The agency wants to slap a $116 million fine on a robocalling operation, but it only has the power to propose it
Robocallers, and spam operations in general, are a big issue that seems to plague almost everyone in the US these days one way or another. They can be a nuisance, or they can be downright dangerous. Luckily, it's a problem that government agencies are aware of, but the FCC is in a surprisingly limited capacity to take action. The agency has, for a long time, been after robocallers, and right now it wants to fine a big robocalling operation. It also wishes to be able to take stronger actions by itself, though.
You can now control your TV with the speaker's IR blaster
Xiaomi launched its first Mi Smart Speaker nearly two years ago. The Google Assistant-powered speaker was well received in the subcontinental region and rivaled the likes of products such as the Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen series. This month is Xiaomi India's eighth anniversary, and timed perfectly with the occasion, a new smart speaker is launching in the region: the Xiaomi Smart Speaker IR Control. It's here to give some of the best speakers in the market some severe competition.
These simplified new icons match the rest of the app
Google Maps isn't just the best navigation tool on mobile phones right now — it's also the easiest way to keep track of your closest friends and family. Whether you're headed into the wilderness for a summer campout or keeping tabs on your kids as they head off to study abroad, location sharing on Maps is a crucial tool in the app. With a new update, your shared pins are getting an updated look, one that ditches the classic icon for something a little more refined.
Get ready for more efficient wearables, at long last
Every time we look, it feels like Qualcomm is coming out with a new chip to power the latest Android phones — like the new Snapdragon we met a few weeks back. But for as frequently as we get a new smartphone SoC, the same cannot be said for the company's processors intended for wearables — it seems like an eternity has passed since it introduced the Snapdragon Wear 4100. Thankfully, a successor appears to be on the horizon, as Qualcomm shares a teaser for what can only be a next-generation wearable chip.
Engine-specific routing might take advantage of your car's strengths to pick the most energy-efficient way there
Last year, Google announced that Maps would offer eco-friendly routes that might use less fuel and spit out a little less CO2 if they match what would otherwise be the fastest way there. According to a new teardown of the Google Maps app, that might be further optimized to take into account what sort of car you drive — different kinds are more efficient in different ways, and your route can be tweaked to take advantage of your car's strengths.
The world’s first smartphone with a 200MP camera
Motorola is readying the first smartphone to bring a 200MP Samsung ISOCELL HP1 sensor to the average consumer. Although the sensor has been around for a while, a recently released sample image may give you buyer's remorse for picking up that expensive mirrorless camera.
This week's event saw more than 300 million items purchased worldwide amidst rising inflation
Aside from a few straggling deals left over from the last two days, Prime Day has come to an end. Amazon's annual mid-year sale returned for its seventh year, occurring in July for the first time since 2019. In the midst of the shopping hangover many consumers may find themselves in today, the company has detailed just how successful this year's Prime Day sales were — despite concerns over rising inflation.
It's basically just catching up to Google Assistant
According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Meta is transitioning from a social media giant into a metaverse company. The ambitious endeavor will take years and copious amounts of money, to say nothing of the effort needed to ease Meta’s massive user base (across multiple services) into this new, virtual normal. Part of that shift is going to involve introducing users to new kinds of hardware, and we got to meet one of these early facilitating/transitive devices late last year — the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. They already allow you to record short first-person perspective (FPP) video clips to post on Facebook, and now Zuckerberg has announced that these smart glasses are getting some additional WhatsApp integration — but, like most Meta offerings, there are some limitations.
The House of Commons was due to vote on it next week
For some time, the United Kingdom has been cooking up legislation to more tightly regulate the internet for British users. The Online Safety Bill seeks to force tech companies, like Meta and Google, to deal with harmful content on their platforms, with provisions including jail time for executives withholding data and obligatory age checks for porn websites. The bill, which has understandably raised concerns regarding freedom of speech, was due to be put up for a vote by the British House of Commons, but the vote has now been delayed.
Google's mid-range earbuds are a lot more affordable than its upcoming premium offering
Prime Day has officially come and gone, but there are still some great deals available. The Pixel Buds A-Series, Google's mid-range wireless earbuds, are one of our favorite pairs, and you can still snap a pair up for 80 bucks — $20 under their already reasonable $100 MSRP and a full $120 less expensive than the upcoming Pixel Buds Pro.
Cough up the dough or start sending customers refunds, Google
The ongoing lawsuit between Google and Sonos probably isn’t in the forefront of anyone's mind right now, but after recently digging into a change YouTube made for the worse on its Chromecast app, I can’t really stop thinking about it. Did you know that if you have a Pixel phone and need to reset a Chromecast or connect it to a new Wi-Fi network, you’re basically screwed? One of the most popular streaming dongles in the world, noted for its simplicity and ease of use, now offers an inconsistent and degraded experience, adding to the other deficiencies Google itself announced for its Nest and Home speakers when it comes to volume adjustments and groups, taking away features and functionality customers paid for.
And here's how you can do it
One of the lesser-known perks of Pixel ownership is the Personal Safety app, which controls car crash detection and the Safety Check feature, alerting specific contacts with your phone's location if you fail to check in, or calling emergency services if you get into a wreck. It's a great and pretty unique app, but Google's subtly changing how it works at a technical level, adjusting which app it gets permissions from to provide that functionality. If you want to keep using it, you'll need to adjust your location permissions by September 15th to maintain full functionality.
Teach an old computer a new trick — or two
Updates aren't as big an issue for computers as they are for Android phones, but sometimes even an old laptop stops getting the bits it needs to work well, leaving older (but arguably still good) models behind. Enter: ChromeOS Flex. It's a great way to teach an old computer new tricks, and today, it leaves beta.
The network you would normally use to check if something is down was down
Many people around the world lost access to Twitter this morning shortly after 8 am EDT. While the outage didn't affect everyone (apparently this very article went live on Twitter during the outage), it did hit a large number of users. The network wasn't accessible for many for about an hour until about 8:50 am EDT, but it should be back up for everyone now.
We're heading back to the Golden Apple Archipelago, featuring new events, new story, and a new cast of characters
Summer is here in Genshin Impact, and there's no better way to celebrate than by going on a trip to a paradise full of wonder, mystery, and of course, partake in summertime shenanigans with some of your favorite characters, all right before we head off to a new region. This means it's time to reveal what's new, how to participate in the main seasonal event Summertime Odyssey, and wipe the new limited-time Golden Apple Archipelago clean before it disappears again.
Multiply the difficulty of Wordle by four with Quordle
Unless you've been living under a rock on social media, you probably have heard of Wordle by now, the 5-letter daily word puzzle game that famously went viral over the web. Once you've begun playing Wordle, you'll understand why it's gained so much popularity over the last year. There's nothing more satisfying than being one of the first to solve the daily puzzle, but once you're done, you are left starving for more. You could install some of the best alternatives to Wordle to quench that hunger, but maybe you're in the market for a game similar to Wordle with a new difficulty spike. Look no further; Quordle is here. No more worrying about outsmarting Wordle and being done within minutes; Quordle is four times the size offering enough gameplay to satiate your hunger for word puzzles.
Google is experimenting with a new way of presenting key information about celebrities
As ever, Google Search is experimenting with various changes, and one is a new series of rich cards that could appear at the top of your results when you search for a celebrity’s name. These rich cards would give you more key information around your search quicker than the current design sitting above the news box, further SERP results, and even before the About box that appears on the right-hand side to give you key information.
Report a missing package regardless of whether it was sold by Amazon or a third party
Amazon may be one of the largest retailers in the world, but it's not above mistakes. With over a million packages shipped daily, it's understandable that packages are delayed occasionally or go missing entirely. But as nightmarish as this can be, the online shopping giant has a system to help you deal with the situation.
Find the best speakers to bring that Chrome-powered computer alive
As convenient, practical, lightweight, and even surprisingly robust as Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are, not to mention cheap, they’re not typically known for speaker quality. In fact, that could be said for most laptops, which means you might need to invest in something that can upgrade that sound. Headphones and earbuds work well, but you might not want to spend hours with your ears covered— at least not at home or in your office.
Google's upcoming mid-range phone gives the Pixel 6 some stiff competition
Following the Google Pixel 6 series launch in October 2021, the company announced its mid-range Pixel 6a at Google I/O 2022. Despite its lower price, the Pixel 6a packs many of the same features and specs as the Pixel 6. So, should you buy the Pixel 6a and save some money instead? Or is the bigger Pixel worth the additional $149? Here's how the two phones match up.