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The Morning After: Samsung's new Mini LED TVs and solar powered remote – Engadget




New year means CES, which means new TVs. LG already announced it’ll launch a line of QNED 4K and 8K screens with mini LED backlighting, and now Samsung revealed its Neo QLED TVs will feature its own Quantum Mini LEDs.

Samsung Neo QLED

TCL has already used the tech in its LCD sets to great effect, and it’s good to see it rolling out in more displays. We don’t quite expect it to overtake OLED as the display champ, but as usual, Samsung will keep pressing. Perhaps more interestingly, Samsung also revealed its new SolarCell remote will be powered by ambient light (or USB) instead of disposable batteries and the TVs can use an optional camera attachment to run home workout software. We should hear more about all of this stuff over the next week or so.

— Richard Lawler

Twitter and Facebook suspend Donald Trump’s accounts

The Facebook ban is for 24 hours.

Trump twitter account

Twitter has temporarily suspended Donald Trump from the social network after the President tweeted his support for a violent mob that descended on the nation’s Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the November election, yesterday. Trump’s account will be locked for 12 hours, and Twitter said he’ll have to remove three tweets it had previously labeled for inciting violence. The company added that future rule-breaking “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.” 

Facebook also restricted the President’s ability to post for 24 hours, citing two unspecified policy violations. The President posted a video to both Twitter and Facebook that called the election results “fraudulent” and praised his supporters as “very special” people. Facebook removed the video, with the company’s VP of Integrity Guy Rosen saying they had done so because Facebook believed “it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
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Get your sweatpants ready, virtual CES 2021 is about to begin!

Livestreams and the Best of CES Awards are all coming over the next week.

Engadget virtual CES stage

The first ever virtual edition of CES doesn’t officially start until next week, but companies are already making announcements at a rapid pace. The remote coverage has already begun!

We’re once again in charge of the official Best of CES Awards this year, and submissions are open. We’ll announce the winners before the end of the 2021 virtual festivities, on Wednesday, January 13th, at 4:30PM ET. 

We’re also replacing our usual stage show with a fully virtual experience. Each day of CES, we’ll offer a collection of press conference reactions, interviews and more, live from our virtual venue. You’ll be able to watch everything on, starting Monday, January 11th, at 7:30AM ET.

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2021 right here!

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You can install Samsung’s latest MicroLED TVs yourself

Though you probably won’t, if you can afford them.

Micro LED

After debuting on Samsung’s enormous, expensive “The Wall” set, MicroLED TVs are finally ready for CES 2021 (yes we’ve started), with the previously announced 110-inch model aimed at consumers. Expect to see 88-inch and 99-inch versions later this year, too. 

With these sets, you’ll be able to pick one up from the store and install it in your home, without any help from custom installers. That’s in stark contrast to The Wall, which requires professional setup and potentially days of work to connect its modular MicroLED panels. There’s no pricing yet, as is CES launch tradition, but expect them, at this size and with this technology, to be pretty pricey, but cheaper than The Wall.
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LG’s new stick vacuum automatically empties dirt while it charges

But you’ll still need to take a bag to the trash.

LG vacuum

We don’t cover many stick vacuums — we stick to the automated robotic ones that love to eat your cables — but LG’s new-for-CES vacuum borrows the auto-empty feature of some high-end robot vacuums. The ThinQ A9 Kompressor+ will deposit all your detritus into an attached bag when you holster it to charge. You’ll still have to take a bag to the trash, but shh progress! The existing A9 Kompressor sells for $799, so expect the new model to be around that or higher.
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OpenAI’s DALL-E app generates images from just a description

And you can play with it online.

OpenAI example

OpenAI has already mastered playing Dota 2 and the art of writing fake news. Now, DALL-E (a portmanteau of “Wall-E” and “Dali”) is an AI app that can create an image of nearly any description. Cat-shaped sushi, anyone?

It can create images based on a description of its attributes, like “a pentagonal green clock,” but can also draw and combine multiple objects and provide different points of view, including cutaways and object interiors. 

Unlike past text-to-image programs, it even infers details that aren’t mentioned in the description but would be required for a realistic image. For instance, with the description “a painting of a fox sitting in a field during winter,” the app would apply a shadow to the image.
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But wait, there’s more…

LG refreshes its light Gram laptop lineup with Intel Evo certification

Looking Glass says it can turn any photo into a hologram 

Netflix won’t work on Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS after June 30th

Amazon pledges $2 billion toward affordable housing in three hub cities

Earin’s A-3 true wireless earbuds have an open design with no ear tips

Google fixes a Pixel 5 bug that played system sounds at max volume

Trump administration bans Alipay and WeChat Pay

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BMW goes for more PHEVs in 3 Series & 5 Series –



BMW is expanding its plug-in hybrid range for the 3 Series and 5 Series by two additional models each from March. The 320e and 520e will be added to the portfolio for the saloon and Touring versions of both model series. In Germany, prices will range between 47,450 and 55,900 euros before subsidies.

In the BMW 3 Series, there will thus be four PHEV models to choose from in future, three of which will also be optionally available with BMW xDrive all-wheel drive. The BMW 5 Series will then comprise five PHEV models, three of which will have all-wheel drive as standard or as an option.

The Munich-based company describes the new vehicles as future entry-level variants. What they have in common is the plug-in hybrid system with 150 kW system output and 350 Nm torque, which is made up of a 2.0-litre internal combustion engine with 120 kW and an electric motor.

The two engines transmit their drive torque via an 8-speed gearbox to the rear wheels or, in the all-wheel-drive variants, to all four wheels. The battery of all plug-in hybrid models in the new BMW 3 Series and new BMW 5 Series is stowed under the rear seat bench. It has a gross energy content of 12 kWh. In purely electric driving mode, the new PHEVs of both model series can reach a top speed of 140 km/h.

The following performance data and prices also apply to the individual models: The 320e sedan has an electric range of 48 to 57 kilometres according to WLTP, a top speed of 225 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds. The manufacturer puts fuel consumption at 1.8 to 1.3 litres/100 km (combined), electricity consumption at 18.1 to 16.1 kWh/100 km (combined) and CO2 emissions at 41 to 29 g/km (all figures according to WLTP). The sales price in Germany starts from 47,450 euros including VAT.

For the 320e Touring and 320e xDrive Touring, BMW quotes an electric range of 46 to 54 kilometres for the former and 41 to 51 kilometres for the latter. While the rear-wheel-drive model gets to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and can go up to 220 km/h, the analogous figures for the all-wheel-drive model are 8.2 seconds and 219 km/h. The combined fuel consumption is 1.9 to 1.4 litres/100 km (320e) or 2.2 to 1.5 litres/100 km (320e xDrive), the combined electricity consumption 18.6 to 16.7 kWh/100 km (320e) or 19.5 to 17.3 kWh/100 km (320e xDrive) and the combined CO2 emissions 44 to 32 g/km (320e) or 49 to 35 g/km (320e xDrive). In Germany, BMW is asking 49,000 euros for the former and 51,500 euros for the latter.

Let’s move on to the 520e sedan: it drives 46 to 55 kilometres purely electrically, sprints to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and reaches a speed of up to 225 km/h. According to the manufacturer, the combined fuel consumption of the 520e and the 520e xDrive is between 49 and 55 kilometres. According to the manufacturer, the combined fuel consumption is 1.8 to 1.3 litres/100 km, the combined electricity consumption 18.2 to 16.3 kWh/100 km and the combined CO2 emissions 41 to 30 g/km. The PHEV sedan is available for 53,700 euros.

That leaves the BMW 520e Touring, which, according to BMW, achieves 45 to 51 electric kilometres, completes the standard sprint in 8.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 218 km/h. The model consumes 1.9 to 51 kWh/100 km. The model consumes 1.9 to 1.5 litres of fuel/100 km, 18.4 to 17.0 kWh of electricity/100 km and emits 43 to 34 g CO2/km. Cost in Germany: 55 900 euros.

All models come standard with two charging cables that can be used to power the battery at conventional household sockets, wallboxes or public charging stations. With a maximum charging power of 3.7 kW, the high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in 2.6 hours and from 0 to 100 per cent in 3.6 hours. Depending on the model, the boot capacity is 375 to 430 litres; in the Touring models, the storage space can be extended to up to 1,560 litres. The maximum permissible towing capacity is 1,500 kilograms for the BMW 3 Series models and 1,700 kilograms for the BMW 5 Series models.

In addition, the quartet qualifies for the 50 per cent reduction in company car taxation and meets the requirements for a combined subsidy of a total of 6,750 euros for the 320e variants and 5,625 euros for the 520e versions. In Germany, prices after subsidies thus start at 40,700 euros (320e) or 48,075 euros (520e).

BMW also provides customers with the so-called Live Cockpit Plus including Connected Package Professional as standard equipment – and thus access to digital services, some of which are specially designed for electric mobility. These include BMW eDrive Zone for emission-free driving in specially defined zones (“geo-fencing”) and BMW Points, a reward programme for intensive use of locally emission-free mobility. Points collected can then be converted into credit that can be redeemed when charging the high-voltage battery at public BMW Charging stations.

Also on board are modern assistance systems, including the “Active Pedestrian Protection” system, a specific shift programme for the 8-speed transmission including brake downshifts and automatic climate control (with extended features on the 520e models).

From March onwards, the BMW Group will offer a total of 15 BMW brand models and one Mini model with plug-in hybrid drive. By 2023, the Munich-based company aims to have 25 electrified vehicles in its portfolio. For the 2021 financial year, the Group is also aiming to increase sales of vehicles with electrified drive by around 50 per cent compared to 2020.

With reporting by Cora Werwitzke.

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Apple Patches Three Actively Exploited Zero-Days, Part of iOS Emergency Update – Threatpost



An anonymous researcher identified bugs in the software’s kernel and WebKit browser engine that are likely part of an exploit chain.

Apple continues to put out potential security fires by patching zero-day vulnerabilities, releasing an emergency update this week to patch three more recently discovered in iOS after a major software update in November already fixed three that were being actively exploited.

The newly patched bugs are part of a security update released Tuesday for iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. One bug, tracked as CVE-2021-1782, was found in the OS kernel, while the other two–CVE-2021-1870 and CVE-2021-1871–were discovered in the WebKit browser engine.

The most recent vulnerabilities apparently weren’t known when Apple released iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2, a comprehensive update that patched a total of 24 vulnerabilities back in November. That update included fixes for three zero-day flaws discovered by the Google Project Zero team that were actively being exploited in the wild.
Attackers also may be actively taking advantage of the latest bugs, according to Apple. The company described the kernel flaw as a “a race condition” that the update addresses “with improved locking.” If exploited, the vulnerability can allow a malicious application to elevate privileges.

The WebKit vulnerabilities are both logic issues that the update addresses with improved restrictions, according to Apple. Exploiting these flaws would allow a remote attacker “to cause arbitrary code execution,” the company said.

All the zero-days and thus the fixes affect iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation), according to Apple. Security experts believe the three are part of an exploit chain attackers can use to escalate privileges and compromise a device after its unsuspecting user falls victim to a malicious website leveraging the WebKit flaw.

As is custom, however, Apple did not go into detail about how the bugs are being used in attacks, as it doesn’t typically reveal this type of info until most of the affected devices are patched.

The proliferation of iPhones across the world makes news of any Apple iOS zero-day a security threat to its hundreds of millions of users, and thus a very big deal. In fact, four nation-state-backed advanced persistent threats (APTs) used a zero-day iPhone exploit in a highly publicized espionage hack against Al Jazeera journalists, producers, anchors and executives late last year.

Predictably, numerous iPhone users, tech professionals and security experts took to Twitter as news of the latest spate of iOS zero-days broke to warn iPhone users to update their devices immediately.

“iOS release notes are always comforting when you have firsts like this,” tweeted one iPhone user Daniel Sinclair sarcastically. “3 zero-days actively exploited in the wild. 2 involving WebKit.”

Sinclair also tweeted earlier in the month that his iPhone “inexplicably became bricked,” though it’s unclear if that issue was related to the recently discovered zero-days.

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SSC says the Tuatara broke the top speed record again, for sure this time – Yahoo Canada Sports




$1 billion in TV money is what ensures the Tokyo Olympics will happen

This is a column by Morgan Campbell, who writes opinion for CBC Sports. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ. In December, a football game between the University of Michigan and its biggest rival, Ohio State, was cancelled after a coronavirus outbreak on Michigan’s team. If you can’t conceive how big that decision was, imagine Real Madrid and Barcelona calling off El Clásico, or pulling the plug on a gold-medal women’s hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. Or consider that cancelling the game cost Fox, the game’s broadcaster, a reported $18.5 million US in ad revenue. Now contrast that with the NFL’s insistence on continuing with a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers even though COVID-19 outbreaks among the Ravens had already triggered a string of postponements. The six-day delay led to a rare NFL game on network TV on a Wednesday afternoon, but salvaging the matchup made financial sense. Cancelling could have cost NBC an estimated $71 million in ad sales. If you’re a big fan of the Summer Olympics, concerned they won’t take place this July, rest easy. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to collect a reported $1 billion in broadcast rights fees tied to this summer’s event (the CBC holds the Canadian broadcast rights), and tied to that sum is a long list of broadcasters eager to recoup that money through ad sales or streaming app subscriptions. Cancelling or delaying Tokyo 2020 again might make sense while we grapple with a global pandemic, but staging the Games makes too many dollars for too many people to consider anything else. So, if you’re worried the Olympics will press ahead during a public health emergency, you should decide whether you’ll object on ethical grounds, or watch despite reservations. I’ll join that second group, following the Olympic Games with feelings as mixed as the messaging pro sports are sending about their commitment to COVID-19 safety. Consider the NBA, which set the gold standard last summer, setting up a secure campus on a Disney resort, and conducting a post-season free of outbreaks. For the current season, every team except the Raptors returned to its home market and resumed a normal, if shortened, schedule of home and road games. Predictably, infections have followed. The Washington Wizards paused activities for more than nine days after an outbreak within the team. Earlier this month Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother is among six relatives to die from COVID-19, tested positive. He hasn’t played since Jan. 13. WATCH | Bring It In: Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant: Yet the league still wants to host its all-star weekend in Atlanta in March, even though it means more travel when most experts are telling us to limit our movement. We can’t expect the NBA to seal all its players inside a COVID-free bubble from its tip-off in December until the playoffs end in July, and we knew proceeding with a season entailed risk. But we can also recognize that, even by pro sports standards, all-star games aren’t essential and that the league’s best players would benefit more from a weekend off work than from a detour that could expose them to the virus. And look at Arizona, where COVID-19 case counts are swelling, and where officials in cities with MLB team complexes want the league to delay spring training until the number of new infections recedes. Except MLB and its players’ union can’t make that decision until they haggle over it. Part of the problem, according to published reports, is that delaying spring training pushes back opening day, which could cause the World Series to bleed into mid-November, which might displease the league’s broadcast partners. A non-baseball fan could simply conclude that, when balanced against a public health emergency, a delayed baseball season barely qualifies as an inconvenience. But MLB is the same outfit that pulled Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner from the field late in the final game of the World Series over a positive COVID-19 test, then did nothing after he returned to the diamond to celebrate with his teammates, maskless and maybe contagious. Or we could return to the University of Michigan, where first-year track standout Ziyah Holman erased her team’s 25-metre deficit in the final leg of a 4×400-metre relay, passing two runners to seal a Michigan victory. For the track aficionados, Holman ran her split in 51.79 seconds, the fastest segment of any runner on any team competing. And for everyone else, the feat went viral, giving track and field a rare moment in the mainstream sports spotlight. Virus is relentless and versatile A week later, the school announced a two-week moratorium on sports after a COVID-19 outbreak within its athletic program. The case count included a variant of the virus, which has been spreading in the community beyond the campus. The dilemma in Ann Arbor tells us the novel coronavirus possesses traits coaches treasure in athletes. It’s relentless, spreading in all but the most controlled environments, ripping through communities where COVID-fatigued people are relaxing their defences. It’s versatile, with enough new variants to keep drug companies adjusting vaccines. And it’s opportunistic, mutating into new varieties because unchecked spread gave it a chance to. The more people infected, the more likely that we will see new variants. – Dr. Michel Nussenzweig “The more people infected, the more likely that we will see new variants,” Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York, told the New York Times. “If we give the virus a chance to do its worst, it will.” Wrestling the pandemic into submission in time for a relatively safe Summer Games is less about billions of us producing Holman-type heroics, than about governments providing something else coaches love. An effective game plan we can adjust on the fly. Ontario’s government instituted a province-wide state of emergency, and is urging residents to stay at home. But a stay-at-home strategy likely works better alongside paid sick leave, so essential workers don’t have to choose between spreading a virus and courting financial disaster. Meanwhile, across Canada where the pandemic has halted cross-border pro sports, just less than two per cent of residents had received a vaccine as of Tuesday morning. That rate trails even the U.S., where ex-President Donald Trump and other Republican officials all but actively sabotaged efforts to fight the virus’ spread. Anheuser-Busch is on board even if some elected officials aren’t. The brewer opted out of Super Bowl advertising, instead spending that money on a campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccines. “We are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars,” said Budweiser’s VP of marketing, Monica Rustgi, in a statement explaining the move. “To bring consumers back into neighbourhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.” But if an Olympic bubble isn’t feasible, the road to a normal sports landscape, and guilt-free Olympic watching, likely goes through widespread vaccine uptake. Or we can wait until next year.

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