Microsoft is starting the long process of winding down sales of Windows 10 with the announcement that it plans to stop selling the operating system from its own site on January 31st. The software will likely continue to be available from third-party sellers and come pre-installed on laptops and PCs for a while yet, but it’s a significant step towards phasing out the venerable OS.
Meanwhile, Apple announced two new MacBook processors last week (the M2 Pro and M2 Max), which naturally means it’s time to start looking ahead to the inevitable M3 lineup. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the next-generation processor could arrive later this year or in early 2024 in a new MacBook Air and / or iMac. Expect performance and power efficiency improvements if Apple’s previous chips are anything to go by.
And finally, Wordle-clone Quordle has been acquired by Merriam-Webster, and is now accessible on the publishing company’s website. It’s an impressive move for the online word game, whose unique selling point is that it asks you to find four words simultaneously. It follows the acquisition of Wordle by The New York Times a year ago.
For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:
Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Monday, January 23rd, 2023.
Jan 24, 2023
Apple has released iOS 16.3, which adds the ability to use a security key to lock down your Apple ID and appears to bring the company’s Advanced Data Protection for iCloud feature to countries outside of the US. It also tweaks the Emergency SOS call system, includes a new “Unity” wallpaper, and adds new features for the existing HomePod Mini (as well as support for the second-gen HomePod).Read Article >
Last year, Apple announced the hardware key feature, which lets you use something like a Yubikey as a second factor to log in to your Apple account, as part of a push to help people lock down their iCloud accounts. Also included in that announcement was Advanced Data Protection, which expands the types of data that are end-to-end-encrypted in your cloud storage. The feature came to the US with iOS 16.2, but the update released on Monday seems to make it available globally — Apple has removed a note from a support document saying that it’s only available in the US, and we’ve seen at least one report from someone in another country saying it’s available.
Jan 23, 2023
Unlike the oral sex-averse Gothamites of DC’s mainline comic books, the animated deviants over on HBO Max’s Harley Quinn series will go down in history as being some of the horniest takes on characters like Batman, Kite Man (hell yeah), and Poison Ivy. Usually, the show’s found really thoughtful ways to dig into the sex lives of its heroes and villains while revealing interesting things about them. But from the looks of Harley Quinn’s upcoming Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special, it seems like everyone’s going to be getting it on for the most comic book-y reason possible: superpowers gone haywire.Read Article >
By the end of Harley Quinn’s third season, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) had made it through their first major rough patch as a couple, come out stronger for it, and resolved to do everything in their power to make their relationship work. In the upcoming special, the pair are making good on their promises to one another as they prepare to celebrate their first Valentine’s Day together, and while Ivy wants to do something quiet just for them, Harley has every intention of doing it up big for her lady.
Electric vehicle company Lightyear has announced that it’s halting production on the Lightyear 0, its €250,000 (around $270,000 USD) solar-powered car that the company started making just three months ago (via Electrek). The setback is part of a “strategic restructuring,” according to a Monday blog post, and the company will instead focus on making the Lightyear 2, a car that it says will cost under $40,000 and go into production in late 2025.Read Article >
The company says it didn’t take the decision lightly, given that it’ll impact its employees, as well as “investors, clients, suppliers and the government.” It’ll also presumably have an impact on Valmet Automotive, the company Lightyear contracted to build the 0 (and which announced potential layoffs at the facility responsible for making the car earlier this month). As for why Lightyear’s decided to halt production, the company is vague — it says it’s faced several challenges over the past several months and that the move is meant to “safeguard our vision.”
Jan 23, 2023
Wyze already announced three new cameras this month, but it looks like the company has even more up its sleeves. Tech blogger Dave Zatz dug up information on two not-yet-announced cameras: a new Wyze outdoor cam and an updated Wyze Cam Floodlight.Read Article >
The Wyze Cam Outdoor Pro (or possibly Wyze Battery Cam Pro) looks to be an upgrade of the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2, adding 2K video resolution. The new Wyze Cam Floodlight Pro also appears to be getting a 2K resolution bump over the original 1080p model, in keeping with Wyze’s new line of Pro cameras, as well as possibly more flood lighting.
Jan 23, 2023
Several of America’s biggest banks, including the likes of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, are joining forces to launch their own digital payment wallet that can be used for online shopping, according to The Wall Street Journal. The planned new wallet is a response to increased consumer usage of digital payments — particularly Apple Pay, PayPal, and ones from other tech companies, including Google Pay and Amazon Pay.Read Article >
The currently nameless wallet will be handled by Early Warning Services (EWS), the company behind the direct money transfer service Zelle — though the two products will reportedly not intersect. EWS is a bank-owned joint venture between Capital One, PNC, US Bancorp, Truist, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.
- Did CNET’s AI copy its homework?
A report from Futurism notes some striking similarities between the AI-written articles published on CNET and other articles from Forbes, Investopedia, and even Bankrate, which is operated by CNET’s parent company. The outlet has paused its push for AI-written articles, and it’s likely to face some serious scrutiny if it wants to reintroduce them.
Jan 23, 2023
Thanks to a recent firmware update to Razer’s Kishi V2 mobile gaming controller and the Razer Nexus app, the controller can now support games that were previously touchscreen-only on Android. There is currently no firm launch window for a similar rollout for iOS devices, but the Virtual Controller Mode is slated to come to Razer’s Edge tablet controller sometime in Q1 2023.Read Article >
This new feature is accessible through Razer’s free Nexus app, which in addition to now letting you remap controller inputs to touchscreen controls, provides a centralized hub to launch games and stream them on Facebook Live or YouTube. Nexus may not be quite as capable as the Backbone app but is entirely free, whereas the Backbone Plus app requires an annual subscription fee of $39.99 to access all of its features.
Jan 23, 2023
The Supreme Court has asked the US solicitor general to submit briefs in a set of lawsuits over internet moderation in Texas and Florida, making the court likely to take one or both of the cases with a delay. As noted by CNN reporter Brian Fung this morning, the court solicited the briefs in a Monday morning list of orders, inviting President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to formulate an official position on internet speech.Read Article >
The orders cover lawsuits by trade organization NetChoice against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody as well as a counterclaim by Moody against NetChoice. Both states passed laws making it illegal for large web services to suspend or otherwise penalize users in many cases, particularly instances that Republican lawmakers have characterized as biased against conservative politics. A series of temporary injunctions have left both laws on hold — the Florida rule thanks to an appeals court decision and the Texas one due to a NetChoice Supreme Court petition, where a dissenting opinion indicated the Supreme Court would likely consider the issue.
Jan 23, 2023Crypto honcho Vitalik Buterin has just realized privacy is important.
Everything that happens on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains is public. Now, after several years of law enforcement using those public transactions to prosecute, it seems crypto enthusiasts have decided privacy matters.
Jan 23, 2023The HDMI spec continues to be pretty busted.
The idea of HDMI is you shouldn’t have to worry about bandwidth or VRR or any other part of the alphanumeric soup that makes up the HDMI spec. You should just care about HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 or 1.4 or what have you. But as the video below explains, loopholes exist that make buying the right TV to plug all your HDMI 2.1 gadgets into pretty dang difficult.
If you were hoping most 2023 TVs would have the best version of HDMI 2.1 on every input, you’d be wrong.
Jan 23, 2023Elon Musk expects us to believe that his weed joke wasn’t really a weed joke.
The guy who named his cars a specific way so it would spell “S3XY” really just testified — under oath — that his “[a]m considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share” was just a funny coincidence. Amazing stuff.
Jan 23, 2023
Fortnite on iOS is about to become an even more limited experience. The game was removed from the iOS and Mac app stores and Google Play in August 2020 due to Epic Games’ legal spats with Apple and Google, meaning those versions of Fortnite have missed out on many updates to and even entire seasons of the constantly refreshed battle royale hit. But starting January 30th, players who got Fortnite from those platforms won’t be able to spend V-Bucks to buy in-game items and will have to be older than 18 years of age to play, Epic said in a tweet from its Fortnite status Twitter account on Monday.Read Article >
Technically, if you got Fortnite from those platforms, you can still play the game if you happened to have it installed before it was removed from the app stores, but it’s perpetually trapped at version 13.40. To give you an idea of just how far back that is, that means players haven’t been able to experience things like the Marvel-themed season (which kicked off in August 2020), the Ariana Grande concert (which took place in August 2021), or the recent introduction of a new island and dirt bikes (which were added in December 2022). The changes announced Monday will further cripple those versions of the game — my colleague Andrew Webster already called Fortnite on iOS “empty and dated” shortly after the app was pulled.
Jan 23, 2023
Meta’s bringing Messenger’s core customization features to end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) chats on the platform. That means encrypted chats can now incorporate themes, custom emoji, reactions, group profile photos, and a whole lot more.Read Article >
Messenger’s E2EE chats hide your online conversations from third parties, including Facebook itself. It also makes it more difficult for law enforcement and hackers to access the messages you’re sending and receiving. WhatsApp already has E2EE by default, and Instagram lets people switch on E2EE for individual conversations.
Jan 23, 2023Looks like Gulikit is taking a swing at the PS5’s DualSense controller.
Following the announcement of their (currently sold out) driftless Joy-Con sticks, Gulikit responded to a reply on Twitter saying they’re working on replacement sticks for Sony’s Dual Sense controllers, starting with the modular DualSense Edge. Good! I have a KingKong 2 Pro controller and that thing rocks. There’s no excuse for stick drift any more!
Jan 23, 2023Members of a Facebook group for parents didn’t know the FBI pulled the page’s data for a murder investigation.
After the murder of a pregnant woman in Arkansas, the FBI asked Facebook for data related to a private group for local parents, according to a search warrant. The FBI believes the killer found the victim in the group.
But some admins of the group say they had no idea their data was searched by the FBI, and that Meta never notified them.
Jan 23, 2023Green light.
Jan 23, 2023
Microsoft says it’s extending its long-term partnership with OpenAI through a new “multiyear, multibillion dollar investment.” The investment comes just weeks after Microsoft was rumored to be investing $10 billion into OpenAI, the creators of popular AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2.Read Article >
“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
Jan 23, 2023
You’re not going to believe me when I tell you this, but Forspoken is pretty good. The game got off to an inauspicious start, getting delayed a couple of times and dinged in the court of public opinion for some cringey dialogue, an inexplicable name, exorbitant PC requirements, and for featuring a Black heroine but with no Black writers working on her. Despite all that, Square Enix and Luminous Productions managed to deliver a game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing with an ending that I’m cautiously stating is one of the best I’ve seen. (Which I’ll go into at a later date because spoilers.)Read Article >
Forspoken had its hooks in me within the first 30 minutes. It starts with an introduction to Frey Holland, a young Black woman who was abandoned at birth in the Holland Tunnel with naught but a blanket bearing her name, in court for attempting to steal a car. Since this is Frey’s third felony offense, the judge considers throwing the book at her because of the repeat offender statute, aka the three strikes law. But because it’s almost Christmas and the judge sympathizes with Frey’s struggle to survive without parents or guidance, she is instead let go to return to the abandoned apartment she squats in with her cat Homer.
Jan 23, 2023
We meet again, MacBook Pro 16. And it’s a rather boring meeting. We don’t have all that much to say to each other.Read Article >
The 2023 MacBook Pro 16 is almost exactly the same as the 2021 MacBook Pro 16 except that there is a new chip inside. And just to get one thing out of the way: no, there is not a good reason to buy the 2023 model if you already have the 2021 model. I don’t assume many folks were thinking of doing that. But in case you were tempted, consider this a friendly finger wag in your direction. Your $2,500-plus 2021 model is still fine.
Jan 23, 2023
Sony’s DualSense Edge is like a director’s cut of a movie that improves on the original vision but costs 185 percent more to watch. Enjoyment is always hard to quantify, but this $199.99 controller (almost the cost of three DualSense gamepads) is stuffed with features that might be worth that extra cost to you, or not.Read Article >
This may help you figure it out: have you ever, during the PS5’s going on three years of existence, wished for a controller with back paddles, swappable analog stick modules that require no tools to switch, and function keys that let you swap controls and adjust volume without popping in and out of annoying menus? If that’s your bar for saying yes, the DualSense Edge will likely satisfy you since it can do even more than that. There currently isn’t a PS5 controller that matches it, though the $219.99 Scuf Reflex Pro comes closest.
Jan 23, 2023
Before the Mac’s resurgence a few years ago, the idea that Apple might produce a machine like the new Mac Mini was a distant dream. The company’s compact desktop was rarely updated and mostly ignored — we often waited many years between major refreshes. But things eventually started clicking for the entire Mac portfolio. The disastrous butterfly keyboard was retired. Real buttons replaced the MacBook Pro’s underused touch bar. And it all hit a fever pitch when Apple introduced its own processors — first in speedy laptops that also established new highs for battery life and then in desktops like the redesigned iMac and wicked-fast Mac Studio.Read Article >
The Mac Mini was part of the first wave of Apple silicon products in 2020, and it was a strong performer in a tiny package. But it was also a minimal effort release that came with some tradeoffs: namely, the M1 Mac Mini topped out at 16GB of RAM and had fewer ports than the Intel-powered model, which Apple continued to sell until the introduction of this Mac Mini last week. Now powered by either the M2 or M2 Pro chip, the 2023 version of the Mac Mini retains the same overall design but upgrades numerous specs, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and (optionally) HDMI and ethernet, depending on how much you spend.
Earlier this month, OpenAI said it was exploring ways to monetize its AI chatbot ChatGPT, giving users the opportunity to sign up for early access to “ChatGPT Professional.” Now, some users say they’ve been granted access to a pro tier which costs $42 a month.Read Article >
OpenAI hasn’t confirmed this is an official test or made any announcements. We’ve contacted the company for more info, but in the meantime remember that features and pricing could change before ChatGPT Professional launches for real. As OpenAI said earlier this month: “Please keep in mind that this is an early experimental program that is subject to change, and we are not making paid pro access generally available at this time.”
- These ugly sweaters make you invisible to AI.
We’ve known for years that certain visual patterns known as ‘adversarial images’ can’t be seen by AI object recognition algorithms. A few individuals and organizations have made T-shirts with these patterns, but Italian startup cap_able is the first we know of to try knitwear.
Jan 23, 2023
Spotify will lay off 6 percent of its workforce globally, the company’s CEO, Daniel Ek, announced in an all-staff memo today. Spotify had just over 9,800 full-time employees as of its last earnings report, meaning today’s layoffs affect a little under 600 staff. Dawn Ostroff, head of content and ads who has been instrumental in growing Spotify’s podcasting business, is also leaving the company.Read Article >
The layoffs make Spotify the latest tech company to cut its workforce in the midst of a global economic downturn. Google announced plans to cut around 12,000 jobs just last week, following similar layoffs at Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta.