Tech News Feed

A Pro-China Online Influence Campaign is Targeting the Rare-Earths Industry

SlashDot - 5 hours 50 min ago
Disinformation operatives seek to undermine firms in the Western world as China fights to maintain near-monopoly power. From a report: An online influence campaign carried out by a group that promotes China's political interests is targeting Western companies that mine and process rare-earth elements, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Mandiant. The campaign, which is playing out in Facebook groups and micro-targeted tweets, is trying to stoke environmentalist protests against the companies in the US. The operation is attributed to an online group code-named Dragonbridge, which has also been responsible for campaigns claiming that covid-19 originated in the United States. Its latest campaign has increased in intensity in recent weeks as part of a strategic battle between China and its Western adversaries over who controls the precious resources and their own destiny. "We are headed to a future where the likelihood of tools like influence operations being used against key industries will only increase," says John Hultquist, Mandiant's head of intelligence. "As competition between the US and China changes, the nature of the competition may become more aggressive." It's also proof that influence campaigns are not easy: Dragonbridge has largely failed in its bid to draw negative attention to the Western companies. Shane Huntley, who directs Google's Threat Analysis Group and has tracked Dragonbridge since 2019, previously tweeted that his team has taken an "aggressive" approach against the influence operation but that "it really is amazing for all the effort put in how LITTLE engagement these channels get from real viewers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

1,100-HP Red Bull RB17 Hybrid Hypercar Coming in 2025 for $6M - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 12 min ago
Red Bull's first stand-alone road car will be developed by Adrian Newey, who worked on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Firefox Can Now Automatically Remove Tracking From URLs

SlashDot - 6 hours 22 min ago
Mozilla's latest Firefox browser release has a new feature that prevents sites like Facebook from tracking you across websites. Called Query Parameter Stripping, it automatically removes strings of characters added to the end of an URL.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Satellite Snaps Wowza Space Selfie With Off-the-Shelf Camera - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 36 min ago
NanoAvionics raises the bar for self-portraits in space.

Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees for July 2022 - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 41 min ago
You can save the typical 3% foreign transaction fee if you use one of these cards while traveling abroad.

Facebook Groups Gets Facelift with New Dedicated Channels - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 46 min ago
Meta describes the subgroups as more focused spaces "for people to connect in smaller, more casual settings."

Tips for Playing Junker Queen in the Overwatch 2 Beta - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 3 min ago
The new tank hero can deal a lot of damage, but you need to know how her abilities work together.

Niantic is laying off about 90 employees and canceling four projects

Engadget - 7 hours 9 min ago

Pokémon Go developer Niantic is laying off eight percent of its workforce, which is said to be around 85-90 jobs. The augmented reality game company has also canceled four projects. CEO John Hanke reportedly wrote in an email to employees that Niantic was “facing a time of economic turmoil” and had to “further streamline our operations in order to best position the company" to weather any future economic turmoil.

“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about eight percent to focus on our key priorities,” a Niantic spokesperson told Bloomberg, which first reported the news. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”

One of the games that has been shelved is Transformers: Heavy Metal. Niantic and Hasbro announced that title in 2021 and had been testing it in some markets since last summer. Niantic has also canned an immersive theater project called Hamlet. It was working on that project with theater group Punchdrunk, which is behind an immersive production of Macbeth called Sleep No More. The other two shelved projects are called Blue Sky and Snowball.

Niantic hasn't yet been able to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle success of 2016's Pokémon Go. The company shut down an AR game based on Harry Potter earlier this year. Bloomberg notes that titles based on Catan (which shuttered last year) and Nintendo's Pikmin haven't been successful either.

News of the layoffs and project cancellations comes one day after Niantic announced NBA All-World, a basketball game it's making in collaboration with the NBA and the league's players' association. Meanwhile, the company will soon release an app that will help Pokémon Go players chat with each other. It's also working on an original game called Peridot and collaborating with other companies on AR apps.

Apple Promises 'White Glove Experiences' For Its Most Helpful Community Members

SlashDot - 7 hours 18 min ago
Apple is rewarding the most active and helpful members of its support forums with its new Community Plus program. The invite-only program gives these "high-level" Support Community members access to exclusive perks and experiences. From a report: Apple's Support Community members can already earn points based on their activity, granting them access to rewards as they level up. This includes the ability to upload a custom avatar as well as participate in conference calls with the Apple Support Community team and even in-person meetups with other members. But the Community Plus program appears to take things a bit further. It applies to the "shining stars" of Apple support forums who provide the most detailed and helpful answers. Apple says it will only add a "small group" of people to the program on a yearly basis. If this type of program sounds familiar, you may remember that Microsoft has had its MVP (most valuable professional) award for over 20 years and has recognized over 4,000 MVPs so far -- at times rewarding them with trips, subscriptions that included free access to expensive software, and free training materials.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Formula E's Gen3 car will make its race debut on January 14th

Engadget - 7 hours 25 min ago

Formula E’s Gen3 all-electric car will make its race debut on January 14th, 2023 in Mexico City. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) announced the date on Wednesday and shared the preliminary schedule for Formula E’s upcoming ninth season.

Before the official start of the competition in January, teams will have three days in December to test their new ride in Valencia, Spain. With today’s preliminary schedule, Formula E plans to host 18 races across 13 cities. That’s two more contests and three more stops than its 2022 slate. What’s more, for the first time, the Formula E circuit will visit Hyderabad in India and São Paulo, Brazil.

If you take a look at the schedule, you’ll notice a few gaps. Most notably, Formula E has yet to announce a New York City date. A spokesperson told Engadget the organization is working to organize races in South Africa and the US.

Season 9Formula E

"New York has been the home of Formula E in the USA since Season 3, with the exception of the Covid-hit Season 6 in 2020, and has delivered some epic races in front of full grandstands,” said Formula E chief championship officer Alberto Longo. “Major construction work in the Brooklyn area will make it a challenge to use the current track layout next year which is why we have not announced a specific date on the provisional Season 9 calendar. However, we will continue to work closely with our local partners in Brooklyn to explore solutions for racing in New York next season.”

Next year’s racing debut of the Gen3 is exciting for a couple of reasons. Not only is the car faster than its predecessor, but Formula E also designed it to be more agile. That’s something that should lead to more wheel-to-wheel dueling between drivers, and make the resulting races more entertaining.

Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire From Supreme Court on Thursday - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 53 min ago
Breyer will step down as the tumultuous court term comes to a close.

Gmail's Redesigned Interface, Featuring Chat and Meet, Now the New Default

SlashDot - 7 hours 55 min ago
Gmail is now rolling out a new user interface that will show Chat and Meet sections on the side pane by default. From a report: Google introduced this new integrated view earlier this year through opt-in options, so you had to manually enable Chat and Meet panes. However, as the new phase of the rollout is starting, the company will force you to opt out if you want the classic Gmail view. Google says the change is rolling out to Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts alike. This includes Google Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Frontline and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers, and Google Workspace Individual users. Only Google Workspace Essentials customers will not see the change, or those Workspace customers that have only been provided access to Gmail and not other apps.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google’s Switch to Android app on iOS now works with all Android 12 devices

Engadget - 7 hours 59 min ago

Google is making it easier for new Android users to transfer their data from an old iPhone. As of today, the company’s Switch to Android app on iOS will work with all Android 12 devices. Previously only compatible with Pixel phones, the software is useful if you're about to move from iOS to Android.

Once you have your new phone, connect it to your old Apple one. Your best bet is a Lightning to USB-C cable, but you can also link the two devices together over WiFi. Once they’re connected, select what data you want to be moved over. Your options include apps, contacts, photos, videos, music and messages. At that point, the software will take care of the rest.

The timing of the wider availability of Switch to Android is interesting in part because WhatsApp recently made it easier for new iOS users to move their chat histories over from an old Android phone. Obviously, Google's app won't help if you switched to Android before today's announcement, but if the headache of transferring your data is what held you back previously, now you have one less reason to wait.    

Best Samsung Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra Cases for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 59 min ago
If you're looking for a case for your Galaxy S22, here's an assortment of our top picks.

Best Vlogging Camera for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 59 min ago
Whether you're just shooting for fun or you're aiming for YouTube glory, this is the gear you need to make your videos shine.

'Crossy Road' creator Andy Sum's next game will arrive on July 20th

Engadget - 8 hours 10 min ago

Publisher No More Robots has announced that the next game from Crossy Road creator Andy Sum will be released on Steam on July 20th. While Crossy Road is a hit arcade-style title in the vein of Frogger, TombStar takes its cue from bullet hell roguelikes, such as Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac.

TombStar, which was announced in 2020, is a colorful space Western top-down shooter. There are three characters to choose from, each with their own playstyle. You'll pick up abilities, weapons and perks to aid you in battle against the Grimheart Gang. Each of the worlds has a boss, but since the levels are procedurally generated, each run will be different.

All Clear: 'Risky Asteroid' Will Miss Earth in 2052 - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 29 min ago
Asteroid 2021 MQ1 has been removed from a risk list.

Crypto Hedge Fund Three Arrows Set for Court-Ordered Liquidation

SlashDot - 8 hours 38 min ago
A British Virgin Islands court ordered the liquidation of Three Arrows Capital, the crypto hedge fund that bet big on everything from Bitcoin to the ill-fated Luna tokens and then succumbed to a $2 trillion wipeout of the digital-asset markets. From a report: The court, which made the order on Monday, has appointed two partners at consulting and advisory firm Teneo to handle the liquidation, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential. Teneo will oversee talks with potential buyers that may be interested in Three Arrows's remaining holdings, such as tokens or equity stakes in crypto startups, the person added. A website will be set up to locate creditors and determine who is owed what. Three Arrows has invested in a range of decentralized finance platforms such as Aave and dYdX, as well as crypto infrastructure firms such as StarkWare, according to its website. It's not immediately clear what or how much of these holdings will be subject to a sale.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SpaceX's Starlink Satellite Broadband Has Been Speeding Up Quickly, Ookla Says - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 52 min ago
Speed testing outfit Ookla reports on the state of connectivity from orbit.

Wondering Why Gmail Looks Different? New Design Rolls Out by Default - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 53 min ago
Some people will start seeing the new Gmail interface by default.