Spotted on the street in camouflage is the Kia EV2, the carmaker's compact, reasonably priced electric crossover. Despite the EV2's present lack of US confirmation, this is the model's first public sighting. With the recent reports that Tesla may have abandoned its intentions to produce a mass-market "Model 2" car for $25,000, the timing of the encounter is quite noteworthy. Elon Musk allegedly put the inexpensive EV on hold to focus entirely on the company's plans to develop a fully autonomous robotaxi.

The Kia EV2's exact price is unknown, but according to Electrek, it might cost 20 million won, or roughly $15,000. According to some estimates, it will cost less than $30,000, which is far less than the current average retail price of an EV, which is over $52,000.

Over the years, a number of electric vehicle manufacturers have pledged to produce affordable electric vehicles for the general public, but few have progressed beyond the idea stage. Due to high tariffs, none of the incredibly affordable EVs that Chinese automakers have introduced—like the BYD $11,500 Seagull—are available in the US. Volkswagen has declared its intention to launch the ID.2all, a $26,000 electric vehicle, at some point, while Ford has a skunkworks section that is actively developing a range of less expensive EVs.

Using their joint E-GMP platform, Kia and sister company Hyundai have launched a number of reasonably priced electric vehicles (EVs), including the Kia EV6 and EV9 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 6. Particularly popular in the US, Kia's EV6 can be considered a competitive substitute for Tesla's Model 3 and Y.

Those who require three rows of seating and wish to switch to electric vehicles are showing a lot of interest in Kia's EV9, which was introduced earlier this year. Later this year, Kia plans to release a cheap sedan with the EV4 and a smaller crossover SUV with the EV3. A smaller variant of the EV9, the EV5, has debuted in China in the meantime.

Kia's Budget-Friendly EV2 Set to Undercut Tesla

Finally, Apple is facilitating consumer repair of their iPhones using spare components. The company said in an update on Thursday that owners of "selected" iPhone models will be able to fully repair their smartphones with used, authentic parts starting in the fall. Apple needs iPhone customers to complete a procedure known as parts pairing when fixing their phones. This process involves matching the serial number of the device to a replacement part that Apple sells. When a user swapped out a part for an aftermarket or used one, the iPhone would annoyingly notify them that Apple couldn't validate the freshly installed part. For Face ID and Touch ID sensors, the component could not function.

Since Apple states that "calibration for genuine Apple parts, new or used, will happen on device after the part is installed," this update should eliminate the used part notifications. It also implies that when ordering most components from the Self Service Repair Store, customers and repair shops won't need to disclose the serial number of the device they're mending. At launch, the modification will affect cameras, batteries, and screens. According to Apple, "future" iPhone releases will support the usage of biometric sensors like Touch ID and Face ID.

In the event that you decide to utilize a used part to fix your iPhone, the device will save that data in the iOS Settings app's Parts and Service History section. Though the company told TechCrunch that it will be the iPhone 15 and later, Apple does not specify which iPhone models will be supported this fall. John Ternus, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, said in a statement, "With this latest expansion to our repair program, we're excited to be adding even more choice and convenience for our customers, while helping to extend the life of our products and their parts."

For repair businesses and do-it-yourselfers who have been forced to pay a premium for new iPhone parts, the shift is significant even though Apple hasn't yet extended its clearance to aftermarket parts.

Apple plans to open the door to iPhone repair with used parts

 The Zenbook 14 OLED (UM3406) and the Asus Vivobook S series are the two new laptop models that Asus has announced. The laptops have some of the newest AMD and Intel processors in addition to OLED screens. Although we haven't tested the laptops yet, the new chips should be faster at gaming, multitasking, and editing, and they should be better suited to handle AI thanks to neural processing units designed for it. Even the keyboard has special Copilot keys that make it simple to use the AI features in Windows 11.

The Vivobook S series has four laptop models, all 16 inches in size, with the AMD Ryzen 8040 Series chip powering the third and fourth models, which are powered by the Intel Core Ultra 9. The larger Vivobook S models have 3.2K displays, while the 14-inch model has 120Hz OLED panels for smoother scrolling. By comparison, the AMD Ryzen 7 8840HS processor is the only one available with the Zenbook 14 OLED (UM3406). Similar to the Vivobook, the laptop has a 60Hz panel and no microSD card reader. However, it does have USB-C connections, an HDMI 2.1 (TMDS) port, and a 3.5 mm audio input.

Additionally, every laptop supports Dolby Atmos and has an Asus ErgoSense keyboard, which has RGB lights that can be customized, which is a unique feature for a keyboard that isn't meant for gaming. The base model of the Zenbook 14 OLED (UM3406) costs $999.99 on the Asus store, while the Vivobook S series starts at $749 at Walmart.

Asus Unveils AI-Enhanced OLED Laptops Powered by Cutting-Edge Chips

Accounts with a large number of verified followers are receiving free Premium and Premium Plus subscriptions from X, just as Elon Musk stated. Despite without purchasing either of the two premium X subscription tiers, a number of X users reported on Wednesday seeing the recognizable blue "Verified" checkmark next to their handles. Over 2,500 "verified subscriber followers" on X accounts will get a free Premium membership, according to Musk's announcement last week. Over 5,000 accounts will get a free Premium Plus membership.

The verified mark on the Twitter network was typically used to denote public figures such as politicians, journalists, celebrities, and others before Musk took over. Everyone might now receive the label in conjunction with a Premium membership when the platform introduced paid verification. It was eventually added to many accounts with more than a million followers (which also verified accounts for many people who had died or otherwise had not requested it). Previously verified X users who refused to pay lost their checkmark, though Elon Musk personally intervened to push it on people like Stephen King and LeBron.

It seems that some powerful X accounts, who have already amassed substantial followings in the tens or hundreds of thousands (which might potentially result in verified followings surpassing the benchmark), are already, or soon will be, subject to check marking, regardless of their preference. X users who were approved for verification through the most recent program received the following notice, as seen in an image obtained by Business Insider's Peter Kafka.

X's 'Complimentary' Premium Push Grants Free Blue Checks

According to a proposed class action settlement filed on Monday, Google agreed to erase or de-identify billions of records of web browsing data obtained when users were using its private browsing mode, or "Incognito." In addition to requiring more disclosure from the business about how it gathers data while using Incognito mode, the proposed settlement in Brown v.

 Google will place restrictions on the company's ability to collect data in the future. Should a federal judge in California approve the settlement, it may cover 136 million Google users. Google account holders filed the 2020 case, claiming the corporation was improperly using the private browsing tool to track their online activities.

The proposed value of $5 billion was determined by valuing the data that Google has kept and would have to destroy, as well as the data that it would not be allowed to collect. This information was stated in a court filing on Monday. Data gathered in private browsing mode starting in December 2023 would require Google to address.

For any data that cannot be completely removed, de-identification is required. "In the proposed settlement filing, the plaintiffs stated that this settlement guarantees genuine accountability and transparency from the largest data collector globally, and represents a significant advancement toward preserving and enhancing our online privacy rights."

According to a statement from Google's spokesperson José Castañeda, the business is "pleased to settle this lawsuit, which we always believed was meritless." Despite the fact that the plaintiffs initially requested damages in the amount of $5 billion, which they valued the proposed settlement at, Castañeda stated that they are “receiving zero.” Even though individuals can make claims, the settlement does not include damages for the class.

Castañeda went on, "When users use Incognito mode, we never associate data with them." "We are pleased to remove outdated technical data that was never used for personalization purposes and was never linked to an individual." adjustments to Google's disclosure of the limitations of its private browsing services are part of the deal, and the corporation has started implementing these adjustments on Chrome. In order to prevent Google from tracking users on external websites while they are browsing privately, Google also consented to allow users to ban third-party cookies by default in Incognito mode for a period of five years.

Google has started rolling out the adjustments to its private browsing services on Chrome; one aspect of the agreement is how the corporation will now communicate the limitations of these services. Additionally, Google consented to allow users to automatically block third-party cookies in Incognito mode for a period of five years in order to prevent Google from tracking users while they are privately browsing the internet. As per the conditions of the settlement, individuals have the ability to pursue claims for damages in state courts in California. Fifty claims have been lodged thus far.

Google Pledges to Destroy Browsing Data Gathered in Incognito Mode

A text-to-speech platform known as speech Engine, which OpenAI developed, is available to a limited number of users. It can produce a synthetic voice from a 15-second audio clip. Text instructions can be read aloud by the AI-generated voice in many languages or in the same language as the speaker upon command. "Our approach, safety measures, and ideas about how Voice Engine could be used for good across various industries are being informed by these small-scale deployments," OpenAI stated in a blog post.

Some of the companies that have access are: Age of Learning, a visual storytelling platform; Livox, a provider of AI communication apps; Dimagi, a maker of frontline health software; and health system Lifespan.

According to OpenAI, it started working on Voice Engine in late 2022 and has since powered text-to-speech API preset voices as well as ChatGPT's Read Aloud feature. Voice Engine's product team member for OpenAI, Jeff Harris, stated in a TechCrunch interview that the model was trained using "a mix of licensed and publicly available data." Ten developers would be able to use the approach, according to OpenAI, which told the journal.

OpenAI claims that its partners have committed to abiding by its usage regulations, which prohibit using Voice Generation to impersonate individuals or organizations without authorization. In addition, the partners must not develop features that allow individual users to record their own voices, obtain the original speaker's "explicit and informed consent," and notify listeners that the voices are artificial intelligence (AI) creations. In order to track its source and keep an eye on how the audio is being used, OpenAI also watermarked the audio snippets.

In order to reduce the risks associated with tools such as these, OpenAI proposed a number of measures, such as the elimination of voice-based authentication for bank account access, the creation of policies to safeguard the use of human voices in AI, increased awareness of AI deepfakes, and the establishment of tracking systems for AI content.

OpenAI's Breakthrough in Voice Cloning with Just a 15-Second Sample

The concept of a "AI PC" has been promoted by Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel for several months now as we approach additional AI-powered capabilities in Windows. While we're still waiting on Microsoft to reveal the specifics of its ambitious plans for artificial intelligence in Windows, Intel has begun disclosing Microsoft's criteria to OEMs looking to develop AI PCs. One of the most important requirements is that the AI PC must have Microsoft's Copilot key.

For its vision of an AI PC, Microsoft wants its OEM partners to supply both hardware and software. This includes access to Copilot, the newest CPUs and GPUs, and a system equipped with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Additionally, it must have the updated Copilot key that Microsoft revealed earlier in the year.

Because of this requirement, certain laptops—such as Asus' recently released ROG Zephyrus—have already been supplied with Intel's new Core Ultra CPUs and, according to Microsoft's stringent regulations, aren't actually AI PCs because they need a Copilot key. However, Intel still considers them to be AI PCs. What OEMs will receive in exchange for following Microsoft's own definition of an AI PC is still unknown, though. When I contacted Microsoft to inquire about its needs, they said they were not yet talking about their intentions for AI PCs. Microsoft did add the AI PC branding to its most recent Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 business devices earlier this month, however it's unclear if laptop stickers or extra marketing funds for OEMs would be included.

In addition to the AI PC specifications, Intel is growing the AI PC acceleration initiative it introduced in October. Its goal is to pique the interest of software developers in AI-powered features for their applications. Now, with the help of an AI PC developer program, it is reaching smaller developers as well. With an emphasis on developers, perhaps a lot more apps will make use of this new NPU hardware. There aren't many apps that do this right now; Microsoft's Windows Studio Effects is the major application that uses the NPU in Windows to blur backdrops during video conversations while maintaining eye contact.

This week, Google made a huge U-turn and released an improved version of Chrome for Windows on Arm, which will significantly enhance the experience for Chrome users on Windows laptops with Qualcomm processors. Additionally, there are rumors that Microsoft will only use Arm for the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 consumer models. On May 20, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will present the company's strategy for AI hardware and software at an event titled "AI and Surface."

The role of the Copilot Key in Microsoft's AI Powered Future

Microsoft is adding spell checking functionality to Windows 11's Notepad application. Testers now have access to Notepad's enhanced spell check functionality, which will be made universally available to Windows 11 users later this year.

Notepad's spell check functions similarly to those of Microsoft Word and the Microsoft Edge web browser. Spelling errors are automatically highlighted in red, and you can correct errors by right-clicking to see suggested corrections. Even autocorrect has been included by Microsoft, so errors are corrected as you type. Not only does Spellcheck in Notepad support different languages, but it also allows you to add terms to a dictionary and omit words found in documents.

According to Dave Grochocki, principal product manager lead for Windows Inbox Apps, "this feature is enabled by default for some file types but is off by default in log files and other file types typically associated with coding." Grochocki made this statement in a blog post. "In the Notepad app settings, you can toggle this setting on or off globally, for specific file types, or temporarily for the current file in the context menu."

Spellcheck in Notepad is the most recent functionality to be added to this integrated Windows 11 software. Microsoft said in December that it would be bringing a character count to Notepad soon. This announcement came just after the software manufacturer introduced a new autosave feature that allows you to exit the program without always seeing a save prompt.

In addition, Microsoft has integrated Copilot AI, added a dark mode to Notepad, added tabs, and even included a virtual fidget spinner.

Enhanced Efficiency: Windows 11 Notepad Introduces Spellcheck Functionality

You should consider switching from your Oculus to a Meta account as soon as possible if you haven't already. According to an email issued to users, the firm will deactivate Oculus accounts on March 29th, 2024. This will make it impossible for you to get your store credits, apps, in-app purchases, and more back. If you don't switch to a Meta account before then, you'll lose your accomplishments, friends list, and any material made using your Oculus experience.

Since 2020, when the business formerly known as Facebook began mandating new users to join up with Facebook accounts instead, Oculus accounts have been discontinued. In 2022, it did, however, allow customers to create a Meta account as an alternative if they chose not to connect their Quest headset to their Facebook account. In January 2023, Meta ceased allowing users to access their Oculus accounts. It's your final chance to switch from an Oculus to a Meta account if you have a Quest collecting dust in a drawer.

Using the same email address you used to register for Oculus, visit their website to create a Meta account and migrate your account. You can then access all of the games, information, and other purchases that have been stored to your Oculus account from that point on.

Most people who had already switched from Oculus to Meta accounts, received the email. It's unclear if Meta accidentally sent these emails or if Meta account holders need to take any further action. After contacting Meta for further details, The Verge did not receive a response right away.

Meta Announces Deletion of All Oculus Accounts by Month's End

In an effort to take on Nvidia's RTX 4070, AMD is launching the Radeon RX 7900 GRE globally today. Although it costs the same $549 as the RTX 4070, this rather new GPU performs better and has 16GB of VRAM as opposed to 12GB.

Originally intended particularly for 1440p gaming, the RX 700 GRE was only available in China. Now, AMD is making it available everywhere in an effort to provide the RTX 4070 with some strong competition. With its 11 percent quicker performance at 1440p compared to the RTX 4070, the RX 7900 GRE is yet another choice to pair with the newest high-speed 1440p OLED monitors that are now available for purchase.

Only a few weeks after Nvidia introduced the $599 RTX 4070 Super, it lowered the price of the RTX 4070 and released the $549 RX 7900 GRE. AMD's RX 7900 GRE even matches Nvidia's RTX 4070 Super in select titles, thus this card will surely drive down the price of both Nvidia's $549 RTX 4070 and AMD's $499 RX 7800 XT.

For the RX 7900 GRE, AMD is relying on its board partner designs. I have been trying the model from XFX, which is based on the reference design from AMD. At 13.2 inches, the card's triple-fan layout is extraordinarily lengthy. Indeed, that exceeds the length of an RTX 4090, so make sure your case can accommodate it.

The Radeon RX 7900 GRE has a total board power of 260 watts, which is 60 watts greater than the RTX 4070 from Nvidia. For this card, AMD suggests a power supply of 700 watts, which is once more more than the 650 watts recommended for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Super.

AMD is likewise remaining true to the tried-and-true eight-pin connectors in this instance. The RX 7900 GRE has two eight-pin connectors, so you don't need to bother about bulky adapters or the newest 12VHPWR power connector.

The 16GB of VRAM on AMD's RX 7900 GRE is among its best hardware features. Compared to the 21Gbps on the RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Super, it runs at a lesser speed of 18Gbps. On the RX 7900 GRE, however, AMD has chosen to use a 256-bit memory bus, meaning that the memory bandwidth is 576GB/s as opposed to 504GB/s on the RTX 4070 / 4070 Super.

Unveiling the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: A $549 Challenger Takes on Nvidia