Users of the Fitbit smartwatch will be required to have Google accounts next year to access some of the device’s features, following the fitness tracking company’s acquisition by Google-parent Alphabet Inc. last year. Fitbit, which is now “Fitbit by Google,” announced that an account with the internet giant would be required to use some of the app’s features at some point in 2023. Sundar Pichai CEO of Google ( Carsten Koall /Getty) Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco on 28 June 2012 ( KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages ) While the company promised to support native Fitbit accounts until “at least early 2025,” it acknowledged that at some point, accounts will be required to use the company’s devices. Via Fitbit : If you have a Fitbit account, after the launch of Google accounts on Fitbit, you’ll have the option to move Fitbit to your Google account or to continue to use your … [Read more...] about Masters of the Universe: Fitbit Users Will Be Required to Have Google Accounts Following Acquisition
A battle is shaping up in Europe between Google and the major telecom companies of that continent, as the European Commission weighs the question of forcing Big Tech to fund the companies’ network costs. European telecom giants including Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica, allege that Google is “free riding” on their networks and ought to pay their fair share, but Google is pushing back. Matt Brittin, president of EMEA business & operations at Google, said the idea was outdated, would raise costs for consumers, and added that Google already invests millions in internet infrastructure. Via Reuters : “Introducing a ‘sender pays’ principle is not a new idea, and would upend many of the principles of the open internet,” he said according to the text of a speech to be delivered at a conference organised by telecoms lobbying group ETNO. It “could have a negative impact on consumers, especially at a time of price increases,” Brittin said, citing a report by … [Read more...] about Google Clashes with European Telecom Companies over Proposed Fees
As augmented reality (AR) glasses continue to try carving a place among tech enthusiasts, we're seeing another option hit mass availability in the US. In addition to selling the sunglass-like Nreal Air specs in America, Beijing-based company Nreal also announced today a version of its Nebula AR operating system that will work with Apple M1 and M2-powered MacBooks. The Mac version of Nebula works with MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops with Apple silicon and is launching as a beta. Attaching the Air glasses to a MacBook won't give you the same Nebula "AR Space" experience available to supported Android phones . AR Space includes a mixed-reality interface and games and other AR apps made for the glasses. Instead, Mac users will see a virtual UI that Nreal's calling AR Desktop and projects up to three virtual displays at a time, an Nreal rep told Ars Technica. An Nreal rep wouldn't specify when AR Space would come to MacBooks or iOS. In a statement, Nreal co-founder Peng Jin … [Read more...] about Nreal’s $380 AR glasses want to be a virtual monitor for MacBooks
Like many tech topics, styluses can be needlessly confusing. Here’s what you need to know about the different kinds of styluses used for tablets, touch-screen laptops, smartphones, and more. Not All Styluses Are Equal All it takes to be called a stylus, really, is to be a small pen-like stick held in the hand. The original styluses were ancient writing instruments that were just small pointy sticks used to scratch letters into wax tablets. Things have advanced a wee bit since then. While today you’ll still find styluses that are little more than sticks, there are also styluses with highly advanced and active connections to the devices you’re using them on—which certainly explains the price differences. Let’s take a look at the three broad categories of styluses, including the many kinds of active models on the market, so you can both better understand the technology and select the right one for your needs. Passive Styluses: Cheap and Easy It doesn’t get much simpler than … [Read more...] about Active vs. Passive Styluses: All the Standards Explained
In context: This past weekend, EVGA announced that they would no longer produce graphics cards ahead of Nvidia's reveal of their RTX 4000 series GPUs. EVGA claimed their relationship with Nvidia was "abusive" and unfair, but a report from Igor's Lab claims EVGA's issues may have been partially self-inflicted. Many tech fans and enthusiasts were shocked over the weekend by the news that EVGA, one of the more popular AIB manufacturers, would no longer produce graphics cards based on Nvidia GeForce GPUs. EVGA stated that their relationship with Nvidia was "abusive" and accused Nvidia of having a "severe lack of communication" when it came to pricing for graphics cards. The lack of communication reportedly resulted in EVGA having significantly reduced profit margins, especially following the recent price cuts on higher-end Ampere graphics cards. EVGA notes that they have been losing hundreds of dollars on RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 tier cards ever since the recent market decline and … [Read more...] about EVGA’s low profit margins may have been partially self-inflicted, report says
Hurricane Ian continued to intensify on Monday night and reached sustained winds of 125 mph as its center passed across the western edge of Cuba. From there, the storm will move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, where very warm water and low wind shear will allow for further intensification. The hurricane has been moving around the western edge of a high pressure system, but as Ian approaches the western coast of Florida on Wednesday it will start to run into a trough of low pressure draped across the southeastern United States. The net effect of this will cause Ian to slow down, perhaps only moving a few miles per hour for a couple of days. All of this is a recipe for disaster for much of the Florida peninsula, but it's difficult to say precisely where, and precisely which effects. Even though landfall is expected to occur in less than two days, there remains considerable uncertainty in where Ian will make landfall along the western Florida coast, and where it will go. This is … [Read more...] about Ian reaches major hurricane status, will be a historic storm for Florida
Google and Apple have removed hundreds of apps from their app stores at the request of governments around the world, creating regional disparities in access to mobile apps at a time when many economies are becoming increasingly dependent on them . The mobile phone giants have removed over 200 Chinese apps , including widely downloaded apps like TikTok, at the Indian government’s request in recent years. Similarly, the companies removed LinkedIn, an essential app for professional networking, from Russian app stores at the Russian government’s request . However, access to apps is just one concern. Developers also regionalize apps , meaning they produce different versions for different countries. This raises the question of whether these apps differ in their security and privacy capabilities based on region. In a perfect world, access to apps and app security and privacy capabilities would be consistent everywhere. Popular mobile apps should be available without increasing … [Read more...] about Apps can pose bigger security, privacy threat based on where you download them
Meta has been making active attempts to bring its three social media platforms — Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp — closer together for years. The latest step in that direction is a new, unified login screen that lets you seamlessly switch between different platforms. Facebook and Instagram currently each have their own login screen — after all, even though accounts between both platforms can be connected to some degree , they’re still different logins across different platforms. The new update doesn’t change that, but it does bring a unified login experience for both apps. The new Account Center features a unified UI across both apps and doubles down on the integration that currently exists. If both accounts are linked, you can sign into Facebook using your Instagram login, and vice versa. Perhaps the biggest improvement here, though, is the addition of a new account switcher that not only lets you switch between different Facebook/Instagram accounts on their respective apps … [Read more...] about Switching Between Facebook and Instagram Will Be Easier Soon
If you’re building a PC or upgrading components, you might be agonizing over what size PSU to buy and whether there’s any such thing as too much PSU. PSUs Don’t Default to Maximum Output The rating for a given PSU is its maximum load rating, not its default load just plugged in and turned on. Your computer might feel like a space heater sometimes—and it certainly adds heat to your home —but it’s not quite like a space heater in the sense that a 500W space heater is either going full bore or it’s not on. Your PSU is like an engine that can be called upon to run harder if necessary but will idle when there is no demand. An 850W PSU doesn’t run at 850W every second it is on, it runs at exactly what the hardware demands. That demand varies between hardware configurations and even what you’re doing with a given hardware configuration. Your GPU, to highlight a particularly power-hungry component, might only draw 50W while you’re fiddling around with work documents (or … [Read more...] about Can You Buy Too Big of a PSU?
AI-generated art is super fun to play with, but beyond coming up with wacky prompts, what are the actual practical uses? We’ll show you some creative examples of things you can do with AI art. Who Owns AI-Generated Art? First, let’s talk about who actually owns art generated by AI. This is a very complicated topic that we don’t really have a good answer to yet. You come up with the prompts and commands that result in the end product, but you’re not directly creating the actual art on the screen/page. So who was the artist in that situation? Both parties are integral in the creation of the art. On some level, you can think of the AI as simply a tool, like a paintbrush. You can’t make a painting without a paintbrush, but, of course, the AI is doing much more “work” than a paintbrush. What do the AI services have to say about it? OpenAI, the owners of the popular DALL-E 2, says it “retains ownership of the original image.” Whereas Stable Diffusion is freely available … [Read more...] about What Can You Do With AI Generated Art?