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The Morning After: LG adds a mic and speaker to its high-tech air-purifying mask

·Bureau Chief, UK
·5 min read

Remember the high-tech face masks teased during the relatively early days of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not many have made it into stores (or on to our faces) just yet, but that’s given companies even more time to build in upgrades. Like LG, which has used the Tokyo Olympics (and the Team Thailand) to showcase its improved wearable air-purifying mask.

LG mask
LG mask

Still packing three fans and a pair of HEPA-style filters, it now also features a smaller, lighter motor and a built-in mic, speaker and voice amplifier. LG says its VoiceOn tech will detect when you're talking and boost the sound so others can hear you — a common issue when you’re trying to communicate while wearing any kind of mask. This new version will arrive in Thailand in August.

— Mat Smith

DNS issue pulls PSN, Steam, LastPass and more offline

Fortunately, a fix came a few hours later.

Starting at approximately 11:20 AM ET yesterday, Downdetector began logging a spike in outage reports across a variety of online services and websites. Some of the more notable platforms people couldn’t connect to included, PSN, LastPass, TikTok, Steam and UPS. Visiting the PlayStation Store and other affected websites would return a DNS error. Akamai said it implemented a fix for the issue it was having with its Edge DNS service, and most sites and services returned to normal. Continue Reading.

Facebook spent $23.4 million on Mark Zuckerberg's personal security

The CEO's protection costs far eclipsed those of other tech execs.

Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is escorted by security guards as he departs New York City's Sheraton Hotel May 7, 2012. Facebook Inc kicked off its IPO roadshow in New York on Monday, attracting hundreds of investors to the Sheraton as the world's largest social network aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and granting it a market value close to Amazon.com Inc's.   REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz    (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is escorted by security guards as he departs New York City's Sheraton Hotel May 7, 2012. Facebook Inc kicked off its IPO roadshow in New York on Monday, attracting hundreds of investors to the Sheraton as the world's largest social network aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and granting it a market value close to Amazon.com Inc's. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

A new analysis of the security expenses racked up by Silicon Valley giants shows they collectively spent $46 million to safeguard their top brass last year. Of that, $23.4 million alone was spent on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's personal security, up from $20.4 million in 2019, according to a report by Protocol. In comparison, Jeff Bezos paid $1.6 million in personal security costs. Continue Reading.

Activision Blizzard sued by California over alleged sexist culture

Female employees deal with constant sexual harassment, the complaint said.

UKRAINE - 2021/06/18: In this photo illustration, Activision Blizzard logo of a video game company is seen on a smartphone screen in front of Blizzard Entertainment logo. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UKRAINE - 2021/06/18: In this photo illustration, Activision Blizzard logo of a video game company is seen on a smartphone screen in front of Blizzard Entertainment logo. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for fostering what the agency describes as a "frat boy" workplace. The DFEH sued the company that owns the Call of Duty series and Overwatch after a two-year investigation. It said at the company, in addition to receiving smaller salaries than their male counterparts, female employees were allegedly subjected to constant sexual harassment. Activision Blizzard, denies DEFH's allegations, adding that the lawsuit "includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past." Continue Reading.

Slack is now officially part of Salesforce

The messaging app cost $27.7 billion.

Messaging app Slack is now officially a part of Salesforce after completing a deal worth $27.7 billion. The IRC-style client, which cost 27.7 times as much as Instagram when bought by Facebook, will now operate as a standalone unit inside the computing giant. Salesforce intends to use the $27.7 billion Slack as the new interface of Customer 360, its tool for managing its many apps. It also puts Salesforce, which paid, I repeat, $27.7 billion for Slack, into an antitrust war with Microsoft, after the Windows maker bundled Microsoft Teams with its Office suite. Continue Reading.

Framework’s modular laptop is uncontroversial on purpose

It’s a laptop designed for the right to repair movement.

Framework Laptop Hero Image
Framework Laptop Hero Image

The right to repair movement is all about giving users the right to make basic repairs to their devices without too much fuss. But many companies make it very difficult to get your smartphone or laptop screen replaced after a bump. Framework is a company that has designed its first laptop to be entirely user-serviceable, and easy enough that anyone can do so. Dan Cooper put the machine through its paces, and what it lacks in battery life and sound, it more than makes up for in repairability. Continue Reading.

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G makes another good argument for ignoring expensive smartphones

But if you're in the US, you won't see it.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G hands-on
OnePlus Nord 2 5G hands-on

OnePlus has an unusual problem. It’s making very good flagship smartphones these days, but at the same time, it’s still chasing status as a flagship phone killer. That’s where its Nord series comes in, offering premium-looking (and feeling) smartphones at the fraction of a price of flagship devices. The Nord 2 5G is a similar proposition to the original Nord, with some camera improvements and a new processor rounding out the biggest changes. The £399 (roughly $458 before tax) Nord 2 has a slightly more premium style similar to its expensive relatives, like the $729 OnePlus 9. But while it might look the part, is it as good? Mat Smith tested the phone out for a few days. Continue Reading.

Jack Dorsey hopes bitcoin can bring about world peace

He said issues with the current monetary system distract 'from the bigger problems.’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies during a remote video hearing held by subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee on
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies during a remote video hearing held by subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee on

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has long been a bitcoin enthusiast. In fact, he's so optimistic about the cryptocurrency, he reckons it could bring about a more peaceful planet. During a video discussion on cryptocurrency with Elon Musk, another vocal cryptocurrency figure, and Cathie Wood, chief executive of Square stakeholder ARK Invest, he said:

“My hope is that it creates world peace or helps create world peace. We have all these monopolies off balance, and the individual doesn’t have power, and the amount of cost and distraction that comes from our monetary system today is real and it takes away attention from the bigger problems.” Continue Reading.

But wait, there’s more...

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