Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, and other Google services hit by widespread outage

Many of Google’s most popular services have been hit by the outage. | Image: DownDetector Multiple Google services and websites including YouTube, Gmail, Google Assistant, and Google Docs have been hit with a widespread outage. DownDetector indicates that the outage, which appears to be affecting Google’s business and personal services, started at around 6:40AM ET in the case of Gmail.
As of this writing, Google is yet to officially acknowledge the issue, and the status page for its services is reporting that none are experiencing issues. However, reports are mounting on Twitter as users can’t access its basic services, with Gmail and the hashtag “#YouTubeDOWN” starting to trend
As well as impacting YouTube viewers, and companies that rely on Google Workspace, users are reporting that smart home gadgets integrated with Google…
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Google adds more AR animals to mobile Search and most of them are pretty cute

Giant AR cat is giant | Google Google has added 50 new augmented reality animals to Search which can be either cute, or in the case of the giant cat in the photo above, a bit disconcerting. Of course it’s possible that I find the giant kitty menacing because I hate fun (or so I have been told), but I do not think I want that creature to greet me, anywhere, ever, in AR or any other reality.
I do, however, want this red panda to play with a pumpkin in my dining room as long as she wants to.
Kim Lyons/The Verge Look how cute she is with her little pumpkin In addition to the red panda and cat, there’s a giraffe, cow, zebra, pig, and hippo among the new creatures you can welcome virtually into your home (or other space, but we’re all homebound…
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Get another glimpse inside the PlayStation 5 with iFixit’s new teardown

Photo: iFixit iFixit has released its teardown of the PlayStation 5 and its DualSense controller — and it goes into even more detail than the one Sony did earlier this year. The gadget repair company discovered that the console has a ton of screws holding it together, and that there’s a weird catch to replacing the optical drive.
Photo: Creative Electron (via iFixit) The company also released a always-fun X-ray of the PS5 It turns out that the optical drive is software-locked to the motherboard. The physical swap is apparently a piece of cake, but any replacement you put in won’t read disks, so if your optical drive fails you’ll be sending it to Sony. It’s a bummer, especially for me: I’ve had terrible luck with PlayStation…
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Apple’s old 29W chargers aren’t good enough for MagSafe Duo

Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge An Apple support page has confirmed that the company’s new MagSafe Duo wireless charger, which is designed to charge an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously, isn’t compatible with its older 29W USB-C power adapter. If you’re using an Apple power adapter it’s best to use one of the company’s newer 30W models, which replaced the 29W model in 2018 and retail for $49. It’s an unfortunate revelation for anyone with the old chargers since the MagSafe Duo doesn’t come with a charging brick in the box.
Apple’s page doesn’t say exactly what happens if you plug the MagSafe Duo into one of the older 29W bricks. MacRumors reports that if you do it will only be able to charge a single device, an iPhone or an Apple Watch, rather than both at once….
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Samsung’s Galaxy S21 will reportedly launch on January 14th

Teaser videos of the upcoming phones recently leaked online. | Image: Android Police Samsung’s next flagship smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S21 series, will launch globally on January 14th, Android Authority is reporting. The date was revealed by Samsung’s largest mobile experience store in India, and SamMobile subsequently confirmed the date with a company official at Samsung’s local offices. Although Android Authority reports this as the global launch date, Samsung HQ has yet to confirm it.
Although a January launch is earlier than the February Unpacked events we’ve become accustomed to in recent years, this isn’t the first time this date has been rumored. Earlier this week, Android Police reported a January 14th launch based on its own sources.
The phones will reportedly go on sale on January 29th in India, according…
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FireEye cybersecurity tools compromised in state-sponsored attack

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge One of the US’s leading cybersecurity firms, FireEye, says it’s been hacked by a state-sponsored attacker. Hackers targeted and accessed the firm’s so-called Red Team tools, which it uses to test customer security and find vulnerabilities. Now there’s concern that the hackers could release these tools publicly or use them to attack others, though there is no evidence that this has happened yet. FireEye says that it does not believe any customer information was taken.
Although the blog post, authored by FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, does not say who is responsible, it says that the attacking nation has “top-tier offensive capabilities.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia is a suspect, specifically its foreign-intelligence service…
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Samsung’s SmartThings can finally control your Google Nest devices

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Google and Samsung are bringing their smart home platforms together for the first time. Samsung’s SmartThings will support Google Nest devices starting in January 2021, building a bridge between one of the industry’s leading ecosystems for managing smart devices like cameras and thermostats with one of the leading companies developing those products.
Prior to this, owners of devices that qualified for the “Works With SmartThings” (WWST) certification had to use separate software to manage any Google Nest products they owned. Following the launch of the integration next month, all Nest products will be controllable from the SmartThings platform and will qualify as WWST devices.
Google Nest devices can be managed from the SmartThings app … Continue reading…

UK’s first electric-only car charging station opens for business

The site is located near Braintree, in Essex. | Image: Gridserve The UK’s first all-electric car charging station opened today near Braintree in Essex, marking a milestone in the country’s transition away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. The station is operated by Gridserve, and is the first of more than 100 locations it plans to build over the next five years.
The location consists of 36 electric vehicle chargers, delivering up to 350kW of power. That’s enough to provide 200 miles of range in 20 minutes, according to Gridserve. With an initial cost of £0.24 per kWh of energy, the company estimates an average-sized electric vehicle can be charged from 20 to 80 percent for under £10 (less than $13.25). Gridserve claims these are the “lowest ultra-high power charging rates on the market today.”
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China’s Chang’e 5 completes docking mission on its way back to Earth

The ascender of Chang’e-5 spacecraft flies above the surface of the Moon December 3rd. | Xinhua/Jin Liwang via Getty Images China’s Chang’e-5 mission completed a tricky docking maneuver on Saturday, as it prepares to return the soil samples it collected from the Moon’s surface back to Earth.
Chang’e 5 launched on November 23rd atop a Long March 5 rocket, with four main spacecraft. The mission entered the lunar orbit on November 28th, and its lander and ascent vehicle landed on the Moon December 1st, while its service module remained in lunar orbit. The lander gathered rocks and soil, and on Saturday, docked in orbit with the service module. Those samples will now be put in a return capsule for the trip home, expected to land in Inner Mongolia later in December.
A great image here from the Chang'e-5 orbiter, showing the approaching ascent vehicle and a…
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The US government will let TikTok run out the clock and ‘overlook’ its own deadline

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The Trump administration won’t enforce its own deadline for ByteDance to sell or spin out video-sharing platform TikTok’s business in the US, according to Bloomberg.
The latest deadline for that move, given by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on November 28th, was today, December 4th. An extension isn’t expected, though the current deadline will “be overlooked while the discussions continue” between the Trump administration and TikTok, Bloomberg reports.
CNN tech reporter Brian Fung is corroborating that the US won’t enforce its own deadline, with his sources amusingly suggesting that the lack of a deadline is proof that the US is “highly motivated” to complete talks about the sale.
US officials are…
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