Tech

Oculus software v31 makes it easier to invite others to play with you

Oculus software v31 makes it easier to invite others to play with you

Facebook's acquisition of modern VR pioneer Oculus has always been a mind-boggling one. Naturally, the social media giant wants to leave its imprint on anything that can be remotely tied to being social, including in virtual worlds. That said, it is taking some time for Oculus to add those social features to its Quest platform, but it's finally taking a big step forward in the latest software update that makes it almost trivial to get together with friends or strangers in multiplayer VR experiences.

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XLoader spyware evolved from Formbook to infect macOS

XLoader spyware evolved from Formbook to infect macOS

Although Macs have traditionally been seen as offering better security against malware compared to Windows PCs, it isn't completely immune. The recent reports of new malware targeting macOS, especially the crippling ransomware kind, show that Apple's desktop platform is gaining popularity as a target by malware writers and hackers. In fact, a report on a new kind of malware shows just how interesting macOS is becoming to these malicious actors that have revived an almost forgotten Windows spyware in order to add support for targeting Macs.

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Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Voice-controlled AI-powered assistants are pretty smart these days, but they didn't exactly start out that way. They weren't particularly smart about the way they sounded, at least not in the beginning. Almost all of these smart assistants, regardless of company or name, started out with a female voice before finally allowing users to pick from a variety of voices. The lone holdout among the major AI assistants is Alexa, but Amazon is finally letting users pick a male-sounding voice, eight years after the assistant debuted.

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Samsung Galaxy phones might get a Telephoto Pro mode soon

Samsung Galaxy phones might get a Telephoto Pro mode soon

Many smartphone makers are working hard on features that will help users worry less about the best camera settings and just point and shoot at a person or scene. At the same time, however, they have to balance these automatic features with controls that will satisfy more advanced mobile photographers. This "Pro Mode" has actually been a staple of many premium smartphones these days, but Samsung might be finally taking it a step further by enabling that mode for its telephoto cameras as well.

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Firefox 90 drops FTP support completely for security reasons

Firefox 90 drops FTP support completely for security reasons

There was a time when you could do almost anything in a web browser or could at least install extensions to do what the browser natively can't. While the craze of turning browsers into Swiss Army knives has mellowed down a bit, there's still plenty of things you can do with the software that would normally require a separate app for the same task. Ironically, Firefox is moving in the opposite direction and is removing FTP functionality that has been a staple in web browsers for decades.

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OnePlus Nord 2 battery and 65W charging officially confirmed

OnePlus Nord 2 battery and 65W charging officially confirmed

OnePlus has a marketing strategy that, just like its earliest phones, broke all the conventions of traditional smartphone businesses. While most companies try hard to keep things under wraps, OnePlus embraced the tech industry's "leaks culture" and does its own not-so-subtle teasing days ahead of a new product launch. With just hours before the OnePlus Nord 2 5G's debut, the company is dropping the last few pieces of the picture while still leaving a few tidbits unconfirmed.

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Twitter lets users downvote tweets, but not to encourage negativity

Twitter lets users downvote tweets, but not to encourage negativity

Twitter is now testing upvote and downvote buttons on tweets, though they're only visible to users who access the platform through the company's iOS app at this time. The idea of upvote and downvote buttons are nothing new -- they're a core aspect of Reddit, for example, and many people have asked for them on platforms like Facebook. They're also a potential problem for social media sites.

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UAE manipulates weather to trigger huge rainstorms in hot coastal cities

UAE manipulates weather to trigger huge rainstorms in hot coastal cities

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a region that's home to hot temperatures and three deserts, has experienced heavy rainfall in multiple places over recent hours due to deliberate manipulation of the weather. The effort involved drones and a technology called cloud seeding, which disperses substances in the air that alter clouds' properties, increasing the likelihood of rain.

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This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

Verizon has revealed its own Smart Display, an Alexa-powered screen that packs its own LTE connection as well as WiFi. Built in collaboration with Amazon, it's the first example of a smart home product made with the Amazon Custom Assistant, meaning Verizon Fios customers will be able to ask for specific account details and get service support.

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iPadOS 14.7 released a day after iOS: What’s new?

iPadOS 14.7 released a day after iOS: What’s new?

The iPad version of the "14.7" update post-Beta was released today, right around a day after its iOS equivalent. The software operating systems known as iOS and iPadOS are different, each of them different based on their intended device family, so it shouldn't seem unreasonable that they wouldn't always be released at the same time. But given the release schedule of iOS and iPadOS versions so far, and the fact that they have the same software version number, it's odd to see their release dates differ.

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Summer Olympics 2032 in Brisbane will give Australia special bragging rights

Summer Olympics 2032 in Brisbane will give Australia special bragging rights

The International Olympic Committee has announced its approval of Brisbane, Australia, as host for the 2032 Summer Olympics event. This will mark the third time an Australian city has hosted the Olympics, joining Melbourne's 1956 and Sydney's 2000 events. In addition to marking the first time Brisbane will host an Olympics event, Australia now joins the US as the second country to ever host the Summer Olympics in three different cities.

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Clubhouse open to public on iOS and Android

Clubhouse open to public on iOS and Android

Starting today, after just under a year in development and invite-only testing, Clubhouse is open to the public. The waitlist system is now done away with, and anyone with a device compatible with the Clubhouse app can tap in to the system. The app Clubhouse is a portal to the Clubhouse chat system, a place where individuals can join rooms to talk, in real time, with their voice.

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