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GM makes it easier to find EV charging stations with its myChevrolet app

Starting with stations operated by EVgo and ChargePoint, the app will display real-time information on their status, letting you know if they're available to use. GM plans to expand this functionality to include other operators, including EV Connect, later this year. With EVgo stations, you'll also be able to pay to use them directly through the myChevrolet app by linking your EVgo account.

Later this year, GM also plans to add a feature that will allow you to rate and review specific charging stations directly within the app. This is something apps like PlugShare have allowed you to do for a while. Notably, at least at launch, it won't include crowdsourced photos of stations to help you find them.

As before, you're able to use the app to find the location of every Bolt-compatible charging station, regardless of what company operates it. GM says there are now more than 40,000 of those across North America. If you're on the fence about buying a Bolt, the new features probably won't sway you in one direction or another, but for current owners, they're a nice addition that will make planning trips easier.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/gm-mychevrolet-app-energy-assist-update/

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‘Westworld’ season 3 trailer sets the stage for an AI battle

Earlier this year, series co-creator Jonathan Nolan told Deadline he wanted to share a different vision of dystopia. "Dystopia can look pretty beautiful in the world," he said. "Just because the world is corrupt inside, doesn't mean it can't be smothered over and pretty. We wanted to find a version of dystopia that we hadn't seen before." Judging by this most recent trailer, Nolan and company have achieved that goal.

Westworld season three will hit HBO and HBO Go on March 15th.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/westworld-new-season-3-trailer/

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New Mexico AG sues Google over alleged child privacy violations (updated)

According to Balderas, Google gathers location data, browsing and search histories, contacts, voice recordings, passwords and more, from children of all ages, without giving parents the ability to limit or review the data collection. The lawsuit also claims that until 2014, Google fed this data to its advertising business and that Google monitors teachers in a similar manner. Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.

While Google collects this type of data on many of its users, violating child privacy laws, at the state or federal level, could be a serious offense. Outside of the Google Education program, the lawsuit points out, Google forbids anyone in the US under the age of 13 from having their own Google account. The Google Education program provides a kind of loophole, but it must abide by the same laws.

"Tracking student data without parental consent is not only illegal, it is dangerous; and my office will hold any company accountable who compromises the safety of New Mexican children," Balderas said in a press release.

Google says these claims are "factually wrong."

"G Suite for Education allows schools to control account access and requires that schools obtain parental consent when necessary," a company spokesperson told Engadget. "We do not use personal information from users in primary and secondary schools to target ads."

This isn't the first time Balderas has sued Google over alleged child privacy violations. In 2018, he accused Google and other companies of violating COPPA. That lawsuit, which is ongoing, is separate from the one filed Thursday. Balderas is also part of a larger antitrust probe into Google, and he has asked other companies, like BitTorrent, what they do to prevent child exploitation.

Update 4:09PM ET: A Google spokesperson provided the following statement to Engadget. We have updated this post accordingly.

These claims are factually wrong. G Suite for Education allows schools to control account access and requires that schools obtain parental consent when necessary. We do not use personal information from users in primary and secondary schools to target ads. School districts can decide how best to use Google for Education in their classrooms and we are committed to partnering with them.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/google-new-mexico-ag-child-privacy-lawsuit/

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Wirecutter’s best deals: Anker’s Nebula Mars II Pro projector drops to $460

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

Street price: $120; deal price: $70 w/ promo code SPRING

The eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack holds everything you'd need for most workdays, keeping it all organized and accessible without bulging. This intelligently designed bag features wide shoulder straps for distributing weight better, and is made up of a series of pockets, the main (and biggest) one featuring a sleeve that's suitable for a laptop up to 17 inches. Down to $70 with code SPRING, it's down to a price that matches the lowest we've ever seen. The current deal extends to all available colors, so if you're in the market for a bag with multiple compartments to hold and organize all your stuff, this is a great time to save.

The eBags Professional Slim is our pick for holding the most tech in the most accessible way in our guide to our favorite laptop backpacks. Wirecutter Updates Writer James Austin wrote, "If you're living the dongle life or have the compulsion to carry every piece of tech with you on your back, the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack does more than hold everything—this pack keeps stuff organized and available for you when you need it. This bag holds and organizes an impressive amount of gear without bulging or becoming disorganized. And although some people don't like its techie aesthetic, its ultra-functional organization is great if you carry many small things and want each of them to have a dedicated spot."

Samsung RU8000 4K TV (82-Inch)

Street price: $1,800; deal price: $1,650 w/ on-page coupon

Available for $1650 from around $1800 when you clip the on-page coupon, this is a nice drop on an 82-inch version of our top TV pick for video games. With stellar picture quality, low input lag, a built-in smart-TV platform that allows you to control your game console with the TV remote, and HDMI 2.1 support, this is a great pick for gamers. So whether you want to feel completely immersed in your gaming environment or you've always dreamed of being able to watch your television from the ISS, this is a good opportunity to save.

As mentioned above, the Samsung RU8000 is the top pick in our guide to the best TV for video games. Wirecutter Senior Staff Writer Chris Heinonen wrote, "The best TV for video gaming is the Samsung RU8000 LCD/LED 4K TV. It offers low input lag, can automatically switch into game mode with newer consoles, supports variable refresh rate to render more fluid motion, and has frame interpolation to produce even smoother motion for gaming. Plus, the Dynamic Black Equalizer function can make enemies hiding in the shadows more visible. The RU8000 also provides good picture quality, though its contrast, color, and HDR performance are not as good as those of the much more expensive LG C9 and Samsung Q80R TVs. Still, it's a great all-around choice for anyone who desires premium gaming performance but doesn't want to pay a premium price."

Anker Nebula Mars II Pro

Street price: $550; deal price: $460

Down to $460 from $550, this is a solid discount on a portable mini projector we recommend. Although it's not the lowest we've ever seen, it's the first deal in about three months and, at almost $100 off, it's not to be ignored. The Anker Nebula Mars II Pro offers the best combination of performance, ease of use, and features; if you've been considering a mini projector, this is a nice time to save on one that delivers.

The Anker Nebula Mars II Pro performed better than any of the competition we tested, making it the top pick in our guide to the best portable mini projector. Daniel Varghese and Wirecutter Editor Adrienne Maxwell wrote, "Of all the mini projectors we tested, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro is the easiest to set up and use, and it delivers a fairly bright, accurate image with solid contrast and detail. The Mars II Pro has a clean interface, a well-designed remote, and an optional iOS/Android control app—all of which let you easily navigate between connected sources and built-in streaming video apps such as for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Its internal speaker is good enough that you shouldn't need to hook up external speakers for a casual movie night, although you can easily connect speakers directly or through Bluetooth. And if you want to use the Mars II Pro unplugged from the wall, note that its internal battery lasted over three hours in our test."

HooToo USB-C Hub HT-UC001

Street price: $36; deal price: $16 w/ on-page coupon and promo code PK33JWLX

Down to a new low, this is a big drop in price on one of our already-affordable USB-C hub picks. It has three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, an SD card slot, and USB-C power passthrough, but lacks the Ethernet port or microSD card reader that our top pick has. But if you're just looking for a few more ports and want to spend a quarter of the price of our top pick, this is a fantastic deal to pick up. Make sure to clip the on-page coupon and use code PK33JWLX to get the deal price.

The HooToo USB-C Hub HT-UC001 offers similar performance to our top pick for a fraction of the price, making it the budget pick in our guide to the best USB-C Hubs and Docks. Wirecutter Senior Staff Writer Nick Guy wrote, "HooToo's USB C Hub HT-UC001 isn't quite as full-featured or compact as our top pick's hub, but it offers many of the same ports for about two-thirds of the price. Providing three USB-A ports, HDMI output, USB-C power passthrough, and a full-size SD card slot, it's a good option if you want to be able to use wired accessories and hook up to an external display but aren't concerned about using a wired network connection."

Because great deals don't just happen on Thursday, sign up for our daily deals email and we'll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/wirecutters-best-deals-anker-nebula-mars-ii-pro-projector-sale/

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Hasbro’s flurry of ‘The Mandalorian’ toys includes an animatronic Baby Yoda

Disney's bid to cash in on The Mandalorian's success has come a long, long way from when the company was scrambling to release crudely-designed shirts. Hasbro is releasing a deluge of toys and games meant to capitalize on the streaming show, and it won't surprise you to hear that The Child (aka Baby Yoda to everyone outside of Disney) plays a starring role. Most notably, there's an honest-to-goodness animatronic figure. The little one wiggles his head and ears, makes squeaky baby sounds and even tries to use his Force powers in the most adorable way possible. We've asked Hasbro about pricing, but it's safe to presume this will be the most expensive toy here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/hasbro-the-mandalorian-toys-baby-yoda/

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Sony and Facebook withdraw from GDC due to coronavirus concerns

Mobile World Congress 2020 isn't the only trade show affected by COVID-19, otherwise known as the new coronavirus disease. Facebook has just announced that it will withdraw its presence from the annual Game Developer's Conference this year. In doing so, it will pull both Facebook Gaming and Oculus booths and have advised all employees to not attend the show.

A Facebook spokesperson sent in this statement: "Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year's Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19. We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online QAs, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks."

COVID-19 has had a big effect on the tech industry so far. Due to coronavirus concerns, MWC 2020 was cancelled, Apple has warned of iPhone supply shortages and Sony has pulled out of PAX East.

Update 4:15pm ET: Sony has announced that it too will be pulling out from GDC. Here's the company's statement:

We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/facebook-oculus-withdraws-gdc/

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Windows 10 icons are getting an overdue redesign

Microsoft refreshed Office's icons last year, and now it's Windows 10's turn. The software giant is rolling out updates to the icons for Windows 10's core apps over the months ahead, starting with the Calendar and Mail apps in a new Release Preview for Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. The company's design team explained that it wanted to break away from the flat, colorless icons you see today in favor of ones that are at once more consistent with newer branding (including apps available beyond Windows) and different enough that you'll have an easier time finding the one you want.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/windows-10-icon-update/

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Twitter tests labeling and correcting misleading tweets from politicians

Twitter emphasized to NBC News the feature is "one possible iteration" of a new anti-misinformation policy the company plans to implement on March 5th, the same day its recently announced ban on deepfakes goes into effect. "We're exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter," a spokesperson for the company told the publication. "Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it."

In turn, the flagging system could be complemented by another upcoming feature that would allow people to earn points and badges for helping the company moderate the platform. According to NBC News, the demo it saw asked users to rate how "likely" or "unlikely" they thought a tweet was "harmfully misleading." Using a sliding scale between 1 and 100, they then had to rate how many other people would answer in the same way. As with the flagging system, Twitter emphasized it may not implement the community feature. "This is a design mock-up for one option that would involve community feedback," the company told NBC News.

Twitter has reportedly been working on tools to stop the spread of misinformation since at least 2017. With the 2020 presidential election coming up, the company recently announced a feature that will allow people to report tweets that share misleading information about how and where to vote. Beyond the tools detailed in this latest report, it's likely the company has other ones in the works as well.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/twitter-tests-labeling-misleading-tweets/

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Eli Roth is directing the ‘Borderlands’ movie

Avi and Ari Arad, best known for their work on Marvel titles like Iron Man and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, are producing. Chernobyl's Craig Mazin is responsible for the script.

Like the Uncharted movie, the big-screen Borderlands project has been in development hell for a long time. Work started on it in 2015, so it's long overdue for a director and a production window. It's not surprising that Lionsgate would give the go-ahead with major names attached, at least. While the anarchic sci-fi shooter franchise is frequently seen as an underdog compared to the likes of Call of Duty, it has a large audience with over 57 million copies sold in series history, at least 8 million of those for B3.

The real question is whether it can stay true to the spirit of the series while holding up as a movie. Borderlands is well-suited in some ways with its Mad Max-like setting, warped humor and memorable characters, but something tells us it wouldn't be much fun to watch the lead actors sift through randomly generated weapons.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/eli-roth-borderlands-movie/

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T-Mobile, Sprint merger could close by April 1st

With most of the regulatory and legal hurdles out of the way -- approval from the California Public Utilities Commission is still needed -- T-Mobile and Sprint announced an amended version of their agreement to merge. CNBC explains that the updated deal will give Deutsche Telekom a slightly higher stake in the combined company ("New T-Mobile"), without requiring a new shareholder vote that would delay a deal that has already been pending for almost two years.

Deutsche Telekom will own 43 percent of the new company, while Sprint investor Softbank will have 24 percent, and the remaining 33 percent owned by public shareholders. T-Mobile apparently thinks this could all be wrapped up by April 1st, the last month before John Legere steps aside for incoming CEO Mike Sievert.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/20/merger-t-mobile-sprint-amended/

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