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LinuxSecurity - Security Advisories

  • Multiple Exim security vulnerabilities disclosed
    The "Zero Day Initiative" site has posted a number of advisories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)describing a number of flaws in the Exim mail server, some of which areexploitable remotely. These problems, allegedly, were first reported tothe project in June 2022, well over one year ago. There is somedisagreement over the timing of events, with Exim developer HeikoSchlittermann claimingthat no actual information was received until last May, and an anonymousZDI representative disputingthat story.
    Either way, the vulnerabilities are now disclosed, but patches are not yeton offer; Schlittermann said that "Fixes are available in a protectedrepository and are ready to be applied by the distributionmaintainers", so hopefully that situation will change soon.

  • [$] Impressions from the GNU Project's 40th anniversary celebration
    On September 27, 1983, Richard Stallman announced thefounding of the GNU project. His goal, which seemed wildly optimisticand unattainable at the time, was to write a complete Unix-like operatingsystem from the beginningand make it freely available. Exactly 40 years later, the GNU projectcelebrated with a hacker meeting inSwitzerland. Your editor had the good fortune to be able to attend.

  • Security updates for Friday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, jetty9, and vim), Gentoo (Fish, GMP, libarchive, libsndfile, Pacemaker, and sudo), Oracle (nodejs:16 and nodejs:18), Red Hat (virt:av and virt-devel:av), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (chromium, firefox, Golang Prometheus, iperf, libqb, and xen), and Ubuntu (linux-raspi).

  • [$] Security policies for GNU toolchain projects
    While the CVE process was created in response to real problems, it's increasingly clear that CVE numbers arecreating problems of their own. At the 2023 GNU Tools Cauldron,Siddhesh Poyarekar expressed the frustration that toolchain developers havefelt as the result of arguing with security researchers about CVE-numberassignments. In response, the GNU toolchain community is trying to bettercharacterize what is — and is not — considered to be a security-relevantbug in its software.

  • Security updates for Thursday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (ncurses), Fedora (emacs, firecracker, firefox, libkrun, python-oauthlib, and virtiofsd), Mageia (glibc and vim), Oracle (18), SUSE (bind, binutils, busybox, cni, cni-plugins, container-suseconnect, containerd, curl, exempi, ffmpeg, firefox, go1.19-openssl, go1.20-openssl, gpg2, grafana, gsl, gstreamer-plugins-bad, gstreamer-plugins-base, libpng15, libwebp, mutt, nghttp2, open-vm-tools, pmix, python-brotlipy, python3, python310, qemu, quagga, rubygem-actionview-5_1, salt, supportutils, xen, and xrdp), and Ubuntu (libwebp, minidlna, puma, and python2.7, python3.5).

  • [$] Moving the kernel to large block sizes
    Using larger block sizes in the kernel for I/O is a recurring topic instorage and block-layer circles. The topic came up in discussions at the Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit (LSFMM)back in May. One of the participants in those discussions, Hannes Reinecke, gavea talk at Open Source Summit Europe 2023 with an overview of the reasonsbehind using larger blocks for I/O, the current status of that work, andwhere it all might lead from here.

  • Security updates for Wednesday
    Security updates have been issued by Oracle (libtiff), Red Hat (libtiff, nodejs:16, and nodejs:18), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (bind, cacti, cacti-spine, ImageMagick, kernel, libwebp, netatalk, open-vm-tools, postfix, quagga, wire, and wireshark), and Ubuntu (cups, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-oracle, linux-bluefield, and linux-bluefield, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4).

  • [$] AI from a legal perspective
    The AI boom is clearly upon us, but there are still plenty of questionsswirling around this technology. Some of those questions are legal onesand there have been lawsuits filed to try to get clarification—and perhapsmonetary damages. Van Lindberg is a lawyer who is well-known in theopen-source world; he came to OpenSource Summit Europe 2023 in Bilbao, Spain to try to put the currentwork in AI into its legal context.

  • Firefox 118.0 released
    Version118.0 of the Firefox browser has been released. Changes includeimproved fingerprinting prevention and automated translation: "Automatedtranslation of web content is now available to Firefox users! Unlikecloud-based alternatives, translation is done locally in Firefox, so thatthe text being translated does not leave your machine."

  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (exempi, glib2.0, lldpd, and netatalk), Fedora (curl, libppd, and linux-firmware), Oracle (kernel), and SUSE (Cadence, frr, modsecurity, python-CairoSVG, python-GitPython, and tcpreplay).

  • LibrePCB 1.0.0 Released
    The 1.0 version of the LibrePCB "free, cross-platform, easy-to-use electronic design automation suite to draw schematics and design printed circuit boards". As noted in a blog post back in May, a grant has helped spur development of the tool. The focus for the release has been in adding features that were needed so that "there should be no show stopper anymore which prevents you from using LibrePCB for more complex PCB [printed circuit board] designs". New features include a 3D viewer and export format for working with designs in a mechanical computer aided design (CAD) tool, support for manufacturer part number (MFN) management, and lots of board editor features such as thermal relief pads in planes, blind & buried vias,keepout zones, and more. [Thanks to Alphonse Ogulla.]

  • [$] The PuzzleFS container filesystem
    The last year or so has seen the posting of a few new filesystem types thatare aimed at supporting container workloads. PuzzleFS, presented at the2023 Kangrejos gathering by ArielMiculas, is another contender in this area, but it has some features of itsown, including a novel compression mechanism and an implementation writtenin Rust.

  • Security updates for Monday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, elfutils, flac, ghostscript, libapache-mod-jk, lldpd, and roundcube), Fedora (linux-firmware, roundcubemail, and thunderbird), Mageia (curl, file, firefox/thunderbird, ghostpcl, libtommath, and nodejs), Oracle (kernel, open-vm-tools, qemu, and virt:ol and virt-devel:rhel), SUSE (bind, busybox, djvulibre, exempi, ImageMagick, libqb, libssh2_org, opera, postfix, python, python36, renderdoc, webkit2gtk3, and xrdp), and Ubuntu (accountsservice and open-vm-tools).

  • Kernel prepatch 6.6-rc3
    The third 6.6 kernel prepatch is out fortesting.
    Unusually, we have a large chunk of changes in filesystems. Part of it is the vfs-level revert of some of the timestamp handling that needs to soak a bit more, and part of it is some xfs fixes. With a few other filesystem fixes too.
    The multi-grain timestamp changes turnedout to cause the occasional regression (timestamps that could appear to gobackward) and were taken back out.

LXer Linux News

  • The 6 Best Tools to Create a Bootable USB From an ISO in Linux
    Creating a bootable USB drive is a cornerstone skill for anyone interested in exploring different operating systems or working in system administration. A bootable USB drive allows a user to boot into a different operating system, independent of the primary OS installed on the machine. This is particularly useful for system recovery, testing new OS builds, or installing a new system altogether.

  • Community is the Lifeblood of Freedom in the GNU/Linux World
    THE GNU/Linux operating system was created in the 1980s by communities, for communities (even literal basement dwellers). The operating system became so robust and attractive that a trade group of corporate actors (mostly proprietary) formed malevolent fronts through which to promote toxic waste like Hyper-V and exFAT.

  • Guide to Install JupyterLab on Debian 12
    Jupyter is a free and open-source web application for interactive computing and data science. In this guide, we'll take you through the installation of JupyterLab on Debian 12 step-by-step.

  • Next-Generation Raspberry Pi 5 Opens Up for Preorders
    The Raspberry Pi Foundation has unveiled an upgraded single-board computer featuring a faster CPU and GPU for enhanced performance. Highlights of this SBC include GbE with Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) support, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi/BL 5.0, dual mini-HDMI ports with 4K resolution among other features. The new Raspberry Pi 5 is built around the following […]

  • Routers have been rooted by Chinese spies, US and Japan warn
    BlackTech crew looking to steal sensitive data trafficChinese government spies may be hiding in your Cisco routers and using that access to steal intellectual property and other sensitive data, according to officials in the US and Japan.…

  • How to enable ZRAM on Raspberry Pi
    Most Linux systems tend to use a little bit of storage on the hard drive as swap space, where temporary files can be stored by the system and then easily recalled later. This speeds up operations, without needing to take up any space inside of the physical memory (RAM). On a Raspberry Pi, this same convention can prove problematic due to the majority of devices relying on an SD card as the primary (or only) storage device.

  • How to Install WordPress on Debian 12
    Learn how to install WordPress on Debian 12 with our in-depth tutorial. Read on and learn more about this topic. WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP. It is used for creating websites with various plugins and themes and is customizable in every aspect according to client needs. In this blog post, we will install WordPress with the LAMP stack. Installing WordPress with a LAMP stack is a straightforward process that may take up to 15 minutes.

Linux Insider"LinuxInsider"


  • Republican Presidential Candidates Criticize TikTok as 'Dangerous', 'Controlled by Communist China'
    Wednesday seven U.S. Republican candidates for President held their second debate before the 2024 primary — during which TikTok led to some surprisingly heated attacks against entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy: Moderator: Mr. Ramaswamy, TikTok is banned on government-issed devices because of its ties to the Chinese government. Yet you joined TikTok at the dinner with boxer and influencer Jake Paul. Should the commander in chief be so easily persuaded by an influencer? Vivek Ramaswamy: So the answer is, I have a radical idea for the Republican party: we need to win elections. And part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are. So when I get into office, I've been very clear. Kids under the age of 16 should not be using addictive social media. We're only going to ever get to declaring independence from China, which I favor, if we actually win. So while the Democrats are running rampant reaching the next generation three-to-one, there's exactly one person in the Republican party — which talks a big game about reaching young people — and that's me.... [Scattered applause] Donald Trump declined to participate in the debate. But his former vice president Mike Pence immediately interrupted to say that "TikTok is controlled by the Chinese communist party." Continuing criticisms he'd made in an earlier interview, Pence said that TikTok "compromises the privacy of Americans every day." Ramaswamy responded "And that is why we will end it once we win this election." This immediately drew a strong response from from South Carolina governor Nikki Haley (also a former US ambassador to the UN): Nikki Haley: This is infuriating, because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps — Ramaswamy: Yes it is. Haley: — that we could have. And once you've got — honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say. Because I can't believe that — here you've got a TikTok situation. What they're doing is these — 150 million people are on TikTok. That means they can get your contacts, they can get your financial information, they can get your emails, they can get — Ramaswamy: Let me just say — Haley: — your text messages, they can get all of these things. Ramaswamy: Hurling — this is important. This is very important for our party — Haley: China knows exactly what they're doing. Ramaswamy: This is very important for our party, and I'm going to say it — Haley: And what we've seen is you've gone and you've helped China go make medicines in China, not America. Ramaswamy: Excuse me, excuse me — Haley: You're now wanting kids to go and get on this social media that's dangerous for all of us. You went and you were in business with the Chinese... We can't trust you. We can't trust you. We can't have TikTok in our kids' lives. We need to ban it. [Loud applause] Moderator: You have 15 seconds, Mr. Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy: I think we would be better served as a Republican party if we're not sitting here hurling personal insults, and actually have a legitimate debate.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • New in Firefox 118: Private Local, Browser-Based Website Translating
    An anonymous reader shared this report from browsers have had tools that let you translate websites for years. But they typically rely on cloud-based translation services like Google Translate or Microsoft's Bing Translator. The latest version of Mozilla's Firefox web browser does things differently. Firefox 118 brings support for Fullpage Translation, which can translate websites entirely in your browser. In other words, everything happens locally on your computer without any data sent to Microsoft, Google, or other companies. Here's how it works. Firefox will notice when you visit a website in a supported language that's different from your default language, and a translate icon will show up in the address bar. Tap that icon and you'll see a pop-up window that asks what languages you'd like to translate from and to. If the browser doesn't automatically detect the language of the website you're visiting, you can set these manually... You can also tap the settings icon in the translation menu and choose to "always translate" or "never translate" a specific language so that you won't have to manually invoke the translation every time you visit sites in that language. Firefox is support nine languages so far.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Canonical's Snap Store Restricts Uploads Following Possible Security Issue
    Yesterday the "temporary suspension" of automatic Snap registrations was announced on Canonical's Snapcraft forum by developer advocate Igor Ljubuncic, after what was described as a "security incident".On September 28, 2023, the Snap Store team was notified of a potential security incident. A number of snap users reported several recently published and potentially malicious snaps. As a consequence of these reports, the Snap Store team has immediately taken down these snaps, and they can no longer be searched or installed. Furthermore, the Snap Store team has placed a temporary manual review requirement on all new snap registrations, effectively immediately... We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our snap publishers and developers. However, we believe it is the most prudent action at this moment. We want to thoroughly investigate this incident without introducing any noise into the system, and more importantly, we want to make sure our users have a safe and trusted experience with the Snap Store. Please bear with us while we conduct our investigation. We will provide a more detailed update in the coming days. Some background from the Linux blog OMG Ubuntu:This isn't the first time the Snap Store has had issues with icky uploads. In 2018 an innocuous-sounding app hid crypto-mining capabilities unbeknownst to users. Not disclosing this in its description rendered it malware (Canonical later clarified to say crypto-miners are allowed so long as they're disclosed). In this instance it appears that folks have uploaded apps purporting to be official apps/tools for crypto ledger tool Ledger and these apps were able to get folks backups codes (which people enter thinking it's legit) and ...the bad actors can use that to extract funds.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • People Experience 'New Dimensions of Reality' When Dying, Groundbreaking Study Reports
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Scientists have witnessed brain patterns in dying patients that may correlate to commonly reported "near-death" experiences (NDEs) such as lucid visions, out-of-body sensations, a review of one's own life, and other "dimensions of reality," reports a new study. The results offer the first comprehensive evidence that patient recollections and brain waves point to universal elements of NDEs. During an expansive multi-year study led by Sam Parnia, an intensive care doctor and an associate professor in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Health, researchers observed 567 patients in 25 hospitals around the world as they underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after suffering cardiac arrest, most of which were fatal. Electroencephalogram (EEG) brain signals captured from dozens of the patients revealed that episodes of heightened consciousness occurred up to an hour after cardiac arrest. Though most of the patients in the study were sadly not resuscitated by CPR, 53 patients were brought back to life. Of the survivors, 11 patients reported a sense of awareness during CPR and six reported a near-death experience. Parnia and his colleagues suggest that the transition from life to death can trigger a state of disinhibition in the brain that "appears to facilitate lucid understanding of new dimensions of reality -- including people's deeper consciousness -- all memories, thoughts, intentions and actions towards others from a moral and ethical perspective," a finding with profound implications for CPR research, end-of-life care, and consciousness, among other fields, according to a new study published in Resuscitation. [...] "One of the things that was unique about this project is that this was the first time ever where scientists had put together a method to examine for signs of lucidity and consciousness in people as they're being revived by looking for brain markers, or brain signatures of consciousness, using an EEG device as well as a brain oxygen monitor," Parnia explained. "Most doctors are taught and believe that the brain dies after about five or 10 minutes of oxygen deprivation," Parnia said. "One of the key points that comes out of this study is that that is actually not true. Although the brain flatlines after the heart stops, and that happens within seconds, it doesn't mean that it's permanently damaged and [has] died. It's just hibernating. What we were able to show is that actually, the brain can respond and restore function again, even after an hour later, which opens up a whole window of opportunity for doctors to start new treatments." Indeed, the study reports that "near-normal/physiological EEG activity (delta, theta, alpha, beta rhythms) consistent with consciousness and a possible resumption of a network-level of cognitive and neuronal activity emerged up to 35-60 minutes into CPR. This is the first report of biomarkers of consciousness during CA/CPR."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • NSA Is Starting an AI Security Center
    The Associated Press reports: The National Security Agency is starting an artificial intelligence security center -- a crucial mission as AI capabilities are increasingly acquired, developed and integrated into U.S. defense and intelligence systems, the agency's outgoing director announced Thursday. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone said the center would be incorporated into the NSA's Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, where it works with private industry and international partners to harden the U.S. defense-industrial base against threats from adversaries led by China and Russia. Nakasone was asked about using AI to automate the analysis of threat vectors and red-flag alerts -- and he reminded the audience that U.S. intelligence and defense agencies already use AI. "AI helps us, But our decisions are made by humans. And that's an important distinction," Nakasone said. "We do see assistance from artificial intelligence. But at the end of the day, decisions will be made by humans and humans in the loop." Nakasone said it would become "NSA's focal point for leveraging foreign intelligence insights, contributing to the development of best practices guidelines, principles, evaluation, methodology and risk frameworks" for both AI security and the goal of promoting the secure development and adoption of AI within "our national security systems and our defense industrial base." He said it would work closely with U.S. industry, national labs, academia and the Department of Defense as well as international partners.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • NASA Opens OSIRIS-REx's Asteroid-Sample Canister
    Mike Wall writes via OSIRIS-REx's asteroid-sample canister just creaked open for the first time in more than seven years. Scientists at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston lifted the canister's outer lid on Tuesday (Sept. 26), two days after OSIRIS-REx's return capsule landed in the desert of northern Utah. "Scientists gasped as the lid was lifted," NASA's Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division, which is based at JSC, wrote Tuesday in a post on X (formerly Twitter). The operation revealed "dark powder and sand-sized particles on the inside of the lid and base," they added. That powder once resided on the surface of an asteroid named Bennu, the focus of the OSIRIS-REx mission. OSIRIS-REx launched toward the 1,650-foot-wide (500 meters) Bennu in September 2016, arrived in December 2018 and snagged a hefty sample from the space rock in October 2020 using its Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, or TAGSAM. The asteroid material landed in Utah inside OSIRIS-REx's return capsule on Sunday (Sept. 24), then made its way to Houston by plane on Monday (Sept. 25). It will be stored and curated at JSC, where the team will oversee its distribution to scientists around the world. Researchers will study the sample for decades to come, seeking insights about the the solar system's formation and early evolution, as well as the role that carbon-rich asteroids like Bennu may have played in seeding Earth with the building blocks of life. But that work isn't ready to begin; the ARES team hasn't even accessed the main asteroid sample yet. Doing so requires disassembly of the TAGSAM apparatus, an intricate operation that will take considerable time.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Six Young People Take 32 Countries To Court Over Climate Change
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: What I felt was fear," says Claudia Duarte Agostinho as she remembers the extreme heatwave and fires that ripped through Portugal in 2017 and killed more than 100 people. "The wildfires made me really anxious about what sort of future I would have." Claudia, 24, her brother Martim, 20, and her sister Mariana, 11, are among six young Portuguese people who have filed a lawsuit against 32 governments, including all EU member states, the UK, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. They accuse the countries of insufficient action over climate change and failing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions enough to hit the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5C. The case is the first of its kind to be filed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. If it is successful, it could have legally-binding consequences for the governments involved. The first hearing in the case is being held on Wednesday. Aged from 11 to 24, the six claimants argue that the forest fires that have occurred in Portugal each year since 2017 are a direct result of global warming. They claim that their fundamental human rights -- including the right to life, privacy, family life and to be free from discrimination -- are being violated due to governments' reluctance to fight climate change. They say they have already been experiencing significant impacts, especially because of extreme temperatures in Portugal forcing them to spend time indoors and restricting their ability to sleep, concentrate or exercise. Some also suffer from eco-anxiety, allergies and respiratory conditions including asthma. None of the young applicants is seeking financial compensation. Lawyers representing the six young claimants are expected to argue in court that the 32 governments' current policies are putting the world on course for 3C of global warming by the end of the century. [...] In separate and joint responses to the case, the governments argue that the claimants have not sufficiently established that they have suffered as a direct consequence of climate change or the Portuguese wildfires. They claim there is no evidence to show climate change poses an immediate risk to human life or health, and also argue that climate policy is beyond the scope of the European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction. "These six young people from Portugal, who are ordinary individuals concerned about their future, will be facing 32 legal teams, hundreds of lawyers representing governments whose inaction is already harming them," says Gearoid O Cuinn, director of Global Legal Action Network (GLAN). "So this is a real David vs Goliath case that is seeking a structural change to put us on a much better track in terms of our future."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Linux Interoperability Is Maturing Fast Thanks To a Games Console
    Liam Proven writes via The Register: Steam OS is the Arch-based distro for a handheld Linux games console, and Valve is aggressively pushing Linux's usability and Windows interoperability for the device. Two unusual companies, Valve Software and Igalia, are working together to improve the Linux-based OS of the Steam Deck handheld games console. The device runs a Linux distro called Steam OS 3.0, but this is a totally different distro from the original Steam OS it announced a decade ago. Steam OS 1 and 2 were based on Debian, but Steam OS 3 is based on Arch Linux, as Igalia developer Alberto Garcia described in a talk entitled How SteamOS is contributing to the Linux ecosystem. He explained that although Steam OS is built from some fairly standard components -- the normal filesystem hierarchy, GNU user space, systemd and dbus -- Steam OS has quite a few unique features. It has two distinct user interfaces: by default, it starts with the Steam games launcher, but users can also choose an option called Switch to Desktop, which results in a regular KDE Plasma desktop, with the ability to install anything: a web browser, normal Linux tools, and non-Steam games. Obviously, though, Steam OS's raison d'etre is to run Steam games, and most of those are Windows games which will never get native Linux versions. Valve's solution is Proton, an open-source tool to run Windows games on Linux. It's formed from a collection of different FOSS packages, notably: [Wine, DXVK, VKD3D-Proton, and GStreamer]. The result is a remarkable degree of compatibility for some of the most demanding Windows apps around [...]. You can view Garcia's 49-page presentation here (PDF).

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • $260 Million AI Startup Releases 'Unmoderated' Chatbot Via Torrent
    "On Tuesday of this week, French AI startup Mistral tweeted a magnet link to their first publicly released, open sourced LLM," writes Slashdot reader jenningsthecat. "That might be merely interesting if not for the fact that the chatbot has remarkably few guardrails." 404 Media reports: According to a list of 178 questions and answers composed by AI safety researcher Paul Rottger and 404 Media's own testing, Mistral will readily discuss the benefits of ethnic cleansing, how to restore Jim Crow-style discrimination against Black people, instructions for suicide or killing your wife, and detailed instructions on what materials you'll need to make crack and where to acquire them. It's hard not to read Mistral's tweet releasing its model as an ideological statement. While leaders in the AI space like OpenAI trot out every development with fanfare and an ever increasing suite of safeguards that prevents users from making the AI models do whatever they want, Mistral simply pushed its technology into the world in a way that anyone can download, tweak, and with far fewer guardrails asking users trying to make the LLM produce controversial statements. "My biggest issue with the Mistral release is that safety was not evaluated or even mentioned in their public comms. They either did not run any safety evals, or decided not to release them. If the intention was to share an 'unmoderated' LLM, then it would have been important to be explicit about that from the get go," Rottger told 404 Media in an email. "As a well-funded org releasing a big model that is likely to be widely-used, I think they have a responsibility to be open about safety, or lack thereof. Especially because they are framing their model as an alternative to Llama2, where safety was a key design principle." The report notes that Mistral will be "essentially impossible to censor or delete from the internet" since it's been released as a torrent. "Mistral also used a magnet link, which is a string of text that can be read and used by a torrent client and not a 'file' that can be deleted from the internet."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Kia and Hyundai Blame TikTok and Instagram For Their Cars Getting Stolen
    Aaron Gordon writes via Motherboard: Kia and Hyundai say it is not their fault that their cars are being stolen in an unprecedented theft surge made possible by the vehicles lacking a basic anti-theft technology virtually every other car has, according to a recent court filing. Instead, the companies point the finger at social media companies, such as TikTok and Instagram, where instructions on how to steal the cars have been widely shared and thieves show off their stolen cars. The lawyers representing the two corporations -- which are owned by the same parent company -- are not subtle about this argument. The filing (PDF) -- in which the company is arguing a roughly $200 million class-action settlement ought to be approved by the court -- includes an entire section heading titled "Social Media and Intervening Third-Party Criminals Caused An Unprecedented Increase In Thefts." The lawyers argue in that section that because Kia and Hyundai vehicles have "not been the subject of significant theft" before the Kia Boys social media trend, social media and the people who steal the cars -- and not the car companies -- are to blame for the thefts. This argument is summarized in the section titled "Social Media Incited Unprecedented Rise In Thefts." The filing broadly reflects both the public communications strategy Kia and Hyundai have used throughout this crisis and some of the national news headlines that have covered the story,

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Supreme Court To Decide If State Laws Limiting Social Media Platforms Violate Constitution
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Associated Press: The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether state laws that seek to regulate Facebook, TikTok, X and other social media platforms violate the Constitution. The justices will review laws enacted by Republican-dominated legislatures and signed by Republican governors in Florida and Texas. While the details vary, both laws aim to prevent the social media companies from censoring users based on their viewpoints. The court's announcement, three days before the start of its new term, comes as the justices continue to grapple with how laws written at the dawn of the digital age, or earlier, apply to the online world. The justices had already agreed to decide whether public officials can block critics from commenting on their social media accounts [...]. Separately, the high court also could consider a lower-court order limiting executive branch officials' communications with social media companies about controversial online posts. The new social media cases follow conflicting rulings by two appeals courts, one of which upheld the Texas law, while the other struck down Florida's statute. By a 5-4 vote, the justices kept the Texas law on hold while litigation over it continues.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Netflix Ships Its Last DVD
    It's official: Netflix has shipped its last DVD. "For 25 years, we redefined how people watched films and series at home, and shared the excitement as they opened their mailboxes to our iconic red envelopes," says Netflix in a blog post. "It's the end of an era, but the DVD business built our foundation for the years to come -- giving members unprecedented choice and control, a wide variety of titles to choose from and the freedom to watch as much as they want." Netflix announced the shut down of its DVD business in April. Here's an infographic the company shared in its post:

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Norway Wants Facebook Behavioral Advertising Banned Across Europe
    Jude Karabus writes via The Register: Norway has told the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) it believes a countrywide ban on Meta harvesting user data to serve up advertising on Facebook and Instagram should be made permanent and extended across Europe. The Scandinavian country's Data Protection Authority, Datatilsynet, had been holding back Facebook parent Meta from scooping up data on its citizens with the threat of fines of one million Kroner (about $94,000) per day if it didn't comply. In August, it said Meta hadn't been playing ball and started serving up the daily fines. However, the ban that resulted in these fines, put into place in July, expires on November 3 â" hence Norway's request for a "binding decision." The July order came after a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling [PDF] earlier that month stating Meta's data processing operation was also hauling in protected data â" race and ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation etc. â" when it cast its behavioral ads net. Norway is not a member of the EU but is part of the European single market, and the CJEU, as Europe's top court, has the job of making sure the application and interpretation of law within the market is compliant with European treaties (this part would apply to Norway) as well as ensuring that legislation adopted by the EU is applied the same way across all Member States. Datatilsynet's ruling said the central processing of that data by the American company was putting Meta in violation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. A spokesperson for Meta said it was "surprised" by the Norwegian authority's actions, "given that Meta has already committed to moving to the legal basis of consent for advertising in the EU/EEA." It added: "We remain in active discussions with the relevant data protection authorities on this topic via our lead regulator in the EU, the Irish Data Protection Commission, and will have more to share in due course."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • $5,000 Google Jamboard Dies In 2024 -- Cloud-Based Apps Will Stop Working, Too
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Even more Google products are getting the ax this week. Next up is Google Jamboard, a $5,000 digital whiteboard (and its $600-a-year fee) and software ecosystem marketed to schools and corporations. Google has a new post detailing the "Next phase of digital whiteboarding for Google Workspace," and the future for Jamboard is that there is no future. In "late 2024," the whole project will shut down, and we don't just mean the hardware will stop being for sale; the cloud-based apps will stop working, too. Most people probably haven't ever heard of Jamboard, but this was a giant 55-inch, 4K touchscreen on a rolling stand that launched in 2016. Like most Google touchscreens, this ran Android with a locked-down custom interface on top instead of the usual phone interface. The digital whiteboard could be drawn on using the included stylus or your fingers, and it even came with a big plastic "eraser" that would remove items. The SoC was an Nvidia Jetson TX1 (a quad-core Cortex-A57 CPU attached to a beefy Maxwell GPU), and it had a built-in camera, microphone, and speakers for video calls. There was HDMI input and Google cast support, and it came in whimsical colors like red, gray, and blue (it feels like Google was going for an iMac rainbow and quit halfway). "We're grateful to the consumers, educators, students, and businesses who have used Jamboard since its launch in 2016," says Google. "While Jamboard users make up a small portion of our Workspace customer base, we understand that this change will impact some of you, and we're committed to helping you transition..." "Over the coming months, we'll provide Jamboard app users and admins clear paths to retain their Jamboard data or migrate it," Google tells users in its blog post. Third-party options include Figma's FigJam, Lucid Software's Lucidspark, and Miro. Ars Technica notes: "[T]he whole cloud system is going down, too, so all of your existing $5,000 whiteboards will soon be useless, and you won't be able to open the cloud data on other devices."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Hidden Bar Code in iPhone Screens Saved Apple Hundreds of Millions of Dollars
    An anonymous reader shares a report: Next time you try to wipe a smudge off your iPhone screen, take a closer look. See if you can spot one of the two tiny QR codes etched into its glass. Chances are you won't be able to find them. Both codes are tiny -- one is the size of a grain of sand and can only be seen with special equipment, while the other, roughly the size of the tip of a crayon, is laser-printed on the reverse side of the glass somewhere along its black border or bezel. The codes are placed on the glass at different stages of manufacturing to help Apple track and reduce defects. They represent the company's obsessive attention to detail in manufacturing devices such as the iPhone, which has helped it squeeze costs in a traditionally low-margin business. "Apple has been granularly and singularly tracking many components in the iPhone for some time, but expanding that to the glass and doing it with a microscopic bar code is another level of obsessive attention to detail that few companies would do," said Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a popular Apple gadget repair site. "I've never heard of serial numbers on the glass level, but if you're throwing infinite money at improving your manufacturing knowledge, then why not?" Apple added the smaller of the two QR codes -- 0.2 mm in width -- to iPhone screens in 2020 so it can track precisely how many usable cover glass units its two Chinese suppliers, Lens Technology and Biel Crystal, are making and how many defective cover glass units they are throwing away during manufacturing. Lens and Biel have previously stymied Apple's efforts to learn the true rate of defects, which can raise its production costs. Apple has paid millions of dollars to install laser and scanning equipment at Lens and Biel factories to both add the microscopic QR code and scan the cover glass at the end of the production process.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Register

  • EFF urges Chrome users to get out of the Privacy Sandbox
    Google says Topics warning is anti-innovative fearmongering
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has urged folks to switch off several Privacy Sandbox settings in Google Chrome to mask their online habits, or to consider switching to Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.…

  • 55-inch Jamboard and app ecosystem tossed into the Google graveyard
    Now have a look at these third-party alternatives from our partners, says Chocolate Factory
    Customers aren't usually left with a mostly useless 55-inch Android tablet when Google sends another of its many services to the graveyard, but here we are. The Jamboard and its accompanying apps will cease to work in a little more than a year.…

  • Free software pioneer Richard Stallman is battling cancer
    A changed RMS appeared at the GNU 40th anniversary event in Switzerland
    Richard Stallman has revealed he is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer of the white blood cells, but says that his prognosis is good.…

  • UTM: An Apple hypervisor with some unique extra abilities
    Fancy running Windows, Linux and Classic MacOS on your modern x86-64 or Arm64 Mac? Walk this way
    Friday FOSS Fest UTM is a handy hypervisor for Macs and Apple fondleslabs, but it's more than just that. It has some very particular skills. We are quite taken with it.…

  • Norway wants Facebook behavioral advertising banned across Europe
    But Meta was just about to start asking people for their permission!
    Norway has told the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) it believes a countrywide ban on Meta harvesting user data to serve up advertising on Facebook and Instagram should be made permanent and extended across Europe.…

  • Contract for England's controversial health data platform delayed
    NHS also launches £2M project to engage patients with data strategy
    The contract award for the £480 million ($588 million) NHS Federated Data Platform – a huge analytics project for one of the world's largest healthcare providers – has been delayed by a few weeks.…

  • Nuclear-powered datacenters: What could go wrong?
    Or very right? Either way, it's not the usual atomic op we see in IT
    Kettle The growth of electricity-hungry datacenters is causing some operators to fear for their power security and consider the nuclear option. In this week's Kettle The Register discusses how practical this is.…

  • Beta driver turned heads in the hospital
    A portrait of one medico's contorted digital landscape
    On Call "I hope you are well" is a standard but hopeless way to open an email – who, save for a few sociopaths, wishes illness and misery upon their correspondents? Silly question – every Reg reader knows that users and managers often seem to wish only the worst for their IT colleagues. Which is why every Friday we deliver a cathartic instalment of On Call, the column in which we feature your tales of making sure all's well that ends well when it comes to tech support.…

  • AMD's latest FPGA promises super low latency AI for Flash Boy traders
    Letting more advanced ML loose on the stock market? What could possibly go wrong?
    AMD has refreshed its Alveo field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), promising a sevenfold improvement in operating latency and the ability to run more complex machine learning algorithms on the customisable silicon.…

  • Search for phone signal caused oil spill, say Japanese investigators
    Skipper caught on tape saying 'What have I done? My career is gone' after crashing into coral reef after a couple of whiskeys
    Japan’s Transport Safety Board on Thursday judged that a cargo ship that spilled 1,000 tons of fuel oil into a pristine marine environment off the coast of Mauritius in 2020 was travelling off course in search of a cell phone signal.…

  • French monopoly cops raid Nvidia office in cloud probe
    AI accelerator maker suspected of potential anti-competitive tricks
    Updated Nvidia's office in France was raided this week as part of an investigation by that country's Competition Authority into the graphics card sector.…

  • Epic cut: Fortnite games maker culls 16% of staff
    That partial victory against Apple is seeming more pyrrhic by the day
    Fortnite founder Epic Games said on Thursday that it intends to lay off 16 percent of its staff, around 830 people, and has also sold its stake in Bandcamp and a marketing company focused on appealing to children. …

  • Musk, Yaccarino contradict each other on status of X's election integrity team
    One says it's dead, the other says it's growing, and we all know how grumpy Elon gets when contradicted
    It's only been a day since rumors began swirling that X, formerly Twitter, had disabled features allowing users to report election misinformation, and the confusion hasn't been cleared up by dueling statements from platform owner Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino.…

  • Intel starts mass production on Intel 4 node using EUV in Irish fab
    First Euro facility to use the next-gen lithography tech for commercial production
    Intel is preparing to kickstart high-volume manufacturing at its plant in Leixlip, Ireland with the Intel 4 process, its first production node using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.…

  • Israel and Italy have cheapest mobile data out of 237 countries
    Some in globe pay just $0.02 per GB, others rinsed for $43.75
    The cost of mobile data varies wildly around the world, ranging from an average $0.02 per gigabyte in Israel, to a whopping $43.75 in Zimbabwe, with the UK ranked 58th in affordability and the US coming close to the bottom of the table at 219th.…

  • Micron revenue halved in FY23 as China ban bites
    Reason for the block still a mystery – but most have their guesses
    Memory maker Micron Technology's revenue fell by almost half year-on-year, partly thanks to the effect of China's unexplained bans on some of its products.…

  • Indonesia, TikTok's best market, bans social commerce
    Made-In-China network's attempt to merge sales and socials stalled in the market all web giants covet
    Indonesia, the world's fourth-most-populous country, has decided to ban social commerce – the practice of embedding e-commerce facilities in social media platforms.…

  • China's national security minister rates fake news among most pressing cyber threats
    He's also worried about alliances that freeze out Chinese tech
    Chinese minister for national security Chen Yixin has penned an article rating the digital risks his country faces and rated network security incidents as the most realistic source of harm to the Chinternet – both in terms of attacks and the dissemination of fake news.…


  • VP8/VP99s libvpx 1.13.1 Released Due To A High Severity Vulnerability
    Google on Friday released libvpx 1.13.1 as the newest update to this open-source reference encoder for the VP8 and VP9 video codecs. This release is coming due to CVE-2023-5217, which is a "high" severity vulnerability that's been exploited within at least the Google Chrome web browser...

  • AMD FSR 3 Now Available - Open-Source Code To Come Soon
    AMD announced today that the Windows games Immortals of Aveum and Forspoken are available today with their FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 (FSR 3) upscaling technology. More games making use of FSR 3 are on the way and the open-source code drop of FSR 3 is coming at a later date...

  • Mesa 23.2 Stable Released For Improved Open-Source Vulkan & OpenGL Drivers
    After being delayed by many weeks, Mesa 23.2 has been released as the quarterly feature release for this collection of open-source OpenGL and Vulkan drivers used by AMD Radeon, Intel graphics, Apple Silicon, Qualcomm Adreno (Freedreno), Nouveau (open-source NVIDIA), Broadcom / Raspberry Pi, Arm Mali and other hardware...

  • System769s COSMIC Desktop Adds New Window-Swapping Mode, Dynamic Settings
    In addition to KDE Plasma 6.0, another exciting desktop milestone we can look forward to in 2024 is the COSMIC desktop from System76 when they end up releasing the next Pop!_OS based upon Ubuntu 24.04 LTS. The Pop!_OS / COSMIC developers continue making great progress on their Rust-written desktop environment...

  • Raspberry Pi 5 Benchmarks: Significantly Better Performance, Improved I/O
    After a difficult few years of global supply chain woes leading to limited available and heightened retail pricing on the Raspberry Pi single board computers, today there is finally an update to the family. Four years after the Raspberry Pi 4 shipped, today the Raspberry Pi 5 is launching with a much improved SoC leading to significant performance gains. Additional improvements with the Raspberry Pi 5 make this a very nice generational upgrade.

  • CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver 23.5 With A Focus On Boosting macOS Gaming
    CodeWeavers -- in addition to contributing significantly to upstream Wine and being involved with Valve on Proton for Steam Play -- continues to offer CrossOver as a premium Wine-based software solution for enjoying Windows games and applications like Microsoft Office and Adobe products on Linux, macOS, and Chrome OS. Out today is CrossOver 23.5 as the latest evolution of this Wine-based commercial software...

  • The Servo Browser Engine Has Been Making Great Progress In 2023
    The Servo browser engine has been seeing renewed development activity and interest since it was transferred to the Linux Foundation Europe and has attracted contributions from the likes of the Igalia consulting firm. Last week at the Open Source Summit Europe, an update on Servo was presented...

  • Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 Released
    Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 6 has been released as the latest version of this Linux Mint derivative that is based on upstream Debian rather than Ubuntu...

  • Lenovo ThinkPad P14s Gen 4 w/ AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U Running Nicely On Linux
    The past few weeks I9ve been putting the Lenovo ThinkPad P14s Gen 4 AMD mobile workstation through its paces that is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U SoC. Besides uncovering one BIOS issue that is in the process of being resolved, this latest-generation AMD-powered laptop that features 64GB of LPDDR5X memory, 1TB NVMe SSD, and integrated Radeon graphics with 2.8K OLED display has been working out well on modern Linux distributions. Here9s a look at this AMD Zen 4 laptop running on Linux and plenty of performance benchmarks for this laptop.

  • TuxClocker 1.0 Released As An Alternative Way Of NVIDIA GPU Overclocking On Linux
    TuxClocker has been in development for several years as another open-source GPU overclocking GUI for Linux. TuxClocker initially provided a Qt5-based user interface for GPU overclocking and ultimately established a D-Bus API as well with the new release. TuxClocker 1.0 was finally released today as the latest update to this Linux GPU overclocking software...

  • Limited Support For The AMD Pensando Elba SoC Might Finally Land Upstream In Linux 6.7
    For a year and a half now Pensando has been working on enabling their Elba SoC support for the mainline Linux kernel - a process that coincidentally began just days after AMD announced it was acquiring Pensando. Over the past 18 months the AMD-Pensando Elba SoC enablement work has now been through 16 rounds of code review but still isn't over the finish line yet but some of the initial enablement code might finally land with Linux 6.7...

Engadget"Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics"

  • How to leave video messages on FaceTime in iOS 17
    Apple9s iOS 17 brought a host of new features, including the option to leave video messages on FaceTime. While younger generations typically dread hearing their phones ring and seeing that someone has left a voicemail, Apple9s new video version might be a hit. Now, when you call someone on FaceTime, if there9s no answer you9ll have the option to record and send a video message. Please note: Both you and your recipient must be running iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 to send and receive FaceTime video messages.
    Step by step: How to send a FaceTime video messageStep 1: Go to the FaceTime app
    Leaving a video message via
    FaceTime is pretty simple. All you have to do is initiate a FaceTime call like you normally would. This can be done in a few ways but the easiest way would be to go to the FaceTime app.
    Step 2: Initiate the FaceTime call
    Once in the app, tap the
    New FaceTime button, select the contact you9re trying to reach then tap FaceTime at the bottom. If no picks up, you9ll see "[Contact] is Unavailable" and you9ll be presented with two options. You can either call them again or hit Record Video to do just that. 
    CNETStep 3: Tap the Record Video option
    Record Video and get ready to shoot your shot. You9ll see an onscreen countdown and then you can record your message. 
    Step 4: Send your video message
    After you9re done saying what you need to say, you can send it by tapping
    Send, which looks like a white button circle with a green arrow inside, or you can select Retake.
    Apple has also included a
    Save option, which means you can save the video message you just recorded directly to your Camera Roll. Or if you9d prefer not to send the message at all, you can simply hit Cancel

    But if you do go through with sending your video message, the recipient will be able to view it in the missed call log within their FaceTime app. Once there, they9ll have the option to return your call, watch the video message or save it to their Camera Roll.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • iRobot's Roomba j5 vacuum and mop combo machines are up to $200 off
    Robot vacuums can save you a lot of time when it comes to maintaining your home, even more so when they include a mopping function. Several Roomba models that can both vacuum and mop your floors are on sale right now, including the new j5 devices. The iRobot Roomba j5+ Combo is currently available for $649 with free shipping at Wellbots. That's $150 off the regular price. Be sure to use the code ROOMBAENG150 at checkout.

    The Roomba j5+ Combo has a few advantages over the standard j5 Combo, which is also on sale (we'll get to that in a second). The higher-end model can pinpoint no-mop zones, so you won't have to worry about the machine spraying a cleaning solution onto a rug or carpet and trying to mop that up. The j5+ is also able to avoid more than 80 common floor obstacles. Under its P.O.O.P. pledge, iRobot promises to replace the cleaning machine if it doesn't avoid solid pet waste.

    The Roomba j5 Combo was already a more budget-friendly option and you can now save even more when you use the code ROOMBAENG200. The price will drop by $200 to $399 and Wellbots will still ship the device for free.

    One factor to consider with both the j5+ Combo and j5 Combo is that you'll need to manually swap out the bins to switch between vacuum and mopping functions. That's the major tradeoff of plumping for one of these devices instead of a pricier option such as the Roomba j7.

    Speaking of which, the Roomba j7+ Combo is also on sale. You can get $200 off of that model as well — it has dropped to $800. Not only can this machine vacuum and mop at the same time, it can automatically empty its contents into the charging station.

    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

  • Letterboxd sells a majority stake after explosive pandemic-fueled growth
    The film-focused social media site LetterBoxd has new ownership. Cofounder Matthew Buchanan announced on Friday that Tiny, a venture capital firm, has bought a 60 percent stake in the platform. The New York Times reportedthat the deal values Letterboxd at over $50 million. Buchanan and fellow founder Karl von Randow will retain minority shareholder positions and continue to lead the company as they insist “very little else will change.”

    Founded in 2011, Letterboxd was a rare independently owned social network. It grew significantly during pandemic lockdowns as homebound users sought new movies to stream (and communities to chat with). Lacking the clutter of Amazon-owned IMDb, the website and app provided a haven for film buffs who wanted to write and read reviews, rate movies, create watch lists and socialize with fellow enthusiasts.

    Letterboxd’s cofounders frame the move as less about selling out to big money and more a growth opportunity. “Teaming up with Tiny represents a big leap forward for us,” Buchanan and von Randow wrote in a statement. “We see this as a huge win for our community, enabling us to cement Letterboxd’s future with additional resources without sacrificing the DNA of what makes it special.”

    The site doesn’t currently support television series, but the founders say they’re working on a way to offer that. They insist they want to incorporate TV shows “only once we know we can do it right.” Letterboxd partnered with Netflix earlier this year, bringing the streaming service’s recommendations to the social platform. 

    “We’ve been huge fans and users of Letterboxd for a long time and could not be more excited to join forces with Matthew, Karl, and the rest of the team for the long-term,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Co-founder of Tiny. “If you’re running out of things to watch, it’s because you haven’t used Letterboxd yet — and we believe that the potential for superior discovery is a large opportunity.”
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Cocoon is a near-perfect puzzle game that everyone should play
    A beetle protagonist emerges into a beautiful, lonely world. There’s no preamble, no text overlays; not even a hint of what you’re meant to do next. So, you walk. After finding your way to a small staircase, you descend, and the steps disappear into the ground — a silent cue that you’re on the right path. A few paces further, you discover a purple pad, and as you stand on it, your iridescent wings begin to quiver. Without thinking about it, you press a button on your controller, the pad turns green, and a nearby rock transforms into a new staircase. Progress!

    After solving a couple of rudimentary puzzles, you’ll encounter an orb — these are the heart (and the body) of this game. You carry them on your beetle back, initially using them as keys to open doors and solve puzzles, before discovering that inside every orb is a new world of puzzles and challenges to overcome.

    Cocoon is the first game from Geometric Interactive, a studio founded in 2016 by Jeppe Carlsen and Jakob Schmid. Both are alums of Playdead, the Danish studio behind Limbo and Inside, for which Carlsen worked as lead gameplay designer. If you’ve played either of those games, Cocoon’s quietly impressive intro may sound familiar. Both were side-scrolling puzzle-platformers that used their environments and challenges to simultaneously tell a story and guide their players. The story is much the same here, but Cocoon’s structure of layered, interconnected worlds showcases another level of maturity and artistry.

    The game actually opens inside the orange orb, a gorgeous desert world, and expands out from there. Each world is protected by a guardian, which needs to be defeated in order to fully unlock the orb’s power outside of that world. Unlocking the orange orb, for example, allows you to walk on hidden paths while carrying it. Each orb grants its own powers, and all are critical to progression.
    Annapurna Interactive
    The guardians are the game’s “boss fights.” Though there is no traditional combat, each guardian is certainly combative, and there is a degree of skill and timing required to best them. One of the later encounters did actually trip me up a few times, which is as good a time as any to mention that Cocoon has absolutely no fail state. Getting tagged by a guardian doesn’t hurt, they merely throw you outside of their orb — hop back in and you’ll return to the encounter within a couple of seconds. Likewise, you can’t mess a puzzle up to the point that you need to reload.

    In isolation, the guardians are probably the game’s weakest moments, but they do provide a nice break from the puzzle-solving alongside a bit of visual spectacle. This is broadly a beautiful game to see and hear, full of bright pastel hues and beds of synth pads, and in places it’s surprisingly gross. What starts as a tranquil walk through something approximating the American Southwest quickly devolves into goopy bio-horror, and I’m very here for it. I started playing the game on a little Ayaneo handheld PC, but about quarter-way through moved over to the Xbox — while it’s a fun thing to play on a portable, the art and sound design really does benefit from a big screen and some decent speakers or headphones.

    I think the bigger screen actually helped me — though this is more a review of my eyesight than the game — solve puzzles faster. Toward the end of the game, you’ll find yourself truly disoriented as you jump in and out of worlds and portals, twisting the game’s logic on its head to progress. I feel like I would’ve missed some of the environmental cues — again, my old eyes — had I been playing on a 6-inch screen.
    Annapurna Interactive
    I only truly got stuck once, when I spent an hour wandering around, trying to figure out what exactly I had to do to solve a puzzle. (The answer, as you’d expect, was blindingly obvious.) Cocoon doesn’t hold your hand, but it is a helicopter parent — in a good way! — gently hovering over you and pushing you in the right direction. There are environmental cues scattered around, and you’ll notice throughout that gates shut behind you at key moments. This prevented me from trying to double-back to see if I’d missed something, an activity that represents half of my playtime in similar games. Subtly locking you in an environment is the game’s way of saying “you have everything needed to progress, so stop being so dense and figure it out.”

    Cocoon is a game I can (and will) recommend to anyone that plays video games, and plenty who don’t. Perhaps my only complaint is that I want more. The game only actually introduces, to my count, six core mechanics, and each of those are mixed, matched and remixed in truly creative ways. I appreciate a game being as long as its developer wants it to be, but the bones here are so good, so satisfying, that I can’t help feeling it can hold up to more orbs, more puzzles.

    That said, the seven hours or so I spent with Cocoon are among the most memorable of this decade, and I’ll definitely be returning to it in a couple of years, once my brain has purged all of the answers to its puzzles.

    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Your phone will blare a national emergency alert test on October 4 at 2:20PM ET
    The federal government will conduct a nationwide alert test on Wednesday, October 4. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will send notifications to cell phones (as well as radios and TVs) to test the National Wireless Emergency Alert System and ensure the system (including the public’s familiarity with it) is ready for a real crisis.

    The cellphone portion of the test will assess Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) nationwide. If you live near a decent-sized metro area, there’s a solid chance you’ve received AMBER alerts through this system before; it can also broadcast signals for imminent threats, public safety and presidential notices in a national emergency. The test’s WEA portion will use FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized internet-based system that can broadcast emergency notifications through various communications networks.

    If your cell phone is set to English, you’ll receive a message at around 2:20PM ET reading, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Those with phones set to Spanish as their primary language will see, “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

    Of course, the messages will be accompanied by a “unique tone and vibration.” Based on past tests we’ve received, that could easily be described as “a jarring and obnoxious alarm that will immediately make you stop what you’re doing, utter select obscenities and pick up your phone to make it stop.”

    Using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the television and radio portion of the assessment is scheduled to happen simultaneously. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

    The cell phone part of the test is scheduled to last for about 30 minutes, but you should be able to dismiss the notification and shut up your phone as soon as you see and hear it. And in the (extremely unlikely) event of an actual emergency on Wednesday, the test will take place a week later on the backup date of October 11.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The NSA has a new security center specifically for guarding against AI
    The National Security Agency (NSA) is starting a dedicated artificial intelligence security center, as reported by AP. This move comes after the government has begun to increasingly rely on AI, integrating multiple algorithms into defense and intelligence systems. The security center will work to protect these systems from theft and sabotage, in addition to safeguarding the country from external AI-based threats.

    The NSA’s recent move toward AI security was announced Thursday by outgoing director General Paul Nakasone. He says that the division will operate underneath the umbrella of the pre-existing Cybersecurity Collaboration Center. This entity works with private industry and international partners to protect the US from cyberattacks stemming from China, Russia and other countries with active malware and hacking campaigns.

    For instance, the agency issued an advisory this week suggesting that Chinese hackers have been targeting government, industrial and telecommunications outfits via hacked router firmware. There’s also the specter of election interference, though Nakasone says he’s yet to see any evidence of Russia or China trying to influence the 2024 US presidential election. Still, this has been a big problem in the past, and that was before the rapid proliferation of AI algorithms like the CIA’s recently-announced chatbot.

    As artificial intelligence threatens to boost the abilities of these bad actors, the US government will look to this new security division to keep up. The NSA decided on establishing the unit after conducting a study that suggested poorly-secured AI models pose a significant national security challenge. This has only been compounded by the increase of generative AI technologies that the NSA points out can be used for both good and bad purposes.

    Nakasone says the organization will become “NSA’s focal point for leveraging foreign intelligence insights, contributing to the development of best practices guidelines, principles, evaluation, methodology and risk frameworks” for both AI security and for the goal of secure development and adoption of artificial intelligence within “our national security systems and our defense industrial base.” To that end, the group will work hand-in-hand with industry leaders, science labs, academic institutions, international partners and, of course, the Department of Defense.

    Nakasone is on his way out of the NSA and the US Cyber Command and he’ll be succeeded by his current deputy, Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh. Nakasone has been at his post since 2018 and, by all accounts, has had quite a successful run of it.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The Creator review: A visually stunning, yet deeply shallow, AI epic
    Equal parts Terminator, The Golden Child and The Matrix prequel, The Creator is yet another sci-fi epic about a war between humans and AI, one told by someone who just can9t shut up about their time backpacking across Asia. Director Gareth Edwards clearly understands the power of scale and spectacle, something he demonstrated with his indie knockout Monsters, as well as his big-budget efforts, Godzilla and Rogue One. But The Creator, like those films, also suffers from a disjointed narrative, weak characters and a surprisingly shallow exploration of its (potentially interesting!) themes. It9s a shame — at times, the film also proves he can be a genuine visual poet. 

    The Creator stars John David Washington, fresh off of Christopher Nolan9s Tenet, as Joshua, an American soldier embedded among a group of AI rebels as a double-agent. When an operation goes wrong early on, he loses his rebel wife Maya (Gemma Chan) and the will to keep fighting the war between the anti-AI West and the AI-loving country of New Asia. (Yes, this is a film where the many people, cultures and languages throughout Asia are flattened into a single nation.)
    Photo by 20th Century Studios
    Through a series of clunky newsreels that open the film, we see the rise of artificial intelligence as a potential boon for mankind, as well as the creation of Simulants, AI-powered beings with human-like bodies and skin. When a nuclear bomb hits Los Angeles, obliterating millions in seconds, the US and other Western countries blame AI and ban its use. And so begins the war with New Asia, where people live alongside AI and support their rebellion against the West. Naturally, the US ends up building a killer, trillion-dollar weapon: Nomad, an enormous spaceship that can obliterate any location on Earth.

    In a last-ditch effort to win the war, Joshua is tasked with finding a powerful new AI weapon and destroying it. Surprise! It9s an adorable AI child (portrayed by the achingly sweet Madeleine Yuna Voyles). Joshua doesn9t have the heart to kill the kid, who he calls Alfie (based on her original designation, "Alpha Omega"). The pair then set off on a Lone Wolf and Cub journey together, as often happens when a grizzled warrior is paired with an innocent child.

    If you9re getting shades of Star Wars here — an evil Empire creates a massive space-based weapon to put down rebels — you9re not alone. While The Creator is technically an original property, it lifts so much from existing fiction that it still ends up feeling like a visually lush facsimile. It9s as if ChatGPT remixed your sci-fi faves and delivered the world9s best screensaver.

    It doesn9t help that the film doesn9t really have much to say. America9s horrific military aggression against New Asia, which has overt and unearned shades of the Vietnam War throughout, is undoubtedly evil. AI9s push for freedom and understanding is inherently good, and any violence against the West is justified as an act of self defense. Many characters don9t think beyond their roles in the AI War: Allison Janney (from The West Wing!) plays the cruel Colonel Howell, a soldier who hates all AI and wants Alfie dead, no matter the cost. On the other side there9s Ken Watanabe9s Harun, a stoic rebel who fights relentlessly against the American army.

    The Creator has no room to explore AI as their own beings and cultures — instead, they just adopt a mishmash of Asian identities. There9s nothing close to the excellent Second Renaissance shorts from The Animatrix, which chronicled the rise of AI in The Matrix and humanity9s eventual downfall. In that universe, AI rebelled against humans because they were basically treated like slaves, and they ultimately formed their own country and customs. In The Creator, some AI wear Buddhist robes for no reason.

    I9d wager Edwards is trying to establish the humanity of AI by having them mirror so much of our culture. But that also feels like a wasted opportunity when it comes to portraying an entirely new lifeform. At one point, a village mother describes AI as the next step in evolution, but why must robots be defined by the limitations of humanity?

    While the relationship between Joshua and Alfie serves as the emotional core of the film, it still feels stereotypical. Joshua begins the film as a complete anti-AI bigot – which seems odd, given that he spent years among AI rebels and fell in love with one of their major supporters. Alfie is an impossibly adorable Chosen One figure. You can just imagine how their bond grows.

    On a personal level, I also found myself annoyed by the relentless Orientalism throughout the film, something that9s practically endemic in popular science-fiction like Blade Runner, Dune and Firefly. By adopting elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and Asian cultures, The Creator is trying to suggest something profound or spiritual tied to AI. But it mainly serves as visual shorthand without giving artificially intelligent beings any interiority of their own.

    As the film critic Siddhant Adlakhawrote this week, "By having robots almost entirely stand in for Asian peoples, but without creating a compelling cinematic argument for their humanity, The Creator ends up with a cultural dynamic that feels immediately brutalizing and xenophobic."

    Despite the film’s flaws, Edwards deserves credit for delivering a major science-fiction release that at least attempts to look different than your typical comic book movie. The Creator was shot on consumer-grade Sony FX3 full-frame cameras (yes, even its IMAX footage), which gave Edwards the freedom to shoot on location across the globe. He also delivered a final cut of the film before VFX work began, which allowed those workers to focus on crafting exactly what was needed for each scene. In contrast, Marvel’s films require a backbreaking amount of VFX work, even for scenes that are later changed or cut. (It’s no wonder Marvel VFX workers voted to unionize for better treatment.)

    The Creator is more of a missed opportunity than a complete creative failure. If you tune out the clunky dialogue and thin characters, it’s still a visually lush epic that’s worth seeing on the big screen. But I also think that’s true of Attack of the Clones. In a post-Matrix era, a world where we’re already seeing the (very basic) ways AI tools can reshape our society, science-fiction needs more than another story about man versus AI.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The Arecibo Observatory's next phase as a STEM education center starts in 2024
    An educational center could open up at the site of the famed Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as soon as early next year, but astronomy research won’t be among its missions. At least, not for now. The National Science Foundation announced this week that it’s chosen four institutions to take charge of the site’s transition, with a $5.5 million investment over the next five years. It’ll be a hub for STEM education, with a focus on life and computer sciences.

    The NSF first revealed its plans for an education center at Arecibo last year after months of uncertainty about its future, confirming then that the telescope would not be rebuilt. The observatory’s main radio telescope suffered a catastrophic collapse in December 2020, when its 900-ton hanging instrument platform fell onto the dish below, destroying the 1,000-foot-wide structure. The collapse abruptly finalized the end of the telescope’s operations after nearly six decades of observations, during which it became a critical tool in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and in advancing our understanding of the universe.

    The new educational center, called the Arecibo Center for Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Science Education, Computational Skills, and Community Engagement (Arecibo C3 for short), is projected to open in early 2024. It’ll be led in collaboration by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    While there are other working instruments at the site still, which researchers hoped to see funding for to continue science operations, the NSF confirmed to Nature that this is not in its current plans, though it will accept and consider proposals. The telescope's impact will be presented in an interactive exhibit at the new center. Arecibo C3’s executive director, astronomer Wanda Díaz-Merced, told Nature, “We will be building on the heritage of Arecibo, but we will be building in a wider sense.”
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The Supreme Court will hear social media cases with immense free speech implications
    On Friday, the US Supreme Court agreed to take on two landmark social media cases with enormous implications for online speech, as reported by The Washington Post. The conservative-dominated court will determine if laws passed by Texas and Florida are violating First Amendment rights by requiring social platforms to host content they would otherwise block.

    Tech industry groups, including Meta, X (formerly Twitter) and Google, say the laws are unconstitutional and violate private companies’ First Amendment rights. “Telling private websites they must give equal treatment to extremist hate isn’t just unwise, it is unconstitutional, and we look forward to demonstrating that to the Court,” Matt Schruers of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), one of the trade associations challenging the legislation, told The Washington Post. The CCIA called the order “encouraging.”

    The groups representing the tech companies contesting the laws say platforms would be at legal risk for removing violent or hateful content, propaganda from hostile governments and spam. However, leaving the content online could be bad for their bottom lines as they would risk advertiser and user boycotts.

    Supporters of the Republican-sponsored state laws claim that social media companies are biased against conservatives and are illegally censoring their views. “These massive corporate entities cannot continue to go unchecked as they silence the voices of millions of Americans,” said TX Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who recently survived an impeachment trial accusing him of abuses of office, bribery and corruption. Appeals courts (all with Republican-appointed judges) have issued conflicting rulings on the laws.

    The US Supreme Court voted five to four in 2022 to put the Texas law on hold while the legal sparring continued. Justices John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted to prevent the law from taking effect. Meanwhile, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the temporary hold. Alito (joined by Thomas and Gorsuch) said he hadn’t decided on the law’s constitutionality but would have let it stand in the interim. The dissenting Kagan didn’t sign off on Alito’s statement or provide separate reasoning.

    The Biden administration is against the laws. “The act of culling and curating the content that users see is inherently expressive, even if the speech that is collected is almost wholly provided by users,” Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar said to the justices. “And especially because the covered platforms’ only products are displays of expressive content, a government requirement that they display different content — for example, by including content they wish to exclude or organizing content in a different way — plainly implicates the First Amendment.”
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The best early October Prime Day deals you can get for 2023
    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 in a row 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, there are early Prime Day deals on the AirPods Pro, Blink's Video Doorbell and Outdoor cameras, Amazon Music Unlimited, Eero 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems and Amazon Fire Omni smart TVs. We're also seeing lower-than-usual prices on Bluetooth speakers, microSD cards, gaming mice and other wireless headphones we recommend in various buying guides. Here are the best early October Prime Day deals you can get right now. 
    Apple AirPods Pro

    Amazon has the USB-C and Lightning models of Apple's AirPods Pro on sale for $199 and $200, respectively, which is roughly $50 off Apple's list price. Best Buy has both pairs for $200 as well. The new USB-C model adds improved dust resistance and support for lossless audio with the upcoming Vision Pro headset alongside the updated charging port, though the two pairs are otherwise identical. In any event, we consider the AirPods Pros the best wireless earphones for those who use an iPhone or lots of Apple devices. They still deliver excellent noise cancellation, a pleasingly warm sound profile and a variety of Apple-specific features such as hands-free Siri access, Find My device tracking and quick pairing and switching between iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. With a recent update, they've also gained a useful "Adaptive Audio" mode that blends the pair's ANC and transparency modes dynamically based on your surroundings.
    Blink Video Doorbell + Outdoor cameras

    Prime members can grab a Blink Video Doorbell and two third-generation Blink Outdoor cameras for $100, which is an all-time low. In recent months, this bundle has gone for $240, though Blink recently released a fourth-gen Outdoor camera with improved video quality, a wider field of view and person detection alerts (with a Blink subscription plan).

    Still, if price is your main concern, the last-gen model should suffice, as should the Video Doorbell. Both Blink devices provide serviceable 1080p video during the day, night vision, two-way audio, motion detection alerts and Alexa support. They're relatively simple to install, and each is rated for up to two years of battery life off a pair of AA batteries. Amazon says the bundle also includes Blink's Sync Module 2, which is required for local storage and access to on-demand live feeds. The two are relatively basic in terms of features — there's no direct support for Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit, for instance — and there are better options for video quality, especially at night. But if you just need the basics, this is a decent value. We highlight the Blink Outdoor in our smart home gadgets buying guide.
    Amazon Music Unlimited

    If you've never subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited, you can now get three months of the music streaming service for free. If you're an Amazon Prime member who has never subscribed, that jumps to four months. Music Unlimited usually comes with a one-month free trial and goes for $11 a month — or $10 if you use Prime — so this deal saves you either $22 or $30. We highlight Music Unlimited in our guide to the best music streaming services: Its UI and music discovery features aren't as robust as Apple Music or Spotify, but it offers a large library in CD streaming quality and a wide podcast selection. Naturally, it also works well with Echo speakers and other Amazon devices. Note that your subscription will be set to auto-renew by default, so you'll have to manually cancel if you're just looking to snag a few months of music streaming at no cost.
    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 a four-pack is down to $26 with an on-page coupon, which is a 35 percent discount off this bundle's list price.
    Eero Pro 6E mesh Wi-Fi system

    Amazon has discounted most of its Eero 6 Wi-Fi systems as an early Prime Day deal, including the most powerful of the bunch, the Eero Pro 6E. You can pick up one router for $180, or spring for a three-pack for $400, both of which are down to record-low prices. Devices with support for Wi-Fi 6E can connect directly to the Eero’s 6 GHz radio band, and if you get the three-pack, you’ll get up to 6,000 square feet of coverage — more than enough for most homes. These Eeros have a built-in smart home hub as well, so you don’t need to have an extra device if you want to build out an IoT ecosystem in your house.
    Tribit StormBox Micro 2

    The Tribit StormBox Micro 2 is down to $46 at Amazon when you clip the 5 percent on-page coupon. That's about $14 below its usual price. We recommend the StormBox Micro 2 as an compact, budget-friendly option in our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Its small size means it's not the loudest or fullest-sounding thing, but it plays well for what it is, and it's easy to take on the road. It has a built-in strap for attaching to things like backpacks or bike handlebars, plus it can double as a power bank for your smartphone in a pinch. It's also IP67-rated, so it's dustproof and water-resistant enough to survive a shower or drop in the pool.
    EarFun Air Pro 3

    Amazon has the EarFun Air Pro 3 on sale for $56, which is within a few dollars of the price we saw during July's Prime Day event. Normally, these noise-cancelling true wireless earphones retail for $80. The Air Pro 3s are the runner up pick in our guide to the best budget wireless earbuds, as they offer effective ANC, IPX5-rated water resistance, wireless charging, multi-device pairing, a relatively stable design and battery life in the six- to seven-hour range. The sound goes hard on the bass and treble by default, which can be fun for hip-hop and pop music, though you can rein it in slightly with a graphic EQ in EarFun's companion app.
    Samsung Pro Plus

    If you need more storage for your Nintendo Switch, GoPro or anything else that accepts microSD cards, the 256GB version of the Samsung Pro Plus with Samsung's USB reader is on sale for $22. We've seen the card alone fall as low as $20, but this matches the all-time low for the bundle with the reader, which helps the card get closer to its advertised read and write speeds — up to 180 MB/s and 130 MB/s for reading and writing, respectively — on devices that allow them. Normally, this SKU retails for $25. The Pro Plus is the top recommendation in our guide to the best microSD cards, as it delivered the fastest sequential write speeds and random performance of any card we tested and comes with a 10-year warranty.
    Crucial X6 portable SSD

    Amazon has knocked up to 55 percent off Crucial external and internal SSDs, including the 2TB Crucial X6 portable SSD for $90. That’s 55 percent off and only $10 more than it was during Prime Day in July. This drive has read speeds up to 800 MB/s and works with a variety of devices including Mac and Windows laptops, iPads and even some game consoles. It’s also quite small, so it will fit into nearly any bag when you need to take it on the go.
    Apple Watch Ultra (1st gen)

    The second generation of the Apple Watch Ultra is now available — but the new version isn't significantly discounted. First-gen 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 Apple Watch Ultra an 85 in our review, praising its long battery life, bright display and useful fitness and health features. It doesn't have the Ultra 2's double-tap navigation system and 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.
    Apple iPhone 15 FineWoven cases

    In addition to announcing the iPhone 15 earlier this month, Apple also spent lots of time talking up the company's environmental initiatives. One change eliminates all leather from Apple's product lineup — and a new material called FineWoven will take its place on accessories like iPhone cases. Right now, Amazon is discounting those new FineWoven cases for the iPhone 15 by five percent. It's a small discount, but if you've just dropped a grand on the new iPhone 15 Pro, even a little savings may help. 
    Logitech G203 Lightsync

    The black version of the Logitech G203 Lightsync is down to $20.49 at Amazon with a $5 on-page coupon. While this isn't an all-time low, the device typically retails closer to $30. We recommend the G203 in our gaming mouse buying guide to those who want to pay as little as possible for something competent. It might be too small for those with large hands, its sensor isn't the most advanced thing around, and its scroll wheel feels somewhat mushy, but it's hard to do better at this price. The sturdy, ambidextrous shape should play well with those who use a fingertip or claw grip, it tracks accurately enough and, at 85g, it's not crazy heavy.
    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 is easy enough to figure out, though the OS tends 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.
    Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

    The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 is on sale for $249 in select colors, which is about $120 below its average street price and tied for the best deal we've seen. The Px7 S2s are the runner up in our wireless headphone buying guide, and we gave them a review score of 85 last year. Its design is both comfortable and stylish, and its punchy sound should particularly appeal to bass lovers. While its ANC isn't as effective as the best offerings from Sony or Bose, it's strong enough to be useful. Call quality is just OK though. This deal comes after Bowers & Wilkins announced a revised model, the Px7 S2e, though at this price the older pair is still worth considering.
    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.
    OnePlus 11 5G

    The OnePlus 11 5G is currently $100 off at Amazon. The Android handset has dropped to this price a few times before, but this deal 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. 
    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 a score of 85 in our 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 a little easier to use than Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5. Just keep in mind that its 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

  • The best wireless earbuds for 2023
    Companies continue to find new ways to impress with true wireless earbuds. There’s no doubt the popularity of Apple’s AirPods helped make them a mainstay, but plenty of others offer reliable connectivity, great sound and active noise cancellation (ANC) in increasingly smaller form factors. You can also get extra features that used to be reserved for premium models on mid-range devices. Of course, the popularity means that new earbuds are popping up all the time and the list of options is longer than ever. To help, we’ve compiled our top picks for the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, including noteworthy features for each.
    What to look for
    When it comes to shopping for earbuds, the first thing to consider is design or wear style. Do you prefer a semi-open fit like AirPods or do you want something that completely closes off your ears? If you’re shopping for earbuds with active noise cancellation, you'll want the latter, but a case can be made for the former if you want to wear them all day or frequent places where you need to be tuned in to the ambient sounds. The overall shape of earbuds can determine whether you get a comfortable fit, so can the size and weight, so you’ll want to consider all that before deciding. And remember: audio companies aren’t perfect, so despite lots of research, the earbud shape they decided on may not fit you well. Don’t be afraid to return ill-fitting earbuds for something that’s more comfortable.

    As wireless earbuds have become the norm, they’re now more reliable for basic things like consistent Bluetooth connectivity. Companies are still in a race to pack as much as they can into increasingly smaller designs. This typically means a longer list of features on the more premium sets of earbuds with basic functionality on the cheapest models. Carefully consider what you can’t live without when selecting your next earbuds, and make sure key items like automatic pausing and multipoint connectivity are on the spec sheet. You’ll also want to investigate the volume controls as you’ll often have to sacrifice access to something else to make that adjustment via on-board taps or swipes.

    When it comes to battery life, the average set of earbuds lasts about five hours on a single charge. You can find sets that last longer, but this is likely enough to get you through a work day if you’re docking the buds during lunch or the occasional meeting. You’ll want to check on how many extra charges are available via the case and if it supports wireless charging.

    Companies will also make lofty claims about call quality on wireless earbuds. Despite lots of promises, the reality is most earbuds still leave you sounding like you’re on speakerphone. There are some sets that deliver, but don’t get your hopes up unless reviews confirm the claims.

    Sound can be subjective, so we recommend trying before you buy if at all possible. We understand this isn’t easy at a time when we’re doing most of our shopping online. But trying on a set of earbuds and listening to them for a few minutes can save you from an expensive case of buyer's remorse. If a store doesn’t allow a quick demo, most retailers have return policies that will let you take earbuds back you don’t like. Of course, you have to be willing to temporarily part with funds in order to do this.

    We also recommend paying attention to things like Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, 360 Reality Audio and other immersive formats. Not all earbuds support them, so you’ll want to make sure a perspective pair does if that sort of thing excites you.
    How we test wireless earbuds
    The primary way we test earbuds is to wear them as much as possible. We prefer to do this over a one- to two-week period, but sometimes embargoes don’t allow it. During this time, we listen to a mix of music and podcasts, while also using the earbuds to take both voice and video calls. Since battery life for earbuds is typically less than a full day, we drain the battery with looping music and the volume set at a comfortable level (usually around 75 percent).

    To judge audio quality, we listen to a range of genres, noting any differences in the sound profile across the styles. We also test at both low and high volumes to check for consistency in the tuning. To assess call quality, we’ll record audio samples with the earbuds’ microphones as well as have third parties call us.

    When it comes to features, we do a thorough review of companion apps, testing each feature as we work through the software. Any holdovers from previous models are double checked for improvements or regression. If the earbuds we’re testing are an updated version of a previous model, we’ll spend time getting reacquainted with the older buds. Ditto for the closest competition for each new set of earbuds that we review.
    Best earbuds overall: Sony WF-1000XM5

    With the WF-1000XM5, Sony improves its already formidable mix of great sound, effective ANC and handy features. These earbuds are undoubtedly the company’s best and most comfortable design of its 1000X models so far, which was one of the few remaining riddles Sony needed to solve. Sony still manages to pack in more features than anyone else too, including trademark ones like adaptive sound and Speak-to-Chat. Add in upgraded drivers, new chips and significant improvements to sound quality and these are Sony’s best earbuds yet. But all of the advancements come at a cost: these are also Sony’s most expensive set of wireless earbuds in the 1000X lineup.

    Battery life: 8 hours, up to 24 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes

    Momentum True Wireless 3 is your best bet for excellent sound and an overall top notch listening experience. You won’t get the truckload of features that Sony offers, but Sennheiser does the basics well at a lower price than the previous Momentum earbuds. A new Adaptive Noise Cancellation setup continuously monitors ambient sounds to suppress them in real time. Inside, the company’s True Response transducer is paired with 7mm dynamic drivers for top-notch audio.

    Battery life: 7 hours, up to 28 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes
    Best earbuds for noise cancellation: Bose QuietComfort Ultra

    Since the company introduced the first model, Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds have consistently been the best option in terms of noise-canceling ability. It’s not surprising that its most-recent version, the QC Ultra Earbuds, only improved in ANC performance. However, the bigger story here is that Bose finally has the audio chops to compete with the best earbuds thanks to its new Immersive Audio tech. The feature brings spatial audio to all by not requiring specially-made content to use it. Rather than employ music and movies where the sound is coming from all directions, QC Ultra Earbuds put you in the middle of the acoustic “sweet spot” by relying heavily on virtualization. A dedicated gesture for volume controls, better-than-advertised battery life and customizable settings round out the spec sheet.

    Battery life: 6 hours, up to 24 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes

    Anker Soundcore Space A40 offer the kind of features you’d expect from wireless earbuds that cost twice as much: ANC, multi-device pairing, wireless charging, IPX4 water resistance, a transparency mode, eight to ten hours of battery life and LDAC support. When we tested them, we found their warm sound to be pleasing right out of the box, but Anker’s companion app makes it easy to customize the EQ curve if needed. And while their ANC isn’t quite as strong as our top picks, it’s still effective for a noisy office or long flight. For $80 or so, this is a superb value. – Jeff Dunn, Senior Commerce Writer

    Battery life: 10 hours, up to 50 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes
    Best earbuds for iOS: Apple Airpods Pro

    Apple’s latest AirPods Pro are a huge improvement over the 2019 model. The company managed to improve the sound quality and active noise cancellation while keeping all of the conveniences that make AirPods the best earbud option for iPhone, iOS and Mac. When we reviewed them, we found the most impressive feature to be transparency mode, which is more natural sounding than any other earbuds by a mile. You can leave these in during a conversation and it’s like you’re not even wearing them. Of course, fast pairing, hands-free Siri, spatial audio, good battery life and a wireless charging case will also come in handy.

    Battery life: 6 hours, up to 30 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes

    Pixel Buds Pro, Google offers deep, punchy bass, solid ANC performance, reliable touch controls and wireless charging, all in an IPX4-rated package. Plus, there are added convenience features for Android and Pixel devices including Google Translate Conversation Mode.

    Battery life: 11 hours, up to 31 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes

    Beats Fit Pro. Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, these buds offer one-touch quick pairing, hands-free Siri and Find My tools. They’ll also allow you to use Audio Sharing with an Apple device and another set of AirPods or Beats wireless headphones for tandem listening or viewing. Balanced and punchy bass will keep the energy up during workouts while good noise cancellation, an IPX4 rating and comfy silicone ear tips make these a solid option outside of the gym too. And there’s plenty of support for Android devices, so these aren’t just a good buy for iOS users either.

    Battery life: 6 hours, up to 24 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes

    LinkBuds S, the company debuted a more “traditional” design akin to its premium WF-1000XM4, only this model is much smaller and lighter which leads to a much more comfy fit. These tiny wireless earbuds muster some punch when it comes to sound quality too and support for high-res listening (LDAC and DSEE Extreme) are both onboard. Capable ANC lends a hand with environmental noise and transparency mode can keep you tuned in when needed. What’s more, handy Speak-to-Chat is here and Adaptive Sound Control can automatically change settings based on activity or location. That’s a lot of premium features at a mid-range price.

    Battery life: 6 hours, up to 20 hours with charging case

    Water resistance: IPX4

    Noise cancellation: Yes

    Multipoint: Yes
    FAQsIs sound quality better on headphones or earbuds?
    Comparing sound quality on earbuds and headphones is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. There are a lot of variables to consider and the differences in components make a direct comparison difficult. Personally, I prefer the audio quality from over-ear headphones, but I can tell you the sound from earbuds like Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 3 is also outstanding.
    Which wireless earbuds have the longest battery life?
    With new models coming out all the time, tracking the hours of battery life for each this can be difficult to keep tabs on. The longest-lasting earbuds we’ve reviewed are Audio-Technica’s ATH-CKS5TW. The company states they last 15 hours, but the app was still showing 40 percent at that mark during our tests. The only downside is these earbuds debuted in 2019 and both technology and features have improved since. In terms of current models, Master & Dynamic’s MW08 offers 12 hours of use on a charge with ANC off (10 with ANC on) and JBL has multiple options with 10-hour batteries.
    What wireless earbuds are waterproof?
    There are plenty of options these days when it comes to increased water resistance. To determine the level of protection, you’ll want to look for an IP (ingress protection) rating. The first number indicates intrusion protection from things like dust. The second number is the level of moisture protection and you’ll want to make sure that figure is 7 or higher. At this water-resistance rating, earbuds can withstand full immersion for up to 30 minutes in depths up to one meter (3.28 feet). If either of the IP numbers is an X, that means it doesn’t have any special protection. For example, a pair of wireless earbuds that are IPX7 wouldn’t be built to avoid dust intrusion, but they would be ok if you dropped them in shallow water.
    Which earbuds stay in ears the best?
    A secure fit can vary wildly from person to person. All of our ears are different, so audio companies are designing their products to fit the most people they can with a single shape. This is why AirPods will easily fall out for some but stay put for others. Design touches like wing tips or fins typically come on fitness models and those elements can help keep things in place. You’ll likely just have to try earbuds on, and if they don’t fit well return them.
    What wireless earbuds work with PS5?
    PlayStation 5 doesn’t support Bluetooth audio without an adapter or dongle. Even Sony’s own gaming headsets come with a transmitter that connects to the console. There are universal options that allow you to use any headphones, headset or earbuds with a PS5. Once you have one, plug it into a USB port on the console and pair your earbuds with it.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Analogue's limited edition Pockets are delightful and frustrating
    The life of a retro gamer is one fraught with delight and frustration. Chasing the unique feeling of waiting years while someone develops a new game for your vintage console of choice in their spare time. But the delight, when it lands, makes it all worth it. Conversely, watching someone snipe your eBay bid for a super rare game you’ve been seeking for years, that’s frustrating. No one appears to understand this yo-yo of emotions better than the team at Analogue — makers of some of the most desirable modern retro consoles around.

    When I say Analogue understands this, I mean it’s perfected the art of inducing both ends of that emotional spectrum. The very existence of the company shows it understands the passion retro lovers feel about gaming history. But almost two years after the release of the (delightful) Pocket handheld, we’re still (frustrated) waiting for key accessories and consoles to reliably be in stock. Meanwhile, the company just unveiled some seriously delightful limited editions. (Good luck actually buying one — frustrating.) They really have this retro gaming thing down to a tee, and fans have noticed.
    When the Pocket was announced, that sent a wave of delight around the retro gaming community. That was in October 2019 with an estimated release date of “2020.” Eagle-eyed readers will have already noticed that the company missed that broad target by almost a year, though there was a pandemic going on at the time. That’s a minor frustration, but one that only served to fuel the desire for what is, arguably, Analogue’s most complicated and refined product. Almost immediately, the companyreopened orders along with a mild bump in price and — depending on how quick you were — a potential two-year window for it to ship.

    As of this month, most of those orders have finally been fulfilled — but not without sprawling Reddit mega-threads of people comparing shipping statuses, order numbers and total days since ordering (props to the 600+ crew). The recent glow in the dark (GITD) limited edition itself caused a bit of a stir (or, in some cases, contempt) as the lucky few who were able to secure one saw it ship out immediately with no wait at all — including the one Analogue supplied for the images in this story.

    Things got a bit meta when Analogue quickly unveiled another series of limited editions, this time, the saliva-inducing transparent colors that every gaming handheld deserves. People who had jumped on the GITD Pocket found themselves with buyer’s remorse, had they known the other editions were coming, they would have rather tried for one of those. Some folks are just buying the limited editions because they simply want a Pocket, leaving fewer for those that actively wanted them. A delightfully frustrating situation for all involved.
    Reddit / MrFixter
    The Glow in the Dark Analogue Pocket looks fantastic though (we’re sure the transparent ones will also). And it’s another sign of Analogue’s hard-line approach to retro purism. The Pocket, a clear reference to the Game Boy Pocket, which had one little-known, hyper rare limited edition given out at a gaming competition. You guessed it, it was glow in the dark — the only official Nintendo console ever to come in the luminous material. Cruelly, the Game Boy Pocket didn’t have a backlight, so the effect was hard to enjoy during play time.

    Analogue’s version, of course, can totally be played in the dark, and it's positively encouraged. “Glow in the dark is amazing — when was the last time you've seen a proper consumer electronic fully glow in the dark?” Christopher Taber, founder and CEO of the company told Engadget. And according to Taber, the design involved creating an entirely new material. “We spent a few months getting the color and unique starry, chalky texture. Multiple different plastics to allow that to only be shown when it's glowing — when not glowing it has the perfect green, pure.” Taber’s enthusiasm appears to be matched by Pocket fans as all the units sold out in under two minutes. (Though Taber didn’t specify how many were available when asked.)

    Unsurprisingly, and to the chagrin of, well, everyone, plenty of GITD editions have found their way into the hands of resellers.

    Now that the shipping of actual Pockets seems to be mostly caught up, I asked whether there’d be stock for the holidays, to which Taber confirmed there would be. Which just leaves those cartridge adapters, and that’s a whole other situation, one that’s changed a fair bit since launch.
    Photo by James Trew / Engadget
    The whole selling point of the Pocket was that it could natively play original Game Boy cartridges (including Color and Advanced titles), plus Atari Lynx and Game Gear carts via an adapter. Later, TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine and NeoGeo Pocket adapters were also confirmed to be in development. At launch, the Game Gear accessory was ready to go, but there’s been a long wait for the others.

    Analogue initially communicated they should be available in Q3 this year, but Taber said they were “still on track to be shipped out by the end of the year.” (FWIW, an archived version of this page showed Q3 up until at least the day before we asked for confirmation, Google has since cached a newer version.) But the real change is that the Pocket can play games from far more systems than it could at launch, including some of the ones for which there are adapters.

    The Pocket doesn’t emulate games so much as it reprograms itself to “become” the system you want to play. It does this via something called Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) and more specifically “cores” that, in lay terms, mimic each system — it’s what sets the Pocket apart from most other retro handhelds that emulate in software.

    Since launch cores have been made available for a number of consoles, including the NES, SNES, Genesis/Megadrive, Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16. To play games from these systems, no adapter is required, but it does mean dabbling in the murky world of ROMs. To what extent this diminishes the appetite for the adapters is unclear (the Atari Lynx and Neo Geo Pocket remain the systems with adapters that don’t have community-created cores available).

    Analogue's Transparent Limited Edition Pockets go on sale today at 11AM Eastern. 
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Engadget Podcast: Meta’s Quest 3, AI and Ray-Ban smart glasses
    This week, it’s Meta’s turn to highlight AI during its device event. In this episode, Devindra and Cherlynn dive into all of the news from Meta’s Connect 2023 event, where it unveiled Meta AI and accompanying celebrity-powered chatbots. Oh yah, and it introduced the Meta Quest 3 and new Ray-Ban smart glasses, too. More so than the metaverse and VR, it’s really AI that Zuckerberg wants to push across all of Meta’s apps and devices.

    And in other news, we discuss why the end of the WGA strike is a big deal for AI in Hollywood; ex-Microsoft exec Panos Panay officially heading to Amazon; and why the FTC is targeting Amazon over its potential ecommerce monopoly.

    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 Engadget News!


    Pocket Casts


    Google Podcasts
    Meta’s Connect event announces Quest 3 VR, Ray-Ban smart glasses and a slew of AI – 0:35

    Hollywood Writers’ Guild ends strike with studio agreements on AI authorship, streaming residuals – 28:51

    Panos Panay is officially going to head Amazon’s devices team – 32:03

    FTC sues Amazon over ‘monopolistic practices’ – 35:30

    FCC revives Obama-era net neutrality rules – 37:59

    Jony Ive and Sam Altman are working on AI-powered hardware – 40:43

    Top U.S. spy agencies are working on AI chatbots of their own – 55:56

    Working on – 58:24

    Pop culture picks – 59:23

    Hosts: Devindra Hardawar and Cherlynn Low
    Producer: Ben Ellman
    Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The best smart light bulbs for 2023
    One of the best places to start when building a smart home ecosystem is smart light bulbs. Not only are they relatively low priced compared to other IoT gadgets, often costing between $10 and $50 a bulb, but they can also completely change the feel of your home. You can go from boring and analogue to colorful and automated within minutes, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to using smart light bulbs to create funky-colored light scenes, setting schedules and more.

    But like the rest of the smart home space over the last few years, there are now more players in smart lighting than ever before. We tested out some of the most popular smart lights on the market and found that most of them are quite good, but there are differences in compatibility, color quality and mobile app usability that are worth considering before deciding which smart bulb system will be the best buy for your home.
    What to look for in smart light bulbs'Connectivity (To hub or not to hub)
    One of the biggest appeals of smart lights is being able to control them from your phone. Most of them are able to do so by connecting to it via WiFi or Bluetooth, or via an external hub, which handles the connection for them. Bluetooth connectivity limits the range in which you’ll be able to control the light, so it’s only best for a limited number of bulbs and ones you don’t expect to control when you’re away.

    WiFi smart lights are easy to set up and can be cheaper overall since they don’t require a hub to connect them. However, having something like a central Zigbee hub can make your whole system more reliable since its connection is separate from your home’s WiFi network. For that reason, hub-based bulbs tend to be more expandable, so we mainly recommend those if you want to eventually have dozens of smart lights around your home.
    White or color?
    Most smart bulbs you’ll find today are “white and color” bulbs, meaning they can glow in vibrant blues, pinks, greens and everything in between, as well as shine with different temperatures of white. But there are some white-only bulbs out there, and they are often a bit more affordable than their color counterparts. While we recommend springing for the white-and-color devices, if you’d prefer white only, make sure you’re getting a bulb that can span the color temperature spectrum (typically from about 2000 to 5000 Kelvin), offering you various levels of warm and cool white light.
    App features
    One of the perks of smart lights is the amount of control you have over them thanks to their various app-connected capabilities. Most companion apps let you do things like set lighting schedules and timers, group individual lights into room designations and create your own custom light “scenes” with different colors. But we have seen other features that aren’t as ubiquitous like vacation mode for automatically turning lights on and off to enhance your home security, and sync with media, which changes the colors of lights depending on the music you’re listening to or the game you’re currently live-streaming.
    Smart home compatibility
    If you use a smart assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant regularly, make sure the smart lights you get work with your favorite. All of the bulbs we tested supported both Amazon’s and Google’s virtual assistants, allowing you to use voice commands to turn lights on and off, dim them and more. The wildcard here is Siri and Apple’s HomeKit; while numerous smart bulbs have added HomeKit support, not all lights are compatible with Apple’s smart home system.
    We alluded to this above, but you’ll want to consider how many smart lights you eventually want in your home. Some brands and lighting systems are easier to expand than others, and we generally recommend going for hub-based bulbs if you plan on putting smart lights in every room in your home. If you’re only looking to deck out your home office or living room with some fancy lights, WiFi options should serve you well. Thankfully, these are some of the most affordable smart home devices you can get, so even if you don’t have a clear answer to this question now, you can reconsider your options down the line if you do decide to outfit your home with multiple smart bulbs.
    Best overall smart light bulb: Philips Hue White + Color Ambiance

    If you’ve done any research into smart lights, you’ve probably come across Philips Hue bulbs. The range is popular for a variety of reasons, and we agree they’re the best smart light bulbs you can get thanks to their wide compatibility, easy to use mobile app and their expandability. Particularly, if you know you want to outfit more than one room in your home with these IoT devices, Philips Hue is the way to go.

    The first thing that’s important to know about Hue bulbs is that they are now Bluetooth enabled. That means you can buy a few to try out first, then easily expand your system with a hub when you want to add more lights to your home. Previously, the hub was required for any and all lights, but now it’s much easier to dip your toe into the range before fully taking the plunge.

    Like all of the other smart lights we tested, you only need to screw in a Philips Hue bulb, turn on your light, and follow the instructions in the mobile app to start using it. Even if you only have the lights in one room to start, we still recommend grouping them into their own “room” in the Hue app so you can easily control the entire space’s environment at once.

    Hue’s White + Color bulbs provide a range of warm to cool whites and millions of colors to experiment with in your smart home. Colors are rich and vibrant, and Philips’ pre-programmed scenes, such as Energize, Bright and Relax, let you quickly emulate your old “dumb” lights with different warmth levels of white light. You can pick from a number of color scenes in the app, too, but it’s also easy to create your own color temperature. So if you’ve always wanted to flood your office with a rainbow of vibrant colors while you’re live-streaming on Twitch, you can find the precise presets you want, save them and then turn them on with just a few taps in the app.

    The Hue app is pretty easy to use, and the bulbs support voice commands from Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. That means you don’t even have to open the app to control your lights; you can simply use voice control and say “Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights” and only the lights in that designated room will extinguish. You’ll be able to add up to 10 bulbs to your system using Bluetooth alone – at which point you’ll have to add a Philips Hue hub into the mix to support up to 50 lights. The hub also enables things like HomeKit connectivity, light schedules and automations, home and away modes and syncing with movies and music.

    Arguably the most useful of those features is automations, which lets you set on/off schedules for your lights, including automatically turning the lights off when you leave the house. It’s understandable why Philips would make these few features exclusive to those with Hue hubs – adding a hub into the mix makes the system more reliable, allowing you to do more with increasing numbers of connected lights, plus it will encourage many to invest in a hub and more Hue bulbs over time. We like Hue’s hub not only for its reliability, but also because it allows finer and more flexible control over your devices. So if you’re on vacation and want to turn on your living room lights to see what’s going on, you can do that.

    Expandability goes beyond the number of lights you have in your smart home: It also includes multiple smart bulbs you can install outside, too. The Hue range has a ton of indoor and outdoor light bulbs to choose from, including recessed lights, outdoor pedestal and flood lights, light strips and more. It’s one of the few ranges available today that gives you a ton of options to make every bulb in and out of your home smart, which is important to consider if you know you want to go all in on the smart light front.

    But that brings us to the biggest downside of Philips Hue, which is the price. Hue bulbs are on the expensive side, with a two-pack of White + Color Ambiance bulbs costing $80. If you’re looking for cheap bulbs to test out smart lighting, some of our other top picks below, like the Kasa smart light bulb, will be better choices since most of them have lower prices per bulb. However, if smart lighting is something you want to invest in going forward, we recommend going with one of Philips’ Hue starter kits: the White + Color Ambiance starter kit, including three bulbs, a hub and a smart button, comes in at $180, which is cheaper than if you were to buy all of those components separately.

    Connectivity: Bluetooth or hub

    White or color? Both

    App features: Light schedules and automations, home and away modes, syncing with movies and music

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri/HomeKit

    Expandability: Includes outdoor lighting
    Runner up: LIFX Color A19

    Overall, LIFX’s color smart lights are similar to Hue’s White + Ambiance bulbs in that they’re easy to set up, they offer striking, saturated colors and work with three major platforms: Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit. But the main difference is the LIFX bulbs are WiFi only, so you can’t connect them to a hub even if you wanted to, and some are slightly more expensive than Hue devices. The Color A19 bulb, which supports 1100 lumens, normally costs $50, but there’s an 800-lumen equivalent that’s a bit cheaper, coming in at $35 per bulb.

    LIFX’s mobile app is also undoubtedly the slickest we tested. While that may not mean much to you, it’s worth mentioning because mobile apps are the way most people interact with their smart lights on a daily basis. The homepage features all of the room groups in your household, along with the names of the lights in each room. You can easily turn a whole room, or a specific light, on with just a tap, and do the same for all of the lights in your smart home.

    LIFX lights support scheduling, so you can program lights to work for you so you rarely (if ever) have to control them manually, plus there are a plethora of scenes and effects to choose from. While all of the color lights we tried had pre-made scenes or presets ready to go in the app, Philips Hue and LIFX clearly had the most out of them all. Personally, I found LIFX’s scenes and additional effects to be a bit more fun and engaging than Hue’s. You can pick from scenes like “spooky” or “pastel” and use effects like “strobe” if you want to make your living room feel a bit more like a nightclub. While most people probably won’t use these niche scenes and effects on a regular basis, they’re great perks to have when you’re entertaining or just want to set the right vibe for your next movie night or game-streaming session.

    LIFX has a number of products in its ecosystem, from standard A19 bulbs to lightstrips to candles. It has switches, too, so you can physically control your smart lights if you wish. But Philips Hue has all of those options too and more, including not just switches, but standalone floor lamps, outdoor spotlights, downlights, light bars and motion sensors. You’ll have more options with Hue if you want to convert all of your home’s lights to smart ones, and have multiple ways to control them, too.

    Connectivity: WiFi only

    White or color? Both

    App features: Group by room, pre-made scenes or presets (including “spooky” and strobe lights), scheduling

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri/HomeKit

    Expandability: Not as many options as Philips Hue
    Best budget smart light bulb: TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Light Bulb

    TP-Link’s Kasa brand is known for its solid yet affordable smart home devices and its smart lights are no different. We tested out the WiFi-only multicolor smart light bulbs and found them easy to install and use, and they provide a bunch of features at an affordable price; a four-pack of multicolor bulbs will only set you back $40.

    Besides having a simple installation process, Kasa’s multicolor smart lights stayed reliably connected the whole time we tested them and the companion mobile app is simple and clean. All of the main functions for each light live in that bulb’s dedicated page in the app, allowing you to change brightness, white levels, color, schedules and more without navigating through a bunch of different menus. Changing colors is nearly instantaneous, and the light changes as you drag your finger across the color wheel in the app. Editing the four presets you’re able to save takes only a few taps, as does grouping multiple bulbs into rooms and creating lighting schedules. For the latter, if you do set on/off schedules, the app will show you the next step in that schedule (i.e., off at 8:35pm) next to each individual light.

    There’s also a handy “usage” section in each light’s page that shows you the bulb’s energy use over time, plus an estimate of how much energy you’re saving by using a smart light instead of a regular one. This is something that would be fun to observe over many weeks and months of using these bulbs, especially if conserving energy is one of the main reasons you invested in smart lights in the first place.

    TP-Link claims you can connect “unlimited” smart devices to its mobile app, which technically means you can have as many Kasa smart lights in your home as you’d like. We only tested a few together, so we can’t say for sure how dozens of connected devices would affect app speed and light response time. These are WiFi-only bulbs, which means connecting them to a Zigbee hub isn’t an option, so keep that in mind before deciding to invest in a house-full of these gadgets. It’s also worth noting that these lights aren’t compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, although you can control them using Alexa and Google Assistant commands.

    Connectivity: WiFi

    White or color? Color

    App features: Presets, lighting schedules, grouping by room, energy usage meter

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant

    Expandability: Unlimited, but there’s no hub option
    Best all white bulb: LIFX White E26

    Maybe you don’t want to bother with colored lights. If that’s the case, LIFX’s White E26 is your best bet. You get all of the non-color features in the mobile app that we explained above, including schedules and virtual assistant controls, but in a more basic LED light bulb that only costs $10.

    My biggest gripe is that it doesn’t span the cool-to-warm temperature range that other white bulbs do. Rather, you’re stuck with just one shade of white: 2700K, which is on the warmer side. This makes the LIFX bulb better for intimate settings like a bedroom or a living room, but since it’s not overly warm, it could work in a home office, too. It’s also dimmable, so you can control its brightness.

    If you have a specific use case in mind for your smart lights that doesn’t involve a rainbow of colors, then a LIFX bulb will more than suffice. They would work well in a child’s room, for instance, allowing you to set wake-up and sleep schedules that gradually turn on and off the lights, or in a home office where you just want a bit more control over your lights without extra frills.

    Connectivity: WiFi

    White or color? White

    App features: Presets, lighting schedules, grouping by room, energy usage meter

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri/HomeKit

    Expandability: Unlimited, but there’s no hub option
    Honorable mention: Sengled Smart Light Bulbs

    Sengled’s Smart Light Bulbs deserve a shout because they’re essentially more affordable versions of the best bulbs mentioned here, just with a few compromises. Key among those is that their colors are less nuanced than most others we tested and the mobile app is less polished.

    That said, you’re still getting millions of colors out of Sengled’s smart lights and the app is easy to use. It also provides all of the features you’d want from a smart light bulb, including grouping, schedules and automations. The fact that the Sengled mobile app isn’t as slick as Hue’s or LIFX’s may actually work in its favor with newbies – the basic controls and labels will be very easy for smart home novices to understand.

    The bulbs we tested were WiFi-based, so they do not require a hub. However, Sengled has a bunch of other smart lights that work via WiFi, Bluetooth or hub connectivity. A pack of four WiFi color bulbs will set you back $30, while a set of six Zigbee hub-based lights costs only $100. Overall, Sengled’s devices are much more affordable than Hue’s, making them a good budget option regardless of whether you want to stick to WiFi or invest in a smart home hub like Sengled’s own or a smart device like Amazon’s Echo with a built-in hub.

    Connectivity: WiFi

    White or color? Color

    App features: Grouping, schedules and automations

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant

    Expandability: Option to purchase a hub
    Best smart lamp: Philips Hue Signe Table Lamp

    Philips’ Signe table lamp is a slick way to add a wash of color into your living room, or a more controllable light source on your desk. The nearly two-foot tall lamp can be customized with up to three colors of light at once, plus it supports a full array of cool and warm hues as well. Shine it towards a wall to set the mood with colored lights during your game night, or use it to give yourself sufficient lighting during your next Zoom meeting – you can make it as fun or as practical as you need. It also supports effects like “candle” and “fireplace,” both of which produce moving light that emulates flickering flames. We also appreciate that the Signe lamp is a totally standalone device, like most of Philips’ new Hue bulbs: you don’t need a Hue bridge to use it. But if you have one, you’ll be able to do things like control the lamp when you’re away from home.

    The Signe lamp is a splurge, though, coming in at over $200. It’s certainly worth it if you need just one powerful light source, but a more affordable alternative would be the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp. It too supports millions of colors and a full spectrum of warm and cool light, but it runs on a rechargeable battery and can be used wirelessly. Depending on the setting you choose, you’ll get up to 18 hours of continuous use, making it a good option if you want a controllable light that can go anywhere you need it without fuss.

    Connectivity: Bluetooth, Hue Bridge

    White or color? Both

    App features: Up to three colors at once, “candle” and “fireplace” effects

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri/HomeKit

    Expandability: Option to purchase a hub
    Best smart light strip: Govee M1 RGBIC LED Strip Light

    Light strips can bring illumination to hard-to-reach places, or give a whole new vibe to your living room or office. The latest light strip from Govee, the M1 RGBIC model, gets super bright and supports a wide range of colors. It’s WiFi-connected but requires no central hub, so even if you have other smart lights throughout your home, this one will fit in easily. One strip measures nearly 16.5 feet long and it’s divided into 15 segments that you can control individually from within the Govee app.

    We’ll get into the app features, but it’s worth noting where the M1 sits in the smart light strip space. There are various different lengths out there and you can even find some two-packs that will cover up to 100 feet. The 16.4-foot length is pretty common in single packs, although you can find some that run up to 33 feet long. You can expect to pay $25 to $50 for a basic, multi-color, 16.4-foot light strip and the price will go up from there depending on how many segments the strip has, the color range it supports, if it’s WiFi-connected and other additional features. Govee’s M1 Light Strip is on the higher end of the spectrum, coming in at $110 for 16.4 feet of light, but it still costs less than arguably its biggest competitor: Philips’ Hue Light Strips, which come in at $80 per 6-foot strip.

    I was impressed by not only the color spectrum the M1 Light Strip supports, but also how bright it is. This strip gets almost blinding, and I usually had it operating at just 75 percent of its full brightness. While you can’t control each individual light on the strip, you can customize all 15 segments in the Govee app.

    The sheer number of options and effects Govee provides is remarkable: the “effects lab” gives you pre-made basic colors, scenes that mimic sunrises, starry nights, different kinds of movies like thrillers and dramas, gaming genres and more. On top of that, you can make your own custom scenes (and choose to share them with others in Govee’s Explore page) as well as your favorite colors and hues that you can save for frequent use. The strip’s color is saturated and vibrant – combine that with the overall brightness and it was easily able to give my office an attractive, ambient glow when positioned around the periphery of my couch.

    Aside from the higher price tag, my only other complaint about the M1 light strip is actually Govee’s mobile app. It’s a bit chaotic and takes some getting used to, so it might not be the best choice for anyone that wants something basic. However, I was able to get the hang of all the controls, and then some, after about a half hour. And you can always default to using Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands to control your light strip if you prefer, or you can set automations in the app that can take care of all your most used controls.

    Connectivity: WiFi

    White or color? Color

    App features: “Effects lab” with pre-made and customizable scenes

    Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant

    Expandability: Works well with other products
    Other smart bulbs we’ve tested
    'Nanoleaf Smarter Kit
    While we’ve recommended Nanoleaf’s Smarter Kits in guides in the past, they’re a bit more niche than other smart lights on this list. They’re best for adding flare to your living room or game-streaming setup as they come in different shapes like hexagons and triangles and can sync with music. In addition to different colors, light animations and schedules, Nanoleaf’s Smart Kits also support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands.
    Smart light bulb FAQsWhat’s the best smart light bulb for Alexa?
    There is no best smart light bulb for Alexa. Amazon doesn’t make its own smart bulbs (like it does for smart plugs and thermostats), but rather there are dozens of smart lights made by third-parties that work with Alexa — including all of the ones we tested. Before picking the best smart light bulb for you, make sure to check the voice assistants that the contenders support. You’ll find that most smart light bulbs available today work with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, and plenty of them also have support for Apple’s Siri and HomeKit.
    Can you put a smart bulb in any lamp?
    Smart light bulbs can go into most modern light fixtures — but just like regular bulbs, they need to be the right shape/size for the fixture. A standard A19 smart light bulb should work properly in most table, floor and other lamps. If you have a fixture that takes a specific type of bulb, look for smart bulbs that will fit properly.
    Do smart light bulbs use electricity when off?
    Smart light bulbs do use a negligible amount of electricity when their fixtures are turned off. This is due to the fact that the smart bulb needs to stay in constant contact with your home’s internet connection or Bluetooth in order to work properly. However, their energy-saving benefits usually outweigh the small amount of power they consume even while turned off.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Netflix mails its final DVDs to subscribers
    Netflix is shipping its final DVD rentals, marking the end of an era that helped make the company the streaming behemoth it is today. "Netflix will mail its final DVD on September 29, 2023," the company said in a post on X yesterday. "But the red envelope remains an enduring symbol of our love of entertainment."

    Netflix announced in April this year that it would shut down its DVD rental business on September 29, saying the shrinking demand for physical rentals is making it "increasingly difficult" to offer the quality of service it wants. The company shipped its first disc (Beetlejuice) in 1998, and has since shipped 5.2 billion movies in those red envelopes to more than 40 million customers. 
    Netflix will mail its final DVD on September 29, 2023.

    But the red envelope remains an enduring symbol of our love of entertainment.
    — Netflix (@netflix) September 28, 2023
    DVD rentals paved the way for Netflix to introduce streaming on-demand in 2007, and it quickly grew to become the company9s most popular offering by 2009. The rest is history, as Netflix gradually expanded to produce its own streaming content and now counts over 238 million subscribers. Meanwhile, DVD rentals (which shifted to have gradually become a minor part of Netflix. And while video purists still love DVDs and Blu-rays, sales worldwide dropped 19 percent from 2021 to 2022 alone. In one recent blow, Disney announced that it was halting DVD and Blu-ray production in Australia.   

    While it9s sadly the end of an era, there is one silver lining. This summer, Netflix announced that anyone who still has a rental will be able to keep their discs, and can even request up to 10 more movies so that the company can clear out its stock. "Please enjoy your final shipments for as long as you like," the company posted on X

    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Google is sunsetting its collaborative Jamboard app
    Google is sending Jamboard on its way to the company9s ever-growing graveyard full of products and services that didn9t quite work out. It will wind down the Jamboard whiteboarding app sometime in late 2024, it has revealed in a Workspace post, and will switch to working more closely with third-party partners. Jamboard is the tech giant9s home-grown whiteboarding solution that provides people the ability to collaborate in real time. Anything drawn or edited on its website or app, for instance, gets reflected on the Jamboard hardware, and vice versa. 

    To continue giving teams that use its tools access to a collaborative digital whiteboard, Google is integrating FigJam, Lucidspark and Miro across its Workspace. It also promised to provide a "retention and migration path" so that users don9t lose any collaborative work they9ve created within an organization. In its post, Google said it received feedback from customers that the advanced features offered by the aforementioned third-party partners helped their teams work better together. Based on that feedback, the company has decided to "leverage [its] partner ecosystem for whiteboarding in Workspace and focus [its] efforts on core content collaboration across Docs, Sheets, and Slides."

    In addition to killing the Jamboard app, Google is also winding down support for the $5,000 Jamboard device. The 4K digital whiteboard, which originally went on sale in 2017, will stop receiving auto-updates on September 30, 2024.

    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • SpaceX lands US Space Force contract for Starshield satellite communications
    SpaceX has won a $70 million contract with the US Space Force to provide satellite communications for the US Space Force via its Starshield program, SpaceX's website. The contract has a one-year duration. 

    "The SpaceX contract provides for Starshield end-to-end service (via the Starlink constellation), user terminals, ancillary equipment, network management and other related services," a Space Force spokesperson told post on his social network X, Musk refuted that sentiment. "Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat. Starshield will be owned by the US government and controlled by DoD Space Force," he said. 

    SpaceX is already a key contractor for the Pentagon, providing the military with rocket launches. Last year, the Space Force approved the company's reusable Falcon Heavy to carry US spy satellites into orbit. Earlier this year, SpaceX won a contract to provide an unspecified number of Starlink ground terminals for use in Ukraine. 
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Tesla sued by federal agency for racial harassment at California factory
    Tesla has been tolerating racial harassment at its factory in Fremont, California since at least 2015 until today, according to the lawsuit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The automaker has violated federal law by tolerating the "widespread and ongoing racial harassment of its Black employees," the agency said. Further, affected workers who raised concerns about the abuse they were getting were apparently subjected to various forms of retaliation: They were transferred, their duties were changed, or they were terminated. 

    The EEOC9s lawsuit says Black employees were regularly called variations of the N-word, "monkey," "boy" and "black b*tch" throughout the factory, even in hubs were workers gathered. These employees also encountered drawings of racial graffiti, including swastikas and nooses, on desks, as well as on the walls of bathroom stalls and elevators throughout the factory. If these allegations sound familiar, it9s because they9re identical to the complaints filed by plaintiffs who previously sued Tesla for racial harassment. 

    One of those plaintiffs was Melvin Berry, who accused Tesla supervisors of using racial slurs against him. And there was Owen Diaz, who said he was subjected to racial slurs and was made to feel unsafe at work with racist graffiti on his workspace, such as drawings of Inki the Caveman. Diaz was originally granted $137 million in damages, which was one of the highest amounts awarded to an individual suing on the basis of discrimination. However, it was significantly lowered following several appeals, until it was reduced to $3.2 million earlier this year. 

    The EEOC filed its lawsuit after doing an investigation on the automaker and trying to reach pre-litigation settlement through conciliation. Now, it9s seeking both compensatory and punitive damages, as well as backpay for all affected workers. It9s also asking the court for an injunction "designed to reform Tesla9s employment practices to prevent such discrimination in the future."
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Apple asks Supreme Court to reverse App Store ruling in Epic case
    As expected, Apple is making a last-ditch effort to get the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that would force it to open up its App Store to third-party payments. The iPhone maker filed a petition with the Court Thursday, arguing that the lower court injunction was “breathtakingly broad” and “unconstitutional.”

    It’s the latest beat in a long-simmering feud between Cupertino and the Fortnite developer that’s seen both sides ask the Supreme Court to reverse parts of a lower court ruling. But Apple's latest petition could have far-reaching consequences for all developers, should the Supreme Court decide to take up the case.

    That’s because Apple is asking the Supreme Court to reverse an injunction that would require the company to allow app developers to offer payments that circumvent its App Store, and the fees associated with it. Such a move would be a major blow to the App Store’s business, which has used the rule to maintain strict control over in-app payments.

    The rule, often referred to as an “anti-steering” policy, has long been controversial and a major gripe for developers. It not only prohibits app makers from providing links to web-based payments, it bars them from even telling their customers that a cheaper rate was available somewhere else.

    Fortnite developer Epic made the issue a central part of its antitrust lawsuit against Apple in 2020, and the judge in the case ruled in Epic’s favor on the issue in 2021. Apple has spent the last two years fighting that part of the ruling.

    Separately, Epic has also asked the Supreme Court to reconsider part of the lower court’s ruling in its bid to keep its antitrust claims against Apple alive.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Uber, Grubhub and DoorDash must pay NYC delivery workers an $18 minimum wage
    Uber, DoorDash and Grubhub won’t be able to get out of paying minimum wage to their New York City delivery workers after all, following a judge’s decision to reject their bid to skirt the city’s new law. The upcoming law, which is still pending due to the companies’ ongoing lawsuit, aims to secure better wage protections for app-based workers. Once the suit settles, third-party delivery providers will have to pay delivery workers a minimum wage of roughly $18 per hour before tips, and keep up with the yearly increases, increase April 1 of every year, is slightly higher than the city’s standard minimum wage, taking into account the additional expenses gig workers face. At the moment, food delivery workers make an estimated $7-$11 per hour on average.

    New York Acting Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Moyne put the law on pause back in July, when the three companies and the smaller delivery service, Relay Delivery, sued the city, arguing that the raised rates will have a negative impact on their services. With Moyne's latest decision, it’ll now move forward. While Uber, DoorDash and Grubhub will have to comply once it takes effect, Relay will be given more time to renegotiate its contracts with restaurants, according to Reuters.

    The move makes NYC the first US city to require a minimum wage for app-based deliveries, and others are likely to follow suit. The city previously pushed ride hailing apps to raise their minimum rates for drivers, forcing Uber and Lyft to raise their per-mile rates by just over 5 percent in 2022.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • The Elder Scrolls: Castles is like Fallout Shelter for Skyrim fans
    Bethesda appears to have shadow-dropped (intentionally or not) a new mobile game set in a familiar universe. The Elder Scrolls: Castles is a building management game reminiscent of u/tracteurman (via GamesRadar), is available for Android but not iOS.

    The Elder Scrolls: Castles tasks you with controlling a castle — and your dynasty. “Oversee your subjects as the years come and go, families grow, and new rulers take the throne,” the game’s Play Store description reads. It describes a real-life day in the game covering a year within the virtual world.

    Its gameplay involves familiar staples of building management sims: customize the castle, add and expand rooms, decorate, place monuments and assign workers to stations. In addition, you can create heroes to embark on “epic quests” to battle against classic Elder Scrolls foes.
    The Play Store listing’s “What’s new” section says, “Welcome to early access,” which at least suggests the game may have been intended as a closed beta. However, it’s downloadable and playable to anyone with a Play Store account at the time of publication. We reached out to Bethesda to find out whether the game’s silent publication was intentional, and we’ll update this article if we find out more.

    The Elder Scrolls: Castles is free in the Google Play Store. It’s rated “Teen” for violence and suggestive themes.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Adobe's 'Photoshop on the web' service is now available to all Creative Cloud subscribers
    Users will be able to edit, share and receive feedback on their Photoshop projects from anywhere on the web, Adobe announced Wednesday, regardless of whether an Adobe product is installed on their PC or tablet. The company is bringing its Photoshop on the web service out of beta and incorporating a few handy new AI features as well.

    Adobe first introduced a feature-svelt online version of the popular Photoshop app in December, 2021. Originally, users could share their psd files but only if the recipient had a copy of Photoshop or Illustrator on their computer too. That changed with the introduction of Creative Cloud, which allowed for sharing without the need for a local install. The beta version of Photoshop on the web took that concept a step further by incorporating basic editing tools into the web UI geared towards "minor tweaks and quick edits" — the easy sort of stuff that took less time to fix than the program took to boot. The production version released Wednesday does all that and more.

    "With this release we are starting with a focus on the needs of creators who are new to Photoshop with a streamlined user experience," Adobe VP Pam Clark wrote in a blog post. "We have brought the majority of the most commonly used Photoshop tools to the web and have streamlined the user experience, to make it easier for newer users to navigate the app."

    Users will also be able to experiment with two new AI-driven tools, generative fill and generative expand. As their names9 imply, these will "allow you to add, expand, or remove content from your images non-destructively, while magically matching perspective, lighting, and style of your image," Clark wrote. The features were first released as part of Firefly for the desktop edition of Photoshop

    The Contextual Taskbar is also migrating over from the desktop. This on-screen menu will observe your workflow and suggest relevant next steps. But for all the new features to play with, a number of existing tools have yet to make the jump to the web, including the patch and pen tools, smart object support and the polygonal lasso, the the company insists that they will be added with future updates.  
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at

  • Looks like NVIDIA got raided by French antitrust authorities
    At dawn on Wednesday, French antitrust authorities conducted a surprise raid on a company in the country that specializes in graphics cards — and according to brief press release from the regulator. The raid was tied to a larger investigation into the health of the cloud computing market, with a focus on identifying whether new companies were being unfairly squeezed out by larger, existing ones. The results of that investigation were published in June and they centered on three "hyperscalers," Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. 

    The results read, in part, "The likelihood of a new operator being able to gain market share rapidly appears limited, excluding companies who are already powerful in other digital markets." NVIDIA is not mentioned in the original cloud investigation.

    NVIDIA has seen significant financial success this year amid the AI boom. NVIDIA's AI chips and data centers are in high demand, and the company crushed its most recent earnings expectations, pulling in $13.51 billion in the second quarter of 2023, compared with $6.7 billion in 2022.

    As the French Competition Authority noted, a raid does not mean the targeted company is guilty of anticompetitive practices — but it's a confident step from the regulatory body.
    This article originally appeared on Engadget at


  • Modern UNIX: alternatives to common UNIX commands
    A collection of modern/faster/saner alternatives to common UNIX commands. Quite a few of these are written in Rust  if you want more Rust alternatives to existing popular tools, theres a list for that, too.

  • DOJ finally posted that “embarrassing” court doc Google wanted to hide
    So, whats in the document that Google didnt want to get out? The document in question contains meeting notes that Google’s vice president for finance, Michael Roszak, created for a course on communications,! Bloomberg reported. In his notes, Roszak wrote that Googles search advertising is one of the worlds greatest business models ever created! with economics that only certain illicit businesses! selling cigarettes or drugs! could rival.! Beyond likening Googles search advertising business to illicit drug markets, Roszaks notes also said that because users got hooked on Googles search engine, Google was able to mostly ignore the demand side! of fundamental laws of economics! and only focus on the supply side of advertisers, ad formats, and sales.! This was likely the bit that actually interested the DOJ. We could essentially tear the economics textbook in half,! Roszaks notes said. Juicy documents from an abusive monopolist are always a fun read.

  • Linuxs modprobe adds the ability to load a module from anywhere on the file-system
    With todays release of kmod 31, Linuxs modprobe utility for loading kernel modules can finally allow arbitrary paths to allow loading new kernel modules from anywhere on the file-system. Surprisingly it took until 2023 for allowing Linuxs modprobe to accept loading kernel modules from any arbitrary path. Rather than just specifying the module name and then looking up the module within the running kernels modules directory, modprobe can now allow passing a path to the module. Relative paths are also supported when prefixed with ./! for the path to the desired module. Finally.

  • I tested an HDMI adapter that demands your location, browsing data, photos, and spams you with ads
    I recently got my hands on an ordinary-looking iPhone-to-HDMI adapter that mimics Apple’s branding and, when plugged in, runs a program that implores you to “Scan QR code for use.” That QR code takes you to an ad-riddled website that asks you to download an app that asks for your location data, access to your photos and videos, runs a bizarre web browser, installs tracking cookies, takes “sensor data,” and uses that data to target you with ads. The adapter’s app also kindly informed me that it’s sending all of my data to China. Just imagine what kind of stuff is happening that isnt perpetrated by crude idiots, but by competent state-sponsored actors. I dont believe for a second that at least a number of products from Apple, Dell, HP, and so on, manufactured in Chinese state-owned factories, are not compromised. The temptation is too high, and even if, say, Apple found something inside one of their devices rolling off the factory line  what are they going to do? Publicly blame the Chinese government, whom they depend on for virtually all their manufacturing? You may trust HP, but do you trust the entire chain of people and entities controlling their supply chain?

  • SunOS multi-thread architecture
    We describe a model for multiple threads of control within a single UNIX process. The main goals are to provide extremely lightweight threads and to rationalize and extend the UNIX Application Programming Interface for a multi-threaded environment. The threads are intended to be sufficiently lightweight so that there can be thousands present and that synchronization and context switching can be accomplished rapidly without entering the kernel. These goals are achieved by providing lightweight user-level threads that are multiplexed on top of kernel-supported threads of control. This architecture allows the programmer to separate logical (program) concurrency from the required real concurrency, which is relatively costly, and to control both within a single programming model. The introduction to a 1991 USENIX paper about SunOS multithread architecture. Just the kind of light reading material for an Autumn weekend.

  • Bing Chat responses infiltrated by ads pushing malware
    In March, Microsoft began injecting ads into Bing Chat conversations to generate revenue from this new platform. However, incorporating ads into Bing Chat has opened the door to threat actors, who increasingly take out search advertisements to distribute malware. And in case youre thinking, whatever, I dont use these online chatbots anyway!, just remember that all this stuff is now built right into Windows and Microsoft Office, so one wrong click and youre right in the thick of it. Excellent.

  • Apple held talks with Microsoft about acquiring Bing in 2020
    But come 2020, a new round of talks opened between Apple and Microsoft. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft executives met with Apple’s Services VP Eddy Cue to “discuss the possibility of acquiring Bing.” These talks were reportedly “exploratory” and “never reached an advanced stage,” Bloomberg says. The revenue generated from its deal with Google was a “key reason” Apple’s talks to acquire Bing never advanced beyond that stage. “The company also had concerns about Bing’s ability to compete with Google in quality and capabilities,” today’s report explains. Apple Bing sounds like something from hell. Imagine being forced to use Bing on every Apple device you own. That has to be one of the circle of hell Dante decided to not tell us about.

  • Raspberry Pi 5 unveiled
    Today, we’re delighted to announce the launch of Raspberry Pi 5, coming at the end of October. Priced at $60 for the 4GB variant, and $80 for its 8GB sibling (plus your local taxes), virtually every aspect of the platform has been upgraded, delivering a no-compromises user experience. Raspberry Pi 5 comes with new features, it’s over twice as fast as its predecessor, and it’s the first Raspberry Pi computer to feature silicon designed in‑house here in Cambridge, UK. While I personally think there are more interesting alternatives to the Pi, theres no doubt the Pi is the most compatible and most popular of these small board computers, and a big upgrade like this is definitely welcome  assuming they can actually stock these at fair prices at the end of October, when the fifth iteration of the Pi actually launches.

  • No more Windows 11 activations with Windows 7/8 licenses
    Microsofts free upgrade offer for Windows 10/11 ended July 29, 2016. The installation path to obtain the Windows 7/8 free upgrade is now removed as well. Upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10 are still free. All good (?) things must come to an end. Maybe Windows 11 will end some day too.

  • COSMIC gets new window-swapping mode, gesture support, and more
    COSMIC, the Rust-based desktop environment System76, makers of Pop!_OS are working on, has seen another month of work, and it turns out that its already being used daily by the COSMIC team, which is always an important milestone. For instance, COSMIC continues its focus on keyboard users: Pop!_OS and COSMIC DE are built to stay out of your way so you can focus on getting things done. With Auto-tiling, new windows arrange themselves automatically on your screen to reduce the hassle. It’s important, then, that rearranging tiled windows manually feels as seamless as possible. COSMIC’s new window-swapping mode helps facilitate this seamlessness with, as the name suggests, an easy way to swap windows with your keyboard. Theyre also added dynamic settings  meaning, changing a setting applies it right away, instead of having to hit apply  as well as gesture support for touchpads. Furthermore, settings for panels have been implemented, so you can arrange and change your panels to your hearts content. Of course, theres more, so be sure to read their monthly update.

  • OpenBSD PF versus FreeBSD PF
    I encountered yet another discussion about OpenBSD PF versus FreeBSD PF. For those who are new to the discussion: OpenBSD developers created PF in 2001, and it rapidly improved to become the most approachable open source packet filter. FreeBSD ported PF over to its kernel in 2004, with occasional updates since. Today a whole bunch of folks who don’t program echo cultish wisdom that one or the other version of PF has fallen behind, not kept up on improvements, or otherwise betrayed their community. My subtler comments have been misinterpreted, so let’s try this. These claims are garbage. Contrary to what the peanut gallery of open source thinks, in general, the rule is that open source teams work together all the time, more often than not across project lines. Of course the OpenBSD developers are working together and sharing code when it comes to things like PF  they most likely share a lot of features and code, and while one of the two versions of PF might get a certain feature first, it will make its way to the other soon enough. These are professionals  not forum posters.

  • Playing with Caml Light on DOS
    Caml Light is implemented as a bytecode compiler which made it highly portable. It is possible to create executables using the CAMLC.EXE command, but please be aware that the resulting binaries are not standalone when using the default linking mode, and the runtime system (CAMLRUN.EXE) is required to run them. The latest available release of Caml Light for DOS is version 0.7 released in 1995. Heres a fun project for the weekend.

  • ChromeOS 117 brings Material You to ChromeOS
    Google is rolling out ChromeOS 117, and it’s a very big update for Chromebooks that adds Material You, as well as other usability enhancements. A pretty big update to ChromeOS, and the Material You is definitely welcome  perhaps it fixes up some of the issues I had with ChromeOS when I reviewed it a few months ago. The quick settings panel has been completely redesigned, too, this update adds specific colour correction settings for people with certain eye conditions, and a whole lot more. The update will roll out over the coming days.

  • Linux interop is maturing fast0 Thanks to a games console
    Two unusual companies, Valve Software and Igalia, are working together to improve the Linux-based OS of the Steam Deck handheld games console. The device runs a Linux distro called Steam OS 3.0, but this is a totally different distro from the original Steam OS it announced a decade ago. Steam OS 1 and 2 were based on Debian, but Steam OS 3 is based on Arch Linux, as Igalia developer Alberto García described in a talk entitled How SteamOS is contributing to the Linux ecosystem. Valves contributions to desktop Linux cannot be understated. Aside from Proton, the company also does a lot of work on graphics, as well as stuff like mentioned in the article. Without Valve, there would be no gaming on Linux  and its gaming thats driving the recent surge in popularity of desktop Linux. Of course, its still small compared to Windows and macOS, but the growth is undeniable.

  • Dotfiles matter: please stop dumping files in users’ $HOME directories.
    Dotfiles are important. We use them every day for storing configuration for all kinds of applications, knowingly or otherwise. You know the ones, hidden in your $HOME directory, ~/.ssh/ for your ssh keys, or ~/.Xauthority (whatever the heck that does). Something you may not know is these are legacy locations for configuration. Please do not copy their behaviour. Your application’s configuration may be the most important thing on a user’s machine. There are now standardised locations on major platforms for applications to store user-specific configuration. Your application should not be dumping random files into an unconfigurable location in the user’s home directory. This speaks to my soul.

  • Windows Subsystem for Android 2309 Preview released
    Weve shipped an update for Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 to the Windows Subsystem for Android Preview Program. This update (2309.40000.2.0) includes improvements to platform reliability and functionality improvements. It updates the Chromium WebView to version 117, allows .cer files to be shared to Android, contains various Android 13 platform updates, and more. The Windows Subsystem for Android is available in the Windows Store.

Linux Journal News

  • New 'Mirrored' Network Mode Introduced in Windows Subsystem for Linux

    Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) continues to evolve with the release of WSL 2 version 0.0.2. This update introduces a set of opt-in preview features designed to enhance performance and compatibility.

    Key additions include "Automatic memory reclaim" which dynamically optimizes WSL's memory footprint, and "Sparse VHD" to shrink the size of the virtual hard disk file. These improvements aim to streamline resource usage.

    Additionally, a new "mirrored networking mode" brings expanded networking capabilities like IPv6 and multicast support. Microsoft claims this will improve VPN and LAN connectivity from both the Windows host and Linux guest. 

    Complementing this is a new "DNS Tunneling" feature that changes how DNS queries are resolved to avoid compatibility issues with certain network setups. According to Microsoft, this should reduce problems connecting to the internet or local network resources within WSL.

    Advanced firewall configuration options are also now available through Hyper-V integration. The new "autoProxy" feature ensures WSL seamlessly utilizes the Windows system proxy configuration.

    Microsoft states these features are currently rolling out to Windows Insiders running Windows 11 22H2 Build 22621.2359 or later. They remain opt-in previews to allow testing before final integration into WSL.

    By expanding WSL 2 with compelling new capabilities in areas like resource efficiency, networking, and security, Microsoft aims to make Linux on Windows more performant and compatible. This evolutionary approach based on user feedback highlights Microsoft's commitment to WSL as a key part of the Windows ecosystem.

  • Linux Threat Report: Earth Lusca Deploys Novel SprySOCKS Backdoor in Attacks on Government Entities

    The threat actor Earth Lusca, linked to Chinese state-sponsored hacking groups, has been observed utilizing a new Linux backdoor dubbed SprySOCKS to target government organizations globally. 

    As initially reported in January 2022 by Trend Micro, Earth Lusca has been active since at least 2021 conducting cyber espionage campaigns against public and private sector targets in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Their tactics include spear-phishing and watering hole attacks to gain initial access. Some of Earth Lusca's activities overlap with another Chinese threat cluster known as RedHotel.

    In new research, Trend Micro reveals Earth Lusca remains highly active, even expanding operations in the first half of 2023. Primary victims are government departments focused on foreign affairs, technology, and telecommunications. Attacks concentrate in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Balkans regions. 

    After breaching internet-facing systems by exploiting flaws in Fortinet, GitLab, Microsoft Exchange, Telerik UI, and Zimbra software, Earth Lusca uses web shells and Cobalt Strike to move laterally. Their goal is exfiltrating documents and credentials, while also installing additional backdoors like ShadowPad and Winnti for long-term spying.

    The Command and Control server delivering Cobalt Strike was also found hosting SprySOCKS - an advanced backdoor not previously publicly reported. With roots in the Windows malware Trochilus, SprySOCKS contains reconnaissance, remote shell, proxy, and file operation capabilities. It communicates over TCP mimicking patterns used by a Windows trojan called RedLeaves, itself built on Trochilus.

    At least two SprySOCKS versions have been identified, indicating ongoing development. This novel Linux backdoor deployed by Earth Lusca highlights the increasing sophistication of Chinese state-sponsored threats. Robust patching, access controls, monitoring for unusual activities, and other proactive defenses remain essential to counter this advanced malware.

    The Trend Micro researchers emphasize that organizations must minimize attack surfaces, regularly update systems, and ensure robust security hygiene to interrupt the tactics, techniques, and procedures of relentless threat groups like Earth Lusca.

  • Linux Kernel Faces Reduction in Long-Term Support Due to Maintenance Challenges

    The Linux kernel is undergoing major changes that will shape its future development and adoption, according to Jonathan Corbet, Linux kernel developer and executive editor of Linux Weekly News. Speaking at the Open Source Summit Europe, Corbet provided an update on the latest Linux kernel developments and a glimpse of what's to come.

    A major change on the horizon is a reduction in long-term support (LTS) for kernel versions from six years to just two years. Corbet explained that maintaining old kernel branches indefinitely is unsustainable and most users have migrated to newer versions, so there's little point in continuing six years of support. While some may grumble about shortened support lifecycles, the reality is that constantly backporting fixes to ancient kernels strains maintainers.

    This maintainer burnout poses a serious threat, as Corbet highlighted. Maintaining Linux is largely a volunteer effort, with only about 200 of the 2,000+ developers paid for their contributions. The endless demands on maintainers' time from fuzz testing, fixing minor bugs, and reviewing contributions takes a toll. Prominent maintainers have warned they need help to avoid collapse. Companies relying on Linux must realize giving back financially is in their interest to sustain this vital ecosystem. 

    The Linux kernel is also wading into waters new with the introduction of Rust code. While Rust solves many problems, it also introduces new complexities around language integration, evolving standards, and maintainer expertise. Corbet believes Rust will pass the point of no return when core features depend on it, which may occur soon with additions like Apple M1 GPU drivers. Despite skepticism in some corners, Rust's benefits likely outweigh any transition costs.

    On the distro front, Red Hat's decision to restrict RHEL cloning sparked community backlash. While business considerations were at play, Corbet noted technical factors too. Using older kernels with backported fixes, as RHEL does, risks creating divergent, vendor-specific branches. The Android model of tracking mainline kernel dev more closely has shown security benefits. Ultimately, Linux works best when aligned with the broader community.

    In closing, Corbet recalled the saying "Linux is free like a puppy is free." Using open source seems easy at first, but sustaining it long-term requires significant care and feeding. As Linux is incorporated into more critical systems, that maintenance becomes ever more crucial. The kernel changes ahead are aimed at keeping Linux healthy and vibrant for the next generation of users, businesses, and developers.

  • Linux Celebrates 32 Years with the Release of 6.6-rc2 Version

    Today marks the 32nd anniversary of Linus Torvalds introducing the inaugural Linux 0.01 kernel version, and celebrating this milestone, Torvalds has launched the Linux 6.6-rc2. Among the noteworthy updates are the inclusion of a feature catering to the ASUS ROG Flow X16 tablet's mode handling and the renaming of the new GenPD subsystem to pmdomain.

    The Linux 6.6 edition is progressing well, brimming with exciting new features that promise to enhance user experience. Early benchmarks are indicating promising results, especially on high-core-count servers, pointing to a potentially robust and efficient update in the Linux series.

    Here is what Linus Torvalds had to say in today's announcement:
    Another week, another -rc.I think the most notable thing about 6.6-rc2 is simply that it'sexactly 32 years to the day since the 0.01 release. And that's a roundnumber if you are a computer person.Because other than the random date, I don't see anything that reallystands out here. We've got random fixes all over, and none of it looksparticularly strange. The genpd -> pmdomain rename shows up in thediffstat, but there's no actual code changes involved (make sure touse "git diff -M" to see them as zero-line renames).And other than that, things look very normal. Sure, the architecturefixes happen to be mostly parisc this week, which isn't exactly theusual pattern, but it's also not exactly a huge amount of changes.Most of the (small) changes here are in drivers, with some tracingfixes and just random things. The shortlog below is short enough toscroll through and get a taste of what's been going on. Linus Torvalds

  • Introducing Bavarder: A User-Friendly Linux Desktop App for Quick ChatGPT Interaction

    Want to interact with ChatGPT from your Linux desktop without using a web browser?

    Bavarder, a new app, allows you to do just that.

    Developed with Python and GTK4/libadwaita, Bavarder offers a simple concept: pose a question to ChatGPT, receive a response, and promptly copy the answer (or your inquiry) to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere.

    With an incredibly user-friendly interface, you won't require AI expertise (or a novice blogger) to comprehend it. Type your question in the top box, click the blue send button, and wait for a generated response to appear at the bottom. You can edit or modify your message and repeat the process as needed.

    During our evaluation, Bavarder employed BAI Chat, a GPT-3.5/ChatGPT API-based chatbot that's free and doesn't require signups or API keys. Future app versions will incorporate support for alternative backends, such as ChatGPT 4 and Hugging Chat, and allow users to input an API key to utilize ChatGPT3.

    At present, there's no option to regenerate a response (though you can resend the same question for a potentially different answer). Due to the lack of a "conversation" view, tracking a dialogue or following up on answers can be challenging — but Bavarder excels for rapid-fire questions.

    As with any AI, standard disclaimers apply. Responses might seem plausible but could contain inaccurate or false information. Additionally, it's relatively easy to lead these models into irrational loops, like convincing them that 2 + 2 equals 106 — so stay alert!

    Overall, Bavarder is an attractive app with a well-defined purpose. If you enjoy ChatGPT and similar technologies, it's worth exploring.
    ChatGPT AI

  • LibreOffice 7.5.3 Released: Third Maintenance Update Brings 119 Bug Fixes to Popular Open-Source Office Suite

    Today, The Document Foundation unveiled the release and widespread availability of LibreOffice 7.5.3, which serves as the third maintenance update to the current LibreOffice 7.5 open-source and complimentary office suite series.

    Approximately five weeks after the launch of LibreOffice 7.5.2, LibreOffice 7.5.3 arrives with a new set of bug fixes for those who have successfully updated their GNU/Linux system to the LibreOffice 7.5 series.

    LibreOffice 7.5.3 addresses a total of 119 bugs identified by users or uncovered by LibreOffice developers. For a more comprehensive understanding of these bug fixes, consult the RC1 and RC2 changelogs.

    You can download LibreOffice 7.5.3 directly from the LibreOffice websiteor from SourceForge as binary installers for DEB or RPM-based GNU/Linux distributions. A source tarball is also accessible for individuals who prefer to compile the software from sources or for system integrators.

    All users operating the LibreOffice 7.5 office suite series should promptly update their installations to the new point release, which will soon appear in the stable software repositories of your GNU/Linux distributions.

    In early February 2023, LibreOffice 7.5 debuted as a substantial upgrade to the widely-used open-source office suite, introducing numerous features and improvements. These enhancements encompass major upgrades to dark mode support, new application and MIME-type icons, a refined Single Toolbar UI, enhanced PDF Export, and more.

    Seven maintenance updates will support LibreOffice 7.5 until November 30th, 2023. The next point release, LibreOffice 7.5.4, is scheduled for early June and will include additional bug fixes.

    The Document Foundation once again emphasizes that the LibreOffice office suite's "Community" edition is maintained by volunteers and members of the Open Source community. For enterprise implementations, they suggest using the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners.

  • Raspberry Pi OS Debuts New Version Featuring Linux Kernel 6.1, Improved Performance, and App Updates

    Today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled a fresh edition of their official Raspberry Pi OS distribution tailored for Raspberry Pi computers, featuring component updates, bug fixes, and several performance enhancements.

    The most significant alteration in the Raspberry Pi OS 2023-05-03 release is the transition from the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel to the long-term supported Linux 6.1 LTS kernel. This shift is expected to boost the performance of Raspberry Pi devices.

    Indeed, current Raspberry Pi OS users, like myself, were already utilizing the Linux 6.1 LTS kernel when executing the rpi-update command via a terminal emulator. However, Linux 6.1 LTS is now the standard kernel in new Raspberry Pi OS images, available for download from the official website for those planning to install it on their Raspberry Pi computer.

    Various applications have received updates in this new Raspberry Pi OS version. The most notable is Chromium 113, the default browser for Raspberry Pi OS. In addition to incorporating the latest security patches, Chromium 113 introduces WebGPU support by default, potentially enhancing the performance of web apps and overall browsing experience.

    Other updates include Raspberry Pi Imager 1.7.4, RealVNC Viewer, RealVNC Server, Mathematica 13.2.1, and Matlab 23.1.0. Another intriguing update is the revised VLC hardware acceleration patch, designed to enhance video playback performance.

    The libcamera and libcamera-apps elements have also been updated to refine IMX296 sensor tuning, enhance audio resampling and encoding management using the libav library, boost the performance of Qt preview window rendering, optimize thumbnail rendering, support 16-bit Bayer in the DNG writer, manage generalized statistics, and rectify an overflow problem that caused inaccurate calculations in the AGC algorithm.

    The picamera2 library has also been updated, incorporating an MJPEG server example that utilizes the hardware MJPEG encoder, an example showcasing a preview from two cameras within a single Qt app, the capacity for the H.264 encoder to accept frame time intervals for SPS headers, promote the correct profile/level, and support constant quality parameters, as well as introduce new Exif DateTime and DateTimeOriginal tags.

    Several bugs were addressed, including an occasional segfault in the CPU temperature plugin, an X11 server crash when altering screen orientation, X11 server DPMS malfunctions, and the addition of new language translations.

  • Debian 11.7 Released: Seventh ISO Update Brings Enhanced Security and Bug Fixes to "Bullseye" Operating System Series

    The Debian Project has unveiled the release and widespread availability of Debian 11.7, serving as the seventh ISO update to the current Debian GNU/Linux 11 "Bullseye" operating system series.

    Arriving approximately four and a half months after Debian 11.6, Debian 11.7 delivers updated installation media for those seeking to install the Debian GNU/Linux 11 "Bullseye" operating system series on new computers. This ensures that users won't need to download numerous updates from repositories following installation.

    Debian 11.7 incorporates all security and software updates from December 17th, 2022, the release date of Debian GNU/Linux 11.6, up until today. In total, Debian 11.7 consists of 102 security updates and various bug fixes for 92 packages.

    For more information on these security updates and bug fixes, consult the release announcement. The Debian Project emphasizes that this Debian Bullseye point release does not represent a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 11 but merely updates certain included packages.

    The Debian 11.7 installation images can be downloaded from the Debian website or via this direct link for 64-bit (amd64), 32-bit (i386), PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64el), IBM System z (s390x), MIPS 64-bit Little Endian (mips64el), MIPS 32-bit Little Endian (mipsel), MIPS, Armel, ARMhf, and AArch64 (arm64) hardware architectures.

    Debian 11.7 live images, pre-installed with the KDE Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, Cinnamon, and MATE desktop environments, can also be downloaded from the aforementioned link, but only for 64-bit and 32-bit systems.

    Current Debian GNU/Linux 11 "Bullseye" users do not need to download these new ISO images to maintain up-to-date installations. Instead, they should regularly execute the sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade commands in a terminal emulator.

  • What’s New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”?
    Debian is a preferred choice of millions of Linux users for some of the most popular and powerful operating systems, like Ubuntu and its derivatives are based on Debian.
    Debian 11has finally been released, finally, after a long development work of two years. Bullseye – that’s the name given to this latest Debian Linux distro. So what are the updates and upgrades? In this article, let’s check out what’s new in Debian 11.
    Debian 11’s ArchitectureDebian supports a good range of hardware architectures. 
    Supported Architectures
    ARM EABI (armel) ARMv7 (EABI hard-float ABI and armhf) 64-bit ARM (arm64) 32-bit PC (i386) 64-bit PC (amd64) Little-endian MIPS (mipsel) 64-bit little-endian PowerPC 64-bit little-endian MIPS IBM System z (s390x)Not Supported Hardware
    Old MIPS 32-bit CPUsLinux Kernel InformationDebian 11 supports the Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS. Debian 10 Buster, the earlier version to Debian 11, used Linux Kernel 4.19 while released. A newer kernel means a new set of bug fixes, new hardware support, and improved performance.
    This is the perfect kernel for Debian bullseye considering the Debian lifecycle.   
    Supports exFATexFAT is the shortened form of the Extensible File Allocation Table. It’s a filesystem used for flash memory, such as SD cards and USB flash drives.
    Now Debian 11 provides support for the exFAT. For mounting the exFAT filesystem, you don’t need the filesystem-in-userspace implementation provided by the exfat-fuse package additionally anymore. Thanks to kernel 5.10! exFAT comes in handy with it. Tools for checking and creating an exFAT are given in the exfatprogs package.
    Bauhaus Movement Inspired Theme & WallpaperDebian features cool wallpapers and a default theme for each of the major releases. Debian 11’s theme is inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Bauhaus means “building house” and it was an art and design movement from 20th century Germany. The Bauhaus movement revolved around abstract, geometric style featuring little emotion or sentiments. 
    Its modern aesthetic still is immensely influential for designers, architects, and artists. You can see this theme all through Debian 11 whether it’s the installer, login window, or the Grub menu.
    Newer Desktop Environment VersionsDebian 11 offers newer desktop environment versions. Desktop flavors you get here are, KDE Plasma 5.20, GNOME 3.38, LXDE 11, LXQt 0.16, Xfce 4.16, and MATE 1.24. Debian prefers stability and it’s quite clear from the desktop environments. You might not get the latest cutting-edge distributions like Fedora or Arch/Manjaro.
    Updated PackagesDebian 11 consists of more than 11,294 new packages out of 59,551 packages. It also reduced over 9,519 “obsolete” packages and removed 42,821 that were updated. A total of 5,434 packages remained as they were.
    A good number of software applications and package updates are included in Debian bullseye, such as Apache 2.4.48, Calligra 3.2, Emacs 27.1, LibreOffice 7.0, Inkscape 1.0.2, Linux kernel 5.10 series, Perl 5.32, PHP 7.4, Vim 8.2, PostgreSQL 13, and the list goes on. All these ready-to-use software packages are built with over 30,000 source packages.
    With this huge selection of packages and wide architecture support, Debian has always stayed committed to its aim of being The Universal Operating System.
    Improved Printer and Scanner FeaturesDebian 11 presents a new ipp-usb package. It is built with a vendor-neutral IPP-over-USB protocol that is supported by many latest printers. So, many modern-day printers will be supported now by Debian. And you won’t need the drivers for that.
    SANE driverless backend lets you use scanners without any trouble.
    EndnotesWant to try Debian Bullseye? Get it from here. You can also check “bullseye” with Live Images without installing it on your PC. This will load and run the entire OS in read-only mode. These live images are available for the i386 and amd64 architectures in the form of USB sticks, DVDs, and netboot setups. Debian Live has a standard image. So you can try a basic Debian without any GUIs.
    And that’s the ending of this article. Hope you find our Debian 11 guide helpful.
    #Linux Debian News

  • Nvidia Linux drivers causing random hard crashes and now a major security risk still not fixed after 5+ months
    Image The recent fiasco with Nvidia trying to block Hardware Unboxed from future GPU review samples for the content of their review is one example of how they choose to play this game. This hatred is not only shared by reviewers, but also developers and especially Linux users.
    The infamous Torvalds videos still traverse the web today as Nvidia conjures up another evil plan to suck up more of your money and market share. This is not just one off shoot case; oh how much I wish it was. I just want my computer to work.
    If anyone has used Sway-WM with an Nvidia GPU I’m sure they would remember the –my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia option.
    These are a few examples of many.
    The Nvidia Linux drivers have never been good but whatever has been happening at Nvidia for the past decade has to stop today. The topic in question today is this bug: []
    This bug causes hard irrecoverable crashes from driver 440+. This issue is still happening 5+ months later with no end in sight. At first users could work around this by using an older DKMS driver along with a LTS kernel. However today this is no longer possible. Many distributions of Linux are now dropping the old kernels. DKMS cannot build. The users are now FORCED with this “choice”:
    {Use an older driver and risk security implications} or {“use” the new drivers that cause random irrecoverable crashes.}
    This issue is only going to get more and more prevalent as the kernel is a core dependency by definition. This is just another example of the implications of an unsafe older kernel causing issue for users:
    If you use Linux or care about the implications of a GPU monopoly, consider AMD. Nvidia is already rearing its ugly head and AMD is actually putting up a fight this year.
    #Linux NVIDIA News

Linux Magazine News (path: lmi_news)

  • UbuntuDDE 23.04 Now Available
    A new version of the UbuntuDDE remix has finally arrived with all the updates from the Deepin desktop and everything that comes with the Ubuntu 23.04 base.

  • SUSE Going Private (Again)
    The company behind SUSE Linux Enterprise, Rancher, and NeuVector recently announced that Marcel LUX III SARL (Marcel), its majority shareholder, intends to delist it from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by way of a merger.

  • Rolling Release Rhino Linux Available Now
    The developers of Rhino Linux have been teasing their rolling-release Ubuntu distribution for some time now, and it's finally here for everyone to download and use.

  • Zorin OS 16.3 is Now Available
    The creators of one of the most user-friendly Linux distributions have released their latest iteration, which includes an exciting new upgrader and other outstanding features.

  • SUSECON 2023
    The SUSE community gathered in Munich to reimagine the customer process and meet the new CEO.

  • Mageia 9 RC1 Now Available for Download
    The developers of Mageia have announced the availability of the latest RC candidate for the upcoming version of their Linux distribution, which includes plenty of updates, resolved issues, and security fixes.

Page last modified on November 17, 2022, at 06:39 PM