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ABC, ESPN and other Disney networks go dark on Dish and Sling TV

Disney-owned channels including local ABC stations, ESPN, FX and 17 others are no longer available on Dish Network and Sling TV. Dish says Disney wanted almost $1 billion more to extend their carriage contract, which expired at 3AM ET on October 1st. As a result, Dish had to remove Disney's channels from both platforms for the time being. As is usually the case in these situations, both sides are blaming each other for the blackout.

Dish claimed it offered Disney a contract extension, but said the latter rejected the proposal and walked away from the negotiating table. "We were not able to reach a mutual renewal agreement with Disney and without a contract in place we are legally required to remove their channels from our service," Dish said in a statement.

Dish has accused Disney of holding "viewers hostage for negotiation leverage." It claimed that Disney wanted Dish to insert ESPN and ESPN2 into packages that don't currently include sports channels. In addition, it said Disney wanted to upend a policy that allows Dish subscribers to remove local channels and save money. “Now Disney wants to take this away by forcing most Dish customers in their ABC markets to pay for local channels,” Dish said.

On the flip side, Disney claimed it didn't receive a fair offer to keep the likes of ESPN and National Geographic on Dish and Sling TV. “After months of negotiating in good faith, Dish has declined to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our networks," Disney told Variety in a statement. “The rates and terms we are seeking reflect the marketplace and have been the foundation for numerous successful deals with pay-TV providers of all types and sizes across the country. We’re committed to reaching a fair resolution, and we urge Dish to work with us in order to minimize the disruption to their customers.”

The Disney networks that Dish had to remove from its platforms are ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, ACC Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network and Baby TV. Dish also had to jettison local ABC stations in Chicago; Fresno, California; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; Philadelphia; Raleigh, North Carolina; and San Francisco.

This is the second time in the space of a year that Disney's channels have gone dark on a major live TV streaming service. YouTube TV lost access to them last December over a carriage fee dispute with Disney. The standoff didn't last long, however, as the likes of ESPN and local ABC channels returned the next day.

Dish has also had battles with other media giants. HBO and Cinemax vanished from Dish and Sling TV in 2018. The channels, and HBO Max, became available on Dish again last year after it reached an agreement with WarnerMedia, which is now part of Warner Bros. Discovery. However, the channels and HBO Max still aren't available on Sling TV.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/abc-espn-disney-dish-sling-tv-contract-183118258.html?src=rss

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Google reportedly canceled a Stadia-exclusive follow-up to ‘Death Stranding’

One of the major problems that worked against Stadia from the jump was the fact that Google didn't secure blockbuster exclusives for the cloud gaming service, which it will shut down in January. Sure, people were able to play the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077 and Destiny 2 on the platform, but those are all available elsewhere. As it turns out, Google may have spurned the chance to have an exclusive title from one of the biggest names in gaming.

According to 9to5 Google, at one point Hideo Kojima was working on a Stadia-only follow-up to Death Stranding, which debuted on PlayStation in 2019 and later arrived on PC. Death Stranding has some asynchronous multiplayer elements. Other players might be able to use ladders, roads and other items that you place in the world, for instance. However, the planned follow-up was said to be a fully single-player game, which might have been the reason why Google canceled the project.

According to the report, Google canned the game, which was described as an episodic horror title, after seeing the first mockups in 2020. Stadia vice-president and general manager Phil Harrison is said to have made the final decision to kill the project. For what it's worth, in a May 2020 interview, Kojima claimed one of his projects had recently been canceled. 

Google reportedly abandoned the project in the belief that there wasn't a market for single-player games anymore. Of note, CD Projekt Red just announced that Cyberpunk 2077 (which, again, was released on Stadia) has now sold 20 million copies, less than two years after its eventful debut. By mid-2021, Death Stranding itself had sold more than 5 million copies.

The lack of big exclusives is far from the only issue that led to Stadia's downfall. A questionable business model and a seemingly rushed rollout didn't help, and nor did Google's reputation for ruthlessly killing off its own products. Even though Stadia has excellent game streaming tech and some passionate fans, it never took off as Google hoped. The company will shut down the platform on January 18th and issue refunds for all hardware and software purchases (except for Pro subscriptions). Ubisoft is working on a way to give people who bought its games on Stadia access to PC versions.

The news of Stadia's demise blindsided developers, from giants like Destiny 2 studio Bungie to indie studios whose titles were supposed to hit the now-closed Stadia store in the coming weeks. As Axios notes, it isn't clear whether Google has a broad plan to reimburse studios for costs they expected to recoup after launching their games on Stadia. There are concerns about what Stadia's closure means for game preservation too. While Google didn't secure AAA exclusives, Stadia has some indie games that aren't available elsewhere.

Meanwhile, some are calling on Google to unlock the Stadia Controller's Bluetooth functions. The argument is that, if people can more easily use the controller on other platforms, it's less likely that the gamepad will become e-waste. The controller connects directly to WiFi for Stadia games in order to minimize lag. You can also hook it up to devices with a USB-C cable.

As for Kojima, he has a Death Stranding sequel in the works, according to the game's star, Norman Reedus. It also emerged in June that Kojima has teamed up with Xbox Game Studios for his next title. That game will be powered by Microsoft's cloud technology.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-stadia-death-stranding-follow-up-exclusive-report-200857092.html?src=rss

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Leaked Pixel Watch images show band designs, watch faces and Fitbit integration

It's only a few days until Google's big Pixel event, where the company will show off the Pixel 7 lineup as well as the first flagship smartwatch it designed in-house (outside of Fitbit, anyway). Leaks and rumors have provided some hints about the Pixel Watch's features and specs. The latest leak might be the biggest one to date. It seems an Amazon listing for the Pixel Watch went live early in Germany — the Pixel Watch is set to go on sale just after Google's October 6th event.

Images and details shared by leaker OnLeaks on the Slashleaks forum (as spotted by 9to5 Google) indicate there will be at least four band designs in a number of colors. They appear to include a silicon design in black, gray, eggshell white and green and silver (the images aren't super high-res), as well as a braided one that comes in orange, green and black. It seems there are two leather designs as well.

Beyond that, the images offer a look at some of the Pixel Watch faces. These include an analog-style watch face that includes the wearer's heart rate, ones with artistic landscape designs and another that spells out the time in words. Other images offer peeks at the Pixel Watch's Fitbit integration, a step counter, electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, an emergency call function and Fast Pair support.

In addition, the Amazon listing, which has since been removed, suggested that users will receive six months of free Fitbit Premium access. Fitbit typically gives buyers of its smartwatches the same perk, but it's not yet clear whether Google will do the same with the Pixel Watch in all regions. The listing also indicated that the Pixel Watch will connect to the Google Home app, and have 5ATM water resistance and a Corning Gorilla Glass display. The device is also said to have an Exynos 9110 processor and a day-long battery life.

Screenshots of the listing indicate that a WiFi version of the Pixel Watch costs €356.79 (around $349) in Germany. Previous reports suggested the WiFi model would start at $350 in the US, while the cellular version may start at $400. In any case, we'll get more official details about the smartwatch this Thursday. We'll have full coverage of the Pixel event, including everything you need to know about the Pixel Watch and the Pixel 7 lineup.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/pixel-watch-leaked-images-bands-watch-faces-fitbit-support-214114151.html?src=rss

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Intel-owned autonomous driving tech company Mobileye files for an IPO

Mobileye, the self-driving tech firm that Intel had purchased for $15.3 billion back in 2017, has filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. When Intel first announced its plans to take Mobileye public late last year, the autonomous driving firm was expected to have a valuation of over $50 billion. Now according to Bloomberg, Intel expects Mobileye to be valued at around $30 billion, due to soaring inflation rates and poor market conditions. Regardless, it's still bound to become one of the biggest offerings in the US for 2022 if the listing takes place this year. 

Intel intends to retain a majority stake in Mobileye, but Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger previously said that taking it public would give it the ability to grow more easily. He also said that the company plans to use some of the funds raised from the IPO to build more chip factories. Intel revealed its big and bold foundry ambitions in 2021 when it announced that the company is investing $20 billion in two Arizona fabrication plants. Back then, Gelsinger even proclaimed that he was pursuing Apple's business. Earlier this year, the CEO revealed earmarking another $20 billion to build two fabrication plants in Columbus, Ohio. The company expects that facility to eventually become "the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet."

Mobileye didn't specify how much a share would cost in its filing with the SEC. It did say, however, that it will use portion of the proceeds it will get from the IPO to pay debts. The firm also talked about its history in the filing and how its revenue grew from $879 million in 2019 to $1.4 billion in 2021, representing a growth of 43 percent year-over-year. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/intel-mobileye-files-for-an-ipo-131049124.html?src=rss

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Recommended Reading: Behind the wheel of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV first drive: Better because it's bigger?

John Beltz Snyder, Autoblog

Our colleagues at Autoblog have some in-depth analysis of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV via Snyder's first drive experience. While it's similar to the EQS sedan, Snyder argues the SUV variant will likely be more popular. 

Your smart thermostat isn’t here to help you

Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

A recent study found that smart thermostats don't really save you money because you're more likely to use the convenience of quick adjustments on your phone. So why are energy providers subsidizing them for customers? They're gathering that sweet data and maybe even throttling your power consumption (with permission). Bogost argues that convenience is still worth it, especially when you don't have to get out of bed to make yourself comfy. 

America's throwaway spies

Joel Schectman and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters

This in-depth report examines how the US intelligence failed its informants in Iran while it fought a covert war with Tehran. "A faulty CIA covert communications system" made it easy for Iranian officials to find sources, even if they had been otherwise careful about their work. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/recommended-reading-2023-mercedes-benz-eqs-suv-review-140035333.html?src=rss

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Hitting the Books: What the wearables of tomorrow might look like

Apple's Watch Ultra, with its 2000-nit digital display and GPS capabilities, is a far cry from its Revolutionary War-era self-winding forebears. What sorts of wondrous body-mounted technologies might we see another hundred years hence? In his new book, The Skeptic's Guide to the Future, Dr. Steven Novella (with assists from his brothers, Bob and Jay Novella) examines the history of wearables and the technologies that enable them to extrapolate where further advances in flexible circuitry, wireless connectivity and thermoelectric power generation might lead.

Excerpted from the book The Skeptics' Guide to the Future: What Yesterday's Science and Science Fiction Tell Us About the World of Tomorrow by Dr. Steven Novella, with Bob Novella and Jay Novella. Copyright © 2022 by SGU Productions, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. 

Technology that Enables Wearables

As the name implies, wearable technology is simply technology designed to be worn, so it will advance as technology in general advances. For example, as timekeeping technology progressed, so did the wristwatch, leading to the smartwatches of today. There are certain advances that lend themselves particularly to wearable technology. One such development is miniaturization.

The ability to make technology smaller is a general trend that benefits wearables by extending the number of technologies that are small enough to be conveniently and comfortably worn. We are all familiar by now with the incredible miniaturization in the electronics industry, and especially in computer chip technology. Postage-stamp-sized chips are now more powerful than computers that would have filled entire rooms in prior decades.

As is evidenced by the high-quality cameras on a typical smartphone, optical technology has already significantly miniaturized. There is ongoing research into tinier optics still, using metamaterials to produce telephoto and zoom lenses without the need for bulky glass.

“Nanotechnology” is now a collective buzzword for machines that are built at the microscopic scale (although technically it is much smaller still), and of course, nanotech will have incredible implications for wearables.

We are also at the dawn of flexible electronics, also called “flex circuits” and more collectively “flex tech.” This involves printing circuits onto a flexible plastic substrate, allowing for softer technology that moves as we move. Flexible technology can more easily be incorporated into clothing, even woven into its fabric. The advent of two-dimensional materials, like carbon nanotubes, which can form the basis of electronics and circuits, are also highly flexible. Organic circuits are yet another technology that allows for the circuits to be made of flexible material, rather than just printed on flexible material.

Circuits can also be directly printed onto the skin, as a tattoo, using conductive inks that can act as sensors. One company, Tech Tats, already offers one such tattoo for medical monitoring purposes. The ink is printed in the upper layers of the skin, so they are not permanent. They can monitor things like heart rate and communicate this information wirelessly to a smartphone.

Wearable electronics have to be powered. Small watch batteries already exist, but they have finite energy. Luckily there are a host of technologies being developed that can harvest small amounts of energy from the environment to power wearables (in addition to implantable devices and other small electronics). Perhaps the earliest example of this was the self-winding watch, the first evidence of which comes from 1776. Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet developed a pocket watch with a pendulum that would wind the watch from the movement of normal walking. Reportedly it took about fifteen minutes of walking to be fully wound.

There are also ways to generate electric power that are not just mechanical power. Four types of ambient energy exist in the environment—mechanical, thermal, radiant (e.g., sunlight), and chemical. Piezoelectric technology, for example, converts applied mechanical strain into electrical current. The mechanical force can come from the impact of your foot hitting the ground, or just from moving your limbs or even breathing. Quartz and bone are piezoelectric materials, but it can also be manufactured as barium titanate and lead zirconate titanate. Electrostatic and electromagnetic devices harvest mechanical energy in the form of vibrations.

There are thermoelectric generators that can produce electricity from differences in temperature. As humans are warm-blooded mammals, a significant amount of electricity can be created from the waste heat we constantly shed. There are also thermoelectric generators that are made from flexible material, combining flex tech with energy harvesting. This technology is mostly in the prototype phase right now. For example, in 2021, engineers published the development of a flexible thermoelectric generator made from an aerogel-silicone composite with embedded liquid metal conductors resulting in a flexible that could be worn on the wrist and could generate enough electricity to power a small device.

Ambient radiant energy in the form of sunlight can be converted to electricity through the photoelectric effect. This is the basis of solar panels, but small and flexible solar panels can be incorporated into wearable devices as well.

All of these energy-harvesting technologies can also double as sensing technology—they can sense heat, light, vibration, or mechanical strain and produce a signal in response. Tiny self-powered sensors can therefore be ubiquitous in our technology.

The Future of Wearable Tech

The technology already exists, or is on the cusp, to have small, flexible, self-powered, and durable electronic devices and sensors, incorporated with wireless technology and advanced miniaturized digital technology. We therefore can convert existing tools and devices into wearable versions, or use them to explore new options for wearable tech. We also can increasingly incorporate digital technology into our clothing, jewelry, and wearable equipment. This means that wearable tech will likely increasingly shift from passive objects to active technology integrated into the rest of our digital lives.

There are some obvious applications here, even though it is difficult to predict what people will find useful versus annoying or simply useless. Smartphones have already become smartwatches, or they can pair together for extended functionality. Google Glass is an early attempt at incorporating computer technology into wearable glasses, and we know how it has been received.

If we extrapolate this technology, one manifestation is that the clothing and gear we already wear can be converted into electronic devices we already use, or they can be enhanced with new functionality that replaces or supports existing devices.

We may, for example, continue to use a smartphone as the hub of our portable electronics. Perhaps that smartphone will be connected not only to wireless earbuds as they are now, but also to a wireless monitor built into glasses, or sensors that monitor health vitals or daily activity. Potentially, the phone could communicate with any device on the planet, so it could automatically contact your doctor’s office regarding any concerning changes, or contact emergency services if appropriate.

Portable cameras could also monitor and record the environment, not just for documenting purposes but also to direct people to desired locations or services, or contact the police if a crime or disaster is in progress.

As our appliances increasingly become part of the “internet of things,” we too will become part of that internet through what we wear, or what’s printed on or implanted beneath our skin. We might, in a very real sense, become part of our home, office, workplace, or car, as one integrated technological whole.

We’ve mostly been considering day-to-day life, but there will also be wearable tech for special occupations and situations. An extreme version of this is exosuits for industrial or military applications. Think Iron Man, although that level of tech is currently fantasy. There is no portable power source that can match Iron Man’s arc reactor, and there doesn’t appear to be any place to store the massive amounts of propellant necessary to fly as he does.

More realistic versions of industrial exosuits are already a reality and will only get better. A better sci-fi analogy might be the loader exo-suit worn by Ripley in Aliens. Powered metal exosuits for construction workers have been in development for decades. The earliest example is the Hardiman, developed by General Electric between 1965 and 1971. That project essentially failed and the Hardiman was never used, but since then development has continued. Applications have mostly been medical, such as helping people with paralysis walk. Industrial uses are still minimal and do not yet include whole-body suits. However, such suits can theoretically greatly enhance the strength of workers, allowing them to carry heavy loads. They could also incorporate tools they would normally use, such as rivet guns and welders.

Military applications for powered exosuits would likely include armor, visual aids such as infrared or night-vision goggles, weapons and targeting systems, and communications. Such exosuits could turn a single soldier into not just enhanced infantry, but also a tank, artillery, communications, medic, and mule for supplies.

Military development might also push technology for built-in emergency medical protocols. A suit could automatically apply pressure to a wound to reduce bleeding. There are already pressure pants that prevent shock by helping to maintain blood pressure. More ambitious tech could automatically inject drugs to counteract chemical warfare, increase blood pressure, reduce pain, or prevent infection. These could be controlled by either onboard AI or remotely by a battlefield medic who is monitoring the soldiers under their watch and taking actions remotely through their suits.

Once this kind of technology matures, it can then trickle down to civilian applications. Someone with life-threatening allergies could carry epinephrine on them to be injected, or they could wear an autoinjector that will dose them as necessary, or be remotely triggered by an emergency medical responder.

Everything discussed so far is an extrapolation from existing technology, and these more mature applications are feasible within fifty years or so. What about the far future? This is likely where nanotechnology comes in. Imagine wearing a nanosuit that fits like a second skin but that is made from programmable and reconfigurable material. It can form any mundane physical object you might need, on command. Essentially, the suit would be every tool ever made.

You could also change your fashion on demand. Go from casual in the morning to business casual for a meeting and then formal for a dinner party without ever changing your clothes. Beyond mere fashion, this could be programmable cosplay—do you want to be a pirate, or a werewolf? More practically, such a nanoskin could be well ventilated when it’s warm and then puff out for good insulation when it’s cold. In fact, it could automatically adjust your skin temperature for maximal comfort.

Such material can be soft and comfortable, but bunch up and become hard when it encounters force, essentially functioning as highly effective armor. If you are injured, it could stem bleeding, maintain pressure, even do chest compressions if necessary. In fact, once such a second skin becomes widely adopted, life without it may quickly become unimaginable and scary.

Wearable technology may become the ultimate in small or portable technology because of the convenience and effectiveness of being able to carry it around with us. As shown, many of the technologies we are discussing might converge on wearable technology, which is a good reminder that when we try to imagine the future, we cannot simply extrapolate one technology but must consider how all technology will interact. We may be making our wearables out of 2D materials, powered by AI and robotic technology, with a brain-machine interface that we use for virtual reality. We may also be creating customized wearables with additive manufacturing, using our home 3D printer.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/hitting-the-books-the-skeptics-guide-to-the-future-steven-novella-grand-central-publishing-143047905.html?src=rss

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Amazon’s Echo Show 5 drops to a new low of $35

Days after hosting a major hardware launch, Amazon is apparently having a sale on its older Echo devices. Among the deals, we noticed that both the Echo Show 5 and the larger Echo Show 8 have hit new record lows. The Echo Show 5, which went on sale last year for $85, is now down to $35, a 59 percent discount. The 8-inch model, meanwhile, is down to $70 after having debuted at $100.

Buy Echo Show 5 at Amazon - $35
Buy Echo Show 8 at Amazon - $70

Both devices, but especially the Echo Show 8, were designed to be used as a possible alarm clock, with a sunrise alarm feature that gently wakes you up by slowly brightening the display. And, as you might expect, both devices offer the same suite of Alexa voice commands and integration with Ring smart home devices. Where the two devices differ most, obviously, is in size — and what rooms of the house where they were meant to live. 

The Echo Show 5 is primarily pitched as a bedside device, and in our review last year we praised its surprisingly decent audio quality (beyond just the ability to scare you awake). With the Echo Show 8, you get a modest 2-megapixel camera and 960 x 480 display, which we praised in our review for its overall quality and in particular the video calling experience. You might use it in the bedroom, sure, but we can also see it working in the kitchen or living room.

In the case of both devices, we said in our review that competing devices from the likes of Google offered an easier-to-navigate user interface. That might still be true, but it might be even less of a dealbreaker at such bargain-basement prices.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-echo-show-5-new-low-price-35-dollars-150003966.html?src=rss

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Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max drops back down to an all-time low of $35

Amazon's most powerful streaming stick is on sale yet again for Amazon's second Prime Day sale in 2022. You can grab the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $35, or $20 off its regular price. That's how much it went for at this year's first Prime Day event back in July, and it's also the lowest price we've seen for the device on the website. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max supports Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR10+ content, as well as Dolby Atmos audio. It can also join WiFi 6 networks, and Amazon says it can start apps faster and has more fluid navigation than the basic Fire TV Stick 4K.

Buy Fire TV Stick 4K Max at Amazon - $35

Like other models, this one comes with a remote control that has preset buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu. Said remote is also powered by Alexa and can search content and launch them with just voice commands. You can even ask Alexa through the remote to dim your connected lights or check the weather. And if you have a compatible doorbell or security camera around your home, you can use its picture-in-picture capability to view its live feed on your screen without having to pause or remove whatever it is you're watching. 

Out of all the Fire TV streaming devices, only the Cube set-top box is more powerful than the 4K Max. The Fire TV Cube is also on sale for $60 at the moment, or half off its original price. But if you want something cheaper, you can also get the non-Max Fire TV Stick 4K for $25 or the base Fire TV Stick for $20.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-fire-tv-stick-4k-max-all-time-low-of-35-154011085.html?src=rss

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Amazon’s latest sale knocks up to 50 percent off Fire tablets

Amazon appears to be kicking off its fall Prime Day event a little early. Hot on the heels of announcing a new generation of gadgets, the company is holding a sale on Echo smart displays, Fire TV devices and, it seems, Fire tablets. Highlights include the Fire 10 HD, which is back down to $75, a price we last saw during Amazon's Prime Day event in July. Meanwhile, the new Fire 7 tablet has been discounted to $45.

Buy Fire HD 10 at Amazon - $75
Buy Fire 7 at Amazon - $45

While the Fire HD 10 is the older of the two devices, the deal on that tablet is still the highlight here. For the money, you get a 10.1-inch display with full HD resolution, an eight-core 2GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, 12 hours of rated battery life and up to 64GB of internal storage (expandable to as much a 1TB via a microSD card). 

As for the Fire 7, we need to caution you that it earned a lackluster score from us when we reviewed it last summer. Although we acknowledged the then-$60 tablet got some basics right, including battery life, USB-C charging and, well, the affordable price, we dinged it for its unimpressive display quality and sluggish performance. If we were to review it fresh today with a $45 list price, perhaps we'd be a little more generous in our rating.

It's unclear when Amazon will refresh either its 10- or 7-inch tablet line. At its hardware launch last month, Amazon only mentioned a new $100 8-inch model, which promises 30 percent faster performance, slightly improved 13-hour battery life and a new Tap to Alexa feature that allows you to summon the voice assistant without speaking. 

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Article source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-fire-tablet-sale-161517699.html?src=rss

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Sheryl Sandberg has left Meta, but the company will keep paying for her personal security

Sheryl Sandberg officially stepped down from her post as Meta COO in August, but the company will continue to pay for her personal security into 2023, Reuters reports. The board, citing "continuing threats to her safety," agreed to pay for security services from October 1st through June 30th, 2023, with protection available to Sandberg at her residences and while she is traveling. 

It is unclear what threats Sandberg has been receiving that would warrant the company paying for continuing protection after she has resigned. We have asked Meta for comment and will update this story if the company chooses to elaborate.

Sheryl Sandberg joined Meta in 2008, and her last official day as an employee was September 30th. Going forward, she will continue to serve on Meta's board and receive compensation as a non-employee director. Although Sandberg apparently resigned of her own volition, her final chapter at the company was marred by personal scandal. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sandberg used company resources to help kill negative reporting about Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who she was said to be dating at the time. 

Two months later, the Journal also reported that Meta had launched an internal investigation into Sandberg's use of company resources, and that the inquiry actually extended back "several years." In addition to the allegations about protecting Kotick from negative press, Sandberg was also reportedly being investigated for possibly using company funds to pay for her 2022 wedding. Meta lawyers were also reportedly looking into whether and how Facebook staff helped Sandberg and her foundation, Lean In, promote her latest book, Option B.

Sandberg's final years on the job were also marked by a series of company crises, including the 2019 Cambridge Analytica scandal; allegations of enabling genocide in Myanmar; shrinking revenue earlier this year; and a change last year in iOS's approach to third-party app tracking that undercut the core of Meta's business model. 

It is not unusual for Facebook to invest heavily on personal security for its top executives. In 2020, the company reportedly spent $23.4 million in 2020 to protect CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, the board's announcement on Friday comes days after Meta was reported to have suspended all hiring, with a warning of possible layoffs on the way, making for some potentially awkward optics. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/sheryl-sandberg-meta-will-pay-for-personal-security-170637101.html?src=rss

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