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This Week in Security: Huawei Gets the Banhammer, Lastpass, and Old Code Breaking December 2, 2022

While many of us were enjoying some time off for Thanksgiving, the US government took drastic action against Huawei and four other Chinese companies. The hardest hit are Huawei and ZTE, as the ban prevents any new products from being approved for the US market. The other three companies are Dahua and Hikvision, which make […]

Infinitely Scrolling E-Ink Landscape Never Repeats

Traditional Chinese landscape scrolls can be a few dozen feet long and require the viewer to move along its length to view all the intricate detail in each section. [Dheera Venkatraman] replicated this effect with an E-Ink picture frame that displays an infinitely scrolling, Shan Shui-style landscape that never repeats.

A new landscape every time you look

The landscape never repeats and is procedurally generated using a script created by [Lingdong Huang]. It consists of a single HTML file with embedded JavaScript, so you can run it locally with minimal resources, or view the online demo. It is inspired by historical artworks such as A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains and Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.

[Dheera]’s implementation uses a 10.3″ E-ink mounted in an off-the-shelf picture frame connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero running a forked version of [Lingdong]’s script. It does a decent job of avoiding the self-illuminated electronic look and creates a piece of decor that you could easily just stand and stare at for a long time.

Computer-generated art is making a lot of waves with the advent of AI models like Dall-E and Stable Diffusion. The ability to bring original art into existence with a simple phrase will have an undeniably profound long-term effect on the art world.

Coinbase requests to file an amicus brief to support Ripple’s case against the US SEC, which sued Ripple for allegedly selling XRP as an unregistered security (Nikhilesh De/CoinDesk)

Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:
Coinbase requests to file an amicus brief to support Ripple’s case against the US SEC, which sued Ripple for allegedly selling XRP as an unregistered security  —  The crypto exchange joins a trade group and other groups in arguing the SEC’s case threatens the broader industry.

Sources: Twitter has frozen some employee access to content moderation and policy enforcement tools, raising concerns about misinformation ahead of US midterms (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg:
Sources: Twitter has frozen some employee access to content moderation and policy enforcement tools, raising concerns about misinformation ahead of US midterms  —  Twitter Inc., the social network being overhauled by new owner Elon Musk, has frozen some employee access to internal tools used …

A look at video site Rumble, which has been on an upward trajectory since 2020, when right-wing star Dan Bongino moved from YouTube and took an equity stake (Kaitlyn Tiffany/The Atlantic)

Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:
A look at video site Rumble, which has been on an upward trajectory since 2020, when right-wing star Dan Bongino moved from YouTube and took an equity stake  —  The most serious of the “alt-tech” social-media platforms appealing to right-wing “anti-censorship” voices often slides under the radar.

Anchorage Digital plans to custody a “significant portion” of Apollo Global’s crypto portfolio and offer crypto custody services to Apollo’s clients (Andrew Throuvalas/Decrypt)

Andrew Throuvalas / Decrypt:
Anchorage Digital plans to custody a “significant portion” of Apollo Global’s crypto portfolio and offer crypto custody services to Apollo’s clients  —  The private equity giant that manages half a trillion dollars will use Anchorage for institutional crypto custody.

Two more executives are leaving Apple

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Two more executives are reportedly on their way out from Apple. According to Bloomberg, vice president of online retail Anna Matthiasson is leaving the company, and Chief Information Officer Mary Demby is retiring.

The two women held important roles at Apple; Matthiasson was in charge of Apple’s online store, and Demby managed the tech that ran that store, as well as Apple’s services and manufacturing. Bloomberg reports that Karen Rasmussen will now be in charge of online retail, but says it’s unclear who will be replacing Demby. Apple didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment on the executives leaving.

Demby and Matthiasson are just the latest in a string of higher-ups leaving the company in recent weeks. Evans…

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Bright Machines, which automates manufacturing tasks with AI and robotics, raised a $100M Series B and $32M in debt after pulling its SPAC deal in December 2021 (Brian Heater/TechCrunch)

Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Bright Machines, which automates manufacturing tasks with AI and robotics, raised a $100M Series B and $32M in debt after pulling its SPAC deal in December 2021  —  In May of last year, Bright Machines announced plans to embrace the SPAC craze with a merger deal that valued the Bay Area-based manufacturing firm at $1.6 billion.

Twitter braces for layoffs

Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

Behind the scenes at the wildest tech takeover ever, where everyone knows company-shaking changes are coming — and no one knows exactly when

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Lighting Up Glue Stick Bicycle Tyres With RGB

Being visible to motorists is a constant concern for cyclists, but we doubt [The Q] will have this problem with his RGB LED illuminated tires made from glue sticks.

The project started with a set of 3D-printed tire molds that bolt to the standard wheels. A bot of melted glue sticks is poured into the mold, allowed to cool, and the mold sections are removed with the help of a heat gun after cooling. We doubt the weight and hardness make the tires particularly practical, but you can’t make normal tires glow from the inside. 

The idea to illuminate the tires probably came after molding, because they had to be cut off to fit the LEDs. [The Q] built a simple hot wire jig with a piece of nichrome wire between two screws and used it to cut a few millimeters from the inside of the tire and fit a sleeved RGB LED strip in the wheel. Power come from a set of three 18650 batteries housed with a wireless controller in a 3D printed hub-mounted enclosure.

Like [The Q]’s hubless and partial wheel bicycles, it’s a definite head-turner, with function following form. 

Sources: Apple’s VP of online retail Anna Matthiasson is leaving the company, to be replaced by Karen Rasmussen; CIO Mary Demby is retiring after three decades (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg)

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple’s VP of online retail Anna Matthiasson is leaving the company, to be replaced by Karen Rasmussen; CIO Mary Demby is retiring after three decades  —  Apple Inc.’s top executives in charge of its online retail store and information-systems divisions are stepping down …

The best Black Friday deals you can already get at Target

Right now, you can save on the Apple Watch Series 7 and other cool tech as part of Target’s ongoing Black Friday sale. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The holiday shopping season has begun and several retailers, including Target, have already kicked off some spectacular Black Friday deals in the lead-up to the annual shopping event. Some of the steepest discounts we’re currently seeing extend to noise-canceling earbuds like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 (now $179.99) and Apple’s second-gen AirPods (now $89.99), as well as TVs like Sony’s 55-inch Frame (now $999.99) and gaming mice like the Logitech G502 Hero (now $34.99).

Here, we’ve collected some of the best discounts you can find at Target, many of which will be available through the week of Thanksgiving and price-matched elsewhere. Target also intends to roll out new deals every Sunday so we’ll be updating this page on a weekly basis as new…

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GameStop officially launches its NFT marketplace on ImmutableX blockchain, allowing users to access Web3 games currently being built on ImmutableX (Cameron Thompson/CoinDesk)

Cameron Thompson / CoinDesk:
GameStop officially launches its NFT marketplace on ImmutableX blockchain, allowing users to access Web3 games currently being built on ImmutableX  —  The marketplace’s official release on the layer 2 blockchain platform is the result of a partnership that’s been months in the making.

Overwatch 2 is putting Mei… *on ice*

Blizzard

The scariest thing in Overwatch 2 right now isn’t the Junkenstein’s Revenge: Wrath of the Bride event but a bugged Mei. Players, take heed and take heart: the demon of quick play, the terror lurking the ladder, the creature of comp is being temporarily disabled to address a glitch.

[#OW2] We are temporarily disabling Mei to address a bug with her Ice Wall ability that allows heroes to reach unintended locations. We are working to address these issues as quickly as possible and aim to bring Mei back in our next upcoming patch which is set for November 15. pic.twitter.com/dHP65pMCsX

— Blizzard CS – The Americas (@BlizzardCS) October 31, 2022

Mei’s Ice Wall ability works like a mobile map editor, allowing Mei to protect her team from an…

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PSA: Pixel phones automatically turn into wireless charging pads when plugged in

Credit: Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
Pixel phones automatically turn wireless charging on when plugged in.
The feature is said to work for the Pixel 5 and up.
The battery has to be above 20% before it activates.

Google’s Pixel phones have had the ability to wirelessly charge other devices since 2020. However, you had to manually turn the reverse charging feature on. But you may not have known that some Pixels can turn wireless charging on automatically when plugged in.

Some Reddit users are discovering that their Pixel phones are doubling as wireless charging pads. It may not be common knowledge, but when a Pixel 5 or higher is plugged in, the handset automatically turns wireless charging on. That means you don’t have to toggle the reverse charging setting on, it just activates itself when plugged in.

Oracle Cloud Native Environment 1.5.7 highlights Kubernetes

Oracle Cloud Native Environment, for developing cloud-native applications, has been enhanced to leverage the Kubernetes 1.24 container-orchestration platform.

Kubernetes 1.24 accommodations are highlighted in Cloud Native Environment 1.5.7, which was unveiled earlier this month. Enhancements cover an improved container runtime setup, a deployment model for different components of the environment, and lifecycle management for infrastructure. Kubernetes 1.24 was released May 3. Also with this version, deployment of Cloud Native Environment itself has been made easier, Oracle said. The platform’s command-line interface has been improved with commands for faster, more intuitive deployment.

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Elon Musk is the CEO of Twitter

Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

Even though Musk tweeted on Sunday morning that he has “no idea” who the CEO of Twitter is, a signed document he just filed with the SEC removes all doubt.

It’s Elon Musk.

My title is Chief Twit right there in the bio. No idea who the CEO is.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022

This public confirmation is part of the 13th (and presumably final) amendment to a document he filed for the first time way back on April 4th.

At that time, it was a late-arriving notification that Musk had acquired more than 9 percent of Twitter’s available shares over the course of several months.

Now, this is what the 13th iteration (referring to Musk as the “Reporting Person”) says:

This Schedule 13D amends the Schedule 13D initially filed by Elon…

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SEC filing: Jack Dorsey has agreed to rollover his remaining 2.4% in Twitter, worth over $1B, into X Holdings, an amount Elon Musk won’t have to pay (Kali Hays/Insider)

Kali Hays / Insider:
SEC filing: Jack Dorsey has agreed to rollover his remaining 2.4% in Twitter, worth over $1B, into X Holdings, an amount Elon Musk won’t have to pay  —  – Dorsey left his second stint as CEO of Twitter last year.  — A co-founder of the platform and friend of Musk, he’s been supportive of the $44 billion takeover.

A24 and Bryan Fuller are bringing a Friday the 13th ‘expanded prequel’ series to Peacock

Jason Voorhees’ iconic hockey mask. | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s been 13 years since Warner Bros.’ last Friday the 13th slasher feature hit theaters, made a bunch of money, and then never led to the sequel many fans expected would follow soon after. Though we may never know what might have come from a sequel to that 2009 film, Bryan Fuller has an idea or two about what Jason Voorhees has been up to in the distant past that’s set to be explored in a new “expanded prequel” series for Peacock.

Peacock announced today that Fuller has signed on to write, showrun, and executive produce Crystal Lake, a new Friday the 13th series from A24.

In a press release about the new show, Fuller reminisced about how he first became familiar with the Friday the 13th franchise as a kid while reading an issue of F…

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Sources: Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 of his trusted Tesla employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, to help at Twitter (Lora Kolodny/CNBC)

Lora Kolodny / CNBC:
Sources: Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 of his trusted Tesla employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, to help at Twitter  —  – Tesla CEO Elon Musk, now sole director and CEO of Twitter, is asking employees of the social network to redesign their subscription and verification systems within one week.

The Meta Quest 2’s passthrough button melts away, just like reality

Double-tapping the side of the Quest 2 triggers passthrough mode, letting you see what’s happening around you. | GIF by Owen Grove / The Verge

Virtual reality is for checking out. The wider the field of vision and the less light peeking in, the better. But as VR becomes more mainstream, there needs to be a way to quickly check back in with reality. A safe word, so to speak, to pull you out of VR, whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by a game or if you want to feel more present.

That’s exactly what the passthrough button offers on Meta’s Quest and Quest 2. It’s both a safety tool, as well as a practical one to let you see what’s going on outside of the headset without having to struggle to take it off. After firmly double-tapping either side of the headset where the straps attach to it, a view of your room — albeit a pixelated, monochromatic feed as seen through a handful of…

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Sources: the EU is set to launch an in-depth probe into Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal after Microsoft opted not to file remedies to antitrust enforcers (Samuel Stolton/Politico)

Samuel Stolton / Politico:
Sources: the EU is set to launch an in-depth probe into Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal after Microsoft opted not to file remedies to antitrust enforcers  —  The European Commission is set to launch an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s record $69 billion splash …

Twitter verification is the line between order and chaos

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Elon Musk wants Twitter to make money, and apparently, the first place he’s looking is its power users. Over the weekend, we learned that Musk plans to charge $20 per month for a Twitter verification badge, an update that might be rolled out next month. It’s a change that fits with Musk’s plans to make Twitter’s premium subscription service more valuable for its most active users. But verification serves a central trust-building role for Twitter — and Musk’s proposal could erode that trust just as the platform threatens to spiral out of control.

Every social network produces a unique posting style, and Twitter’s design incentivizes something slightly paradoxical: it’s one part newswire, one part nonsense. On one hand, Twitter is like a…

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The Hummer EV e-bike is just as over the top and ridiculous as the electric truck it’s based on

The Hummer EV e-bike was inevitable. | Image: Recon

GMC joined forces with the world’s largest supplier of e-bikes for law enforcement to produce an over-the-top, dual-motor, fat tire electric bike to complement its equally over-the-top, dual-motor, fat tire Hummer EV truck. It’s the latest sign that automakers are trying to seize on the popularity of e-bikes to help promote the shift to electric vehicles.

The Hummer EV all-wheel drive e-bike (as it’s referred to in its press release) features twin 750W hub motors with a peak output of 2,400W, a 48-volt / 17 amp-hour LG-made battery (with an option to upgrade to a 21Ah version) and will be available to purchase either online at gmcebike.com or at GMC dealerships for the price of $3,999. (A little expensive for an e-bike, but…

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Tritium and DC-America are building a coast-to-coast EV fast charging network

DC-America EV stations with Tritium DC fast chargers are built on a skid platform, requiring little digging on-site. | Image: Tritium

Tritium and DC-America are partnering to build a nationwide EV fast charging network and have qualified for federal funding to make it happen (via Electrek).

The two companies are linking their tech to build easily deployable charging solutions, where Tritium provides the chargers and DC-America provides the station infrastructure.

DC-America will place all the components on a skid, meaning that the station will require minimal digging and will be easy to deploy and transport

“By eliminating the majority of underground conduits and wiring, we are speeding up deployments by greatly reducing the onsite construction as well as reducing installation costs,” said DC-America president Nathan Bowen in an email to Electrek.

The systems will…

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3D Printed Strain Wave Gearbox

3D-printed gearboxes are always an interesting design challenge, especially if you want to make them compact. [ZeroBacklash] created a little strain wave gearbox (harmonic drive) for when you want to trade speed for torque on NEMA 17 stepper motors.

Strain wave gears work by deforming a stationary flexible spline into an ellipse so the teeth engage the internal teeth of the output spline. Add a couple of extra teeth on the output side, and you get a high-reduction gearbox with fewer parts and reduced volume than equivalent spur gearing. Keeping the flexible spline stationery is achieved by making half of it engage with a stationary spline with the same number of teeth.

In this case, there are 60 teeth on the input side and 62 on the output, giving a gear ratio of 30:1. The flexible spline is deformed using a set of bearing balls and an elliptical plug on the shaft of the motor. It makes for a compact design that matches the frontal size of the stepper motor and is only about 27 mm long. [ZeroBacklash] has not released any design files, but the idea should be simple to replicate.

We’ve featured a couple of 3D printed harmonic drives of different sizes, but they usually use a pair of ball bearings as the wave generators, which doesn’t lend itself well to smaller designs.