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Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Activision Blizzard settles its EEOC lawsuit with an $18 million payout
In order to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Activision Blizzard has agreed to establish an $18 million fund for eligible claimants — meaning, employees who were harmed by the company's discriminatory hiring and management practices. The EEOC lawsuit was filed Monday, and that same afternoon, Activision Blizzard announced the $18 million conclusion.

Activision Blizzard is the company behind blockbuster video game franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch. Activision Blizzard's revenue for the year 2020 was $8.1 billion, with a profit of more than $2 billion.

Today's $18 million agreement follows a three-year investigation into Activision Blizzard by the EEOC. The agreement is subject to court approval, and any leftover funds will be distributed among equality groups in the video game industry. The company is also upgrading its workplace policies and appointing a third-party equal opportunity consultant that will report to the Board of Directors and the EEOC.

This is just one of several lawsuits assailing Activision Blizzard at the moment. The first was filed by California's Departme

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Face ID on the iPhone 13 stops working if a third-party replaces the phone's display
With the addition of features like a 120Hz display on some models, Apple's iPhone 13 lineup is many ways a step above the phones the company shipped last year. But when it comes to the question of repairability, the story is more complicated. Conducting a teardown of the device, iFixit found it couldn't get the iPhone 13's Face ID feature to work if replaced the phone's display. No matter what workaround it tried, iFixit could not get Face ID to work again. By its estimation, the display on the iPhone 13 lineup is serial-locked to the device. "Right now, if you replace your screen, Apple kills your Face ID, unless they control the repair," the company warns.

While obviously not a good look for Apple, there may be a simple explanation for what's happening. iFixit says it spoke to a licensed repair technician who said they were told by Apple support that the issue is a bug the company plans to fix in a future iOS release. We've reached out to Apple for more information. If it turns that limitation is not a mistake, it would be a brazen move on Apple's part given that the FTC, at the behest of President Joe Biden, recently voted unanimously to tackle unlawful repair restrictions.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Facebook will publish some of its research on teens and Instagram
Facebook will publish two internal slide decks detailing its research into how Instagram affects teens' mental health sometime "in the next few days." Speaking at an online event hosted by The Atlantic, the company's policy chief Nick Clegg said the company would release the data to Congress before making it available to the public.

"We're just making sure that all the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted so that we can release it both to Congress and then to the public in the next few days," Clegg said of the slides, some of which have already been made public. His comments more than 10 days after The Wall Street Journalpublished an investigation into how Instagram affects the teens who use it. Citing internal research conducted by Facebook, The Journal wrote that "Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage" of teens, particularly teenage girls.

The investigation prompted immediate pushback from lawmakers, many of whom were already wary of Facebook's handling of child safety, and its plans to build a version of its service for children under 13. On Monday, Instagram said it would "pause" that work in order to create more "parental supervision tools." Members of Congress responded saying they want the company to end the project entirely. Facebook's head of safety is scheduled to testify at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Twitch partners with Warner Music to host original music programming
One week after coming to terms with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), Twitch has signed a deal with Warner Music Group. In partnering with the record label, a first for the Amazon-owned platform, the company says Warner Music will launch dedicated channels for some of its artists, including the likes of Bella Poarch and Saweetie. The label will also create a standalone channel that will air original programming from its IMGN production house.


Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

'Babylon 5' is getting a reboot
Some 23 years after its original run, Babylon 5 is making its way back to TV. According to Variety, The CW has ordered a reboot of the seminal sci-fi series. What's more, original creator J. Michael Straczynski is attached to the project.

That's good news because Straczynski penned 92 of the 110 episodes that make up Babylon 5. At the moment, there are relatively few details on the production, but what we do know is that it's being billed as a "from-the-ground-up reboot." None of the original actors from the series, including Bruce Boxleitner, are currently attached to the project, but that may change. With its sometimes dated visuals, it can be hard to see what makes Babylon 5 so special. However, in many ways, it was ahead of its time. It told a serialized story long before shows like The Wire popularized the format.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Skype reveals a colorful redesign, new features and performance upgrades
Skype has some significant changes in the works. It offered a peek at what's coming later this year, with a focus on speed, reliability and design, as well as other improvements. For one thing, video calls (on what Skype calls the "call stage") are getting a visual overhaul. New layouts and themes are on the way. You'll be able to see yourself on the main view while you're on a call, though you can hide your feed if you'd rather not look at your own face.

Video feeds are being rearranged into a grid to avoid relegating folks to a minimized view. Instead everyone on the call, including those who aren't sharing video, will be visible. You'll see larger video feeds in the top bar too.

SkypeThere are several viewing options for the call stage, including speaker view, grid view, a large gallery and Together Mode (which makes seem like everyone's in the same space). You can also opt only to include people who are sharing video in the grid or switch the video stream off completely. Audio-only participants can use one of the app's background replacement images while on a call, rather than grey nothingness.

More colorful themes are in the pipeline, with features including gradients for buttons and for users without avatars. Meanwhile, "the beauty of the left side panel screams art, balance and light

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Democratic lawmakers say Facebook 'must completely abandon' Instagram Kids
Mere hours after Facebook said it was pausing work on Instagram Kids, a group of Democratic lawmakers has called on the company to instead completely abandon the project. Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Kathy Castor and Lori Trahan say Facebook's decision to halt development is "insufficient."


Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Google created illustrations you can use as profile pictures
Not everyone is comfortable with using a photo of themselves as a profile picture, and others might find it tough to find an image that represents them appropriately. To help you find something that works, Google has revealed its first batch of Google Illustrations.

When you set your profile picture in Gmail, Google Workspace, Contacts on Android, you can select an illustration. Options include animals, mythical creatures, locations and hobbies. Google says the initial batch of illustrations "is inclusive of various cultures, interests and backgrounds." You can customize them by changing the colors and cropping the image.

Once you've selected and tweaked an illustration to your liking and saved it, your contacts will see it across several Google products. Google says it will expand the collection and bring illustrations to additional products and platforms, including iOS and the web.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

'Resident Evil 4' VR remake hits Oculus Quest 2 on October 21st
Halloween's coming, and so too is a virtual-reality remake of a Resident Evil game. The latest version of Resident Evil 4 will arrive as an Oculus Quest 2 exclusive on October 21st at 10AM ET.

Capcom announced the remake back in April. The Gamecube classic has been retooled for VR by Oculus Studios and Armature Studio. You'll control Leon from a first-person perspective rather than looking over his shoulder. Several aspects, such as combat and inventory management, were reworked to take advantage of VR.

You can use physical movements to pick up and use weapons and items. Instead of switching to a menu to swap guns, you can grab a different one from your holster. Whether you play standing or seated is up to you, as there's support for teleportation and room-scale movement, though you'll primarily use the analog stick for navigation.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Roblox and music publishers settle $200 million copyright lawsuit
Back in June, the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) hit Roblox with a $200 million lawsuit for allowing players to illegally use music on stream. Now, some three months later, the two have resolved their differences. On Monday, Roblox and the NMPA announced a settlement agreement that includes an opt-in option for NMPA members to negotiate their own licensing deals with the gaming platform. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed by the two organizations.

The deal follows a similar one the NMPA announced with Twitch last week. That agreement doesn't give creators access to songs they can use on stream. Instead, it creates a new reporting mechanism for copyright infringement that starts with a warning instead of a penalty. In an email, Twitch told users the new process is more forgiving to individuals who may have inadvertently played music they weren't authorized to use.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Apple details 3D maps rollout plan for iOS 15
Apple is slowly but surely rolling out 3D city views in the Maps app. Starting today, you can now pinch and zoom your way across a three-dimensional render of London. Apple switched on the experience for New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles last week as part of the iOS 15 release.

The feature will be enabled in Washington DC, San Diego and Philadelphia by the end of the year. Apple is bringing 3D maps to Canada next year, in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

In the 3D maps, you'll see elevation details throughout each city, along with new road labels and landmarks such as LA's Dodger Stadium, the Statue of Liberty and the Royal Albert Hall in London. A nighttime mode casts a moonlit glow over the maps at dusk.

Apple says the app will soon offer improved navigation through CarPlay. Public transit riders might find it easier to get around too. If you enter your route, the app can notify you when it's time to get off the bus or subway. You can also see step-by-step walking directions in augmented reality after scanning nearby buildings to determine your position and orientation.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Google Stadia on TVs will let you use your phone as the gamepad
You don't need to use the official Stadia Controller if you want to use Google's game streaming service on your TV — or any dedicated controller, for that matter. Google is rolling out a feature that lets TV-bound Stadia players use their Android phone or iPhone as a virtual gamepad. You can also use third-party gamepads by connecting them to your phone through Bluetooth or USB.

The widened controller support requires Android TV, Google TV or a Chromecast Ultra. In most cases, you'll need to either add a controller or enable the touch gamepad through the Stadia mobile app, and promptly choose "play on TV." Android TV and Google TV owners will also need to enable a controller through the avatar section on the big-screen Stadia app.

This might help boost Stadia's adoption. While it has long given you the flexibility of where you can play, you haven't had many choices for that setup. It's now relatively easy to use a favorite gamepad with your TV or, if you prefer, save a little money and use no gamepad at all. It won't be perfect, however. A phone's touchscreen can only do so much, and using your phone as a go-between is bound to add a little latency.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

'Life is Strange: Remastered Collection' will arrive on February 1st, 2022
Square Enix has put Life is Strange: Remastered Collection back on the release calendar. The updated versions of Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm will arrive on February 1st, 2022.

The collection will include remastered visuals for characters and the environments, along with a new engine and upgraded lighting. There will be full motion-captured facial animations in Life is Strange, and you'll get access to the deluxe Before the Storm content, including the "Farewell" episode.

The publisher originally planned to release the bundle on September 30th, but delayed it in August to "alleviate any additional pressure on the Life is Strange team." Life is Strange: True Colors dropped earlier this month, and an expansion will be available this Thursday.

Life is Strange: Remastered Collection is coming to Steam, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and, through backward compatibility, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

TikTok now has 1 billion monthly users
Nearly five years after Twitter shut down Vine, TikTok has reached the coveted 1 billion monthly active user mark. The company announced the milestone in a blog post on Monday. Attracting 1 billion users to any platform is a significant feat. However, TikTok's rise in popularity is especially impressive when you consider almost exactly a year ago the Trump Administration was threatening to ban the app if ByteDance, TikTok's Bejing-based parent company, didn't sell it to an American buyer.

Then you have the speed at which TikTok achieved the feat. The app has only been widely available since 2018 — though you could download it in select markets as early as 2017. It took Instagram nearly eight years after its initial release and almost six years after it was acquired by Facebook in 2012 before it passed the 1 billion user threshold. Granted, the internet was a smaller place then with fewer people connected to it through their phones, but none of that takes away from TikTok's ascent.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Facebook will open up the Oculus Go to tinkerers with an unlocked OS
Facebook will soon let folks who still have an Oculus Go do so much more with the virtual reality headset. The company will release an unlocked build of the operating system, which users can sideload to get full root access and do just about anything they want with the device.


Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

YouTube Music with offline listening comes to Wear OS 2
YouTube Music is rolling out to some Wear OS 2 smartwatches starting today. Gen 6 smartwatches from Fossil and Michael Kors will be able to stream music from the service, as will Mobvoi's TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, Pro 3 Cellular/LTE and E3 models. The app was previously released for Wear OS 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

It's the first YouTube Music smartwatch app that supports offline listening. If you're a YouTube Music Premium subscriber, you can download songs you can listen to offline and without ads. You'll be able to leave your phone at home and still listen to music while you work out or go for a walk.

The app includes the Smart Downloads feature, which updates the songs on your device when it connects to WiFi. Google says Premium subscribers can listen to more than 80 million songs and thousands of playlists from their wearable. The app, which is available through the Google Play Store, will hit more Wear OS 2 devices later this year.

Spotify rolled out an updated version of its Wear OS app last month. It also lets users download music to their smartwatch and stream tracks without the need to have a phone nearby.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

‘Metroid Dread' had me screaming my head off
Thanks to my parents, I was introduced to Monty Python pretty young. And the family that watches absurdist British comedy together… has a lot of in-jokes. For example, Any time we're, say, outside when it starts raining and we all scurry for shelter, someone in my family is bound to scream in a silly voice, "Run away! Run away!" That person was me while playing Metroid Dread, not just because it's a fun thing to say — it's the only way to survive that game for the first hour or so.

Metroid Dread is the fifth of the 2D adventures (not counting remakes) and the first new 2D installment in 19 years, since Metroid Fusion in 2002. And yet, I probably haven't played a Metroid game since the ‘80s or ‘90s, so I was happy to see that the basic formula hasn't changed. It's still an exploration game where you're trapped in a series of underground facilities and must find your way out by destroying enemies, blowing up walls, and squeezing through tight passages. 

That last one has been upgraded, at least. While you'll still eventually gain Samus' famous morph ball technique, at the start of the game you can instead do a crouch-slide through tunnels by hitting L1. It's kind of fun, except that there's a bit of a learning curve in figuring out which passages are for sliding and which are for rolling. As you unlock new abilities, you can, of course, revisit old locations to attain items you couldn't reach the first time around.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

The Switch OLED is a strong contender for most gorgeous handheld ever
Nintendo makes good hardware, but I don't know if I'd ever personally describe any of it as "beautiful." The GameCube was cute, I loved the clamshell design of the Game Boy Advance SP and I still have fond memories of the SNES's dogbone controller. But the Switch… I'm just sort of "okay" with it. It's never been a piece of a hardware that screamed "touch me" until now, with the upcoming OLED model.

Kris Naudus / EngadgetSet to come out October 8th, the big marquee feature of the new Switch is its larger, sharper screen. It's been bumped up to a 7-inch OLED from the 6.2-inch LCD of the original. I got to spend about an hour and a half with it and, though I couldn't compare the two systems side-by-side, I certainly noticed the difference when I got home. I fumbled for the brightness settings on my OG Switch only to sadly realize they were at max. The OLED is bright, crisp and gosh darn beautiful. The original Switch display still looks good, but the new screen is genuinely great.

Kris Naudus / EngadgetThe game on offer was the upcoming Metroid Dread, which comes out the same day as basically a "launch title" for the refreshed system. It's a good choice

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Anker's one-day sale knocks up to 45 percent off portable batteries and chargers
Amazon's latest one-day sale on Anker devices presents a good opportunity to grab a charging brick for that new iPhone you just bought. The sale includes up to 45 percent off a handful of Anker accessories, including the Nano 20W charger in the new lavender grey color that came out recently. That's $5 off and down to $15, while the standard white Anker Nano charger with a foldable plug is on sale for $12.

Shop Anker one-day sale at AmazonBuy Anker Nano 20W (lavender grey) at Amazon - $15Buy Anker Nano 20W (white) at Amazon - $12Either of these bricks makes a good substitute for Apple's own 20W charger, which is bulkier and slightly more expensive at $19. Both support iPhone fast-charging with the proper USB-C to Lightning cable and they also work with other USB-C devices like other smartphones, wearables, earbuds and even the Nintendo Switch (just be aware that, for the latter, neither support charge-and-play in TV mode).

We've also been fans of Anker portable battery packs and two are included in this sale. The

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Facebook is ‘pausing' work on Instagram Kids app amid growing scrutiny
Facebook has announced that it's "pausing" its Instagram Kids project in order to "work with parents, experts and policymakers to demonstrate the value and need for this product." The announcement follows criticism from 44 state attorneys general who asked Facebook to abandon the project, and a request from Democratic lawmakers for more detail about the project. 

The Instagram team said that it was building the app to get around the problem of kids accessing Instagram without parental permission. "We started this project to address an important problem seen across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older," wrote Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri. 

At the same time, the company rejected the idea it was capitulating due to criticism. "Critics of 'Instagram Kids' will see this as an acknowledgement that the project is a bad idea. That's not the case," Mosseri wrote. "The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today."


Some of the issues

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Beyond Meat's plant-based 'chicken' tenders are coming to grocery stores
Beyond Meat brought its plant-based "chicken" tenders to restaurants this summer, and soon you'll be able to enjoy them at home when Beyond starts selling them through retailers. You'll find the $5 tenders at Walmart and other major grocery chains starting in October, though only in select markets. Beyond expects to expand availability later this year.

The company says its tenders have 50 percent less saturated fat than ones made with actual chicken, and have no GMOs, antibiotics, hormones or cholesterol. Beyond uses faba beans rather than a soy-based recipe in its attempt to replicate the taste and texture of a chicken tender. It says you'll be able to heat up the pre-cooked tenders in under 10 minutes.

Along with Walmart, Beyond's tenders will be available at some Jewel-Osco, Safeway NorCal, Harris Teeter, Giant Foods and ShopRite stores at the outset. Meanwhile, Beyond says it's increasing availability of its products at Walmart. It'll bring Breakfast Sausage Patties to more than 1,300 additional stores, while more locations will offer Beyond Meatballs and Beyond Beef Crumbles.

It's been a busy month in the plant-based meat alternative ecosystem. Beyond competitor Impossible started selling its "chicken" nuggets in restaurants a few weeks ago. Impossible also announced that restaurants will offer its version of ground pork in their dishes this fall.



Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Uno Synth Pro review: IK Multimedia shows it's serious about hardware
The original Uno Synth was IK Multimedia's surprise entry into the world of budget-minded hardware instruments. It wasn't just a surprise that the company, best known for its iPhone-friendly MIDI controllers and plug-ins, decided to make a synthesizer, but that it also went full analog — an area where it didn't have much pedigree. The results were mixed, but the general consensus was that the Uno's core sound was impressive. Now IK is trying to move up a weight class with the Uno Synth Pro — a three-voice paraphonic synth with its crosshairs squarely aimed at the likes of the Korg Minilogue.

Of course, as with most musical instruments, there is no apples-to-apples comparison. So whether you're better off spending your synth dollar on an Uno Pro or on something else will depend on your priorities.

The Uno Synth Pro comes in two different flavors: the standard Pro with a 37-key Fatar keybed and a partially metal chassis; and a smaller Desktop model with a set of touch keys and an all-plastic body. The Pro version costs $650, while the Desktop is just $400. I tested the Desktop model, so I can't tell you much about the feel of the more expensive one, but if you already own a decent MIDI controller and don't plan on gigging with the Uno Synth, save yourself the cash; they're otherwise exactly the same instrument.

Under the hood are three oscillators with continuous wave shaping from triangle to saw to square (with pulse width modulation). There are options for hard sync, ring modulation and FM, plus two envelopes, two LFOs, two filters, analog overdrive and a selection of 12 digital effects. In short, there are plenty of options for sound design, especially when you consider the 16-

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

The Morning After: Already hyping the iPhone 14
Is this a record? No sooner has the iPhone 13 hit store shelves than the rumor mill is already up and churning about the next one. Rumors from the weekend suggest the iPhone 14 will be a "complete redesign," but the details are thin gruel at this point. Hold not these rumors close to your chest in hope, my friends, lest they disappear into a puff of whimsy.

This complete redesign will reportedly see the 14 look a lot more like the iPhone 4, with a band running around the outside of the device. That makes sense given how beloved the 4's design was, and how those square edges have recently returned to Apple's design language. The hints also suggest that, with a marginally thicker body, the camera lenses will be flush with the back.

Another rumor says the 14 may ditch the notch in favor of a hole-punch front camera, or maybe only for the Pro models. Plus, there are the usual rumor hits, including the launch of in-display TouchID and the end of the iPhone Mini. Just remember, we're a year away from any of this being confirmed, so let's focus instead on all the delights of the 13 we have yet to discover.

— Dan Cooper

Hubble telescope helps find six 'dead' galaxies from the early universeThe galaxies stopped growing despite a galactic baby boom.

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

August's Smart Lock Pro is $99 for today only
With features like WiFi support, Bluetooth, HomeKit and a closed-door sensor, August's 3rd-gen Smart Lock Pro is feature-rich but quite expensive at $230. Fortunately, if you've been coveting that model, you can now pick one up today only for much less — just $99 at Amazon (57 percent off) as its deal of the day. 

Buy August Smart Lock Pro at Amazon - $99August has several Smart Lock versions, with the basic model lacking features like Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus compatibility, along with several features (WiFi, Alexa and Google Assistant support and remote access) requiring the $80 August Connect WiFi bridge. That's all included with Smart Lock Pro since it comes with the Connect Hub. At 86mm compared to 72mm, it's larger than the basic version and requires four AA batteries, rather than two CR123 cells in the lower-end model. 

Other features include remote/guest access, August app support, auto-lock and unlock, DoorSense to confirm your door is properly closed and arguably a more attractive design. It also fits over your current lock and dispenses with the thumb turn, as you just turn the outside of the lock to open your door. 

If the size and configuration isn't an issue, then the Smart Lock Pro is clearly the one you want, so the $99 price tag makes it essentially a no brainer. At that price, it's cheaper than the basic model that's currently priced at around $130, or $154 with Connect. It's also a lot less than August's latest model, the 4th-generation

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

Solid-state silicon batteries could last longer and charge faster
Researchers from UC San Diego, supported by LG Energy, have made a promising discovery that involves two popular types of battery tech. They created a solid-state battery with an all-silicon anode that could potentially deliver long life, high energy density and fast charging — potentially making EVs cheaper and more practical. 

Silicon is a highly desirable anode material as it has over ten times the energy density of current graphite anodes. The problem is that silicon anodes tend to expand and degrade quickly as a battery charges and discharges, particularly with the liquid electrolytes currently used in lithium-ion cells. That issue has helped keep them out of commercial batteries. 

Meanwhile, the challenge with solid-state batteries (with solid instead of liquid electrolytes) is that they use metallic lithium anodes that must be kept at elevated temperatures (140 degrees F) during charging. That makes them less practical in cold weather, requiring heaters that consume valuable energy.

The solution to both these problems is a special type of silicon anode in a solid-state battery, according to the US San Diego team. They eliminated the carbon and binders typically used in silicon anodes and replaced the liquid electrolyte with a sulfide-based solid electrolyte. 

With those changes, they demonstrated that the all-silicon anodes w

Engadget
Sep 27, 2021

YouTube TV may drop 14 NBC Universal channels over a contract dispute
NBC Universal has warned YouTube TV subscribers that 14 of its channels may be removed if the two parties can't resolve a dispute, 9to5Google has reported. YouTube has acknowledged the situation on its official blog, saying that it will drop its monthly price by $10 if the situation isn't resolved and the content goes offline. If you're a YouTube TV subscriber, you stand to lose NBC, USA Network, Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC, Telemundo and eight other channels. 

According to YouTube, the dispute revolves around how much money its paying NBC Universal (NBCU) for its content. "For the duration of our agreement, YouTube TV seeks the same rates that services of a similar size get from NBCU so we can continue offering YouTube TV to members at a competitive and fair price," the Google-owned service said. NBC said in a statement that it's seeking "fair rates" from Google, adding that YouTube TV is "just days away from letting their contract expire."

NBC Universal is trying to put some pressure on YouTube TV, asking users to tweet at or chat with YouTube TV, or even switch providers. However, YouTube is saying that it will only renew "if NBCU offers us equitable terms" and said it would drop monthly prices by $10 from $64.99 to $54.99 while the channels are off the platform. It even encouraged users to sign up for NBC's Peacock streaming service for $4.99 per month in order to retain NBCU content. 





Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

Hubble telescope helps find six 'dead' galaxies from the early universe
You'd think large galaxies in the early universe would have had plenty of 'fuel' left for new stars, but a recent discovery suggests that wasn't always the case. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found six early galaxies (about 3 billion years after the Big Bang) that were unusually "dead" — that is, they'd run out of the cold hydrogen necessary for star formation. This was the peak period for star births, according to lead researcher Kate Whitaker, so the disappearance of that hydrogen is a mystery.

The team found the galaxies thanks to strong gravitational lensing, using galaxy clusters to bend and magnify light from the early universe. Hubble identified where stars had formed in the past, while ALMA detected cold dust (a stand-in for the hydrogen) to show where stars would have formed if the necessary ingredients had been present.

The galaxies are believed to have expanded since, but not through star creation. Rather, they grew through mergers with other small galaxies and gas. Any formation after that would have been limited at most.

The findings are a testament to the combined power of Hubble and ALMA, not to mention Hubble's capabilities decades after its launch. At the same time, it underscores the limitations of both the technology and human understanding by raising a number of questions. Whitaker noted that scientists don't know why the galaxies died so quickly, or what happened to cut off the fuel. Was the gas h

Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

New iPad mini owners report 'jelly scrolling' problems
Some new iPad mini customers aren't enjoying the tiny tablet's new screen as much as they'd like. 9to5Macreports that users (includingThe Verge's Dieter Bohn) have noticed a "jelly scrolling" effect where one side of the screen scrolls at a different rate than the other, producing a wobble occasionally noticeable in portrait view. The effect is harder to spot if you tilt the iPad to a landscape orientation, but that's not much consolation if you like to read websites and social feeds 

We've asked Apple if it can comment on the jelly effect. It's unclear if the quirk is linked to hardware (such as the screen itself or a display controller) or can be addressed through software. We'll let you know if we have a chance to replicate the issue.

This won't necessarily hurt functionality, especially if you tend to use the iPad mini in landscape mode or view content that doesn't produce the effect. It's also uncertain just how widespread the issue really is. With that said, you probably won't be thrilled if you notice this wiggle on Apple's small-but-premium slate.



Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

Samsung hopes to 'copy and paste' the brain to 3D chip networks
Samsung thinks it has a better way to develop brain-like chips: borrow existing brain structures. The tech firm has proposed a method that would "copy and paste" a brain's neuron wiring map to 3D neuromorphic chips. The approach would rely on a nanoelectrode array that enters a large volumes of neurons to record both where the neurons connect and the strength of those connections. You could copy that data and 'paste' it to a 3D network of solid-state memory, whether it's off-the-shelf flash storage or cutting-edge memory like resistive RAM.

Each memory unit would have a conductance that reflects the strength of each neuron connection in the map. The result would be an effective return to "reverse engineering the brain" like scientists originally wanted, Samsung said.

The move could serve as a 'shortcut' to artificial intelligence systems that behave like real brains, including the flexibility to learn new concepts and adapt to changing conditions. You might even see fully autonomous machines with true cognition, according to the researchers.

There's a glaring problem with complexity, however. As a human brain has roughly 100 billion neurons with a thousand times more synaptic links, an ideal neuromorphic chip would need about 100 trillion memory units. That's clearly a difficult challenge for any company, and that doesn't include the code needed to make this virtual brain work. Samsung may have opened a door to human-like AI, but it could take a long time before anyone reaches that goal.



Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

Apple will fix bug preventing iPhone 13 owners from unlocking with Apple Watch
Are you unable to unlock your brand new iPhone 13 with your Apple Watch? Don't despair just yet. According to MacRumors, Apple has promised to fix a bug that prevents the unlock through an "upcoming software update." You can turn off the feature in Settings and rely on passcodes until that solution is in place, Apple said, although it didn't offer a timeframe for the patch.

The flaw typically tells users the iPhone is "unable to communicate" with the Apple Watch. Others can't setup the unlock feature in the first place. As you might imagine, that's a significant hassle if you're wearing a face mask and can't use Face ID to sign in.

You might not have to wait too long. While Apple only recently started testing an iOS 15.1 beta, the company has a long history of delivering small-but-quick updates that fix glaring bugs and security holes. While this certainly isn't how Apple wanted the iPhone 13 launch to go, the issue isn't likely to last.



Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

Tesla drivers can now request Full Self Driving beta tests
It took a long while, but Tesla is finally giving you some control over when (and if) you get Full Self Driving beta releases. The Washington Postnoted that Tesla has begun rolling out an FSD beta request button that lets you try the autonomous (really, semi-autonomous) technology before its wider release. The automaker won't just hand test code to anyone, though. Elon Musk noted that Tesla will "assess driving behavior" (like hard braking, aggressive turns or tailgating) for a week to reduce the chances of collisions.

The move could boost uptake for Full Self Driving betas and help Tesla refine the system for wider releases. The just-launched FSD 10.1 beta (mainly a bug fix) arrived too soon for that, but future software could be more polished or reach a general audience sooner.

Not everyone is thrilled with Tesla's rapid Full Self Driving expansion, however. The National Transportation Safety Board's new leader, Jennifer Homendy, recently joined other critics in accusing Tesla of "irresponsible" marketing for FSD technology that could lead to dangerous misuse. She also claimed Tesla was unresponsive to official recommendations for improvements. Beta requests may help Tesla achieve its goals sooner than before, but they won't address broader concerns about FSD's safety and whether or not customers should be testing semi-autonomous features on public roads.


Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

iPhone 14 is reportedly a 'complete redesign'
The iPhone 13 series is barely in stores, but that isn't stopping a growing chorus of leaks surrounding next year's model. As 9to5Macnotes, Bloomberg's historically accurate Mark Gurman claimed the iPhone 14 will represent a "complete redesign" — the first since the iPhone X arrived in 2017. The relatively modest iPhone 13 update was a hint that bigger things were coming, he said. Gurman was shy on details of what that new hardware would entail, but earlier rumors might offer a clue as to what to expect.

Most notably, frequently accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently claimed Apple would begin dropping the display notch entirely in 2022, starting with an iPhone 14 Pro that would use a hole-punch front camera like many Android phones. YouTuber Jon Prosser also claimed to have renders based on real-world photos of the new iPhone. The new model would supposedly resemble a supersized iPhone 4 with a band-like titanium outer ring, flush rear cameras and a thicker chassis.

Other rumors suggest Apple might drop a mini iPhone from the lineup, replacing it with a larger 'regular' model as well as the usual Pro offerings. There have been murmurs of under-display Touch ID, but it's not certain if this would be ready for 202

Engadget
Sep 26, 2021

Apple's 2021 iPad drops to $299 at Amazon
Don't worry if you missed out on an earlier deal for Apple's 2021 iPad. Amazon is selling the 64GB entry-level iPad for $299, or $30 off the usual price. The 256GB variant has dropped by a similar amount to $449. That matches a previous discount at Walmart, and is currently the lowest price we've seen for Apple's latest 10.2-inch slate. Just don't fret over color choices or shipping times — only Space Gray models appear to be in stock, and you'll have to wait one to three weeks.

Buy iPad (64GB WiFi) at Amazon - $299Buy iPad (256GB WiFi) at Amazon - $449The basic design of the iPad hasn't changed much in recent years, but the under-the-hood upgrades are particularly notable this year. The tablet now uses an A13 Bionic chip that's reportedly 20 percent faster than in the previous iPad, making it a better fit for gaming or creative tasks. This may also be a good pick for an era of remote work and virtual friend visits, as an ultra-wide 12MP front camera offers Center Stage to keep you in view as you move around.

Just don't expect a revamp on par with the

Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Nintendo is releasing a six-button Genesis controller for Switch, but only in Japan
Next month, Nintendo will give Switch Online subscribers the chance to purchase Sega Genesis games as part of a DLC pack with N64 titles. And to make the experience as authentic as possible while playing them, the gaming giant is also selling wireless N64 and Genesis controllers exclusively to Switch Online subscribers. The gaming giant showed off a three-button Genesis controller at its most recent Direct stream in the west. Based on a tweet by Nintendo Japan, though, it will release a six-button version in its home country instead. 


Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

NASA's AR graphic novel is meant to recruit a new wave of astronauts
NASA clearly needs more astronauts if programs like Artemis are to be successful, and it thinks it has a clever sales pitch: a tech-savvy comic. The space agency has released an augmented reality graphic novel, First Woman, that tells the tale of the fictional Callie Rodriguez as she becomes (what else?) the first woman to land on the Moon. You can read the 40-page first issue as-is, but NASA really wants you to download a companion mobile app (for Android and iOS) or scan codes to experience environments and objects in a more engaging way.

Point your phone at special "XR" codes (through the app) or QR codes (if you prefer the web) and you can tour the Orion spacecraft, the Moon and other objects. You can also play games, watch videos and earn badges.

You can also listen to an audio version. NASA is also promising a Spanish-language version of the novel sometime in the future. The administration isn't shy about treating First Woman as a recruiting drive, but it may well be worth a download if you want to foster your kids' interests in space and science — and possibly learn a thing or two about NASA's long-term plans.



Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Netflix's 'The Witcher' plans include season 3 and a kids' series
No, Netflix isn't done extracting every last drop of value from The Witcher. The streaming giant used its TUDUM event to tease a further expansion of its adapted fantasy series. There will be a third season of The Witcher, to no one's surprise, but Netflix also revealed plans for a second anime movie and, believe it or not, a "kids and family" series — a bit odd for fantasy world loaded with sex, violence and colorful language.

The company didn't provide release dates for any of the new projects. The second season of The Witcher premieres December 17th.

This isn't a completely unexpected move. Netflix clearly enjoyed success with the first season of The Witcher, and it's apparently confident enough in the second to prompt a renewal months in advance. The expansion would capitalize on that fandom and make it accessible to a much wider audience. It's just a question of whether or not viewers are willing to follow along, especially when iconic characters like Geralt and Yennefer might not be involved.


Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Netflix's 'League of Legends' series debuts November 6th
Netflix's long-in-the-making League of Legends show has a release date. The service has confirmed that its animated series Arcane will premiere November 6th at 10PM Eastern. Accordingly, a new trailer (below) sets the stage. It highlights the origins of sisters (and LoL heroines) Jinx and Vi as they fight both the dangers of hextech (magic harnessed by science) and the social inequalities between the rich city of Piltover and the undercity Zaun.

The series stars Into the Spider-Verse's Hailee Steinfeld as Vi and Army of the Dead's Ella Purnell as Jinx. Netflix and Riot are also banking on the show's distinctive hand-painted style (which might be familiar to Riot fans) to stand out from other CG productions.

It's not certain if Arcane will succeed, but Netflix has had some success with game-related shows like Castlevania — and that was for a franchise past its prime. A League of Legends series might thrive thanks to the MOBA title's ongoing popularity... and, hopefully, its own merits.





Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Twitter promises better quality for new video uploads
Twitter says your new video uploads will appear less pixelated and have better quality. The official Twitter support account has revealed that the website made updates to fix its platform's poor video quality, which has been a problem for its users since the beginning. Twitter told The Verge that it removed a pre-processing step when you upload videos that's responsible for the issue. That step apparently splits the clip you're trying to upload into smaller chunks for easier processing, and that could reduce video quality.


Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

'The Sandman' teaser shows the capture of Morpheus
You no longer have to wonder just what Netflix's adaptation of Sandman will look like. Netflix has shared a teaser for The Sandman that reveals the pivotal moment when an occult ritual captures Morpheus (aka Dream, played by Tom Sturridge) and sets the story in motion. As author Neil Gaiman put it, scenes like this will be more than a little reminiscent of the comic book series — good news if you were hoping for a faithful adaptation.

The series has a slew of well-known actors, including Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Stephen Fry as Gilbert, and Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven. You'll also likely recognize actors like Narcos' Boyd Holbrook (playing The Corinthian) and The Good Place's Kirby Howell-Baptiste (as Death).

Netflix still won't commit to a release date for The Sandman beyond "coming soon." Still, it's evident the company is giving the show a lavish treatment. It's expecting a hit on par with Gaiman's other adaptations (such as Amazon's American Gods and Good Omens), and it's delivering the production values to match.





Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Amazon says James Bond movies will still be released in theaters
You might not have to stay at home to watch James Bond movies if and when Amazon closes its purchase of MGM. As Deadlinereports, producer Barbara Broccoli revealed to Sky News that Amazon had committed to releasing Bond movies in theaters "in the future." Broccoli wasn't more specific than that, but it's safe to say you won't need a Prime Video subscription to watch 007's post-Daniel Craig exploits.

MGM has gone out of its way to make sure the latest Bond flick, No Time to Die, premieres in theaters. The movie was slated to debut in April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted delays to November 2020, April 2021 and finally September 30th, 2021 for the UK. It reaches the US on October 8th. In all cases, MGM has steadfastly refused to make it available on streaming services like rival studios' blockbuster releases — Amazon might face stiff resistance if it tries digital premieres.

The news follows a familiar pattern: Hollywood studios are determined to stick to theater-first launches for as long as possible. While there was clearly some success for WarnerMedia and other studios that released movies simultaneously or exclusively on streaming services at the height of the pandemic, they clearly want to return to the pre-COVID status quo.



Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

'Stranger Things' season 4 teaser offers a peek at a haunted house
Netflix is finally offering more than a very brief glimpse of Stranger Things season 4. The streaming service used its TUDUM event to share a teaser that focuses on Creel House, a seemingly haunted abode. Decades after an ill-fated family moves into the house, the familiar Stranger Things teenage cast enters to investigate — and it won't surprise you to hear that something is amiss.

The new season still doesn't have a more specific release date than "2022." Still, it's clear Netflix is eager to drum up early hype. Not that this is really a shock. Stranger Things is a well-received series coming back over two years after its last entry, and Netflix undoubtedly wants to be sure it was worth the lengthy wait.





Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Apple says third-party apps must update to fully use iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz display
You might not have to worry about apps that can't use the 120Hz refresh rate of the iPhone 13 Pro family. As iMorenotes, Apple has posted a developer article revealing that iPhone apps will need to 'unlock' 120Hz support by adding a key to a .plist file. There's also a bug limiting the speed for some Core Animation-based apps, although Apple said a fix was coming in a future iOS 15 update.

The iPad Pro doesn't require code updates to make full use of its 120Hz display, although that may be due to the tablet's much larger battery. Smartphones are much more likely to take a serious battery life hit from high-refresh screens.

The details suggest a repeat of what happened when Apple introduced the iPhone 6, iPhone X and other phones with significant leaps in display tech — it took a while for Apple and developers to make full use of the new screens. Your iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz panel should reach its full potential, but there may be a few weeks or months where it goes underused.



Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

ICYMI: Everything you need to know about the iPhone 13
It's that time of year again: the latest Apple devices have arrived. We spent time with all of the company's new products and reported back on their successes and missteps. First, Cherlynn Low tested out all four of the new iPhone 13 models to see which are worth your money this year. Valentina Palladino spent time carrying around the redesigned iPad mini, which does everything a small tablet should. Also, Devindra Hardawar found one more reason to recommend the Dell XPS 15, and Mat Smith took some average selfie's with the ZTE Axon 30's "invisible" front-facing camera.

The iPhone 13 and 13 mini are made for shutterbugsDavid Imel for EngadgetOn paper, Cherlynn Low says there's not much to get excited about when it comes to the new iPhone 13 and 13 mini. The incremental upgrades like the bigger batteries, better displays and faster chips all feel like standard, annual improvements. The key features of the new handsets are the enhancements made to the cameras. The rear sensors have been improved, the ultra wide lens lets in more light and the A15 chip has a faster image signal processor.

Cherlynn particularly liked the addition of Photographic Styles, which allows the user to choose a profile of contrast levels and color temperature for photos. And she said Cinematic Mode, which blurs out the background behind a subject, was the most intriguing of the

Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Hitting the Books: How Bitcoin is somehow worth more than the paper it's printed on
Bitcoin and similar blockchain-based cryptos exhibit the same radical divergence from traditional scarcity economics that we first saw when MP3s and Napster cratered physical album sales at the turn of the century. Unlike gold, which derives its value from both its myriad uses in fashion and industry as well as the difficulty involved in extracting it from the Earth, acquiring new Bitcoin is as simple as digitally mining more of the stuff. In his latest book, The Future of Money, Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, Eswar S Prasad deftly examines how we collectively assign value to these digital constructs and what that means for the economics of tomorrow.   

Harvard University PressCopyright © 2021 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

At a conference held in Scotland in March 2018, then Bank of England governor Mark Carney observed that "the prices of many cryptocurrencies have exhibited the classic hallmarks of bubbles including new paradigm justifications, broadening retail enthusiasm and extrapolative price expectations reliant in part on finding the greater fool." The last phrase in his statement was an allusion to the period of seemingly ever-rising real estate prices during the US housing boom of the early to mid-2000s. High and rising real estate valuations seemed to be based on the notion that all it took to make money from a house purchased at inflated prices was to find just one buyer—an even greater fool than oneself—willing to pay an even higher price.

Carney's speech came on the heels of another by

Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Galaxy S22 Ultra leak suggests Samsung will include the Note's S-Pen slot
Don't be dismayed that Samsung passed on the Galaxy Note in 2021... you might get your stylus-equipped phone before too long. Frequent tipster OnLeaks has shared renders with Zouton, 91Mobiles and Digit that reportedly show the designs of next year's Galaxy S22 phones, including an Ultra model aimed squarely at Note fans. It would effectively be a sequel to the Galaxy Note 20, complete with an S-Pen slot and less rounded corners. There would also be a fourth camera you didn't even see on the S21 Ultra, although it's not clear what functionality you'd get.

The other models wouldn't be quite so thrilling, however. If accurate, the renders suggest the S22 and S22 (possibly badged as the S22 Pro) wouldn't be radically different from the S21 on the outside. They'd sport flatter backs and a slightly refined camera bump, but not much more. Most of the changes would sit underneath. Rumors have the regular S22 models jumping to a 50MP main camera (up from 12MP) and using Qualcomm's next-gen Snapdragon chip or Samsung's equivalent Exynos.



Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Recommended Reading: Inside Amazon's high-tech shipping facility
In Amazon's flagship fulfillment center, the machines run the showMatt Day, Bloomberg

Amazon's Kent, Washington facility has long been home to many of the company's high-tech innovations. Bloomberg takes us inside "BFI4" for another look at the shipping location that's run my algorithms and robots. 

How Google spies on its employeesSarah Krouse, The Information

In a report on various instances of surveillance at Google, The Information discusses how things like researching COBRA health insurance info and screenshotting and using encrypted messaging apps can draw the ire of the company's security team.

How Facebook's ‘metaverse' became a political strategy in WashingtonElizabeth Dwoskin, Cat Zakrzewski and Nick Miroff, The Washington Post

Between misinformation, privacy and antitrust debates, there's no shortage of challenges for Facebook at any given time. With scrutiny piling on from the US government, and the possibility of regulation looming, the social network is hoping to prove it's more than a problem-plagued platform. 

 



Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Apple's TV streaming service reportedly has less than 20 million subscribers
Apple hasn't published official subscriber numbers for its TV streaming service since it launched in 2019, but it may be smaller than analysts previously estimated. According to CNBC, the tech giant told the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees that TV has fewer than 20 million subscribers in the US and Canada. A few months ago, Statista published an estimate that puts the service's subscriber number to 40 million by the end of 2020 in the US alone. 

The firm admitted, however, that the estimate does not "necessarily reveal how many paying subscribers use the service." CNBC didn't say whether the 20 million subscribers the company declared were paying customers either. It also didn't mention how many of those got their subscriptions for free: Apple used to give away year-long subscriptions to customers who purchase new iPhones, iPads and Macs, but it shortened the offer to three months back in June. 

According to the report, having less than 20 million subscribers allowed Apple to pay production crew lower rates than bigger streamers. Under the current contract seen by CNBC, streaming services can pay their employees lower rates if they report less than 20 million subscribers to the IATSE every July 1st, because streaming profitability is "presently uncertain." The union is negotiating for a better contract, though, since current rules don't make an exception for tech giants like Apple. It also argues that streaming can no longer be considered "new media." 

An Apple rep told CNBC that the company pays in line with leading streaming services but ref

Engadget
Sep 25, 2021

Twitter shows off new concepts for filtering and limiting replies
Twitter has been trying to limit the toxic replies you can get on its website by giving you tools that allow you to be more proactive in preventing them from going through. In the future, those tools could include a feature that lets you filter potentially offensive replies and another that lets you limit potentially unwelcome accounts from replying. Twitter Senior Product Designer Paula Barcante has released a sneak peek of the features, which are merely concepts at the moment, to seek input from users.

Barcante says Twitter will ask you if you'd like to switch on those controls if it detects potentially harmful replies to your tweets. If your reply filter is on, Twitter won't show you or anyone else — except the user who wrote the response — the harmful tweets it detects. If you decide to limit unwelcome accounts, users who've recently shown patterns of breaking rules won't be able to reply to your tweets at all. 


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz display limits some third-party app animations to 60Hz
With this year's iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, Apple finally brought its ProMotion display technology from the iPad Pro over to some of its phones. The feature allows the new high-end iPhones to refresh screen content up to 120 times per second, thereby creating a much smoother interface experience. The effect is most noticeable when scrolling, but almost every aspect of a UI can benefit from a higher refresh rate.


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz display limits some third-party app animations to 60Hz (updated)
With this year's iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, Apple finally brought its ProMotion display technology from the iPad Pro over to some of its phones. The feature allows the new high-end iPhones to refresh screen content up to 120 times per second, thereby creating a much smoother interface experience. The effect is most noticeable when scrolling, but almost every aspect of a UI can benefit from a higher refresh rate.


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Yahoo is building a new calendar app with help from the creator of Sunrise
Mention the name of Sunrise to a select demographic of nerds and you're likely to elicit a visceral reaction. Before Microsoft purchased the calendar software in 2015 and shut it down about a year later, it was one of those apps people loved to praise. Thoughtful design and features helped it differentiate itself and earn a passionate fanbase in a crowded market that was dominated by heavyweights like GCal.

But then Microsoft shut down the app and fans were left to look elsewhere, with almost no alternative coming in to fill the void. But the good news is something similar could be on the way. Yahoo (Engadget's parent company) is working on a standalone calendar app called Day. We know, not the most exciting sell, but stay with us.

According to TechCrunch, the company has recruited Jeremy Le Van, one of the co-founders of Sunrise, to help design the software. What's more, the company has reportedly granted Le Van's team the freedom to develop the software independent of other Yahoo properties. In its current iteration, the app apparently doesn't feature any Yahoo branding or integrations. Moreover, the plan is to make it into something that can integrate with whatever email client and other tools people use.

Obviously, we'll have to see what the final product looks like, but even if Day is only half as good as Sunrise it will make the calendar conversation more interesting.



Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Twitter now lets you add topics to Spaces, but the options are limited
Twitter is adding yet another feature to make Spaces more discoverable. On Friday, the company announced the addition of Topics. As the name suggests, they're essentially pre-defined tags you can use to help like-minded individuals find your audio rooms. You can add up to three Topics to a Space. Some of the ones you can use currently include "entertainment," "world news" and "gaming."


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

NFL reportedly wants Apple to be the next home for Sunday Ticket
The NFL's long-standing Sunday Ticket partnership with DirecTV is coming to an end, following an eight-year agreement the two reached in 2014. The viewing package is probably on the move and the league has reportedly picked its preferred new home for Sunday Ticket: Apple.

It doesn't seem likely that DirecTV, which has been one of the NFL's main TV partners for nearly three decades, will renew its deal. The NFL is looking for north of $2 billion per year for Sunday Ticket rights, according to The Athletic, which is at least $500 million more than the satellite company is currently paying the league.

DirecTV has long been losing money on the package. It needs 5 million Sunday Ticket subscribers to cover the current fees, though CNBC reported the figure has been closer to 2 million on average. Combined with a sense that the NFL is diluting Sunday Ticket's value by shifting more games to other days, that doesn't exactly make reupping the deal an attractive proposition for DirecTV and parent company AT&T.

As such, potential suitors with deeper pockets appear to be stepping up. Apple, Disney/ESPN and Amazon, which will start streaming Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video next season, are among those who have reportedly shown interest.

It'll likely be several months before the Sunday Ticket bidding process is over, but Apple looks like the frontrunner. The Athletic reports that Apple is considering offeri

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Netflix's stylish 'Kate: Collateral Damage' heads to Steam on October 22nd
Netflix's recent foray into video games continues. On Friday, the company announced the existence of Kate: Collateral Damage. Like Eden Unearthed, the VR experience we saw make the media rounds earlier in the week, the new game is a tie-in to a recently released Netflix original. In this case, it's here to promote the release of action thriller Kate, which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a deadly assassin.

Netflix describes Kate: Collateral Damage as an time-attack, action roguelike. If you've played games like Hotline Miami and Katana Zero, you have a good idea of the setup. Each enemy in Kate: Collateral Damage only takes a single hit or two to dispatch, but the same is true of your character. 

Much like in the movie, Kate is poisoned by a substance called Polonium 204, leaving her with only 24 hours to live. How that plays out in the game is that the more efficiently you can take out enemies, the more time you'll have to complete a run. Since most firearms have limited ammo, you'll also need to get creative and adapt your tactics to the moment.


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Ford's Mustang Mach-E passes Michigan State Police tests
Michigan State Police has put a version of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E SUV through its paces over the past week, and the Ford Pro all-electric police pilot vehicle seems to have met the agency's bar. According to Ford, it's the first EV that's passed the Michigan State Police's model year evaluation test.


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Jeep will debut the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe on September 29th
The wait is nearly over. Jeep will debut the long-awaited 2022 Grand Cherokee, including the nameplate's first-ever 4xe plug-in hybrid model, on September 29th at 9AM ET, the automaker announced today. Jeep had initially planned to debut the 2022 Grand Cherokee in August at the 2021 New York Auto Show, but that plan went out the window when the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We got our first good look at the SUV when Jeep shared its updated electrification plans in July. Unsurprisingly, it looked a lot like the Grand Cherokee L but with a shorter wheelbase. The upcoming 4xe model is expected to feature the same gasoline-electric powertrain as the 2021 Wrangler 4xe. That SUV can output a combined 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.

Its 4xe models are becoming increasingly important to Jeep. In July, the automaker said it expects electric vehicles to account for 70 percent of all of its sales by mid-decade. To that end, it plans to offer a "fully electric" 4xe model in every SUV category it sells by 2025.



Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Justice Department will reportedly let Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou return to China
The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou that will let her return home to China, pending a judge's approval. Meng was arrested in Canada in 2018 on behalf of the US for allegedly violating American sanctions against Iran. She's been fighting attempts to extradite her to the US.

Meng, who is in house arrest while on bail, will admit to some improprieties and in return, prosecutors will postpone and eventually drop bank and wire fraud charges, according to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Meng remotely appeared at a federal court on Friday afternoon, with the Justice Department saying in a filing it will submit a "resolution" to the charges against her.

Prosecutors claimed that Meng misled banks in 2013 about Huawei's connections to Iran. She denied the charges, for which she had faced up to 30 years in prison.

Meng's detainment caused an international incident. Two Canadians were apprehended in China within days of Meng's arrest. The WSJ reports the deal with Meng could prompt China to release Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

Officials from the Trump administration are said to have offered Meng a similar deal last year, but she reportedly refused

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

California makes zero-emission autonomous vehicles mandatory by 2030
Starting in 2030, California will require all light-duty autonomous vehicles that operate in the state to emit zero emissions. Signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, SB 500 represents the latest effort by the state to limit the sale of new internal combustion vehicles with an eye towards reducing greenhouse emissions. In 2020, Newsom signed an executive order that effectively banned the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035. That same year, the state's Air Resources Board mandated that all new trucks sold in California emit zero emissions by 2045.

"We're grateful for California's leadership in ensuring this will be the industry standard," said Prashanthi Raman, head of global government affairs at Cruise, in a statement to Engadget. "The AV industry is primed to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cities, and it's why we've operated an all-electric, zero-emissions fleet from the start." Cruise backed SB 500 through its involvement with the Emission Zero Coalition, a group that also includes autonomous delivery startup Nuro.

Per the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector has been the single largest source of greenhouse emissions in the US since 2019, with light-duty vehicles accounting for more than half of that output. However, autonomous cars currently r

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Apple's MacBook Air M1 is $150 off, plus the rest of the week's best tech deals
This week brought iPhone reviews, new Surface devices and a bunch of tech deals across the web. Apple's MacBook Air M1 returns to the best price we've seen it while the iPad Air remains discounted by $100. Some of our favorite Sennheiser wireless earbuds are $100 off, too, and you can still grab a great deal from Oculus that knocks $100 off a second headset when you buy a Quest 2 VR system. Here are the best tech deals we found this week that you can still get today.

MacBook Air M1EngadgetApple's MacBook Air M1 is back down to an all-time low of $850, which is $150 off its normal price. It earned a score of 94 from us for its stellar performance, attractive, fanless design and its comfortable keyboard and trackpad.

Buy MacBook Air M1 at Amazon - $850iPad mini (2021)Valentina Palladino / EngadgetAmazon has the new, space gray

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Netflix is making a documentary about the QuadrigaCX Bitcoin saga
Netflix has announced a slate of upcoming true crime documentaries. Along with a second season of Tiger King, there's a documentary on the way that will dive into one of the messiest Bitcoin tales to date.

Trust No One: The Hunt For The Crypto King will debut in 2022. It centers around a group of cryptocurrency investors turned amateur detectives. They attempt to get to the bottom of the suspicious death of crypto exchange founder Gerald Cotten and figure out what actually happened to the $250 million they think he stole from them.

Cotten was the founder of QuadrigaCX, said to be the biggest crypto exchange in Canada for a spell. He died in December 2018 of Crohn's disease complications. According to his widow, Jennifer Robertson, Cotten was the only one who knew the passwords to QuadrigaCX's offline crypto storage, meaning that digital currency that was worth around $200 million CAD in early 2019 was no longer accessible.

However, internet sleuths uncovered some eyebrow-raising details about the saga. For one thing, Cotten wrote a will a month before his death in which he left all of his assets to Robertson. There were also suggestions QuadrigaCX didn't have enough cash on hand to pay all of its creditors and even that Cotten faked his death and disappeared with the money. The company ceased operations in 2019 after it was declared bankrupt.

The FBI started investigating that year, seeking information from

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max review: Apple saved the real upgrade for the Pros
A phone can be endowed with the fastest processor in the world, but if it's saddled with a slow screen, it could still feel sluggish — especially when compared to a similarly equipped device with a faster panel. That's why the iPhone 13 Pro's most important new feature is its ProMotion display.

But ProMotion is only included on the Pro and Pro Max models this year, making it one of the features that differentiate them from the iPhone 13 and 13 mini, not to mention last year's 12 Pro. For an extra $200 to $300, the Pro series also offers an additional telephoto camera, a new macro photography mode, as well as more power and endurance. But are the iPhone 13 Pro's new cameras and screens worth the extra money?

DesignBefore we get into those features, though, there's one thing you should consider: weight. At 204 grams (7.19 ounces), the 6.1-inch 13 Pro is heavier than both the 12 Pro and the iPhone 13. The 13 Pro Max, which has a 6.7-inch screen, outweighs last year's Pro Max and Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra. While I didn't mind the regular Pro, it was uncomfortable to use Apple's biggest flagship one-handed for more than a few minutes at a time.



Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

China's central bank says cryptocurrency transactions are illegal
China is continuing to push forward in its cryptocurrency crackdown. The People's Bank of China says crypto transactions are illegal and called for a formal ban. It cited concerns about national security and the safety of residents' assets.

The bank claims cryptocurrencies aren't fiat currency and can't be circulated, as Bloomberg reports. Any transactions involving crypto are now deemed to be criminal financial activity. The bank told financial and internet companies to stop allowing crypto trades on their platforms. Foreign exchanges are banned from providing services to Chinese residents too. 

The rise of crypto has invoked an increase in "money laundering, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal and criminal activities," the bank said. Those appearing to violate the rules will be "investigated for criminal liability."

Several agencies in the country are working together to clamp down on crypto use. The National Development and Reform Commission is looking to put a halt to crypto mining, as TechCrunch notes. The Sichuan local government banned crypto mining in June, prompting some miners to leave the country.

The price of Bitcoin dropped from around $45,000 to approximately $41,500 on Friday morning, following the announcement.



Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Engadget Podcast: Everything Microsoft Surface iPhone 13, iPad Mini reviews
It's fall, and new gadget season has officially begun! This week, Cherlynn and Devindra dive into all of Microsoft's new hardware: The Surface Laptop Studio, Pro 8 and Duo 2. Also, Commerce Editor Valentina Palladino joins to chat about the iPhone 13, 13 Mini and her iPad Mini review. And of course, we carve out some time to yell at Facebook.

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!

Engadget · Everything Microsoft Surface iPhone 13, iPad Mini reviews
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Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Amazon is reportedly planning a wall-mounted Echo with a 15-inch display
Amazon is working on a number of new devices including an Echo with a 15-inch wall-mounted display, a soundbar, new Echo Auto technology and wearables. Some may appear fairly soon at the company's September 28th hardware event, according to a Bloomberg report. 

The splashiest-looking product would be an Alexa-enabled Echo with a display size around 15-inches. Codenamed Hoya, it could not only be placed on a stand like a regular Echo device, but mounted on a wall as well. It would serve as a smart-home center to control lights, cameras, locks and other devices, while showing weather, timers, appointments, photos and more. It's specifically designed to work in the kitchen, displaying recipes and YouTube cooking videos, while letting you stream Netflix and other apps. 

The company may also announce its own soundbar, codenamed Harmony, to accompany a rumored lineup of Amazon-branded TVs. Unlike third-party Alexa-enabled soundbars, it would have a front-facing camera and support video calls from TVs, much like Facebook's Portal TV. 

Finally, it's reportedly developing a new version of Echo Auto (codenamed Marion). The updated version will supposedly have a new design and allow for device charging via inductive technology. Amazon currently has a partnership with Ford to put Alexa in 700,000 vehicles, but it's apparently looking to team up with other automakers, too.

Other items in the works include new Echo speakers for 2022 and wearables for kids and sen

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Dell XPS 15 OLED review: A practically perfect 15-inch laptop


OLED makes Dell's already excellent XPS 15 even better. That's it, that's all you need to know. I've seen dozens of OLED screens over the last decade, and they never fail to impress. By their very nature they look bolder and capture inky blacks better than most LCD screens. So take that together with the latest hardware from Intel and NVIDIA, and you've got a surefire ultraportable powerhouse.

Now, if you remember last year's redesigned XPS 15 you'll probably have a hard time telling this new model apart. It still has a sturdy and thin aluminum unibody case, but the star of the show is the 15.6-inch display. It has some of the thinnest bezels on the market, which almost makes the screen seem as if it's floating in the air. New this year is the 3.5K OLED touchscreen model, but you can also choose from two LCD panels: a 4K touchscreen and a 1080p display. The plus on those resolutions just means they pack a few more vertical pixels to reach a 16 x 10 aspect ratio.

While I'm clearly partial to what OLED adds to the experience, all of the displays should look great. They each support Dolby Vision HDR, and the LCD models are also fairly bright at 500 nits. The OLED version maxes out at 400 nits, but the vastly better contrast should make up for it. It's also the only screen that supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut, making it ideal for artists who demand color accuracy.

I'll admit: I'm mainly reviewing the XPS 15 to gawk at its screen. As soon as I powered it up, I put on the Matrix Resurrections trailer in 4K HDR just t

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Xbox gains new features with updated Edge browser
With its September Xbox update, Microsoft has brought the new, Chromium-based Edge browser to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles. It supports a keyboard and mouse and will introduce new capabilities like access to Google Stadia, Discord, web apps and more.

Microsoft started testing the Edge update on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S earlier this year, but today it's coming to everyone. Edge has been the default browser on Xbox One, but not the latest Chromium version that enables features like Google Stadia gameplay. 

It promises a "fast, secure and modern browsing experience right from your console," Microsoft wrote. It's nearly identical to the desktop version, with features like vertical tabs, collections and syncing of settings, favorites, history, tabs and more to other signed-in devices. As Reddit users have noted, though, it's missing extensions — so you won't be able to use an ad-blocker for now.

With mouse and keyboard support, gamers will find it far easier to use productivity apps. More importantly, you'll be able to play Google Stadia or Steam PC games with either a mouse and/or the Xbox controller. For now, there's no microphone support for live chats on Discord or other apps, according to The Verge.  

Microsoft also trumpeted the release of Play Later discovery, but it's not clear how that differs from the current Play Later features. It also re-announced the arrival of game streaming to PC via Xbox Game Pass cloud or usin

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

The Morning After: The EU's grand USB-C plan
Like a band with too few hit singles, the European Union is resorting to playing the classics over and over again. The bloc has, like clockwork, tabled a proposal for legislators to think about maybe possibly having a debate about if it's worth creating a common charging standard.

This has happened more than a few times before, as it pushed micro-USB as a voluntary standard in 2009 and tried to pass it into law in 2014. And in 2018. And it started this process again in January 2020, although some world-shattering event got in the way of that process.

The new proposal would require that "all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles" would use USB-C for charging. The law would also "unbundle" the sale of chargers from devices as a way of reducing e-waste.

EU officials are also proposing for technology manufacturers to harmonize their fast charging technology to ensure continuity between devices. Officials added that such harmonization would prevent "different producers unjustifiably [limiting] the charging speed" which isn't really the issue here.

Naturally, the obvious target for this is Apple, which has already come out against the proposal. Perhaps it will be this, rather than anything else, that prompts the arrival of the long-rumored

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Warner is making a documentary on DC Comics for HBO Max
A three-part documentary series on DC Comics is coming to HBO Max, according to Deadline. Warner Bros. Unscripted Television is producing the documentary, which will detail the influence and legacy of DC from the time it was established and the time Superman was born in the 1930s. The division is working with Leslie Iwerks (as co-director and executive producer) and Greg Berlanti (as executive producer) for the project. 

Iwerks is known for several other high-profile documentaries, including The Pixar Story that showed audiences what happens behind the scenes at the animation studio and The Imagineering Story, which gives viewers a look at how Disney develops rides and attractions for its parks. She will co-direct the documentary with Mark Catalena, who served as editor for The Imagineering Story. Meanwhile, Berlanti is a prolific writer, director and producer who'd previously worked on Doom Patrol, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Superman and Lois, The Flash and Black Lightning.

Jim Lee, DC's Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, said in a statement:


The docu series doesn't have a release date yet, but it will expand HBO Max's DC offerings further when it arrives. Warne

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

DJI Mavic 3 drone leak details improved camera and a 46-minute flight time
DJI's upcoming Mavic 3 Pro drone may be a big upgrade over the last model, according to leaks from DroneDJ and Jasper Ellens seen by The Verge. It may have a significantly longer flight time along with not just one, but two cameras, including a telephoto model and one with a larger Four Thirds sensor. If accurate, the Mavic 3 would be highly desirable for cinematographers and aerial photographers when it arrives, reportedly later this year. 

Where the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom make you choose between a larger sensor or a 24-48mm equivalent zoom, the new model will offer both on one drone. It reportedly comes with two separate cameras, including a 20-megapixel, 24mm f/2.8-f/11 primary camera with a Four Thirds sensor, along with a 12-megapixel, 1/2-inch sensor secondary camera with a 160mm-equivalent telephoto lens.


Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

Apple update fixes Music bug affecting the iPhone 13 and new iPads
You may have to update your brand new Apple device before you can use it to play music. As spotted by MacRumors, the tech giant has issued an advisory warning users about an Apple Music bug and advising them to update their devices. Apparently, people may not be able to access their Apple Music catalog and settings or use Sync Library if they restore their new phone or tablet from a backup. The bug affects the company's latest mobile devices, namely the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, 6th-generation iPad mini and 9th-generation iPad.

Apple unveiled its new smartphones and tablets at an event in mid-September. The largest and most expensive phone in the bunch is the iPhone Pro Max, with its 6.33-inch screen and prices that reach $1,599. Compared to their predecessors, the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone mini models have smaller notches, batteries that last up to 2.5 hours longer and brighter displays. Meanwhile, the new entry-level iPad now ships with an A13 Bionic chip, promising faster performance than the previous generation. As for the new iPad mini, it now comes with a USB-C port instead of Apple's proprietary Lightning port.

The new devices started shipping on September 24th, and MacRumors says users have already started getting notifications for a software update. To install it, you simply have to go to Software U

Engadget
Sep 24, 2021

'Disco Elysium: The Final Cut' hits Nintendo Switch on October 12th
Disco Elysium finally has a launch date for the Nintendo Switch over a year after its developer ZA/UM confirmed that it's heading to the console. The Final Cut version of the critically acclaimed title will be available from the Nintendo eShop on October 12th, with a physical release to follow next year. ZA/UM says the version heading to Switch isn't a port, but rather a "painstaking reassembly" of the game, with its redesigned user interface and font-scaling options.

The Final Cut version of the the game first became available for PCs, Stadia and PlayStation earlier this year. It doesn't just come with fresh playable content, but also full voice acting for the detective RPG. The hit indie open-world RPG is plot-heavy and features gameplay mechanics that focuses on dialogue and your choices. In the game, you'll take on the role of a detective trying to solve a murder case while suffering from drug and alcohol-induced amnesia. 

Disco Elysium was originally released for Windows in 2019 and has won multiple awards since then. Last year, ZA/UM and production house Dj2 Entertainment revealed that they're working to turn it into a TV series, though those plans will most likely take a while to solidify. For now, you can pre-order a digital copy of the game for Switch for £35 / US$40 / €40. You can also pre-order a physical collec

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

New York City passes extensive laws to protect food delivery workers
New York City has passed sweeping legislation aimed at protecting workers of app-based food delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash. The move makes the city one of the first municipalities in the US to aggressively regulate an industry that has grown by leaps and bounds during the pandemic.

Per Bloomberg, the legislation touches nearly every aspect of the job. For instance, addressing an issue that was a subject of a $2.5 million settlement, delivery apps and courier services must disclose their gratuity policies, and guarantee that workers always receive their tips. They must also pay them at least once a week, and provide them with payment options that don't necessitate the need for a bank account. Another part of the legislation mandates platforms include a clause in their contracts with restaurants to ensure they provide bathroom access to delivery workers.

Both Grubhub and DoorDash told Engadget they support the legislation, though the latter voiced some reservations about specific measures. "We recognize the unique challenges facing delivery workers in New York City and share the goal of identifying policies that will help Dashers and workers like them," a DoorDash spokesperson said. "We will continue to work with all stakeholders, including the City Council, to identify ways to support all delivery workers in New York City without unintended consequences."

The company specifically pointed to the restroom mandate, which lawmakers tweaked near the end of the process to put the onus of ensuring compliance on platform holders. It's also concerned about a provision that gives delivery workers the ability to set limits on their routes. The company contends that's something that c

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day headline the Mario Bros. movie in 2022
During Thursday's latest Nintendo Direct event, acclaimed video game designer Miyamoto Shigeru announced that the company's upcoming feature length animation project — in conjunction with American film studio, Illumination — now has a firm North American theatrical release date of December 21st, 2022.


Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

'Bayonetta 3' will progress onto the Switch in 2022
When Nintendo announced Bayonetta 3 in 2017,Reggie Fils-Aimé was still at the company. After the better part of four years, the Switch exclusive finally has a release date. 

Nintendo, Sega and Platinum Games will release Bayonetta 3 in 2022, the gaming giant announced today during its latest Direct presentation. Nintendo also shared a new trailer for the title, showing off gameplay for the first time. In classic Bayonetta style, the clip was completely absurd. At one point, we see Bayonetta controlling kaiju monsters in what almost looks like an action RPG. Take a look for yourself.

Nintendo promised to share more information about the game soon.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Online 'Expansion Pack' brings N64 and Genesis games to Nintendo Switch
Nintendo is rolling out a new membership plan for Switch Online, and it'll unlock a library of classic Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles. The new subscription tier will go live in October and Nintendo has not shared pricing details yet.

NintendoGames in the Online Expansion Pack include Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Starfox 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Ecco the Dolphin, Phantasy Star IV, Sonic 2 and Streets of Rage 2, among other iconic titles.

NintendoAlongside the new (old) games and the fresh Online tier, Nintendo is rolling out N64 and Genesis gamepads just for the Switch, and only for Online subscribers. The controllers are $50 each and will require a Switch Online membership to purchase.

Switch owners have been anxiously waiting for N64 games to hit the system since it launched in 2017, and the inclusion of Genesis titles is the cherry on top of today's news. The surprising part is how the games will be distributed, via a new form of subscription DLC.

Developing...



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

'Kirby and the Forgotten Land' heads to Nintendo Switch in spring 2022
After a leak earlier in the day spoiled the surprise, Nintendo announced Kirby and the Forgotten Land at its latest Direct presentation. Set to arrive on Switch in the spring of next year, the title will mark the first mainline Kirby game since Nintendo released Kirby Star Allies in 2018. The company shared a trailer that shows Kirby navigating the overgrown remains of a long-forgotten city. 

As in past games, Kirby can inhale enemies to gain their abilities. At one point in the trailer, we see him become a swordsman, complete with a green cap and what looks like a Master Sword. Other stolen abilities allow him to freeze his enemies and breathe fire on them. All in all, it looks an adorable adventure that should make Kirby fans happy.    



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Google adds one-button group chats for Calendar meetings
Ever wish you could quickly share notes before a Google Calendar meeting, or follow up afterward? You can now. Google is trotting out updates to Workspace and G Suite users that let you easily create a group chat with everyone from your organization attending a given meeting. You just have to tap a button near the guest list to start the conversation directly from the event, whether you're on the web or your phone.

This won't work with people outside your organization. You may also have to be patient. Web users on a rapid release track are in the midst of a 15-day rollout that quietly began on September 20th, while mobile users and more cautious companies will have to wait until October 4th.

It's a welcome move, if also an expected one. Google is increasingly unifying its Workspace web apps, including Gmail's growing role as a hub for office conversation. The Calendar expansion is a logical extension — it could make Google's chat service an easy choice for meeting organizers who want to message colleagues.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

American Nest Hub and Hub Max smart displays can now show Spanish text
Starting today, Google is rolling out more robust Spanish language support to Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max devices in the US. With the update, the company has translated the entirety of the user interface on those devices into Spanish. Additionally, it has added additional commands that weren't supported previously.

For instance, you can say, "Hey Google, llama a mamá," to tell your Nest Hub to connect you to your mom over Google Duo. Another new voice command allows you to add groceries and other items to a centralized shopping list. One other new feature make it possible to stream music from both free and paid streaming services. If you're a YouTube TV subscriber, you can also stream Univision on your smart display. You can switch your Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max to Spanish by navigating to the languages section of the Assistant settings menu in the Google Home app.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Watch September's Nintendo Direct here at 6PM ET
The third Nintendo Direct stream of 2021 takes place today. Nintendo is promising around 40 minutes of news and updates. The focus will be on games coming to Nintendo Switch this winter, but we might just get a look at some titles that are a little further away.

Metroid Dread, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Mario Party Superstars all have scheduled release dates in the next few months, so they could be featured on the stream. Then there are the games we know are in development, like Splatoon 3 and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both of which are scheduled to debut in 2022.

We have our fingers and toes crossed for a Hollow Knight: Silksong appearance as well as some other surprises. Rumors abound that Nintendo has a new Kirby game in the pipeline and that it will add Game Boy and Game Boy

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

The original Surface Duo will get Android 11 by the end of this year
If you're the early adopter sort who bought the original Surface Duo, you'll soon get an Android update — if not the one you'd expect in late 2021. Microsoft told The Verge in a statement that it expected to upgrade the first Duo to Android 11 "before the end of this year." The company didn't say what to expect with the update, although it wouldn't be surprising if some Surface Duo 2 features carried over to the older dual-screen phone.

Android 11 on the Duo 2 refines the multitasking experience, such as prioritizing the right-hand screen. Google's OS also includes generally improved support for dual-screen devices, potentially improving support for third-party apps. You might also see Microsoft iron out the Duo's still-buggy software, although that's not guaranteed.

The issue, as you might guess, is the timing. Microsoft is delivering Android 11 right as Google is close to releasing Android 12. Surface Duo owners will still be roughly a year behind their counterparts with conventional phones. That's understandable given the challenges of supporting a dual-screen device, but it won't be much consolation to Duo users wanting to try the latest Android features.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Clubhouse's Wave feature makes it easier for users to create private rooms
Well, that didn't take long. Less than a week after developer Jane Manchun Wong discovered Clubhouse was working on a new feature called Wave, that functionality is now available to all users on both Android and iOS. Wave allows you to invite your friends to a private audio room. You can start using the feature by expanding the Hallway sidebar and tapping the wave emoji next to someone's name.


Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

UK appeals court rules AI cannot be listed as a patent inventor
Add the United Kingdom to the list of countries that says an artificial intelligence can't be legally credited as an inventor. Per the BBC, the UK Court of Appeal recently ruled against Dr. Stephen Thaler in a case involving the country's Intellectual Property Office. In 2018, Thaler filed two patent applications in which he didn't list himself as the creator of the inventions mentioned in the documents. Instead, he put down his AI DABUS and said the patent should go to him "by ownership of the creativity machine."

The Intellectual Property Office told Thaler he had to list a real person on the application. When he didn't do that, the agency decided he had withdrawn from the process. Thaler took the case to the UK's High Court. The body ruled against him, leading to the eventual appeal. "Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot," Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing of the Appeal Court wrote in her judgment. "A patent is a statutory right and it can only be granted to a person."

Thaler has filed similar legal challenges in other countries, and the results so far have been mixed. In August, a judge in Australia ruled inventions created by an AI can qualify for a patent. However, only earlier this month, US District Judge Leonie M Brinkema upheld a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office that said "only natural persons may be named as an inventor in a patent application." Judge Brinkema said there may eventually be a time when AI becomes sophisticated enough to satisfy the accepted definitions of inventorship, but noted, "that time h

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Microsoft Edge update adds tab groups and new shopping features
Just ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge. Perhaps the most useful feature for most people is the addition of tab groups. You'll be able to assemble collections of tabs to make your browser a little less chaotic.

To create a group, hold the control button and choose the tabs you want to include, then select "Add tabs to new group" from the right-click menu. You can customize the label with a different color for each group. When you hover over a tab, you'll be able to see a preview of the web page as well.

Microsoft Edge is also getting some handy shopping features. The browser can give you swift access to reviews and ratings for more than 5 million products. When you're on a product page, click the blue tag on the address bar and you'll see expert reviews from reliable sources, as well as the average consumer star rating from various retailers.

When you do figure out what to buy, Microsoft aims to help you complete the transaction a bit faster. If you select a retailer's guest checkout option, you can click "Try express checkout" on the address bar. After you fill in your details manually one time, Edge can save them for future transactions on any shopping site. Once you're sure everything's accurate, click the "Try all coupons and autofill details." Edge will then add your information and automatically find out if there are any coupons that can save you some cash, in a similar way to PayPal's Honey tool

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Twitter will make it easier to discover and listen to audio Spaces
Twitter will soon make Spaces even more prominent in its app as it looks to add more creator-focused tools to the live audio feature. The company says it's working on making conversations in Spaces easier to discover, and will begin to feature more Spaces at the top of users' timelines.

It's also working on a dedicated tab for the feature, where users can browse recommendations and upcoming Spaces. And it plans to add recording and playback features so users can listen to conversations after they have already ended. The company is also adding new ways for creators to monetize Spaces. In addition to Ticketed Spaces, which began rolling out in August, Twitter plans to start a dedicated fund for Spaces hosts. The program would provide " financial, technical and marketing support" to "emerging audio creators" who frequently host Spaces, according to the company. 

TwitterTwitter didn't provide many details about how this program would work or how it will select creators to participate. But it's yet another sign of how focused the company is on its live audio features. Even as rival Clubhouse has fallen in popularity in recent months, Twitter sees Spaces as a key part of its strategy to build monetization features for its users.

The company also previewed a new dashboard that would allow creators to keep tabs on t

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Audi tested its RS Q E-Tron hybrid in the deserts of Morocco
With a little more than three months before the start of the Dakar Rally in January, Audi took its RS Q E-Tron to the deserts of Morocco to test the custom-built hybrid ahead of the endurance competition. Over the two weeks that Audi was in the country, it subjected the RS Q E-Tron to temperatures hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and sandstorms. The automaker says it tested the vehicle in Morocco specifically to put it through the most extreme conditions possible. The heat and other factors pushed the RS Q E-Tron's electric drivetrain and other components to their limit. 

Audi"The insights we gained in Morocco are invaluable, but they also show us that we still have a lot to do before the Dakar Rally and there is not much time left," said Andreas Roos, project manager of factory racing at Audi Sport.

Audi and the Volkswagen Group have a lot riding on the RS Q E-Tron. If it can win the Dakar Rally, it would be the first electrified vehicle to do so. While not a pure EV, it features an electric drivetrain with two modified Formula E motors. An energy conversion system with a TFSI engine charges the car's high-voltage battery while driving and braking. Volkswagen has already said it expects the RS Q E-Tron will help inform some of its future production cars.   



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Twitter will let users send and receive Bitcoin tips
Four months after Twitter first introduced in-app tipping, the company is expanding its "tip jar" feature in a major way. The company is opening up tipping to all its users globally, and for the first time will allow users to send and receive tips in Bitcoin.

With the update, Twitter users around the world will have access to tipping, which allows users to send each other cash through apps like Venmo, Cash App, or Bandcamp, GoFundMe and PicPay, a Brazilian mobile payments platform.Twitter users in the United States and El Salvador will have the additional option of sending and receiving tips with Bitcoin via Strike, a person-to-person payments app built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network. People in other countries will be able to receive tips via their Bitcoin address.

As with tips using traditional, non-crypto platforms, Twitter won't take a cut of tips exchanged between users. Tipping is rolling out to all of Twitter's iOS users beginning today, and will become available on Android "over the coming weeks." 

TwitterTwitter sees the change as an extension of its recent work to empower creators on its platform. "We want everyone to have access to pathways to get paid," Twitter's Esther Crawford said during a call with reporters. "Digital currencies that encourage

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Razer's Kaira X is a lower-cost headset for console gamers
You're in luck if you liked Razer's Kaira headset but didn't want the added cost or pairing of a wireless model to your console. Razer has launched a $60 Kaira X line that offers the core functionality of its predecessor to PlayStation and Xbox gamers, just with a 3.5mm wired connection — and, of course, a $40 lower price. You'll still get the 50mm "TriForce" drivers (albeit without a titanium-coated diaphragm), cardioid boom mic and on-headset controls, and the cable opens the door to virtually any device with a standard headphone jack.

The differences beyond that largely boil down to color. The Kaira X for PlayStation is available only in a Sony-friendly black-and-white design, while the Xbox variant is available in five hues that include black, white, and three eye-searing colors (blue, red and "volt" green) that match official Xbox Wireless Controllers. Only the more somber colors of either version are available now, though, as the three brighter Xbox options will only be available for pre-order on October 14th.

Don't worry if you're happy to spend more. Razer has also introduced a "White Suite" of Xbox peripherals that include new shades of the Kaira and Kaira Pro as well as a Wolverine V2 gamepad. They're on sale now for the same $100, $150 and $100 respective prices as other versions. You can also pick up a Universal Quick Charging Stand for Xbox controllers for $40, or $50 if you buy one in an Aqua Shift colorway.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Unagi's $2,440 smart scooter includes turn-by-turn directions and GPS tracking
Unagi Scooters has revealed what it claims is the first smart scooter around in the Model Eleven. It includes a bunch of intriguing features, such as audible directions, remote kill and an advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) sensor.

You can play your own music or podcasts using the built-in Bluetooth speaker and hear turn-by-turn directions to help you get where you're going. Unagi teamed up with Google to bring the navigation feature to its iOS and Android app. After you've selected your destination and put your phone away, you'll hear direction prompts through the audio system and see directional signals on the display.

Unagi ScootersOn the security end, there's a motion sensor alarm to deter potential thieves, as well as GPS tracking. You'll be able to kill a stolen scooter remotely from within the app.

Perhaps the Model Eleven's most eye-catching feature is that ADAS sensor in the higher-end version. Unagi says the scooter can tell the difference between people, stop signs, stoplights, cars and other objects. It can warn you of a potential collision through both the audio system and the touchscreen display.

Unagi ScootersUnagi enlisted industrial designer Yves Béhar to

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Airbnb doubles its pledge to house Afghan refugees
At the end of August, Airbnb announced it would offer free, temporary housing to 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan. Now, through its Airbnb.org nonprofit, the company says it can go beyond its initial commitment. With help from hosts and donors from across the US, Airbnb announced today it's prepared to house as many as 40,000 refugees temporarily.

As Airbnb itself notes, that doesn't necessarily mean it will max out that capacity. "If demand for housing aligns with supply in communities where refugees are resettling, these new resources could help provide housing for an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees," the company said.

Since announcing the initiative, Airbnb says it has helped place 675 Afghan refugees across the US. "Resettlement agencies expect bookings will increase as more Afghan evacuees move off military bases and into communities where they will resettle," the company noted.

The need for temporary housing for Afghan refugees is dire, particularly in the US. Officials estimate as many as 65,000 refugees will arrive in the country by the end of the month. Additionally, another 30,000 could come over the next year. And that's just in the US. In August, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said there were 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees worldwide. To that point, Airbnb said it's assessing the possibility of expanding the availability of the program to other countries that have committed to resettling Afghan refugees.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Pixel-only Photos and Gboard features are coming to more Android devices
You won't need a Pixel phone to use some of Google's handiest (and in one case, face-preserving) features. Google is rolling out a batch of Android feature upgrades that include perks previously reserved for its in-house devices. Google Photos' Locked Folder is coming to Android 6 and newer devices, for instance — you can create a passcode-protected space to keep certain photos and videos separate from the rest.

Similarly, Gboard's Smart Compose is coming to Android 11 and newer hardware. If you're writing a common phrase or just want to save time, you'll get suggestions to complete messages. And there's good news if you're prone to walking into lamp posts — the Heads Up anti-distracted-walking feature is available through Digital Wellbeing on all Android 9 or later devices.

Other additions are new to all Android devices. Google Assistant now has a central Reminders hub. Nearby Share now includes a much-needed privacy control that can limit visibility to no one, contacts only or everyone. Gboard, meanwhile, can automatically suggest pasting addresses, phone numbers, web links and even screenshots. Over 1,500 new Emoji Kitchen stickers are due in the fall. And if you have an Android TV, you'll find remote control features built into Android on your phone.

This strategy is a familiar one for Googl

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Google's Android Automotive OS is coming to Honda cars in 2022
A host of features are being added to Google's Android Auto experience, and the company's Automotive OS will come to more cars including, for the first time, Honda vehicles from 2022 onwards.

Google introduced its Android Auto app in 2015, enabling drivers to run a tethered connection between their smartphone and their vehicle's stereo system to play music from the device, have Maps' turn-by-turn directions be read aloud, and take calls through the sound system. In the six years since, both Android Auto and the infotainment systems they operate on have gotten a whole lot smarter. On Thursday, Google announced that it will be rolling out even more features and capabilities to drivers, whether they run Android Auto on their phones or directly through their cars.

While Android Auto has been designed to minimize distractions to the driver when on the road, initially connecting the phone to the infotainment or stereo system has to date been a whole thing. You'd have to make sure the Bluetooth radio was live on your phone, then cajole the vehicle into recognizing and pairing with the device, then remember the myriad various oral commands to incite Android Auto into doing what you actually wanted it to. But no longer! Drivers will soon be able to effectively automate the tethering process just by saying "Hey Google, let's drive." 

What's more, Google has redesigned the Auto UI to enable access to a bevy of content sources including Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRadio, JioSaavn, Pandora, Podcast Addict, SoundCloud, and YouTube Music with one-tap accessibility as well as have the system read incoming text messages aloud and allow the driver to respond by voice. Expect to see these new features arrive over the next few weeks in English-speaking markets as well as Germany, Spain, Mexico, France and Italy.

And fo

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Android's accessibility updates include a way to control your phone using your face
Google has introduced quite a lengthy list of Android features, including new accessibility tools for the mobile OS that rely on eye and facial gestures. Starting this week, users will see a new addition to the Android Accessibility Suite that can turn a phone's front-facing camera into a switch. Aptly called Camera Switch, the tool replaces keyboards, mice and touchscreen displays as a device's input method. With the feature, users will be able to navigate their phones with eye movements or with facial features, such as smiling or opening and closing their mouths. The tech giant started beta testing it in August, but it's now giving the feature a wider rollout.

GoogleThe tech giant has also launched a new application called Project Activate specifically for those don't speak or have neurological conditions. Its purpose is to make it easier for the users to communicate with other people. They can program the app to speak phrases like "Please, wait!" when they move their eyes a certain way or make a gesture with their face. The application can also be programmed to play audio, make phone calls or send texts, such as emergency messages seeking assistance. 

Finally, Google has updated its Lookout app

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

‘Star Wars: Visions' breaks from canon while Marvel's ‘What If…?' refuses to
The following contains spoilers for episode three of 'Star Wars: Visions' and episode seven of 'What If...?'

Back in the days when DVD was king, I remember there was a trend of making animated tie-ins for live-action franchises. There were direct-to-video features for Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing and, the most famous project of them all, The Animatrix. Nearly 20 years later, streaming reigns supreme and services like Disney seem to be returning to the idea, but bigger and grander with shows like Marvel's What If…? and Star Wars: Visions.

Visions, premiering this week, is probably the more ambitious of the two, enlisting talent from various Japanese anime studios to create short films about different aspects of the Star Wars universe. The list includes juggernauts like Trigger (Kill la Kill, Promare) Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Haikyu!!) and Science SARU (Devilman Crybaby, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!). Unlike The Animatrix, Lucasfilm was content to mostly hand over the reins to these studios, creating shorts that differ in tone, style and, most notably, continuity.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Europe may require all phone manufacturers to use USB-C charging
Europe may require all manufacturers to use USB-C charging for all phones and electronic devices, according to a new EU Commission ruling proposal. It aims to reduce e-waste and "consumer inconvenience" caused by different and incompatible chargers still in use. The Commission also wants manufacturers to unbundle the sale of chargers with electronic devices. 

"With today's proposal... USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles," according to the report. 

The EU said its work with industry has managed to reduce the number of mobile phone chargers from 30 to 3 over the last decade. One of those three is Apple's Lightning port used by around 20 percent of devices sold in Europe. The EU hopes to change that situation, according to a statement by executive VP Margrethe Vestager:


When a common charger was first voted on by the EU last year, Apple issued a statement saying that the proposal would "stifle innovation," and its position has not changed. "We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Amazon knocks $100 off Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds
Despite being more than a year old, Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds remain our favorites if you're looking for the best sound quality you can get. But they're pretty pricey at $300, and we rarely see them drop lower than $250. But both Amazon and Sennheiser direct have them right now for $200, or $100 off their normal price, making it a great time to upgrade to a better pair of wireless earbuds without completely emptying your wallet.

Buy Momentum True Wireless 2 at Amazon - $200Buy Momentum True Wireless 2 at Sennheiser - $200Sennheiser brought its audio expertise into its wireless earbuds and it resulted in stellar audio quality that remains unmatched. Out of the box, the True Wireless 2 have a warm, inviting tone, with an audio profile that highlights the subtle details in songs. You're able to customize the EQ in its companion mobile app if you want more bass or something similar, but these buds don't require the manual adjustments that some other earbuds do to sound their best. The active noise-cancellation is good as well, blocking out most surrounding noises, but unlike other buds, there are no ANC levels to choose from — just on and off.

We also appreciate the True Wireless 2's small, comfortable size, customizable controls and handy mobile app. As far as batte

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

What rights does an evil sentient computer have on Star Trek?
This post contains major spoilers for season two, episode seven of ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks.'

Artificial intelligence has been baked into the Star Trek universe since the original series. Kirk and his crew occasionally faced off against computers gone amok, including Nomad, Landru and the M-5. The only way to defeat these digital villains was to outwit them using logic, which caused them to self-destruct. But in The Next Generation, the franchise became more interested in exploring the personhood of artificial beings like Data and hisfamily, Voyager's holographic doctor or the exocomps. This week, Lower Decks dredges up the old-style megalomaniacal AI and asks, are you really sure about those rights?

The USS Cerritos is once more called upon to help out a civilization enslaved by an evil computer, this one called Agimus (voiced by long-time Trek actor Jeffrey Combs). Disconnected from his network of drones, he's actually pretty pathetic, desperately begging the organic beings around him to just hook him up to a computer. All that's left for Starfleet to do is to drop him off at the Daystrom Institute, which isn't the most glamorous of jobs, so of course Beckett Mariner and Bradward Boimler end up on this particular babysitting gig.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 has never been cheaper
If you've been thinking of getting a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 — the model formerly given the Active moniker, not the Classic one — you may want to check out Amazon's Deal of the Day. Over the next 20 hours or so, the website is selling the wearable bundled with a fast charging wireless charger for up to 26 percent less than its original price. The bundles are even cheaper than the watches alone, and yes, the deal includes both 40mm and 44mm smartwatches in various colors, as well as both Bluetooth-only and LTE models. 

Buy Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 at Amazon - $230 to $310The 40mm Bluetooth-only version bundled with a wireless charger will set you back $230, or $80 less its usual price. Meanwhile, its 44mm counterpart is now on sale for $260 instead of its usual retail price of $340. If you want the the capability to call, text and stream on the smartwatch without your phone, you'll need to get the LTE version. The 40mm LTE bundle is currently priced at $280, down $80 its typical retail price, while the 44mm LTE bundle is also listed at $80 less for $310 instead of $390. 

In our

Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

The Morning After: Microsoft launches its 2021 fall collection
Microsoft has announced a small flotilla of new devices during its fall event, and there's plenty of highlights to pick through. Most interesting, of course, is likely Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio, a notebook with a screen that pulls forward just like its desktop namesake. This replacement for the Surface Book 3 also turns into a tablet-esque PC, although its stacked design may divide users.

As we surmised a few days back, the Surface Pro 8 did get a fairly magnificent redesign with a new skinny-bezel, 13-inch 120Hz display, Thunderbolt 4 and new, faster internals. It's been built with Windows 11 in mind and goes on sale when the new operating system arrives on October 5th. Thankfully, Microsoft allowed our chum Cherlynn Low behind the velvet rope to spend a little time with the Laptop Studio and Pro 8, so read this for all the juicy details.

Much as with the band U2, we also need to discuss the "other two" members of the lineup, the Surface Pro X and the Surface Go 3. For the former, the only real news is the new, cheaper WiFi-only model, which retails for $899, and the bundling of Windows 11. Similarly, the Surface Go 3 (arguably the Larry Mullen Jr. of Surface tablets) gets faster chip options but is, in most other regards, the same affordable but deeply underpowered device we already know and, uh, love.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

Apple MacBook Air M1 models fall back to all-time lows
You can get an Apple's latest MacBook Air powered by the tech giant's M1 chip for $850 on Amazon again if you missed previous deals the sold the laptop at that price. That's an all-time low for the device, which has an original retail price of $999 — that's also $100 less than its average price on the website since the beginning of September. Take note that the $850 deal is for all colors of the version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. If you need more space than that, you can get the variant with 512GB of SSD storage for $1,100, which is also an all-time low for the laptop that usually sells for $1,249. 

Buy Apple MacBook Air M1 256GB at Amazon - $850Buy Apple MacBook Air M1 512GB at Amazon - $1,100We gave the MacBook Air with M1 chip a score of 94 in our review, praising it most of all for its impressive speed and iOS-like smoothness. The laptop was shockingly responsive, and launching apps built for the chip felt as fast as opening apps on an iPad Pro. If you use Safari, websites would even load up instantly, and scrolling would feel smooth and effortless. The M1 chip gives the laptop decent gaming performance capability, as well, and it blew away Intel's integrated graphics during our tests.



Engadget
Sep 23, 2021

'Flying' microchips could ride the wind to track air pollution
Researchers have created a winged microchip around the size of a sand grain that may be the smallest flying device yet made, Vice has reported. They're designed to be carried around by the wind and could be used in numerous applications including disease and air pollution tracking, according to a paper published by Nature. At the same time, they could be made from biodegradable materials to prevent environmental contamination. 

The design of the flyers was inspired by spinning seeds from cottonwood and other trees. Those fall slowly by spinning like helicopters so they can be picked up by the wind and spread a long distance from the tree, increasing the range of the species. 

The team from Northwest University ran with that idea but made it better, and smaller. "We think we've beaten biology... we've been able to build structures that fall in a more stable trajectory at slower terminal velocities than equivalent seeds," said lead Professor John A. Rogers. "The other thing... was that we were able to make these helicopter flyer structures that are much smaller than seeds you would see in the natural world."  

They're not so small that the

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