Apple’s secretive car project loses yet another top executive

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Christopher “CJ” Moore, the former Tesla Autopilot software engineer who left to join Apple’s secretive car project last year, has left Apple to join Luminar, an Orlando, Florida-based lidar company, as its new head of software, the company announced. Moore only lasted seven months at Apple.
Moore is among a group of top executives from other leading companies to join Luminar, which makes the laser sensors that help autonomous vehicles “see” their surrounding environment. But his departure from Apple is yet another indication of the tech giant’s struggles to retain talent for its befuddled efforts to make an autonomous electric car — known as Project Titan.
“We’re attracting the best leaders in the world in their fields to execute our…
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Google Assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4 is great except for one thing

At long last. When Google and Samsung announced Wear OS 3 last year, I had lots of questions about how well Google services would run on Samsung hardware. Of Google’s expansive suite of apps, I was most curious about Google Assistant. The only catch was it wasn’t available when the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup launched — and there were only vague promises as to when it would actually be available. But yesterday, Google Assistant finally arrived on the Galaxy Watch 4, and after a few hours of playing around with it, I’m cautiously optimistic.
Google Assistant was already a feature on older Wear OS 2 watches. It just wasn’t great. Because Wear OS 2 watches struggled with underpowered hardware, Google Assistant was often laggy and never fully lived up to its…
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How to turn captions on and off in Instagram

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Instagram now has auto-generated captions, which means it can automatically transcribe any videos you watch on the app. But before you start seeing captions appear in the app, you’ll probably have to enable the feature first, and the same goes if you want to post videos with captions.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that auto-generated captions are available in 17 languages at the time of writing: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Indonesian, and Japanese. Instagram plans on adding support for more languages in the future.
Here’s how to turn captions on and off on Instagram for iPhone and Android, whether you just want to watch videos…
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Larry Ellison was on a call with Sean Hannity and Lindsey Graham to discuss overturning election results

Ellison contributed $1 billion in support of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Larry Ellison, one of the world’s richest people and co-founder of the Oracle software company, was involved in a November 2020 call to develop plans to contest the results of the US presidential election, according to a report from The Washington Post. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Fox News host Sean Hannity, Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow, and True the Vote attorney James Bopp Jr., also participated in the call.
As reported by the Post, details of the call surfaced in a court filing associated with a legal battle between True the Vote, a nonprofit organization that promotes baseless claims about election fraud, and Fair Fight, a voting rights organization led by Georgia politician Stacey Abrams. Last year, Fair Fight filed a…
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Google will temporarily let Match use alternate payment systems ahead of 2023 trial

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google has reached an interim agreement with Match Group, the dating app provider behind Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid, that will allow its apps to remain on the Google Play Store while offering alternate payment systems, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this month, Match Group filed a complaint against Google, alleging the company “illegally monopolized the market for distributing apps” by requiring app developers to use Google’s billing system and then taking up to a 30 percent cut on any in-app purchases. Match Group later sought a temporary restraining order against Google, but withdrew its request on Friday after Google made some concessions.
Google must make a “good faith” effort to build “additional billing… Continue reading…

Amazon’s updating the foundation of Fire OS to something a bit more modern

How I look at my tablet when it gets support for the latest API. | Image: Amazon Amazon’s next Fire 7 tablet will come with a new version of the company’s Fire OS operating system, called Fire OS 8 (h/t to Liliputing and AFTVNews). It’s based on Android 11, which is a pretty significant upgrade to the foundational tech currently powering Amazon’s tablets; the previous version, Fire OS 7, is based on Android 9, which was released in 2018.
According to Amazon’s developer documentation, the update could bring a few new user features. For one, it brings a system-wide dark mode to the OS that developers can make their app follow. Mostly, though, it’s good for privacy and security. Along with various updates to the permissions system, the upgrade should also make it easier for Amazon to push security patches. Google isn’t…
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YouTube now highlights the most replayed parts of videos to let you skip the boring parts

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge YouTube will now highlight the “most replayed” parts of videos in its web player and mobile apps. The feature was previously available as an experiment for YouTube Premium subscribers but is launching for all users today.
You’ll be able to identify the most popular parts of a video from a graph that appears behind its progress bar. Says YouTube: “If the graph is high, then that part of the video has been replayed often. You can use the graph to quickly find and watch those moments.”
“most-replayed” will be another signal for creators to steer content Pretty simple! But, it’s interesting to think how this might split the attention of viewers — or, indeed, steer the work of creators, giving them yet another signal to identify exactly what…
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Google will start distributing a security-vetted collection of open-source software libraries

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google announced a new initiative Tuesday aimed at securing the open-source software supply chain by curating and distributing a security-vetted collection of open-source packages to Google Cloud customers.
The new service, branded Assured Open Source Software, was introduced in a blog post from the company. In the post, Andy Chang, group product manager for security and privacy at Google Cloud, pointed to some of the challenges of securing open-source software and stressed Google’s commitment to open source.
“There has been an increasing awareness in the developer community, enterprises, and governments of software supply chain risks,” Chang wrote, citing last year’s major log4j vulnerability as an example. “Google continues to be one…
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This is the design of Sonos’ upcoming Sub Mini

A 3D product rendering of the upcoming Sonos Sub Mini, as created by The Verge. | Product render by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge Sonos announced its most affordable soundbar to date last week. But some of the company’s loyal customers were disappointed by the lack of a less expensive subwoofer to go along with the new Sonos Ray. It felt like the perfect opportunity to announce a product that’s been rumored for months. The only subwoofer that Sonos currently sells is the $749 Sub, which costs more than both the Ray and Beam — so it’s hard to justify as an accessory at those terms.
But despite no announcement last week, The Verge can confirm that Sonos is coming closer to releasing a smaller, less costly subwoofer that will be able to wirelessly pair with the Sonos Ray, Beam, and Arc. Rumors about such a device popped up a few months ago after Sonos accidentally…
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