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The Morning After: IKEA hid an air purifier inside its newest table

If it’s not lamps that are smart speakers, it’s artwork that doubles as a speaker. IKEA now thinks it’s time to play spot the air purifier.

It’s introducing a family of smart air purifiers, and the first two Starkvind models are a standalone air purifier and a side table, which cost $129 and $189. They contain a three-filter system, which IKEA says will capture bigger particles, like hair and dust, 99.5 percent of smaller airborne particles that measure less than 2.5 micrometers (or one 400th of a millimeter) as well as dust, pollen, pollutants, like formaldehyde, and even bad odors.

IKEA

The designs are simple and subtle, but you’ll need IKEA’s smart hub to use all the features, like scheduling and remote activation. Both models will arrive in October — enough time to get rid of your not-smart side table.

— Mat Smith

Thank you, next.

Ariana Grande concert in 'Fortnite'

Epic Games

Fornite’s Rift Tour concert series is its latest musician showcase, and on August 6th, Ariana Grande will take to the virtual stage. The game developer is warning concertgoers to arrive an hour early to the show, with a Rift Tour playlist going live 30 minutes beforehand.

The battle royale juggernaut has already played host to Travis Scott and J Balvin concerts — and there was even a rumor of a Lady Gaga collaboration that didn’t quite pan out.

It wouldn’t be a Fortnite event without some in-game cosmetics — you’ll be able to grab an Ariana outfit to play as the pop star and rock the pony look. This is set to go live on August 4th. Continue reading.

A rare instance of a major news network facing a YouTube ban.

YouTube has banned Sky News Australia from uploading new videos for a week over accusations it spread COVID-19 misinformation. Multiple Sky videos reportedly violated rules denying the existence of new coronavirus variants or claiming that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were effective treatments.

The clips didn’t provide “sufficient countervailing context” to indicate the claims were false, YouTube told The Guardian. The TV network has come under fire for its stance on COVID-19, particularly from host Alan Jones. He falsely claimed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was “not a pandemic” back in 2020, and in July, incorrectly maintained that the virus’ Delta variant was neither dangerous nor affected by vaccines.

This is just one “strike” against Sky — two more would lead to a permanent channel ban. Continue reading.

There might have been surprising demand for its luxury smartwatch.

Apple Watch Edition Series 6 in titanium

Apple

If you wanted the titanium Apple Watch Series 6, you might be too late. The pricier model is largely unavailable through the company’s online stores across the US and other countries.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman speculated in his Power On newsletter that Apple underestimated demand. It likely made a small number of titanium Apple Watches and stopped production “months ago” in anticipation of switching focus to Series 7, according to Gurman. Units now seem to have dried up. This might not mean the titanium Series 6 was a huge hit, but Apple’s luxury wristwear might have fared better than expected. Will there be a Series 7 titanium model? Continue reading.

You could also receive a payout.

Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the video chat giant of violating privacy and enabling “zoombombing” (that is, trolls dropping into otherwise private videocalls). The preliminary settlement also demands tougher security measures, such as warning about third-party apps and offering further privacy-oriented training to Zoom staff.

Judge Lucy Koh, who you might remember from the epic Apple–Samsung lawsuit years ago, said the company was largely protected against zoombombing claims thanks to the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230, which safeguards against liability for users’ actions.

The settlement could also lead to payouts for you, dear reader, if the lawsuit achieves a proposed class-action status. Subscribers would receive a refund of either 15 percent or $25, whichever was larger, while everyone else would receive as much as $15. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more…

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