CNN— Dangerous wind chills as cold as 50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero are set to blast the Northeast as the number of deaths linked to an ice storm in the South rose to eight. The mind-numbing wind chills set to wallop New England “could be the coldest felt in decades,” the Weather Prediction Center said. But farther south, cities paralyzed by a deadly ice storm this week got a final encore of nasty weather before a weekend warmup. Here’s what’s happening in the South and Northeast:8 deaths and 400,000 power outages in the SouthThe deadly ice storm that crippled parts of the South this week dumped more freezing rain Thursday. About a quarter inch of fresh ice glazed parts of central and northern Texas, including the weather service’s Fort Worth office.
Elon Musk, pictured here in Germany on March 22, has completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the company confirmed in a securities filing on October 28. (CNN) — Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the company confirmed in a securities filing Friday, putting the world’s richest man in charge of one of the world’s most influential social media platforms. The confirmation comes after a source familiar with the deal told CNN the deal had closed Thursday night. But Musk’s takeover now raises a host of new questions for the future of the social media platform, and the many corners of society impacted by it. Now he controls a social media platform that shapes how hundreds of millions of people communicate and get their news.5 months ago Kent Wired
This week, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on two pivotal cases dealing with online speech and content moderation. A set of rulings against the tech industry could significantly narrow Section 230 and its legal protections for websites and social media companies. If that happens, the Court’s decisions could expose online platforms to an array of new lawsuits over how they present content to users. Such a result would represent the most consequential limitations ever placed on a legal shield that predates today’s biggest social media platforms and has allowed them to nip many content-related lawsuits in the bud. “The massive social media industry has grown up largely shielded from the courts and the normal development of a body of law.1 month ago Kent Wired
CNN — The US Department of Energy has assessed that the Covid-19 pandemic most likely came from a laboratory leak in China, according to a newly updated classified intelligence report. Two sources said that the Department of Energy assessed in the intelligence report that it had “low confidence” the Covid-19 virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. “Right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” Sullivan told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other.29 days ago Kent Wired
The five-hour battery life isn't great, but it's easier to stomach at this price. Battery life is a little longer here—seven hours—and the active noise canceling does a decent job of silencing the clatter of the outside world. Unfortunately, battery life is lackluster, and it charges slowly, so battery life will constantly be top of mind. Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen) Photograph: GoogleThe trend of smart speakers dropping to bargain bin prices during the holidays continues. Google's second-gen Nest Mini (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of the easiest ways to get started with a smart home.4 months ago WIRED
Taxi drivers in Paris rioted back in 2015 to protest the presence of Uber in their city, burning tires, blocking roads, and attacking drivers they suspected of working for the company. Today, seven years later, instead of fighting against the app, 500 taxi drivers in the French capital are logging on to earn extra money, according to Uber. Across Europe, the company is striking deals with taxi businesses, unions, and individual drivers, persuading them to offer taxi rides on Uber’s app. Paris is just the latest city where Uber says hundreds of taxi drivers have agreed to join forces, meaning users no longer have to step into the street to hail a conventional taxi. Taxi drivers will benefit from this partnership too, Diaz claims, because they will access extra demand that will translate into additional earnings.5 months ago WIRED
This made Zuckerberg paranoid about being behind again when the next big thing arrived. When Zuckerberg saw an Oculus demo in 2014, he concluded that the future of computing lay in virtual reality. For years, the big changes in Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger have been driven by what’s good for Meta, not what’s good for the people who use its services. But there is little chance that Meta’s TikTok clone, Reels, will surpass the originator of that format. And when it comes to retaining top talent at Meta, is being second- or third-best in short-form video (don’t forget YouTube) an inspiring mission?5 months ago WIRED
The “Twitter Files” are to journalism what cosplay is to superheroism: an occasionally convincing imitation of the real thing. Though I shouldn’t insult cosplayers so: they bring joy and beauty to public life, while the Twitter Files are merely proving to be grist for the likes of QAnon and other extremely online individuals addicted to viral outrage. “But, aha!” they seem to say, "now intrepid journalist Bari Weiss has shown this is not so!" First and foremost, “visibility filtering” covers everything, including user-generated filtering. In other words, the thing that Weiss actually “uncovered” was something Twitter admitted to over four years ago.3 months ago WIRED