What does aggregation theory tell us about Google’s antitrust case?
- Suddenly, you have intermediaries like Amazon that wield a lot of their power by controlling the supply of consumers.
- (Our video above covers the basics.) It’s a detailed and compelling case for why internet-era business is different from what came before, with a lot of implications for anyone doing business with them.
- The argument started with a post from Columbia Law professor Tim Wu, trying to carve out a place for antitrust action into aggregation theory’s broader story about tech companies competing to better serve consumers.
- Google is currently fighting an ambitious antitrust case from the US Department of Justice, and skeptics in Congress are pushing similar arguments against Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.
- But those antitrust cases argue that internet companies got so big by using market power to drive out competitors through acquisitions, predatory pricing, or other exclusionary deals.
Sonos launches microphone-free Arc SL soundbar exclusively at Costco
- Sonos is releasing a microphone-free version of its premium Dolby Atmos soundbar, the Sonos Arc. It shares the same “SL” branding as the no-mic Sonos One speakers, but unlike those, this version of the Arc — $50 cheaper than the regular model — is available exclusively at Costco in the US and Canada beginning today.
- Everything else about the Arc SL, including audio performance, should be exactly the same as the regular hardware that has built-in mics for Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands.
- The Arc sounds fantastic, and Sonos has been improving upon the Arc since its release with firmware updates; the company recently added support for multichannel LPCM surround sound over an eARC HDMI connection.
- Not enormous savings, but at least there’s now a microphone-free selection for Sonos’ excellent soundbar for those who prefer the option.
Spotify says a million-plus Anchor podcasts will help it dominate podcasting
- In data released today as part of its annual Wrapped look-back on the year, the company says Anchor, which makes podcast creation software, powered 80 percent of new podcasts on Spotify this year, meaning the software contributed more than 1 million shows to Spotify’s catalog in 2020 alone.
- Spotify says Anchor shows account for more consumption, in terms of time spent listening, than any other third-party podcast hosting or distribution provider on its platform.
- Spotify says Anchor’s top five markets in 2020, by total number of shows, were the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Great Britain.
- Meanwhile, the fastest-growing markets, looking at the average monthly increase in new shows, are India, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Indonesia.
- So while a variety of countries contribute to Anchor’s growing reach, the creators on the platform likely aren’t making a living, or even any income, because of their podcasting work.
Apple’s $129 MagSafe Duo charger is now available
- Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger is now on sale online, after initially having been announced without a release date as part of this year’s iPhone launch.
- The $129 folding accessory includes a magnetic wireless charging puck for the iPhone 12 as well as an Apple Watch charger.
- It’s pretty expensive for what you get, especially when you consider that it doesn’t include a charging brick.
- You’ll need to use at least a 20W USB-C adapter, like Apple’s own $19 option, in order to get the faster charging speeds — and even then it won’t be as fast as the regular 15W MagSafe charger.
- That said, I can see the appeal as someone who would rather not carry two separate power bricks and cables to charge my watch and phone when traveling.
- If so, right now Apple says the MagSafe Duo will ship within one business day.
Fortnite Chapter 2: Season 5 adds Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian
- Following a cataclysmic event starring the supervillain Galactus, the latest season of Fortnite is almost here.
- Outside of characters, there are new locations including a jungle area and a sci-fi desert caused by the exploding zero point.
- It also wouldn’t be a new season of Fortnite without new weapons: season 5 additions include the Dragon’s Breath shotgun, the Mandalorian’s Amban sniper rifle, and the Night Hawk, which lets you track your opponents.
- As a hunter, it’s your duty to help the Island’s characters in their unstable new reality.
- Earn bars by completing quests and bounties, eliminating players, or finding hidden stashes around the Island.
- Spend your earned bars on new exotic weapons, upgrades, intel, services, and more.
- Epic has also teased “even more hunters from the realities beyond,” suggesting that additional licensed characters are on the way.
Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti: where and when to buy
- Like the RTX 3070, this card is a great option if you are looking to play PC games at a 1440p resolution.
- Also like the RTX 3070 and every other graphics card released this year, stock will likely not last long at most retailers, so you’ll want to be on the dot.
- If you’re looking for the $399 RTX 3060 Founder’s Edition that we reviewed, you’ll only be able to find it at Best Buy and Micro Center in the United States, but other retailers like Newegg should have an array of boards from partners too, some of which may cost a bit more.
- An impressive graphics card that delivers 1440p gaming at a competitive price.
- You may also be able to find it at Amazon, Newegg, Adorama, B&H and Micro Center in the US, Currys and Ebuyer in the UK, and Best Buy Canada.
The Galactus event was Fortnite’s biggest yet
- The season-ending live event that just took place in Fortnite was the game’s biggest to date, Epic Games has confirmed.
- The Galactus event, which concluded Fortnite’s current Marvel-themed season, had a record 15.3 million concurrent players, the company said in a tweet.
- The record before that was the Marshmello show, which reached 10.7 million.
- Epic says that 3.4 million people also watched the Galactus event on Twitch and YouTube.
- The event saw players teaming up to stop the Marvel supervillain from destroying Fortnite’s island by piloting an explosives-laden battle bus to feed him.
- Fortnite is currently shut down as Epic prepares to launch season 5.
- Anyone booting the game right now will see a timer counting down until the next season — it’s currently set at just under six hours to go.
iFixit’s secret-Santa-priced screwdriver sets have the bits to open a MacBook or Switch
- You probably know iFixit for their teardowns of the latest gadgets, but a number of Verge writers also swear by their screwdriver sets which come with lots of exotic bits to open up electronics yourself.
- The Minnow driver kit costs $14.99, and has a lot of what people will need if they’re just working on newer tech devices.
- While the sets are relatively inexpensive, shoppers who are always fixing things may want to look at some of iFixit’s other kits, such as the $25 Essential Electronics Toolkit, which comes with a lot of the same bits, plus tweezers, spudgers, and other tools that are useful for taking apart today’s glued or clipped-together devices.
- That said, having more options when it comes to repairing your devices is a good thing, and the Minnow and Moray have attractive prices for people who will only need to repair devices every so often (or for people looking for a secondary kit to keep at the office or in a backpack).
This incredible exploit could have let hackers remotely own iPhones without even touching them
- Today, Google Project Zero security researcher Ian Beer has revealed that, until May, a variety of Apple iPhones and other iOS devices were vulnerable to an incredible exploit that could let attackers remotely reboot and take complete control of their devices from a distance — including reading emails and other messages, downloading photos, and even potentially watching and listening to you through the iPhone’s microphone and camera.
- According to Beer, that’s because today’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches use a protocol called Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) to create mesh networks for features like AirDrop (so you can easily beam photos and files to other iOS devices) and Sidecar (to quickly turn an iPad into a secondary screen).
- Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company does cite Beer in the changelogs for several of its May 2020 security updates that are linked to the vulnerability.
Nintendo hacker Ryan Hernandez sentenced to three years in prison following guilty plea
- Ryan Hernandez, the hacker who pled guilty to stealing information about the Nintendo Switch prior to its release, has been sentenced to three years in prison.
- In addition to prison time, Hernandez will also be required to pay Nintendo $259,323 in retribution for the stolen information.
- Hernandez was first investigated by the FBI after he and an associate successfully phished confidential information from a Nintendo employee in 2016.
- However, Hernandez continued to dig up confidential information in the following years and the FBI renewed its investigation.
- The judge overseeing the case recommended that Hernandez be placed in “a Bureau of Prisons facility for inmates with cognitive challenges” and afterwards that he receive a seven year supervised release.
- But those intriguing looks came with a cost: the release of personal information from Nintendo employees, making the leak an ethical quandary for archivists and historians.