posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Apple just released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4, and the update notes contain some worrying language (via TechCrunch). Under kernel updates, Apple notes that “a malicious application may be able to elevate privileges,” and under WebKit updates, it says “a remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution.” After both statements, the update notes say, “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” What this means, broadly, is that you should update your iOS devices as soon as possible. To put the language into plain terms: Apple found a security hole in its operating systems, and it also has evidence that someone may have exploited it. The update notes don’t have any further details, so for now, we... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Tweetbot has long been one of the best third-party Twitter applications around for the iPhone and Mac, and today sees the launch of the latest version for iOS: Tweetbot 6, which converts the app into a paid subscription service instead of the single-time purchase that was previously offered. The new app makes the change to Twitter’s new API that the company introduced last summer, enabling some long-missing features in the premium Twitter app like Twitter cards and polls. That change does come with some trade-offs, though, including the removal of user-selected options for URL shortening, image uploads, and video uploads. The free version of the app offers some basic functionality in allowing users to view Twitter — but you’ll have to... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Image: Google Google is ending development on the virtual reality painting app Tilt Brush — one of the most well-known VR applications — and making it open source. Tilt Brush was acquired by Google in 2015 after launching for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and it was soon folded into the company’s larger VR plans, like its Google Cardboard and Daydream headsets. Tilt Brush’s main feature is three-dimensional painting in VR, but the app received interesting updates over its tenure at Google, including multiplayer support and an open-source toolkit that offered the ability to export Tilt Brush drawings for use in animation. With this latest announcement, that development is coming to an end, and future support of Tilt Brush is in the hands of the... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Verizon has big 5G plans for 2021 after formally launching its next-gen network in October of last year, and close to the top of its list of priorities is expanding coverage of its ultra-fast mmWave coverage. That flavor of 5G is currently restricted to select areas within select cities in the US, and it’s highly dependent on your proximity to a Verizon 5G site due to the inherent technology that powers it. Marketed under the name 5G Ultra Wideband (5G UW), this variety of 5G is the type with high speeds but poor coverage, meaning Verizon has its work cut out for it expanding network coverage in 2021. But in its earnings report on Tuesday, the company says it plans to nearly double its 5G UW network this year by adding more than 14,000... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Asus’ first Intel Iris Xe graphics card. | Image: Intel Intel is launching its first Iris Xe desktop graphics cards today. Originally codenamed “DG1,” these new desktop GPUs are primarily aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses and mainstream desktop PCs. Intel is teaming up with Asus and other partners to sell these cards to system integrators who will bundle them with prebuilt systems. Much like the Iris Xe Max graphics cards that debuted in laptops back in October, these desktop GPUs aren’t really designed for gaming. Intel is marketing them as a way to improve what’s offered on mainstream desktop PCs, with better graphics, multi-display support, and improved hardware acceleration for certain codecs. Intel is working with other partners on these cards. The cards... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge Gaming laptops that have Nvidia’s powerful RTX 30-series graphics chips inside are now shipping. I have a first look at MSI’s 2021 GS66 Stealth with the RTX 3080, and my colleague Monica Chin published two reviews for launch day: the Asus ROG Flow X13 (with its detachable RTX 3080 eGPU) and the MSI GP66 Leopard with the RTX 3070. We discovered something strange: an RTX 3070 can now be faster than an RTX 3080 in some cases. We saw this first-hand in a few benchmark runs, where the RTX 3070 in the GP77 Leopard slightly surpassed the RTX 3080 in the GS66 Stealth. It wasn’t a blowout, just a few odd frames per second more in the benchmarks built into games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. But... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Image: Byte Byte, a TikTok competitor, has been purchased by Clash, another TikTok competitor. It sounds as though Clash may be merged into Byte, but the details are vague for the time being. Clash’s website now directs visitors to download Byte, and the company says Clash won’t be available on the iOS App Store for “an extended period.” Clash co-founder Brendon McNerney told The New York Times that the two apps will be released “together as one product” within a few months. “The market for apps that let you create and post videos from your phone has become extremely saturated. There are many competitors with similar (or better) feature sets, and far more distribution,” Byte creator Dom Hofmann, who was previously a co-founder of the video app Vine,... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
AMD is firing on all cylinders these days: it’s the guts of every modern PlayStation and Xbox, it has the desktop CPUs to beat, it’s nearly caught up to Nvidia in GPU performance (if not availability), and it’s about to challenge Intel in laptops as well — with its Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs due later this year. All of that can translate to eye-popping dollar signs: the chipmaker just announced its Q4 and full-year 2020 earnings, and it’s adding billions of dollars wherever you look: $3.2 billion in revenue this quarter, up 53 percent from $2.1 billion last quarter $1.78 billion in profit this quarter, up 948 percent from $170 million last quarter* $9.76 billion in revenue this past year, up 45 percent from $6.7 billion in... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
Microsoft posted the second quarter of its 2021 financial results today, reporting revenue of $43.1 billion and a net income of $15.5 billion. Revenue is up 17 percent, and net income has increased by 33 percent. We saw some impressive growth for Surface, Xbox, and cloud-related services in Microsoft’s previous quarter, and it’s very much the same this time around. The PC market just had its first big growth in 10 years, with around 300 million shipments of devices during 2020. The pandemic has impacted the way a lot of people work or learn, and many have turned to laptops to continue remotely. Windows OEM non-pro revenue has grown by 24 percent for Microsoft, reflecting the demand from consumers. Windows OEM revenue overall, including... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge Google has released the latest version of Chrome OS, with a few new features for Chromebook owners to try out. If you’re a Chromebook owner, your device should have the newest version now or very shortly. First off, your Chromebook can now function as a smart display (like Google’s Nest Hub Max) when you’re not actively using it. Like the Nest Hub, it can act like a digital photo album and display pictures on its lock screen. You can select a photo album for your screensaver to cycle through or pick from a gallery of preloaded images. You can now use the lock screen for other smart display tasks as well. For example, you can play and pause music and check the weather without unlocking the Chromebook. To turn on the personalized lock... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Three weeks after Google promised it would add Apple’s mandatory app privacy labels “as soon as this week,” none of the company’s main apps have the labels, including Gmail, search, Photos, Docs, and YouTube. There have been some questions about whether Google is purposefully not updating its apps to avoid the labels, so I looked through every Google app in the iOS App Store to find out whether the updates have been coming. Some have: 12 apps now have the iOS privacy labels, though they may not be as recognizable as YouTube or Gmail: Stadia Google Translate Google Authenticator Google Play Movies and TV Google Classroom Google Fiber Google Fiber TV Wear OS Onduo for Diabetes Project Baseline Google Smart Lock Motion Stills - GIF,... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
Image: Apple Apple has officially released iOS 14.4 and a matching update for its HomePod mini speaker, adding the long-promised ultra-wideband (UWB) handoff feature that will allow newer iPhones to more seamlessly transfer music, calls, and podcasts between the two devices. While both the original HomePod and the HomePod mini have supported handing off music for some time, the smaller device features a U1 ultra-wideband chip that promises to make it even easier to transfer content over from an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11 device. The new U1-enhanced functionality also adds additional features, including new visual and haptic feedback. The U1-based system also will give the option to show listening suggestions when you bring your phone close and display... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Image: Vizio Vizio’s P-Series Quantum X remains the company’s flagship line of QLED televisions. If you are in the market for a new TV and have room to fit a 75-inch device on your entertainment station, Vizio’s P75Qx-H1 model is $1,600 at Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Vizio. This is $400 off its usual price and the lowest we have seen this TV go for yet. Released last fall, the P-Series Quantum X TVs can hit up to 3000 nits of peak brightness and support a variable refresh rate ranging from 48Hz to 120Hz at up to 4K resolution. Additionally, they feature 384 local dimming zones for great contrast. There are two HDMI 2.1 ports on the side and two HDMI 2.0 ports at the bottom. With HDMI 2.1 support, gamers will be able to take full advantage of their... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro Twitter on Tuesday announced a significant shift in the type of data it makes available for free to third-party academic researchers interested in studying user behaviors and trends related to online discourse. Now, Twitter says it will no longer require researchers pay for premium or enterprise developer access and will instead make the “full history of public conversation” — what the company refers to as its full-archive search endpoint — available to any researcher or developer who applies as part of the launch of a new academic research track. The change is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to improve the Twitter API, the set of tools it makes available for those outside the company to build something on top of Twitter or use... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
An American real estate investor, a Canadian investor, and a former Israeli Air Force pilot are paying $55 million each to be part of the first fully private astronaut crew to journey to the International Space Station. The trio will hitch a ride on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule early next year, with a veteran NASA astronaut as the commander. The Ax-1 mission, arranged by Houston, Texas-based space tourism company Axiom Space, is a watershed moment for the space industry as companies race to make space travel more accessible to private customers instead of governments. Private citizens have trekked to the space station in the past, but the Ax-1 mission marks the first to use a commercially built astronaut capsule: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon,... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Plex, well known as a service for streaming movies, music, and TV shows from your own computer, is now adding another thing you can stream: video games (via Protocol). Plex announced the new service, called Plex Arcade, on its blog and also launched a website for it. The service will cost $3 a month if you’re a Plex Pass subscriber, and $5 a month if you’re not. Instead of focusing on modern console or phone games like its competitors, Plex lets you play Atari games. It’s taking the arcade name seriously, as you can play arcade classics from Atari, like Centipede, Super Breakout, and Missile Command, as well as games from the Atari 2600 and 7800. Overall, there are 27 games available on the service. Unlike other game subscription... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
A Cypriot man pleaded guilty to hacking and blackmailing several US companies. Joshua Epifaniou admitted to computer fraud and paid $600,000 in restitution to his victims. He was extradited from Cyprus and will be sentenced on March 3rd. Epifaniou operated what he described as a “hacking, extortion, blackmailing, [and] bluffing” scheme from 2014 to 2016. Going by aliases that included “Charley Sullivan” and “Richard Charley,” he picked targets based on their Alexa traffic rankings. That led him to several well-known online businesses — including the Turner Broadcasting-owned sports site Bleacher Report, the DIY electronics company Adafruit, and the California-based gaming portal Armor Games. Epifaniou exploited security vulnerabilities... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images In a hearing on her nomination for Commerce Department secretary on Tuesday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told lawmakers that she will pursue changes to Section 230 if confirmed. Responding to questions posed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Raimondo said that she would use the tools available through the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to convene stakeholders, industry leaders, lawmakers and others to identify the means of reform to the pivotal internet law. “I think platform accountability is important because I’ve seen in my own state that misinformation hurts people,” Raimondo said. “But of course, that reform would have to be balanced against the fact that these businesses... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles was the biggest COVID-19 testing site in the United States, with the ability to test over 10,000 people each day. But two weeks into January, amid a chaotic and slow-moving COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the city shut down the site in order to convert it into a vaccination site. The city closed another testing site, as well, temporarily slashing government-run COVID-19 testing capacity by one-third. It’s a pattern playing out across the country, in states like Florida, Nevada, and Illinois. Health departments are working with limited resources to fight COVID-19, and many had to make a choice: keep testing at the same level or focus on vaccinating. “We remain very concerned that there’s only so many resources to... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 24 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge In Apple and Epic’s ongoing court battle over App Store fees, one of the key sticking points has been Apple’s insistence on maintaining a 30 percent cut as a cornerstone of the storefront. But newly revealed Apple executive emails from the case show that the App Store rules that Apple flouts as essential to the fairness of the app economy were carefully negotiated into existence over time in a way that ensured Apple wasn’t “leaving money on the table.” The emails date back to a 2011 discussion, which included Apple software and services leader Eddy Cue, around how Apple would handle subscription video applications on the Apple TV — an important conversation, given the rise in popularity of streaming services. And while the discussion... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted about 24 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Verizon Fios, the company’s fiber optic network, appears to be experiencing outages in many locations on the US East Coast. There are more than 22,000 user reports of problems with Verizon on Downdetector, and there appear to be hotspots on Downdetector’s outage map for Verizon in Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, and more. A few Verge staffers are experiencing outages as well. A screenshot of Downdetector’s outage map for Verizon, captured at 12:25PM ET. Many people on Twitter are also reporting issues with their Fios service. Verizon’s support account has replied to some individuals reporting problems, saying that it has been “informed of a potential outage in the area.” The account also said there has been a... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on the verge
Image: Sony Sony has today announced its most advanced mirrorless camera yet: the $6,500 Alpha 1 features a new 50.1-megapixel full-frame sensor, is capable of continuous photo shooting at 30 images per second, and can record 8K video at 30fps. It’ll ship beginning in March. The powerhouse camera is priced significantly above the highest-end mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon, but Sony promises that customers who buy in will be rewarded with “the most technologically advanced, innovative camera” it’s ever made. It sounds like a dream for sports and action photographers: even with its large sensor, Sony says the buffer lets you shoot “up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images or 165 full-frame JPEG images at up to 30 frames per second with the... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on the verge
The Xperia Pro can be used as an external monitor for a camera. | Image: Sony The Xperia Pro, Sony’s first smartphone with 5G in the US, is launching today for $2,499.99. Sony is targeting the device at professional users, who it hopes will use its HDMI input to turn the phone into an external camera monitor and its 5G connectivity to quickly upload or live-stream footage. Sony says it currently has no plans to release the Xperia Pro in Europe. Outside of its HDMI input and US 5G support, the Xperia Pro’s hardware is very similar to last year’s Xperia 1 II (which shipped with 5G support in Europe but was limited to 4G LTE in the US). That means it’s powered by a Snapdragon 865 processor with a 4,000mAh battery, and around the back, there are the same 12-megapixel wide, telephoto, and ultrawide cameras. The Xperia... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on the verge
Disney has released the second trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon, giving the best look yet at the upcoming animated fantasy film, which is set to hit both theaters and Disney Plus’ Premier Access program on March 5th. The new trailer sees Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) putting together a crew of warriors and con artists (including a surprisingly nimble baby) to join her on a quest to find the titular “last dragon,” which legends promise can save her people. But, as the trailer reveals, the mythical dragon, Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina) turns out to be, in her own words “that one kid [in a group project] who doesn’t pitch in as much but still ends up with the same grade.” Plus, the movie looks absolutely stunning, as Disney Animation... Continue reading…

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on the verge
Photo: Vizio Super Bowl Sunday is less than two weeks away! Sure, the game itself won’t be streaming in 4K resolution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil yourself with a new UHD television for your bedroom or living room. Over at Best Buy and B&H Photo, you can pick up Vizio’s 65-inch M-series (M65Q7-H1 model) 4K television for only $600. It’s not the lowest price we have seen it go for ($580), yet this is still a great deal given the TV’s specs and size. Vizio’s M65Q7-H1 stands out (especially at this price point) because of its QLED panel, allowing for a more accurate contrast and colors, unlike televisions with standard LED. Don’t have room for a 65-inch television? Not a problem. Hisense’s 55-inch Class H8 4K TV (model 55H8G) is a good... Continue reading…

Read More...