Fandom, which hosts wikis for many fandoms, will roll out generative AI features that it previously tested but now promises users will be able to opt out.
The most prominent AI-generated feature is Quick Answers, which generates a Q&A-style dropdown that distills information into a bite-sized sentence. When visiting the wiki for The Witcher, for instance, anyone curious to find out who trained Geralt of Rivia can click on the question and learn that the answer is Vesemir.
Fandom will also add AI to its image review process “to ensure quick and accurate removal of inappropriate content.” The company worked with Coactive AI to develop Image Review. Wiki admins can automatically approve or reject photos. The company said it will add auto-tagging for SEO.
Quick Answers lets visitors easily find answers about specific fandoms, which is one of the key reasons people go to Fandom pages in the first place. But when Fandom first began testing the feature in August 2023, community members complained that the AI frequently answered incorrectly and, at times, inappropriately. Wiki creators demanded an edit feature or an opt-out. At least one fan project, the Hollow Knight Wiki, announced it was leaving Fandom in part because of the feature — stating that Fandom did not test out AI features like Quick Answers or consult with creators, among other problems with the company. Fandom paused Quick Answers in September to add an edit feature.
Now, Fandom says wiki admins and editors can review answers to make sure it will only return correct answers for that fandom. It will be an optional feature, but Fandom said it is available on the character pages for its most popular sites, including Avatar (as in airbending, not the blue aliens), Harry Potter, The Last of Us, and The Witcher. Wiki admins can use Quick Answers AI to organize their content by automating the formatting of their sites.
“These new products are a direct result of our creator’s feedback, and Fandom is committed to providing the functionality they need to serve their communities better,” said Fandom’s vice president of community Brandon Rhea in a statement.
Fandom said it hosts 45 million wiki pages, with more than 350 million unique visitors each month.
Odysseus achieves the first US Moon landing since 1972
Intuitive Machines has just made history by becoming the first private aerospace company to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface. Following its launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last Thursday, the robotic Nova-C “Odysseus” lander built by Intuitive Machines has now touched down — also making it the first US spacecraft to successfully land on the Moon since the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.
Described by NASA as a “hexagonal cylinder” on six legs, the Nova-C Odysseus lander is carrying several science and research payloads for the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, which aims to collect important data about the Moon’s surface. It aimed for the lunar south pole, a region of particular scientific interest due to the occurrence of water ice hiding in permanently shadowed craters. Such data could prove useful before NASA’s Artemis program brings people back to the Moon in 2025.
It has a laser retroreflector array to help other spacecraft make precision landings and a radio navigation beacon to provide geolocation data to landers, rovers, and eventually astronauts.
Image: Intuitive Machines
Odysseus captured several photographs during its journey to the Moon, including some “selfies” with the Earth a day after it launched. One image taken by the lander’s Terrain Relative Navigation camera shows the Moon from approximately 100,000 kilometers (around 62,137 miles), later followed by a close-up shot of the Bel’kovich K crater.
Odysseus is expected to operate for 14 Earth days, after which Intuitive Machines anticipates that the incoming lunar night — a period of prolonged cold that the lander isn’t designed to withstand — will force it to shut down. Additional payloads from other, private customers aboard the lander include an “EagleCam” CubeSat camera system built by students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and an art project by Jeff Koons containing 125 miniature Moon sculptures.
This is the first privately owned spacecraft to achieve its goal after the Astrobotic Peregrine lander, launched by United Launch Alliance last month, failed to reach the Moon.
Update February 22nd, 6:54PM ET: Updated to note Odysseus has reached the Moon’s surface.
AT&T cell phone outage hits the US: How to use Wi-Fi calling
AT&T on Thursday confirmed an outage affecting thousands of cell phone users, including some customers on other networks who attempted to call AT&T users.
“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” AT&T said Thursday. “Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored. We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.”
If it wasn’t bad enough to find yourself unable to make phone calls from your mobile device, some iPhones are reported to be stuck in Emergency SOS mode as a result of the outage. There are a few steps that have been reported to restore cellular connections on some phones.
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How to fix your iPhone when it goes into SOS mode due to a network outage
Outages were reported by tens of thousands of users across the country. In particular, some iPhone users are being hit, leaving devices on SOS mode, preventing them from making calls, sending SMS text messages or using their cellular data.
iPhone’s SOS mode is triggered when your cellular connection is lost, which means you can only complete SOS calls or texts to emergency services. However, there are several things you can do to get your smartphone back online if you are affected by the outage.
Here’s how to make calls with Wi-Fi Calling not relying on cellular service
How to make Wi-Fi calls on your iPhone
- Click on “Settings”
- Click “Cellular”
- “Wi-Fi Calling”
- Switch “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” on
- Click “Enable” Wi-Fi Calling”
If you have a problem enabling “Wi-Fi Calling”:
- Make sure you have the latest iOS software update
- If you are still having problems, it may have to do with what type of account you have (e.g., prepaid plans might not work). If you can, log into your carrier’s account page to confirm that your account is authorized to enable Wi-Fi calling.
How to make Wi-Fi calls on your Android phone
- Click on “Settings”
- Click “Connections” or “Calls”
- Toggle on “Wi-Fi Calling”
How to make Wi-Fi calls on your Samsung phone
- Click the “Phone” icon
- Tap the “More Options” (three vertical dots)
- Tap “Settings”
- Tap “Wi-Fi Calling,” and then toggle the switch to the right to turn the feature on
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For some, turning on Roaming works to make cellular calls
You can also switch to Data Roaming to regain service, but this feature may cost extra money, depending on your cellular carrier and plan.
Find these settings in the same Cellular area described above.
Hard Restart can help some
Or you may want to force-restart your iPhone if it isn’t responding:
- Press and quickly release the volume up button
- Press and quickly release the volume down button
- Press and hold the side button
- When the Apple logo appears, release the side button
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How easily things can go wrong
This should be a wake-up call to check your own digital security and protection. One weak device in your world can take down the rest of your technology at home.
Don’t call 911 unless there’s an emergency
Several emergency 911 call centers throughout the US are being overloaded with calls from people simply testing to see if their phones are working. Fire and police departments are asking that people not call 911 unless they have an emergency.
Be prepared with antivirus security protection
Whether this event was a cyberattack or not, be prepared by adding antivirus security protection to all of your devices.
The best way to protect yourself from malicious attacks and disruptions is to have antivirus protection installed on all of your devices. Having good antivirus software actively running on your devices will alert you of any malware in your system, warn you against clicking on any malicious links in phishing emails and ultimately protect you from being hacked. Get my picks for the best 2024 antivirus protection winners for your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices
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Kurt’s key takeaways
A cellular network outage is a reminder of how heavily we all rely on staying connected with our mobile phones. There are steps you can take to circumvent cellular networks so you can still make and receive calls when a disruption strikes.
By using Wi-Fi calling, you can communicate with our loved ones and emergency services without relying on cellular service. By installing antivirus software, you can safeguard your devices and data from unexpected malicious attacks that can also prevent you from keeping your device operating.
How do you feel about the current state of cybersecurity in the world?? Were you ready for this outage? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter
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It’s just $32.49 to fix your Switch’s Joy-Con drift with Hori’s Split Pad Compact
I love the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con, but they develop stick drift way too easily, and people with ham-sized hands like mine can’t play for long before cramps set in. They’re also pretty expensive to replace. I’ve personally settled on Hori’s Split Pad Pro Joy-Con replacements to remedy all of that, but it makes my Switch too bulky to fit comfortably in my smaller everyday carry. The Hori Split Pad Compact offer a nice balance between size, affordability, and added grip, and you can get a pair in white / yellow for only $32.49 (about $18 off) at Target.
The Split Pad Compact suffers from the same deficiencies as most third-party Joy-Con replacements: you’ll forsake rumble, NFC, and motion control, and you can’t use them individually as mini controllers. While those features are all nice, there’s no game in the Switch’s library of thousands that require them. The Split Pad Compact does have some tricks of its own, however, like programmable rear buttons and a turbo function.
Most of my friends swear by gaming headset brands like Turtle Beach and Astro, so much so they refuse to try anything else. That’s their loss — SteelSeries makes some of the most comfortable gaming headsets you can buy with their unique ski band comfort strap and thick ear padding. Plus, I think their 40mm drivers produce better sound than anything I’ve tried. That’s why I’m considering buying a second pair of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox and PC, now down to $279.99 ($70 off) at SteelSeries when you use code GET20. You can also buy a set designed for PlayStation and PC for the same price using the same code.
The headset is pricey even after the discount, sure, but it may be the last pair you’ll need to buy for a long while. The base station has an OLED display with a dial that makes it easy to manage audio levels, chat mix, and customize the 10-band equalizer (you can also make adjustments directly from the headset). Perhaps my favorite feature is the integrated charging bay for the spare battery it ships with to swap batteries midgame. I find it much more convenient than any wired charging model.
If you buy the version designed for Xbox and PC, the base station allows it to work with nearly everything. You can connect it via USB to Xbox consoles for 2.4GHz wireless, and there’s a second USB port that lets you connect other systems like a PC or Nintendo Switch. With Bluetooth, you can add PlayStation and mobile devices into the mix. There are also line-in and line-out ports for mixing in other audio sources or streaming. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is even suitable for daily outdoor wear thanks to a sleek and unassuming design, a retractable noise-canceling microphone, and active noise cancellation with transparency mode.
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