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Tuesday’s top tech news: The law comes for Bankman-Fried

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Less than a week after telling a BBC journalist that he didn’t think he’d be arrested for his role in crypto exchange FTX’s collapse, company co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested. He’s now likely to face extradition from the Bahamas to the US and will have to answer difficult questions about where a billion-plus dollars of funds have gone.

Also expected to arrive today is an announcement from the Biden administration about a “scientific breakthrough” in the development of fusion energy. Any development wouldn’t reach production soon enough to help with the current energy crisis, but it could be a promising sign of what’s to come.

And finally, here’s a little bit of gadget news to start your day: Tim Cook has offered a rare confirmation of the specific hardware that goes into the iPhone. Although Apple is generally tight lipped about its suppliers, a tweet from Cook confirms that iPhones have been using Sony camera sensors for “over a decade.

And now, here’s a silly tweet:

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Tuesday, December 13th, 2022.
  • Dan Seifert

    Dec 20, 2022

    Dan Seifert

    Logitech’s new iPad keyboard and stylus are a better buy than Apple’s

    A 10th Gen iPad in a Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case on a wood table.
    Logitech’s Combo Touch keyboard case and USB-C Crayon stylus for the 10th Gen Apple iPad.

    Apple’s 10th-gen iPad is a bit of an enigma, a mix of newer design and technology with older features and limitations. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the accessory situation, where the 10th-gen iPad uses Apple’s older Pencil instead of the model used with the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro and the bafflingly expensive and limited Magic Keyboard Folio.

    Fortunately, where there are frustrations, there are opportunities, and Logitech has swooped in to grab them. The company has released a Crayon stylus and Combo Touch keyboard case for the 10th-gen iPad that manage to do a better job than Apple’s devices while costing considerably less money to boot.

    Read Article >
  • Vjeran Pavic

    Dec 14, 2022

    Vjeran Pavic

    YouTube demystifies the “processing” wait.

    Every so often, there’s a video that our video team finishes just minutes before it has to go live. You export the final version, start the upload to YouTube, the “processing” icon appears… and then you wait.

    And wait.

    And wait.

    Not knowing when it will be ready for your audience in that crispy 4K resolution.

    Starting today, you won’t need to guess how much time is left. YouTube is going to let you know much time is left for processing different video quality levels.

  • Richard Lawler

    Dec 14, 2022

    Richard Lawler

    The New York Times reports Elon Musk’s personal lawyer no longer works for Twitter.

    Since Elon Musk took over Twitter his personal lawyer and one-time The Hoop Collective podcast guest Alex Spiro — who defended him in the “pedo guy” trial — was leading legal and policy matters, but not anymore.

    The NYT cites six people who said Musk was unhappy with some of Spiro’s moves, including holding over Twitter deputy general counsel James A. Baker. This became an issue when Musk apparently realized the former FBI lawyer was a part of reviewing the documents in his prized Twitter Files leak.

    As a side note, the NYT reports Musk’s cost-cutting continues. More execs are out, the kitchen staff was laid off, items like office supplies and electronics are going up for auction and Musk isn’t paying the rent for its HQ, where some engineers sleep.

    So, maybe consider tossing Elon the $8 for Blue? He might need it.

  • Dec 13, 2022

    Emma Roth, Elizabeth Lopatto and 1 more

    The many lies of Sam Bankman-Fried

    Sam Bankman-Fried is shown against a background of red
    Turns out reading the terms of service wouldn’t have saved FTX customers.
    The Verge

    The US government says it was fraud from the jump. The complaint made public today by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has some hair-raising details — and if it’s right, Sam Bankman-Fried hasn’t been telling the truth for quite some time. According to the complaint, Bankman-Fried operated Alameda Research and FTX as a common enterprise, for instance. This complaint is civil.

    In a press conference today, US attorney Damian Williams characterized Alameda Research and FTX as “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”

    Read Article >
  • Victoria Song

    Dec 13, 2022

    Victoria Song

    watchOS 9.2 adds new running features and longer Ultra battery

    The Race Route workout displayed on a Apple Watch Series 7
    Race Routes is now officially live in watchOS 9.2.
    Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

    watchOS 9.2 started rolling out today along with the iOS 16.2 update, and with it comes two new running features: Automatic Track Detection and Race Routes. The former uses Apple Maps and GPS to detect the exact lane of a track you’re running on, while the latter lets you race against your past self on your favorite routes. Additionally, the Apple Watch Ultra can now get up to 17 hours in Low Power Mode during multisport activities.

    Automatic Track Detection can tell whenever you arrive at any standard 400-meter outdoor track. Runners will be prompted to select the lane at the start of an Outdoor Run workout. (If you have to run to the track itself, you’ll be prompted during the workout after arriving.) During track workouts, you’ll also be able to receive lap alerts. If the watch isn’t able to detect the track for whatever reason, users can manually submit that information later in the Fitness app.

    Read Article >
  • Jay Peters

    Dec 13, 2022

    Jay Peters

    PlayStation’s 2022 Wrap-Up recaps playtime, trophies, and meows

    A screenshot of the cat from Stray.
    I contributed a fair number of those meows.
    Image: Annapurna Interactive

    PlayStation’s new 2022 Wrap-Up is available now, giving you a look at things like your personal playtime and some accomplishments from the broader PlayStation community.

    The recap is broken into four main sections: total playtime, top games, trophies earned, and PlayStation Plus. Within each section, not only will you see your own stats but also community statistics for some of PlayStation’s biggest games of the year, including Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarök. The recap also reveals that players were absolute terrors in Stray, with 1 billion meows and 12 million “things ruined.” (I admit to contributing significantly to those numbers.)

    Read Article >
  • Dec 13, 2022

    Jay Peters and Mitchell Clark

    Apple is reportedly preparing to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone

    Illustration of the App Store logo on a dark black and blue background.
    The App Store may no longer be the only place to get software for your iPhone or iPad.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Apple is planning to let users install alternative app stores on iOS, according to a report from Bloomberg. The shift would be a remarkable change from the company, which has famously only allowed iPhone and iPad users to download apps from the App Store.

    The plans are reportedly being spurred on by the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is meant to enact “rules for digital gatekeepers to ensure open markets” when its restrictions become a requirement in 2024, according to a press release.

    Read Article >
  • Jay Peters

    Dec 13, 2022

    Jay Peters

    Kentucky Route Zero joins Netflix’s mobile games lineup

    The esoteric indie title Kentucky Route Zero will be available Tuesday on iOS and Android as part of Netflix’s suite of mobile games. The narrative-focused game seems like one that will lend itself well to a mobile format, and after a more than six-month wait since publisher Annapurna Interactive said Kentucky Route Zero would be coming to phones, you can now get lost in its weird world from the smartphone in your pocket.

    Kentucky Route Zero, from developer Cardboard Computer, is difficult to describe. It’s not so much a game as a magical realism story that you experience in an interactive form. I played it for the first time when the game’s final episode released after years of development, and I’ve never tried anything like it before or since. My colleague Andrew Webster sums it all up well, and if it helps, this trailer of the “TV edition” for consoles gives you some idea of what you’re in for.

    Read Article >
  • Tom Warren

    Dec 13, 2022

    Tom Warren

    iOS 16.2 arrives with improved always-on display and iCloud end-to-end encryption

    Photo of an iPhone on top of multi-colored pastel circles.
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Apple’s latest iOS 16.2 update is now rolling out and includes a number of new and improved features for iPhone users. iPhone 14 Pro owners will benefit from improved always-on display settings, which let users turn off the mode’s wallpaper and notifications if they’re distracting. Other new features include end-to-end iCloud encryption, the Apple Music Sing karaoke mode, and much more.

    End-to-end iCloud encryption is being branded as Advanced Data Protection in iOS 16.2 and means data like Notes, iCloud backups, and Photos are now protected with end-to-end encryption. The protection covers 23 “data categories” now, up from 14, and includes device backups, messages backups, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew Webster

    Dec 13, 2022

    Andrew Webster

    Netflix’s Kaleidoscope looks like the perfect crime in new trailer

    Netflix is getting a little experimental in the new year. The streaming service will be releasing its latest crime anthology, Kaleidoscope, on January 1st — and the latest trailer shows off just how intense of a heist it really is, with a few billion dollars on the line.

    While Netflix has no shortage of crime and heist shows, what makes this one interesting is how it’s structured; the show is nonlinear, designed so that you can watch the episodes — which encompass a story spanning around 25 years — in any order. “All viewers will eventually see all episodes, but the order in which they watch the episodes will affect their viewpoint on the story, the characters, and the questions and answers at the heart of the heist,” the company explains. (That said, there is one canonical finale episode.)

    Read Article >
  • Jay Peters

    Dec 13, 2022

    Jay Peters

    Instagram is adding a BeReal clone, a tweet-ish feature, and groups

    Two screenshots of Instagram’s new Candid feature.
    Instagram’s take on BeReal is called “Candid.”
    Image: Instagram

    Instagram is announcing a suite of new features that could be big focuses for the company in 2023, including a BeReal clone called Candid Stories, the ability to post very short text “Notes,” and groups.

    Candid Stories appear to mirror much of what has made BeReal popular. You’ll be able to share an image that includes a snapshot from both your front and back cameras, and you’ll be able to take a candid from a daily notification reminder. You’ll also be able to snap candids from the Stories camera or a multi-author Story.

    Read Article >
  • Justine Calma

    Dec 13, 2022

    Justine Calma

    A ‘scientific breakthrough’ in nuclear fusion? How to watch the announcement

    Several speakers stand in front of a crowd at a press conference.
    Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Kim Budil speaks at a press conference to announce a major milestone in nuclear fusion research on December 13, 2022.
    Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

    On Tuesday, December 13th, scientists with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced that they’d achieved “fusion ignition.” The Verge has an updated post on the news here.

    A “scientific breakthrough” in the development of fusion energy is expected tomorrow from the Biden administration. For more than half a century, people have poured billions of dollars into nuclear fusion research, hoping to create a source of abundant, clean energy.

    Read Article >
  • Adi Robertson

    Dec 13, 2022

    Adi Robertson

    Marco Rubio pushes TikTok ban in Congress

    A TikTok logo surrounded by jazzy lines and colorful accents
    Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has proposed legislation that would ban TikTok from the US, the latest in a series of political blows to the social media platform — albeit one that seems relatively unlikely to land.

    The tortuously named Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party (or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP) Act would require President Joe Biden to block all US transactions with TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. It directs Biden to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to restrict access to the service, alleging that ByteDance’s collection of American user data and its vulnerability to Chinese government pressure pose a security threat.

    Read Article >
  • Umar Shakir

    Dec 13, 2022

    Umar Shakir

    Qualcomm’s new Wi-Fi 7 platform supports mesh networks with up to 20 Gbps peak capacity

    An illustration of the Qualcomm logo.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Qualcomm has new Wi-Fi 7-capable chipsets that are part of its new “Immersive Home Platform” — built for home networking manufacturers that are ready to integrate the upcoming IEEE 802.11BE specification into its devices.

    The new Qualcomm chips are currently being sampled to companies that make home routers and mesh Wi-Fi devices and are expected to be available in the second half of 2023. Once it is, you can expect to see far more Wi-Fi 7 routers to choose from — at more affordable price points — than the current options of TP-Link’s BE900 or Deco BE-series mesh routers.

    Read Article >
  • Emma Roth

    Dec 13, 2022

    Emma Roth

    New Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer is a window into the multiverse

    The latest trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) has just been released, offering a look at the chaos Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) encounter as they toss themselves into the multiverse.

    During the trailer, the duo comes across several other spider-people, and that includes some new faces, like Spider-Woman (Issa Rae) and the Spider-Man from the Insomniac-developed PlayStation game.

    Read Article >
  • Justine Calma

    Dec 13, 2022

    Justine Calma

    Nuclear fusion power research passes milestone with ‘fusion ignition’

    A sign at a gate entrance to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    The west gate entrance to the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, US, on Monday, December 12th, 2022.
    Photo by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

    For the first time, researchers have created a fusion reaction that resulted in a net energy gain. The results, from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, mark a significant step on the very long road toward generating clean energy from nuclear fusion.

    “Last week, lo and behold, indeed, they shot a bunch of lasers at a pellet of fuel, and more energy was released from that fusion ignition than the energy of the lasers going in,” White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar said at a press conference announcing the achievement in Washington, DC, today. “I just think this is such a tremendous example of what perseverance really can achieve.”

    Read Article >
  • Alex Cranz

    Dec 13, 2022

    Alex Cranz

    E-readers should get a lot more colorful in 2023.

    Earlier this year E Ink announced Gallery 3, a new color E Ink tech that promised to be a whole lot faster and more colorful than any of the color E Ink stuff currently available.

    So far, a crowdfunded e-reader has been the only gadget confirmed to have a Gallery 3 display. But now E Ink has announced that bigger players will also be bringing Gallery 3 to e-readers in 2023, including Boox, PocketBook, AOC, iFlyTek, and iReader.

  • T.C. Sottek

    Dec 13, 2022

    T.C. Sottek

    Find a QuickBooks plan that’s right for your billion-dollar business.

    I’m dying to know which QuickBooks accounting software plan FTX was subscribed to. “Simple start” for $15 a month, or did it splurge on “Advanced” for $100?

  • Nilay Patel

    Dec 13, 2022

    Nilay Patel

    3D cinema, a remembrance.

    I spent so much time covering 3DTV in my baby gadget blogger days, but it was always doomed because no one wants to wear the glasses. The Ringer looks back at Avatar, James Cameron, and his short-lived 3D phenomenon.

    Rewatching Avatar now, its best moments still have a weightless, stratospheric kick, and you can understand why insiders and observers would have bet on a wide-scale 3D revolution. The early 2010s featured wildly profitable 3D releases encompassing fairy-tale adaptations (Alice in Wonderland), Pixar crowd-pleasers (Toy Story 3), and keynote MCU entries (Captain America: the First Avenger). For a brief moment, polarized glasses were basically mandatory for any summertime theater outing.

  • Ash Parrish

    Dec 13, 2022

    Ash Parrish

    Pedro Eustache opens up about video game music and becoming the Flute Guy

    A photo of Pedro Eustache playing the flute
    Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Coachella

    Pedro Eustache has played just about every woodwind or reed-based instrument in the world. He has amassed a collection of truly unique instruments made by nature and his very own hand, including flutes made from everything from flower pots to ostrich eggs. He owns plenty of flutes, either cobbled together from different instruments or modified to create wholly original sounds that only he can produce after decades of study that took him all over the world. His viral moment at The Game Awards, for which he is now lovingly known as Flute Guy, is not his breakthrough moment but is rather just another blessing in what he describes as a divinely ordained calling for a career that almost did not happen.

    One of the first things Eustache said to me in a recent interview over Zoom, which really captured his prolific love and exacting standards for his art, was a gentle correction and an apology. He was surrounded in his home studio by his many flutes, including the bass flute that brought him his viral moment — critically not the alto flute I called it in my earlier blog about Eustache (The Verge regrets the error). 

    Read Article >
  • Richard Lawler

    Dec 13, 2022

    Richard Lawler

    Feds charge former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with money laundering and all kinds of fraud

    FTX logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    About 12 hours after we learned authorities in the Bahamas have arrested FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed the first of multiple sets of charges he’ll face. Those were quickly followed by another civil lawsuit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and, finally, criminal charges filed by the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.

    The criminal charges were filed last Friday and unsealed today. They include eight counts that cover allegations of wire fraud against customers and those who lent money to his firms, securities fraud, and money laundering.

    Read Article >
  • Makena Kelly

    Dec 13, 2022

    Makena Kelly

    Strap in!

    The House Financial Services Committee is staying the course and continuing on with its planned hearing on the collapse of the disgraced crypto exchange FTX today.

    Founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested last night, so he won’t be joining us, but the Wall Street Journal just published a copy of everything he planned to say.

  • Richard Lawler

    Dec 13, 2022

    Richard Lawler

    Green light.

    Things are already moving rapidly this morning. Elon’s Twitter Blue is back, and it’s even changed the check marks to yellow on some business profile pages.

    Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried is in custody, and today we’ll learn more about how much trouble he’s in from the charges filed and testimony in front of Congress that starts in a few minutes.

    Finally, clean fusion might be closer to becoming a real thing? We’ll also find out more about that in just a moment.

    Oh, and there’s one other video preview set for noon ET that you may want to watch.

  • You can now wave at an Echo Show to get it to shut up

    A hand waving at a smart display
    You can now dismiss timers by holding up your hand to the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) or 10 (3rd Gen).
    Image: Amazon

    Amazon’s Echo Show smart displays are finally getting a feature that Google’s Nest Hubs have had for several years — gesture controls. Starting today, December 13th, you can now stop a timer by holding up your hand with your palm facing the camera on an Echo Show 8 (second gen) or Echo Show 10 (third gen).

    It’s a small addition, useful if you don’t want to shout or your hands are covered in food so you don't want to tap the screen to stop the timer.

    Read Article >
  • Jon Porter

    Dec 13, 2022

    Jon Porter

    Tim Cook admits that iPhones use Sony camera sensors

    Tim and SONY CEO Ken Yoshida look at a camera sensor demo on the iPhone 14 lineup.
    Tim Cook being shown an iPhone.
    Image: Tim Cook

    Tim Cook has tweeted an admission that Apple uses Sony image sensors in its iPhones as part of the CEO’s supplier tour of Japan. “We’ve been partnering with Sony for over a decade to create the world’s leading camera sensors for iPhone,” Cook tweeted, and thanked Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida for showing him around the Kumamoto facility. A photo shows Cook being shown his company’s own smartphone, which is objectively very funny. 

    Apple largely keeps tight-lipped about the specifics of the hardware components that go into each iPhone, so outright confirming that it’s used Sony camera sensors for over a decade is notable. Apple’s website tends to just list the specs of each iPhone’s camera — such as resolution, aperture, and field of view — rather than the specific components used. But hardware specifics have tended to matter less in the age of computational photography.

    Read Article >