Categories
Game

PS5 launch title ‘Sackboy: A Big Adventure’ is coming to PC on October 27th

Sackboy: A Big Adventure has joined the rapidly expanding list of PlayStation games that Sony is bringing to PC. (which is also available on PS4) will pop up on Steam and the Epic Games Store on October 27th.

Sony says the PC version will support 4K resolution, have a targeted framerate of 120 FPS and offer variable refresh rates. You’ll be able to explore Craftworld in an ultra-wide format as there’s support for a range of screen ratios, including 21:9. Those with recent NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs should get a performance boost as well via DLSS2. There’s also haptic feedback and dynamic trigger support if you use a DualSense controller. Alternatively, you can play with a mouse and keyboard.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure won’t require an ultra powerful gaming rig. You will need at least an Intel Core i5-6400 or AMD FX-6300 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R7 265 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 60GB of storage.

It’s shaping up to be a busy fall for PlayStation on the PC gaming front. The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection will hit Steam and the Epic Games Store . Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also slated to land on PC .

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Computing

Save big on last-minute back-to-school laptop deals at HP

By now, most students are already back in school, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few back-to-school laptop deals left. Right now, HP is offering a few of its bestselling laptops at some deeply discounted prices, and if you missed out on the student laptop deals that happened earlier, now is the time to add one of these to your cart. Whether you’re a student or working on the go, it’s always good to upgrade your tech so you can get more done faster. As they say, it’s better to work smarter, not harder.

HP Pavilion Laptop — $505, was $885

This is one of the best HP laptop deals we’ve seen in a while. This HP Pavilion laptop features an 11th-generation Intel i5-1135G7 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics and 8GB of RAM, so you can seamlessly run multiple applications all at the same time. Have lots of projects and media to store? No problem. The HP Pavilion comes with a 512GB SSD, but if you need to add even more storage space, you can easily connect an external hard drive via one of its USB-A or USB-C ports. It also features a gorgeous 15.6-inch HD touch display with micro-edge bezels designed to optimize your view. This portable machine packs plenty of power to ensure you get all of your work done on time, no matter where you decide to do it.

HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop — $700, was $850

HP Envy x360 Convertible Laptop sits open on a white background.

The HP Envy x360 is one of the most popular HP laptops for a reason. Featuring the Intel Core i5-1235U processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 8GB of RAM, this is one reliable and potent laptop. With that processor and memory combination, it’s safe to say that you’ll have no trouble multitasking. Save all of your work and media on the 256GB SSD, or add additional storage by plugging an external drive into one of its USB-C ports. The HP Envy x360 has large 15.6-inch Full HD display that’s multi-touch enabled and fully integrates with the included HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen. If you work from home and spend a big part of your day on video calls, you’ll get a ton of use out of the HP Wide Vision HD Camera with camera shutter and integrated dual array digital microphone. The HP Envy x360 is basically a portable powerhouse and has all of the features you need to get all of your assignments turned in while still enjoying the ability to stream all of your favorite content on the gorgeous display.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

The next big thing in science is already in your pocket

Supercomputers are an essential part of modern science. By crunching numbers and performing calculations that would take eons for us humans to complete by ourselves, they help us do things that would otherwise be impossible, like predicting hurricane flight paths, simulating nuclear disasters, or modeling how experimental drugs might effect human cells. But that computing power comes at a price — literally. Supercomputer-dependent research is notoriously expensive. It’s not uncommon for research institutions to pay upward of $1,000 for a single hour of supercomputer use, and sometimes more, depending on the hardware that’s required.

But lately, rather than relying on big, expensive supercomputers, more and more scientists are turning to a different method for their number-crunching needs: distributed supercomputing. You’ve probably heard of this before. Instead of relying on a single, centralized computer to perform a given task, this crowdsourced style of computing draws computational power from a distributed network of volunteers, typically by running special software on home PCs or smartphones. Individually, these volunteer computers aren’t particularly powerful, but if you string enough of them together, their collective power can easily eclipse that of any centralized supercomputer — and often for a fraction of the cost.

In the past few years these kinds of peer-to-peer computing projects have experienced something of a renaissance, and as the processing power of our devices continues to improve, it seems that the next big thing in science could be the smartphone in your pocket.

The birth and boom

The concept of volunteer computing has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s — when personal computers had made their way into a large number of U.S. households — that it really started to take off.

In 1999, researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford launched two projects that gained considerable media coverage and widespread adoption: SETI@home, which encouraged PC users to sign up and enlist their CPUs to analyze radio telescope data, and Folding@home, which used that computing power to fold complex proteins.

Folding@home

Both projects were massive hits with the public. SETI@Home actually experienced such a huge burst of initial interest that it overwhelmed the project’s servers and caused frequent crashes. But after that breakout success, interest eventually leveled off, waned, and ultimately led the project’s creators to shut it down after 20 years.

Folding@home didn’t suffer the same fate, though. Around the time that the SETI@home project was winding down, Folding@home’s opportunity to shine appeared: the COVID-19 outbreak. Shortly after the pandemic hit, more than a million new volunteers joined the project, effectively creating what amounted to the world’s fastest supercomputer — one more powerful than the top 500 traditional supercomputers combined. Their job was simple yet instrumental in cracking some of the most complex diseases, including COVID-19: fold proteins.

Proteins are crucial to understanding how, for example, a virus reacts to and contaminates the human immune system. In their native state, proteins are in a folded shape, and they unfold to, for instance, bind and suppress our body’s defenses. To design therapeutics, scientists run simulations to look into a protein’s unfolding sequence — but it’s a ver resource-heavy and time-consuming process. That’s where Folding@home steps in. It not only dramatically cuts the cost but also accelerates the development by months and even years in a few cases.

Once Folding@home volunteers install a piece of software, their machines take upon a portion of a larger task and process them in the background. The results are dispatched back to the research group’s labs via the cloud, where they are collated and reviewed.

The results on several occasions have been groundbreaking. In 2021, scientists were able to discover why COVID-19’s variants were more devastating, thanks largely to Folding@home’s surge in computing power. In addition, it helped the development of a COVID-19 antiviral drug, which is now moving toward clinical trials. Beyond that, Folding@home has also facilitated a number of significant breakthroughs for other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.

Without crowdsourced computing, Dr. Gregory R. Bowman, Folding@home’s director and an associate professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, says, “This work would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars on the cloud, making it economically infeasible for us or most anyone else.” He added, “The computing power is game-changing.”

A new kind of citizen science

Excitingly, projects like Folding@home aren’t the only way scientists are leveraging the power of smartphones. Sometimes raw computing power isn’t particularly important, and researchers simply need a broader spectrum of information — information only thousands of people spread across the globe can gather and deliver.

For example, in March this year, the European Space Agency launched its Camaliot campaign, which seeks to improve weather apps by creatively leveraging the GPS receiver inside people’s Android phones. You see, whenever your phone pings satellites for navigation, they respond with the time and their location, and phones calculate where they are based on how long each message took to arrive. The time each signal takes can better inform scientists of the atmosphere’s properties, like the amount of water vapor in it, which in turn can help predict more accurate rain forecasts. But, the ESA team can perform this activity from only so many locations.

The Camaliot app allows Android phone owners from around the world to contribute to ESA’s project. It repeatedly pings satellites from people’s phones and sends the response data it collects back to the ESA base.

With Camaliot, ESA hopes to gather data from areas like Africa, of high interest from an ionospheric point of view and which are not well covered by the agency’s geospatial-limited centralized methods, Vicente Navarro, the Directorate of Science at the European Space Agency and lead on the Camaliot campaign, told Digital Trends.

Chipping in

But the question remains: Why would anyone loan out their device’s power for free? In addition to elevated electricity bills, this also affects the performance and health of your phones and computers. But even with those downsides, for many like Jeffrey Brice, a sound designer who’s been folding proteins since 2007, the answer is rather simple: to do good.

“I was interested in cryptocurrency for a while,” Brice said, “but using the same hardware for Folding@home seemed like a better, more ethical, and more philanthropic use of the equipment.”

For others, it’s a source of passive income. To encourage participation, some leading Folding@home groups have set up donation-led crypto communities, which distribute currencies like Dogecoin every week depending on contributions. Camaliot, similarly, rewards its top contributors with vouchers.

With computer chips making their way into just about everything, Josh Smith, the founder of CureCoin, a cryptocurrency for rewarding Folding@home volunteers, anticipates an even brighter future for crowdsourced science projects. “If we achieve our lofty capacity goals, the ripple effect for the future of our planet will be something that is never forgotten,” he said.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Why the Ryzen 7000 price cuts are such a big deal

AMD has officially pulled back the curtain on its Ryzen 7000 CPUs, and among all of the specs and projected performance lies an interesting change: pricing.

If AMD’s claims are true, Ryzen 7000 should be a massive win for performance, outpacing even Intel’s Core i9-12900K across the product stack. Despite that, some of the new processors come with price decreases, which is not what we normally see.

In particular, the Ryzen 9 7950X is $700, which is $100 less than the Ryzen 9 5950X launched at. The Ryzen 7 7700X is $50 less than last-gen’s Ryzen 7 5800X as well, clocking in at $400.

A welcome and predictable price cut

The price cuts are an interesting and almost confusing move on the surface. AMD raised prices across the board by $50 with the launch of Ryzen 5000, and rumors have been flying that Ryzen 7000 would receive a price increase as well.

Still, AMD’s decision didn’t come out of left field. There was a wave of backlash after the price increases with Ryzen 5000, as AMD has traditionally been the budget alternative in the AMD and Intel duopoly. The Ryzen 7 5800X was a particular pain point, as it offered little improvements over the Ryzen 5 5600X, despite costing $150 more.

“We’re trying to get people excited about building PCs.”

It’s clear that AMD learned its lesson. It’s impossible to know the specific numbers for how many Ryzen 7 5800Xs and Ryzen 9 5950Xs AMD sold, but the price cuts suggest these two processors sold far less than the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 9 5900X. The price cuts are an acknowledgement that AMD screwed up launch pricing last generation, and we rarely see practical improvements following such criticism (especially criticism that happened two years ago).

Another way to read the price cuts is that AMD isn’t as confident with Ryzen 7000 as it was with the previous generation, but that doesn’t seem like the case. AMD is claiming a 13% uplift in instruction per clock (IPC), a generational single-core improvement of 29%, and up to a 49% improvement over Ryzen 5000 at the same power draw.

During a Q&A following the presentation, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su contextualized the price cuts: “We’re trying to get people excited about building PCs.” Hopefully, that’s the main reason AMD decided to drop prices.

Getting competitive with Intel

A hand holds the Intel Core i9-12900KS.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The price cuts are interesting in AMD’s product stack, but they’re even more interesting compared to Intel. AMD has been pushing prices up for the last few generations, while Intel has been forced to make price cuts in order to stay competitive. AMD’s new price cuts stack on more pressure.

Now, AMD is competing with Intel on price across the product stack. Both the Intel Core i5-12600K and Ryzen 5 7600X are $300, and the Core i7-12700K and Ryzen 7 7700X are $400. For flagships, it seems AMD split the difference on the $600 Core i9-12900K, offering a chip at $550 and one at $700.

With Ryzen 5000 and Intel Alder Lake, there was a clear trajectory in place. AMD would push prices up as long as it could dominate in performance, while Intel would cut prices to claim back lost market share. That’s not how the story is playing out, though.

It seems AMD is attempting to bring the scales back in balance.

In a strange twist, AMD is forcing Intel’s hand to move to even lower price points. Building a PC has continued to get more expensive, and next-gen GPUs and CPUs seemed destined to push up the cost even higher. By cutting the price of Ryzen 7000 chips, it seems AMD is attempting to bring the scales back in balance.

Pricing always comes with context, though. Although AMD is bullish on Ryzen 7000’s performance now, we’ll have to wait until the processors are here to see if the price cuts are as significant as they seem. If AMD’s numbers are accurate, I suspect we’ll see major cuts in pricing on 12th-gen Alder Lake processors, especially as Intel prepares its 13th-gen Raptor Lake chips.

Regardless, it’s a good time to be a PC enthusiast. It doesn’t matter if AMD or Intel comes out on top next generation. The Ryzen 7000 price cuts are a sign that, if AMD and Intel can achieve performance parity, both companies are willing to sacrifice on price to gain an edge. And that’s a good thing if you’re in the market for a new processor.

Editors’ Choice




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Security

Zoom fixed a big problem on Mac, and you should update today

If you have Zoom installed on your MacBook, you’ll want to update the app right now. Zoom spent the weekend patching a major security flaw in its Mac app, and the update is available right now.

According to The Verge, it all began at Def Con, a computer security and hacker conference in Las Vegas. The founder of the security non-profit Objective-See and an ex-NSA security analyst, Patrick Wardle, took to the stage on Friday and presented a stunning find: a massive security vulnerability in the Zoom installer for MacBooks.

The exploit allowed a threat actor to take control of someone’s Mac through the Zoom app, right down to the root level of the machine. The Zoom package installer used a weak security certificate test and any file with the same name as the official Zoom package could easily bypass the test. At this level, the MacBook recognizes the hacker as a “superuser” who can then read, change or create any file, including adding other malware to the system.

Frustratingly, Wardle had discovered the security threat back in December and had informed Zoom of his findings. Wardle said Zoom didn’t take him seriously and released a patch after a month, which contained another security bug. He informed Zoom of this second bug, and more importantly, of the first bug not being fixed. Zoom sat on it.

Wardle decided to go public with his findings at Def Con. He had followed responsible disclosure protocols, which gives companies time to fix bugs, and after eight months of inaction, he felt he had to warn others. Zoom released a small patch a few weeks before the conference but Wardle said the vulnerability was still present.

This isn’t the first time Zoom has been criticized for lax security. In 2020 Wardle discovered a Mac vulnerability in Zoom which allowed cameras and microphones to be hijacked. Zoom was also found to have been sending user data to Facebook, and then the US Department of Justice filed charges against a Zoom executive for collusion with the Chinese government.

Zoom spent the weekend working on a new patch following Wardle’s presentation, and it is now available. Version 5.11.5 is a free update for Mac-based Zoom installs and is available now.

If you would prefer to use a different video conferencing platform, check out our handy guide to Microsoft Teams.

Editors’ Choice






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Security

1Password 8 arrives on Android and iOS with a big redesign and personalized home

1Password is launching a big update to its Android and iOS apps today. 1Password 8 overhauls the design of the mobile password management apps in many of the same ways the 1Password 8 apps for Windows and Mac were redesigned in recent months. The new mobile interface includes a personalized home tab, which should make it easier to find logins, pin favorites, and organize your passwords.

The new personalized homescreen also lets you easily see logins you’ve recently created and even pin individual fields from a login. You can also reorder sections and add quick actions to the home tab, and the navigation bar now provides quick access to search, home, and settings.

Search isn’t super obvious in the current 1Password mobile app, and the navigation bar is split into favorites, categories, tags, and settings instead. 1Pasword 8 greatly simplifies the entire interface and navigation bar, making it easier for 1Password users who aren’t familiar with the mobile app to find their logins more easily. The updated app also has new and improved icons, typography, and detailed views for logins and vaults.

New icons and customizable homescreen on 1Password 8 mobile.
Image: 1Password

1Password has also added an updated Watchtower UI inside the mobile app, including alerts about data breaches inside items. Collections are also available in the mobile app now, allowing 1Password users to create custom groups of vaults. Autofill is also faster and more precise, so 1Password on mobile should more accurately auto fill payment cards, addresses, and identities across apps.

“Over the last couple years we’ve been making a concerted effort to unify our design language,” explained Michael Fey, VP of engineering for client apps at 1Password, earlier this year. “The updated designs result in a modern take on 1Password that is both familiar and fresh.”

The improvements in usability across mobile and desktop are particularly important as 1Password attempts to capture even more subscribers. 1Password now has more than 100,000 paying business customers, and it saw subscriber growth during the pandemic that led to a $6.8 billion valuation for the company earlier this year.

1Password has also been making it easier to share files, documents, and passwords with just a link and even helping people remember which “sign in” service they used on websites. The service also added a hide my email feature last year, giving all users the option of hiding their email addresses from apps and services.

Update, August 9th 9:40AM ET: Article updated with more 1Password 8 feature additions.

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Categories
Game

Analogue’s big Pocket update is (kinda) here

It’s been a longer wait than we’d hoped, but the first major software update for the Analogue Pocket is finally here. It’s still a beta version so not everything is fully fleshed out, but you’ll at least be able to get a taste of the company’s vision for its fledgling OS. The beta does include a taste of the “reference” Library, much-improved game saves and, most excitingly, a glimpse at how third-party developers can use the Pocket to emulate consoles beyond the ones it already does.

Analogue OS 1.1

“Memories,” as Analogue calls save-states, still aren’t complete, but you can at least save a respectable 128 different game states which is a vast improvement on the minimal offering at launch (one slot for just one game total). You can create saves for any game, be that physical cartridge, or any “.pocket” GB Studio files you have (like Deadeus). The method for making a save is the same as before (Up+Analogue button) and you can recall a list of saves during play with Down+Analogue button. If you prefer to start from the last save point immediately, you can activate that in options also (rather than choosing from a list).

What you can’t do is keep updating the last save as you go along (think “save slots” in most emulators). Every new save will be a separate file and you’ll manage them individually. They show up in a long list which details the platform for the game you were playing (Game Boy, Game Gear etc.) the game’s title and date/time of the save.

Right now you can pull up Memories from the main menu (before loading a game), but choosing a save that corresponds to the cartridge in the slot doesn’t take you directly there (it’s grayed out), you have to load the game first. Analogue says that saves/Memories will soon have a screenshot attached and will be sortable in a variety of ways to make the experience much smoother in the full release this September.

The Analogue Pocket gaming handheld showing the new

James Trew / Engadget

What wasn’t in the OS at launch at all was the “Library” feature. All we knew was that it had the lofty goal of being a complete reference of all gaming history. From within that you’d see artwork for titles along with what company made the game, for what platform, what year and even what region or version you had inserted in the cartridge slot. In today’s beta, the Library is more of a splash screen before the game loads. Analogue says you’ll even be able to add your own image to a game in the Library, but again, expect that in the final release.

All the cartridges I tested had the correct details with a screenshot, but the information is limited (no mention of what year or version of the game I have etc.). Of course we’re excited to see how this scales up once it’s fully integrated, but for now it’s a pleasant stop along the way to playing a game. It’s worth noting that, as is, it only applies to cartridges and not titles launched from the GB Studio section (such as the aforementioned Deadeus which is a full game that Analogue made available for the Pocket at launch).

On a more practical note, Analogue has added support for more third-party controllers for when playing through the TV via the dock. To be fair, even though the officially supported list at launch was short (three 8Bitdo models plus the PS4 and Switch controllers), many more did still work. As of this release the number of 8Bitdo controllers supported jumps to 15 and PS5 owners can now use their DualSense, too, if they wish.

OpenFPGA

One of the more interesting features of the Pocket at launch was the presence of a spare FPGA chip. Analogue’s hardware doesn’t use software emulation, instead it uses a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to emulate consoles at the hardware level with cores — instructions for the FPGA that configure it to mimic a specific system. Analogue pledged that others would be able to develop cores for the Pocket, and today we see the first example of that.

The Analogue Pocket gaming handheld shown with the first third party-developed core. This core allows Pocket owners to play one of the first every videogames - Spacewar!

James Trew / Engadget

A core for the PDP-1 has been created for the Pocket allowing you to play one of the very first videogames — Spacewar! — from 1962. As you can imagine, the game is very simple and doesn’t really tax the Pocket, but it’s a fitting first example for a console that wants to celebrate the history of gaming. And this should really just be the start of something more exciting as other developers – which can be anyone – get onboard.

What’s more of a surprise is that the entirety of the Pocket’s hardware appears to be open to developers. Initially, it was thought that the Pocket’s main FPGA would be kept for Analogue and the less powerful second FPGA was there to be tinkered with. But the company’s founder, Christopher Taber, confirmed to Engadget that “developers will be capable of implementing totally decentralized cores as far as they can push Pocket’s hardware … roughly up to the 32-bit generation.”

Best of all, we might not even have to wait very long to see what comes along. “Many third-party developers have had their hands on openFPGA for some time now and you can expect a plethora of new amazing things being publicly released by them shortly on/after July 29th”, Taber told Engadget, before concluding: “We are not f***ing around with this.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Computing

Snapchat is coming to PC, but there’s a big catch

Snap just announced Snapchat for Web, a new way to stay in touch with friends while using a computer. Using Snapchat in a browser is surprisingly similar to how it works with the mobile app, yet Snap takes advantage of the larger screen to show a list of friends in a sidebar at the left. Both chats and video calls are available as early access features to paid Snapchat+ subscribers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Eventually, the ability to use Snapchat from a computer will roll out to all Snapchatters, worldwide.

To use Snapchat for Web, you need Google’s Chrome browser and it’s best to update to the latest version. The browser version of Snapchat works with Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS, so if you’re a Snapchat+ subscriber in a supported region, you should be able to log in right now on your computer’s Chrome browser at web.snapchat.com.

Snap introduced Snapchat+ just a few weeks ago, a way to give priority access to new features to the platform’s most dedicated users. Top features include the ability to change the app’s icon, pin a friend to the top of your chat history, and see who rewatched your story. As new features are added, there could be a few wrinkles that arise that need to be ironed out over time.

As with Snapchat’s mobile app, Snapchat for Web is oriented toward creation, opening on the camera screen so it’s easy to take a quick Snap to share with a friend throughout the day, without taking a phone off the charger. You can now make Snapchat video calls in the browser with up to 16 people taking full advantage of your larger screen.

Snaps, chats, and video calls are available now with more features arriving over time. Lenses are a priority and will be coming soon. Being able to use Snapchat from a computer will likely keep more people engaged throughout the day and should help the social network continue to grow.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Nvidia RTX 4090 could shatter speed records, at a big cost

It’s a foregone conclusion that Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 40-series will be the most exciting upgrade we’ve seen thus far for its GPUs.

Rumors have already pointed toward the massive performance boost the upcoming boards will deliver, but a new report suggests that the GPU lineup will be even better than previously believed.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

As reported by TechRadar, credible technology insider Kopite7kimi — who has been at the forefront of next-gen GPU rumors — recently stated that it should be “easy to reach 2.8GHz, at least not very hard” for Team Green’s AD102 GPU die, which is said to be the chip powering the RTX 4090.

Comparatively, the GeForce RTX 3090 sports a 1.79GHz base clock speed. In any case, it seems the aforementioned 2.8GHz figure and the assumption that it’s not difficult to hit that clock speed is actually an understatement, according to a new message from Kopite.

He has now provided a follow-up to his original tweet by stating that: “I must say we can expect a much higher frequency.”

Naturally, the presumption will now fuel rumors of a base clock speed of at least 3GHz for the RTX 4090. Hardware Times also highlights how custom liquid-cooled models will obviously push that number further.

Even with such unprecedented clock speeds for standard models, the website still believes the peak power draw will remain in the 400 to 450 watts range.

Elsewhere, Hardware Times points out how clock speeds of 3GHz could therefore theoretically see the RTX 4090 variant surpass the 100 TFLOPs limit. We’ve already heard rumors earlier this year regarding this GPU approaching that unheard-of TFLOP mark.

Still, “significant heat generation and an unreasonable power draw” are the drawbacks with such a high TFLOPs count, according to the website. It also reiterates how the RTX 4080 should hit the 50 TFLOPs mark, while the RTX 4070 should exceed 30 TFLOPs.

Either way, Nvidia is reportedly working on a GPU that will require a massive 900 watts of power, so you can only imagine what kind of TFLOP performance that particular video card will offer.

So how does a base boost clock of 3GHz compare with AMD’s own next-gen Radeon 7000-series? We’ll still have to wait and see until both companies officially introduce their new graphics cards. That said, rumors circulating around Team Red’s offerings suggest they may ultimately beat Nvidia in both efficiency and performance. Only time will tell who comes out on top.

Editors’ Choice






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Computing

Beyond rainbows: How big tech is doing more for Pride Month

During the month of June, many organizations show their support for Pride Month by displaying rainbow symbols on their logos, uniforms, and social media pages. And while these gestures do indeed help to promote some level of awareness and solidarity, they’re also not particularly impactful in the world outside our screens. So in an effort to showcase and celebrate the companies that went above and beyond to support Pride in more substantial ways, we surveyed the tech landscape in search of companies that did more than just fly the rainbow flag for a few weeks. Here are a few that caught our eye:

Apple

In addition to banning anti-LGBTQ apps and participating in other efforts to support the community, Apple released two Pride Month Apple Watch Pride bands this year, providing a clear and wearable way for its customers to show support for the LGBTQ+ community in the real world.

Apple also came out with Pride Threads and Nike Pride Threads watch faces, which are available for download for Apple Watch users with Apple Watch Series 4 or later (your watch will need watchOS 8.6 and your iPhone will need to be running 15.5 or later).

Draft Kings

Graphic for DraftKings x Out in Tech Pride Month collaboration

DraftKings is an online sports betting, fantasy sports, and online casino platform. The brand joined with Out in Tech, which is an organization that aims to unite the LGBTQ+ tech community and helps create opportunities for the community in the tech field.

Together, the two created a free-to-play Pride Month pool, and for every entry, DraftKings donated $1 to Out in Tech. DraftKings also showed support for other diversity initiatives like American Veterans for Equal Rights, pledging $25,000 to the organization.

GitLab

GitLab, a software platform that helps to automate and streamline the software development cycle, was founded in 2011. Over its decade-long journey, the company has seen a demand for change by society, and the brand seems to be rising to the occasion.

The company includes diversity and inclusion as one of its main core values. The GitLab “Pride Issue Board” also holds events like a “transgender day of visibility” and a “coming out day, which is designed to “connect employees at GitLab that are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or are allies, with professional and personal opportunities to meet others, speak at events, and share their lived experiences to improve and strengthen our community,” the company website reports.

Skillsoft

A collage of Skillsoft's "Off the Shelf" picks for Pride Month 2022.

Skillsoft is a company that provides cloud-based corporate learning tools and content. The brand has a virtual book club that features monthly book selections. For Pride Month 2022, the company selected an array of books that discuss different LGBTQ+ civil rights topics. For instance, one of the books on the list is The Book of Pride, which talks about the story of the gay rights movement over the last 60 years.

Skillsoft has adopted other initiatives too. For instance, in 2021, Skillsoft promoted the #YouAreIncluded pronoun inclusion initiative. After 10 months, this initiative resulted in a 38% increase in the adoption of pronoun use in employee e-mail signatures.

Microsoft

A collage for Pride Month 2022 at Microsoft.

As a brand that included sexual orientation in its discrimination policies in 1989 and began offering benefits to same-sex partnerships in 1993, Microsoft has been ahead of the curve in many ways. This year, the brand released an Xbox Pride Controller and other pride apps and gear, which helped its customers show support for their LGBTQ+ friends, family, and community. Microsoft also puts its money into the cause, donating $170,000 to LGBTQ+ non-profits, and that’s on top of the $8 million the company donated along with its employees since last year.

The company’s Microsoft Unlocked — a platform that includes stories, content, and events — features a Pride edition as its inaugural edition. On top of that, Microsoft’s Global LGBTQ+ Employee and Allies at Microsoft Employee Resource Group (GLEAM) has been expanding its efforts and spreading awareness for additional gender and sexual identities.

Google

Google sign displaying pride colors at their office building in Chelsea
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

This year, Google.org committed $4 million (as well as additional assistance) to LGBTQ+ businesses affected by COVID-19, and also built on some of the Pride initiatives it has launched in years past.

In 2019, the search engine giant commemorated the historic 1969 Stonewall riots with the interactive Stonewall Forever Monument. This year, Google and Google.org have been able to provide almost $1 million to “Pride Live,” an LGBTQ+ activism and awareness group that’s working to secure the lease to the Stonewall Inn and renovate it to create the Stonewall National Monument and Visitor Center.

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