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The Right to Repair bill in Oregon has been enacted into law

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Governor Tina Kotek has signed Oregon’s SB 1596. Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has enacted the Right to Repair measure, which includes a clause that has the ability to enhance its strength compared to the versions of the bills in California and Minnesota. This legislation is the initial prohibition on the practice known as “parts pairing,” which necessitates the utilization of specific proprietary components for the purpose of repair. The process of parts pairing prevents third-party repair services from substituting a malfunctioning component with a non-brand component, as it is incompatible with the company’s software. Typically, individuals would see error messages while attempting to install an unauthorized component, compelling them to make a purchase directly from the company.

The new regulations prohibit the act of blocking an independent provider from utilizing off-brand components. The performance of a gadget that has been repaired using an unlawful component is being diminished. The inclusion of error messages and cautions is prohibited. The prohibition on component pairing does not extend to devices that have previously been released but rather applies exclusively to those made subsequent to January 1, 2025.

Although there has been a shift in the stance of manufacturers such as Apple in recent years, with a growing endorsement of the Right to Repair campaign, the issue of Oregon’s parts pairing law remains a subject of disagreement. In a testimony, Apple senior manager John Perry expressed his company’s concurrence with the overwhelming majority of Senate Bill 1596. Furthermore, there are concerns regarding the potential security ramifications associated with permitting the utilization of unauthorized components, such as biometric sensors, for the purpose of replacement.

Nevertheless, Oregon’s legislation currently mandates the prohibition of parts pairing as well as the provision of suitable parts to device owners at affordable costs and without any significant requirements. Companies are obligated to provide repair shops with documentation detailing the necessary procedures for repairing their equipment, along with any specific instruments required for the repair process. The regulations will be applicable to all mobile phones purchased after July 1, 2021, as well as all other consumer electronic devices purchased after July 1, 2015.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Apps

X has decided to remove the option for premium users to hide checkmarks

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Last year, social network X, owned by Elon Musk, introduced a new feature that allows paid users to conceal their checkmarks from other users. Currently, the company is notifying users about the upcoming removal of the feature.

Similar to many decisions made by X, there is currently no set timeline for when the hide your checkmark feature will be removed.

Before sending notifications to users, the company took down the part of the X Premium help page that explained how to hide the checkmark feature last week. The basic level of subscribers couldn’t use the tool.

If you pay for Premium or Premium+, you can hide your markings from view on your account. There will be no sign of the checkmark on your page or posts. “The checkmark might still show up somewhere, and some features might still let other people know that you have a subscription,” the description said.

The social network started giving blue checkmarks to people with more than 2,500 “verified” followers earlier this month. The company also began giving these users the Premium subscription and users with more than 5,000 confirmed followers the Premium+ subscription.

Musk got rid of the heritage verification checkmark last year after making a subscription service for it. But the company quickly put the blue badge back on top accounts. The proof program is basically going back to what it did at first, which was to check the identities of famous people.

 

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Engineering

A drone is able to travel through the skies at speeds close to the speed of sound, namely at Mach 0.9

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A test flight of a new drone has taken off at speeds close to supersonic, going through the sky at Mach 0.9, which is 1,111 kilometers per hour (690 miles per hour).

But this is only the start of things. Venus Aerospace, the company that made the drone, hopes to get it to go nine times the speed of sound, or Mach 9.

The missile-shaped 2.4-meter (8-foot) drone was taken to a height of 3,657 meters (12,000 feet) on February 24 by an airplane. When the drone was let go, its hydrogen peroxide monopropellant engine was set to 80% power so that it wouldn’t go faster than Mach 1. It then flew for 16 kilometers (10 miles).

“Using a platform launched from the air and a rocket with wings lets us quickly and cheaply do the bare minimum test of our RDRE as a hypersonic engine.” Andrew Duggleby, CTO and co-founder of Venus Aerospace, said in a statement, “The team did a great job and now has a lot of data to use and tweak for the next flight.”

The new aerospace business, Venus Aerospace, is based in Houston, Texas. Its goal is to pave the way for hypersonic flight (speeds of Mach 5 and above).

In their most recent test flight, they did some testing for their Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE). This engine is being made in collaboration with DARPA, the US State Department’s research agency that works on a lot of strange and cool technologies.

“Next is RDRE flight, and then hypersonic flight, which proves that the RDRE is the key to the hypersonic economy,” the company’s CEO and co-founder, Sarah “Sassie” Duggleby, said.

They want to make a car that can go to Mach 9, which is about 11,000 kilometers per hour (6,835 miles per hour).

This is way too fast of a speed. The NASA/USAF X-15 is still the fastest plane that a person has ever flown. In 1967, pilot Pete Knight took this jet to a crazy high speed of Mach 6.7, which is about 4,520 miles per hour or 7,274 kilometers per hour.

Concorde was a business supersonic plane that flew people for money until 2003. Its top speed was Mach 2, which is about 2,179 kilometers per hour (1,354 miles per hour).

Even worse, Venus Aerospace wants to let people fly on these Mach 9 trips. Venus Aerospace thinks it’s making good progress toward its pipe dream, even though there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Sarah Duggleby said, “One bite at a time is how you do hard things.”

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Artificial Intelligence

AT&T reports to regulatory authorities following a compromise of customer data

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AT&T has commenced the process of informing U.S. state authorities and regulators about a security breach. They have confirmed the authenticity of the millions of customer records that were recently exposed online.

As part of a mandatory submission to the attorney general’s office in Maine, the telecommunications behemoth of the United States disclosed that it dispatched letters to alert over 51 million people of the compromise of their personal data in a security breach. This includes over 90,000 people residing in Maine. AT&T has also informed the attorney general of California about the hack.

AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the United States, stated that the compromised data consisted of users’ complete name, email address, physical address, date of birth, phone number, and Social Security number.

The client information that was leaked dates back to mid-2019 and prior. AT&T has reported that the databases included accurate information about over 7.9 million of their existing customers.

AT&T responded around three years after a portion of the disclosed data initially surfaced on the internet, hindering any substantial examination of the data. Last month, the entire collection of 73 million leaked customer records was released online, enabling users to authenticate the authenticity of their data. Several of the records contained duplicate entries.

The disclosed data also contained encrypted account passcodes, which grant entry to consumer accounts.

Shortly after the complete information was made public, a security researcher informed us that the encrypted passcodes discovered in the leaked data were easily interpretable. AT&T changed the account passcodes after being informed on March 26 about the potential danger to users. It delayed publishing its article until AT&T finished resetting the passcodes of customers who were affected.

AT&T ultimately admitted that the compromised data pertains to their clientele, encompassing around 65 million individuals who were previously customers.

Under state data breach notification rules, companies are obligated to disclose incidents of data breaches that impact a significant number of individuals to U.S. attorneys general. AT&T has stated in its official notifications submitted in Maine and California that it is providing affected customers with identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.

AT&T has yet to determine the origin of the leak.

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