Tech News Feed

Losses From Crypto Hacks Surged 60% To $1.9 Billion From January To July, Chainalysis Says

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:05
Losses arising from cryptocurrency hacks jumped nearly 60% in the first seven months of the year to $1.9 billion, propelled by a surge in funds stolen from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, according to a blog post from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis released on Tuesday. From a report: In the same period last year, stolen funds from hacking amounted to $1.2 billion. DeFi applications, many of which run on the Ethereum blockchain, are financial platforms that enable crypto-denominated lending outside of traditional banks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hit Your Wellness Goals With Help From Amazon Halo Devices While They Are Up to 45% Off - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:01
Looking for a Fitbit alternative? The swimproof Halo Band and Halo View fitness trackers could be just what you bargained for.

10 College Wardrobe Essentials to Put on Your Packing List - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:00
Going to school and not sure what to pack? Here are the top 10 college wardrobe necessities recommended by a recent college grad.

The 700 Series From Ride1Up: An E-Bike to Replace Your Car - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:00
The 700 Series from Ride1Up is a fantastic e-bike that almost made my car obsolete -- and with gas prices these days, that's a big deal for me.

Drop's Newest Keyboards Contain Secrets for 'Lord of the Rings' Fans to Discover - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:00
You've got two choices in Lord of the Rings keyboards, and they're both going to make any Tolkien fan very happy.

Jurassic World's DinoTracker AR Puts Raptors in Your Yard With Pokemon Go Tech - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:00
It would be more fun if this were a real Pokemon Go alternative.

The 10 Biggest Banks in the US - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 12:00
We've listed the biggest banks in the US based on their total assets owned.

Amazon Air freight hub workers walked out to protest pay and conditions

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 11:46

Dozens of workers at a key Amazon Air cargo hub in California walked out mid-shift on Monday to protest pay and safety conditions. More than 150 of the 1,500 employees at the San Bernardino facility took part in the stoppage, according to The Washington Post. Amazon has disputed that figure by claiming that roughly 74 people walked off the job.

This was said to be the first coordinated labor action in the company's air freight division, taking place at the largest Amazon Air hub in California. The action was led by workers who are organizing as a group called Inland Empire Amazon Workers United.

The alliance has urged Amazon to increase the base pay rate from $17 per hour to $22 at the facility, which is known as KSBD. Amazon said that full-time workers have benefits and can earn up to $19.25 per hour.

Inland Empire Amazon Workers United has also called out working conditions, claiming that temperatures reached 95 degrees at the airport on 24 days in July, as CNBC reports. Managers are said to have opened more rest areas after previous complaints about the heat. “They say there is air conditioning, but you can only feel it in some sections," Daniel Rivera, a leader of the stoppage, told the Post. An Amazon spokesperson claimed the highest recorded temperature in the hub is 77 degrees.

The workers who walked out don't currently have plans to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, but they are open to the idea amid a wave of unionization efforts across the company. Amazon has appealed against a union victory in Staten Island, New York. The results of a second election at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, were too close to call and hundreds of votes have been challenged.

AMD will unveil its Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs on August 29th

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 11:32

You won't have to wait much longer to learn more about AMD's Ryzen 7000 desktop processors. The company has announced that it will unveil the new CPU line in a YouTube livestream on August 29th at 7PM. The event will share more about the new Zen 4 architecture and the supporting AM5 platform.

There are already some clues as to what to expect. AMD inadvertently shared some of the first Ryzen 7000 model numbers on its website in July, including one Ryzen 5 chip (7600X), one Ryzen 7 variant (7700X) and two Ryzen 9 releases (7900X and 7950X). As with past launches, the company appears focused on gaming-friendly enthusiast CPUs while leaving budget parts for later releases.

Zen 4 and AM5, meanwhile, promise meaningful architectural changes. You'll see more Level 2 cache, boost speeds beyond 5GHz, AI hardware acceleration and support for newer standards like DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 expansion. AMD claimed a 15 percent boost to single-threaded performance in early testing. Effectively, AMD is responding to Intel's 12th-gen Core — it's just a question of whether or not Ryzen 7000 is fast enough to keep up or edge ahead.

Apple Lays Off Recruiters as Part of Its Slowdown in Hiring

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 11:25
Apple laid off many of its contract-based recruiters in the past week, part of a push to rein in the tech giant's hiring and spending, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. From a report: About 100 contract workers were let go in a rare move for the world's most valuable company, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. The recruiters were responsible for hiring new employees for Apple, and the cuts underscore that a slowdown is underway at the company. Workers laid off were told the cuts were made due to changes in Apple's current business needs. Bloomberg first reported last month that the company was decelerating hiring after years of staffing up, joining many tech companies in hitting the brakes. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook confirmed during Apple's earnings conference call that the company would be more "deliberate" in its spending -- even as it keeps investing in some areas.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review: Improved Design Pays Dividends - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 11:04
Yes, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro perform a little better, but the biggest improvement for a lot of people will be their superior fit.

Apple reportedly lays off recruiters amid hiring slowdown

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:59

Apple has been reluctant to cut jobs in the face of the economic downturn like Microsoft, Tesla and other major tech companies, but it apparently isn't immune to the pressure. Bloombergsources claim Apple has laid off roughly 100 contract recruiters to reflect changes in the company's "current business needs." It's maintaining full-time recruiting positions and some contractors, but the layoffs covered locations ranging from Texas to Singapore.

The company declined to comment. During a call for its latest latest earnings, CEO Tim Cook said Apple would continue to hire people but would be "more deliberate" given difficult conditions. It fired hundreds of Irish contract workers in 2019 in response to Siri recording privacy concerns, and dropped Apple Park development contractors in 2015.

The move isn't surprising when Apple had a mixed quarter this spring. Although iPhone revenue grew, Apple Watch and smart home sales took a hit due to a rough economy. iPad and Mac sales were hampered by supply limitations, too. While Apple isn't exactly in financial trouble (it still posted a $19.4 billion profit), it's not enjoying the relentless growth of previous years. If the layoff report is accurate, the firm is adapting to a reality where ever-increasing sales aren't guaranteed.

Oracle Begins Auditing TikTok's Algorithms

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:50
Oracle has begun vetting TikTok's algorithms and content moderation models to ensure they aren't manipulated by Chinese authorities, Axios reported Tuesday. From the report: The effort is meant to provide further assurance to lawmakers that TikTok's U.S. platform operates independently from influence by the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance. ByteDance bought the U.S. lip-syncing app in 2017 and merged it with its version of a similar app called TikTok. The app has since skyrocketed in popularity in the U.S.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Buy $85 of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Get a Free 3-Piece Set - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:47
Get high-quality makeup that will help you achieve any look for less.

Oscars Apology Comes Nearly 50 Years After Marlon Brando Protest - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:46
Native American actor and activist Sacheen Littlefeather stepped in for the Godfather star at the 1973 Oscars.

Apple's Latest Return-to-Office Attempt Reportedly Set for Sept. 5 - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:42
After multiple delays due to COVID-19 spikes, the tech company's corporate employees may be headed back to the office three days a week.

Amazon Has the Pocket-Sized JBL Go 3 Speaker on Sale for Just $30 - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:39
Even at full price, this is one of our favorite speakers on the market in 2022, so don't miss your chance to pick it up for $20 off.

What we bought: Anker's MagSafe battery pack charges and pulls double duty as a phone stand

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:30

After nearly four years with the iPhone X, I finally upgraded to the iPhone 13 late last year. This might seem silly, but perhaps my favorite feature is not the 12-megapixel camera or Super Retina HD display – it’s the MagSafe support. I know that MagSafe actually debuted a year earlier with the iPhone 12, but there weren’t as many MagSafe accessories out then as there are now. One of my recent favorites is the Anker 622 Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger, which helps ensure my phone never runs out of battery.

To be fair, the iPhone 13 actually has decent battery life. In our review, we found that it easily outlasted its predecessor by a couple of hours, lasting almost two days with our standard battery test. However, I don’t always remember to charge my phone, and I use my phone constantly when I’m out and about. That’s especially true if I need to access Google Maps for directions. I do have a 25,000mAh ZMI power bank, but while it’s useful for travel, it’s just too bulky to fit in my everyday bag. I needed a smaller and lighter solution to use on the regular.


I considered Apple’s own MagSafe Battery Pack, but its $99 price tag is a little too steep for me, plus it only has a 1,460mAh capacity. I then discovered Anker has a line of MagSafe portable chargers, one of which is the 622. It’s only $70, which is far cheaper than Apple’s, and it also has a lot more battery life with 5,000mAh capacity. On top of that, it has a built-in kickstand and comes in a variety of colors. I bought one without hesitation. (I went with the Misty Blue option.)

I’ve been using it for a few months now, and it’s great. It attaches to my phone through my MagSafe-compatible case without any problems (I use this one from Smartish), and charges it from empty to about 80 percent in just a few hours. I love that I can use it without any extra USB cables dangling out of my bag.

Additionally, that bonus fold-out kickstand is surprisingly useful. It lies flat when not in use, but you can fold it out into a 30-degree angle stand, with a magnet holding it in place. I can rotate the phone to either portrait or landscape mode, which lets me prop the phone up to watch videos when I’m traveling. I especially like that it’s so slim and portable – it’s barely the size of a deck of cards.

I do have a few nitpicks with it, though. It occasionally gets super hot when it’s charging, which makes it a little uncomfortable to have in my pockets. Also, since the USB-C port is on the bottom, I can’t charge the battery pack while it’s in the kickstand position. Finally, I do sometimes wish it had more battery capacity, especially if I’m on a long-haul flight. If I had to get a MagSafe battery now, I’d probably opt for the Anker 633 instead, which just launched a couple of months ago. It’s thicker, but it has a 10,000mAh capacity, a sturdier kickstand, a high-speed charging option via USB-C, and it’s not much more at just $80.

Spotify's latest test nudges users to react to playlists with a voice clip

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 10:25

Spotify is trying another method to get people more engaged with the platform while tapping into the power of social recommendations. It's prompting some users in Vietnam to record a playlist reaction with their voice. This clip will be shared as a podcast episode.

Those who see the prompt, which a Reddit user spotted, can create a voice reaction in one go or piecemeal with shorter clips by pausing the recording. They can edit their captures and add background music. They'll be able to link to the playlist before posting their episode.

Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that it's running the test, though it didn't reveal how it will moderate the recordings or whether it plans to roll out the feature more broadly. Theoretically, this could lead to people dabbling in audio creation for the first time, but whether people actually want to hit the record button to react to a playlist remains to be seen.

Spotify has been testing an in-app podcast recording option off and on for years. In a recent trial that took place in New Zealand, it published podcast episodes that a user recorded to that person's profile. That seems a smart way for the company to take advantage of friend connections on Spotify — a playlist recommendation from a buddy is perhaps more effective than one suggested by the algorithm. Recording a reaction podcast to offer a recommendation seems unnecessary, though.