We have a review of Apple’s new smart speaker as Chris Welch and Jennifer Pattison Tuohy evaluate the “all-new” $299.99 HomePod.
They praised its sound quality, useful set of sensors, and deep integration with Apple TV, but noted it’s a bit more expensive than similar smart speakers, and said you’ll really need two of them to get the best experience.
The E3 video game trade show, which has traditionally served as one of the year’s major press events, could be a much smaller affair in 2023. A new report from IGN suggests that the three major console manufacturers, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, are all skipping out on the June convention. There’s a chance they could still hold press events that month that aren’t officially part of E3, but it’d be very bad news for the Entertainment Software Association’s flagship event itself.
Elsewhere, GM’s Hummer EV SUV has entered mass production, and the first customers are expected to receive their gigantic electric cars by the end of Q1. The SUV joins the truck version of the Hummer EV, whose deliveries started in late 2021.
And finally, Paramount is reconfiguring its streaming offering to combine Showtime with Paramount Plus. The resulting streaming service will be called, inventively enough, “Paramount Plus with Showtime.” It’s part of a wave of changes coming to streaming players that also include the merger of HBO Max and Discovery Plus.
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: Tuesday, January 31st, 2023.
Meta is inexplicably shutting down one of the best Oculus games
Echo VR, formerly Echo Arena, will be no more.
AMD thinks the PC sales slump will end after one more rough quarter
AMD CEO Lisa Su says next quarter is the bottom.
- JEA’s free-to-play Lord of the Rings mobile game is set to launch this year.
The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth was announced in May and entered testing in August, and EA expects to fully launch it this year, COO Laura Miele said on the company’s earnings call on Tuesday. Hopefully EA keeps the game around longer than Apex Legends Mobile.
Rode added a removable microphone to its headphones
The latest trend for the media production headphone space is a podcast-ready detachable boom microphone.
- TThe US government wants to ban gas stoves? Good luck fighting Hank Hill.
Breaking news: Deadline reports that King of The Hill will return, and there’s no way in hell the lord of propane is going to allow lawmakers to seize gas stoves from the people.
Welcome to America. We sell propane and propane accessories.
Custom build turns the Framework Laptop into a triple-screen powerhouse
The Framework Laptop’s modular design is turning into one of the most robust platforms for tinkerers.
- SAMD made just $21 million last quarter.
Profits dropped 98 percent — and yet it’s actually a rosy quarter since AMD is weathering reduced PC demand relatively well (client processors admittedly down 51 percent). AMD says the losses are “primarily due to the amortization of intangible assets associated with the Xilinx acquisition.”
Gaming revenue only dropped 7 percent because AMD-powered console sales (PS5, Xbox, Steam Deck) are actually up. It’s largely the same story as last quarter.
Twitter ends CoTweets, its collaborative posting feature
Users are no longer able to create new CoTweets, and existing posts will only be viewable for another month.
ChatGPT’s creator made a free tool for detecting AI-generated text
It has a lot of caveats, but this AI text classifier can at least help people determine if what they’re reading was written by a human.
Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 EV can keep it rolling with its new EPA-estimated 361 miles of range
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric streamliner sedan with RWD and Long Range battery can travel 89 miles further than Tesla’s current RWD Model 3 based on EPA range estimates.
- RPayPal is laying off 2,000 employees.
The latest mass layoff event in tech is happening at PayPal, where CEO Dan Schulman announced:
I’m writing to share the difficult news that we will be reducing our global workforce by approximately 2,000 full time employees, which is about 7% of our total workforce.
If you’re wondering why we’ve seen so many of these and why the 7 percent figure is so familiar, Elizabeth Lopatto can try to explain.
James Gunn’s DC Universe will debut a new Batman movie, the Green Lantern Corps, and a Booster Gold series
DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have revealed the 10 upcoming movies and shows that will kick off Warner Bros. Discovery’s new cinematic universe of heroes.
Microsoft’s post-layoffs Halo studio is smaller and switching to Unreal Engine
A new game codenamed Tatanka will use Unreal Engine instead of the previous in-house Slipspace engine used for Halo Infinite, according to a new Bloomberg report.
- AApple Arcade is getting some more mobile classics.
The February line-up for Apple’s subscription gaming service includes two bonafide classics: Riptide GP: Renegade, a sort of spiritual successor to games like Wave Race 64, and Lifeline, an incredible narrative about texting with an astronaut trapped on an alien moon. They, alongside new releases Castle Crumble and Farmside, will be launching throughout the month.
Apple Music’s Replay 2023 playlist is here to track your favorite songs
What has your vibe for the year been?
- ECelsius reportedly used investor money to prop up its token price.
Founders Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon also sold the token while this all was going on, according to a court-ordered report on Celsius. If you don’t have time for the full filing, Reuters summarizes its results.
“When you look at what the banks pay, you say to yourself, ‘Somebody is lying. Either the bank is lying or Celsius is lying,’” Mashinsky said in 2021. Guess we know who it was now!
- EDid you want to know more about the software that’s the excuse for jacking up rent prices?
If you enjoyed this Curbed article about RealPage Revenue Management Software and its effect on the New York rental market, you will also enjoy this blog about its training deck. Among the slides? In ‘“Manage Lease Renewals for Property Managers,’ you can walk through how to jack up a long-time resident’s rent from $1,188 to $1,5976, roughly a 34% increase.”I saw RealPage's crappy rent-jacking-up software so you don't have to; or: the banality of algorithms and landlords
[katherine morayati on cohost]
The next Sims will have both solo play and multiplayer
‘We think we can be both,’ Project Rene game director Grant Rodiek says.
Discord is slowing down some Nvidia graphics cards
A recent update has introduced a bug that slows down memory clocks on some Nvidia GPUs.
Inside the global battle over chip manufacturing
Professor Chris Miller’s new book Chip War explains the complicated global politics inside your iPhone.
NASA’s Martian rover has finished hoarding samples that might contain proof of ancient life
The Mars rover has created a sample depot on the Red Planet that could later be collected and returned to Earth.
- SJanuary was the worst month for tech layoffs.
With nearly 100,000 employees pushed out into the cold, January was worse than December and November combined. That’s according to the TrueUp tracker; I know some people prefer Layoffs.fyi.
Why so many layoffs following record-breaking profits? I’ll let my colleague Liz tackle that.
- TThis computer was pretty “OK.”
We’re excited to say that the first piece from our partnership with the Computer History Museum is live today: a look back at the Apple Lisa and its long-lasting impact on our relationship with computers. Stay tuned later this week and beyond for a look inside a rare collection of Polaroids from the Lisa’s development, and an upcoming Verge video documentary on the Lisa’s final act. (Hint: it involves a landfill and lots of security guards.)
It’s not too late to participate in CHM’s virtual event celebrating the Lisa, happening today at 7PM PT / 10 PM ET. You can register to attend below:
- JForget Atlas — this is the Boston Dynamics robot that might actually take your job.
Boston Dynamics is best know for Spot and Atlas, but don’t forget the company also sells Stretch — a machine does what we think of as “proper work,” aka moving boxes in warehouses.
The latest video from the company highlights Stretch’s appeal, which is less about backflips and more about boring things like safety and usability. Trust me, this is the real scary stuff.
Instagram’s co-founders are back with Artifact, a kind of TikTok for text
The app uses algorithmic predictions, which Kevin Systrom sees as ‘the future of social.’
Schlage’s new lever lock can smarten up all your other doors
Now you can secure your home office, Airbnb closet, or shed with a connected door lock.
Jan 31Chris Welch and Jennifer Pattison Tuohy
Apple’s new HomePod plays it safe
Apple’s second take on the HomePod doesn’t stray far from the original, but it’s better all around.
Cyberpunk 2077 now has DLSS 3 to boost frame rates
DLSS 3 can improve frame rates in Cyberpunk 2077 by more than 50 percent at 4K settings. It’s available in a new update today.
Google is adding Microsoft 365 integration to ChromeOS later this year
Microsoft 365 and OneDrive will be more closely integrated into ChromeOS to make it easier to open files.
The Nintendo Switch showed us we deserve more from joysticks
And not just for the obvious reason.
PlayStation VR2 sales expectations reportedly halved after disappointing preorders
The appeal for Sony’s new virtual reality headset is limited by its high price and lack of compatibility with other systems.
Fortnite is getting two new Dragon Ball characters and a welcome change to quests
Son Gohan and Piccolo are joining the roster of Dragon Ball characters available in Fortnite. The Kamehameha and Nimbus Cloud items will be back, too.
- J“Now we’re stuck on this stupid freaking tower in the middle of freaking nowhere.”
Last August, the movie Fall made headlines for using AI to remove dozens of F-bombs and achieve a PG-13 rating. Now, several months after the movie’s home release, clips of the virtual redubs have been published online by startup Flawless.
And honestly? The overall effect is far more seamless than I would have originally guessed. Great freakin’ job everyone.
GM has started producing the Hummer EV SUV
There’s a new model of Hummer being made in the same factory as the existing electric truck.
Paramount Plus and Showtime become ‘Paramount Plus with Showtime’
Some original content from Paramount Plus will air on Showtime as part of the change.
Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are reportedly all skipping E3 2023
The big gaming expo may be a lot smaller this year.