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First flight test for NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter pushed to Wednesday - The Verge
NASA engineers delayed a debut flight test of the agency’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter to Wednesday after discovering a minor glitch in data from pre-flight tests.
The craft is healthy, but engineers need more time to review some unexpected data. NASA engineers have decided to delay the Ingenuity helicopters debut flight on Mars to at least Wednesday, April 14th, after running into a minor computer glitch during a rotor spin test late Friday night, the agency said on Saturday. The tiny craft is healthy, but engineers need some more time to review telemetry data from the unexpected hiccup before proceeding. Ingenuity, a mini four-pound helicopter that arrived on Mars February 18th attached to NASAs Perseverance rover, was initially slated to carry out its first flight test late Sunday night (or, mid-day Mars time). The first bits of data on whether the flight attempt was successful was expected to come early Monday morning, around 4AM ET. But data from a high-speed rotor test carried out on Friday showed the test sequence ended early due to a watchdog timer expiration, NASA said. It happened as Ingenuitys computer was trying to switch from pre-flight mode to flight mode. Ingenuitys watchdog timer is just that a software-based watchdog that oversees the helicopters test sequences and alerts engineers if anything looks abnormal. It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned, NASA said in a blog post. NASA emphasized the craft is healthy, and Ingenuity is still in good contact with engineers at the agencys Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Ingenuity was deployed by Perseverance on the Martian surface on April 4th, kicking off a 31-day clock in which five flight tests are planned. For its first flight demonstration, the helicopter will ascend 10 feet above the surface and hover for about 30 seconds, aiming to achieve the first-ever powered flight on another world. Depending how the first test goes, subsequent tests will involve Ingenuity soaring to higher altitudes and buzzing around within its running track-shaped flight zone at Mars Jezero Crater.
Apple says iMessage on Android ‘will hurt us more than help us’ - The Verge
Apple knows that iMessage’s blue bubbles are a big barrier to people switching to Android, which is why the service has never appeared on Google’s mobile operating system. That’s according to a court filing from Epic Games.
Epic argues its part of Apples lock-in strategy Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Apple knows that iMessages blue bubbles are a big barrier to people switching to Android, which is why the service has never appeared on Googles mobile operating system. Thats according to depositions and emails from Apple employees, including some high-ranking executives, revealed in a court filing from Epic Games as part of its legal dispute with the iPhone manufacturer. Epic argues that Apple consciously tries to lock customers into its ecosystem of devices, and that iMessage is one of the key services helping it to do so. It cites comments made by Apples senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddie Cue, senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi, and Apple Fellow Phil Schiller to support its argument. The #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage ... iMessage amounts to serious lock-in, was how one unnamed former Apple employee put it in an email in 2016, prompting Schiller to respond that, moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why. iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones, was Federighis concern according to the Epic filing. Although workarounds to using iMessage on Android have emerged over the years, none have been particularly convenient or reliable. According to Epics filing, citing Eddie Cue, Apple decided not to develop iMessage for Android as early as 2013, following the launch of the messaging service with iOS 5 in 2011. Cue admits that Apple could have made a version on Android that worked with iOS so that users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages with one another seamlessly. Evidently, such a version was never developed. Along with iMessage, Epic cites a series of other Apple services that it argues contribute to lock-in. Notably, these include its video chat service FaceTime, which Steve Jobs announced would be an open industry standard back at WWDC 2010. FaceTime subsequently released across iPhones, iPads, and Macs, but its not officially available for any non-Apple devices. View all 53 stories
LG promises three years of Android updates despite exiting phone business - The Verge
LG has pledged to update some of its premium Android phones for three years after their release. The company announced plans to exit the mobile business earlier this week.
LGs Android update situation could actually improve now that it doesnt make phones Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge LG has announced a pledge to issue future Android OS updates to many of its smartphones despite confirming earlier this week that itll be leaving the phone business altogether. The Velvet, Wing, and G- and V- series phones from 2019 or later should be getting three Android updates from their year of release, and certain 2020 models such as LG Stylo and K series will get two updates. For example, the Velvet came out last year with Android 10, and its Android 11 rollout is currently in progress. That means that it should also be getting Android 12 and 13 at some point, assuming Google continues its yearly cadence. LG variously describes this announcement as a three-year pledge and a three-OS-update guarantee. The announcement is a little surprising because LG phones generally wouldnt have been expected to get that many updates even while LG was actually in the phone business. The company announced a dedicated Software Upgrade Center in 2018, but little to nothing changed about its Android update situation. Most of its latest premium phones arent scheduled to receive Android 11 until the end of 2021. Earlier this week, LGs Korean website indicated that some selected models would also get an Android 12 update.
Apple officially starts letting your iPhone help find lost third-party products - The Verge
Apple is expanding its Find My network for Bluetooth tracking to include third-party devices in a new app update, allowing users to track products like VanMoof’s e-bikes or Belkin’s new earbuds.
Find My can now find way more things Apple is officially opening up its Find My tracking network to third-party companies (as it had promised last year.) Now, any hardware manufacturer can add software-side support for Apples localized network to track missing items so long as they play by Apples Made for iPhone (MFi) accessory rules. The first wave of items that can now be tracked starting today include VanMoofs S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkins SoundForm Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo One Spot tracking tag all of which can now rely on Apples crowdsourced Bluetooth network (which encompasses millions of iPhones, iPads, and Macs). Users will be able to add those devices to the updated Find My app starting today and can track them through that app much in the same way that theyd track any missing Apple product. Chipolos Find My-compatible One Spot tracker. Apple says that third-party devices looking to add support will have to apply through the companys MFi program for authorized accessories and adhere to all the privacy protections of the Find My network that Apple customers rely on. Approved products will sport a new Works with Apple Find My badge to let customers know that theyre compatible with Apples network. Additionally, Apple announced that itd be offering a chipset specification for third-party hardware companies to integrate with the Ultra-Wideband systems in Apples more recent phones for even more precise tracking in the future. Apple has also long been rumored to be working on its own AirTags product, which would offer similar UWB-based tracking.
Pac-Man 99 is a new battle royale game for the Switch - The Verge
Nintendo has announced Pac-Man 99, a new battle royale-style spin on the arcade classic. It’ll be available to download for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers on April 7th.
Last Pac-Man standing Nintendo has announced Pac-Man 99, a new multiplayer game thatll be included with its Nintendo Switch Online subscription service. Like Tetris 99 and the recently departed Super Mario Bros. 35, the game pits dozens of players against each other in a battle royale-style fight to the end. The game looks similar to the classic arcade original Pac-Man, but you can make it more difficult for opponents by munching on power pellets, eating ghosts, and sending Jammer Pac-Man over to their screens. There are eight different preset strategies you can use to screw with other players, for example by speeding up their game. Pac-Man 99 also has various themes available for purchase that change up the music and visuals based on other Namco games like Galaga, Xevious, and Dig Dug. There are 20 in total. Pac-Man 99 will be available to download tomorrow, April 7th, and itll be free for anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The game is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
Final Fantasy creator’s latest game, Fantasian, launches on Apple Arcade - The Verge
Fantasian, a roleplaying game from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, is available for Apple Arcade now. The game is playable on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. Although Fantasian uses traditional RPG elements like turn-based battles, it’s been designed with h…
An adorable spin on a classic genre Fantasian, a new role-playing game from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, is available now for Apple Arcade. The game is playable on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. Fantasian is the latest from Sakaguchis studio Mistwalker, which he founded in 2004; the developer has since released games such as The Last Story and Blue Dragon. Although Fantasian uses traditional RPG elements like turn-based battles, its been designed with handcrafted physical models more than 150 dioramas in all. Fantasian features touch controls but, according to Sakaguchi, is intended to deliver a console-like experience on mobile devices. The game follows an amnesiac hero searching for a way to regain his lost memories. In a previous interview with The Verge, Sakaguchi said that replaying Final Fantasy IV made him want to return to his RPG roots. The game was released yesterday in Japan. On Twitter, Sakaguchi noted Fantasian has the same birthday as one of his other games, Final Fantasy VI a title that shares similar themes.
Malware hidden in Call of Duty cheat software proves that cheaters never prosper - The Verge
Activision has discovered that hackers are trying to trick Call of Duty: Warzone players into downloading malware disguised as cheat software. Instead of getting hacks, the cheaters get hacked.
A nasty piece of malware has been spreading via cheats for Warzone Hackers have been hiding malware in cheating software for Call of Duty: Warzone and have been trying to spread it to cheating cheaters, as a report from Activision calls them (via Vice). You can read the full report here, but it explains that theres been a campaign by hackers to try to get Warzone players to download a fake cheating engine. After players run it, the malware can then go on to infect the computer with whatever payload is chosen by the hacker. In short: cheaters never prosper. If the malware doesnt get you, youll likely just get banned from the game instead. Players downloading cheats to help them pwn and then getting pwned themselves is nothing new. Ill admit it: I wasted my childhood by being a serial cheater, sneaking peeks at my sisters Battleship board or slipping myself a couple extra $100s when acting as the banker in Monopoly. And when playing video games, I cheated, too. Never online (I had dial-up in the age of Modern Warfare 2), but I certainly downloaded my fair share of patches and mods to try to make games easier or to get better loot. There were absolutely times I paid for it, knocking the family computer out of commission with a nasty virus and having to spend the rest of the day fixing the computer before my mom came home. Call of Duty isnt alone in having hack-infested hacks: players downloading cheats for Valorant, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox have all gotten nasty surprises. It seems todays gamers are learning the same lesson I did: if youre cheating at the game, youre really only cheating yourself.
YouTube is testing hiding dislikes on some creators’ videos - The Verge
YouTube has announced that it’s testing hiding dislike counts on some creators’ videos to prevent targeted dislike campaigns and protect their well-being.
Stats will still be visible in YouTube Studio Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge YouTube has announced its experimenting with hiding dislikes to discourage dislike mobs from deliberately downvoting videos from creators and channels. The experiment is a different implementation than the solutions the company had previously discussed, but it is similar to other attempts platforms like Instagram have taken to nip targeted attacks in the bud. In the current setup, stats for both likes and dislikes are viewable in a creators individual YouTube Studio page, but only likes will be displayed publicly on a video. In a support article explaining the test, YouTube says that dislikes can negatively impact a creators well-being and may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creators video. Basically, the idea is that seeing a dislike number and watching it go up could be enough motivation to join in and make the number larger. In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we're testing a few new designs that don't show the public dislike count. If you're part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021 Creators rely on likes and dislikes as a form of feedback to guide their creative output, but much like purposefully giving a game a bad review on Steam, its easy to turn what could be a useful feature into another surface for abuse. When YouTube first announced it was looking into addressing problems with dislikes, it was considering three ideas: hiding the numbers for both likes and dislikes, adding more friction to disliking something through requiring extra interaction, or removing likes and dislikes entirely. This test does half of what the first option promised, and it makes a certain amount of sense. If dislike numbers are the problem, why not just hide them and see what happens? Instagram experimented with a similar kind of test when it decided to hide likes on posts. Obviously, likes are inherently positive, but chasing a high like count can have its own negative impact on creators whose livelihoods depend on closely monitoring interactions with their posts and appearing well-liked. YouTube isnt testing hiding dislikes on all creators videos, but if you notice them on your page or you have an opinion as a viewer, YouTube is collecting feedback on its site.
This Microsoft Flight Simulator mod features the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal - The Verge
The cargo ship Ever Given, which has been stuck in the Suez Canal for almost a week now, has shown in Microsoft Flight Simulator courtesy of a new mod.
Its a sorry sight even from the skies of Microsoft Flight Simulator Photo by Gokturk-1 Observation Satellite/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images The massive cargo ship Ever Given has been stuck for nearly a week in the Suez Canal, captivating the internet and frustrating the teams responsible for dislodging it and the governments hardest hit by the shutdown of the maritime trade route. The ship (and its trademark Evergreen lettering painted on the side) has become so iconic, in fact, that its become a destination within Microsoft Flight Simulator, at least for one virtual pilot who appears to have created a mod that places the grounded vessel within the virtual Earth of the game,via GeekWire. Twitter user Mat Velloso shared a video from TikTok, originally captured and uploaded by user donut_enforcement, showing off the the flyby of the cargo ship to a convincing-sounding pilot narration as the boat sits stuck between the banks of the canal. The scene looks shockingly realistic, which is a testament to the quality of the mod and also just the demanding visuals of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Of course, theres nothing stopping developer Asobo from updating the game with newer satellite imagery to include the ship for all players theres plenty of such photographs having been taken over the last six days. But considering the game sources its imagery from Bing Maps and doesnt always refresh in a timely manner, that means your game wont have the Ever Given in it unless youre able to mod it like in the video above. There is currently no concrete timeline for freeing the ship from its unfortunately angled predicament, so its certainly possible.
OnePlus 9R offers fast-refresh rate screen, costs less - The Verge
The OnePlus 9R is a lower-cost alternative to the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro flagships, featuring a 6.55-inch 120Hz display, 65W fast charging, and a Snapdragon 870 processor.
Its a budget-friendly model with some smart trade-offs, and it goes on sale in India April 16th The OnePlus 9R will be sold in black or blue color options. Photo: OnePlus Yesterdays OnePlus event covered the high-end 9 and 9 Pro, but outside of that spotlight, the company has quietly revealed a smartly specced, less-expensive model: the OnePlus 9R. CEO Pete Lau confirmed last week that the 9R was on the way and would launch in India. Its now listed on the companys Indian website starting at 39,999, which is about $550. Thats an attractive price indeed, especially considering youll get one useful camera feature here that the $729 OnePlus 9 doesnt have: optical image stabilization. The 9R doesnt include the Hasselblad-branded cameras on the 9 and 9 Pro, which isnt actually a big loss. The 9 and 9 Pro offer newer hardware with features like bigger pixels and a higher-res ultrawide, so you do miss out on some nice upgrades, but the Hasselblad-developed color tuning is nothing special. You do, however, get a stabilized 48-megapixel main camera, which helps reduce blur from camera shake in lower lighting conditions. Its unfortunately missing from the 9, though it is included on the $969 OnePlus 9 Pro. Other cameras on the 9R include a 16-megapixel ultrawide, a 5-megapixel macro, and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. This system is borrowed from the OnePlus 8T, which is wholly capable of good image quality, even though its macro and monochrome cameras arent very useful. Theres a 6.55-inch 1080p OLED with fast 120Hz refresh rate same as the OnePlus 9 and a Snapdragon 870 processor with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Its not quite as powerful as the top-notch 888 processor on the 9 and 9 Pro, but it should be more than adequate to keep day-to-day tasks running quickly and smoothly. The 9R is equipped with a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast wired charging, a handy OnePlus signature feature that delivers a full charge in just under 40 minutes. Wireless charging, however, isnt offered. Oh, and theres 5G support, of course. All told, it looks like a series of smart trade-offs for almost $200 less than the flagship model. Right now, the phone is only confirmed to launch in India, but were hopeful that it will make its way to European and North American markets. While OnePlus brought its good $300 Nord N10 5G to the US earlier this year, the midrange Nord never made it stateside. The 9R looks like an excellent candidate to fill in a wide gap between the budget N10 and the basic flagship model. In the meantime, customers in India can preorder the 8GB RAM / 128GB version for 39,999 (~$550) or the 12GB RAM / 256GB model for 43,999 (~$600).
Slack quickly removes the ability to message strangers with DM invites over harassment concerns - The Verge
Slack has disabled a messaging element of its new DM feature that lets anyone send an invite to anyone else on the platform so long as they have their email address. Concerns were raised about abuse and harassment.
The feature let anyone send you a message Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Slack became a public messaging platform this morning with the wider rollout of a new cross-organizational direct messaging feature, and now its already taking steps to mitigate the dangers of operating such a platform without well-thought-out moderation protections. The company says in response to concerns the feature could be used to send abusive messages or harassment with relative ease, its now disabling the option to send a message alongside an invite. That way, if someone knows your email address, they cant spam your inbox with potentially abusive messages. After rolling out Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages. We are taking immediate steps to prevent this kind of abuse, beginning today with the removal of the ability to customize a message when a user invites someone to Slack Connect DMs, Jonathan Prince, the companys vice president of communications and policy, tells The Verge. We made a mistake in this initial roll-out that is inconsistent with our goals for the product and the typical experience of Slack Connect usage. Slack Connects security features and robust administrative controls are a core part of its value both for individual users and their organizations. We made a mistake in this initial roll-out that is inconsistent with our goals for the product and the typical experience of Slack Connect usage. As always, we are grateful to everyone who spoke up, and we are committed to fixing this issue. The overall concern, first raised by Twitter employee Menotti Minutillo, was that the feature did not have robust opt-out protections for individual users and no way to easily prevent people from spamming you with email invites. That seems benign on the surface; if someone wants to harass you and they have your email address, surely they can just send you a harassing email. But Slack Connect bypasses any filters or inbox protections you may use by sending you an email from its [email protected] address with the DM invite, with the email containing whatever message the sender decided to attach. well that was easy as shit to abuse - send invite with nasty language- slack emails you w/ the full content of the invite- can't block the emails because they come from a generic slack address that informs you of invites- abuser can keep inviting w/ abusive language https://t.co/Mw9W5L251apic.twitter.com/dWEAD7ccRO Menotti Minutillo (@44) March 24, 2021 That means if your organization uses this feature, you cant filter it out without fear of missing important Slack emails and you also have no easy way to opt out. (Its not even clear right now whether the feature can be turned off for individual accounts.) TechCrunch reported this morning that the DM feature would be opt-in for a companys or organizations IT department to enable at its discretion, but that doesnt mean it would give individual employees active control over who could DM them. And there was also no filtering or monitoring in place that would detect whether someone was sending a hateful message. There are new concerns popping up, too, such as being able to view whatever Slack groups individuals are a part of either paid or free ones if that person happens to accept an invite from someone using Slack Connect. And while Slack Connect is generally designed for enterprise users whose companies pay for premium features, a Slack Standard plan with Connect enabled costs as little as $8 per month per user (or $6.67 per month per user when billed annually). That suggests someone could exploit these issues rather easily and on the cheap if they choose to, even in the absence of the invite message feature Slack just disabled. Ok, so not only is this a harassment vector, but if you put in someone's email address, it shows you the name of every slack they're on. This is a critical and catastrophic information leak: https://t.co/XwLCt8Rl34 Eleanor Saitta (@Dymaxion) March 24, 2021
OnePlus 9 Event: date, time, and how to watch - The Verge
For more information about the new OnePlus 9 series phones — rumored to be the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, and 9R — the best thing to do is to attend the event where they’ll be announced, and here’s how.
The possibility of three new phones