Tech News Feed

Pokemon Go Yveltal Raid Guide: Best Counters, Weaknesses and Moveset - CNET

CNET News - 27 min 32 sec ago
Pokemon Y's legendary mascot is back in raids for a limited time.

Freewrite Alpha is the cheapest smart typewriter Astrohaus has made yet

Engadget - 27 min 33 sec ago

Last year, I tried the Freewrite Smart Typewriter — an expensive, single-purpose E Ink typewriter that does one thing very well. It lets you draft text with an excellent keyboard and zero distractions. If you're a serious writer, there's a lot to like about it, but it is most definitely not cheap; Astrohaus, the company behind the Freewrite, even raised the prices of its products, including the full-size model and the portable laptop-style Freewrite Traveler, earlier this year. 

Today, though Astrohaus is unveiling a third device that they've been teasing for a few weeks now, the Freewrite Alpha. The most important thing to know is that the Alpha will be priced at $349, or $249 if you purchase via the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that starts today. That's still not cheap, but it's half the price of the Freewrite Traveler while still offering the same core features as the other products in the lineup.

The Freewrite Alpha is a small two-pound slate with a pop-out kickstand that probably isn't quite as portable as the Traveler, but should still be quite easy to carry with you just about anywhere. Despite the small size, it nevertheless has a full-size mechanical keyboard with Kailh Choc V2 low-profile switches. My guess is that they'll have a lot more travel than the laptop-style keyboard on the Traveler, though they probably won't be quite as satisfying a typing experience as you'll get with the Kailh Box Brown keyboard on the full-size Smart Typewriter. 

Freewrite AlphaAlan Burns

It's also the first Freewrite to use an LCD display rather than the E Ink screens on the other models. It's a smaller screen than the already-small displays on other Freewrite models; it can display between two and six lines of text, depending on the font size you use. Given that Freewrite devices are meant specifically for drafting rather than editing, this shouldn't be too much of a concern, but you will see less copy on this device than other ones. You can scroll back up and see what you've written and used the WASD keys to move your cursor around, but I've found that, for the most part, I just plow ahead and write. 

Astrohaus says that the LCD display is reflective and uses ambient light, so it's not quite the same as looking at a glowing rectangle like your phone or iPad. But it likely won't be quite as easy on the eyes as the E Ink screen on other Freewrites. But on the other hand, the refresh rate should be much quicker. As for battery life the Alpha should last about 100 hours. Past Freewrites haven't had specific battery estimates; Astrohaus just say they last weeks between charges. 

Freewrite AlphaAlan Burns

There are a lot of things the Alpha has in common with other Freewrite models. Everything you write is automatically saved to the device locally, and — assuming you connect it to WiFi — everything is also backed up to the cloud and available in the Freewrite Postbox web app. You also don't have to use this proprietary service, as the Alpha can also back up to Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive. For the old school among us, you can also connect the Alpha to a computer and pull the local files off via its USB-C port (this is also used for charging). 

If you're interested, the aforementioned Indiegogo campaign is live now, but devices aren't expected to ship until July of 2023. That's a long wait for this product, but the current $249 price point is a lot more affordable than any previous Freewrite — so if this device catches your eye, it might be worth checking out on Indiegogo. While Freewrite devices are expensive, I can say from experience that they really can help you focus on writing, provided you can keep away from your phone, of course.

Pokemon Go Fashion Week: Mareanie, Featured Pokemon, Bonuses and More - CNET

CNET News - 27 min 36 sec ago
Pokemon Go's Fashion Week event returns until Oct. 3.

Get a Free BareMinerals Makeup Bag and 4 Deluxe Samples With a $75 Purchase - CNET

CNET News - 35 min 3 sec ago
Grab lipstick, foundation, blush and more on sale today.

NBA League Pass Streaming Moves Closer to Real Time This Season - CNET

CNET News - 57 min 36 sec ago
The league's out-of-market package has a new experience that reduces latency and includes a Monday night whip-around show similar to NFL RedZone.

Chipotle is moving its tortilla robot to a real restaurant

Engadget - 1 hour 6 min ago

Chipotle's tortilla-making robot will soon help out in a restaurant you can visit. The chain has unveiled a slew of technology updates that include moving the Miso Robotics-made Chippy robot to a real restaurant. The machine will start cooking tortilla chips in a Fountain Valley, California location in October. Feedback from customers and workers will help the company decide on a national rollout.

Artificial intelligence will influence some human cooks, too. Chipotle is piloting a demand-based cooking system that uses AI to tell staff what and when to cook based on forecasts for how much they'll need. In theory, this lightens the load for employees while making sure there's enough freshly-cooked tacos and burritos when you show up for dinner. The pilot is underway at eight Orange County, California restaurants.

There's also an upgrade for tech you can use. An opt-in program in the Chipotle App lets you know when your order's ready, reminds you to scan your rewards code and can even warn if you show up at the wrong pick-up location. The experiment is in progress at 73 restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Chippy and kitchen AI projects may be well-timed. While there are concerns that AI and robotics may automate people out of jobs at restaurants like Chipotle and McDonald's, the deployments come as retail continues to struggle with staff shortages. This theoretically frees workers to concentrate on serving customers, rather than handling drudgery behind the scenes.

Prime Members Can Save Over $80 On This Echo Studio Bundle - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 12 min ago
Grab an advanced Amazon smart speaker, plus a wireless subwoofer, for just $247 now through Sept. 30.

Volvo has developed the world's first interior radar system for cars

Engadget - 1 hour 22 min ago

Volvo has introduced a number of important safety features in its vehicles throughout the years including the first three-point seatbelt back in 1959. But now the company has developed something a bit more techy with what it's calling the world's first interior radar system for cars. 

Set to debut on its upcoming flagship EX90 electric SUV, Volvo's new radar system is designed to monitor both the cabin and trunk of a vehicle in order to prevent the car from being locked while anyone is still inside. The idea is to guard against situations where pets or children may be inadvertently trapped inside a car on a hot day, with the car surfacing reminders if it recognizes that there are still occupants inside when being locked. Additionally, the car's climate control can also be set to stay on if a passenger is detected, further lowering the risk of heatstroke. 

While the thought of leaving a pet or child inside a car on a hot day is unimaginable to most people, it can happen to anyone. In its press release, Volvo cited statistics from the US where more than 900 children have tragically died due to hyperthermia since 1998. 

Volvo's senior technical specialist for injury prevention Lotta Jakobsson says “No one chooses to be distracted or tired, but we know it can happen. We’re all human and distraction is a fact of life. With the help of cutting edge technology, we’ll support you when you’re not at your best and help you avoid leaving family members or pets behind by accident.”

In order to cover as much of the inside of the EX90 as possible, Volvo says it will use multiple radars positioned in the car's overhead console, roof-mounted reading lamps and in the trunk that can detect "sub-millimeter" movements. Unfortunately, we won't get a more detailed idea of how Volvo's new interior radar system really works until the EX90 is officially revealed on November 9th. But given that the new feature will come standard on the company's forthcoming EV (where allowed by regulation), we're hoping to see similar systems become basic equipment on more cars and makes in the future. 

Nreal brings its $379 Air augmented reality glasses to the US

Engadget - 1 hour 26 min ago

Almost exactly a year after Nreal unveiled its Air augmented reality glasses, the company is bringing the device to the US. Nreal Air, which the company is pitching as a device for streaming shows and playing games on, is available from Amazon starting today for $379. As with Nreal's $599 Light glasses, the Air will need to be tethered to a phone or other device. That could be a little easier if you snap up the new $59 Nreal Adaptor, an HDMI-to-Lightning dongle for iPhone.

In line with that peripheral, Nreal has upgraded the Air's iOS and Mac compatibility. At the outset, the Air will offer screen mirroring from iOS — Nreal's Nebula operating system doesn't run on iPhones yet. Still, you'll be able to watch streaming video services on a virtual 130-inch display.

That said, a version of Nebula will be available for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops, Nreal said. When you plug the Air into a Mac, a user interface called AR Desktop will open up. You'll be able to view multiple virtual displays at the same time, which could make the Air useful if you need more screen real estate while travelling.

A woman lies down on a couch while looking at a carousel of applications in augmented reality.Nreal

The company has also redesigned Nebula. In particular, the AR Space experience, which Nreal users see when they open Nebula, now has a borderless curved wall design and animated menu icons. Users will receive recommendations for content through a new widget, which offers the option of previewing apps without having to open them. The Spatial Browser offers a horizontal mode (for multi-window web browsing) and a vertical mode for sites that demand a lot of scrolling.

In addition, Nreal is adding more casual games and a pair of new apps. The first of those is called Teleport, which will allow you to explore 3D models of real-world objects that have been scanned with phones. You'll be able to leave photos for other users, as well as voice and text messages. Teleport will be available later this year. Meanwhile, Mirror Mode enables users to play PC and console games on a 200-inch virtual screen. Cloud gaming services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming are supported too.

Mortgage Refinance Rates on Sep. 27, 2022: Rates Tick Higher - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 27 min ago
Multiple benchmark refinance rates floated higher today. See how the Fed's interest rate hikes could affect refinancing your home this year.

Current Mortgage Interest Rates on Sept. 27, 2022: Rates Climb - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 27 min ago
Today some major mortgage rates crept higher. The Fed's interest rate hikes are increasing costs for prospective homebuyers.

Russia Plans 'Massive Cyberattacks' On Critical Infrastructure, Ukraine Warns

SlashDot - 1 hour 27 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Ukrainian government on Monday warned that the Kremlin is planning to carry out "massive cyberattacks" targeting power grids and other critical infrastructure in Ukraine and in the territories of its allies. "By the cyberattacks, the enemy will try to increase the effect of missile strikes on electricity supply facilities, primarily in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine," an advisory warned. "The occupying command is convinced that this will slow down the offensive operations of the Ukrainian Defence Forces." Monday's advisory alluded to two cyberattacks the Russian government carried out -- first in 2015 and then almost exactly one year later -- that deliberately left Ukrainians without power during one of the coldest months of the year. The attacks were seen as a proof-of-concept and test ground of sorts for disrupting Ukraine's power supply. "The experience of cyberattacks on Ukraine's energy systems in 2015 and 2016 will be used when conducting operations," the Ukrainian government said on Monday. It's hard to assess the chances of a successful hacking campaign against Ukraine's power grids. Earlier this year, Ukraine's CERT-UA said it successfully detected a new strain of Industroyer inside the network of a regional Ukrainian energy firm. Industroyer2 reportedly was able to temporarily switch off power to nine electrical substations but was stopped before a major blackout could be triggered. [...] But researchers from Mandiant and elsewhere also note that Sandworm, the name for the Kremlin-backed group behind the power grid hacks, is among the most elite hacking groups in the world. They are known for stealth, persistence, and remaining hidden inside targeted organizations for months or even years before surfacing. Besides an attack on electrical grids, Monday's advisory also warned of other forms of disruptions the country expected Russia to ramp up. "The Kremlin also intends to increase the intensity of DDoS attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine's closest allies, primarily Poland and the Baltic states," the advisory stated. "We don't have any direct knowledge or data to make an assessment on Ukraine's capability to defend its grid, but we do know that CERT-UA stopped the deployment of INDUSTROYER.V2 malware that targeted Ukraine's electric substations earlier this year," Chris Sistrunk, technical manager of Mandiant Industrial Control Systems Consulting, wrote in an email. "Based on that, and what we know about the Ukrainian people's overall resolve, it's increasingly clear that one of the reasons cyberattacks in Ukraine have been dampened is because its defenders are very aggressive and very good at confronting Russian actors."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fujifilm X-H2S review: The most powerful APS-C camera yet

Engadget - 1 hour 56 min ago

Four years after releasing the X-H1, Fujifilm has finally followed it up with not just one but two models. One of those is the highest-resolution APS-C camera to date, the 40-megapixel X-H2. The other is what we’re looking at today, the high-speed X-H2S designed for sports, wildlife shooting and more.

The biggest feature of the X-H2S is a new stacked, backside-illuminated 26.2-megapixel sensor. Its high speed allows burst shooting at up to 40 fps, faster autofocus and reduced rolling shutter. It also promises improved image quality, and comes with in-body stabilization, a high-resolution viewfinder, dual card slots and more.

These improvements and features don’t come cheap, though. At $2,500, the X-H2S is now one of the most expensive APS-C cameras out there, with the same price as comparable full-frame models like Canon’s EOS R6 and the Sony A7 IV. Is it worth paying that for a smaller sensor?

Body and handling

The X-H2S isn’t your typical Fujifilm camera. At 660 grams larger and heavier than the X-T4, though it is a touch lighter than the X-H1. It has a much bigger grip as well that imparts a feeling of stability, ideal if you’re attaching big lenses for sports or wildlife shooting.

As mentioned, the layout is more like rival mirrorless cameras from Canon and Sony than other Fuji models. Instead of dials that display shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO like the X-T4, it has conventional front and rear dials. The only one on top is a mode selector, and at the back you have a joystick and D-Pad control. It’s got no less than 12 buttons, most of which can be reprogrammed for different functions. As with the X-H1, it has a top LCD that shows primary settings.

Since it’s designed for sports and wildlife shooting, which requires changing settings on the fly while keeping an eye on the subject, the layout makes sense. However, I know many Fujifilm fans prefer the traditional dials – though at least you can see settings on the top LCD display if shooting from the hip. The only control I didn’t care for was the record button, as it’s tiny and awkwardly positioned. The X-H2S uses the same logical menu system as the X-T4, so settings are relatively easy to find.

Also good for action photographers is the electronic viewfinder (EVF) that provides blackout-free burst shooting and higher resolution (5.76 million dots) than either the Sony A7 IV or Canon EOS R6 (3.68 million dots each). It also packs a high-resolution, fully-articulating touch display that lets you control focus, quick menu and other functions.

For I/O, you get a high-speed USB-C port with power delivery, plus WiFi and Bluetooth for camera controls or transfers. Unfortunately, Fujifilm’s camera app for live view shooting or image imports is relatively primitive (the low 1.7 Play Store rating is a clue), failing to show things like exposure and audio levels for video, or allow burst photo shooting.

Video users get both microphone and headphone ports, along with a nice full-sized HDMI jack for external recorders. To handle the extra speed and video capabilities, it has a pair of card slots, both UHS-II and high-speed CFexpress. And finally, the battery (the same kind as the X-T4 but upgraded) allows up to 720 shots on a charge and well over two hours of 4K 30p video recording.

PerformanceFujifilm X-H2S reviewSteve Dent/Engadget

With up to 40 fps burst shooting speeds at full resolution, the X-H2S is faster than any other APS-C camera, but there are some caveats to that. It will only hit those top speeds in release, rather than focus priority mode (meaning it takes the shot even if it’s not in focus). That means a lot of your photos will be blurry, so it’s not a realistic mode for action shooting. Dialing down to 30 fps, however, I got a lot more shots in focus and the hit rate was nearly perfect at 20 fps

Shooting with the mechanical shutter, I saw 15 fps burst speeds, very respectable and a match for Canon’s EOS R7. On top of that, the mechanical shutter is very quiet (and sweet-sounding), particularly compared to the clattery shutter on the EOS R7. In that mode or the 20 fps silent mode, I was able to capture upwards of 300 shots at a time to a fast CFexpress card – over 10 seconds of shooting. That’s right up there with sports-centric cameras like Canon’s EOS R3.

The X-H2S is Fujifilm’s first camera with bird and animal tracking, and can also follow cars, motorcycles, bikes, airplanes and trains. It worked pretty well for a first iteration, though it would lose tracking depending on the shooting angle and other factors.

 The most powerful APS-C camera yetSteve Dent/Engadget

Face and eye tracking, though, is the best I’ve seen on any Fujifilm camera. It tracks smoothly and tenaciously, giving you more shots in focus. It also did a good job of getting a subject’s eye and not their eyelashes or nose in focus. Overall, the autofocus on the X-H2S is much improved from before, but not quite up to Sony and Canon’s standards.

It does beat all its rivals when it comes to shooting discreetly, though. The stacked sensor’s rapid speed means it has minimal rolling shutter in silent mode, so you can confidently use it for shooting birds, wildlife, sports and other fast-moving subjects.

Promising seven stops with supported lenses, the in-body stabilization also performed well for photos, letting me get sharp shots at relatively low shutter speeds. However, it doesn’t work as well for video, as I’ll detail shortly.

Image quality

With a similar 26.2-megapixel sensor to the X-T4 (with the addition of the stacked technology), the X-H2S is among the best APS-C cameras for color rendition. Everything looks natural, whether you’re shooting landscapes, animals or people. JPEGs look good straight out of the camera, with a slightly better balance between noise and sharpening than before thanks to the tweaked color science.

Like the X-T4, it uses a dual-gain sensor, with the sweet spots at ISO 800 and 3200. High ISO performance is nearly on par with the X-T4, with noise reasonably well controlled and detailed preserved up to about ISO 6400. It does offer usable shots beyond that, but exposure needs to be correct or you’ll have excessive noise when boosting blacks.

The 14-bit RAW files offer plenty of room for adjustment, with some exceptions. Because of the dual-gain sensor, it’s better to shoot at higher ISOs than try to shoot at the base ISO 800 and then boost the blacks, as noise levels are higher. Still, you can boost blacks in high-contrast shots by several stops without any issues. It doesn’t perform quite as well as the X-T4 in this regard, likely due to the stacked technology which can raise the noise floor.

Fujifilm X-H2S review sample images

As ever, you get a range of useful JPEG film simulations like Velvia, black & white Acros and desaturated Eterna. These are well-designed and produce professional-looking results, and the original image data is preserved in the RAW file.


The X-H2S is a great example of how stacked sensors improve a camera’s video capabilities. The X-H2S is now the most advanced APS-C camera for that, letting you shoot up to 6.2K 30p 3:2 video, supersampled 4K at up to 60 fps, ultra-slow-mo 120 fps 4K and 240 fps HD. Most of those modes are available in several different codecs as well. The list includes H.264 and H.265 (All-I and Long-gop), along with robust ProRes formats, including HQ, 422 and LT. And nearly all modes allow for 10-bit capture for smoother gradients and more.

It also supports Fujifilm’s F-Log and new F-Log2 formats, both in standard and Eterna cinema modes to max out dynamic range. And you can output RAW video to both Blackmagic and Atomos recorders in BRAW and ProRes RAW formats, respectively. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test those functions, as Fujifilm has yet to enable them.

The 6.2K 3:2 might seem an odd video mode, but it does allow for more creative cropping at the top and bottom of an image. Meanwhile, the more standard 30 fps and 60 fps 4K video is extremely sharp thanks to the downsampling. The ultra-slow-mo 120 fps 4K video is cropped so it’s not quite as sharp, but it’s much less fuzzy than I expected. And even the 1080p 240p is very usable for many projects. Keep in mind that you can’t record audio in either of those modes, however.

Fujifilm X-H2S reviewSteve Dent/Engadget

Dynamic range is exceptional, exceeding 13 stops when shooting F-Log2. Combined with the 10-bit capture and robust ProRes codecs, you’ll have plenty of room for creative color correction or to fix over- orunder-exposed shots. As with photos, color reproduction favors accuracy, with skin tones that aren’t quite as warm as Canon’s but still pleasant.

Rolling shutter is minimal in standard and F-Log video modes thanks to the extremely fast readout speeds. They’re a bit slower in F-Log2 mode due to the fact that it does a 14-bit readout in this mode (the other modes are 12-bit), but even then, rolling shutter is still less annoying than on rival APS-C cameras like the Canon EOS R7 or Sony A6600.

If you’re concerned about overheating, it’s really only an issue with 4K 120p video, as it’ll tend to stop after 30-60 minutes of shooting, depending on the temperature. That’s really an edge case though, and if it’s an issue for you, Fujifilm has an optional external fan you can plug in under the display.

While improved from the X-T4, video autofocus isn’t as good as those Canon and Sony models, however. It lost focus more often and could occasionally hunt. There’s no ability to touch and track random subjects, and it could be erratic with birds, animals and other preset subjects.The good news, though, is that human face and eye tracking was quite reliable.

Another downside is the in-body stabilization: If you’re just hand-holding the camera and not moving much, you do get very steady shots. But anytime you try to pan and tilt, let alone walk, it has a tendency to jolt suddenly from one position to another. So for that reason, it’s not the best vlogging camera, unless Fujifilm can mitigate the issue a bit with a future update.

Wrap-upFujifilm X-H2S review sample imagesSteve Dent/Engadget

Despite this issue and autofocus still not quite up to par with rivals, the X-H2S is easily the most powerful APS-C camera available right now. As the only model with a stacked sensor, it easily beats all Canon, Nikon and Sony models in terms of performance and video capabilities.At $2,500, though, it’s also the most expensive mainstream APS-C camera – even more than the higher-resolution, $2,000 X-H2.

Is it worth that price? Despite all the power, that’s a tough question. For that kind of money, people might prefer a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS R6 or the Sony A7 IV. At the same time, many Fujifilm fans may be turned off by the less, well, Fujifilm-like control setup.

It’s a more versatile camera than previous Fuji models, though, and is more suited to certain things than full-frame cameras. The crop-sensor gives it better range for wildlife shooting than full-frame models and it uses smaller lenses, too. It beats both the A7 IV and EOS R6 in terms of video capability, and again, the smaller sensor makes focus less critical. Finally, I still like it as a street photography camera – despite the lack of mechanical dials, you can still see F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, etc. on the top LCD display. So if you’re a hybrid shooter that does a variety of photo and video work, the X-H2S could be the perfect camera.

Meta dismantles a China-based network of fake accounts ahead of the midterms

Engadget - 2 hours 12 min ago

Meta has taken down a network of fake accounts from China that targeted the United States with memes and posts about “hot button” political issues ahead of the midterm elections.The company said the fake accounts were discovered before they amassed a large following or attracted meaningful engagement, but that the operation was significant due to its timing and because of the topics the accounts posted about.

The network consisted of 81 Facebook accounts, eight Facebook Pages, two Instagram accounts and a single Facebook Group. Just 20 accounts followed at least one of the Pages and the group had about 250 members, according to Meta.

The fake accounts posted in four different “clusters” of activity, Meta said, beginning with Chinese-language content “about geopolitical issues, criticizing the US.” The next cluster graduated to memes and posts in English, while subsequent clusters created Facebook Pages and hashtags that also circulated on Twitter. In addition to the US, some clusters also targeted posts to people in the Czech Republic.

During a call with reporters, Meta’s Global Threat Intelligence Lead Ben Nimmo said the people behind the accounts “made a number of mistakes” that allowed Meta to catch them more easily, such as only posting during working hours in China. At the same time, Nimmo said the network represented a “new direction for Chinese influence operations” because the accounts posed as both liberals and conservatives, advocating for both sides on issues like gun control and abortion rights.

“It's like they were using these hot button issues to try and find an entry point into American discourse,” Nimmo said. “It is an important new direction to be aware of.” The accounts also shared memes about President Joe Biden, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Utah Senator Mitt Romney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to Meta.

Meta also shared details about a much larger network of fake accounts from Russia, which it described as the “most complex Russian-origin operation that we’ve disrupted since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.” The company identified more than 1,600 Facebook accounts and 700 Facebook Pages associated with the effort, which drew more than 5,000 followers.

The network used the accounts to boost a series of fake websites that impersonated legitimate news outlets and European organizations. They targeted people in Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, and posted in several languages.

“They would post original articles that criticized Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, praised Russia and argued that Western sanctions on Russia would backfire,” Meta writes in its report. “They would then promote these articles and also original memes and YouTube videos across many internet services, including Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, petitions websites Change[.]org and Avaaz[.]com, and even LiveJournal.”

Meta notes that “on a few occasions” the posts from these fake accounts were “amplified by Russian embassies in Europe and Asia” though it didn’t find direct links between the embassy accounts and the network. For both the Russia and China-based networks, Meta said it was unable to attribute the fake accounts to specific individuals or groups within the countries.

The takedowns come as Meta and itspeers are ramping up security and anti-misinformation efforts to prepare for the midterm elections in the fall. For Meta, that means largely using the same strategy it employed in the 2020 presidential election: a combination of highlighting authoritative information and resources, while relying on labels and third-party fact checkers to tamp down false and unverified info.

Facebook Pulls Fake Accounts From China That Posed as Americans - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 12 min ago
The accounts posted about hot-button issues such as gun control and abortion and pretended to be both conservatives and liberals, Facebook parent Meta says.

Skullcandy's first gaming headsets in years include Tile tracking and a wireless model

Engadget - 2 hours 27 min ago

Skullcandy hasn't offered gaming headsets for the better part of a decade, but it's willing to give them another go — and it's eager to catch up in some respects. The brand has introduced revamped PLYR, SLYR and SLYR Pro headsets that promise budget-friendly game audio on console, mobile and PC with a few perks. The flagship PLYR (shown above) includes Bluetooth 5.2 wireless audio, while it and the wired SLYR Pro offer Tile tracking to help you find your headset (or the device it's connected to).

Both the PLYR and SLYR Pro (at middle) also use a hearing test to create a personalized sound profile, and offer background audio reduction whether you use the boom or integrated microphones. They can plug in through 3.5mm and USB, and an optional wireless transmitter for the PLYR promises low lag (down to 20ms) for PC- and PlayStation-based gamers. You can expect up to 24 hours of battery life in either model when you aren't connected through USB. The base SLYR is a no-frills wired design that drops the audio processing features and USB support.

Skullcandy SLYR Pro gaming headsetSkullcandy

As with the old headsets, Skullcandy is counting on price as the main draw. The SLYR starts the line at $60, while the SLYR Pro and PLYR are relatively affordable at $100 and $130 respectively. The caveat, as you might guess, is that the gaming headset business hasn't been standing still. The Astro A10 offers a more flexible (and arguably more visually appealing) design for the same $60 as the SLYR, while brands like Razer and SteelSeries offer both price-competitive headsets and premium models with extras like spatial audio and RGB lighting. Your choice might come down to sale pricing and personal preferences.

Amazon's Alexa Event Is All About Drumming Up Prime Day 2 Attention - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 27 min ago
You're going to see a lot of Amazon announcements starting this week. Here's why.

The Morning After: Netflix is building its own game studio

Engadget - 3 hours 10 min ago

Netflix is forming its own in-house game studio and wants to go beyond relying on third-party developers to bolster its game catalog. The studio, based in Helsinki, Finland, plans to create "world-class" original games without ads or in-app purchases.

Netflix’s move into gaming has involved buying multiple developers, including the creators of Oxenfree, Night School Studio. In the last 12 months or so, the company has offered some well-regarded titles, including Into the Breach and Poinpy. But it hasn't built a developer from scratch. Until now.

However, when it comes to original games, Netflix says we won't see the first fruits of this internal studio for "years." Meanwhile, UsTwo’s Desta, launching later today exclusively on Netflix, is the latest addition from the makers of Monument Valley

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missedNASA successfully hurled its DART spacecraft into an asteroidThe impactor vehicle was traveling at roughly 14,000 MPH when it struck.TMANASA

After nearly a year in transit, NASA's experimental Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which sought to answer the question: "Could you potentially shove an asteroid off its planet-killing trajectory by hitting it with a specially designed satellite?" The answer seems to be … maybe. It successfully collided with the Dimorphos asteroid. Results and data from the collision are still coming in, but NASA ground control confirms that the DART impact vehicle has intercepted the target asteroid. The vending machine-sized vehicle traveled at roughly 14,000 MPH when it crossed Dimorphos' path nearly 68 million miles from Earth.

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Watch the first trailer for HBO’s 'The Last of Us' adaptation98 seconds of post-apocalyptic gloom.TMAHBO

HBO revealed the first trailer for its highly anticipated adaptation of the hit Naughty Dog game. The clip features the leaning building from an early level and a bombastic opening outbreak sequence, as well as the unmistakable sound of a Clicker. Nightmare fuel for 2022.

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Big Audacity update makes it a much better audio production toolIt adds non-destructive editing, real-time effects and more.

Audacity is best known as a free audio app for quick edits and recording audio, but the latest update makes it more viable as a full-on production tool for your podcast ambitions. The most welcome addition is non-destructive audio capabilities that allow you to adjust effects without the changes being permanently baked into the audio file. It also supports real-time playback of effects and crossfades as you adjust them, allowing for more accurate edits. And it’s still free.

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Apple Watch Ultra teardown confirms it's rugged, but not easily repairedYou'll still have to leave repairs to the pros.

The Apple Watch Ultra is built to survive adventures outdoors, but if you push it beyond its limits, you’re going to struggle to repair it yourself. iFixit reports that the Ultra isn't significantly more repairable than its regular counterparts. While there are external screws on the back, you might wreck a waterproofing gasket if you pry the rear open. And don't even think of getting through the front – you might break the screen.

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Aphex Twin's free 'sample mashing' app feeds on your music librarySamplebrain has been on Richard James' mind for 20 years.

Aphex Twin is finally ready to offer his mutation-driven music software to the world. Samplebrain is a free "sample mashing" app that turns audio files from your computer into sample blocks you can use for projects. You can recreate a sample using tracks in your music library or craft a "303 riff" from unexpected sounds. However, you may need some technical know-how to use the app.

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Meta tests easier account switching between Facebook and InstagramIt’ll give you a view of all your notifications.

On Monday, Meta began rolling out a new interface on Android, iOS and on the web for switching between accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Provided you’ve added your credentials for both to the same Accounts Center, you can use the feature to switch between the two apps. Meta will also notify you every time you use an existing account to create a new one or you add an account to the Accounts Center.

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Dementia in Prison Is Turning into an Epidemic: The U.S. Penal System Is Badly Unprepared

Scientifc America - 3 hours 42 min ago

Older prisoners will make up a third of the prison population in a decade, and many of them will develop dementia

Netflix Is Building Its Own Game Studio

SlashDot - 4 hours 27 min ago
Netflix is forming an in-house game studio in Helsinki, Finland to create "world-class" original games without ads or in-app purchases. Engadget reports: While it's too soon for details of the games themselves, Zynga and EA alumnus Marko Lastikka will serve as director. Helsinki is a good fit as the home to some of the "best game talent" on the planet, according to Netflix. This includes The Walking Dead mobile developer Next Games (which Netflix bought in March). Netflix has purchased multiple developers, including Boss Fight and Oxenfree creator Night School Studio, but hasn't built a developer from scratch until now. You won't see the first fruits of this internal studio for "years," Netflix says. Still, this and recent acquisitions show how the company's gaming strategy is evolving. Where Netflix initially depended on outsiders' games, including slightly tweaked versions of existing titles, it's increasingly focused on truly unique projects you won't find elsewhere. In theory, more people will subscribe to Netflix with the game library in mind.

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