announced in 2020, but only a handful of devices – some of which aren’t even available yet – are using them so far. Other models can last five to seven days, but they usually have fewer features and lower-quality displays. Meanwhile, some fitness watches can last weeks on a single charge.


Any smartwatch worth considering delivers call, text and app notifications to your wrist. Call and text alerts are self explanatory, but if those mean a lot to you, consider a watch with LTE. They’re more expensive than their WiFi-only counterparts, but cellular connectivity allows the smartwatch to take and receive phone calls, and do the same with text messages, without your device nearby. As far as app alerts go, getting them delivered to your wrist will let you glance down to the watch face and see if you absolutely need to check your phone right now. 

Fitness tracking

Activity tracking is a big reason why people turn to smartwatches. An all-purpose timepiece should function as a fitness tracker, logging your steps, calories and workouts, and most of today’s wearables have a heart rate monitor as well.

Many smartwatches' fitness features include a built-in GPS, which is useful for tracking distance for runs and bike rides. Swimmers will want something water resistant, and thankfully most all-purpose devices now can withstand at least a dunk in the pool. Some smartwatches from companies like Garmin are more fitness focused than others and tend to offer more advanced features like heart-rate-variance tracking, recovery time estimation, onboard maps and more.

Health tracking on smartwatches has also seen advances over the years. Both Apple and Fitbit devices can estimate blood oxygen levels and measure ECGs. But the more affordable the smartwatch, the less likely it is that it has these kinds of advanced health tracking features; if collecting those kinds of wellness metrics is important to you, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.



Your watch can not only track your morning runs but also play music while you’re exercising. Many smartwatches let you save your music locally, so you can connect wireless earbuds via Bluetooth and listen to tunes without bringing your phone. Those that don’t have onboard storage for music usually have on-watch music controls, so you can control playback without whipping out your phone. And if your watch has LTE, local saving isn’t required — you’ll be able to stream music directly from the watch to your paired earbuds.

Always-on displays

Most flagship smartwatches today have some an always-on display - some have it on by default while others let you enable it via tweaked settings. This smart feature allows you to glance down at your watch to check the time, health stats or any other information you’ve set it to show on its watchface without lifting your wrist. This will no doubt affect your device’s battery life, but thankfully most always-on modes dim the display’s brightness so it’s not running at its peak unnecessarily. Cheaper devices won’t have this feature; instead, their touchscreens will automatically turn off to conserve battery life and you’ll have to intentionally check your watch to turn on the display again.


Many smartwatches have NFC, letting you pay for things without your wallet using contactless payments. After saving your credit or debit card information, you can hold your smartwatch up to an NFC reader to pay for a cup of coffee on your way home from a run. Keep in mind that different watches use different payment systems: Apple Watches use Apple Pay, Wear OS devices use Google Pay, Samsung devices use Samsung Pay and so forth.

Apple Pay is one of the most popular NFC payment systems, with support for multiple banks and credit cards in 72 different countries, while Samsung and Google Pay work in fewer regions. It’s also important to note that both NFC payment support varies by device as well for both Samsung and Google’s systems.

Best overall: Apple Watch

With the Apple Watch Series 9, the company appears to be focusing on ways for you to interact with the device without having to touch the screen. It introduced a new Double Tap gesture that’s based on its Assistive Touch accessibility tool, allowing users to use a pinching action to navigate the system. If you’re unable to use your other hand to swipe, for example, you can Double Tap to bring up your Smart Stack or dismiss an alarm.

The feature won’t be available until later this year, and it’s not something you can do throughout the entire watchOS interface. But when it does work, it could make little tasks a lot easier. Dismissing timers while cooking or starting a workout tracker when you’re already in the middle of your run are just some ways Double Tap could be very helpful.

Apple also brought on-device Siri processing to the Series 9, thanks to its new S9 system-in-package (SiP) processor. This way, the assistant responds slightly more quickly, but, more importantly, it can answer you even when you’re offline. It might not be able to pull web results when you’re disconnected, but it can at least control your music and timers. Later this year, Siri Health Requests will arrive, allowing you to ask it for your sleep, move and workout data, too.

Throw in a new Find My iPhone interface thanks to a second-generation ultra wideband (UWB) chip, brighter screen (that also gets dimmer at night), as well as a refreshed interface via watchOS 10, and the Series 9 feels like a meaty upgrade from its predecessor. The increased focus on Siri and touch-free interaction methods is also another advantage that the Apple Watch has over its competitors, and the company remains the king of the smartwatch category. Though it still lags its rivals on sleep-tracking, the Series 9 is the best smartwatch out there, especially for iPhone users.

Read our full review of the Apple Watch Series 9

Best budget smartwatch: Fitbit Versa 2

Dropping $400 on a smartwatch isn’t feasible for everyone, which is why we recommend the Fitbit Versa 2 as the best sub-$200 option. Even though Fitbit has come out with the Versa 3 and 4, the Versa 2 remains our favorite budget watch because it offers a bunch of features at a great price. You get all of these essentials: Fitbit’s solid exercise-tracking abilities (including auto-workout detection), sleep tracking, water resistance, connected GPS, blood oxygen (SpO2) tracking and a six-day battery life. It also supports Fitbit Pay using NFC and it has built-in Amazon Alexa as a voice assistant.. While the Versa 2 typically costs $150, we’ve seen it for as low as $100.

Best Android smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

The best smartwatch for Android users has long been one of Samsung’s Galaxy watches. Though Google may have given the company some competition with the debut of the Pixel Watch last year, it still trails behind on battery life and built-in features. And with the Galaxy Watch 6 series this year, Samsung continues to reign as smartwatch king for non-Apple users.

One of the company’s biggest advantages is its hallmark spinning bezel, which went away last year, only to be brought back in 2023’s Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. This model not only resurrects the fidget-spinner-esque ring, but also manages to be smaller and lighter than before. The bezel is slightly thinner, while still offering a smooth, tactile way to navigate Wear OS 4 without tapping at the screen. It’s not a huge change from the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, so if you’re wondering about upgrading based on size alone, don’t expect much of a difference. You’ll appreciate that the displays are brighter, though, and therefore easier to read in direct sunlight.

What makes the Galaxy Watch 6 more compelling than previous models are its updated health and fitness tracking tools. The onboard skin temperature sensor now works overnight to help keep track of ovulation and menstrual cycles, while new sleep-coaching tools offer greater insight on how to get better rest. The company also added an irregular heart rhythm monitoring feature and will alert you if it detects anomalies in your cardio patterns. Runners will also appreciate the new personalized heart rate zones, which will help keep you precisely in the cardio ranges that are right for you, rather than those generated based on population data.

As usual, the Galaxy Watch 6 series also brings processor upgrades and some battery life improvements, alongside more apps optimized for your wrist. All told, the set of software updates coming to this year’s model, including support for Samsung Wallet (instead of just Pay), make the Galaxy Watch 6 more useful than before. Just know that if you have a slightly older model, most of these will likely trickle down to your device soon. If you’re considering trading in for a newer model, it’s worth paying attention to the actual hardware differences. For Android users thinking of getting their first smartwatch, though, the Galaxy Watch 6 or Watch 6 Classic are the best all-rounded option available.

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Stylish smartwatches: Fossil and more


Yes, there are still companies out there trying to make “fashionable” smartwatches. Back when wearables were novel and generally ugly, brands like Fossil, Michael Kors and Skagen found their niche in stylish smartwatches that took cues from analog timepieces. You also have the option to pick up a “hybrid” smartwatch from companies like Withings and Garmin – these devices look like classic wrist watches but incorporate some limited functionality like activity tracking and heart rate monitoring. They remain good options if you prefer that look, but thankfully, wearables made by Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and others have gotten much more attractive over the past few years.

Ultimately, the only thing you can’t change after you buy a smartwatch is its case design. If you’re not into the Apple Watch’s squared-off corners, all of Samsung’s smartwatches have round cases that look a little more like a traditional watch. Most wearables are offered in a choice of colors and you can pay extra for premium materials like stainless steel. Once you decide on a case, your band options are endless – there are dozens of first- and third-party watch straps available for most major smartwatches, and for both larger and smaller wrists, allowing you to change up your look whenever you please.

Other smartwatches we've tested

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is probably overkill for most people, but it has a ton of extra features like extra waterproofing to track diving, an even more accurate GPS and the biggest battery of any Apple Watch to date. Apple designed it for the most rugged among us, but for your average person, it likely has more features than they'd ever need.

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is less feature-rich than the flagship model, but it will probably suffice for most people. We actually regard the Watch SE as the best smartwatch option for first-time buyers, or people on stricter budgets. You’ll get all the core Apple Watch features as well as things like fall and crash detection, noise monitoring and Emergency SOS, but you’ll have to do without more advanced hardware perks like an always-on display, a blood oxygen sensor, an ECG monitor and a skin temperature sensor.

Google Pixel Watch

The Google Pixel Watch debuted in 2022 after many years of rumors, and it served as the first marriage of Google’s WearOS and Fitbit’s expertise in the health-monitoring space (Google purchased Fitbit back in 2021). While it’s a capable smartwatch, its short battery life and strange Fitbit inclusions hold it back from being a true competitor for the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watches.

Garmin Forerunner 745

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is an excellent GPS running watch for serious athletes or those who prize battery life above all else. When we tested it, we found it to provide accurate distance tracking, a killer 16-hour battery life with GPS turned on (up to seven days without it) and support for onboard music storage and Garmin Pay.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:15 pm UTC

Quiz of the week: What was Nicole Kidman selling to help the Hollywood strike?

How closely have you been paying attention to what's been going on over the past seven days?

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:13 pm UTC

Sainsbury’s launches bridal collection with £22 Tu wedding dress

The supermarket hopes its new range will see cash-conscious brides stepping from one aisle to another

Milk, bread, eggs … wedding dress? Brides-to-be can usually be found browsing in chic boutiques or stuffy department stores but now Sainsbury’s is hoping it can persuade them to hit the supermarket aisle instead as they go in pursuit of the perfect wedding dress.

This week its mass market fashion brand, Tu clothing, launched its first bridal collection.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:11 pm UTC

U.A.W. Expands Strikes at GM and Stellantis. Here’s What to Know.

The walkouts, which began on Sept. 15, were extended at two Detroit automakers, but not at Ford, which the union said had gone further in meeting its demands.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:09 pm UTC

FAA wants rocket jockeys to clean up after their space launch parties

Have you seen orbit? There's junk everywhere

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed rules for commercial space launch companies to address orbital debris, a growing threat to spacecraft and satellites.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:00 pm UTC

US and China Launch Economic and Financial Working Groups With Aim of Easing Tensions

The U.S. Treasury Department and China's Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups on Friday in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations. From a report: Led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng, the working groups will be divided into economic and financial segments. The working groups will "establish a durable channel of communication between the world's two largest economies," Yellen said in a series of tweets detailing the announcement. She said the groups will "serve as important forums to communicate America's interests and concerns, promote a healthy economic competition between our two countries with a level playing field for American workers and businesses." The announcement follows a string of high-ranking administration officials' visits to China this year, which sets the stage for a possible meeting between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in November at an Asia-Pacific economic conference in San Francisco. China is one of the United States' biggest trading partners, and economic competition between the two nations has increased in recent years. The two finance ministers have agreed to meet at a "regular cadence," the Treasury Department said in a news release.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:00 pm UTC

Rupert Murdoch’s last move? The Spectator is in his sights

Rightwing magazine is said to be a favourite of the billionaire and is considered a ‘trophy prize’

Rupert Murdoch may have officially stood aside as chair of his media businesses but he’s still eyeing up what could be his last major UK deal: the purchase of the Spectator magazine.

The rightwing magazine, which is due to be auctioned off next month, is said to be a favourite of the billionaire, who used his resignation statement to claim much of the media is “in cahoots” with elites who have “open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class”.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:59 pm UTC

Panel finds 9/11 defendant unfit for trial after CIA abuse rendered him psychotic

Ramzi bin al-Shibh was one of five defendants facing trial in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaida

A military judge at Guantánamo Bay has ruled a 9/11 defendant incompetent to stand trial after a military medical panel found that the man’s abuse in CIA custody years earlier had rendered him psychotic.

A Guantánamo military commission spokesman, Ronald Flesvig, confirmed on Friday the ruling by Judge Col Matthew McCall. The ruling means Ramzi bin al-Shibh will not be tried together with his four 9/11 co-defendants, whose case will now proceed without him.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:59 pm UTC

Russian TV teases launch of Tucker Carlson show

The ex-Fox News anchor appears in a trailer on state-run Rossiya 24 but exact details are not clear.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:59 pm UTC

Five siblings jailed for illegally extracting water feeding Spanish nature reserve

Farmers found guilty of crimes against environment for tapping aqueduct feeding Unesco-listed Donana national park

Five siblings have been jailed for more than three years for illegally extracting water from an aqueduct feeding a Unesco-listed Spanish nature reserve that is threatened by desertification, a court ruling showed.

The farmers – four men and a woman – were found guilty of crimes against the environment and causing damage through the “systematic and extensive extraction” of water supplying Donana national park, according to the ruling dated 18 September that was seen by Agence France-Presse on Friday.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:59 pm UTC

The Year Lou Reed Gave Up on Music

Between quitting the Velvet Underground and writing “Walk on the Wild Side,” the singer endured a long stretch of doubt, frustration and failure.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:56 pm UTC

Amazon adding ads to Prime Video in 2024 unless you pay $2.99 extra

Enlarge (credit: YouTube/Amazon Prime)

Next year, watching TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video without ads will cost more than it does now. In early 2024, Amazon will show ads with Prime Video content unless you pay $2.99 extra.

Amazon announced today that Prime Video users in the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK will automatically start seeing advertisements "in early 2024." Subscribers will receive a notification email "several weeks" in advance, at which point they can opt to pay $2.99 extra for ad-free Prime Video, Amazon said.

That takes the price of ad-free Prime Video from $8.99/month alone to $11.98/month and from $14.99/month with Prime to $17.98/month.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:52 pm UTC

Campaign to stop Leadmill owners from taking over Sheffield venue fails

MVL Properties are granted licence to run venue that helped launch careers of bands such as Pulp and Arctic Monkeys

A public campaign to stop the owners of one of Sheffield’s best-loved music venues from being granted a licence to run it has failed.

On Friday, Sheffield city council granted a shadow licence to MVL Properties, the owners of the Leadmill venue, which will allow them to take over the running of the venue from its current operator, Phil Mills, should they be successful in evicting him.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:51 pm UTC

South Africa v Ireland: 'Irish face biggest test as Springboks showdown finally arrives'

Ireland face the biggest test of the Andy Farrell era as Saturday's much-anticipated World Cup match against holders South Africa finally arrives.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:49 pm UTC

Amazon Prime members can get a Blink camera bundle for half off

Amazon has a half-off deal for Prime members on a Blink outdoor / indoor security camera bundle. The sale gives you a pair of Blink Outdoor 4 cameras, which launched last month, and a Blink Mini for only $117.49. Whether these are your first security cameras or you’re adding to an existing setup, this is a chance to save 50 percent off their usual cost.

The Blink Outdoor 4 is a wireless device that, despite its name, can work as an inside or outside camera. It supports person detection, which uses computer vision to alert you when it spots a human in its field of view (if you also subscribe to an optional Blink subscription). The camera offers 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio and enhanced dual-zone motion detection. Its bundled AA batteries can last up to an estimated two years. Also included is the Blink Sync Module 2, required for offline storage (if you bring your own USB drive).

Meanwhile, the Blink Mini is the company’s classic entry-level indoor camera. The wired device also records and streams in 1080p. It includes motion detection, two-way audio and night vision. It also requires a Blink subscription to save clips in the cloud, but, like the Outdoor 4, the Blink Mini also supports offline storage if you connect a USB drive to the Sync Module 2.

Remember that the deal is only available for Amazon Prime members. And it only lasts until midnight Pacific time.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:45 pm UTC

Rank and file gardaí refuse to enter talks with commissioner until new roster deferred

The Garda Representative Association is fighting the introduction of a new system which it says will result in more hours and less pay

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:44 pm UTC

Rishi Sunak considers banning cigarettes for next generation

Exclusive: Sources say law could gradually increase smoking age to ultimately prevent sales to people born after certain year

Rishi Sunak is considering introducing some of the world’s toughest anti-smoking measures that would in effect ban the next generation from ever being able to buy cigarettes, the Guardian has learned.

Whitehall sources said the prime minister was looking at measures similar to those brought in by New Zealand last December. They involved steadily increasing the legal smoking age so tobacco would end up never being sold to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:41 pm UTC

India suspends new visas for Canadians in spat

India has suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country, sharply escalating a spat triggered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's accusations linking New Delhi to a Sikh separatist's murder.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:40 pm UTC

UAW President Invites Biden to Picket Lines

President Biden has defended the striking autoworkers, who expanded their walkout on Friday, but has so far not announced plans to visit them.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:35 pm UTC

King Charles gets to meet the crowds in Bordeaux

The monarch's final day of the state visit to France sees a warmer and more relaxed reception.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:30 pm UTC

The best October Amazon Prime Day early access deals for 2023

No, the sale hasn't started yet. Amazon's second Prime-related event for 2023 is officially called Prime Big Deal Days and will happen October 10 and 11. This is the second year for a fall-based, site-wide Amazon sale and we're already seeing discounts pop up. You'll need a Prime membership to access many of the deals, though a few are available to everyone. This week, notable sales include first-ever discounts on the second-gen AirPods Pro with USB-C charging and iPhone 15 cases with Apple's leather-replacing FineWoven material. Amazon's own Kindle Scribe writable ereader is seeing discounts of up to $90, and a bundle of Blink's new outdoor cameras are half price. We also included a Solo Stove deal from elsewhere on the web that's worth considering. Here are the best early access October Prime Day deals you can get right now. 

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen, USB-C)

Last Tuesday, Apple revealed new iPhone 15 models, and one of the most notable changes was the switch to a USB-C port. The company also announced the latest (second generation) AirPods Pro would now come with the same connectivity. Just a week later, you can get those buds on Amazon for $200, which is $49 below list price and the same sale price we've been seeing for the AirPods Pro with Lightning. The earbuds themselves haven't changed much, save for a little more waterproofing. They should offer the same excellent transparancy mode and substantially improved audio quality over the first-gen Pros. 

Blink Outdoor 4 security camera bundle

Amazon just announced the latest generation of its wireless outdoor security camera, the Blink Outdoor 4. If you're a Prime member, you can get a two-pack of the new cameras, plus an indoor Blink mini camera and a Sync Module 2 for 50 percent off. Bought separately, the set would run you $235 at full price, but the early Prime deal brings it down to $117.50. The latest-gen cameras have better image quality and low-light sensitivity and the field of view has increased to 143 degrees. A new custom processor on board helps boost the image quality and can differentiate people from other moving things (though enabling that feature requires a subscription). Along with the two cameras and mounting kits, you also get one indoor Mini camera and a Sync Module 2, which acts as a hub that enables app control and local storage of video clips. The AA batteries required for outdoor cams are also included, which should last for two years before you need to replace them. 

Kasa Smart Bulbs

Smart lightbulbs like these not only adjust to whatever color you want, you can also control them with the app or just your voice (and a compatible smart speaker). Kasa's KL125 bulbs made the cut as the budget pick in our guide to smart bulbs because they are easy to install, easy to use and pack a ton of features. Right now they're down to $28, which is a 30 percent discount and close to the lowest price we've tracked. 

Apple iPhone 15 Fine Woven cases

In addition to announcing the iPhone 15 at last week's event, the folks at Apple also spent a lot of time talking up the company's environmental initiatives. One change eliminates all leather from the products Apple sells and a new material, called FineWoven, will take its place on accessories like iPhone cases. Right now, Amazon is discounting the new iPhone 15 FineWoven cases by five percent. It's not a huge discount, but if you've just dropped a grand on the new iPhone 15 Pro, even little savings might help. 

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Prime members can save between $75 and $90 on a Kindle Scribe at Amazon right now. The configuration with 64GB of storage and the Premium Pen is $330 or $90 off, while the 16GB base model with the Basic Pen is $265 or $75 off. The deals are pretty close to the ones we saw during Prime Day this July, coming in about $10 more. The Kindle Scribe earned an 85 in our review and is our current pick for the best ereader E Ink tablet. We appreciate the low-latency writing, large and roomy screen, and the integration with Amazon's Kindle services. You can also click the button to get Kindle Unlimited with your Scribe for free for three months, just remember that the subscription will auto-renew at the end of the trial. 

Apple Watch Ultra

The second generation of the Apple Watch Ultra is available to buy as of today — but the new version isn't on sale. First generation Apple Watch Ultras, however, has been discounted by $100 on Amazon bringing them to $699 instead of $799. The discount only applies to the watch with the orange Alpine Loop in small. The medium and large bands are about a dollar more, and watches with different colored bands aren't discounted. We gave the first AW Ultra an 85 in our review, praising its long battery life, bright display and useful fitness and health features. Of course it doesn't have the new features of the new Apple Watches, including the tap navigation and the S9 SiP (system-in-package) processor for on-board Siri requests. But if all you need is a rugged watch with lots of hiking, running and other activity features, now's your chance to save. 

OnePlus 11 5G

The OnePlus 11 5G Android smartphone is currently $100 off at Amazon. It's dropped to this price a few times before, and matches its all-time low. This is the latest flagship phone from OnePlus, which earned an 83 in our review. It packs a powerful processor, a vivid screen and has a long-lasting battery that also happens to charge blazingly fast. 

Amazon Fire Omni QLED TVs

All sizes of Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED Series are on sale ahead of October's sale. The 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch models are down to $380, $400, $440 and $600, respectively. Those match or beat the prices we saw for July's Prime Day. The Fire TV Omni QLED sets are best for people who like Amazon’s Fire interface, which we found easy enough to figure out, though the OS does tend to push you towards Amazon's own content. Beyond that Fire TVs do a good job of integrating Alexa's helpfulness with a useful voice remote, and hands-free smart home support. And if you don't feel like having Alexa listening in, you can turn off the mics with a built-in switch.

Samsung Galaxy S23 phones

All models of Samsung's flagship S23 smartphones are on sale right now, including our pick for the best Android smartphone you can buy, the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The 256GB base model is down to $999 after a 17 percent, or $200, discount. The phone has been hitting that low regularly over the past few months, so if you've been thinking about getting one, it's probably best to make your move when its at this price. The other two phones in the S23 lineup are also on sale, with the base model of the standard Galaxy S23 going for $700 and the S23+ going for $800, both of which are $100 discounts. 

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet

Updated versions of Amazon's kids-focused tablets are on their way, though they won't arrive until after October's Prime sale. The new versions will have 25 percent faster processors, but if you don't think your kid will care about having the latest model, you can save $60 on the current gen Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets. This is our current pick for the best tablet for kids as it comes with a "kid-proof" case and a two-year warranty — just in case your kid proves exactly how optimistic that terminology is.  

It also comes with a free year of Amazon Kids+, which will incorporate a new "Explore with Alexa" feature that takes advantage of the upcoming improvements to Alexa's conversational abilities, with a kid-friendly bent. 

Solo Stove sitewide coupon

Solo Stove is offering sitewide coupons for up to $100 off its popular outdoor pizza ovens and fire pits. Enter SAVE20 at checkout to get $20 off purchases over $125, SAVE40 to get $40 off anything over $350 and SAVE100 to lower the price by $100 if your purchase is over $550. The codes should work with all fire pits bundles, pizza ovens or other products, and they even stack atop other discounts. The deal applies to the Pi Pizza oven, which we recommend in our guide, as well as the Bonfire 2.0 fire pit, which is one of our favorite bits of outdoor gear for fall. 

Motorola razr+

Motorola just released its new razr+ foldable flip phone a few months ago, but it's already seeing a $100 discount at Amazon. We gave it an 85 in our Engadget review noting that it was giving Samsung a little competition in the flip foldable category. It's also the runner up flip option in our guide to foldable smartphones in part because its exterior display is actually a little easier to use than Samsung's version. Just keep in mind that the water resistance isn't as substantial. 

Your Fall Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Learn about Prime Day trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s car experts on must-shop auto-related Prime Day deals and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:30 pm UTC

Strike action at GMC to be suspended to allow for talks

A strike by SIPTU members at GMC Civil and Mechanical Engineering will be suspended next week to allow for talks at the Labour Court.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:26 pm UTC

US Senator Bob Menendez and wife charged in bribery inquiry

Senator Bob Menendez and his wife are alleged to have accepted gold bars, cash and a Mercedes-Benz.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:23 pm UTC

A source of carbon — a building block of life — is found on Jupiter's moon Europa

"The discovery signals a potentially habitable environment in the ocean of Europa," according to the Webb Space Telescope's website.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:18 pm UTC

Advocacy groups to boycott Temple Street review

Two advocacy groups representing people with spina bifida and scoliosis have said they will withhold patient medical record consent & boycott the third review into Temple Street Hospital.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:15 pm UTC

Arunachal Pradesh: India-China border row flares over athlete visas

Beijing denies claims three Indian fighters are unable to enter China for the Asian Games.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:08 pm UTC

‘He was my rock’: Brother who detailed child abuse in Blackrock Boys documentary dies

RTÉ Radio documentary led to wave of revelations about abuse in fee-paying schools

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:05 pm UTC

Ukraine mounts missile strike on Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in Crimea

Latest high-profile attack on Russian forces based on annexed peninsula targets base in Sevastopol

A Ukrainian missile attack has hit the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in occupied Crimea, the latest high-profile Ukrainian strike on the annexed peninsula.

Russia’s defence ministry said that one military serviceman was missing as a result of the assault, which hit the navy headquarters in the port city of Sevastopol.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:02 pm UTC

Student Hub Digest: Grad Week special

How to maximise the potential of your degree, building an effective CV, finding the right mentor in your workplace, what you need to know about working abroad and more...

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:02 pm UTC

'Cassandro' honors the gay wrestler who revolutionized lucha libre

The film pays homage to the real story of an unapologetically queer man in a male-dominated sport and society.

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:01 pm UTC

Dissatisfied consumers go legal: a fly on the wall of the Small Claims Court

Court 23 in the Four Courts in Dublin is one court where people claiming lost money from dodgy plumbing, poor locksmithing and unhappy holidays seek justice at minimal legal cost

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:00 pm UTC

Cruise CEO Says SF 'Should Be Rolling Out the Red Carpet' for Robotaxis, Threatens To Maybe Leave Town

In his first major public interview since the DMV cut their San Francisco fleet in half, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said "we cannot expect perfection" from the self-driving cars, and vaguely threatened to leave town if regulators curtail them any further. From a report: The self-driving robotaxis of GM subsidiary Cruise and Google-owned Waymo seemed like they were heading in a successful direction when they won approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last month to run their self-driving robotaxis at all hours in SF without restrictions. But barely a week later, the California DMV demanded Cruise cut it SF fleet in half, following post-Outside Lands stalling incidents, a night of multiple accidents, and SF City Attorney David Chiu filing a motion to get the CPUC to reverse their decision. Cruse CEO Kyle Vogt sat down for a (very friendly) 40-minute interview Wednesday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, which can be seen in its entirety above. And he seems to be going on offense against the regulatory pushback his company is getting from SF and California lawmakers. "It's kind of fun as a society to poke at the differences between AVs (autonomous vehicles) and humans, but if we're serious about safety in our cities, we should be rolling out the red carpet for AVs," Vogt said, according to the SF Standard.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:00 pm UTC

Timbuktu siege: Two killed in Mali mortar attack

The culturally significant Malian city is under siege by jihadists, causing shortages of basic items.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:53 pm UTC

Amazon Prime Video will start running commercials starting in early 2024

Amazon Prime Video is the latest streaming service to embrace ads in what it says is an effort to continue investing in content. Ad-free service will cost an extra $3 per month.

(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:52 pm UTC

Trial of Chinese #MeToo journalist and labour rights activist begins in secret

Huang Xueqin, a feminist who was due to move to UK, and Wang Jianbing charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’

The trial of two prominent activists detained since 2021 has begun in secret in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, in a case that has attracted widespread attention to Beijing’s repression of civil society.

Huang Xueqin, a feminist activist and journalist who covered China’s #MeToo movement, and Wang Jianbing, a labour rights activist, were detained in Guangzhou in September 2021, shortly before Huang was due to move to the UK to study at the University of Sussex. The pair were charged with “inciting subversion of state power” the following month. The charge normally carries a sentence of up to five years, although terms can be longer in cases deemed severe.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:52 pm UTC

Family of girl (14) shot dead fear Legacy Act could end hopes of justice

Annette McGavigan was playing with a friend in Derry on September 6th, 1971, when she was shot by the British Army

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:48 pm UTC

The best budget gaming laptops for 2023

Not everyone needs an NVIDIA RTX 4080, or a blazing fast 500Hz screen. These days, you can find plenty of affordable gaming notebooks that can easily hit decent frame rates in modern games. Cheaper machines are ideal for high school or college students who don't need the absolute best performance, but still want a solid gaming experience. And they're also great options for younger gamers, who, in our view, may not be ready for the responsibility of a premium, $2,000 notebook.

What is a budget gaming laptop?

To get a high-end gaming experience, you can easily spend $5,000 on a fully tricked-out notebook like the Razer Blade 18. But when it comes to the best budget gaming laptops, we're focusing on the other end of the pricing spectrum: laptops under $1,000. It used to be tough to find a decent gaming option at that price point but, as PC prices have fallen, they no longer seem like unicorns.

Stepping up a bit to systems between $1,000 and $2,000 puts you firmly in mid-range territory, which is beyond the scope of this guide. Still, it's worth keeping an eye out for sales that can push those PCs below $1,000. Be sure to check out our guide to the best gaming laptops for a general overview of what to look out for in these more expensive systems.

Are budget gaming laptops worth it?

Cheap gaming laptops are definitely worth it if you’re trying to save money and are being realistic about what you can get at this price range. You can expect to find Intel and AMD's latest (but not greatest) CPUs, as well as entry-level GPUs like NVIDIA's RTX 3050. Budget models are also typically paired with 1080p screens running at 120Hz or beyond. There are some exceptions though: Dell's G16 (currently discounted to $900) is notable for its 16-inch quad HD+ screen.

Many cheap gaming laptops also skimp on specs like RAM and storage. We'd recommend getting at least 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Modern games need a decent chunk of memory to run, and they also tend to be large, so you wouldn't be able to fit much alongside Windows 11 on a 256B SSD. You might be tempted to jump on one of those dirt-cheap gaming laptop deals from Walmart or Best Buy, but it's just not worth it if you're stuck with 8GB of RAM or a tiny SSD.

As for build quality, expect to find more plastic than metal on budget systems. Still, the best cheap gaming laptops we're recommending should be sturdy enough to last a few years. Affordable systems will also be heavier and thicker than mid-range and premium models, and they typically don't have great battery life. These are worthwhile trade offs if you're looking to save money, though, and even the priciest gaming laptops struggle with battery life.

Best overall: Dell G15

Dell was one of the first PC makers to combine a decent amount of gaming power in a sub-$1,000 system. The latest G15 builds on that experience. It starts at $800 with Intel's 13th-gen i5-13450HX, an RTX 3050 GPU and 8GB of RAM. We'd recommend bumping up to the $1,000 model with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 165Hz 1080p screen with NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology.

While it's no Alienware, the G15 carries over some of that premium brand's design cues with a sharp, angular case and LED-backlit keys. There's a distinct lack of gamer bling, which for some may also be a plus. If you're looking for something larger, consider the 16-inch screen version mentioned above (which, funny enough, is also slightly lighter than the G15).

Runner-up: Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 is another great option, though we've yet to see it get Intel's 13th-gen chips. Still, the 12th-gen model is no slouch: It's equipped with 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA's RTX 3050 and 512GB of storage. (At the time of writing, it's also on sale for $800 at Best Buy, though it typically sells for $1,000.)

Just like Dell, Acer has plenty of experience building gaming laptops, so this will likely survive years of extreme play. The Nitro 5's multi-colored backlit keyboard and rear red accents also give off a stronger gamer vibe than the G15. Side note: Acer's Nitro 16 may also be worth considering if it dips below $1,000, since it features newer CPUs and GPUs.

A more understated option: HP Victus 15

The HP Victus 15 is the ideal gaming laptop for someone who doesn't want to be seen with a gaming laptop. Its all-black design is wonderfully understated, and its edge-to-edge screen is impressive for such an affordable system. It also has enough power to handle today's games, including an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, NVIDIA's RTX 3050 Ti graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 144Hz 1080p display. And best of all, it's almost always on sale somewhere. In fact, at the time of writing, it's $828 on Amazon.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:45 pm UTC

Belfast Zoo’s oldest gorilla celebrates her 60th birthday

Delilah, who arrived at the zoo in 1992, featured on the BBC show Animal Magic during the 1970s

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:44 pm UTC

Chandrayaan-3: Indian space agency Isro says no signal yet from Moon lander

Chandrayaan-3 was dormant during lunar night, but the extreme cold could have harmed its batteries.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:36 pm UTC

UK-US data deal could hinge on fate of legal challenges to EU arrangement

So much for sovereignty then

The UK has used a statutory instrument to introduce new rules designed to allow the sharing of personal data between the island nation and the US in compliance with data protection law.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:31 pm UTC

Tales of the Shire is a cozy Lord of the Rings game from Weta Workshop

Samwise Gamgee may be pleased to learn that we're going back to the Shire. Another Lord of the Rings game has been announced, but it's one that should be vastly different from the likes of Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Tales of the Shire is described as a "cozy" game that's coming to PC and consoles in 2024.

Details about the upcoming title are thin on the ground, but a lovely little live-action trailer hints at the tone. It shows an illustrator drawing images of a hobbit and a Hobbit-hole (the semi-underground domicile of such a being). The artist moves away and the pages of the sketchbook blow over to show other hobbit residences and signs for various locations around the Shire.

Here's hoping it's a chill Lord of the Rings-style farming sim in the vein of Stardew Valley. I have my fingers crossed that there will be multiple options for cooking potatoes. Namely boiling, mashing and sticking 'em in a stew. Maybe even turning them into big golden fries with a nice piece of fried fish.

There are some notable names involved in the project: Private Division and Weta Workshop. It was revealed last year that the two sides were working on an LOTR game.

Private Division is one of Take-Two Interactive's publishing arms. In recent years, it has released games such as The Outer Worlds, OlliOlli World and the fantastic Rollerdrome. As for Weta Workshop, that's the company that handled special effects for all six of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films, as well as movies such as Avatar: The Way of Water. (Weta FX, a separate company, worked on the digital effects for those projects.)

This is far from the only Lord of the Rings game in the pipeline. For one thing, Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings MMO with the team behind New World. Meanwhile, survival crafting title The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is slated to arrive on October 24.

Last year, Embracer Group secured the rights to make games and other projects based on The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Fast forward a year, and the company is in a difficult financial position, leading it to carry out layoffs and close studios. So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Embracer believes it needs to be "exploiting Lord of the Rings in a very significant fashion and turning that into one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world."

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:29 pm UTC

F-35 crash: Pilot called 911 after parachuting into backyard

Marine parachuted into a backyard and told emergency services he was OK but not sure where his jet was.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:26 pm UTC

Microsoft is finally on the verge of closing its Activision deal

Enlarge / Taking a close look... (credit: Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica)

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has given its provisional approval to recently proposed modifications to Microsoft's proposed Activision purchase. While the approval is not final, the announcement suggests that Microsoft will soon clear the final regulatory hurdle in its proposed $68.7 billion acquisition, which was first announced over 20 months ago.

The CMA initially blocked the Activision acquisition back in April, saying that the purchase would "substantially lessen competition" in the nascent cloud gaming market. But after the US Federal Trade Commission's attempt at a merger-blocking injunction lost in court in April, Microsoft and the CMA went back to the drawing board to negotiate a settlement.

That led to Microsoft's August announcement that it would sell those Activision streaming rights to Ubisoft. The CMA now says it "has provisionally concluded" that this sale "should address these [previously identified] issues."

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:23 pm UTC

‘It’s huge, absolutely massive’: Anticipation builds among Irish rugby fans in Paris

Confidence high among supporters in green ahead of key South Africa world cup fixture

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:21 pm UTC

Seeing New Zealand From a New Perspective

Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli captured this image of New Zealand, dotted by white clouds, on Sept. 12, 2023, as the International Space Station orbited 230 miles above the island nation.

Source: NASA Image of the Day | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:09 pm UTC

Erwin Olaf, Photographer With an Eye for the Theatrical, Dies at 64

With exquisite precision, he used costumes and sets in staging many of his pictures, letting his subjects, whatever their social status, express themselves.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:07 pm UTC

Marine Le Pen May Face Trial on Embezzlement Charges in France

Prosecutors recommended charges against Marine Le Pen that could potentially bring a 10-year jail term and a 10-year ban from public office. Paris magistrates will decide whether to proceed.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:07 pm UTC

A Murdoch Succession

No one has had a bigger impact on modern American media and politics than Rupert Murdoch.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:05 pm UTC

Sinn Féin would tax and spend wisely - Doherty

The Sinn Féin spokesman on Finance, Pearse Doherty, has told an annual gathering of economists that his party, if elected, would tax fairly and spend wisely.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:02 pm UTC

Rupert Murdoch’s Ludicrous Agony Over Fox News

He may hate Femma Bloemers , but the retiring media baron is too venal to do much about it.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 pm UTC

Coming up for heir: News Corp in uncharted waters with Lachlan Murdoch at the helm

Murdoch Jr does not have the same love for print as father Rupert but newspapers’ influence remains a drawcard for the new boss

Lachlan Murdoch started his leadership training at News Corp more than three decades ago, but exactly how he will steer the media empire remains largely unknown after the decision by his father to step aside.

There have been times when Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son and nominated successor has forged his own path in business – and the record is patchy.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 pm UTC

Greens want superannuation theft made a crime in Labor’s workplace bill

Senator Barbara Pocock says unpaid super is costing workers at least $3.3bn a year, while wage theft losses are about $1.3bn

The Greens have urged the Albanese government to make superannuation theft a crime, after failure to pay super was not included in the proposed wage theft offence in Labor’s closing loopholes bill.

The Greens’ employment spokesperson, Senator Barbara Pocock, has warned that unpaid super is costing workers at least $3.3bn a year, more than double the amount estimated to be lost through wage theft ($1.3bn).

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 pm UTC

UAE oil company executives working with Cop28 team, leak reveals

Exclusive: two PR professionals from national oil firm listed as providing ‘support’ to team running UN climate summit

Senior executives from the UAE’s national oil company are working with the Cop28 team as the country ramps up its PR campaign ahead of the major UN climate summit later this year, leaked internal records show.

Two PR professionals from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) are identified as providing “additional support” to the team running the summit, according to a Cop28 communications strategy document obtained by the Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR) and the Guardian. It adds to growing evidence of blurred lines between the UAE’s Cop28 team and its fossil fuel industry.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 pm UTC

Nearly 500 Smartphone Brands Have Left the Market Since 2017

How many smartphone brands do you think have left the market since 2017? The likes of LG probably come to mind, then there are the many local, lesser-known brands. Maybe fifty, or one hundred? The actual figure is, astoundingly, nearly 500. TechSpot: Counterpoint Research's analysis shows that at its peak in 2017, there were more than 700 smartphone brands contributing to the 1.5 billion units sold annually. In 2023, that number is down by a third to almost 250. Nearly all of those brands that have shuttered over the last five years were local ones found in locations such as India, the Middle East, Africa, China, Japan, and South Korea. The number of global brands such as Samsung has remained consistent at over 30. Counterpoint Research highlights several reasons behind the shrinking number of brands over the last seven years. The pandemic and component shortages that began in 2020 had a massive impact, while the global economic slowdown following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has caused many smaller smartphone companies to shutter. The local brands have also been dealing with other factors killing off their businesses. More people are holding onto their devices for longer before upgrading, cheaper phones are improving in quality all the time, there's a maturing user base, we've seen technology transitions such as that from 4G to 5G, and a handful of big brands are holding on to more of the market.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 pm UTC

Ayaneo Slide, the Sidekick of gaming handhelds, is coming soon

The Ayaneo Slide is one step closer to becoming a real, in-your-hands device, with the launch of its Indiegogo holding page. The company first announced the Ayaneo Slide back in January and initially set a release date for the second quarter of 2023.

The Slide's shape is reminiscent of an early 2000s favorite, the Sidekick, giving it a real boost for nostalgia seekers. It has a six-inch 1080p floating screen with an adjustable angle for viewing preference. Ayaneo claims the keyboard has an ergonomic design and can display a range of light effects.

Its system is based on the Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs, utilizes a 46.2Wh battery and has a Hall sensing joystick and trigger — plus a master controller. The Slide also has the company's updated frontend, AyaSpace 2, which upgraded the interface, quick settings window and gameplay customization. Hyper Sound stereo dual speakers and a customized heat dissipation system round out its primary features, but a promotional video details the Slide's many functions.

An actual release date and cost for the Ayaneo Slide are still up in the air, with a call out on Indiegogo stating, "Sign up to get early-bird price on launch day!" Of course, a disclaimer adds that you'll also get updates and news from Ayaneo in the meantime. Once out in the world, the Ayaneo Slide will face some serious competition between rivals like the GPD Win 4 and Valve's ever-popular Steam Deck

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:55 pm UTC

Woman (50s) dies after collision between car and lorry in Co Donegal

Incident occurred at Moville on Friday morning; road diversions are in place

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:53 pm UTC

France rugby captain Dupont suffers facial fracture

France captain Antoine Dupont suffered a fractured cheekbone in Thursday's 96-0 win against Namibia, the French Rugby Federation confirms.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:41 pm UTC

The best password managers for 2023

You might’ve seen password managers in the news recently because of the breach affecting LastPass customers. We need to trust that all of our logins, banking credentials and other sensitive information has been neatly locked away, only accessible by us when we need it. Yes, most tech is fallible, but the benefits of unique, strong passwords across your online presence outweigh the risks. Password managers remain an excellent way to securely store all of the credentials you need on a regular basis. We tested out nine of the best password managers available now to help you choose the right one for your needs.

How do password managers work?

Think of password managers like virtual safe deposit boxes. They hold your valuables, in this case usually online credentials, in a section of the vault only accessible to you by security key or a master password. Most of these services have autofill features that make it convenient to log in to any site without needing to remember every password you have, and they keep your credit card information close for impulse purchases.

But given that passwords are one of the top ways to keep your online identity secure, the real value of password managers is staying safe online. “It's just not possible without a password manager to have unique, long and hard-to-guess passwords,” Florian Schaub, an associate professor of information and of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, said.

Common guidance states that secure passwords should be unique, with the longest number of characters allowed and uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. This is the exact opposite of using one password everywhere, with minor variations depending on a site’s requirements. Think of how many online accounts and sites you have credentials for — it’s an impossible task to remember it all without somewhere to store passwords safely (no, a sticky note on your desk won’t cut it). Password managers are more readily accessible and offer the benefit of filling in those long passwords for you.

Are password managers safe?

It seems counterintuitive to store all your sensitive information in one place. One hack could mean you lose it all to an attacker and struggle for months or even years to rebuild your online presence, not to mention you may have to cancel credit cards and other accounts. But most experts in the field agree that password managers are a generally secure and safe way to keep track of your personal data, and the benefits of strong, complex passwords outweigh the possible risks.

The mechanics of keeping those passwords safe differs slightly from provider to provider. Generally, you have a lengthy, complex “master password” that safeguards the rest of your information. In some cases, you might also get a “security key” to enter when you log in to new devices. This is a random string of letters, numbers and symbols that the company will send you at sign up. Only you know this key, and because it’s stored locally on your device or printed out on paper, it’s harder for hackers to find.

These multiple layers of security make it difficult for an attacker to get into your vault even if your password manager provider experiences a breach. But the company should also follow a few security basics. A “zero-knowledge” policy means that the company keeps none of your data on file, so in the event of an attack, there’s nothing for hackers to find. Regular health reports like pentests and security audits are essential for keeping companies up to par on best practices, and other efforts like bug bounty programs or hosting on an open source website encourage constant vigilance for security flaws. Most password managers now also offer some level of encryption falling under the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES 256-bit is the strongest, because there are the most number of possible combinations, but AES 128-bit or 192-bit are still good.

Who are password managers for?

Given their universal benefit, pretty much everyone could use a password manager. They’re not just for the tech-savvy people or businesses anymore because so much sensitive information ends up online behind passwords, from our bank accounts to our Netflix watch history.

That’s the other perk of password managers: safe password sharing. Families, friends or roommates can use them to safely access joint accounts. Texting a password to someone isn’t secure, and you can help your family break the habit by starting to use one yourself, Lisa Plaggemier, executive director at National Cyber Security Alliance, said. Streaming is the obvious use case, but consider the shared bills, file storage and other sites you share access with the people around you as well.

Are password managers worth it?

You likely already use a password manager, even if you wouldn’t think to call it that. Most phones and web browsers include a log of saved credentials on the device, like the “passwords” keychain in the settings of an iPhone. That means you’ve probably seen the benefits of not having to memorize a large number of passwords or even type them out already.

While that’s a great way in, the downfall of these built-in options are that they tend to be device specific. If you rely on an Apple password manager, for example, that works if you’re totally in the Apple ecosystem — but you become limited once you get an Android tablet, Lujo Bauer, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and of computer science, at Carnegie Mellon University, said. If you use different devices for work and personal use and want a secure option for sharing passwords with others, or just don’t want to be tied to one brand forever, a third-party password manager is usually worth it.

How we tested

We tested password managers by downloading the apps for each of the nine contenders on iPhone, Android, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. That helped us better understand what platforms each manager was available on, and see how support differs across operating systems and browsers.

As we got set up with each, we took note of ease of use and how they iterated on the basic features of autofill and password generators. Nearly all password managers have these features, but some place limits on how much you can store while others give more control over creating easy-to-type yet complex passwords. From there, we looked at extra features like data-breach monitoring to understand which managers offered the most for your money.

Finally, we reviewed publicly available information about security specs for each. This includes LastPass, which more experts are shying away from recommending after the recent breach. For the sake of this review, we’ve decided not to recommend LastPass at this time as fallout from the breach still comes to light (The company disclosed a second incident earlier this year where an unauthorized attack accessed the company’s cloud storage, including sensitive data).

Password managers we tested

Best password manager: 1Password

Many security experts trust 1Password with their private information and, after testing it out, it’s clear why. The service includes industry standard encryption, a “secret key” that only you know on top of your master password, a zero-knowledge policy that means it keeps no data, and other security features like frequent audits and a bug bounty program.

Plus, 1Password has a pretty intuitive user interface across its apps. A tutorial at download helps you import passwords from other managers onto 1Password so that you don’t feel like you’re starting over from scratch. It also clearly rates the strength of each password and has an “open and fill” option in the vault so that you can get into your desired site even more quickly. We also liked the user-friendly option to scan a set up code to easily connect your account to your mobile devices without too much tedious typing.

At $3 per month, the individual subscription comes with unlimited passwords, items and one gigabyte of document storage for your vault. It also lets you share passwords, credit card information and other saved credentials. If you upgrade to the family plan for $5 each month, you’ll get to invite up to five people (plus more for $1 each per month) to be a part of the vault.

Best free password manager: Bitwarden

Bitwarden’s free plan includes unlimited passwords on an unlimited number of devices, which is more than we’ve seen from some of its competitors. There are drawbacks like you can only share vault items with one other user, but we think that’s a fair tradeoff.

Bitwarden is based on open-source code, meaning anyone on GitHub can audit it, which is a good measure of security. On a personal level, it includes security audits of your information, like a data breach report, that can keep you in the know about when your passwords have been leaked and when it's time to change them. Plus, it’s widely available across the platforms we tested, including Windows and iOS, with a level of customization, options to access your password vault and more.

Bitwarden may be the best free password manager, but it does have a paid version and we do think it’s worth it. At $10 annually for individuals or $40 for families, you unlock encrypted file storage, emergency access, unlimited sharing and more additional features. But the free version comes with the basics that can get anyone set up on password management easily.

Best password manager for cross-platform availability: NordPass

Across password managers we tested, cross-platform availability was relatively similar. Most are widely available across web browsers and different operating systems, including our other top picks on this list. But we wanted to give a nod to NordPass here because of how easy the service makes it to access your vault from any platform while keeping your data safe.

NordPass has a free option with unlimited passwords and syncs across devices. A $2-per-month premium plan keeps you logged in when switching devices, comes with security notifications and allows for item sharing. A family subscription comes with six premium accounts and only costs $4 per month. This makes it a pretty good budget option as well. Besides the pairing code to connect accounts, NordPass is a pretty standard password manager. Scanning a code gets me from my laptop to mobile device to work computer super easily. If you’re constantly switching devices and those extra few seconds save your sanity, it’s worth considering.

Best password manager for shared access: Dashlane

Dashlane has four subscription options: A free user gets access to a single device with unlimited passwords; an advanced user pays $3 per month to get upgraded to unlimited devices and dark web monitoring; for $5 per month, a premium user also gets VPN access and an $7.49-per-month family plan includes access for up to 10 subscribers.

It met all the criteria we looked for, but with a clear emphasis on sharing credentials. Dashlane highlights “secure sharing” starting at its free level, which is a functionality that some competitors keep behind a paywall. Access for up to 10 members in a family plan is one of the bigger plans we’ve seen as well. While we were testing it, password sharing seemed front of mind with a tab dedicated to it in Dashlane’s browser extension. Arguably the biggest caveat here, though, is lack of Linux support.


Why use a password manager?

Using a password manager can enhance your online security. They store all of your complex passwords and autofill them as needed, so that you can have unique, strong passwords across the web without remembering each of them yourself. In many cases, unique passwords are your first defense against attack, and a reliable manager makes it easier to keep track of them all.

How secure are password managers?

Password managers are a secure way to store your credentials. Experts in the field generally agree that the benefits of accessibility when storing complex passwords outweigh the possibility of attack, like what happened with LastPass. But with any service, it can vary from provider to provider. You should look out for zero-knowledge policies, regular security audits, pentests, bug bounty programs and encryption when choosing the right secure password manager for you.

What if I forget my master password?

Forgetting a master password won’t necessarily lock you out for good, but the recovery process varies from provider to provider. Some services give you a “security key” at sign up to enter when you log into new devices. It can also be used to securely recover your account because it’s a random string of keys stored locally that only you have access to. Other services, however, have no way to recover your vault. So creating a master password that you won’t forget is important.

How can I make a good master password?

A good master password should be unique, with the longest number of characters allowed and uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Experts often recommended thinking of it like a “passphrase” instead of a “password” to make it easier to remember. For example, you can take a sentence like “My name is Bob Smith” and change it to “Myn@m3isB0b5m!th” to turn it into a secure master password that you won’t forget.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:35 pm UTC

FYI: Those fancy 'Google-designed' TPU AI chips had an awful lot of Broadcom help

And Meta's tapping up Big B too – it's big bucks for this silicon giant

Comment  A now-challenged report that Google wants to end its reliance on Broadcom has drawn attention to the role the San-Jose-based electronics giant plays in the production of custom silicon for hyperscale clouds.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:33 pm UTC

‘You will get through this dark hour’: Funeral takes place for Co Wexford couple killed in Rome crash

Priest says community in Kilmore stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Paul and Mary O’Reilly’s sons

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:28 pm UTC

European Commission announces €127m aid to Tunisia to reduce migration as rescue groups warn of death toll at sea – as it happened

Commission says it is ‘cracking down’ on smuggling networks as NGOs say more assistance is needed from Europe’s leaders. This live blog is closed

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said today that far-right leader Marine Le Pen and 24 others should stand trial over alleged misuse of EU funds, Reuters reports.

The Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, have used the situation in Lampedusa “for political campaigning,” according to Dutch European parliament member Sophie in ‘t Veld.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:27 pm UTC

Rishi Sunak defends U.K. climate policy U-turn amid international criticism

The British prime minister watered down key climate policies, and critics including Al Gore are slamming the changes. Analysts say with elections coming up next year, the pivot is politically driven.

(Image credit: ALASTAIR GRANT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:22 pm UTC

Sinn Féin puts forward alternative healthcare budget

Sinn Féin today announced its alternative healthcare budget, with proposals that it said could reduce the cost associated with healthcare and deliver a universal health system.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:07 pm UTC

Solo Stove's sitewide coupons give you up to an extra $100 off

Solo Stove makes some of the best pizza ovens and other outdoor gear around, and thanks to some sitewide coupons, you can pick up the company's products for less than usual. Use SAVE20 to get $20 off purchases over $125, SAVE40 to get $40 off anything over $350 and SAVE100 to lower the price by $100 if you're buying something over $550. The codes should work with any fit pits, bundles, pizza ovens or other products on the Solo Stove storefront.

Best of all, the coupons stack on top of other discounts. Case in point: the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 has dropped by $150 down to $250, and you can save an extra $20 by using the SAVE20 discount code.

The Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 is a smokeless fire pit you can use to help you stay warm, toast marshmallows and enjoy the outdoors more. Now that we're officially into fall, it's the kind of product that could help you make the most of the cooler evenings. In fact, the Bonfire 2.0 is among our favorite outdoor tech items for the fall. It's Solo Stove's medium-sized fire pit and the removable base plate and ash pan make it much easier to clean than the previous model.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:05 pm UTC

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez has been indicted on federal corruption charges

The indictment accuses Menendez accepting "hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using" his power and influence to enrich him, his co-defendants and the government of Egypt.

(Image credit: Susan Walsh/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:02 pm UTC

Sony ZV-E1 review: The best vlogging camera to date, by a big margin

Content creators have become a key segment in the mirrorless camera industry, and Sony fully embraced them back in 2020 with the launch of the ZV1 camera. It has since added no less than four models to its ZV lineup, with the latest being the 12-megapixel full-frame ZV-E1 — its most capable model by far.

It uses the same sensor as the $3,500 A7S III, a video-focused camera that’s also a low-light marvel. However, the ZV-E1 costs $1,300 less, so of course it’s missing some key features like an electronic viewfinder (EVF), dual high-speed card slots, a mechanical shutter and some physical controls.

At the same time, the ZV-E1 has some functions that the A7S III lacks, surprisingly enough. Most of those are in the area of AI, and very useful for vloggers, like auto-framing, advanced subject detection and dynamic stabilization. With the sensor and AI features combined, it’s not a spoiler to say that this camera is both a mini A7S III and a powerful vlogging camera at the same time. The sheer number of advancements also make it a technological tour de force.


The sensor might be the same, but the ZV-E1 looks radically different from the A7S III. Instead of Sony’s classic A7-style mirrorless form, the body is squat and chunky like an A6700 or full-frame A7C. It’s also significantly smaller and weighs a third less than the A7S III at 483g, making it Sony’s smallest full-frame camera to date.

Sony boasts that it’s built of recycled plastic, and that makes the camera feel significantly cheaper and less grippy than the A7 series. The grip is also smaller, but I was still able to get a reasonably firm grasp considering the lighter weight. Despite the lower-end materials, it is dust and moisture resistant.

As we’ve seen on numerous recent cameras, there’s a switch for photos, video and slow & quick, and each has its own dedicated settings. It has a prominent red record button on top, and like Sony’s other mirrorless vlogging camera (the APS-C ZV-E10) it has a zoom rocker for supported zoom lenses, and also works with Sony’s “Digital Zoom” feature.

Steve Dent for Engadget

Other than that, it’s significantly stripped down compared to the A7S III. While it does have a few vlogging-specific buttons like Product Showcase and Background Defocus, there’s just a single control dial on top (at the back) and no dial on the front – making it difficult to operate the camera using physical controls in full manual mode.

That said, the ZV-E1 is one of Sony’s first cameras that can be fully operated using touch controls. Most of the key settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc) can be changed in that way, and it also lets you tweak the display settings by swiping left or right. And of course, the LCD screen fully articulates for vloggers, though it’s a bit low-res at 1,030K dots.

Where the A7S III’s 9.44 million-dot EVF is the best on the market, there’s no viewfinder at all on the ZV-E1. I missed that feature when shooting on bright days, but the EVF does have a “sunshine” mode that automatically maxes out brightness.

It uses the same battery as Sony’s flagship models, so you get a generous 95 minutes of 4K 30p video recording and 570 photos on a charge. Luckily, the USB-C Gen 3.2 port lets you charge while shooting, and also supports high-speed transfers.

Along with headphone and mic ports, it’s got a micro rather than a full sized HDMI port, which isn’t ideal for a vlogging camera. It has just a single high-speed UHS-II card slot. Oddly the lack of a fast CFexpress type A slot doesn’t appear to limit video capture compared to the A7S III.


As you’d expect for a camera based on the powerful A7S III, video specs are impressive. It can handle 4K UHD video at up to 60 fps, though it’s lightly supersampled from the 12-megapixel, 4,240 x 2,832 sensor – so it’s slightly less sharp than higher-resolution Sony cameras like the A7 IV. Thanks to a recent firmware update, it can also shoot native 4K at up to 120 fps with no supersampling.

Steve Dent for Engadget

You can choose from high- and low-quality MP4 longGOP options, all with up to 4:2:2 10-bit color depth and 280 Mbps data rates. There’s also an I-mode at up to 4K 60p with 4:2:2 10-bit color that offers a more fluid editing experience with no transcoding. That setting uses higher data rates at up to 600Mbps (60 fps), so it requires expensive, high-speed V90 UHS-II cards.

Sony’s S-Log3 boosts dynamic range to 14-plus stops, and you can preview footage using Sony’s LUTs or install your own. If you don’t want the hassle of log, S-Cinetone also boosts dynamic range and is easier to tweak and edit later on.

What about overheating? Since it lacks the thermal capabilities as the A7S III, continuous recording times are shorter, particularly at 4K60 and up. In that mode you can expect less than an hour depending on the outside temperature. Content creators might be OK with that, but event shooters may need to look elsewhere.

Autofocus and AI

Steve Dent for Engadget

When it comes to autofocus, the ZV-E1 actually outshines the A7S III. That’s because it uses Sony’s new AI processor introduced in the A7R V, so it behaves more like that model –- particularly when it comes to image tracking.

It can now track human heads and bodies, not just faces and eyes. And besides people, it has specific settings for animals, birds, insects, cars, planes and trains. Unfortunately it does lack an auto setting, so it can’t automatically select the type of subject — you have to dive into the menus and do that yourself.

Subject tracking sets a new speed and reliability standard for mirrorless cameras, nailing autofocus consistently – even in tricky settings with fast moving subjects. That’s hugely important for vloggers, who often work alone. That said, even Sony’s system isn’t perfect, as it can occasionally lose a subject’s eyes in busy backgrounds.

AI powers other features too. For example, the built-in microphone is now directional, and can automatically aim toward the front, rear or all around, based on subject detection.

A key AI feature lets you digitally zoom an extra 1.5 times without much noticeable loss in quality. It works with the zoom rocker, and unlike with past ZV implementations, includes full subject tracking. That ability to zoom smoothly and automatically scale the image powers other features as well

Steve Dent for Engadget


That starts with the ZV-E1’s in-body stabilization. Optical-only offers 5 stops, enough to smooth handheld video without much movement. Active stabilization considerably boosts performance, but adds a slight 1.1x crop. However, dynamic stabilization is new and quite remarkable. It adds a 1.3x crop, but can effectively remove bouncing from footsteps, making it like using a dedicated gimbal – albeit with some loss in sharpness. With that feature, the ZV-E1 is the first camera that can really match the smoothness of the latest GoPro action cams.

The digital zoom teams up with subject tracking on two other new features as well. One is the Framing Stabilizer, which crops into the image, steadies the shot and keeps the subject in the center of frame, allowing for dolly-like smoothness.

Auto Framing, meanwhile, gives the illusion of camera movement. It first digitally zooms into the subject, then tracks it within the frame. You can choose a small, medium or large crop, different tracking speeds and more. You can even send an uncropped video to HDMI so you have two versions.

It also carries vlogger-centric features seen on other ZV models, including Product Showcase and Auto Depth of Field. As before, the latter automatically defocuses the background by instantly opening the aperture as much as possible. Product Showcase, meanwhile, ignores eye detection and quickly shifts focus to any foreground object brought in front of the camera. Finally, Breathing Compensation uses a slight digital zoom to maintain constant framing when changing focus.

Video Quality

Steve Dent for Engadget

As mentioned, 4K 30p and 60p video is slightly softer than Sony’s 30-megapixel A7 IV due to the lower resolution. On the plus side, the absence of pixel binning means no there’s no aliasing or other ugly artifacts that can ruin a shot.

The other positive aspect is far less rolling shutter than the A7 IV at the full sensor width. That means you can make quick pans or film fast-moving subjects without worrying about skewed video.

Apart from sharpness, image quality is superb. It delivers nearly 15 stops of dynamic range in C-Log3 mode, up there with the best mirrorless cameras. That allows for plenty of detail in dark shadows and bright highlights, even on sunny or dark days. S-Log3 mode, meanwhile, gives editors room to tweak video. Sony’s colors are accurate, though skin tones can lack the warmth I’ve seen on Canon models.

The ZV-E1 can’t be beat in low light. It has dual native ISOs at 640 and a whopping 12800. That allows for low-noise video all that way up to ISO 25,600, and manageable levels even at 51,200 – letting you shoot by moonlight or candlelight. In fact, Sony’s FX3 cinema camera with the same sensor was recently used to shoot a feature film called The Creator, specifically because it’s so good in low light.


Since it doesn’t have an EVF or mechanical shutter, I wouldn’t recommend the ZV-E1 for photography alone. That said, like the A7S III, it’s more than competent in a pinch.

The AF works just as well with photography, and has the same features and tracking modes. So you can count on this camera to grab sharp photos, even when shooting bursts at up to the maximum 10 fps or in low light. It’s actually a pretty good street photography or travel camera, as it’s small, silent and discreet. And with so little skew, I rarely missed the mechanical shutter.

Photo quality is outstanding, particularly in very low light. RAW images can easily be tweaked, even at high ISOs, and colors are accurate. The biggest drawback is again the lack of sharpness. That means there’s not a lot of room to crop into photos later, so you’ll want to get your framing right when you take the shot.


Steve Dent for Engadget

With all that it can do, Sony’s ZV-E1 is the best vlogging camera on the market and its rivals aren’t even really close. It delivers everything creators need like 4K 120p video, high dynamic range, unbeatable low-light capability, great ergonomics, the best AF on the market and a boatload of useful AI features. The main drawback is a lack of sharpness — but that’s only really noticeable if you’re pixel peeping.

The ZV-E1 costs $2,200, so its rivals include the $2,200 Panasonic S5 IIx, the $2,500 Canon EOS R6 II and Sony’s own $2,500 A7 IV. All of those cameras have sharper 4K video and electronic viewfinders, so they’re better hybrid cameras for both photography and video

The ZV-E1 beats them in nearly every other way, though, while breaking new ground with its innovative AI features. If you’re a content creator looking for a full-frame camera in that price range, I’d highly recommend the ZV-E1.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:00 pm UTC

Amazon To Run Ads on Prime Video in Key Markets Starting in 2024

Amazon, following other streaming platforms looking to further monetize their content, will run ads on its Prime Video service in key markets -- a move that will help offset rising costs and provide a boost to an already robust advertising business. From a report: Ad-supported streaming will be the default on Prime Video in US, UK, Germany and Canada starting early next year, the company said in a statement on Friday. The company has long offered video streaming as part of a package that also includes speedy shipping, music and other perks. Amazon said Prime subsribers will continue to pay $139 annually in the US but will be able to pay an additional $2.99 a month to avoid ads. Pricing in other countries will be anounced later, the company said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:00 pm UTC

iOS 16.7 arrives for older iPhones and people who don’t want to upgrade

Enlarge / iPhones running iOS 16. (credit: Apple)

Apple has released iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 (and their first minor patch, version 17.0.1) to the public this week, and by most accounts, it's a fairly mild and stable update that doesn't seem to be breaking much. But a few years ago, as you might recall, Apple made a change to how it handles operating system transitions—iOS 16 will keep getting updates for a short stretch so that people who want to wait a bit before they upgrade can do so without missing important security updates.

The iOS and iPadOS 16.7 update covers all devices that could run version 16, including older stuff like the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and first-gen iPad Pro that can't be upgraded to version 17. In a couple of months, if precedent holds, newer devices will have to upgrade to keep getting security fixes, while iOS 16 updates will continue to support older devices for at least another year.

On the Mac side, Apple continues releasing security updates for operating systems for two years after they're replaced by a new version. For the last year, that has meant that versions 11, 12, and 13 (Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura) have all been getting patches. Now that version 14 (Sonoma) is around the corner, version 11 will stop being updated.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:51 pm UTC

Femma Bloemers ’s Abortion Shell Game

The truth, established by his record as president, is that he is as committed to outlawing abortion in the United States as any other conservative Republican.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:49 pm UTC

Labour has no intention of reversing Brexit - Starmer

Keir Starmer has defended his plan for closer cooperation with the European Union as Labour stressed the party has no intention of reversing Brexit.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:43 pm UTC

President leads tributes to 'fearless advocate' Rosney

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to Bride Rosney, the special adviser to former president Mary Robinson, who has died.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:37 pm UTC

MohBad mourners teargassed at Nigeria's Lekki toll gate after Lagos concert

It happened after a memorial concert in Lagos for MohBad, who died last week aged 27.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:34 pm UTC

Drop's BMR1 PC speakers are almost really good

At some point over the years there’s been a shift in what PC speakers look like. Many of you may remember plugging in a pair of small, often beige, units into the back of your PC (where the PCI sound card was) and pretending to enjoy the results. Over the years, built-in audio interfaces improved and external ones found their way to a more convenient location on our desks. This, in turn, led to a trend of bigger, creator-friendly, shelf-style speakers. But the rise of the home office has led to a renewed focus on streamlined workspaces, making compact speakers more appealing again.

Enter Drop, a company best known for mechanical keyboards and audiophile gear. With the announcement of its BMR1 desktop speakers, the company is hoping to re-invigorate the dedicated PC speakers category. At first glance, the BMR1 looks like it has more in common with the Logitech or Creative speakers of yore (they still make them, I know), but with the promise of the audio oomph usually reserved for larger “monitor” style speakers.

Given Drop’s credentials as a destination for audio enthusiasts, the company was unlikely to put together something you might find in the PC accessories section at Best Buy. Unsurprisingly, the BMR1 isn’t as cheap as those big box store options, either. At $129 they’re at the upper end of what more mainstream alternatives tend to cost.

Photo by James Trew / Engadget

That $129 gets you a pair of 15W Balanced Mode Radiation (BMR) speakers with either 3.5mm or Bluetooth input. That’s a respectable amount of audio power for this size. There’s no USB here though, as there’s no built-in interface — you’ll either use your PC’s headphone port or the outputs on a dedicated audio interface. As is the norm with this type of speaker, one is the “active” unit with the in/outputs and you simply connect the other with a (proprietary) cable for the left channel audio. Though I will say the included cable is a little on the short side and currently there’s no alternative.

Physically, the BMR1 is a minimalist affair. There are no dials for power, volume or EQ and the inputs and outputs are all hidden around the back. This will be an annoyance for those who prefer physical controls, especially if you have no alternative (such as a keyboard with a rotary or a programmable mouse). The housing is made of plastic and doesn't give the BMR1 a premium feel, which is in contrast to the company’s keyboards. The stands are also plastic which makes the speakers feel light and prone to moving about if a cable tugs on them, for example.

On front of the speakers are two drivers — one full-range BMR driver along with a passive radiator. One nice touch is that the BMR1s can be mounted either horizontally or vertically which makes them suitable for a variety of different setups, be that for your own aesthetic preference or out of necessity. The right side speaker has the BMR1’s lone button along the bottom edge for switching between 3.5mm, bluetooth and headphone modes.

Headphone mode might sound counterintuitive to have on a set of… speakers, but it’s a practical tool that passes through the audio from your PC to headphones without having to unplug the BMR1, which, depending on your setup, could be occupying the only output port on your PC. It’ll even work with microphones on compatible (TRRS/4-pole) headsets so you can take work calls without having to remove the speakers to free up that headset jack.

Photo by James Trew / Engadget

That’s a neat quality-of-life feature, but the main focus here is obviously those BMR drivers. In terms of volume, the 15W speakers are likely capable for most small to medium sized offices. My home office is somewhere north of 150 square feet and the BMR1 amply fills the space. They’re described as “near field” monitors, i.e. specifically designed for close proximity, but they are able to fill this room with sound without much struggle.

As for the quality of that sound, that’s a little more complicated. The BMR1s appear to perform best when their volume is set somewhere between 40 - 70 percent of the maximum. Above that, things start to sound a little strained, which isn’t unusual — especially for speakers this size. At the lower end, from mute to around 30 percent, the speakers are great with spoken word — ideal for podcasts, video viewing and voice calls. But at these lower volumes, music feels a little too muddled to my ears. It’s fine for having something on in the background, but it’s a slightly dense listening experience.

Nudge the volume up a bit, and things improve. Just north of the middle section of the volume curve is where the BMR1s do their best work. There’s still a slight lack on the low frequencies, meaning bass forward music can sometimes feel dried out. If you’re listening to rock, country, classical or any other genre where the action is more in the mid-frequencies, you can have a good time with the BMR1s, but if Hip-Hop or Drum & Bass are more your thing, then you might find yourself wanting at any volume.

The listening experience improves if you can have the speakers nearer to you. There’s definitely a sweet spot at around maybe 18 inches away. When they were about two feet away from me on my desk, Metallica’s Enter Sandman sounded fine, but a little thin on the low end, thus leaving the song’s splashy hi-hats and James Hetfield’s voice feeling a little over represented. If I leaned in a little, the rhythmic bassline and kick drums were notably more apparent.

Even with great placement, the sound from the BMR1 never quite felt as robust as I wanted it to be. I know these are PC speakers, but Drop’s pitch is that these are “ideal for movies and music” — specifically for the desktop. And while they do an acceptable job most of the time, there are definitely occasions where I notice they’re lacking, and more so than I was expecting.

Photo by James Trew / Engadget

It was a little surprising to see that the BMR1 only supports SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. Obviously, with a focus on PCs, the inclusion of AptX or LDAC might feel a little superfluous, but the Bluetooth functionality, to me, is more about making them compatible with your phone, too (rather than another input mode from a PC). As such, support for higher-quality codecs, even just regular ol’ AptX, feels like a bit of a miss here.

The BMR1 ships as a 2.0 (stereo) system, but it can also be used as a 2.1 with an external subwoofer. There’s a switch around the back that will shelf off the bass on the main speaker to balance things out, and this would certainly resolve the issue with weaker low frequencies. Alas, I don’t have a compatible sub, but some reports online indicate that the whole sound does present much more robustly in this configuration. The bigger issue there being, that this requires another separate spend, probably another thing to plug in and takes away from one of the BMR1’s primary appeals: a simple, compact setup.

This is something of a theme with the BMR1s: they slightly miss on some key areas. In certain, optimal, conditions, they’re really quite enjoyable. But that sweet spot is limited and not what you expect either from the brand or for the price. Some of the practical complaints like material choices, the proprietary cable and lack of physical controls feel like obvious misses. The sound profile is enjoyable but the bass is sometimes a bit lacking for certain styles of music. The price point isn’t egregious, but a shade over where it should be. And so on.

Making the BMR2 feels like a task Drop won’t need much assistance with. Most of the pre-order reviews on its own website list off similar minor annoyances. There was a lot to look forward to here, and the final product doesn’t land too far from its promises, but it does fall short enough that more demanding users — which are kinda Drop’s whole thing — could feel slightly underwhelmed.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:30 pm UTC

European Commission hits Intel with new fine over antitrust findings

What a difference a year makes: in June '22 it was asking for half a billion in interest back after a successful appeal

Updated  The European Commission has re-imposed a fine of €376.36 million (about $400 million) on chipmaker Intel for abusing its dominant position in the x86 processor market. The move is the latest twist in an antitrust saga that has been now running for more than two decades.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:28 pm UTC

Law geeks shine a light on secretive Google antitrust trial

(credit: Shutterstock)

Months out of law school, Yosef Weitzman already has a huge courtroom role in the biggest antitrust trial of the century. In a US federal trial that started last week, Google is accused of unlawfully monopolizing online search and search ads. The company’s self-defined mission is to make the world's information universally accessible, yet Google successfully opposed livestreaming the trial and keeping the proceedings wholly open to the public. Enter Weitzman.

The fresh law graduate is among a handful of legal or antitrust geeks trying to attend most, if not all, of the public portions of the trial, fearing a historic moment of tech giant accountability will escape public notice. Some have pushed off day jobs or moved near to the Washington, DC, courthouse. All are obsessively documenting their observations through social media and daily email newsletters.

The trial is scheduled to run near-daily through November, and few news outlets can dedicate a reporter to a courtroom seat for eight hours a day for the duration. Most reporters focused on Google are based in San Francisco. Legal and regulatory publications that can commit charge hundreds of dollars for content subscriptions. Any antitrust junkie—or frustrated Google Search user—wanting an affordable readout from the sparsely attended, era-defining trial, must rely on Weitzman, or a handful of others firing off tweets, skeets, and Substacks. “Regardless of your view on this trial and Big Tech, it will affect everyone, so it’s important that the public is aware of what’s going on as the trial unfolds and to record what happens,” Weitzman says.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:21 pm UTC

Spotify's priciest lossless audio plan could sort playlists by "danceability"

Since 2017, there have been endless rumors and even a rescinded announcement of a HiFi tier at Spotify, but no option itself. Now — finally — we're getting, that's right: more speculation. A Reddit user has dug into Spotify's app and uncovered possible information about a Supremium tier (Spotify's new name for the HiFi option). Apparently, it could have 24-bit Lossless music, which the company claims is free from "lag and delays."

Despite its uncertainty, some pretty fun features are currently floating around in that code, including the ability to sort playlists by "danceability." The option to determine how much you want to boogie could come alongside other arrangements like BPM and smart order, which would attempt to create an ideal playlist based on tempo and key. Also being explored are the options to use smooth transitions instead of that few seconds of quiet and to filter your playlist based on mood or genre (something it introduced for Liked Songs in 2021).

There are more possible Supremium perks discovered by the curious Reddit user, such as using AI to make playlists and something called Soundcheck that details your listening habits and "uniquely you" music — it sounds like a mashup of Spotify Wrapped and Daily Mixes. It could also include 30 hours of audiobooks each month versus paying for each book individually.

Right now, the Spotify code puts its Supremium tier at $20 — more than any of its existing Premium plans: Student ($6 per month), Individual ($11 per month), Duo ($15 per month) and Family ($17 per month). The $20 price tag could change (if this tier ever becomes a reality), but it's on par with Tidal's 24-bit HiFi Plus option.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:19 pm UTC

Kentucky's near-total abortion ban takes center stage in gubernatorial election

Incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear's latest campaign ad features a victim of rape and incest calling out Republican AG Daniel Cameron's support of the current state abortion ban.

(Image credit: Timothy D. Easley/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:07 pm UTC

Metal-mining pollution impacts 23 million people worldwide

They live on flood-plains contaminated by potentially harmful levels of toxic waste, research reveals.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:04 pm UTC

The best foldable phones for 2023

Foldables have come a long way since the original Galaxy Fold went on sale back in 2019. They’re smaller, they’re tougher and while they still aren’t a great option for people on a budget, they’re now more affordable too. (Well, kind of.) And with more device makers getting into the space, there are a wider range of options than ever before. So if you’ve been thinking about buying your first foldable phone (or upgrading from an older model), here’s a guide covering the best models on sale today.

Note: For this guide, we’re focusing on devices that are widely available in North America and Europe. That’s because while there are even more options for people who live in Asia (especially China), they are often difficult to buy from abroad and may not support your local carriers.

How we test

When evaluating foldables, we consider the same general criteria as we do when we’re judging the best smartphones. Devices need to have good battery life (at least a full day’s use), bright displays (peaks of at least 1,000 nits), sharp cameras and responsive performance. That said, foldable phones come in different shapes (and sizes); there are varying designs that may appeal to different types of people.

For those who prefer more compact and stylish devices, flip-style foldables resemble old-school namesakes but with flexible interior displays (typically six to seven inches diagonally) and smaller exterior screens. Alternatively, for power users and people who want to maximize mobile productivity, there are larger book-style foldables (with seven to eight-inch main displays) that can transform from a candy bar-style phone to essentially a small tablet when opened.

A note on durability: Are foldable phones worth it?

Aside from their displays, the biggest difference between foldable phones and more traditional handsets is durability. That’s because while some models like the Pixel Fold and Samsung’s Galaxy Z line offer IPX8 water resistance (which is good for submersions of up to five feet for 30 minutes), their flexible screens – which are largely made from plastic – present some unique challenges.

Most foldables come with factory-installed screen protectors. However, unlike regular phones, users are instructed not to remove them without assistance from approved service centers. Thankfully, Samsung does offer one free screen protector replacement for its foldables, while Google charges between $29 and $129 depending on the warranty status of your device. That said, while we can’t do long-term testing for every foldable phone on the market, after personally using the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4 each for a year, I’ve found that Samsung’s pre-installed screen protector tends to start bubbling nine to 12 months after purchase. So you’ll probably want to factor in that your foldable may need some sort of servicing after about a year unless you plan on removing the screen protector entirely (which is possible, but goes against most manufacturers' instructions).

Furthermore, foldable phone owners need to be mindful about keeping sharp objects away from their flexible displays, as rocks, keys or even pressing down very hard with a fingernail can leave permanent marks. In the event that you need to get a flexible screen serviced, you’re potentially facing a much higher repair bill when compared to a typical phone (up to $500 or more depending on the model and the severity of the damage). In short, while the ruggedness of foldable phones has improved a lot, they're still more delicate than traditional handsets, which is something you need to account for.

The best flagship foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Despite a growing number of challengers, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold line remains the best flagship foldable on sale today. On the Z Fold 5, Samsung introduced its new Flex Hinge, which has slimmed down the phone’s dimensions while allowing it to close completely flat. It boasts blazing performance thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, excellent battery life and the flexible main display’s brightness is the best you can get with a peak of 1,750 nits. And, thanks to new multitasking gestures and updated taskbar, its capacity for mobile productivity is simply unmatched. If that’s not enough, unlike most of its competitors, the Z Fold 5 offers native stylus support, though you have to shell out extra for one of Samsung’s S-Pens (and a case if you want somewhere to stash it). The biggest downside is that with a starting price of $1,800, the Z Fold 5 is still extremely expensive. — Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Runner up: Google Pixel Fold

While the Z Fold 5 may be our favorite big foldable overall, the Pixel Fold isn’t far behind. Its wider design means its 5.8-inch exterior display feels a lot more usable than the Z Fold 5’s skinnier 6.2-inch Cover Screen. Additionally, that extra width results in a flexible main panel with a landscape orientation, so it’s super easy to open the Pixel Fold and launch straight into watching a TV show or movie; no need to rotate the device. And, despite being Google’s first foldable device, the Pixel Fold (12.1mm) is thinner than Samsung’s alternative (13.4mm) while boasting better camera quality and a longer 5x optical zoom. The phone also has IPX8 water resistance and Google’s excellent Pixel-only software including features like the Hold for me, Call Screener, the Pixel Recorder app and more. — S.R.

Read our full review of the Google Pixel Fold

The best flip-style foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Packing a faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, better cameras and longer battery life, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is our favorite compact foldable. This year, Samsung even added its new Flex Hinge, which makes the phone thinner while also eliminating the gap between its screen when closed. Also, thanks to its larger 3.4-inch exterior display, the latest model can do much more without needing to open it up. You can even run full Android apps, though you’ll have to mess around with Samsung’s Good Lock software first. Its display is also brighter and more colorful than what you get from rivals, and starting at $1,000, it’s not that much more expensive than a more conventional high-end phone. — S.R.

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Runner up: Motorola Razr+

While the Razr+ (or the Razr 40 Ultra for those outside North America) may not be quite as sophisticated as the Galaxy Z Flip 5, what it lacks in tech it makes up for with its personality. It’s available in three colors, with the magenta model featuring a soft vegan leather back. In addition, its exterior display features a neat cutout that wraps around its cameras and compared to Samsung’s flip-style foldable, it’s actually a touch easier to use. There’s no need to fool around with extra settings just to view all your favorite Android apps. And for those who are nostalgic for the original Razr from the early 2000s, Moto even included an easter egg that features a retro UI. Unfortunately, its water resistance is much less substantial, as it’s only rated to withstand spills or small splashes. — S.R.

Read our full review of the Motorola Razr+

A more affordable option: Motorola Razr

The non-plus Moto Razr (aka the Razr 40 internationally) is the company’s first attempt to make a more affordable flip-style foldable. Starting at £800 (U.S. pricing still TBA), it’s one of the least expensive options on sale today. However, it features a much smaller 1.5-inch exterior display along with a slower Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip and somewhat underwhelming cameras. On the bright side, it features the same display you get on its more expensive sibling. The one difference is that it’s limited to 144Hz instead of 165Hz due to its less powerful processor. And, similar to the magenta Razr+, all the colors of the basic Razr (Sage Green, Vanilla Cream, Summer Lilac) come with a soft vegan leather back. — S.R.

Read our full review of the Motorola Razr

Exotic options

As mentioned earlier, there’s an abundance of exotic – and often more advanced – foldables well beyond the Samsungs and Motorolas of the world. However, you either need to have access to phone importers or actually live in Asia, and don’t mind sideloading missing Google apps on your own.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

The best overall book-style foldable is none other than the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3, which packs Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, four Leica-enhanced rear cameras (including a 5x zoom periscope) and a 4,800mAh battery within its surprisingly slim body – 10.86mm when folded, and 5.26mm when unfolded. Xiaomi even goes as far as boasting a 500,000-fold durability – more than doubling that of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Despite its absence in the western markets, the Mix Fold 3’s newly-added 50W wireless charging option would be much welcomed over there. The phone comes with a protective case for both halves of the body, with the rear shell offering a kickstand for easier video playback and video calls. One Hong Kong-based specialist can send a Mix Fold 3 to the US from around $1,500 with shipping included, which is still much cheaper than Samsung’s equivalent. — Richard Lai, Senior Reporter

Honor Magic V2

Another worthy contender is the Honor Magic V2, which currently holds the title for the slimmest foldable phone available. We’re talking about just 9.9mm thick when folded, and a mere 4.7mm thick when opened, but it’s still a full-blown flagship device. Weighing at just 231g (8.15oz), this is the lightest book-style foldable phone as well. Funnily enough, the Magic V2 also packs the largest battery capacity in this category, offering 5,000mAh of juice thanks to Honor’s silicon-carbon battery – a breakthrough tech in the mobile industry. The obvious trade-off here is the missing wireless charging feature, but you do get a durability rating of 400,000 folds. Sadly, due to limited availability, the Magic V2 costs slightly more – around $1,670, shipping included, from the same Hong Kong shop. — R.L.

Oppo Find N3 Flip

If you’d prefer a smaller flip-style foldable from overseas, the Oppo Find N3 Flip is the only triple-camera option at the time of writing this guide. While others only offer a main camera and an ultra-wide camera, the Find N3 Flip benefits from an additional 32-megapixel 2x portrait shooter next to its 3.26-inch external screen (and you still get a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the inside). As a bonus, this clamshell has a physical mute switch, a whopping 600,000-fold durability and a generous 4,300mAh battery. That said, wireless charging is again a no-show here. You can pick up a Find N3 Flip in either black, gold or pink, and importing from Hong Kong should cost around $1,090 with shipping included. There’s no price advantage in this case, so it’s more about how much you want Oppo’s designs, features and accessories than anything else. — R.L.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:00 pm UTC

As DEI Gains Ground, Identifying as Religious at Work Does, Too

Secular companies have invited employees to bring their “whole selves” to work. That increasingly includes their religion.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:00 pm UTC

Alarm in Ireland over EU plans to classify sika deer as ‘invasive alien species’

Spread of breed across continent leading to damage to forestry, issues for livestock and creating road crash risk

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:42 pm UTC

Young farmers ‘the way forward’ for changing mindset - but ‘the money’s not in it’

At the National Ploughing Championships, the next generation reflects on challenges in a changing landscape

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:41 pm UTC

Airport chaos as eGates down for the count across UK

Travelers told routine work being performed nationwide

Updated  Thousands of travelers are stuck at UK airports as the dual gremlins of "planned maintenance" for eGates and air traffic control restrictions led to delayed and canceled flights along with long queues at the border.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:32 pm UTC

Engadget Podcast: iPhone 15 Pro reviews, Microsoft picks AI over Surface

Gadget season is in full swing! This week, Cherlynn chats about her experience reviewing the iPhone 15 Pro and Apple Watch Series 9. Does a 5X camera zoom make much of a difference? Also, Devindra and Cherlynn dive into Microsoft’s big Surface event in NYC, which actually ended up being more of an AI shindig. The company announced Copilot, its new AI assistant for Windows and other platforms. 

Microsoft is basically consolidating all of the Copilot products it’s already announced for Edge, MS 365 and Windows, but maybe this will be less confusing in the long run? Not to miss out on the fun, Amazon also announced several new devices and AI moves around Alexa.

Listen below or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcast, Engadget News!



Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar
Producer: Ben Ellman
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:30 pm UTC

Android 14 Adds Support for Using Smartphones as Webcams

Esper: Starting in Android 14, it may not be necessary to use a third-party app to turn your smartphone into a webcam for your PC, as that functionality is getting baked into the Android OS itself -- though there's a catch. When you plug an Android phone into a PC, you have the option to change the USB mode between file transfer/Android Auto (MTP), USB tethering (NCM), MIDI, or PTP. In Android 14, however, a new option can appear in USB Preferences: USB webcam. Selecting this option switches the USB mode to UVC (USB Video Class), provided the device supports it, turning your Android device into a standard USB webcam that other devices will recognize, including Windows, macOS, and Linux PCs, and possibly even other Android devices. Webcam support in Android 14 is not enabled out of the box, however. In order to enable it, four things are required: a Linux kernel config needs to be enabled, the UVC device needs to be configured, the USB HAL needs to be updated, and a new system app needs to be preloaded.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:30 pm UTC

Kylie Minogue on taking off on TikTok

Kylie Minogue says she was shocked to see her latest single, Padam Padam, go viral.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:27 pm UTC

Accession - how Rupert Murdoch started his empire

The 92-year-old businessman changed the face of news worldwide, but it all started at home.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:07 pm UTC

Up First briefing: UAW strike deadline; East Coast storm; Zelenskyy interview

The auto workers union gears up to expand its strike. The Mid-Atlantic will be under a tropical storm warning this weekend. Zelenskyy talks to NPR about the state of the war and Ukraine's democracy.

(Image credit: Kholood Eid for NPR)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:01 pm UTC

Garda injured in ammonia attack after stopping stolen car in Dublin released from hospital

Spokesman for force says car halted in Basin Street area reported stolen earlier this month

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:00 pm UTC

EU reinstates $400 million fine on Intel for blocking sales of competing chips

The European Commission has imposed a €376.36 million ($400 million) fine on Intel for blocking the sales of devices powered by its competitors' x86 CPUs. This brings one part of the company's long-running antitrust court battle with the European authority to a close. If you'll recall, the Commission slapped the chipmaker with a record-breaking €1.06 billion ($1.13 billion) fine in 2009 after it had determined that Intel abused its dominant position in the market. ye

It found back then that the company gave hidden rebates and incentives to manufacturers like HP, Dell and Lenovo for buying all or almost all their processors from Intel. The Commission also found that Intel paid manufacturers to delay or to completely cease the launch of products powered by its rivals' CPUs "naked restrictions." Other times, Intel apparently paid companies to limit those products' sales channels. The Commission calls these actions "naked restrictions."

The case has gone through several European courts since then, with either side lodging an appeal, depending on what the decision was. In 2017, the highest court in the European Union ordered the fine to be re-examined on the basis that the Commission didn't conduct an economic assessment on how Intel's activity impacted its rivals' ability to compete against it. 

Europe's second highest court, the General Court, then decided last year that the Commission indeed failed to perform analysis of the company's rebate scheme. As a result, it came to the conclusion that it couldn't determine how the incentives Intel offered affected its competitors. It also scrapped Intel's €1.06 billion fine, explaining that it's not in a position to determine how much it actually has to pay, but it upheld previous courts' decision that the company's naked restrictions violated EU laws.

In its announcement, the European Commission gave a few examples of how Intel hindered the sales of competing products. It apparently paid HP between November 2002 and May 2005 to sell AMD-powered business desktops only to small- and medium-sized enterprises and via direct distribution channels. It also paid Acer to delay the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004. Intel paid Lenovo to push back the launch of AMD-based notebooks for half a year, as well.

The Commission has since appealed the General Court's decision to dismiss the part of the case related to the rebates Intel offered its clients. Intel, however, did not lodge an appeal for the court's ruling on naked restrictions, setting it in stone. "With today's decision, the Commission has re-imposed a fine on Intel only for its naked restrictions practice," the European authority wrote. "The fine does not relate to Intel's conditional rebates practice. The fine amount, which is based on the same parameters as the 2009 Commission's decision, reflects the narrower scope of the infringement compared to that decision." Seeing as the rebates part of the case is under appeal, Intel could still pay the rest of the fine in the future.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:59 am UTC

The best Xbox Series X and Series S accessories in 2023

It’s been nearly three years since the Microsoft Xbox Series X and S launched, and we can see that manufacturers haven’t wasted any time in delivering a plethora of useful Xbox accessories. Want some extra SSD storage? Seagate’s expansion cards are cheaper than ever and easy to install. Need a few extra controllers? You’ve got your pick of choices from Microsoft and third-parties (maybe just throw caution to the wind and splurge for an Elite controller). And it’s always worth getting a wireless headset, both for immersive gaming and chatting with teammates. Below, you'll read about a few accessories we’d recommend for every Xbox gamer.

Controllers: Go stylish, go Pro

It's always smart to have a second controller on hand. Even if you don't play multiplayer games much, you'll regret not being prepared for the occasional friend or family member who's down for a Mortal Kombat match. And at the very least, it's wise to have a replacement in case something goes wrong with your main controller. (We've all smashed our gamepads against the wall for one reason, or another – no judgment.)

While you could just get another stock Microsoft controller, there are plenty of options worth considering. The official Xbox Anniversary Edition gamepad is more expensive, but it has a spiffy translucent design that'll look great on your coffee table. If you find yourself burning through battery life, consider a rechargeable solution like PowerA’s dual controller bay. It comes with two AA batteries, and it lets you juice up your gamepads in style.

For dedicated Xbox gamers, Microsoft's second-generation Elite gamepad is one of the best controllerrs and could be worth the investment. It has replaceable thumbsticks, rear buttons and a comfortable grip. Not to mention, it’s one of the few Xbox gamepads that you can recharge over USB-C.

If you're more interested in playing older games, or are just looking for a different style of controller, we're also huge fans of 8BitDo's Pro 2. It's incredibly comfortable, and its directional pad is one of the best on the market. It also makes a great controller for PC gaming (though any recent Xbox controller will also work on computers over Bluetooth).

Buy Elite gamepad at Amazon - $180 Buy 8Bitdo Pro 2 at Amazon - $50

Specialized controllers are cool again!

If you play Microsoft Flight Simulator long enough, you'll realize you can only go so far with a standard gamepad. Time for a flight stick! After conferring with flying simulator fanatics, and perusing plenty of reviews, we'd recommend jumping on Thrustmaster's T-Flight Hotas One joystick. It offers realistic five-axis control, 14 buttons and a detachable throttle. And unlike some clunky PC solutions, it's compact enough to fit on a coffee table or lap desk. (You can also use it with a computer, if you'd like.)

If you're more into cars, we were impressed by Logitech's G923 racing wheel. Add it to your gaming setup and it'll feel like a genuine steering wheel, with a comfortable grip, steel paddle shifters, and a trio of solid pedals. Once it's clamped to a table, it delivers a surprisingly realistic driving experience – all the better to tear through Mexico in Forza Horizon 5. It's definitely pricey at $400, but it's high-quality investment that'll last for many racing games to come.

Buy Logitech racing wheel at Amazon - $400

Bump up your storage

If you were lucky enough to nab a new Xbox Series X or S at launch, chances are you're already familiar with their storage limitations. Luckily, you can easily give yourself a bit more breathing room with one of Seagate's storage expansion cards, which are just as fast as the speedy SSDs inside the consoles. In addition to the 1TB card that arrived at launch, Seagate also recently unveiled 512GB and 2TB options. We'd recommend going for 1TB at this point, but if you can afford it the 2TB SSD will certainly last longer.

You can also connect traditional, external hard drives, like Seagate's 2TB Game Drive, to the Xbox Series X and S over USB. They're far too slow to run current-gen games at their full speed, but they give you a boatload of storage for a much cheaper price. They're useful to have around for playing games from the original Xbox, as well as the 360. And they can also be used as "cold storage" to free up space on your precious SSD. Newer games can easily move back and forth between those drives, which prevents you from having to download them again.

Tune up your sound

You deserve better than experiencing your video game via crummy TV speakers. While you could just plug in whatever wired headphones you have laying around into your Xbox controller, we'd recommend investing in a wireless gaming headset. They'll likely sound better, and they remove the whole cord problem entirely. The SteelSeries Arctis 9X is one of the best Xbox wireless headset options around, with beefy drivers, a comfortable fit and sturdy build quality. We were impressed during our hands-on testing, as they sounded just as good as the company's excellent Arctis Pro PC headphones.

Upgrade to a real media remote

Tired of controlling Netflix playback with your controller? Then pick up 8BitDo's Media Remote. Available in long and short designs (the latter removes numbers and other extraneous buttons), they're well-made remotes that fit the Xbox's clean aesthetic and, with their low price point, they're an excellent value. I've been using the short model to control 4K Blu-rays and tons of streaming apps, and it's far easier to use than a controller when it comes to quickly fast-forwarding. Now, I don’t have to put my drink down to skip to another chapter.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:58 am UTC

‘It is crazy. The bus passes our house’: Children left without school transport weeks into term

Affected parents say a promise was made when a local school closed that there would always be a bus to get their children to Rathcormac

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:51 am UTC

BTS star Suga begins military service in South Korea

The singer is the third member of the band to start compulsory military service this year.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:50 am UTC

Rolling in style: The Priority E-Coast beach cruiser

Enlarge / The E-Coast is a beautiful bike. (credit: Eric Bangeman)

Sometimes, no matter what you think your level of expertise is, you need to follow the advice of others. I learned this lesson again while assembling the Priority E-Coast, a $1,999 electric beach cruiser from Priority Bicycles. Priority told me right there on the box. "Warning: Bicycle assembly should be performed or verified by a professional bicycle mechanic."

Once I finished putting the E-Coast together, I was left with a gorgeous e-bike that was enjoyable to ride. But getting there involved more time and swearing than I'm used to. The good news is that Priority apparently heard the curses of its customers, as the part that made assembly miserable has been removed. So you might not need a pro bike tech after all.

Unlike some e-bike manufacturers, which seem to have popped up out of nowhere in the last couple of years, Priority has been around since 2014, when it launched via Kickstarter. Nine years and two Kickstarters later, it has a robust lineup of motorized and human-powered bicycles.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:33 am UTC

CMA says new Microsoft-Activision deal addresses concerns

Meet gaming's power couple, with Ubisoft the third wheel. Now competition watchdog must ensure Windows biz keeps promises

Microsoft is busy plumping cushions in anticipation of its new gaming bedfellow Activision Blizzard after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority said most of its concerns about the merger had been addressed.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:30 am UTC

Ethiopian Prince Alemayehu's lock of hair returned after 140 years in UK

Prince Alemayehu, who was taken to the UK aged seven, died at 18 after an unhappy upbringing.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:28 am UTC

Butterly still believes doors were unlocked - inquest

The former manager of the Stardust has said he still believes that exit doors were unlocked on the night of the deadly blaze in which four dozen people lost their lives.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:26 am UTC

Man accused of driving Lamborghini at 217km/h in Co Mayo was ‘caught up in the moment’

James Wall with an address in Tadley, England was participating in Cannonball Run charity event

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:19 am UTC

Amazon's Prime Video will show ads unless you pay $3 more per month

Prime Video users will soon see ads on shows and movies unless they pay an extra $3 per month on top of their regular Prime subscription, Amazon has announced. "Starting in early 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements," the company wrote, noting that pricing for the ad-free tier will be announced for additional countries "at a later date."

The news represents a significant change to Prime Video, which hadn't previously served ads next to movie and TV content as part of Amazon's Prime subscription. The streaming service is currently included for free with a Prime or $9 per month if purchased separately, offering third-party content (movies, TV series, etc.) and Amazon Original content produced by Amazon Studios. That includes series like The Boys and The Citadel, along with movies including Air, Manchester by the Sea and The Big Sick

It didn't say how many ads you'll have to watch, though Variety suggests "limited advertisements" could mean around four minutes per hour. "We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers," the company said. "Ads in Prime Video content will be introduced in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year. No action is required for Prime members. We’re not making changes in 2024 to the current price of Prime membership."

The news follows a report early this summer that Amazon was planning some kind of ad-supported Prime Video tier. Now, it turns out that's just the regular subscription, with the new tier effectively an add-on.

Amazon justified the decision, saying it will allow it to "continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time." It also cited the "vast selection of movies and series, including Amazon Originals and live sports, along with critically acclaimed series like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". The company recently spent millions to acquire rights to NFL Thursday Night Football and acquired MGM Studios in 2021 for $8.5 billion. 

Amazon has already dallied with ads, as it currently shows them next to live sports streaming on Prime. Amazon also offers the FreeVee ad-supported site with over 100 Prime Video original series, available on its Fire TV stick, on other devices and as an app. 

Ad-free Prime Video certainly made Amazon's $139 per year ($15 per month) Prime membership compelling. With that now watered down, and Amazon also introducing new fees for same-day deliveries, it will be interesting to see if there's any impact on subscriber numbers. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:17 am UTC

The Morning After: Everything announced at Microsoft’s Surface event

Microsoft, even without the usual face of its Surface announcements, had plenty to show off to the assembled media and industry guests yesterday. Unsurprisingly, it led with (and focused on) its latest AI developments. Its Copilot AI assistant is now graduating to assist with all things Windows 11, in an update coming September 26. It will appear in apps such as Edge, while browsing the internet, not to mention Microsoft 365 programs like Word and Excel. You activate Copilot with your voice or a right click and can use it for the sort of things you might not remember keyboard shortcuts for — or just can’t be bothered to do manually, like organize windows on your desktop, delete the backgrounds from photos or even generate a Spotify playlist. It’s shaping up to be a wide-ranging AI tool.


I’ll get into a few more of the AI announcements, but they were punctuated by more Surface hardware, including the Surface Laptop Studio 2 (hybrid, not laptop, surely?), coming with a much-needed specification boost. It has an Intel 13th-gen i7 H class processor, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, and a 14.4-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which can now tilt forward. There’s also an intriguing trackpad that seemingly rolls in some features from Microsoft’s accessibility-focused Adaptive Mouse.

The company also unveiled its third-generation Surface Laptop Go, which Microsoft claims is 88 percent faster than the original Go, for $799.

It wasn’t the event (or the hardware) to turn around the rut that Microsoft’s Surface line seems to be in, but there might be enough to satisfy folks thinking about getting a new laptop… or whatever the Studio 2 is.

— Mat Smith

​​The biggest stories you might have missed

Razer makes a $5,000 Lamborghini-inspired version of its Blade 16 laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 hands-on: More ports and a much-needed spec bump

US brings back free at-home COVID-19 tests as cases continue to spike

Surface Laptop Go 3 hands-on: Microsoft makes a better case for its cheap PC

Microsoft wants its Copilot AI to be your personal shopper

'Everywhere' gameplay trailer shows off an ambitious sandbox with a Fortnite aesthetic

Google takes a snarky shot at Apple over RCS in its latest ad

The green bubble/blue bubble controversy continues.

Google has been trying to publicly pressure Apple into adopting the GSMA’s RCS (Rich Communications Service) messaging protocol for a long time now, with the biggest response from Apple being CEO Tim Cook saying consumers should buy their moms an iPhone.

So now, it’s getting petty. Google’s “iPager” ad mimics Apple’s marketing language to reveal a retro-styled beeper, suggesting Apple’s behind the curve with its messaging platform. The spot says the iPager uses “outdated messaging tech” to “text with Android,” citing many of the perceived disadvantages of sticking with SMS technology. The question is: Who is this YouTube parody for?

Continue reading.

Microsoft’s Adaptive Touch makes laptop trackpads more inclusive

For people who can’t continuously use fingers to move a cursor.


Microsoft continues to build inclusive accessories and features for its mainstream products, and the company showed off more at its annual fall event on Thursday. It unveiled an Adaptive Touch feature that works on the “precision haptic trackpad” of the Surface Laptop Studio 2. During its keynote, the company called this the “most inclusive touchpad on any laptop” and helps people who can’t continuously use their fingers to move a cursor around. The system looks for multiple points of contact with the trackpad, noticing if they’re moving in the same general direction, to determine where to move the mouse. It’s in part based on the technology Microsoft uses for palm rejection, but reconfigured for Adaptive Touch.

Continue reading.

X is disabling Circles on October 31

Another feature bites the dust.

X users will no longer be able to tweet to a small group of friends or add people to their Circles after that date. The website formerly known as Twitter has announced it’s deprecating Circles on October 31. The company launched Circles in August 2022, so the feature barely made it to its first birthday.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:15 am UTC

Opinion: The Copyright Office is making a mistake on AI-generated art


Two weeks ago, the US Copyright Office refused to register a copyright for Théâtre D'opéra Spatial, an AI-generated image that got widespread media attention last year after it won an art competition. It’s at least the third time the Copyright Office has ruled that AI-generated art cannot be copyrighted.

The Copyright Office first ruled on this issue in 2019. Artist Stephen Thaler tried to register an image that he said had been created entirely by a computer program. The Copyright Office rejected the application because copyright protection is only available for works created by human beings—not supernatural beings (like the Holy Spirit), not animals (like this now-famous monkey), and not computer programs.

The ruling raised an important question: Was the issue just that Thaler should have listed himself, rather than his AI system, as the image's creator? Or is AI-generated art categorically excluded from copyright protection?

Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:07 am UTC

'Euphoria' star Angus Cloud accidentally overdosed on meth, cocaine and fentanyl

Cloud, 25, who starred as a drug dealer on the HBO series, died of "acute intoxication," a California coroner's office said. His family has said he'd been struggling with the death of his father.

(Image credit: Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:03 am UTC

Zelenksyy defends Ukraine's spending of Western aid and his refusal to negotiate with Russia

Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he is making an effort to answer any legitimate questions concerning his administration and its conduct during the war in Ukraine.

(Image credit: Kholood Eid for NPR)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:01 am UTC

'Emily' case review recommends further investigation

The Health Service Executive is to undertake a review of all nursing home residents' files where a HSE staff member worked for 16 years and was convicted of sexually assaulting one of them in 2020.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:00 am UTC

Rocket Report: Two small launchers fail in flight; Soyuz crew flies to ISS

Enlarge / NASA Astronaut Loral O'Hara, Russian commander Oleg Kononenko, and cosmonaut Nikolai Chub prepare for launch September 15 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

Welcome to Edition 6.12 of the Rocket Report! Two of the world's most successful small satellite launchers suffered failures this week. We've seen many small launch companies experience failures on early test flights, but US-based Rocket Lab and China's Galactic Energy have accumulated more flight heritage than most of their competitors. Some might see these failures and use the "space is hard" cliché, but I'll just point to this week as a reminder that rocket launches still aren't routine.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Rocket Lab suffers launch failure. Rocket Lab's string of 20 consecutive successful launches ended Tuesday when the company's Electron rocket failed to deliver a small commercial radar imaging satellite into orbit, Ars reports. The problem occurred on the upper stage of the Electron rocket about two and a half minutes after liftoff from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. This was the fourth time a Rocket Lab mission has failed in 41 flights. A small commercial radar surveillance satellite from Capella Space was destroyed when the rocket crashed.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 22 Sep 2023 | 11:00 am UTC

China MeToo activist stands trial for subversion

Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin appeared in court in Guangzhou alongside co-accused Wang Jianbing.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:59 am UTC

NASA's James Webb Telescope may have found the source of Europa's carbon

Before the Galileo spacecraft was destroyed two decades ago, it detected several chemicals on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, including carbon dioxide. Now, a couple of studies using observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) suggest that the carbon dioxide on Europa's surface came from the ocean hidden underneath its icy shell. Further, the researchers have come to the conclusion that it's pretty recent in origin — geologically speaking, at least. 

The observations made using the telescope's Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument showed scientists that the carbon dioxide on Europa is most abundant in an area called Tara Regio, or "chaos terrain." In the images above, you'll see Tara Regio as the yellowish area to the left of the moon's center. 

Emily Martin, a planetary geologist at the National Air and Space Museum, told Scientific American that scientists believe Tara Regio's ice surface broke up when the weather got warm enough at one point. That caused the water from the subsurface ocean to come up, until it got cold again to create a slushy icy water sort of area. It's worth noting that previous Hubble observations of the region show that it also contains table salt, which indicates that saltwater, indeed, could've risen up to the surface of the moon. 

If Europa's carbon dioxide truly did come from its ocean instead of from meteors or other sources, then it would establish a big similarity between our planet and the moon. Europa is one of the objects in our solar system that's under observation for potentially having the conditions to support life. In April this year, the European Space Agency launched the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer or JUICE to make detailed observations of the planet's ocean-bearing moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. Meanwhile, NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will focus on the potential for life in the moon's ocean, is scheduled to take off sometime next year.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:47 am UTC

Woman arrested after garda assaulted in Dublin

A woman has been arrested after a garda was assaulted in Dublin last night. The incident happened in the Basin Street area after gardaí stopped a vehicle carrying two people while conducting active patrols in the area at around 8.45pm.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:30 am UTC

Two jailed for killing French bus driver over Covid mask rule

The French driver was beaten after asking two passengers to adjust their masks during the pandemic.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:26 am UTC

GRA declines Commissioner's offer for talks on rosters

The Garda Representative Association has not accepted the Garda Commissioner's offer of talks to resolve the disputed issue of garda rosters.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:25 am UTC

Woman flew drone carrying drugs and USB drive with pornography into Queensland prison yard

Prison staff found drone crashed close to exercise area with sealed bag nearby containing contraband

A woman used a drone to fly $119,000 worth of drugs as well as a USB drive containing pornography into a prison.

Cheyenne Anniki Petryszyn, 27, faced Brisbane supreme court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated supply of dangerous drugs in a correctional facility.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:00 am UTC

Inside Biden’s Secret Arms Deal

The U.S. orchestrated a secret arms deal to send weapons to Ukraine, helping Pakistan reach the threshold needed for an International Monetary Fund loan to save the country’s economy, according to two sources with knowledge of the arrangement and documents leaked to The Intercept. This week on a special Deconstructed and Intercepted crossover episode, Ryan Grim and Murtaza Hussain discuss their reporting on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of Pakistani arms sales to the U.S. for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military. Grim and Hussain are joined by Arif Rafiq, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and political risk analyst who focuses on Pakistan and the region. They break down the U.S.’s pressure to oust former Prime Minister Imran Khan, the IMF’s role in the country, and Pakistan’s political economy.

Transcript coming soon.

The post Inside Biden’s Secret Arms Deal appeared first on The Intercept.

Source: The Intercept | 22 Sep 2023 | 10:00 am UTC

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech

A decade of support is a much better deal than what Microsoft or Apple will give you

Opinion  I run my computers until they die. I'm cheap that way and it's one reason why I'm a Linux fan. Thanks to Linux, I have PCs that are closing in on 20 years of useful life.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:58 am UTC

Jaguar signs on to use Tesla's chargers too

Jaguar is joining Mercedes, Polestar and other automakers in adopting Tesla's NACS chargers for vehicles sold in North America starting in 2025. The company signed an agreement with Tesla to gain access to its 12,000+ Superchargers for its "current and future customers" using the standard.

"The next generation luxury electric Jaguars, launching in 2025, will incorporate the NACS connector without the need for an adapter in the USA, Canada and Mexico," it said in a press release, adding that it will adopt the standard for "vehicles and home chargers, and source and supply adapters from Tesla for I-PACE drivers once available." Jaguar noted that its in-house battery and power electronics technology will optimize charging rates on both Tesla's current V3 (250 kW) and upcoming V4 (350 kW) Superchargers. 

Jaguar has been quiet of late around its EV plans, but announced back in 2021 that it would become an all-electric brand by 2025, with its Land Rover division rolling out six new EVs in 2024 — all as part of a sweeping "Reimagine" strategy. The company will use a pure electric architecture for its Jaguar lineup, replacing gas and hybrid vehicles like the XE, XF, E-Pace and F-Pace with all-electric versions. Land Rover, meanwhile, will introduce two separate platforms for all-electric and hybrid vehicles. 

Many, if not most, major automakers have now signed up to use Tesla's Supercharger network, including Fisker, Ford, GM, Honda, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Rivian and Volvo. A number are reported to be in talks, including VW, Stellantis and Hyundai. In addition, other networks are adopting NACs, including ChargePoint and Electrify America. And recently, Tesla received $160 million in funding to expand its Supercharger network in year. 

All of that shows the wisdom in Tesla's gambit over ten years ago to make Superchargers a strong selling point for its EVs. Now, the network is becoming a key feature for other manufacturers as well — to the likely benefit of Tesla. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:55 am UTC

TikTok has matchmaking service for staff to play cupid for co-workers

Meet Cute on company’s intranet allows employees to advertise family and acquaintances to colleagues

TikTok has an internal matchmaking service for employees to introduce their colleagues to friends and family members, it has been revealed.

The channel, called Meet Cute, sits on the workplace tool used by thousands of TikTok employees around the world for document hosting, video conferencing. It also helps people find a potential romantic partner from among their colleagues.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:25 am UTC

9/11 defendant unfit to stand trial, US judge rules

A military judge accepts Ramzi bin al-Shibh is too psychologically damaged to defend himself.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:16 am UTC

Tecno's Phantom V flip phone puts a circular display on its cover

While most modern flip phone makers have been focusing on maximizing their cover screen sizes, a new contender decided to branch away with a circular one instead. Following its flagship foldable from earlier this year, China's Tecno has also unveiled its first flip phone, the Phantom V Flip 5G, which attempts to stand out from the crowd by offering a round external AMOLED display. Even though the Huawei P50 Pocket was the first clamshell to carry a similar feature, Tecno's counterpart comes in at a more practical 1.32 inches and a slightly sharper 352ppi, which should translate to easier selfies, richer notifications and handier widgets — namely weather, vitality rings, audio recording, timer and more.

The Phantom V Flip is powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 8050 5G chip, so it's going head to head with the Moto Razr in the mid-range segment. As is the case with Tecno's recent devices, this one is competitively priced — at around $600, though it's only available in India initially (49,999 rupees, to be precise), with more markets to follow later. At least you get Google services pre-installed on this one, unlike most of its hometown buddies. As a bonus, Tecno's HiOS 13.5 (based on Android 13) comes with its own voice assistant, "Ella," which has ChatGPT built in.

Despite the price point, the spec sheet doesn't disappoint here. The Phantom V Flip is 14.95mm thick when folded and 6.95mm thick when opened. At 195g, this turns out to be the heaviest device in the flip phone category to date. This is somewhat justified by the reasonable 4,000mAh battery (Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 only has 3,700mAh), which supports 45W fast charging — 15 minutes will refill a depleted battery to 50 percent, or wait for 45 minutes for a full charge. Sadly, there's no wireless charging here, for those who care.

A half-opened Tecno Phantom V Flip 5G phone placed on a car hood, with its main camera facing a model who is posing with a hand gesture to remotely trigger the shot.

The Phantom V Flip packs a 6.9-inch FHD+ (2,640 x 1,080) flexible screen on the inside, with a 10-120Hz LTPO refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling. The hinge can hover at any angle between 30 degrees and 150 degrees, which is handy for selfies via the rear-facing cameras — you can even use gesture or voice to trigger your shots.

Photography-wise, you get a 64-megapixel f/1.7 main camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a small LED ring flash, with all three features positioned along the circumference of the circular cover screen. When unfolded, there's a 32-megapixel punch-hole selfie camera at the top, complemented with an LED flash in the top screen bezel to make you look prettier in video calls.

Tecno didn't cheap out on accessories, either. The Phantom V Flip is shipped with a protective case that shields all four sides of the phone, except the opening for the fingerprint reader and volume rocker. The case also has a ring attached above the hinge, allowing you to wear the phone as a pendant or hold it more securely.

While it's unclear whether the $600 Phantom V Flip will make it to western markets, Tecno does appear to have an opportunity to spook its more established competitors in this ever-growing flip phone segment — especially before the new Moto Razr enters the US, if ever (in China, it starts from around $550). That said, it's just a matter of time before the likes of Honor and Xiaomi offer similarly competitive clamshells.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:08 am UTC

A Black Texas student's suspension over his hair renews focus on the CROWN Act

The high school student has been suspended for more than two weeks for wearing a natural hairstyle that officials say violated a dress code. So far, 24 states have signed the CROWN Act into law.

(Image credit: Michael Wyke/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:07 am UTC

95% of NFTs May Now Be Worthless

An anonymous reader shares a news story: A report by dappGambl based on data provided by NFT Scan and CoinMarketCap showed that out of 73,257 NFT collections the researchers looked at, 69,795 of them, or slightly over 95%, had a market cap of zero ether. By their estimates, almost 23 million people hold these worthless assets. "This daunting reality should serve as a sobering check on the euphoria that has often surrounded the NFT space," the researchers said. "Amid stories of digital art pieces selling for millions and overnight success stories, it is easy to overlook the fact that the market is fraught with pitfalls and potential losses." NFTs are digital representations of art or collectibles tied to a blockchain, typically ethereum, and each one has a unique signature that cannot be duplicated. In 2021 and 2022, the NFT market saw a huge bull run, at one point leading to $2.8 billion in monthly trading volume. During that time, popular collections such as Bored Apes and CryptoPunks were selling for millions of dollars, and celebrities such as Stephen Curry and Snoop Dogg participated in the hype. The boom coincided with cryptocurrency's peak when bitcoin was trading close to $70,000. On Wednesday, the price of the crypto hovered just above $27,000. dappGambl's study shows 79% of all NFT collections currently remain unsold, and the surplus of supply over demand has created a buyer's market that isn't doing anything to revive enthusiasm.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:05 am UTC

One in 18 babies born in Australia are conceived via IVF, latest data shows

The 102,157 cycles of IVF performed in 2021 was a 17% increase on 2020, with an average of two cycles for each woman

One in every 18 babies in Australia are now born through IVF, with a record high number of births recorded in the latest data.

The annual report from medical researchers at the University of New South Wales found a record 18,594 babies were born in Australia as a result of IVF treatment in 2021, with more than one in three women (37.1%) who completed their first cycle of IVF giving birth.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:03 am UTC

Cheap Drones Help Ukraine Evade Russian Air Defenses

A fleet of inexpensive, mostly off-the-shelf drones is helping Ukrainian forces evade and target sophisticated Russian air defense systems.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:02 am UTC

Changes Bring Friction, and Lawsuits, to Florida College Targeted by DeSantis

Competitive sports are in, gender-neutral bathrooms are out after Florida vowed to turn New College, a public school, into a bastion of conservatism.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:02 am UTC

NASA effort to bring home asteroid rocks will end this weekend in triumph or a crash

NASA's first effort to retrieve samples from an asteroid will send a capsule that contains extraterrestrial pebbles and dust plunging towards a Utah desert on Sunday.

(Image credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

Here's one potential winner from the UAW strike: Non-union auto workers in the South

If the UAW strike leads to a win for the union, southern auto workers believe that will lead to a pay up at plants like Nissan and Mercedes.

(Image credit: Stephan Bisaha/Gulf States Newsroom)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

UAW significantly ramps up strikes against GM and Stellantis — but not Ford

UAW workers at 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers across 20 states walked off their jobs at noon, though Ford was not hit with additional strikes.

(Image credit: Matthew Hatcher/AFP via Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

A Former Hockey Enforcer Searches for Answers on C.T.E. Before It’s Too Late

Chris Nilan fought more than 300 times during a pro hockey career, then had years of addiction and anger problems. A high-risk candidate for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Nilan is being studied by Boston University.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

For South Korea’s Senior Subway Riders, the Joy Is in the Journey

The fare is free for those older than 65, and so some retired people spend their days riding the trains to the end of the line.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

What has made some GOP senators furious this week? Find out in the news quiz

You'll need to know about international automotive brands, Senate rules, the art world, obese animals — and more — for an 11 out of 11 in this week's NPR news quiz. Good luck!

(Image credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 9:00 am UTC

Microsoft's Activision merger set to get its final UK approval

Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard looked close to being dead not long ago, but it just took a big step toward clearing its last major obstacle. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that Microsoft's revised agreement "substantially addresses previous concerns and opens the door to the deal being cleared." The agreement is still in consultation, but final approval now looks highly likely. 

"The CMA considers that the restructured deal makes important changes that substantially address the concerns it set out in relation to the original transaction earlier this year," the regulator wrote. "In particular, the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft will prevent this important content — including games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft — from coming under the control of Microsoft in relation to cloud gaming."

The UK regulator initially blocked the merger over fears it would hand Microsoft a 60 to 70 percent share of the cloud gaming market, making it a monopoly player. That in turn would give it "incentive to withhold games from competitors and substantially weaken competition in this important growing market." 

In response, Microsoft announced last month that it would sell Activision Blizzard streaming rights to Ubisoft in an attempt to win UK approval. It said that if the merger goes through, it would transfer "cloud streaming rights for all current and new Activision Blizzard PC and console games released over the next 15 years to Ubisoft Entertainment... in perpetuity." Ubisoft said in a separate release that the titles would be available across a range of services. 

The revised deal "substantially addresses most concerns," the CMA wrote, but it still wants to ensure that provisions in the sale of Activision's cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft can't be "circumvented, terminated or not enforced." It added that Microsoft has offered remedies to ensure that those rights are enforceable, and those should resolve any residual concerns. 

In an open letter to employees, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said today's news represents "a significant milestone for the merger and a testament to our solutions-oriented work with regulators. I remain optimistic as we continue the journey toward completion and am very grateful to each of you for your dedication and focus throughout this process." Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith similarly wrote on X:

Microsoft managed to turn the deal around after taking a lot of blows from regulators. Late last year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block the merger, but was later rebuffed by a federal court. The UK's CMA rejected the deal a few months later, but Microsoft appealed the decision and was later given more time to submit an amended deal. It made a major concession with the sale of streaming rights to Ubisoft — and that seems like it may have done the trick. We should know soon, as the CMA's consultation on Microsoft's proposed remedies closes on October 6. 

Update September 22 11AM ET: This story was updated after publish to include comments from Activision and Microsoft leadership.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:33 am UTC

China fuels global surge in mpox cases as LGBTQ+ stigma hampers response

WHO says China facing ‘sustained community transmission’ of virus first detected as imported case last year

China is fuelling a global surge in mpox cases, accounting for the majority of new cases reported in September, according to the World Health Organization.

The number of weekly cases reported globally increased by 328% in the week to 10 September, data shows. Most of that rise came from China, where more than 500 new cases were reported in August. The WHO said China was experiencing “sustained community transmission” of the virus, which was first detected as an imported case in September last year.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:32 am UTC

Justice Minister seeks security review for Oireachtas

Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, has sought a security review for TDs, Senators and others working in the Oireachtas.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:26 am UTC

New childcare funding system has failed, says providers’ group

Federation of Early Childhood Providers is withdrawing services for three days next week in protest at level of funding

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:25 am UTC

Euphoria star Angus Cloud died of accidental overdose

Actor Angus Cloud died from an accidental overdose of cocaine, fentanyl and other substances, a northern California coroner's office in the US said.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:22 am UTC

Christie Whelan Browne: theatre company will seek to have actor’s discrimination claim dismissed

Whelan Browne alleges she faced discrimination after complaining about Rocky Horror Show castmate Craig McLachlan

A theatrical company facing allegations it discriminated against an actor who made well-publicised sexual harassment complaints about another star will try to have the case dismissed.

Christie Whelan Browne has brought a lawsuit against Oldfield Entertainment alleging victimisation after she complained of alleged harassment by Craig McLachlan, her castmate in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:10 am UTC

Earth from Space: Scorched Rhodes

Image: This summer, Europe experienced a relentless heatwave, fuelling wildfires in several countries. This Copernicus Sentinel-1 image shows the burn scars left by fires on the Greek island of Rhodes.

Source: ESA Top News | 22 Sep 2023 | 8:00 am UTC

Rupert Murdoch Turned Passion and Grievance Into Money and Power

The retiring Fox leader built a noise-and-propaganda machine by giving his people what they wanted — and sometimes by teaching them what to want.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:32 am UTC

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

If you throw enough mud, some of it will stick … and crash a server

On Call  Welcome once again to On Call, the Register column in which readers recall how they dug themselves out of holes while delivering tech support.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:31 am UTC

Uluru Dialogue accuses Dutton of ‘deception’ over voice – as it happened

This blog is now closed

Jim Chalmers is now on RN Breakfast, where he was asked by host Hamish McDonald whether he was reconsidering the stage-three tax cuts given much of the $22.1bn budget surplus comes from the taxes of “hard working Australians”.

Chalmers said the government has not changed its view on the tax cuts, which recent data showed will flow disproportionately to high-income earners and men:

Well, first of all, it’s partly a function that people are working more and earning more. The labor market is incredibly resilient given what’s coming at us from around the world. And so unemployment is lower than what many people anticipated. And wages have began growing again, and that’s a good thing too. And that’s one of the reasons why the budgets in better nick but also getting good better prices for our commodities and what that means for company tax.

We haven’t changed our view about the stage three tax cuts, but we have found a way to provide substantial cost-of-living relief for people on low and middle and fixed incomes, because we recognise people are doing it tough and they’ve been our priority.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:28 am UTC

Woman in her 50s dies in Leitrim car crash

Passenger died after Carrick-on-Shannon crash at 6pm on Thursday

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:25 am UTC

Ukrainian missile strikes Russia's Black Sea navy HQ

Ukraine claimed responsibility for a missile attack that struck the headquarters of Moscow's Black Sea fleet in annexed Crimea today, leaving one missing and sparking a fire.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:20 am UTC

Jim McGreevey, Who Quit Politics Amid Scandal, Eyes a New Job: Mayor

Jim McGreevey, New Jersey’s 52nd governor, resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a male employee. Now he is preparing for a political comeback.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 7:00 am UTC

Woman dies after two-car collision in Co Leitrim

A woman in her 50s has died following a two-car collision in Co Leitrim yesterday evening.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:55 am UTC

X is disabling Circles on October 31

X users will soon no longer be able to make posts viewable only to a smaller group of friends. The website formerly known as Twitter has announced that it's deprecating Circles on October 31st. Users won't be able to add people to their Circles anymore or create new posts limited to a tight-knit group. They will, however, retain the capability to remove people from the group if they no longer want certain accounts to be able to see their old limited posts.

In April this year, users discovered a bug that exposed Circle tweets to outsiders. Turns out their posts were exposed due to a security incident, which was only one of the technical issues the website faced since Elon Musk took over. 

The company launched Circles in August 2022 after nearly four months of testing. Similar to Instagram's "close friends" feature, it gives users a way to share their thoughts with people they trust or people with the same interests without having to make it visible to the rest of the world. It's for those worried about getting harassed on the platform and those who don't want accounts that are fully public. X previously said that users with Circles posted more overall during its testing period, but it looks like the feature didn't quite get enough interest to become an indispensable part of the website.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:45 am UTC

Google Mourns Veteran Engineer Luiz Andre Barroso Who Invented the Modern Data Center

Brazilian engineer Luiz Andre Barroso, who ripped up the rulebook at Google, has died. His radical ideas for data centers laid the foundations for cloud computing. Wired: Luiz Andre Barroso had never designed a data center before Google asked him to do it in the early 2000s. By the time he finished his first, he had overturned many conventions of the computing industry, laying the foundations for Silicon Valley's development of cloud computing. Barroso, a 22-year veteran of Google who unexpectedly died on September 16 at age 59, built his data centers with low-cost components instead of expensive specialized hardware. He reimagined how they worked together to develop the concept of "the data center as a computer," which now underpins the web, mobile apps, and other internet services. Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Google's infrastructure organization, says Barroso left an indelible imprint at the company whose contributions to the industry are countless. "We lost a beloved friend, colleague and respected leader," she writes in a statement on behalf of the company.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:42 am UTC

If you're cautious about using ML and bots at work, that's not a bad idea

Alex Stamos: 'We don't really know what's gonna go wrong with AI yet'

DataGrail Summit  Generative AI is uncharted territory, and those wishing to explore it need to be aware of the dangers, privacy shop DataGrail warned at its summit this week in San Francisco.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:28 am UTC

Giggles on the sofa! Pigeon CCTV has BBC hosts in tears

BBC Breakfast presenters react to footage showing a bird flying into an unsuspecting man's head.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:21 am UTC

Your morning briefing from The Irish Times: Use of mock gallows investigated, and the day Veronica Guerin played soccer for Ireland

Some in Temple Street knew surgeon used spring implants in children, full details of Culture Night, and Ryan Tubridy’s agent insisted contract be ‘paid in full’

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:11 am UTC

Thousands of free events to celebrate Culture Night

Venues and public spaces will be hosting thousands of free events centred on the arts, heritage and culture this evening, as the 18th edition of Culture Night is celebrated across the country.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:03 am UTC

Dublin teen dreams of trip to Hollywood

A teenage film fanatic from Dublin is dreaming of a trip to a Hollywood film set - after receiving a personal invite from 'Avengers' director Joe Russo.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 6:00 am UTC

The clock is ticking and Korea wants to know if its chipmakers will get their export license extension

SK hynix and Samsung do so much memory-making in China, ending sanction exemptions would be extraordinary

South Korean and US officials met this week to discuss the future of Chinese export controls as the clock ticks down on exceptions enjoyed by Samsung and SK hynix.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:58 am UTC

Zelenskyy arrives in Canada to speak before Parliament and boost support for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak to the Canadian Parliament on Friday as part of his campaign to bolster support from Western allies for Ukraine's war against the Russian invasion.

(Image credit: Justin Tang/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:38 am UTC

ESA gets the job of building Europe's secure satcomms network

IRIS2 oversight deal signed as constellation’s schedule slips, and Ariane 6 hits another snag

The European Space Agency has signed up to build and launch the European Union's Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite constellation.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:31 am UTC

Irish householders, businesses put most of their general waste into wrong bin, report finds

More than two-thirds of waste in general bins could be recycled, says EPA

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:24 am UTC

PAC to seek legal advice over RTÉ exit package details

The Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to seek legal advice on whether RTÉ can be compelled to provide details of exit packages for a number of former executives.

Source: News Headlines | 22 Sep 2023 | 5:22 am UTC

Mastodon makes a major move amid Musk's multiple messes

Federated social network adds n00b-friendly features to the 'Fediverse'

Mastodon, the open source Twitter-like federated social network server, has issued a major release that adds features aimed at making life easier for new users.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:32 am UTC

A shadow of 'Ukraine fatigue' hangs over Polish politics

With an election looming, politicians are grappling with how to support Ukraine and prioritise national interests.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:20 am UTC

Real Estate Crisis Triggers New Alarms Over China’s Shadow Banks

A financially troubled firm has stopped paying investors, risking panic and testing the Chinese government’s resolve to take on debts from its property crisis.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:00 am UTC

‘The least we can do is care for their children’: Libyans rally to protect Derna’s orphans

Hundreds of traumatised children are thought to have lost their families in disaster

People in western Libya have rallied round to provide care and breastmilk for young children orphaned by the devastating floods that hit the coastal city of Derna on 10 September.

Hundreds of traumatised babies and young children are thought to have lost their parents in Derna, where whole neighbourhoods were wiped out after two dams broke.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:00 am UTC

Rhino numbers rebound as global figures reveal a win for conservation

Tally rises to 27,000 but is still a far cry from former half a million, and Javan and Sumatran rhino remain critically endangered

Global rhinoceros numbers have increased to 27,000 despite populations being ravaged by poaching and habitat loss, new figures show, with some species rebounding for the first time in a decade.

Rhinos numbered about 500,000 across Africa and Asia in the 20th century but their populations have been devastated. Last year, they began showing signs of recovery in some areas, although two species – the Javan and Sumatran – remain close to disappearing.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 4:00 am UTC

Thailand to clamp down on cannabis use in major U-turn on drug policy

Prime minister Srettha Thavisin has said the drug will be for medical use only, adding that problems arising from drug use have been ‘widespread’

Thailand’s new prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, has said his government will “rectify” its cannabis policy and limit its use to medical purposes within six months.

Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalise cannabis after it delisted the marijuana plant as a narcotic last year, leading to a boom of cannabis cafes and weed dispensaries in popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:47 am UTC

Nari Shakti: India okays women's reservation bill - but nothing will change soon

The decades-old bill guarantees a third of seats for women in parliament and state assemblies.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:14 am UTC

South Korea passes law to protect rights of teachers after mass protests over abuse from parents

New laws come after weeks of protests sparked by a series of teacher suicides said to be linked to malicious complaints from parents

South Korea has passed a set of legal revisions aimed at improving the rights of teachers in schools, following weeks of protests sparked by a series of teacher suicides said to be linked to malicious complaints from parents.

The four bills, collectively known as the “teacher rights restoration bills” and passed at the national assembly on Thursday, represent a significant step towards enhancing the working conditions and protections for educators in the country.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:10 am UTC

What you need to know about working abroad

Working abroad can be a career-enhancing experience while at the same time exploring new countries and cultures

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 am UTC

Google Sued Over Fatal Google Maps Error After Man Drove Off Broken Bridge

FrankOVD writes: Google is being sued by a widow who says her husband drowned in September 2022 after Google Maps directed him over a collapsed bridge in Hickory, North Carolina. Google failed to correct its map service despite warnings about the broken bridge two years before the accident, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Alicia Paxson in Wake County Superior Court. Philip Paxson "died tragically while driving home from his daughter's ninth birthday party, when he drove off of an unmarked, unbarricaded collapsed bridge in Hickory, North Carolina while following GPS directions," the complaint said. The Snow Creek Bridge reportedly collapsed in 2013 and wasn't repaired. Barricades were typically in place but "were removed after being vandalized and were missing at the time of Paxson's wreck," according to The Charlotte Observer. The lawsuit has five defendants, including Google and its owner Alphabet. The other defendants are James Tarlton and two local business entities called Tarde, LLC and Hinckley Gauvain, LLC. Tarlton and the two businesses "owned, controlled, and/or were otherwise responsible for the land" containing the bridge, the lawsuit said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 3:00 am UTC

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right

Fanboi numbers are well down – but Apple's queueing system, rather than apathy, is likely the cause

First Fondle  The iPhone 15 is predictably lovely – but the larger models may be too much to handle, and the smaller machines feel a little undersized.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:35 am UTC

Sophie Turner sues Joe Jonas for children's return to England

The British actress says her former partner is refusing to send their two daughters back to the UK.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:32 am UTC

Osiris-Rex: Asteroid Bennu 'is a journey back to our origins'

A handful of dust from an asteroid streaming through space could tell Nasa how life on Earth began.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 2:27 am UTC

Brazil's Supreme Court to vote on decriminalising abortion

Brazil's Supreme Court is to vote on decriminalising abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:59 am UTC

Africa's week in pictures: 15-21 September 2023

A selection of the best photos from the African continent and beyond.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:46 am UTC

Wigan Casino: Northern Soul finds a new crowd on nightclub's 50th anniversary

It's 50 years since Wigan Casino hosted the first of its legendary Northern Soul all-nighters.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 1:05 am UTC

Zelensky's critical visit to Washington DC... in 100 seconds

The Ukrainian president visited the Capitol, the Pentagon and the White House looking for support.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:53 am UTC

Amazon 'protects' against junk AI e-books by limiting author-bots to three a day

Somehow still 'committed to providing the best possible reading and publishing experience'

Amazon has given “authors” who crank out books license to "write" and publish up to three tomes every day via its platform, even if they use AI, and asserts that limit protects its customers.…

Source: The Register | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:52 am UTC

JPEX: Hong Kong investigates influencer-backed crypto exchange

About 2,000 investors lost money on the JPEX platform which was advertised on Hong Kong's metro.

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:26 am UTC

Do China's recent military purges spell trouble for Xi Jinping?

Military officials are disappearing - is this a sign of instability or Xi Jinping's strength?

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:22 am UTC

Five things to know about Lachlan Murdoch

The new boss of his father Rupert's global media company has a complicated relationship with Femma Bloemers .

Source: BBC News - Home | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:14 am UTC

Rishi Sunak Presses On With Net Zero U-Turn

Rishi Sunak has vowed to press ahead with watering down key green measures despite intense criticism, because he still believes the UK will hit its net zero target in 2050. From a report: The prime minister defended defying the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and said he had "absolute confidence and belief" the country was on track to meet its end goal. In a BBC radio interview on Thursday morning, Sunak shrugged off suggestions he had ignored the view of the official body that advises governments on reducing emissions. He said: "I'm very happy to have opinions and advice from everybody, and everyone's entitled to their view. We're very confident -- being in government, with all the information at our disposal -- that we we are on track to hit all our targets." Sunak told Radio 4's Today programme that Margaret Thatcher would have agreed with his rationale, and that it was not right for "working families" to face significant costs as part of the country's transition to net zero. But he struggled to provide an explanation for claims he had scrapped measures critics said had never seriously been mooted -- such as an alleged tax on meat, compulsory car sharing and forcing households to use seven recycling bins. "These are all things that have been raised by very credible people," he argued. When pressed, Sunak was unable to provide evidence that those specific measures had been suggested by anyone and instead said they had been euphemistically advocated for by bodies such as the CCC.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 22 Sep 2023 | 12:01 am UTC

Now IBM sued for age discrim by its own HR veterans

Staff with short 'runways' told to take off amid shift to corporate chatbots, it's claimed

IBM, which last year insisted "there was (and is) no systemic age discrimination" at the mainframe giant, has again been sued for age discrimination.…

Source: The Register | 21 Sep 2023 | 11:15 pm UTC

This $90,000 fireproof tankbot will scout burning buildings for people to save

Fighting fires was always dangerous. But with climate change, there have been more wildfires, which means even more risky rescue missions for local firefighting squads. That’s why multiple different companies and teams of scientists are working to develop robots that can scope out burning buildings before human firefighters have to enter. The latest entrant is FireBot, a remote-controlled robot that can withstand temperatures as high as 650 degrees Celsius. At that scalding temperature, a firefighter wearing a protective suit can only withstand about 15 minutes of exposure.

FireBot, which can be operated for four hours at a time, looks like an object straight out of a sci-fi film. With its saw-like “arms” that help the metallic boxy device move, the bot can climb obstacles in its path using tracks that allow it to climb stairs and debris – a requirement for navigating raging fires. According to TechCrunch, which hosted FireBot’s parent company at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this week, the bot uses MIMO wireless technology that can transfer data to a receiver as far as 0.9 miles away. That way, a crew can safely examine the inside of a burning building while using a joystick and display to maneuver the bot.

The device has built-in sensors that include HD optical and thermal imagers, as well as various mechanisms to detect dangerous gasses. In addition, it can check for the presence of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, which are the two deadliest fumes that can injure or kill humans in a fire. Also importantly, the device is seemingly fast despite its boxy appearance. The FireBot can move twice as fast as a firefighter wearing full personal protective equipment that can, on average, be as heavy as 45 pounds.

Paradigm Robotics

The robot is expected to cost at least $90,000 when it goes on sale in the third quarter of 2024. Alternatively, fire departments could lease it. Although this device isn’t exactly cheap, it can help alleviate the annual fees associated with firefighter injuries, which is estimated to cost fire departments up to $197,860 a year, according to a paper the National Fire Protection Association published in late 2019.

The FireBot is not the first device that uses robotics to make firefighting safer. Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory are developing what’s known as SAFFiR, or the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. The bi-pedal humanoid robot is being engineered to navigate ships, interact with people, and use thermal imaging to identify and handle a hose to put out small fires.

When Engadget covered the Navy’s robot back in 2019, SAFFiR was still not water- and fire-proof, which may be why the Navy said its more advanced prototypes are still in the experimental stages of R&D. Similarly, there’s DARPA's Atlas, a disaster-response robot that hosts an infrared and a rotating light detection and ranging (LIDAR) laser that allows it to navigate dense smoke. Still, nothing is as seemingly advanced as Paradigm’s FireBot in terms of being able to withstand and navigate heat at fire scenes.

In a similar vein, the Los Angeles Fire Department even experimented with specialized drones that can aid in scope and rescue missions as well as a ridiculously large 3,500-pound “Thermite RS3” robot. That robot costs $272,000, making the FireBot seem almost reasonable by comparison.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 21 Sep 2023 | 11:15 pm UTC

EPA calls for urgent rollout of organic waste bins

The Environmental Protection Agency has called for organic waste bins to be urgently rolled out to all houses, apartments and commercial premises that do not already have them.

Source: News Headlines | 21 Sep 2023 | 11:01 pm UTC

Why Kevin McCarthy Can’t Do His Job

How to make Newt Gingrich look good in retrospect.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 21 Sep 2023 | 11:00 pm UTC

Tourists caught in India-Canada visa row

Many Indian nationals will be able to go home but the visa suspension will be disruptive for tourists.

Source: BBC News - Home | 21 Sep 2023 | 10:31 pm UTC

Google Takes a Snarky Shot at Apple Over RCS in Its Latest Ad

An anonymous reader shares a report: Google has been trying to publicly pressure Apple into adopting the GSMA's RCS (Rich Communications Service) messaging protocol for a long time now, with nothing to show for it. As a matter of fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to completely dismiss the idea when he answered a question on the subject by saying that consumers should buy their moms an iPhone. Google and its Android platform aren't giving up that easily and they've just released a snarky ad to continue criticizing Apple's preferred messaging platform. The ad's called "iPager" and mimics Apple's marketing language to reveal a retro-styled beeper, indicating that Apple's behind the curve with its chosen messaging platform. The spot states that the iPager uses "outdated messaging tech" to "text with Android," citing many of the perceived disadvantages of sticking with SMS technology when communicating with Android phones. Google didn't invent this comparison whole-cloth, as the 30-year-old SMS tech actually dates back to old-school pagers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 21 Sep 2023 | 10:30 pm UTC

Incomplete disclosures by Apple and Google create “huge blindspot” for 0-day hunters

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Incomplete information included in recent disclosures by Apple and Google reporting critical zero-day vulnerabilities under active exploitation in their products has created a “huge blindspot” that’s causing a large number of offerings from other developers to go unpatched, researchers said Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Apple reported that threat actors were actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in iOS so they could install espionage spyware known as Pegasus. The attacks used a zero-click method, meaning they required no interaction on the part of targets. Simply receiving a call or text on an iPhone was enough to become infected by the Pegasus, which is among the world’s most advanced pieces of known malware.

“Huge blindspot”

Apple said the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2023-41064, stemmed from a buffer overflow bug in ImageIO, a proprietary framework that allows applications to read and write most image file formats, which include one known as WebP. Apple credited the discovery of the zero-day to Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto’s Munk School that follows attacks by nation-states targeting dissidents and other at-risk groups.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 10:19 pm UTC

Brazil supreme court rules in favor of Indigenous land rights in historic win

Court voted against agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988

Brazil’s supreme court has blocked efforts to dramatically strip back Indigenous land rights in what activists called a historic victory for the South American country’s original inhabitants.

Nine of the court’s 11 members voted against what rights groups had dubbed the “time limit trick” – an agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent Indigenous communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 21 Sep 2023 | 10:12 pm UTC

US govt IT help desk techie 'leaked top secrets' to foreign nation

National defense files can earn you $55K … and espionage charges

A US government worker has been arrested and charged with spying for Ethiopia, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.…

Source: The Register | 21 Sep 2023 | 10:10 pm UTC

New York Police find drugs in trapdoor at fentanyl nursery

Police said the amount of drugs recovered at the daycare where a child died could have killed 500,000 people.

Source: BBC News - Home | 21 Sep 2023 | 9:43 pm UTC

UAW Files Labor Complaint Against Sen. Tim Scott for Saying “You Strike, You’re Fired.”

After invoking the legacy of Ronald Reagan to suggest that striking United Auto Workers members should be fired for demanding higher wages, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., may soon find himself before the National Labor Relations Board. On Thursday, Shawn Fain, the president of UAW, filed a complaint claiming that Scott’s utterance violated federal labor law. Under the National Labor Relations Act, anyone can file a charge against an employer, even if they do not work for that employer. 

The complaint accuses Scott of violating the section of the NLRA that lays out employees rights to participate in labor actions: “Within the past six months, the employer has interfered with, restrained, or coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act. On Monday September 18, 2023 Tim Scott threatened employees with adverse consequences if they engage in protected, concerted activity by publicly responding to a question about striking workers as follows: ‘You strike, you’re fired.’”

The complaint was filed against Scott in his capacity as a representative for Tim Scott for America. In addition to being a senator representing the state of South Carolina, Scott is running for president, making him an employer as well. The premise of the complaint is that Scott’s comments could be construed as a direct threat against his campaign staffers, whose right to strike is enshrined in federal law. 

Scott’s comments appear to violate those laws, said Benjamin Sachs, a professor of labor law at Harvard University. “A statement as direct as ‘if you strike, you’re fired’ is textbook unfair labor practice language because workers can’t be fired for striking,” Sachs told The Intercept. “If a reasonable employee could interpret the statement as ‘if I strike, I’m fired,’ then it is without a doubt an unfair labor practice violation.”

Sachs added that the National Labor Relations Board would likely rule that Scott must cease and desist from making similar comments and also inform employees of his violation in writing. “In some cases — and this NLRB general counsel seems more amenable to this — the employer is compelled to read their violation out loud or communicate it verbally to their employees,” Sachs said, referring to the NLRB’s top lawyer Jennifer Abruzzo.

Scott did not immediately respond to The Intercept’s request for comment. He made his remarks on Monday after he was asked at a campaign event about whether he would pick a side in the UAW’s ongoing strike against the Big Three automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. In response to the question, Scott referenced Reagan’s 1981 decision to fire over 10,000 striking air traffic controllers. “I think Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike,” Scott said. “You strike, you’re fired. Simple concept to me, to the extent that we can use that once again.”

“Telling workers they’ll be fired for striking is violating federal labor law, and that’s not something becoming of a senator,” Sachs said. 

Scott went on to denigrate the UAW’s 150,000 workers, whose demands include a pay increase, the elimination of tiered pay scales, and the restoration of strong benefits. “The other things that are really important in that deal is that they want more money working fewer hours. They want more benefits working fewer days.” In “America, that doesn’t make sense,” the senator said. “That’s not common sense.”

The UAW strike started last week after the union’s contracts expired on Thursday night. Three auto plants have gone on strike so far, with more slated to join on Friday as the Big Three auto manufacturers continue to refuse to meet workers’ demands. In an interview with Status Coup on Wednesday, Fain told reporters that the strike is about more than just the autoworkers’ current contract negotiations — it’s also about pushing the boundaries of the possible. 

“When I hear the phrase ‘live to fight another day,’ I want to literally beat the shit out of somebody,” Fain said. “It would drive me up a wall when I would hear a leader say ‘live another day.’ Another day came and went over and over and no one fought. This is our time. We call this our generation-defining moment. This is it. … The sky has to be the limit.”

The post UAW Files Labor Complaint Against Sen. Tim Scott for Saying “You Strike, You’re Fired.” appeared first on The Intercept.

Source: The Intercept | 21 Sep 2023 | 9:35 pm UTC

Brand exposed himself then laughed about it on air, says woman

The incident, which happened in Los Angeles in 2008, is the first time Brand has been heard publicly admitting sexual misconduct.

Source: BBC News - Home | 21 Sep 2023 | 9:28 pm UTC

Ontario premier reverses plans to build on green belt after ministers quit

‘It was a mistake,’ says Doug Ford to allow development in protected areas of Greenbelt amid scandal that cost him ministers

Ontario’s premier has reversed course on a controversial multibillion-dollar land swap deal, saying it was a “mistake” to allow development in protected areas of the green belt around Toronto. The abrupt reversal comes after the scandal has cost him a pair of cabinet ministers, two damning reports from government watchdogs and mounting public outrage.

“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that, I am very, very sorry,” Doug Ford told reporters on Thursday afternoon. “It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt … I’m not perfect. No government is perfect.”

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 21 Sep 2023 | 9:06 pm UTC

US to again offer free COVID tests ahead of respiratory virus season

Enlarge (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

Americans will again have an opportunity to receive free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests from the US government, with orders beginning next Monday, September 25, the Biden administration announced Wednesday.

Households will be eligible to receive four free rapid tests that will "detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variant," the Department of Health and Human Services said in an announcement. The tests, available next week via and expected to start shipping on October 2, are meant to help Americans detect COVID-19 and keep from spreading it for the rest of the year—especially during holiday gatherings.

"At this point, our focus is getting through the holidays and making sure folks can take a test if they’re going to see Grandma for Thanksgiving,” Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the HHS, told the Associated Press.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:54 pm UTC

Beneath Microsoft's Surface event, AI spreads everywhere

Windows gets its own Copilot to help operate the operating system – Edge, Bing, Outlook, 365 not spared, either

Microsoft on Thursday further co-opted its GitHub subsidiary's Copilot brand and heralded the arrival of its own Microsoft Copilot as "your everyday AI companion."…

Source: The Register | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:40 pm UTC

Independent reviewers find NASA Mars Sample Return plans are seriously flawed

Enlarge / The fate of a mission to return samples from Mars hangs in the balance. (credit: NASA)

An independent review of NASA's ambitious mission to return about half a kilogram of rocks and soil from the surface of Mars has found that the program is unworkable in its current form.

NASA had been planning to launch the critical elements of its Mars Sample Return mission, or MSR, as soon as 2028, with a total budget for the program of $4.4 billion. The independent review board's report, which was released publicly on Thursday, concludes that both this timeline and budget are wildly unrealistic.

The very earliest the mission could launch from Earth is 2030, and this opportunity would only be possible with a total budget of $8 billion to $11 billion.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:33 pm UTC

Don’t throw out those used coffee grounds—use them for 3D printing instead

Enlarge / A pendant, espresso cups, and flower planters 3D-printed from used coffee grounds. (credit: Michael Rivera)

Most coffee lovers typically dump the used grounds from their morning cuppa straight into the trash; those more environmentally inclined might use them for composting. But if you're looking for a truly novel application for coffee grounds, consider using them as a sustainable material for 3D printing, as suggested by a recent paper published in DIS '23: Proceedings of the 2023 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference.

“You can make a lot of things with coffee grounds,” said co-author Michael Rivera of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the ATLAS Institute, who specializes in digital fabrication and human-computer interactions. “And when you don’t want it anymore, you can throw it back into a coffee grinder and use the grounds to print again. Our vision is that you could just pick up a few things at a supermarket and online and get going.”

As 3D printers have moved into more widespread use, it has sparked concerns about environmental sustainability, from the high energy consumption to the thermoplastics used as a printing material—most commonly polylactic acid (PLA). PLA waste usually ends up in a landfill where it can take as long as 1,000 years to decompose, per Rivera. While there have been efforts to recycle PLA in the same way plastic (PET) soda bottles are typically recycled, it's an energy-intensive process that can't be done by the average user at home. Adding biomass fillers (bamboo or hemp fiber, oyster shells, and yes, spent coffee grounds) makes recycling even more labor and energy intensive.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:20 pm UTC

Yelp names and shames businesses paying for 5-star reviews

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg)

Yelp has started publicly naming and shaming businesses that pay for reviews. The review site's new index documents businesses offering everything from a crisp $100 bill for leaving the best review to a $400 Home Depot gift card for a five-star review. It also lists every business whose reviews have ever been suspected of suspicious activity, like spamming the site with multiple reviews from a single IP address.

Engadget dubbed Yelp's new index a "wall of shame," suggesting that the information may be used by federal agencies who have spent the past few years cracking down on paid fake reviews. This year, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a ban on "the use of deceptive reviews and testimonials," with penalties up to $50,000 for businesses "caught buying, selling or manipulating online reviews," Engadget reported.

Yelp wants to see the Federal Trade Commission enact the ban, Yelp's head of user operations, Noorie Malik, told Engadget. The FTC noted that Yelp reported 950 suspicious posts, users, or groups facilitating fake reviews in 2021 alone.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:05 pm UTC

The New FineWoven iPhone Cases Are 'Very Bad'

Several Slashdot readers have shared this report: Folks, what you've heard so far is true. Apple's new FineWoven iPhone cases and accessories are bad. Like, really bad. I've been puzzling over them for the past week, looking at them from different angles. Picking them up, setting them down, petting them. Seven days later, I still can't make sense of them and have no other choice but to say it out loud: FineWoven is very bad. FineWoven is a new fabric option you'll find on iPhone 15 cases, AirTag holders, and MagSafe wallets. Apple calls it a "luxurious and durable microtwill." It's silky, almost slippery to the touch, and costs $59 for any of the phone cases, $35 for an AirTag holder, and $99 for one of the new watch bands -- not the most expensive phone cases you can buy, but pretty darn pricey. Apple is pitching them as a premium replacement of sorts for the leather accessories it discontinued. The company won't sell leather iPhone cases and straps anymore because making them at Apple's scale "has a significant carbon footprint," according to Lisa Jackson, the company's environmental policy VP. That's fair; as my colleague Justine Calma puts it, "Cattle are a big source of greenhouse gas emissions because cows burp out methane, which is even more potent than CO2 when it comes to its ability to trap heat on the planet." If you want a fancy first-party iPhone case, then your new, more sustainable option would be FineWoven. But FineWoven is very much not the premium material that leather is. When I popped the MagSafe wallet out of its box, I could clearly see some places where it was already showing wear along the edges. Little bits of lint immediately caught on the fabric, too. And then there's the fingernail test.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:00 pm UTC

DuckDuckGo CEO Says It Takes 'Too Many Steps' To Switch From Google

An anonymous reader shares a report: DuckDuckGo, a privacy-centric search engine founded about 15 years ago, has languished with a small market share as consumers face difficulties switching from Google when the behemoth is the default option on computer screens, the upstart's founder said in an antitrust trial. Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo currently has about a 2.5% share of the market for search in the US, said CEO Gabriel Weinberg, and conducts about 100 million searches a day globally. In comparison, Google conducts several billion searches daily. Weinberg said about 30% to 40% of DuckDuckGo's users have a "strong preferenceâ for privacy and that most of the company's users switch over from Google." The company considers Google to be "far and away" its biggest competitor. "Switching is way harder than it needs to be," Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Weinberg said in federal court on Thursday. "There's just too many steps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 21 Sep 2023 | 8:00 pm UTC

EU game devs ask regulators to look at Unity’s “anti-competitive” bundling


In the wake of Unity's sudden fee structure change announcement last week, a European trade group representing thousands of game developers is calling on governments to "update their regulatory framework" to curb what they see as a "looming market failure" caused by "potentially anti-competitive market behavior."

In an open letter published last week, the European Games Developer Federation goes through a lot of the now-familiar arguments for why Unity's decision to charge up to $0.20 per game install will be bad for the industry. The federation of 23 national game developer trade associations argues that the new fee structure will make it "much harder for [small and midsize developers] to build reliable business plans" by "significantly increas[ing] the game development costs for most game developers relying on [Unity's] services."

The organization also publicly worries about "professional game education institutions" that may need to update their curriculums wholesale if there is a mass exodus from Unity's engine. "Many young industry professionals who have built their career plans on mastering Unity’s tools [will be put] in a very difficult position."

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 7:44 pm UTC

Haiti’s most powerful gang boss calls for uprising to overthrow prime minister

Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier issued call to arms as US looks to UN to approve Kenya-led mission to stem country’s growing violence

The most severe humanitarian crisis in the Americas has taken yet another dramatic turn after Haiti’s most powerful gang boss took to the streets to call for an armed uprising to overthrow the country’s unpopular prime minister.

Jimmy Chérizier, a police officer turned gang lord nicknamed “Barbecue”, issued his call to arms on Tuesday, as reports suggested the US was preparing to ask the UN security council to approve a Kenya-led intervention designed to address the Caribbean country’s escalating security crisis.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 21 Sep 2023 | 7:44 pm UTC

Epic payout: FTC opens Fortnite settlement claim floodgates

Parents and players alike can now apply for a piece of the $245m pie

The US Federal Trade Commission has opened up a website so that anyone who feels they were tricked into spending money in Epic Games' hit shooter Fortnite can ask for a share of a $245 million settlement pie. …

Source: The Register | 21 Sep 2023 | 7:43 pm UTC

The Pixel Fold’s screen repair will cost $900

We have more Pixel parts. The Pixel Fold, Google's biggest and most expensive phone, now has a whole parts selection up at iFixit.

The big-ticket item is a repair kit for the 7.6-inch inner display. If you were to somehow break the flexible OLED panel (who would ever do that?), the part will cost you a whopping $900. That's a lot for the display, but you're not actually buying just the top display. Even the "part only" option for $900 is the entire top half of the Pixel Fold. We're talking the display, the bezels around it, the entire metal frame and sides of the phone, the all-important hinge, side buttons, fingerprint sensor, and a whole bunch of wires. You wouldn't buy this and connect it to your original phone; you would part out your original phone and move a few pieces over into this, like the motherboard, batteries, cameras, and back plate.

There's also a flexible display "Fix Kit" for just $10 more that includes a bevy of iFixit tools, like screwdrivers, a few soft-pry tools, a heat pad, a suction cup, 14 different custom-cut adhesive strips, the heat-dissipating graphite sheet, and thermal paste; and for some reason there are even two new batteries.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 7:06 pm UTC

Windows 11 Gains Support for Managing Passkeys

At an event today focused on AI and security tools and new Surface devices, Microsoft announced that Windows 11 users will soon be able to take better advantage of passkeys, the digital credentials that can be used as an authentication method for websites and apps. From a report: Once the expanded passkeys support rolls out, Windows 11 users will be able to create a passkey using Windows Hello, Windows' biometric identity and access control feature. They'll then be able to use that passkey to access supported webs or apps using their face, fingerprint or PIN. Windows 11 passkeys can be managed on the devices on which they're stored, or saved to a mobile phone for added convenience. "For the past several years, we've been committed to working with our industry partners and the FIDO Alliance to further the passwordless future with passkeys," Microsoft wrote in a blog post this morning. "Passkeys are the cross-platform, cross-ecosystem future of accessing websites and applications." Microsoft began rolling out support for passkey management several months ago in the Windows Insider dev channel, but this marks the capability's general availability.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 21 Sep 2023 | 7:00 pm UTC

TransUnion reckons big dump of stolen customer data came from someone else

Prolific info-thief strikes again

Days after a miscreant boasted leaking a 3GB-plus database from TransUnion containing financial information on 58,505 people, the credit-checking agency has claimed the info was actually swiped from a third party.…

Source: The Register | 21 Sep 2023 | 6:58 pm UTC

AI-generated books force Amazon to cap e-book publications to 3 per day

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

On Monday, Amazon introduced a new policy that limits Kindle authors from self-publishing more than three books per day on its platform, reports The Guardian. The rule comes as Amazon works to curb abuses of its publication system from an influx of AI-generated books.

Amazon revealed the new limitations in a post on its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) forum. KDP allows self-published authors to list their works on the Amazon website. While the official announcement did not state a limit number, an Amazon representative told The Guardian about the three-book limit, which can be adjusted "if needed." Previously, there had been no limit on the number of books that authors could list daily.

Since the launch of ChatGPT, an AI assistant that can compose text in almost any style, some news outlets have reported a marked increase in AI-authored books, including some that seek to fool others by using established author names. Despite the anecdotal observations, Amazon is keeping its cool about the scale of the AI-generated book issue for now. "While we have not seen a spike in our publishing numbers," they write, "in order to help protect against abuse, we are lowering the volume limits we have in place on new title creations."

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 6:57 pm UTC

Bolsonaro met with army, navy and air force heads to discuss coup – reports

Claims by former Brazilian president’s ex-secretary prompt calls for alleged rightwing conspirators to be brought to justice

Jair Bolsonaro’s former secretary has reportedly told investigators his ex-boss met the heads of Brazil’s army, navy and air force late last year to discuss a “putschist plan” for a military coup.

The claims – reported by two of Brazil’s most important news outlets, O Globo and UOL – prompted calls for the alleged rightwing conspirators to be brought to justice.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 21 Sep 2023 | 6:51 pm UTC

New study looks again at how alcohol influences attraction

Enlarge / This beer isn't helping. (credit: Grady Reese)

For a phenomenon that is so deeply engrained in the public consciousness, the scientific evidence regarding what has been called "beer goggles" is surprisingly inconsistent. The term refers to finding people more attractive after drinking alcohol, and there is a wealth of scientific evidence both for and against its existence.

The effect has become a trope in popular culture, with countless shows and movies referencing it. Bart sees Aunt Selma as a beautiful young woman through a pair of Duff beer goggles in The Simpsons, while Mythbusters even tested whether the effect was real (they concluded it was plausible).

The latest study to throw its hat into the ring was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University. It has added to the pool of evidence that rejects the existence of beer goggles. But what the work found is that alcohol seems to give people “liquid courage,” increasing their willingness to interact with people they find attractive.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 21 Sep 2023 | 6:45 pm UTC

Mexican cartels are fifth-largest employers in the country, study finds

Organized crime groups have about 175,000 members and authors say the best way to reduce violence is to cut membership

Organised crime groups in Mexico have about 175,000 members – making them the fifth-biggest employer in the country, according to new research published in the journal Science.

Using a decade of data on homicides, missing persons and incarcerations, as well as information about interactions between rival factions, the paper published on Thursday mathematically modeled overall cartel membership, and how levels of violence would respond to a range of policies.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 21 Sep 2023 | 6:21 pm UTC

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