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Black Friday deals might be the only way to get an iPhone 14 Pro before Christmas




Every year, the latest iPhone is a coveted Christmas gift. The same goes for the iPhone 14 Models in 2022, notably the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. But 2022 isn’t like other years as a lockdown in China has had an impact Apple’s main production center for the iPhone 14 Pro. So your best bet might be to snag an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max in time for Christmas Taking advantage of a Black Friday deal instantly. If you don’t secure one during Black Friday, there’s a good chance your new iPhone won’t ship until sometime after Christmas.

If you order the iPhone 14 Pro directly from Apple, you’ll have to wait until after Christmas to get it. That’s a problem when you’re buying the handset for someone special. Storage problems also arise with third-party supplierssince they get their supply from the same source in China.

Apple would be the best place to get an unlocked iPhone 14 Pro with no strings attached, even if that means paying full price for it. The third-party Black Friday deals that cover the iPhone 14 Pro have different terms and conditions.

You may need to qualify for savings by trading in an existing smartphone. You’ll also need to contract with a carrier for several months, since most iPhone 14 Pro “discounts” come via bill credits. You might even have to switch providers to get a better deal, or at least activate a new line.

Worse still, retailers and carriers will only stock a few colors and storage options. And that’s another compromise you might have to make when purchasing your Black Friday iPhone 14 Pro.

That said, there are iPhone 14 Pro deals you can take advantage of if you hurry.

iPhone 14 Pro deals in Best Buy's Black Friday deal.
iPhone 14 Pro deals in Best Buy’s Black Friday deal. Image source: best buy

best buy you can save 5% immediately on an iPhone 14 Pro this Black Friday. The deal applies to all iPhone 14 models in Apple’s lineup, including the cheaper ones. You can also save up to $1,000 on iPhone 14 Pro when you qualify and trade in iPhone 12 or later. If you’re a Best Buy Totaltech member, you also get 24 months of AppleCare+ on most new purchases.

You can check out Best Buy’s iPhone 14 Pro Black Friday deal below this link. As always, read the fine print before committing.

Like Best Buy, Target has its own Black Friday savings for the iPhone 14 Pro. But they include a carrier contract. Get up to $300 off an iPhone 14 Pro when you activate a new line.

Target’s discount drops to $200 when you upgrade an existing line. You still need to agree to a 36-month installment plan and a minimum of $60/month wireless service.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 offered in Target's Black Friday promotion.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 offered in Target’s Black Friday promotion. Image source: target

Verizon is too run a Black Friday deal on the iPhone 14 Pro with 128 GB. The handset is free when you switch to Verizon, trade in an eligible phone, and sign up for a 5G Unlimited plan. Existing subscribers save $800 on the phone with a trade-in and upgrade to select 5G Unlimited plans.

Verizon sweetens the pot with an additional discount on Apple Watch SE 2, iPad 9 or Beats Fit Pro. The carrier says these gifts are “all on us,” but you’ll need cellular plans for the watch and iPad. Verizon’s iPhone 14 Pro Black Friday deal is available with this link.

Verizon's Black Friday offer for the iPhone 14 Pro.
Verizon’s Black Friday offer for the iPhone 14 Pro. Image source: Verizon

Despite the inevitable difficulties you’ll have to go through to get one of these deals, there’s no guarantee your iPhone 14 Pro will arrive by December 25th. These retailers and carriers still have a limited number of iPhone 14 Pro units in stock.

An alternative to the iPhone 14 Pro is the regular iPhone 14, which is still an amazing device. And so it happens T-Mobile has a great Black Friday deal for iPhone 14. You can score up to four iPhone 14 devices on four 5G Unlimited lines. The wireless service will only cost you $100/month. This is a carrier deal so terms and conditions apply. But it’s an alternative to an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max.

T-Mobile iPhone 14 Black Friday offer.
T-Mobile iPhone 14 Black Friday offer. Image source: T Mobile

Speaking of which, Apple will likely stock enough iPhone 14s, so this is another place to shop for the cheaper models. Just don’t expect any great Black Friday deals from Apple on its latest iPhones.

More Apple coverage: Try this The best Apple deals currently online.


China bots flood Twitter with porn spam to drown protest news




China bots flood Twitter with porn spam to drown out protest messages

Widespread protests erupted in China this weekend, marking “the largest opposition demonstration against the ruling Communist Party in decades.” AP News reports. Many protesters attempted to live-document the events to raise awareness and show solidarity on Twitter. The demonstrations were so strong that the Chinese authorities actually appeared to relent, appeasing some of the protesters’ demands by easing the tight lockdown restrictions that had sparked the protests.

This could have been a moment that showed that under Elon Musk, Twitter is still a relevant source for breaking news, still a place for free speech demonstrations to reach the masses, and therefore still the only place to see escalating protests how to track this. Instead of this, The Washington Post reported that a barrage of “useless tweets” effectively buried live footage of protests. This prevented users from easily following protest messages, while Twitter appeared to do nothing to stop what researchers called an apparent Chinese influence operation.

For hours, those tweets dropped Chinese city names where protests took place in posts mostly promoting pornography and adult escort services. And it worked, preventing users trying to search city names in Chinese from easily seeing updates on the protests. Researchers told the Post that the tweets were posted by a number of Chinese-language accounts that haven’t been used in months or even years. The tweets appeared early Sunday, shortly after protesters began calling for the resignation of Communist Party leaders.

Examples of tweets can be seen here.

researchers quickly Took note of the alleged Chinese influence operation very early on Sunday. Some took to Twitter directly. Eventually, an outside researcher was able to reach a current Twitter employee who confirmed that Twitter was working to resolve the issue. However, experts told the post that Twitter’s solution appeared to only reduce the problem, not solve it entirely. Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, told the Post his team continued to study the scope and impact of the operation.

Stamos did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment. Twitter reportedly does not have a communications team.

A former Twitter employee told The Post that what Stamos’ team observed was a common tactic used by authoritarian regimes to restrict access to news. Normally, Twitter’s anti-propaganda team would have manually deleted the accounts, the former employee said. But like many other teams hit by Twitter layoffs, layoffs and resignations, this team has been severely reduced.

“All China influence operations and analysts at Twitter have all resigned,” the former Twitter staffer told The Post.

Verification of automatic content removal is increasing

In reducing content moderation teams, Musk appears to be relying primarily on automated content removal to detect violations that previous employees had manually monitored. It has become an issue that extends beyond China. Also this weekend French regulators said they had become dubious about Twitter The spread of misinformation was skillfully stopped and the New Zealand government had to step in and contact Twitter directly when this was the case Twitter failed to identify banned footage of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

A spokesman for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said The Guardian that “Twitter’s automated reporting feature did not identify the content as harmful.” Apparently, the entire Twitter team that New Zealand wanted to work with to block such extremism-related content was fired.

Now Ardern’s office says “only time will tell” if Twitter is truly committed to removing harmful content, and other governments around the world seem to agree. Just today, French regulator of communications Arcom said Reuters that “Twitter has demonstrated a lack of transparency in its fight against misinformation” by releasing a report that specifically notes how “inaccurate” the company has been about how its automated tools combat misinformation.

Corresponding European Union data verified by AP, Twitter had already become lazy about removing hate speech and misinformation over the past year, even before Musk took over. But it’s Musk who must face up to governments scrambling to ensure Twitter’s content moderation actually works to prevent extremism and disinformation campaigns from spreading online and causing real harm.

By mid-2023, Musk will feel more pressure to respond to concerns from countries in the EU, which will soon enact stricter rules to protect online safety. If he doesn’t, he risks fines of up to 6 percent of Twitter’s global revenue. AP reports.

Right now, however, Musk is basically doing the opposite of what online security experts want, according to the AP. While Musk is granting “amnesty” to suspended Twitter accounts, experts told AP they predict misinformation and hate speech will only increase on the platform.

Those experts included members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, who confirmed that the group has not met since Musk acquired it and appears unsure if a scheduled meeting for mid-December will take place. So far, Musk seems to favor Twitter polls over trusting expert opinion when making decisions about restoring suspended accounts. One council member, University of Virginia cyber civil rights expert Danielle Citron, told the AP that “the whole point of the permanent suspension is that these people were so bad, they were bad for business.”

Ars couldn’t immediately reach Citron for comment, but she told AP that — like rumors Twitter could crack at any moment — Musk’s amnesty for suspended accounts is another “disaster to come.”

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BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy as FTX Fallout Spreads




BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lender catering to ordinary investors craving a slice of crypto-mania, filed for bankruptcy Monday, brought down by its financial connections FTXthe embattled exchange whose recent demise has shaken the crypto industry to the core.

Based in Jersey City, NJ, BlockFi marketed primarily to retail investors, offering them cryptocurrency-backed loans and accounts paying high interest on crypto deposits in minutes with no credit checks. Last year, the lender said it had more than 450,000 retail customers.

On Monday, 2017-founded BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 protection in New Jersey. Its implosion is the latest example of an industry on shaky foundations, with companies so intertwined that a single wobble can unleash financial chaos.

BlockFi isn’t the first crypto lender to file for bankruptcy. In July, two of its competitors, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital, collapsed within a week. They struggled to find their feet after a spring market panic when the value of many high-profile cryptocurrencies plummeted. Bitcoin alone fell 20 percent in a week.

BlockFi had faltered ever since. In June, to stabilize itself, the lender struck a deal with FTX, which was then seen as a safety net given the exchange’s credibility and dominance in the crypto industry. FTX agreed provide The company has a $400 million line of credit — essentially a loan that BlockFi can draw on as needed.

Announcing the funding, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said, said it would “give access to capital that further strengthens our balance sheet.” The deal also gave FTX an option to buy BlockFi.

BlockFi then borrowed $275 million from a subsidiary of FTX, according to its bankruptcy filings. This financial entanglement meant that when FTX plummeted and was forced to file for bankruptcy amid revelations Corporate missteps and suspicious managementBlockFi also began to struggle.

A few days after the stock market crash, BlockFi said Clients who were unable to withdraw their deposits because they had “significant exposure” to FTX, including additional funds the company had hoped to receive under the agreement and other assets held on the FTX platform.

In its Monday filing, BlockFi said it had about $257 million in cash on hand to support its business through bankruptcy. The company said in court filings it had more than 100,000 creditors and $10 billion in assets and liabilities. It also said it would significantly reduce costs, including labor costs. Last year it employed 850 people.

BlockFi also said it will focus on collecting all obligations to the company, including those from FTX. However, it warned of delays in recovering assets from FTX amid the exchange’s bankruptcy.

John J. Ray III, FTX’s new chief executive officer, who previously ran Enron during its bankruptcy, has called corporate dysfunction at FTX “unprecedented.” Legal experts say it could take years to wind down and recover assets.

Regulators had already scrutinized BlockFi. In February, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a $100 million settlement with the company’s credit department for offering loans without registering them as securities and for not registering as an investment company. The SEC also found that BlockFi made false and misleading statements about the level of risk in its loan portfolio and its lending operations.

BlockFi still owes the SEC $30 million according to its bankruptcy filing, making the country’s top securities cop its fourth-largest creditor. It owes $275 million to West Realm Shires, the parent company of US exchange FTX and BlockFi’s second-largest creditor. Its largest creditor is the Ankura Trust Company, which specializes in administering loans to distressed companies, at around US$729 million.

“BlockFi has worked from the beginning to positively shape the cryptocurrency industry and move the sector forward,” said Mark Renzi of Berkeley Research Group, a financial advisor to the company. “BlockFi looks forward to a transparent process that achieves the best outcome for all customers and other stakeholders.”

BlockFi’s other bankruptcy advisors include law firm Haynes and Boone, investment bank Moelis & Company and strategic advisor C Street Advisory Group.

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The 10 best games of 2022, according to Time




Editorial opinion: Another year is almost in the record books, and that’s reason enough for Time to share its top 10 video games of 2022. These kinds of lists usually disappoint, but it seems the release got it right for the most part this time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came in 10th place: Shredder’s revenge, a co-op brawler from Dotemu featuring side-scrolling action, a pixelated art style and voice acting from the original cartoon actors. Shredder’s Revenge launched digitally on most major platforms, and Limited Run did Collector’s Edition that should be delivered in early 2023.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Resident Evil Village: Shadows of Rose take 9th and 8th place respectively. Lego and Star Wars are two of the hottest brands out there, and the newly launched Resident Evil DLC adds even more content to an already great game.

martial arts game Sifu is Time’s seventh favorite game, just behind The Last of Us Part 1. The former released in February for PS4, PS5 and Windows (and earlier this month for Switch) and puts players in control of the child of a martial arts school master who seeks revenge for her father’s death. The Last of Us needs no introduction – Part 1 is a remake of the original 2013 game, improving the overall formula for the PS5.

cat simulator Stray took fifth place, but it’s more than just performing basic cat activities. The game challenges players to use their skills to survive their environment, solve puzzles and unravel mysteries.

Fourth finisher elden ring got off to a flying start, selling over 12 million copies in less than a month (and over 17.5 million in October). Interactive horror drama The Quarry, the spiritual successor to Until Dawn, took third place after its launch in mid-2022. I’m a bit surprised it finished ahead of some of the other heavyweights on the list, but maybe it’s worthy.

Horizon: Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok Second and first, and nobody feels out of place here. Horizon Forbidden West currently has a Metacritic Score of 88 and God of War: Ragnarok is ranked even higher at 94.

Here is a brief summary of the time list:

  • 10. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge
  • 9. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • 8. Resident Evil Village: Shadow of the Rose
  • 7. Sifu
  • 6. The Last of Us Part 1
  • 5. Stray
  • 4. Elden Ring
  • 3. The quarry
  • 2. Horizon Forbidden West
  • 1. God of War: Ragnarok

Do you think time has mostly got it right? Are there any glaring omissions? Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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