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Arkane is making a Blade game

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Arkane is making a Blade game

Arkane Lyon is making a game based on Marvel’s Blade franchise, the studio announced at The Game Awards 2023 on Thursday.

The game was revealed in a brief cinematic trailer, so we didn’t get any gameplay of the title or any details about when it might be released. But Arkane Lyon studio director Dinga Bakaba said that it would be an “immersive third-person action adventure,” so we can look forward to that. The trailer’s description also notes that it’s single-player and that it’s set in Paris. A press release notes that Arkane Lyon has “just begun” development, so we might be waiting a long time to see it.

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Oregon is about to sign — or veto — the strongest right-to-repair law yet

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Oregon is about to sign — or veto — the strongest right-to-repair law yet

Oregon’s landmark right-to-repair law is nearly here — today, SB 1596 passed the Oregon legislature, and is headed to Governor Tina Kotek’s desk to sign or veto within the next five days. It’s a big deal, because the Oregon law would be the first to ban “parts pairing,” a practice where companies can keep you from using components (sometimes even official ones) unless that company’s software is satisfied that they belong.

Similar to California’s right-to-repair law, the Oregon bill also requires companies to make the same parts, tools, and repair documents available to any owners that it offers to authorized repair shops, and without charging any more for them.

It doesn’t specify a number of years that companies need to make those items available, though — California mandates seven years, while the Oregon bill suggests companies could simply stop producing them. It also comes with typical carveouts for video game consoles, medical devices, HVAC equipment, energy storage, various kinds of engines… and electric toothbrushes.

Like California and Minnesota’s laws, it wouldn’t apply to phones sold before July 1st, 2021. But for all other gadgets, it goes all the way back to July 1st, 2015.

The ban on parts pairing wouldn’t apply to any existing device, though — only consumer electronics manufactured after January 1st, 2025.

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We spoke with iFixit CEO Kyle Weins about parts pairing, and how the fight for right-to-repair was just getting started, on this October episode of The Vergecast:

Today, Weins says he’s “beyond proud of my home state for passing the strongest-yet electronics Right to Repair bill.”

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1-minute tech changes for more privacy

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1-minute tech changes for more privacy

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You’re shopping for a gift, or doing something personal, and oops! Someone waltzes into the room. No problem — just hit Command + M on a Mac or Windows + M on a Windows PC to instantly minimize the program you have open.

There are so many little tips and tricks that make using your tech better. I’ve got a ton up my sleeve that are privacy-focused. If you find one new to you, share this article with a friend!

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5-stars! Watch Kim Komando’s Daily Podcast on YouTube. It’s tech news with a fun slant!

Every time I share this, someone thanks me

7 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK SIRI, GOOGLE ASSISTANT OR ALEXA

Apple keeps track of where you go and how often you visit. It can then make suggestions based on what it calls Significant Locations. You might see these as calendar events or map directions alerts.

Sure, it’s helpful, but not everyone likes it. You can clear this list.

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  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services.
  • Tap Significant Locations.
  • Hit the Clear History button.

You’re sending more than a selfie

Most people don’t realize all they share when sending a picture via text. Nearly every social media site strips out the metadata that reveals a photo’s little details, like when, where and how it was taken. But that info is not protected if you text a pic. You can stop that.

To stop location sharing on iPhone:

  • Open the image you want to send and tap the share button.
  • Select Options and toggle off Location. Tap Done.

To disable location tracking in your camera altogether:

  • Open Settings. Tap Privacy & Security > Location Services.
  • Scroll down, tap on Camera, then select Never.

FULTON COUNTY, GA, STILL DEALING WITH DAMAGE LEFT BY JANUARY RANSOMWARE CYBERATTACK

On Android, here’s how to wipe the location data for a single photo:

  • Open your gallery and select the photo.
  • Go to Details (it may be a three-dot menu) and click Remove location data.

Disable Bluetooth when you don’t need it

Bluetooth works similarly to Wi-Fi and cellular networks but performs simpler tasks at shorter ranges. You don’t need a cellular signal or network connection to use Bluetooth, and it doesn’t use data. And like any other connection, it’s not 100% safe.

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Hackers and scammers must be close to you to use Bluetooth to hijack your phone. But in just about any public space, you’re arm’s length from strangers.

My advice: Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it. Keeping it active all the time makes your device more discoverable. As a bonus, keeping Bluetooth off will increase your device’s battery life.

person writes in a notebook

African American teenage boy writes something in a notebook while studying in the campus library. An open laptop is on the table. He is wearing wireless headphones. (iStock)

  • On an iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and switch it off. You can also swipe down from the top right of your screen to open the Control Center and tap the Bluetooth icon.
  • The same steps work for Android phones. Go to Settings > Connected Devices > Connection Preferences > Bluetooth and switch it off. (Note: Steps vary based on your phone’s model. Look or search for Bluetooth if these steps don’t match your phone.)

Airplane mode also disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, among other things, so it works in a pinch — but you won’t receive calls or texts.

Swap your pen for a safer one

It’s kind of crazy to me that check fraud is increasing in a big way. Criminals go to mailboxes and target envelopes that look like checks being mailed or bill payments.

Check washing is the most common type of check fraud. This is where a crook steals a check from the mail and alters the payee’s name so they can cash it. They often change the amount of money as well. 

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GOOGLE CANNOT OVER-OPTIMIZE WITH ‘IDEOLOGICAL FILTERS’: DIGITAL CONSULTANT KRIS RUBY

If you need to write a check, use a security pen, also known as a check-washing pen. Uni-ball 207 Series pens (4 for around $10 on Amazon) use specially formulated ink that gets trapped into the paper, making it difficult for criminals to wash or erase the ink on a check.

To be extra safe, skip the mailbox and take your checks directly to your local post office. More smart steps here if there’s a mail fraud surge in your area.

checks identity theft

Check washing fraud is when important information is removed from an original check and new information is added on. (Fox News)

Don’t forget crooks like to go offline, too

Thieves still use old-school tactics they think we all forgot about. We’re too smart for that, right?

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  • Out in public, keep your purse and wallet close. Only bring the cards you’ll be using.
  • Be aware of who’s around when you pull out your phone, and hide your screen as you type in your PIN.
  • Leave your Social Security card, birth certificate and passport at home unless you truly need them.
  • Shred old bills and financial records before tossing them. I use this shredder.
  • Review your credit report and bank statements regularly. Here’s how to get a free report.

If you get scammed, resist the urge to stay quiet. Report fraud, scams and bad business practices to the FTC. If you gave out your Social Security number, contact the SSA immediately.

Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: The SWAT team raided Kim’s house

Plus, Madeline Smith has caught over 1,000 cheaters caught online. She shares her insights on spotting an unfaithful spouse. Kim and Andrew also talk about NASA’s Mars simulator and demystify baffling Gen Z slang.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

Copyright 2024, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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A tech-backed mission to monitor methane pollution launches today

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A tech-backed mission to monitor methane pollution launches today

A mission to map and track global methane pollution, a powerful greenhouse gas, is scheduled to launch today after years of collaboration between some of the biggest names in tech. It’s called MethaneSAT, a satellite that’s garnered funding and support from Jeff Bezos, Google, and SpaceX, among others.

MethaneSAT is expected to launch today from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 2:05PM PT. Liftoff will be livestreamed on the SpaceX website and on the company’s X profile. The nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund that developed MethaneSAT is also promising a special program starting at 1:40PM PT with key experts and “supporters” to talk about the mission.

Methane pollution is responsible for around 30 percent of global warming that’s raising sea levels and causing more extreme weather disasters. The gas comes from decomposing trash in landfills, methane-emitting microbes in rice paddies, and infamously from livestock burping and pooping. It also routinely escapes from oil and gas fields, pipelines, and even home appliances. After all, so-called natural gas is mostly just methane.

Orbiting Earth in 95 minutes, it’ll have eyes on oil and gas fields that account for roughly 80 percent of global production

It’s all that leaking gas that the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) plans to tackle with MethaneSAT. The group has documented massive amounts of leaking methane already. Between 2012 and 2018, it discovered that US methane emissions were actually 60 percent higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimates.

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The group worked alongside 40 research institutions and 50 companies to put together a more comprehensive picture of methane emissions. It was painstaking work taking on-the-ground measurements directly from sources of pollution, which they supplemented with aerial readings taken by aircraft.

MethaneSAT can cover a lot more ground much faster. It should take about 20 seconds to survey the same area that would have taken an aircraft two hours to survey, according to EDF. Orbiting Earth in 95 minutes, it’ll have eyes on oil and gas fields that account for more than 80 percent of global production.

The goal is to quickly see how much methane is escaping and from where, so that measures might be taken to plug all those leaks. Methane is 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels when it comes to heating the planet — but only within the first 20 years of entering the atmosphere, and then its potency declines.

Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, lingers in the atmosphere and traps heat for centuries. Since methane is a powerful but comparatively short-lived greenhouse gas, preventing it from leaking is seen as one quick way to have a significant, immediate effect on climate change.

Google announced a partnership with EDF last month to create a global map of methane pollution from oil and gas infrastructure. The company is training AI to spot well pads, pump jacks, and storage tanks in satellite imagery similarly to how it identifies sidewalks and street signs for Google Maps. Matching that infrastructure to emissions data from MethaneSAT might be able to help regulators pinpoint where there are leaks.

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An example of what MethaneSAT data would look like on Google Earth. It shows high-emitting sources of methane pollution as yellow dots, and a diffuse plume of methane as a purple and yellow heat map.
Google Earth Engine via EDF

If this mission is successful, it could be a game-changer by allowing policymakers to assess how much progress they’re making on climate action based on real-world measures of pollution rather than estimates based on companies self-reporting their emissions.

“What we’ve learned over our decade of doing field measurements is that actually, when you measure actual emissions in the field, it turns out that the total magnitude of emissions coming from the industry is much higher than what’s being reported by them using engineering calculations,” Mark Brownstein, EDF senior vice president of energy transition, said during a press briefing on Friday.

Building and launching the satellite cost $88 million, according to EDF. The Bezos Earth Fund gave EDF a $100 million grant in 2020 to help get MethaneSAT off the ground, making it one of the project’s biggest funders. MethaneSAT also marks the New Zealand’s Space Agency’s first government-funded space mission.

If all goes to plan, MethaneSAT should start publicly releasing some data by early summer. A complete picture of major oil and gas basins around the world isn’t expected until 2025, data EDF says will be available on MethaneSAT’s website and Google Earth Engine.

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