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The Fiat 500e is a tiny, affordable EV that’s only emission is classical music

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The Fiat 500e is a tiny, affordable EV that’s only emission is classical music

Stellantis announced the all-new 2024 Fiat 500e, a tiny, affordable electric car that could be the perfect antidote to all those oversized, bloated electric SUVs and trucks that are coming out soon. The tiny EV will be available in North America in early 2024.

The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs. It’s electric, so it won’t spew pollution into the air. It’s small, so it takes up less space and is, on balance, less dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who share the road.

The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs

Starting at $34,095, the Fiat 500e will squeeze 149 miles of range out of a 42 kWh battery pack, which sounds paltry compared to many long-range EVs on the market today. But when you consider the type of person who might be interested in this EV, and the type of driving, the range estimate starts to make more sense.

What the Fiat 500e lacks in range and cargo space, it makes up for in charm. The 500e apparently includes a feature called the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System, which is the standard low-speed audio warning that’s required of all EVs — with an Italian twist. The low-speed audio alert is actually a classical composition called “The sound of 500,” written by Flavio Ibba and Marco Gualdi.

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“The exclusive melody gives a taste of Italian culture during the first moments of every drive,” the company said.

The Fiat 500e won’t tear up the track, necessarily, with 117 horsepower and 162 lb. ft. of torque. The little EV can accelerate 0–60 mph in 8.5 seconds — not necessarily anything to write home about, but again, perfect for what we’re talking about here.

The price might also be questionable. I can already hear Tesla fans in the comments noting that a Model 3, with over 250 miles of range and a lot more space, can be had for around the same price. But Fiat is trying to make it worthwhile by tossing in a free Level 2 home charger from its subsidiary Free2Move.

The 500e can only accept a max of 85 kW of charging, which means no ultra-fast DC charging. That translates to 31 miles of range in five minutes, or 80 percent in 35 minutes.

The most important specification for the 500e is its weight: a skinny 3,000 lbs. Stellantis predicts that this makes it “the lightest passenger [battery electric vehicle] in the segment.” That makes the 500e around the same size as the discontinued BMW i3, which for a long time was the reining champ in lightweight EVs.

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EVs are generally heavier than gas-powered vehicles because of added battery weight. Automakers are making this worse by prioritizing the heaviest segments like SUVs and trucks. Smaller, more efficient EVs could help address the bloat in the segment, as well as help address other crucial issues, like battery material scarcity.

The Fiat 500e will feature three drive modes: Normal, Range, and Sherpa, which maximizes energy efficiency by limiting the top speed to 50 mph and reducing power from 87 kWh to 57 kWh. Lightweight and low speed? Be still my beating heart.

Of course, the Fiat 500e is not for everyone. And given how SUV-and-truck-pilled American car buyers are these days, Stellantis will have its work cut out for it. But the Fiat 500e may arrive at the right time. Smart cars are hard to find these days, thanks to many automakers declining to sell them in North America.

But Fiat, with a parent company that makes more than enough revenue from the aforementioned truck and SUV segments, can afford to test the waters for small, lightweight EVs. Could it be that Americans, pummeled by increasingly menacing-looking trucks and bulletproof EVs, could be ready to go small again?

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Microsoft is working with Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to improve upscaling support in PC games

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Microsoft is working with Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to improve upscaling support in PC games

Microsoft has outlined a new Windows API designed to offer a seamless way for game developers to integrate super resolution AI-upscaling features from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. In a new blog post, program manager Joshua Tucker describes Microsoft’s new DirectSR API as the “missing link” between games and super resolution technologies, and says it should provide “a smoother, more efficient experience that scales across hardware.”

“This API enables multi-vendor SR [super resolution] through a common set of inputs and outputs, allowing a single code path to activate a variety of solutions including Nvidia DLSS Super Resolution, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, and Intel XeSS,” the post reads. The pitch seems to be that developers will be able to support this DirectSR API, rather than having to write code for each and every upscaling technology.

The blog post comes a couple of weeks after an “Automatic Super Resolution” feature was spotted in a test version of Windows 11, which promised to “use AI to make supported games play more smoothly with enhanced details.” Now, it seems the feature will plug into existing super resolution technologies like DLSS, FSR, and XeSS rather than offering a Windows-level alternative. 

Microsoft says that the new API will be available soon via a preview version of its Agility SDK. It plans to offer a “sneak peek” of how DirectSR can be used during a developer session at the forthcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC). The session will take place on March 21st, and will include representatives from both Microsoft as well as Nvidia and AMD.

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Apple warns against using rice to dry out your wet iPhone; here’s what to do instead

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Apple warns against using rice to dry out your wet iPhone; here’s what to do instead

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Cellphones getting water damage is nothing new. Before the iPhone, I had a flip phone that fell into a swimming pool. The first thing everyone told me to do was to dry the phone out with rice.

The idea is that the rice will draw out any excess water, saving your phone from being destroyed by water damage.

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This method remains many people’s tried-and-true method for saving a waterlogged phone, and I’ve seen it work firsthand. 

However, a new support document by Apple has just come out, and the company is asking people to please not place their iPhones in a bowl or bag of rice.

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

An iPhone in a bowl of rice (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Why shouldn’t you put your wet iPhone in rice?

Apple is now warning customers that placing their iPhones into a bowl or bag of rice might actually slow down the drying process and damage their phone’s internal components. In particular, the company warns that small particles of wet rice may end up in your iPhone, damaging the phone’s logic board.

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REVOLUTIONARY DEVICE LETS YOU POINT, CLICK WITH YOUR TONGUE

iPhone rice trick 2

Wet iPhone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

What Apple recommends you do instead

Next time your iPhone takes a dip in the swimming pool or the toilet, instead of running for the rice in the cabinet, Apple suggests doing this instead.

Step 1 – Tap the water out

Apple suggests that your first immediate step should be lightly tapping the iPhone against your hand with the charging connector pointed down. This should pull some of the water inside your iPhone out. Don’t be alarmed if only a few drops of water come from the connector port. Leave your iPhone somewhere dry, with some airflow.

iPhone rice trick 3

Image of an iPhone and power cord (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: BEST ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR PHONE

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Step 2 – Wait 30 minutes, then try to charge your iPhone

You should leave your iPhone alone for a period of 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes have gone by, you can attempt to charge your iPhone again. If your iPhone charges, congratulations. There’s no water damage to your iPhone and you can resume using it. If you receive an alert saying “liquid detected in USB-C (or lightning) port,” you unfortunately still have water in your iPhone. However, luckily, hope isn’t lost.

MORE: 5 BEST PORTABLE PHONE CHARGERS OF 2024

iPhone rice trick 4

Liquid Detected alert on iPhone (Apple)

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

Step 3 – Leave your iPhone in a dry area for 24 hours

If you receive an alert saying “liquid detected in USB-C (or lightning) port,” you unfortunately still have water in your iPhone. Apple warns against using a blow-dryer or any other heat gun device to dry your iPhone after it takes a splash. You should instead leave your phone in a dry area with some airflow and allow for 24 hours to pass. A room with a ceiling fan is a great place to leave your iPhone while it dries.

iPhone rice trick 5

Charging Not Available alert on iPhone (Apple)

Step 4 – Retest the connector

After 24 hours have passed, you should try to charge your iPhone again. If your iPhone charges, you are all good. If it doesn’t charge, Apple recommends removing the charging cable from the wall outlet and changing electrical sources for a moment. Apple recommends against trying to insert a cotton swab or any other foreign object into your charging port.

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If your iPhone’s charging port is damaged or not working properly, you may want to consider alternative charging methods that do not rely on the port. For example, some iPhones support wireless charging, which uses a magnetic pad or stand to charge your phone without plugging in a cable. This way, you can avoid inserting anything into the port and prevent further damage. 

Now, if all that doesn’t work and your iPhone still does not charge or shows signs of water damage, such as a wet screen, distorted audio or malfunctioning buttons, you may need to contact Apple for repair or replacement. You can check your warranty status and common issues not covered under warranty by clicking here.

Remember to back up your data before sending your iPhone for repair, as you may lose some or all of your information.

MORE: HOW TO PROTECT AN IPHONE & IPAD FROM MALWARE 2024

Kurt’s key takeaways

It’s important to remember that all iPhones since the iPhone 12 are able to safely withstand submersion in water of up to 20 feet for 30 minutes. If you do end up dropping your iPhone in the water, just don’t run for the rice.

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Do you think Apple should make their iPhones more water-resistant or waterproof? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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X adds live video to Spaces instead of bringing back Periscope

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X adds live video to Spaces instead of bringing back Periscope

Spaces, the live audio feature for X, is now letting hosts turn on their video during chat sessions. The platform formerly known as Twitter announced the news on Wednesday as owner / CTO Elon Musk reposted a walkthrough from a user named “Dogedesigner.”

Spaces users will notice a new option to “enable video” when they first create a new Spaces session. Hosts can opt for either their phone’s front or back-facing cameras as well as either a landscape or vertical view of their video feed. 

The Video Spaces are available on the iOS version of the X app, but we haven’t seen them available on Android or the web yet. Multiple users reported significant lag while trying out the feature so far.

Right now, only hosts have the ability to turn on video. The end result is a prominent display of the host’s video feed, which is then surrounded by icons of co-hosts, speakers, and any listeners. At first glance, it’s an environment that resembles Twitch — expect for the fact that any selected audience members can chime in at any minute. A host’s video feed also only lives inside a Spaces session, so users will have to join the session in order to tune in.

When Elon Musk announced that Spaces would get video late last year, his description of it sounded closer to a videoconferencing app or video call app like FaceTime, where the video feed switches to whoever is currently speaking. 

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But for now, a typical Spaces with video session prominently features the host’s video feed, which is surrounded by the smaller icons of any other speakers, co-hosts, or listeners in the room. It’s not exactly like Twitch since anyone you give permission to can speak back to you, but it does turn the host into the main event in a similar fashion. 

The new video integration of X Spaces is separate from the platform’s existing live broadcast feature, which lets users directly livestream video. Spaces functions as a live chatroom, where multiple users can tune in and speak. In contrast, the audience in a typical live broadcast can only comment or send hearts

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