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Top tech news for Tuesday, February 14, 2023 – The Verge


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By Jon Porter / @JonPorty
Happy Tuesday, everything is broken. Most significantly, late Monday night T-Mobile experienced what appears to be a fairly major outage across the US, with thousands of customers from California to New York reporting that they were unable to place calls or use other basic network services. T-Mobile says it’s now working at “near normal levels,” so hopefully your own connectivity will be restored by the time you’re reading this.
Next up on the breakages list is Twitter, whose “For You” feed was dominated by Elon. The man himself says Twitter is currently making adjustments to the algorithm, presumably to fix the issue. But look, the important context here is that Musk reportedly fired a senior employee recently in a discussion about his tanking engagement numbers. Maybe this “bug” is just Twitter’s remaining staff covering their asses?
Finally, Google Photos also seems to be having difficulties as of the latest iOS update, with users reporting that the app keeps crashing on launch. Again, Google is aware and working on a fix.
And now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:
Feb 15, 2023, 1:48 AM UTCRichard Lawler
From last week’s Vergecast: there’s one small problem with this Bing AI response about The Verge’s history with Elon Musk and Elon Musk impersonators.
Feb 15, 2023, 1:36 AM UTCT.C. Sottek
Elon Musk claimed he was buying Twitter to promote free speech, but as it turns out, his own speech is getting an exclusive premium.
The whole “free speech” myth of Musk buying Twitter has already been definitively refuted, but this latest development is the final nail in that coffin: this guy just wants everyone to see how funny and popular he is, despite all evidence to the contrary. All of this could have been avoided if Musk just admitted he wanted to buy Twitter because he loves to post.
Feb 15, 2023, 1:25 AM UTCJay Peters
The PSVR2’s Sense controllers include a hidden ring of IR LEDs.
Feb 15, 2023, 1:19 AM UTCZoe Schiffer and Casey Newton
After his Super Bowl tweet did worse numbers than President Biden’s, Twitter’s CEO ordered major changes to the algorithm.
Feb 15, 2023, 1:03 AM UTCRichard Lawler
The details are apparently coming out as Apple tests its “buy now, pay later” service with employees. The service was supposed to launch last year.
From Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman:
The Apple Pay Later service — announced last year but still in the testing phase — will evaluate borrowers based on their spending history and even which of the company’s devices they own. The program, which lets shoppers make purchases and then pay over installments, also will look at whether customers have applied for an Apple Card credit card and the other cards they have linked to their Apple Pay accounts.
Feb 14, 2023, 10:38 PM UTCMia Sato
Instagram announced last month that the reshuffled homepage was coming, moving the new post button back to the bottom of the app where it was before.
It’s part of a larger move away from shopping features at the company — it said today it was also getting rid of live shopping features.
Feb 14, 2023, 10:37 PM UTCAndrew J. Hawkins
Zoox said its steering wheel- and pedal-less autonomous vehicle is the first ‘purpose-built’ robotaxi to operate on public roads.
Feb 14, 2023, 8:54 PM UTCDan Seifert
Everything’s a computer!
(And yes, you can waste your time with a PDF breaking down the official specs for updating USB-C cables.)
Feb 14, 2023, 8:45 PM UTCAriel Shapiro
Plus, YouTube is coming to Hot Pod Summit.
Feb 14, 2023, 8:38 PM UTCNilay Patel
I mean, it’s a press release designed to scare you into buying Cloudflare’s services, but check out these numbers:
Over the weekend, Cloudflare detected and mitigated dozens of hyper-volumetric DDoS attacks. The majority of attacks peaked in the ballpark of 50-70 million requests per second (rps) with the largest exceeding 71 million rps. This is the largest reported HTTP DDoS attack on record, more than 35% higher than the previous reported record of 46M rps in June 2022.
Some of the attacked websites included a popular gaming provider, cryptocurrency companies, hosting providers, and cloud computing platforms. The attacks originated from numerous cloud providers, and we have been working with them to crack down on the botnet.
[The Cloudflare Blog]
Feb 14, 2023, 7:29 PM UTCAndrew J. Hawkins
We don’t know what’s wrong with the battery, but we do know that Ford has put a temporary halt on production and shipment of its popular electric pickup. There’s no recall, no reported incidents, and no stop-sale order to dealers, so it’s a bit of a mystery at the moment. Ford CEO Jim Farley is reportedly cracking down on quality issues at the automaker, so this could be an example of Ford trying to get ahead of the problem before it gets worse.
Feb 14, 2023, 7:11 PM UTCElizabeth Lopatto
Feeling insecure about the Canadian presence on digital streamers and social media, the Canadian government is days away from passing a law requiring more Canadian content on TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and so on…
The idea, said Peter Menzies, a former official at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, is to promote Canadian artists, tell Canadian stories and “defend Canada from being completely swamped by American programming.”
Sad, isn’t it?
Feb 14, 2023, 6:53 PM UTCJay Peters
The ‘Why am I seeing this ad’ tool is getting some updates.
Feb 14, 2023, 5:43 PM UTCEmma Roth
The game had an average of 7 million streams across all services.
Feb 14, 2023, 5:02 PM UTCJon Porter
The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc and home to key automakers including Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz Group. 
Feb 14, 2023, 5:00 PM UTCJess Weatherbed
The Privacy Sandbox on Android beta is limited to a small number of Android 13 devices for now but will expand ‘over time.’
Feb 14, 2023, 5:00 PM UTCCharles Pulliam-Moore
Watching the third Ant-Man film is sort of like being on a Marvel-themed acid trip that’s actually pretty fun until it comes to a confusingly abrupt halt.
Feb 14, 2023, 5:00 PM UTCJess Weatherbed
Stage Channels will now support live video, screen sharing, and text chat for up to 300 participants.
Feb 14, 2023, 4:43 PM UTCJay Peters
I’m sorry for the pun. But you really should watch Masahiro Sakurai’s latest YouTube video about his work on Meteos, a great entry in the “falling block” puzzle game genre. I really wish there was a new version of this game.
Feb 14, 2023, 4:34 PM UTCAndrew J. Hawkins
Over 8 million vehicles are eligible for the free anti-theft software upgrade after the so-called ‘Kia Challenge’ on social media resulted in thousands of car thefts.
Feb 14, 2023, 4:04 PM UTCNilay Patel
Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker on competing — and cooperating — with Google, Apple, and the rest of Big Tech.
Feb 14, 2023, 3:41 PM UTCBarbara Krasnoff
If the screen doesn’t switch in tablet mode, there are a couple of ways to fix the problem.
Feb 14, 2023, 3:00 PM UTCAllison Johnson
The price is right for the OnePlus 11 5G — $699 to be exact — but after a tumultuous few years for the company, is anyone buying?
Feb 14, 2023, 3:00 PM UTCMitchell Clark
The goal is to “reflect modern hardware and applications” better than the previous version.
Feb 14, 2023, 2:29 PM UTCAndrew Webster
The show’s third season premieres on Apple TV Plus on March 15th.
Feb 14, 2023, 1:47 PM UTCMakena Kelly
Gigi Sohn’s stalled nomination has blocked the FCC from reinstating net neutrality, among other White House priorities.
Feb 14, 2023, 1:11 PM UTCMitchell Clark
Several users reported that the app crashes almost instantly when they try to open it. Google has released a fix.
Feb 14, 2023, 11:48 AM UTCTom Warren
Microsoft will issue an update today to disable Internet Explorer on Windows 10 forever.
Feb 14, 2023, 10:58 AM UTCTom Warren
Bing AI users have found that Microsoft’s chatbot is making a lot of mistakes. It even made financial errors during Microsoft’s first demos.
Feb 14, 2023, 5:25 AM UTCChris Welch
Disruptions were reported all over the country, with many customers unable to place calls or send texts. Retiring network chief Neville Ray cited a “3rd party fiber interruption issue” as the cause.
Feb 13, 2023, 11:14 PM UTCEmma Roth
Is your Twitter feed suddenly all Elon Musk, too?
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