EVGA Stops Making Video Cards



EVGA, a titan in the PC component space, is getting out of the graphics card game, The Verge reported. The company posted in its community forum, saying it won’t be making next-generation Nvidia graphics cards but will continue to sell and support “the existing current generation products.” The Verge also reported that Gamers Nexus stated that EVGA doesn’t currently have plans to make AMD or Intel graphics cards.

More specifically, EVGA wrote the following:

“Hi all,

You may have heard some news regarding the next generation of products from EVGA. Please see below for a message on future products and services:

EVGA will not carry the next generation graphics cards.

EVGA will continue to support the existing current generation products

EVGA will continue to provide the current generation products.

EVGA is committed to our customers and will continue to offer sales and support on the current lineup. Also, EVGA would like to say thank you to our great community for the many years of support and enthusiasm for EVGA graphics cards.”

Kotaku reported that EVGA, one of the most prominent third-party PC graphics card manufacturers, and a favorite brand among PC gamers for quality parts and reliable warranties backed by solid customer service, is terminating its longtime relationship with Nvidia. What’s more, the company reportedly said that it won’t be pursuing partnerships with competing silicon giants like AMD or Intel, either. It seems EVGA is just done with GPUs.

ArsTechnica reported that EVGA’s graphics cards have exclusively used Nvidia GPUs since its founding in 1999, and according to Gamers Nexus, GeForce sales represent 80 percent of EVGAs revenue, making this a momentous and arguably company-endangering change. But EVGA CEO Andrew Han told Gamers Nexus that the decision was about “principle” rather than financials – Han complained about a lack of communication from Nvidia about new products, including information about pricing and availability.

According to ArsTechnica, Nvidia’s pricing strategy was apparently another sore point for EVGA. Nvidia’s first-party Founders Edition cards could often undercut the pricing of cards offered by EVGA and other vendors, forcing them to either lower prices or lose sales as a result.

For more information, you can watch the YouTube video by Gamers Nexus and/or the YouTube video by JayzTwoCents. Those of you who want to pick up some of the remaining EVGA graphics cards might want to do that as soon as possible. It certainly looks like the company is absolutely done making video cards.


Parler Pivots To “Uncancelable” Cloud Services



On Friday, Parler announced that it was entering the internet infrastructure industry in order to provide new “uncancelable” cloud services for online business, The Verge reported.

According to The Verge, in a Friday press release, Parler announced it was restructuring; the new venture, called Parliament Technologies, will provide new internet infrastructure services for businesses it says are at risk of being forced off the internet. With $16 million in new Series B funding, the company purchased Dynascale, a California-based cloud services company that touts more than $30 million in annual revenue and 50,000 square feet of data space.

“We are entering a new era as Parliament Technologies, one that goes far beyond the boundaries of a free speech social media platform,” said Parliament Technologies CEO George Farmer. “We believe that Parliament Technologies will power the future. And the future is uncancelable.”

To me, the word “uncancelable” is one that is typically used by people who tend to put a lot of hashtags in their Twitter bio that signify that they are fans of the former President Donald Trump. Once in a while, a famous (or formerly famous) celebrity complains about being “canceled”. As such, it appears that Dynascale and Parliament Technologies are aiming to attract that specific group of people.

The Verge also reported that Parler had more than 4 million people signed up for the app during the 2022 presidential election, but the company struggled to maintain those numbers. Sensor Tower app data shows that the app had fewer than 7,000 downloads last month.

TechCrunch reported that Parler topped App Store charts in early January 2021 after Twitter and Facebook banned President Trump for inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol. But that success was short lived – Apple and Google removed the app from their respective software stores after drawing a line between Parler and the January 6 violence. Amazon also pulled its web hosting, a trifecta of consequences that clearly made an impact on the company, even after it returned to tech giants’ good graces.

According to TechCrunch, Apple reinstated Parler in April 2021 after the app promised to moderate additional content on iOS, bringing it into compliance with the company’s standards. Google only allowed the app back into the Play Store earlier this month, indicating that Parler adjusted the Android app to meet the company’s requirements for “robust” moderation.

Gizmodo reported that Parler also announced that it received $16 million in Series B funding, and has accrued $56 million in funds to date. Which is what enabled Parler to purchase Dynascale, and its 50,000 square feet of server space.

Gizmodo also pointed out that other far-right, often hate and conspiracy-filled websites tend to get booted from mainstream hosting, only to reemerge elsewhere. According to Gizmodo, Kiwi Farms, an offshoot of 4chan and hate speech hotbed, was pushed from a series of web hosts to its new home with VanwaTech. The neo-Nazi site, Daily Stormer, was kicked off of GoDaddy and Google after the Charlottesville white supremacist rally in 2017. And conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had his content banned from multiple large platforms.

All of this points to the obvious conclusion that nothing is truly “uncancelable”. Parliament Technologies obtained a lot of money to buy Dynascale. Perhaps the social media site thinks it is protected because it bought its own internet infrastructure service. That could, potentially, keep the site online. But, it won’t matter if Parler is unable to attract a large enough amount of users to compete with the other alternatives to Twitter. It could still crash and burn.


Court Upholds Texas Social-Media Law On Web Censorship



A federal court upheld the validity of a Texas social media law that companies like Meta Platforms Inc. and Twitter Inc. say will prevent them from blocking hate speech and extremism, Bloomberg reported. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday lifted a lower court injunction that had blocked the legislation from taking effect.

According to Bloomberg, the Texas law bars social media platforms with more than 50 million users from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republicans argue the legislation is needed to protect conservative voices from being silenced. But tech groups say the measure unconstitutionally bars platforms from removing neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan screeds or Russian propaganda about its invasion of Ukraine.

The majority opinion was written by Judge Andrew Oldham, who was nominated to the bench by President Donald Trump. Judge Edith Jones, a nominee of President Ronald Regan, agreed with Oldham. Judge Leslie Southwick, a nominee of President George W. Bush, partly dissented with the majority.

Bloomberg also reported that critics of the law said it will wreak havoc on social media platforms by removing their ability to moderate and remove content that falls outside user guidelines. It would also allow Texas residents to sue platforms if posts are removed by claiming that their content is being censored.

The Washington Post reported the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a controversial Texas social media law that bars companies from removing posts based on a person’s political ideology, overturning a lower court’s decision to block the law and likely setting up a Supreme Court showdown of the future of online speech.

According to The Washington Post, the ruling could have wide-ranging effects on the future of tech regulation, giving fresh ammunition to conservative politicians who have alleged that major tech companies are silencing their political speech. The Washington Post also reported that the decision diverges from precedent and recent rulings from the 11th Circuit and other courts, and tech industry groups are likely to appeal.

An appeal of the decision, The Washington Post wrote, could force the Supreme Court, where conservatives have a majority, to weigh in on internet regulation, which has become an increasingly politicized issue since the 2016 election. Liberals have called for new limits on the companies that would block the proliferation of harmful content and misinformation on the platforms, and conservatives have argued that the companies have gone too far in policing their sites, especially after the companies’ 2021 decision to ban Trump following the January 6 attacks on the Capitol.

Politico reported that NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo said in a statement that his organization plans to appeal: “We remain convinced that when the U.S. Supreme Court hears one of our cases, it will uphold the First Amendment rights of websites, platforms, and apps.

According to Politico, CCIA President Matt Schruers said, “We strongly disagree with the court’s decision. Forcing private companies to give equal treatment to all viewpoints on their platforms places foreign propaganda and extremism on equal footing with decent Internet users, and places Americans at risk.”

Personally, I think the court’s decision is going to immediately result in the meanest people on social media ramping up posts in which they spread misinformation about minorities and trans people. Now is an excellent time to make your social media accounts private.


Snap Introduces Fresh Features For Fall



Snapchat introduced new features to help keep conversations with friends fresh, fast, and easy to find! Here is what to expect:

Snap’s new Lock Screen Widgets, available now with iOS 16, keeps conversations with your bestie saved right to your lock screen so you can start chats with one tap. With this new tool, you can save yourself the scrolling when you want to start Snapping, keeping visual conversations with the Snapchat camera right at your fingertips.

Widgets aren’t the only thing customizing your screen this Fall: New Chat Shortcuts at the top of our chat tab will make it easy to do things like spot unread Snaps and Chats from friends, see missed calls, and reply to stories. Our Shortcuts will also remind you if you owe a reply and show you when birthdays are coming up, so you never miss someone’s special day or leave a friend on read.

We are also introducing new tools like Question Stickers so you can AMA-all-day from your Snapchat Story, plus (and just in time for back to school) we’re making Snapchat for Web available to all! Head to https://web.snapchat.com to keep conversations with friends going from any device.

These new features are available now, or coming soon so keep an eye out and your app up to date.

Engadget reported that Snapchat for Web is finally available for all the messaging app’s users worldwide. It could be the better choice for users who have a lot of typing to do and messages to send, since they’ll be looking at a bigger screen and have access to a real keyboard.

According to Engadget, the web interface is pretty basic, but it can also be used to send photos and to make audio and video calls. A company spokesperson previously told Engadget that video calling has become more popular among its users recently. Giving users access to the feature on the web could lead to longer video calls. The spokesperson also told that Snap could bring more of its core features to the web interface if there’s enough demand for them.

Social Media Today reported that initially, only Snapchat+ users could use the web version, which enables users to send messages, conduct video chats and voice calls – basically all the central connection elements of the app will now be available via your desktop PC.

Snapchat for Web also enables you to use Snap Lenses for video calls.

According to Social Media Today, the expanded availability will make it easier for people to keep in touch with their friends via Snap, in more ways, which could be particularly beneficial for the increasing cohort of people that are working from home. Which, as its audience gets older, is becoming a bigger consideration for Snap, and the expanded web version is, in some ways, an acknowledgement of this, as it looks to align with audience shifts.

Unfortunately, Snapchat for Web is incompatible with Safari. Mac users will have to use Firefox or Google Chrome to access that feature.


U.S. Justice Department Announced Digital Asset Coordinator Network



The U.S. Department of Justice announced significant actions regarding digital assets, including the public release of its report, pursuant to the President’s March 9 Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, on The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets; and the establishment of the nationwide Digital Asset Coordinator (DAC) Network, in furtherance of the department’s efforts to combat the growing threat posed by the illicit use of digital assets to the American public.

“As digital assets play a growing role in our global financial system, we must work in tandem with departments and agencies across government to prevent and disrupt the exploration of these technologies to facilitate crime and undermine our national security,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The efforts announced today reflect the commitment of the Justice Department and our law enforcement and regulatory partners to advancing the responsible development of digital assets, protecting the public from criminal actors, and meeting the unique challenges these technologies pose.”

The White House released a FACT SHEET regarding cryptocurrency. From the Fact Sheet:

…Digital assets pose meaningful risks for consumers, investors, and businesses. Prices of this assets can be highly volatile: the current global market capitalization cryptocurrencies is approximately one-third of its November 2021 peak. Still, sellers mislead consumers about digital assets features and expected returns, and non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations remains widespread. One study found that almost a quarter of digital coin offerings had disclosure or transparency problems – like plagiarized documents or false promises of guaranteed returns. Outright fraud, scams, and theft in digital asset markets are on the rise: according to FBI statistics, reported monetary losses from digital asset scams were nearly 600 percent higher than in 2021 than the year before…

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department has tapped more than 150 federal prosecutors across the country to bolster law enforcement’s efforts to combat the rise in crime linked to the use of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, officials said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, The Digital Asset Coordinators Network is intended to designate subject-matter experts in U.S. attorneys’ offices on the complex and technical and legal complications posed by cryptocurrency cases, the officials said.

Regulators, lawmakers and law-enforcement officials have said some cryptocurrency platforms afford users anonymity that helps them to launder criminal proceeds, finance terrorism, or engage in public corruption. Sanctions and other tools have been deployed with more frequency in recent months, but criminal prosecutors remain a key part of the administration’s strategy to police against bad actors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Personally, I can see why it is necessary for the federal government to crack down on cryptocurrency, especially since it has been used in frauds, scams, and theft. It will be interesting to see how effective The Digital Asset Coordinators Network will be on cracking down on cryptocurrency.


California Governor Signs Bill Protecting Children’s Online Data And Privacy



California Governor Newsom announced that he has signed bipartisan landmark legislation aimed at protecting the wellbeing, data, and privacy of children using online platforms.

AB 2273 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) and Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), establishes the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which requires online platforms to consider the best interest of child users and to default to privacy and safety settings that protect children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.

AB 2273 prohibits companies that provide online services, products or features likely to be accessed by children from using a child’s personal information; collecting, selling, or retaining a child’s geolocation; profiling a child by default; and leading or encouraging children to provide personal information.

The bill also requires privacy information, terms of service, policies, and community standards be easily accessible and upheld – and requires responsive tools to help children exercise their privacy rights. This bipartisan legislation strikes a balance that protects kids, and ensure that technology companies will have clear rules of the road that will allow them to continue to innovate.

The Children’s Data Protection Working Group will be established as part of the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act to deliver a report to the Legislature, by January 2024, on the best practices for implementation.

AB 2273 requires businesses with an online presence to complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment before offering new online services, products, or features likely to be accessed by children.

Provided to the California Attorney General, the Data Protection Impact Assessments must identify the purpose of the online service, product, or feature, how it uses children’s personal information, and the risks of material detriment to children that arise from the data management practices.


The New York Times reported that despite opposition from the tech industry, the State Legislature unanimously approved the bill at the end of August. It is the first state statute in the nation requiring online services likely to be used by youngsters to install wide-ranging safeguards for users under 18.

According to The New York Times, the measure will require sites and apps to curb the risks that certain popular features – like allowing strangers to message one another – may pose to younger users. It will also require online services to turn on the highest privacy settings by default for children.

The New York Times also reported that the California measure could apply to a wide range of popular digital products that people under 18 are likely to use: social networks, game platforms, connected toys, voice assistants and digital learning tools for schools. It could also affect children far beyond the state, prompting some services to introduce changes nationwide, rather than treat minors in California differently.

Personally, I think that California’s AB 2273 is a great idea! I believe that every parent wants to make sure that their children will be safe when engaging in online video games, social networks, and other things that kids tend to like. It will be even better when these protections are established nationwide, to provide protection for all children in the United States.


Uber Investigating Breach Of Its Computer Systems



Uber discovered its computer network had been breached on Thursday, leading the company to take several of its internal communications and engineering systems offline as it investigated the extent of the hack, The New York Times reported.

The breach appeared to have compromised many of Uber’s internal systems, and a person claiming responsibility for the hack sent images of email, cloud storage and code repositories to cybersecurity researchers and The New York Times.

According to The New York Times, an Uber spokesman said the company was investigating the breach and contacting law enforcement officials. Uber employees were instructed not to use the company’s internal messaging service, Slack, and found that other internal systems were inaccessible, said two employees, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Shortly before the Slack system was taken offline on Thursday afternoon, Uber employees received a message that read, “I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach.” The message went on to list several internal databases that the hacker claimed had been compromised.

Uber tweeted on September 15, 2022: “We are currently responding to a cybersecurity incident. We are in touch with law enforcement and will post additional updates here as they become available.”

The Verge reported that the alleged hacker, who claims to be an 18-year-old, says they have administrator access to company tools including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

When contacted by The Verge for comment, a spokesperson for Uber declined to answer additional questions, and pointed to its statement on Twitter.

The Washington Post reported that after the hacker posted a message on Uber’s Slack, it was followed by a flurry of reaction emoji, including several dozen showing what appeared to be a siren symbols. Because of the hack, people said, some systems including Slack and internal tools had been temporarily disabled.

The Washington Post obtained internal screenshots that showed the hacker claiming to have wide-ranging access inside Uber’s corporate networks and appeared to indicate the hacker was motivated by the company’s treatment of its drivers. The person claimed to have taken data from common software used by Uber employees to write new programs.

According to The Washington Post, the hacker’s ominous posts were met with reactions apparently depicting the SpongeBob character Mr. Krabs, the popular “It’s Happening” GIF and queries as to whether the situation was a prank.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a hacker, identified only by the Telegram handle Tea Pot, gained control of Uber’s account with HackerOne, a firm that helps companies work with security researchers, according to the company and researchers on their platform. The hacker provided security researchers with screenshots that appeared to show widespread access to a range of administrative accounts that manage Uber’s technology systems, including the Amazon Web Services and Google clouds, as well as VMware systems, the researchers said.

Other than the HackerOne account compromise, The Wall Street Journal couldn’t verify Tea Pot’s other claims.

At the time I am writing this post, Uber has not provided any updates on their Twitter account. Perhaps they will later today. That said, if you were planning to go somewhere via Uber today – there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to obtain a ride from the company’s drivers. Consider Lyft or the local bus service wherever you are.