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Posts posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau wants to regulate Venmo, Apple Cash like banks

    Enlarge (credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    The top US consumer finance regulator is seeking new powers to oversee technology companies that offer digital wallets and payment applications, in a move that would intensify scrutiny over companies such as Google and Apple.

    The proposal issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday would subject non-bank companies that offer digital payments to a regulatory scheme similar to that for banks or credit unions.

    It aims to ensure that US consumer protection laws are applied to a ballooning sector used by millions of consumers to transfer funds and make retail payment transactions.

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  2. A photo of the myQ app from LiftMaster's website.

    Enlarge / A photo of the myQ app from LiftMaster's website. (credit: Liftmaster)

    Chamberlain Group—the owner of most of the garage door opener brands like LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Merlin, and Grifco—would like its customers to stop doing smart home things with its "myQ" smart garage door openers. The company recently issued a statement decrying "unauthorized usage" of its smart garage door openers. That's "unauthorized usage" by the people who bought the garage door opener, by the way. Basically, Chamberlain's customers want to trigger the garage door and see its status through third-party smart home apps, and Chamberlain doesn't want that.

    Here's the statement:

    Chamberlain Group recently made the decision to prevent unauthorized usage of our myQ ecosystem through third-party apps.

    This decision was made so that we can continue to provide the best possible experience for our 10 million+ users, as well as our authorized partners who put their trust in us. We understand that this impacts a small percentage of users, but ultimately this will improve the performance and reliability of myQ, benefiting all of our users.

    We encourage those who were impacted to check out our authorized partners here: https://www.myq.com/works-with-myq.

    We caught wind of this statement through the Home Assistant blog, a popular open source smart home platform. The myQ integration is being stripped from the project because it doesn't work anymore. Allegedly, Chamberlain has been sabotaging Home Assistant support for a while now, with the integration maintainer, Lash-L, telling the Home Assistant blog, "We are playing a game of cat and mouse with MyQ and right now it looks like the cat is winning."

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  3. Android 14’s storage disaster gets patched, but your data might be gone

    Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

    It's the start of November, and that means a new Android security patch. Google claims this one is fixing a high-profile Android 14 storage bug that was locking some people out of their devices. The November Security Bulletin contains the usual pile of security fixes, while consumer-oriented Pixel patch notes list a few user-facing changes. The important line is "Fix for issue occasionally causing devices with multiple users enabled to show out of space or be in a reboot loop." A footnote points out that this is for the "Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, 6 Pro, 7, 7 Pro, 7a, Tablet, Fold, Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro."

    We're on about day 33 of the Android 14 storage bug. For devices with multiple users set up, there is some kind of storage issue that is locking users out of their device. Some are completely unusable, with the phone bootlooping constantly and never reaching the home screen. Others are able to boot up the device but don't have access to lock storage, which causes a huge amount of issues. Some users likened the bug to "ransomware," a type of malware that encrypts your local storage and then demands money for your data. One fix is to completely erase your device with a factory reset, but a lot of users don't want to do that.

    The earliest reports of this started just days after the October 4 launch date. Google usually rolls updates out slowly so it can pull them if issues like this pop up to minimize damage. That didn't happen here, though. Google failed to respond quickly to initial reports and just let the bug roll out to everyone. Some people even report being freshly hit with the bug just four days ago because Google 1) let the update roll out without stopping it and 2) can't patch its software quickly enough. The biggest issue tracker thread on this bug is up to 1,000-plus likes and 850 comments of people locked out of their devices, and it took two separate rounds of news coverage for Google to acknowledge the bug after about 20 days.

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  4. The default desktop wallpaper for macOS 13 Ventura.

    Enlarge / The default desktop wallpaper for macOS 13 Ventura. (credit: Apple)

    Update 11/8/2023: Apple has released a macOS 14.1.1 update for Sonoma that will install on the new M3-series Macs. It's still a separate build number from the one that runs on most Macs, but it should at least allow upgrades for anyone with a brand-new Mac that comes with an old version of macOS Ventura installed.

    Original story: Apple’s new M3 Macs are starting to land on doorsteps today, and at least a few people are facing an odd problem: Their Macs are showing up with an old, outdated build of last year’s macOS 13.5 Ventura on them, and checking for updates isn’t giving them the opportunity to update to either the current version of Ventura (13.6) or the recently released macOS Sonoma (14.1).

    Affected users have posted complaints on X, formerly Twitter, and places like the MacRumors forums. The unreleased build of Ventura appears to be build 22G80, whereas the officially released version from July 2023 is build 22G74. So far, the issue only seems to affect the basic M3 versions of the MacBook Pro and iMac and not the M3 Pro or M3 Max versions, suggesting that the M3 Macs were ready to go a few months before the more powerful versions.

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  5. Young woman receiving notifications and commenting on social media posts with smart phone. People networking with technology. Social media addiction concept.

    Enlarge / Behold, a collection of apps we love. (credit: Oscar Wong / Getty Images)

    Senior Reviews Editor Samuel Axon

    Todoist basically runs my life—but that's OK, because it's a very well-designed app. There are a ton of to-do apps on the iPhone, but I went with this one because it's very flexible.

    For example, yeah, you can see a top-to-bottom to-do list like with many others, but you can view that same data as a Trello-like Kanban board, too.

    I've also found that Todoist is better at understanding natural language settings for projects, times, and so on than a lot of other to-do apps, so, for example, I can type "Edit next article at 2 pm on Tuesday #ArsTechnica" to add a to-do within the Ars Technica project with a due time of 2 pm on the following Tuesday. A lot of to-do apps support that, but I feel Todoist does it best.

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  6. A man laughs at his smartphone while a cartoon characters peaks over his shoulder.

    Enlarge / The little Android robot is watching everything you do. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

    Google is killing off its proposal for "Web Environment Integrity API" as a new web standard, though Android phones may still have to deal with it. According to Google's proposal document, the primary goal of the project was to "allow web servers to evaluate the authenticity of the device and honest representation of the software stack"—basically Google wanted a DRM gatekeeper for the web. The project got widespread coverage in July and was widely panned.

    The ominously vague plan was to allow web browsers to detect if your computer was "modified" in a way that the webpage didn't like. Presumably, this could be anything from a rooted/jailbroken phone to having an undesirable plug-in (read: ad blockers) installed. When you tried to access some protected content, a browser supporting the Web Integrity API would first contact a third-party "environment attestation" server, and your computer would have to pass some kind of test. After having your local environment uh... scanned? passing environments receive a signed "IntegrityToken" that points to the content you wanted unlocked. You would bring this back to the web server and would finally get the content unlocked.

    Google's proposal did not go over well. The explainer was full of conflicting information about just how invasive it wanted to be and what its goals were. Google pinky-promised it wasn't meant to "enforce or interfere with browser functionality, including plugins and extensions"—this is a vague reference to ad blockers—but also the proposal's very first example had to do with more accurately measuring ad impressions. Even more alarming was that this wasn't a discussion—Google never publicized the feature for any kind of feedback, and the company was already actively prototyping the feature in Chrome before the Internet really found out about it.

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  7. Infant-Island-Obsidian-Wreath-1699285789

    My guys are back! The great Fredericksburg, Virginia screamo annihilators Infant Island released their towering sophomore LP Beneath in 2020. Since then, band members have released music with side projects like Mattachine and Mikau, and Infant Island have come back together for “Aurora,” the closing track from the Balladeers, Redefined compilation, and for their cover of Boards Of Canada’s “Dayvan Cowboy,” which just came out last week. Infant Island have been working on a follow-up for a long time. Guitarist Alexander Rudenshiold is a friend, and he played me an early version of the new Infant Island album about two years ago. It’s fucking sick. Today, they’re finally ready to announce that record.

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  8. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

    On Friday night, Elton John inducted his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (Elton himself has been a Hall Of Famer since 1994.) During his induction speech, Elton John mentioned that he and Taupin are still putting in work together: “We’ve just finished an album in Los Angeles, which is going to surprise the shit out of you. And it’s absolutely wonderful, and it’s full of youth, and it’s full of vitality. It’s a wonderful place to be after we’ve been together for 56 years.”

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  9. Scarab-Seeking-Chaos-And-Revenge-After-B

    Tyler Mullen used to sing for the great Delaware metallic hardcore band Year Of The Knife; he was their vocalist when they released their punishing 2020 debut album Internal Incarceration. Last year, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, Mullen left that band, and bassist Madi Watkins took over as singer. (In a recent interview, YOTK guitarist Brandon Watkins says that Mullen “fell out of love with the band.”) Right now, Madi Watkins is recovering from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a horrific tour-van crash in Utah this past June. YOTK also just released their new album No Love Lost, which was recorded before the crash. Meanwhile, Tyler Mullen has a new band, and it’s making some very nasty music.

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  10. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    On Friday night, Rage Against The Machine were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Rage were the only currently-active band who were inducted in this year’s class, which was heavy on solo artists. (The only other group inducted was the Spinners.) But Rage Against The Machine did not perform at the induction ceremony, and only one member of the band, guitarist Tom Morello, attended the big show. Zack de la Rocha had something else to do this past weekend: He joined the hundreds of thousands of people who marched on Washington to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

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  11. glass-beach-plastic-death-1699284683.jpg

    Back in 2019, the Los Angeles quasi-emo experimentalists Glass Beach released their first album, which was helpfully titled the first glass beach album. Around that same time, Glass Beach became a Stereogum Band To Watch. Since then, they’ve released a remix LP, as well as a string of covers and loosies. Last month, the band released a single called “the CIA” and today they’ve shared another new track. Both appear on a new album, plastic death, coming in January.

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  12. Apple's 16-inch, M3 Max-powered MacBook Pro.

    Enlarge / Apple's 16-inch, M3 Max-powered MacBook Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    The next year or two will be a turning point for people who bought into the last few generations of Intel Macs. AppleCare+ subscriptions will expire, batteries will begin to lose a noticeable amount of capacity, software updates and security fixes will gradually dry up, and normal wear-and-tear will slowly take its toll.

    Every new generation of Apple Silicon Mac is another opportunity for Apple to get those people to update, which may or may not help to explain why Apple is introducing its new M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max MacBook Pros less than 11 months after releasing the M2 versions.

    Like the early 2023 MacBook Pros, these late 2023 models are iterative improvements to the 2021 redesigns. They keep the things that made those laptops such a big improvement over the late-model Intel MacBook Pros while adding just a little more performance and one or two other minor improvements to entice people who still haven't made the Apple Silicon switch.

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