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G Suite users can make Google Voice calls right inside Gmail

Google will soon offer G Suite subscribers who use Google Voice a handy time-saver. You’ll be able to make and receive calls directly in Gmail, so you won’t have to bother hopping over to another tab or app to do so.

On your browser, the Voice icon will appear alongside the other G Suite add-ons for Gmail on the right of your screen. The feature will start rolling out on June 3rd, and it could take a couple of days to hit your inbox. It’ll be available on the web, iOS and Android.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-voice-gmail-g-suite-integration-185120283.html

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At last, you can watch early ‘Simpsons’ episodes as intended on Disney+

In a blog post, Joe Rice, a Disney vice president, explained why showing the original episodes in 4:3 format wasn’t as easy as some might assume. If 4:3 versions of the episodes were added as standalone bonus content, Rice said, features available for modern HD content, like Continue Watching and Watchlists, wouldn’t be supported. 

To avoid that, Disney+ had to change how it packages and identifies content — such as video, various audio languages and subtitles — and metadata — like artwork, descriptions and credits. Previously, a content package could only have one version of a single video. But Disney+ wanted to avoid creating new content packages for every 4:3-format episode.

“It was clear that the cleanest path forward was to make a fundamental change to the content model to break the assumption that only a single version of video would be present in any given package,” Rice wrote.

Now, Disney+ is able to create content packages with two forms of a single video. For Disney+ users, all of this means that they can toggle between watching those early episodes in 4:3 aspect or 16:9 without losing any modern streaming features. For Disney+, the change could open up new ways of presenting content in the future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/disney-plus-simpsons-streaming-4-3-ratio-190542390.html

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YouTube adds chapters to make video navigation easier

YouTube is making it easier to navigate longer videos with its new “chapters” feature, the video streaming site announced. After receiving positive feedback on chapters during a testing period, the feature will stay on YouTube permanently as of May 28th, YouTube told Engadget in a statement. Chapters are available on the web and in the Android and iOS YouTube apps.

Viewers can click on chapters to jump to a specific part of a video and rewatch video clips --  a more convenient alternative to scrubbing. Chapters are visible at the bottom of the video player and show timestamps from the video description. Chapters are optional and will only appear if a video creator chooses to include them. Creators can only use chapters if the first chapter starts at 0:00, the video has at least three time stamps or chapters and if each chapter is at least 10 seconds.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/youtube-adds-chapters-make-video-navigation-easier-192029339.html

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Uber sends thousands of Jump e-bikes to the recycling heap

An Uber spokesperson told CNBC: “We explored donating the remaining, older-model bikes, but given many significant issues -- including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment -- we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them.”

Bike Share Museum shared a photo of Seattle’s Jump fleet: dozens upon dozens of e-bikes, with their Li-Ion batteries removed, ready to be sold for scrap. An e-bike without a battery is simply a regular analog bicycle; these bikes could be ridden as normal, even with the electronics still in place. 

Lime partners with a number of organizations that have a vested interest in promoting bike-friendly streets and micromobility access, like the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Denver Streets Partnership and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Bike Durham, a North Carolina biking advocacy group, said on Twitter that they would be happy to take on these Jump bikes: “Our local bike co-op @DurhamBikeCoOp has been able to re-purpose many old @ridespin bikes that were donated. Contact us @Uber!  Let’s make better use of these bikes.” It’s hard to imagine any of these organizations couldn’t find a better use for thousands of e-bikes, even if they weren’t in perfect shape. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/uber-scraps-thousands-of-jump-bikes-193541447.html

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Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey disagree on fact checking the president

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey fired back in a series of tweets. “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

Twitter subsequently labeled hundreds more tweets with fact-checking labels, the New York Times reported.

In the same interview with Fox News, Zuckerberg said he believes Facebook has a “stronger” record on defending free speech than other companies, but didn’t provide evidence of that claim. Facebook works with dozens of fact-checking organizations, but doesn’t allow posts from politicians to be fact checked — a policy that has been widely criticized.

Twitter didn’t place limits on Trump’s tweets about election fraud or make them less visible. Instead the company added a label, telling users to “get the facts” about mail-in ballots, and linked to publications that had fact-checked the claims. A Twitter spokesperson said the labels were added because the comments were “potentially misleading.”

Zuckerberg’s criticism comes as Trump signed an executive order that will attempt to put new restrictions on how social media platforms moderate content. It’s unclear how the order will be enforced, or how much impact it would ultimately have. 

The Facebook CEO, who had a private dinner with the president last year, said he doesn’t believe it’s the “right reflex” to place limits on social media companies. “In general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the right reflex there,” he said.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/mark-zuckerberg-jack-dorsey-trump-fact-check-203836979.html

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Overwatch League viewership doubled under its tournament format

Overwatch League (OWL) viewership doubled this past weekend as Blizzard experimented with a tournament format. The average audience per minute (AMA) was 63,000 -- a big increase from 31,000 the previous week. That marks OWL's best viewership since the second week of the season, when the AMA was 74,000.

Two May Melee tournaments took place concurrently. The North America version pulled in an AMA of 68,000 (up from 36,000 the week before) and the Asia tournament drew 52,000, an increase of 29,000. Viewership peaked during each tournament's final: 88,000 in North America and 77,000 in Asia. San Francisco Shock and Shanghai Dragons won their respective brackets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-league-viewership-may-melee-tournament-213715102.html

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‘Outriders’ video shows off its RPG shooter gameplay

When it comes to moment-to-moment gameplay, Outriders has more in common with Gears of War and Mass Effect: Andromeda than Destiny, which makes sense when you consider People Can Fly worked on Gears of War: Judgement. You control your character from the third-person perspective, and there's even cover you can get behind. Each class has access to eight abilities, three of which you can use at any one time by binding them to your controller.

The most interesting aspect of the game People Can Fly showed was its "World Tier" difficulty system. If you've played Diablo 3, much of this will sound familiar. When you first start playing Outriders, you'll begin at World Tier 01. There are 15 such levels, and you'll progress up the ladder by earning experience separate from your character level. With each subsequent tier, the game's enemies will become stronger, but they'll also drop better weapons and equipment.

Additionally, each time you gain access to new a World Tier, Outriders will reward you with crafting materials, gear or both. The catch is that you'll only earn World Tier experience while playing at the highest difficulty available to you. Moreover, if you die, your character will lose a percentage of the World Tier experience they've earned up to that point. To succeed at the highest difficulty levels, you'll need to equip your character with the best possible gear. The game's difficulty will also scale relative to the number of people you're playing with so that you and your friends can't blitz through content.   

Toward the end of the stream, People Can Fly mentioned the game's in-game lore glossary. The studio said all of Outriders' story would be "on the disk" -- clearly a dig at Destiny, which initially relegated its Grimoire to a website you had to read outside of the game. The studio promised to share more about the game when it airs another gameplay stream in June. Outriders will come out this holiday season on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, as well as current-generation consoles and PC.  

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/outriders-people-can-fly-gameplay-details-222746569.html

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Facebook slams executive order: ‘It will restrict more speech online’

In an earlier interview, Mark Zuckerberg said he didn’t believe it was the “right reflex” to combat censorship with more censorship. “In general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the right reflex there,” he said. 

He and Facebook are referring to a section of the executive order that says Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from being legally liable for what their users say, should be “clarified” and its protections rolled back if a company isn’t acting in “good faith.”

The good news for Facebook and Twitter is that experts agree the order is largely unenforceable and at odds with the First Amendment.

But Facebook still has valid reasons to be worried about the future of Section 230. Joe Biden has also stated that 230 should be repealed and, even if Trump’s executive order ends up being mostly toothless, it could still result in lengthy legal battles for social media companies. 

Twitter, who one executive once described as “the free speech wing of the free speech party,” and has been dealing with targeted harassment of one of its employees, called the executive order “reactionary and politicized.” “Section 230 protects American innovation and freedom of expression, and it’s underpinned by democratic values,” the company wrote in a statement. “Attempts to unilaterally erode it threaten the future of online speech and Internet freedoms.”

CEO Jack Dorsey previously defended the company’s choice to fact-check Trump’s tweets. “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally,” Dorsey tweeted, pointing to the company’s civic integrity policy. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”

Update 5/28 9:08PM ET: Added Twitter’s statement in response to the executive order.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/facebook-reacts-trump-executive-order-001826344.html

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‘Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles’ remaster gets new release date of August 27th

After several delays, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition is now slated to be released August 27th, 2020, publisher Square Enix announced. The game will be available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS and Android.

The game is an updated version of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, an action RPG that was first released in 2003 on Nintendo’s GameCube. The newest edition features new voiceovers, HD graphics and newly added content like bosses and dungeons. A new “mimic” feature allows players to take on the form of other characters. The multiplayer function has also been enhanced, as online multiplayer is available for the first time in addition to  crossplay across all platforms

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/final-fantasy-crystal-chronicles-new-release-date-august-2020-002926452.html

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Rony Abovitz confirms Magic Leap’s new funding, will step down as CEO

About a month after augmented reality company Magic Leap announced significant layoffs, things have seemingly turned around a bit. Last week we heard that many of the rumored 1,000 layoffs had been put on hold after the company secured $350 million in new funding, and today CEO Rony Abovitz confirmed it in a post, saying “We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.”

However, the company will apparently move forward without Abovitz as CEO, as he continued: “I discussed this with the Board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.”

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/magic-leap-new-ceo-023502721.html

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