Category: Technology

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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Here’s everything EA announced at its Play Live 2021 event

Here’s everything EA announced at its Play Live 2021 event

Electronic Arts held its EA Play Live 2021 event today. During the approximately 40-minute presentation, we got a first look at Grid Legends, a new entry in Codemasters’ ongoing racing franchise that will feature a single-player story with live-action performances. Lost in Random, the upcoming Tim Burton-inspired action-adventure game from Fe developer Zoink Games, also got a release date. It’s coming out on September 10th on current and last-generation consoles, as well as PC. For Battlefield fans, EA offered a look at 2042‘s new Portal mode that will allow fans to create their own custom match types that they can share with the game’s community.

But EA saved the best news for last. In a short teaser, the publisher confirmed Motive Studios is working on a remake of Dead Space for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S. In addition to more modern graphics courtesy of Dice’s Frostbite engine, EA promised gameplay improvements, as well as new story and character elements.

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Intel teases plan to speed up chip advancements

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Intel has struggled recently with getting its more advanced chip architectures out the door, but that might be changing soon. CEO Pat Gelsinger announced today on Intel’s Q2 earnings call that “7nm is progressing well,” and the company is gearing up to announce news on how its “accelerating its annual cadence of innovation with new advancements in semiconductor process and packaging,” at a webcast on Monday, July 26th.

The announcement comes alongside Intel’s Q2 earnings, where the semiconductor company managed to beat expectations and bring in $18.2 billion in revenue, up 2 percent year-over-year. Intel is feeling pretty optimistic about the future, too. It raised its 2021 outlook by an additional $1 billion to $73.5 billion, and now…

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Snapchat just announced its largest user growth in years

Snapchat just announced its largest user growth in years

Snapchat is enjoying its highest user growth in years, according to its latest earnings report. Daily active users have increased to 293 million, which is a 23 percent growth from this time last year. That’s the best Snap Inc has seen in a while; it tops the company’s prior best of 22 percent, which happened four years ago. The number even tops Twitter’s, which recently reported 206 million daily users in the second quarter.

Overall revenue also increased by a very impressive 116 percent to $982 million, which is its strongest growth rate yet. That’s faster than even that of Twitter and Facebook, at least right now.

The company also said that Spotlight, its TikTok-like feature that pays users for clips, has grown in popularity. Daily active users of Spotlight grew by 49 percent, and average daily content submissions have more than tripled.

Much of this growth can be attributed to pandemic lockdowns ending, as well as a much-improved Android app. In a prior earnings statement, CEO Evan Spiegel said that “as things began to open up in the United States in late February, we saw inflection points in key behaviors like Story posting and engagement with the Snap Map.” …read more

Motorola’s G100 midrange battery champ is now available in the US

The Moto G100 offers respectable midrange specs like 5G and a Snapdragon 870 processor. | Image: Motorola

Motorola is now selling the Moto G100 in the US, after introducing it earlier this year for Latin American and European markets. It comes with midrange specs like a big 5,000mAh battery, 5G, and a 90Hz screen for a $599 MSRP. From now until August 5th, Motorola is offering a $100 discount off the full retail price.

There are two important footnotes on the G100’s US carrier compatibility: it’s a GSM-only phone, so will work on AT&T and T-Mobile but not Verizon, and its 5G connectivity is only compatible with T-Mobile’s 5G network. Outside of that, it appears to be a respectable midrange device, if priced a little on the high end. It uses a Snapdragon 870 processor with 8GB of RAM, sub-6GHz 5G, and a 6.7-inch 1080p display with 90Hz…

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Corning’s new Gorilla Glass protects smartphone camera lenses and lets in more light

Image: Corning

Corning has announced a new set of glass composites to protect the ever-growing number of camera lenses on the back of smartphones and capture more ambient light in the process. The new composites, called Gorilla Glass with DX and Gorilla Glass with DX+, offer “advanced optical performance, superior scratch resistance, and durability” according to Corning.

Technically, this DX variety of composite isn’t entirely new, Corning offered a version of Gorilla Glass with DX / DX+ for smartwatches as early as 2018. But Corning says making the switch to smartphone camera lens covers added additional challenges because the glass needed to be more scratch-resistant and somehow let in more light, two qualities that can be at odds. Corning breaks…

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Senate bill would create exception to Section 230 to limit health misinformation

Senate bill would create exception to Section 230 to limit health misinformation

A week after Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared health misinformation an “urgent threat” to the US public, Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico have introduced new legislation that would modify Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to strip liability protections from technology companies if their platforms help spread misinformation during a health crisis.

If passed, the Health Misinformation Act of 2021 would create an exception to Section 230 that would see social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter “treated as the publisher or speaker of health misinformation” when their platforms algorithmically amplify misleading health content. What falls under the definition of health-related misinformation would be decided by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The exception would only apply during a public health crisis, which the HMS Secretary would have to declare beforehand.

In establishing a rationale for the change, the bill cites a joint report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Vax Watch that found that as much 73 percent of vaccine misinformation on Facebook can be linked to a group of 12 individuals known as the “disinformation dozen.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently …read more

Rivian is planning to build a second EV factory in the US

Rivian is planning to build a second EV factory in the US

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is planning to build a second factory. The company may make battery cells as well as EVs at the plant, should it come to fruition. Rivian might make an announcement within the next couple of months and Reuters reports construction could start next year.

Rivian spokesperson Amy Mast confirmed to the organization that the company is “exploring locations for a second US manufacturing facility.” Mast noted it’s early in the process and didn’t share additional details.

The company’s first factory is in Normal, Illinois. Rivian employs around 7,000 people and a second plant would likely create hundreds of new jobs, which seems to be the reason why several states have reportedly made bids.

An additional factory would enable Rivian to increase capacity and have a 50 gigawatt-hour battery cell production line, according to the report. The location may also feature a product and technology center, and construction is likely to take place in phases. Meanwhile, Rivian reportedly has a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions at the plant as swiftly as possible.

Last week, Rivian delayed initial shipments of the R1T pickup by a couple of months to September and the R1S SUV to the …read more