Samsung announces bigger and smaller versions of its TV-like Smart Monitor

Samsung’s Smart Monitor range is expanding. The company’s line of Tizen-powered smart computer displays now includes a 43-inch 4K M7 model as well as a 24-inch 1080p M5, marking the biggest and smallest Smart Monitors to be made available to date.
Samsung introduced the Smart Monitor last year and describes it as a “do-it-all” display designed for both work and entertainment. The screens have built-in speakers and smart TV functionality through Samsung’s Tizen platform, meaning you can run video apps like Netflix directly on the device, as well as remote desktop access and productivity software like Office 365. The Smart Monitors have a remote control that works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby, and there’s also wireless support…
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Virgin Galactic spaceplane VSS Unity completes successful flight

VSS Unity in space over New Mexico on May 22nd. | Virgin Galactic Richard Branson’sVirgin Galactic completed its first successful space flight in more than two years on Saturday, with its crewed VSS Unity spacecraft carried to an altitude of more than 44,000 feet before gliding safely back to Earth. It marked the first spaceflight from New Mexico, making it the third US state to launch humans into space. The Zia sun symbol of New Mexico’s state flag was displayed on the outside of the ship.
Virgin’s VMS Eve carrier aircraft took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at about 10:35AM ET with Unity aboard. About 10 minutes before its release, Unity switched to its own battery power, and conducted flight control and electrical checks. Once released by Eve, Unity’s pilots C.J. Sturckow and Dave Mackay…
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Apple’s excuse for no AirTag in Siri Remote: it’s too thick to easily lose in your couch

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge We have poked a considerable amount of fun at the Apple TV’s Siri Remote over the years, and we’re pleased to say it’s finally fixed — except for the headsmacking decision not to stick the company’s AirTag UWB locator technology into one of the few gadgets absolutely, positively guaranteed to get lost in your couch cushions someday. Why?
Today, Apple VP Tim Twerdahl answered that burning question in perhaps the most unsatisfactory way imaginable: simply, that the new TV remote’s thick enough you shouldn’t need to worry about that much anymore.
Here’s the whole exchange between Twerdahl and MobileSyrup’s Patrick O’Rourke:
Q: Was there ever any thought to adding some sort of AirTag-like technology in the Siri remote? I’m always losing the…
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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’s accessibility features try to make a hectic game easier to play

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart brings alternate realities to the beloved PlayStation franchise on June 11th, and along with leveraging the PlayStation 5’s SSD, Insomniac Games announced new accessibility features on Thursday that build on the studio’s recent work and address the limited options presented in the earlier PS4 Ratchet & Clank.
As an action platformer, Ratchet & Clank often requires multiple types of movement: You’ll shoot through waves of oncoming enemies while running around a level, and quickly shift to jumping across floating platforms, and using various gadgets to fly, swing, and now reality-warp through stages. Rift Apart seems to keep those core mechanics but adds even more potentially sensory-overloading visuals, from…
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The 10.3-inch Kobo Elipsa brings back super-sized e-readers

Kobo has a new e-reader out, and its the company’s biggest yet: the Kobo Elipsa, which features a 10.3-inch, 1404 x 1872 resolution (227 ppi) E Ink display, a bundled stylus, and the ability to not just read books, but to annotate, underline, and mark them up just like a real paper book.
Gigantic e-readers, like the 9.7-inch Kindle DX, once were more common, but recent devices have trended towards more pocketable formats — Amazon’s Kindle’s max out at 7-inches, and Kobo’s Forma (its previous largest size) offers an 8-inch display.
But the Elipsa is one of the largest mainstream e-readers yet, offering a massive display that presumably isn’t just good for reading — it’ll also feature a bundled stylus, a first for the company. The new…
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At the Epic trial, Phil Schiller got away clean

phil schiller wwdc 2013 Phil Schiller is one of the biggest names at Apple, and at the Epic v. Apple trial, his job was to make Apple feel small. Over two days of testimony including several hours of cross-examination, he didn’t always succeed — but he left the stand without facing some of Epic’s harshest lines of attack.
Schiller, whose title is simply “Apple Fellow,” has spent more than 30 years with the company. In his testimony, he recounted joining Apple in the ‘90s and watching Steve Jobs reorganize the then-failing computer maker. He reminisced about the iPod and name-dropped largely forgotten competitors like Handango and BlackBerry Messenger. In court, Epic Games has portrayed Apple as a scolding, disingenuous bully that locks users into a walled…
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Amazon is in talks to buy MGM for $9 billion

James Bond, The Handmaid’s Tale, Rocky, Stargate, Robocop, Legally Blonde, Vikings, a historic catalog of films dating back many decades, an array of production and distribution companies, and the content network Epix — these are the things that Amazon might own if it buys storied film giant MGM for billions of dollars in the very near future.
Amazon has reportedly offered $9 billion for the company, according to Variety, following a scoop from The Information earlier in the day that suggested a range of $7-10 billion for a potential deal, and Variety suggests that $9 billion was also the amount that MGM was reportedly hoping to get.
Between those factors, the fact that MGM has been up for sale since December 2020, and the jealousy that…
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Microsoft board members thought Gates should step down after alleged affair with employee: WSJ

Photo by Indraneel Chowdhury/NurPhoto via Getty Images Some of Microsoft’s board members concluded that Bill Gates should step down last year as an investigation was being conducted into an alleged affair with an employee, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Gates ultimately resigned from the board in March 2020, which the WSJ says was before the investigation had been completed.
The board reportedly hired a law firm in 2019 to investigate the matter following a Microsoft employee alleging in a letter that she had had a sexual relationship with Gates over many years. The employee, who was an engineer at the company, is said to have asked that Melinda French Gates, who was married to Bill at the time, read her letter, though it’s unclear whether that actually happened. Gates…
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Go read this look at how Clubhouse’s blocking system is problematic

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes on social media can tell you that most platforms have plenty of trolls, reply-guys and other people who may just be unpleasant to interact with. On big platforms like Twitter, Faecbook, and Instagram, the option to block another user allows you to keep someone out of your feed. Blocking is far from a perfect solution, but at least it gives users a way to continue to use the platforms and avoid (some) nasty interactions.
But as Will Oremus writes for The Atlantic, the year-old audio chat platform Clubhouse has a different mechanism for blocking, one that affects more than just the blocker and the blockee (I know, but what would you call it?):
When you block someone on Clubhouse, it doesn’t just…
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China has landed on Mars

A photo of Mars captured by China’s Tianwen-1 probe in February. | Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images China landed its first pair of robots on the surface of Mars on Friday, state-affiliated media confirmed on social media, becoming the second country to do so successfully after overcoming a daring, seven-minute landing sequence. The country’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft ejected the rover-lander bundle for a Martian touchdown at around 7PM ET, kicking off a mission to study the Red Planet’s climate and geology.
The mission marks China’s first independent trek to Mars, about 200 million miles away from Earth. Only NASA has successfully managed to land and operate rovers on the planet in the past. (The Soviet Union’s Mars 3 spacecraft landed on the planet in 1971 and communicated for about 20 seconds before unexpectedly going dark.) China’s…
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