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22Sep/190

Batman comes to ‘Fortnite’ along with Catwoman and Gotham City

There's appropriate free gear and rewards as well. A Grapnel Gun helps you cover distances rapidly by hurtling you into the air, while an Explosive Batarang doubles as both an immediately explosive weapon and a proximity mine if you stick it in a wall. Complete challenges until October 1st, meanwhile, and you can earn cosmetics like a Catwing glider and Batman-themed imagery.

This is far from the first major Fortnite tie-in. The Avengers movies, John Wick and the NFL have all had their turn, among others. It's not often that Epic changes the environment quite so conspicuously, though, and Batman seems an appropriate fit for a game that thrives on swooping in from above -- though we're pretty sure he might balk at having to kill legions of people to emerge triumphant.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/batman-available-in-fortnite/

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22Sep/190

TiVo says all retail DVR owners will see ads before recorded shows

There's no mention of if or when cable providers might implement the ads, and it's not clear if the ads will subsidize the cost of service. The early testing suggested you might see the commercials primarily on TiVo Experience 4 devices.

Not surprisingly, reactions haven't been all that positive. Users in the thread that revealed the test have threatened to cancel service, arguing that they shouldn't have to endure ads when they're already paying for access. There's also the simple matter of inconvenience -- this adds one more step before you can watch your recorded shows, even if it boils down to clicking the "skip" button. While this could help bring more users into the fold if it makes devices like the $50 Android TV stick more viable, it also risks alienating veteran customers who bought TiVo DVRs precisely to escape ads.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/tivo-pre-roll-dvr-ads-for-all-users/

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22Sep/190

Apple gets US approval for Mac Pro tariff exemptions

Reports have circulated that Apple was moving production to China, but that's not necessarily the case. Tim Cook mentioned during Apple's latest earnings call that the company wanted to keep making Mac Pros in the US and was investing in additional capacity. Even if Apple does assemble the reworked Mac in the US, though, tariffs could still be painful. Many of the parts Apple needs are still likely to be made in China, and those costs could quickly add up.

The company isn't alone, either. Regulators also pulled tariffs for electronics that affect other PC makers, including those for partial circuit boards and graphics cards. If they hadn't, there was a good possibility that many computers would have become more expensive, including homebuilt PCs using Chinese parts. Apple has simply been one of the largest targets, and still risks significant cost increases if the US goes forward with a new round of tariffs on December 15th.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/apple-mac-pro-us-tariff-exemptions/

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22Sep/190

Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country is spending $150 million over five years for the collaboration. The newly formed Australian Space Agency will use the budget to "foster the new ideas and hi-tech skilled jobs that will make Australian businesses a partner of choice to fit out Nasa missions." Artemis, as we mentioned, is one of those missions, along with NASA's other deep-space projects like Mars 2020.

It remains to be seen whether Australia's support can help NASA send astronauts to the Moon by 2024. Flying humans to Earth's faithful companion in five years' times is an ambitious goal, and even the agency itself isn't sure if it can accomplish what the US government wants it to do. NASA's acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations Ken Bowersox told the US House of Representatives' Science, Space and Technology Committee: "[T]here's a lot of risk to making the date, but we want to try to do it."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/australia-nasa-moon-mars/

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22Sep/190

Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

Mayor Bill de Blasio's office defended the measures, which were intended to reduce traffic and clear streets for buses, bikes and pedestrians. A spokesperson contended that the moves were both legal and provide "needed relief" to both NYC streets and existing drivers.

Uber and rivals like Lyft have acknowledged that their services can make traffic worse. However, they've typically wanted to alleviate the burden on their own terms, and that has typically meant avoiding caps. They're unlikely to simply accept the rules, and it's not clear that a compromise is on the horizon.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/uber-sues-nyc-over-vehicle-caps/

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22Sep/190

Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

It starts with a reminder that the Fold's display comes protected and needs no extra film -- one of the reasons why early units got damaged was because reviewers peeled that layer off. However, the video also advises potential buyers to "use a light touch."

Next, the video explains that the Fold was designed with an articulated spine "inspired by the precision of watch mechanics" and that you should keep it free of water and dust. When Samsung redesigned the device, it added caps to the top and bottom edges of the hinge, because dust was getting into the older hinge design and jamming the mechanism. It's not quite clear why the company still wants you to protect it from dust and how it expects you to accomplish that.

Finally, the company explains that the device uses strategically placed magnets to keep it secure when folded. That's why, according to Samsung, it shouldn't be placed near keys or coins that could damage it. The device also shouldn't be kept near debit or credit cards, which means you can't just dump it into your bag/purse with everything else. Samsung even warns that you may want to consult your doctor before use if you have an implantable medical device.

The video ends with a note that Samsung created the Galaxy Fold Premier Service to help you care for the foldable phone-slash-tablet. You can watch the whole thing below, but here's a one-line summary for you: you may want to think twice about buying the $2,000 device if you're clumsy.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/samsung-galaxy-fold-care-video/

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22Sep/190

Three Mile Island’s infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

This doesn't mark the end of the overall story, however, as it'll take decades to clean up. Some of the teardown will take place quickly. Staff will remove the reactor's fuel supply in the next few weeks and store it in the used fuel pool. It'll take much longer to fully decommission the reactor, however. Exelon estimated that the plant won't be fully clear of radioactive material until 2078, or more than a century after it entered service. Unit 2 is expected to close in 2036.

Unit 1 has been relatively safe, with the only notable incident being an air pressure change that briefly exposed 20 employees to a mild amount of radiation. However, the reactor has long lived in the shadow of Unit 2, whose partial meltdown exposed nearly 2 million people to radiation. There don't appear to have been any publicly disclosed health effects, but the incident led to stricter oversight and, along with the Chernobyl disaster, defined the public perception of nuclear energy.

Exelon wasn't shy in trying to pin the blame on local government. It claimed that Pennsylvania law "does not support the continued operation" of the reactor, and that rules "fail to evenly value clean energy resources" while dirty power sources could "pollute for free." It doesn't think nuclear is getting a fair shake compared to renewables and other clean energy sources, in other words. It has also complained about low natural gas prices that make Unit 1 difficult to run.

It's not certain just what happens next, but the odds aren't high for a revival. While nuclear is relatively clean, the rises of both renewables and natural gas have reduced the demand for it. Like it or not, the industry has moved on -- the closure is a symbol of that transition.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/three-mile-island-nuclear-plant-shuts-down/

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22Sep/190

Tilta mods Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

You won't be replacing the camera's screen with this mod, just adding some hardware to allow it to twist and turn. Tilta says that it only takes an hour to complete the modification and that the kit includes all the tools you'll need. The company will also provide tutorials so you can follow along and hopefully not brick your pricey camera. Oh, and performing this mod will definitely void your warranty.

The kit will also come with carbon fiber replacements for the BMPCCs' flimsy port plugs, as well as a kit that allows you to mount an M.2 SSD in the cavity formerly occupied by the screen. A stock Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera takes SD, UHS-II and CFast cards natively, and can also write to a tiny USB SSD, like the Samsung T5, via a USB port. So while there's no lack of connectivity, having an SSD tucked inside the camera is a nice bonus. Tilta hasn't published a product page yet, but the mod kit will ship in November and cost $329.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/21/blackmagic-pocket-tilt-screen/

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21Sep/190

22 states join California to sue the Trump admin over emissions standards

As part of that, officials formally revoked California's waiver. For decades, the state had the right to determine its own emissions goals under the Clean Air Act.

Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW agreed a deal with California in July to build cars and light trucks that would average 50 miles per gallon across their fleets by 2026. The Department of Justice is investigating whether the agreement violated antitrust laws. The District of Columbia and 13 other states also followed California's standards.

But officials claimed only the federal government has the right to determine fuel economy standards under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. They argued California can't use its exemption to regulate emissions.

"EPA has granted those waivers over many years. But California cannot misuse that authority to set national fuel economy standards and attempt to control national greenhouse gas emissions standards," EPA spokeswoman Corry Schiermeyer told the Washington Post. "We are confident we are correctly applying the law and will prevail in the courts."

The administration claims lowering the standards will keep the price of cars down and prompt drivers to swap their vehicles for safer models. It aims to finalize the One National Program Rule by the end of the year.

Los Angeles, New York and the District of Columbia have joined the 23 states in the suit. In it, California state attorney general Xavier Becerra argued the administration had overstepped its authority in revoking the waiver. He pointed to two federal court decisions from 2007 as precedent -- judges ruled in both that state limits on car and light truck emissions didn't contravene federal law.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/california-federal-vehicle-emissions-lawsuit/

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21Sep/190

Sony will reveal ‘Last of Us’ details in a September 24th PlayStation stream

You'll be able to catch the broadcast on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. If you can't find time on the day of to watch, don't worry; the Engadget team will have a full summary of all the news. As for what we can expect to see during the showcase, Naughty Dog has already confirmed it will share new information about The Last of Us Part II. Notably, the 24th is the same day the studio is hosting a media event dedicated to the game, making it likely we'll finally hear a release date next week. It would also be nice to get an update on Ghost of Tsushima. We haven't heard any new news about Sucker Punch's latest game since E3 2018. Since Sony skipped E3 this year and hasn't aired a new State of Play since early May, fans are understandably anxious to hear what the company has in store for the holiday season and beyond.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/sony-playstation-state-of-play-september-24/

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