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Apple M2 MacBook Air Hands-on: Bigger Screen, Bigger Price – CNET

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This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

The new M2-powered MacBook Air from Apple adds a lot of new features, but it also brings back my least favorite: a starting price over $999. For much of its life, the MacBook Air has sat at a comfortable $999, but in 2018 a redesign bumped the price by $200. By 2020, the starting price was back to $999, and I felt things were as they should be. Guess what? It’s now 2022, and with another redesign, the MacBook Air now starts at $1,199… again. 

I harp on this just because that significant jump for a very mainstream laptop will put it out of reach of many of the students and artists who could get the most out of it. But putting the new price aside, I like just about everything else about the new version. It’s also worth noting the late-2020 M1 MacBook Air remains available, for now, at $999. 


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Hands On With Apple’s New M2 MacBook Air

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After the WWDC 2022 keynote, I had a chance to get some limited hands-on time with the new MacBook Air. But it wasn’t a lot of time, so I focused mostly on the new physical design and how the system looked and felt. 

The M1 MacBook Air, one of the first set of Macs to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, is not a bad-looking machine, but it’s based on a design that launched in 2018, which is approximately forever ago in computer terms. The new version moves from the traditional soft, tapered design to the boxier, blockier look of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops from late 2021. It’s a more modern, more constructivist design (in that it largely rejects decorative stylization). 

M2 MacBook AirM2 MacBook Air

Dan Ackerman/CNET

But the new MacBook Air goes beyond the Pro models it copies in one important respect: It adds a new color to the usual gray and silver (and the M1 Air’s gold) – a new Midnight color, which appears as a matte-black finish. It’s hands-down the most striking new MacBook look in a long time, and reminds me of the old matte-black polycarbonate MacBooks of the mid-2000s. 

Its footprint is a hair smaller than before, as is the weight, at 2.7 pounds vs. 2.8 pounds for the M1 MacBook Air. But the new model felt even smaller and more portable than that when I picked it up — largely because it’s thinner, at 11.3mm. The M1 version tapers down, but it measures 16mm at the rear hinge. 

The new M2 MacBook Air isn’t going on sale until July, so it may be some time before I’m able to give it a more in-depth, hands-on testing. I’m especially eager to see how its 1080-resolution webcam works, which is probably the single most important upgrade for a lot of people who’ve tired of the never-great 720-resolution webcam in previous MacBook Air laptops, up to and including the M1 version. 

M2 MacBook Air touchpadM2 MacBook Air touchpad

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I’m also very interested in spending more time with the new, slightly larger 13.6-inch screen (vs. 13.3-inch), which Apple says is 25% brighter, at 500 nits. It also adds MagSafe, which returned in last year’s new MacBook Pro systems, and its touchpad is, according to Apple, slightly larger, but it wouldn’t put a number or percentage on it. 

Interestingly, almost none of these improvements are available in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, also announced at WWDC 2022. It lacks the larger screen, better camera, MagSafe connection and new colors. It’s, on paper at least, the exact same as the late-2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, just with the new M2 chip replacing the M1. It does, however, remain the only way to get your hands (or fingers) on the nearly extinct touchbar. 

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GPods TWS earbuds use light control to let your unique soul shine through – Yanko Design

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[embedded content]

Wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods have become a common accessory in this digital world. It isn’t considered odd or even rude anymore to see people walking about with small knobs sticking out of their ears. While different brands try to stand apart in their designs, most Bluetooth earbuds share the same basic shape or, at the very least, share the same standard color choices. Almost everyone wants to personalize not only their experience but also their accessories to show off their personality and style. Earbuds, however, are one of the most difficult things to personalize, but this revolutionary pair breaks out of the mold and uses light and color to let the real you shine even in the dark.

Designer: HHOGene

Click Here to Buy Now: $79 $129 (38% off and free shipping). Hurry, exclusive deal for YD readers only.

Call it whatever you want, but each one of us has what some would refer to as a unique soul. It is a part of ourselves that sets us apart from others, whether through the way we see the world or the ways we express ourselves. Our clothing, our accessories, and even our gadgets have become part of such expressions, but mass-produced electronics like earbuds don’t always offer customization options, and that’s where the GPods come in, shedding some light on the problem, literally.


Whether it’s matching the beat or matching your style, the GPods’ six RGB LEDs light up the stem of the earbuds to let you shine and show what you hear and feel. Every color is in your control, whether you handpick the hues yourself or let the AI select the colors based on a photo of your choosing. With 72 basic colors at your disposal, you or the AI can create around 300,000 color combinations, ensuring that no two GPods owners will be alike.

Adjustable Light Mode – The software system allows full control of emanating light. Dimness, brightness, rhythm response, shades, and colors are all at your fingertips.

Color Photo Recognition – Artificial Intelligence (AI) with algorithmic capabilities allows for arranging photos and analyzing the color ratios found in stored photo images.

Custom Lighting GPods support an estimated 300,000 color combinations built on a foundation of 72 basic colors.

Detachable Accessories – Personalized snap-ons hold GPods in place while carefully keeping each earbud’s speaker unit separate from the outer casing.

And if that weren’t enough, the GPods come with snap-on accessories that further add a bit of flair to the earbuds. Most notable is the Tiger Stripes, which introduces a play of light and shadow into your listening and shining experience. Ripples, Solar Eclipse, and Newborn are some of the planned accessories that you can easily snap and swap to truly make your buds unique.

The GPods isn’t just all show, of course, and it packs some of the best hardware found inside Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) Bluetooth buds. High-quality audio is delivered by 10mm dynamic drivers with polymer composite diaphragms, and Bluetooth 5.2 is the conduit through which your music travels. Convenient touch controls and IPX4 water resistance make the GPods a fit for any use and occasion, while the remarkable five-hour battery life (20 if you include the charging case) and speedy charging mean it will be ready for action anytime you need it.


We stick earbuds to our heads all the time these days, and these accessories have become an important part of our lives. Why settle for bland, uninspiring, and common earbuds when the rest of your body and your accessories are screaming with expression? With the GPods TWS earbuds and its light control, you can tell the world just how much you enjoy your music and dare to let your unique soul shine, whenever and wherever.

Click Here to Buy Now: $79 $129 (38% off and free shipping). Hurry, exclusive deal for YD readers only. Raised over $115,000.

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Google's Making It Easier to Sync Photos, Wi-Fi Passwords to Chromebooks – PCMag

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Google is taking a few pages from Apple’s playbook with the release of Chrome OS 103.

The company says(Opens in a new window) the operating system update will introduce the ability to automatically sync photos and share Wi-Fi settings between a Chromebook and a paired Android smartphone. The former sounds a lot like iCloud Photos, which syncs images between Apple devices, but Google is actually planning to make the feature a lot more powerful than its competitor’s offering.

“With the latest update, you’ll now also have instant access to the latest photos you took on your phone — even if you’re offline,” Google says. “After taking a picture on your phone, it will automatically appear within Phone Hub on your laptop under ‘recent photos.’ Just click on the image to download it, then it’s ready to be added to a document or email.”

The company’s answer to sharing Wi-Fi settings between devices seems a bit less compelling. Google says that users will have to follow a multi-step process on their Android phone to share the information to a nearby Chromebook; Apple’s offering prompts users to share a Wi-Fi password if their device is unlocked and connected to the network in question.

A new feature called Fast Pair designed for Bluetooth headphones

But Google has another trick planned for Chrome OS. It’s called Fast Pair, and the company says that it will allow Chromebooks to “automatically detect when a new pair of Bluetooth headphones are on, are nearby, and are ready to be set up.” The devices can then be paired with a single press (or tap) on a pop-up that appears whenever those conditions are met.

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“Whether you want to use new headphones to watch a video, join a virtual meeting or listen to music, Fast Pair will make it hassle-free,” Google says. “This feature will be compatible with hundreds of different headphone models — and counting.” The company says that it plans to release Fast Pair in a separate update to Chrome OS “later this summer.”

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Google warns of 'hermit spyware' infecting Android and iOS devices – Mashable

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As part of Google’s efforts to track the activities of commercial spyware vendors, the company’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) released a report Thursday on spyware campaigns targeting Android and iOS users.

Google TAG researchers Benoit Sevens and Clement Lecigne go into detail about the use of entrepreneurial grade spyware dubbed “Hermit.” This sophisticated spyware tool allows attackers to steal data, private messages and make phone calls. In their report, TAG researchers attributed Hermit to RCS Labs, a commercial spyware vendor based in Italy.

Hermit poses many significant dangers. Due to its modularity, Hermit is quite customizable, allowing the functions of the spyware to be altered to the will of its user. Once fully situated on a target’s phone, attackers can harvest sensitive information such as call logs, contacts, photos, precise location, and SMS messages.

Sevens and Lecigne’s full report details the ways in which attackers can access both Android and iOS devices through the use of clever tricks and drive-by attacks. Potential targets of this scam will have their data disabled through their ISP carrier before sending a malicious link via text to get them to ‘fix’ the issue. If that doesn’t work, targets will be tricked into downloading malicious apps masqueraded as messaging applications.

Just last week, cybersecurity firm Lookout reported the use of Hermit by agents working in the governments of Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy. Google has already identified victims in these countries, stating that “TAG is actively tracking more than 30 vendors with varying levels of sophistication and public exposure selling exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed actors.”

The Milan-based company claims to provide “law enforcement agencies worldwide with cutting-edge technological solutions and technical support in the field of lawful interception for more than twenty years.” More than 10,000 intercepted targets are purported to be handled daily in Europe alone.

When reached out for comment by The Hacker News, RCS Labs said its “core business is the design, production, and implementation of software platforms dedicated to lawful interception, forensic intelligence, and data analysis” and that it “helps law enforcement prevent and investigate serious crimes such as acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, child abuse, and corruption.”

Still, the news of the spyware being used by state government agents is concerning. Not only does it erode trust in the safety of the internet but it also puts at risk the lives of anyone a government considers an enemy of the state such as dissidents, journalists, human rights workers, and opposition party politicians.

“Tackling the harmful practices of the commercial surveillance industry will require a robust, comprehensive approach that includes cooperation among threat intelligence teams, network defenders, academic researchers, governments, and technology platforms,” Google TAG researchers wrote. “We look forward to continuing our work in this space and advancing the safety and security of our users around the world.”

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