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2023-03-23 12:30:57| Engadget

TikTok CEO Shou Chew is preparing to tell lawmakers that banning it will damage the US economy. Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country, Chew said in written remarks released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee before today's hearing on TikTok. The hearing, Chews first Congressional appearance, comes when the stakes couldnt be higher for the company.US officials recently told Bytedance TikTok could be banned in the US if the company doesnt divest itself. Chew detailed the apps safety features, including Project Texas, TikToks billion-dollar effort to lock down users' data. Earlier this month, we began the process of deleting historical protected US user data stored in non-Oracle servers; we expect this process to be completed later this year, Chew writes. Under this structure, there is no way for the Chinese government to access it or compel access to it.Lawmakers will likely grill Chew in depth about TikToks ties to ByteDance and China, and whether they can trust the company to protect US users. How will the hearing fare? Congress has a track history of completely misunderstanding the underpinnings of tech companies, whether thats Iowas Steve King complaining to the head of Google about iPhones, Senator Orrin Hatch not knowing Facebook makes most of its money from advertising or the iconic claim from then-Alaska Senator Ted Stevens that the internet is a series of tubes. Who will embarrass themselves this time? Mat SmithThe Morning After isnt just a newsletter its also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.The biggest stories you might have missedUbisoft's new Ghostwriter tool will automatically generate background sounds and chatterOpera adds ChatGPT and AI prompts into its browserCable and satellite providers may have to advertise the true price of TV serviceRedfall hands-on: A creepy and creative twist on the modern looter shooterThe best DACs for Apple Music Lossless in 2023Where to sell your used and unwanted gadgetsTeslas Wireless Charging Platform is well made and exorbitantA charger with Cybertruck aesthetics.EngadgetIn December last year, Tesla and Freepower announced the Wireless Charging Platform. Like many of the carmakers other products, though, its almost ludicrously expensive. At $300, Teslas offering is twice the cost of the priciest item from our wireless charger round-up. Its probably not worth it, but its also, annoyingly, pretty good at what it does.Continue reading.Spotify may have spent less than 10 percent of its Joe Rogan apology fundThe company claims it has spent more of the $100 million fund but didnt specify further.In its first year of operation, Bloomberg sources claim Spotify has spent less than 10 percent of its $100 million Creator Equity Fund, a pool meant to foster diversity in podcasts and music. A Spotify spokesperson denies this 10 percent figure, claiming the company has spent more, but hasn't provided a specific figure. Spotify established the fund after an artist-led backlash to Joe Rogans COVID-19 vaccine misinformation spread through his Spotify-exclusive podcast. While that was the catalyst, critics also pointed to Rogan using racist language and making transphobic statements.Continue reading.The Tripod Desk Pro is a portable standing desk that upgraded my WFH setupAnd when works finished, you can hide it.Taken by Mat Smith / EngadgetIts hard to make standing desk coverage compelling, but hey, I tried. Ive been testing out a premium portable standing desk from Intension, and its shaking up my WFH setup. It combines an incredibly solid tripod (with optional wheels) and a desk surface that slides on like a camera. Its rather expensive, but I might have to buy one once I return this sample.Continue reading.Nothings $149 Ear 2 wireless buds have improved connectivity and more customizationIts a competitive price for ANC buds.Nothings revealed its second-generation Ear wireless buds. The eye-catching design sticks around, and the company has tried to address some of the issues that bedeviled the original, with some much-needed improvements to connectivity and setup. Fortunately, the price of the Nothing Ear 2 is the same as the Ear 1: $149, which undercut a lot of the established true wireless competition. Read on for our full impressions.Continue reading.Thisarticle originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-tiktok-ceo-says-its-owner-is-not-an-agent-of-china-113057928.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 11:55:23| Engadget

WhatsApp has rolled out a new desktop client for Windows that brings its calling features up to par with its counterpart for mobile. In an announcement, Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said the new app enables users to host end-to-end encrypted video calls with up to eight participants. For audio calls, up to 32 people can participate, making it a viable choice for company meetings and family reunions where all the aunts, uncles and extended relatives can join in. WhatsApp says it will increase these limits further to allow for even larger calls in the future. In addition to announcing the new client's improved calling features, it also touched upon some of its other recent upgrades. The messenger updated its multi-device capabilities to make it easier and faster to link new devices to user accounts. WhatApp also enabled better syncing so that people can simultaneously access their chats on up to four linked devices. The service launched true multi-device syncing in 2021, allowing people to access their accounts even if their phone is offline or nowhere nearby. After that, WhatsApp must have recognized the need for better apps on different platforms for users to be able to enjoy using the messenger on multiple devices. WhatsApp first released a native app for Windows 10 in 2022, and back in January, it made the beta version of its native app for Mac available to all users. Since the latter was optimized for Mac hardware, it works better than the previous web-wrapped app for Apple's desktop OS.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/whatsapp-on-windows-now-supports-up-to-eight-people-in-video-calls-105523148.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 11:30:03| Engadget

Apple Music users on iOS are highlighting a fairly serious bug that is causing other people's playlists and songs to appear in their libraries, according to multiple Redditors. On top of that, some users have complained that their own playlists have outright disappeared or been replaced by others, 9to5Mac has reported.The issue appears to be limited to the iOS Apple Music app and could be caused by an iCloud issue that's syncing up the wrong data between users. Some wrote that disabling iCloud syncing and then re-enabling it has cleared up the issue. That button is located in Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Show All. Apple has seen similar iCloud syncing issues in the past. Shortly after the iPhone 13 was released, some users lost access to their Music libraries if they transferred their data from another phone. And last year, Windows iCloud users complained about corrupt videos and images from other users appearing in their Photo Libraries. Apple has yet to comment on the latest problem, but Engadget has reached out for more information. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-music-bug-on-ios-is-reportedly-mixing-up-peoples-playlists-073003381.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 10:00:50| Engadget

Huawei may be persona non grata in the US but the company is still pushing out products for the rest of the world. Its latest is the Watch Ultimate, a super-premium wearable for extreme sports types who want a statement piece on their wrist. In the style of a Submariner or Seamaster, the Ultimate has a top right-mounted rotating crown and two pushers, one top left, the other bottom right. Available in blue and black, the cases are clad in an innovative zirconium-based liquid metal material, which sounds a lot like the LiquidMetal-brand alloy found in a number of modern Omega watches.Youll get a different strap choice depending on which watch face you opt for, with the more premium blue option getting a titanium alloy band. Select black, and youll get both a standard length HNBR (rubber) band and a long-length one to wear while scuba diving. Its for this purpose that Huawei is really pushing the Watch Ultimate, saying that itll last for up to 24 hours at depths of 110 meters. Huawei added a number of extra software features for technical divers, but its not clear how many deep-diving pros would trade in their mechanical watch for a digital alternative.Nestled inside the case is a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a 466 x 466 resolution and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits underneath a 2.3mm sapphire glass crystal. Its running Harmony OS, with the same sort of features found in the existing Watch GT series of wearables, with the only major changes being a China-exclusive Golf mode and the aforementioned diving specific features.Another much-ballyhooed feature is the battery life, with Huawei promising that youll get 14 days battery life if youre not using it too much. More realistically, you should expect to get closer to eight days out of the thing with what Id consider more normal use. The company didnt disclose how long youd last if, say, you did a long run with GPS enabled but wed expect that 530mAh cell to last long enough for most folks to complete a marathon, for instance. As well as integrations with Strava and Runtastic, theres the usual raft of Huawei-branded fitness tracking features. That includes its TruSeen 5.0 heart-rate monitoring, TruSleep 3.0 sleep tracking plus a built-in ECG and continuous SpO2 monitoring. Theres a new Expedition Mode, too, which harnesses the dual-band GPS to ensure you know where you are no matter how far you stray from the path. Huawei says that youll get the battery from flat to full in 60 minutes and youll get a 25 percent charge in just 10 minutes.In terms of pricing, Huawei wont be announcing that until April 2nd, the day before it becomes available in the UK and Europe. We do know, however, that therell be no LTE-enabled model and no emergency calling options, itll be strictly Bluetooth only. Of course, with any modern-day Huawei purchase, the usualcaveats apply. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/huaweis-watch-ultra-is-a-long-lasting-rugged-smartwatch-that-looks-the-part-090050179.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 09:01:38| Engadget

Meta's publishing arm for virtual reality games is now officially called Oculus Publishing. It's a completely different division from Oculus Studios, which is the company's label for first-party games. Oculus Publishing will instead support partner developers with conceptualization, funding, technological help, as well as promotion and merchandising. While the name is new, the division itself isn't. It had previously funded and supported over 300 titles, including Among Us VR, Bonelab and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.The company has also revealed that Oculus Publishing has over 150 titles currently in development, which bodes well for the Quest 3 that's expected to arrive this year. Previous reports suggested that the next-gen Quest will be thinner and more powerful than its predecessor and will have mixed reality capabilities. That could mean that some of these new titles Meta unfortunately didn't name any of them in its announcement may have features that weren't possible for older games. At the moment, users still have more than 500 titles to choose from in the Meta Quest Store, and they seem to be doing well. Last year, the company said the games and apps on the store had surpassed $1.5 billion in revenue, with 40 titles grossing over $10 million. In addition, the number of titles that had reached $20 million in revenue had doubled year-over-year.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/metas-vr-game-publisher-is-now-called-oculus-publishing-080138830.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 07:40:35| Engadget

Digital audio workstations (DAWs) are the key to making music or other productions on a computer, and Ableton's Live 11 is one of the most popular apps around. If youve been waiting for a decent discount to pick up the music production suite, now might be the time. The company has slashed the price of all the versions of Ableton Live 11, including upgrades and packs, by 20 percent. The sale runs for a week until March 28th.The base Live 11 Intro option is down from $99 to $79, offering what you need to get started, including more than 1,500 sounds, 21 audio effects and 11 MIDI effects. For something more full-featured, consider the Live 11 Standard package, now available for $359 instead of $449. The bundle includes unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, as well as unlimited scenes and more than 1,800 sounds.At the top end is the Live 11 Suite, which is down from $749 to $599. You'll get access to more than 5,000 sounds, along with more audio and MIDI effects and extra software instruments. Current Live users can get 20 percent off upgrades too. In addition, Ableton is offering packs with the Push hardware instrument, letting you save up to $299 with the Live 11 Suite. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/abletons-live-11-music-production-software-is-20-percent-off-064035601.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-23 05:57:11| Engadget

The Securities and Exchange Commission has cracked down on the businesses of crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and has charged him for the unregistered offer and sale of the tokens Tronix and BitTorrent. If those tokens sound familiar even to non-hardcore crypto enthusiasts, it's because several celebrities had promoted them on social media and now they're also being charged by the agency. According to the SEC, eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Ne-Yo and Akon, illegally promoted the tokens online without disclosing that they were paid to do so. "...Sun paid celebrities with millions of social media followers to tout the unregistered offerings, while specifically directing that they not disclose their compensation. This is the very conduct that the federal securities laws were designed to protect against regardless of the labels Sun and others used," Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. All celebrities charged, with the exception of Soulja Boy and musician Austin Mahone, have agreed to pay a collective amount of $400,000 in penalties to settle the charges. It's not the first time the SEC went after celebrities shilling crypto on social media it previously charged Kim Kardashian and NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce for posting about EthereumMax's EMAX tokens without revealing that they had been paid for the promotion. Kardashian paid $1.26 million to settle the charges against her, while Pierce paid $1.4 million. As for Sun himself, the SEC accused him of violating antifraud and market manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. The agency said he offered the tokens as investments through unregistered bounty programs that prompted participants to promote the tokens on social media and to recruit others. In addition, the SEC also accused Sun of directing employees to artificially inflate the value of Tronix by simultaneously selling and purchasing the token to make it appear actively traded. "As alleged in the complaint," Grewal said, "Sun and others used an age-old playbook to mislead and harm investors by first offering securities without complying with registration and disclosure requirements and then manipulating the market for those very securities."This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sec-charges-lindsay-lohan-and-other-celebrities-for-illegally-touting-crypto-045711820.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-22 22:20:07| Engadget

Positive Grid has a new ultra-portable version of its high-tech Spark guitar amplifier. Designed for musicians seeking a versatile and powerful practice amp, the 3.5-inch-tall Spark Go works with a companion app loaded with virtual amps, pedals and other effects and it can even flesh out your sound with AI-powered drums and other backing instruments.Like its predecessors, the Spark Go pairs with an iOS / Android app to go far beyond amplifying your strumming and picking; it enhances it digitally. It includes 50,000 tones (ranging from boutique to modern), 33 amps and 43 effects and pedals, giving you plenty of novel ways to shape your sound. The app can even jam along with you by listening to and learning from your playing, generating an appropriate backing track. And if you want to learn new tunes, the app can sync with Spotify or Apple Music to display AI-generated chords for the song youre hearing.Engadgets 2021 review of the Spark Pearl (a larger model in the same line) found the app to have some rough edges including a less-than-convincing AI drummer. However, the company has had plenty of time to smooth it out, so well reserve judgment on the current iteration until we test it again. After all, you may have heard generative AI has made some impressive leaps since then.The amp has a rugged construction and extra hardshell grille to (at least in theory) live up to its on-the-go branding; Positive Grid says it even fits on a pedal board. The company suggests laying it flat for omnidirectional sound or standing it on its edge for in-your-face sound. In addition, it uses computational audio that delivers surprisingly big, full sound from its tiny package. (And you can plug in headphones to practice in private.) The amps battery allegedly lasts up to eight hours and recharges with USB-C. Finally, it supports four presets for when you find a mix you want to keep handy.Positive Grid is accepting early signups to be notified when Spark Go pre-orders go live. Whenever they open (the company hasnt yet announced a date), the company will offer the amp for an aggressively priced $109 although it will eventually increase to a suggested $149.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/positive-grid-unveils-ultra-portable-spark-go-enhanced-guitar-amp-212007445.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-22 21:30:58| Engadget

It took two years, but Microsoft is at last ready to let everyday users try its latest take on collaborative work. The company is releasing its Loop app in public preview form on the web, Android and iOS. As shown back in 2021, this lets people work on projects with live-updating components that can drop into Microsoft 365 apps like Word and Outlook. You can place a table in a Word document that updates as users change it, for instance.Loop also lets you assign tasks (synced with Planner and To Do), comment, react, share project pages and track progress. On your phone, you can contribute photos if something inspires you while you're away from your computer.As you might imagine, Microsoft is squeezing AI into Loop. Microsoft 365 Copilot will offer AI suggestions to help kickstart your efforts. You can ask the Copilot to help you create a mission statement, or summarize the content of a workspace document.You'll need a work account to try the mobile apps today, but anyone can use Loop on the web. Personal support for mobile is "coming soon," Microsoft says. While Copilot is limited to a private test, it should be available in the months ahead.Like we said at the Loop reveal, this isn't Google Wave redux. It's more of an attempt to unify and sync collaborative efforts in an era where emoji are commonplace and people thrive on apps like Asana (for task tracking) and Slack (for chat). Microsoft's challenge is simply getting people to use its approach. This won't help those loyal to Google's productivity suite, of course, but Microsoft will also have to persuade users that Loop can replace the gaggle of collaborative apps they might already use.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/microsofts-collaborative-work-app-loop-is-finally-available-in-public-preview-203058893.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-03-22 20:53:42| Engadget

Even if you're not plugging an Ethernet cable into the wall, somewhere along the chain you're still relying on that technology to get online. You've got Bob Metcalfe and the late David Boggs to thank for that. Together at Xerox's renowned Palo Alto Research Institute (better known as Xerox PARC), the pair developed Ethernet and set the stage for a networking revolution. Yesterday, Metcalfe received the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, which is often pegged the "Nobel Prize of computing."Thanks to funding from Google, that prize is now worth $1 million, and it's yet another highlight for Metcalfe's storied career. After leaving Xerox PARC, he founded 3com, a networking equipment company that brought Ethernet to the mainstream. It is dangerous to accept an award for developing Ethernet, which turns 50 on May 22, 2023, Metcalfe told the University of Texas, where he now serves as a professor emeritus. Over Ethernets 50 years, hundreds of people have earned some claim of inventorship. Join me in saying to these folks, Thank you.Despite its notoriety as a cable technology, Metcalfe told the New York Times that he originally envisioned it to be more like the Wi-Fi we know today. We wanted to make it wireless, he said. But we couldnt have zero wires. It would have been too slow and too expensive.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/bob-metcalfe-wins-turing-award-ethernet-195342698.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

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