The Prius gets a redesign that looks really cool

Toyota has one sleek and shiny new Prius, and the automatic press seems to agree: this one looks pretty cool. Previous Prius models have long been seen as, uhh, less than cool, with their awkward boxy teardrop shape and normcore vibe. The 2023 Prius, on the other hand, looks chic, with streamlined bodywork that squeezes that Prius teardrop into something that looks like a Tesla.

It’s still a combustion-electric hybrid that needs its fill of petrol in order to run – unfortunately the all-electric revolution hasn’t arrived for the old Prius yet. Toyota says it gets about 57 mpg, making it the most fuel-efficient Prius yet. The car will also be faster than before, with a 220 hp engine under the hood. That’s good for a Prius; ask a car enthusiast. Other new functions include a hands-free driving mode and the inclusion of solar panels for topping up the battery while the car is stationary.

The new Prius will be available in two models: the base Prius and a slightly beefier Prius Prime. Toyota hasn’t said when the cars will be available or how much they’ll cost, but look for them next year.

Here’s some other news from the world of consumer technology.

Microsoft Teams gets games

Microsoft has announced a new feature for its Teams video conferencing software: video games. Participants in a Teams call can now play games like Patience, Minesweeperand Wonder directly in the app. The games are intended for people who use Teams for work. Nancy Baym, senior principal research manager at Microsoft, says putting games in a workplace tool fosters a sense of human connection that is much needed after nearly three years of remote work.

“People could be really productive, but they felt less connected, and that had a lot of detrimental consequences,” says Baym. “Games are one of the many fun ways to gently step in and say, ‘Here’s an offer for you guys to bond with each other at low pressure.”

To reinforce that goal of building connections, none of the games are single-player. (No, not even Patience). That means you can’t quietly play a game on your own while pretending to listen to your manager’s drone about roughly quarterly KPIs. Playing games with your team can be a nice break from the deluge of the workday, even if it still comes down to spending time in front of a screen. We’ll see how long it takes for zoom fatigue to give way Minesweeper fatigue.

Look at Leica’s Large Lens Phone

Hey, look, Leica made another one smartphone to follow the 2021 Leitz Phone 1. What is that? Does it have a camera, you ask? Oh, it does. As you’d expect from the illustrious camera brand, the Leica lens is the main attraction of the Leitz Phone 2. The single large lens occupies the top third of the phone. The eyepiece-focused design is a refutation of all the subtly integrated smartphone camera lenses.

The giant camera of the Leitz Phone 2 captures 47.2 megapixel images. On the other side is a 6.6-inch OLED screen where you can view all your beautiful landscape photos or gloriously detailed selfies. Oh yeah, and you can also make phone calls with it or whatever. It will only be available in Japan; those outside the country will have to buy it as an import.

Netflix is ​​coming for your friends

The days of sharing Netflix accounts are probably coming to an end. This week, Netflix introduced a new feature in users’ account settings called Manage access and devices. It allows a user to disable their Netflix account on specific devices, something that the user can easily use to kick relatives, friends, and roommates off their Netflix accounts. It’s an innocent enough feature, and one that will be fun for anyone looking to zap their credentials from the television they lost in the divorce to avoid their ex stealth streaming shows on their dime. But it’s also a move that sets the stage for Netflix’s cleaning up sharing accounts.

Netflix has been build to this for months. The company has tested charging additional fees for additional accounts in a few countries, and says it’s looking into it run the program in nearly all of its markets next year. The company also rolled out an ad-supported plan earlier this month.

Too many Twitter problems

Well, Twitter had a good run. Now that nearly every employee has left Twitter and the site seems to be in freefall, things are about to get even weirder on the bird app. (Assuming it remains active.) In whatever form Twitter continues to limp, it’s never been more vulnerable to security threats.

This week on WIRED’s Gadget lab podcast, security writer Lily Hay Newman discusses the ways Twitter’s precarious position could lead to hacking, data breaches and the further spread of misinformation about the platform.


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