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Samsung redesigns its Galaxy Store to focus on games

Samsung wants its phones to be the go-to option for mobile gamers, and it’s taking another step towards achieving that goal. The redesigned Galaxy Store has just two home screen tabs: one for apps and one for games.

Each time you buy a game from the Galaxy Store, you'll earn rewards points that you can put towards another one down the line. You’ll also find exclusive promos and previews on the gaming tab.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/samsung-galaxy-store-redesign-games-165511215.html

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Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

You’ll soon be able to buy an electric Chevrolet motor just as easily as one of its gas engines. After years of prototypes, the automaker plans to start selling crate electric motors and batteries to consumers by the second half of next year (via autoblog). And to showcase what you’ll be able to do with the tech, Chevy detailed a 1977 K5 Blazer conversion its Performance team completed using a near-production eCreate motor kit

Chevy says approximately 90 percent of the new components it installed in the Blazer are Bolt EV parts straight from the factory, including the 200 horsepower motor that makes up the heart of the retrofit. Likewise borrowed from the Bolt is a 60kWh battery, which Chevy installed in the car’s cargo area. By using production controllers and wiring harnesses, it was able to carry over features like regenerative braking to the Blazer. What it didn’t need to replace was the majority of the drivetrain, with the transfer case, driveshaft and axles left untouched.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/chevy-ecrate-2021-174002305.html

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Facebook pauses recommendations of political and social issues groups

Amid a wave of actions Facebook has taken to prepare for next week's presidential election, it has stopped recommending groups that focus on political or social issues. For the time being, users won't see recommendations of new groups either.

It's not clear when Facebook stopped making those recommendations. CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly noted the change during his Senate testimony this week, and a Facebook spokesperson told Buzzfeed News the measure was a temporary one. It’s not clear how many groups this change impacts. The company also stopped recommending health groups last month.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/facebook-political-groups-social-issues-recommendations-election-175158432.html

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YouTube TV drops Boston regional sports network NESN

At the end of September, a dispute with Sinclair cut off YouTube TV’s deal for Fox regional sports networks across the country, and as October comes to an end it’s also dropping Boston network NESN. NESN broadcasts games for the Red Sox and Bruins, as well as local college sports.

An first reported by The Streamable, an email just went out to subscribers notifying them of the change, saying “Unfortunately, we were unable to reach a new agreement to continue offering you this network. Starting Saturday, October 31st, 2020, NESN will no longer be available on YouTube TV, and you will no longer have access to any previous recordings from NESN.”

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/nesn-youtube-tv-065400041.html

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SSC NA promises a re-run of the Tuatara’s top speed record attempt

Since then, SSC NA has said the wrong video may have come out, but stood by tis numbers, and said the record was certified using Dewetron GPS equipment. However Dewetron said it could not certify the results, and did not have the raw data, as Autoblog’s explainer breaks down in full.

Now, early on Saturday morning, SSC NA founder and CEO Jerod Shelby posted a video acknowledging the record-setting run as “tainted,” and said he dropped the ball on properly packaging the announcement in a way that could be verified and indisputable. While he didn’t break down details of what did or did not happen on October 10th, he promised that “in the near future” SSC North America will do the top speed run again, complete with witnesses and additional support from GPS companies to verify the data. He also invited Shmee150, Misha Charoudin and Robert Mitchell — some of the YouTubers who posted videos digging into the data — to come see SSC NA next attempt in person, and thanked everyone who looked into the facts of the run.


Article source: https://www.engadget.com/ssc-tuatara-rerun-top-speed-record-092617007.html

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‘League of Legends’ RPG ‘Ruined King’ will launch in early 2021

Almost a year ago, developer Riot Games unveiled Ruined King, a story-driven title set in the League of Legends universe. We haven't heard much about the game since then, which isn't surprising -- the company has been busy with Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics and countless other projects. Today, though, we finally have a release window for the turn-based RPG: early 2021. Riot has also confirmed that the game is coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. A next-gen optimized version will be available "soon thereafter," with a free upgrade path for PS4 and Xbox One owners.

Ruined King is part of Riot Forge, an initiative that allows third-party developers to create games with the League of Legends licence. It's being made by Airship Syndicate, the same studio behind Darksiders: Genesis, and will feature fan-favorite champions such as Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Ahri, and Pyke. A new trailer released during the League of Legends World Championship shows the group slowly assembling in a tavern and, later, sailing toward a mysterious land controlled by the titular king. As far as we know, fellow Riot Forge project Conv/rgence, which is being developed by Double Stallion Games, doesn't have a release date yet.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/ruined-king-league-legends-130055934.html

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The Morning After: Apple starts a repair program for AirPods Pro ANC problems

You saw the video. The SSC Tuatara hit 331 MPH and set a new speed record for a production car… or did it? Car fans have been dissecting the company’s claim ever since the video was posted, and on further analysis that figure doesn’t seem to hold up

SSC Tuatara

As a result, SSC North America CEO and founder Jerod Shelby posted a video pledging to run the car again “in the near future” to remove all doubt, and invited YouTubers like Shmee150 to witness the event in person. 

-- Richard Lawler

The Engadget Podcast

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X early impressions

Engadget Podcast logo

This week, Devindra and Cherlynn are joined by Jessica Conditt to talk about both new consoles -- well, as much as they can say anyway. Jess chats about her PlayStation 5 preview, and we can finally compare it to the Xbox Series X and S final hardware. Also, they dive into what’s up with AMD and NVIDIA’s latest GPUs, the RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6000 series.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.
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Apple acknowledges some AirPods Pro ear buds have audio problems

The AirPods Pro Service Program will replace affected units for up to two years after they were sold.

AirPods Pro

When we asked you for your reviews of the AirPods Pro, several people noted crackling problems and weird active noise cancellation problems. Now, according to a notice, in devices manufactured before October of this year, “a small percentage of AirPods Pro may experience sound issues.”

Apple didn’t specify a cause for the issue, but affected units could have problems with a crackling or static sound that increases when other outside noises are present, or the Active Noise Cancellation feature otherwise not working as expected. Within two years of their original sale, you can contact Apple to have them diagnose the issue and replace affected units.
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The best deals we found this week: $50 off AirPods Pro and more

Including early Black Friday pricing from Best Buy.

Beats Solo Pro

Valentina Palladino gathered some of the week’s highlights below, including deals like Apple’s AirPods Pro for $200 and Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet with extra storage for $230. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today.
Continue reading.

Sponsored by StackCommerce

Take great notes with this smart pen and writing pad combo


Article source: https://www.engadget.com/airpods-pro-repair-program-tma-144617926.html

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Hitting the Books: How one of our first ‘smart’ weapons helped stop the Nazis

Excerpted from 12 Seconds of Silence: How a Team of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon by Jamie Holmes. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

From the deck of the USS Lexington, on May 8, 1942, a barrage of deafening shots flung dozens of five-inch rounds into the clear sky. They pockmarked the air with black plumes, peppering the vista with inkblots of exploding shrapnel.

In the Coral Sea, off Australia’s northeastern coast, the 888-foot Navy aircraft carrier was under heavy assault by eighteen fighters and thirty-six torpedo and dive-bombers. The Lexington and a second carrier, USS Yorktown, formed the heart of an Allied mission to stop the Japanese from invading and occupying Port Moresby, New Guinea, a strategic foothold right off Australia’s doorstep.

Frederick Sherman, the Lexington’s captain, steered sharply at high speed to dodge the falling bombs, jolting his men under the deck and causing the huge vessel to roll, sway, and moan. Bullets from Japanese gunners in the planes struck a violent staccato beat on the metal hull and echoed through the ship’s belly. Axis bombs narrowly missed the carrier deck and exploded under the water, unleashing pressurized tremors that popped the American sailors’ ears.

The ship had never faced a raid of such intensity.

On the port side, a set of three five-inch antiaircraft guns blazed away stubbornly at the bombers. Jesse Rutherford Jr., a nineteen-year-old from Kansas, hoisted the fifty-four-pound rounds from the ammunition locker at his feet. Like a link in a bucket brigade, he handed them to the “primary loader,” a fellow Marine standing at the breech of the twelve-foot, two-ton monster called gun no. 10. Rutherford was among a small contingent of Marines manning the guns. Since six a.m., the captain had them at the ready wearing “flash gear” — heavy, fire-resistant clothing that included a protective hood and gloves. The Marines had waited five hours in the baking heat before the Japanese attack was spotted.

Most of the Lexington’s planes were far away, executing their own raid on Japanese carriers. With only a handful of Allied planes remaining, the Japanese easily reached the Lexington, prompting ack-ack fire from its gunners. But the small-caliber machine guns and five-inch cannons did not deter the pilots, who flew without hesitation, largely untouched, through the porous flak.

After the first minute of the assault, it became difficult for the men   to discern the exact order of events or where the bombs and bullets were coming from. Usually, four Mk 19 “gun directors” with telescopic lenses would have tracked incoming aircraft, determined the height, range, and bearing of enemy planes, and fed coordinates to the gun mounts. But the attack was so chaotic that gunners were given “local control” over where to shoot and had to select their own ammunition.

Inside the shells, time fuses adjusted by twisting a metal ring were all preset. The scheme saved men from having to calibrate them during the heat of battle, but it was wildly inflexible. As bombs fell, gunners tried   to determine the flight paths of approaching raiders, and then figure out where those flight paths might meet in midair with a shell that blew up at 2.2, 3, or 5.2 seconds after being fired. The Lexington’s antiaircraft guns could not protect the ship.

Within minutes, around eleven twenty a.m., it was hit by a series of torpedoes, producing explosions so violent that they froze the elevators and fractured the aviation-fuel storage tanks, which began to leak gas and poisonous vapors. Beneath the deck, repair teams quickly dispatched crews to plug the holes in the hull, and starboard compartments were “counter-flooded.”

On the bridge, Captain Sherman craved a cigarette, but the fumes made smoking too dangerous. In the distance, he saw that the faster, more agile carrier Yorktown was also being ambushed. Naval tactics dictated that the ships in the Allied battle group (which included cruisers and destroyers) should form a strategic ring to maximize their antiaircraft guns. But the formation had broken. A bomb pierced the hull and exploded in the admiral’s and chief of staff’s living quarters, enflaming furniture and distorting the lip of the deck.

The Marines at guns 2, 4, and 6 suffered a direct hit. Marine Corps captain Ralph Houser, their commanding officer, discovered the gruesome scene. Like victims at Pompeii, the charred bodies were frozen at their gun positions. Wounded men moaned and bled on the gnarled deck. Medics applied battle dressings and tannic jelly to their burns, and administered morphine.

A jagged hole punctured the deck beside gun no. 2. The explosion splintered a storage locker of five-inch shells, scattering them. Swelling with heat, rounds slipped from their brass cases and spilled firing powder, which ignited in tails of flame and let out angry hisses.

Two Japanese planes sprayed the deck with machine-gun fire, wounding three men working gun no. 10 and ending the life of another. Rutherford was shot several times but refused to stop lifting the heavy shells, one by one, for loading. Bombs hit the water and threw up towering walls of ocean, obscuring the ship’s profile and soaking the gunners still desperately trying to save the ship.

The attack lasted only twenty-three minutes. When it was over, the Lexington’s gunners had shot down only six of the fifty-four Japanese aircraft in the assault group.

It was now just a matter of time. At 12:47 p.m., the leaking aviation fuel blew up, taking out the damage control station. Two hours later, an explosion knocked an elevator through the flight deck. At 3:25, another blast took out the water pressure in the hangar. At 5:07, Captain Sherman gave the order to abandon ship.

Floating helplessly, the crew were unable to get far away from the sinking hull as the vortex of churning currents pulled them closer, like a magnet. That night, over twenty-seven hundred men of the almost three thousand aboard were safely rescued by Allied ships.

The loss of the Lexington reinforced the lesson of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse. Ships could not defend themselves without air cover. “Air offense is definitely superior to the defense,” the incident report dryly concluded.

The Battle of the Coral Sea marked the first time in history that enemy aircraft carriers waged a fight against each other. It was the first battle in history in which neither side’s ships ever saw or fired directly on the others.

Naval airpower had come of age.

It was a tactical loss but a strategic victory. Japan failed to take Port Moresby, and a Japanese carrier was sunk. The contest also marked a turn for the Navy, which was preparing to go on the offensive and, in 1943, hoped to claw back Japanese gains in the Pacific and take the war to the nation’s island citadel itself.

Japanese resistance would be deadly and savage.

After the Lexington sank to the ocean floor, the USS Yorktown limped to Pearl Harbor, where the vessel underwent a frantic repair job to return it to action.

Weeks later, the Yorktown sunk too.


Sailors met the scientists at the waterfront.

Dick Roberts was impressed by the Navy work party, which swiftly loaded the radios, binoculars, and batches of secret fuses.

August 10, 1942, was less than two years since Roberts initiated the fuse project, with some swagger, on Merle’s request, by firing a pistol at a vacuum tube in a bunker underneath a particle accelerator. He could not have guessed where that journey would lead. Now in front of the physicist, on a pier in Norfolk, Virginia, was a six-hundred-ten-foot Navy cruiser known as the USS Cleveland.

An imposing metal giant — a freshly commissioned ship — the Cleveland displaced some eleven thousand tons of water and carried a thousand men. At the stern was a crane used for retrieving four scouting seaplanes. In its center were stacks of circular towers, curved platforms, and boxy compartments. The ship’s core gave the impression of a small mountaintop favela made of iron, where generations of inhabitants added their own ferrous modules as space allowed.

The vessel was heavily armed. Four turrets and twelve guns used for land bombardment dotted the bow and stern. Behind them, encircling a rounded bridge, slanted masts, and dual smokestacks, were twelve five-inch guns in six turrets. The Navy was well aware by now that the guns weren’t enough, and had been busy cluttering the decks of cruisers like the Cleveland with dozens of smaller twenty- and forty-millimeter guns. The Cleveland itself had thirty-two of them. The ship was not designed to handle the weight of the extra guns and their aiming devices, and the boat — like others in its class — had grown increasingly unstable as it overflowed with more and more guns that were fitted like porcupine quills to the deck.

Roberts climbed the gangplank onto the massive carrier. With him was Section T’s “Mac” McAlister, from the Smithsonian Institution, and Herb Trotter Jr., a square-jawed physicist from Washington and Lee who looked more like an amateur boxer than a scientist. Lieutenant Deak Parsons was overseeing things.

As the Cleveland set off into Chesapeake Bay, the steam turbine engines propelled the sailors, researchers, film cameras, and precious fuses past the York and Rappahannock Rivers to Tangier Island, seventy miles north. The cruiser stopped at the widest stretch of the estuary, and made anchor for the night.

The ship’s insides were as alien to Roberts as its cluttered skin. Below deck, he encountered a maze of control rooms, berths, narrow passages, repair shops, ammunition rooms, supply rooms for spare parts, diving gear, and “chemical defense material.” The Cleveland was a tiny city with a post office, bakery, metalworking shop, optical shop, and even a room for “potato stowage.”

Roberts would not be sleeping in the “guest cabin” with its matching bath. He was bunked along a corridor and would have a more plebian naval experience. The ship was on a “shakedown” cruise to test its performance and ready the crew, and the sailors were kept busy with unexpected drills. The boatswain would blow a high-pitched pipe, and sailors would rush to their battle stations, prepare to abandon ship, or respond to “fires,” “collisions,” and “damage reports.” The physicist was sound asleep the next day, at five a.m., when he was suddenly jolted awake  while “half the crew ran over” his bunk for a surprise drill.

Tangier Island warmed slowly in the August heat, and as the sun climbed in the sky, Roberts, Parsons, and the other Section T men gathered on deck. Today’s test was against moving targets.

Small drones — remote-controlled planes about the size of an albatross, used for gunnery practice — were notoriously difficult to shoot down. The tiny aircraft were so tough to knock from the sky that even though Parsons had requested six target planes for the trial, the Navy drone technicians opted to bring only four. In their experience, ambitious gunnery officers usually asked for more target planes than needed. Their drones were rarely damaged beyond repair. The Navy photographic crew assigned to document the trials told Roberts that they had never once seen a drone shot down.

The waterway was cleared. The remote-control drone pilot steadied his hands. A radar, range finder, and mechanical “predictor” would help to aim the guns. Section T fuses, fitted into five-inch shells, were duly  loaded. As the first drone left the deck, the Cleveland ’s gunnery crew was primed and ready for action.

Each pair of five-inch guns on the ship protruded from an enclosed mount that resembled a squat tank with no treads. A standard gun crew consisted of twenty-six men, but twenty-seven were required for firing practice. The mount needed “powder men” to handle the powder casings, two “projectile and rammer men” to prepare rounds for firing, and two “hot case” men to catch ejected casings. “Trainers,” “sight setters,” and “pointers” were normally at the ready to aim the guns manually using optical lenses. And there would usually be a fuse setter, who was not needed that day and whose job, should Section T succeed, would no longer exist.

Under the guns, in ammunition handling rooms, thirteen of the men operated hoists and supplied powder cases and projectiles to the guns. Both rooms in this miniature, two-story arrangement had managers pre- pared to supervise the frenetic symphony of churning metal belts, valves, shells, and deafening explosions.

The first drone promptly crashed into the water, defective.

Roberts peered through binoculars at the second drone as it began a run toward the ship from three thousand yards away. The five-inch guns unleashed eighty rounds, and within seconds three shells detonated and struck the drone on the right side. It burst into flames and then spiraled into the drink. The third drone, launched off the starboard side, fell after four rounds. Over forty-five hundred feet away, a shell with a smart fuse sliced it with shrapnel and knocked it into Chesapeake Bay.

Parsons requested another target plane. But the drone operators didn’t have the last one ready. According to Roberts, Parsons was irate. He’d asked them for six drones, and they had refused. Why wasn’t the fourth drone ready, at least?

“You’ve wrecked two of my drones,” a handler said. “That’s very expensive.”

When the final plane was ready, over an hour later, its pilot simulated a low-altitude bombing run. The lower height didn’t make a difference. Eight shots and it was gone. Eighty rounds for a single target? Eight? Four? By any measure, the results of the drone trials were spectacular. The Cleveland’s captain came down to congratulate Parsons and the Section T men. As the physicists boarded a small launch to return to shore, he ordered life preservers brought for them. To prevent the hundreds of sailors aboard from spreading news of the test — of the wondrous accuracy of some new secret weapon — the Navy canceled their shore leave.

Tuve’s boss was elated. “Three runs, three hits, and no errors,” Bush wrote Conant, in a telegram. The fuse did exactly what it was supposed to.

Now they just had to put it to war.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/hitting-the-books-12-seconds-of-silence-jamie-holmes-hmh-153008055.html

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FBI, Homeland Security detail how Iranian hackers stole US voter data

They made at least some attempt to cover their tracks. Many of the linked IP addresses come from NordVPN’s service as well as other VPN providers.

The attackers obtained voter registration info for “at least one” state, officials said, although they unsurprisingly weren’t specific about the nature of that breach or the volume of data taken.

CISA and the FBI made several recommendations that, unfortunately, would be givens for many other organizations. They advised keeping systems updated with security patches, to scan for common web flaws like SQL injections, and to protect against web shells. Administrators should have two-step verification, too. Like it or not, election systems still have basic failings — it may be a long while before your voting info is truly secure.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/fbi-details-iran-hacker-voter-data-theft-160352183.html

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Take great notes with this smart pen and writing pad combo

At its core, the SyncPen 2 helps you switch between writing traditional notes and electronic editable notes. The pen has a motion-tracking sensor on the inside, which converts everything you write into digital text. Couple it with the included 10" LCD writing pad, and you go entirely paperless with your writing.

With editable digital files in hand, you can easily organize, access and share the information contained within them. That means writing in different colors, grouping notes by class, client, or project, finding details quickly via date or keyword search and emailing classmates or collaborating with colleagues at a moment's notice.

Plus, the SyncPen 2 delivers a level of convenience that makes note-taking easier in today's fast-paced world. This smart pen and writing pad duo synchronously records audio, identifies 66 languages, and converts your written text into various formats, from MS Word to PDF and JPG. So, with these tools in hand, you can easily take on whatever is thrown your way.

This smart pen and writing pad duo are a practical way to take notes for school, work, and life these days. Usually $199, the SyncPen 2nd Generation Smart Pen with Notebook is on sale today for $150. That's a 24% discount from its original cost.

Prices are subject to change.

Engadget is teaming up with StackSocial to bring you deals on the latest headphones, gadgets, tech toys, and tutorials. This post does not constitute editorial endorsement, and we earn a portion of all sales. If you have any questions about the products you see here or previous purchases, please contact StackSocial support here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/smart-pen-writing-pad-175528152.html

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