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Paramount+ is coming to The Roku Channel

Wed, 2022-08-03 09:01

The streaming service Paramount+ is coming to the The Roku Channel as a premium option later this month, the maker of set-top boxes announced today. For those who are unfamiliar with The Roku Channel, the free entertainment channel is available on most streaming devices (with the exception of Apple TV) and offers a menu of premium add-on services such as Showtime, Starz, AMC+ and more.

Adding Paramount+ to the mix will give Roku Channel users access to live sports via CBS Sports, including live NFL games and most regular and postseason games in their local market. International soccer fans will be able to view live UEFA club competition matches, Europa League and World Cup qualifying matches and other live matches. And of course, users will have access to a mountain of other content, including popular CBS shows like Evil and The Good Wife, as well as a number of original Star Trek series.

In the completely saturated streaming universe, Paramount+ is still a relatively new player (the service rebranded from CBS All-Access back in March.) But the company formerly known as ViacomGlobal has packed a lot of content onto the newbie streamer. It also attempted to grow its audience by offering free trials for T-Mobile and Xbox Game Pass users. Such efforts seem to have paid off: Paramount+ reached 40 million subscribers this May, putting it in the same league as Hulu and HBO Max’s US subscriber base.

As far as content offerings go, there’s no difference between signing up for Paramount+ via the Roku Channel or downloading the streamer’s standalone app on your streaming device. The price tiers for Paramount+ are also identical on the Roku Channel, which is $4.99 per month for the ad-supported version, and $9.99 per month for the ad-free version. However, there is a free seven-day trial for Paramount+ on the Roku Channel, which will give users who haven’t tried the service a chance to sample its offerings.

Google is making it easier to find and support Asian-owned businesses

Wed, 2022-08-03 09:00

Google is making it easier for people to find and support Asian-owned businesses in their communities. Starting today, US merchants can now add an "Asian-owned" label to a verified Google business profile, which will appear in Search and Maps queries.

The move is part of Google's efforts to support historically marginalized communities. It previously rolled out labels for Black-owned, Latino-owned, veteran-owned, women-owned and LGBTQ+ owned businesses. 

In addition, the company says its Grow with Google initiative, along with the non-profit US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, will help another 10,000 Asian-owned small businesses learn digital skills. To date, they've assisted more than 20,000 Asian-owned businesses with workshops on things like e-commerce, analytics-driven decisions and design.

GM is doubling the size of its Super Cruise network in the US and Canada

Wed, 2022-08-03 08:30

Since introducing its Super Cruise advanced driver assistance suite in the Cadillac CT6 back in 2017, General Motors has worked steadily to expand the number of lidar-mapped roads that the system can handle hands-free. The SuperCruise Network first expanded from 130,000 to 200,000 miles of divided highways in 2019, and will soon double in size — to 400,000 miles across the US and Canada — by the end of the year, GM announced on Wednesday. 

The Super Cruise system — and its successor, Ultra Cruise — relies on a mix of high-fidelity LiDAR maps, GPS, and onboard visual and radar sensors to know where the vehicle is on the road. So far, those maps, which dictate where features like Hands-Free Driving can operate, have only included major, divided highways like interstates with the big median barriers. Smaller, undivided public highways — aka State Routes — were not included, in part because of the added ADAS challenges presented by oncoming traffic, until now.

"This expansion will enable Super Cruise to work on some additional divided highways, but the big news is this the bulk of the expansion will allow Super Cruise to operate on non-divided highways," David Craig, GM's Chief of Maps, said during Tuesday's call. "These non-divided highways are typically the state and federal highways... that connect the smaller cities and townships across the US and Canada."

it's a lot.GM

These will include Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway (aka CA Route 1), the Overseas Highway (aka US Route 1) and the Trans-Canada Highway. "if you look at I-35 which is the interstate that runs North and South up the middle of the United States, and look to the West, you will see that the Super Cruise coverage currently is just the major interstates, which is fairly sparse," Craig continued. "But in the expansion, you can see that it's just a spiderweb of roads covering the entire area. All the little townships are going to be connected now." 

it's a lot.GM

GM executives explained on a press call Tuesday that every new Super Cruise-enabled GM vehicle that rolls off the assembly line will be equipped with the full 400,000-mile capabilities, as will 2021 and 2022 GM vehicles outfitted with the VIP (Vehicle Intelligence Platform) architecture, such as the Escalade and CT5, via OTA update later in 2022. Vehicles with Super Cruise but without VIP which cannot eventually upgrade to Ultra Cruise, such as the early model CT6s, will receive a smaller update. 

There will be no impact on the annual Super Cruise subscription cost, but you will have to have the Super Cruise hardware already installed. GM execs on the call noted that folks who bought SC-capable vehicles during the chip shortage that didn't actually have the SC hardware installed cannot go back and get the system retrofitted in after the fact to take advantage of this update. In all, GM hopes to offer nearly two dozen Super Cruise-enabled vehicle models by the 2023 model year

Amazon knocks $100 off Samsung's Freestyle smart projector

Wed, 2022-08-03 08:21

Samsung debuted its Freestyle smart projector earlier this year at CES as a portable home theater gadget with auto focus and auto leveling features, making it easier to watch anything, anywhere. Normally priced at $900, the Freestyle projector is down to $798 at Amazon right now, which is just about $100 off. Samsung also has it for nearly the same price. The only time we've seen the projector cheaper was when it went on sale for $650 at Woot in a one-day sale back in April. If you missed the chance then, now's a good opportunity to grab the Freestyle while it's decently discounted.

Buy Freestyle projector at Amazon - $798Buy Freestyle projector at Samsung - $800

The Freestyle is really best for those that want a portable projector as it weighs only 1.83 pounds and can be easily picked up and moved from spot to spot around your home. Its stand can rotate nearly 180 degrees and its auto focus and auto leveling features help align what you're watching, so you could project a movie onto your ceiling, your wall and a number of other places without the picture looking too wonky. The Freestyle projects images with a 1080p resolution with a size range of 30 to 100 inches, making it easy to adjust the image to fit the surface you're working with. Along with built-in Alexa, Google Assistant and Bixby voice command support, it also has 360-degree audio, so you won't need to plug in external speakers for sound.

If you'd rather invest in a new TV than a projector for your home theater setup, some of Samsung's 2022 smart TVs have also been discounted on Amazon. The 85-inch Class Neo QLED Mini LED 4K TV is a whopping $700 off and down to $3,298, which is an all-time low. This set uses Mini LED technology to produce bolder, brighter colors and higher contrast, plus it supports a 120Hz refresh rate, 4K AI upscaling, Dolby Atmos and Alexa, Google Assistant and Bixby voice controls. Elsewhere, Samsung's 65-inch Q80B Series QLED 4K set is $200 off and down to $1,298, while the 65-inch Class Neo QLED 8K Mini LED TV is $500 off and on sale for $4,498.

Buy 85-inch Samsung Mini LED TV at Amazon - $3,298Buy 65-inch Samsung Q80B QLED 4K TV at Amazon - $1,298Buy 65-inch Samsung QLED 8K Mini LED TV at Amazon - $4,498

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Solana 'hot' wallets are being drained in multi-million dollar attack

Wed, 2022-08-03 08:15

An unknown actor has drained over 8,000 internet-connected wallets in an ongoing attack on the Solana blockchain ecosystem. According to Blockchain auditor OtterSec, the attacks were still ongoing when it posted an update in the evening of August 2nd and that they had affected multiple wallets, including Phantom, Slope, Solflare and TrustWallet, across a wide variety of platforms. 

As TechCrunch notes, the bad actor seems to have stolen both Solana tokens and USDC stablecoins, with the estimated losses so far amounting to around $8 million. OtterSec is now encouraging users to move all their assets to a hardware wallet, and the Solana Status Twitter account echoed that advice, adding that there's no evidence "cold" wallets have been impacted.

As of now, there are over 8,000 victims and countinghttps://t.co/I5CGGzczYupic.twitter.com/ztdsZoBlaC

— OtterSec (@osec_io) August 3, 2022

The Solana Status account has also revealed that an exploit allowed a malicious actor to drain funds from the compromised wallets and that it seems to have affected both their mobile versions and extensions. Engineers from multiple ecosystems have already banded together to work with security researchers to identify the root cause of the exploit, which is yet to be discovered. 

People in the crypto industry have several theories, though, with some believing that the bad actors got access to private keys through a supply chain attack, because the attacker was able to sign, or initiate and approve, transactions on behalf of the victims. Others warning that the exploit has caused the widespread compromise of private keys and that revoking wallet approvals won't help at all. 

Porsche's new companies are all about electric bikes

Wed, 2022-08-03 07:45

In the future, you may come across a lot more two-wheeled Porsches on the streets. The luxury automaker has launched two new joint ventures with Dutch company Ponooc Investment B.V., and they're both all about electric bikes. Porsche eBike Performance GmbH is based in Ottobrunn near Munich and will develop components, including motors and batteries. Anything it creates will then be used by P2 eBike GmbH, the second joint venture based in Stuttgart, to manufacture Porsche-branded e-bikes for consumers that the company plyans to launch starting in the middle of the decade. 

Porsche is far from a newcomer in the e-bike space. In 2021, it debuted two electric bikes inspired by the Taycan and were made to complement the Cross Turismo, which has a rear carrier. Those bikes, however, along with their motors and gear shifting systems, were manufactured by Japanese bicycle industry giant Shimano. With one company developing parts and another working on the consumer bikes themselves, the upcoming products the joint ventures will release will be all (or at least mostly) Porsche.

The components business will use the e-bike drive systems develop by Fazua, a company Porsche recently acquired, as noted by Electrek. However, it will also develop e-bike systems under the Porsche brand name — it will even sell the technology it designs to other brands. As with anything Porsche, the bikes under the new ventures will most likely not come cheap: Its Taycan-inspired bikes, for instance, set buyers back at least $8,500 at launch, with the sports model selling for prices that start at $10,700.

Watch the Pokémon Presents stream at 9AM ET for updates on 'Pokémon Scarlet,' 'Violet' and more

Wed, 2022-08-03 07:40

The latest Pokémon Presents is livestreaming at 9AM ET today, promising updates on Pokémon apps and games "including Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet," The Pokémon Company said. It didn't add more details, but the last Pokémon Presents revealed the Scarlet and Violet release windows, among other news. 

The company also showed off some visuals from the game at the last Pokémon Presents, including a pastoral countryside and urban landscapes, as well as the three new starters Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly. It also announced a new "Daybreak" update for Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

We now know that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are coming to Switch on November 18th. A subsequent reveal in June showed two new professors and clues about the game's open world. In addition, a series of rough screenshots may have shown new battle mechanics and evolutions, as well as clues about the total number of Pokémon. Hopefully, all will be revealed when the trailer drops today at 9AM ET.  

The Morning After: Uber receipts are crashing Microsoft Outlook

Wed, 2022-08-03 07:16

Microsoft has flagged a formatting bug that freezes Outlook whenever you open emails with complex tables, including, er, Uber receipts. The glitch is so powerful it even crashes Word, too. The problem was first noted in a standard release of Outlook, but existing beta and Current Channel Preview versions face the same bug if they try to open messages with tables.

Microsoft says it’s developed a fix to reach beta users "shortly" and get to everyone in a patch arriving August 9th. If you really need to see a breakdown of that last Uber trip, you can revert to the earlier version in Windows by running Command Prompt instructions in Microsoft's support document.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

The Engadget guide to the best midrange smartphonesWho says greatness has to be expensive?

The middle of the smartphone road has amazing options that balance price and features. These days, you can still get incredible cameras, vivid screens and decent battery life without breaking the bank. But there are so many — so where do you start? How about this guide? We’ve just updated it with a new overall winner.

Continue reading.

James Webb Space Telescope captures the Cartwheel Galaxy in stunning detailInfrared light detection has increased the detail.TMANASA

NASA and its partners on the James Webb Space Telescope have shared a fresh look at the Cartwheel Galaxy. It reveals extra details about both the star formation and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, which is around 500 million light-years from Earth. Using infrared light detection, JWST could peer through the dust that obscured the Cartwheel Galaxy from view when other telescopes observed it.

Continue reading.

Samsung and iFixit now offer self-repair parts and tools for Galaxy devicesFix your smartphone or tablet on your own terms.TMAiFixit

Samsung's self-repair program, in collaboration with iFixit, is finally available. You can now try to fix your Galaxy S20, Galaxy S21 or Galaxy Tab S7+ with officially sanctioned components and tools, complete with guides to walk you through the repair process. The initial selection is just screen and batteries, charging ports and back glass, with prices ranging between $67 (for a charging port on any model) to $227 (for a Tab S7+ display).

Continue reading.

Amazon offers same-day Prime delivery for select retail chainsThe Prime perk is currently available in 10 US metro areas.

Amazon is giving some Prime members another perk. Subscribers in more than 10 US metro areas will now be able to shop from select local brick-and-mortar stores through Amazon and have the items delivered to their home on the same day. At the moment, participating retailers include apparel brands PacSun, Superdry and Diesel, as well as popular vitamin retailer GNC.

Continue reading.

Logitech and Tencent are making a cloud gaming handheldThey're working with Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now.

Logitech and Tencent have announced they're working on a handheld cloud gaming device. They're blending the Logitech G brand's hardware know-how with Tencent's software prowess. According to their landing page, the device is tentatively — and imaginatively — called the Logitech G Gaming Handheld. It will "support multiple cloud gaming services," Logitech said. Tencent and Logitech are working with the Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now teams at Microsoft and NVIDIA, so expect the handheld to support both platforms.

Continue reading.

Taiwan's presidential website hit by cyberattack ahead of Nancy Pelosi's visitThe site was bombarded by more than 200 times the normal traffic.

As more than 300,000 people anxiously watched the flight path of SPAR19, the US Air Force plane carrying Nancy Pelosi on her tour of Asia, Taiwan’s presidential website went down in an apparent cyberattack. According to Taiwanese presidential spokesperson Chang Tun-Han, the attack originated outside Taiwan and saw the website bombarded with more than 200 times its regular traffic. They claim the website was back to normal operation “within 20 minutes.”

Continue reading.

Nintendo’s Switch sales drop as it contends with chip shortage

Wed, 2022-08-03 06:38

Nintendo's Switch sales fell significantly last quarter, dropping to 3.43 million units compared to 4.45 million during the same period last year, according to its earnings report. Software sales also fell to 41.4 million units compared to 45.3 million year over year. All that that resulted in an operating profit of 101.6 billion yen ($763 million), down from last year and short of what was expected. 

The company chalked up the Switch sales issue to a parts shortage, the same thing that bedeviled Sony during the same quarter. "Hardware production was impacted by factors such as the global shortage of semiconductor components, resulting in a decrease of hardware shipments," the company said. It noted that the OLED model made up a large chunk of Switch sales with 1.52 million units sold, and the lower margins on that model dragged profit down a bit.

While game sales also dropped, Nintendo managed to boost the overall percentage of first-party games sold. In fact, it was the second best first quarter for first-party game sell-through since the Switch launched — second only to Q1 2021, which was fueled by Animal Crossing: New Horizons. All told, however, Nintendo would have to call the quarter a success considering that game buyers spent 13 percent less this year compared to 2021, according to Bloomberg

Some of that was aided by the launch of three key games, the company pointed out, particularly Nintendo Switch Sports which arrived on April 29th. Mario Strikers: Battles League launched on June 10th, while Fire Emblem Warriors arrived on June 24th. "More than 100 million users played Nintendo Switch in the latest 12-month period," the company added. 

Nintendo is hoping that upcoming games will help out next quarter. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 just launched, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Booster Course Pass: Wave 2 arrives on August 4th, Splatoon 3 will be released on September 9th and you'll see Kirby's Dream Buffet sometime this summer. The company is also launching an OLED Switch Splatoon 3 Edition on August 26th. 

Uber tests train and bus bookings in the UK

Wed, 2022-08-03 05:15

As it promised earlier this year, Uber is testing bus and train travel options in the UK via a partnership with Berlin-based travel platform Omio, TechCrunch has reported. "We’re excited to launch our new travel offering this summer, allowing a seamless door-to-door travel experience across the UK," Uber UK general manager Andrew Brem said in a statement. 

Omio covers over 1,000 transportation providers in 37 countries. It has its own travel app for consumers, but has also been developing a business-to-business API that allows partners to access its ground transport network. The company also offers air and ferry travel on its consumer app and website, but its primary focus is on train and bus/coach travel.

The company has already partnered with UK's LNER, travel site Kayak and others, but Uber is its biggest partner so far. "Uber is the first partner that is both at this scale but also the first that gets access to our full ticketing API so you actually are, as a customer, able to do everything within the Uber app," Omio CEO and founder Narem Shaam told TechCrunch.

With access to Omio's API, Uber will be able to offer international train travel to UK users right away. Trips booked via Uber's app will generate a commission for Omio, which it will share with Uber via an undisclosed split. Uber is also paying Omio to license its technology. 

Omio believes that its app has a "high overlap" with Uber users, and is hoping the deal will increase its UK market penetration. Ground transport functionality will be added in phases with a basic feature set launching today and building out over the coming months. 

Interactive musical series 'We are OFK' hits PlayStation, Switch and PC on August 18th

Tue, 2022-08-02 16:10

Back at the 2020 edition of The Game Awards, we learned about We Are OFK, a new project from Hyper Light Drifter co-designer Teddy Dief and their collaborators at Team OFK. It was supposed to debut in spring 2021 but, as has been the way of things for the last few years, it was delayed. Now, We Are OFK finally has a release date. Or, more accurately, release dates, since it's an episodic series. The first two episodes will hit Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS5, Steam and Epic Games Store on August 18th. The remaining three episodes will arrive on a weekly basis.

We Are OFK follows a virtual four-piece indie band called, strangely enough, OFK. It's billed as an interactive musical biopic that OFK is making about its own origins. As Dief wrote on the PlayStation Blog, "What would it look like to create virtual musicians who watch performances of [pop stars] on their laptops in bed, and know they’re probably never going to play a stadium concert? We wanted to tell that story — how hard it is to make music, to write even one song, to record another video to post online and hope someone leaves a nice comment."

The game costs $20. Along with each episode, OFK and Sony Music Masterworks will release a new single. A vinyl package of the singles will be available from iam8bit for $32. A limited-edition physical version of We Are OFK is available to pre-order for PS5 and Switch too. You can also pre-save the group's first EP.

Here's what embedded tweets could look like after they're edited

Tue, 2022-08-02 15:42

One of Twitter’s most anticipated features — the edit button — is still in development. But thanks to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, we have an idea of how edits to embedded tweets on a website will carry over. If a tweet gets edited after it is embedded on a website (say, in a news article), the embedded tweet will still display the old text, but include a link to the newer version. Edited embedded tweets will display the text “There’s a new version of this Tweet," offering users an option to click and read the new text. Such a design seems to offer more transparency than simply displaying the new text up front, and may calm fears that giving users free rein to edit tweets will make it easier for bad actors to thrive.

Embedded Tweets will show whether it’s been edited, or whether there’s a new version of the Tweet

When a site embeds a Tweet and it gets edited, the embed doesn’t just show the new version (replacing the old one). Instead, it shows an indicator there’s a new version pic.twitter.com/mAz5tOiyOl

— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 1, 2022

But what if users decided to embed a tweet that has already been edited? Instead of displaying the original text, the embedded tweet will display the new text (in other words, it’ll read exactly the same as how you found it). But below the edited tweet, there will be a timestamp and the text “Last edited."

It’s only been a few months since Twitter confirmed that an edit button is actually in development, so it could be a while until users see the feature in action. Keep in mind that Twitter plans on testing the feature on its premium Twitter Blue subscribers first, before rolling it out to the rest of the public. Given that Twitter recently increased the Blue subscription fee by two dollars, it may be worth just waiting.

Chevy Bolt owners must choose between rebates and battery defect lawsuits

Tue, 2022-08-02 15:23

Chevy offered rebates to Bolt EV owners who bought their cars just before a 2023 model price drop, but that discount comes with a large catch. Jalopnik and Autoblog note the rebate application requires that drivers "forever waive and release" their right to sue GM or LG over the Bolt's reported battery defect. You'd have to be content with the savings even if the car did serious damage, in other words. GM confirmed the agreement language with Engadget.

GM first recalled the Bolt in November 2020 after reports of battery fires between 2017 and 2019. The automaker tried addressing the issue with a software update in April 2021, but two subsequent fires and a second recall led the NHTSA to warn against parking indoors. That prompted a July 2021 recall where GM replaced the battery packs. The brand eventually recalled all manufactured Bolts, pledged an additional $1 billion for battery replacements and offered an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on substitute batteries.

The company has since used financial incentives to regain trust. It slashed the price of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV between $5,900 and $6,300, and offered comparable rebates to people who bought 2020, 2021 and 2022 models this year. The exact rebate amounts depend on the model year and trim level.

As Jalopnik explained, this isn't the first time GM has used legal agreements to protect its reputation. Cadillac Lyriq buyers were offered a $5,500 discount if they agreed not to talk about problems with the electric SUV, and purchasers of high-end cars like the Hummer EV void their warranties if they flip their vehicles within a year. However, this latest move could easily be the most concerning — the rebate amounts to a legal settlement rather than a kind offer.

Outlook Lite for Android brings Microsoft's email app to budget phones

Tue, 2022-08-02 15:06

Microsoft quietly announced the launch of Outlook Lite for Android, a streamlined version of the company's email service designed to use less battery and storage space than the default Outlook app without sacrificing features or performance.

Specifically, Microsoft says that Outlook Lite has all the main features of the Outlook experience neatly packed into a 5MB app that's optimized for speed, even on lower-end Android devices. The company says the app was designed to run fast on devices with as little as 1GB of RAM, use less battery impact than the full app and offer good performance on older 2G and 3G networks.

That lower data, storage and battery impact is, of course, the point. And Microsoft isn't alone: pared down, lightweight apps serve a huge market of users with budget devices on older networks. That's why Google offers Android Go, a pared down version of the mobile OS designed specifically for lower-end phones, and why Meta has put so much effort into building small, but feature-rich versions of its Instagram and Facebook apps. You can find lightweight apps for Twitter, Tiktok and even Tinder

Like most lightweight apps, this one has its caveats. Microsoft's new mail app doesn't cut any major features to earn its 'lite' moniker, but it won't work with as many email providers as the primary Outlook app. At present, Outlook Lite is only compatible with Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, MSN, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online accounts. Likewise, the app is also only available in select countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela — though Microsoft says it may add support for more locations in the future.

SEC charges 11 people over 'textbook' $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme

Tue, 2022-08-02 13:57

It's a day of the week ending in the letter "y," which inevitably means there's news of anothermessysaga in the cryptocurrency world. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged 11 people who allegedly set up and promoted Forsage, which it said was a crypto Ponzi scheme that pulled in over $300 million from retail investors.

The agency asserts that Forsage enabled millions of people to engage in transactions through smart contracts on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains. It alleged that Forsage had essentially been operating as a pyramid scheme for over two years, wherein the main way for investors to make money was by luring other people into the scheme. “Fraudsters cannot circumvent the federal securities laws by focusing their schemes on smart contracts and blockchains," Carolyn Welshhans, acting chief of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, said in a statement.

"Forsage is a textbook pyramid and Ponzi scheme," the SEC's complaint reads. "It did not sell or purport to sell any actual, consumable product to bona fide retail customers during the relevant time period and had no apparent source of revenue other than funds received from investors."

Four of those charged are Forsage's founders, who were last known to be living in Russia, the Republic of Georgia and Indonesia. The SEC also charged three promoters based in the US, who the founders allegedly recruited to endorse Forsage on its website and social media. Several members of a group called Crypto Crusaders, a group that promoted the scheme, were charged with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws as well. Two defendants have agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations.

As CNBC notes, Forsage's founders launched the platform in January 2020. Regulators in the Philippines and Montana tried to shut it down with cease-and-desist actions. The SEC alleged that the defendants continued to promote Forsage while denying claims made against the platform in YouTube videos.

Shaun the Sheep will join NASA’s Artemis 1 flight to the Moon

Tue, 2022-08-02 13:34

NASA’s Artemis 1 test flight dummy will have company on its flight to the Moon. On Tuesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that Shaun the Sheep will join the unmanned mission when it hopefully takes off later this year. With the announcement, Aardman’s beloved character will technically become the first ESA astronaut to participate in the Artemis program.

“This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA,” ESA Director for Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker said. “We’re woolly very happy that he’s been selected for the mission and we understand that, although it might be a small step for a human, it’s a giant leap for lambkind.”

Following a successful fueling test of its next-generation SLS rocket, NASA said Artemis 1 could launch as early as August 23rd. The mission will send the agency’s Orion spacecraft – as well as Shaun and Commander Moonikin Campos – on a trip beyond the moon. If all goes according to plan, the capsule should return to Earth after spending 39 to 42 days in space. “The spacecraft will perform a flyby of the Moon, using lunar gravity to gain speed and propel itself 70 000 km beyond the Moon, almost half a million km from Earth – farther than any human, or sheep, has ever traveled,” the ESA said.

Aardman didn’t say as much, but Shaun will likely serve as the mission’s zero-g indicator. Ever since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took a small doll with him on the first-ever human spaceflight, it’s become a tradition for space crews to bring a plush toy on missions. Even some unmanned flights have taken part in the practice. In May, for instance, Boeing’s Starliner capsule brought Jebediah Kerman from Kerbal Space Program to the International Space Station.

James Webb Space Telescope depicts Cartwheel Galaxy in stunning detail

Tue, 2022-08-02 12:42

NASA and its partners on the James Webb Space Telescope have shared more spectacular images from the observatory. This time around, they provided a fresh look at the Cartwheel Galaxy, which Hubble and other telescopes previously observed. NASA said JWST has been able to reveal new details about both star formation and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, which is around 500 million light years from Earth.

Using infrared light detection, JWST was able to peer through the dust that obscured the Cartwheel Galaxy from view when other telescopes observed it. The above image is a composite from JWST's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). The JWST website has higher-resolution versions.

Data from NIRCam, which is the JWST's primary imager, is colored in blue, orange, and yellow, while MIRI's data is in red. NASA says the blue dots that appear in the red swirls of dust are individual stars or pockets of star formation. "NIRCam also reveals the difference between the smooth distribution or shape of the older star populations and dense dust in the core compared to the clumpy shapes associated with the younger star populations outside of it," the agency noted.

MIRI, meanwhile, was able to unearth more details about the galaxy's dust. It detected regions that are rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, along with silicate dust, which is similar to a lot of the dust present on Earth. Those regions form several spiraling spokes that led to the naming of the Cartwheel Galaxy. Hubble was previously able to image the spokes, but they're much clearer in the JWST observations. NASA also provided a MIRI-only image of the galaxy:

This image from Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) shows a group of galaxies, including a large distorted ring-shaped galaxy known as the Cartwheel. The Cartwheel Galaxy, located 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation, is composed of a bright inner ring and an active outer ring. While this outer ring has a lot of star formation, the dusty area in between reveals many stars and star clusters.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI and Webb ERO Production Team

The Cartwheel Galaxy formed following a collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller one. It has two rings, a bright inner ring and a colorful outer one. The outer ring has been expanding from the center of the collision for around 440 million years.

The interior ring contains "a tremendous amount of hot dust," NASA said. The brightest areas host gigantic young star clusters. The outer ring, meanwhile, features star formation and supernovas. When it expands and hits surrounding gas, star formation occurs.

NASA, the European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute last month revealed the first stunning full-color images from JWST. They included one that showed the "Cosmic Cliffs" of the Carina Nebula and a peek at stars in the early stages of formation. The telescope has also caught sight of Earendel, the most distant star that we know of in the universe. While it's still very early days for the JWST's science operations, it's already helping scientists develop a deeper understanding of the cosmos — as well as providing some incredible images for the rest of us to admire.

We’re excited to share the first JWST image of Earendel, the most distant star known in our universe, lensed and magnified by a massive galaxy cluster. It was observed Saturday by JWST program 2282. pic.twitter.com/YoZZKRsdzf

— Cosmic Spring JWST (@CosmicSprngJWST) August 2, 2022

Meta faces lawsuit for allegedly collecting patient health data without consent

Tue, 2022-08-02 12:29

Meta may have scooped up sensitive medical information without consent. The Vergereports that two proposed class-action lawsuits accuse the company and hospitals of violating HIPAA, the California Invasion of Privacy Act and other laws by collecting patient data without consent. Meta's Pixel analytic tracking tool allegedly sent health statuses, appointment details and other data to Facebook when it was present on patient portals.

In one lawsuit, a patient said Pixel gathered data from the UC San Francisco and Dignity Health portals that was used to deliver ads related to heart and knee issues. The second lawsuit is broader and claims at least 664 providers shared medical info with Facebook through Pixel.

We've asked Meta for comment. The company requires that sites using Pixel obtain the right to share data before sending it to Facebook, but the plaintiffs claim Meta refused to enforce its policies. It placed Pixel on the facilities' websites despite knowing the kind of data it would collect, according to the lawsuits.

The lawsuits aren't guaranteed to achieve class-action status, and such lawsuits rarely provide large payouts to individuals. If successful, though, the legal action could prove costly for Meta. They're asking for damages on behalf of all Facebook users whose healthcare providers rely on Pixel, and that could include millions of people.

Taiwan's presidential website hit by cyberattack ahead of Nancy Pelosi's visit

Tue, 2022-08-02 12:18

As more than 300,000 people anxiously watched the flight path of SPAR19, the US Air Force plane carrying Nancy Pelosi on her tour of Asia, Taiwan’s presidential website went down to an apparent cyberattack, reports Reuters. In a Facebook post spotted by Gizmodo, Taiwanese presidential spokesperson Chang Tun-Han said a distributed denial-of-service attack took down the website early Tuesday evening.

According to Tun-Han, the attack originated outside of Taiwan and saw the website bombarded with more than 200 times the amount of traffic it normally sees. They claim the website was back to normal operation “within 20 minutes.” However, when Engadget went to visit, there was only a single line to be seen stating, “OK.”

Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy.

Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region.

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022

Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan late Tuesday evening Taipei Standard Time, reports The Associated Press. According to local news outlets, she is expected to stay the night. As Speaker of the House, Pelosi is the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Ahead of Tuesday’s visit, China warned there would be “resolute and strong measures” if Pelosi went ahead with the trip.

“There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. “The one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.”

The US maintains a so-called policy of “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to Taiwan. In 1972, former President Richard Nixon visited mainland China. During Nixon’s visit, the US agreed “that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of China.” China views visits by foreign government officials to Taiwan as recognition of its sovereignty – though members of Congress have routinely traveled to the self-governing island over the years.

“America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” Pelosi said on Twitter. “Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, US-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances.”

LG's newest 4K CineBeam projectors start at $6,000

Tue, 2022-08-02 11:13

LG's newest CineBeam projectors are ready for your living room, and it's clear you'll pay a premium for their image quality. The company has announced that the laser-based lineup is available starting at $6,000 for the HU915QE, which can produce a 90-inch 4K picture when positioned just 2.2 inches from the wall, or 120 inches when it sits 7.2 inches away. It also reaches a high 3,700 lumens of brightness and can muster a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, so daytime viewing is a realistic option.

The $6,500 HU915QB (shown above) isn't quite as bright at 3,000 lumens, but its black finish makes it better-suited to nighttime sessions. Both models have three HDMI ports with eARC support, two USB ports and an integrated 2.2-channel 40W speaker system. They unsurprisingly run LG's webOS interface (an advantage over rival 'dumb' projectors that lack native apps) and offer creature comforts like AirPlay 2 support, Bluetooth and screen mirroring.

The new Cinebeam projectors' HDR support is limited to HDR10 and HLG. You'll want to buy one of LG's latest OLED TVs if you crave Dolby Vision, and you certainly won't get 8K support. With that said, these units might be strong values if picture size matters more than anything else.

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