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20Aug/190

HBO’s ‘Westworld Awakening’ VR game arrives August 20th

Westworld Awakening should be deeper than previous Westworld VR experiences. It takes place during the show's second season and has a separate storyline with five chapters, according to Variety.

The main character is a host named Kate, who tries to survive and take charge of her destiny as she becomes self-aware in a world in which she's destined to be a victim. You'll move her by mimicking a running motion with your arms, and use gestures to duck behind objects and peer over them to take a look at what's going on.

You'll get to explore the Mesa Hub and interact with other hosts, as well as look for clues while steering clear of hazards. The game should last between four and six hours though the development team suggested "you could spend a long time in it." It'll cost $30 and might help you pass the time until the show's third season arrives next year.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/hbo-westworld-awakening-vr-game-release-date/

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20Aug/190

Facebook pulls propaganda accounts demonizing Hong Kong protesters

All of the efforts originated in mainland China and centered their attention on Hong Kong. While Facebook didn't name those involved, it noted that least some of them were "associated with the Chinese government." One of the country's largest state-backed outlets, Xinhua, had been caught running anti-protester Twitter ads on the weekend.

The culprits had limited reach. About 15,000 accounts followed more than one of the pages, and 2,200 accounts joined at least one Group. Nonetheless, this is a reminder that online manipulation campaigns aren't just limited to election interference. They can also try to skew public perception in developing situations, and companies like Facebook have to keep watch knowing more of these campaigns will likely appear.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/facebook-pulls-accounts-attacking-hong-kong-protesters/

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20Aug/190

‘Kerbal Space Program’ gets an interstellar flight sequel

According to the developers, KSP2 has been "fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration." This version imagines what the future space program could look like. It comes with new animated tutorials, an improved user interface and fully revamped assembly and flight instructions. The game uses next-gen engines, parts and fuel, and you'll be able to explore even further reaches of space with interstellar flight. You'll also be tasked with building colonies -- a fitting addition as NASA prepares for extended stays on the Moon and human exploration of Mars.

It's not surprising that Private Division, Star Theory and Squad are launching KSP2. The game has a long history, with a drawn out launch and some of the original developers joining Valve. In 2017, Take-Two bought the rights to KSP. It planned to turn KSP into a "long-term franchise," but said it wasn't rushing anything. While we're finally getting closer to the second iteration, fans will have to wait until 2020 to play the game. When it arrives, it will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/kerbal-space-program-2-arrives-2020/

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20Aug/190

Mercedes unveils A-Class and B-Class plug-in hybrids

The upgraded powerplant won't make either vehicle a fearsome beast with 218HP of combined horsepower and a 0-62MPH time of 6.6 seconds for the A-Class (6.8 for the B-Class), but you shouldn't have any trouble overtaking slowpokes on the highway. You'll also be happy to hear that the PHEV component has "hardly any" effect on cargo space, although Mercedes hasn't provided numbers to quantify that tiny difference.

The interior will be familiar, although that's not necessarily a bad thing. The new A- and B-Class models use Mercedes' MBUX interface, complete with "hey Mercedes" voice commands when enabled.

More importantly, the prices aren't outlandish. The A250e is available in Europe now at just under €36,944 tax included for a hatchback version and €37,301 for the sedan, or about $40,980 and $41,376 respectively. The B250e arrives a "few weeks later" with as yet unspecified pricing. We wouldn't expect the A-Class hatch or the B-Class to cross over to the US as their regular versions aren't available in the country. The A-Class sedan, however, is another story. While nothing has been announced, it's hard to imagine Mercedes turning down the opportunity to bring a more affordable PHEV to the US and boost its credibility among the eco-conscious.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/mercedes-a-class-b-class-plug-in-hybrid/

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20Aug/190

Watch the Xbox Gamescom event in 14 minutes

Microsoft loves to use Gamescom as a vehicle for its post-E3 news, and it had plenty on offer for the 2019 event -- even for PlayStation fans. PUBG added cross-platform play that lets PS4 and Xbox One gamers vie against each other for the elusive chicken dinner, for a start, while a smorgasbord of Gears 5 news included details of Horde mode and even the inclusion of Halo: Reach characters. There were also release dates for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Gears Pop, not to mention a deluge of Xbox Game Pass titles like Blair Witch and Devil May Cry 5. And yes, Microsoft even managed to squeak in some (minor) new hardware. That's a lot to take in, but don't fret -- we've summed up the highlights of the Xbox Gamescom event in a supercut clip that should get you up to speed.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/watch-xbox-gamescom-2019-supercut/

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20Aug/190

Chris Pine to star in Watergate biopic from Amazon

As White House Counsel, Dean became the Nixon Administration's scapegoat for the Watergate burglary and subsequent cover-up. Dean -- along with Nixon aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman -- was fired by the president in a single, infamous evening known as the "Saturday Night Massacre". Attorney General Richard Kleindienstal also resigned that night. For most of the American public, the sudden departures marked the first sign that something was rotten in the Nixon White House. In his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee, Dean became the first administration official to publicly accuse Nixon of directly being involved in the Watergate scandal. He has since written several books and currently serves as a political commentator.

Dean himself will serve as executive producer on the project, along with manager Rick Berg. Screenwriter Evan Parter has been tapped to write the script for the film.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/chris-pine-to-star-in-watergate-biopic-from-amazon/

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20Aug/190

You can finally get PowerBeats Pro in colors other than black

After launching its truly wireless Powerbeats Pro headphones earlier this year, Beats is finally introducing new color options to its lineup. The earbuds, which retail for $250, will be available in off-white Ivory, a nature-green Moss, and dark blue Navy finishes. The new colors will be available to purchase from Apple.com starting August 22nd at 12:01 AM PST. Orders will ship out on August 30th, the same day that the new colors will be available to purchase from Apple retail stores.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/apple-powerbeats-pro-ivory-moss-navy-blue-colors-august-22/

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20Aug/190

San Francisco’s 25-year-old FogCam shuts down this month

FogCam's creators, Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong, known online as Webdog and Danno, announced the shutdown on Saturday. "The Internet has changed a lot since 1994, but Fogcam will always have a special place in its history," the two wrote on Twitter. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Schwartz added additional context to the decision, noting it has become increasingly challenging to maintain FogCam in recent years. "We felt it was time to let it go," he said. "The bottom line is that we no longer have a really good view or place to put the camera. The university tolerates us, but they don't really endorse us, and so we have to find secure locations on our own."

In a way, the impending shutdown of reflects the history of the internet writ large. Inspired by the world's first webcam, the University of Cambridge's Trojan coffee pot camera, Schwartz and Wong started FogCam when they were students at SFSU. Twenty-five years later, Karl remains the star of the show but on social media rather than an independent website. What's changed then is not so much the content and daily concerns that make their way online -- it's how we navigate and interact with the web. In the intervening years since FogCam went online, the internet has become a much bigger place, one that's less independent. That, if nothing else, is worth lamenting.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/san-francisco-s-25-year-old-fogcam-shuts-down-this-month/

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20Aug/190

Amazon unveils trailer for third season of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

As the teaser reveals, the new season follows Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as she embarks on her first tour as a professional comedienne. The show's heroine is normally restricted to the comedy clubs of Greenwich Village. This time around, we see her on the road at various venues around the country. She even performs at a USO tour.

We also get a peek at Sterling Brown (This is Us, Black Panther), who is slated to play a recurring role in the new season. Also due to return are Midge's parents, Rose and Abe (Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle), her long-suffering agent Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) and her ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen).

Sherman-Palladino revealed a few more insights on the new season's direction. "Her journey this year that we've set out for her is it's the first time she's setting out as a road comic, it's the first time she's getting paid for this, it's the first time she's going to have consistency, and she's dealing with audiences that aren't her people. That is going to bring its own story twist to it, we're definitely going to some different places in Season 3," said Sherman-Palladino in a statement.

The new season debuts on the streaming service on December 6th. You can watch the trailer below.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/amazon-unveils-trailer-for-third-season-of-the-marvelous-mrs-m/

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20Aug/190

Bloomberg: Apple plans to launch TV+ in November for $10 a month

Apple reportedly earmarked $6 billion of its budget to fund the upcoming service's original shows and movies. It's spending a lot of money in an attempt to make more money, particularly to contribute to its goal to reach $50 billion in service sales by 2020. The tech giant is trying to find more ways to generate revenue, seeing as smartphone sales -- not just Apple's, but the whole industry's -- continue to drop due to weak economies and market saturation.

Sounds like TV+ could cost quite a bit more than its competitors', though, so its success will have to rely on factors other than pricing. Disney's contender will only cost $7 a month, and even Netflix's basic option is only $9. In addition to pricing and availability, Bloomberg's sources revealed that Apple is considering various strategies for the service, including launching programs with their first three episodes and then following those up with a weekly release. The service will reportedly be available worldwide upon launch in over 150 countries.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/19/apple-tv-plus-november-10-a-month/

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