Author: Shivendra Singh

Apple’s ‘notebook upgrade program’ could get businesses new M1 Macs for $30 per month

From $30/ Month
Mac notebook upgrade program marketing to apparent business partners | Image: @MaxWinebach

Apple has apparently introduced a business-only program that enables members to obtain and eventually upgrade computers for a relatively low monthly fee. A tweet from writer Max Weinbach shows an image of Apple’s “New Mac Notebook Upgrade Program” promotional material that popped up for a customer with access to a business portal (via MacRumors).

The deal appears to be in partnership with CIT Group, a bank for business customers where this landing page for the program shares the monthly rates for different MacBook models — starting with the 13-inch MacBook Air for $30, 13-inch MacBook Pro for $39, 14-inch MacBook Pro for $60, and 16-inch MacBook Pro for $75. Apple…

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Ubiquiti hack may have been an inside job, federal charges suggest

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

An indictment from the Department of Justice suggests that the Ubiquiti hack reported in January, and subsequent whistleblower claims of a cover-up, were the work of someone who was then an employee of the company. The DOJ alleges that Nickolas Sharp, 36, was arrested on Wednesday on accusations that he used his employee credentials to download confidential data and sent anonymous demands to the company he worked for pretending to be a hacker in an attempt to get a ransom of 50 Bitcoin. You can read the full indictment below.

The indictment doesn’t specifically name Ubiquiti, only referring to a “Company-1.” However, all the details line up. In January, Ubiquiti sent an email to users saying an unauthorized party had accessed its…

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The Rhodes electric piano is back with a hefty price tag

The Rhodes electric piano is back with a hefty price tag

After months of teasing, the legendary Rhodes piano is back, with Rhodes Music Group opening pre-orders for the new MK8 model on Wednesday. It costs an eye-watering $9,450. And that’s only the price of the base model. Want the rad transparent hood? That’s an extra $575. How about a walnut bottom shell? Add another $1,095.

With all the possible extras, you can expect to pay $12,640 for a single MK8. That’s a lot when you consider you can find a vintage Rhodes for as little as $2,500, and they’re still highly desirable.

If the price of the MK8 doesn’t scare you away, we suggest you order one as soon as you can. With each one assembled by hand at the company’s factory in Leeds, England, Rhodes only expects to manufacture about 500 MK8 units in 2022. You can claim a place in line by paying for one in full or putting down a 20 percent deposit. Shipments of the preamp-only model will begin in the first quarter of 2022, with the effects panel one to follow before the second half of the year.

It’s …read more

Shopify has a ‘textbook pirate’ problem, publishers allege

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Five major publishers have sued Shopify over pirated learning materials like PDFs of ebooks and test materials, saying the e-commerce platform fails to remove listings and stores that violate the publishers’ trademarks and copyrights. The lawsuit, filed today in the US District Court for Eastern Virginia, claims statutory damages higher than $500 million.

The publishers — Pearson Education, Inc., Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning, Inc., Elsevier Inc., and McGraw Hill — say in the lawsuit that Shopify “assists and profits from the online sale of infringing copies” of the textbooks and other products. The publishers also say that Shopify has received “detailed notices virtually every week for years” that identify listings selling…

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Sony’s $9,000 drone is now available to order ahead of a December 24th ship date

Sony’s new Airpeak S1 drone. | Image: Sony

Sony’s $9,000 Airpeak S1 drone is now available to order, the company announced Wednesday. It’s expected to ship starting December 24th.

The Airpeak S1, which was first teased in January at CES 2021, is targeted toward video professionals and is designed to be used with Sony’s mirrorless cameras. According to the drone’s product page, it has a flight time of 22 minutes without a payload and up to 12 minutes with a “heavy payload,” such as a Sony A7S Mark III camera. Sony says the Airpeak is stable in winds of up to 44.7mph, which could be useful for capturing footage in windy conditions.

The $9,000 price tag comes with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. It doesn’t include a camera or…

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Qualcomm is making 5nm ARM chipsets for Windows laptops

Qualcomm is expanding its lineup of ARM-based chips for Windows and Chromebook with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 platforms. In addition, the company aims to power handheld gaming devices using Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chipsets.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which builds on last year’s Gen 2, is the first 5nm PC platform, according to Qualcomm, which designed it with ultra-slim and fanless laptops in mind. It says that moving to a 5nm process node and other optimizations allowed for improved Kryo CPU performance while sustaining similar power consumption levels as Gen 2 chipsets. The company claims the chipsets will deliver up to 85 percent improved performance compared with the previous generation and up to 60 percent better per-watt performance than x86 chips.

Along with 5G and WiFi 6/6E connectivity, the platform is said to offer multi-day battery life, upgraded camera and audio functions and chip-to-cloud security. Systems with 8cx Gen 3 chipsets will be able to take advantage of “29+ TOPS of AI acceleration,” which Qualcomm claims is three times the performance of “the leading competitive platform.” The AI acceleration could speed up tasks like face detection and background blur on calls. In addition, Snapdragon 8cx Gen …read more

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is its latest attempt to hit a Windows on Arm home run

Qualcomm has announced its latest flagship chip for PCs: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which, as the name implies, succeeds last year’s 8cx Gen 2 model and offers some substantial jumps in performance.

The 8cx Gen 3 is the first chip for Windows computers built on a 5nm process and promises up to 85 percent better CPU performance and up to 60 percent faster GPU performance compared to the 8cx Gen 2. Additionally, Qualcomm boasts that its new chip offers “60 percent greater performance per watt over the competitive x86 platform” — although the company is notably quiet on which x86 platform its comparing things to. Qualcomm also touts that the chip supports “multi-day battery life,” although again, it didn’t provide too many details.

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Square is rebranding itself as ‘Block’

Square is rebranding itself as ‘Block’

Payments firm Square plans to change its name to Block as cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies become a bigger part of its business. On Wednesday, the company announced it will move forward with the rebranding on December 10th.

“The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” the company said in a blog post.

When Jack Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009 shortly after his first stint as CEO of Twitter, the company’s only product was its namesake card reader, which allowed merchants to process credit card payments with their phones. Since then, its business has expanded to include stock and crypto trading, money lending and more. This year, Square even bought a majority stake in Tidal. And …read more

Microsoft is testing a few ways to improve Windows 11’s Start menu

Microsoft isn’t ready to backtrack on Windows 11’s major design changes yet, but at least it’s testing out a few new ways to customize the OS. With the latest Windows 11 Insider build (22509), you can have the revamped Start menu show more pinned apps, or more recommended apps and files, in addition to the default mode which balances the two. That’s not a return to the Windows 10 Start menu that some diehard users have been clamoring for, and really, it’s unlikely Microsoft will ever relent. Windows 11 prioritizes minimalism, and a busy Start menu filled with all of your apps doesn’t really fit that mould.

Microsoft

Among other changes, the Insider build will also bring the date and clock back to the taskbar on additional monitor screens, something that was inexplicably removed in Windows 11. Microsoft notes that tweak isn’t going to appear for every Insider user, oddly enough. It’s a shame Microsoft isn’t exploring more ways to customize the taskbar—losing Window labels has made my desktop cleaner, but harder to navigate compared to Windows 10. 

 The new Windows 11 Insider build will also it easier to use the Edge web browser while using Narrator, Microsoft’s built-in screen …read more

Meta allows more cryptocurrency ads

Meta allows more cryptocurrency ads

Meta is backing away from its longstanding (if not absolute) ban on cryptocurrency ads. As CNBCreports, Meta has greatly loosened its ban by expanding the number of regulatory licenses it accepts from three to 27. The crypto landscape has “matured and stabilized” enough to justify the change of heart, the company said, including an increased amount of government regulation that sets “clearer responsibilities and expectations.”

Advertisers still need written permission to run ads for cryptocurrency exchanges, lending and borrowing, crypto mining tools and wallets that let you buy, sell, stake or swap tokens. This does, however, open the door to cryptocurrency businesses that previously couldn’t run any ads, not to mention would-be investors who might not be familiar with the market.

It’s not clear if any additional factors played a role in the reversal, but the timing is notable. The shift comes just a day after Meta’s crypto overseer, David Marcus, said he was leaving the company. He spent roughly two years trying to launch Meta’s cryptowallet Novi, so far succeeding only with a small test run. The company’s in-house cryptocurrency, Diem, has had an even rougher time —it has yet to launch following …read more