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.
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.
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.
Join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts as they bring a new storyline and characters to Astra...
Alchemy Stars has just celebrated its first anniversary, and the mobile free-to-play RPG isn't letting up when it comes to delivering exciting content. This time, Tourdog Studio has teamed up with Atlus and P-Studio to bring Persona 5 to the Alchemy Star's world: Astra.
It looks like Google wants to emphasize the Data Safety section instead
Google recently launched the new Data Safety section on the Play Store. In it, app developers are required to explain what personal data and which permissions they use in order to provide their services. It looks like the company deems the Data Safety section a suitable replacement for the permission list of old. Play Store listings now show a shortcut to an app’s Data Safety section rather than the plain list of all permissions it can ask to get access to.
Fairphone acknowledges that you usually don’t break or lose both your wireless earbuds
As great as all the best true wireless earbuds are, their small size does come with a disadvantage. You tend to lose or break one of the two earbuds they own, but to replace them, most companies will force you to buy a full set as a replacement — but not Fairphone, at least anymore. The business noticed this issue and has now started selling individual left and right replacement buds in its shop.
One UI Watch 4.5 is getting closer to public release beta by beta
Samsung has been on a roll with its One UI Watch beta program for the Galaxy Watch4. It went live in early June, and since then, the Korean giant has rolled out multiple beta builds to address the reported bugs and introduce further new enhancements. Earlier this week, Samsung also officially announced One UI Watch 4.5 for the Galaxy Watch4 and detailed some of its new features. Hot on the heels of the announcement, the company has seeded the fourth beta firmware for the Galaxy Watch4 series.
You'll soon be able to rant to all your contacts at once instead of just select friends
The concept of posting ephemeral "stories" — photo/video/text posts that automatically disappear after a day — was pioneered by Snapchat, before eventually getting copied by Instagram and then by every imaginable app available. Meta, in particular, made it a point to not only add Stories to Instagram and Facebook, but also to WhatsApp, where we get something very similar in the form of that app's "status" updates. Currently, you can post photos, videos, GIFs, and text messages to your status, but you might soon get access to an all-new option: voice messages.
Pink hearts, pea pods, and jellyfish round out the list
Emoji are a simply indispensable part of how we communicate everyday, thanks to their sheer efficacy at relaying emotions, reactions on WhatsApp, expressions, and thoughts — all without lots of unnecessary exposition. The library of available emoji has been swelling over the years, thanks to the Unicode Consortium’s efforts and even Google’s Emoji Kitchen initiative. New emoji have been submitted to the Consortium for approval in September and inclusion in the Unicode 15 standard later this year, and now we're getting an early look at what to expect from them.
Nothing India pushes back against false accusations of discrimination
Nothing's pre-launch strategy of slowly trickling out details for the Phone 1 has done wonders for its hype cycle. Combined with the fact that many of the initial hands-on reviews for the phone seem positive, it seems like the company is headed for a solid launch of its first phone. Unfortunately, mere hours after the launch event, things quickly turned sour when Nothing found itself in the midst of another controversy, all surrounding #DearNothing going viral on Twitter.