Author: Shivendra Singh

The Morning After: LG adds a mic and speaker to its high-tech air-purifying mask

Remember the high-tech face masks teased during the relatively early days of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not many have made it into stores (or on to our faces) just yet, but that’s given companies even more time to build in upgrades. Like LG, which has used the Tokyo Olympics (and the Team Thailand) to showcase its

Still packing three fans and a pair of HEPA-style filters, it now also features a smaller, lighter motor and a built-in mic, speaker and voice amplifier. LG says its VoiceOn tech will detect when you’re talking and boost the sound so others can hear you — a common issue when you’re trying to communicate while wearing any kind of mask. This new version will arrive in Thailand in August.

— Mat Smith

DNS issue pulls PSN, Steam, LastPass and more offline

Fortunately, a fix came a few hours later.

Starting at approximately 11:20 AM ET yesterday, Downdetector began logging a spike in outage reports across a variety of online services and websites. Some of the more notable platforms people couldn’t connect to included, PSN, LastPass, TikTok, Steam and UPS. Visiting the PlayStation Store and other affected websites would return a DNS error. Akamai said it implemented a …read more

Astronomers spot possible moon-forming region for the first time

Astronomers spot possible moon-forming region for the first time

While scientists have found plenty of exoplanets over the years, they’ve yet to spot to moons orbiting those worlds outside our solar system. Now, a group of astronomers has discovered (PDF) what’s believed to be a region with exomoons-in-the-making for the first time. Myriam Benisty and team from the University of Grenoble found the disk of dust — the moon-forming region — around a young exoplanet in a star system dubbed PDS 70 located 370 light years from Earth.

The team found the first protoplanet (PDS 70b) in the system back in 2018 using European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. A year later, they found another young gas giant (PDS 70c) using the same equipment. The astronomers believe based on the data they have that the star system is only 10 million years old and that both gas giants are several times bigger than Jupiter. To know more about the system, they focused all other possible instruments on it, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. ALMA is made up of 66 short-wavelength radio dishes, and its observations made it possible to spot the dust around PDS 70c.

The disk of dust spans a distance slightly …read more

Corning’s new Gorilla Glass protects smartphone cameras while letting in more light

Corning’s new Gorilla Glass protects smartphone cameras while letting in more light

Having conquered phone displays, Corning is bringing Gorilla Glass to handset cameras. The company’s DX and DX+ range of damage-resistant glass will next be available for mobile camera lens covers, starting with Samsung devices. Alongside the added protection, Corning claims its tech can improve the optical performance of smartphone cameras.

According to the company, DX glass essentially results in less light being reflected by the camera cover lens. Currently, even with the use of an anti-reflective coating, around 92 percent of transmitted light enters a smartphone camera. Corning says that with DX/DX+ on the outside a camera lens can capture 98 percent of light, helping to reduce optical issues like ghosting. These reflections are usually caused by a bright light source during daylight or in low-light conditions. Lens hoods and coatings applied to lens surfaces can help to suppress ghosting, also known as ghost reflections.

Some smartphone makers are already working with specialist suppliers to address the problem. Both Sony and Vivo use a Zeiss coating to boost light transmission while reducing flares, ghosting and reflections on their high-end phones.

But, Corning also offers the added benefit of durability and has strong ties with the biggest smartphone …read more

Martian global dust storm ended winter early in the south

Martian global dust storm ended winter early in the south

A dust storm that engulfed Mars in 2018 destroyed a vortex of cold air around the planet’s south pole and brought an early spring to the hemisphere. By contrast, the storm caused only minor distortions to the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere and no dramatic seasonal changes. …read more

Meet the Martian meteorite hunters

Meet the Martian meteorite hunters

A team is paving the way for future rovers to search for meteorites on Mars. The scientists are using an extensive meteorite collection to test the spectral instruments destined for the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin, and develop tools to identify meteorites on the surface of the red planet. …read more

Instagram tests Limits feature to curb targeted harassment

Instagram tests Limits feature to curb targeted harassment

Instagram is testing a new feature called “Limits” that allows users to lock their accounts and limit any potential interactions when they feel they’re the target of harassment. In introducing the tool, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, referenced the recent Euro 2020 final, which saw three Black players on the English National team face a flood of harassment after England lost to Italy when the match went to a penalty shootout.

“Racism and hate speech have no place on Instagram,” Mosseri said in a video he shared on Thursday. “It is not only honestly fucked up to see people treated that way, but it breaks how Instagram works.”

In trying to curb harassment on the platform, Mosseri said Instagram plans to try to reduce hate speech to “as close to zero as we possibly can.” However, knowing that it will likely be impossible to completely eradicate all forms of racism from the app, the company also plans to give people new tools that will allow them “to take some power back.” That’s where Limits fits in. “We know that people sometimes are in temporary moments of real risk and pain, and we need to give them tools to …read more

Nomad could not resist draping the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack in leather

Frankly, now that we’ve seen a leather case for your MagSafe charging puck, it’s all uphill from here. At least Apple’s new $99 MagSafe Battery Pack is something you’ll actually be carrying around and touching on a regular basis, where leather might make it nicer to hold. Perhaps you already have a matching leather case for your iPhone, too? It looks like a nice combo in photos. If you agree, Nomad is currently taking preorders for $30 each, shipping this November.

(I blame Apple for only releasing the battery in white.)

While you can’t see it in pictures or the description, Nomad tells us it will actually have a hole for the battery’s charging port. One more note: while microsuction tape is much better (reusable, no…

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Old Vidme embeds turn into a hub of porn after domain purchase

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Here’s (yet another) argument against using third-party embeds on your respectable website: Porn company 5 Star HD Porn bought the expired domain for video hosting site Vidme, which went out of business in 2017. This means that any websites with Vidme embeds now have porn on them. According to Motherboard, which reported the story first, the list of websites with unexpected porn embeds includes New York Magazine, the Washington Post, HuffPost, and others. And yes, we discovered one such embed on The Verge and have since disabled it.

Old Vidme embeds now redirect to a porn site

It’s a very extreme example of link rot, which is what happens when online content or images are deleted or otherwise broken, so the links…

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