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18 Jun 10:45

World's smallest, cheapest network switch developed by US high school robotics team — Murex Robotics makes the hardware fully open-source

Murex Robotics, a high school robotics team, makes their world's-smallest network switch fully open-source. The move comes as part of their mission to democratize technology.
16 Jun 10:49

One of Stephen King’s best recent novels is being made into a show for MGM+

by Cheyenne MacDonald

MGM+ has ordered an eight-episode series based on Stephen King’s 2019 novel, The Institute, Deadline reported this week. The novel follows the plight of 12-year-old Luke Ellis and a group of other children with telepathic and telekinetic abilities who have been kidnapped and held captive at a facility deep in the Maine woods, where their powers are being exploited. Their story becomes intertwined with that of an ex-cop Tim Jamieson. I really enjoyed this one when it came out, and as a lifelong King reader who has become hardened against the disappointment of terrible adaptations, I’m choosing to remain hopeful.

So far, all we know about the cast is that it includes Ben Barnes (Shadow and Bone) as Jamieson and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) as the villainous Mrs. Sigsby, according to Deadline. The show has Benjamin Cavell on board as writer and executive producer. Cavell helmed 2020’s The Stand miniseries remake, which… well, it happened. Again, we’re staying hopeful here. Production starts later this year in Nova Scotia.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/one-of-stephen-kings-best-recent-novels-is-being-made-into-a-show-for-mgm-203220393.html?src=rss
14 Jun 07:46

PC Factory Worker amusement center opens in Japan — kids learn PC DIY with 'real CPU, memory, graphics card'

Kids in Japan are set for a real treat later this month as a PC-building amusement center attraction opens at Kidzania Tokyo. From June 26, lucky children will be able to experience the daily work of a ‘PC Factory Worker,’ and assemble a computer, before attempting a first boot.
25 May 23:53

17 cringe-worthy Google AI answers demonstrate the problem with training on the entire web

From wrongful medical advice to extremist views, Google’s bot is often dangerously wrong.
09 May 15:01

A new Lord of the Rings film, The Hunt for Gollum, will hit theaters in 2026

by Nathan Ingraham

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy came out right around the time movie studios decided everything needed to be a big franchise that exists in perpetuity. From that perspective, it’s a little surprising that Warner Bros. Discovery hasn’t milked Tolkien’s work more than they already have. That’ll change soon, though, as the company just announced that there are two new Lord of the Rings films in the works (you can read the full press release here).

The first is tentatively titled Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, and it’s being directed by Andy Serkis — you may remember him for his landmark performance as Gollum in Jackson’s prior movies. The fact that Serkis is on board, and working from a script by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens (who co-wrote the prior Middle-earth movies along with Jackson) has me feeling a bit better about this not being simply a crass cash grab. Peter Jackson, along with Walsh and Boyens, are set to produce as well. Serkis previously served as second unit director on The Hobbit films and also directed 2022’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Given the working title of the film, you won’t be surprised to learn that Serkis is also starring again as the titular Gollum. While part of me was interested to see how another actor might take on the character, Serkis so defined Gollum for the big screen that it’s almost impossible to put anyone else in the role. As for what the movie will cover, there’s no official word yet — but again, the title indicates it’ll take place between the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as Gandalf and Aragorn search Middle-earth for Gollum, trying to learn more about the ring that Bilbo and then Frodo possessed. 

Given Hollywood’s insatiable thirst for Content based on Popular Franchises, it’s a little surprising something like this didn’t happen sooner. Jackson and company followed up the original trilogy of films nine years later with the bloated and overly CGI-reliant film series based on The Hobbit and corresponding events from Tolkien’s LOTR appendices. And, of course, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series debuted in 2022. And before The Hunt for Gollum arrives, we’ll see another intriguing project: an anime-style film called The War of the Rohirrim. That movie arrives this December and covers events in Rohan a few hundred years before The Lord of the Rings.

As a massive Lord of the Rings fan, I’m both skeptical and excited by this announcement. The sad reality of the entertainment world is that projects like this are going to happen no matter what; there’s too much money wrapped up in things like Lord of the Rings to not try and extract more. But Serkis seems like an excellent choice to direct this movie, and hopefully they’ll find a tight, self-contained story that works as a standalone film. The mess that was made in the Hobbit films has me wary, but even in those movies I found plenty of things to enjoy — and this feels like a good opportunity to chart a positive course forward for more movies in Middle-earth.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/a-new-lord-of-the-rings-film-the-hunt-for-gollum-will-hit-theaters-in-2026-140141386.html?src=rss
09 May 14:04

Stack Overflow bans users en masse for rebelling against OpenAI partnership — users banned for deleting answers to prevent them being used to train ChatGPT

Developer forum Stack Overflow was met with intense backlash from users over its partnership with OpenAI and the decision to scrape the site's answers for AI training; attempts to delete or edit questions and answers are met with bans.
25 Apr 16:56

The world’s biggest 3D printer can a make a house in under 80 hours

by Lawrence Bonk

The University of Maine just unveiled the world’s largest polymer 3D printer. The new printer, named Factory of the Future 1.0 (FoF 1.0), can print objects as large as 96 feet long by 32 feet wide by 18 feet high. It’s also quite speedy, relatively speaking, as it can print up to 500 pounds per hour. That’s like three people, every hour.

It can dynamically switch between printing techniques to suit different aspects of complex jobs. The printer can flip between large-scale additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, continuous tape layup and robot arm operations. These technologies make the printer uniquely suited for a number of industries, including housing, infrastructure and the development of military vehicles.

Most of the stuff it makes is recyclable, so “you can basically deconstruct it, grind it up if you wish” and “do it again”, according to Dr. Habib Dagher, the Director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine. To that end, the printer prioritizes biobased materials, like wood residuals.

This tech seems like a great way to build a ton of affordable housing quickly and that’s exactly what some proponents have in mind. “Maine needs an estimated 80,000 additional homes by 2030, many specifically for households with incomes at or below the area median income,” said MaineHousing’s Development Director Mark Wiesendanger. “This effort creates another means of producing quality affordable housing, while further driving costs down, and using abundant wood residuals from Maine sawmills.” AP suggests the printer “may one day create entire neighborhoods.” The specs indicate that it should be able to make a modest single-story home in around 80 hours.

However, this is America, so it’s not like people built this thing just to help the unhoused. UMaine researchers received funding from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. These governmental institutions are going to want a return on their investment, so the printer will also likely be used to whip up lightweight rapidly deployable vessels, like submarines and other maritime vehicles. Senator Susan Collins called the printer “invaluable to our national security."

The FoF 1.0 has a sibling printer on the UMaine campus, which was the previous record holder for the world’s largest 3D printer. It’s already been used to manufacture a 600-square-foot, single-family home made of wood fiber and bioresin materials. The new printer, however, is four times the size. Luckily, the two models are housed in the same location and can work on different aspects of the same projects simultaneously.

The University of Maine will soon break ground on a new research laboratory called the Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future. This will be the new home of both printers, with a primary aim to “facilitate and scale up more sustainable manufacturing practices.” It will also likely house even larger printers in the future. “We’re learning from this to design the next one,” Dr. Dagher told ABC News.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-worlds-biggest-3d-printer-can-a-make-a-house-in-under-80-hours-155256122.html?src=rss
23 Apr 08:25

Deadpool And Wolverine Trailer Breakdown: All The Easter Eggs And References

The new trailer is here!


The latest Deadpool & Wolverine trailer has arrived, and we finally have a sense of what's going on in this movie and who the villain is. Emma Corrin takes on the role of Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier's evil twin sister (Don't worry, we'll get into that) for the next Deadpool movie. Obviously, Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine. However, there is a lot more happening in this trailer than meets the eye. There is a lot more to learn compared to the last one.

Scouring through every moment of the movie, we found plenty of Easter eggs, references, and more information about the movie--along with nods to the comics that introduced these characters as well. So we're breaking down what we found and presenting it to you.

Deadpool & Wolverine is directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Free Guy, The Adam Project) and written by Levy, Reynolds, and Rhett Reese (Twisted Metal, Deadpool, Deadpool 2). It hits theaters on July 26.


Typical recruitment


Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) sure does spend a lot of time in bars, right? Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) tries to recruit him for his mission early on in the trailer. Per usual, Wolvie isn't interested. This scene may feel a little familiar, and that's because it happened once in X-Men: First Class. Professor X and Magneto are recruiting mutants for their team, and they stumble upon Wolverine in a bar, they introduce themselves, to which Logan replies, "Go f**k yourself." That doesn't happen directly here, but it's very reminiscent of that moment.


Some Deadpool humor


At this point, is anyone not familiar with who Deadpool is and what he's about? For the sake of this piece and the one person interested in the trailer that may not be, Deadpool is an antihero Marvel mutant who is a satire of over-the-top, badass assassins that comic book companies were churning out over and over again. His creation took a lot of inspiration from DC's assassin Deathstroke, who was a very serious killer. Deadpool is known for being comedic, so having the words, "Smile. Wait for the flash" on the end of his gun, is par for the course when it comes to this character's brand.


Some quick Wolverine background


Wolverine's long history is more convoluted than a five-minute Tik Tok video showing you a toilet cleaning "hack," which involves at least seven different cleaning products. Here's the super-duper basics. He's also an antihero, primarily known for being a member of the X-Men (along with X-Force, Alpha Flight, The Avengers, and even the Fantastic Four--well, the "New" Fantastic Four). He has a healing factor almost as good as Deadpool's, and he also has his entire skeleton--and claws protruding from his hands--covered in adamantium, the second strongest metal, behind Vibranium. So, when someone pulls a gun on him and points it at his head, he has no problem getting shot. It's just going to hurt, a lot.

Also, fun note: Wolverine is always drinking in bars, but according to the comics, his body processes the alcohol so quickly that he really can't get drunk, and if he does, it's only for like a second after pounding a bottle of hard alcohol.


20th Century Fox logo


As mentioned in the previous trailer breakdown, the 20th Century Fox logo has been destroyed. Originally, that film studio had the rights to all the X-Men characters, so if you saw an X-Men movie, a Wolverine movie, or the first two Deadpool movies, 20th Century Fox was the distributor of those.


Wolverine's suit


The original Wolverine suit--when he first appeared in an issue of Incredible Hulk--was a sleeveless yellow and blue suit. However, he's had plenty of notable costume changes: yellow and brown, Weapon X, his all-black X-Force outfit. This one mostly resembles his look from 2004's Astonishing X-Men with a few homages to his appearance in 1975's Giant-Sized X-Men.


What happened to Wolverine's world?


Apparently, "this Wolverine let down his entire world." The imagery above is interesting, but we couldn't make a connection to anything in the comics, not even Genosha. However, Wolverine letting his entire world down is the backstory of the comic Old Man Logan, where Wolverine was tricked into killing all of the X-Men by an illusion created by Mysterio. That, along with Red Skull killing the Avengers and Hulk becoming an incestual in-breeder, created this Max Max-like wasteland world, which we see something reminiscent in the trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine.


Third act flashback


Deadpool asks Wolverine what went wrong or if we should wait for a "third act flashback." While that's a very traditional tool of storytelling, that's what happens at the tail end of Act Two of the Old Man Logan. I was hoping for Act Three, but after checking my comics, nope: Act Two.


Copper Heads


The bar in the background says "Copper Heads," but what does that mean? Well, there are two Copperheads in the Marvel comics universe: one is a mantle for a vigilante and the other is a really silly villain. Let's quickly discuss the latter. Copperhead (Davis Lawfers) is a Captain America villain and a member of the snake-themed terrorist group the Serpent Society. Yes, all of the member's names are snake-related. It's a pretty lame character and only memorable because of how silly it all is. As a side note, the Serpent Society might be a part of the next Captain America movie. Hey, if they made Batroc interesting, then Serpent Society shouldn't be a problem.


Liefeld's Just Feet


Rob Liefeld is one of the creators of Deadpool (along with Fabian Nicieza) and Liefeld is known for his artistic style, which dominated a lot of the mutant books during the '80s and '90s. However, Liefeld took a lot of criticism for either hiding characters' feet in fog or behind rubble because when he did draw feet, some people didn't like how they looked. Hence, we get that "Liefeld's Just Feet" store in this scene.


Cassandra Nova


Here's the villain of the story. Now, let's get into the super-weird backstory of this character. Cassandra Nova is the twin of Charles Xavier. She's a "Mummudrai," a Shi-ar word that means "anti-self." Every living being has one of these on the Astral Plane. Cassandra was the Mummudrai of Charles. In the womb, Charles could sense Cassandra was evil, and use his psychic powers to attack her--again, in the womb. This led to Cassandra being stillborn and Charles surviving. Stay with us, her body clung to sewer walls and started building itself for decades, and this entire time, she planned revenge on Charles. Yes, that is all canon.

She has all the same powers as Xavier. In addition, she can heal faster than a human, she has telekinesis, can phase through solid matter, create mutations in people with latent mutant abilities, and she can manipulate people's DNA. Yep, that's all her powers. It's a lot.


Giant/Ant Man's head


There's a close-up above, but Nova's base is in a Ant-Man suit, in giant form. Ant-Man is very much dead. In the Old Man Logan story, there is the skeleton and suit of Giant Man--Scott Lang--in the desert.

There's also a lot of returning characters. Let's take a look at who we recognize.


Lady Deathstrike and maybe more?


The woman on the right here is Lady Deathstrike, who appeared in X2. She was originally played by Kelly Hu. The remaining characters in this image--from left to right could be Calisto, Toad, and Starfish or Glob Hermman. All of these characters appeared in former X-Men/Wolverine movies, and since the Deadpool films love to pull from past X-movies, there's a good chance we know these characters already.


Azazel and maybe more?


All the way on the left, there's Azazel, from X-Men: First Class. From there, it gets pretty tricky to figure out who everyone is. We have a few guesses, the man in the red and white striped shirt could be Colossus, even if Stefan Kapicic is reprising his role as the character, which we saw in the first trailer, but Colossus did have a sweet beard in the comics for a hot minute. And this is the multiverse, so anything is possible. It could even be The Russian (played by Kevin Nash) from 2004's The Punisher. Continuing on, based on the color scheme of the person directly to the right of the man in red and white, that could be Pyro, who we saw in the first trailer as well. Sabretooth is allegedly in this movie too, so maybe one of these guys is him? Regardless, the majority of these characters are notable to comic book or X-Men movie fans.


Dogpool


Dogpool is a real character in the comics. It's Wade Wilson from Earth-103173. He was created in 2010 and has the same powers as Deadpool. Also, the look on Wolverine's face when Dogpool licks Deadpool is priceless.


Teleporting?


Wolverine and Deadpool are jumping out of Ant-Man's skull, away from Cassandra Nova, into an inter-dimensional portal, which are typically created by Sling Rings. Where are they going? Who knows? But more people than Wong or Strange can use Sling Rings. Ned was able to create portals using the ring in Spider-Man: No Way Home. So there's a small chance we could see Ned again--or Wong or Strange or someone completely different with this ability.


Another look


Typically, when you're jumping into these portals, you can see where you're headed, but we believe this particular moment in the trailer has been censored so we can't see where they are headed because it may ruin the story.


Everything we gathered from this trailer


Here's what we know, based on this trailer. Deadpool is working with the TVA and traveling in the multiverse and needs to enlist the help of Wolverine. Wolverine's world (whether it's the wasteland we primarily see in the trailer or another one) is possibly under control by Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier's evil twin sister. Wolverine and Deadpool team up in order to stop her. Most likely, Nova's a possible menace to the multiverse, and that's why Wolverine and Deadpool need to work together. There will also be a lot of familiar faces in this movie. However, Wade will not be using cocaine, as he promised his friends he would not do so.

Deadpool & Wolverine hits theaters on July 26.


22 Apr 08:56

TCL releases awkward trailer for AI-generated movie

by bradypsnyder@gmail.com (Brady Snyder)
TCL's first original movie is an AI-generated romance film, and a trailer for it was released today on YouTube.
20 Apr 07:11

Fallout Season 2 Is Happening, Amazon Confirms

Ahead of the series premiere of Fallout last week, some fans of the franchise worried that dropping all of the Season 1 episodes on a single day might hurt its chances for renewal. Fortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case. Amazon Prime Video has officially renewed the series, and Fallout Season 2 is on the way just eight days after the show's debut.

"Praise be to our insanely brilliant showrunners, Geneva [Robertson-Dworet] and Graham [Wagner], to our kick-ass cast, to Todd and James and all the legends at Bethesda, and to Jen, Vernon and the amazing team at Amazon for their incredible support of this show. We can’t wait to blow up the world all over again,” said executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy in a press release.

“Jonah, Lisa, Geneva, and Graham have captivated the world with this ground-breaking, wild ride of a show," added Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke. "The bar was high for lovers of this iconic video game and so far we seem to have exceeded their expectations, while bringing in millions of new fans to the franchise. The cast led by Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Walton Goggins, and Kyle MacLachlan have knocked it out of the park. We’d like to thank Jonah and Lisa and our friends at Bethesda for bringing the show to us, as well as Geneva and Graham for coming aboard as showrunners. We are thrilled to announce season two after only one week out and take viewers even farther into the surreal world of Fallout."

Continue Reading at GameSpot
19 Apr 11:34

Before You Watch Abigail the Movie, You Need to Listen to Abigail the Metal Album

by Scott Collura

To a certain kind of person—namely, a GenX-er raised in the suburbs when metäl reigned supreme—each notification about the forthcoming horror picture Abigail triggers an immediate memory. It’s a shout, a howl, a cry from the very center of darkness. “AHHHHHH-ahhhhhhh-AHHHHHH-ahhhhhh!” may not look like much typed out for the uninitiated, but those whose paths have crossed with the terrifying Scandinavian messenger of demonic heavy metal known as King Diamond recognize it as the shocking squeal at the beginning of “Abigail,” the eighth and climactic track on the 1987 album of the same name.

It is therefore comforting to learn that I am not alone in this. Indeed, Abigail’s co-director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, e-mailing on behalf of himself, co-director Tyler Gillett, and producer Chad Villella, said that they listened to the song “Abigail” frequently during the editing process on their new movie. “In a lot of ways, it became our soundtrack during post,” he wrote. “We always tried to sing along but of course we could never even get close, apologies to our neighbors. King Diamond is one of a kind!"

One of a kind doesn’t even come close. Some metal vocalists sound like Cookie Monster. Some metal vocalists sound like Edith Bunker. Only King Diamond can sound like both. If you’ve never heard it, follow this link for “Abigail.”

King Diamond is among the most gloriously ludicrous acts from the golden age of heavy metal, and while he never had a gold or platinum album, his inimitable screech with thunderous drums, crunching guitars, ghastly stage presence (why use a microphone stand when bones will do the trick), and Tales From the Crypt-like subject matter are wildly beloved by the right kind of people. (Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Slayer’s Kerry King have long discussed their fealty to the King.) Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne may have gotten there first, but King Diamond brought horror metal to its apogee, and Abigail, which Billboard cites as most likely the first horror concept album ever recorded, is his masterpiece.

Some metal vocalists sound like Cookie Monster. Some metal vocalists sound like Edith Bunker. Only King Diamond can sound like both.

I keep saying “he,” but King Diamond is a band. Unlike Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull, however, King Diamond is a band whose frontman is also someone called King Diamond. Confusing? Good. One should be dazed and disoriented upon entering the mighty King Diamond’s lair! Though for most, it's that “what is going on?” singing style that does the trick. Here, listen to “Arrival” from the album Abigail, and prepare to screech as you ready for a visitation from the dead.

King Diamond is the nom de guerre of Kim Bendix Peterson, proud son of Hvidovre, Denmark. His first band, Mercyful Fate, put out their debut album, Melissa, in 1983. It’s very much in the English/Euro style of the time, though King Diamond was already going all-in on corpse makeup, inverted crosses, singing into a human skull, defending Satanism, and being a projection of everyone’s most awesome nightmares. Metalologists will argue forever about whether Judas Priest’s Rob Halford or Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson is the better “operatic” vocalist, but no one had, has or ever will have more (oh, how shall I put this) oomph than King Diamond.

The King is hailed for his range, those low growls and the loping, go-for-broke falsettos. Reddit says he has a range of four octaves, but I’m not getting out the tape measure, I’m too busy rockin’ out. What I do know is that after two terrific albums, Mercyful Fate split, and King Diamond took part of the group with him to form… King Diamond. There he experimented more with multi-tracked harmonies (see the “AHHHHHH!” above), but also further expanded the horror narratives in his songwriting.

On King Diamond’s first album, Fatal Portrait, about half the songs are related to The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The follow-up, Abigail, was the first of several complete concept albums based on gruesome and dark original tales.

The album’s cover isn’t terrifying but it is… eerie. Two coachmen are huddled over in the cold, viewed from below at a Dutch angle, suggesting speed, beneath dark and menacing clouds.

Inside the coach (as you’ll learn as you listen) are Miriam Natias and Jonathan La'Fey—not LaVey, but that was sure easy to mishear! The year is 1845 and the couple are about to move into a haunted house, despite the warnings of seven horsemen. Why is the house haunted? Well, here goes: On July 7, 1777, a count who lived there discovered his pregnant wife was unfaithful, and shoved her down a flight of stairs, killing her. He then took the unborn child, mummified her, named her Abigail, and put her in a crypt.

After several scenes of spooky goings-on (a rotten smell, an empty cradle floating in the air), Miriam suddenly finds herself with a rapidly developing pregnancy. (Think of Counselor Deanna Troi in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Child.”) It is, however, no ordinary fetus. It is Abigail, and soon she possesses Miriam, leading to a wild and revolting conclusion.

A review of Abigail in Encyclopaedia Mettalum is straightforward. “Some albums transcend the mere boundaries of numbers or ratings and occupy the highest possible pantheon where they remain supreme and unshakeable in their ever-dominant stature. Abigail is one such album.”

Abigail’s value as art is up to you to decide. I will state, however, that once you spin these tracks a few times, they will crawl into your mind and you will start belting out those high falsettos as you listen along. For your sake, I hope you aren’t in public when it happens. Here’s the official video for Abigail’s “The Family Ghost,” where some of King Diamond’s persona is tamped down for MTV — but this music remains insane.

Abigail is King Diamond’s best-seller, though the follow-up, Them, is another dark tale of hereditary mental health woes. (The cover looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting, which is its own kind of terrifying.) In later years, King Diamond got back together with Mercyful Fate and now fronts both groups. No one band can tie down the King! In 2002, King Diamond delighted longtime fans by releasing Abigail II — The Revenge, and in 2022 King Diamond and writer Dan Watters collaborated with illustrator Damien Worm (what a name!) to publish Abigail as a graphic novel.

All of this is very much an acquired taste, but for me it represents a point in time when horror movies and heavy metal were aligned: It was art meant to drive away the weak, but tantalize the curious and adventuresome. As you make your way to the Melissa Barrera and Dan Stevens-led picture this weekend, it is strongly recommended you blast this album on the ride to the theater. But a warning: You may find yourself singing along.

Be sure to also check out our Abigail review (the movie, not the album!).

Header image by Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

19 Apr 11:27

Fallout TV Series Officially Renewed for Season 2 on Prime Video

by Taylor Lyles

Just a week after its premiere, Prime Video has officially renewed Fallout for a second season, the streaming platform announced today.

“Jonah, Lisa, Geneva, and Graham have captivated the world with this ground-breaking, wild ride of a show. The bar was high for lovers of this iconic video game and so far we seem to have exceeded their expectations, while bringing in millions of new fans to the franchise,” Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement.

“The cast led by Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Walton Goggins, and Kyle MacLachlan have knocked it out of the park," the statement continues. "We’d like to thank Jonah and Lisa and our friends at Bethesda for bringing the show to us, as well as Geneva and Graham for coming aboard as showrunners. We are thrilled to announce season two after only one week out and take viewers even farther into the surreal world of Fallout.”

"The bar was high for lovers of this iconic video game and so far we seem to have exceeded their expectations.

Set 219 years after the bombs dropped and turned the world into a radiated wasteland, the Fallout TV show follows Lucy MacLean, a young woman who grew up living in a fallout bunker, who goes to the surface to look for her missing father. The series also follows other characters, including Goggins' Ghoul character and Maximus, a member of the Brotherhood of Steel.

The Fallout TV series arrived on Prime Video on April 10 when the streaming service dropped all eight episodes from the first season concurrently. Following its debut, the series has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans and critics — particularly those praising Goggins for his portrayal of the gunslinging Ghoul Cooper Howard.

Though the series is not a direct adaptation of any Fallout video games, executive producer Jonathan Nolan has described the Fallout TV show as "a non-interactive version" of Fallout 5.

There had been speculation that Fallout would return for a second season; days before the series premiered, the production team was awarded a $25 million tax credit if the series opted to relocate filming from New York State to California.

With the show's success, IGN recently caught up with Bethesda Game Studios executive Todd Howard and executive producer and director Jonathan Nolan for a wide-ranging, spoiler-filled interview. In it, Nolan alluded to his plans for the future of Fallout.

"You want to have a plan, but you also want to be flexible enough and adaptable enough that you're not locked into that..." he said. "You try to make a terrific season and if you're lucky enough to go again, you make a follow-up, you leave enough material and you have enough of a master plan from the beginning that you know what the next step would be. We have been talking for some time now about the next steps for Fallout, and we're very excited about it."

In our review of the first season of the Fallout TV series, which we awarded a 9 out of 10, my colleague Matt Purslow wrote: "A bright and funny apocalypse filled with dark punchlines and bursts of ultra-violence, Fallout is among the best video game adaptations ever made."

For more on Fallout, check out our video, where we dive into the lore of Bethesda's beloved post-apocalyptic franchise. Or, if you have already watched the entire first season, check out our ending explainer.

Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

18 Apr 10:34

Homeworld 3 Is Getting A Lot Of Post-Launch Content, Both Free And Paid

Gearbox has revealed the post-launch roadmap for Homeworld 3, and there's a lot of content for the game coming just in its first year.

For the game's post-launch support, Gearbox will alternate between both free and paid DLC. In June, the first update is a free content drop that will add new challenges and artifacts. July will have paid DLC with a new playable faction, new faction starting fleets, a new faction emblem, and even more artifacts and challenges.

August has additional free challenges and artifacts along with new maps and systems. October will have the second wave of paid DLC which contains similar items that the first one did.

Continue Reading at GameSpot
18 Apr 10:22

Google fired 28 workers who protested Israeli government cloud contract

by Steve Dent

Google has fired 28 employees involved in protests against the company's "Project Nimbus" cloud contract with the Israeli government, according to an internal memo seen by The Verge. That follows the arrest and suspension of nine employees on April 16 and a previous firing related to the same project last month. 

Some of the fired workers were forcibly removed after occupying the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian. Google head of global security Chris Rackow said that the company "will not tolerate" such incidences and warned that the company could take further action. 

"If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again," he told employees in a letter. "The company takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior — up to and including termination."

Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it. It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to — including our Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Standards of Conduct, and Workplace Concerns.

However, workers in the "No Tech for Apartheid" group organizing the protests called the dismissals "a flagrant act of retaliation." It added that the Google saying protests largely involve people not working at the company is "insulting," adding that the push to drop Project Nimbus is supported by "thousands" of their colleagues. 

"In the three years that we have been organizing against Project Nimbus, we have yet to hear from a single executive about our concerns,” it wrote in a Medium post. "Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor. These firings were clearly retaliatory.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/google-fired-28-workers-who-protested-israeli-government-cloud-contract-084444878.html?src=rss
17 Apr 11:44

This briefcase lets you walk around with 368TB of NVMe SSDs — WD Ultrastar Transporter features 128GB RAM, 1,300W power supply, and Ice Lake Xeon CPU

Western Digital has created a new travel luggage carry case with 368TB of high-speed NVMe SSD storage with an Ice Lake server.
04 Apr 08:56

New Matrix Movie in the Works With Drew Goddard Directing, Lana Wachowski Executive Producing

by Alex Stedman

A fifth Matrix movie is on the way, Warner Bros. announced today, with The Martian and The Cabin in the Woods' Drew Goddard on board to write and direct.

It'll mark the first Matrix installment to not have Lana or Lilly Wachowski in the directing chair, although Lana Wachowski will executive produce. In its announcement today, WB did not reveal if any of the key cast members, like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, will be returning, nor did it disclose any details about the plot.

“Drew came to Warner Bros. with a new idea that we all believe would be an incredible way to continue the Matrix world, by both honoring what Lana and Lilly began over 25-years ago and offering a unique perspective based on his own love of the series and characters," Warner Bros. Motion Pictures President of Production Jesse Ehrman said in a statement. "The entire team at Warner Bros. Discovery is thrilled for Drew to be making this new Matrix film, adding his vision to the cinematic canon the Wachowskis’ spent a quarter of a century building here at the studio.”

“It is not hyperbole to say The Matrix films changed both cinema and my life," added Goddard. "Lana and Lilly’s exquisite artistry inspires me on a daily basis, and I am beyond grateful for the chance to tell stories in their world.”

Goddard began his writing career in the '90s on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and would go on to rack up a number of TV writing credits including Angel, Alias, Lost, Daredevil, and The Good Place. In film, he earned an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for Ridley Scott's The Martian; worked on the screenplays for Cloverfield and World War Z; and served as screenwriter/director on The Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times at the El Royale.

The Wachowskis wrote and directed the first Matrix movie back in 1999, introducing a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, and following Reeves' hacker Neo as he uncovers that truth. It became a massive hit, leading to two direct sequels in 2003: Reloaded and Revolutions. Overall, The Matrix franchise has earned more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office.

The Wachowskis, however, were long hesitant to make another movie in the franchise, despite continued interest from Warner Bros. Nearly two decades would pass before the release of the fourth Matrix movie, 2021's The Matrix Resurrections, which was the first Matrix film to be solely directed by Lana Wachowski.

That film got mixed reviews and disappointed at the box office, grossing $159.2 million worldwide on a reported budget of $190 million. It's worth noting, though, that it was debuted while COVID-19 lockdowns were still affecting movie theaters, and it was one of the films to be released both in theaters and on what was then called HBO Max (now Max) on the same day.

IGN gave The Matrix Resurrections a 4/10, calling it "a bunch of really good ideas stacked together to make a bad — and sometimes ugly — film."

Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.

27 Mar 22:51

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Animators Explain the Motion Capture Magic of Hailey Cooper

by Rebekah Valentine

One of the best trends in games in recent years has been a greater thoughtfulness in how diverse characters and stories are portrayed. While that work takes a number of different forms, one critical way developers are making this happen is through improved technology, specifically around animation and motion capture. One key example is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which saw Insomniac Games take advantage of a group of talented actors, consultants, and lots of fun little motion capture sensors to bring the Deaf character Hailey Cooper and her use of American Sign Language (ASL) to life.

Last week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), a group of animators on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gave a talk entitled ‘Thwips and Hugs: The Animation of 'Marvel's Spider-Man 2.’ In it, the group discussed the intricacies and challenges of animating elements of the game such as the Sandman fight and various QTEs. But they kicked off with the story of Hailey, whose portrayal may be one of Spider-Man 2’s most impressive accomplishments.

Hailey was introduced as an original character in the first Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but got an expanded role in the sequel as she and Miles start dating, including a mission all her own. During the talk, associate animation director Lindsay Thompson explained the work that went into ensuring Hailey was an accurate and thoughtful portrayal of a young, Deaf, Black teenager growing up in New York City.

To start with, Hailey was portrayed and fully motion captured by Deaf actor Natasha Ofili, who herself frequently offered guidance and suggestions stemming from her own experiences. Insomniac also hired Deaf consultants from Hyper Nova to answer questions about Deaf culture, consult on scripts, and interpret the scripts into ASL.Thompson says the consultants went over every single scene and shot that had ASL in it to make sure the performances were clear and understandable.

For animators, getting accurate mocap data was critical. Insomniac ensured every hearing cast member had a Deaf body double on the mocap stage, and changed up how the actors would record different scenes depending on the complexity of the ASL being used.

“We had to figure out the best way to shoot our hearing cast's spoken performances, along with our Deaf body doubles that would work best for Natasha to play against,” Thompson said. “For [one particular scene], we ran them side-by-side so Natasha had signing people to play off of, but could still see Nadji [Jeter, who plays Miles Morales] and Griffin [Puatu, who plays Ganke Lee] doing their speaking performance. Each Deaf cast member had their own interpreter so we could all communicate on set. And we also had the Hyper Novas on stage to help determine the scripts with the cast and plan out signing performance.”

The scene Thompson showed as she explained this concept initially had all the actors standing side-by-side in a big crowd, allowing the animators to capture the body doubles’ signing performances as well as the main cast’s emotional performance simultaneously. She pointed out that the cast’s mocap gloves had far more sensors on them than is typical. Hands, she said, are normally a challenge for animators to capture very intricate movement. The extra markers allowed them to collect more accurate data.

We had to consider each character's experience and knowledge with ASL.

But having all the actors side-by-side at once wasn’t always the ideal formation. “Sometimes it made sense to have all of our Deaf cast standing and playing against each other. But other times, it was more important to have Natasha face-to-face with Nadji, while his body double would sign next to or in front of him, so Nadji could match his performance.”

Sometimes, the main cast would even perform the signs themselves. For longer conversations, the body doubles would perform the signing to ensure all complex signs and ideas were accurate. But for shorter chats, Insomniac decided it would be more authentic to have the actors themselves sign.

“Seeing as they were playing a more inexperienced signer, it was authentic for them not to be signing as fluently as a Deaf person would,” Thompson explained. “We had to consider each character's experience and knowledge with ASL. So Ganke, Miles' best friend, is working very hard to learn. Miles is probably the most comfortable and experienced when speaking with Hailey. Rio, Miles' mom, is clearly just beginning to learn because Miles has just started dating Hailey. So we made sure her double didn't sign as fluently and experienced.”

Thompson added that at the very end of the game, a certain character signs “It’s nice to meet you,” in ASL to Hailey. “We approached it as though he had literally watched a YouTube video before coming over and saying something to her. So our interpreter was like, ‘Well, that maybe wasn't quite it but that looks like somebody who's just trying to say a nice phrase to somebody.’ So yeah, it was pretty cool.”

Near the end of the talk, during the Q&A, Thompson added one parting thought about the importance of capturing as much data as possible from both Deaf and hearing performers to fully tell the story Insomniac developers wanted to tell.

“We're a performance forward studio, so we always want the most emotional and authentic performance,” she said. “There's where it comes into collaboration. Our Deaf actors and our main cast, they were treated equally on the set and we want both of their performances.”

Spider-Man 2’s impressive performances and animation are among the many things we loved about the game, which we gave an 8/10 and called “Insomniac’s best tale yet.” At GDC, it received multiple nominations for the Game Developers Choice Awards, and in a separate talk at the conference we learned that its acclaimed fast travel system was almost cut entirely.

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to rvalentine@ign.com.

21 Mar 09:27

Video shows world's first Neuralink brain interface patient playing PC games and chess with his mind

Neuralink's first documented human patient uses the brain interface to control a PC, and explains how it works simultaneously in live testing footage.
21 Mar 08:32

Here's a video of the first human Neuralink patient controlling a computer with his thoughts

by Karissa Bell

Earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that the first human patient had received a Neuralink brain implant as part of the company’s first clinical trial. Now, the company has shared a brief public demo of the brain-computer interface (BCI) in action.

The company briefly live streamed a demo on X with a 29-year-old man named Nolan Arbaugh, who said he was paralyzed from the neck down after a diving accident eight years ago. In the video, Arbaugh explains that after receiving the implant — he said the surgery was “super easy” — he had to learn how to differentiate “imagined movement versus attempted movement” in order to learn to control a cursor on a screen.

“A lot of what we started out with was attempting to move,” Arbaugh said. “I would attempt to move, say, my right hand left, right forward, back. And from there, I think it just became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving.”

In the clip, which also features a Neuralink engineer, Arbaugh demonstrates the BCI by moving a cursor around the screen of a laptop, and pausing an on-screen music player. He said the implant has allowed him to play chess and Civilization VI. He noted that he has previously used other assistive devices like mouthsticks, but that the Neuralink implant has enabled longer gaming sessions, as well as online play. He said that he can get about eight hours of use before the implant needs to recharge (it’s not clear how charging works).

Arbaugh became the first human patient to receive the implant in January after Neuralink began recruiting patients last year. The company previously tested the BCI in animals, including chimps, and some of its animal testing practices have been the subject of federal investigations.

In the video, Arbaugh indicated his experience with the brain implant has so far been positive, despite some initial issues. “It's not perfect, I would say that we have run into some issues,” he said. “I don't want people to think that this is the end of the journey. There's a lot of work to be done, but it has already changed my life.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/heres-a-video-of-the-first-human-neuralink-patient-controlling-a-computer-with-his-thoughts-235659486.html?src=rss
18 Mar 10:06

Anker Soundcore Sleep A20 buds will drown out your snoring partner

by Chris Smith
Anker Soundcore Sleep A20

Anker has released its Soundcore Sleep A20 night time earbuds, which it says deliver 3x stronger passive noise blocking than the previous generation Sleep A10.

And, by passive noise blocking, it means your partner’s epic snores that are probably keeping you wide awake at night. If you have noisy neighbours who like to party beyond reasonable hours, these should do the trick also.

MacBook Air M1 going out with a bang at $699

MacBook Air M1 going out with a bang at $699

The MacBook Air has been discontinued by Apple after more than 3 years. You can get it now for the mega low price of $699.

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Described as the ‘saviour of light sleepers’ the Sleep A20 has a four-point noise masking system with a snug fit in the ear canal, and an extra layer of protection at the entrance of the ear canal. There’s twin seal eartips, which the company says are 3x more effective at blocking out nose than your typical silicone buds. There’s the option to mask external sounds with white noise or something else from the sound library.

Side sleepers can wear them too, Anker says because of the low profile that lays flat against the inner ear. They’ll also track your sleep position and sleep quality and report back to an app, while they’ll deliver an alarm that’ll only wake you rather than the cacophonous snorer next to you.

anker sleep a20

If you fancy a really long lie-in there’s 14-hours of white noise during sleep mode. If you’re travelling, you’ll be able to get 80-hours from the charging case. Naturally, they’ll also play music too and there’s 10 hours per charge available there. Thankfully, that’s an improvement over the previous generation’s 6 hours.

The Sleep A20 buds are being launched on Kickstarter with a chance to get an early bird price of $89.99, which is $60 off what the proper asking price will be. They’ll be available to early birds from April 16 on Kickstarter while the public launch is on May 10 for the full price of £149.99.

The post Anker Soundcore Sleep A20 buds will drown out your snoring partner appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

17 Mar 06:41

The Sphere in Las Vegas features 4PB of flash memory at 400 GB/s to deliver 16K content

The Las Vegas "Sphere" is run by Sphere Entertainment, who now shares more technical details on how The Sphere is run.
15 Mar 10:41

World Server Throwing Championship 2024 — organizers call for athletes that are 'needlessly brutal to servers'

The organizers of the 2024 World Server Throwing Championship (WSTC) are calling for entrants. Scheduled for March 19, the bare metal vs. raw power event is set to become a must-watch experience of the annual CloudFest conference.
26 Feb 07:54

Lenovo’s Project Crystal is the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display

by Sam Rutherford

It’s not often you encounter a device that looks like it came straight out of a movie set. But Lenovo’s Project Crystal, supposedly the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display, is an example of sci-fi come to life.

Currently there are no plans to turn Project Crystal into a retail product. Instead Lenovo’s latest concept device was commissioned by its ThinkPad division to explore the potential of transparent microLED panels and AI integration. The most obvious use case would be sharing info somewhere, like a doctor’s office or a hotel desk. Instead of needing to flip a screen around, you could simply reverse the display via software, allowing anyone on the other side to see it while getting an in-depth explanation.

When combined with the camera built into the rear of the system, Lenovo says there could be possible AR applications. One example would be to use the camera to identify an object, similar to Google Lens. And with its transparent display, it should be possible to take that idea a step further by overlaying a diagram or schematic on top of the object for things like troubleshooting or repair.

But the best thing about Project Crystal, is that Lenovo bothered making it at all. Currently, even standard microLED displays are extremely expensive with those panels typically reserved for cutting-edge gadgets like Samsung’s The Wall or Apple’s Vision Pro. And, see-through versions have only been seen as concepts like on the transparent microLED TV Samsung showed off a couple of months ago at CES 2024.

In person, the transparency effect is bewildering. When closed or when its display is off, Project Crystal’s screen almost looks like an ordinary piece of glass with a slight brownish tint. But at a moment’s notice the whole thing lights up like a battleship. Nominal brightness goes all the way up to 1,000 nits, with Lenovo saying peaks can go as high as 3,000 nits, which would make it brighter than the new Galaxy S24 family. And despite being made of multiple layers, the panel is extremely thin, which helps blur the line being the digital and analog worlds. Lenovo says it's also considering adding some sort of contrast layer, so it can turn into a traditional opaque display at the touch of a button. However, for a relatively large 16-inch display, its resolution isn’t super high, so if you look closely you can see individual pixels.

Another design twist is that instead of a traditional keyboard, Project Crystal features one of Lenovo’s touch-based replacements similar to those on older Yoga Books. Unfortunately, it still suffers from a lot of the same issues. The most obvious example of this is that your hands drift while typing because there’s no tactile feedback, which leads to decreased accuracy. Lenovo says AI may be able to address that in the future by learning a person’s typing habits and then using that info to account for your hands straying from the home row. But right now, it’s still a problem.

While there may not be a ton of important use cases for a transparent display, the tech is rather stunning in person.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The rest of the laptop is very much a work in progress, too. I only saw two ports on the entire system which would be a major faux pas for a notebook this big. Project Crystal is also based on a last-gen CPU, while other components like its hinge was so weak that its screen threatened to close anytime it tilted below 90 degrees. And for some reason, the laptop seemed to build up a static charge, as it sometimes shocked people who touched its display.

Project Crystal is a solution in search of a problem. A problem that does exist in niche situations and may be an issue worth tackling more seriously down the line. But more importantly, it’s challenging us to think about what is possible with emerging display technology and how it might fit into a laptop of the future.

Catch up on all of the news from MWC 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/lenovos-project-crystal-is-the-worlds-first-laptop-with-a-transparent-microled-display-230025521.html?src=rss
20 Feb 15:29

Members of ransomware gang Lockbit arrested by law enforcement

by Katie Malone

International law enforcement, led by the UK’s National Crime Agency, have disrupted ransomware gang Lockbit's operation. The group behind notable hacks against aircraft manufacturer Boeing, chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, sandwich chain Subway and thousands more had its site taken offline on Monday while authorities arrested major players behind the gang. "This site if now under the control of law enforcement," the website reads. According to malware repository Vx-underground, law enforcement took down at least 22 Lockbit-affiliated Tor sites.

"Through our close collaboration, we have hacked the hackers; taken control of their infrastructure, seized their source code, and obtained keys that will help victims decrypt their systems," National Crime Agency Director General, Graeme Biggar, said in a statement. “As of today, LockBit are locked out. We have damaged the capability and most notably, the credibility of a group that depended on secrecy and anonymity."

Lockbit admitted defeat, too. In a statement to Vx-underground, the group said "FBI pwned me." Operation Cronos, the name law enforcement used for their efforts, also resulted in the seizure of source code and other useful data related to Lockbit's operations. At the same time, authorities in Poland, Ukraine and the US arrested key members of the ransomware operation. There are sanctions out for two more Lockbit affiliates in Russia.

There's more good news for Lockbit victims, too: The operation obtained keys from Lockbit to create a decryption tool for victims to get their data back, according to US Attorney General Merrick Garland. The free decryptors can be found via the No More Ransom project

Since 2019 when Lockbit first entered the scene, it's squeezed victims for more than $120 million in ransomware payments, according to acting assistant AG Nicole Argentieri.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/members-of-ransomware-gang-lockbit-arrested-by-law-enforcement-144245076.html?src=rss
08 Feb 12:39

Security firm now says toothbrush DDOS attack didn't happen, but source publication says company presented it as real

Roumen.ganeff

Hackers will use anything these days..

Around three million smart toothbrushes have been infected by hackers and enslaved into botnets. They caused millions of Euros in damages for a Swiss company, according to a newspaper report.
29 Jan 15:41

Amazon terminates $1.4 billion iRobot acquisition after EU veto threat

by Nathan Ingraham

Amazon and iRobot, maker of the Roomba vacuum line, just announced that they would be dropping their proposed merger. The potential acquisition was announced back in August of 2022 and was immediately the target of antitrust watchdogs, particularly in the EU. The European Commission (the EU's executive branch) officially announced it was looking into the $1.4 billion dollar deal last July and it raised formal concerns over the potential impact on competition in November. 

iRobot also just announced a large round of layoffs now that the deal isn't going through. The company says it is laying off about 350 employees, which represents 31 percent of iRobot's workforce. Colin Angle, founder, chairman of the iRobot board of directors and CEO is also stepping down as chairman and CEO, effective today.

While the companies didn't mention the pressure from the EU specifically, Bloomberg notes that a veto looked likely. And while that might not have immediately killed the deal, Amazon and iRobot appear to have decided to shut things down completely rather than work through any proposed changes to make the deal more palatable to regulators. The deal was also said to be under scrutiny from the FTC here in the US, but it never quite reached the level of attention it was receiving from the EU. 

Unsurprisingly, Amazon's statement on the matter blasts regulators for the "innovation" that would come with Amazon scooping up yet another company. "This outcome will deny consumers faster innovation and more competitive prices, which we're confident would have made their lives easier and more enjoyable," said Amazon SVP and General Counsel David Zapolsky in a statement. "Mergers and acquisitions like this help companies like iRobot better compete in the global marketplace, particularly against companies, and from countries, that aren't subject to the same regulatory requirements in fast-moving technology segments like robotics."

iRobot's statement was more muted. "The termination of the agreement with Amazon is disappointing, but iRobot now turns toward the future with a focus and commitment to continue building thoughtful robots and intelligent home innovations that make life better, and that our customers around the world love," said former CEO Colin Angle.

Earlier in January, the European Commission was said to have warned Amazon that the deal was on thin ice. However, according to Reuters, the company declined to offer any potential remedies to soothe the bloc's concerns over the acquisition. As outlined in the original agreement, Amazon is paying iRobot a $94 million termination fee now that the deal is dead.

This isn't exactly the first time Amazon and the EU have butted heads. They previously squared off over the company's handling of third-party seller information. In 2022, the two sides reached an agreement over Amazon's treatment of third-party sellers.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-abandons-14-billion-irobot-acquisition-after-eu-veto-threat-140155112.html?src=rss
28 Jan 07:35

Swarovski’s smart binoculars identify the birds you’re looking at

by Daniel Cooper

Swarovski has turned up at CES 2024 in Las Vegas with its first ever pair of smart binoculars that will identify the bird you’re looking at. All you have to do is point the gear at a bird and make sure the view is in focus, and then press down an action button. Within a few seconds, the system will overlay a bird’s name over your view, using data pulled from the Merlin Bird ID database. That has over 9,000 species tagged, and will even let you know the degree of certainty it has if the bird in question is in an unexpected location. And if this was the only feature these binoculars had, it’d be enough to justify the purchase, but that’s only the beginning of what these things can do.

Between the eyepieces, there’s a function wheel similar to one you would find on a camera that lets you cycle between various features. That includes a Wildlife ID version which hooks into its built-in Mammal, Dragonfly and Butterfly ID databases. Plus, there’s a camera which lets you send pictures and video to a paired smartphone, which would similarly be plenty to justify the expense. But the system is also designed to be expandable, with the focus wheel including space for any future custom databases you might need. For instance, one idea could be to build a database for stars, or airplane types for aviation fans to spot the make and model of what’s flying overhead.

Then there’s the discovery sharing feature, which enables you to share something you’ve found with whoever you’re outdoors with. All you need to do is tag whatever you’ve found, and then hand the AX Visio over to them, where a series of flashing arrows will guide them to where you were looking. Even in the busy halls of CES, one of the company’s representatives was able to pinpoint a far-off fire exit sign before handing me the binoculars and asking me to find it. All you need to do is follow the arrows straight to what you’re meant to be looking at with a system that’s as elegant as it is useful. There's even a built-in compass that'll let you identify which direction you're gazing toward to help you navigate.

You might notice from the pictures that there are three lenses, with the central one holding the 13-megapixel sensor shooting HD-quality (1,920 x 1,080) pictures and video. There’s 8GB storage, which should hold up to an hour of video or 1,700 photos before needing to be cleared off. Beyond the smarts, the binoculars magnify up to 10x with 88 percent light transmission, thanks to the company’s high-end lenses. Swarovski says its glassware offers almost flat, distortion-free images with plenty of contrast and color fidelity.

Now, here’s the thing, my father-in-law is a serious ornithologist who is respected, at least among his peer group. His ability to spot the genus and species of a bird in flight is extraordinary and I’m often left bewildered at the depth of his knowledge. I don’t think I’d have the ability, patience or time to even get within a hundred miles of his capability. But, with a device like this, it might mean that I can at least vaguely keep up with him when we’re out on the trails.

The AX Visio is, however, not messing around with price, and Swarovski is charging €4,600 (around $5,000) for you to get this into your hands. While bird fans often have to be patient, this should start arriving at people’s homes at some point in February.

We're reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/swarovskis-smart-binoculars-identify-the-birds-youre-looking-at-173151637.html?src=rss
18 Jan 20:29

Peacock's NFL wild card game broke streaming records

by Sarah Fielding
Roumen.ganeff

1 game - 30 percent of internet traffic

There are few things as American as watching football on a Sunday. If anyone needs further proof, NFL and Peacock have it: The January 14 Peacock Exclusive AFC Wild Card has set a new record for the United States' most streamed live event in history. According to a joint release from NBC-owned Peacock and Comcast, the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins game — the first playoff ever exclusively live-streamed — reached 27.6 million viewers.

Peacock also claims that the livestream is to thank for the most internet usage in a single day across the US, taking up 30 percent of internet traffic. However, the current data is courtesy of Nielsen's custom fast national live and same-day data, with official numbers coming out on Friday, January 19.

While the livestream was a good alternative to shivering in person during the fourth coldest NFL game in history, not everyone was happy about it. New York congressman Pat Ryan was among those who expressed their outrage over having to pay for another streaming service in order to watch a game that typically airs on cable. "How much more profit do [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell and NBC need to make at the expense of hard working Americans?" Ryan wrote in a letter. "Congress granted the NFL an antitrust exemption in its broadcast deals with the expectation that you wouldn't use it to screw over fans. That was clearly a mistake."

The game was available to Miami and Kansas City viewers on local NBC affiliates. Anyone else interested in watching had to sign up for a Peacock subscription, starting at $6 per month. Peacock's plan to stream the wild card game was first announced last May, with NBC reportedly paying $110 million for the rights to it.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/peacocks-nfl-wild-card-game-broke-streaming-records-103503762.html?src=rss
10 Jan 09:07

Star Wars Fans Are Reeling Over Surprise Announcement of Jon Favreau Movie, Ahsoka Season 2

by Adam Bankhurst

Fans of that galaxy far, far away were surprised by the announcement on Tuesday morning that a new movie starring and called The Mandalorian & Grogu will be the first Star Wars film since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker. As if that wasn't enough, it was also confirmed that Season 2 of Ahsoka was officially in development.

We didn't learn too much about these projects, but that didn't stop the internet from sharing their excitement over the big reveals, and we're here to gather some of the best ones:

'My Heart Is RACING!!!'

Grogu has been a hit ever since we were calling him Baby Yoda, but fans have long wanted to see all that cuteness (and, sure, Pedro Pascal's Mandalorian too) on the big screen. Don't get us wrong, the TV format was a great way to introduce the story of The Mandalorian but, as Nicole Kidman said in that legendary AMC Theaters commercial, "We come to this place for magic." And Din Djarin and Grogu in theaters sure sounds like magic to a lot of fans.

"My heart is RACING!!!" @acrossthestars wrote on X/Twitter. "I can’t wait to watch The Mandalorian & Grogu on the big screen! The article also confirms Ahsoka Season 2! I’m thrilled! I knew that with the success of the show, it had to happen but it’s such a great feeling to know it’s official now."

@djarinsaber is so excited they already want to plan outfits for the premiere - you know, like how we all wore pink for Barbie.

@spoiler4you couldn't wait to go all Sherlock Holmes and get psyched about everything there is to know about The Mandalorian and Grogu. We're rooting for you to get that award, Ly!

Even IGN's Ryan McCaffrey can't wait for The Mandalorian & Grogu to usher us into a new era of Star Wars.

"YESSSSSSS! The Mandalorian and Grogu," McCaffrey wrote. "Now THIS is what I'm talking about. Leave the Skywalkers behind! Let's get some NEW Star Wars on the big screen. I have full confidence in Favreau!"

@jtimsuggs is not only excited about The Mandalorian & Grogu, but also the potential of what this film and all the others in the works at Lucasfilm mean.

"The best part about this news is that it shows with upcoming Star Wars theatrical projects, there’s quite literally something for everyone," @jtimsuggs wrote. "Fan of The Mandalorian? Here’s a movie about Din and Grogu together! Fan of The Sequels? Here’s a Rey film about her building a New Jedi Order! Fan of Rebels and Prequel stuff? Here’s a New Republic Era event film with Ahsoka as a leading character. Fan of the mysticism and origins of The Force and Jedi Order? Here’s a film all about the Dawn of the Jedi.

"If you’re going to pioneer Star Wars beyond the Skywalker Saga, I feel like this is the best possible option."

Not everyone is convinced, however. Some are a bit confused, like @cap_rexofthe501, as to whether this means The Mandalorian Season 4 is now this movie or if it is something totally separate.

@ewansobi is also a bit upset The Mandalorian "gets a feature length film but not Obi-Wan." Never say never!

Wait... Ahsoka Season 2 Is Also On Its Way?!

The big news of the day was obviously The Mandalorian & Grogu, but tucked away in the StarWars.com press release was the expected but still exciting confirmation that Ahsoka Season 2 is officially in development.

@AndyReveles took the timely video of Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift at the Golden Globes to portray their excitment over the news.

@Lunaraie summed our reaction up perfectly when they said, "AHSOKA SEASON 2 CONFIRMED ALONGSIDE THE MANDALORIAN MOVIE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE."

While the excitment is high, @REYSKYGOAT wants to remind the show's creators that there will be trouble with Ezra actor Eman Esfandi's beard doesn't return in Season 2.

During Ahsoka's first season, many fans fell in love with Shin Hati and Sabine Wren and wished for nothing more for them to eventually get together. As it turns out, the actors themselves are all in for this #WolfWren relationship to bloom in Season 2, as seen in the comments of a collection of fan art Sabine actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo shared on her instagram.

Even Rosario Dawson took the time to leave a comment that says, "been obssed with everyone's obsession. More please! #WolfWren for the win."

@tjlyasalem echoed this excitement with the news, saying "AHSOKA SEASON 2 CONFIRMED. #WOLFWREN RISE." @milevengood is just very happy with the news and that, relationship or not, these two will be back.

@DonovanMeade is overjoyed for another reason, as they said, "The most important thing about this is that we’re getting more Huyang, which is all that matters!"

As you can clearly see, the excitment is high for both The Mandalorian & Grogu and Ahsoka Season 2. How do you feel about the news? Let us know in the comments below!

For more, check out every other upcoming Star Wars movie and TV show and our breakdowns of the endings of both The Mandalorian Season 3 and Ahsoka Season 1 so you can remember where we left off before we jump to the future!

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

10 Jan 08:28

Netflix's 3 Body Problem Gets First Trailer At CES 2024, Watch It Now

Netflix has finally released an in-depth look at its upcoming sci-fi series, 3 Body Problem, in a newly released trailer. Adapted from Liu Cixin's acclaimed Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy, the show delves into the repercussions of humanity confronting an imminent alien invasion. The trailer premiered at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and Netflix has made it available online as well.

Alexander Woo, one of the show's creators, emphasized the team's dedication to capturing the essence of Cixin's novels on screen. "What we are hoping to do is to convey the experience--if not necessarily the exact details--of the novel onto the screen," Woo told Netflix's tudum.com. "What stayed, we hope, is the sense of wonderment and the sense of scope, of scale, where the problems are no longer just the problems of an individual or even a nation, but of an entire species." Check out the trailer below.

Netflix also surprised fans with a character guide, introducing the actors behind the roles in 3 Body Problem for the first time. The ensemble cast features Jovan Adepo, John Bradley, Rosalind Chao, Liam Cunningham, Eiza González, Jess Hong, Marlo Kelly, Alex Sharp, Sea Shimooka, Zine Tseng, Saamer Usmani, Benedict Wong, and Jonathan Pryce.

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