Technology

FDA boss threatens 'game over' for e-cigs if companies won't keep kids away

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 4:42pm

The head of the Food and Drug Administration has threatened to pull e-cigarettes out of U.S. markets entirely unless e-cig makers take greater measures to curb the youth's use of their products. 

Speaking at a public hearing Friday, Scott Gottlieb, the FDA Commissioner, said he was "horrified" at the surge in rates of teen vaping, NBC reported. More than 3 million U.S. teens use e-cigarettes, an increase of 78 percent since 2011, according to recent CDC data.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons to Ditch JUUL in 2019

"I still believe e-cigarettes present an opportunity for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes and onto nicotine delivery products that may not have the same level of risks," Gottlieb wrote in a tweet ahead of the hearing. "However, if the youth use continues to rise, the entire category will face an existential threat." Read more...

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DarkHydrus APT Uses Google Drive to Send Commands to RogueRobin Trojan

Bleeping Computer - January 19, 2019 - 4:00pm
New malicious campaigns attributed to DarkHydrus APT group show the adversary's use of a new variant of the RogueRobin Trojan and of Google Drive as an alternative command and control (C2) communication channel. [...]
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Chevy built a massive, 3,000-pound Lego replica of its Silverado truck

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 3:43pm

If you've ever wondered what a full-sized pickup truck would look like in Lego form, Chevrolet and Lego have you covered.

The two companies have teamed up to make a massive, life-sized Lego version of the Silverado pickup truck — and the results are impressive

Despite being a publicity stunt for Chevrolet's work with Lego on the upcoming The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the truck is nonetheless a considerable feat of Lego brick engineering. 

SEE ALSO: This Lego robot is your personal bartender

The Lego Silverado, is a near exact replica of Chevy's full-size pickup. It's 6 feet high and and 8 feet wide. It has working headlights and reproduces even small details, like the front grill and Chevrolet logos, in Lego form. Read more...

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Apple is once again selling its iPhone SE — for now

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 3:32pm

Last September, Apple officially stopped selling its iPhone X, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6s models, following the release of the iPhone XS and XR. This weekend, MacRumors noticed that Apple has quietly begun to sell the iPhone SE once again in its clearance section.

The 2016-era phone is available in 32GB and 128GB sizes, with $100 and $150 knocked off the price, respectively. The phones are available in space gray, rose gold, gold, and silver colors.

It doesn’t appear that Apple has made the iPhone X or iPhone 6s for sale once again, but if you’ve been missing a decent phone with a headphone jack, this might be the time to pick one up.

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Leaked image shows off three variants for the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 3:12pm

Samsung will hold its next Unpacked event next month, where it’s expected to show off a “fully functional” version of its foldable phone, along with the next iteration of its Galaxy lineup, Galaxy S10. A new leaked image from Evan Blass shows off three versions of the phone, the S10E, the S10, and the S10+.

There have been rumors floating around since last fall that the S10 would come in three variants: the S10 and S10+ with a curved OLED screen, hole-punch selfie camera, and in-display fingerprint scanners, with a third (presumably the S10E), serving as a cheaper edition without all the bells and whistles. The company is also rumored to have been in discussions with Verizon to bring a 5G version of the phone to the US. A leak from Blass in early January showed off the front of the S10 model, showing minimal bezels and a hole-punch for the forward-facing camera.

Blass points out that this image features the Galaxy S10 lineup in clear cases, with the S10E on the left, the S10 in the middle, and the S10+ on the right. The S10E features two cameras on the back, while the other two have three. The S10+ also appears to have a pair of front-facing cameras with a larger hole-punch.

There’s quite a bit resting on this year’s lineup, especially as the company faced slow sales for the S9 and a sharp drop in profits in the final quarter of 2018. With this year’s changes to the phone after last year’s “predictable” iteration, maybe Samsung will be able to entice consumers back in 2019.

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Watch an inventor take on a Royal Marines assault course in a jet suit

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 3:00pm

For years, military science fiction has envisioned fantastical tech for soldiers to use in the distant future, from suits of powered armor to advanced weapons. Richard Browning, the inventor and CEO behind Gravity Industries, recently took his jet suit for a spin over the UK Royal Commando’s Commando Training Center in Lympstone, Devon.

Browning — a former Royal Marine reservist — started up his company in 2017, and has been showing off his jet suit since then. The suit, named the Daedalus Mark 1, uses six tiny jet engines — two mounted on the wearer’s back, with an additional two mounted on each arm — which allows the user to fly through the air in a controlled flight.

I saw Browning demonstrate his suit a couple of years ago at San Diego Comic Con, after taking part in an aptly-named panel “The State of Iron Man Tech.” The suit certainly looks like something out of a Marvel movie — Browning jetted up and down a street, aided by a helmet equipped with a heads up display that provides him with some flight data and fuel usage.

Well you don’t see this everyday. A Commando trained ‘rocket man’ training on our assault course! pic.twitter.com/23IsRQRlqt

— Commandant of CTCRM (@ColMikeTanner) January 18, 2019

According to the British Royal Navy, Browning stopped by the training center to show off the suit before soldiers, flying over a training obstacle course. This doesn’t appear to have been an audition to begin equipping British soldiers with their own jet packs, but it’s not hard to see that there could be military applications for such a device, which allow users considerable speed and freedom of movement.

Should the day come that they’re pressed into military service, there would obviously be some kinks that would need to be worked out, like noise and flight time. In 2019, it’s an impressive demonstration, and something that will likely remain a staple of military science fiction — for now.

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More Snap execs are out amid reports of an 'inappropriate relationship'

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 2:35pm

Snap is facing a fresh round of executive drama after reports have surfaced that two more executives are leaving the company under less than desirable circumstances. 

The company's head of security, Francis Racioppi, and head of human resources, Jason Halbert, were pushed out after an investigation into Racioppi's "inappropriate relationship" with an outside contractor, The Wall Street Journal reported.

SEE ALSO: Snap's new problem: disappearing executives

Racioppi was reportedly fired last year in a previously undisclosed incident after the company discovered he had ended the contract of a woman he had hired following a personal relationship with her. Read more...

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There's a secret dog hidden in your YouTube video timeline

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 2:32pm

YouTube hasn't ever been one to skimp on the Easter eggs, but this is a new one for me.

It's hidden away on the timeline that charts your progress through a video. If you highlight that timeline and hold left — either left on an attached game controller, or the left arrow key — in certain versions of YouTube (I'll get to that in a minute), you can summon a dog.

SEE ALSO: Please enjoy these Pope-like dogs wearing Crocs on their impossibly small heads

It takes a bit, so be patient. If you've watched any of the video, it'll rewind first. Then you want to keep holding left for another 10 or 15 seconds. Eventually, a little, brown dog, possibly a Corgi, will trot across your timeline, from left to right. Read more...

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Machinima, one of YouTube’s biggest and oldest channels, goes dark

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 2:20pm

Nearly every video on Machinima’s popular YouTube channel has seemingly been deleted following its sale to Fullscreen Media earlier this week.

The channel currently has 18 videos listed on its channel, although most of those videos don’t actually play. Those videos are official Machinima productions, not independent uploads from creators who worked under the company’s multi-channel network Machinima Creators banner. A report from TubeFilter stated that Fullscreen’s acquisition “will result in the layoff of Machinima employees — with some joining other units within WarnerMedia and Otter — though it is unclear how many staffers these cuts will ultimately impact.”

Following the acquisition earlier this week, a Fullscreen representative told The Verge that it wasn’t commenting at the time, it did say that “both Fullscreen and Otter Media [Fullscreen’s parent company] have a lot of great stuff coming down the pipeline over the next few months.” They did not offer any information at the time about whether Machinima’s videos will remain on the channel.

A representative for Otter Media told The Verge that they are “focused on creating new content with the Machinima team, which will be distributed on new channels to be announced in the coming months.”

“In the meantime the Machinima network of creator channels continues to showcase the talents of the network,” the representative said. “As part of this focus on new content, we have pivoted from distributing content on a handful of legacy operated channels.”

“It almost feels like it isn’t real.”

YouTube creators and users noticed the main channel’s barren presence on Friday afternoon. Machinima, which was founded in 2000 and launched its official YouTube channel in 2006, massed more than 12 million subscribers over the past decade. Machinima operated multiple businesses alongside its main YouTube channel, including Machinima Creators. Although the company’s future has been rocky since 2016, when it was acquired by Warner Bros., it wasn’t until this week that creators were blindsided by news that Fullscreen Media, one of the most popular YouTube-adjacent companies, had acquired Machinima.

The only heads up many Machinima Creators received from the company came from an email sent by Fullscreen’s general manager, Beau Bryant. The letter, which was uploaded to Twitter via many Machinima Creators, states that Fullscreen’s team is “going to great lengths ‘behind-the-scenes’ to ensure a smooth and efficient transition.”

“Machinima is now operating under the Fullscreen banner.”

Creators like Oliver Hull, who operates a YouTube channel with more than 1.4 million subscribers and has worked under Machinima Creators banner for years, told The Verge via Skype it took multiple emails to get his Machinima contact to respond to his questions about their future.

“Rest assured that you are still part of Machinima, it’s just that Machinima is now operating under the Fullscreen banner,” a rep from Machinima told Hull.

The general attitude among creators like Hull and his friends is one of “general disappointment,” Hull told The Verge. He describes his experience with Machinima as “getting the bare minimum out of them,” explaining that if he “desperately wanted to contact someone, I’ve been able to.” Hull added that Machinima has never skipped out on a payment, but added that there’s been nothing but “minimal communication.”

Machinima is part of an older YouTube era — one where multi-channel networks were necessary for creators, and companies like Google were investing $35 million in production houses like Machinima. Creators have been turning away from multi-channel networks like Machinima, Disneys’ Maker Studio, and Fullscreen, as YouTube’s made it slightly easier for creators to monetize their channels on their own. Machinima became a relic of YouTube past, and when AT&T finalized its purchase Warner Media in June 2018, Machinima became one of the digital networks that Warner Media shed under its new parent company.

Otter Media really just went and deleted Machinima, Happy Hour, Respawn, Realm, Prime, Inside Gaming, ETC, everything. Jesus H, what a massive kick in the dick to everyone that ever contributed to those brands. pic.twitter.com/btem0WhAys

— Jeremy Azevedo (@Dangersharkz) January 19, 2019

As Machinima seemed to become less integral to Warner Bros., and as multi-channel networks became more irrelevant to YouTubers, creators like Hull started setting up their own, independent channels. Hull told The Verge he was worried something like this might happen and, considering that everything can change overnight, is happy that he has a second channel that’s monetized and completely his own.

“It almost feels like it isn’t real,” Hull said. “Other than the email I got this morning and other creators talking about it, there’s been no communication. It’s really weird.”

While Hull is moving over to Fullscreen, other creators’ futures aren’t as clear. Minecraft YouTube creator Tyler ‘Logdotzip’ Pappas and fighting game creator Maximilian ‘Dood’ Christiansen were dropped by Machinima following content ID claims on their older videos, according to TubeFilter. This means they were effectively fired, and had to go through YouTube to remonetize their channel and earn AdSense revenue. The process can take months, but in wake of similar situations at companies like Defy Media — another multi-channel network that went under, leaving creators unsure of their future — YouTube has been making a better effort to help creators ensure they can continue to earn ad revenue.

“‘Twas truly a blessing to work with so many talented people who have moved on to better things.”

“Our main channel has been monetized once again,” Pappas tweeted one week after being dropped. “We are still awaiting monetization on our other two channels, but that should be sorted in the next couple hours. I want to thank everyone who reached out to help or showed their support.”

On Twitter, the community is just as in the dark about the situation as ever. Creators who used to work with Machinima but have since moved on have expressed their sympathy for others still trying to figure out what’s happening. Machinima represented YouTube’s early promise for creators, and its disappearance is a final farewell to a bygone era.

“I echo everything my friends & former Machinima employees have said about this shitty situation,” Twitch streamer Scott Fisher tweeted. “Can’t say I’m surprised by it though. ‘Twas truly a blessing to work with so many talented people who have moved on to better things.”

Update January 19th, 4:23 PM ET: The story has been updated to include Machinima’s statement.

Categories: Technology

All the best signs from Women's March events around the world

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 2:17pm

The Women's March is back for its third year, and despite several layers of controversy surrounding the march's leadership, highly attended events were still held across the world.

In Dec. 2018, the march came under fire when Tablet Magazine reported allegations that the organization's leaders made anti-Semitic remarks.

The fallout was fierce and the allegations were handled in a way that drew added criticism, with Women's March leader Tamika Mallory refusing to condemn anti-Jewish comments on The View earlier this week and several civil and women's rights groups declining to participate in the events. Read more...

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Teens in MAGA hats sparked outrage after crashing the Indigenous Peoples March

Mashable - January 19, 2019 - 1:43pm

A group of young Donald Trump supporters has come under fire after ambushing and taunting a group of Native Americans at the Indigenous Peoples March on Friday.

On Jan. 18, Washington, D.C. hosted both the Indigenous Peoples March and the anti-abortion March For Life. It was apparently a group from the latter gathering that set off the appalling scene, based on evidence in videos captured at the time.

Footage shows dozens of teenage boys — proudly decked out in Make America Great Again apparel — closely surrounding and mocking a Native American protester. The protester, an older man, is singing the "AIM Song," an intertribal song of honor associated with the American Indian Movement. Read more...

More about Politics, Native Americans, Web Culture, Teenagers, and Maga Hat
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Fortnite’s floating sphere exploded, leaving the island covered in snow and zombies

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 1:17pm

Fortnite’s latest mystery is finally starting to unravel. Not long ago a floating sphere made of ice appeared in the game, leaving many players to wonder just what was going on. Now we have an answer, sort of: it exploded and a mysterious figure inside called the Ice King created a massive storm, which covered the entire island in snow.

It was a dramatic moment that included a towering, ghostly apparition appearing around Polar Peak, which kicked off the storm. In addition to the shift in weather, there are now ice monsters in the game — called ice fiends — which spawn from glowing blue stones scattered across the map. The new creatures also come with a new set of challenges where players can earn wintery gear and other bonuses.

Developer Epic teased that something big was going to happen with a countdown that appeared in-game yesterday. It showed up on various TVs found on Fortnite’s island, and included the phrase “weather warning,” which fits well with the wintery season seven that kicked off back in December. Later in the evening the mysterious figure could be spotted inside the sphere, suggesting something significant was on the way.

Today’s event is reminiscent of the strange mystery that surrounded Fortnite’s giant purple cube, which was initially birthed from a lightning storm in August. It then proceeded to roll around the map, changing things as it went, and by the time Halloween rolled around fragments of the cube had spawned murderous monsters, introducing the first PvE element to the battle royale mode. Things capped off with the cube disappearing in a dramatic, one-time-only event in November.

When it comes to the sphere and storm, expect much more to happen over the coming weeks and months.

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Google Maps will now display speed limits for its Android and iOS apps

The Verge - January 19, 2019 - 1:00pm

For the last couple of years, my wife and I have relied on an ancient Garmin GPS for long road trips, in part because it had a useful feature that Google Maps lacked: speed limits. We might end up switching soon, because Google has begun rolling out the feature to Google Maps on iOS and Android devices.

The new feature, spotted by Android Police (via Mashable), displays the posted speed limit on roads in the corner of the app, and also introduces an icon to denote the location of speed cameras. Mashable reports that drivers will get an audio notification when they’re approaching a speed trap. The update is currently rolling out to users in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while speed camera icons are rolling out to Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, UK, and US users.

Google began testing the feature in 2016, and it had been available in only a couple of areas — San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and an update to its Apple’s CarPlay app recently introduced the feature. This new update will help users who might not drive cars with smart displays, and helps Google catch up to the likes of Waze and Garmin, which have long provided the information for drivers. I’ll certainly be testing it out on my next road trip.

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