Weekly Tech Wrap-Up 11-4-2023, a week in which Mozilla’s fediverse bet, Amazon’s passkey support, Chrome alternatives, and fixing macOS Sonoma crashes captivated our readers the most. Today, we look back at this week’s ten most engaging articles from the Tech Help Knowledgebase social media feeds. We order the summaries below by user engagement — the stories our users interacted with the most. Articles are in descending order, with the most engaging story first. Our human-curated social media feeds include links to technology news, how-to and help articles, and video tutorials for common issues.
Stories curated for our feeds are from our staff writers or culled from third-party sources that produce content related to the categories covered by our site. See the summaries and links below for this week’s top stories by user engagement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to interact with our feeds.
Top 10 Most Engaging Stories This Week
Mozilla, the tech company behind Firefox and other apps, is investing in the “fediverse,” a collection of decentralized social networking applications like Mastodon. They believe current social networks run by large corporations are profit-driven and do not always prioritize consumer needs. This belief has led to a surge of interest in alternatives to centralized social networking. Mozilla’s involvement in the fediverse aims to create a new form of social networking that minimizes issues like misinformation, harassment, and worsening mental health. As a wholly owned subsidiary of a nonprofit, Mozilla is not motivated by generating earnings for shareholders.
Amazon has recently introduced passkeys, a new method of logging into accounts, joining other tech giants in moving toward passwordless authentication. The use of passkeys is not mandatory for Amazon customers and those who prefer to stick with traditional passwords may continue to do so. Passkeys offer a more secure and convenient way to access services or websites, using biometric authentication like a fingerprint or face scan, or a PIN instead of a password. Currently, passkey support is only available on Amazon’s primary retail website. The company plans to extend this feature to its iOS and Android shopping apps and other Amazon-owned companies like Goodreads and Twitch. To set up a passkey, users can navigate to the Login & Security menu on their Account page and follow the prompts.
The author of the article decided to take a break from Google Chrome, a browser they had been using for 15 years, due to its memory-hogging habits and out of curiosity to see if other browsers offered a better experience. Despite their frustrations with Chrome, the author acknowledges the browser’s strengths, such as its expansive extension library, developer-friendly tools, cross-platform availability, and fast page loading. However, they found that other browsers also had their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Firefox and Microsoft Edge are strong contenders. Exploring different browsers serves as a reminder that while Chrome has its merits, there are other viable options available.
The Mac Observer provides a guide on addressing macOS Sonoma’s frequent crashing issue. The article suggests that users first try simple fixes such as rebooting the device, tracking common app crashes, and switching to a more stable release if using a beta version. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, the article recommends more technical troubleshooting steps. These include stopping apps from running in the background, launching upon startup, and booting the Mac in Safe Mode. The guide emphasizes that these steps may vary depending on whether the user has an Intel-based or Apple Silicon Mac.
Apple has introduced a new feature called Safari Profiles in macOS Sonoma, designed to help users separate work and home browsing and enhance focus and privacy. Profiles are an extension of the concepts behind Tab Groups and Focus Modes aimed at minimizing distractions. Users can create a Profile for specific purposes like Work that contains a set of Tab Groups and extensions that won’t appear in any other Profile. Setting up a new Profile involves launching Safari, navigating to System Settings, and clicking on Profiles. The new Profile dialog provides several options, including naming the profile, choosing an icon and color, and deciding whether to have a new bookmarks folder or use the existing Favorites folder.
This guide teaches you how to start, stop, and restart a service on any Linux distribution that uses systemd. It explains that most modern Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, Fedora, and others, use systemd. The process involves opening the terminal application, locating the name of the service, and then using the systemctl command. The article also provides an example of how to find the name of a service using the ps command piped to grep. Overall, the article aims to simplify the process for new Linux users.
The recent iOS 17.1 update has had a significant impact on the battery life of older iPhone models. The update has increased the battery life of several models, with the iPhone 13 seeing the most substantial improvement of 15%. However, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR experienced a drop in battery life with the new update. Despite these improvements, the battery life of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 still falls short when compared to their performance on iOS 16.6.1. While the update has made progress, there is still room for further improvement.
Brave Software, the company behind Brave web browser, has made its AI-powered assistant, Leo, available to all desktop users. Access the assistant, which has been under testing for a few months, by clicking the Leo icon in the sidebar or typing a question in the address bar and clicking the Leo icon. Leo handles context-aware requests such as summarizing webpages or videos, translating text, and rewriting phrases. The company also offers a $15-per-month paid version called Leo Premium, which provides access to faster and better large language models (LLMs) and higher-rate limits. All requests to Leo use an anonymous server as a proxy, so there is no link back to a particular IP, with responses immediately discarded after generation.
The upcoming iOS 17.2 update introduces a range of new features. One of the highlights is the addition of the Journal app. The update is currently limited to developers, but public beta testers should expect it soon. Look for the iOS 17.2 release around November or December.
The article discusses the potential of Chromebooks as an alternative to Windows laptops for gaming. It highlights that while Windows remains the dominant platform for PC gaming, Chrome OS on Chromebooks is emerging as a contender. The introduction of gaming Chromebooks has added a new dimension to the debate. However, the discontinuation of Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform has been a setback. The article leaves readers pondering whether gaming on a Chromebook can genuinely rival the experience on a Windows laptop.
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Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter