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Paramount Global plans to merge its Showtime streaming service with Paramount+’s ad-free tier later in 2023 and call the new offering Paramount+ with SHOWTIME (Matt Tamanini/The Streamable) January 31, 2023

Matt Tamanini / The Streamable: Paramount Global plans to merge its Showtime streaming service with Paramount+’s ad-free tier later in 2023 and call the new offering Paramount+ with SHOWTIME  —  It’s been a long time coming, but later this year, Paramount Global will finally fully integrate the streaming arm …

Paramount Global plans to merge its Showtime streaming service with Paramount+’s ad-free tier later in 2023 and call the new offering Paramount+ with SHOWTIME (Matt Tamanini/The Streamable)

Matt Tamanini / The Streamable:
Paramount Global plans to merge its Showtime streaming service with Paramount+’s ad-free tier later in 2023 and call the new offering Paramount+ with SHOWTIME  —  It’s been a long time coming, but later this year, Paramount Global will finally fully integrate the streaming arm …

Alameda Research sues Voyager Digital for $445.8M, seeking to recover loan repayments that Alameda made after Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July 2022 (Stephanie Murray/The Block)

Stephanie Murray / The Block:
Alameda Research sues Voyager Digital for $445.8M, seeking to recover loan repayments that Alameda made after Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July 2022  —  – Alameda Research is suing Voyager Digital for $445.8 million, seeking to recover loan repayments it made after Voyager filed for bankruptcy protection in July.

RF Spectrometer Sees Inside

Spectrometry is a well-known technique or, more correctly, a set of techniques. We usually think of it as the analysis of light to determine what chemicals are producing it. For example, you can tell what elements are in a star or an incandescent based on the spectrum of light they emit. But you can also do spectroscopy with other ranges of electromagnetic radiation. [Applied Science] shows how to make an RF spectroscope. You can see the video below.

An oscilloscope-resident function generator creates a signal that he feeds to an amplifier because you need a fair amount of power going out. However, you also need to sense a very tiny amount of power coming back, and that requires a special circuit that will block high-power signals while passing low-level signals.

Because of the low level of signals involved, you do need some special RF techniques. You also need a way to read back the spectrum. Turns out a NanoVNA works fine for this application. The actual science behind this is the same idea as what happens with nuclear resonance imaging. The end of the video has a detailed explanation of what makes it work.

Of course, this machine doesn’t do the image part. But we’ve seen an attempt to do just that, too. There are many different kinds of spectroscopes. There are ones that use a laser and Raman scattering, and some that just light things up with a laser.

Kaspersky: from January 2020 to June 2022, hacker groups offered salaries from six figures to $1.2M, bonuses, and paid leave to attract talent on the dark web (AJ Vicens/CyberScoop)

AJ Vicens / CyberScoop:
Kaspersky: from January 2020 to June 2022, hacker groups offered salaries from six figures to $1.2M, bonuses, and paid leave to attract talent on the dark web  —  Despite the obvious risks, tech jobs with hacking groups can be alluring for those who need the money or want to do the work.

Just ahead of Galaxy S23 launch, Samsung expects dip in smartphone demand

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung has posted weak profit numbers for the fourth quarter of 2022 due to low chip demand, economic uncertainties, and customers buying fewer new gadgets.
The company expected demand for smartphones to decrease across all segments even though it’s on the brink of launching the new Galaxy S23 series.

Back in January, Samsung had projected a profit decline for the fourth quarter of 2022, and now, the company has posted actual numbers that show just how bad business has been for the world’s largest smartphone maker. The biggest loser was Samsung’s chip division, which saw profits plunge more than 90% in the three months ended December.

Over at the smartphone division, Samsung is not expecting consumer demand to pick up before the second half of the year.

Samsung says smartphone demand will continue to decrease across all segments.

“Market demand for smartphones remained weak in the fourth quarter, with the mass market contracting sharply due to continued inflation and geopolitical instability,” Samsung reported. The company saw a decline in sales and profit in the last quarter “due to fading new-product effects of flagship models and a drop in smartphone sales on weak demand from the economic slowdown.”

Samsung says smartphone demand will continue to decrease across all segments for a while due to macroeconomic uncertainties. However, it hopes to expand sales in the first quarter of 2023 using the Galaxy S23 series and an enhanced product portfolio, including new PCs, wearables, and tablets. Does that mean we’ll see the Galaxy Watch 6 launch earlier than usual this year? We’ll have to wait and watch.

In the meantime, Samsung also plans to push its lineup of 200MP image sensors to major smartphone OEMs launching flagship models. The company also plans to collaborate with mobile carriers on various sales programs, including those aimed at expanding the 5G smartphone user base. Additionally, it intends to introduce upgrades and improve multi-device capabilities on its upcoming wearables and tablets.

JD.com joint ventures in Thailand and Indonesia will cease operations in March amid fierce competition, as the company refocuses on logistics and China growth (Ben Jiang/South China Morning Post)

Ben Jiang / South China Morning Post:
JD.com joint ventures in Thailand and Indonesia will cease operations in March amid fierce competition, as the company refocuses on logistics and China growth  —  Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is pulling the plug on its Thailand and Indonesian platforms in a major setback …

The latest T-Mobile breach affected Google Fi customers too

Credit: Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Google has announced that some Fi user data was affected by a breach.
The firm said the breach affected its primary network provider.
T-Mobile is Google’s primary network in the US.

T-Mobile announced a new data breach earlier this month, affecting 37 million user accounts. Now, it looks like the breach has affected Google Fi user data as well.

Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are reportedly all skipping E3 2023

Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are all skipping the revitalized E3 convention in June, according to a new report from IGN. E3 will be back as an in-person conference in Los Angeles after not happening at all in 2022, and I personally was hopeful that the big three console makers would be at the show when it takes place from June 13th through 16th to help make it feel like the big event of years past. But according to IGN’s reporting, that’s not the case.

That said, it’s not entirely unexpected. Sony first skipped E3 in 2019 and hasn’t been part of the convention since. Microsoft said last week that it would be doing a showcase in LA this summer but didn’t outright say the words E3. Nintendo has proven time and time again that it can…

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Retro Computer Enclosure Without the Sacrifice

The unique look of early desktop computer systems remains popular with a certain segment of geekdom, so it’s no great surprise when we occasionally see a modern hacker or maker unceremoniously chuck 40+ year old electronics from a vintage machine just to reuse its plastic carcass. We try not to pass judgement, but it does sting to see literal museum pieces turned into glorified Raspberry Pi enclosures.

But with a little luck, perhaps the Retro Wedge Computer case designed by [AndyMt] will be able to save a few of those veteran computers from an unnecessary lobotomy. As the name implies, this 3D printable model is designed to resemble “wedge” desktop computers such as the Atari ST, TI-994A, and Commodore 128. But don’t be put off by its considerable size — the model has been chopped up so no piece is larger than what can fit on a fairly standard 230 x 230 mm print bed.

The case is designed around a modern USB mechanical keyboard.

Rather than tailor the design to one specific set of internals, [AndyMt] has wisely left that up to the end-user. There are no dedicated mounting points inside, nor is there a rear-panel. Once you figure out which single-board computer you want to put into this faux-retro box, designing those last parts will be up to you.

That said, the keyboard section is more specific, with the design focusing on a XTRFY K4 TKL RGB RETRO. While it’s not the cheapest mechanical keyboard we’ve ever seen, it does feature an era-appropriate color scheme which makes it uniquely well suited to this project.

Like attempts to recreate other forms of classic computers, it will obviously take more time and effort to print this case out than it would to look around on eBay for a donor Commodore C64 C. But given that those classic machines are only becoming more rare and valuable as time goes on, building it yourself will almost certainly be the cheaper option.

Paramount Plus and Showtime become ‘Paramount Plus with Showtime’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Paramount’s merging its Paramount Plus streaming service and premium Showtime channel, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. In an internal memo, CEO Bob Bakish announced the company’s rebranding its Showtime channel as Paramount Plus with Showtime.

Paramount confirmed the change in a post on Twitter, noting that the merger is “the natural next step in our evolution.” The company’s also planning to carry over “select” original content from Paramount Plus to the TV network, which could include shows like Halo and Yellowstone spinoff 1923.

Bakish says the move “brings uncertainty for the teams working on these brands and businesses” and that he’ll share more details in “the coming weeks.”

The integration of @Showtime with @…

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Sources: Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony won’t be part of E3 to be held in-person from June 13 to June 16, 2023; conference didn’t happen in 2022 due to COVID-19 (Kat Bailey/IGN)

Kat Bailey / IGN:
Sources: Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony won’t be part of E3 to be held in-person from June 13 to June 16, 2023; conference didn’t happen in 2022 due to COVID-19  —  All three of gaming’s first-party console manufacturers appear poised to skip E3’s big return.

A look at MetaBirkins, 100 NFTs created by a self-described entrepreneur and artist in 2021, as Hermès goes to court in NYC seeking to stop the use of its brand (Erin Mulvaney/Wall Street Journal)

Erin Mulvaney / Wall Street Journal:
A look at MetaBirkins, 100 NFTs created by a self-described entrepreneur and artist in 2021, as Hermès goes to court in NYC seeking to stop the use of its brand  —  Lawsuit is an early test of how a company can exercise its rights against virtual assets it didn’t authorize

Samsung reports Q4 operating profit down 69% YoY to ~$3.5B, its lowest since Q3 2014, and revenue down 8% YoY to ~$57.3B, citing weak chip and smartphone demand (Kim Jaewon/Nikkei Asia)

Kim Jaewon / Nikkei Asia:
Samsung reports Q4 operating profit down 69% YoY to ~$3.5B, its lowest since Q3 2014, and revenue down 8% YoY to ~$57.3B, citing weak chip and smartphone demand  —  South Korean tech giant’s slump expected to continue in first half of this year  —  SEOUL — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday …

GM has started producing the Hummer EV SUV

Image: GM

General Motors has started production on the Hummer EV SUV at its Factory Zero in Michigan, according to Nicole Schmitz, a spokesperson for the company. The Detroit Press reported Monday that customers could start receiving their orders by the end of Q1. That lines up with GM’s FAQ stating that the SUV will be available in “early 2023.”

I won’t blame anyone who’s thinking, “wait, haven’t they been making these for a while,” because GM started delivering the truck version of the Hummer EV, which sports a five-foot-long bed, in December 2021. In October 2022, the company announced that it had made 782 of the vehicles during 2022, and said it had around 90,000 reservations for both the truck and SUV versions. Last summer, The Wall Street…

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Samsung reports Q4 operating profit of ~$3.5B, down 69% YoY, its lowest since Q3 2014, and revenue of ~$57.3B, down 8% YoY, citing weak consumer demand (Kim Jaewon/Nikkei Asia)

Kim Jaewon / Nikkei Asia:
Samsung reports Q4 operating profit of ~$3.5B, down 69% YoY, its lowest since Q3 2014, and revenue of ~$57.3B, down 8% YoY, citing weak consumer demand  —  South Korean tech giant’s slump expected to continue in first half of this year  —  SEOUL — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday …

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition plays great on console

Image: Microsoft / World’s Edge

Age of Empires II is extremely special to me. The game came to me by accident at 16, and it has remained a great gaming love of mine ever since. I played Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox to see if, after all these years, I could rekindle my fondness for this PC game on console, and it feels like love at first wololo all over again.

It is a daunting prospect to play a complex real-time strategy game like Age of Empires without the finely tuned control of a keyboard. There are maps and submenus to click through and units to select and move and control. Yet, the developers at World’s Edge have designed a thoughtful controller interface that, after a couple of hiccups, worked as seamlessly as I remember with a mouse and…

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Payment card services company Marqeta agrees to acquire New York-based fintech infrastructure startup Power Finance for $223M, plus $52M subject to a milestone (Mary Ann Azevedo/TechCrunch)

Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:
Payment card services company Marqeta agrees to acquire New York-based fintech infrastructure startup Power Finance for $223M, plus $52M subject to a milestone  —  Marqeta has agreed to acquire two-year-old fintech infrastructure startup Power Finance for $223 million in cash …

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition plays great on console

Image: Microsoft / World’s Edge

Age of Empires II is extremely special to me. The game came to me by accident at 16, and it has remained a great gaming love of mine ever since. I played Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox to see if, after all these years, I could rekindle my fondness for this PC game on console, and it feels like love at first wololo all over again.

It is a daunting prospect to play a complex real-time strategy game like Age of Empires without the finely tuned control of a keyboard. There are maps and submenus to click through and units to select and move and control. Yet, the developers at World’s Edge have designed a thoughtful controller interface that, after a couple of hiccups, worked as seamlessly as I remember with a mouse and…

Continue reading…

How to use the Apple HomePod’s temperature and humidity sensors

Samar Haddad / The Verge

With the latest update to iOS 16.3, your Apple HomePod Mini smart speaker can now monitor the temperature and humidity in your home. No setup or extra hardware needed! The soon-to-be-released HomePod 2 will also have this capability.

In this article, we’ll go over how to use this new feature and show you how to use it with Apple Home smart home automations.

How to check the temperature and humidity in your room using your HomePod

With the new temperature and humidity sensing in the HomePod, you can easily check what the temperature is in the room your smart speaker is situated in just by asking Siri. Say, “hey Siri, what’s the temperature in here?” and the voice assistant will reply with its current reading. The same goes for checking…

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Here’s how the HomePod Mini’s new bundle of features work

Apple’s HomePod Mini can now monitor temperature and humidity.

While the sort of new HomePod grabbed all the attention this week, the HomePod Mini is also getting some new features. With the launch of iOS 16.3 (likely later this month), the Mini will get all the same smart home capabilities as the new, bigger HomePod second-gen. The differences between the two Apple speaker siblings are now mainly in size and sound capability. From new temperature and humidity sensing tricks to the ability to find your family for you and even set up automations with just your voice, these new features should make the HomePod Mini a little more useful around the house.

These new features bring some much-needed functionality to the HomePod line

Both HomePods are also getting a Sound Recognition feature later this…

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Samsung’s SmartThings iPhone app (finally) supports Matter

Samsung has finally updated the SmartThings iPhone app. Here’s what that means.

Converting a Sink to an Ultrasonic Cleaner

While ultrasonic cleaning might sound a bit like the “sonic shower” from Star Trek, this is actually one case where the futuristic-sounding technology predates its use in Sci-Fi. Ultrasonic cleaners have been around since the 50s and are used to clean all sorts of oddly-shaped or specialty objects by creating cavitation within a liquid that allows the surface of the object to be scoured. With the right equipment, these cleaning devices are fairly straightforward to build as well.

This ultrasonic cleaner by [Branchus Creations] started off as a standard stainless steel laundry sink, but with the addition of a few transducers it really turns up the volume. They are attached to the underside of the sink with a combination of a bolt and hard epoxy so that the sound is efficiently transmitted to the sink, but they’re not much use without driver boards to power them. These drivers take AC power and convert it to the DC required to generate the ultrasonic frequencies, and this build uses a driver for each of the transducers all wired up to a common control board for ease-of-use.

The results speak for themselves; a test is performed on a sheet of aluminum foil which quickly turns takes on a Swiss cheese appearance after just a couple minutes in the cleaner. It’s also shown cleaning rusty nails and a few other things as well. For other nontraditional cleaning methods, be sure to check out this wet media blast cabinet built from a 55-gallon drum.

Thanks to [Zane] for the tip!

Is HBO Max with ads a good deal?

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

What is HBO Max with ads? The Warner Bros. Discovery-owned streaming service is available in two versions, and one has ads? So, is it worth it to put up with ads? How do the two subscriptions compare? Which one is right for you?

Related: Are ad-supported streaming services worth it?

Sources: the US Department of Commerce told some companies it would no longer grant licenses to export US technology to Huawei, as it moves toward a total ban (Demetri Sevastopulo/Financial Times)

Demetri Sevastopulo / Financial Times:
Sources: the US Department of Commerce told some companies it would no longer grant licenses to export US technology to Huawei, as it moves toward a total ban  —  White House moving closer to imposing total ban on sale of American tech to Chinese company  —  The Biden administration …

Meta is testing members-only worlds for its social VR platform

Some Horizon Worlds avatars hanging out around a virtual campfire. | Image: Meta

Meta is starting to test members-only worlds in Horizon Worlds, its social VR platform, which will allow people to build curated worlds for a select community of users.

These members-only worlds will offer something of a middle ground for creators on the platform. You can currently make public worlds for lots of people to go to, and the company is also testing what it calls personal spaces, which function like a private home in VR where you have tight control over who visits. Members-only worlds, on the other hand, are limited to 150 members and 25 concurrent visitors.

Meta suggests the new members-only spaces could be useful for groups like book clubs, gaming groups, a place for VIP creator supporters, or a spot to hang out with…

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