Technology

Steam Deck rivals OneXPlayer, Aya, and GPD are planning their revenge with AMD’s 6800U

The Steam Deck just spent five weeks at number one on Valve’s top seller list — on top of the five weeks it spent at number two. As one of the most affordable gaming PCs ever made, the $400-plus machine has clearly captured the attention of those who’d been waiting for a Switch-like portable gaming PC. But what of the companies that were already making Switch-like portable gaming PCs? They now have their chance at revenge. That’s because all of the Steam Deck’s chief rivals — GPD, Aya, and OneXPlayer — have now confirmed they’re building handhelds around AMD’s Ryzen 6000U chips. And the 6800U, with its integrated Radeon 680M graphics, reportedly has the potential to squash the semi-custom Aerith SoC at the heart of the Steam Deck. The GPD Win Max 2 is a mini-laptop with added buttons and j...

Android 13 beta will test out-of-the-box support for most braille displays

In the coming weeks, Google will begin beta testing a feature for Android 13 that makes it easier for users of braille displays to get up and running. Google announced in a blog post on Thursday that the next Android 13 beta will include “out-of-the-box support” for braille displays. Braille displays are used to create pin patterns to touch-read on-screen text and also type in braille. The display allows people with deafblindness to use smartphones and people who are blind to silently use mobile phones without screen readers or voice commands. Braille display support was already available on Android with Google’s screen reader Talkback, but now you won’t have to install another app first to access the feature. Braille display users will continue to access the same functionality like naviga...

Meta tells employees to stop discussing abortion at work

A Meta executive told employees on Thursday that they are prohibited from talking about abortion on Workplace, an internal version of Facebook, citing “an increased risk” that the company is seen as a “hostile work environment.” The policy, which Meta put in place in 2019 but hasn’t been reported until now, prohibits employees from discussing “opinions or debates about abortion being right or wrong, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic,” according to a section of the company’s internal “Respectful Communication Policy” seen by The Verge. Some employees have called on management to do away with the policy in the aftermath of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, arguing that the ban is at odds with ...

TikTok reportedly plans a ‘major push’ into gaming and games livestreamers could play with viewers

Reuters reports TikTok is testing games for the app in Vietnam ahead of a “major push” into the space. A company representative confirmed tests of HTML5 mini-games, saying, “We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community.” The outlet’s sources indicate the plan is for ad-supported games that draw from the library of its parent company, ByteDance, which could boost revenue and increase the amount of time people spend on the TikTok app — if that’s even possible. Disco Loco 3DImage: Zynga TikTok has already tried at least one in-app mini-game, as it teamed up with Feeding America to make Garden of Good, a FarmVille-like experience where players could earn points and use them to make a donation. It also ann...

Boeing successfully launches Starliner spacecraft to orbit in do-over test flight

Nearly two and a half years after its first launch didn’t go to plan, Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, successfully launched to space this afternoon, reaching the right orbit it needed to achieve to rendezvous with the International Space Station tomorrow evening. The successful launch marks the beginning of a crucial test flight for Starliner that will play out over the next week in space, one that will help demonstrate if the capsule is capable of carrying humans to space one day. Starliner is a private spacecraft that Boeing developed in partnership with NASA, primarily to help transport the agency’s astronauts to and from the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. The capsule is one of two vehicles, along with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, that NASA helped to ...

Google reports increased Black and Latinx representation in the US

Google has released its annual diversity report, and the company says it made some positive progress over the past year. The company saw its “largest increases in representation of Black and Latinx Googlers in the US ever” at 20 percent and 8 percent respectively year over year, according to chief diversity officer Melonie Parker. Google also reported improved leadership representation of Black, Latinx and Native American employees by 27 percent, Parker says. But some data shows there is still more work to be done. The company’s US workforce is 33.5 percent women and 66.5 percent men, numbers that are only slightly different than the 32.2 percent women and 67.8 percent men reported in 2021. And in its 2022 report, Google said 48.3 percent of its US workers are white, while 43.2 percent are...

SpaceX reportedly paid $250,000 to cover up Elon Musk’s sexual misconduct

SpaceX reportedly paid a flight attendant $250,000 to ensure she didn’t speak out or sue the company after Elon Musk allegedly exposed himself and propositioned her for sex, according to a report from Business Insider. Content warning: The following story contains descriptions of sexual misconduct. If you need immediate support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline by going to online.rainn.org or by calling 1-800-656-4673. According to one of the flight attendant’s friends, the alleged victim worked as a crew member on a SpaceX corporate flight. During one of the flights, the attendant told her friend, Musk asked her for a full body massage in his room — reportedly, this was not unusual, and SpaceX had encouraged the attendant to get a masseuse license. During the massage, M...

Netflix’s new ‘mystery box’ is like a kids-focused version of the shuffle button

Netflix is introducing a new “mystery box” feature that’s intended to help kids discover new shows. Basically, it sounds like a kids-themed take on Netflix’s “Play Something” button, and it seems to take inspiration from the very popular trend of unwrapping toys. On “TVs around the world,” Netflix will add a sparkly icon with a question mark in the favorites row of a kid’s profile, according to a blog post about the feature. “Hover over the sparkly ‘mystery box’ to discover a title that is ‘new for you’! And voila, it’s showtime,” TJ Marston, Netflix’s director of product innovation for kids and family, said in the post. Netflix has steadily been investing in the version of its service for kids with things like a profile redesign, the Top 10 row for age-restricted profiles, and even a test...

A new Daredevil series is reportedly coming to Disney Plus

The Defender who first headlined Netflix’s partnership with Marvel is coming back in a new Disney Plus series. Variety reports that Matt Corman (The Brave, Deck the Halls) and Chris Ord (The Enemy Within) have signed on to write a new Daredevil series that could delve into what Matt Murdock was up to in the time after Netflix’s Daredevil show came to an end in 2018. The news comes in the wake of Charlie Cox reprising his role as Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home and all of Netflix’s Marvel shows migrating over to Disney Plus earlier this year. While there’s currently no word on whether this new series will directly address the events of the Netflix series, it stands to reason that it would given Vincent D’Onofrio’s reprisal of his Kingpin role for Disney Plus’ Hawkeye. Now that the mult...

F-150 Lightning owners can’t use their phones as keys until ‘late summer’

Anyone lucky enough to get an F-150 Lightning in the next few months will find that one of the features they may have opted for is missing: the ability to unlock and control the electric truck using a phone. According to screenshots of Special Service Message notices and in-app messages posted to the Lightning Owners’ Forum, Ford will be rolling out support for its Phone as a Key system in “late summer 2022” via a software update instead of shipping it with the truck at launch. Ford’s Phone as a Key system lets you use its FordPass app to unlock and start your vehicle, as well as control various things like the windows, lights, and front trunk. What makes the delay slightly puzzling is that this isn’t new tech from Ford — the company introduced it on a few 2020 Lincoln models, and it’s als...

The Department of Energy to dole out $3.5 billion for carbon removal hubs

The Department of Energy (DOE) just launched a new $3.5 billion program to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it away. The program focuses on developing four “hubs” across the country focused on direct air capture, the technology that draws CO2 out of the air. Each of the hubs is ultimately supposed to be able to capture and store at least a million metric tons of CO2. That’s a massive endeavor. Currently, all the direct air capture facilities in the world only have the capacity to capture about 0.01 million metric tons of CO2. Today, the DOE filed a Notice of Intent — a kind of official “heads-up” — that says that they’ll be making a funding announcement related to those hubs “in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2022.” At that point, companies can apply for funds to deve...

The Umbrella Academy’s on a field trip to another reality in first season 3 trailer

The Umbrella Academy’s second season followed the Hargreeves siblings into the not too distant past where they narrowly managed to prevent a doomsday scenario that would have turned the future into yet another apocalypse. Though the siblings believed they’d put everything right enough as they returned to their own time, The Umbrella Academy’s first season 3 trailer illustrates just how wrong they were. It’s unclear what about the Hargreeves’ actions in the past led to their timelines splitting and made it possible for them to travel into an alternate, unfamiliar reality where the Umbrella Academy was never founded by their adoptive father Sir Reginald (Colm Feore). Rather than the Umbrella Academy of their youths, Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), ...