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iFixit tears down… Apple’s FineWoven cases September 23, 2023

Photo by Nilay Patel / The Verge “The new FineWoven iPhone cases are very bad,” according to my colleague Allison Johnson, so you probably shouldn’t buy one. Still, I’ve been curious to learn more about them, and iFixit’s new teardown just gave me even more information than I could have thought to ask for: it […]

Meta is inexplicably shutting down one of the best Oculus games

We’ve called it a cross between the Battle School from Ender’s Game and ultimate frisbee. We’ve called it Final Fantasy X blitzball meets VR. It made two of our Best VR Games lists — three, if you count the one I did for CNET before returning to The Verge. It convincingly sticks you into a robot body inhabiting a zero-G arena, where you have to use your wrist jets, obstacles, teammates, and even foes to catapult yourself to victory. It even became its own esport.

But now, Echo VR (née Echo Arena) is getting killed off by Meta (née Facebook). Facebook purchased its developer Ready At Dawn in 2020, after making Echo VR one of the flagship games for the Meta Quest (née Oculus Quest) and Rift S launch. Meta will not be offering any refunds…

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Tuesday’s top tech news: Hands-on with the HomePod

A photo from E3 2019, the year before the pandemic. | Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Plus GM’s Hummer EV SUV goes into production, and Paramount’s streaming service gets a rebrand.

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Frontier’s bringing its 5-gig fiber network across the country

Frontier joins AT&T as another 5-gig capable ISP available in the United States | Graphic by William Joel / The Verge

Frontier, an internet service provider (ISP) that services 25 US states, has just launched 5 Gig fiber internet service across its entire network. Frontier launched 2 Gig fiber internet service less than a year ago, and the 5 Gig plan is currently available in all of Frontier’s fiber-connected markets, with no phased rollouts.

Compared to the cable-bound internet that most of us are familiar with, Frontier’s 5 Gig internet is reported to have upload speeds that are up to 125 times faster and up to five times faster downloads, all delivered with less latency.

The new 5 Gig network is one of the fastest internet options currently available in the US, with other fiber-enabled ISPs like Verizon Fios and Google Fiber still capped at around…

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As memory prices plunge, SK hynix reports a Q4 operating loss of ~$1.4B, its biggest quarterly operating loss yet, vs. ~$900M est., on a 38% YoY drop in revenue (Sohee Kim/Bloomberg)

Sohee Kim / Bloomberg:
As memory prices plunge, SK hynix reports a Q4 operating loss of ~$1.4B, its biggest quarterly operating loss yet, vs. ~$900M est., on a 38% YoY drop in revenue  —  South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. reported its biggest quarterly loss on record, due to plunging prices in memory chips as tech demand fell worldwide.

Microsoft is pulling many beloved games off the Xbox 360 store next week

A screenshot from Half-Life 2, which is included in The Orange Box. | Image: Valve

Microsoft will be removing a bunch of beloved games from the Xbox 360 Marketplace on February 7th, according to a support page on the Xbox website (via Wario64), meaning you won’t be able to buy them after that date.

It’s not all bad news. If you’ve already bought a game that’s getting pulled, you can still download it after February 7th. Games being removed that are available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S stores will remain purchasable on those platforms.

But that does mean digital games only available on the Xbox 360 Marketplace will be unavailable for purchase in just a week. Users on Resetera have figured out which games fall into that category and will be going away for good, and the list includes some well-known titles like Jet…

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A man used his AirTag to track his lost wallet across 35 cities

John Lewis used his AirTag to track his lost wallet being flown by American Airlines across 35 cities.

Rode added a removable microphone to its headphones

Rode’s NTH-100M headset | Image: Rode

Rode is packaging the NTH-100 headphones with a headset microphone for broadcast, streaming, and other voice operations and calling it the NTH-100M.

There is virtually no difference between last year’s NTH-100s and the new $189 NTH-100M outside of the new removable boom microphone and the required TRRS cable for allowing devices to utilize the microphone, but it’s a welcome addition to the crowded headphone space.

One feature from the NTH-100s that stood out among other media production headphones was the dual-sided cable attachments, which could be plugged into either the right or left ear cup. The clever modularity here allows those same cable ports to accept the boom mic attachment and new TRRS cable, so users of the NTH-100 only…

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Watch Galaxy Unpacked live here: Catch the Galaxy S23 reveal and more!

Samsung is holding its Galaxy Unpacked event today.
The event will be both in-person and live-streamed, which you can watch right here.
Samsung will show off the Galaxy S23 series and more.

The wait is over; the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event happens today. And you can watch all the reveals from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you are right here.

The tech giant is returning to in-person events this year, holding Unpacked in San Francisco. However, Samsung will livestream the event as well.

We can’t afford to offset our aviation emissions

Passenger aircraft as seen flying over the Netherlands. | Image: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With business continuing as usual, climate pollution from aviation could nearly triple by 2050 as demand for air travel grows, according to a new study published yesterday in the journal Nature Sustainability. It would cost up to $1 trillion to try to remove enough of that pollution from the atmosphere to meet global climate goals — an untenable situation.

To put that enormous cost into context, the global airline industry only netted $26.4 billion in profits in 2019 before the covid pandemic curbed travel. And even if airlines can pay to remove all their emissions from the atmosphere, that’s still not guaranteed to slow climate change. While carbon offsets — paying to cancel out your climate pollution through green projects like…

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Microsoft disabled multiple fraudulent, verified Microsoft Cloud Partner Program accounts for creating malicious OAuth apps used to steal customers’ emails (Bill Toulas/BleepingComputer)

Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:
Microsoft disabled multiple fraudulent, verified Microsoft Cloud Partner Program accounts for creating malicious OAuth apps used to steal customers’ emails  —  Microsoft has disabled multiple fraudulent, verified Microsoft Partner Network accounts for creating malicious OAuth applications …

Sources: seeking to boost Reels’ quality, Meta executives are leaning toward relaxing the company’s long-standing opposition to sharing ad revenue with creators (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan/The Information)

Sylvia Varnham O’Regan / The Information:
Sources: seeking to boost Reels’ quality, Meta executives are leaning toward relaxing the company’s long-standing opposition to sharing ad revenue with creators  —  When Wall Street analysts dial into an earnings call tomorrow with Mark Zuckerberg, they’re likely to pepper the Meta Platforms CEO …

This MacBook feature means thousands of them will go to waste

Apple’s T2 security chip is causing a ton of secondhand MacBooks to get scrapped.

AMD thinks the PC sales slump will end after one more rough quarter

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

People aren’t buying as many computers, and chipmakers are getting hit hard — but AMD thinks that should improve long before the year is out. “The first quarter should be the bottom for us in PCs,” AMD CEO Lisa Su said today on the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call.

Su predicts that the total addressable market for PCs will shrink 10 percent this year, down to around 260 million units. (IDC reported this month that 292.3 million PCs shipped in 2022, and both IDC and Gartner suggested it might take until 2024 to recover.) Su says AMD is expecting “a softer first half and a stronger second half.”

While AMD is predicting that both its client processor and gaming revenue will continue to drop next quarter — even as its new Ryzen 7000 desktop…

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Handmade GPS Tracker Keeps an Eye on Adventurous Cats

One of the most convenient things about having cats is their independent lifestyle: most are happy to enjoy themselves outside all day, only coming back home when it’s time for dinner and a nap. What your cat gets up to during the day remains a mystery, unless you fit it with a GPS collar. When [Sahas Chitlange] went searching for a GPS tracker for his beloved Pumpkin, he found that none were exactly to his liking: too slow, too big, or simply unreliable. This led him to design and build his own, called Find My Cat.

The heart of the device is an A9G GSM/GPS board, based on the RDA8955 system-on-chip. [Sahas] combined this with a data SIM card, a 2600 mAh lithium battery and a charger module to make a completely self-contained GPS tracker capable of transmitting location information in real time. The system is housed in a hand-made brass box designed to be attached to a cat harness, where it sits safely on Pumpkin’s back.

It took a bit of experimentation to find a workable antenna setup for this system, because the brass box works as a Faraday cage. [Sahas] therefore made the lid of the enclosure out of wood, and embedded two thin strips of brass within it to make a dipole antenna. Tests in his car confirmed that it got a reliable fix and was able to communicate through the GSM network.

On the software side, The A9G module came with a C/C++ based SDK that [Sahas] found so inconvenient to use that he decided to replace the whole thing with a MicroPython setup. He then programmed it with a simple routine that waits for an MQTT message to start tracking, and otherwise stays in sleep mode. Location data is sent to a Raspberry Pi running Traccar, an open-source GPS tracking server that provides a ready-to-use web interface. Finding Pumpkin’s location is now as simple as opening a web browser, navigating to the Pi’s IP address and looking at the map.

As in many wearables, the largest part of the system is the battery, which in this case provides a good twelve days of usage between recharge sessions. We’d assume that to be plenty, unless Pumpkin is one of those cats that like to go on multi-week expeditions. Limited battery life is a common problem for GPS pet trackers; perhaps switching to an ultra-low-power LoRa-based system might help.

NLRB judge rules that Amazon broke labor laws in Staten Island (again)

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A judge for the National Labor Relations Board has determined that Amazon broke labor laws in the run-up to union elections at its JFK8 and LDJ5 facilities in Staten Island, New York. According to the judge, the company threatened workers by saying they wouldn’t get raises or additional benefits during a potential collective bargaining period and discriminated against union organizers while enforcing its solicitation policies.

According to the decision, posted in full by Bloomberg Law, Amazon removed a post from an internal forum that called for workers to sign an Amazon Labor Union petition to get holiday pay for Juneteenth. Amazon allegedly cited its solicitation rules, but the judge says the company didn’t take the same action against…

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Custom build turns the Framework Laptop into a triple-screen powerhouse

Open for business. | Image: DIY Perks

The Framework Laptop has been a godsend for DIYers. Not only does the modular design allow for quick and easy repair, but the swappable mainboard is a robust platform for all sorts of bizarre builds. Tons of tinkerers have used the modular mainboard design to create their own cyberdeck designs. You don’t even need to buy the whole laptop to do it!

DIY Perks has taken that to the next level with this triple-screen laptop build. Unsatisfied with the lack of screen real estate and poor ergonomics in most laptops, they used their skills to cobble together a portable cyberdeck workstation.

Photo: DIY Perks
The Framework mainboard, some elbow grease, 3D Printing, and a tiny bit of soldering.

The bill of materials…

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AMD reports Q4 revenue up 16% YoY to $5.6B, vs. $5.5B est., net income down 98% YoY to $21M, and Client segment revenue down 51% YoY due to weak PC chip sales (Kif Leswing/CNBC)

Kif Leswing / CNBC:
AMD reports Q4 revenue up 16% YoY to $5.6B, vs. $5.5B est., net income down 98% YoY to $21M, and Client segment revenue down 51% YoY due to weak PC chip sales  —  – AMD reported fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday, beating Wall Street expectations for sales and profit, but guided analysts …

Anker admits its Eufy security cameras are not natively E2E encrypted and produced unencrypted video streams for Eufy’s web portal, but says the flaws are fixed (Sean Hollister/The Verge)

Sean Hollister / The Verge:
Anker admits its Eufy security cameras are not natively E2E encrypted and produced unencrypted video streams for Eufy’s web portal, but says the flaws are fixed  —  / Anker admits its always-encrypted cameras weren’t always encrypted — and promises to do better. … First, Anker told us it was impossible.

EA Q3: revenue up 5% YoY to $1.88B, vs. $2.5B est., net income up 209% YoY to $204M, net bookings down 9% YoY to $2.34B, and lowers FY guidance; stock drops 5%+ (TJ Denzer/Shacknews)

TJ Denzer / Shacknews:
EA Q3: revenue up 5% YoY to $1.88B, vs. $2.5B est., net income up 209% YoY to $204M, net bookings down 9% YoY to $2.34B, and lowers FY guidance; stock drops 5%+  —  The game publishing giant reduced its full year revenue expectations by about half a billion dollars in its latest quarter guidance.

EA is shutting down Apex Legends Mobile and not giving refunds

A screenshot from Apex Legends Mobile. | Image: EA

Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment announced the game’s mobile version will shut down in all regions on May 1st, just a few weeks shy of its one-year anniversary. As if that wasn’t enough bad news for players, it also said that once the game is gone, so are any items or extras they purchased in Apex Legends Mobile. EA shared the news about the change as part of its Q3 FY203 earnings results.

A news post from the company described the shutdown as a “mutual decision” reached with its “development partner”; Apex Legends Mobile was developed by Respawn and Tencent’s Lightspeed & Quantum Studios, which also handles the mobile port of PUBG. Respawn’s post reiterates that note but starts by claiming, “Following a strong start, the…

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Shopify Guide — Here’s How to Become an Expert

You may have already known about the Shopify marketplace and how it is one of the best platforms to make money by selling your products and services online.

Whether you are a Shopify designer, developer, industry authority, or someone who wants to start a Dropshipping business, to become an expert, you will have to learn all the crucial aspects of the marketplace.

Unarguably, Shopify has many difficult aspects in growing in the development industry and web design. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is building connections within the Shopify Ecosystem.

Whether it’s marketing yourself as an expert, writing Shopify-specific content, or partnering with other Shopify Partners, fitting into the Shopify Partners and Ecosystem is one of the crucial steps.

Though doing it all at once might be overwhelming; thereby, we have outlined every crucial piece of information about being a Shopify expert.

What’s a Shopify Expert?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform where you can sell products and services to customers and store owners. Shopify users often require contract work for tasks such as web development, marketing, web design, business development, and writing.

In order to build a successful Shopify store, many users may choose to hire someone with expertise in these areas. Shopify has curated a marketplace for digital marketers, agencies, developers, and freelancers where they can connect with online merchants and provide their services for those looking to hire someone to build their Shopify store.

So, Shopify has curated a marketplace for digital marketers, agencies, developers, and freelancers where they can connect with online merchants and provide their services.

The marketplace is known as Shopify Experts.

The Shopify Experts marketplace operates with the Shopify Partner program — the actual site and community management system. It also gives endless access to development stores to pass over to clients, and it is often useful while selling your services on Shopify Experts.

Conclusively, a Shopify Expert is:

An agency or freelancer who sells services to customers or merchants.
Skilled with Shopify and willing to learn more every day. Some experts, such as writers and marketers, don’t have a strong grip on advanced programming knowledge of the platform, but they should know enough to know their way around the interface.
Shopify Partners Program participants with a proven track record of clients.

Types of Shopify Experts

The Shopify Experts marketplace has a diverse list of Shopify Experts, giving you many options to pick the right service and start selling.

You have the following categories and subcategories to become the Shopify Expert:

Marketing and Sales:

Search engine optimization
Email marketing
Content marketing
Search engine marketing & advertising
Conversion rate optimization
Analytics and tracking
Sales channel expert
Sales and marketing guide

Online Shop Design:

Store design or redesign
Collection, products, and services setup
Theme personalization
Migration of store
Setups and design guidance
Visual elements customization
POS migration
Website configuration
Etsy or Amazon integration
Customization of checkout

Troubleshooting and Development:

API integrations
Customized app developments
App installation
Personalized template development
Customized domain setup
Site functioning and speed

Content Writing, Branding and Visual Content:

Marketing and website content
Product descriptions

Expert Guidance:

Sales tax guidance
Online business strategy
Store design and setup guidance
Product Sourcing
Marketing and sales materials
Services to merchants to help with site speed and performance.

It is also worth noting that you are not bound to pick one category. Shopify Experts often select more than one category based on their expertise.

Basic Requirements of Becoming a Shopify Expert

One thing is certain, your earning potential as an expert in the field of Shopify development will greatly increase. You can adjust your prices accordingly as long as they meet Shopify’s regulations. You can also invoice buyers and collect payment through Shopify as a Shopify development company.

The first step is to apply for becoming a Shopify expert and participating in the Shopify Expert Marketplace after successfully satisfying the given requirements:

Become a partner of the Shopify Partner Program
Experience working with at least five Shopify stores
The landing page of your business site should have a Shopify logo or banner with an affiliate link

To have access to the Shopify Expert Marketplace, you will have to fill out the Experts Marketplace request form.

Though if you don’t get notified from the Experts Marketplace team, they might have denied your request due to a lack of demand for your services or your application failing to match the legal demand.

However, if your application is approved, the Shopify Experts Marketplace team will notify you and connect with you to discuss the subsequent steps to take the process further.

Steps to Become a Shopify Expert

Step 1. Become a Shopify Partner

Joining the Shopify Partners program is the first step towards obtaining a Shopify Experts profile and selling your services.

The Shopify Partners form requires you to fill in this information:

Business name and primary email address
Site link
Your primary plan to earn through the program
Past experiences with ecommerce platforms

Shopify Partners program is easy to join for everyone, even if you want to test it out. The program will provide you with a dashboard for managing and building client sites.

Step 2. Run at Least 5 Client Stores

Running and managing at least five stores in Shopify Partners means you can bring clients to yourself, complete the development, and pass the ownership to your client.

Of course, it starts with adding stores with clients. The main goal is to move clients to the Managed category from the Development category since you will require to show managed stores in your Shopify Experts application.

Step 3. A Strong Portfolio of Your Previous Work

After getting accepted in the Shopify Experts Marketplace, you will have a page to list your portfolio items, experiences, locations, and rates. Yet, you won’t have something like this if you haven’t been accepted.

Therefore, you should have your site on WIX, Weebly, or WordPress to build your portfolio. You can present your experience working with Shopify — hence, a stronger chance of getting accepted. The portfolio should have a gallery of past projects, a description of the projects, and contact information.

Step 4: Request Access

According to Shopify, Shopify Partners with good reputations often get invited to be a part of the Shopify Experts marketplace. So, Shopify is already keeping an eye on its community and reaching out to those who might improve its Expert marketplace.

But instead of sitting idle and waiting for a Shopify email, you could contact Shopify and request to access the Shopify Experts marketplace.

Step 5. Create Shopify Experts Marketplace Page

Once you are accepted to the Shopify marketplace, you will have several tabs on your Shopify Partners dashboard. There is much work in managing your Expert marketplace account, but the first step is to fill your profile with contact information, your services, and their rates, and more.

Shopify offers a detailed Getting Started Guide for you to set up your Shopify Expert profile.

Final words

Shopify’s constant growth has opened many possibilities for entrepreneurs and merchants who want to expand their freelancing business by offering Shopify development services. After becoming a Shopify Expert, you will get many advantages: access to resourceful tools, outstanding Shopify features, attractive rates, etc.

However, if you want your journey of becoming a Shopify expert to be smooth and seamless, you should follow the strategic guidelines. We have listed down useful tips for you.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

The post Shopify Guide — Here’s How to Become an Expert appeared first on ReadWrite.

Overwatch 2 is making it easier and cheaper for you to get older skins

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

To coincide with the release of season 3, Overwatch 2 is reintroducing Overwatch credits, giving players ways to earn those credits via battle pass progression, and adding Overwatch’s epic and legendary skins to its shop at reduced prices. Altogether, this currency overhaul is meant to address the long-standing complaint that the new cash shop placed one of Overwatch’s most unique and desirable features — its well-designed skins — behind a paywall that was just too expensive.

As Overwatch season 2 nears its end, the developers published a blog highlighting their takeaways from the season. They addressed new hero Ramattra, including the tweaks they’ve made to his abilities, competitive ladder updates, and changes coming to rewards for…

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Is Tubi Safe? How does it work?

Credit: Tubi

Tubi is among the best free streaming services out there, with a huge library of movies and TV shows you can watch on-demand or on live channels, all without paying any fees. That begs the question: how does Tubi make its money? And is Tubi safe to use?

Tubi recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, making it the new home for shows like Westworld, FBoy Island, The Nevers, and Raised by Wolves, among other titles. That’s a high-profile partnership. If you’ve never heard of Tubi, or if you’ve just never tried it, you may have some questions about your privacy and cybersecurity. In short, Tubi is just as safe as the competition. If you feel safe using Netflix and Hulu, you have no reason to worry. But the answer is obviously more complex than that.

Please let me battle you in Marvel Snap

Image: Second Dinner

Marvel Snap’s Battle Mode update is now live, and my biggest problem right now is that no one wants to play. Is it because my handful of Marvel Snap friends and colleagues are afraid of the awesome power of my decks? Perhaps. Is it because it’s 2:30PM ET on a workday? Also very possible. But I’ve been waiting for this update since the developers told me about it months ago, and after the tiny taste of it I’ve gotten so far, I hunger for more.

For starters, do not do what I do and try to conscript your Marvel Snap agnostic boss or partner into playing against you. Snap won’t allow you to play in Battle Mode unless you’ve completed the game’s tutorial and reached rank 10. But once you meet that minimum criterion, hopping into a match is…

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Snap Q4: revenue flat YoY at $1.3B, vs. $1.31B est., DAUs up 17% YoY to 375M, vs. 375.3M est., and a $288M net loss, vs. $23M in net income YoY; stock down 13%+ (Jonathan Vanian/CNBC)

Jonathan Vanian / CNBC:
Snap Q4: revenue flat YoY at $1.3B, vs. $1.31B est., DAUs up 17% YoY to 375M, vs. 375.3M est., and a $288M net loss, vs. $23M in net income YoY; stock down 13%+  —  – Snap missed on revenue for the fourth quarter but beat on earnings.  — Snap had a rough 2022, as a slowing economy led numerous companies …