Friday, August 12, 2022

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Meta Delaying Rollout of End-to-End Messaging Encryption Until 2023


Meta has said it is delaying the rollout of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) across its messaging services until 2023 over child safety concerns.

Meta, formerly Facebook, has been working for some time to provide unified E2EE across its various messaging services, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The move has been criticized by some legislators over concerns about child safety and the ability to solve, or even prevent, crimes.

WhatsApp already has E2EE, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in early November the company was rolling out E2EE across Messenger. This plans appear to be paused, according to an article in The Telegraph, by Antigone Davis, Meta Global Head of Safety.

“We’ll continue engaging with outside experts and developing effective solutions to combat abuse because our work in this area is never done,” says Davis. “We’re taking our time to get this right and we don’t plan to finish the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default across all our messaging services until sometime in 2023. As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we’re determined to protect people’s private communications and keep people safe online.”

The move is sure to disappoint customers and privacy proponents.

Instagram May Soon Allow Adding Moderators to Live Videos


Instagram may be taking a major step forward in helping users keep discussion about their live videos civil, with the addition of moderators.

Instagram, like most social media platforms, struggles with issues balancing engagement with toxic online culture. Comments can quickly turn negative, starting a groundswell of backlash.

According to noted leaker Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is looking to let users approve moderators for live videos.

There’s no timeline given for when users can expect the new feature.

Valve Delays Steam Deck by Two Months


Valve has delayed the release of its much-anticipated Steam Deck by two months as a result of global supply chain issues.

Steam Deck is Valve’s Nintendo Switch-like gaming console, powered by Linux. Early access reviews have praised the device’s design and performance. 

Valve had initially targeted December as the release window, in time to benefit from the holiday shopping season. Issues with acquiring semiconductors and other components have torpedoed those plans, however, with the company now targeting February 2022.

The company announced the delay in a statement:

The launch of Steam Deck will be delayed by two months. We’re sorry about this—we did our best to work around the global supply chain issues, but due to material shortages, components aren’t reaching our manufacturing facilities in time for us to meet our initial launch dates.

Based on our updated build estimates, Steam Deck will start shipping to customers February 2022. This will be the new start date of the reservation queue—all reservation holders keep their place in line but dates will shift back accordingly. Reservation date estimates will be updated shortly after this announcement.

Enhanced Security Behind Pixel 6’s Slow Fingerprint Sensor


Google says the slow fingerprint scanning on its flagship Pixel 6 is the result of ‘enhanced security algorithms.’

The Pixel 6 is Google’s latest version of its flagship line of phones and features the company’s Tensor system on a chip (SoC). The new phone offers performance on par with the fastest Android phones, but the speed of the in-screen fingerprint sensor is not one of the phone’s highlights. Users have reported slower than normal speed, compared to other high-end devices.

According to Google, the slower speed is the result of enhanced security.

Apple Fixes Issue Where macOS Monterey Could Brick Some Machines


Apple has addressed an issue that led the latest version of macOS, macOS Monterey, to brick some Macs.

A major operating system release often brings new features, improved performance and the potential for major bugs or issues. In the case of macOS Monterey, the new OS bricked some Macs, specifically ones with Apple’s T2 security chip.

According to a statement Apple provided to long-time Apple writer Rene Ritchie, the issue has been resolved.

We have identified and fixed an issue with the firmware on the Apple T2 security chip that prevented a very small number of users from booting up their Mac after updating macOS. The updated firmware is now included with the existing macOS updates. Any users impacted by this issue can contact Apple Support for assistance.

Microsoft Announces General Availability of Edge on Linux


Microsoft has released a stable version of its Edge web browser for Linux, adding another option for users.

Roughly a year ago, Microsoft made a preview version of Edge available for Linux, and has been working on improving it ever since. Despite being from Microsoft, the browser has actually received relatively positive reviews in the Linux community.

Having a Linux version of Edge also provides a way for individuals to have the same browser experience on Windows, macOS and Linux.

“A common request is your need for Microsoft Edge to span the breadth of operating systems in your environment,” Colleen Williams and Sean Lyndersay

write in a blog post. “Last October, we made Microsoft Edge available on Linux in preview channels (Dev and Beta channels) and today, the browser is generally available for Linux via the stable channel. This milestone officially rounds out the full complement of major platforms served by Microsoft Edge through stable channel: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and now Linux. To use Microsoft Edge on Linux, users can download it from our website or retrieve it using the command line from a Linux package manager.”

Wozniak: ‘I Can’t Tell the Difference Really’ Between iPhone 12 and 13


Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak doesn’t see much difference between the iPhone 12 and 13.

Each year Apple releases a new iPhone, trying to balance adding new features with keeping the price largely the same. The latest models include a number of improvements, but none of them are really revolutionary, offering relatively minor improvements compared to past upgrades.

Wozniak would seem to agree, telling Yahoo Finance he can’t tell much of a difference.

“I got the new iPhone; I can’t tell the difference really,” Wozniak said. “The software that’s in it applies to older iPhones, I presume.”

Microsoft and Sega Exploring ‘Strategic Alliance’


Microsoft and Sega have announced they are exploring a “strategic alliance” to create new titles and a next-gen development environment.

The gaming industry is becoming more competitive and complicated, thanks to the advent of 5G and cloud computing. Games are also taking on a greater importance in society as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing digital transformation.

Microsoft and Sega see an opportunity to work together to create the next generation of blockbuster games, and Sega is interested in using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to help create a next-gen development environment.

“We are very pleased to announce today that we are considering a strategic alliance with Microsoft to help develop SEGA’s new ‘Super Game’ initiative as well as build a next-generation game development environment,” said Yukio Sugino, President and COO, SEGA Corporation. “By considering a strategic partnership with Microsoft, we seek to further advance our game development so that our titles can be enjoyed by fans all over the world; in this regard, we aim to build an alliance that utilizes both SEGA’s powerful game development capabilities and Microsoft’s cutting-edge technology and development environment.”

“SEGA has played such an iconic role in the gaming industry and has been a tremendous partner over the years,” said Sarah Bond, CVP, Microsoft Corporation. “We look forward to working together as they explore new ways to create unique gaming experiences for the future using Microsoft cloud technologies. Together we will reimagine how games get built, hosted, and operated, with a goal of adding more value to players and SEGA alike.”

Epic Shutting Down Chinese Version of Fortnite


Epic is shutting down the Chinese version of its blockbuster game Fortnite.

Like other games made for the Chinese market, Epic had to make a customized version of Fortnite that met the local laws and requirements. Despite its investment, the company is shutting down its efforts, and will no longer accept new users starting November 1, according to TechCrunch. The game will shut down November 15.

Epic released a brief statement announcing the shutdown. The announcement did not go into detail about the company’s motivations, although Beijing’s recent crackdowns on the gaming industry are likely a factor.

Apple Cutting iPad Production to Keep Up with iPhone Demand


Apple is cutting iPad production in an effort to mitigate problems caused by the semiconductor shortage and keep up with iPhone demand.

The semiconductor shortage has been impacting a range of industries, especially the tech industry. While Apple’s supply chain management is legendary, even it has been struggling to keep up with demand.

According to Nikkei Asia, the company is severely cutting iPhone production and diverting components to iPhone production, since the two devices share many common components.

“The scale of iPhone shipments of around 200 million units a year is much bigger than that of iPads. Apple’s most important and critical ecosystems are all surrounding iPhones, its iconic product. To add one more point, iPads do not have that strong seasonality like its flagship iPhones, which are always launched in autumn,” Brady Wang, a tech analyst with Counterpoint Research, told Nikkei Asia.