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Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Apple's future iPhones and Macs will use TSMC chips made in Arizona
You didn't have to wait long for confirmation of Apple's domestic chip plans. Company chief Tim Cook has revealed that Apple will buy chips made at TSMC's upcoming factory in Phoenix, Arizona. While Cook didn't say just how those chips will be used, the 4- and 3-nanometer parts are expected to find their way into next-generation iPhones, Macs and other key products. Apple is currently TSMC's largest customer.

The Phoenix facility is expected to start production in 2024. A follow-up plant is expected in 2026 due to increased demand. Combined, they'll make about 600,000 chip wafers per year. TSMC is spending $40 billion on the factories, but they'll be partly subsidized by the government through the CHIPS and Science Act meant to incentivize US semiconductor manufacturing.

Intel is also building factories in Arizona and Ohio. It's planning to serve as a foundry for other companies looking to outsource chip production, and has expressed interest in making Apple's components. Whether or not that happens may depend on Intel's ability to keep up with foundries like TSMC, which frequently leads the push towards

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Apple's revamped App Store pricing allows $0.29 software
Apple is expanding developers' options for pricing their App Store apps. The company announced 700 new price points and tools today in what it describes as the App Store's biggest pricing upgrade in its 14-year history. Additionally, devs can now set regional costs automatically in response to exchange rates.

The App Store's new structure lets developers choose from 900 price points for their apps, nearly 10 times what was previously available. Pricing now starts at $0.29 and can go as high as $10,000 upon request. (If you're old enough to remember the I Am Rich app, you can imagine that developer salivating over this higher cap.) Additionally, app prices can now go up incrementally across different ranges. For example, they can now increase every $0.10 up to $10, every $0.50 between $10 and $50 and so on.

Apple is also adding different pricing conventions for all 175 regional storefronts. Deves can now use two repeating digits (like ?110,000) and rounded dollar amounts ($10.00 in

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Polestar 2 gets a 68HP power boost through a paid update, no subscription required
Polestar is delivering a not-so-subtle snub to Mercedes' subscription performance upgrade. The automaker has released an update that gives the Polestar 2's long range dual motor variant a 68HP power boost (plus 15lb. ft. of torque) in the US and Canada for a one-time $1,195 fee. That's far from a trivial expense, but it's a decidedly better value than Merc's $1,200 annual fee for EQS and EQE acceleration improvements.

The software tuning gives the Polestar 2 a total 476HP with 502lb. ft. of torque. That's enough to cut the 0-60MPH time to 4.2 seconds (normally 4.5), and it shaves half a second off the 50-70MPH dash (now 2.2 seconds). Polestar says you'll mainly notice the added grunt in the 44MPH to 80MPH range, so this update may be most helpful when you're overtaking someone on the highway.

You can buy the update through the Polestar web shop, and it will apply over the air. It's included with a new vehicle if you opt for the $5,000 Performance pack. You won't have to visit a store, then. There's no word of a comparable upgrade for the single motor Polestar 2 variant, or availability in other regions.

The patch won't suddenly give the Polestar 2 an edge over the Model 3 Performance (0-60 in 3.3 seconds) or other particularly quick EVs. And while this is a one-off purchase, you're still paying for something your car could technically handle before — it just wasn't available when the sedan was new. You're ultimately compensating Polestar for development time, not components, and this won't be thrilling if you preferred the days when paid upgrades were directly connecte

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

First 'Vampire Survivors' DLC coming later this month
A little over a month after it arrived on Xbox consoles, the addictive roguelike shoot ‘em up Vampire Survivors will get its first DLC. The $2 Legacy of Moonspell expansion launches on PC via Steam and Xbox on December 15th.

The new content includes a new map that developer poncle describes as the game's "biggest stage yet." The new level, Mt. Moonspell, adds an abandoned castle, a snow-covered mountain and a Yokai-infested village. Additionally, the DLC adds over a dozen new weapons, including an ancestral wind force, orbs that unleash the power of seasons, a dark summoning weapon and an enchanted kimono. It also adds eight extra playable characters and six music tracks.

"In eastern lands, a clan has fallen," the DLC's story description reads. "The Moonspell, once vigilant guardians of a sorcerous valley nestled in the mountains, have been overrun by hordes of yokai and oni. Though treacherous, this hive of spectral activity may provide some clue as to the location of a vampire. If not, at least it'll be entertaining to defeat thousands of wayward spirits in the process."

Luca GalanteVampire Survivors is a casual game that, over time, reveals more complexity than you'd expect from its simple 2D character sprites. Your character auto-fires weapons, leaving you to control their movement and loadout while dodging fire and snagging enemy drops. The goal is to stay ahead of the curve: As wave after wave of en

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Apple's rumored electric car may not be fully self-driving after all
Apple isn't done scaling back its plans for an electric car, apparently. Bloombergsources say the EV, codenamed Project Titan, is no longer a fully self-driving machine. It will reportedly have a conventional wheel and pedals, and will 'only' drive itself on highways. The company has also pushed the launch back by a year to 2026, the tipsters claim.

The rumored vehicle will supposedly offer enough autonomy that you can play games or watch video on the highway, but ask you to take control when it's time to drive on city streets or through adverse weather. Apple may debut the hands-free tech in North America at first and expand access "over time," the insiders add.

Apple has already declined comment. Titan has been in development for years, and has suffered numerous setbacks as well as major strategy shifts. The tech firm may have had doubts as early as 2015, and was said to have scuttled the vehicle in 2016 in favor of a licensed self-driving platform. Executive shuffles and layoffs didn't help, either. While the company did return to making a full-fledged vehicle, according to rumors, it had little success courting production help from brands like Hyundai.

More modest ambitions wouldn't be surprisin

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Amazon reportedly agrees to treat sellers better to end EU antitrust probes
The European Commission and Amazon have reportedly come to an agreement that will allow the retail giant to avoid a fine for allegedly misusing seller data. According to The Financial Times, the company has pledged to give rival products equal treatment in the Buy Box section of its website, a move that should theoretically increase the visibility of the merchants selling those goods. Amazon also agreed to create alternate featured offers for customers less concerned about getting their purchase as quickly as possible, as well as give sellers free rein to decide on the company they want to deliver their goods.

According to The Times, the European Commission plans to announce the agreement on December 20th, though that date could shift. What won't change are the terms of the deal. "There's very little to discuss," a source told the outlet. Once the agreement is formalized, Amazon will be required to honor its commitments for at least five years.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Engadget's comment request. In July, when the company promised it would take steps to make its seller program fairer, Amazon said it felt it was being "unfairly" targeted by legislation like the Digital Markets Act. At the same time, the retailer said it was "engaged constructively" with regulators to address concerns about its business.

A deal with the European Union would give Amazon the chance to put to rest at least one aspect of a long saga. The European Commission began probing the company's use of merchant data in

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Giphy is adding alt text to make GIFs more accessible
Giphy is looking to improve accessibility and help more people understand what the platform's GIFs are depicting with the help of alt text descriptions. It has teamed up with a content accessibility solutions provider called Scribely to add descriptive text to the platform's content. Screen readers will be able to read the alt text aloud, which will help visually impaired folks to know what's happening in a GIF.

The alt text won't be automatically generated. Giphy says Scribely's writers "are well-versed in accessibility guidelines and write effective and engaging descriptions that take the message and the meaning in mind." Giphy's most popular content, based on the top search terms, now includes alt text. The company plans to add alt text to more of its GIFs.

Screen readers can now read aloud alt text from GIFs on Giphy's web and mobile apps. The company is also making alt text available through its APIs. So third-party companies with Giphy integration can let their users access the alt text on other platforms.

In 2020, Twitter enabled users to add alt text to GIFs. However, if the company, which has a partnership with Giphy, employs the latest feature of the latter's APIs, Twitter users would be able to access professionally written alt text in GIFs.

"GIFs are an important part of our daily lives, thanks to their unique ability to convey ideas, emotions, and humor in ways that static images o

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

'The Witcher: Monster Slayer' is shutting down
CD Projekt Red is shutting down The Witcher: Monster Slayer, its Pokémon Go-style mobile title released last year. The game will start winding down at the end of January before going offline for good at the end of June.

Unfortunately, that will also mean layoffs. As detailed in a FAQ (spotted by IGN), some developers at Spokko (the publisher's mobile-gaming studio launched in 2018) who worked on the game won't be staying. The publisher says it's rolling Spokko into CD Projekt Red with only some staff making that transition.

The publisher will remove The Witcher: Monster Slayer from the App Store and Google Play on January 31st, 2023. It will also turn off in-game purchases and stop adding new content that day. Servers will remain up for existing players until June 30th.

Announced several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile monster-slaying game seemed like a fair bet. With gamers antsy from a seemingly endless quarantine, a geocaching-inspired adventure requiring Witcher fans to go out into the real world (while still praciticing social distancing) could have captured the mood of the moment. But that never fully transpired as the title didn't launch until the following summer when vaccination rates were rising, and life began regaining a semblance of normality. Whether you can trace the game's shutdown to pandemic-related timing or not, CD Projekt Red admits it "did not reach our business expectations."

CD Project Red recently announced a

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Amazon Luna lets Prime members play Ubisoft PC games they own for free
Since Amazon first announced its Luna cloud gaming service in 2020, Ubisoft has been one of the company's closest partners. The publisher embraced the service early and came out of the gate with a dedicated channel. Now the two companies are deepening their partnership with an expansion of what you can do with Luna.

Starting today, it's possible to stream Ubisoft games you already own on PC through Luna. You'll need an active Prime or Luna subscription to do so, as well as a set of linked Amazon Luna and Ubisoft Connect accounts. Once you have those in place, you can play your existing purchases wherever Luna is available, including on Fire TV devices, Chromebooks and phones.

The list of compatible titles features some of Ubisoft's best-known games, including Watch Dogs: Legion, Riders Republic and nearly every Assassin's Creed game you could ever want to play. There are also a few older gems on the list, such as Beyond Good and Evil and Child of Light. A Ubisoft spokesperson told Engadget the offer extends to games the publisher allowed Stadia users to transfer to PC after Google announced the service was shutting down. 

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

YouTube is bringing custom global emotes to live chats and comments
YouTube is rolling out Twitch-style custom global emotes for comments and live chats. Threeindependentillustrators created the first batch of emotes, which are focused on gaming, though it appears that they work on any type of channel. YouTube plans to develop emotes for other types of communities in the future.

To use the emotes, click on the smiling face icon in comments or a live chat. If you have a membership to a channel that offers its own custom emoji, you'll see YouTube's global emotes below those. As with Twitch's emotes, you can start typing the name of a YouTube emote (such as :cat-orange-whistling: or :text-green-game-over:) in the chat and the autocomplete function will show the emote and emoji options. The first emotes also include a buffering icon and text reading "GG" (i.e. "good game").

Twitch has long offered global emotes in chats. It might take a while before YouTube has emotes with the same level of cultural cachet as PogChamp, Kappa or ResidentSleeper, but it's off to a decent start.


Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

EU will reportedly bar Meta from requiring personalized ads
Meta thrives on ad targeting, but it may have to tone down its use of the technology in Europe. The Wall Street Journalsources claim the EU's European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has ruled that Meta can't require users to accept personalized ads. You could opt out of targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram if you'd rather not have the social networks track your activity. You can already decline customized ads using data from third-party apps and sites.

The board's decision wouldn't directly force Meta to change. Rather, it would ask Ireland's Data Protection Commission to apply matching orders. As Meta's European operations are officially based in Ireland, the company would have to comply.

Both data boards acknowledged that there had been decisions, but didn't comment on what they entailed. We've asked Meta for comment. A spokesperson for the social media giant said it was "too early to speculate," and that the EU might still offer legal backing for targeted ads. The company argued that it had "fully" engaged with the Data Protection Commission's inquiries.

If the EU does restrict Meta's personalization, it could have a significant impact on the company's bottom line. With fewer users willing to accept targeted ads, there may be fewer people clicking those ads and encouraging advertisers to spend more on campaigns. Meta was already worried about Apple's App Tracking Transparency, and warned that it might cost $10 billion in sales when it launched in 2021. The reported European measure could also prove costly, especially as it would affect Android and the web.

The EU might not be very s

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

EU will reportedly bar Meta from requiring personalized ads (updated)
Meta thrives on ad targeting, but it may have to tone down its use of the technology in Europe. The Wall Street Journalsources claim the EU's European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has ruled that Meta can't require users to accept personalized ads. You could opt out of targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram if you'd rather not have the social networks track your activity. You can already decline customized ads using data from third-party apps and sites.

The board's decision wouldn't directly force Meta to change. Rather, it would ask Ireland's Data Protection Commission to apply matching orders. As Meta's European operations are officially based in Ireland, the company would have to comply.

Both data boards acknowledged that there had been decisions, but didn't comment on what they entailed. We've asked Meta for comment. A spokesperson for the social media giant said it was "too early to speculate," and that the EU might still offer legal backing for targeted ads. The company argued that it had "fully" engaged with the Data Protection Commission's inquiries.

If the EU does restrict Meta's personalization, it could have a significant impact on the company's bottom line. With fewer users willing to accept targeted ads, there may be fewer people clicking those ads and encouraging advertisers to spend more on campaigns. Meta was already worried about Apple's App Tracking Transparency, and warned that it might cost $10 billion in sales when it launched in 2021. The reported European measure could also prove costly, especially as it would affect Android and the web.

The EU might not be very s

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Snap is testing paid upgrades to popular AR lenses
Snapchat is testing out a new way for its augmented reality lens creators to make money from their creations. The company is experimenting with a new feature that will allow creators to sell paid upgrades to lenses with Snapchat's in-app currency .

Creators have flexibility in terms of the "digital goods" they can build into their existing lens. It could be a new effect within the lens, new editing tools or some other kind of "power up" that enhances the effect, according to Snap's Sophia Dominguez, who leads the company's AR partnerships with creators.

For its initial rollout, Snap has opted to work with creators behind some of the app's most popular effects, like the "potato lens" (pictured in the top image). With the unlockable upgrades, fans will now be able to use tokens to change up the effect with different features like a magic wand or a police officer costume. For now, only a handful of creators have access to the feature, which will only be available in Australia and New Zealand to start.

Snapchat's augmented reality effects have long been one of the biggest draws of the app, which has benefitted from numerous viral lenses over the years. But until now, users have been able to access all of these effects for free. And augmented reality creators hoping to monetize their work have primarily relied on partnerships with brands, which hire them to create custom lenses.

Dominguez says upgradable lenses could be an important way for more AR creators to make a living from their work. It could also prove lucrative for Snap, which has increasingly been experimenting with non-advertising sources of revenue. The company for now isn't disclosing details about its arrangements with creators on sales of within lenses, but the com

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Samsung storage sale drops SSDs and microSD cards below Black Friday prices
Amazon has rolled out another round of discounts on Samsung storage devices, dropping various microSD cards and SSDs we recommend to their lowest prices to date. Among the highlights, the 1TB version of Samsung's 980 Pro SSD is down to $100, which is about $25 off its average street price over the last few months and beats its Black Friday pricing by $10. (Amazon mistaken

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Apple Music now offers a karaoke mode
You don't need Spotify or a dedicated app to try karaoke at home. Apple Music has introduced a Sing feature that lets you take over the vocals. You can not only adjust the voice levels, but use multiple lyric views depending on what you want to belt out — you can perform a duet or even handle background duties. Apple also notes that the lyric views are now cued to the beat and light up slowly, so it's easier to know when you should draw out a verse.

The feature will be available worldwide for "tens of millions" of tracks later in December on the new Apple TV 4K as well as recent iPhones (iPhone 11 and later) and iPads (such as last year's 9th-generation model). Android supports real-time lyrics, but won't let you adjust vocal levels. Accordingly, Apple Music plans to share more than 50 playlists devoted to songs "optimized" for the Sing feature. Don't be surprised if karaoke staples from Queen and other artists make the cut.

Spotify rolled out a karaoke feature in June, but with a very different focus. While Apple Music Sing is clearly aimed at parties, its Spotify counterpart is more

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Elden Ring's colosseums are opening up in a free multiplayer update
Many Elden Ring fans are hoping to hear news of an expansion for the blockbuster title at The Game Awards this week. Publisher Bandai Namco has jumped the gun a bit by announcing a free multiplayer-focused update, which will go live on Wednesday.

The Colosseum update will open up the titular arenas in Limgrave, Leyndell and Caelid, where players can battle it out in "duels, free-for-alls and team fights," according to a YouTube video description. The colosseums have been in the game since launch, but were inaccessible unless players used mods or other workarounds.

Although Bandai Namco hasn't revealed a ton of details about the update, having dedicated arenas for player-versus-player (PvP) battles should freshen things up for those who like to duke it out against other humans in Elden Ring. The trailer showed off some three vs. three combat as well. The video also includes text stating that players can "join forces to fight for the Elden Ring." That suggests there will be more robust co-op options too, though we'll need to wait until tomorrow for more info.

PvP is one of the main reasons players keep coming back to FromSoftware's ga

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

'Valorant' is testing a shorter casual mode called Swiftplay
The main thing that has put me off of playing more Valorant over the last couple of years is the length of matches. Riot Games is looking to do something about that with a shorter casual mode that it's starting to test in the game's public build.

Matches in the core competitive and unrated (or unranked) modes typically last around 30-50 minutes. Each round can last up to two minutes or so. As such, it can take a while for one team to win 13 rounds and become the victor. Competitive matches can last even longer if the score reaches 12-12, since teams need to win by at least two rounds in overtime if they vote to keep playing.

The new Swiftplay mode has a similar ruleset to Unrated. However, the first team to win five rounds will emerge triumphant. Attackers and defenders will swap sides after four rounds and there's a sudden-death overtime. Riot says Swiftplay matches should run for around 15 minutes.

There are some tweaks to the economy and how players earn ultimate points to make sure they can still access all the fun stuff in the shorter format. For instance, at the start of each half of a Swiftplay match, you'll get two ultimate points for free. As such, you might be able to use the game's most powerful abilities a bit more often.

Although Valorant has other casual modes that don't last as long as competitive or unrated matches (such as Spike Rush and Deathmatch), Swiftplay brings the ruleset of the core modes into a more condensed format. Riot says it's a frequently requested mode that should make it easier for folks who don't have a ton of free time to play more Valorant. It should help other players to get more reps in too.

The Swiftstep beta is going live with tod

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

HBO Max returns to Prime Video Channels in the US
The long-running squabble between Amazon and HBO appears to be over. Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery have returned HBO Max to Prime Video Channels in the US. Pay $15 per month and you'll have access to House of the Dragon and other shows from within Prime Video — you won't have to manage separate apps or subscriptions. This will also provide access to the unified HBO Max and Discovery service (possibly called "Max") when it goes live in 2023. Discovery has been on Channels since 2021.

Warner Bros. Discovery strategy chief Bruce Campbell characterized the launch as a simple matter of growth. It makes HBO Max available to "as broad an audience as possible" without compromising the company's understanding of customer data, he said. Amazon VP Cem Sibay, meanwhile, saw this as fulfilling Prime Video's goal of offering the "best and widest" mix of premium content.

HBO Max launched in May 2020 without support for Amazon devices due largely to differing stances on how viewers should use the service. At the time, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar wanted HBO Max to be available as a dedicated app on Fire TV devices rather than going through Prime Video Channels. This theoretically gave Warner more control over subscriber data that could improve recommendations and attract more users. Amazon unsurprisingly balked, as Channels support would both enable the largest possible viewership and give the online retailer more control over the experience.

HBO Max came to Fire TV months later, only to

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Tile Bluetooth trackers are up to 35 percent off at Amazon
Whether you or someone you love is prone to losing things, or you just want the peace of mind of having a digital helper keep track of your stuff, Tile trackers are solid, inexpensive options that work with both iOS and Android devices. The company is having a holiday sale on Amazon at the moment that knocks 35 percent off a number of its 2022 trackers and bundles. You'll find the biggest discount on the

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

TSMC is building a second chip plant to meet US semiconductor demand
The White House and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing co. (TSMC) have announced plans to build a second chip plant in Arizona, AZCentral has reported. That will boost the company's investment in the state from $12 billion to $40 billion, while heavily reducing US reliance on semiconductor imports. 

Both TSMC factories combined will produce 600,000 wafers per year. "At scale, these two [plants] could meet the entire U.S. demand for U.S. chips when they're completed," the National Economic Council's Ronnie Chatterji told CNBC. "That's the definition of supply chain resilience. We won't have to rely on anyone else to make the chips we need."

The newly announced factory will produce cutting-edge 3-nanometer chips by 2026. The expansion marks one of the largest direct foreign investments in the US and the largest in Arizona. TSMC recently upgraded its plans at its first facility as well, announcing it will now manufacture 4-nanometer instead of 5-nanometer wafers. The first chips are set to be manufactured there starting in 2024, with Apple and NVIDIA reportedly among the first customers. 

The CHIPS and Science Act allotted $52.7 billion in loans and other incentives, plus billions more in tax credits, to encourage US semiconductor manufacturing investment. The legislation aims to boost private financing in chip manufacturing in the US.

President Joe Biden is set to visit the site of TSMC's first plant later today, but the

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Google Search results now continuously scroll on desktop
Google is giving its search results on desktop the "continuous scrolling" treatment over a year after launching the feature on mobile. Continuous scrolling will eliminate the need to click "Next" or the page numbers at the bottom of your search results. Instead, Google will automatically load the next batch of results on the page once you've scrolled to the bottom of the current list. If you use Google on mobile, the feature will feel very familiar. 

The tech giant has confirmed the rollout to Search Engine Land and told the publication that its website will automatically show up to six pages of results before you need to click a "More results" button to load the next batches. Its arrival on desktop will make the Google search experience more consistent across devices and platforms. "So starting today, we're bringing continuous scrolling to desktop so you can continue to see more helpful search results with fewer clicks. It's now even easier to get inspired with more information at your fingertips," a company spokesperson said. 

Similar to the mobile version of the feature, it will initially be available for English queries in the US and will most likely make its way to more people and more regions in the future. 



Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

The Morning After: Nothing is ‘in talks' to bring its smartphones to the US
While many phone fans in the US are intrigued with the Nothing Phone 1, with its transparent back and flashing glyph design, they couldn't buy one. At least, not easily. It might be easier for its follow-up devices, though.

EngadgetNothing co-founder Carl Pei told CNBC the Nothing Phone 1 isn't available in the US because the company wasn't ready to deal with the complexities of the market, which usually entails dealing with powerful US carriers. "Now we are in discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially launch a future product there," he said. Nothing already sells its Ear Stick wireless buds in the US, which apparently made up a third of that product's sales. And as the co-founder of OnePlus, Pei is already well acquainted with the US smartphone market. It took years for OnePlus to launch a device with carrier support.

Nothing has topped 600,000 Phone 1 devices sold so far. But Pei has big ambitions, matched by similarly big challenges. He previously said the company has a "zero-percent margin" on its phones, due to the strong US dollar and less-than-favorable terms from suppliers. "The goal is to be profitable in 2024," he said.

- Mat Smith

The Morning After isn't just a newsletter - it's also a daily podcast. Get our daily aud

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

The Morning After: Nothing is in talks to bring its smartphones to the US
While many phone fans in the US are intrigued with the Nothing Phone 1, with its transparent back and flashing glyph design, they couldn't buy one. At least, not easily. It might be easier for its follow-up devices, though.

EngadgetNothing co-founder Carl Pei told CNBC the Nothing Phone 1 isn't available in the US because the company wasn't ready to deal with the complexities of the market, which usually entails dealing with powerful US carriers. "Now we are in discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially launch a future product there," he said. Nothing already sells its Ear Stick wireless buds in the US, which apparently made up a third of that product's sales. And as the co-founder of OnePlus, Pei is already well acquainted with the US smartphone market. It took years for OnePlus to launch a device with carrier support.

Nothing has topped 600,000 Phone 1 devices sold so far. But Pei has big ambitions, matched by similarly big challenges. He previously said the company has a "zero-percent margin" on its phones, due to the strong US dollar and less-than-favorable terms from suppliers. "The goal is to be profitable in 2024," he said.

- Mat Smith

The Morning After isn't just a newsletter - it's also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through F

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Yelp is making it easier to manage quotes for home projects
Yelp is offering users a more refined way to keep tabs on communications with service professionals when they have a problem to fix or want to make some home improvements. Through the Projects tab in the Yelp app, you'll be able to create, manage and organize jobs. Yelp says that you'll be able to use the feature to request quotes from businesses, compare prices, message contractors and schedule consultations.

You'll start a new project when you select Request A Quote. The app will organize each project by the most recent quote requests and there'll be category-specific icons. It should be relatively easy for folks who have multiple projects on the go to see the status of each one at a glance. You'll be able to see if you're still awaiting quotes from some contractors and which businesses have yet to respond to a message or request.

YelpWhen you get an email notification after a business owner messages you, you'll be able to click a link in the email that will take you to the Yelp app and automatically log you in if you aren't already so you can respond. This should remove some of the friction and mitigate some of the stress that comes with managing home projects.

The Projects tab could come in especially handy when you're moving and are bringing in contractors for a bunch of different jobs. It should be useful for comparing quotes from different service professionals for a single job too.

Yelp is r

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Apple's Self Service Repair program comes to Europe
After launching it in the US earlier this year, Apple's Self Service Repair program has arrived in eight European countries. Customers there will be able to perform many of the most common fixes on the iPhone 12 an iPhone 13 lineups, along with MacBooks with Apple silicon (not Intel models). "The Self Service Repair Store provides access to more than 200 individual parts and tools, as well as repair manuals," Apple said in a press release. 

Spare parts and tools can be purchased at Apple's Self Service repair store in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Apple said that they're the same ones, at the same prices, as those available to authorized repair providers. If you'd rather not purchase a tool for a one-time repair, you can rent a kit for a week at £54.90. Customers can send back replaced parts for refurbishment and recycling and potentially receive a credit.

A few examples of part prices include a battery module for £70.78 (€77.04), a display module for £282.28 (€327.11) and a camer

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Meta's Oversight Board finds cross-check puts 'business concerns' ahead of human rights
More than a year after Meta asked the Oversight Board to weigh in on its cross-check rules, the group has finally published its full policy advisory on the topic. The board found that the program, which creates a separate content moderation process for certain high-profile users, prioritizes the company's business over the rights of its users.

"In our review, we found several shortcomings in Meta's cross-check program," the board writes in its assessment. "While Meta told the Board that cross-check aims to advance Meta's human rights commitments, we found that the program appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns." Notably, the critique echoes that of whistleblower Frances Haugen, who revealed explosive details about cross-check last year, and has said that Meta "chooses profits over safety."

Cross-check, or xcheck, is an internal program at Facebook and Instagram that shields celebrities, politicians, and other high-profile users from the company's automated content moderation systems. Meta has characterized it as a "second layer of review" to avoid mistakenly removing posts. But disclosures made by Haugen showed the program includes millions of accounts, and has enabled billions of views on posts that would have otherwise been taken down. The Oversight Board itself has accused Meta of being not "fully forthcoming" about the program, which was a central issue in the board's handling of the suspension of former President Do

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

NLRB says Apple violated federal law with anti-union meetings in Atlanta
Apple violated federal law by holding mandatory "captive audience" meetings and making coercive statements with anti-union messaging, the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) Atlanta regional director has concluded. The workers at Apple's Cumberland Mall store filed for a union election with the NLRB earlier this year in a bid to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA). In May, however, they withdrew their petition, and the CWA submitted an Unfair Labor Practice complaint on their behalf. 

The CWA said in its complaint at the time that Apple had "conducted mandatory 'captive audience' meetings with bargaining unit employees regarding the upcoming election." In a newer statement sent to Bloomberg, the organization said that holding meetings like that is "not only union-busting, but an example of psychological warfare." As the news organization notes, the NLRB had previously allowed companies to require employees to attend mandatory meetings prior to union elections. But Jennifer Abruzzo, the labor board's current general counsel, sees them as coercive and in violation of the law. 

The NLRB said that it will issue a complaint if the tech giant doesn't settle. While the labor board's regional director has sided with the workers and with CWA, it's still up in the air whether Apple will be required to change its policies or suffer any sort of punishment. Complaints issued by regional directors will have to go through t

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Waze is getting its own dedicated Android Automotive app
Waze is France's most popular navigation app, to the point that it was recently updated with three regional accents (Toulouse, Provençal and ch'ti). So it makes sense that Waze elected to partner with French automaker Renault to launch a new, dedicated version of the app for cars. It's available on infotainment systems via Google integration, starting with the Austral Hybrid and Megane E-Tech EV. 

To be clear, it's already possible to use Waze on Android Auto by installing it as an app from your smartphone. What's different is that Renault drivers can now install the app directly to the infotainment system and use it without the need for a mobile device.

"When you drive, you can experience safer and more convenient journeys while eliminating the hassle of using a smartphone," Waze wrote on its blog. "With this new experience, Renault drivers will have all Waze real-time routing, navigation and alerts, plus settings, preferences and saved places, built into their car display."

Renault's

Engadget
Dec 06, 2022

Neuralink is reportedly under federal investigation over animal testing
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Inspector General is reportedly investigating Neuralink over potential animal welfare violations related to research testing. According to Reuters, internal documents show that staff members have been raising concerns that the company has been rushing animal testing and causing needless suffering and death. 

The news organization said the company has killed 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys, since 2018. Those numbers don't automatically mean Neuralink is violating the law, and the company has passed all USDA inspections of its facilities. Former and current employees told Reuters, however, that pressure from Neuralink founder Elon Musk to accelerate development has led to faulty experiments and, hence, death rates higher than they need to be. 

Musk has reportedly been telling employees since the company was launched in 2016 to imagine that they had a bomb strapped to their heads in an effort to make them move faster. He also reportedly told staff that he would trigger a "market failure" unless they made progress, which some employees interpreted as a warning that he would shut down the company. Earlier this year, Musk also sent staff members an email with an article about Swiss researchers who created an implant that helped a paralyzed person walk again, Reuters said. "In general, we are simply not moving fast enough. It is driving me nuts!" he reportedly wrote in a follow-up email.

Upon reviewin

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Real ID enforcement delayed yet again — this time to 2025
The Department of Homeland Security said Monday it's again pushing back the enforcement of Real ID requirements for state driver's licenses and ID cards. The latest delay moves states' compliance deadline to May 7th, 2025.

Passed by Congress in 2005 as a response to the Sept. 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Real ID Act requires stricter documentation for boarding flights and entering federal or nuclear facilities. For example, to get a Real ID-compliant driver's license or state ID card, you need to provide paperwork for your name, date of birth, address, Social Security card and birth certificate.

The DHS says the requirements increase state IDs' reliability and accuracy. Officials can quickly see whether a card is Real ID-compliant by looking for the gold star in the upper right-hand corner.

When the bill passed, states initially had a 2008 compliance deadline. But after some states and US territories refused to play ball, the cutoff faced delay after delay. Despite the ever-shifting deadlines, 13 states rolled out support in 2012. The list grew in the following years as reluctant states faced the prospect of having their residents blocked from flights. But the COVID-19 pandemic led to even more kicking of the can, and today's cutoff point pushes it back from May 2023 to May 2025.

"DHS continues to work closely with US states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories to meet Real ID requirements," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a news release today. "This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can tr

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Quality assurance staff at Microsoft's ZeniMax Media are moving toward unionizing
Microsoft's pledge to stay neutral in unionization efforts is about to be tested in a big way. On Monday, quality assurance staff at ZeniMax Media went public with the news that they're working to form a union. The approximately 300 workers involved in the effort want to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). That's the same union that recently helped QA staff at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany win their organization bids.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to Engadget's comment request. A company spokesperson told The New York Times Microsoft was "committed to providing employees with an opportunity to freely and fairly make choices about their workplace representation," adding the campaign was "an example of our labor principles in action."

ZeniMax Media is the parent company of some of Microsoft's most prized first-party studios, including Arkane, Bethesda and id Software. Microsoft

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Construction starts in Australia on the world's largest radio telescope
Astronomers are now closer to a major technological upgrade. Australia has started construction of its portion of the Square Kilometer Array, a system that should become the world's largest radio telescope. The Australian portion, SKA-Low, will revolve around 131,072 antenna "trees" in the country's western Wajarri country. As the name implies, the array will focus on low-frequency signals. The Guardiannotes it's expected to be eight times more sensitive than existing telescopes, and map the cosmos about 135 times faster.

A counterpart with 197 conventional radio dishes, SKA-Mid, is coming to Meerkat National Park in South Africa's dry, unpopulated Karoo region. That element will study mid-range frequencies. The Australian segment is a joint effort between the dedicated SKA Organization and the country's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

The combined array, originally envisioned in 1991, is expected to transform radio astronomy. It will mainly be helpful for studying the early universe, and might provide new insights into the formation of the first stars during the reionization period. However, it should also help investigate dark energy and its potential effect on cosmic expansion. The extreme sensitivity may even be useful in th

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Blizzard is making it easier to unlock new 'Overwatch 2' heroes
One of the major (and controversial) changes Blizzard made in Overwatch 2 was gating new heroes behind a battle pass. However, it should be a little easier for players to unlock the latest character, Ramattra, in the game's second season. Players who opt for the free track of the battle pass won't need to grind through as many levels before they can use the new tank in all game modes. Making some weekly challenges less of a chore should mean players can level up more quickly too.

"After reviewing data for Season 1, we're moving Ramattra into Tier 45 of the Battle Pass and making a few more weekly challenges easier to complete," Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller wrote on Twitter. "Excited for you all to see everything new in Season 2 starting tomorrow!"


Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Facebook Dating finally adds age verification
Three years after bringing Facebook Dating to the US, Meta is finally adding a way for users to verify their age. As it did when it began testing age verification on Instagram this past summer, Meta is once again turning to a company called Yoti for help. If Facebook's automated systems suspect a minor is trying to use Facebook Dating, the website will prompt that individual to provide more information. Users can prove they're old enough to use the service either by submitting a copy of a photo ID card or a video selfie. In the latter case, Meta will share a video still with Yoti "and nothing else." Yoti's machine learning algorithm estimates your age based on your facial features. Once the company shares its estimate with Meta, Yoti will delete the image.

Yoti's technology is controversial for a few reasons. To start, like other neural networks, it's something of a black box. Yoti has said it doesn't

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving Salesforce in January
Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving the company in January. Lidiane Jones, currently an executive VP at parent company Salesforce, will succeed Butterfield as CEO.

The move comes just days after Salesforce announced that its CEO, Bret Taylor, will also leave in early 2023. However, Butterfield says the actions are unrelated. "FWIW: This has nothing to do with Bret's departure. Planning has been in the works for several months! Just weird timing," he wrote in an internal Slack channel today, viewed by Business Insider.

Slack launched in 2013 and quickly established itself as the predominant work-chat app. But today, it faces stiff competition from Microsoft Teams, which has nearly doubled its daily users in each of the past two years. In 2020, Slack filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, claiming its bundling of Teams with the Office suite gave it an unfair advantage (echoing antitrust cases against Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows). Later that year, Salesforce announced it was buying Slack for $27.7 billion, its biggest acquisition to date.

A Salesforce spokesperson told in a company statement to TechCrunch today, "Stewart is an incredible le

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Xbox will start charging $70 for some Series X/S games
Microsoft has confirmed it will increase the prices of some of its first-party Xbox games to $70 starting in 2023. Specifically, major games built for Xbox Series X/S will cost $10 more in the US, including Starfield, Redfall and Forza Motorsport. Regional price increases may vary.

"This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles," a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN, which first reported the news. "As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch."

Other major publishers, including Sony, EA and Take-Two Interactive, have been charging $70 for select current-gen games. Microsoft was able to hold off on increasing prices, likely because the company doesn't rely on games as its primary revenue driver.

In August, Sony increased the price of the PlayStation 5 in most countries, but not the US. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in October his company wouldn't raise Xbox prices ahead of the holiday season (the Xbox Series S actually went on sale in Nov

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

The original 1997 'Berserk' anime is coming to Netflix on December 1st in select regions (updated)
Berserk, the long-running manga that married fantasy and, well, violence, is coming back to the small screen. The original 25-episode 1997 anime series based on the manga and directed by Naohito Takahashi is coming to Netflix for select markets on December 1st, according to ComicBook.com. Unfortunately, it does not seem that includes the US, UK or Canada, at least not on that December 1st launch date.

As is clear from the trailer below, Berserk is a pitch black and fairly brutal anime that came some eight years after the manga first appeared in Young Animal magazine. The series covers the so-called Golden Age Arc, covering the period when Guts joined the Band Of the Hawk and met the other primary characters, Griffith and Casca. It's considered by some fans to be the best take on the manga, and is said to have inspired or influenced major anime hits like Fullmetal Alchemist and Attack on Titan.

The release of Berserk material from Netflix seemed a fait accompli when it was announced that the streaming service had secured the rights to that franchise, along with Parasyte, Monster and other classic anime. In addition, new material could be coming soon as well, according to a countdown clock that appeared recently on Berserk's official website, pointing to a date in mid-December. Nothing is official yet, but it looks like promising times for fans of the franchise. 

Update, 12/5/2022: Updated this post to add that Berserk

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Adobe accepts AI-generated stock art, with limits
Adobe is the latest stock image provider to take a stance on AI-generated art. The company has updated its guidelines to allow generative AI artwork on its stock photo service as long as it meets certain criteria. Contributors will have to label any AI-made content, and they'll require permission for any reference images or text prompt used to produce the art. Creators will likewise need releases for any material depicting recognizable people.

The new policy also warns producers against misusing AI by submitting multiple images based on the same prompt. They can't use misleading, repetitive or vague descriptions, and must submit their works as illustrations (not pictures) even if they're photorealistic. As with regular images, Adobe promises indemnification in the event there's an intellectual property dispute. You shouldn't be in deep trouble if you unwittingly use items that infringe someone else's rights.

Adobe is effectively trying to strike a balance between embracing new technology and avoiding copyright issues. Other stock photo providers have taken wildly varying approaches. Getty Images banned AI-generated imagery over rights concerns, while Shutterstock has teamed with DALL-E creator OpenAI to sell algorithm-based images. In some cases, tool developers have avoided wading into the debate —

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Honor's Magic VS, even in prototype form, feels like a contender
Allow me to pull the curtain back on something that happens when you get to spend some time with a very early phone prototype: Often, there's a list of conditions that mean you can't really talk about your experiences in a specific manner. Bear this in mind when I talk about this prototype Honor Magic VS that I've been diddling around with for the last few days. I'm actually pretty impressed by it, although I've been asked not to make any solid conclusions about its non-final hardware, software, imaging, performance and display quality.

The Magic VS is the company's second folding phone, albeit the first that'll be available on sale outside of China when it hits selected global markets at the start of 2023. It's a close cousin of Honor's first folder, the Magic V, which was first released at the start of 2022, and this feels like a polish, rather than an evolution, of the existing model. The major difference is a vastly redesigned hinge with far fewer parts, which should make it more reliable. And the company promises that the handset will withstand 400,000 folds, or more than 100 per day for the better part of a decade. It's also two grams lighter than Samsung's Z Fold 4, which Honor is very proud of, but it's still only two grams.

The rest of the differences between the Magic VS and the Magic V are all fairly minor; a 5,000mAh battery, up from the last model's 4,750mAh. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 gets swapped for an 8 , and there's one major change on the imaging front. Whereas the V was packing a trio of 50-megapixel lenses, the VS dropped the third in favor of an 8-megapixel, f/2.4 3x optical zoom. Of course, I can't talk about the power of those beefy zoom lenses, or the speed at which it takes an image. Or that, much l

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Pixel 7 update brings promised Clear Calling and free VPN
Google is releasing its latest round of Pixel updates today, including the free VPN the company teased at its October event. Clear Calling also launches to the public alongside updates for its voice memo app and new sleep features for the Pixel Watch.

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users can now use the Google One VPN on their phones for free (rather than buying it bundled with a $10-per-month storage plan). Although Google's VPN doesn't support regional location switching, it secures your browsing activity on the web and in apps.

Clear Calling, Google's voice isolation for calls which had been in beta since October, is now available for all Pixel 7 series owners. The AI-powered feature makes calls in noisy environments sound better by bringing your voice to the forefront while drowning out background noise. Recorder, Google's AI-based voice memo app, now transcribes and organizes recordings for multiple people. It labels each speaker's text, separating their transcriptions with line breaks — handy for meetings or interviews. That feature is also exclusive to the Pixel 7 series.



Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

The merged HBO Max and Discovery streaming service could be simply called 'Max'
Warner Bros. Discovery will soon combine HBO Max and Discovery into a single streaming service with a new name. Right now, it seems that the frontrunner for the merged platform's moniker is "Max," which would ditch the more instantly recognizable part of HBO Max's branding.

Lawyers for the company are vetting several names, but Max is said to be the leading the pack. A Warner Bros. spokesperson told CNBC that the company was still discussing the name. They'll need to make a decision fairly soon, though, as the merged streaming service is slated to arrive in the spring.

HBO has built up a certain level of prestige over the years. However, Warner Bros. Discovery leaders are said to see some value in positioning HBO as a sub-brand alongside the likes of Discovery and CNN. The company's CEO David Zaslav slashedspending on HBO Max after WarnerMedia and Discovery merged earlier this year. The streaming service will have much more to offer than HBO content as well.

As CNBC notes, there has been some confusion surrounding the branding of HBO streaming apps — HBO Max was preceded by

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Cooler Master has a big 'immersive' gaming pod too
Why settle for a desk and an ultrawide monitor when you can buy a multi-purpose computing pod? That's the question Cooler Master hopes the Orb X, its newly announced semi-enclosed work and gaming station (via Gizmodo), will prompt you to ponder. While the Orb X won't completely isolate you from the outside world, your family and roommates will definitely accuse you of being antisocial once you're cocooned inside its ABS plastic shell.

The built-in recliner is made from "genuine leather," and features a fully adjustable headrest, lumbar support and leg rest. Once you're seated, the motorized dome at the top of the Orb X lowers a screen to eye level. Speaking of screens, you can configure the pod with either a single 34-inch monitor or up to three 27-inch displays. Completing the multimedia experience, the Orb X also comes with a built-in surround sound system that Cooler Master says will let you enjoy a realistic soundstage without fancy headphones.

Cooler MasterOther nifty features include a hidden compartment where you can store your PC and consoles. Inside, you'll also find a desk with built-in wireless charging and a handful of USB-A and USB-C ports. Oh, and the whole thing obviously features RGB accent lighting.

While it's far from a crowded market, Cooler Master isn't the only company producing a behemoth like the Orb X. In 2018, Acer announced the $20,000 Predator Thronos before following it up with the more affordable

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Anime classic 'Berserk' still isn't available on Netflix in the US, UK and Canada
So much for streaming the influential anime seriesBerserk on Netflix in the US, at least on day one. As PiunikaWeb and viewers have noticed, the 1997 manga-based show still isn't available on the service in key markets like the US, UK and Canada well after its December 1st release date. You can watch the saga in countries like Portugal, so it is viewable — just not where you might have expected. For now, you'll likely have to rely on a VPN with the right local servers if you're determined to watch the 25-episode program.

We've asked Netflix for comment. There's still a countdown on the official Japanese Berserk website that suggests something is coming in about five days, but this appears to relate to the "Memorial Edition" that recut the 2012 movie trilogy for TV, not the original anime production. Given that the decade-old movies have plenty of critics, you may be better off waiting for their well-received predecessor.

The classic Berserk was a dark and unflinching fantasy tale that covered the Golden Age Arc of the manga, when Guts joined up with major characters like Casca and Griffith. The title is frequently considered the best adaptation of the manga, and is said to have inspired other legendary anime releases like Attack on Titan and Fullmetal Alchemist.

Limited regional launches certainly aren't new to Netflix. The company has a long history of international distribution for shows that are only available on a rival service in the US. However, Netflix

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Apple's latest iPad Air falls to $500 at Amazon
This is your chance to get one of Apple's more powerful tablets at a much better price than usual. Amazon is selling the 2022 iPad Air with 64GB of storage and WiFi for $500, or a full $100 off. That's an all-time low for all but one color variant of the tablet, and you'll see similar discounts for 256GB and cellular models. The sale makes it an easier choice if you want a wide range of features but would rather not splurge on the iPad Pro.



The iPad Air M1 represents the sweet spot in Apple's current tablet lineup. It's still one of the fastest mobile tablets you can buy, with an excellent display and support for up

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 falls to a new all-time low of $400
If you've been waiting for a deal on Samsung's 4K Smart Monitor M8 as a good business, content creation and even entertainment monitor, now is the time to act. Just ahead of the holidays, it's on sale at its lowest price ever of $400 in multiple colors, both at Amazon and Samsung's online store. 



Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

The Morning After: Apple has ‘fully resumed' advertising on Twitter, according to Elon Musk
According to Elon Musk, Apple has "fully resumed" advertising on Twitter. The billionaire made the comment during a Twitter Spaces conversation he broadcast from his private plane on Saturday evening. On November 28th, Musk claimed Apple had "mostly stopped advertising on Twitter" and threatened to remove the platform's iOS client from the App Store. Two days after that, Musk said he met with Tim Cook. "We resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store," he posted. "Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so." On Saturday, Musk added Apple was the largest advertiser on Twitter.

Amazon also had plans to advertise on Twitter again, with reports from Platformer saying the company has committed to spending approximately $100 million per year, "pending some security tweaks." During the first week of the World Cup in Qatar, Twitter only made about 20 percent of the ad revenue it expected to, according to The Times.

Twitter continues to try to win back its army of advertisers while wrestling with a different approach to free speech: Musk's "general amnesty" to users that haven't broken rules. The social network recently restored the account of Andrew Anglin, one of America's most notorious neo-Nazis. He then tweeted a defense of Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. "Saying you love Hitler is not even a big deal," Anglin said, referencing Ye's recent InfoWars interview with Alex Jones. This reinstatement comes in the same week Twitter suspended Ye for tweeting a photo of the Star of David merged with a swastika.

An estimate by software engineer Travis Brown suggests Twitter has restored as many as 12,000 accounts si

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

Nothing in talks to launch a new smartphone in the US
After sticking to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, smartphone company Nothing may launch a future model in the US, founder Carl Pei told CNBC. He said that the Nothing Phone 1 isn't available stateside because the company wasn't ready to deal with the complexities of the market. "Now we are in discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially launch a future product there," he said.

As co-founder of OnePlus, Pei is well-acquainted with the US market. And Nothing does sell its Ear Stick wireless buds in the US, which makes up a third of that product's sales. "It's definitely a market where there's already a lot of interest for our products. And if we launch our smartphones there, I'm sure we could obtain significant growth," he said. 

However, the different US carrier bands and other issues make launching a new device complicated for a startup. "The reason why we didn't launch in the US is because you need a lot of additional technical support, to support all the carriers and their unique customizations that they need to make on top of Android," Pei said. "We felt that we weren't ready before."

The Nothing phone 1 has a unique, light-up transparent back, and is designed to compete in the mid-range against devices like Apple's iPhone SE. The company said it has sold 500,000 units since it launched in July, along with 600,000 of its wireless earbuds. It expects to see $250 million in revenue in 2022, over ten times what it made the year before.

However, Pei has

Engadget
Dec 05, 2022

DHL orders 2,000 Ford E-Transit electric delivery vans
DHL is turning to Ford for help to electrify 60 percent of its delivery fleet by the end of the decade. On Monday, the automaker's Pro division announced it would supply the logistics company with 2,000 E-Transit electric vans by the end of 2023. The order is part of a €7 billion investment DHL has set aside through the end of the decade to build a zero-emissions fleet. Ford notes it has already delivered some of the vans covered by the deal to DHL, and that the vehicles are handling express deliveries throughout Europe and the Americas.

While 2,000 vehicles is a drop in the ocean for a company like DHL (the company already has 27,000 EVs in its fleet), the door is open for Ford to provide DHL with more E-Transit vans. The memorandum of understanding the two signed will see Ford grant DHL access to test vehicles. They also plan to work together on new products and charging solutions. Ford isn't the only company providing electric vans to some of the biggest parcel delivery firms on the planet. In 2019, for instance, Amazon announced it would buy 100,000 EVs from Rivian.



Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

Google is shutting down Duplex on the Web
Another Google service will soon join the company's graveyard of apps. The search giant quietly announced this week it is shutting down Duplex on the Web. In a support page spotted by TechCrunch, the company notes the service won't work after the end of 2022. "As we continue to improve the Duplex experience, we're responding to the feedback we've heard from users and developers about how to make it even better," a Google spokesperson told the outlet. "By the end of this year, we'll turn down Duplex on the Web and fully focus on making AI advancements to the Duplex voice technology that helps people most every day."

Google first announced Duplex on the Web in 2019 as an expansion of its Duplex phone reservation AI. Initially, the feature was designed to help Android users buy movie tickets. Duplex on the Web gave Assistant the ability to navigate websites on its own. Provided you had your credit card information stored on Chrome, Assistant could take care of all of the busy work of buying film tickets for you. Google later expanded the feature to protect users against online data breaches. At one point, you could also use it to check into flights and track discounts.

As for the reason why Google is shutting down Duplex on the Web, TechCrunch suggests it may have something to do with the cost of training an AI to parse websites. The feature's support page not

Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

US Army starts testing a modified version of Canoo's electric pickup truck
Earlier this year, electric vehicle startup Canoo warned it was running low on cash. Since then, the company's prospects have taken a turn for the better. Over the span of two days in July, Canoo announced separate agreements to provide Walmart with 4,500 EVs and the US Army with a test vehicle. This week, the company shared an update on its Pentagon contract, announcing it had delivered a prototype of its new Light Tactical Vehicle to the army.

The LTV looks like a modified version of Canoo's pickup truck. According to the company, it incorporated carbon Kevlar to make the vehicle more durable without increasing its weight. The LTV can be converted from a pickup to a flatbed truck, allowing it to carry construction material and tactical equipment. It even includes a stealth configuration. Canoo says the all-wheel drive LTV can produce up to 600 horsepower. It also features air springs, a raised suspension system and 32-inch tires to make it fit for traversing difficult terrain.

The US military is among the biggest polluters on the planet. It has a larger carbon footprint than about 140 nations, including first-world countries like Sweden and Denmark. At the start of 2022, the Defense Department announced a net-zero emissions plan that, among other tactics, called for the army to electrify its combat and support vehicles. While there's no guarantee Canoo will be part of that initiative, securing the US Arm

Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

Fortnite's latest season adds a new map, dirt bikes and Doomguy
Following an explosive end to the battle royale's third chapter, Fortnite's newest season has arrived. Chapter four comes complete with an entirely new island for players to fight over. It features a handful of landmarks that draw on fantasy tropes, including a castle known as The Citadel that's home to "The Ageless." There's also Anvil Square, a picturesque medieval town surrounded by trees at the peak of their autumn colors. On a different part of the island, players will find an abandoned farm ominously named the Frenzy Fields.

Chapter four also introduces new gameplay tweaks, and if there's a theme to the season, it's mobility. Dirt bikes called Trail Thrashers allow you to perform tricks and fire your weapons while on the move. Now you can also vault over obstacles by sprinting at them. Additionally, in areas where there's snow, you can use a pickaxe to create a snowball. You can then jump into the snowball to take your enemies down by rolling over them.

However, the most interesting addition is a feature called Reality Augments. At a few intervals during a game, you'll get to choose between two random buffs that you can keep until your character dies or you win the match. Light Fingers, one of the 22 Reality Augments available with the start of the new season, allows you to reload weap

Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

Elon Musk says Apple has ‘fully resumed' advertising on Twitter
According to Elon Musk, Apple has "fully resumed" advertising on Twitter. The billionaire made the comment during a Twitter Spaces conversation he broadcast from his private plane on Saturday evening. On November 28th, Musk claimed Apple had "mostly stopped advertising on Twitter" and threatened to remove the platform's iOS client from the App Store. "Do they hate free speech?" Musk asked his followers and went on to play up the censorship angle.

The New York Times reports Apple temporarily stopped advertising on Twitter following the

Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

Apple's latest iPad drops to $399 at Amazon
If you missed the chance to buy the 2022 iPad when it was $30 off, don't worry: the tablet has hit a new all-time low price on Amazon. After an 11 percent discount, the base 64GB model of the 10th-generation iPad is $399. All four colorways - blue, pink, silver and yellow - are part of the promotion. Amazon has also discounted select 256GB models by $50.



Engadget
Dec 04, 2022

Hitting the Books: AI is already reshaping air travel, will airports themselves be next?
The holiday travel season is once again upon us! It's the magical time of the year that combines standing in airport security lines with incrementally losing your mind as the hands of your watch perpetually tick closer to a boarding time that magically moved up 45 minutes since you left the house and the goober in front of you is in the year of our lord 2022 still somehow confused about why we have to take our shoes off in security and goddamit dude stop arguing with the TSA and untie your laces already these tickets are nonrefundable.

Ai can help fix this. It can perhaps even give regular folks a taste of the effortless airport experience that more well-heeled travelers enjoy — the private jet set who don't ever have to worry about departure times or security lines like the rest of us schmucks stuck flying Spirit. 

In their latest book POWER AND PREDICTION: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence, University of Toronto economists and professors Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb examine the foundational impact that AI/ML systems have on human decision making as we increasingly rely on automation and big data predictions. In the excerpt below, they posit what the airports of tomorrow might look like if AI eliminates traffic congestion and security delays. 

Harvard Business Review PressReprinted by permission of Harvard Business Review Press. Excerpted from

Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

‘The Callisto Protocol' patch attempts to address PC performance issues
One day after releasing The Callisto Protocol to mixed reviews, developer Striking Distance Studios is rolling out a patch to address the PC version's stuttering issues. The studio promised the hotfix would "improve performance," adding that "a number of additional updates" were on the way.


Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Stunning ‘The Last of Us' trailer puts Joel and Ellie's relationship in the spotlight
If the wait to watch HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us wasn't long enough already, the network has shared a new trailer for the upcoming series ahead of its January 15th release date. Clocking in at almost two-and-a-half minutes long, the clip offers our best look yet at the Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) production. And for those who may have worried that the series would hew too closely to Naughty Dog's source material, it shows the adaptation's creators weren't afraid to bring something new to the franchise. 

That's on display early on when there's a short scene of Ellie pretending to be a clicker. The exchange that follows is one of the few light-hearted moments in the trailer. Later in the clip, eagle-eyed fans will spot Ashley Johnson, the actor who voiced Ellie in the video games.  

If you're unfamiliar with The Last of Us, the trailer serves as a decent overview of the first game's story. At the center of the narrative are Joel and Ellie, played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in the upcoming HBO series. Joel must escort Ellie across a post-apocalyptic version of the US in the hopes that she may be the key to protecting what's left of the world's population from a fungal infection that turns its victims into aggressive, zombie-like creatures known as the Infected.    

From all the marketing material HBO has shared to promote The Last of Us, it's clear the network has high hopes for the series. Footage from the show capped off a

Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Netflix's latest 'The Witcher: Blood Origin' trailer teases the appearance of a certain bard
With its latest Witcher franchise spinoff scheduled to arrive on December 25th, Netflix has shared a new trailer for The Witcher: Blood Origin. The approximately two-minute-long clip expands on the teaser the company uploaded last month. After most of Netflix's past promotional material for Blood Origin focused on Michelle Yeoh's character Scian, the latest trailer gives her co-stars, including Sophia Brown and Laurence O'Fuarain, a chance to shine. It probably won't surprise you to find out they're all badasses in their own way.

Set some 1,200 years before the story of Geralt and Ciri, Blood Origin promises to give fans more insight into the creation of the first witcher. You'll want to watch the clip through to the end to catch a glimpse of Jaskier (Joey Batey). It looks like everyone's favorite bard will work alongside Minnie Driver to immortalize the exploits of Scian's band of elves. When Driver announced she was joining The Witcher franchise back in September, she said her character would play a pivotal role "in connecting Blood Origin's past with The Witcher's future."

Blood Origin comes during a period of uncertainty for Netflix'sThe Witcher. The company recently announced that Henry Cavill would not return to play Geralt of Rivia after

Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Twitter reinstates account of Daily Stormer's infamous neo-Nazi creator
Twitter has restored the account of Andrew Anglin, one of America's most notorious neo-Nazis. The creator of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer had been banned from the social media platform for nearly a decade. His return would appear to be part of Elon Musk's offer of "general amnesty" to users who had "not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam." Anglin, it should be noted, is currently in hiding while attempting to avoid a 2019 court order to pay $14 million for leading a harassment campaign against Jewish residents in Montana.


Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Judge dismisses indictment against Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou
More than four years after her arrest, the drawn-out legal saga of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou came to a formal end this week. On Friday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly dismissed an indictment against Meng, according to Reuters. On behalf of the US, Canadian authorities arrested Meng in 2018 for allegedly violating American sanctions against Iran. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, spent the next three years fighting attempts to extradite her to the US, where she faced up to 30 years in prison for bank and wire fraud charges. Donnelly dismissed the indictment "with prejudice," meaning the Justice Department can't bring the same charges against Meng again.

Before entering into an agreement with US prosecutors last year, Meng spent three years under house arrest. The detainment strained relationships between the United States and China and led to an international incident. China apprehended two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, within days of Meng's arrest. They were later released after Meng entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. As part of the agreement, she acknowledged having made false statements about Huawei's business in Iran. Meng flew home to China the day Donnelly approved the pact.

Huawei and its subsidiaries are still facing charges in the US. Most notably, the Justice Department recently announced charges against two Chinese spies who had allegedly tried to interfere in a crimin

Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Pentagon unveils B-21 Raider aircraft with advanced stealth technology
The US military has unveiled the B-21 Raider, its first new stealth bomber in 30 years. Northrop Grumman, which developed the aircraft, first showed us a silhouette of the plane covered by a shroud way back in 2015. Now, the Pentagon has officially presented the B-21 at an event at Northrop Grumman's plant in Palmdale, California, but most of its details still remain a secret. Prior to the event, though, the company called it the "world's first sixth-generation aircraft," which means it's a lot more technologically advanced than the military jets in service today.

According to ABC News, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during the event that "no other long range bomber can match [the B-21's] efficiency." Austin also said that "fifty years of advances in low observable technology" have gone into the aircraft and that even the most sophisticated air defense systems will have a hard time detecting a B-21 in the sky. 

The aircraft was designed using next-generation stealth technology so that it can remain undetectable even to advanced radars and air defense systems, Northrop Grumman said in a previous announcement. A Northrop Grumman official also said that the B-21 can fly in full stealth mode every day, according to 

Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Recommended Reading: The environmental cost of China's EV boom
The dirty road to clean energy: How China's electric vehicle boom is ravaging the environmentAntonia Timmerman, Rest of World

The rise of electric vehicles in China is causing devastating environmental impacts in nearby Indonesia, including rising ocean temperatures as a byproduct of coal plants. Upper respiratory infections are also one of the main health issues for people who live near nickel-processing factories and the main water sources for some areas are increasingly polluted and prone to flooding.

The future of parking is in New York — and it costs at least $300,000 per spaceRay Parisi, CNBC

Some of the priciest condos in NYC are housed in buildings with futuristic parking systems. Robotic technology is deployed to park and retrieve vehicles. The catch? The apartments cost millions and reserving a self-parking spot will cost you at least $300,000 more.

We're in denial about the true cost of a Twitter implosionEve Fairbanks, Wired

"The amount of reputational and social wealth that stands to be lost if Twitter collapses is astounding," Fairbanks explains. "Twitter currently functions as perhaps the world's biggest status bank, and the investments stored in it are terrifyingly unsecured." 



Engadget
Dec 03, 2022

Meta faces lawsuit for harvesting financial data from tax prep websites
A group of anonymous plaintiffs who filed their taxes online in 2020 using H&R Block has sued Meta, accusing the company of violating users' trust and privacy. If you'll recall, a recent Markup investigation revealed that H&R Block, along with other popular tax-filing websites like TaxAct and TaxSlayer, have been sending users' sensitive financial information to Meta through its Pixel tracking tool. 

Pixel is a piece of code companies can embed on their websites so they can track visitors' activities and identify Facebook and Instagram users to target with ads. Apparently, the aforementioned tax prep websites had been transmitting personal information, such as income data, filing statuses, refund amounts and dependents' tuition grants, to Meta through that code. The tax-filing services had already changed their Pixel settings to stop sending information or had been reevaluating how they used Pixel by the time Markup's report came out. 

In a statement sent to Engadget when the news first came out, Meta said that advertisers are prohibited from sharing personal information and that it uses an automated system that can filter out sensitive content sent through Pixel. The plaintiffs acknowledged in their complaint (PDF, courtesy of The Markup) that Meta does require businesses that use Pixel to "have lawful rights to collect, use and share" user data before providing the company with any information. However, the plaintiffs argue that Meta

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Security flaw in Florida tax website exposed filers' sensitive data
Some Florida residents may be keeping a close eye on their finances after a security incident. Researcher Kamran Mohsin tellsTechCrunch that Florida's Department of Revenue website had a flaw that exposed hundreds of filers' bank account and Social Security numbers. Anyone who logged in to the state business tax registration site could see, modify and even delete personal data just by modifying the web address pointing to a taxpayer's application number — you just needed to change the digits in the link.

There were over 713,000 applications in the Department's pipeline at the time of the discovery, Mohsin said. Mohsin warned the Department about the flaw on October 27th.

Department representative Bethany Wester said in a statement that the government fixed the flaw within four days of the report, and that two unnamed firms have deemed the site secure. She added there was "no sign" attackers abused the flaw, but didn't say how officials might have spotted any misuse. The agency contacted every affected taxpayers by phone or writing within four days of learning about the issue, and has offered a year of free credit monitoring.

Bugs like these, known as insecure direct object references, are relatively easy to fix. The damage might also be limited compared to other tax-related breaches, such as a Healthcare.gov intrusion that compromised about 75,000 people in 2018. However, the incident underscores the potential harm from weak security — even a small-scale exposure like this could be used to commit tax fraud and steal refunds.



Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

John Wick's creator is writing a movie based on 'Sifu'
John Wick creator Derek Kolstad is working on yet another videogame adaptation. Fresh off the news that he's writing and producing a Streets of Rage film, it emerged that Kolstad is taking on the same duties for a live-action movie based on Sifu.

Kolstad and his partners at media company Story Kitchen have teamed up with Sifu developer and publisher Sloclap, as Deadline reports. The beat-'em-up proved a hit when it was released in February, as it sold a million copies in three weeks — despite Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West arriving at around the same time. What makes Sifu stand out from the pact is that every time the protagonist dies in their quest for vengeance, they get older but their enemies stay the same age.

That hook alone gives a screenwriter a lot of intriguing possibilities. The one vs. many aspect of Sifu seems right up Kolstad's alley as well, given his experience with the John Wick franchise and Nobody. As if all that wasn't enough, Kolstad is also behind Netflix's Splinter Cell, an upcoming animated series based on Ubisoft's games.



Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Second group of Activision Blizzard testers wins union vote
More Activision Blizzard workers have voted to unionize. Quality assurance testers at Blizzard Albany have voted 14-0 in favor of unionization. The team at the Diablo-focused office will join the Communication Workers of America (CWA), the representative of the existing Raven Software union.

The game publisher tried to prevent the vote in October, arguing that 88 developers should be included to prevent a "fractured" office. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) denied that bid in late November, noting that the game testers shared a "community of interest" for their cause. Expansions like this are sometimes used in union-busting efforts to reduce the chances of a successful vote. The company also tried to impound three votes that arrived late due to mail delays, although those wouldn't have affected the outcome.

Activision Blizzard told Engadget in a statement that it was "considering all options." It maintained that all Albany workers should have voted in the name of "fundamental fairness and rights" for the entire branch, not just the QA unit.

The CWA said in its own statement that this was a vote against "burn out culture," while Blizzard Albany associate test analyst Amanda Deep said the group was "advocating for ourselves" out of care for the work and the games. Workers at Raven and Blizzard Albany have complained about long hours, pay rates and other labor issues. Unionization theoretically gives staff more clout in demanding better conditions.

It may not be so simple, however. While Activision Blizzard responded to initial unionization efforts by

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Pong's influence on video games endures 50 years later
A game that is easy to learn, but difficult to master. This was the concept Atari founder Nolan Bushnell instilled into Allan Alcorn, a then-24-year-old engineer, prior to the development of one of the most recognizable games of all time, Pong, just over 50 years ago.

Pong, a video game in which a square is bounced between two rectangles controlled by players, was released on November 29th of 1972 by Atari, only a few days more than 50 years ago. Atari sold more than 8,000 Pong arcade cabinets, and a few years later, the home version would become an instant success, selling about 150,000 units of a console that played nothing but Pong. However, despite how much time has passed, and the massive changes the gaming industry has endured, Pong's — and Atari's — influence on the world of video games remains prevalent today. Watch the video below for the full story.





Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Google Messages starts testing end-to-end encryption for RCS group texts
Google is starting to test end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in Messages for RCS group chats on Android. Some users who are enrolled in the Messages open beta program will gain access in the coming weeks ahead of a broader rollout. The company said during its I/O 2022 developer conference that an E2EE beta for group chats would be available by the end of this year.

The move comes 18 months after Google Messages started offering E2EE for one-on-one conversations to shield chats from prying eyes. It started testing E2EE in Messages in November 2020, so it may be several months before the privacy feature is enabled for all group chats.

EngadgetMany carriers and phone manufacturers have gotten on board with RCS over the last several years to offer features such as high-quality photos and videos, read receipts and E2EE. The 30-year-old SMS format doesn't support any of those. Still, there's one company that's continuing to turn its nose up at RCS — Apple, which is staying cozy inside the walled garden of iMessage.

Google has been publicly pleading with Apple to adopt RCS but so far those efforts haven't proven fruitful. In September, Apple CEO Tim Cook

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Meta Quest Pro's first update adds mixed reality screen recordings
The Meta Quest Pro is a classic case of the early adopter's dilemma. Although the headset offers a wealth of potential for virtual reality enthusiasts, it also requires a $1,500 investment for something that — at least for now — doesn't have the software to justify its price. Although today's v47 update doesn't fix that problem, it does take a small first step by adding mixed reality (MR) capture and background audio playback.

The first update since Quest Pro's launch lets you record your real-world environment combined with virtual elements. Previously, you could only capture in-game action and the real-world elements would be reduced to a black background.

The feature doesn't appear to require any settings changes. After installing the update, you can record MR video by pulling up the headset's Quick Action Bar, navigating to Camera and tapping "Record Video."

Background audio is another addition. While playing any game, you can stream audio from the headset's browser or any 2D panel app (progressive web apps optimized for Quest), and you'll still hear it when you jump into a game. The feature lets you listen to your favorite music or podcast while playing an otherwise serene VR game (fishing, golf and meditation experiences come to mind).

Meta also added several feature updates for its entire Quest lineup (also including the Quest 2 and the original Quest). Horizon Home, the cozy hub you see when yo

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

GE has a new smart mixer that can shut itself off when your dough is ready
GE has created a smart mixer that could help take more of the sting out of baking. For one thing, the Profile Smart Mixer with Auto Sense has a built-in scale that will enable you to measure ingredients directly in the mixing bowl — just be sure to add each ingredient slowly so you don't plop in too much.

It uses motor torque feedback to monitor the texture and viscosity of a mix. According to Crate and Barrel, which snagged the smart mixer as an exclusive product, the appliance will shut off when it detects that your concoction is ready for the next step. That should help you avoid having overmixed dough that results in overly chewy cookies.

Naturally, given that this is a smart mixer, there's support for Alexa and Google Assistant voice control. So, you can set the mixing speed without having to get flour all over the controls or washing your hands first.

There's a companion app that has more than a dozen guided recipes at the outset. Through over-the-air updates, GE will add more features and recipes over time. Furthermore, this is said to be the first smart mixer in the US with an advanced digital brushless DC motor system. That seemingly helps the mixer run at consistently high power with the ability to work stiff doughs without stalling or overheating. The smart mixer is said to run at a lower temperature than other models, which should help extend its lifespan.

If it works as promised, the auto sh

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

VW teases second-generation ID.3 EV with design and tech upgrades
Volkswagen's electric car lineup is now mature enough that it's introducing second-generation models — and it appears the company is taking some criticism to heart. VW has teased a redesign of the ID.3 that addresses complaints about the first version while upgrading the technology. The compact EV now sports a "matured" design with a supposedly sharper-looking exterior and higher-quality interior materials. Importantly, it's also more functional — there's a larger 12-inch infotainment display, two cupholders in the center console and a removable luggage compartment floor.

The tech may be the centerpiece. VW stresses the new ID.3 will use the company's "latest" software platform, which boosts the sometimes-sluggish performance and allows for over-the-air updates. It will also reflect feature upgrades that include easier paid EV charging, adaptive lane guidance and parking aids.

VolkswagenVW won't formally unveil the revamped ID.3 until the spring, and pre-orders placed now won't arrive until the last quarter of 2023 due to "high order volume." However, it's keeping the current starting price of €43,995 (about $43,600) for the Life trim. Business, Style, Max and Tour variants will also be available.

There's no mention of which markets will get the new EV. As before, though, we wouldn't expect a North American ID.3 launch. VW remains focused on crossovers and SUVs

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Crypto cammer faces 18 months in prison over $22 million SIM attack
A young man is facing time behind bars for his role in a high-profile crypto scam. Bloombergreports a federal judge has sentenced 25-year-old Nicholas Truglia to 18 months in prison for allegedly taking part in a scheme that stole $22 million in cryptocurrency from blockchain adviser Michael Terpin in 2018. The perpetrators are said to have asked Truglia to convert Triggers tokens stolen from Terpin into Bitcoin after breaching the consultant's phone.

Truglia has been described as a member of a larger criminal group that relied heavily on SIM swapping, or transferring victim phone numbers to SIM cards under attackers' control, to rob crypto industry personalities. Terpin accused a New York State teen of leading the group following a private investigation and successfully recouped some of his losses. The teen pointed to Truglia and two other people as accomplices.

Truglia is the only person in the group subject to criminal charges, and is already facing civil penalties near $80 million for his alleged involvement. The relatively light sentence appears to have been influenced by Truglia's autism, which defense attorney Jeffrey Udell claimed made it harder to understand the real-world consequences of the theft.

This is far from the largest crypto heist in recent memory. State-backed hackers and online gangs have been linked to thefts worth hundreds of millions of dollars from the blockchain. The length of the se

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Crypto scammer faces 18 months in prison over $22 million SIM attack
A young man is facing time behind bars for his role in a high-profile crypto scam. Bloombergreports a federal judge has sentenced 25-year-old Nicholas Truglia to 18 months in prison for allegedly taking part in a scheme that stole $22 million in cryptocurrency from blockchain adviser Michael Terpin in 2018. The perpetrators are said to have asked Truglia to convert Triggers tokens stolen from Terpin into Bitcoin after breaching the consultant's phone.

Truglia has been described as a member of a larger criminal group that relied heavily on SIM swapping, or transferring victim phone numbers to SIM cards under attackers' control, to rob crypto industry personalities. Terpin accused a New York State teen of leading the group following a private investigation and successfully recouped some of his losses. The teen pointed to Truglia and two other people as accomplices.

Truglia is the only person in the group subject to criminal charges, and is already facing civil penalties near $80 million for his alleged involvement. The relatively light sentence appears to have been influenced by Truglia's autism, which defense attorney Jeffrey Udell claimed made it harder to understand the real-world consequences of the theft.

This is far from the largest crypto heist in recent memory. State-backed hackers and online gangs have been linked to thefts worth hundreds of millions of dollars from the blockchain. The length of the se

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

World Cup attendees can use AR to see stats for players on the pitch
Folks who are attending the FIFA World Cup in Qatar don't have to miss out on all the player stats they'd see while watching games on TV. The FIFA app has an augmented reality feature that allows fans to view the likes of VAR replays and alternate camera angles.

FIFA says that only people who are attending matches in person can access the FIFA Stadium Experience. According to a video that has gained traction, users can point their phone's camera at the pitch. An overlay will pop up that enables them to tap on a player to see things like their movement speed and individual heatmap.


Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

iPhone users can now share their digital car keys with Pixel owners
You no longer need others to use the same phone OS to share your digital car keys. Google has added car key sharing to Pixel devices, making cross-platform swaps available in an early form. If you're using an iPhone running iOS 16.1, you can send keys stored in Wallet to a Pixel through communications apps like Mail, Messages and WhatsApp. Pixel users share their car access through Android's wallet app.

Google plans to expand sharing to more phones using Android 12 or newer. Only a handful of car makers currently support digital car keys, including BMW and Hyundai brands that include Genesis and Kia. Some cars may require that you activate through a physical key or code, while others might ask you to start the process through the vehicle's infotainment screen.

Note that this isn't the same as the remote or proximity-based lock controls you get from companies like Tesla — this treats your phone like a physical key that requires getting close to the door. On phones with ultra-wideband, such as many recent iPhones and larger Galaxy S21/S22 models, you can unlock your car without taking the phone out of your pocket or using a smartwatch.

Companies across the industry, including Apple and Google, are hoping to make a publicly available standard for digital car key sharing. While there's no timeline for when this might happen, the appeal is clear. You could lend your c

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Roku's Streaming Stick 4K is on sale for $25, plus all the Cyber Week deals you can still get
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be behind us, but many of the deals are still live as of today. A few deals even popped up after the shopping holidays ended, keeping our deals radar from getting rusty. Samsung still has a few good discounts including the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Frame TVs. Apple's latest

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

TikTok and Bumble join anti-revenge-porn initiative
TikTok and Bumble are the latest tech companies to join an initiative aimed at reducing the spread of revenge porn — intimate images and videos shared without the subject's consent. They've partnered with StopNCII.org (Stop Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse), which hosts a tool developed in partnership with Meta. TikTok, Bumble, Facebook and Instagram will detect and block any images that are included in StopNCII.org's bank of hashes.

The website enables people to create hashes (unique digital fingerprints) of images and videos in question. This process takes place on their device. In order to protect users' privacy, the actual files aren't uploaded to StopNCII.org, only a unique string of letters and numbers.

Hashes submitted to StopNCII.org are shared with the initiative's partners. If an image or video uploaded to TikTok, Bumble, Facebook or Instagram matches a corresponding hash and "meets partner policy requirements," the file will be sent to the platform's moderation team. If moderators find that the image breaks their platform's rules, they'll remove it. The other partner platforms will block the image from being shared too.

The tool has been live for a year and more than 12,000 people have created cases to prevent intimate videos and images being shared without consent. Users have created more than 40,000 hashes to date. As

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

What we bought: How Zwilling's Cool Touch Kettle became my most-used kitchen gadget
I never got into coffee, but I do love a good cuppa. That said, I have zero respect for the natural process of boiling water. The internet tells us that water boils faster at high altitude, and I've been living between 6,000 and 8,000 feet for the past ten years. But I swear it was taking longer. Maybe chalk that up to the inverse relationship between patience and age. Somehow evading the laws of thermodynamics, Zwilling's electric kettle does something spooky to water, boiling it in a fraction of the time I ever thought possible.

Officially called the Zwilling Cool Touch Kettle, it's made by the German brand Zwilling J. A. Henckels, which I'd previously only known for their chef's knives that have been around since the 1700s. I stumbled upon the kettle while researching knives for a kitchen roundup at a previous job and decided to buy one. Glad I did.



Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Huawei teases a smartwatch with built-in wireless earbuds
As convenient as wireless earbuds can be, you typically have to carry a case around to store and charge them. Wouldn't you rather free up your pocket? Huawei thinks so. As The Registernotes, the Chinese brand has teased a Watch Buds smartwatch that includes earbuds you charge beneath the dial. Official details will have to wait as the company has delayed a winter consumer launch event slated for today, but there are already some clues as to how this oddball design will work.

Huawei Central has obtained photos indicating that the earbuds attach to the underside of the dial and sit in recesses when the watch is closed. The design is similar to that of the Watch GT series, complete with a steel case and leather strap, and reportedly runs Huawei's in-house HarmonyOS. While the specs aren't available, it won't be surprising if there's a large battery when the watch has to power both itself and the buds.

An early hands-on

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Engadget Podcast: Kindle Scribe review and the rise of Twitter clones
Finally, a Kindle you can write on! This week, we dive into Cherlynn's review of the Kindle Scribe, Amazon's first e-reader that can also capture handwritten notes. The hardware is great, but as usual, Amazon's software feels half-baked. Also, Devindra and Cherlynn discuss the rise of new Twitter alternatives like Hive Social and Post. It looks like many communities are already splintering off to these services, but unfortunately, they can't yet replicate the magic of Twitter.

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!

Subscribe!iTunes

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Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset will reportedly run 'xrOS'
Apple has internally changed the name of its upcoming mixed reality headset's accompanying software from "realityOS" to "xrOS," according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As the reporter notes, the new name better represents the software's capabilities: "XR," after all, stands for extended reality, and the headset is expected to have both augmented and virtual reality features. 

In addition to the internal name change, Gurman says a shell corporation named Deep Dive LLC has also filed a trademark for the brand "xrOS" in the US and in other countries, including ones in the European Union and in Asia, the UK, Australia, Mexico, Ukraine, Japan and Canada. In its application, Deep Dive wrote that it's applying for a trademark for "head-mounted displays" and devices that provide "virtual reality and augmented reality experiences." Apple hasn't confirmed whether it's behind this filing. 

Earlier this year, though, Vox Media product manager Parker Ortolanifound a patent application for "realityOS" filed by a shell company called Realityo Systems LLC. Bloomberg also reported back in August that yet another shell company with a different name filed applications for "Reality One," "Reality Pro" and "Reality Processor."

This recent name change could indicate that Apple is ironing out the details of the project for its approaching launch. Gurman says Apple plans to debut the headset, its dedicated operating system and its app store sometime next year. Accord

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

The Morning After: Valve is giving away over a hundred Steam Decks
Valve's portable gaming PC handheld is a revelation for some, but it's also expensive. So, you could try your luck getting a free one. To coincide with this year's Game Awards, Valve is making its own Steam TV coverage of the show more enticing by giving away lots of Steam Deck consoles.

There are a few eligibility criteria, however. You have to watch the event on Steam TV, which starts at 7:30 PM ET on December 8th, and you have to register on the giveaway's official page beforehand to enter the draw. And you can only register and win if you're in the US, Canada, UK or the EU, where the console is currently available. On top of all that, you must have made a Steam purchase in the year ending November 14th, 2022. That should thin the herd a little.

The Game Awards are expanding "live" experiences (which aren't actually live) with IMAX theater showings across several cities in the US, Canada and other countries. This will also be the first year to feature a new Best Adaptation category, for projects that spin out games into movies, TV shows and more. Sonic the Hedgehog, this is your doing.

- Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missedValve's Steam Deck brought PC gaming back into my life after fatherhood

Disney built an AI that can easily make actors look younger or older

The best iPads for 2022: How to pick the best Apple

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

Ye's Twitter account suspended again following swastika tweet
Twitter has given Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at least a 12-hour suspension after he tweeted a photo of the Star of David merged with the swastika. In a public exchange on Twitter, CEO Elon Musk first told the rapper that tweeting a photo of him being hosed down on a yacht was fine, but tweeting the antisemitic image was not. 

Ye then posted a screenshot of his account on Truth Social, the social media platform backed by Donald Trump, showing that his account has been limited for 12 hours for violating Twitter's Terms of Service. Also included was a screenshot of his private exchange with Musk, wherein the executive said: "Sorry, but you have gone too far. This is not love." 

Musk explained in a series of follow-up tweets that he tried his best to communicate with Ye, but the rapper still chose to violate Twitter's rule against inciting violence. Twitter had already suspended Ye in October for posting antisemitic messages that said he would go "death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE." His account was reinstated in November, along with other controversial personalities', such as former President Donald Trump's

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

FCC allows SpaceX to deploy 7,500 second-gen Starlink satellites
SpaceX first asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to deploy 29,988 second-generation Starlink satellites back in 2020. Now, the FCC has granted its request — partially, at least. The commission has given the company the go-ahead to build, deploy and operate up to 7,500 satellites for its Gen2 constellation at the altitudes of 525 km, 530 km and 535 km. In its announcement, the FCC said approving 7,500 satellites for the constellation will allow SpaceX to provide broadband internet to users worldwide, even those living in far-flung areas. 

The FCC is limiting the number of satellites SpaceX can deploy for now, though, to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety. It says the limited grant will help maintain a safe space environment and protect other satellite and terrestrial operators from harmful interference. Several companies and even NASA previously raised concerns about SpaceX's plan to deploy an additional 30,000 satellites, considering the FCC already granted it permission to launch 12,000 first-gen Starlink satellites. 

In NASA's letter to the commission, it talked about an expanded constellation's potential impacts to its science and human spaceflight missions. A massive number of Starlink satellites, it said, could cause an increase in collision risks and lead to fewer launch windows. That said, the FCC is only deferring "action on the remainder of SpaceX's

Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

'The Mandalorian' season 3 arrives on March 1st
Mandalorian fans, you can now fire up your calendars and add a very important reminder for March 1st, 2023. The third season of The Mandalorian will premiere that day and will be available for streaming on Disney , the show's official Twitter account has revealed. Disney was originally aiming for a February 2023 release date, as Ars Technica notes, but a short delay isn't too bad. 

The company released its first teaser trailer for the show at this year's D23 Expo in September, showing Grogu (formerly known as baby Yoda on the internet) and Mando (or Din Djarin) reunited. If you'll recall, the Grogu left with Luke Skywalker by the end of season 2 to finish his Force training at the latter's Jedi Temple. The trailer also gives us a glimpse of Mando dealing with the consequences of removing his helmet and showing his face to other people, which is a huge no-no for members of his religious sect. 


Engadget
Dec 02, 2022

'The Callisto Protocol' didn't scare me, it just made me mad
The Callisto Protocol is beautiful. Please keep this fact in mind while consuming the numerous criticisms that follow in this review. When I mention how imprecise the mechanics are during horde combat, know that the ensuing death screens are pristine. As I talk about my protagonist stalling at the base of a short wall while I frantically mash the vault button, remember that the festering wounds of the monster that rips off my head are juicy and gorgeously rendered. While I try and fail to swap weapons or dodge, remember, through all of this frustration, The Callisto Protocol is stunning on PlayStation 5. Unfortunately, it's just not a great video game.

I had high hopes for The Callisto Protocol. I played an hour-long preview a few months ago, and I walked away with stars in my eyes and visions of blood-soaked mutants dancing through my head. The portion that I tried was horrific, mechanically satisfying and gorgeous, and it laid the foundation for an expansive world of familiar sci-fi terror. The Callisto Protocol comes from Striking Distance Studios and Dead Space co-creator Glen Schofield, and it shares DNA with that classic horror hit, including its lack of a HUD, the stomping and gravity-controlling abilities, and a de-emphasis on headshots overall.

Striking Distance StudiosDespite these touchstones, Callisto doesn't feel like Dead Space for long. It eventually introduces a snowy alien world and a massive mining operation, but the first third of the game is the most familiar:

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi
Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla's electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its "Semi Delivery Event" held at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.

First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.


Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Ye is no longer buying Parler, the ‘free speech' social media app
Ye is no longer buying Parler, the controversial social media app that's billed itself as a "free speech" alternative to Twitter. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, originally struck a deal with Parlement Technologies in October to buy the company for an undisclosed amount.

That deal is now off, according to the company. "Parlement Technologies has confirmed that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler," a spokesperson for Parler said in a statement. "This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community."


Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Facebook failed to stop test ads from threatening midterm election workers
Meta's election integrity efforts on Facebook may not have been as robust as claimed. Researchers at New York University's Cybersecurity for Democracy and the watchdog Global Witness have revealed that Facebook's automatic moderation system approved 15 out of 20 test ads threatening election workers ahead of last month's US midterms. The experiments were based on real threats and used "clear" language that was potentially easy to catch. In some cases, the social network even allowed ads after the wrong changes were made — the research team just had to remove profanity and fix spelling to get past initial rejections.

The investigators also tested TikTok and YouTube. Both services stopped all threats and banned the test accounts. In an earlier experiment before Brazil's election, Facebook and YouTube allowed all election misinformation sent during an initial pass, although Facebook rejected up to 50 percent in follow-up submissions.

In a statement to Engadget, a spokesperson said the ads were a "small sample" that didn't represent what users saw on platforms like Facebook. The company maintained that its ability to counter election threats "exceeds" that of rivals, but only backed the claim by pointing to quotes that illustrated the amount of resources committed to stopping violent threats, not the effectiveness of those resources.

The ads wouldn't have done damage, as the experimenters had the power to pull them before they went live. Still, the incident highlights the limitations of Meta's partial dependence on AI moderation to fight misinformation and hate speech. While the system helps M

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Epic Games' app that turns photos into 3D models now available on iOS
Epic Games released RealityScan for iOS today. The free app, previously available in a closed beta, lets anyone scan real-world objects with their phone and turn them into high-fidelity 3D models.

The app is the fruit of Epic's purchase of Capturing Reality, a company specializing in photogrammetry software. Like the company's desktop software, RealityScan combines 2D images to make seamless 3D assets for games and other virtual environments. The idea is to enable game developers and other creatives to scan real-world objects at any time and any place for their projects. (If the metaverse ever takes off, you can imagine tools like this becoming essential.)

The scanning process begins with signing into your Epic Games account and taking at least 20 photos of an object from all sides. As you move your phone around, a real-time quality map shows how well you've covered it: green denotes well-covered areas, yellow could use more attention and red needs the most additional photos. It visualizes the places from which you've snapped each picture as something akin to little Polaroids floating around your item.

Epic GamesThe app uploads and automatically aligns the images in the cloud as you take the photos. You can preview the model through the camera view and switch between the quality map and an in-progress, full-color render. When you want to crop it, it pops up 3D handl

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Cadillac says its new electric race car is almost ready for 24 Hours of Daytona
Cadillac Racing says its first electric race car is almost ready for the 24 Hours of Daytona event in January after passing critical testing and development milestones. Since July, the V-LMDh has gone through nearly 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of on-track testing, including a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway.

Cadillac collected data on nighttime operation and durability on the bumpy 3.7-mile circuit. Program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser claimed Sebring was the perfect testing ground for the V-LMDh ahead of its competitive debut at Daytona. "To complete that endurance test was extra motivation for our team and provided a sense of accomplishment," Klauser said in a statement. "We still have a lot to do in a short time, but we are at the point where we are fine-tuning many things."

The car is also slated to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June. Cadillac plans to run it in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. A final test will take place next week at Daytona as part of mandatory evaluations for all manufacturers intending to take part in the IMSA's new Grand Touring Prototype class. Cadillac Racing will reveal the final competition version of the three V-LMDh race cars, including liveries (and hopefully a new name), in mid-January.





Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Cadillac says its new hybrid race car is almost ready for 24 Hours of Daytona
Cadillac Racing says its first hybrid race car is almost ready for the 24 Hours of Daytona event in January after passing critical testing and development milestones. Since July, the V-LMDh has gone through nearly 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of on-track testing, including a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway.

Cadillac collected data on nighttime operation and durability on the bumpy 3.7-mile circuit. Program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser claimed Sebring was the perfect testing ground for the V-LMDh ahead of its competitive debut at Daytona. "To complete that endurance test was extra motivation for our team and provided a sense of accomplishment," Klauser said in a statement. "We still have a lot to do in a short time, but we are at the point where we are fine-tuning many things."

The car is also slated to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June. Cadillac plans to run it in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. A final test will take place next week at Daytona as part of mandatory evaluations for all manufacturers intending to take part in the IMSA's new Grand Touring Prototype class. Cadillac Racing will reveal the final competition version of the three V-LMDh race cars, including liveries (and hopefully a new name), in mid-January.

Update 9:47AM ET: The V-LMDh is a hybrid race car, not an electric one as previously stated.



Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Discord server owners in the US can now create their own subscriptions
After a year of testing, Discord is ready to let more creators offer subscriptions. The community platform has enabled Server Subscriptions for all eligible server owners in the US. Your favorite streamer or social media star can now offer exclusive content and features at multiple price tiers they set themselves. You might get bonus videos, early access to merch or voting rights for influential polls, for instance.

Discord stresses that creators will get 90 percent of their subscription fee. They can also use a newly launched promo webpage feature to promote their paid options. Any server owner qualifies as long as they're based in the US, agrees to policies and doesn't have any "recent" violations.

The long testing period reflects Discord's caution around launching Server Subscriptions. As company marketing manager Jesse Wofford told Engadget last year, the feature is meant to allow sustainable businesses on the platform — theoretically, a creator can generate meaningful profit (even if it's purely supplemental) from their Discord community.

Whether or not this represents a good value may depend on the services a creator is already using to charge for Discord access. Patreon asks for as little as 5 percent of monthly income before payment processing, but membership tiers and some other perks aren't available until a creator gives up 8 or 12 percent. Moreover, server owners still have to split their attention between two services — Discord's move potentially simplifies subscriptions.



Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Summer Game Fest's first in-person show will take place on June 8th
Geoff Keighley and his team might be focused on The Game Awards, but they're also looking ahead to their next gaming event. The fourth edition of Summer Game Fest's live kickoff show, which will have a live audience for the first time, will take place on June 8th. 

Keighley was involved with E3 for 25 years, though he backed out in early 2020 (before the Entertainment Software Association canceled that year's edition). Three years later, the two events are set to go toe-to-toe.


Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Southern hemisphere's largest radio telescope joins search for extraterrestrial tech
The largest radio telescope in the southern hemisphere has joined the search for technosignatures, signals that indicate the presence of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligence. A new instrument utilized by the MeerKAT radio telescope, which is in a remote region of South Africa, will increase the number of targets that Breakthrough Listen can observe by a factor of 1,000.

A team of engineers and astronomers involved with Listen, an initiative that's seeking signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, spent three years working on the instrument, which is said to be the most powerful equipment ever deployed to aid the search for technosignatures. The instrument is integrated with MeerKAT's control and monitoring systems.

Listen is already employing the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the Parkes Telescope in Australia and others in its hunt for technosignatures. What's different about MeerKAT is that there's no need to physically move its antennas. Its 64 dishes can monitor an area of the sky 50 times larger than what GBT can view at once.

"Such a large field of view typically contains many stars that are interesting technosignature targets," Listen principal investigator Dr. Andrew Siemion said in a statement. "Our new supercomputer enables us to combine signals from the 64 dishes to get high resolution scans of these targets with e

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Today's Google Doodle celebrates Jerry Lawson, the ‘father of the video game cartridge'
Google's interactive Doodle today celebrates the life and accomplishments of video game pioneer Gerald "Jerry" Lawson on what would have been his 82nd birthday. The Doodle lets you play five retro pixel-art platformers in your browser — with two even letting you play as Lawson. The Doodles' creators want to inspire young people to follow in his footsteps, and it includes a built-in level editor and creator to nudge them on that path.

Lawson was known as the "father of the video game cartridge," which he developed as Director of Engineering and Marketing at Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1976, the company released the Fairchild Channel F home console, with Lawson serving as lead developer. The Channel F (the "F" stood for "fun") was the first system with interchangeable game cartridges, a novel concept in an era when games were permanently coded into hardware. Interchangeable ROM-based cartridges were a massive breakthrough that let users build entire libraries rather than playing one game ad nauseam.

GoogleToday's Doodle includes games from guest artists and game designers Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown and Momo Pixel. "The concept starts with the player as a little Jerry Lawson," explained Brown. "This takes us through anecdotes about Jerry's life, parts of his journey that he went about to create the cartridge. Once you complete the level, you then get to create your own game with an editor that allows you to reimagine the level design and innovate like

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

'Amnesia: The Bunker' is a new survival horror sandbox from Frictional Games
Frictional Games thinks it has a way to shake up the Amnesia horror formula — throw out most of the predictability. The studio has unveiledAmnesia: The Bunker, a "semi-open" survival horror title that takes place during the First World War. You play a French soldier (an amnesiac, of course) who has little more than a revolver and flashlight to defend themselves against a mysterious creature hunting them down. There are "hardly any" scripted events, and frequently multiple ways to overcome the game's hurdles.

The new release also promises new forms of interaction, with elements of sandbox games despite the presence of a story. You can also expect improved lighting effects and "carefully" crafted sound. And yes, you'll still get Frictional's signature extra-gloomy environments.

Amnesia: The Bunker releases on PlayStation, Xbox and PC (via Epic Games Store and Steam) sometime in 2023. It's too soon to say if the open world format will help, or simply introduce the problems that sometimes creep up in tho

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

'Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga' will hit Xbox Game Pass on December 6th
Microsoft has revealed its first wave of Game Pass additions for December and the headliner is a major game that debuted earlier this year — Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. You'll be able to play through all nine core films in the Star Wars franchise and you can choose which trilogy to begin with. It's maybe the best Star Wars game I've played. It's gorgeous, the gameplay is a blast and it's very funny, with clever twists on many of the series' most memorable moments. It's coming to Game Pass on December 6th and you can play it on Xbox, PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

A few games have joined Game Pass today, including Eastward, a charming indie RPG that debuted last year. It has a lovely art style that takes inspiration from Earthbound. Both that and The Walking Dead: The Final Season are now available on Game Pass via console, PC and the cloud. Also hitting PC Game Pass today is Totally Reliable Delivery Service, a ragdoll physics game about terrible package couriers.


Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

Nintendo vows to fix Pokémon Scarlet and Violet after a rough launch
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet launched with plenty of glitches, to put it mildly, but the developers are at least trying to make amends. Alongside an update, Nintendo said it was aware of performance problems and was taking player feedback "seriously" as it planned fixes. The patch both introduces Season 1 of Ranked Battles and addresses numerous bugs, including inconsistent music playback during key events.

The creature-collecting game routinely suffers from poor frame rates, particularly in busy areas like cities. It's also common to encounter crashes, visual flaws and showstopping bugs like getting stuck in the terrain. Autosaves lessen the sting, but this still isn't the polished experience you expect from first-party Switch titles. The sometimes mediocre graphics don't help, either.

Not that Nintendo is likely worried about the flaws affecting sales. As IGNnotes, Nintendo recently boasted that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sold a combined 10 million copies worldwide in their first three days. The feat made them the fastest-selling Nintendo game on any of the company's platforms. Japan's Pokémon fandom played a major role, as domestic sales topped 4 million in those early days.

Those numbers also suggest Nintendo is still faring well against its biggest console rivals. Sony's fastest-selling PlayStation game, God of War: Ragnarok, 'only' man

Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

LinkedIn's Focused Inbox sifts through spammy DMs so you don't have to
I don't know about your LinkedIn experience, but each time I visit the website I find my inbox flooded with messages. Most aren't even worth reading, but a few inevitably promise new career opportunities and the chance to work with interesting people.

LinkedIn wants to make it easier to find those messages quickly. Starting today, the social network is rolling out a new feature called Focused Inbox. It separates your inbox into two tabs titled "Focused" and "Other." A machine learning algorithm will then do its best to flag messages that include the most relevant outreach to you and push them to the top of the Focused tab. If you don't find the feature useful, you can switch to the old interface at any time.

LinkedIn's hope is that the feature helps people be more productive. The Focused Inbox comes at a time when the company says more of its users are turning to its instant messaging feature to communicate. In the last year, LinkedIn says it has seen a 20 percent increase in those types of chats.



Engadget
Dec 01, 2022

The best Chromebooks you can buy in 2022
Choosing the best Chromebook for your needs and your budget can be hard to do given the multitude of models on the market today. The combination of years worth of software updates and laptop manufacturers making more powerful and better-built laptops means there are a ton of good Chrome OS machines that work well as everyday drivers. But there are some special factors to Chromebooks that you should keep in mind before choosing one. We'll help you figure out what is the best Chromebook for you, from the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 and in between.

Engadget's picksBest overall: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

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