Tech News Feed

Best Black Friday Sales on Beauty, Fashion and Home - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 16:12
Get your hands on thousands of deals during the biggest shopping event of the year.

Mozilla bundles its VPN and email relay services for $7 per month

Engadget - Tue, 2022-11-22 16:11

Mozilla's privacy services might be more compelling if you were previously on the fence. The company now offers its virtual private network (VPN) and Firefox Relay Premium together in a $7 per month bundle when you pay for an annual subscription. Given that the VPN normally costs $5 per month (on a similar yearly basis) by itself, this may be a solid choice if you want more than the fundamentals.

The VPN secures traffic for up to five devices, with servers in over 30 countries, no logging and perks like "multi-hop" access that uses more than one server to further protect your connection. However, Firefox Relay may be more intriguing. You get both email aliases to hide your real accounts as well as phone number masking to prevent your digits reaching spammers and hackers. You might not worry so much that signing up for a service will eventually lead to a privacy breach.

Firefox Relay isn't necessarily for everyone. Email sizes are still capped at 10MB, and you'll want a Chrome extension if you aren't using the Firefox browser. We'd add that some privacy services may represent better values depending on what you're looking for. Apple offers email aliases and connection relays if you're part of its ecosystem, while Google bundles its VPN with cloud storage and other perks. At this price, though, Mozilla's services may well be viable if you're looking to remain more platform-independent.

FTX Founder Reportedly Went on a Luxury Beachfront Shopping Spree - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:56
Sam Bankman-Fried bought at least 19 properties worth $121 million.

There Will Be 3.2 Billion Gamers in 2022, But Revenue Set To Fall for First Time in 15 years

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:41
An anonymous reader shares a report: If you're old enough to remember when gaming was considered more of a niche pastime, especially among those over the age of sixteen, it might bring a smile to your face to know that 3.2 billion people, almost half the world's population, will play games this year. They'll spend a combined total of $184.4 billion on their hobby, and while that is down slightly compared to last year, it's the result of the pandemic-induced gaming boom of 2020/21. Newzoo's latest Global Games Market Report shows that the number of people playing games around the world is up 4.6% this year. That's especially impressive given how more people were gaming during the lockdowns when stay-at-home entertainment, such as video games and streaming, exploded. Not only were more people trying games for the first time, but lapsed players were also returning. The pandemic also saw a huge jump in games revenue -- growth between 2020 and 2022 was $43 billion more than Newzoo predicted. Unlike player numbers, that hasn't been sustained post-lockdown, with the $184 billion figure down -4.3% YoY; the first decline in 15 years. However, it's important to note that gaming has still managed to weather 2022's economic turbulence better than many other industries.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Best Black Friday Steam Sale Video Game Deals - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:05
Steam calls this the "Autumn Sale" and it runs November 22-29.

Fiat 500e One-Off Concepts Look Stunning - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:01
The concepts from Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell feature unique design elements with a focus on sustainability.

Netflix Reveals a Series That Is Designed To Be Watched in Any Order You Choose

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:01
Netflix's new anthology series "Kaleidoscope" will give viewers their own unique experience watching a team of skillful thieves attempt to pull off a robbery they've been planning for over 20 years. From a report: In a sneak peek clip, the cast and crew share the intricacies of the series and how it's making a new spin on the traditional anthology series. "Every episode had multiple connections to every other episode," said the show's creator, showrunner and executive producer Eric Garcia in the clip. Garcia is also one of the "Kaleidoscope" writers. In the eight-part series, the audience will follow "a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history. Guarded by the world's most powerful corporate security team, and with law enforcement on the case, every episode reveals a piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties and betrayals," reads a description of the show, which premieres on Netflix Jan. 1.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

WinkBed Mattress Review: A Luxury Mattress With Widespread Appeal - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:00
The WinkBed is a luxury mattress that's a lot more affordable than expected. Learn all the pros and cons before you buy.

Marie Callender's Burnt Pie Update: Viral Cook Shares 2022 Thanksgiving Plans - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 15:00
"Not only did I roast a pie, I got roasted too," said Sharon Weiss, the real-life cook behind the cremated calamity.

The FCC Is Finally Cracking Down on the Robocall Problem - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:55
The agency says it has disconnected a voice provider for failing to add the required protections against robocalls.

Xbox 360 Replica Controller Coming to Xbox and PC - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:45
The controller makers at Hyperkin are bringing back another Xbox classic.

FCC cuts off a voice provider for failing to protect against robocalls

Engadget - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:34

The Federal Communications Commission didn't take long to start isolating voice providers that don't do enough to block robocalls. The regulator has cut off provider Global UC from other networks after allegedly failed to meet requirements for protecting against scam robocalls. Now that the company is no longer in the Robocall Mitigation Database, other carriers (including intermediaries) will have to stop accepting its traffic.

The FCC said in October that it planned to cut off Global UC and six other firms that didn't share their anti-robocall strategies despite warnings. The Commission required that all US-based carriers with IP-based networks use STIR/SHAKEN anti-spoofing measures by the end of June 2021, and told providers to start blocking companies outside of the Robocall Mitigation Database after September 28th of that year.

It's not certain when other offenders might face punishment. However, the FCC said it was still reviewing responses from firms that had been asked to show their strategies for limiting robocalls. Those that can provide concrete plans should avoid cutoffs.

The crackdown isn't guaranteed to reduce the volume of robocalls, particularly those originating outside the US. Even so, the FCC clearly hopes Global UC's fate will send a message to American companies hoping to skirt the rules. If they don't take action, they risk losing business as customers are forced to head elsewhere.

See NASA's Bold Artemis I Moon Mission Unfold in Stunning Images - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:21
Follow along as NASA's uncrewed Orion spacecraft journeys around the moon and back.

EU Confirms Multiple Ongoing Investigations Into TikTok Data Practices

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:20
The president of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has confirmed there are multiple ongoing investigations into TikTok. From a report: The probes concern the transfer of EU citizens' data to China and targeted advertising aimed at minors. Investigators are seeking to ensure that TikTok meets General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. "The data practices of TikTok, including with respect to international data transfers, are the object of several ongoing proceedings," Ursula von der Leyden wrote in a letter shared by Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr. "This includes an investigation by the Irish [Data Protection Commission] about TikTok's compliance with several GDPR requirements, including as regards data transfers to China and the processing of data of minors, and litigation before the Dutch courts (in particular concerning targeted advertising regarding minors and data transfers to China)." Von der Leyden was responding to concerns raised by members of the European Parliament regarding Chinese public authorities potentially gaining access to EU citizens' TikTok data, following a report by BuzzFeed News. The app's data practices have been under the EU's spotlight for a while. Earlier this year, TikTok agreed to enforce certain policies concerning ads and branded content following a complaint that accused the app of breaching EU consumer rules.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hyperkin is reviving the Xbox 360's iconic controller for Xbox Series X/S and PC

Engadget - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:16

Gaming accessory maker Hyperkin is creating a licensed replica of the Xbox 360’s iconic gamepad (via The Verge). Named “Xenon” – a reference to the console’s prerelease codename and IBM-made PowerPC processor – the controller brings back the nearly two-decade-old design while adding a few modern features, including a detachable USB-C cable and headphone jack. It also comes with Menu, View and Share buttons, making the controller fully compatible with the Xbox Series X/S. The new gamepad will also work with Windows 10 and 11 PCs, though it won't include wireless support.

Today, 17 years ago, the #Xbox360 launched to much acclaim. Now announcing the Xenon, a replica of the official #Xbox 360 Controller - licensed with Designed for Xbox - for Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One/Windows 10|11 PCs.

Full circle. Back in control.

Details to come!

— Hyperkin (@Hyperkin) November 22, 2022

Hyperkin will offer the Xenon controller in white, black, pink and red colorways. No word on pricing or availability yet. This isn’t Hyperkin’s first foray into nostalgia bait. The company previously worked with original Xbox designer Seamus Blackley to create a new version of Microsoft’s “Duke” controller. Judging from the renders Hyperkin shared, the controller may hew too closely to its original counterpart. For all its strengths, the Xbox 360 gamepad had a notoriously bad d-pad that was known for being mushy. Here’s hoping Hyperkin takes some creative license.

LastPass discounts its Premium plans by 25 percent for Black Friday

Engadget - Tue, 2022-11-22 14:00

A password manager is one of the few essential apps everyone should have installed on their devices. Not only will one make your life easier by taking the work out of remembering countless different passwords, but it can also help to shield you from the worst effects of a data breach. That’s because every password manager will push you to avoid using the same password for different websites.

There are many options out there, but if you’re already a LastPass user, the platform’s Premium subscription is currently discounted until November 29th. After a 25 percent price cut, the personal plan is $3.19 per month, while the monthly price for the family plan is $4.13. The latter supports up to six users, so even if you share it with just one other person in your household, you’re saving a fair amount.

While it’s possible to use LastPass without a Premium subscription, you won’t be able to use your account on multiple devices. That’s a feature you need to get the most out of a password manager. The paid tier also comes with access to features like dark web monitoring, 1GB of file storage and emergency access.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter.

Tokyo Residents Urged To Wear Turtlenecks To Save on Energy Bills

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-11-22 13:40
The governor of Tokyo has urged people to wear a turtleneck this winter to stay warm and reduce energy consumption. Yuriko Koike said wearing turtleneck jumpers could help reduce energy bills. From a report: "Warming the neck has a thermal effect. I'm wearing a turtleneck myself and wearing a scarf also keeps you warm. This will save electricity," Yuriko Koike told reporters on Friday. "This is one of the tools to get through the harsh winter energy climate together." She said the French president, Emmanuel Macron, was "taking a lead in wearing turtlenecks." Japan has long conducted an annual "cool biz" campaign, in which a casual dress code is encouraged in offices to save energy during the country's sweltering summers. The winter version is labelled, appropriately enough, "warm biz." Japan -- which is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050 -- has faced a squeeze on its energy supply like many countries since Russia's February invasion of Ukraine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook Took Action Against 1.4 Billion Pieces of Spam Content in a 3-Month Span - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-11-22 13:00
The social media giant says it saw an uptick in spam attacks in August.

The Nest Thermostat is only $90 as part of Google's Black Friday deals

Engadget - Tue, 2022-11-22 13:00

Google's Nest Thermostat is on sale for just $90 for Black Friday, with a tidy $40 discount. That's among the lowest prices we've seen, and close to the lowest it has gone for so far. Like most smart home devices, the Nest Thermostat grants control via smartphone, tablet, laptop or even a smart display like Amazon's Echo Show or Google's Nest Hub (both of which are seeing significant Black Friday deals). 

Since it's programmable and capable of knowing when you're home, the thermostat can save energy by not overly heating or cooling an empty house. Google designed it to be easy to install, and most people can do it themselves. Google says 85 percent of systems are compatible, but before you pick one up, you might want to check your HVAC compatibility on Google's site.  

In addition to remote access and programmability, the Next Thermostat has a Savings Finder option within the Nest app that can suggest tweaks to your heating and cooling schedule to save energy. In some cases, owning a Nest can entitle you to rebates from your utility provider.  

The sale extends to some of Google's other smart home devices as well. If you're looking to expand your smart home ecosystem with Nest cameras or doorbells, this might be the time to dive in. The Nest Security Cam Wired is 30 percent off its usual $100 price tag, bringing it down to $70 for Black Friday. 

As the name suggests, this is the wired version of the smart camera, intended for indoor use. Its smart detection features can tell the difference between your pets wandering around and human visitors. It also lets you see, hear and talk to whomever's in the room and sends alerts and 1080p HDR video to your phone or other devices using the Google Home app. You get three hours of video history without a subscription, or with a $6-per-month subscription, the Nest cam offers 60 days of video history.   

Buy Nest Security Cam Wired at Amazon - $70

Bring a video doorbell into the mix to keep track of packages and people showing up at your door with the Nest Doorbell Battery. It's down to an all-time low of $120, with a $60 discount. The doorbell installs using your existing doorbell wiring to continuously power the device, or it can run on the built-in rechargeable battery. Like the Nest camera, the Google Home app sends alerts and video feed from the doorbell to your phone, laptop or smart display. You can see, hear and talk to anyone who shows up, and you can even program the option of using pre-recorded messages to tell visitors you'll be right there or let delivery people know where to leave your package. 

Buy Nest Doorbell Battery at Amazon - $120

Other versions of the cameras and doorbells are also on sale at Amazon right now. If you'd rather shop direct, the Google Store has Black Friday deals on even more Nest smart home devices. 

Shop the Google Nest Black Friday sale at Amazon

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter.

'Avatar 2' Is So Expensive It Must Become the 'Fourth or Fifth Highest-Grossing Film in History' Just To Break Even

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-11-22 13:00
How expensive is "Avatar: The Way of Water"? Early reports have claimed the production budget alone was in the $250 million range, but director James Cameron isn't willing to give a hard number just yet. The only answer Cameron would give about the sequel's budget when asked by GQ magazine was the following: "Very fucking [expensive]." From a report: Cameron apparently told Disney and 20th Century Studios executives that his sequel budget was so high it represented "the worst business case in movie history." According to the director's estimates, "you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That's your threshold. That's your break even." On the current chart of highest-grossing movies worldwide (unadjusted for inflation), Cameron's original 2009 "Avatar" ranks at the top with $2.9 billion. Disney's "Avengers: Endgame" is in second position with $2.7 million, while Cameron's "Titanic" remains in the third slot with $2.1 billion. That means, according to Cameron, that if "Avatar: The Way of Water" wants to break even, it'll need to overtake either âoeStar Wars: The Force Awakens" ($2.07 billion) or "Avengers: Infinity War" ($2.05 billion) in the fourth or fifth slots, respectively.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.