Your daily dose of tech news, in brief.
We made it to Friday! Before we consider our weekend plans, let's look back in time. While not the storage we're accustomed to, back on August 12, 1877 (although there appears to be some debate on the actual date), inventor Thomas Alva Edison made perhaps his most original discovery, the phonograph, where recordings were indentations embossed into a sheet of tinfoil. His first recorded message? "Mary had a little lamb," which completely stunned Edison and his staff when he successfully played it back.
Not so far back, on August 12, 1981, IBM introduced its first PC, the IBM Model 5150, at a press conference in New York City. It was announced with a price tag of $1,565, roughly $5,100.90 today.
You need to hear this.
Microsoft: Outlook desktop app crashing due to missing identity setting
We're starting with a fun story on Friday; Microsoft is investigating reports of an issue that is causing Outlook for Microsoft 365 to freeze and crash.
According to The Register:
"In this instance, the scenario is: "When you start Outlook Desktop, it gets past loading profile and processing, briefly opens, and then stops responding," according to Microsoft.
So far, so not particularly unusual. After all, occasional instability is expected with Outlook. However, in this instance, Microsoft has provided additional details that can be checked through the Windows Event View Application to confirm that this particular problem is being caused by a blank Registry setting."
If you are experiencing this issue, the article also contains some workarounds to address this.
I’m a security reporter and got fooled by a blatant phish
I know we are a very IT security conscious Community, so I thought many of you would enjoy this article.
According to Ars Technica:
"On Wednesday, it was my turn. At 3:54 pm PT, I received an email purporting to be from Twitter, informing me my Twitter account had just been verified. I was immediately suspicious because I hadn't applied for verification and didn't really want to. But the headers showed that the email originated from twitter.com, the link (which I opened in Tor on a secure machine) led to the real Twitter.com site, and nothing in the email or linked page asked me to provide any information. I also noticed that a checkmark had suddenly appeared on my profile page.
Satisfied the email was genuine, I noted my surprise on Twitter at 3:55."
But there's more going on in the
world galaxy than that.
Sturgeon supermoon stuns viewers around the world (photos)
In case you didn't know, last night was the last supermoon of the year. If you missed it, don't worry, there are some great photos from across the world from it.
According to Space.com:
"While some were concerned about how the full moon washed out the highly popular Perseid meteor shower, which peaks tonight (Aug. 12), the moon still attracted a lot of attention around the world.
Moongazers in Europe, the United States and other places showed images of Earth's closest large neighbor rising near buildings, trees and lakes. The supermoon is slightly larger than the usual full moon, although it's hard to spot the difference without advanced equipment.
Take a look at some of our favorite community images below. "
The Moon Stole Something From Deep Inside Earth Eons Ago, and Scientists Can Prove It
Speaking of the Moon, cosmochemist Patrizia Will and others have found a new clue on how it may have formed.
According to Science Alert:
"Earth and its Moon are unique in the Solar System. Earth is the only planet with just one moon, and that Moon is pretty influential. In fact, without the Moon, life on Earth may not have emerged, some research suggests.
Couple that with a size ratio unlike any other planet-moon system we've seen – the Moon is a little over one-quarter the size of Earth – scientists, naturally, are interested in where the Moon even came from.
Many, like the potato-shaped pair of rocks that orbit Mars, are captured asteroids.
Scientists believe that the origin story of the Moon, however, is one of fire and fury: a vast spray of debris gouged out from a still-warm, barely-formed Earth on a massive collision with a Mars-sized planet named Theia, around 4.5 billion years ago. That debris, the theory goes, coalesced to form our satellite."
And you can't not know this.
Meet CyberOne, Xiaomi's Humanoid Robot
Yes, yet another robot article. This one shows Xiaomi’s growing robotics ambitions with CyberOne, a humanoid robot that can detect human emotion and create 3D visual reconstructions of the world.
According to PCMag:
"During a launch event in Beijing, where Xiaomi also showed off a new foldable phone, CyberOne introduced itself by sauntering on stage with a long-stemmed flower. While it can't dance or do parkour, the bot can detect human emotion, perceive 3D space, and recognize 84 types of environmental sounds. It even comforts its user "in times of sadness," according to Xiaomi.
At 5 feet, 9 inches, the faceless humanoid—who's nicknamed "Metal Bro" and is an astrological Leo—weighs 115 pounds and boasts an arm span of 5.5 feet (about a foot short of Michael Phelps), with the ability to hold up to 3 pounds of weight in each hand."
Dall·E 2 + SpiceRex: How I told AI to generate impressive orange T-Rex art
This one is for those of you who may have missed's topic, where he created images of SpiceRex using DALL·E 2, a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.
According to Spiceworks:
"Below, you'll find the text prompts I gave Dall·E 2, along with some of the better examples of the outputs. While there were some clear misses, in general, I was very impressed at what the AI created. I might even print some of these out and hang them around my desk."
We made it to Friday! I hope everyone has a great weekend, especially those of you who have a longer-than-normal one.
What was the most interesting story today? Vote in our poll below. Also, check out previous editions of Snap! to stay in the know on important and entertaining tech and science news.