Today Microsoft demonstrated new versions of its Bing search engine and Edge web browser that use an artificial intelligence “copilot” to organize and find information. Powered by OpenAI technology, it takes requests that you ask in normal language and comes up with responses to things like “Give me a meal plan for a family of four with vegetarian options and caters to people who don’t like nuts.”
And speaking of new Eras, my colleague Chris Welch has a scoop on Sonos’ upcoming speaker lineup set to debut in the coming months. We now know that they’re set to be branded as “Era,” with specific models including the Era 300 and Era 100. The former will apparently focus on spatial audio, and support playback of Dolby Atmos content.
Finally, this year’s Super Bowl looks like it’s going to be free of the cryptocurrency promotions that filled its ad spots last year. It’s yet another sign of the winter that the crypto industry is currently in.
And 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, February 7th, 2023.
Who among us didn’t pick up a new pandemic hobby only to lose interest a couple of years later? Only OnePlus didn’t pick up furniture upcycling — instead, it’s spent the last few years trying to reinvent itself as a flagship phone maker rather than a flagship killer.Read Article >
That didn’t really work, so the company is coming back around to a familiar formula: a phone with a big screen, a top-tier chipset, and a price low enough to undercut most of the flagship competition.
If you’ve had trouble syncing your Fitbit data again today, you’re not seeing things. It appears that Fitbit experienced yet another widespread outage where users couldn’t sync or view their data in the mobile app.Read Article >
Downdetector received more than 2,000 outage reports for Fitbit as of 8:17AM ET. On Twitter, frustrated Fitbit users also reported issues with syncing, settings changing, third-party app integrations failing, and an inability to log in to Fitbit forums. Users reported many of the same issues on the r/fitbit subreddit. Some claimed that, while they were initially able to sync, the Fitbit app has since stopped working properly.
I’m coming to you from Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, where just a few hours ago, Microsoft announced that the next version of the Bing search engine would be powered by OpenAI, the company that makes ChatGPT. There’s also a new version of the Edge web browser with OpenAI chat tech in a window that can help you browse and understand web pages.Read Article >
The in-depth presentation showed how OpenAI running in Bing and Edge could radically increase your productivity. They demo’d it making a travel itinerary, posting to LinkedIn, and rewriting code to work in a different programming language.
- Watch Satya Nadella talk about “conversational intelligence agents.”
If you’re curious about what Microsoft is building with OpenAI and ChatGPT, its CEO is the person to tell you about the new features in Bing and Edge.
And, like Google’s plans to offer businesses an API connection to the LaMDA tech powering its AI, CNBC reports Microsoft is working on ways for companies to build their own custom versions.
We’ll find out what Google has to say about it tomorrow.
Search engines are about to change in a very important way: when you type in a query and get an official-looking answer, it might be wrong — because an AI chatbot created it.Read Article >
Today, Microsoft announced a new version of its Bing search engine that will provide “complete answers” to your questions by tapping into the power of ChatGPT. You can already try some canned sample searches and sign up for more.
Feb 7Do you like Wordle? Prepare to hate Wordle.
Flappy Birdle is a sadistic experiment in word games. You will not survive. You will fail. Over and over again. It’s terrible. Good luck.Flappy Birdle - Flappy Bird meets Wordle by AE Studio
If you have Wyze cameras or a Wyze home security system, you will need to make other arrangements to monitor your property from 12AM PT to 2AM PT tomorrow morning.Read Article >
The smart home company sent an email to its customers this week stating that system maintenance on February 8th at 12AM PT will impact every feature of the system that relies on the app or website. That includes being able to alert Noonlight, the professional monitoring company Wyze uses for its Sense security system, about a potential break-in.
Feb 7Facebook adds new bulk comment moderation tools.
Creators on the platform will be able to sort comments by keywords, dates, and commenter name and moderate en masse, according to TechCrunch.
The new feature gives Facebook creators the option to like or hide several comments on their posts at once.
Something seems to be wrong with Samsung’s 980 and 990 Pro SSDs. Owners of the highly regarded M.2 solid-state drives are reporting rapid degradation, with some users sending their 990 Pros back to Samsung. And for the older 980 Pro, Samsung is reportedly recommending owners to update to the latest firmware (via PC Gamer).Read Article >
The issue was first reported by Neowin writer Robbie Khan, whose new, recently released 990 Pro 2TB module dropped to 94 percent health status at just over 4TB of written data. Prior to the article, Khan posted the findings on Reddit, which was met with owners voicing similar issues.
A fairly recent episode of The Simpsons that contains a reference to China’s use of forced labor camps has vanished from the Disney Plus streaming service in Hong Kong. First spotted by the Financial Times and later confirmed by Axios, the episode titled “One Angry Lisa” is not available to stream on Disney Plus, even though the rest of The Simpsons’ 34th season is. The episode contains a line critical of the country — “Behold the wonders of China: Bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones.”Read Article >
Though it is a punchline in The Simpsons, China has been repeatedly criticized by external governments and human rights organizations for allegedly detaining millions of its native Uyghur population and other Muslim minorities in so-called “reeducation centers” in the northwestern Xinjiang region. Those imprisoned in these camps are reportedly subjected to torture such as waterboarding and sexual abuse as part of the Chinese government’s indoctrination programs and are exploited for cheap labor. China has continually denied these allegations.
Microsoft’s new ChatGPT-powered Bing experience will be available today for everybody as a “limited preview” on desktop. You’ll have a limited number of queries that you can use with it, but you will be able to sign up for full access soon.Read Article >
If you visit Bing.com, you may see some example searches that you can try out, if it shows you the new interface. Clicking on them will lead you to a Bing search page with traditional results on the left, and a chat window on the right with the AI-generated answer. Until you have full access, you won’t be able to ask follow-up questions or clarify the results. Searching for your own query will give you Bing’s traditional search results, despite the homepage using the new chat-style UI.
Microsoft has announced a new version of its search engine Bing, powered by an upgraded version of the same AI technology that underpins chatbot ChatGPT. The company is launching the product alongside new AI-enhanced features for its Edge browser, promising that the two will provide a new experience for browsing the web and finding information online.Read Article >
“It’s a new day in search,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at an event announcing the products. Nadella argued that the paradigm for web search hasn’t changed in decades, but that AI can deliver information more fluidly and quickly than traditional methods.
Zoom is laying off about 15 percent of its staff, which means about 1,300 people will lose their jobs, according to a memo from Zoom CEO Eric Yuan that the company posted on its blog. “Each organization” at the company will be affected by the cuts, Yuan said.Read Article >
The company scaled up rapidly as people shifted to remote work during the pandemic, and Zoom grew three times in size within 24 months. However, “we didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities,” Yuan wrote. “The uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on our customers, means we need to take a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers and achieve Zoom’s long-term vision.”
Microsoft is holding a surprise event at its Redmond headquarters today, where it’s expected to focus on its OpenAI partnership and introduce a version of Bing with ChatGPT. Unlike most of Microsoft’s events over the past few years, this special press event will be held in person and not livestreamed at all. You’ll need to follow The Verge’s live blog below for all the announcements as they happen.Read Article >
Microsoft invited media to this event last week before making the details public just minutes after Google announced its own ChatGPT rival. That should tell you how important this event is for Microsoft and what’s on the agenda. While Microsoft is keeping details thin, the invite says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will “share some progress on a few exciting projects,” so expect a number of important announcements.
Samsung announced its second-generation QD-OLED TV lineup back at CES, with a new 77-inch model joining the 55-inch and 65-inch sizes that were offered with last year’s S95B. Regardless of what size you prefer, these TVs utilize the very latest quantum dot OLED panels from Samsung Display, which promise significant brightness gains — potentially crossing 2,000 nits — and the S95B was already among the brightest OLEDs on the market. Now we know how much the 77-inch S95C will cost: it’s priced at $4,499.99.Read Article >
That’s more expensive than LG’s 77-inch G2 (the company hasn’t yet announced pricing for its 2023 series yet), but not outlandishly so: the G2 originally had an MSRP of $4,199.99. And I’m sure we’ll see discounts on Samsung’s OLEDs before long. To help reduce sticker shock, Samsung is throwing in free at-home installation if you preorder before February 20th. The S95C is slated to begin shipping by the 15th.
The numbers on food waste are staggering. Globally, about a third of the world’s food production is lost or wasted — roughly 1.3 billion tons each year — and most of it ends up rotting in landfills leaking methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it first enters the atmosphere.Read Article >
One way to tackle those problems is to reuse that food waste, turning it into more food. It’s an option that’s even more effective than composting when it comes to tackling climate change, but it’s not always so easy to do at home. So a newly launched startup called Mill Industries wants to change that.
Volkswagen issued a recall notice for nearly 21,000 of its ID.4 electric SUVs, citing faulty battery software that could lead to a “loss of propulsion” without warning. The recall affects model year 2021 vehicles that were produced between May 26th, 2020, and January 20th, 2022.Read Article >
The automaker said it first received reports from Europe of a potential “software issue” with its high-voltage battery management system back in July 2021. Some owners in the US alleged that the battery software issue could lead to the vehicle stalling out.
As rumors swirled that a Nintendo Direct was on the horizon, surprise, one is! Announced early this morning, the Direct will be prime time February 8th on the East Coast starting at 5PM and lasting around 40 minutes.Read Article >
According to the announcement tweet, the Direct will focus on games slated for the first half of 2023. That should cover games like Octopath Traveler II (not that Square Enix has reminded anyone about that game that’s due at the end of February), possibly Pikmin 4, and of course, the hotly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. But one (i.e., me) hopes that the Direct will also feature, finally, at long torturous last, a release date for the delayed and seemingly abandoned Advance Wars remakes.
Like many people, I have invisible accessibility needs. I’m not in constant barely bearable pain these days (I used to be!), but certain movements come at a physical cost: sustained reaching, hunching over a laptop — things like that.Read Article >
The complicating factor is that I hate using computer accessories marketed for “accessibility.” Too many accessibility tools have a user experience tradeoff — either in functionality, comfort, or simplicity.
Hot Wheels don’t drift. Hot Wheels don’t jump. They don’t have flaming rocket boosters, either, unless you’re playing a video game. But Velan Studios, the company that brought Mario Kart to life with a camera-equipped R/C car for your Nintendo Switch, is about to do the same for Hot Wheels.Read Article >
For $130, Hot Wheels: Rift Rally gives you a kid-football-size R/C car with a first-person view of your living room on your iPhone, iPad, or PlayStation-connected TV screen — a view the game combines with graphics to create the illusion you’re playing something far more dangerous and exciting.
A little over a month after launching in China, OnePlus is bringing its flagship Buds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds to international markets alongside the OnePlus 11. The new earbuds cost $179 (£179 / €179) and will go on open sale on February 16th.Read Article >
One of the more interesting features of these earbuds is support for head-tracked spatial audio when used with the OnePlus 11. That means the earbuds can track the movement of your head in an attempt to make it sound like audio (either stereo or surround) is coming from a fixed point in space. Similar features have previously been available for Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro and are also coming to Google’s Pixel Buds Pro.
Following months of teases, OnePlus has officially revealed its debut mechanical keyboard today. It’s called the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro, and the company says it’ll be available to order in April at a price that’s to be announced. News of the keyboard came during the company’s international launch for its OnePlus 11 smartphone and OnePlus Buds Pro 2 earbuds.Read Article >
OnePlus says it’s partnered with mechanical keyboard manufacturer Keychron to produce the Keyboard 81 Pro, which bears a striking resemblance to the Keychron Q1 Pro. That just so happens to be the wireless mechanical keyboard I have in front of me right now (expect a full review of the Q1 Pro in the coming weeks). Both keyboards use a 75 percent laptop-style layout that is hot-swappable (meaning you can replace their switches without needing to desolder them) with a small programmable rotary dial on the top right of both. You can change the dial’s function — along with the rest of the keys on the keyboard — using the excellent remapping software VIA.
OnePlus’ debut tablet, the OnePlus Pad, has been officially announced… sort of. Today, the Oppo subbrand is detailing the tablet’s specs alongside the OnePlus 11 smartphone, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 earbuds, and OnePlus Keyboard, but it’s not ready to announce pricing just yet. It’ll be available to preorder in North America, Europe, and India in April.Read Article >
In terms of hardware, perhaps the most interesting part of the OnePlus Pad is its LCD display, which is 11.6 inches in size, has a 2000p resolution, and has a refresh rate of up to 144Hz for compatible apps. It also has an unusual aspect ratio of 7:5, which, in practice, should mean it’s a little taller in landscape than a comparable 3:2 display of the same width but not quite as tall as a 4:3 display (the aspect ratio used by most iPads). The screen supports Dolby Vision, and the tablet’s speakers support Dolby Atmos.
Mercedes-Benz announced that it would start producing an all-electric version of its popular Sprinter van in North America and Europe starting in the second half of 2023.Read Article >
The Mercedes eSprinter will have a large 113kWh battery resting under the floor between its axel, which is estimated to propel the van to a range of 248.5 miles (400 km) on highways and 311 miles (500 km) in the city, based on Europe’s WLTP standard. (The US Environmental Protection Agency is more conservative in projecting EV range.) No word yet on a suggested retail price for the van.
- Green light.
All eyes will be on Microsoft’s event at 1PM ET. We don’t have details on what to expect, but the stage is set for a 2023 battle of AI tech, with Microsoft vs. Google taking top billing, and this could just be the first round.