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Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Spotify's ‘Exclude from your Taste Profile' keeps Elmo out of your daily mixes
Spotify is launching a new feature today called Exclude from your Taste Profile. As its name suggests, it lets you choose playlists — perhaps those played by a child or other family member — that you don't want affecting your personalized recommendations.

The company says the feature "reduces the impact" the playlists have on your recommended content. So if your child loves jamming out to "Elmo's Favorite Elmo Songs!" ad nauseam, the new feature should help you avoid hearing similar children's tunes in your Daily Mix playlists and other algorithmically generated content. (Although we wouldn't fault you for putting on "Brushy Brush!" while cleaning those pearly whites.)

Exclude from your Taste Profile only works with playlists — not albums or individual songs. Spotify says liked songs within those playlists will still affect your recommendations, so it may be wise to ask family members to ease up on the heart button. The changes will apply retroactively, excluding past and future listens of the unwanted playlists from your recommendations.

Spotify is rolling out the feature "starting today," suggesting you may not see it immediately. The feature will work on iOS, Android, desktop and the web. Once available, you can exclude music by selecting a playlist, tapping the three-dot menu near the top and selecting "Exclude from your Taste Profile." In addition, the company says you can turn the feature off at any time using the same process.



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Watch the first Nintendo Direct of 2023 here at 5PM ET
Get ready, Nintendo fans: it's almost time for the company's first Direct of 2023. The showcase will mostly focus on games coming to Switch in the first half of this year and it will run for around 49 minutes. The Nintendo Direct starts at 5PM ET and you can watch it below.

It's not totally clear which games Nintendo plans to show off, but there are a few safe bets. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, one of the biggest games of the year, will arrive on May 12th — it would be a surprise if there isn't at least a mention of it here. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is likely to make an appearance, since that's out in March. Super Nintendo World will open at Universal Studios Hollywood next week and

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Twitter Blue users can now post tweets with up to 4,000 characters
You now have a very practical reason to subscribe to Twitter Blue beyond long video uploads and the coveted blue checkmark. As of today, Blue members in the US can post tweets up to 4,000 characters long. You can't currently schedule these posts or save them as drafts, but this could be helpful if you'd rather not write a lengthy multi-tweet thread just to share your thoughts.

Free Twitter users can still reply to and quote these tweets. And yes, Twitter is aware that scrolling through a sea of these lengthy posts could be frustrating. Any tweet longer than 280 characters now hides any extra content beyond a "show more" prompt. Blue normally costs $8 per month, or $84 per year.


Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Netflix's password-sharing crackdown begins in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain
Netflix's fight against password sharing is expanding in earnest. The company is rolling out paid account sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain after trialing the effort in Latin America. If you live in one of these countries, you'll need to set a primary location to have unfettered access at home. If you have any friends or family who want to share your account, you'll have to subscribe to either the Standard or Premium tier and pay a fee ($8 in Canada and New Zealand, €4 in Portugal and €6 in Spain) for up to two extra users outside of your home.

You can still watch on your phone or sign into the service on a device elsewhere, like a smart TV at a hotel. Netflix also lets you convert a profile into a new account. The company promises to tweak paid sharing based on feedback, and to continue the deployment over the "coming months."

The streaming pioneer isn't shy about its rationale. As it has argued in the past, Netflix claims account sharing is hurting its bottom line. The 100 million-plus households sharing accounts are "impacting [Netflix's] ability" to invest in new content, according to product director Chengyi Long. In theory, paid sharing improves the company's revenue without forcing affected users to pay full price for a completely separate account.

It's not clear how new regions will take to the policy. Many rival services don't have account sharing restrictions, and some sharers may be averse to paying anything to use someone else's access. While we wouldn't expect users to switch services in droves, there may be some who simply forego Netflix altogether to a

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Trump White House asked Twitter to take down Chrissy Teigen's mean tweet about him
A former Twitter employee has shed new light on the company's dealings with the White House while former President Donald Trump was in office. Anika Navaroli, a former senior member of Twitter's US Safety Policy, testified at a House Oversight Committee hearing that her team had received a request to remove a tweet making fun of the former president.

She revealed the previously unreported interaction during hearing with former Twitter executives' over their handling of a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden's laptop. Republicans on the committee have equated Twitter's initial decision to block links to the story with "censorship," and criticized the company for its interactions with government officials.

But Navaroli revealed that Twitter had also received at least one request, in 2019, from the Trump White House regarding a tweet they wanted removed. The tweet came from Chrissy Teigen, who had called the president a "pussy ass bitch," in response to comments he had made about her and her husband. According to Navaroli, someone from the White House "reached out to ask that this tweet be removed" and that her team had to evaluate whether the tweet violated the company's "insults policy." She said they ultimately determined the tweet did not, and it remained up.


Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

'Squid Game' is coming to VR later this year
If you like Squid Game but not enough to brave the real-life version, you'll soon have a VR option. Netflix has partnered with Sandbox VR to produce a game based on the Korean TV series, and from "late 2023," you'll be able to enter this gruesome dystopia at any of the Sandbox VR arcades around the world. The game developer has over 30 locations globally — 26 of which are in North America — at the time of writing, which is a much needed rebound after lying dormant throughout the worst part of the pandemic.

According to Sandbox VR, its upcoming experience will have players "transported to iconic Squid Game locations, where they become contestants in a variety of pulse-pounding challenges inspired by the Netflix series." You'll "compete against each other to be the last one standing" — presumably without anyone actually dying. As with all Sandbox VR games, players will be able to immediately rewatch, share and even download a personalized mixed-reality highlight reel.

The San Francisco-based VR company didn't share further details on its Netflix collaboration, but judging by my recent experience with its latest zombie-shooter, Deadwood Valley (pictured above), the upcoming Squid Game title shouldn't disappoint. All Sandbox VR games allow up to six players to roam around freely in each room, while wearing wrist and ankle trackers for full-body motion capture, as well as a

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Google Translate should soon offer better suggestions for words with multiple meanings
Google Translate is getting an AI-powered upgrade in the coming weeks to help you find more accurate translations, particularly for words with multiple definitions. The app will offer additional contextual translation options with descriptions and examples.

Let's say you're looking for a translation of the word "row," which has multiple meanings in English. It could refer to an argument, a line of seats on a plane or using an oar to propel a boat. Google Translate should soon offer translations for all of those variants, along with examples of how they're used.

GoogleGoogle says the app will provide "the context you need to accurately translate and use the right turns of phrase, local idioms or appropriate words depending on your intent." All going well, this should help you communicate more clearly in different languages. The upgraded contextual translations will be available for languages such as English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish starting this month, with more surely to follow.

Meanwhile, the company recently rolled out a Translate redesign on Android. It's coming to the iOS app soon. The revamped app introduces more gestures that should make it easier to use, including swifter access to language selection and the optio

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

A robotics engineer made the AirPods Pro case repairable with a USB-C conversion
The original AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2 are popular among iPhone users for their convenience and compelling mix of features. However, your options are limited if something happens to the charging case, and your earbuds aren't under warranty. Apple will replace the case for a fee. If you own a first-generation pair of AirPods Pro, you're probably better off buying the new model to get a fresh set of batteries. In any event, there's no easy way to repair a set of AirPods Pro and limit your electronic waste. Replacement parts are either hard to find, expensive or non-existent, and Apple didn't design any of its earbuds with repairability in mind.

Robotics engineer Ken Pillonel, who became internet famous in 2021 for creating a working USB-C iPhone, is trying to fix that. Wi

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

UK Apple Store workers sign first union contract
Months after a successful vote, Apple Store employees in Glasgow have become the company's first retail workers to form a union in the UK. Apple and the trade union GMB Scotland have signed a collective bargaining agreement that theoretically gives staff at the Buchanan Street store more clout when pushing for improved working conditions.

The Glasgow employees voted to unionize in November. They sought better pay, increased wage transparency and improved shift scheduling. Union negotiators characterized talks with Apple as positive, but it took several months before workers cast ballots.

GMB organizer John Slaven calls the union vote "historic." In a statement to The Herald, Apple says it's one of the "highest paying" retail brands in Scotland, and offers "industry-leading benefits" to employees. Apple raised starting wages for store workers last year in response to mounting labor action, but it also faces formal complaints over alleged union busting tactics.

These aren't the first Apple retail employees to create unions. In addition to teams in Europe, some stores in the US voted to unionize last year. The Glasgow move adds to the momentum, however, and may help other UK store workers pursuing their own unionization efforts.



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Turkey is reportedly blocking access to Twitter following devastating earthquakes
Turkey may be blocking access to Twitter, two days after a pair of catastrophic earthquakes struck the area. Thousands of people are still trapped in buildings in Turkey and Syria, where the death toll is approaching 12,000.

According to Bloomberg, people in Turkey started having trouble accessing Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. Some have resorted to VPNs to use the service. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey's main opposition party, has accused the government of blocking Twitter.

It's not clear why the Turkish government might want to prevent access to Twitter amid such devastation. The social media service is still a valuable disaster response tool and users have also been sharing images of the destruction caused by the earthquakes. Twitter does not have a communications team that can be reached for comment.

This would not be the first time that Turkey has stopped residents from accessing social media services. It has also done so during cross-border military operations and terror attacks. In 2014, Turkey temporarily banned Twitter. Users were sharing voice recordings and documents that purportedly showed corruption within then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's sphere of influence. Erdogan became Turkey's president later that year and he remains in power. His government has

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

The best Super Bowl 2023 TV deals we found
The Super Bowl is set, and that means it's a good time of year to be in the market for a new TV. With many of the major TV brands unveilingtheirlatestmodelsearlier in the year at CES, prices on last year's older-but-still-worthy sets have continued to descend. Yes, those willing to wait and pay extra for the latest and greatest are likely to get a better image, but buying a well-reviewed older TV is usually the better value. While we don't review many TVs here at Engadget, we've scoured reviews and price histories to find the best Super Bowl 2023 TV deals happening right now. Prices may fall further over the coming months as TV manufacturers look to clear out their inventory, and it might be too late to get some of these sets in time for the Big Game itself, but for now, here are a few discounts of note.

55-inch Samsung S95B OLED TV



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

The first Android 14 developer preview focuses on accessibility
It wouldn't be February without a peek at Google's next mobile OS. Sure enough, the company has released the first Android 14 developer preview (DP1) to help app creators target the new platform. This time around, the initial priorities are accessibility, battery life and security. You can scale fonts to a much larger size (200 percent versus the earlier 130 percent), and smarter scaling makes text more readable. It's easier to set preferred languages for apps, and developers can be more accommodating to people who speak gendered languages like French.

Android 14 DP1 also includes some under-the-hood improvements that can make the most of your battery and screen. There are tighter controls on alarms, foreground tasks and internal broadcasts, all of which can reduce power consumption. It should also be easier to build apps for foldable phones and tablets, so you may see software that makes better use of your hardware's visual real estate.

And yes, Android 14 can block users from sideloading very old apps. Google will require that apps target at least Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), as some malware is written for older versions to avoid a permissions system introduced in 2015. This won't prevent you from running apps that are already installed when you upgrade the OS, and you can use command line instructions to force installations. However, you may have to look for alternatives if there's an ancient app you'd hate to give up.

This first preview is available through the desktop Android emulator as well as the Pixel 4a,

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Twitter is shutting down its free API, here's what's going to break
Of all the once-unthinkable changes Elon Musk had made since taking over Twitter, pulling the rug out from under developers might seem relatively minor. After banning third-party clients without warning, Twitter announced that it would no longer allow any developer to use its APIs for free.

So far, Twitter has communicated very little about the changes, other than confirming a February 9th cut-off date. Musk has suggested Twitter could charge $100 a month "with ID verification," but hasn't elaborated. What we do know, is that once free access is shut off, thousands of apps, research projects, bots and other services will stop functioning (or, at the very least, be interrupted). If you're a Twitter user, chances are this will affect you in some way, and you shouldn't wait until it's too late to prepare.

Change logins for apps where you've signed in with TwitterIf you've ever used your Twitter credentials to sign into another service, the coming API shutoff could prevent you from being able to access your account. That means you'll want to double check which services you've used Twitter as a login for, and change your account info while you're still able to.

You can check which services have access to your Twitter account via Settings - Security and Account Access - Apps and sessions - Connected Apps (or, clicking here). Depending on the service, you may have to create an entirely new account with different credentials.

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Alibaba joins the rush to build a ChatGPT rival
If it seems like everyone is rushing to develop an alternative to ChatGPT, you're not wrong. Chinese online commerce heavyweight Alibaba has confirmed to CNBC that it's working on its equivalent to OpenAI's hit AI chatbot. The company isn't detailing features or offering a release schedule, but says it has been developing generative AI since 2017 and is in the middle of internal testing.

The reveal comes as multiple tech giants have introduced rivals to or spinoffs of ChatGPT this week. Google unveiled Bard, while China's Baidu said it was testing "Ernie Bot." Microsoft, meanwhile, launched a redesigned Bing that uses a "much more powerful" language model built with OpenAI's help. The text-generating AI is considered particularly useful for search, where it can provide detailed responses to very specific questions.

Alibaba hasn't said how it would put the AI to work. However, the company is a powerhouse in online shopping and has its fingers in numerous other fields ranging from cloud computing through to finance. A counterpart to ChatGPT could be useful in many of these categories, and might help Alibaba challenge Baidu and other Chinese firm

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Google Maps' Immersive View is rolling out in five cities
At I/O 2022, Google revealed an Immersive View feature for Maps that uses computer vision and AI to combine Street View and aerial photography into a 3D format. The idea is to create a detailed perspective of buildings and other aspects of the environment. 

The feature is rolling out in five cities today. You'll be able to check it out in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. Google started offering a preview of the feature in those cities in September. Immersive View is coming to other cities over the next several months, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence and Venice.

Google is pitching Immersive View as a way to help folks plan a trip. The feature adds contextual information, including traffic, the weather and how busy a location typically is at different times of the day. You'll be able to soar over buildings and see things like the location of an entrance to an attraction, so you don't end up walking around an entire block to find a museum's front door (nope, I definitely haven't done that).


Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Google's Bard chatbot confidently spouts misinformation in Twitter debut
If the unofficial debut of Google's Bard chatbot is any indication, misinformation is about to get a lot worse. The company posted an ad to Twitter this week showing off the natural-language AI model displaying false information about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

In the advertisement (via Reuters), a short GIF shows an example of a Q&A with Bard. "What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year old about?" the query reads. The machine quickly spits out three ideas, including the last one that says, "JWST took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system. These distant worlds are called ‘exoplanets.' Exo means ‘from outside.'" Although the bit about exoplanets is spot-on, the first part saying the JWST took the first pictures of them is false. That honor belongs to the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by NASA.


Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Google Maps Search with Live View is coming to Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid
Last September, Google began rolling out Search with Live View, a feature within Maps that adds search functionality to the app's augmented reality layer. At the time, that feature was only available if you found yourself in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Paris or Tokyo. Today, Google announced it's bringing Search with Live View to Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid within the coming months. The company is also greatly expanding the availability of Live View within indoor locations. Google said Wednesday it's bringing the functionality to more than 1,000 new airports, train stations and malls across cities like Barcelona, London, Madrid, Paris and Singapore. The expansion will take place over the next few months.

Separately, Google (via The Verge) showcased some of its other work in AI-augmented search. In one demo, the company asked for a summary of the best constellations to look for when stargazing. Notably, the demo Google showed wasn't as polished as the one Microsoft brought to its "new Bing" showcase yesterday. In that instance, Bing provided the user with footnotes and links to the material it used to summarize its findings, something that was missing from Google's demo. 



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Discovery will remain as a standalone streaming platform after all
Over the last several months, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has been working to smush HBO Max and Discovery together into a single, giant streaming service, which is expected to debut this spring. However, it seems the company has rethought its strategy, as Discovery is sticking around as a standalone platform.

"Our plan for the enhanced platform that will bring together HBO Max and Discovery content remains unchanged," WBD spokesperson Jeff Cusson told Engadget. "In addition, we have decided to keep the lower-priced offering of Discovery in the US marketplace."

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, executives were concerned that a sizable number of the current 20 million Discov

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Amazon is offering a $100 gift card if you pre-order the OnePlus 11
Are you considering the OnePlus 11, but want something to sweeten the deal? You're getting what you wish for. Amazon is offering a free $100 gift card if you pre-order the phone in any color or configuration by February 12th. That could be helpful for buying the Buds Pro 2 ($180), a case or other accessories you may need.



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

The best wireless workout headphones for 2023
As some of you might know, I'm a runner. On occasion I review sports watches, and outside of work I'm a certified marathon coach. So when Engadget wanted to round up the best wireless workout headphones, I raised my hand.

In addition to fit and battery life, I considered factors such as style; ease of use; the charging case; the strength of the Bluetooth connection; support for assistants such as Siri and Alexa; water resistance ratings; and audio features such as noise cancelation and ambient sound modes. You'll notice I don't have much if anything to say about audio quality. Engadget's resident expert Billy Steele has written about this plenty in his standalone reviews, which I've linked throughout, but for my purposes the differences were too subtle to make or break a purchasing decision.

In the end, I never quite mastered some of the over-complicated controls, but at no point did an earbud fall out while I was exercising. I also never came close to running out of juice. So, participation trophies for everyone? Ha: The companies wish. I do indeed have some favorites, while some fell short in key areas.

How we testedWater resistanceEven if earbuds aren't marketed specifically as workout headphones, a durable, water-resistant design will, by default, make them suitable for exercise. To avoid repeating myself throughout this guide, I'll drop a quick primer here on durability, or ingression protection (IP), ratings. The first digit you'll see after the "IP" refers to protection from dust and other potential intrusions. That spec is measured on a scale of 1 to 6. The second refers to water resistance or even waterproofing, in the best cases. Higher numbers mean more protection, while the letter "X" means the device is not rated for protection in that regard. The ratings for water resistance are ranked on a scale of 1 to 9.

All but one of the models we tested for this guide is rated IPX4

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

UK competition watchdog says Microsoft's Activision merger ‘could harm' gamers
The UK's competition authority has found that Microsoft's proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard could result in a "substantial lessening of competition in gaming consoles" and "could harm UK gamers." In a provisional finding, the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) said that Activision may need to be split up into separate businesses for the merger to proceed. 

The government said it conducted a wide-ranging probe over the last five months to determine the deal's potential impact. Noting that Microsoft already accounts for 60-70 percent of global cloud gaming services, it said that buying Activision would "reinforce this strong position" and substantially reduce Microsoft's competition in cloud gaming. That in turn could "potentially [harm] UK gamers, particularly those who cannot afford or do not want to buy an expensive gaming console or gaming PC." 

The CMA said that the deal may work if Activision Blizzard divested parts of its business. Namely, it could split out either the Activision and/or Blizzard segments, or the business that operates its biggest franchise, Call of Duty (CoD). The idea, it said, would be to leave assets "capable of competing effectively under separate ownership" with the new business.

In response, Microsoft said it has already addressed the CMA's concerns over competition. "We are committed to offering effective?and?easily?enforceable solutions?that address the CMA's concerns," Microsoft corporate VP and deputy general counsel Rima Alaily told Engadget in a statement. "Our commitment to grant long term 100 percent equal access to Call of Duty to Sony, Nintendo, Steam and others?preserves the deal's benefits to gamers and developers and increases competition in the market."

First

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

The Morning After: Microsoft's next-gen Bing is ‘more powerful' than ChatGPT
Bing may be back. Microsoft announced yesterday it's partnering with OpenAI to enhance Bing with its AI technology. However, Microsoft also had a surprise up its sleeve: The next release of Bing will tap into a new next-generation language model the company claims is "much more powerful" than ChatGPT and designed specifically to excel at search.

During its event, Yusuf Mehdi, the company's consumer chief marketing officer, demoed the new Bing, asking it to compare the most influential Mexican artists and their best-known paintings. Bing displayed its response in a new side panel with annotations and weblinks. Later, Mehdi asked the search engine to compare three pet vacuums while listing the pros and cons of each model.

With the chat feature, you can ask Bing to create a five-day travel itinerary for you, including links to accommodation, flights and things to do. The new Bing is already available to preview. You can visit Bing.com - which I haven't done since 2009 - to try a few sample queries and sign up for the waitlist for when it launches in earnest.

- Mat Smith

The Morning After isn't just a newsletter - it's also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.



The biggest stories you might have missedWhatsApp statuses get a big overhaul with voice, emoji reactions and more



Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Virgin Orbit's first UK orbital launch may have failed due to a $100 component
Virgin Orbit's first orbital launch from UK soil, which was supposed to be a huge milestone for the company and for the region, may have ended in failure because of a component that cost around $100. According to SpaceNews, Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart has revealed at the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View, California that the evidence so far points to a filter in the rocket's second stage engine getting dislodged and causing issues.

If you'll recall, the company launched its historic "Start Me Up" mission from Spaceport Cornwall on January 9th, and things seemed to flow smoothly at first. Virgin's LauncherOne rocket was able to detach from its carrier aircraft, and the company reported a successful stage separation. But soon, it became clear that the rocket wasn't able to reach orbit as planned. "[The rocket's] upper stage experienced an anomaly," a company spokesperson told Engadget at the time, and that "prematurely ended the first burn of the upper stage." They added: "This event ended the mission, with the rocket components and payload falling back to Earth within the approved safety corridor without ever achieving orbit." 

The LauncherOne rocket for the mission was carrying satellites from seven customers, including government entities. One of its payloads was a joint project between the UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory and the US Naval Research Laboratory called CIRCE (Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction CubeSat Experiment). Virgin Orbit promised to conduct a full investigation into the root cause of the anomaly, but it didn't wait for results to come back before announcing that it was going to

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Samsung's 77-inch S95C QD-OLED TV goes on sale for $4,500
Samsung's latest 77-inch S95 QD-OLED TV generated some buzz at CES this year thanks to brightness levels up to 2,000 nits, 144Hz refresh rates and more. Now, the company has revealed that you'll pay to get those premium features: $4,500 for the 77-inch model, with shipping set to start in the US on February 15th. 

As mentioned, Samsung's 2023 QD-OLED TV lineup will supposedly hit up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness, a bit more than LG's latest OLED models and approaching Mini-LED TVs. That's thanks to a new QD-OLED Panel from Samsung Display, which uses a new "HyperEfficient EL" OLED material and Samsung's IntelliSense AI. The TVs will also be more energy efficient and offer more accurate colors, according to Samsung Display. 

The 144Hz refresh rate will make it great for gaming, as it already offers the lowest input lag you can get on any TV or monitor at just 0.1 milliseconds. As HDTVTest's Vincent Teoh pointed out, the 77-inch S95C will come with an external connect box, which allowed Samsung to make the panel extremely thin and reduce bezel sizes down to the bare minimum. However, as with all ot

Engadget
Feb 08, 2023

Apple's retail staff is reportedly testing its 'buy now, pay later' service
Apple has expanded the internal testing for its Pay service's buy now, pay later feature to include its retail employees, according to Bloomberg. When the tech giant's experimental features make their way to its retail staff, that's typically a sign that it's going to be released in the near future. Apple Store workers started testing the company's credit card in 2019 a month before it became available, and staff at its HQ visitor center tested Tap to Pay shortly before the first partner companies like Square and PayPal launched support for the payment solution. 

The tech giant first announced the pay later functionality for Apple Pay at its WWDC event in June 2022. It was supposed to arrive alongside iOS 16, but the company changed its mind and rolled out the new mobile platform without the feature in tow. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported at the time that the company was having "fairly significant technical and engineering challenges in rolling out the service," which led to delays. 

When Apple introduced pay later, it said the payment option will give users a way to split the cost of purchases into four equal installments paid over six weeks with no additional interest or fees. Gur

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Canon's $680 EOS R50 is its most affordable RF camera yet
Canon is adding a new, more affordable entry point into its RF mirrorless camera ecosystem. Alongside the full-frame EOS R8, the company unveiled today the EOS R50, an APS-C RF mount camera that will start at $680 when it goes on sale later this year. Canon didn't send over a full spec sheet, but judging from the information the company did share, the R50 could quickly become a go-to for many beginners.

The camera features a 24.2-megapixel sensor capable of capturing uncropped 4K video footage at up to 30 frames per second. The R50 can also shoot 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second and S&Q-style slo-mo footage at up to 120 frames per second. What's more, Canon claims the camera can capture a full hour of continuous footage. Despite its modest price, the R50 also includes the company's excellent Dual Pixel autofocus technology, with built-in subject detection for people, animals and vehicles. Best of all, the tech is available for both stills and video.

CanonYou don't get any log modes, but it does have HDR PQ which also gives you 10-bit video — not bad for a budget camera. Other video features include a microHDMI port for external video, both microphone and headphone ports, and UVC compatibility for direct webcam streaming. 

Burst shooting speeds are great at this price as well: 12 fps in electronic first-curtain shutter mode (there's no full mechanical shutter) and 15 fps in electronic shutter mode, both with servo AF. It'll only capture 13 C-RAW JPEG files in a burst though, likely due to the slow UHS-I SD card support. There's no in-body stabilization (IS) at that price, but it can

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Canon's 24-megapixel EOS R8 is its most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera
Canon has put Sony and its other rivals on blast with the launch of the $1,500 24-megapixel EOS R8, its cheapest full-frame camera yet. Released alongside the $680 R50 APS-C model, it's targeted to photographers and video creators on a budget. However, it's got some impressive features like uncropped, oversampled 4K video up 60 fps, shooting speeds up to 40 fps and Canon's excellent Dual Pixel autofocus. 

On the photography front, the R8 can shoot at up to 6 fps with the first-curtain electronic shutter (like the R50, there's no fully mechanical shutter) or a whopping 40 fps with the electronic shutter. That sounds great, but rolling shutter may be an issue in electronic mode for fast moving subjects. It can capture up to a very respectable 100 C-RAW JPEG files at a time to the single UHS-II card slot. The autofocus systems looks strong, using Canon's Dual Pixel AF along with AI subject detection for people, animals and vehicles. 

CanonFor video, you can capture 4K video up to 60 fps with 6K oversampling, or Full HD at up to 180 fps — quite impressive considering the price. Editing-friendly ALL-I capture is supported up to 4K 30p with a 470Mbps data rate. It supports up to two hours of continuous recording with no 30-minute limit, though 4K 60p and 180 fps Full HD shooting times are thermally limited to around 30 minutes. You can shoot 10-bit HDR PQ or Canon Log-3 video, so this would be the perfect budget vlogging camera if not for the overheating situation. It also has focus breathing compensation (for select lenses).

The main thing missing compared to the

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Canon's full-frame EOS R8 offers uncropped 4K at 60p for just $1,500
Canon has put Sony and its other rivals on blast with the launch of the $1,500 24-megapixel EOS R8, its cheapest full-frame camera yet. Released alongside the $680 R50 APS-C model, it's targeted to photographers and video creators on a budget. However, it's got some impressive features like uncropped, oversampled 4K video up 60 fps, shooting speeds up to 40 fps and Canon's excellent Dual Pixel autofocus. 

On the photography front, the R8 can shoot at up to 6 fps with the first-curtain electronic shutter (like the R50, there's no fully mechanical shutter) or a whopping 40 fps with the electronic shutter. That sounds great, but rolling shutter may be an issue in electronic mode for fast moving subjects. It can capture up to a very respectable 100 C-RAW JPEG files at a time to the single UHS-II card slot. The autofocus systems looks strong, using Canon's Dual Pixel AF along with AI subject detection for people, animals and vehicles. 

CanonFor video, you can capture 4K video up to 60 fps with 6K oversampling, or Full HD at up to 180 fps — quite impressive considering the price. Editing-friendly ALL-I capture is supported up to 4K 30p with a 470Mbps data rate. It supports up to two hours of continuous recording with no 30-minute limit, though 4K 60p and 180 fps Full HD shooting times are thermally limited to around 30 minutes. You can shoot 10-bit HDR PQ or Canon Log-3 video, so this would be the perfect budget vlogging camera if not for the overheating situation. It also has fo

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Disney is bringing the first episode of 'The Mandalorian' to broadcast TV
For one night only, Disney's breakout Star Wars series is coming to cable TV. Ahead of the premiere of the third season of The Mandalorian on March 1st, Disney announced today it would air the show's debut episode, "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian," on February 24th. If you somehow haven't seen the series before, you can catch the episode that started it all on ABC, Freeform or FX. All three stations will air the 41-minute debut at 8PM ET/PT.

If you've managed to avoid spoilers for The Mandalorian until now, first of all, great job; it couldn't have been easy. Second, we won't ruin the surprise, but the debut episode is a great taste of what made the first season of the series feel so special. It has a bit of everything that people came to love about The Mandalorian, including witty dialogue, fun action set pieces and, of course, a certain cute alien.

This isn't the first time Disney has brought a Disney exclusive to TV. The company previously aired two episodes of Andor on ABC, Freeform and FX when it seemed that series was struggling to find an audience. Considering the company recently

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Microsoft's new Bing and Edge hands-on: Surprisingly well-integrated AI
The age of generative AI is upon us, and this week alone Google and Microsoft made major announcements around their respective products for the masses. While Google unveiled an "experimental conversational AI service" called Bard yesterday, Microsoft had a fuller slate of news to share at its event in Redmond, WA today. Through a partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Microsoft is adding more advanced AI conversation models to power updates to Bing and Edge. 

The company's keynote today happened at breakneck pace, with demos whizzing by so quickly there was barely enough time to make sense of the updates. Thankfully, I was able to briefly check out a full demo here with Dena Saunders from Bing Engineering. It was nice to see everything at a more comprehensible pace, but it was unfortunately restricted to a set of scripted examples. I'll be getting access to the preview through my own whitelisted accounts in a bit so I will be updating this post with my personal impressions, but for now, I can break down at least what the updates look like on a demo computer.

Bing improvementsIn general, there are four new areas of change coming to Bing (and we'll get to Edge later): Search, Answers, Chat and Create. The first update is the new search box. Instead of your typical lon

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Zoom is laying off around 1,300 workers
You can add Zoom to the long list of major tech companies that have laid off employees in recent times. It's letting go around 1,300 employees, which equates to 15 percent of the workforce.

In a note to staff, CEO Eric Yuan indicated that the company expanded its headcount too quickly after Zoom's pandemic-driven boom — it tripled in size in the space of two years. "We didn't take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities," Yuan wrote.

He noted that even though many folks have returned to the office, people and companies are still relying on Zoom. That said, Yuan said that amid a rocky economic climate, "we need to take a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers and achieve Zoom's long-term vision."

Yuan said he was taking accountability for the layoffs. He's reducing his salary for the upcoming fiscal year by 98 percent and the executive team will forego 20 percent of their base salaries. All will forfeit their corporate bonuses for fiscal year 2023 (i.e., the 2022 calendar year).

Zoom employees in the US who are being let go will receive up to 16 weeks' salary and healthcare coverage, their earned fiscal year 2023 bonus, stock option vesting for six months and help to find a new job. The company said laid-off workers outside the US will get similar support based on local laws.

Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Dell and Spotify are among the other major tech companies that have this year announced sweeping layoffs or plans to let go more staff th

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Microsoft Edge puts an AI ‘copilot' in your browser
Microsoft's use of AI on the web will extend beyond smarter Bing searches. The company is updating its Edge browser with an "AI-powered copilot" that assists with everyday tasks. Integration with the new Bing can help you get the key takeaways from a document, compare content and even draft posts (such as on LinkedIn) with a specific format, length or tone.

The revised interface revolves around a new sidebar. You can use a chat feature in this space to ask questions like you would with Bing, while a compose option helps you write new content using prompts. You can also expect a new look.

MicrosoftBoth Bing and the updated Edge are based around a new AI model, Prometheus, built with the help of OpenAI. While it draws some lessons from the popular ChatGPT conversational AI, it's billed as more powerful and optimized for search. Microsoft also claims it's a "responsible" platform where protections against abuse and errors exist at every level.

The new Edge is

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Microsoft's next-gen Bing uses a ‘much more powerful' language model than ChatGPT
Microsoft's oft-forgotten search engine is about to get a new lease on life. As expected, the tech giant announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with OpenAI to enhance Bing with the company's AI technology. However, Microsoft also had a surprise up its sleeve: the next release of Bing will feature a new next-generation large language model the company claims is "much more powerful" than ChatGPT and designed specifically to excel at search. 

Underpinning the search engine is a new proprietary technology Microsoft is calling the Prometheus Model. Among the benefits of Prometheus are more relevant search results. Microsoft claims the model will also make using Bing safer and allow the company to update search results more quickly.    

MicrosoftThe new Bing offers a chat function and an expanded search bar that allows you to input up to a thousand characters. In one demo Microsoft showed off during its event, Yusuf Mehdi, the company's consumer chief marketing officer, asked Bing to compare the most influential Mexican artists and their best-known paintings. Bing displayed its response in a new side panel that featured annotations and weblinks. Later, Mehdi asked the search engine to compare three pet vacuums while listing the pros and cons of each model. Mehdi said Bing could also help with questions where there might not be a precise answer. That said, in instances where Bing doesn't know the answer to a query, the search engine will still try to point you to useful information. Microsoft is also adding a button to allow users to share feedback on the search engine's new functionality. "I think of this as Search with your own personal helper," Mehdi said. 



Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Microsoft will wipe free Teams business users' data if they don't upgrade to a paid tier
Now that Microsoft has launched its Teams Premium service, it's shaking up the free offering for work — and not everyone will be happy. The company is retiring the existing Teams Free version for small business in favor of the similarly-titled Teams (free) on April 12th, and legacy data won't carry over. Your office will have to pay for at least the Teams Essentials plan ($4 per user per month) to preserve chats, meetings, channels and other key info.

As Windows Centralexplains, the new Teams (free) tier will require a new account. Data in the old app, now rebadged as Teams Free (classic), will be deleted. Anything you haven't saved by then will be gone, including shared files you haven't downloaded.

We've asked Microsoft for comment. This won't affect personal use, but it could prove to be a headache for small firms that previously relied on the free Teams to coordinate. They'll

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Former Coinbase employee pleads guilty to insider trading charges
A former product manager at Coinbase has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in what's believed to be the first crypto-related insider trading case in the US. Ishan Wahi initially pleaded not guilty last year.

Federal prosecutors claim that, on at least 14 occasions, Wahi shared confidential information with his brother Nikhil Wahi and friend Sammer Ramani about cryptocurrencies that Coinbase was planning to let its users trade so the pair could buy them in advance. Once Coinbase announced that it would list the tokens, their values rose. Nikhil Wahi and Ramani are said to have then sold the assets to make a profit. The scheme allegedly generated north of $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains.

Ramani has not been apprehended. Nikhil Wahi pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy charge in September and was last month sentenced to 10 months in prison. Ishan Wahi faces a prison sentence of between 36 and 47 months as part of his plea deal, according to Reuters. He'll be sentenced in May.

Along with the criminal charges, Wahi faced a civil lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission. He asked a judge this week to dismiss the suit, having claimed that the cryptocurrency tokens in question are not securities, meaning they would not be subject to SEC regulation.



Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Can TikTok convince the US it's not a national security threat?
TikTok is, once again, facing an uncertain future. The company has spent the last two years quietly negotiating with US government officials in order to avoid an outright ban. But that process has now stalled, and calls for a ban have only intensified.

Next month, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, his first Congressional appearance. Many lawmakers have called for a more sweeping ban, and will likely quiz Chew about TikTok's alleged risks to national security, and its parent company's Chinese ownership.

TikTok has long denied that it's a threat, and downplays its ties to China. But now the company is also trying a new tactic to prove it has nothing to hide: its Transparency and Accountability Center. The company first introduced the idea in 2020, but the actual facility didn't open until recently due to COVID-related delays. Last week, the company took a handful of reporters on a tour of the center as part of a new

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Microsoft's AI event: Live coverage
Microsoft's set to make an AI-related announcement today at 1pm ET, but it will not be streaming the keynote to the public. Not to worry, though, we're here at the event in Redmond and will be liveblogging all the news the company is sharing today. After Google unveiled its ChatGPT rival Bard yesterday, Microsoft revealed it had been planning today's event all along, without disclosing many details beyond telling us to expect information about "exciting projects." Thanks to a tweet from OpenAI's Sam Altman, though, we can at least guess that generative AI is on the agenda, if not the star of the show. We'll be starting this liveblog around 12:30pm ET, with myself (Cherlynn Low) on text and our head of video Brian Oh taking pictures. See you soon!





Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Razer's Blade 16 and Blade 18 gaming laptops are available tomorrow
You didn't have to wait too long to get Razer's largest Blade systems to date. The company has revealed that the new Blade 16 and Blade 18 gaming laptops will be available tomorrow, February 8th. The 16- and 18-inch systems respectively start at $2,700 and $2,900, although the configurations launching this week are strictly high-end models with RTX 4080 or

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Google will blur explicit images in search by default
Today is Safer Internet Day and Google is marking the occasion by revealing features designed to, well, make it safer to do things on the internet. The company says that, in the coming months, it will blur explicit images in search results for all users as a default setting, even if they don't have SafeSearch switched on. SafeSearch filtering is already the default for signed-in users under the age of 18.

You'll be able to adjust the settings if you don't have a supervised account or you're signed out and you'd prefer to see butts and stuff in search results (the filter is designed to blur violent images as well). According to screenshots that Google shared, the blur setting will mask explicit images, but not text or links. The filter setting covers up all three.

GoogleMeanwhile, Google is adding another layer of protection to the built-in password manager on Chrome and Android. The company says that if a user has a supported computer, they'll have the option to require biometric authentication before filling a saved password into a form. Google noted that folks can al

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Apple's 10.9-inch iPad is back down to an all-time low of $399
Here's a quick PSA for anyone who has had their eye on Apple's 10.9-inch iPad: the tablet is back on sale for $399 at Amazon,

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

OnePlus Pad is the company's first tablet
OnePlus is finally ready to take the wraps off its first tablet, and it's just different enough that it might be worth considering in a sea of Android slates. The OnePlus Pad revolves around an 11.6-inch display with an unusual 7:5 aspect ratio and a speedy 144Hz refresh rate — this might be your pick if you're a gamer or avid reader. The design also stands out with an easier-to-grip "2.5D" edge and a central camera hump you're less likely to cover with your fingers.

Some technical details aren't available as we write this, but the OnePlus Pad will be reasonably quick thanks to MediaTek's Dimensity 9000 chip and up to 12GB of RAM. Battery life might be healthy, too. The 9,510mAh power pack reportedly offers up to 14.5 hours of video playback, and 67W SuperVOOC fast charging can top up the tablet in 80 minutes. Dolby Atmos, meanwhile, promises cinematic audio. 

You won't have to hunt for accessories, either. The OnePlus Pad will ship with a pen (the Stylo) and a magnetic keyboard. The software will be familiar, although there are some appreciated touches if you also

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Bayonetta Origins hands-on: A charming tale of a witch and her demon cat
Even though Bayonetta 3 just came out last fall, there's already another entry in the franchise due out in March starring everyone's favorite gun-toting witch. However, for its next release - Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon - instead of a continuation of the story, PlatinumGames has created a prequel featuring a charming new art style and gameplay twists that shed light on a younger version of Cereza, before she became the over-the-top enchantress we know today.

After a short explanation of Bayonetta's lineage, the game introduces its first major twist when it asks you to control both Cereza and her stuffed cat Cheshire, who serves as a vessel for a recently summoned demon. That's because instead of switching between each character independently, you're meant to control both at the same time, with the left Joy-Con responsible for maneuvering Cereza while the right Joy-Con is dedicated to directing her cat. (Don't worry, you can also play the game with the Switch's Pro Controller if you prefer.) So on top of the game throwing various puzzles or hack-and-slash encounters your way, you often have to do battle with your own mind as you try to get both sides of your brain on the same page.

NintendoFor me, this setup drew immediate parallels to one of my favorite games from 2013, Brothers: A T

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

‘Hot Wheels: Rift Rally' is another mixed reality racer from the makers of ‘Mario Kart Live'
Hot Wheels: Rift Rally is a new mixed reality game from Velan Studios, the creators of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Like Nintendo's 2020 title, you control a real RC car while your screen shows an augmented view from its cockpit. It will be available in March for PS5 / PS4 and iOS.

The game bundle includes one toy car, which you can drive in two modes: Campaign and Stunt. In Campaign, you set up gates around your room, which you drive the car through to complete the different maps (each includes unique challenges). Meanwhile, Stunt mode skips the gates, letting you drive wherever you want while performing digitally enhanced drifts, wheelies and burnouts to beat your high scores.

It supports a solo campaign and multiplayer. When playing with a friend, they can bring their car for competitive racing or (on PlayStation only) play co-op using a single toy vehicle as the action switches between controllers.

Velan StudiosThe bundled Chameleon car can appear onscreen as any of 22 different virtual vehicles with over 140 variants. It includes "endless options" for digital customization, including performance mods that change how the car moves across your space; for example, adding an acceleration boost in-game will make the toy car drive faster. In addition, you can play various mini-games, puzzles and challenges to unlock new vehicles and mods.

Although the software is free to download, you'll need to buy at least a $

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

OnePlus 11 review: A back-to-basics flagship phone
Last year's OnePlus 10 Pro is set to be replaced by the OnePlus 11. There won't be a OnePlus 11 Pro, and there wasn't a regular OnePlus 10. Things could be more straightforward, but what are you going to do? Barring any spinoffs, this is OnePlus' flagship phone, the focus of all its attention, development budget and everything else. Leaks meant we knew what the OnePlus 11 would look like long before it was officially unveiled. It has everything we loved about OnePlus in the past: a powerful, high-end processor, a vivid screen and (after a brief diversion) a competitive price tag ($699).

The OnePlus 11 launches the same week as a trio of phones from Samsung, the dominant Android phone player. The 2023 Galaxy S series has phones that are both bigger and smaller, pricier and cheaper, than OnePlus' newest phone. Fortunately, this new flagship has one trick to stand out from Samsung's new lineup: incredibly fast 100-watt charging.

De

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

The next Nintendo Direct will take place on February 8th
Nintendo has scheduled its first Direct of the year. It will largely focus on games that are coming to Switch in the first half of 2023. You'll be able to watch the Direct on February 8th at 5PM ET on the company's YouTube channel.

What Nintendo will feature during the stream largely remains a mystery, but we can read the tea leaves and speculate a bit. While it's possible that we'll get a deeper dive into The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom before that game arrives in May, it'd be surprising if there were nothing about it at all in this Direct. Rumor has it that Nintendo may suddenly release Advance Wars 1 2: Re-Boot Camp this week after a lengthy delay related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. If so, expect that to make an appearance.



Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Meta reportedly plans to open Horizon Worlds to younger teens as soon as March
Only adults 18 and older can sign up for Meta's Horizon Worlds at the moment, but according to The Wall Street Journal, that could change very, very soon. Meta is reportedly opening up its virtual reality social experience to younger players aged 13 to 17 as soon as this March as part of its efforts to grow Horizon's numbers and improve user retention. The Journal says it saw the information in a memo entitled "Horizon 2023 Goals and Strategy" in which Gabriel Aul, Meta's VP for the VR experience, outlined its goals for the first half of 2023. 

In the memo, Aul reportedly wrote that these younger users are the "true digital citizens of the metaverse" and that Meta needs to ensure that it serves them for Horizon to succeed. Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne told the publication that "[t]eens are already spending time in a variety of VR experiences on Quest, and [the company wants] to ensure that [it] can provide them with a great experience in Horizon Worlds as well, with age-appropriate tools and protections in place." 

Os

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Amazon sale takes up to 53 percent off Echo Show smart displays
This is your chance to grab one (or some) of Amazon's Echo Show displays at a discount if you've been planning to buy any of them. Several models of the smart display are currently on sale, and Amazon is even offering most of them for almost half their original price. You can get the second-generation Echo Show 5 released in 2021 for $45 or 47 percent less than its retail price of $85. And, yes, all its available colors —

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

The Morning After: Google's ChatGPT rival is called Bard
In the face of so much ChatGPT news and buzz, Google announced on Monday its own chatbot AI project, Bard, will be unveiled with more details at Wednesday's Google Presents event in Paris. Bard will serve as an "experimental conversational AI service," according to a blog post by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Monday. It uses Google's existing Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) platform, which the company has been developing for the past two years.

However, it won't be open to everyone, like ChatGPT currently is, which ruins the hype a little. Google is starting with a lightweight version of LaMDA, open to a select group of trusted users before scaling up. "We'll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard's responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information," Pichai said.

As we'll get into below, it's a busy time for OpenAI's chatbot tech. Microsoft has a surprise event later today, and that AI-generated Seinfeld stream (based on OpenAI's GPT-3 Davinci model) was banned from Twitch.

- Mat Smith



The biggest stories you might have missedBastl Microgranny Monolith review: Vintage sampling grit in a portable package

Nintendo classic 'Zelda: A Link to the Past' gets an unofficial PC port

Anker charging accessories are up to 46 percent o

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

WhatsApp statuses get a big overhaul with voice, emoji reactions and more
WhatsApp has introduced some new updates to Status, the feature introduced in 2017 as an answer to Snapchat and Instagram Stories. One of the key additions is a feature called Voice Status that gives you the ability set voice notes up to 30 seconds long as status updates. The company calls it a more personal way of providing updates, particularly if you're more comfortable talking rather than typing or creating a video.

Another key update is a feature called Private Audience Selector that lets you choose who can view your status updates. It lets you select your audience for every status update you do, providing more granular control and convenience than the current privacy settings. 

If you're more of an emoji person, WhatsApp has also introduced Status Reactions, providing "a quick and easy way to respond to status updates from your friends or close contacts," WhatsApp wrote. It lets you reply to any status simply by swiping up on it and tapping one of eight emojis, rather than use other means like text, voice messages and stickers.

Meanwhile, Status Profile Rings put a ring around your profile when you share a status update, and is visible in chat lists, group participant lists and contact info. Finally, you'll now see a preview of a link when you post it on your status, giving your contacts a better idea of what it is before they click. 

Some of the new features (status reactions, profile rings and link previews) were announced previously, but are now being highlighted as a group of Status updates, WaBetaInfo notes. The new features are rollin

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

The Switch has outsold the PS4, but Nintendo sees tougher times ahead
The Switch just leaped over both the Game Boy and PlayStation 4 to become the third best-selling console of all time. The console has sold 122.55 million units overall as of the end of 2022, Nintendo announced in its earnings report, so it's is now behind only the DS and PlayStation 2 in lifetime sales. 

That's the only silver lining in a darker cloud, though. Switch unit sales for the nine-month period ending December 31st dropped to 14.91 million from 18.95 million the year before, and revenue declined 5.6 percent for the fiscal year ending in March. Game sales also fell by 4 percent over the same period, with the new Pokemon Scarlet/Violet titles (which totalled an impressive 20.61 million units) unable to offset the decline. As a result, the company has lowered its fiscal year forecast from 19 million to 18 million units with 5 million fewer games — continuing a downward trend from last year.

Nintendo attributed the decline to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, with the lack of consoles affecting software sales too. However, Sony set a new sales record for PS5s last quarter with 7.1 million sold, up 82 percent year-over year. 

Nintendo's issues likely boil down to its aging hardware, as well. Buyers are going for the latest OLED model, with the older Switch and Switch Lite models seeing a decline. The Switch is now relatively underpowered compared t

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Twitter reportedly had only 180,000 subscribers in the US by mid-January
Elon Musk may have to think of a lot more ways to make Twitter Blue appealing to potential subscribers if he wants the subscription service to be a major source of revenue. According to The Information, only 180,000 people in the US have been paying for a Twitter subscription by mid-January, and that's apparently around 0.2 percent of the website's monthly active users. The publication said it saw the information on a document, which also revealed that 62 percent of the company's paying users is from the US. That means Twitter has approximately 290,000 subscribers worldwide. 

Twitter Blue costs $8 a month for users who pay via web — or $7, if they pay for an annual subscription — and $11 for those who pay via Apple's or Google's app stores. Since the latter option gives the tech giants a cut of subscribers' payments, Twitter still only gets $8 a month from users overall. With the current number of paying users, the website is only set to

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Twitter reportedly had only 180,000 subscribers in the US last month
Elon Musk may have to think of a lot more ways to make Twitter Blue appealing to potential subscribers if he wants the subscription service to be a major source of revenue. According to The Information, only 180,000 people in the US have been paying for a Twitter subscription by mid-January, and that's apparently around 0.2 percent of the website's monthly active users. The publication said it saw the information on a document, which also revealed that 62 percent of the company's paying users reside in the US. That means Twitter has approximately 290,000 subscribers worldwide. 

Twitter Blue costs $8 a month for users who pay via web — or $7, if they pay for an annual subscription — and $11 for those who pay via Apple's or Google's app stores. Since the latter option gives the tech giants a cut of subscribers' payments, Twitter still only gets $8 a month from users overall. With the current number of paying users, the website is only set to earn $27.8 million a ye

Engadget
Feb 07, 2023

Tinder adds an incognito mode and more safety features
On Safer Internet Day (and with Valentine's Day fast approaching), Tinder is starting to roll out some new safety features and updates to some others. Users will now be able to take advantage of an incognito mode, which Tinder says is a "step up" from hiding your profile completely. Only folks that you Like will see you in their recommendations. That should give you more granular control over your visibility.

In addition, you can block profiles that pop up in your suggestions. So, that could mitigate some awkwardness if you spot an ex or someone else from your life, such as (shudder) a family member. This follows a feature that allows users to block others based on their phone number.

There's another new safety feature called long press reporting. If you receive an offensive message or unwanted picture, you can tap and hold to swiftly report it. Tinder says that it hopes this will encourage more people to report bad behavior so it can take action against users who are breaking the rules.

Meanwhile, Tinder has made some changes to features called "Are You Sure" (which asks folks to reconsider before sending a message with potentially harmful language) and "Does This Bother You," which encourages users to report inappropriate conversations. Tinder says the features will detect more language that it deems harmful or inappropriate, including hate speech as well as sexual harassment and exploitation. The company says that, since it added "Does This Bother You," it has received 46 percent more reports of messages containing harmful language.

Along with these updates, Tinder is rolling o

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Twitter will now remember your tab preference on Android and iOS
When Twitter introduced its curated "For You" tab at the start of this year, the feature shipped with an oversight. If you closed the Twitter app or web client after switching to the platform's reverse chronological "Following" timeline, both would default back to the For You feed after you came back. At the end of January, Twitter took an initial step to address that oversight, tweaking the web client to remember the tab you left off at before closing your tabs. At the time, the company said a similar fix was "coming soon" for Android and iOS. That fix is now available.


Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

The original 'Legend of Zelda' has been remade in Minecraft, without using mods
A Minecraft mad scientist has recreated The Legend of Zelda inside the blocky sandbox game without any third-party mods or resource packs. Fan and YouTuber C1OUS3R, who has also made Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. inside Minecraft, took nearly a month to craft the Zelda tribute.

The developer used command blocks, custom textures and other in-game features to recreate the 1986 NES classic. "I use Blockbench to create a flat version of Link from all sides so I can rotate it to make it look like he's facing every direction," C1OUS3R explained in a making-of video. "I would make a Voxel model like I did in the previous video games, however, it's pretty much unnoticeable and takes 30 times longer, and I don't really have the time for that.

"I then overlaid this model over a carved pumpkin which is one of the items you can wear on your head in Minecraft. I then make the player invisible to make it look like you're controlling Link. Then by using the data packs function folder, which is just command blocks in written form, I'm able to detect which way the player is moving based off armor stands and rotate the model to make it look like it's moving. I then simply animate the textures, and boom. You have a controllable Link."

C1OUS3R said on Reddit (

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Google experiment ditches WebKit for its own engine in Chrome for iOS
Apple's App Store policies require that the Chrome browser on iOS uses the WebKit engine rather than the usual Blink, but that isn't stopping Google from indulging in a "what if" scenario. The Register has noticed that Google recently started work on an experiment that would port Blink to iOS. The project is limited to the stripped-down "content_shell" app rather than Chrome, and the Chromium team working on the effort stresses that it's not a "shippable product." It's only meant to test graphics and input performance, the company says.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson told Engadget the Blink port is only a "prototype" that's part of a larger open source initiative. It won't be available to the public, and the company will "continue to abide" by Apple's rules.

It's not clear why Google wants to test Blink on iOS in the first place, though. If Apple's policies stay firm, Google won't be allowed to release any Blink-based software. Only those experienced enough to compile and run content_shell may get a taste of the experience.

The timing may not be coincidental, though. The US government wants Apple and Google to open up their platforms, giving users ways to install apps that aren't governed by first-party store policies. Rumors have also swirled that Apple may allow third-party app st

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Pakistan unblocks Wikipedia after a three-day ban
People in Pakistan can once again use Wikipedia, three days after the country blocked the website over content that regulators deemed "sacrilegious." As TechCrunch notes, prime minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered officials to unblock Wikipedia after determining that the ban was "not a suitable measure to restrict access to some objectionable contents/sacrilegious matter on it." Sharif's office said in a statement that the "unintended consequences of this blanket ban" outweighed the "benefits."

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) "degraded" access to Wikipedia last Wednesday, warning the site's operators that they had 48 hours to remove certain content or face repercussions. Wikipedia apparently demurred and the PTA blocked the site in Pakistan on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sharif is establishing a cabinet committee to "explore and recommend alternative technical measures for removal or blocking access to objectionable content posted on Wikipedia and other online information sites, in view of our social, cultural and religious sensitivities, on the touchstone of proportionality." The committee is also being tasked with offering other suggestions aimed at "controlling unlawful content in a balanced manner." 

Sharif asked the committee to provide the cabinet with recommendations within one week. That doesn't give the committee members much time to fully assess and analyze the many, many considerations that go into content modera

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Overwatch 2's third season will let you turn Doomfist into One-Punch Man
Following a rocky release, it looks like Overwatch 2 is starting to hit a stride. On Monday, Blizzard detailed all the content that's coming with the game's latest season, and there's plenty here for fans to be excited about. To start, season three will introduce the franchise's first crossover event. Starting on March 7th, players will have the chance to earn cosmetic items inspired by One-Punch Man, the popular superhero series created by Japanese manga artist One. Specifically, one of the skins sees Doomfist recast to look like One-Punch protagonist Saitama.

If One-Punch Man means little to you, thankfully there will be plenty of other skins you can earn this season. After season two took inspiration from Greek mythology, season three will feature cosmetics themed around "Asian mythology." Players who complete the latest premium battle pass will earn the new Amaterasu Kiriko skin. As the name suggests, the skin is inspired by the Japanese Shinto goddess of the sun. What's more, Blizzard says it has listened to player fe

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Microsoft is holding a press event tomorrow, with ChatGPT expected to feature heavily
You might not have to wait long to see how Microsoft and OpenAI deepen their relationship. Microsoft has confirmed plans for an event tomorrow (invitations were sent out last week) at its Redmond headquarters at 1PM Eastern. The company will only say that chief Satya Nadella will share details on some "exciting projects," but it's expected to show its integration of ChatGPT into Bing and other uses of the conversational AI technology.

Microsoft is already heavily invested in OpenAI's ecosystem with a DALL-E graphic design app, a natural language programming tool and a Teams Premium service with AI translations and chapters. ChatGPT is coming to Azure cloud services, too, and Microsoft just released a GPT-based text generator trained on medical literature. The rumored Bing feature may be its most prominent OpenAI collaboration yet, however. Rumors suggest Microsoft's search engine will use ChatGPT for conversation-style answers to questions. You might get exactly the information you need rather

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Sony's expansive PlayStation VR2 FAQ answers (almost) all of your burning questions
Sony is preparing to release its next-gen virtual reality headset for PlayStation 5 on February 22nd. While there have been suggestions that demand for $550 PlayStation VR2 isn't quite what the company expected, Sony has tried to assuage fans' concerns and answer any lingering questions they might have in a lengthy FAQ.

The company reiterated that players will have more than 30 games to choose from during the launch window, which it defines as the first month. Among those are Horizon Call of the Mountain (a VR spin-off of the Horizon games), and VR modes for Resident Evil Village and Gran Turismo 7, which will both be free for folks who already own those games.

Users won't automatically be able to play games from the original PS VR on PS VR2. As Sony explains, "PS VR2 is designed to deliver a truly next-generation VR experience, with advanced features such as haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, inside-out tracking, eye tracking and more. Due to thi

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

AI Seinfeld was surreal fun until it called being trans an illness
Twitch has banned "Nothing, Forever," the AI-generated Seinfeld stream, for at least 14 days following a transphobic and homophobic outburst. It's the latest example of "hate in, hate out" when AI chatbots are trained on offensive content without adequate moderation.

Like Seinfeld, "Nothing, Forever" rotates between standup bits and scenes in the comedian's apartment (he's called "Larry Feinberg" in the AI version). As first reported by Vice, during one of the recent AI-scripted standup acts, the Seinfeld counterpart suggested that being transgender is a mental illness. In what almost seemed like an awareness of the material's offensiveness, the AI comedian quickly added, "But no one is laughing, so I'm going to stop. Thanks for coming out tonight. See you next time. Where'd everybody go?" 

Although Twitch hasn't confirmed that the "joke" was the reason for the ban, the stream was removed soon after the problematic segment aired. The program's creators blame the hurtful rant on a model change that inadvertently left the stream without moderation tools.

"Earlier tonight, we started having an outage using OpenAI's GPT-3 Davinci model, which caused the show to exhibit errant behaviors (you may have seen empty rooms cycling through)," a staff member wrote on Discord. "OpenAI has a less sophisticated model, Curie, that was the predecessor to Davinci. When davinci started failing, we switched over to Curie to try to keep the show running without any downtime. The switch to Curie was what resulted in the inappropriate text being generated. We leverage OpenAI's content moderation tools, which have worked thus fa

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Google unveils Bard, its ChatGPT rival
ChatGPT, the automated text generation system from OpenAI, has taken the world by storm in the two months since its public beta release but that time alone in the spotlight is quickly coming to an end. Google announced on Monday that its long-rumored chatbot AI project is in fact real and very much on the way. It's called Bard and we expect to hear a lot more about it during Wednesday's "Google Presents" event from Paris.  

Bard will serve as an "experimental conversational AI service," per a blog post by Google CEO Sundar Pichai Monday. It's built atop Google's existing Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) platform, which the company has been developing for the past two years. 

"Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world's knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models," Pichai declared. "It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses." Whether that reliance on the internet results in bigoted or racist behavior, as seemingly every chatbot before it has exhibited, remain to be seen.

The program will not simply be opened to the internet as ChatGPT was. Google is starting with the release of a lightweight version of LaMDA, which requires far lower system requirements than its full-specced brethren, for a select group of trusted users before scaling up from there. "We'll combine external fee

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

'Apex Legends' is finally adding a team deathmatch mode
It's hard to believe, but Apex Legends is four years old this month. And with the game's 16th season set to debut on February 14th, developer Respawn Entertainment is promising to shake things up. "Nothing is safe and there are going to be some pretty significant changes that we've been working on for a while," the studio said in a blog post it published on Monday.

One of those changes is a game mode players have been asking Respawn to add since launch. The studio will allow you to queue for team deathmatch games for a limited time. The mode will see two teams of six vie for supremacy. The first team to secure 30 kills wins the round. You'll need to win two rounds to take the match. At the start of a deathmatch game, you'll pick your character and one of five weapon loadouts. You can change both between respawns.

At the same time, Respawn is removing Arenas, the game's current spin on deathmatch. The studio says the 3v3 game mode wasn't meeting its goal of being a good place to master Apex's combat mechanics. On March 7th, Respawn will introduce Mixtape, a permanent rotating playlist of limited-time game modes. The playlist will allow you to play favorites like Control, Gun Run and, yes, Team Deathmatch. The season will also add

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Netflix subscribers will soon get access to mobile versions of two Rogue Games titles
Netflix is adding two more releases to its excellent library of games. The streaming giant announced Monday it recently secured exclusive mobile rights to Dust & Neon and Highwater, two upcoming titles from indie publisher Rogue Games. Of the two, the former will arrive first when it hits Android, iOS, PC and Nintendo Switch on February 16th. As with past Netflix releases, you can download and play Dust & Neon for free on mobile, provided you subscribe to the service. The same will go for Highwater when it arrives at a later date. Additionally, neither game will include ads or in-app microtransactions.

Rogue Games describes Dust & Neon as a rogue-lite twin-stick shooter. Stylistically, the game looks like a mix of Steamworld Dig and West of Dead. One interesting facet of gameplay is that you manually reload your firearms. Each weapon has its own reload animation, and there are almost 2,000 guns to find in the game, according to Rogue Games. Highwater, meanwhile, is an adventure strategy game set in a world ravaged by climate change. It's a title with a fair amount of excitement around it, partly due to the fact that it was first shown off during Summer Game Fest last year.



Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Amazon Luna will lose over 50 games this month
Cloud gaming libraries normally get larger, but Amazon Luna's appears to be shrinking — for now, at least. 9to5Googlenotes that the paid Luna tier will lose 53 games in February. Many of these are older or niche titles you won't necessarily miss, but that does mean losing classics like No More Heroes (gone February 11th) as well as more recent titles like The Medium (February 9th).

We've asked Amazon for comment. In a statement to 9to5Google, a spokesperson said only that Amazon was "refreshing" its content as part of a goal to keep its collection "as fresh as possible."

The issue, as you might guess, is that this isn't an isolated situation. Amazon dropped another 46 games from Luna in December, and some of these were from well-known franchises like the Yakuza series. CloudDosagereports the February cull will leave Luna with 175 games. That could make it a tough sell if you're willing to pay for variety. Microsoft's Game Pass and Sony's PlayStation Plus Premium are more expensive, but promise access to hundreds of games (if frequently from the back catalog).

The shrinking selection doesn't come at a great time, either. Google sh

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

'The Last of Us' episode five will premiere two days early on HBO Max
Fans of HBO's The Last of Us who are also into football were facing a bit of a quandary this weekend: catch the latest episode live and avoid the risk of spoilers, or tune into the Super Bowl? Thankfully, HBO Max is making that decision much easier. The fifth episode of the excellent adaptation of Naughty Dog's game will hit the streaming service and HBO On Demand two days early.

You'll be able to stream the episode starting at 9PM ET this Friday. It will still air in its usual 9PM ET timeslot on HBO's cable channel on Sunday, but many fans may opt to watch the titanic tussle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles instead.

This is a smart, one-off move from HBO as The Last of Us is already a massive hit, with viewership figures that have grown from week to week. It has already been renewed for a second season. The linear airing of the next episode is likely to get hammered in the ratings by the Super Bowl, but this could help HBO maintain the show's momentum and distance the TLOU discourse from football this weekend. 

This isn't the only time that The Last of Us is facing stern competition throughout its first season. Last night, it went up against the Grammy Awards and the season finale will

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Google's Pixel 7 phones have dropped to their lowest prices to date
Folks who are in the market for a great smartphone at an excellent price should definitely consider these deals on Google's Pixel 7 lineup. At Amazon, the Pixel 7 is down to $499, which is $150 off the standard price. The Pixel 7 Pro has received an identical discount, as it has dropped to $749.



Over at Best Buy, however, the phones have fallen

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Apple Watch Series 8 drops to a record low $329 at Amazon
It's a good time to buy a smartwatch if you're committed to improving your fitness this year. Amazon is selling the 41mm GPS Apple Watch Series 8 with a Product Red case and matching Sport Band for $329, or a steep $70 off. That's the best price we've seen for Apple's latest wearable to date, and could make it an easy choice if you're an iPhone user. The latest 40mm GPS Apple Watch SE in Starlight is also discounted to just $219 (normally $249) if you're happy with the essentials.





Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

The second-gen Apple Pencil is back on sale for $90
For digital artists or those who just prefer the feel of writing out notes with their hand, we think the second-generation Apple Pencil is, unsurprisingly, the best iPad stylus you can buy. Its chief issue is that it's usually expensive, but if you've been thinking of grabbing one, a new discount has brought the device back down to $90 at Amazon and

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

The best Valentine's Day gifts for gamers
I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. Or rather, I'm not a fan of the traditional gifts given on Valentine's Day, like chocolates and flowers. Flowers die, and you may get sick of yet another box of so-so candy from Russell Stover or Whitman's. And I'm not alone; lots of people would prefer a PlayStation 5 to a parcel of purple pansies. If your loved one is a gamer, why not show them your affection with something that actually makes their hobby more enjoyable (and won't need to be watered)?

8BitDo Pro 2

Maybe you love playing games together on a Nintendo Switch, but you're far less fond about having to split the teeny tiny Joy-Con controllers. Why not upgrade the experience with 8BitDo's Pro 2 controller, shaped to fit comfortably in most hands, highly customizable and available in a few colors to fit a few gamer styles. It also works with PC, macOS and even the Raspberry Pi if your gamer likes to tinker.

Xbox Elite Wireless Control

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Dell to cut roughly 6,650 jobs as PC sales drop
PC shipments are plunging due to a tough economy and the pandemic recovery, and that's proving to be especially painful for Dell. The company is laying off about five percent of its workforce, or roughly 6,650 employees, to cope with a "challenging global economic environment." Earlier cost reduction measures like an external hiring freeze weren't enough, according to operations chief Jeff Clarke. A market that "continues to erode" requires further action, he says.

The layoffs include organizational changes and "resets," Clarke says. This includes streamlined sales and services, as well as engineering that focuses on "priority offerings." Bloombergnotes the job cuts will bring Dell's employee count to its lowest in six years, and 39,000 below what it had at the start of the pandemic in January 2020.

Dell was one of the major beneficiaries of the pandemic as people rushed to buy PCs for remote work. Now that the boom is over, however, the firm's dependence on computers (approximately 55 percent of its revenue) is becoming a liability — particularly in an economic climate where purchasing power is dropping. Gartner and IDC both estimate that Dell's shipments plunged 16 percent in 2022 compared to the year before, and 37 percent in the last quarter. That's one of the worst declines among major PC vendors, and only Acer fared worse in the fourth quarter with a 41 percent drop.

This is just the latest in a series of layoffs this year, and it comes just months after key rival HP said it would lay off as many as 6,000 workers. Few tech companies have avoi

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Bastl Microgranny Monolith review: Vintage sampling grit in a portable package
I almost never leave the house without some device dedicated to exercising the creative part of my brain. Sometimes this is as simple as a camera or a field recorder. Other times I bring my Teenage Engineering PO-33 with me. It's not that my phone and a few apps couldn't accomplish the same thing. It's just less satisfying. Less tactile.

I have also made no bones about my love of strange, esotericmusic gear. Bastl Instruments' Microgranny fits the bill for both these wants. It's tiny, battery-powered and super weird. But I didn't click with it immediately. I owned a Microgranny 2 briefly a few years back and ended up selling it. Yet, there was something about its crunchy lofi character that I couldn't shake. So when Bastl Instruments launched the

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Sony's WH-1000XM5 ANC headphones are $348 right now
Sony's latest WH-1000XM5 wireless ANC headphones are among the best we've ever tested, thanks to improved sound quality, a comfortable fit and incredible active noise cancellation (ANC). Now is a good time to pick up a pair, because they're currently on sale at Amazon for $348, for a savings of 13 percent ($52) over the regular $400 price. 



The WH-1000XM5 scored an excellent 95 in our Engadget review, thanks to improvements in nearly every way over our previous favorite headphones, the WH-1000XM4 (which are

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K Max returns to a record low of $35
Don't worry if you're still scrambling to get a streaming media player in time for Super Bowl LVII next week — you can get a very capable device for less than you might pay for drinks and snacks. Amazon is once again selling the Fire TV Stick 4K Max at a record low price of $35. That's $20 below the usual, and an easy choice if you want high-quality live sports on a budget. There are also discounts on the Fire TV Stick Lite (down to $20) and the Fire TV Stick 4K (down

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

The Morning After: Is Apple working on an ‘Ultra' iPhone?
Apple is considering a more expensive iPhone "Ultra" that would slot in above the iPhone Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. He says the device could arrive as early as next year. Gurman also pointed to recent comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook. "The iPhone has become so integral [to] people's lives," he told analysts when asked if the increasing average price of the iPhone was sustainable. "I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category."

Gurman hinted the iPhone Ultra could feature a faster processor, better camera hardware and an even larger display. "There also may be more future-forward features, such as finally dropping the charging port," he adds. Apple already uses "Ultra" to tag its top M2 processors and Watches. Is the iPhone next?

- Mat Smith



The biggest stories you might have missedChatGPT is suddenly everywhere. Are we ready?

Jury rules Elon Musk is not liable for shareholder losses after 'funding secured' tweets

‘Myst' 2021 remake is heading to iOS devices

Researchers can now pull hydrogen directly from seawater, no filtering required

Elon Musk claims Twitter will start sharing ad revenue with Blue subscribers





Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Nintendo classic 'Zelda: A Link to the Past' gets an unofficial PC port
The latest game to get the reverse-engineering treatment is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Neowin has reported. A GitHub user called snesrev has fully ported the game to PC using over 80,000 lines of code, while adding some extra enhancements. Those include support for enhanced aspect ratios and pixel shaders, a higher quality world map, secondary item slots and more. 

The version was re-engineered in C code, and requires libraries from the SNES emulator LakeSNES. It features all the same levels, enemies and puzzles of the original game, and can even run the original machine code alongside the ported C version. Another GitHub user, xander-haj, showed exactly how it works compared to an emulation in a YouTube video from last year. 

The ported version of Link joins other recent projects, notably

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Why I'm reviewing 'Hogwarts Legacy'
Five days ago, a review code for Hogwarts Legacy landed in my inbox. I've been thinking about this moment for more than a year, ever since the backlash against the game started gaining traction online. The author of the Harry Potter novels is transphobic and she's targeted transgender women in particular. For this reason, some people in the LGBT community, and allies beyond, have decided to boycott Hogwarts Legacy and admonish anyone who chooses to play or stream it themselves, sparking explosive arguments across social media, Twitch and YouTube. Those in favor of the boycott argue that playing the game benefits the author financially and indicates support for her beliefs. On the flipside, potential players point out that the author wasn't involved in the creation of Hogwarts Legacy and her status as the world's richest author won't change regardless of the game's success. Also, they really want to play it.

I fall into the second category. I'm currently about 15 hours into Hogwarts Legacy and I'm just barely scratching the surface; I'm having an incredible time. This feels like the RPG that Harry Potter fans have been waiting for, rich and alive and absolutely packed with magic.

It's slightly frightening to write that down, knowing the condemnation I could receive. It's an extra-light version of the dread I felt while publishing literally anything during Gamergate, but this time it's more personal: The hate would be coming from people I actually care about.

I've been a video game journalist for the past 13 years, I'm a bisexual woman and I have a big ol' Harry Potter tattoo next to an anti-TERF tattoo. I feel uniquely positioned to care about this particular topic, and to that end, I have a quick story to tell. It involves literary internet culture in the early 2000s, and I hope it illuminates factors that entwine the Wizarding World with the LGBT community, while demons

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Anker charging accessories are up to 46 percent off in Amazon sale
Anker's charging accessories can be even more versatile than what the original manufacturer offers, but they tend to be more costly than other options. Luckily, you can now grab a number of Anker chargers and other products at Amazon with discounts up to 46 percent percent. Some of the key deals include the Anker

Engadget
Feb 06, 2023

Elon Musk says Twitter will offer a free API tier for 'good' bots
After announcing last week that all developers would have to pay to access Twitter's API, CEO Elon Musk has walked that back a step. In a tweet yesterday, he announced that "responding to feedback, Twitter will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free." 

Since August of 2020, Twitter has offered a "basic" free tier as part of its V2 API, designed for "those just getting started, building something for fun, for a good cause, and to learn or teach," the company wrote at the time. 


Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

Electric truck maker Rivian is reportedly developing an e-bike
Electric vehicle startup Rivian is reportedly working on an e-bike. According to Bloomberg, CEO RJ Scaringe told Rivian employees of the project during a company-wide meeting the automaker held on Friday. He said the startup had a "small group" of engineers working on a bike.

Bloomberg couldn't confirm if Scaringe was referring to an electric motorcycle or bicycle, but the outlet notes Rivian has patents for cycling components and designs. In the past, Scaringe has said Rivian wants to expand into the micromobility market eventually. Rivian did not immediately respond to Engadget's comment request.

The news that Rivian could be working on an e-bike comes in the same week that the company announced layoffs that would affect six percent of its workforce. The cuts represent the second major restructuring Rivian has undertaken in less than a year. The company said the move was an effort to refocus itself on scaling production of its R1T and R1S EVs and, in turn, put Rivian on the path to long-term profitability. On Friday, Scaringe reportedly told employees Rivian had spread itself thin by trying to do too much at once.

Attempting to expand into the e-bike market when the company has yet to make a profit might not make much sense, but there's a compelling reason for Rivian to pursue that strategy. Even before the pandemic, the cycling market was growing thanks to the popularity of e-bikes. In fact, electric bikes have consistently outsold electric cars

Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

Amazon's 2022 Kindle drops to a record low of $75
If one of your goals for 2023 is to read more, a new Kindle might inspire you to stick to that intention. Amazon has discounted its entry-level e-reader. Right now, you can get the ad-supported model, in either Black or Denim, for $75 or $25 off its usual $100 price. The 25 percent discount marks a new all-time low for the Kindle, making this a great time to buy the e-reader. Amazon has also discounted the ads-free model by $25. Instead of $120, it's $95 at the moment. The Paperwhite is on sale too. It will set you back $105.



En

Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

SpaceX will attempt Starship orbital test in March, says Elon Musk
SpaceX could attempt to complete Starship's long-awaited orbital test flight as early as next month, according to Elon Musk. Responding on Saturday to a question from one of his Twitter followers, Musk said the private space firm is targeting a March launch attempt. "If remaining tests go well, we will attempt a Starship launch next month," he wrote.


Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

Google's HD Chromecast with Google TV is cheaper than ever
Since 2020, Chromecast with Google TV has been one of the better ways to add more streaming options to an existing setup, thanks in part to the fact you can frequently find the devices on sale. To that point, Amazon has discounted both variants of the streaming stick ahead of the Super Bowl weekend. Following a 20 percent discount, you can buy the 4K version for just under $40 at the moment. At $19.98, meanwhile, the

Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

Apple may be working on a pricier iPhone 'Ultra'
Next year could see the introduction of a new flagship iPhone. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is considering whether to release a more expensive iPhone "Ultra" that would slot in above the iPhone Pro and Pro Max. He says the device could arrive as early next year.

If you've been following Gurman's writing for a while, you may recall he previously reported Apple was considering whether to rebrand the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max to the iPhone 15 Ultra. Now, he says there's evidence to suggest Apple wants to instead offer a more powerful and expensive iPhone to well-heeled consumers. Specifically, Gurman points to a recent comment made by Apple CEO Tim Cook. "The iPhone has become so integral [to] people's lives," Cook told analysts when he was asked if the increasing average price of the iPhone was sustainable. "I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category."

How Apple will differentiate the new model is harder to say. Gurman suggests the iPhone Ultra could feature a faster processor, better camera hardware than the Pro and Pro Max and an even larger display. "There also may be more future-forward features, such as finally dropping the charging port," he adds.

It's worth noting reports on the iPhone 15 line suggest Apple is already searching for more ways to differentiate the Pro models from their mainstream siblings. For example, one recent report said the upcoming Pro variants could

Engadget
Feb 05, 2023

Apple's new AirPods Pro are back on sale for $200
If you've been patiently waiting for Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro to go on sale, now is your chance to get them at an all-time low price. Amazon has discounted the earbuds to $200. That's the lowest price Engadget has seen on the AirPods Pro since they went on sale for Black Friday last year.



Similar appearances aside, the new AirPods Pro represent a significant upgrade over the original 2019 model. Engadget Senior Editor Billy Steele awarded the AirPods Pro a score of 88 when he had a chance to review them last year. They offer improved audio quality and active noise cancellation performance, as well as one of the best transparency modes on any set of wireless earbuds on the market right now. Add to that a redesigned case that is sweat- and water-resistant, the usual conveniences you'll find on all

Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

Telegram's latest update adds real-time message translation
With its first update of 2023, Telegram is making it easier to communicate with people who might speak a different language than you. The next time someone messages you in a language other than your default language, you'll see a translate bar at the top of the interface. Tap it to translate their message in real time. If you're a Premium subscriber, you'll also have access to this feature when engaging with groups and channels. As you can see from the GIF Telegram shared, this could be handy when planning a trip. Join a channel in the city you plan to visit to see the events and spots locals are talking about. If you want to try Premium, Telegram has also introduced a new annual payment option that allows you to save up to 40 percent on the price of the service if you commit to a full year.

Separately, the update adds a tool for turning stickers and emoji into profile pictures. In addition to using this feature for yourself, you can set or suggest profile pictures for your contacts. Best of all, it's available to everyone, not just Premium users. And speaking of stickers and emoji, Telegram has made it easier to sort through the dizzying number of options the app offers by organizing them into categories. At the same time, there are new interactive versions of a handful of emoji, and the company has released 10 new custom emoji packs.

A couple of quality-of-life improvements make it easier to manage Telegram's footprint on your device. To start, Telegram has redesigned the app's network usage tool. At the top of the interface, you'll now see the information the tool has to share presented in a handy pie chart with separate tabs for mobile, WiFi and roaming

Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

‘Myst' 2021 remake is heading to iOS devices
The 20th century's best-selling game is heading back to iOS. Just in time for Myst's 30th anniversary this fall, developer Cyan Worlds announced this week that it's bringing the recent 2021 remake of the classic point-and-click adventure game to iPhones and iPads. The port will support devices with Apple's A12 Bionic chipset or newer, meaning you can play the game with something as old as an iPhone XR or third-generation iPad Air.


Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

Tesla raises Model Y pricing following federal tax credit change
Tesla has quietly raised the price of its best-selling Model Y crossover. As of Saturday, the automaker's US website lists the Long Range and Performance models at $54,990 and $57,990, respectively. For the former, that represents a $2,000 increase from the all-time low it hit when Tesla dramatically cut prices in the middle of January. As for the Performance variant, it's currently $1,000 more than it was after last month's price adjustment.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, the price hikes come after the Biden administration this past Friday modified eligibility criteria related to the $7,500 federal tax credit to treat more vehicles as SUVs rather than sedans. Before the change, it was possible to get the full $7,500 Inflation Reduction Act

Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook 2 is $200 off right now
If you're looking for a Chromebook for school or work, one of Engadget's favorites is on sale right now. Amazon and Best Buy have discounted the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. After a 29 percent discount, the "fiesta red" Core i3-10110U model is currently $499, down from $700. That's the lowest

Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

NVIDIA rolls out update for Discord performance bug
NVIDIA has begun rolling out a fix for a bug that had caused some of its GPUs to perform worse while people had Discord open. In a tweet spotted by The Verge, the company said Windows will now automatically download an app profile update the next time users log into their PC. The update resolves an issue that prevented some NVIDIA GPUs, including RTX 30 series models like the 3080 and 3060 Ti, from pushing their memory as fast as possible when Discord was open in the background. In some instances, NVIDIA users reported their video cards being throttled by as much as 200Mhz, translating to a modest performance decrease in most games.


Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

Pakistan blocks Wikipedia over 'sacrilegious' content
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked Wikipedia after slowing access to the website for 48 hours over content it considers "sacrilegious." A PTA spokesperson told Bloomberg that the agency has blocked the online encyclopedia for failing to remove said content within the past couple of days. 

The telecom authority revealed on February 1st that it approached the website with a court order to remove "blasphemous" material from its website. After Wikipedia didn't comply or appear before authorities, the PTA degraded access to the website for a couple of days and threatened to block it entirely if it didn't comply with its demands. The agency didn't publicly list the Wikipedia entries it doesn't want people in Pakistan to see.


Engadget
Feb 04, 2023

Echolocation could give small robots the ability to find lost people
Scientists and roboticists have long looked at nature for inspiration to develop new features for machines. In this case, researchers from the University of Toronto were inspired by bats and other animals that rely on echolocation to design a method that would give small robots that ability to navigate themselves — one that doesn't need expensive hardware or components too large or too heavy for tiny machines. In fact, according to PopSci, the team only used the integrated audio hardware of an interactive puck robot and built an audio extension deck using cheap mic and speakers for a tiny flying drone that can fit in the palm of your hand. 

The system works just like bat echolocation. It was designed to emit sounds across frequencies, which a robot's microphone then picks up as they bounce off walls. An algorithm that team created then goes to work to analyze sound waves and create a map with the room's dimensions. 

In the researchers' paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, they said existing "algorithms for active echolocation are less developed and often rely on hardware requirements that are out of reach for small robots." The researchers also said their "method is model-based, runs in real time and requires no prior calibration or training." Their solution could give small

Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

Jury rules Elon Musk is not liable for shareholder losses after 'funding secured' tweets
Elon Musk is off the hook for his 2018 tweets claiming he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private for $420 a share. A jury found that Musk was not liable for Tesla investors' losses, following a weeks-long trial in San Francisco.

The verdict is a major victory for Musk, who could have been liable for billions of dollars in damages. Musk had testified in federal court that just because he tweets something, it "does not mean people believe it or will act accordingly." He also argued that he could have used his shares of SpaceX to fund the deal.

The shareholders who brought the class action suit had argued that Musk's statements about funding were false, and that they lost vast amounts of money due to stock fluctuations in the aftermath of Musk's tweets. But while the judge in the case concluded that the tweets were "objectively false and reckless," the jury didn't find that Musk had deliberately misled the public.

While the verdict ends the years-long saga of the "funding secured" tweets, the posts weren't entirely without consequences for Musk. He settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018, and stepped down from his role as Tesla board chair as a condition of the settlement. Musk has long decried the SEC settlement and has said he was "forced to admit I lied to save Tes

Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

NASA satellite will use radar to map Earth's crust in extreme detail
Scientists will soon have a spaceborne tool to study environmental changes at a very high resolution, and you won't have long to wait to learn more about it. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is holding a question and answer session today (February 3rd) at 5PM Eastern to discuss NISAR (NASA-ISRO SAR), an Earth-mapping satellite built in tandem with the Indian Space Research Organization. It's not launching from India until early 2024 and is planned to operate for three years, but it includes breakthrough tech that could help understand Earth and cope with natural disasters. 

NISAR is the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequencies (the L and S microwave bands). This will let it systematically map the Earth's crust at an exceptional level of detail — it can detect changes under 1cm (0.4in) across. That will let NISAR observe even subtle nuances of earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters. It will also help monitor long-term processes, including the crust's evolution, ecosystem disruptions and ice sheet collapses.


Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

Researchers can now pull hydrogen directly from seawater, no filtering required
Researchers at the University of Adelaide announced this week that they made clean hydrogen fuel from seawater without pre-treatment. Demand for hydrogen fuel, a clean energy source that only produces water when burned, is expected to increase in the coming years as the world (hopefully) continues to pivot away from fossil fuels. The findings could eventually provide cheaper green energy production to coastal areas.

"We have split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100 per cent efficiency, to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, using a non-precious and cheap catalyst in a commercial electrolyser," said Professor Shizhang Qiao, the team's co-lead. Seawater typically needs to be purified before electrolysis splits it into hydrogen and oxygen. The team says its results, using cobalt oxide with chromium oxide on its surface as the catalyst, had similar performance to a standard process of applying platinum and iridium catalysts to highly purified and deionized water.



Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

Endlesss turned its music collaboration app into a beatmaking arcade machine
Ever wish you could play an arcade rhythm game that fostered creativity, not just matching notes? You now have your chance. Endlesss has turned its remote music collaboration software into an honest-to-goodness arcade machine, complete with joysticks, a touchscreen, an XY controller and a sea of buttons. You can use it as a stand-up audio workstation with your own plugins and physical instruments, but it comes into its own in an arcade mode that challenges you to compose beats — you might have to loop drums, for example.

The cabinet is ultimately a community effort. Endlesss Discord member NJ Lang liked the idea of an arcade rig so much that he built one, and it proved a hit when the company took it to events. The firm then built a production prototype, and had a strong-enough initial reception that NBA veteran Baron Davis became the first to buy one — you can see his reaction (and an Endlesss sales pitch) below.

This won't be a trivial purchase. In fact, it'll make many retro cabinets seem affordable. Endlesss is releasing 25 Launch Edition arcade systems in late February for a $9,999 "introductory" price. You'll need to put down a $200 non-refundable deposit just to get into a pre-sale ahead of the public debut. You're buying this because you have an artistic side and plenty of money to spare — everyone else will want to save those funds for

Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

'CrossfireX' and 'Knockout City' join the list of live service games shutting down soon
It's a rough time for fans of several live service games, which are titles designed to be constantly updated for a long time. A bunch are shutting down in the near future, and CrossfireX and Knockout City are among the latest to join the list.

CrossfireX is an Xbox console version of the massively popular tactical shooter Crossfire. After some delays, it arrived less than a year ago, but it wasn't a hit with critics or, more crucially, the public. Developer Smilegate has stopped selling the game (the multiplayer component is free-to-play, but the Remedy-developed single-player campaign is not) and is offering refunds for purchases made in the last two weeks. It will shut off the CrossfireX servers on May 18th.

Knockout City, meanwhile, is a fun dodgeball brawler that debuted in 2021. The game went free-to-play last year when developer Velan Studios parted ways with EA to self-publish it. Alas, Knockout City is shutting down too. Its ninth season will be the final one and the servers will close on June 6th. On a positive note, Velan will roll out an option for PC players to run the game on private servers.



Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

YouTube Music workers strike at Google's Austin offices
YouTube Music workers in the Austin, TX area who voted to unionize are striking. The Alphabet Works Union-CWA (AWU-CWA), which represents the contractors, says this is the first time a group of Google-affiliated workers has gone on strike.

Cognizant, an Alphabet subcontractor, staffs the (more than 40) striking workers. They say Alphabet's current return-to-office date of February 6th threatens their safety and livelihoods since their $19-per-hour pay makes it hard to afford relocation, travel and healthcare costs. The AWU-CWA says most contractors were hired to work remotely, and nearly a quarter of them don't live in Texas.

The YouTube workers say Alphabet and Cognizant only announced the abrupt return to office after they had already voted to unionize. Additionally, they accuse managers of sending work to other offices to "chill" the union efforts while adding that a supervisor made implicit anti-union threats. Finally, the workers have appealed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to be recognized as "jointly employed" by Cognizant and Alphabet; the designation would force Alphabet to negotiate based on US labor laws.


Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

Elon Musk claims Twitter will start sharing ad revenue with Blue subscribers
Twitter Blue subscribers will receive a cut of revenue from ads that appear in their reply threads, CEO Elon Musk said. The new program starts today, Musk noted, but he hasn't yet provided additional details about how it works. The Twitter Blue support page doesn't include any information either. Twitter no longer has a comms department that can be reached for comment.

Blue subscribers in some territories already see half as many ads on their timeline as other users. Offering a cut of ad revenue could help Twitter keep users on board, especially if it offers them a reasonable split that could earn them some decent scratch for a viral tweet. Many other platforms already offer creators a share of ad revenue, including YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Instagram and Facebook.


Engadget
Feb 03, 2023

All the big tech layoffs of 2023
The tech industry is reeling from the combination of a rough economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and not to mention some obvious business missteps. And while that led to job cuts in 2022, the headcount reductions have unfortunately ramped up in 2023. It can be tough to keep track of these moves, so we've compiled all the major layoffs in one place and will update as the situation evolves.

Amazon layoffs

Alejandro Martinez Velez/Europa Press via Getty ImagesAmazon had already outlined layoff plans last fall, but expanded those cuts in early January when it said it would eliminate 18,000 jobs, most of them coming from retail and recruiting teams. To no one's surprise, CEO Andy Jassy blamed both an "uncertain economy" and rapid hiring in recent years. Amazon benefited tremendously from the pandemic as people shifted to online shopping, but its growth is slowing as

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