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What’s on TV this week: ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’

This week brings the first home release of a major movie at the same time that it premieres in theaters (or, would if they were open), with Trolls World Tour available via video on-demand services for $20. If that’s not your speed, then Cats is available (presumably with all the special effects patches already installed) but only in 1080p. On TV, Insecure and Killing Eve both return to kick off new seasons Sunday night, while Netflix has season two of Hi Score Girl and CBS All Access brings back The Good Fight.

The biggest release planned this week however, is Final Fantasy VII Remake, which will finally launch on the PS4. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/ffvii-remake-killing-eve-trolls-054527239.html

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Google releases Chrome 81 with ‘app badging’ for subtle notifications

The stable version of Chrome 81 has arrived for Windows, Mac and Linux after a couple of weeks of delay brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. As ZDNet notes, Google had to move some of the features it was supposed to ship with to future versions, but it still comes with a few notable updates.

The updated Chrome enables a feature called “app icon badging,” which allows apps and websites to notify users of new activities without interrupting them. It’s much less intrusive than outright notifications and could be the better choice for, say, chat and email apps displaying the number of unread messages. Or social media apps displaying the number of times a user has been tagged in a post.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-chrome-81-072924130.html

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Xbox Game Bar’s new widgets link to apps like XSplit

Last year Microsoft added a Spotify integration to its Xbox Game Bar on the PC, and now it will be able to offer far more third-party support. That’s because it has introduced a new Game Bar Widget Store, as well as an SDK for outside developers to plug their apps into the gaming experience on Windows.

As introduced during its April 2020 Inside Xbox presentation, some of the first ones up include integrations from Razer for its Cortex gaming enhancements and Gold wallet deals. Another new widget adds controls for XSplit’s Gamecaster streaming app, so that creators can flip between settings without having to alt-tab out and stop the action. One other widget that’s on the way but not available yet is for Intel’s Graphics Command Center, with access to display settings, capture features and more.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/xbox-game-bar-widgets-083140954.html

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Twitch clears up its confusing nudity and attire guidelines

Now, the rules are “based on a standard level of coverage,” Twitch wrote. You can’t broadcast nude or partially nude, and “must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.” Those presenting as women must cover their nipples and can’t expose the underside of their breasts. However, “cleavage is unrestricted as long as these requirements are met.” Swimsuits, breastfeeding and body-painting are also allowed, provided that genitals and nipples (for women) aren’t visible.

The policy goes into effect immediately with no grace period for new streams. Also, Twitch won’t re-evaluate past suspensions for things that are now allowed (like cleavage), even though the older rules were unclear. In a FAQ explaining why, it said that “although your content may not violate the new policy, it violated the guidelines in place when the enforcement was issued.” At the same time, though, Twitch is also forcing creators to take down older content that now violates the new rules, with a May 1st deadline.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/twitch-nudity-attire-guidelines-094919224.html

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Discord wants to clean up and support its massive bot community

Of course, that introduces a new challenge: how do you sort the wheat from the chaff among these millions of bots? The answer: a verified bots and developers program. By completing a few security checks, developers will get a verified check mark for their bot, which not only unlocks development tools for future creations, but lets users know the bot is trustworthy — something users will appreciate in the wake of a recent wave of bot spamming. According to Discord, the initiative also means the platform can encourage users to adopt bots within Discord, rather than scouring the internet, which could mean there’s some kind of dedicated Discord Bot section in the works.

The system isn’t intended to be a nice-to-have addition for developers, though. If you want your bot to thrive you’ll have to apply for verification — it’ll be a requirement for bots in 100 or more servers. Until your bot is verified, you won’t be able to grow past 100 servers, and if your bot is already in more than 100 servers, it won’t be able to join any more. As Discord says, it’s a pretty big change, so it’s instituting a six month depreciation period. You’ve basically got until October 7th of this year to get verified if you meet the criteria — until then there will be no restrictions. But it’s worth getting a head start, and if your bot is in 75 or more servers, you can apply right now.

It was really only a matter of time before Discord turned its attention to bots — they are, after all, a major part of the Discord experience, not to mention a good way for developers to flex their coding muscles. No doubt this is just a first step, though — we can probably expect to see a lot more attention given to discords’ bots in the future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/discord-clean-up-support-bot-community-verification-105524821.html

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The Morning After: Sony unveiled the PS5’s DualSense controller

WhatsApp imposes even stricter limits on message forwarding

It’s to slow the spread of misinformation.

If you receive a frequently forwarded message -- one that’s been forwarded more than five times and identifiable with a double arrow icon -- you’ll only be able to forward them on to one chat at a time. It’s a defense against misinformation: The company says it’s seen a “significant increase” in the number of forwarded messages on the platform, and while many of them are relatively innocent -- memes and prayers, for example -- this practice is contributing to the spread of misinformation.  

It’s not the first time WhatsApp has imposed such measures. After both it and its parent company, Facebook, were accused of playing a pivotal role in the spread of misinformation during violence in India in 2018, WhatsApp reduced the number of times a message could be forwarded from 20 to five. This time it’s a global effort, however.
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Netflix's new parental controls include PIN-protected profiles

And you can turn off auto-play for kids’ profiles.

Netflix has had separate user profiles, including ones that stick to kids’ content, for a while, but some new changes could make parents more comfortable. Adults can use a PIN to secure their own profiles so kids can’t open the app and watch whatever they want. Adults can also remove series or films by title, select between different age filters for a kid’s profile and see the history of what children have been watching.
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Google releases Chrome 81 with 'app badging' for subtle notifications

The next version will be Chrome 83, update your notes accordingly.

Keeping up to date with Google’s reworked schedule, the latest version of Chrome is going out to everyone. It has new tweaks for WebXR and some NFC support, plus widely available support for app badges. That lets web apps update their icons to let you know there’s something new, like a waiting email or a message in Slack, without popping up an intrusive notification.
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The best Xbox games

Given the 2020 refresh.

Today, we walk through the best games to get for your Xbox One -- there’s still time before the next-gen consoles get here, you know. And if you want something that doesn’t center around guns or blades, we recommend the newest addition to the list: Ori and the Blind Forest.
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The best board games with an app-based twist

Ten Engadget favorites that blend digital and analog play.

Conversely, how about some games involving less screen time. The caveat, here, is that not all of these are lockdown appropriate, but if you’re living with family or several roommates, we have a few ideas to distract from Monopoly or another Netflix binge.
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But wait, there’s more...

Samsung's older smart TVs are losing remote control app support

The Big Picture: See every square foot of asteroid Bennu, Earth's little frenemy

Vizio SmartCast TVs add 30 new free TV channels

Nuro's driverless delivery cars are cleared for testing in California

As cinephiles shelter, studios are catching on to virtual movie nights

What's on TV this week: 'Final Fantasy VII Remake'

Award-winning RPG 'Disco Elysium' is coming to Nintendo Switch

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-sony-ps5-dual-sense-controller-112058748.html

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E3’s digital replacement is in the hands of games companies

If you were holding out for some kind of digital E3 in place of the actual event that was canceled last month, prepare to be disappointed. In a statement shared on gamesindustry.biz, the ESA has confirmed it will not be holding an “online experience” for E3 2020, as it had originally suggested it might. "Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements," said an ESA representative.

So there will still be stuff happening and the glitzy annual show will still be going ahead in spirit — Microsoft has already committed to an Xbox-related event, for example — but there won’t be one central place to tune into to catch everything that’s going on. While proceedings this year might be a bit more informal than usual, organizers have confirmed that they’re hoping to get things back on track for 2021.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/e3-2020-official-digital-event-replacement-120202568.html

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Apple Music will pay up to $50 million of indie label royalties in advance

The company wrote in its letter:

“These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.”

Some of Apple Music’s rivals also previously banded together to come to musicians’ and industry workers’ aid. Amazon Music, Facebook, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music pledged to contribute to MusiCare’s COVID-19 relief fund. Spotify made it easy to donate to artists, as well, and vowed to match up to $10 million in donations. Meanwhile, SoundCloud and Bandsintown are helping artists earn money from their online concerts streamed via Twitch.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-music-50-million-indie-covid-fund-123136730.html

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Samsung’s 2020 Galaxy A phones are coming to the US with 5G

Then there's the Galaxy A51 5G. It comes with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display, 48-megapixel main camera, 4,500mAh battery and 6GB of RAM. It will ship with 128GB of internal storage, which you'll be able to increase by up to 512GB with a microSD card. It will cost an even $500. 

Both the A71 and A51 5G will arrive in the US this summer -- provided there aren't any coronavirus-related delays.

At around the same time, Samsung plans to release two other A-series devices. First, there's the 6.4-inch Galaxy A11. It includes a triple main camera array with two wide-angle lenses and a single depth sensor. It also features a 4,000mAh battery and 32GB of internal storage. You'll be able to buy it for a modest $180. 

Then there's the more capable Galaxy A21. For $250, you get a 6.5-inch HD+ display, a 4,000mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging and a quad-camera array that includes two wide-angle lenses, in addition to a macro lens and depth sensor. 

In the meantime, Samsung will begin selling two recent Galaxy A phones in the US, starting with $110 Galaxy A01. As you might imagine, it comes with mostly modest features, including a 3,000mAh battery and a dual main camera setup that includes a 2-megapixel depth sensor. It's also the only new A-series phone without one of Samsung's signature circular "Infinity-O" display cutouts. Instead, it comes with an OnePlus 6T-like "Infinity-V" notch and a HD+ screen.  

If you want something more capable, there’s the LTE variant of the Galaxy A51. Skipping on 5G you get a phone with less RAM and a smaller battery, but you save $100, with the phone set to start at $400 when it comes out tomorrow.   

It's not surprising to see Samsung push affordable 5G handsets as other smartphone companies have done much the same. Xiaomi, for instance, recently announced the €349 5G-capable Mi 10 Lite. That said, whether it makes sense to buy one of Samsung's new, less expensive 5G phones will depend on where you live. Carriers like T-Mobile have promised aggressive 5G buildouts moving forward, but the fact of the matter is that we're still very much in the early days of the new network standard. Unless you live in some of the country's densest urban centers, you'll have a hard time finding a 5G signal -- it can even be hard to find one in cities like Chicago. It's also not surprising to see Samsung push more affordable handsets into the US market. In 2019, devices like the A50 were critical to the company's surge in Europe and other markets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/samsung-galaxy-a-2020-lineup-5g-us-130007432.html

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Foxconn’s contentious Wisconsin plant will be used to make ventilators

Foxconn’s dubious Wisconsin factory — the subject of billions of dollars of tax subsidy scrutiny — will be used to produce ventilators to aid in treatment for COVID-19 around the US. The company, best known for assembling Apple’s iPhones at factories in China, has entered into a partnership with healthcare firm Medtronic for the project, which will see ventilators produced “as soon as possible,” according to a statement provided to Reuters.

The factory — dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by President Trump — was first announced back in 2017 and has been the focus of controversy ever since. While its arrival promised new job opportunities for the state, many homes would subsequently be bulldozed to make space for the plant. It was initially earmarked for use as an LCD factory, but plans have repeatedly changed and the ample job opportunities never materialized. For the few that did, pay and working conditions was were way below those originally touted by Foxconn. Meanwhile, the plant was in receipt of more than $4.5 billion in government incentives. The whole endeavour has certainly fallen short of its promises.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/foxconn-wisconsin-plant-ventilators-coronavirus-132525498.html

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