We have a review of Apple’s new smart speaker as Chris Welch and Jennifer Pattison Tuohy evaluate the “all-new” $299.99 HomePod.

They praised its sound quality, useful set of sensors, and deep integration with Apple TV, but noted it’s a bit more expensive than similar smart speakers, and said you’ll really need two of them to get the best experience.

The E3 video game trade show, which has traditionally served as one of the year’s major press events, could be a much smaller affair in 2023. A new report from IGN suggests that the three major console manufacturers, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, are all skipping out on the June convention. There’s a chance they could still hold press events that month that aren’t officially part of E3, but it’d be very bad news for the Entertainment Software Association’s flagship event itself.

Elsewhere, GM’s Hummer EV SUV has entered mass production, and the first customers are expected to receive their gigantic electric cars by the end of Q1. The SUV joins the truck version of the Hummer EV, whose deliveries started in late 2021.

And finally, Paramount is reconfiguring its streaming offering to combine Showtime with Paramount Plus. The resulting streaming service will be called, inventively enough, “Paramount Plus with Showtime.” It’s part of a wave of changes coming to streaming players that also include the merger of HBO Max and Discovery Plus.

For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Tuesday, January 31st, 2023.

EA’s free-to-play Lord of the Rings mobile game is set to launch this year.

The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth was announced in May and entered testing in August, and EA expects to fully launch it this year, COO Laura Miele said on the company’s earnings call on Tuesday. Hopefully EA keeps the game around longer than Apex Legends Mobile.

The US government wants to ban gas stoves? Good luck fighting Hank Hill.

Breaking news: Deadline reports that King of The Hill will return, and there’s no way in hell the lord of propane is going to allow lawmakers to seize gas stoves from the people.

Welcome to America. We sell propane and propane accessories.

AMD made just $21 million last quarter.

Profits dropped 98 percent — and yet it’s actually a rosy quarter since AMD is weathering reduced PC demand relatively well (client processors admittedly down 51 percent). AMD says the losses are “primarily due to the amortization of intangible assets associated with the Xilinx acquisition.”

Gaming revenue only dropped 7 percent because AMD-powered console sales (PS5, Xbox, Steam Deck) are actually up. It’s largely the same story as last quarter.

PayPal is laying off 2,000 employees.

The latest mass layoff event in tech is happening at PayPal, where CEO Dan Schulman announced:

I’m writing to share the difficult news that we will be reducing our global workforce by approximately 2,000 full time employees, which is about 7% of our total workforce.

If you’re wondering why we’ve seen so many of these and why the 7 percent figure is so familiar, Elizabeth Lopatto can try to explain.

Apple Arcade is getting some more mobile classics.

The February line-up for Apple’s subscription gaming service includes two bonafide classics: Riptide GP: Renegade, a sort of spiritual successor to games like Wave Race 64, and Lifeline, an incredible narrative about texting with an astronaut trapped on an alien moon. They, alongside new releases Castle Crumble and Farmside, will be launching throughout the month.

Celsius reportedly used investor money to prop up its token price.

Founders Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon also sold the token while this all was going on, according to a court-ordered report on Celsius. If you don’t have time for the full filing, Reuters summarizes its results.

“When you look at what the banks pay, you say to yourself, ‘Somebody is lying. Either the bank is lying or Celsius is lying,’” Mashinsky said in 2021. Guess we know who it was now!

Did you want to know more about the software that’s the excuse for jacking up rent prices?

If you enjoyed this Curbed article about RealPage Revenue Management Software and its effect on the New York rental market, you will also enjoy this blog about its training deck. Among the slides? In ‘“Manage Lease Renewals for Property Managers,’ you can walk through how to jack up a long-time resident’s rent from $1,188 to $1,5976, roughly a 34% increase.”

January was the worst month for tech layoffs.

With nearly 100,000 employees pushed out into the cold, January was worse than December and November combined. That’s according to the TrueUp tracker; I know some people prefer Layoffs.fyi.

Why so many layoffs following record-breaking profits? I’ll let my colleague Liz tackle that.

This computer was pretty “OK.”

We’re excited to say that the first piece from our partnership with the Computer History Museum is live today: a look back at the Apple Lisa and its long-lasting impact on our relationship with computers. Stay tuned later this week and beyond for a look inside a rare collection of Polaroids from the Lisa’s development, and an upcoming Verge video documentary on the Lisa’s final act. (Hint: it involves a landfill and lots of security guards.)

It’s not too late to participate in CHM’s virtual event celebrating the Lisa, happening today at 7PM PT / 10 PM ET. You can register to attend below:

Forget Atlas — this is the Boston Dynamics robot that might actually take your job.

Boston Dynamics is best know for Spot and Atlas, but don’t forget the company also sells Stretch — a machine does what we think of as “proper work,” aka moving boxes in warehouses.

The latest video from the company highlights Stretch’s appeal, which is less about backflips and more about boring things like safety and usability. Trust me, this is the real scary stuff.

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