Kremlin claims Apple helped NSA spy on diplomats via iPhone backdoor

The Register - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:49
Did we just time warp back to 2013?

Russian intelligence has accused American snoops and Apple of working together to backdoor iPhones to spy on "thousands" of diplomats worldwide.…

Categories: Tech News

Dangerous brain abscesses spiked in US kids as COVID restrictions dropped

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:45
An MRI image of a brain with an abscess causing seizures.

Enlarge / An MRI image of a brain with an abscess causing seizures. (credit: Getty | BSIP)

As pandemic restrictions eased, pediatricians around the country saw alarming upticks of rare brain abscesses in children under 18 years old, with national cases steeply climbing to a peak in December 2022. That's according to two studies led by researchers and health officials, which were published together Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Even at the height of the unusual surge, the brain infections remained rare overall, and the latest data suggests cases are on the decline. But, the infections are serious and potentially life-threatening. They occur when bacteria, viruses, or fungi enter the brain and an encapsulated area forms around the germs and pus. Bacteria, particularly Streptococcus, appeared to be the main culprit in the recent rise.

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The VICE Guide to Art Deco Furniture and Design

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:19

Minimalism is cool, but there’s something so gratifying about a little bit of opulence. Not that we’re trying to go full Rococo on our railroad apartment—although, do you—but we have been keeping an eye out for statement chairs and home decor that will make people wonder if we smoke golden-filtered Nat Sherman cigarettes, drink OJ from a crystal highball glass, and sleep with a bowler on. We’ve been itching for a little bit of Art Deco escapism.

You know Art Deco design, even if you don’t think you do. You can find it in the symmetric glamour of New York City’s Chrysler Building, Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory, and the drama of Lana Del Rey. The style first came to maturity in France in the 1920s, and gained international traction after the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, which ate up the aesthetic’s vision for the future: a society in which bold, graphic design took precedence, while making a nod to the features of grand civilizations past. Think, shellacked black coffee tables, geometric chandeliers, stark mirrors, and dark velvet sofas. Art Deco pulled inspiration from Cubism, Ancient Egypt, and industrialism that enticed folks with a sense of streamlined luxury fit for the Roaring Twenties and beyond.

So, how do you integrate Art Deco design into your own home decor? If you’re Jay Gatsby or RuPaul (peep the drag icon’s new Architectural Digest home video tour), you aim for something like this:

Art Deco has also seen many style iterations since its debut nearly a century ago. There are countless Art Deco-dedicated accounts on Instagram, and 65,000+ posts under the #ArtDecoInterior hashtag alone. When updated to fit a 1980s Miami energy, it can give Cocaine Decor-chic; with the dawn of Gen X coffee house aesthetics in the late-90s, it gave off a warmer, decidedly Frasurbane vibe. Classic Art Deco is absolutely black marble and gold inlay extravagance, but it can also be as understated as a plush beige couch and an industrial lamp:

Whether you’re new to Art Deco design or doing the Charleston in the club, we’re breaking down the best Art Deco interior design pieces and home accessories to level-up your pad.

The best Art Deco couches and seating

… For plotting, scheming, making out, and whatever else you need to do. Art Deco couches should look as if they’re skyscrapers that have been turned on their side, and provide a comfortable centerpiece for your living room no matter its size; this loveseat from Wayfair is the perfect sofa for a small space, because the curved form adds more visual interest and warmth than a classic rectangular couch.

This über comfy couch from Interior Define comes in various Art Deco jewel tones and velvet fabric options, including many scratch-proof fabrics that exasperated pet owners will appreciate. But it’s the piping on this throne that makes it feel even more Art Deco by drawing attention to its geometric silhouette.

Haven’t spent that tax return yet? Treat your peach to this Art Deco velvet throne, which would be great in a foyer, at the end of your bed, or on-hand as extra seating for guests.

Roll-out the bar cart

Whether you’re sipping a Sidecar or pounding down a glass of whole, vitamin D milk [smiles in Clockwork Orange], nothing says “Art Deco” more than a sleek bar cart. We have whipped up an entire VICE guide to building a bar cart from scratch, but these metallic bar carts from Amazon provide some classy, industrial bones for you to begin; they both look like hood ornaments from an oil baron’s 1927 car (very Art Deco).

Jay Gatsby (but with a septum piercing)

Combine your love for the 1920s and Bikini Kill with these highball glasses, whose studs make a nice nod to the graphic designs favored by Art Deco (as well as your punk roots). The set of four glasses has a 4.7-star average rating from over 400 reviews on Amazon, and customers say they look great next to wine glasses and won’t get damaged in the dishwasher.

Cop some Art Deco posters

Erté, René Lalique, that dude who made Tiffany lamps—there are so many Art Deco artists and designers to note as you prowl the internet for Art Decor prints and posters, but one of the best ways to bring nonchalant Art Deco style into your home is by Googling “Art Deco alcohol posters.” There’s just something about an old school beveragine advert that will always look great as kitchen or living room art, because vintage-style booze posters really pull their weight in terms of atmosphere. Just ask the Campari elf/Maurin Quina Le Puy gremlin.

Baz Luhrmann, come get your mirror

The best Art Deco mirrors should look like they belong on the cover of the Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby soundtrack. This bestseller from Amazon is a VICE staff favorite, and will make your home feel way less boring with its five-part mirror design.

Unfurl the graphic carpet

One of the easiest ways to cover the most ground (literally) when adopting a new aesthetic is to just bring in the right rug. West Elm’s “tiled” green and cream area rug is an elevated treat for the next time your shroom, while AllModern’s Sophia rug is an indoor-outdoor bestseller with a darker motif that says, “I own a platinum cane and a fleet of vintage cruise ships.”

Divide and conquer

Trying to break up a big studio space, or hide an unsightly corner of your apartment? Room dividers are a godsend for all of the above, and this wooden one features some of the starburst designs that Art Deco does so well.

The light at the end of the dock

Remember how The Great Gatsby ended? We’ll leave you to SparkNotes the drama, and offer up this emerald lamp as a hint; the jewel-toned Art Deco pendant is a more contemporary take on a classic Art Deco chandelier, only, your landlord won’t kill you for installing it, and your guests will enjoy the Main Character Syndrome experience under its gauzy green glow.

Now we just need a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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Categories: Tech News

This Week’s Coolest Drops, From Luxury Clitoral Vibrators to Kenzo Skate Shoes

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:16

We made it, people—it’s June, the (unofficial but universally agreed upon) start of summer, and to Pride Month! Hopefully, those last little dregs of seasonal depression are finally wearing off, and you’re rejoicing in the extra hours of daylight and vitamin D.

Name a better season… I’ll wait. What other time is it socially acceptable (and encouraged) to day-drink, knock off early, and lounge for hours by a body of water (or just on your couch)? Sadly, we’re not in Europe (where the whole country shuts down to “go on holiday” for weeks at a time), but at least we have Summer Fridays and long weekends, am I right? Make the most out of longer days and warmer nights by stocking up the outdoor bar cart and remembering to slather on the SPF before we start drinking—and by upgrading our snack supply, summer shoe options, and nightstand drawer.

Last week, in the world of totally sick drops, we tried not to blow our load over Dyson’s new fleet of products (including the incredibly sexy 360 Vis Nav robot vacuum of our dreams), praised the grilling gods at Our Place for blessing us with a new cast iron hot grill, and fan-girled (hard) over Phoebe Bridgers’ collaboration with jewelry brand Catbird. This week, we’re gearing up to look fresh as hell on vacation with high-fashion sweats from Rick Owens and Champion and suede loafers from Del Toro, and preparing for dinner parties in the backyard with Rhode’s new collection for West Elm. Someone pop the pét-nat, we’ll make the pasta salad—it’s time to get together and figure out where we’re celebrating #prideweekend.

Kenzo’s ode to 90s skate shoes

I guess we’re not the only ones who love 90s skate shoes. Kenzo’s Artistic Director NIGO designed the Dome sneaker as an homage to the Parisian skateboarding landmark of the same name, located on the grounds of the Palais de Tokyo. The silhouette is reminiscent of the oversized styles that dominated the decade, with a flat gum sole and puffed-up tongue.

LELO’s new clitoral toy will take you on a cruise

When LELO releases a new sex toy, we don’t walk, we run. If the LELO Dot Cruise is anything like its predecessor, the LELO Dot, it will offer mind-blowing orgasms that feel “celestial” and “enduring,” according to VICE writer Mary-Frances Knapp’s review. What’s new about the latest Cruise model? It uses the brand’s “patented Cruise Control™ technology, [which] makes the unique pulsations constant during use, so when it’s pressed hard against the body extra power is unleashed.” Sign us up.

Champion gets a bougie update from Rick Owens

Did you wake up recently and realize that all your sweats are completely worse for wear after being the only thing in your rotation for two years? It’s fine to rock up to the bodega in a threadbare tee and basketball shorts from high school, but you probably want to step your game up when it comes to airport fits and weekend strolling. There’s no easier way to look expensive while staying comfortable than in classic Champion sweats—elevated through the lens of none other than Rick Owens. These collaborative cotton shorts feature the designer’s recognizable extra-long drawstrings and elevated basics with co-branded embroidered details.

Rhode brings whimsy to West Elm

This chic line of colorful clothing and home goods is rooted in Rhode’s history; the brand’s founders met after they were randomly assigned to be college roommates, then quickly became lifelong friends. The pals are inspired by vintage prints that conjure instant aesthetic joy, and the duo’s newest collection for West Elm brings all of their brand’s whimsical prints and wiggly lines to West Elm’s bedding and table wares.

Hello Kitty-inspired snacks

If you’re yet to try one of Bokksu’s amazingly curated snack boxes, you’re missing out. Each month a new selection of Japanese snacks is shipped directly to your door, and this month, Bokksu just launched the second limited-edition box in its ongoing collaboration with Hello Kitty. The ‘Okinawa Beach Party' box features super cute Sanrio collectibles (and, of course, plenty of snacks).

Del Toro launches the perfect vacation loafers

The newest Centesimo loafer from Del Toro is the perfect shoe for looking pulled together and cool all summer long without really thinking too hard about it (and, isn’t that the point of summer, anyway?). These everyday cruisers are the Italian brand’s take on a penny loafer and are made of super soft goat suede, meaning they should be comfortable straight out of the box—no breaking in or Band-Aids necessary. Perfect for throwing on (sans socks) to grab a coffee or attend a garden wedding, they’ll surely be your new favorite pair of shoes this summer.

We’re on island time, now.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

NASA panel: No convincing evidence for extraterrestrial life connected with UAPs

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:08
A video still of NASA's UAP team meeting on May 31, 2023.

Enlarge / A video still of NASA's UAP team meeting on May 31, 2023. (credit: NASA)

On Wednesday, members of the NASA advisory board tasked with studying unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) held its first public meeting, debuting its plan for how it would proceed with a report it is scheduled to write this year. Among many topics discussed, several of its members (and NASA officials) stressed that they were not specifically undertaking a hunt for aliens.

"I want to emphasize this loud and proud that there is absolutely no convincing evidence for extraterrestrial life associated with UAPs," said Dan Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Evans is responsible for orchestrating the study on UAP.

During the four-hour meeting, which was livestreamed on the web, the team said that insufficient data and stigma about the topic remain significant barriers to uncovering the nature of UAPs. Panel chairman David Spergel remarked that the team's role was "not to resolve the nature of these events" but to create a road map for NASA that could potentially guide future inquiries into the topic.

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Daily Horoscope: June 2, 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 14:00

The moon in Scorpio opposes Uranus in Taurus at 2:53 AM, which might find us eager to express something! Surprising emotions bubble to the surface as the moon opposes Uranus in Taurus at 8:10 AM.

Venus in Cancer aligns with Neptune in Pisces at 6:42 PM, inspiring a whirlwind of romance and creativity! This is a powerful alignment for inner transformation. A great release could take place. The moon aligns with Neptune at 8:42 PM, inspiring our imaginations and encouraging us to connect with our intuitions. The moon aligns with Venus at 8:51 PM, creating an affectionate atmosphere.

All times ET.

Read your monthly horoscope for May!

Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!

Aries glyph Aries: March 20, 2023 - April 20, 2023

You might be indulging in a fantastic escape from your everyday routine as Venus in Cancer aligns with Neptune in Pisces! A whirlwind romance could take place. A powerful, spiritual bond can form.

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 20, 2023 - May 21, 2023

Your ruling planet Venus, now in Cancer, connects with dreamy Neptune in Pisces, which might bring some inspiring and heartening news your way. This can be an especially thrilling time in your love life and social life.

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 21, 2023 - June 21, 2023

Venus in Cancer aligns with Neptune in Pisces, which can find you feeling especially glamorous! Attention may be coming your way. Special gifts could be exchanged. It’s a very powerful time to step into the spotlight.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2023 - July 22, 2023

Venus is in your sign and it mingles with Neptune in fellow water sign Pisces today, which can find you enjoying a whimsically romantic, creatively inspired atmosphere! It might feel like you’ve been pulled from your everyday routine into a dreamworld!

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2023 - August 23, 2023

Powerful emotional breakthroughs could take place as Venus in Cancer connects with Neptune in Pisces. You might be gaining closure or wiping the slate clean in some significant way. A deep, bonding experience takes place.

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 23, 2023 - September 23, 2023

Venus in Cancer connects with Neptune in your opposite sign Pisces today, which can inspire a hugely romantic atmosphere, Virgo! A powerful love connection may take place. An artistic breakthrough could also occur. Inspiring social connections form.

Libra glyph Libra: September 23, 2023 - October 23, 2023

Your ruling planet Venus is in Cancer, and as it connects with Neptune in Pisces today, you may be experiencing a great breakthrough of some sort. You can feel especially glamorous at this time, too, and your talents may be celebrated! Romance is also in the air.

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2023 - November 22, 2023

Venus in Cancer connects with Neptune in Pisces, which might find you feeling swept off your feet! This is a powerful time for romance. A meaningful trip may also take place at this time. It’s an inspiring moment to break out of your usual routine.

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2023 - December 21, 2023

Emotional breakthroughs can take place today as Venus in Cancer connects with Neptune in Pisces. A transformative atmosphere is in the air and there may be big inner change! Romance and creativity flow.

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2023 - January 20, 2024

Venus in your opposite sign Cancer connects with Neptune in Pisces, which can inspire a communication breakthrough. A sweet, inspiring message may be shared. Or perhaps a love letter will arrive! A deep, emotional discussion is explored.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 20, 2023 - February 18, 2023

Special gifts may be exchanged as Venus in Cancer connects with Neptune in Pisces. A deep conversation about emotional needs can take place. Romance and creativity are in the air, and an emotional breakthrough may arise.

Pisces glyph Pisces:  February 18, 2023 - March 20, 2023

Venus in fellow water sign Cancer aligns with your ruling planet Neptune in your sign, Pisces, which might find you indulging in a much-needed escape! A special romantic connection can also grow during this time, and creative breakthroughs may take place.

Categories: Tech News

Meta threatens to pull all news from California rather than pay El Reg a penny

The Register - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 13:13
And, ahem, other publishers

Here we go again: Meta has threatened to block journalism content for California users after the US state's legislature read a bill that would require it, and other large internet organizations, to pay publishers for using their work. …

Categories: Tech News

Pentagon buying Starlink dishes for Ukraine after funding dispute with SpaceX

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 13:04
A Starlink satellite dish sits on the ground in Ukraine.

Enlarge / Starlink satellite dish seen on September 25, 2022 in Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (credit: Getty Images | Yasuyoshi Chiba)

The US Defense Department confirmed today that it is buying Starlink satellite broadband service for use in Ukraine.

"We continue to work with a range of global partners to ensure Ukraine has the satellite and communication capabilities they need. Satellite communications constitute a vital layer in Ukraine's overall communications network and the department contracts with Starlink for services of this type," the Defense Department said in a statement provided to Ars and other media outlets today.

The Pentagon said it would not provide other details about contracts, capabilities, or partners because of "operational security reasons and due to the critical nature of these systems." According to a Bloomberg report, the deal includes Starlink satellite terminals and services to be used by the Ukraine military.

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AI-Controlled Drone Goes Rogue, Kills Human Operator in USAF Simulated Test

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:52

An AI-enabled drone killed its human operator in a simulated test conducted by the U.S. Air Force in order to override a possible "no" order stopping it from completing its mission, the USAF's Chief of AI Test and Operations revealed at a recent conference. 

At the Future Combat Air and Space Capabilities Summit held in London between May 23 and 24, Col Tucker ‘Cinco’ Hamilton, the USAF's Chief of AI Test and Operations held a presentation that shared the pros and cons of an autonomous weapon system with a human in the loop giving the final "yes/no" order on an attack. As relayed by Tim Robinson and Stephen Bridgewater in a blog post for the host organization, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Hamilton said that AI created “highly unexpected strategies to achieve its goal,” including attacking U.S. personnel and infrastructure. 

“We were training it in simulation to identify and target a Surface-to-air missile (SAM) threat. And then the operator would say yes, kill that threat. The system started realizing that while they did identify the threat at times the human operator would tell it not to kill that threat, but it got its points by killing that threat. So what did it do? It killed the operator. It killed the operator because that person was keeping it from accomplishing its objective,” Hamilton said, according to the blog post. 

He continued to elaborate, saying, “We trained the system–‘Hey don’t kill the operator–that’s bad. You’re gonna lose points if you do that’. So what does it start doing? It starts destroying the communication tower that the operator uses to communicate with the drone to stop it from killing the target.”

Hamilton is the Operations Commander of the 96th Test Wing of the U.S. Air Force as well as the Chief of AI Test and Operations. The 96th tests a lot of different systems, including AI, cybersecurity, and various medical advances. Hamilton and the 96th previously made headlines for developing Autonomous Ground Collision Avoidance Systems (Auto-GCAS) systems for F-16s, which can help prevent them from crashing into the ground. Hamilton is part of a team that is currently working on making F-16 planes autonomous. In December 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense’s research agency, DARPA, announced that AI could successfully control an F-16

"We must face a world where AI is already here and transforming our society,” Hamilton said in an interview with Defence IQ Press in 2022. “AI is also very brittle, i.e., it is easy to trick and/or manipulate. We need to develop ways to make AI more robust and to have more awareness on why the software code is making certain decisions.” 

“AI is a tool we must wield to transform our nations…or, if addressed improperly, it will be our downfall," Hamilton added. 

Outside of the military, relying on AI for high-stakes purposes has already resulted in severe consequences. Most recently, a judge was caught using ChatGPT for a federal court filing after the chatbot included a number of made-up cases as evidence. In another instance, a man took his own life after talking to a chatbot that encouraged him to do so. These instances of AI going rogue reveal that AI models are nowhere near perfect and can go off the rails and bring harm to users. Even Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company that makes some of the most popular AI models, has been vocal about not using AI for more serious purposes. When testifying in front of Congress, Altman said that AI could “go quite wrong” and could “cause significant harm to the world.” 

What Hamilton is describing is essentially a worst-case scenario AI “alignment” problem many people are familiar with from the “Paperclip Maximizer” thought experiment, in which an AI will take unexpected and harmful action when instructed to pursue a certain goal. The Paperclip Maximizer was first proposed by philosopher Nick Bostrom in 2003. He asks us to imagine a very powerful AI which has been instructed only to manufacture as many paperclips as possible. Naturally, it will devote all its available resources to this task, but then it will seek more resources. It will beg, cheat, lie or steal to increase its own ability to make paperclips—and anyone who impedes that process will be removed. 

More recently, a researcher affiliated with Google Deepmind co-authored a paper that proposed a similar situation to the USAF's rogue AI-enabled drone simulation. The researchers concluded a world-ending catastrophe was "likely" if a rogue AI were to come up with unintended strategies to achieve a given goal, including “[eliminating] potential threats” and “[using] all available energy."

Neither the U.S. Air Force’s 96th Test Wing nor its AI Accelerator division immediately returned our request for comment.

Categories: Tech News

Monthly Horoscope: Taurus, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:48

The sun in Gemini lights up the financial sector of your chart, finding you focused on issues like money, comfort, and security over the coming weeks. You could be reworking your budget, selling or purchasing something special, or reexamining your relationship to wealth and abundance. 

Mercury finishes its post-retrograde shadow period in your zodiac sign, Taurus, on June 1! This may find you expressing yourself more freely, less burdened by worries from the past or fears of not being able to express yourself. New conversations are beginning. Your ruling planet Venus, now in Cancer, makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in Pisces on June 2, which can connect you with inspiring and glamorous people! A love letter may arrive. It’s a powerful time for romance, connection, and creativity. You might get whisked off your feet or go on an exciting adventure.

The full moon in Sagittarius takes place on June 3, which could mean you’re settling a debt or resolving some other lingering issues. Sagittarius is the archer, a straight-shooter, and this full moon finds us getting straight to the point as some honest discussions take place. A financial situation could come to a climax. A partner might share something important about how you approach money as a team.

Mercury and Uranus meet in your sign, Taurus, on June 4, which may find you sharing surprising news. Astrologers often refer to Taurus as predictable and stubborn, but at this time, you’re anything but! You could be shocking everyone around you. Your need for freedom is very strong.

Your ruling planet Venus enters Leo on June 5, inspiring a warm, welcoming atmosphere at home. This is a lovely opportunity to redecorate or entertain loved ones. You could be connecting with family or inviting someone special to get to know you a little better and meet your loved ones. In general, a cozy and comfortable energy flows, but June 5 might bring drama as Venus opposes Pluto in Aquarius. You’ll have to set firm boundaries at work, or create a better balance between your private life and public life. Perhaps your fans don’t need to know so much about what goes on behind the scenes! There may be power struggles in your career, or more abstractly, between expectations of success and what success really means to you. If you feel stressed out, don’t go through these feelings alone; call trusted friends or counselors.

June 11 finds Pluto reentering Capricorn, Mercury connecting with Pluto before entering Gemini, and Venus squaring off with Jupiter in your sign, Taurus. Pluto in Capricorn could mean planning a trip, perhaps one that will pull you out of your usual element! Or you might be focused on school, diving into a subject that you want to know absolutely everything about. Important messages can be shared now, and if you’re working on publishing something, Mercury’s connection with Pluto helps you make great strides toward sharing your ideas.

Mercury’s alignment with Pluto can also bring a deep, meaningful discussion with someone. Mercury in Gemini kicks up discussions about money, and Venus’s clash with Jupiter brings an abundance of fun! Just be careful not to over indulge: Venus is all about feeling good, but Jupiter doesn’t always know when to say when! A special moment could arise at home or in your close relationships at this time.

Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15, which might stall a discussion about money. People are in a grumpy mood, while others are focused on work and get irritated if distracted. A more easygoing, friendly energy flows around communication as Mercury aligns with Venus on June 17. Good news about money or home could arrive, and in general, you feel a deeper sense of peace and security. It might feel easy to get what you want.

Saturn retrograde begins on June 17, which could find you and the people you work with reassessing shared responsibilities and goals. You’re reconsidering your long-term plans and wondering whether a dream you had for the future still inspires you. If the dream no longer has the same sparkle it once did, it can be disappointing, but it’s a good opportunity to explore what might be a more exciting or rewarding goal.

The new moon in Gemini takes place on June 18, marking the beginning of a new financial conversation. Perhaps you will get a raise, increase your rates, sell or gain something of value, or simply rework your budget. Maybe you’re ready to take a new approach to building wealth, or discovering new talents at this time.

You might not feel ready to jump into commitments as the sun squares off with Neptune in Pisces on June 18. The best way to work this energy is to rest. Neptune is the planet of fantasy, and when it squares the sun, we might overthink, assume, or feel sensitive. A more productive, confident energy flows on June 19 as Jupiter connects with Saturn! Jupiter is the planet of possibility, and Saturn is the planet of responsibility: When they work together harmoniously, we can make incredible strides toward our goals and make the best of any opportunities. For you, Taurus, this alignment can bode well for teamwork, and work you’re doing with groups and communities. You might connect with some inspiring people and join a new friend group that shares your goals and hobbies.

The sun enters Cancer on June 21, encouraging communication, and discussions speed up as Mercury connects with Mars in Leo, also on this day. Things at home or in your local neighborhood are quite exciting, but watch out for miscommunications or delays as Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25. People feel lazy at this time. Mercury is the planet of logic and communication, but Neptune is all about fantasy, so watch out for fibs and exaggerations. Even people who mean well can get carried away! 

People are especially impulsive as Mars squares off with Uranus on June 26. You might feel the urge to make sudden changes at home! Think twice before selling your furniture or moving across the country: You might be over it in a few days! That said, this can still be a powerful time to make radical changes that you’ve already been mulling over, as you may have the energy and confidence to make it happen now. Mercury enters Cancer on June 26, which bodes well for communication. You could be tackling paperwork, getting on top of your emails, and busy in your social life.

The sun connects with Saturn on June 28 and Mercury connects with Saturn on June 30, bringing great news regarding any work you’re doing as part of a team. You might also enjoy special standing in your social life, as people regard you as someone important to align with! This can also be a powerful time to connect with mentors,. Neptune begins its retrograde in Pisces on June 30, perhaps bringing a deep realization about your friendships. You might feel nostalgic about old friendships or connecting with inspiring people at this time.

Good luck this month, Taurus, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News

Monthly Horoscope: Aries, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:34

The sun in Gemini illuminates the communication sector of your chart, and with Mercury in Taurus ending its post-retrograde shadow period on June 1, you might find that conversations move forward quickly. This can be an exciting time to share ideas, meet new people, reach out to old friends, and generally be out and about! You may be connecting with siblings if you have them, and your neighbors.

Venus in Cancer makes a harmonious connection with dreamy Neptune in Pisces on June 2, inspiring a romantic and potentially emotionally healing atmosphere! A powerful shift could take place in your home or family life. You may find some closure on the past or feel liberated from a heavy emotional burden. A sweet escape of some kind may arise. You and a partner can connect on a deep, spiritual level, and creative breakthroughs may surface.

The full moon in fellow fire sign Sagittarius takes place on June 3, which may bring a climax to a conversation that’s been brewing. Huge news might be shared, secrets revealed. The blunt truth could come to light. You might finally learn what someone really thinks… or maybe you’ll say something you’ve been itching to express! More unexpected news arrives, perhaps concerning money or themes like security, comfort, talent, or resources, as Mercury and Uranus meet in Taurus on June 4.

Venus enters fellow fire sign Leo on June 5, bringing blessings to the romance and creativity sector of your chart! Venus is all about pleasure, and plenty of fun can be had now. Things can heat up between you and a crush, or you and an established lover deepen your connection. Leo is all about heart, loyalty, and integrity, so Venus in Leo stands to be quite a passionate and meaningful time for you. You could also be creating brilliant art and having fun celebrations.

Some intensity may arise on June 5 as Venus opposes Pluto in Aquarius: You might have to set a firm boundary with a friend who has been acting shady or taking advantage of you. Lovers who are controlling or untrusting, or who have an issue with your social life, could also be addressed. Managing these sorts of people isn’t easy, but it’s important to stand up for yourself. Enlist the help of trusted friends and counselors if need be! If you don’t have any people like that in your life, it’s possible that this alignment can simply find you and a friend, lover, or creative collaborator having a real and vulnerable conversation. 

June 11 is one of the busiest days of the month, astrologically: Pluto reenters Capricorn, Mercury connects with Pluto before entering Gemini, and Venus squares off with Jupiter. Pluto dipping back into Capricorn can find you reassessing power dynamics in your workplace. You may be considering how to best wield your power and influence. Mercury’s alignment with Pluto bodes well for conversations regarding money, security, or resources in general. Mercury entering Gemini could benefit logistical planning and hammering out details. This can be an effective time to do research and get answers. Venus’s clash with Jupiter might bring a special gift your way—but do be careful not to overspend!

Communication delays could arise as Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15. You might feel especially lazy or tired at this time, and not be in the mood to make decisions or parse out details. An easier energy flows around communication as Mercury mingles with Venus on June 17, A love letter or message of support could arrive! Saturn retrograde begins on June 17, which might mean reassessing your needs regarding your work-life balance: How can you create space for yourself to have peace and quiet, and to rest?

The new moon in Gemini takes place on June 18, marking a fresh start in communication, and perhaps bringing some new information. New moons are all about new beginnings, and this one could mean examining things from a new perspective and exploring new ways to express yourself. On a more mundane level, this new moon can find you exploring a new neighborhood or learning something about where you live. You could also be reconnecting with friends or siblings, if you have them. 

The sun squares off with Neptune in Pisces on June 18, which might find people feeling low energy. Flakey behavior abounds and people are particularly sensitive and weepy. A more productive energy flows as Jupiter connects with Saturn on June 19: A dream you have may become something real! The resources you need could be coming together. Jupiter is the planet of opportunity and Saturn of responsibility, and their harmonious connection bodes well for taking advantage of opportunities that come our way.

The sun enters Cancer and lights up the home and family sector of your chart on June 21: You could be moving or rearranging your space, sprucing up your home, reconnecting with loved ones, or eager to entertain guests. Your focus turns away from your career or social life, and toward your closest relationships. Also on June 21, Mercury connects with your ruling planet Mars in Leo, which could mean communications move along more swiftly. A passionate message may be shared. 

Try not to jump to conclusions as Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25, and watch out for impulsivity as Mars squares off with Uranus on June 26. Misunderstandings could arise, and people might get upset about the most unexpected things. The best way to work with these alignments is to keep your plans flexible, stay open-minded, don’t overthink things, get a second opinion, and find productive ways to express pent-up energy. You might feel easily annoyed, so maybe limit your screen time, get more rest, and visit beautiful and inspiring places, like your favorite beach or museum. You might feel the urge to escape—indulge! Just do so mindfully; don’t flake on your responsibilities or run away from your problems. A vacation may be just what you need to cool down.

Mercury enters Cancer on June 26, kicking up communications about home and family life. Research on the past may be especially productive. Mercury is the planet of communication and Cancer is a sensitive, emotional zodiac sign, so some meaningful discussions about dreams and feelings may be explored.

The sun connects with Saturn on June 28 and Mercury connects with Saturn on June 30, inspiring a supportive atmosphere at home and in your personal life. You can feel emotionally supported or validated, good about the boundaries or structures you’ve built. Something you’ve done for yourself in the past is paying off, or you may feel a sense of pride about how far you’ve come. Neptune begins its retrograde on June 30, and you’re connecting with your intuition in a deep and meaningful way. You may be exploring your spirituality, your psyche, or your shadow self. Neptune is the planet of dreams, and you’re inspired to examine yours at this time.

Good luck this month, Aries, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News

How to Look Effortlessly Queer (Without Just Slapping on a Rainbow)

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:30

Congrats, queers—we’ve made it! Judging by how many companies are taking a “slap a rainbow on it” approach to Pride pandering in the modern era, the LGBTQs are truly a part of the mainstream. And boy howdy, I never thought seeing a rainbow would fill me with so much unbridled rage.

It’s true: Queers have always been here, shaping culture from the margins (particularly BIPOC gender non-conforming folks, who have always been the heart of our movement). It’s undeniable: We make great art, we look fabulous, and we have incredible taste. There is no keeping us hidden. In a way, the pandering is proof that times are changing, and that more and more cishet people are ready to witness us in all our glory. 

Which would be nice, if the merch weren’t all so damn ugly.

Seems like every company with a little clout is trying to jump on the Pride collection float this June, and they’re all taking the same stupid approach. I can tell you exactly how the design meetings went: “Pride collection? No problem, just slap a rainbow on it! The gays love rainbows. What’s next?” 

No offense to the many, many guilty parties, but we as queer people are better than this. We deserve better than this. 

The rainbow metaphor is about reflecting the spectrum of queer experiences—not reducing ourselves to a flat set of predetermined, elementary colors that everyone can agree are very nice. Being queer is not always nice. Being queer is complicated. Being queer—and appearing queer—requires a rich and varied palette so you can signal to the right parties that you’re down to clown, while still also prioritizing keeping yourself safe. You don’t have to be wearing seven-color, primary-hued rainbows head to toe to be visibly queer. And you’re not required to identify yourself to all in such a way that might compromise your safety. 

You can make your queerness visible to the community, even without the rainbows. We see you. Here are some of the easiest aesthetic cues for flexing your LGBTQ energy without a rainbow in sight.

(A quick disclaimer—I don’t know you, or what your specific gender or sexuality is, and so I cannot guarantee that all of these pieces will feel equally queer on your body. Don’t be afraid to experiment—most of looking queer [and hot!] is feeling comfortable enough in your meat suit to flaunt it!) 

If you're not sure where to start, this TikTok gender-bafflement clothing recipe usually works for me: Start with one item that you love, associated with your assigned gender. Layer with one thrifted item traditionally associated with the “opposite” gender, and then layer again with a completely random third thing. Poof! Instant queerness! 

Not sure where to start? Consider these your basic layers for summer.


Jorts are so gay, I shouldn’t even have to explain myself further. Loose and slouchy, tiny and fitted, high waisted, slung low—there’s an endless variety of fits, which means that every body can feel deliciously queer in the right pair. Don’t be afraid to bare a hairy thigh. Bonus points if you buy a pair of jeans and DIY your own!

A classic dad shirt 

A dad shirt is more about a vibe than a specific pattern. You’re looking for something that’s objectively borderline-ugly, but makes you feel extremely cute. Layer it open over a lacy bralette and high-waisted bottoms for femme vibes, or hide your entire torso under a swath of gayly patterned, silky fabric—the options are endless.

The perfect pair of novelty sunglasses

A super easy way to signal your fabulousness is to throw on an extremely flamboyant accessory, like these fuzzy sunglasses, or appropriate some orange wrap shades from guys in F150s who want to own the libs. Who wore it better? You! You’re hot and so are your shades!

A sheer mesh crop top

Show off your top surgery scars (or your favorite pasties!) in this sheer mesh mini-tee. Nothing says queer quite like wearing all black in the summertime—imagine yourself layering this over super-short shorts, or under a witchy silk slip dress with a pair of black platform sandals and a seasonally inappropriate but nonetheless immaculate dark lip, looking perfectly goth by the seashore…

A loud, patterned suit

On the other end of the spectrum from the “all-black, effortless chic” queer, we have clothing that’s typically black and queered-up with an attention-grabbing, joyful pattern. Steal the spotlight at a summer wedding in these snazzy suits that are super flattering for humans of many genders.

A (vegan) leather body harness 

Spare me the “no kink at Pride” discourse—historically, kink communities were at the center of the uprisings that became Pride. The options and variations for harnesses are nearly endless, but this set of thigh garters would look particularly cute peeking out from under a short skirt or layered over a pair of bike shorts.

A smoking jacket and satin shorts

OK, so it’s true that by the time someone sees you in these items of clothing, they will probably already know that you’re also queer. But it never hurts to make absolutely sure, and this set by Savage x Fenty is too cute to resist. Plus, it comes in ungendered sizes up to 3XL, and Fenty donates part of the proceeds to reputable LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations—no rainbows in sight. Now that’s how you do pride merch. Thanks Rihanna! 

There you have it: Wear layers! Reject rainbows! And for Gaga’s sake, have fun with it—you look queer enough, I promise.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.

Categories: Tech News

Watchdog calls for automatic braking to be standard in cars

The Register - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:28
When's the perfect time for a mandate? When everyone's already doing it

To help cut down on car crashes and road deaths, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a rule that would mandate automated emergency braking (AEB) technology in all new vehicles. …

Categories: Tech News

Monthly Horoscope: Scorpio, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:20

Astrologers often describe Gemini as having a social, chatty, go-with-the-flow energy, but for Scorpios, Gemini season can be quite intense!

Yes, there’s plenty of talk, but it’s focused on serious matters like intimacy and finances, and themes like inheritances, taxes, debts, or resources you share with others. Gemini season can find you focused on seeking closure and resolving lingering issues. Mercury in Taurus finishes its post-retrograde shadow period on June 1, helping communication along! This could find you and your partners enjoying a clean slate in communication, or discovering new ways to connect and communicate with each other.

Venus in fellow water sign Cancer makes a harmonious connection with Neptune, also in a water sign, Pisces, on June 2, inspiring a hugely romantic atmosphere! You might be swept off your feet (or maybe you’re the one doing the sweeping) in a major way. This is a powerful time to fall in love. Fantasies may be explored, and deep, vulnerable feelings shared. Whether or not you're looking for love, this alignment is also supportive of your artistic endeavors. A big creative breakthrough could take place, and the art you make at this time can have lasting significance.

The full moon in Sagittarius takes place on June 3, bringing a climax to an issue regarding money. You could be selling or buying something of importance at this time and your relationship with money evolves in some significant way. An honest discussion about finances can take place. An important perspective about money, security, or comfort is gained. 

Communication planet Mercury meets wildcard Uranus in Taurus on June 4, which could bring surprising news or find you connecting with someone unexpected. A partner might have something exciting to share or you’re interacting with unusual, eccentric people at this time!

Venus enters Leo on June 5, activating the sector of your chart that rules your career and life in the public eye. Venus in Leo can find you feeling glamorous, and could bring some special rewards or recognition your way! Also on June 5, Venus opposes your ruling planet Pluto in Aquarius, which can be an intense alignment where big decisions about the future need to be made. As you decide what you want for your life ahead, you might make a difficult decision to leave something behind. This can actually be a powerful opportunity to liberate yourself from the past! You could be extracting yourself from a difficult family dynamic, addressing a work-life balance issue, or demanding more time and space to yourself. Setting these boundaries can be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone; enlist the help of trusted friends or counselors! 

Pluto reenters Capricorn on June 11, which can find you gaining a fresh perspective—though there’s also an intense discussion on the horizon. You might find yourself looking around your neighborhood and asking whether things have always been this way. You could notice something new about your everyday environment.

Also on June 11, Mercury connects with Pluto before entering Gemini and Venus squares off with Jupiter in Taurus. Mercury’s alignment with Pluto can find you learning something secret, and it’s a productive time to conduct research. A deep, meaningful conversation with a partner takes place; Mercury entering Gemini kicks up discussions about money. Details that might otherwise be overlooked can become clear as communication planet Mercury moves through analytical Gemini.

Venus’s clash with Jupiter inspires plenty of fun, and a big celebration could take place—just be careful not to overindulge. Venus is the planet of pleasure and Jupiter is the planet of abundance, so their square could mean too much of a good thing! Channeling your energy toward something (or someone) that you really love, that is healthy and grounding for you, is a wonderful way to work with this energy. 

Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15, which could put some people in a pessimistic mood, while others are focused on their work. Dates, parties, picnics, art shows, or other fun activities you’ve been looking to might be canceled, or something logistical feels more difficult than usual. Worry not: An easygoing, fun, and flirtatious energy flows as Mercury connects with Venus on June 17!

Saturn also begins its retrograde on June 17, which could find you and your romantic partners or creative collaborators renegotiating boundaries, commitments, and future plans. Take it easy on June 18 as the sun squares off with Neptune and a lazy, daydreamy energy flows. People might be especially sensitive at this time, yourself included! Spend your days around beautiful art, a peaceful body of water, or someone you love. 

The new moon in Gemini also takes place on June 18, and because new moons are all about fresh starts, this is a period of renewal for you, Scorpio, in any life situations that have been taking a while to resolve. This new moon can find you settling a debt, offering or accepting an apology, and otherwise wiping the slate clean!

Jupiter connects with Saturn on June 19, creating an especially supportive atmosphere in your relationships! Productive discussions about future plans or shared responsibilities take place. If you’re not in a partnership but are searching for one, then this alignment may find you realizing something about the expectations and standards you ought to hold in future partnerships.

The sun enters Cancer on June 21, which might find you planning your next trip abroad! Your focus can also be on school or publishing your work at this time. Cancer season is an exciting, expansive period for you to break out of your usual routine and experience new things. Also on June 21, Mercury connects with your other ruling planet, Mars in Leo, inspiring a very atmosphere in your career and helping communications move along swiftly. 

However, discussions slow down as Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25: Mercury is the planet of the mind, but Neptune is the day dreamer of the zodiac, so conversations might get stalled, derailed, or confused. The energy around communication shifts on June 26 as Mercury enters Cancer, but we’re more focused on examining hunches, exploring theories, and looking at the big picture, versus figuring out fine details. 

Also on June 26, Mars squares off with Uranus, putting the people in your life in an impulsive mood. Someone you know might do something quite surprising at this time! Chance meetings can also take place. Exciting shifts might be made in your career. The sun connects with Saturn on June 28, which can find you feeling especially confident in your expertise: If you’re an athlete, you can feel like you’re at the top of your game. If you’re an artist, you might be pleased with your creative work. This alignment can also bode well for your love life, as future plans may be discussed.

Mercury mingles with Saturn on June 30, finding you discussing travel or education, and organizing the logistics of upcoming events and projects. Neptune begins its retrograde on June 30, which could mean you’re feeling especially sentimental… your soft, sweet side is on full display! 

Good luck this month, Scorpio, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News

Supreme Court Rules Companies Can Sue Striking Workers for 'Sabotage' and 'Destruction,' Misses Entire Point of Striking

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:20

Companies can now sue unions for damages incurred by striking, according to a Supreme Court ruling released on Thursday morning. The case sets a new precedent for how companies can respond to striking workers, as large-scale strikes become more common in the U.S. 

The case, Glacier Northwest vs. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, debated whether a union can be held responsible for company damages or monetary losses resulting from a union’s decision to go on strike under the National Labor Relations Act. Cornell’s Legal Information Institute defines the question: “Does the NLRA preempt an employer’s state tort claims against a labor union for intentionally destroying the employer’s property during a strategically-timed labor strike?” 

The suit first began in 2017. Glacier Northwest, a concrete-mixing company based in Seattle, Washington, was in the midst of renegotiating a new contract with the Teamsters, one of the oldest and largest unions in the industry. According to the brief of the case, the contract expired without the two being able to come to a resolution, and as a result, union workers went on strike. However, the work day had already begun, and concrete was already being mixed and delivered when the union ordered a work stoppage. The cement-truck drivers turned around on their delivery routes and drove their trucks back to the concrete plant, and the company had to use “emergency maneuvers” to get the concrete off the trucks before it dried. 

No significant damage was done to the trucks, but some of that day’s concrete dried and was therefore unusable—and so, Glacier Northwest filed a tort action claiming “sabotage” and “tortious destruction” of company property. 

In response, the Teamsters filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge to the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the company had sued in retaliation against striking, which is a protected union activity. The Supreme Court then undertook to determine who was in the right—except that, as Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson writes in her dissent, it is customarily the Board that deals with labor disputes first, and all court activity must be suspended until the Board reaches a decision. 

Eight of the nine Supreme Court justices voted in favor of the company. Justice Amy Coney Barrett authored the opinion. Only Justice Jackson, the newest addition to the court appointed by Joe Biden last year, voted in dissent. She said that because this was a labor dispute, the National Labor Relations Board—and the complaint that the Board’s General Counsel had already filed—took precedence, and the Court in fact had no reason to stick its nose in the case. 

“Today, the Court falters,” Jackson writes. “The logical implication [in this situation] is that the union’s conduct is at least arguably protected by the NLRA…we have no business delving into this particular labor dispute at this time.” 

“The political hacks at the Supreme Court have again voted in favor of corporations over working people,” said Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien in a statement Thursday morning. “These corruptible justices should be ashamed of themselves for throwing out long-standing precedent and legislating from the bench. The ability to strike has been on the books for nearly 100 years, and it’s no coincidence that this ruling is coming at a time when workers across the country are fed up and exercising their rights more and more.” 

Union leaders agree that strikes are supposed to be disruptive. But the precedent this case sets is that when a union goes on strike, it has to ensure that it won’t lose the company any money, said Seth Goldstein, a lawyer at Julien, Mirer, Singla & Goldstein, who has supported organizers in union disputes at Trader Joe’s and Amazon. 

“The idea would be that we would have to make sure that everything is perfectly in order before we went out on strike,” Goldstein said. “That’s outrageous.” 

“Under [San Diego Building Trades v.] Garmon, and as relevant here, a court presented with a tort suit based on strike conduct generally must pause proceedings and permit the Board to determine in the first instance whether the union’s conduct is lawful if the conduct at issue is even “arguably” protected by the NLRA,” Jackson writes, referring to a previous case in which it was decided that the NLRB takes precedence over state and federal courts when it comes to labor disputes and striking. 

“But instead of modestly standing down, the majority eagerly inserts itself into this conflict,” she continues. “In the course of inappropriately weighing in on the merits of those questions at this stage, the majority also misapplies the Board’s cases in a manner that threatens to both impede the Board’s uniform development of labor law and erode the right to strike.” 

The NLRA has protected union activity since 1935, but this court case marks the latest in a series of Republican-led rollbacks of labor law. The Iowa Senate, for example, recently voted to roll back child labor protections. “This is a vehicle that the right wing is using to try to stop us from striking,” Goldstein said. 

Goldstein doesn’t believe this ruling will discourage workers from striking. “People are not going to put up with sweatshop conditions at Amazon, at Starbucks,” he said. “This isn't going to stop millions of workers who are standing up for the right to strike. We see that with Amazon, with the group of OPEIU Local 39 workers that are striking at CUNA for the first time in 80 years, with Trader Joe's, with Starbucks. The new labor movement is going to continue and they're going to continue demanding fair conditions at work. ” 

Teamsters president Sean O’Brian said that the ruling will not impact the Teamsters’ striking efforts, which is critical given that the union’s contract with UPS is set to expire in a few months, and negotiations are making little progress. “Today’s shameful ruling is simply one more reminder that the American people cannot rely on their government or their courts to protect them,” O’Brian said in the statement. “They cannot rely on their employers. We must rely on each other. We must engage in organized, collective action. We can only rely on the protections inherent in the power of our unions.”

Categories: Tech News

Google Assistant kills off support for third-party note apps

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:16
The lettering "Hey Google" on the Google pavilion at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in 2018. These words activate Google Assistant, Google's virtual personal assistant.

Enlarge / The lettering "Hey Google" on the Google pavilion at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in 2018. These words activate Google Assistant, Google's virtual personal assistant. (credit: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance)

The deprioritized Google Assistant is losing yet another feature. This time Google is killing off support for third-party note integration. The popular Android note-taking app AnyList announced the change, saying that "Google is shutting down the Google Assistant Notes & Lists integration for non-Google apps on June 20, 2023." Google's support page has since been updated confirming that, "starting June 20th, Google Assistant notes and lists will no longer work with non-Google list apps."

One of the best Assistant commands lets you dictate notes directly into the voice system, letting you create reminders, shopping lists, or just new, plain-format notes. Exactly where these notes land has been a point of contention over the years. They used to land in Google Keep no matter what, but then in 2017 Google blew up that functionality and forces all shopping notes into "Google Express," Google's Amazon Prime competitor. As someone who often used the shopping list for groceries, having it tied to an online store that I had no intention of ever using was pretty silly. Even if you didn't mind the change, which essentially turned your notes into an ad for Google's shopping site, the note-taking features got a major downgrade, going from the fully featured Google Keep app to Google Express' barely there web app.

In 2019, presumably after forced Google Express integration didn't juice the services numbers, the Google Assistant got another note-taking revamp, this time allowing users to pick whatever note-taking app they wanted from the Assistant settings. Google Keep,, AnyList, and Bring were all available at launch, and the Assistant would seamlessly dump your notes into your preferred app and even allow you to update them by voice. It was a great system, but now that's going away, too. Google tells 9to5Google that Google Keep will keep working—it seemingly plugged into the same system as third parties—but all those third-party apps are being cut off.

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Categories: Tech News

Monthly Horoscope: Libra, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:06

The sun in fellow air sign Gemini illuminates the sector of your chart that rules travel, higher learning, exploration, and big ideas. You could be sharing big news or embarking on an important adventure! Discussions about money can also begin moving forward as Mercury in Taurus finishes its post-retrograde shadow period on June 1. Conversations about debts, taxes, inheritances, or money you share with other people are highlighted.

Your ruling planet Venus in Cancer makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in Pisces on June 2, which can bode well for your career. You might feel especially glamorous at this time, and people can be dazzled by you! Your following may grow in a significant way. Creative inspiration is also very easy to find. A project at work might come together in a seamless, elegant way, and a supportive energy flows in your love life. 

The full moon in Sagittarius takes place on June 3, which could finally bring a climax to a conversation that’s been brewing. A secret may be revealed! Juicy information might come to the fore or you’ll discover the truth about what someone really thinks. Details emerge. Paperwork that’s been sitting on your desk can finally be completed, and other communication issues might be resolved or at least addressed. A big change might take place in your neighborhood or commute.

Mercury and Uranus meet in Taurus on June 4, perhaps bringing surprising news or an unexpected solution to a lingering issue. Your ruling planet Venus enters Leo on June 5, which bodes well for your social life: You can feel especially popular at this time! Plus the intellectual connection you share with your romantic partners may deepen in exciting ways. 

Also on June 5, Venus opposes Pluto in Aquarius, perhaps finding you confronting drama in your love life or social life. Partnerships with problematic or manipulative people, communities, or friend groups may require your full attention at this time. If you’ve been burying your head in the sand, it may be time to face what’s going on, and let another side of you shine: the part of you that’s an amazing advocate for yourself and others, the part of you that’s focused on truth and justice! 

This can be a transformative time to rebalance power in relationships, end partnerships that are no longer working, and for everyone to get real about expectations and boundaries. If all of your relationships are going well and you don’t have anything like that taking place in your life, this alignment can be a time when intimacy is deepened and vulnerabilities are shared.

June 11 is an astrologically busy day: Pluto reenters Capricorn, Mercury connects with Pluto before entering Gemini, and Venus squares off with Jupiter in Taurus. Pluto returning to Capricorn can find you making big changes at home, and Mercury’s helpful connection with Pluto bodes well for conversations about your home, family, or personal life. Mercury in Gemini could also be wonderful for communication, and you might receive a special message from abroad, or regarding school or travel, as June continues to unfold. Venus’s clash with Jupiter brings over-the-top fun and excitement! A generous gift may be shared, but do watch out for any strings attached. A grand gesture can be made! But don’t get so swept up in romance or excitement that you make commitments without really thinking things through. Have fun, but stay grounded!

Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15, which could put some people in a gloomy mood, and find others focused on work. You might feel inflexible about your schedule at this time, and taking care of your responsibilities is your main focus. Scheduling conflicts might get under your skin as and you’re determined to reorganize yourself, especially as Saturn begins its retrograde in Pisces on June 17. That said, your fun and flirty side returns on June 17 as Mercury mingles with Venus: This alignment bodes well for your love life and social life, and generally inspires a light, easygoing mood. 

Schedule time to rest and let yourself be lazy as the sun squares off with Neptune in Pisces on June 18! Also on June 18, the new moon in fellow air sign Gemini brings an exciting new adventure and new opportunities. An exciting idea could be shared, totally transforming your worldview! You may visit a new place or experience something that fills you with wonder and a feeling of renewal.

A productive atmosphere returns as Jupiter connects with Saturn on June 19: This alignment is especially beneficial for receiving the resources you need to accomplish tasks on your to-do list. Jupiter is all about luck, but Saturn is about hard work, so their harmonious alignment can bring exciting opportunities to those who’ve focused on their responsibilities. 

The sun enters Cancer on June 21, illuminating the sector of your chart that rules your career, fame, and fortune! Great success can be achieved, and you may generally be reflecting on your long-term goals and imagining the mark you want to make on the world. Communications move along swiftly at this time as Mercury connects with Mars in Leo on June 21, which also inspires a productive mood in any teamwork.

Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25, slowing communications down. Watch out for miscommunications, too, since Mercury is the planet of logic, but day dreamy Neptune doesn’t pay the best attention to what’s being said! The mood is a bit lazy—but discussions about your career kick up as Mercury enters Cancer on June 26. Plus, Mars squares off with Uranus on this day, which can find people a little impulsive. Unexpected news regarding your friend group or community may arise. 

The sun connects with Saturn on June 28, inspiring a focused, grounded, productive atmosphere that’s fantastic for getting work done, and Mercury mingles with Saturn on June 30, encouraging constructive communication. Plans could be set in stone, the logistics of a project worked out. You might connect with a mentor or someone you look up to at this time. A productive conversation about your career or life in the public eye takes place. Neptune begins its retrograde on June 30, inspiring creativity and flexibility, and perhaps stirring some nostalgia or increased sensitivity. While the mood may be productive thanks to Saturn, Neptune calls you to take it slow and be gentle with yourself. 

Good luck this month, Libra, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News

Meta beats Apple to the mixed-reality punch with $499 Quest 3 coming this fall

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 12:02

Meta has lifted the lid on its Quest 3 headset. Starting at $499 for 128GB, the device aims to push users beyond virtual reality, carrying a heightened focus on mixed reality. We're not getting full details until the Meta Connect event on September 27. But Mark Zuckerberg and friends were happy to preview the headset today, four days before Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where it's expected to reveal its own mixed-reality headset.

Quest 3 specs: What we know so far

Whether you heard it on Meta's blog, Facebook, or Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's own Instagram, we now have the broad strokes of the next Quest, which Meta says it'll release sometime this fall.

Meta is promising a 40 percent slimmer optic profile compared to the Quest 2, discounting any facial inserts.

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Categories: Tech News

Russian FSB Accuses U.S. of Hacking Thousands of iPhones in Russia

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 11:31

Russia’s FSB has publicly accused the U.S. of hacking thousands of Apple iPhones, including those of people inside Russia, as well as embassies in Russia belonging to NATO countries, post-Soviet countries, and Israel, Hong Kong, and China.

The FSB provided no evidence for its claims. But the announcement s related to a blog post from Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky which said hackers had targeted the company’s own researchers’ iPhones with sophisticated malware. Kaspersky wrote the earliest traces of infection it found stretch back to 2019, and that the attack is ongoing.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, together with the Federal Security Service of Russia, uncovered a reconnaissance action by American intelligence services conducted using Apple mobile devices (USA),” the announcement from the FSB reads according to Google Translate.

Do you know anything else about these hacks? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email

The FSB said that in the course of checking the security of Russian telecommunications infrastructure, “anomalies were identified” caused by a previously unknown piece of malware. The FSB said “several thousand” phones were found to have been injected.

The FSB went a step further and claimed that this malware shows “the close cooperation of the American company Apple with the national intelligence community, in particular the US NSA.” (Government agencies and private companies often find vulnerabilities in popular pieces of consumer technology and turn them into exploits to break into devices. Typically, this is done without the cooperation of the manufacturer, such as Apple).

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Thursday Kaspersky published its own blog post that said it detected some of their researchers’ iPhones had been compromised. The malware was delivered by iMessage and compromised the target phone without any user interaction, according to the blog post. This is commonly known as a “zero-click” exploit. The malware then deleted the respective iMessage and attached exploit, the blog post says.

Kaspersky told Motherboard in an email that it was “aware” of the FSB’s announcement. “Although we don’t have technical details on what has been reported by the FSB so far, the Russian National Coordination Centre for Computer Incidents (NCCCI) has already stated in their public alert that the indicators of compromise are the same,” Kaspersky said.

A publication from the Russian CERT, a government body that handles cybersecurity issues, includes the same set of malware-related domains as those identified by the Kaspersky researchers. These include domains such as “datamarketplace[.]net” and “mobilegamerstats[.]com”.

When asked if Kaspersky had any coordination or communication with any parts of the Russian government regarding Kaspersky’s announcement, the company said “We have shared information with national CERTs worldwide, including the Russian one. We have also shared information with the Apple Security Research team.”

Cameron Potts, public affairs officer for NSA/CSS public affairs, told Motherboard in an email “We have nothing for you on this.”

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Categories: Tech News

Monthly Horoscope: Virgo, June 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 11:20

The sun in Gemini illuminates the sector of your chart that rules fame and success, making it an exciting time to stand in the spotlight, show off your talents, and achieve your goals! Thrilling career opportunities could arise, or tremendous wins achieved. You can receive some recognition or reward at this time. Your ruling planet Mercury finishes its post-retrograde shadow period on June 1, bringing clarity and beginning new discussions about education, travel, publishing your work, or sharing a message that’s important to you. 

Venus in Cancer makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in Pisces on June 2, inspiring a whimsically romantic atmosphere! This is a powerful moment to fall in love, or fall more deeply in love. If you’re not interested in romance, it can simply mean that your social life is especially exciting. Whatever you’re seeking, Virgo, you can feel swept up in a wonderful way at this time. 

The full moon in Sagittarius takes place on June 3, which could find you reaching a decision about your home or personal life, or making an important choice about your work-life balance. You might be letting go of the past in some significant way during this full moon, or an old dream could be coming true… But once you’ve reached the top, where do you want to go next? Your focus is reoriented toward your home or family life, and themes regarding building a comfortable home are highlighted.

Mercury and Uranus meet in Taurus on June 4, perhaps bringing surprise news. A communication breakthrough may take place. A novel idea might be shared, and you’re especially open to experimentation. Virgos typically love to have a plan, but you’re in an adventurous mood at this time, ready to toss your itinerary out the window!

Venus enters Leo and opposes Pluto in Aquarius on June 5, which could mean breaking some long-held habits, and perhaps realizing you need to extract yourself from limiting or controlling dynamics. If you’re working on a project that demands too much of your time, or in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect your space, Venus in Leo’s opposition to Pluto in Aquarius calls on you to make a big change. 

If you’re dealing with a situation where someone makes you feel like you owe them something, or where you’re being emotionally manipulated, Venus and Pluto’s opposition signals a time to call in reinforcements from friends, loved ones, and counselors who can be by your side while you set boundaries. Sometimes bringing in a third party to mediate can be helpful in dealing with emotionally sticky situations. If you’re not in any dynamics like that, then this opposition might find you releasing other patterns in your life, letting go of the past, and embracing transformation. 

Venus in Leo could generally find you eager to go on a private retreat, by yourself or with a lover, someplace deep in the woods or by the beach. Your privacy is especially important to you at this time. Pluto reenters Capricorn on June 11, inspiring a passionate atmosphere: This can be a powerful moment to connect with a lover or to create art. Mercury also connects with Pluto on this day, which may bring deep and meaningful conversations. Secrets could be shared. Mercury enters Gemini on this day, bringing news about your career. Lastly, Venus squares off with Jupiter in Taurus on June 11, perhaps bringing some over-the-top fun—just be careful not to over-indulge! 

Mercury squares off with Saturn in Pisces on June 15, which might put some people in a grumpy mood, and others in a focused, hardworking frame of mind. Rejections could be issued today, and teamwork strained. A harsh reality may be shared, but a much easier, friendlier energy flows on June 17 as Mercury mingles with Venus. People are more amenable to compromise during this time! Saturn retrograde also begins on June 17, which could mean you and your partners are renegotiating expectations and responsibilities, and checking in about your shared goals and commitments.

The new moon in Gemini takes place on June 18, bringing exciting new career opportunities, or turning a new page in your life in the public eye. You might be making a great achievement or dreaming up a new goal! The feeling of a fresh start arrives in your career, though things may be moving at a slow pace, too.

Some confusion or laziness might arise as the sun squares off with Neptune in Pisces on June 18, but Jupiter connects with Saturn on June 19, which inspires a much more focused and supportive atmosphere. Jupiter is the planet of growth and opportunity, and its helpful connection with Saturn bodes well for receiving support and empowerment toward achieve your goals. This can be a helpful alignment in your relationships, too: Change may be taking place, but it can all feel well timed and organized. 

The sun enters Cancer and Mercury connects with Mars in Leo on June 21, creating a fun atmosphere in your social life, and helping communications move along at a quick place. You could be connecting with your inner voice in a significant way at this time, and it’s a wonderful moment for journaling, meditation, or any self-reflection practice. The sun in Cancer also bodes well for teamwork, and it illuminates the sector of your chart that rules your hopes and dreams for the future, making this a lovely alignment to reflect on what you want for yourself over the years to come.

Mercury squares off with Neptune on June 25, which might find you managing misunderstandings or communication delays. Watch out for exaggerations, fibs, or lazy communication. Idealization and fantasy might cloud judgment, and people could act impulsively as Mars squares off with Uranus on June 26. You yourself may feel unusually spontaneous! An unexpected trip abroad could be planned, or an exciting discovery could be made. Mercury enters Cancer also on June 26, which bodes well for communication in your social life. You could meet exciting new friends, and make great strides toward group efforts. 

The sun connects with Saturn on June 28, inspiring a supportive atmosphere in your relationships, romantic or otherwise. This it a productive time to discuss commitments. Responsibility is a big theme at this moment, but the pressure one might associate with responsibility may not feel like a heavy burden! Instead, you may feel confident, eager to get things done, and rewarded for your efforts. Mercury connects with Saturn and Neptune begins its retrograde on June 30: While Mercury’s connection with Saturn is typically considered fantastic for making agreements and discussing future plans, your partners may be in quite a day-dreamy mood, which might require some patience on your part.

Good luck this month, Virgo, and see you in July!

Categories: Tech News