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Twitter bans thousands of state-backed accounts spreading misinformation

This is part of Twitter's ongoing effort to sweep state-backed misinformation accounts from the platform. In June, Twitter removed nearly 4,800 accounts with ties to the Iranian government, and in August it banned nearly 1,000 accounts managed by the Chinese state and aimed at Hong Kong protests. In addition to targeting state-backed misinformation, Twitter recently updated its policy to ban advertising from state-controlled news outlets, even when it isn't misinformation per se.

Facebook also removed accounts linked with misinformation in Spain. The accounts removed by both platforms were linked with Spain's People's Party, Partido Popular. As the Financial Times points out, it's one of the few occasions in which social media platforms have linked a major political party in western Europe with coordinated disinformation campaigns.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/twitter-bans-state-backed-misinformation/

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Apple’s new iPhones can better manage your battery as it ages

This new framework, which Apple specifically says is different from the feature in older phones, uses a combination of hardware and software to avoid performance hits as iPhone batteries age. "While performance impacts are reduced as much as possible, battery aging might still eventually lead to noticeable, possibly temporary, effects," says the support document. Apple cites "longer app launch times, lower frame rates, reduced wireless-data throughput, backlight dimming or lower speaker volume" as possible results of diminished battery health.

To be clear, the feature isn't meant to keep your iPhone's battery running longer in the short term; this is a long term strategy so that the capacity of a phone's battery stays as high as possible for as long as possible. New iPhone batteries can last for days depending on how frequently power-hungry apps are used. But after a few years, they tend to only last a day, or sometimes much less, before needing a recharge. Apple will replace an old battery with a new one, but it's either $50 or $70 depending on which iPhone model you have. Hopefully this feature will keep iPhone 11 batteries running at a high capacity throughout their lifespans.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/iphones-better-manage-battery/

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YouTube CEO apologizes for channel verification mess (updated)

"While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark," she wrote on Twitter. "As I write this, we're working to address your concerns we'll have more updates soon."

YouTube said it was moving beyond subscriber counts to determine whether a channel should be verified. Instead of surpassing 100,000 subscribers (a threshold creators could game the system to reach), the service will take authenticity and prominence into account when choosing which channels to verify. In essence, it's adopting the approach of many other social platforms, which verify people if there's a solid chance they may be impersonated, or if there's a reasonable possibility they'll be confused with someone else.

As part of the change, YouTube told a strong of prominent figures they'd lose the vaunted checkmark -- which it's jettisoning anyway in favor of highlighting channel names to denote verified status. That led to confusion and disappointment among many in the community, as well as concern about losing out on brand deals.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/youtube-ceo-verified-channel-apology/

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TiVo tries running pre-roll ads before your recorded shows

It might soon be that much harder to avoid ads by using a DVR. TiVo appears to be testing 15-second pre-roll ads that play before recorded shows, making it difficult to avoid at least some marketing -- you can fast-forward through the promos, but it's "not that seamless," according to community forum member AndyF. The test ads are low-resolution but appear to come from a number of well-known companies, including Amazon, Keurig and Toyota. It's uncertain how many people are included in the test, although AndyF noticed them on a Bolt DVR using the TiVo Experience 4 interface.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/tivo-pre-roll-ad-test/

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Watch the ‘Android’ Nokia phone that never had a chance to exist

The video, unfortunately, doesn't too much of the phone's functionality, with multiple parts of the interface blacked out at various points throughout the video. We don't, for instance, get a chance to see Google Maps in action. However, the video does give us a good sense of what Google was going for. One highlight is that Assistant is present throughout the interface.

Another cool tidbit is that there's an app called "Chrome Fun". The icon features the web browser's mascot, the Chrom Dino. If you're unfamiliar with the Chrome Dino, switch your phone to airplane mode, launch Chrome and then tap on the pixelated dinosaur that appears above the notification that says you can't access the internet. You'll launch Chrome's hidden endless runner. If I had to take a guess, the dinosaur game would have come pre-installed on Google's feature phones, just like every single Nokia phone shipped with Snake.

We've reached out to Nokia for comment on the device, and we'll update this article when we hear back from the company. It's not too shocking to find out Google and Nokia abandoned the project. In a lot of ways, a feature phone version of Android would have only duplicated what Google already offers through an operating system like KaiOS. Although Google doesn't own KaiOS, it offers Assistant, Maps and Search through the feature phone OS.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/nokia-android-dumb-phone-video/

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YouTube reverses course on ‘verification’ — you will keep your badges

Yesterday YouTube announced plans to change its policy around channel verification status. In a move to follow other social networks, the company said changes tying approval to authenticity and prominence would mean some might lose their tag, and would have to go through appeals to keep it.

After a quick and loud backlash to the plan YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized, and YouTube just announced "Channels that currently have verification will now keep it without appeal." The plan is still to reopen its process for verification next month for all channels that have over 100,000 subscribers, with an eye toward stamping the tag on channels that are both "authentic" and "complete."

YouTube Support:

What's happening with channel verification?

We won't remove verification based on the criteria we announced yesterday. If you received an email that your channel will no longer be verified, you no longer need to submit an appeal. You'll keep verification on your channel.

As always, we'll still remove verification if we find that a channel is attempting to impersonate another creator or brand. If you change your channel's name, the renamed channel won't be verified and you'll need to reapply.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/youtube-verified/

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Neo Geo retro stick console includes ‘King of Fighters,’ ‘Samurai Shodown’

There aren't, however, any non-fighters in the mix. You won't be playing Metal Slug, Puzzle Bobble or other Neo Geo hits that fall outside of the Arcade Stick Pro's narrow scope. That's not completely surprising given the all-in-one design. This is meant for people who practically lived for arcade matches during the Neo Geo's heyday, rather than a survey of the system's entire history. Still, it's unfortunate if you were hoping for a throwback device that covered the full experience.





















Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/neo-geo-arcade-stick-pro-game-lineup/

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TiVo wants to make a comeback with $50 Android TV dongle

TiVo Plus will reportedly recommend shows across services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and YouTube -- similar to Apple TV recommendations. It's set to launch in October, and it will be free for US households that still own TiVo products. Then, early next year, TiVo will allegedly release a $50 dongle for Android TV. That will come with TiVo Plus and presumably other enticing features.

Behind the scenes, TiVo will split into two companies -- one focused on patents and one on products. "We're betting the future of the company on [this plan]," TiVo CEO Dave Shull told CNN. "But listen, if we're wrong, we'll adjust."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/tivo-plus-android-tv-device/

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iFixit’s iPhone 11 Pro Max teardown investigates charging rumors

There's some additional intrigue this time around, as some have insisted that Apple was trying to enable Galaxy S10-ish bilateral charging on its latest phones, only to disable the feature late in the process. Apple unequivocally told us that is not true, but iFixit is taking a peek anyway.

Upon opening the device, they did find a second battery connector that's new, and didn't duplicate features of the "main" charging cable seen in previous phones. The phone still worked without the second cable plugged in, and could charge via Lightning but not wirelessly. It could be an unrelated revision to the iPhone 11's charging setup, or it could be something more -- we don't know for sure yet.

The teardown is still in process, and as usual iFixit is also keeping an eye on how easy it will be for the DIY-minded to perform repairs on their own. Stay tuned for more pictures and the final results.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/iphone-11-pro-max-teardown/

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Facebook’s latest AI experiment helps you pick what to wear

Facebook trained Fashion++ by showing the AI thousands of images of outfits that were deemed "fashionable." What's innovative about the AI is that it offers suggestions that are subtle. It won't, for example, recommend that you go out of your way to buy an entirely new outfit. Instead, it will suggest swapping one or two items. It may offer even more subtle suggestions such as recommending that you tuck in your shirt or roll up your sleeves. It's also taking on a task that is often considered creative and subjective. The company imagines the AI one day helping fashion designers to create new looks.

As far as weird AI experiments go, Facebook has been on something of a tear recently. Last month, the company published a paper on how it's using Minecraft to train a digital personal assistant that can help with generalist tasks. The way we see it, weird AI is a lot more fun than murderous AI.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/facebook-fashion-neural-net/

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