My iPhone is calling to me with a different voice

Sing me the new song of your people. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Apple’s upcoming iOS 16 update brings with it a lot of new features — things like the ability to customize your Lock Screen, edit iMessages, or copy written text from a video. But Apple’s also made an under-the-radar change to some of the iPhone’s sounds, which some of us hear at The Verge noticed while using the betas.
When you go to the Find My app and choose the “play sound” option for an iOS / iPadOS 16 device, you’ll now be greeted with what sounds like an electronic xylophone, instead of the pinging sound that played on iOS 15 and before. The change also applies to when you ask your Apple Watch to ping your phone for you, except the sound plays once instead of over and over. One of my co-workers described the new sound as higher…
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Acer’s Vero 514 brings its ‘eco-conscious’ concept to a Chromebook

So green. | Image: Acer Acer is adding a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is meant to offer laptop buyers an “eco-conscious” option. Like the (rather disappointing) Windows laptop that came before it, the Chromebook Vero 514 is made using recycled plastics, has a chassis that’s 99 percent recyclable, and comes in packaging that’s 90 percent recycled paper, according to the company. Acer’s press release even suggests that part of the Chromebook’s packaging can be “transformed into a multi-purpose triangular laptop stand,” if you’re loathe to throw anything away.
Before we go over the recyclability, though, let’s quickly go through the specs — it weighs in at just a hair over 3 pounds, which is reasonable for a laptop with a 14-inch screen, and is…
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Engineer admits he stole trade secrets while working on the Apple Car

He could face up to 10 years in prison. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Xiaolang Zhang has pled guilty to stealing trade secrets from Apple, where he worked on a self-driving car project from 2015 to 2018 (via CNBC). When he quit his job at Apple, he told his supervisor that he was going to work for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology, a Chinese EV startup also known as Xpeng.
During an investigation, which you can read more about here, Apple determined that he had transferred around 24GB of “highly problematic” data to his wife’s laptop via AirDrop, and had also taken circuit boards and a server from the company’s autonomous vehicle lab.
The terms of Zhang’s plea agreement aren’t publicly available, but according to a court document uploaded by CNBC (pdf), Zhang pled guilty to the single theft of trade…
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Google AI flagged parents’ accounts for potential abuse over nude photos of their sick kids

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A concerned father says that after using his Android smartphone to take photos of an infection on his toddler’s groin, Google flagged the images as child sexual abuse material (CSAM), according to a report from The New York Times. The company closed his accounts and filed a report with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and spurred a police investigation, highlighting the complications of trying to tell the difference between potential abuse and an innocent photo once it becomes part of a user’s digital library, whether on their personal device or in cloud storage.
Concerns about the consequences of blurring the lines for what should be considered private were aired last year when Apple announced its Child…
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FTX’s money isn’t insured, FDIC says

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) slapped the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned cryptocurrency exchange FTX with a cease-and-desist order over “false and misleading statements” that suggest its assets are FDIC-insured. The FDIC doesn’t cover stocks or crypto, and only safeguards funds held in insured bank accounts.
In a letter to the exchange, the FDIC points to a now-deleted tweet from FTX president Brett Harrison, which states “direct deposits from employers to FTX US are stored in individually FDIC-insured bank accounts in the users’ names.” The referenced tweet also says that “stocks are held in FDIC-insured and SIPC [Security Investor Protection Corporation]-insured brokerage accounts.” The FDIC claims this falsely represents…
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Twitter tests a special tag to highlight phone number-verified accounts

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Elon Musk’s bot-baiting aside, Twitter has had many people call for changes to how it identifies accounts and what can be done to call out which ones are more legit than others. Now engineer Jane Manchun Wong has dug up a Twitter label that would put a mark on accounts with a verified phone number. She also noted another test feature showing view counts for tweets, which some users already have access to for their own tweets under the label of “analytics.” However, she said it’s unclear if this would be limited to the author or visible to everyone.
Linking an account to a number is one way to highlight that it was created with more effort than the simplest macro and could be used to filter out which tweets appear the most prominently or…
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I am once again asking you to update your Apple devices

Most updates are like this now, but that doesn’t make them less important. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Well, here we are again: I’m writing an article to tell you that you should really update your iPhone, iPad, or Mac as soon as possible, because the latest software for them fixes some pretty nasty bugs. The security notes for iOS / iPadOS 15.6.1 and macOS 12.5.1 describe fixes for bugs in the OS’ kernel (basically the core that controls everything) and WebKit that could allow attackers to run malicious code on your device. The notes also warn that the bugs may have actively been exploited.
This is, unfortunately, something like the third or fourth time I’m writing a post explicitly asking people to update their iPhones or Macs to patch some pretty serious security flaws. And the truth is, I could’ve written this exact post even more…
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Wordle’s upgraded Wordlebot has a new recommended starting word

No, it’s not “words.” | photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images The New York Times has made a few upgrades to its Wordle assistant WordleBot, and that includes a new recommended starting word: SLATE. Previously, it recommended CRANE, but now you might want to slate this new one into your repertoire.
The NYT introduced WordleBot in April as a “daily companion” to help analyze your Wordle play, and with WordleBot 2.0, the team has made some changes. One of the bigger changes is that the bot no longer limits its analysis to the subset of five letter words that are known Wordle solutions — that is, it’s thinking more like a typical human player would. Previously, the bot could have judged you harshly for guessing a legit word that, for whatever reason, isn’t one of the possible Wordle solutions, which…
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Elon Musk wins access to files from Twitter’s former head of product

Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images Elon Musk’s lawyers notched a partial win this week in their Delaware Court of Chancery standoff against Twitter with a motion requesting information from 22 Twitter employees, or “custodians,” in addition to 41 others that both sides already agreed on for sharing data. Judge Kathaleen McCormick ruled on the issue Monday afternoon, deciding Twitter has to “collect, review, and produce documents” from just one of the people listed: Kayvon Beykpour, the former head of consumer product at Twitter.
With the October 17th trial date for Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk for trying to break up their $44 billion deal drawing closer — and Musk selling billions of dollars worth of his stock in Tesla — his lawyers are trying to find something to shore…
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Apple employees will return to the office in September under hybrid model

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Apple has informed staff that they will be expected to return to the office three days per week starting September 5th, according to internal emails viewed by The Verge. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
All employees in the Bay Area will be expected to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to a third day every week that’s decided based on individual teams. Employees have the option of working remotely twice a week.
The news marks the start of Apple’s much delayed hybrid work model, which was announced in June 2021. The announcement set off a wave of activism within the company as employees protested the return to work. Those protests died down as Apple continued to delay the hybrid work model due to the pandemic.
CEO…
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