Merry Christmas: The Boston Dynamics dog has learned how to be Solid Snake

Hyundai-owned Boston Dynamics has released a holiday video featuring its dog-like Spot robot, and it’s turned out as creepy as ever. The video, posted to Twitter, starts innocuously enough — there’s a large present of the type anyone would be happy to see under their tree, sitting in a courtyard. Then, the gift stands up…

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Nikola agrees to pay $125 million to settle allegations it defrauded investors

Hydrogen trucking startup Nikola Corp. agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges that it defrauded investors by misleading them about its products and technical achievements, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday. The SEC accused Nikola of violating US securities law with numerous misleading statements made in 2020 about the company’s products and…

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The year in audio

We’re nearly there. 2022. These are times of deep uncertainty, so I’m glad I can offer you something you can depend on: a Hot Pod issue. I do what I can. Today, we have a light news roundup and some bullet points on trends to remember about the year. Both Aria and I published columns…

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GeoGuessr made figuring out where on Earth you are the hottest new esport

The camera-mounted Google truck that drove through South Africa’s Kruger National Park is equipped with a distinct, camo-green paint job and a pair of white racks resting on its rooftop. The car can’t be found anywhere else on Earth; so, if you pan down and see its blurry edges on Street View, you know that…

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Tesla’s big holiday update adds TikTok and playable Sonic the Hedgehog

Tesla’s annual holiday software update for its cars is here, Electrek reports. It includes useful driving features like automatic access to a car’s blind spot cameras, as well as fun additions like new games built into Tesla Arcade, TikTok support, and a feature that lets the electric cars “dance to a choreographed light show.” The…

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Xiaomi’s next flagship phone will launch on December 28

Exactly one year from the launch of the Mi 11, Xiaomi is set to launch the successor on December 28th, the company has announced via its official Weibo account. The new lineup will be called the Xiaomi 12 series, following the company’s decision to phase out its Mi branding earlier this year. A teaser poster…

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The QuietOn 3 earbuds use ANC to help you sleep

I’ve always been a light sleeper, and that has not improved over the last few years. So I thought I was the perfect person to try out the latest version of the QuietOn active noise-canceling earbuds. The QuietOn 3 earbuds, which cost $239, are the third iteration of these devices. They are smaller than the…

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How to add a background to Safari in iOS 15

iOS 15 has brought with it a number of features that don’t affect your privacy, your efficiency, or your fitness. They’re — well, just nice. One of them is the new ability to change the background of the mobile version of Safari so that when you open a new page, you’re looking at something beautiful…

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Google is turning off the controls for OnHub routers at the end of 2022

Google’s insistence on cloud-based controls for its networking products has occasionally caused issues, even though it was supposed to make life with OnHub routers simple. Now it will be a reason pushing anyone still using the OnHub to find a replacement by the end of next year when Google’s apps stop allowing owners to change…

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Today I learned double-pressing Ctrl can become a powerful Windows 11 shortcut for finding your mouse

Ever lose your mouse cursor? It’s not hard to do when you’ve sitting in front of multiple monitors or perhaps a super-ultrawide or maybe even a monstrous TV — but Microsoft has an amazing keyboard shortcut that can instantly surface your cursor, and I recently found it purely by accident. I was tapping away on…

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