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PSA: Don’t trust Amazon’s Choice video doorbells – some allow anyone to spy on you

Consumer Reports found that some Amazon’s Choice video bells have security so bad that a complete stranger can pair their phone to your doorbell simply by holding the exterior button for eight seconds.

Bad actors can even access still images from thousands of miles away, without needing any credentials for your account, creating a privacy nightmare …

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More than seven hours of daily screen time is harmful; costs US $73B a year

Too much screen time is harmful | People using laptops and smartphones on shared table

A new study says that more than seven hours a day of daily screen time is harmful to our health, and the cost of this to the US economy adds up to $73B a year.

Eye-strain, muscle fatigue, neck pain, sleep interference, and even damage to our musculoskeletal system can result from spending too much time in front of a screen, says the report …

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Viture One XR glasses could be my Vision Pro stand-in for now

Viture One XR glasses connected to an iPhone 15 Pro Max

I’ve previously said that much as Vision Pro looks insanely impressive, I’m still not expecting to hand over my cash before a third-gen device. If you’re of the same mind, then the $439 Viture One XR glasses might be worth a look.

To be clear, the company makes no claims to be competing with Vision Pro. Its glasses product are a very different beast, but do tick some of the same boxes – including the ability to view Spatial Video content shot on the iPhone 15 …

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Adopting a sane approach to social media, and apps generally

A sane approach to social media | Sunrise reflecting on waves

The start of a new year is a time many of us use to take stock – of our goals, our habits, the ways in which we spend our time. For me, one significant change has been adopting a more sane approach to social media, and apps in general.

I’m a huge fan of technology, of course, but I also fully acknowledge that tech also has its downsides – and social media in particular has been a very mixed blessing …

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VanMoof rescue plan will see replacement parts; new sales; e-scooter [U]

VanMoof ebike mess | S3 bike

Anyone with a VanMoof ebike is likely concerned after the Dutch company confirmed that it is in financial trouble (and subsequently declared bankrupt).

Update: The new owners have announced details of the rescue plan, set to roll out in the first half of 2024. This will begin with replacement parts being made available to retailers, then new sales, and finally a VanMoof e-scooter. However, reports The Verge, the US situation is more complex. The rescue plan will come to the States, but the timeline is as yet unknown.

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AirJet cooling system could make a MacBook Air perform like a MacBook Pro

AirJet cooling system running in a MacBook Air

A solid-state cooling system called AirJet was able to cool an M2 MacBook Air enough to keep with the M2 MacBook Pro when running a demanding benchmark test over a sustained period.

The bad news is that the system isn’t available for sale to consumers to retrofit, and it’s hardly likely that Apple will use it to remove a key differentiator between the two models – but the company behind the tech does think it could help Apple reduce the size of cooling fans in future MacBook Pro models …

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Casetify removes from sale all Inside Out cases, as Dbrand shows how it detected its images [U]

Dbrand is suing Casetify | Side-by-side MacBook Pro images

Dbrand is suing Casetify for allegedly stealing the teardown designs it uses for skins and cases for Apple and other devices. Dbrand began its extensive collection of internal designs with a skin for the iPhone 13 Pro Max back in July of last year.

Update: Casetify has now removed all of the Inside Out cases from its website, redirecting to its best-sellers, as Dbrand shares close-up images of the easter eggs uses to identify the images (see bottom of piece). Casetify has also tweeted a statement, but reading the replies, that isn’t going well …

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Data brokers selling even more sensitive info; national security risk, says report

Data brokers selling even more sensitive info | CCTV camera with array of red lights

A new report says that personal information sold by data brokers is even more sensitive and detailed than previously thought, making so-called anonymized data even easier to tie back to specific individuals.

The report says that those buying data are able to target people working in extremely sensitive professions, including military personnel and “decision makers” working in national security roles …

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T-Mobile unlimited plans: Forced migration now completely abandoned [U]

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Update: In an earnings call, CEO Mike Sievert told investors and analysts that the idea has now been completely abandoned – statement below.

A reported move regarding some older T-Mobile unlimited plans got the carrier into hot water, and the company’s CEO said that it never intended to proceed with this – rather, it was just carrying out a small-scale test. But even the test has now been abandoned …

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Tens of millions of teens want parents to track them, finds survey

Teens want parents to track them | Apple's Find My app

Tens of millions of teens actively want their parents to track their locations using tech like Apple’s Find My and third-party apps like Life360, says a new survey.

More broadly, the survey reports on Gen Z – representing those aged 11 to 26 – being more anxious than previous generations, and having a different mindset to location tracking …

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Almost half of TSMC Arizona plant hires are from Taiwan; full expansion ‘unlikely’

TSMC Arizona plant hires – half from Taiwan | Stylized image of printed circuit boards

When Apple chipmaker TSMC was granted federal subsidies for building its first US plant, creating jobs for American workers was one of the key arguments. But with hiring well underway, a new report says that almost half of the TSMC Arizona plant hires are from Taiwan.

Additionally, plans for a six-step expansion program – intended to allow the Arizona plant to rival the production volumes of those in Taiwan – are now said to be unlikely to proceed ….

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Phone call via satellite using ordinary smartphone, in next step beyond Emergency SOS

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Sure, current iPhones can send data via satellites in emergencies, but two new demonstrations show that we might soon be able to routinely make voice phone calls via satellite connectivity. You can watch the call and 5G demo in the video below.

The test phone call – along with a separate 5G data download – was made from Maui, Hawaii, to Madrid using a new low Earth orbit satellite …

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Digital Services Act comes into force today – hard to tell whether Apple is complying

Digital Services Act | Apple App Store promo graphic

Update: In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple said:

“The App Store was designed to be a safe and trusted place for users to download apps, and the goals of the DSA align with Apple’s goals to protect consumers from illegal and harmful content. We are working to implement the requirements of the DSA with user privacy and security as our continued North Star.”

We learned back in April that Apple was one of 19 companies that would be subject to the Digital Services Act. The law comes into force today, and it’s not clear whether or not the iPhone maker is complying.

Indeed, many are saying that this is the big problem with the act: There’s a lot of subjectivity involved in determining whether a company is breaking the law, making enforcement tricky …

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