UK warns TikTok of £27 million fine over child privacy violations

TikTok isn't just facing financial penalties in the US over claimed child privacy breaches. The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has warned TikTok that it might face a £27 million (about $29.2 million) fine after the watchdog determined that the social network may have broken data protection law by "failing to protect" kids' privacy between May 2018 and July 2020. The company may have handled the data of children under 13 without parental consent, processed "special category" data (such as ethnicity, sexual orientation or health) without a legal foundation and didn't offer necessary information to users in a "concise, transparent and easily understood" fashion.

ICO began investigating TikTok in February 2019, soon after the US' Federal Trade Commission fined the social media heavyweight $5.7 million over reported child privacy infringements. At the time, the UK overseer was concerned about both TikTok's "completely open" direct messaging as well as its transparency tools. Sexual predators were found messaging users as young as eight years old, and it was relatively easy for kids to bypass the app's age gate.

The office stressed that these were preliminary findings, and that there was no definitive conclusion that TikTok broke the law or will pay a fine. ICO added it would "carefully consider" TikTok's stance before making a final decision. We've asked the company for comment, and will let you know if we hear back.

There's mounting pressure on TikTok to protect kids. In the US, members of Congress and state attorneys general are grilling TikTok over possible harms to child users, including attempts to keep them riveted to using the app. A UK fine might not be the end of the company's troubles, at least until politicians and regulators are satisfied it's keeping young people safe.

The first ‘Mandalorian’ season three trailer reunites a favorite Star Wars family

With D23 underway this weekend, Disney had a lot to share with Star Wars fans. In all, the company debuted three trailers at the expo. First, there was a final look at Star Wars: Andor ahead of the show’s Disney+ premiere on September 21st. Then, we got to see Tales of the Jedi, a new animated anthology series that will begin streaming on October 23rd. But what you can here to see is the first trailer for season three of The Mandalorian.

The clip is the same one that was shown behind closed doors at Star Wars Celebration. Spoilers for season two of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett follow. 

After he left to train at Luke’s Jedi Temple, Grogu and Din (Pedro Pascal) are reunited and back to their usual hijinks, but Mando’s decision to take his helmet off at the end of season two has damaged his relationship with the Armorer and what’s left of his clan. The fact he also took the Darksaber from Moth Gideon is also a source of conflict between him and Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff). Based on the trailer, it looks like season three will tell a more focused story with fewer detours for Mando and Grogu to get into trouble.

The Mandalorian season three will arrive on Disney+ in 2023.

The first ‘Mandalorian’ season three trailer reunites a favorite Star Wars family

With D23 underway this weekend, Disney had a lot to share with Star Wars fans. In all, the company debuted three trailers at the expo. First, there was a final look at Star Wars: Andor ahead of the show’s Disney+ premiere on September 21st. Then, we got to see Tales of the Jedi, a new animated anthology series that will begin streaming on October 23rd. But what you can here to see is the first trailer for season three of The Mandalorian.

The clip is the same one that was shown behind closed doors at Star Wars Celebration. Spoilers for season two of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett follow. 

After he left to train at Luke’s Jedi Temple, Grogu and Din (Pedro Pascal) are reunited and back to their usual hijinks, but Mando’s decision to take his helmet off at the end of season two has damaged his relationship with the Armorer and what’s left of his clan. The fact he also took the Darksaber from Moth Gideon is also a source of conflict between him and Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff). Based on the trailer, it looks like season three will tell a more focused story with fewer detours for Mando and Grogu to get into trouble.

The Mandalorian season three will arrive on Disney+ in 2023.

Valve’s Steam Deck repair centers are now open

Steam Deck owners have a new option for repairs if their device breaks. Valve has opened its own Steam Deck repair centers, which should streamline the process for fixes.

The new service should come as welcome news to Steam Deck owners who will now have a simpler way of addressing hardware issues, without hunting for a third-party service. Notably, Valve says that it also supports people who prefer to go the DIY route, and points to iFixit’s guides on the subject.

Those who prefer to hand off the fix will be able to use the new service via the company’s support channels. “If you encounter an issue and need to send your Steam Deck for repair or replacement, devices will now go to one of our repair centers,” the company explains. “Once there, our team will diagnose the device, repair if needed, then ship the fixed unit back to you.”

The repair centers will cover both in-warranty fixes, which will be free of charge, as well as repairs for damage that happens outside of the device’s warranty. The company will charge for out-of-warranty fixes, though it’s not clear how much these repairs may cost.

For now, there are few other details about how the repair centers will work. The company hasn’t provided a list of the types of repairs it will be able to handle, or what the expected turnaround time will be. However, in a comment on the post, a Valve representative confirmed the repair centers will be able to handle battery replacements, which could be a common request for the handheld device.

Valve’s Steam Deck repair centers are now open

Steam Deck owners have a new option for repairs if their device breaks. Valve has opened its own Steam Deck repair centers, which should streamline the process for fixes.

The new service should come as welcome news to Steam Deck owners who will now have a simpler way of addressing hardware issues, without hunting for a third-party service. Notably, Valve says that it also supports people who prefer to go the DIY route, and points to iFixit’s guides on the subject.

Those who prefer to hand off the fix will be able to use the new service via the company’s support channels. “If you encounter an issue and need to send your Steam Deck for repair or replacement, devices will now go to one of our repair centers,” the company explains. “Once there, our team will diagnose the device, repair if needed, then ship the fixed unit back to you.”

The repair centers will cover both in-warranty fixes, which will be free of charge, as well as repairs for damage that happens outside of the device’s warranty. The company will charge for out-of-warranty fixes, though it’s not clear how much these repairs may cost.

For now, there are few other details about how the repair centers will work. The company hasn’t provided a list of the types of repairs it will be able to handle, or what the expected turnaround time will be. However, in a comment on the post, a Valve representative confirmed the repair centers will be able to handle battery replacements, which could be a common request for the handheld device.

Nextdoor is trying to prevent neighbors from arguing about the midterms

Nextdoor is gearing up for a potentially contentious election season. Ahead of the midterms, the company says it will label election-related posts with information about how to vote, and will use in-app alerts to remind users to not let political conversations get overly “heated.”

In a blog post, the company says it will use “pop-up reminders” to encourage “civil political discourse” on election-related posts. “Nextdoor will use pop-up reminders when hurtful or harmful language is detected or anticipated via predictive technology,” the company writes.

Nextdoor will remind neighbors not to fight about the midterms.
Nextdoor

It’s not the first time the company has used these kinds of reminders to discourage nastiness between neighbors. The company previously introduced in-app alerts to remind people to be “empathetic” and keep conversations “constructive.” The latest notifications mirror that language. “Conversations about the election can get heated,” it says. “Check to make sure you’ve phrased it in a constructive way.”

Besides the reminders, the company is also partnering with vote.org and other organizations on in-app messages to encourage turnout and provide resources on how to register to vote.

James Webb Space Telescope detects carbon dioxide in a distant planet’s atmosphere

The James Webb Space Telescope can do much more than produce astonishingimages of the universe. The observatory has, for the first time, found clear evidence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet that's not in our solar system. It detected the gas on WASP-39 b, a gas giant that's orbiting a star some 700 light years away.

The Hubble and Spitzer telescopes previously detected water vapor, sodium and potassium in the planet's atmosphere. But JWST has more powerful and sensitive infrared capabilities and was able to pick up the signature of carbon dioxide as well.

"Understanding the composition of a planet’s atmosphere can help us learn more about its origin and evolution," an official JWST Twitter account notes. "Webb’s success here offers evidence that it could also be able to detect and measure carbon dioxide in the thinner atmospheres of smaller rocky planets in the future."

NASA previously released spectroscopic data JWST captured from WASP-96 b, a gas exoplanet that's approximately 1,150 light years away. The observatory detected "the unambiguous signature of water," along with haze and clouds, which were not previously believed to exist on WASP-96 b.

Also this week, researchers announced the discovery of an exoplanet that's around 100 light years away. It was detected with the help of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and ground-based telescopes rather than JWST, but it might merit a closer look from the latter. Researchers believe that water could make up as much as 30 percent of the mass of TOI-1452 b, which has been deemed a "super-Earth." It's around 70 percent larger than Earth and it may have a "very deep ocean."

James Webb Space Telescope detects carbon dioxide in a distant planet’s atmosphere

The James Webb Space Telescope can do much more than produce astonishingimages of the universe. The observatory has, for the first time, found clear evidence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet that's not in our solar system. It detected the gas on WASP-39 b, a gas giant that's orbiting a star some 700 light years away.

The Hubble and Spitzer telescopes previously detected water vapor, sodium and potassium in the planet's atmosphere. But JWST has more powerful and sensitive infrared capabilities and was able to pick up the signature of carbon dioxide as well.

"Understanding the composition of a planet’s atmosphere can help us learn more about its origin and evolution," an official JWST Twitter account notes. "Webb’s success here offers evidence that it could also be able to detect and measure carbon dioxide in the thinner atmospheres of smaller rocky planets in the future."

NASA previously released spectroscopic data JWST captured from WASP-96 b, a gas exoplanet that's approximately 1,150 light years away. The observatory detected "the unambiguous signature of water," along with haze and clouds, which were not previously believed to exist on WASP-96 b.

Also this week, researchers announced the discovery of an exoplanet that's around 100 light years away. It was detected with the help of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and ground-based telescopes rather than JWST, but it might merit a closer look from the latter. Researchers believe that water could make up as much as 30 percent of the mass of TOI-1452 b, which has been deemed a "super-Earth." It's around 70 percent larger than Earth and it may have a "very deep ocean."

Amazon one-day sale slashes prices of TP-Link routers and smart home gadgets

TP-Link makes a bunch of IoT gadgets that can make your home a bit smarter, and now you can pick up a number of them for less. Amazon has a one-day sale on TP-Link devices that brings many of them down to record-low prices. We particularly like the company's Kasa Smart Light Bulbs, which earned a spot in our best smart lights guide. You fan grab a two pack of those multicolored bulbs for $17, which is a return to their Prime Day price. If you prefer white lights, a four pack of those bulbs is 38 percent off and down to $28.

Shop TP-Link deals at AmazonBuy Kasa Smart Light Bulbs (2 pack, multicolor) at Amazon - $17Buy Kasa Smart Light Bulbs (4 pack, white) at Amazon - $28

Both the white and color packs that are on sale are WiFi lights, which means they don't need a central smart home hub to work. You'll simply connect them to your home's WiFi network via the TP-Link companion app, and then you'll be able to control them from your smartphone. The mobile app is pretty easy to use, allowing you to cycle through light colors, set schedules, change dimness settings and even check out usage stats per bulb. These TP-Link lights are also compatible with Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant, so you'll be able to control them with voice commands as well.

Smart lights are some of the easiest IoT gadgets to install in your home, but you can also easily make "dumb" things around your home a bit smarter with the right plugs. TP-Link makes a bunch of smart plugs that we've recommended in the past, and a couple of packs have been discounted in this sale. A four pack of the Kasa Mini Smart Plugs is 20 percent off and down to $24, while one of the Kasa Outdoor Smart Dimmer Plugs is 40 percent off and on sale for $18. The former is for indoor use only, but they let you plug in a coffee maker, kettle, lamp or other things and control them via your smartphone. Similarly to the Kasa smart lights, the plug's companion app lets you set schedules and check usage for all of your appliances, and you can use Away Mode to automatically turn things on or off when you're out of the house.

Buy Kasa Mini Smart Plugs (4 pack) at Amazon - $24Buy Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug at Amazon - $18

Finally, there are quite a few networking gadgets included in this sale. You can pick up Gigabit Ethernet switches for up to 56 percent off, and a number of routers and mesh systems for less. Key among them is the TP-Link Deco AX3000 mesh WiFi 6 system, which has returned to its Prime Day price of $200. The pack includes three Deco X55 routers that you can place around your home to cover up to 6,500 square feet. You'll be able to connect up to 150 devices wirelessly to your network, and each node has three Ethernet ports, which means you have more options to hardwire devices for even better speeds if you wish.

Buy Deco AX3000 WiFi 6 mesh system at Amazon - $200

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Amazon one-day sale slashes prices of TP-Link routers and smart home gadgets

TP-Link makes a bunch of IoT gadgets that can make your home a bit smarter, and now you can pick up a number of them for less. Amazon has a one-day sale on TP-Link devices that brings many of them down to record-low prices. We particularly like the company's Kasa Smart Light Bulbs, which earned a spot in our best smart lights guide. You fan grab a two pack of those multicolored bulbs for $17, which is a return to their Prime Day price. If you prefer white lights, a four pack of those bulbs is 38 percent off and down to $28.

Shop TP-Link deals at AmazonBuy Kasa Smart Light Bulbs (2 pack, multicolor) at Amazon - $17Buy Kasa Smart Light Bulbs (4 pack, white) at Amazon - $28

Both the white and color packs that are on sale are WiFi lights, which means they don't need a central smart home hub to work. You'll simply connect them to your home's WiFi network via the TP-Link companion app, and then you'll be able to control them from your smartphone. The mobile app is pretty easy to use, allowing you to cycle through light colors, set schedules, change dimness settings and even check out usage stats per bulb. These TP-Link lights are also compatible with Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant, so you'll be able to control them with voice commands as well.

Smart lights are some of the easiest IoT gadgets to install in your home, but you can also easily make "dumb" things around your home a bit smarter with the right plugs. TP-Link makes a bunch of smart plugs that we've recommended in the past, and a couple of packs have been discounted in this sale. A four pack of the Kasa Mini Smart Plugs is 20 percent off and down to $24, while one of the Kasa Outdoor Smart Dimmer Plugs is 40 percent off and on sale for $18. The former is for indoor use only, but they let you plug in a coffee maker, kettle, lamp or other things and control them via your smartphone. Similarly to the Kasa smart lights, the plug's companion app lets you set schedules and check usage for all of your appliances, and you can use Away Mode to automatically turn things on or off when you're out of the house.

Buy Kasa Mini Smart Plugs (4 pack) at Amazon - $24Buy Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug at Amazon - $18

Finally, there are quite a few networking gadgets included in this sale. You can pick up Gigabit Ethernet switches for up to 56 percent off, and a number of routers and mesh systems for less. Key among them is the TP-Link Deco AX3000 mesh WiFi 6 system, which has returned to its Prime Day price of $200. The pack includes three Deco X55 routers that you can place around your home to cover up to 6,500 square feet. You'll be able to connect up to 150 devices wirelessly to your network, and each node has three Ethernet ports, which means you have more options to hardwire devices for even better speeds if you wish.

Buy Deco AX3000 WiFi 6 mesh system at Amazon - $200

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.