Tech News Feed

Das Keyboard MacTigr Mechanical Keyboard Is Beautiful, Sturdy and for Mac Fans Only - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 09:00
Made from steel and aluminum with Cherry MX linear switches, the MacTigr feels dreamy and matches your Mac's aesthetics.

Here Are Today's Refinance Rates, Aug. 16, 2022: Rate Falls - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 09:00
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate declined. Though refinance rates change daily, experts expect rates to climb this year.

Alienware’s new gaming monitors feature fast refresh rates and retractable headset hangers

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 09:00

Dell is releasing two new Alienware-branded monitors this fall. Before you ask, they don’t feature QD-OLED panels like the drool-worthy AW3423DW. The more interesting of the two new monitors is the 27-inch AW2723DF. It features an LG Nano IPS panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, a native 240Hz refresh rate and a claimed 1ms gray to gray response time.

A factory overclock lets you push the refresh rate to 280Hz for games like Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For more immersive gaming, the monitor comes with support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-Sync. It doesn’t feature local dimming, but for what it’s worth, HDR performance was good enough for the AW2723DF to earn VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 badge.

Render showing off the AW2723DF ports. It comes with multiple USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.Dell

Alienware is billing the AW2723DF as the perfect monitor for gamers who do content creation on the side. The AW2723DF’s screen covers 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. A toggle found in the monitor’s OSD menu allows you to switch to sRGB when doing work for the web. As with most Dell-made monitors, the AW2723DF won’t leave you wanting for ports. On top of the usual DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 connections, the monitor features multiple USB 3.2 Gen 1 inputs, as well as a headphone jack and audio output. All that’s missing is an HDMI 2.1 connection for console gaming. New to the Alienware design is a retractable headset hanger. The stand offers swivel, pivot, tilt and height adjustment. You can also VESA mount the AW2723DF if you want to use it with a monitor arm.

For the competitive gaming crowd, there’s the AW2523HF. It comes with a 25-inch LG IPS panel that features a Full HD resolution, 360Hz refresh rate and up to 0.5ms gray to gray response time. The screen covers 99 percent of the sRGB color gamut and is FreeSync Premium Pro certified. Like its sibling, the AW2523HF features a retractable hanger for storing your gaming headset. The AW2523HF also comes with a hexagonal stand instead of the V-shaped one that you find on most Alienware monitors. Dell says the design gives the AW2523HF a smaller footprint.

The Alienware AW2523HF features a hexagonal stand, a feature Dell says lets the monitor take up less space. Dell

Of the two monitors, the AW2523HF will arrive first. It will go on sale on September 7th for $450. Meanwhile, the AW2723DF will cost $650 when it hits store shelves on October 6th.

Here Are Today's Mortgage Rates on Aug. 16, 2022: Rates Vary - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 09:00
Today, mortgage rates didn't have a unified direction, but one benchmark rate trailed off.

1,900 Signal Users' Phone Numbers Exposed By Twilio Phishing

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 09:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A successful phishing attack at SMS services company Twilio may have exposed the phone numbers of roughly 1,900 users of the secure messaging app Signal -- but that's about the extent of the breach, says Signal, noting that no further user data could be accessed. In a Twitter thread and support document, Signal states that a recent successful (and deeply resourced) phishing attack on Twilio allowed access to the phone numbers linked with 1,900 users. That's "a very small percentage of Signal's total users," Signal writes, and all 1,900 affected users will be notified (via SMS) to re-register their devices. Signal, like many app companies, uses Twilio to send SMS verification codes to users registering their Signal app. With momentary access to Twilio's customer support console, attackers could have potentially used the verification codes sent by Twilio to activate Signal on another device and thereby send or receive new Signal messages. Or an attacker could confirm that these 1,900 phone numbers were actually registered to Signal devices. No other data could be accessed, in large part because of Signal's design. Message history is stored entirely on user devices. Contact and block lists, profile details, and other user data require a Signal PIN to access. And Signal is asking users to enable registration lock, which prevents Signal access on new devices until the user's PIN is correctly entered. "The kind of telecom attack suffered by Twilio is a vulnerability that Signal developed features like registration lock and Signal PINs to protect against," Signal's support document reads. The messaging app notes that while Signal doesn't "have the ability to directly fix the issues affecting the telecom ecosystem," it will work with Twilio and other providers "to tighten up their security where it matters for our users."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This Little-Known Hack Can Make Your Office Chair Better for Any Body Type - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 08:57
Not all office chairs are created equal but you can level up your office chair by following these simple steps.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro drops to a record low of $649

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 08:47

We may be only a few months away from the launch of Google's Pixel 7, but those who can't wait for a new smartphone can save a bunch on the Pixel 6 Pro right now. Amazon has the current flagship for $649, which is $250 off its usual rate and the best price we've seen — even cheaper than it was on Prime Day last month. That's what you'll pay for the base, 128GB models, but the 256GB versions are also $250 off, so you can pick one up for as low as $749. The standard Pixel 6 is also on sale for $499.

Buy Pixel 6 Pro (128GB) at Amazon - $649Buy Pixel 6 Pro (256GB) at Amazon - $749Buy Pixel 6 at Amazon - $499

We like the entire Pixel 6 series, but the Pixel 6 Pro earned a score of 91 from us and earned a spot on our list of best smartphones you can get right now. It's an attractive handset with a striking camera bar on its back, along with a 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display. It's powered by Google's Tensor Processing Unit, which provides excellent performance while also being efficient — we were able to eke roughly 17 hours of battery life out of this smartphone, so it should easily last all day for most people.

But the Pixel 6 Pro really shines when taking photos. It has a triple rear camera array with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12MP wide-angle lens and a 48MP telephoto shooter, and those are in addition to the 11MP, 4K front-facing camera. We consider it to be the best smartphone for photography right now, as it handles all kinds of photos well including large group shots, wide landscapes, close ups, and more. Google's Night Sight also does a fantastic job of producing solid images in low light, and its computational photography features enable things like Magic Eraser, Face Unblur and Long Exposure.

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De-extinction Company Aims to Resurrect the Tasmanian Tiger

Scientifc America - Tue, 2022-08-16 08:00

The scientists who want to bring back mammoths now hope to revive the marsupial carnivore thylacine

Every 'Game of Thrones' Season Ranked Best to Worst - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 08:00
House of the Dragon is upon us. Before we watch the prequel, here's CNET's take on Game of Thrones' best (and worst) seasons.

Inside the Plan to De-extinct the Tasmanian Tiger - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 08:00
CRISPR startup Colossal supercharges the effort to bring Australia's thylacine back from extinction.

Walmart+ members will soon get Paramount+ streaming as part of their subscription

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:50

Walmart will add a perk to its membership program in September that would make it a more veritable rival to Amazon Prime. The retail giant has struck a deal with Paramount Global to add its streaming service to Walmart+ starting in September. Walmart+ members, who are currently paying $12.95 a month or $98 a year for unlimited free delivery on orders over $35 across the US, will also get a Paramount+ Essential subscription for free. Walmart's membership prices will remain the same, it's just that the service will now come with an answer to Amazon's Prime Video.

The Paramount+ Essential plan typically costs $5 a month or $50 a year and streams content with "limited commercial interruptions." Paramount's streaming service offers shows and movies from various production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. It also streams every CBS Sports event and gives users access to the CBS News Streaming Network and to all local CBS stations across the country. 

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Walmart held talks with Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp. and Paramount Global executives to discuss the possibility of teaming up to provide one of their streaming products to its members. Walmart and Paramount have reportedly agreed to a two-year partnership that would give Walmart+ members access to the ad-supported streaming service. The first 12 months will be an exclusive partnership between the two, though it's unclear what would change once they enter the second year of the deal. 

Walmart says its membership program has shown positive growth every month since its launch in 2020. Paramount also recently reported that its streaming service has been doing well and that it has added 3.7 million subscribers in the second quarter of the year even after pulling out of Russia. The partnership could boost their numbers further, though we'll likely have to wait until the companies publish their earnings results by the end of the year to know for sure.

The Morning After: Russia teases its own space station ahead of leaving the ISS

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:15

Russia decommissioned its last self-run space station, Mir, in 2001. Now Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, has shared a model of the country’s future station, as it prepares to move out of the International Space Station. Nicknamed ROSS by state-controlled media, it would launch in two phases, starting with four modules and expanding to six with a service platform. The design would accommodate four people in rotating tours and reportedly offer better monitoring of Earth than Russia gets from the ISS today.

State media claim the first phase will launch between 2025 and 2030, with Russia expected to leave the ISS in 2024. It announced its departure from the ISS in July in response to sanctions and other measures following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Samsung's 55-inch curved gaming monitor has six speakers and two remotesThe newest Odyssey Ark is $3,500.TMAEngadget

Samsung has gone all-out on its next-generation monitor. Samsung claims the Ark is the world’s first 55-inch monitor with a 4K resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. You also get support for HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos audio, and it’s got six built-in speakers that create a dome of sound. Oh, and you can use it vertically.

Continue reading.

Android 13 is rolling out to Pixel phones todayThe software is out of beta and brings some small but useful new tools.

Android 13 is coming out of beta and will start rolling out to Google’s Pixel phones today, with devices from Samsung, ASUS, Nokia (HMD), Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Xiaomi and more expected to get the update later this year.

The latest version of Google's mobile operating system brings more granular privacy controls, a new photo picker, Bluetooth LE audio and more. Messaging app streaming might be the most notable new feature, letting you cast your messaging apps to your Chromebook so you can chat with your friends on your laptop. Google said this works with Messages "and many of your other favorite messaging apps." The company added you'll "soon be able to copy content — like a URL, picture, text or video — from your Android phone and paste it on your tablet," or the other way around.

Continue reading.

Yet another Lord of the Rings game is in developmentFrom a company that worked on the movie trilogy’s special effects.

Wētā Workshop is working on a new Lord of the Rings game alongside publisher Private Division. The game is in early development and few details have been announced, but Wētā Workshop has "the broadest creative license to interpret the underlying lore of the books," according to a press release. If you’re wondering who or what WētāWorkshop is, it worked on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies as well as The Hobbit trilogy. The special effects powerhouse is also collaborating with Amazon on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It set up its gaming division in 2014.

Continue reading.

TikTok adds an AI image generator to its appIt’s a very, very simple version of DALL-E.TMAGetty

TikTok has introduced a basic AI greenscreen effect in its Android and iOS apps that turns your text descriptions into artwork. It's much simpler than OpenAI's DALL-E 2, producing abstract blobs rather than photorealistic depictions — which makes it a lot less interesting. However, AI art tools like DALL-E are usually limited to a select group of users. TikTok, meanwhile, has over a billion monthly users — while few of them are likely to ever use AI-generated art, the addition brings the technology to a much wider audience.

Continue reading.

Peloton may open its workout content to competing bikes and treadmillsThe company is also redesigning its bikes for home assembly.

Peloton may soon allow users of competing fitness equipment to stream its workouts to their bikes and treadmills. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Barry McCarthy said the company is “rethinking” its digital strategy. Peloton could adopt a freemium model offering some features and workouts in its mobile and TV app for free. Currently, the software costs $13 per month. In the future, people with stationary bikes or treadmills from companies like Bowflex, Echelon and NordicTrack could also stream Peloton's content to their equipment’s display.

Continue reading.

Polestar 6 Electric Roadster Slated for 2026 Production, Based on the O2 Concept - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:00
The gorgeous 884-horsepower sport convertible concept is production-bound and will use the same high-performance EV architecture as the upcoming Polestar 5 sedan.

Polestar will release a production version of its O2 concept convertible in 2026

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:00

It didn't take long for Polestar to translate the O2 Concept to a production model. The company has confirmed that it will sell the electric convertible as the Polestar 6 sometime in 2026. Most details are still under wraps, but the 6 will share the same 884HP dual-motor powertrain and 800V architecture as the Polestar 5 sedan. The firm is targeting a 0-62MPH time of 3.2 seconds and a 155MPH top speed.

There will also be a limited, 500-unit run of a Polestar 6 LA Concept edition with the O2 Concept's signature blue color, "light" leather interior and 21-inch wheels. Unlike many adaptations of concepts, you really can buy a car that (at least superficially) resembles what you saw at motor shows.

The Polestar 6 is a sportier, open-air counterpart to the 5 with a smaller footprint. It also represents an aerodynamics challenge — the range will heavily depend on Polestar's ability to overcome convertibles' typically higher drag coefficients. There's no mention of whether or not the 6 will include some of the more fanciful features from the concept, though, including the integrated camera drone.

No matter what the finished model offers, it's clear Polestar plans a steady expansion of its lineup. The Polestar 3 SUV arrives next year, followed by the 5 in 2024. The Volvo sibling brand will still have a relatively small selection, but you'll at least have choices if the Polestar 2 doesn't fit your needs.

Replacing Lead Water Pipes with Plastic Could Raise New Safety Issues

Scientifc America - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:45

Industry-related groups say plastic is a safe material to replace lead pipes, but some researchers and health advocates are not so sure

Amazon sale slashes the price of Kindle Kids and Fire Kids tablets

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:01

If you have a child in your life who needs a new tablet or e-reader, Amazon has a sale you may want to check out. The company's devices designed for kids are currently being sold at a discount —some are even listed with the lowest prices we've seen for them on the website. You can get Kindle for Kids for $60, which is an all-time low for the e-reader and is $50 less than its normal price. Kindle for Kids is just the 10th-gen Kindle that comes with a year of Amazon Kids+, a subscription service that gives you access to child-friendly books and magazines. It also comes with a kid-friendly cover and a 2-year warranty, guaranteeing that Amazon will replace the device for free if it gets damaged and returned within that period.

Buy Amazon Kids Devices at Amazon

The 2022 version of the Fire 7 Kids tablet is also on sale for $70, or $40 less than its usual price. Like the Kindle for Kids, it comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ and a two-year warranty. Plus, the 7-inch tablet ships with a kid-friendly case that has a built-in kickstand. The model on sale for $70 has 16GB of internal storage, but it can be expanded with a microSD card up to 1TB in size. 

If you want to get a bigger tablet for your kid, you can get Amazon's Fire HD 8 Kids tablet instead. It's currently on sale for $70, which is 50 percent off or $70 less than its normal price. This tablet has an 8-inch display, 32GB of internal storage with expandable memory and up to 12 hours of battery life. It also ships with one year of Amazon Kids+, a childproof case and a 2-year warranty. 

Finally, the Amazon Glow with Tangram Bits pack will only set you back $200, or $130 less than what buying them separately will cost you. Amazon Glow is a video calling and interactive entertainment system that can project a 19-inch touchscreen on its accompanying mat. Meanwhile, Tangram Bits are small physical pieces kids can use to play and solve puzzles. The pack also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ that will give you access to Glow's games, books and art activities, as well a two-year warranty. 

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

Earth Had Its 6th-Hottest July and Year To Date On Record

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:00
July 2022 was the world's sixth-hottest July on record, according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. Last month also saw Earth's sixth-hottest year to date on record as Antarctic sea ice coverage plunged to a record low for a second consecutive month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports: The July 2022 land and ocean-surface temperature for the globe was 1.57 degrees F (0.87 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C). This made it the sixth-hottest July in the 143-year global climate record. July marked the 46th-consecutive July and the 451st-consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average. The five warmest Julys on record have all occurred since 2016. Regionally, July 2022 was among the top-10 warmest Julys on record for several continents. North America saw its second-hottest July on record, Asia had its third hottest, South America had its fourth hottest and Europe had its sixth hottest. The average global land and ocean-surface temperature was the sixth-warmest year to date on record, at 1.55 degrees F (0.86 of a degree C) above average. Asia had its second-hottest such YTD on record with Europe seeing its fifth hottest. Africa, North America and South America all had an above-average YTD, though it did not rank among their top-10 warmest on record. According to NCEI's Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a greater than 99% chance 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record but an 11% chance the year will rank among the top five.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Czinger 21C First Ride Review: 3D-Printed Absurdity - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 05:00
This American-made hypercar is built with some of the most impressive manufacturing tech out there.

9 Must-Have Classic Car Accessories - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 04:00
Here are some of the best ways to keep your classic car looking and running its best while making your life easier.

Russia Unveils Model of Proposed Space Station After Leaving ISS

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 03:00
The Russian space agency has unveiled a physical model of what a planned Russian-built space station will look like, suggesting Moscow is serious about abandoning the International Space Station (ISS) and going it alone. The Guardian reports: Russia wants to reduce its dependency on western countries and forge ahead on its own, or cooperate with countries such as China and Iran, after sanctions were imposed by the west as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. Roscosmos presented a model of the space station, nicknamed "Ross" by Russian state media, on Monday at a military-industrial exhibition outside Moscow. Roscosmos said its space station would be launched in two phases, without giving dates. For the first phase a four-module space station would start operating. That would be followed by two more modules and a service platform, it said. That would be enough, when completed, to accommodate up to four cosmonauts and scientific equipment. Roscosmos has said the station would afford Russian cosmonauts a much wider view by which to monitor Earth than their current segment. Although designs for some of the station exist, design work is still under way on other segments. Russian state media have suggested the launch of the first stage is planned for 2025-26 and no later than 2030. Launch of the second and final stage is planned for 2030-35, they have reported. The space station, as currently conceived, would not have a permanent human presence but would be staffed twice a year for extended periods. Dmitry Rogozin, the previous head of Roscosmos and a hardliner known for his tough statements against the west, has suggested the new space station could fulfil a military purpose if necessary.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.