Today’s the day Samsung will announce its latest crop of flagship smartphones, widely expected to be the Galaxy S23 lineup. The Unpacked launch event kicks off at 1PM ET / 10AM PT, with the new Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23 / S23 Plus, Galaxy Book3 Ultra, and Galaxy Book3.
Check out our roundup right here for all of the details, or just watch it live.
In other news, we’ll be saying goodbye to an excellent VR game and a collection of classic Xbox 360 titles soon. Meta is shutting down Echo VR, one of the better multiplayer VR titles available for its VR headsets, and Microsoft is pulling a bunch of beloved games — including Jet Set Radio and The Orange Box — from the Xbox 360 Marketplace in a week’s time. When it comes to digitally downloaded and multiplayer games, nothing lasts forever.
But here’s some good news: AMD thinks the PC market should pick up in the second half of this year, even if the total market will shrink by 10 percent throughout the course of 2023.
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: Wednesday, February 1st, 2023.
Meta wins fight to buy VR startup Within
The court denied the FTC’s request for an injunction but with a one-week delay for an appeal.
Feb 2Apple’s movie about Tetris is set to debut at SXSW in March.
Those of us at home will be able to watch it on Apple TV Plus sometime “soon,” Apple said in a tweet. Here’s the company’s official description of the film:
Based on the true story of American video game salesman Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) and his discovery of Tetris in 1988. When he sets out to bring the game to the world, he enters a dangerous web of lies and corruption behind the Iron Curtain.
I’m hoping we get a trailer with an overly-dramatic version of the Tetris theme song.
Mark Zuckerberg says Meta is making this the ‘year of efficiency’
He may still be burning billions of dollars on the metaverse, but investors are liking Zuckerberg’s focus on cutting costs and bureaucracy.
Feb 2Microsoft’s making the Stream Deck a Teams controller.
Elgato’s Stream Decks have long been useful for controlling videoconferencing software, and it seems like Microsoft has realized this — it’s releasing an official Teams plugin for the device that will let you mute yourself, leave the meeting, raise your hand, and more.
You can download it here, but you may need to wait for an update to Teams to use it.
Rivian is laying off 6 percent of its employees — again
The EV company is going through another round of layoffs, less than a year after cutting 6 percent of its workforce. The layoffs come amid a broader round of belt-tightening in the tech sector.
Where to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra
There are currently some solid deals and incentives for being an early adopter, including smartwatches and free storage upgrades.
Feb 1“It’s more of a declarative announcement.”
I’m as intrigued by a Google/Samsung AR/VR teamup as the next person, but these are some of the most impressively inane statements I’ve ever read. Meaningful plans! The spatial internet! A new generation of immersive computing experiences! It’s the XR hype equivalent of foam packing peanuts. Somebody’d better show up to the next Samsung Unpacked in Google Glass.
AMD’s 7000X3D chips will start at $449 when they take on Intel this spring
If AMD delivers on the performance it’s promising, these seem like pretty good prices.
OpenAI announces ChatGPT Plus at $20 a month
For those that don’t want to wait to talk to the AI and who want faster responses.
Samsung’s S23 and S23 Plus look a little more Ultra
The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus ditch the contour camera bump for a minimalist design borrowed from the maximalist Ultra. Otherwise, they’re practically the spitting image of the S22 and S22 Plus.
The Galaxy Book3 Ultra is Samsung’s shot at the MacBook Pro
Can an RTX 4070, a Core i9, and an OLED display court creative professionals?
Samsung’s Galaxy Book3 gets new chips and a big display upgrade
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 now has a 2880 x 1800 120Hz AMOLED display and 13th Gen Intel chips.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a minor update to a spec monster
The kitchen sink of phones gets a 200-megapixel camera this year, a souped-up Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and a slightly boxier design.
Tomb Raider’s new mobile roguelike launches on February 14th
Tomb Raider Reloaded is a new mobile game coming to iOS and Android on February 14th. Netflix subscribers will be able to play the game with no ads or in-app purchases.
Sony’s PlayStation Plus greatest hits bundle for PS5 owners goes away in May
The PlayStation Plus Collection will no longer be offered starting May 9th. I’m sad to see it go; the collection had some fantastic games.
A year later, Peloton’s starting to show signs of recovery
The connected fitness company reported narrowing losses and exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, but there’s still a bumpy road ahead.
The latest iPad Air is $100 off and one of the best values for an Apple tablet
Frankly, it’s a much better value than the 10th-gen iPad that’s only $50 cheaper. Plus, there are deals on the M2 Mac Mini, Level Lock Touch, PlayStation Plus membership, and more.
Feb 1Samsung’s event live stream is right here.
We expect to see some new phones and laptops from Samsung today, which it will announce during its first in-person event in three years. But you don’t have to be there in person to see it all, there’s still a live stream that anyone can tune into for the news. The show starts at 1PM ET / 10AM PT.
You can buy the 2021 Kindle Paperwhite in three new colors
The Kindle Paperwhite is now available in blue, green, and black when you buy the 16GB or 32GB models.
Feb 1“The problem in trucking is that drivers are incentivized to work themselves well beyond healthy limits—sometimes to death.”
This heart-breaking story on the digital surveillance of long-haul truckers is worth your time — because trucking is a place where worker surveillance is being tested.
And not just worker surveillance! Artificial intelligence is used, for instance, for “an array of prototypes that will likely define the future of automated oversight: biometric cameras that can monitor truckers’ eyelids for fatigue, or biometric vests that can detect a heart attack.”
Truckers deserve better.Surveillance and the Loneliness of the Long-Distance Trucker
[The New Yorker]
Feb 1Is Netflix’s ad-supported tier starting to catch on?
After getting off to a slow start, The Information reports that signups to Netflix’s $6.99 per month Basic with Ads plan doubled from December to January.
We still don’t know how many people are signed up for the ad-supported plan, but maybe that increase means Netflix won’t have to refund advertisers for missing viewership targets.Netflix Tells Advertisers Sign-Ups to Ad Tier Doubled in January
Feb 1Today’s Vergecast: HomePod review, the Steam Deck one year later, and faking your death online
Big show! Alex Cranz, Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, Chris Welch, and Nilay Patel discuss The Verge’s review of Apple’s new second-gen HomePod. How much actually changed?
Later, Katharine Trendacosta and Alex Cranz discuss why and how faking your death has been a common practice on the internet (don’t do it).
Then in segment three, Sean Hollister enlightens us: is the Steam Deck finally ready to play? Listen to the full podcast here.
- Do you happen to own a 20-year-old forum for sex workers?
The community over at Stripperweb has questions for the forum's anonymous owner after a banner appeared last week announcing that, for reasons unknown, it would be shutting down on February 1st.
Described as the “Holy Grail of strippers’ knowledge,” some sex workers are offering to buy the site, while others have swiftly learned Python in order to preserve the forum's vast resources and history.
Peacock drops free membership tier for new customers
Existing accounts won’t be affected, but new subscribers will need to pay up to watch content on Peacock going forward.
Feb 1Green light.
This one’s pretty simple — it’s Galaxy S23 Day. Samsung will show off some new hardware (including stuff that’s already leaked) during its event that will start at 1PM ET.
We have all the info on how to watch the livestream, and if you just want to keep up with the announcements as they happen, you can follow our storystream for the event.
Then later this afternoon, we’ll hear an earnings report from Meta.
Anker launches cheaper USB-C fast charging options for Samsung Galaxy phones
These new 45W and 25W GaN fast chargers are compatible with Samsung’s Super Fast Charging 2.0 tech to quickly fill up the batteries in Galaxy phones.
Intel’s RTX 3060 competitor drops to just $249 alongside ‘big’ performance improvements
Intel has rearchitected its Arc GPU drivers for DirectX 9, with promises of big performance gains in games like CS:GO.
Netflix introduces spatial audio to a lot more movies and shows
Premium tier Netflix subscribers can now download content onto two additional devices and have access to spatial audio across over 700 titles.
Did Spotify screw up? ‘No… and yes,’ says its CEO
Plus, new details on Spotify’s audiobook plans and podcast spending
Jony Ive has designed a ‘magically transforming’ Red Nose
The British Red Nose Day charity event returns on March 17th with a transforming nose designed by legendary Apple designer Jony Ive.
Tesla’s bitcoin holdings suffered a $140 million net loss last year
The disclosure comes two years after the company announced it was buying $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.
Microsoft is pulling many beloved games off the Xbox 360 store next week
The games will be going away on February 7th. But it’s not all bad news; any of the disappearing games available on the Xbox One and Xbox Series / X stores will be purchasable there.
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.
Feb 8, 2022
Galaxy S22: What to expect from Samsung event on Wednesday
The Galaxy S22 will likely be the main event, but what else could there be?