Recent News from Digital Trends

The Morning After: What to expect from Google’s Pixel 7 event

Google’s big Pixel hardware event kicks off Thursday October 6th, and we’ll finally get to hear all the details of the Pixel 7 series and that long-teased (and leaked) Pixel Watch.

Google first showed off a glimpse of its next Pixel phone back in May 2022. It keeps the camera bar style of last year’s Pixel 6, but with an aluminum frame flourish. ​​The base Pixel 7 model will have two rear cameras, and the Pro will have three. Pixel phones’ camera skills are usually their standout feature, so we’re intrigued to hear more. Rumors suggest the Pixel 7 family will start at the same $599 and $899 prices as last year’s phones – which could be even more compelling at a time of rising prices.

Then, there’s the Pixel Watch – Google’s first official smartwatch, ever. It’ll be a hardware showcase for Wear OS 3 with tight Fitbit integration. Expect a prominent crown on the side, a circular watch face and several band options, a la Apple Watch. Can Google match the specs of the current smartwatch king? We’ll be reporting on all the official details later this week. Stay tuned.

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

YouTube is asking users to subscribe to Premium to watch 4K videos

You might have to pay now to see a clip in its highest quality.

YouTube is asking some viewers to upgrade to Premium to watch videos in 4K resolution. It’s not clear which countries, devices or videos are affected, but reports are appearing across both Reddit and Twitter. YouTube claimed a combined 50 million Premium and Music subscribers last September. That may sound like a lot, but compared to paid media services like Spotify Premium (188 million users as of the second quarter) and Netflix (220.7 million), it’s a little underwhelming.

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Wisk Aero’s latest flying taxi has four seats and can fly itself

It calls the four-passenger craft a ‘candidate for FAA certification.’


Wisk Aero has unveiled its 6th-generation semi-autonomous air taxi, calling it the “first-ever candidate for type certification by the FAA of an autonomous eVTOL.” The design looks like a substantially updated version of the Cora air taxi we saw fly and hover in New Zealand back in 2018. However, getting that coveted FAA certification is a struggle even for established airplane manufacturers, like Boeing – let alone a new company with a brand-new aircraft type.

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There’s a PS5 jailbreak, but only for old firmware

The exploit has some major restrictions.


Almost two years after the PlayStation 5 went on sale, it seems modders have found a way to jailbreak the console, albeit with some significant limitations. A WebKit vulnerability will only work on PS5 systems that run firmware version 4.03 or earlier. If you have updated your PS5 since last October, you will probably not be able to try the exploit. It doesn’t seem likely this jailbreak will be in widespread use anytime soon, due to its limitations and the risk of bricking the console at a time when it still isn’t all that easy to buy one. You can install PT, sure, but you can’t play it.

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FCC will start kicking voice providers out of its robocall database

Calls will be blocked if those providers don’t boost their anti-spam efforts.

Telecom companies slow to adopt anti-robocall measures could soon face stiff punishment in the US. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now plans to remove seven voice service providers from its Robocall Mitigation Database for failing to comply with required anti-spam efforts, such as implementing STIR/SHAKEN call authentication to prevent spoofing.

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A data-sharing agreement between the US and UK is now in effect

Privacy advocates have raised concerns.

A data-sharing pact between the US and the UK has gone into effect, five years after it was suggested. The two sides claim the Data Access Agreement, which was authorized by the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act in the US, will help law enforcement to combat serious crimes in both countries. Privacy advocates have blasted the initiative for several years. In 2018, just after the bill was introduced, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said it “creates a dangerous precedent for other countries who may want to access information stored outside their own borders, including data stored in the United States.”

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Apple’s second-generation AirPods fall to a new low of $79

Apple may have recently refreshed its AirPods lineup with the launch of the new Pro model, but its older earbuds still offer plenty of features for less money. That’s been the case for the second-generation AirPods for quite a while, but with Walmart and Amazon selling them for just $79 right now, there’s never been a better time to grab a pair. That works out at $80 off their normal price and $10 cheaper than they were during Black Friday 2021. Stock appears to be limited, so you may need to act quickly.

Buy Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) at Walmart – $79Buy Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) at Amazon – $79

If you’ve not paid much attention to Apple’s wireless earbuds, AirPods have become the most popular buds in the space since they first came out. They pair seamlessly with and switch easily between Apple products, with your iOS device recognizing them the minute you open the case. Audio playback will also switch based on which device you’re using. That means you can go from taking a call on your iPhone to listening to music from your MacBook without an issue.

Bear in mind that the model on sale today features the Lightning charging case, not the wireless one. That shouldn’t pose much of an issue, but make sure you check before adding to your basket. Although it’s been over three years since the second-generation AirPods debuted, these buds are a super value buy at this $79 sale price.

Mystery Person in Elon Musk Texts Who Encouraged Billionaire to Destroy Twitter Is Ex-Wife: Report

The mystery person known only as ‘TJ’ in court documents made public last week during Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk has been revealed as the billionaire’s ex-wife Talulah Riley, according to a new report from Bloomberg News.Read more…

US set to impose more trade restrictions on Chinese AI and supercomputer companies

The White House is set to unveil rules that would further restrict access to advanced computing technology in China that could be used by its military, according to The New York Times. The new measures, which may be announced this week, reportedly aim to reduce Beijing’s ability to produce advanced weapons and surveillance systems. 

The new rules would build on restrictions that block companies from selling US-developed technologies to smartphone manufacturer Huawei, first introduced by the Trump administration in 2019. President Biden is expected to apply such restrictions to additional Chinese firms, government research labs and other entities, insiders told the NYT. Companies around the world would then be prohibited from selling any American-made tech to the targeted organizations.

Last month, Reuters reported that the White House could try to curb sales of advanced US-made tools to China’s semiconductor industry. It may also limit exports of American microchips to advanced Chinese supercomputing and data centers. The measures could hit not only government, but academic institutions and internet companies like Alibaba and Tencent. 

While the US has the most performance in the Top500 supercomputer list, China leads in the number of systems. The new US curbs, if enacted, would be the largest effort to combat China’s ability to build supercomputers and data centers. 

While most supercomputing uses are benign, some have malign purposes like weapons development or surveillance. In one instance, a supercomputer built with Intel and NVIDIA chips was used to surveille minority Uyghurs in the nation. Last month, NVIDIA revealed in an SEC filing that the US government was restricting sales of computer chips used for supercomputers and AI to both Russia and China. 

‘The Onion’ filed a real brief with the Supreme Court supporting man jailed for making fun of cops

When was the last time you’ve read an amicus brief? If you’re not involved in the legal profession, chances are you may have never actually spent precious time reading one. This amicus brief (PDF) could change that. It was submitted by The Onion, which describes itself in the brief as “the world’s leading news publication” with “4.3 trillion” readers that maintains “a towering standard of excellence to which the rest of the industry aspires.” In addition to running a highly successful news publication, The Onion said it “owns and operates the majority of the world’s transoceanic shipping lanes, stands on the nation’s leading edge on matters of deforestation and strip mining, and proudly conducts tests on millions of animals daily.” Oh, and its motto is “Tu stultus es.” That’s “you are dumb” in Latin. 

The Onion, of course, is the popular parody website that once named Kim Jong-un as the sexiest man alive. Its team has filed a very real amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of Anthony Novak, who was arrested and jailed for four days after briefly running a Facebook page parodying the police department of Parma, Ohio back in 2016.

According to The Washington Times, Novak had suggested that the cops were racist and lacked compassion in about half a dozen posts within 12 hours that the page was up. Parma’s police department claimed back then that people were confusing its posts with real information from law enforcement. Novak filed a civil suit against the officers that arrested him and the city of Parma, arguing that his constitutional rights were violated. After a federal appeals ruled that the officers were protected by what’s known as “qualified immunity” for law enforcement, he took the battle to the Supreme Court. 

Despite writing the brief in the same voice its publication uses, and despite filling it with outlandish claims and hilarious quips, The Onion made a very real argument defending the use of parody and explaining how it works:

“Put simply, for parody to work, it has to plausibly mimic the original. The Sixth Circuit’s decision in this case would condition the First Amendment’s protection for parody upon a requirement that parodists explicitly say, up-front, that their work is nothing more than an elaborate fiction. But that would strip parody of the very thing that makes it function.

The Onion cannot stand idly by in the face of a ruling that threatens to disembowel a form of rhetoric that has existed for millennia, that is particularly potent in the realm of political debate, and that, purely incidentally, forms the basis of The Onion’s writers’ paychecks.”

As Bloomberg notes, Supreme Court Justices have yet to decide whether to hear the case.

Interview With the Vampire’s First Episode Will Seduce You

On Sunday, the world was reintroduced to Anne Rice’s vampires. The AMC pilot of the reconstructed Interview With the Vampire stars Jacob Anderson as Louis de Pointe du Lac, Sam Reid as Lestat, and Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy. (Also, Bailey Bass as C…

Who Made Bobby Moynihan Break Character During SNL?

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Get a First Peek at Sci-Fi Noir Debut Novel Bang Bang Bodhisattva

If you’re interested in cyberware, sci-fi trans-humanism, and an incredible amount of sassy characters, then you’re going to want to sit down for this book. From Rebellion Publishing, Aubrey Wood’s debut novel Bang Bang Bodhisattva gets an exclusive co…

Firefly Sends Alpha Rocket to Orbit, One Year After Explosive Launch Attempt

Private space company Firefly finally reached orbit with its Alpha rocket, joining a short list of U.S. commercial rocket builders that have successfully launched a vehicle to orbit amidst a growing space industry. Read more…

OAN Is Planning to Infiltrate Homes Through Old, Decaying TV Antennas

One America News, responsible for the some of basest pro-Donald Trump bile available anywhere, reportedly has a plan to once again help its voice crawl its way into the hearts and minds of folks all across the country. Though it’s promoting new streami…