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The Morning After: Biometric devices with military data were being sold on eBay

It included fingerprints, iris scans and even photographs.

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/GettyImages

German researchers who purchased biometric capture devices on eBay found sensitive US military data stored on the machine’s memory cards. According to The New York Times, that included fingerprints, iris scans, even photographs, names and descriptions of the individuals, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many individuals worked with the US army and could be targeted if the devices fell into the wrong hands, according to the report. One device was purchased at a military auction, and the seller said they were unaware that it contained sensitive data. There was an easy solution too: The US military could have eliminated the risk by simply removing or destroying the memory cards before selling them.

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

A third Blizzard studio pushes to unionize

The campaign involves all non-management workers.

Workers at Proletariat, a Boston-based studio Blizzard bought earlier this year, announced they recently filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Proletariat is the third Activision Blizzard studio to announce a union drive in 2022. However, past campaigns at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany involved the quality assurance workers at those studios – the effort at Proletariat includes all non-management workers. The employees at Proletariat say they aim to preserve the studio’s “progressive, human-first” benefits, including its flexible paid time off policy and robust healthcare options. Additionally, they want to protect the studio from crunch – compulsory overtime during game development.

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LG's new minimalistic appliances have upgradeable features and fewer controls

Upgradeable, to an extent.

LG
LG

LG is taking a more minimalist approach to its kitchen appliances in 2023, with less showy profiles, colors and, seemingly, controls. While we’re not getting a close-up look at all the dials and buttons yet, the appliances look restrained compared to previous years’ models. In the past, we’ve seen a washing machine whose flagship feature was an entire extra washing machine. There was also a dryer that had two doors. Just because. LG says it’s used recycled materials across multiple machine parts, adding that its latest appliances also require fewer total parts and less energy than typical kitchen appliances. This would dovetail with the company’s announcements at the start of the year, where LG said it would offer upgradability for its home appliances. So far, that’s included new filters for certain use cases and software upgrades with new washing programs for laundry machines.

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US House of Representatives bans TikTok on its devices

Lawmakers and staff members who have TikTok on their phones would have to delete it.

TikTok is now banned on any device owned and managed by the US House of Representatives, according to Reuters. The House's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) reportedly told all lawmakers and their staff in an email that they must delete the app from their devices, because it's considered "high risk due to a number of security issues." Further still, everyone detected to have the social networking application on their phones would be contacted to make sure it's deleted.

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LG teases a smaller smartphone camera module with true optical telephoto zoom

It could lead to smaller smartphone camera bumps.

LG may not make smartphones anymore, but it's still building components for them. The company's LG Innotek arm just unveiled a periscope-style true optical zoom camera module with a 4-9 times telephoto range. Most smartphone cameras use hybrid zoom setups that combine certain zoom ranges (typically 2x, 3x, 10x, etc.) with a digital zoom to fill in between those (2.5x, 4.5x, etc.), leading to reduced detail. LG's "Optical Zoom Camera," however, contains a zoom actuator with movable components, like a mirrorless or DSLR camera. That would help retain full image quality through the entire zoom range, while potentially reducing the size and number of modules required. Could this mean the death of the camera bump?

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