Retail stores are packed with unchecked facial recognition, civil rights organizations say

More than 35 organizations are demanding top US retailers cease using facial recognition to identify shoppers and employees in their stores, which companies have used to deter theft and identify shoplifters.
The campaign is aptly named Ban Facial Recognition in Stores, and has identified stores that have committed to not using facial recognition, like Walmart, Home Depot, and Target. It is now pressuring companies currently using the technology, or those who might use it in the future. Some companies that are currently using the technology, according to the website, include Apple, Lowe’s, Albertsons, Macy’s, and Ace Hardware.
Companies that might use it in the future include McDonalds, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven. A full list can be found…
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PC market growth slows amid global chip shortages

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge The PC market is showing early signs of its growth slowing down, after an impressive run of shipments throughout 2020. Both IDC and Gartner conclude that growth in the second quarter of PC shipments has slowed this year. Demand for new PCs is still above what we saw before the pandemic hit, but a mixture of softer demand and the effects of the global chip shortage mean it’s not growing as quickly.
“The market faces mixed signals as far as demand is concerned,” says Neha Mahajan, a senior research analyst at IDC. “With businesses opening back up, demand potential in the commercial segment appears promising. However, there are also early indicators of consumer demand slowing down as people shift spending priorities after nearly a year of…
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Redesigned iPad mini reportedly on track to launch this fall

The fifth-generation iPad mini from 2019. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Apple plans to release a new iPad mini featuring “the biggest redesign in [its] nine-year history” this fall, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports (via 9to5Mac). The new device is expected to feature slimmer bezels, a larger display, faster performance, and a design similar to Apple’s new iPad Air from last year, MacRumors notes. It could be a big shakeup for Apple’s smallest tablet, whose design has remained remarkably consistent since its debut in 2012.
The news tallies with Bloomberg’s previous reporting about the upcoming device, which it said last month could ditch the home button to allow for narrower screen bezels. Reports of an iPad Air-style design suggests it could use a Touch ID sensor built into a side-mounted power button. Last…
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Feds indict ‘The Bull’ for selling insider trading info on the dark web

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Nearly four years after the lights went out at AlphaBay, the feds are still charging people with criminal activities linked to the dark web marketplace. On Friday the SEC and the Department of Justice announced charges against Apostolos Trovias, a Greek national who they allege posted on dark web marketplaces using the nickname “The Bull.”
Trovias is facing charges of securities fraud and money laundering However, unlike drug dealers targeted in previous actions, the authorities allege Trovias used dark web forums as a way to troll for people willing to buy or sell insider trading information while hiding behind “anonymizing software, screen names, and bitcoin payments.”
On AlphaBay and other dark web sites like Dream Market or…
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Samsung quietly launched its free TV service on the web

Samsung TV Plus displayed on a screen. | Image: Samsung Samsung recently launched a web version of its free and ad-supported Smart TV Plus streaming service for live and linear programming as well as added casting support for Chromecast devices.
The streaming product, which was previously limited to Samsung TV and mobile devices, launched as a web service in the second quarter, Protocol reported Friday. It’s a curious new player in the streaming wars and launched with seemingly little fanfare, but the rollout makes an app that was previously limited to Samsung users now widely available to just about anyone.
Samsung did not have immediate comment about the launch when reached on Friday. However, a spokesperson confirmed the launch of the web version of the service to Protocol.
Samsung TV…
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WhatsApp will let you send images and videos in their ‘best quality’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A future version of WhatsApp will give more control over the amount of compression it applies to sent images and videos. WABetaInfo reports that the two features are currently in development for the Android app, and should eventually present three quality options when sending images and video. The options are “Auto,” “Best quality,” or “Data saver.”
If it releases in this form, it could let you force media to be more compressed if you’re worried about internet speeds or data caps, or lower the amount of compression to ensure images or video are sent in their highest possible quality. Currently, avoiding WhatsApp’s compression involves changing a file’s extension to send it as a document rather than an image or video (The Next Web has a…
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TikTok is returning to normal after experiencing issues on Tuesday

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The TikTok app “should be returning to normal” after it experienced issues on Tuesday, according to the app’s support account on Twitter.
Earlier on Tuesday, I wasn’t able to log in to the app on either the web or my phone. When I tried, I got the following message, which felt like it was downplaying what was going on: “There is a small problem with the server, fixing it now.” Now, though, I am able to log in and use TikTok on iOS and the web as normal.
…Annnnnd we're back! Your app experience should be returning to normal. Thanks for bearing with us, everyone ✨
— TikTokSupport (@TikTokSupport) July 7, 2021 During the worst of the issues, they appeared to be fairly widespread, with more than 40,000 user reports of problems on…
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Today I learned about Karateka’s 37-year-old easter egg

Image: Geek With Social Skills Karateka, an early martial arts side-scroller published in the US by Broderbund in 1984, was a little before my time. It was created by Jordan Mechner before he went on to make Prince of Persia— a game I do remember thanks to the horror of sending that character to a bloody, pixelated death on a bed of spikes. Karateka however was an early hit, with later iterations making it to NES and Game Boy. And the original Apple II version included a delightful little easter egg from the early days of PC gaming — putting in the floppy disk upside down would boot up the game upside down.
This isn’t new exactly — people have been trying this trick for more than 35 years — but it was new to me, and I got a quick refresher today thanks to the magic…
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