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Google News Showcase will offer some paywalled articles for free

As a Google News Showcase user, you’ll soon have the chance to read some paywalled articles for free. Google News Showcase, in case you need a refresher, is a program and product Google announced in October. The company said it would invest $1 billion in partnerships with news publishers to curate high-quality content within Google News and other parts...

Hacker faces three years in prison for child porn, Nintendo data breaches

Ryan Hernandez, the 21-year-old who spent years breaking into Nintendo servers, was sentenced to three years in prison today for his hacking exploits and possession of child pornography. The Palmdale, CA resident pleaded guilty to both charges in January 2020 and originally faced sentencing the following April, but the process was postponed due to COVID-related...

Google AI is now piloting Loon's internet-beaming balloons

Alphabet’s Loon has shifted to a different type of navigation system for its internet-beaming balloons. Rather than relying on algorithms designed by humans, the balloons are using an artificial intelligence system Loon developed with Google AI over the last few years. A reinforcement learning (RL) system is now in charge of navigation for a fleet of...

Discovery+ starts streaming in the US on January 4th for $5 per month

Discovery’s long-in-the-making streaming service is nearly ready. The media giant has revealed that its Discovery+ service will launch in the US on January 4th, 2021. It’ll cost the $5 per month you’d expect for some specialty services, but that still includes ads — you’ll need to spend $7 per month to avoid interruptions. It’ll be available on “major”...

Watch a short film shot in augmented reality with Snap's Spectacles 3

Creatives have been using Snap's Spectacles 3 to create music videos with augmented reality effects for a while, and the company is now moving into another filmmaking format. Snap teamed up with Los Angeles-based artist and community organizer Lauren Halsey for the first in a series of short films shot entirely with Spectacles 3.Halsey's four-minute...

TikTok is experimenting with longer-form, three-minute videos

The beauty of TikToks is that they're (usually) never long enough to overstay their welcome, but a new report suggests the company behind the app is mulling a big change. Per a tweet shared by social media consultant (and former Next Web journalist) Matt Navarra, TikTok is beginning to offer some users the ability to upload videos as long as three minutes,...

Amazon's Fire TV Cube can now handle two-way video calls

Amazon is bringing several Alexa-powered features to the second-generation Fire TV Cube, including two-way video calls. Since the device doesn't have a camera, you'll need to connect a webcam that has UVC support and a resolution of at least 720p. It’ll also need to capture video at a minimum of 30 frames per second — 4K webcams aren't recommended,...

Walmart Plus drops $35 order minimum to battle Amazon Prime

Walmart hasn’t been shy about challenging Amazon Prime with its Plus service, and that now includes no-charge shipping. CNBC reports that Walmart Plus is dropping its $35 order minimum for free one- or two-day shipping as of December 4th. You won’t have to add something superfluous to your order just to get free shipping for a must-have item, in other...

My return to ‘No Man’s Sky’ was a reminder of death and the void

I turned 36 in October, and one of my birthday gifts was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 Remastered. It was a game I was good at as a kid, and loved playing, despite my total disinterest in skating in the real world. But, for whatever reason, the muscle-memory never came back to me, and I couldn’t connect to those vaseline-on-the-lens-tinted memories...

iPhone exploit gave hackers control over WiFi without your input

Many security exploits require at least some kind of interaction on your part, but that wasn’t true for an iPhone exploit earlier this year. As Ars Technica reports, Google Project Zero researcher Ian Beer has detailed an iOS 13 exploit that let someone remotely control a device over WiFi using a “zero-click” attack — that is, with no input required...

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